Thomas had always been the black sheep of the family, the runt of the litter. Being the middle child in a family of three did not help matters. He seemed to lack in almost everything, he was never tidy at home, never sharp at school and always failed at sports. As far as his father was concerned he was going to have a very difficult life. Yes, his father, a one Mr. Winston who prided himself as a disciplinarian of the highest order. Mr. Winston was a retired army man who was around 6 feet tall with a very thick waistline and a bulging stomach, two things he acquired after 5 years in retirement. He was openly disappointed with his second son and never even tried to hide the fact. Many times he was heard expressing his doubts on Thomas being his son, a remark that never went down well with the lady of the house; Mrs. Consolata, fondly referred to as Connie by her peers. Consolata was a small woman, no more than 5 feet tall but she was very pious. Age had been fair on her as she still looked dashing at 42, something she relished attributing to a good diet and the rosary, In fact everything in her life was always the work of the almighty, when Thomas was born she vowed to guide him on the path to becoming a priest, a dream that slowly diminished as time went by. It was hard to tell whether she too was disappointed in her son or not.
Jamin was Thomas’ elder brother, he was 3 years older and everything Thomas was not, or what he had been expected to be. He had taken their father’s height and their mother’s looks. He had it all, good grades in class, athleticism on the field, he was the school’s football team captain and every girl within a 5 mile radius swooned over him. To some extent Thomas admired him, they never talked that much as it would be expected of two brothers that close in age, a whole week could pass with nothing other than the usual morning greetings being passed between them. Jamin was always busy with something, he was either hunched over his books, texting the hundreds of girls at his beck and call or admiring himself in any reflective surface that he encountered. He was by all definitions a narcissistic prick for lack of a better word. But as far as Mr. Winston was concerned Jamin was his pride, the jewel of the family.
Isabelle was the last born in the family and the only person who seemed to have time for Thomas. She was 11, three years younger than Thomas. She too seemed to be blessed with everything Thomas didn’t have but unlike their eldest brother she had a heart. Despite her young age she was very perceptive, she could read moods like a book. It was therefore no surprise that she was the first to notice something odd about Thomas.
On this particular Sunday Thomas was extremely apprehensive. Sundays in that household are usually spent indoors watching TV or reading a novel. On this particular Sunday Mr. Winston was gawking over his reading glasses at the Sunday’s newspaper. Consolata was trying her hand at crocheting, a new hobby she had picked up from one of her chama friend, Isabelle was right beside her giggling every time she missed a thread. Jamin was seated at the dining table hunched over what looked like a textbook, in the real sense of the word he wasn’t reading at all, he was stealing glances at his reflection on the fridge at the corner. Thomas was seated in the living room area staring at the TV, hands fidgeting.
His head was racing with a million things, he was unsure how his family would take it. He had been preparing for this day for the last 2 years and now that it was finally here he felt a deep uncertainty and a cold fear. He kept looking at the wall clock, watching the minute hand slowly move. He kept counting to 100 in his head telling himself that he would go ahead and speak what was in his mind when he reached 100 only to start counting afresh again. He could feel his stomach heave and turn. He knew he had to tell them, he knew it was better that they hear it from him rather than hear it from a stranger. He shut his eyes for a moment, clenched his fists and abruptly stood up, startling everyone in the room. He let out a long sigh, opened his eyes and looked straight at his parents.
“Mom, Dad, I am gay”