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(by Martin Zuniga) I still remember the day he died. The only guy I ever loved. Who knew my own father could act so rashly, simply because of who I dated. Yes, we were both gay, but I loved him more than life.

Mitch Arnold was the sweetest guy I had ever met. I had met him only a year previous, at a party. He was a little bit depressed so I built up all my courage and tried to find out what was wrong. It turned out he was having a lousy time because he was the only gay guy in the room. Apparently he had not met me before. Eventually we got to dancing, but that's as far as we got... that night. I left, not wanting him to follow me home. See, I lived in fear that my homophobic father might find out I was gay.

Eventually though, as Mitch and I grew closer, he began to visit my home. My father, having been the only one raising me, was overjoyed that I had found a good friend at last.

Long nights were spent with Mitch in my bedroom, one thing leading to another. Eventually, living our lives in secrecy we were extremely happy.

Until that night.

It was suppertime. The three of us (my father, Mitch and I) were eating at the kitchen table. I don't quite remember what we were eating, but it is unimportant. I do remember not being hungry at all... but I was forced to eat as I'd rather not leave my guest alone with my father.

I remember at one point laughing merrily, my dad was telling a story from work about a guy who got caught cheating on his girlfriend by his wife... or something like that. Then things started to go downhill.

My dad asked Mitch about his previous relationships. Not wanting my father to know what he was, he lied and said he was single. Of course this promted dear old dad to mention his friend's daughter, Mitch's age. "Would be perfect for you!" I remember him saying.

When Mitch disagreed, my dad just pressed harder, hoping to set up a lasting relationship. I tried to change the subject... and it worked for a little while, until somehow we got on the topic of homosexuality. My dad brought up a joke he'd heard at work.

"What do you call a gay bar with no place to sit?" He said, "A fruit stand. Hahaha, do you like it?"

Mitch just dropped his head a little and forced a laugh. It was like I wasn't there, like I was a figment in the mind of Mitch, just watching my father loathefully generate hate towards the two gay people in the room.

"What do you call a Jewish homosexual? A Heblew!"

"DAD! SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Wait... had I said that? "SHUT UP YOU HOMOPHOBIC ASSHOLE! Mitch is gay and so am I and we DO NOT need this BULLSHIT!"

I don't know exactly what happened next... I think I blocked it out. All I know is that Mitch was on the floor, being kicked by my father while I stood motionless, still grasping that I had just stood up to the one man who had silenced me for my seventeen years alive. Snapping out of my daze, I reached for the phone.

Never would I have thought I'd be calling the cops on my father. He had raised me for so many days, teaching me to walk, talk, ride a bike. He had taught me to shave and then to drive. Now, I dialed 911 as fast as possible, yelling my adress over the screaming of Mitch and my father.

Now, even six years later, blood still stains the floor. Carpet covers the crimson mark but I still see it when I visit. I do not visit often though... the memories are so haunting and so depressing.

At times I blame myself for Mitch's death... then I remind myself what Mitch once told me: "Everything happens for a reason." I remember telling him it was the most overused quote in history, but in this case it's true. A man is locked up and will never harm anyone ever again because Mitch loves a boy and that boy loves Mitch. Yes, loves; Not loved.
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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