I am so thrilled to be participating in this year’s Rainbow Advent Calendar! In case you’re not familiar, for the RAC, twice daily from December 1st through the 24th, Alex Jane shares a story written by an author of LGBT+ stories that will be free until at least the end of December.
My story for this year, The Holidate, was so much fun for me! It includes a single father, instalove, the fear of coming out, and just enough spice to keep things interesting. Below you’ll find a link to the story on BookFunnel and a short excerpt. You’ll also see links for the RAC FB group where all of the posts will be made, and to the master post on Alex Jane’s website, where the links to every story will be posted. I hope you love The Holidate, and Happy Holidays!
When single-dad Jackson literally runs into his high school crush years later, he has a decision to make: stay in the closet and stay unhappy, or come out and risk everything, including falling in love.
Snow was drifting from the sky in big, fat flakes, dusting Colton’s hair and jacket as he stomped along the sidewalk. The sky was gray, although it was still morning and the snow had just started, though the weather stations were calling for it to fall for the rest of the day and into the night.
“Why do we have to do this anyway? Stupid…” Colton muttered under his breath, which came out in little clouds as he talked.
He looked at me, his blue eyes narrowed. In that moment, he looked just like his mom, and my breath hitched. Even though we’d been divorced for nearly a decade, far longer than we’d been married, I still missed her. It was hard to believe she was gone.
“Nothing.” The scowl on his face was all me. I reached out and ruffled his hair affectionately before he yanked his head away from my reach. “Da-ad…” His tone was part warning, part plea.
“Sorry, bud. I can’t help myself. I love you.”
He sighed. “Love you too,” he said begrudgingly.
“Don’t be too nice to me. Wouldn’t want you to strain yourself.” I chuckled and shook my head. It was hard being twelve, that much I remembered.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Immediately, he was defensive again.
With a soft sigh, I shoved my hands in my pockets to ward them against the cold. “Nothing. Let’s just get to Grandma’s, okay?”
“Why do I even have to go to Grandma’s, anyway?”
“Colton, we’ve been over this. Grandma misses us. She misses seeing you.”
“I see her, like, every day!”
“I know. Now that we live closer, she’s able to let you spend the day with her instead of me having to find a day camp for you while school’s on break.”
“I could stay home alone. I’m old enough.”
I stopped walking and looked at him. “You’re old enough to stay home alone for a few hours. Not all day.”
He frowned, a furrow forming between his eyebrows. “It’s not fair. Why can’t you work from home or something like Derrick’s parents?”
“Come on. I’m going to be late.”
That was the last of the complaining, but it was also the last of the talking until we arrived at my mom’s place, a second-floor apartment not far from the apartment building Colton and I lived in. I thanked her profusely as always, kissed Colton on the head, and headed back out and toward the Last Page, the bookstore I’d been working at ever since we’d returned to Fernsworth.
As I made my way through the city, the snowfall picked up. It was falling harder and faster, the wind kicking up too until flakes were swirling around my face, and I had to fish a hat out of my pocket and tug it on, pulling my scarf up so that only my eyes were exposed to the elements. It was only a few blocks to the Last Page, but the wind and snow made the trip feel like an eternity. I arrived just as the wind died down, and I yanked the door open, the bell above the door jingling to signal my arrival.