This is a repost from a Tumblr series that I called “My perfect dad.” I’m preserving these older stories and continuing to write new ones available on this site first.
“Is this the place, babe?”
I looked out the car window. Through the streaks of rain on the glass, I saw a rundown storefront at the end of a dying strip mall. The windows were papered over and the signage long gone, but ghosts of the lettering were barely visible above the door. An old furniture showroom, maybe?
My boyfriend Scott grasped my thigh, giving it a firm squeeze, and then killed the engine. “This is it.”
We got out of the car and walked across the empty parking lot toward the destination. Scott’s longer legs, coupled with his clear excitement, forced me to jog to keep up. He was already knocking on the glass door when I reached him.
The door creaked open, and an older, bearded man waved us in. The interior space looked as run down as the outside. Sawhorses and power tools were scattered about. My shoes kicked up clouds of sawdust with each step.
“Scott, so damn good to see you,” the older man said as he pulled my boyfriend into a bear hug. Then he glanced at me. “Is this him?”
Scott put his hand on the small of my back and nudged me forward. “Yes,” he said. “This is my boyfriend, Adam.”
The man glanced over the rim of his glasses, almost appraisingly. He grunted and slapped the back of his hand against my belly. “So, Adam,” he said, his gruff voice giving me goosebumps. “You wanna be a dad?”
“Yes, Sir, I do. I want to become the dad my boyfriend deserves.”
Scott chuckled. My face flushed. This whole dad/Son thing started off as some simple roleplay. A weird, fun, thing to spice up the bedroom. But through play, we found something real. We found ourselves.
“Son,” I quickly corrected. “I want to become the dad my Son deserves.”
I was only a few years older than Scott and definitely lacked the look and attitude of a dad. But I hoped I wouldn’t for long.
“Good,” the older man said, clapping me on the shoulder to punctuate his affirmation. “I’ll teach you everything you need to know.” Turning to Scott, he continued. “Leave him here with me for a few weeks. I’ll call you when he’s ready.”
When I stepped out of that old shop space a month later, I was a completely different person. I was older, beefier, manlier, even handier around the house. Perfect for chores and DIY and working out in the yard. I oozed masculine confidence, but I knew this would be kept in check by my unquestioning deference to Scott. I was the good role model dad for my hot Son. The dad my stud of a Son deserves. I couldn’t wait to show Him everything I’d learned.
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