Problem was tonight even Josh was subdued. He picked at his spaghetti and pulled it apart on his plate.
“What’s wrong buddy?” Jayden asked softly.
Josh raised his gaze to Jayden. “Something happened at school,” he began.
“What?” Josh was happy at his school, he had a couple of little friends, and was enjoying playing mini basketball with them in every possible break. It didn’t help he was the shortest amongst his friends, he still had fun.
“Derek told me some stuff and I told him it wasn’t true but he said he’d read it.”
“You, and being momosecshal.”
“Homosexual,” Jayden corrected instinctively.
“What did he say?”
“That the bible said you shouldn’t be wanting to kiss another boy and that if I ever tried to kiss him he would thump me.”
Ah. So it happened. Jayden wasn’t in the closet but he didn’t make a song and dance about his sexuality either. Josh had met his last boyfriend, Mark, and they’d got along and Josh hadn’t said anything that suggested he thought it was odd, or different. So, Josh was six, what would Jayden need to say to this one?
“Some people think that,” he began diplomatically.
“Bigots,” Kirsten interrupted.
While he loved that Kirsten was so at ease with the world it probably wasn’t the right word to try and explain to Josh how people could be. Jayden shot her a look encouraging her not to say anything else. She very deliberately put the buds of her MP3 headphones in her ear and pointedly looked away.
He continued, “Anyway, some people think that, but I don’t agree. I think God wants you to love who you love.”
“So if you loved a woman, that would be okay with you?” Josh asked curiously.
“If that happened,” Jayden said. When hell froze over. “It’s not going to happen though. I like men.”
“I like Melanie in the next class, she smells nice and has really cool lunches. I don’t wanna kiss Derek. He picked his nose in assembly and everyone saw it.” He wrinkled his nose. “So, yeah, can I have more water?”
With that the conversation was over. Josh accepted what Jayden said and took it all in his stride. Jayden had to admire the little guy—he was being raised by a goth teenage sister, a depressed mother and a gay uncle.
Yay for the American nuclear family.