And with that, a floodgate of pressure was released and we were finally able to talk without secrets. It turns out that he was quite relieved to share it with us. He hadn't said anything because he was afraid we wouldn't be his friends anymore if we knew. I assured him it didn't matter to me, that I just didn't want him to feel he had to lie to me anymore.

After our talk, it seemed as though an entirely new society was revealed to me. Chris' employers were gay, several of his co-workers were gay, and many of the people we knew in town were gay. This once invisible society now labeled us gay-friendly and we were permitted entry. Suddenly I had an expert on homosexuality ready and willing to field questions. My education had begun.

I was amazed at how many people were gay. My naiveté became more painfully apparent with each new couple Chris introduced us to.

{ photo }

Finally the day came to move into our new house. We were all so excited. But when we opened the door and walked inside, we realized our house was small. Really small. Three people and Chris' new Dalmatian in what was technically a 'one bedroom with a loft, one bath' house. It wasn't long before we were on each other's nerves.

There were minor arguments that turned into major arguments. There were arguments over space and privacy and respect.

And then Chris met Mikael.

They met on AOL and had late night chat sessions for a few weeks. Then they met for dinner. Then Chris all but moved Mikael in with us.

Mikael was a chain-smoking, sickly looking man. He never spoke to Anne or me. He would walk into the house with Chris and they would head straight to his room.{ continue }