The Clouds

The Clouds

A Chapter by Aaron Williams

The First chapter to Collecting Pieces. Still a work in progress! As always!



            Two hours out of Phoenix Arizona. Two hours is all it took for the decision I had made to sink in. It hit me hard, like getting punched in the gut. It knocked the air from my lungs, it made an ache deep within me that almost made me sick. I was on my own. I am going west with no destination. A small savings account, a bag of clothing and my dog were the only things I had planned out. What the hell am I doing?

The tires and brakes protested as the old Wrangler was pulled to the side of the barren highway and dropped from a steady seventy-five to a standstill in mere seconds.  I jumped from the driver seat, ran to the side of the road, and expelled my breakfast from my stomach. Chip whined from the passenger seat in concern. I sat on the side of the road, my head leaned against the rear tire looking up at the clouds. There’s something about staring at clouds that is calming; you can imagine anything within their fluffy white shapes. I was imagining a future. A future where I was happy, content, and firmly grounded in a life that was true. When my parents died I spent hours looking up at the sky, hoping that if there was a heaven they were looking at me. I could picture us in those clouds. Family dinners, and game nights; dad spilling popcorn all over the floor while trying to tickle my mother. I would just watch and smile. My parents were happy, so in love even after being together for so long. I yearned for that, I craved it like a cold glass a water while walking through the hot desert.


I sometimes pretend we are still all together, when I’m driving alone I’ll talk to the empty passenger seat and imagine my mother sitting there. My mother would always brace herself against the seat while I drove, like we were heading towards a cliff and she was preparing to fly right over. It always made me giggle because I was a very good driver, a safe driver; but never the less she did it every single time. My mother and I were the closest. I loved my dad, and we got along wonderfully, but my mother and I were more than just parent and child; we were best friends. I came out as gay when I was fifteen while driving with my mother. I had just got my drivers permit, it was my first time behind the wheel and it got a little more stressful than either of us thought it would. Thinking about that day still makes me smile and tear up.


“Ok check your mirrors. Did you check your mirrors! Why are we moving” Mom was losing it in the passenger seat. We weren’t moving, I had only put the car into reverse. “Mom I checked the mirrors for the hundredth time! Can we please start driving? I’m turning grey!” My mother gave me a look of amusement and slight anxiety. She nodded and I slowly began backing up. “Check your rear-““Mirror! Got it mom. Chill” I had backed out of our spot and put the car in drive. Off we went. We drove around for an hour in silence. Mom was stilled braced in the seat but she was calmer. I drove towards the outskirts of phoenix. A ding noise sounded and I looked for the source. I moved my gaze to the dash and saw the fuel light was on. S**t. My mom instructed me to head back towards phoenix as we would soon be out of gas. As I whipped a U- turn on the single lane highway the car buckled. “What’s happening? The car is dying!” My mom’s look of slight anxiety turned into true fear in mere seconds. “I think. I think we are out of gas!” We were on a road that few people traveled. It was the middle of July and the Arizona heat was brutal. We were stranded in the desert with no phones, no gas and no water. Best first day of driving ever. We began walking. Hoping someone would stop, but there was a small gas station about five miles from where our car had died. “So Elliot I have a question for you.” My mother rarely took the tone she was currently using and it intrigued me. “What’s your question” She was quiet for a minute. “I don’t want you to be mad, but while doing your laundry the other day I found a condom in your pant pocket and I just can’t believe you’ve reached this point in your life but since you have I think we need to talk about it and I would like to meet the girl you are seeing.” I turned even redder than I already was from the heat. A Planned Parenthood speaker had come to our health class and I had totally spaced that she handed out condoms. I just shoved it in my pocket and went on with my day. “No! God! Mom I’m not seeing anyone!” She stopped walking. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about! Just tell me who she is. Is she older?” She wasn’t getting it. “Mom you’re so off. There is no one! It’s from class!” Now she looked frustrated. “Elliot Timothy Maxwell do no lie to me!” She stared daggers at me demanding an answer. I had told her the truth but at times my mother could be difficult to convince. “Mom I’m not seeing a girl, I’m not having sex. I’m gay!” It came out of my mouth like word vomit. All at once at a reckless pace. Her expression went from seeker of truth to a look of shock in an instance. There was a long silence and tears began to build in my eyes. I had thought of this moment for as long as I can remember. This was not as I planned it would be. My mother rushed to me and crushed me into her. I wave of relief came over me and I began to sob. So many emotions. It was overwhelming. “You’re not mad?” My mother pulled me away and looked straight into my eyes “Eli I love you and I would never reject you because you’re gay. I just wish you would have told me sooner. You are my son no matter who you love.” A weight was lifted from me and stupid smiles erupted from both of us. “So are you seeing a boy?” I rolled my eyes and my mother laughed. We made it to the gas station and called dad. All was right in this moment. Nothing but love and acceptance. It was all I had ever wanted.


A loud truck ripped me from the day dream. How long had I been sitting on this road? I needed to keep moving. With a bark from chip I jumped back in the driver’s seat, threw my Jeep in gear and moved on. 

© 2017 Aaron Williams

Author's Note

Aaron Williams
Still a work in progress as always! Any and all feedback is great! Hope you enjoy!

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Added on March 29, 2017
Last Updated on March 29, 2017
Tags: LGBT, romance, adventure, comedy, love, drama


Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams

Cheyenne, WY

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