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LOVE COMES HOME
by Andrew Grey
When architect Gregory Hampton’s son, Davey, starts having trouble in Little League, Greg takes him to an eye doctor. The diagnosis hits them hard. Davey’s sight is degenerating rapidly, and eventually he’ll go blind.
Tom Spangler is used to getting what he wants. When Greg captures his attention, he asks Greg for a date. They have a good time until Greg gets a call from the friends watching his son, telling him Davey has fallen. Greg and Tom return to find the worst has happened—Davey can no longer see.
With so much going on in his life, Greg doubts he’ll see Tom again. But Tom has researched beep baseball, where balls and bases make sounds to enable the visually impaired to participate in Little League. Tom spearheads an effort to form a team so Davey can continue to play the game he loves. But when Greg’s ex-wife shows up with her doctor boyfriend, offering a possible cure through a radical procedure, Greg must decide how far he’ll go to give Davey a chance at getting his sight back.
“I’d like to run some additional tests,” Jerry said. “David’s vision with his glasses is about twenty/forty; without them he’s twenty/one hundred. How old are these glasses?”
Greg thought for a few seconds. “Less than a year. Why, did they get the prescription wrong?”
“I’d like you to tell me where you had them made and give me permission to have his records transferred here. But I doubt they got the prescription that wrong. Instead, it appears that David’s vision has deteriorated considerably in the last eight months. Those glasses should have given him twenty/twenty vision. They didn’t say anything to you otherwise when you had the glasses made?”
Greg shook his head.
“Don’t worry at this point,” Jerry said. “I’ll have you sign the forms so I can get the records, and once I do, I’ll call you. We can also set up an appointment for the tests I need.”
“Can’t you do them here?”
“No. These need a radiologist. I want a CT scan of the back of David’s eyes.”
“You really think there’s something wrong with his eyes?” Greg asked. He swallowed hard, his stomach clenching with worry.
“Quite honestly I’m concerned about the apparent deterioration in his vision. I won’t be sure until I get the records from his previous exam as well as the results of the tests I’d like to do, but I do have concerns.” Jerry paused. “I don’t want to make a diagnosis based on incomplete information. We’ll get the tests scheduled as quickly as we can so we can get some answers. I promise.” Jerry nodded for emphasis, stood up, and opened the door.
Greg walked out front, and Jerry followed. Jerry gave the receptionist some instructions, and they helped get the appointments set up. Greg signed the forms for the release of the records and then joined Davey in the waiting room.
“Let’s go home,” he said with a touch of excitement he didn’t feel. Davey nodded and slowly got up, and they left the office. They walked to the car in silence and got in.
“Dad, what did the doctor want? Is something wrong?” Panic edged Davey’s voice.
Greg didn’t have answers and figured the truth, or at least part of it, was the best way to go. “He wants to run some more tests. He saw something but isn’t sure what it is. We’re going to have your records transferred, and the tests should tell them what’s going on.” He shifted toward his son, watching Davey blink his blue eyes as he stared back. Greg leaned over the seat and hugged Davey as best he could. He didn’t know what else to do.
“It could be nothing, Dad,” Davey said.
Greg knew in his heart it wasn’t likely to be nothing. But they could do amazing things these days, and whatever was wrong, Greg hoped it was something correctable. He could feel Davey’s nervousness as well as his own, but there was nothing they could do right now. So Greg determined to continue their lives as normally as possible until they got some answers.
Over the next few weeks, Davey had the tests and the records were transferred. Once the results were in, Greg and Davey sat waiting, not in an examining room, but in Jerry’s office, with bookshelves behind the desk and diplomas and awards hung on the walls. Davey fidgeted in his chair, and Greg felt himself doing the same thing. Whatever came of this meeting, he knew it would be important.
“Good morning,” Jerry said as he came in and closed the door before sitting behind his desk. He opened the folder in front of him and looked at Davey and then at Greg. Over the next ten minutes, Jerry explained the results of the tests and what they meant. Davey was stunned, and Greg listened as best he could, trying to take in all of the information Jerry had for them. By the end, Greg sucked hard for air as tears filled his eyes, knowing his son would eventually go blind.
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AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW
-What inspired you to become a writer?
I wanted to get in shape and started reading gay romance on the treadmill to make the time go faster and nothing makes exercise go faster than reading sex. After reading them for almost a year I decided to try writing one. It was a modest success and after multiple rewrites I was able to let it go and submit.
-What draws you to m/m romance?
I am a gay man and I grew up in the AIDS era where all the stories had sad endings. When I discovered gay romance, I was thrilled because the men fell in love and in the end they got together. I get to write about love and the stories end happily.
-What’s a fun or interesting fact you learned researching this book?
Beep baseball is a real sport and as I was doing my initial research, I expected the games to be rather tentative and careful. Instead the games are dynamic and filled with action. The players race to the bases just like regular baseball. There are rule differences and at its heart beep ball, though designed around the blind, has a lot in common with baseball.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
I would love to have drinks with Tom. He’s a great guy and would be fun to spend time with. He’s energetic like me and has a god heart. He also drives a Ferrari and I would love to have him pick me up so he could take me for a ride.
-For aspiring writers, any tips?
Write what you love, not what you think will sell. You will spend more time with your story than anyone, so you have to love it and those feelings will come through in your work.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
I adore reading steampunk. The gadgets and fantasy are so cool. But I found out long ago that I was never cut out to write it. I don’t seem to be cut out for it.
Andrew Grey grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived all over the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and now works full time on his writing. Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing). He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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