He was in a city far from home, in the kind of bar he visited only when out of town. Something about these kinds of bars excited him, made him feel free to be himself. Other than his nightly visits to the internet, this side of his sexuality was unexplored, for the most part. On the net, he enjoyed watching the young men and getting acquainted with a few in chatrooms. He had never met then in real life, however. Not because he didn't want to, however. He had taken good care of himself, was fit and healthy and handsome, looking younger than his years. He was successful in his professional career and he was proud of that. He felt it gave him something extra to add to a relationship, even if only on the net. He knew how to communicate well and the right kinds of words to use to charm the young guys. You could call it sweet talk or flattery, probably.
The truth is, he was really a good man who had been hurt by life from childhood on. Now in his 40s, his marriage was troubled and his life often felt lacking in intimacy. The more he felt his wife failed him, the more he looked to the men on the internet for friendship and affection of some sort.
At the bar that night, a young man sat down one stool away from him. They smiled and nodded at each other. The man thought the boy looked to young to be in a bar, but he was immediately attracted to him. He struck of a conversation with him because he was a friendly person. After awhile, he told the young man his full name and where he live. The young man only offered his first name. This struck him as odd, but he dismissed it as youthful poor manners. The truth was, should he dare to admit it, that he wanted to know the young man no matter what. Soon, the young man moved the stool next to him and asked if the man was married. "Do I look married?" he asked. "Actually, you do" the boy said. The man felt sad. The last thing he wanted to do was to look like a family man in a place like this. Then the young man quickly added "But it's cool" with a slight slap on the man's thigh. The man felt a familiar heaviness begin in his underwear. His mind was excited, too, and his body aroused. He felt young and full of desire.
It was inevitable that they should go to his hotel room, where they stood by the bar in silence, eyes locked on each other. The both wanted the same thing, except the man wanted to believe it was more than just sex. Lying to himself had become a way of life lately. Not a single thought of his wife and children at home entered his mind and had they, he would have quickly pushed them out. He wanted this and was going to have this. He asked the young man for a kiss. It was everything he hoped kissing another man would be like. The young man asked him to suck his cock. They undressed and got into bed. The took turns, but mostly the man did everything. He loved the feeling of an ejaculating cock in his mouth. They showered together and got back into bed. The young man fucked him. Shortly thereafter, he said he had to leave. As they were parting, they shared a kiss that had no passion. The man gave him his cell phone number and asked him to "please call". The young man did not give his.
The man spent the next day feeling excited and his body felt fully charged. He wanted this again and again. He called home and his wife said she was very tired from three days alone with the kids. The man said he would see her in a few hours, but his mind was not on her. For that fact, it was not on his children either. His mind was full of last night.
At home, that evening, his children were thrilled to see him, but his 12 year old son seemed a little standoffish. Like mother, like son, he thought resentfully. He kissed his wife on the cheek and life was back to normal home life. Boring, he thought. He wanted excitement.
One night, a few weeks later, he was online, missing the young man, but chatting with some young chatmates and looking at porn. The longer it went without hearing from the young man, the more he felt used. Had he been honest with himself, he would have realized he was probably more the user than the usee.
He was startled from his thoughts when he heard a voice saying "Dad?" "What are you doing up so late?" he snapped at his 12 year old son. When he saw his son's face, his tone softened. He deeply loved his son. He slammed the laptop closed, like one closed the door of a closet to hide the mess it contains.
"Dad, why don't you love me anymore?" his son asked with a weak, shaky voice. His father was stunned and told his son he was mistaken and that he loved him very much. The man was afraid to ask why his son felt he stopped loving him. But his son continued. "Do you know how you and I used to go out to eat, just the two of us?" His father reminded him that they had just done that 2 days prior, but the son insisted it was no longer the same. He said his father was no longer the same. "When we used to talk, you would look right at me. I felt very important to you. Even when you were upset with me and correcting me, you made me looking into your eyes so that I could only tell you the truth and not a lie. Sometimes you held my face in your hands. Do you remember?" The man remembered the importance he had placed on eye to eye contact with his son. "Now, you don't look at me anymore." Sharper than a surgeon's knife the boy's words cut into the man. He knew his son was right. He knew, too, that he was the one who had changed, he was the one who was putting the distance between them.
With this secret part of his life, he had been greasing the slide to failure and betrayal. He knew at the instant that not only had he betrayed his wife, he had betrayed his children. His son had the strength to tell him that without knowing it.
The man took his son in his arms and sobbed. With tears soaking his face, he told his son that he was right in what he said. He told him how sorry he was and asked for forgiveness. There were no tears on his son's face, because his young eyes were shining with joy. He had his father back. They talked a long time and then he tucked his son into bed. He knew that tonight his son would sleep the sleep of the innocent, something he had obviously not done for awhile.
As he climbed into bed with his wife, he want badly to cuddle her, but he was afraid to awaken her and even more afraid of her rejection. He knew he had wronged her deeply and he knew he blamed her for his actions. By telling himself that she forced him into what he did, he felt slightly better. That was just another of many lies. He resolved to love her again, even if she didn't seem like she loved him. Maybe he could win her back like had done years before. Just before he fell asleep, he felt gratitude in his heart, for the first time since that night in the city, that the young man had not called him.