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a good time and you encouraged him even more.”

     “Too much?”

     “Not at all. You sounded like you’ve been doing this all your life.”

     Darren knew when I was feeling insecure and could always ease my worries. He was doing a good job. So much so, I didn’t realize I was on my third piece of whole-wheat toast, having a tug-of-war with a long strand of crust that seemed anchored to its slice. Darren reached over to help but decided to caress my cheek instead. I smiled.

     Darren and I had been living together for over twelve years and we loved each other like any committed couple. We had recently talked about adopting a child.

     Darren’s vision had inspired The Gay Detective. He had produced and directed many TV specials, some national, and when he saw that I enjoyed talking to people, he suggested the show.

     “Times have changed, Nick,” he’d said to me in bed one night. “We’re out of the closet. Mainstream America is getting comfortable with gay people and culture. What about Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Modern Family?— humongous hits. Come on, it’s time for a gay talk show and you’re The Man. Gay but macho, a real Chicago

     Once we were seated, our waiter, Will, came over and said, “You were fab, Nick. I can’t wait to see more.”

     Will was wearing enough body metal to bring an airport security line to a dead halt. He had a mischievous smile that accounted for his popularity. We had come here on our first date and that’s when we had met him. Like many waiters, he was a wannabee actor paying his dues.

     “The usual, guys?”

     “Yes,” Darren said, “but could you bring us a couple of mimosas?”

     “On the way.”

     They arrived in record time and Darren lifted his glass in a

     “To a rising star who will brighten the universe. And I want you to remember that I love you. Love you to death.”

     When I started to speak, I found myself choked by emotion and managed to only get out, “Thank you, Darren, for everything. I love you too.”

     Neither of us spoke again until the eggs arrived. We had
reached a point where we were content just being together.

     “Do you think Harold was too sexual?” I asked Darren in between bites of hash browns and scrambled eggs.

     “He’s always sexual. He can’t help himself. He was having



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