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The Roommates – Fast Forward to 2019: Chapter 36
Bette was at work on Friday morning when Maxwell Chambers knocked on her door and delivered a white Apple box to her office.
She looked up at him, her brow furrowed in confusion. “I didn’t order anything from the Apple store.”
Maxwell grinned at her and shrugged his shoulders. “It just arrived. There’s a note on the box. It says, ‘Bette Porter, please open me, Yours, C.’”
Bette laughed out loud. “What?” she asked. “Why do women keep sending me things? Food, clothing, glam brigades.”
Maxwell sat the box down on her desk, laughing along with her. “Girl, I don’t know. If you figure it out, let me know.”
Bette’s dark eyes studied the white box before looking back up to meet Maxwell’s gaze. “How are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m doing well, Bette. Looking forward to the holiday,” he replied.
“You traveling back home?” she asked. Maxwell was from Louisiana.
He smiled. “Sure am. I cannot wait. Nothing like my Mama’s home cooking.”
His mention of his mother made Bette think of her own mother. Connecting with Janice Porter was another item on her task list. She gestured for Maxwell to sit down in her guest chair.
“What’s up?” he asked.
Bette sighed. “I want to ask you something personal. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want.”
Bette continued. “Does your Mom know that you’re gay?”
He smiled. “My Mama knew before I knew.”
“Well, I mean…does she accept it? Like…as an adult. Not as a concept. But if you were to bring home a boyfriend or a husband, would she accept him? Or does she know that you’re gay as long as you act like a eunuch?”
Maxwell’s smile faded. “Now that’s another matter, entirely. She knows. She’s always known. And she always encouraged me to be honest with myself. To never hide who I was. But I’ve never brought anyone home. I guess I’m afraid.”
“What are you afraid of?” asked Bette.
“I guess….I’m afraid of being rejected. It’s one thing for people to know. But it’s different for them to see you with someone you care about. I don’t want there to be any awkwardness.”