"Yes," he said, lighting up. "I know Dr. Reeves, and he's a great man." And then he leaned in a little closer to me, and said, "I would just encourage you to keep meeting with Dr. Reeves, and talking with him. And keep asking questions, Brandon. Every question you can think of."
I told him I would do that, and asked if I could go back to my dorm to work on a huge paper. He agreed that I should attend to my studies, and then stood up to shake my hand, and dismiss me. As I was leaving his office, I texted Eddie and told him I was on my way back to the dorm, and that when I got there we should look into moving off campus. That night, we both posted on Facebook that we were looking for a place to live, and the next day in choir, a cute curly-haired poli-sci major told me that he had two open rooms in his apartment. Of course, we only needed one room, but I didn't think it was the right time to say that.***
"You guys moving out?" Peter asked me one night over video games.
"Yup," I answered.
"Just so you know," he confessed, "Davis is the one who ratted you guys out."
"For real?" I asked. Davis was one of our roommates, and one of my closer friends on campus.
"Yeah, he said he was just uncomfortable with you guys sleeping in the same bed naked."
"We were in our boxers," I said.
"Still, some people don't like it. I mean, I don't mind it cause I'm from Boston. But you gotta respect other people's feelings. If he don't like it, he don't like it."
"What's not to like? We're not a couple!"
Peter laughed. "Ok. Sure..."
"I'm serious," I said, "Eddie isn't gay."
"Nobody's buying it. You guys are practically married."
He was right, though—no one believed Eddie and I were just friends. But for some reason, we believed it. Or at least we pretended to. Even though our relationship started out with late-night cuddling and commiserating, it certainly didn't end there. Before I knew it, we shared our first kiss. Then... well, there were lots of firsts that we shared. But through them all, Eddie remained convinced that he was straight.***
I remember four things about Dr. Reeves' office: his degrees, his coat rack for his cardigan, his books, and a poster that hung on the back of his door which contained the words of Proverbs 20:5—" The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out."
After spending ten seconds with this guy, I knew I liked him. But what was cooler was I knew he liked me. And that's why I kept going back to talk to him.
During our first session, he asked me why I wanted to talk with him. "What would you like to get out of our discussions, Brandon?"
"Well... I'm not sure, really," I answered.
"OK. That's fine, too," he said. "We can just talk."
"Perfect," I said. "I love talking." When he told me he could tell, we both laughed. Nothing about Dr. Reeves was insincere or put-on. He was the most gentle, patient, loving man I'd ever met, and I grew to trust him with the deepest secrets of my heart. He let me say the word "fuck" in front of him. I'll never forget when he raised an eyebrow about something I'd told him. "Two words for you, Brandon," he told me. "Bull Shit!" I realized I wouldn't be able to get anything past this old man.