Tell A Tale in 500 Words

A Hero At Home By Wayne Brown

Carly Simon is cantillating, ‘’Loving you’s the right things to do’’, when Nick stops whisking and switches the kitchen radio off. ‘Bollocks is it.’ Ollie raises his eyebrows, ‘So shall I tear up that marriage certificate then?’

‘You know what I mean. It’s the injustice of it. We were just walking in the park and happened to be holding hands. Why should we be singled out by a load of... idiots?’

‘Babe, you know it isn’t just us. It happens to Edwin and David about once a month.‘

‘Yeah, but that’s usually racial.’

‘Is there suddenly a difference? Abuse is abuse whether racial, sexual or otherwise.’

‘I know. I’m just… angry.’

‘You have to keep perspective Nick. It’s been a week now. And besides, I flashed my badge and threatened to nick ‘em all. The look on their faces was almost worth it.’ Nick smiles, ‘Ooh, my very own hero.’ Ollie leans in and kisses him. ‘The Martons’ll be here soon so - beat it.’ Nick continues whisking, ‘Don’t call us dear…’

---Two hours later---

Lucie smiles as she watches Ollie pouring the coffee, ‘I’m glad you stood up to those idiots - telling them they’re breaching… which law Martin?’ ‘

Luce, I don’t think-’

‘And the way you dealt with that bully you arrested and let off. You’re a saint.’

Nick looks from Lucie to Ollie, ‘What bully, where?’

Martin purses his lips as Lucie closes her eyes and mouths, ‘’Sorry’’.

Nick continues, ‘Ollie? What don’t I know that everyone else obviously does?‘

‘Only Martin knows because we were on shift together. And Lucie - evidently.’

Lucie half-stands, ‘Should we just…?’

Martin gently pushes her back down, ‘You lit the thing, you may as well see it go up.’

Ollie takes a breath and explains, ‘It was one of our mouthy ‘friends’ from the park. We caught him… cottaging yesterday. He was pleading with us. Usual story of family expectations and society pressure to conform. As a teenager he was still exploring his sexuality and his girlfriend got pregnant. So they married. His cousin came out and the family disowned him, so Phillip – that’s his name – locked the closet door. A masculine bloke who nobody ever assumes might be anything but straight, trapped between two lives. Bleak stuff. So, I gave him hell about not using verbal abuse just to take the heat away from himself and to be more discreet in future. I was waiting for the right time to tell you.’

After a few moments of silence Ollie takes Nick’s hand, then smiles and softly sings, ‘’Loving you’s the right thing to do.’’ Martin, could Superman here get into trouble for this?’

Martin shrugs, ‘Nah, it’s discretionary. But, for the record, I would have done the same. Why make the family suffer?’

Lucie places her hands on Martin’s face and plants a kiss. ‘You’re SO gonna get it tonight.’

Nick winks at Martin and Lucie, ‘Besides, it would have been far too much paperwork.’

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