Dan played football in high school and was called some variation of “faggot” every day. Nobody knew he was homosexual, of course. In fact, he used the word to mock his friends too. He wasn’t necessarily hurt because he knew most of them were good guys and that they were just being dumb. He did feel more than uncomfortable enough to never say a thing about his preference to them, though. He came out last week to Alex from work, five years after graduation. Later on in the conversation, Alex said, “Fuck yes! I’m so taking you to Pulse! It’s going to change your life.”
Richard and Michael finally called it off. They both knew it wasn’t there anymore and they were lying to themselves. They cared for one another as much as ever, but it was just time. The love was gone. Kelly and Jose took Richard out, just to cheer him up. They had dinner first, then went to a movie. A little Chris Evans did the trick. After that, they had a couple more drinks and decided they’d take an Uber over to Pulse just to hang in the back for a bit. Jose summoned the car.
Chris finally agreed to accompany his brother out. Tony swore to protect him if Chris would just keep an open mind about the environment. They agreed that if it was too much (given Chris’s heterosexuality) they’d leave. Chris wanted to show his brother his support. It turned out to be wildly fun. Chris’s mind changed on the spot, and he even said he’d, “definitely be back here,” to Hector, one of Tony’s friends that he’d recently met at a barbecue.
Tiffany was just working.
Lars would probably never speak to his father again. He’d just gotten off the phone with his sister. His flight was the next afternoon, but time seemed to be up. He was helpless. He needed a drink or five and some friendly faces really bad. He didn’t really feel like going out, but he could’t be at home. He knew Hasan would be working the bar, so whatever.
Omar showed up.
Kelly watched Richard and Jose die.
Chris died in Tony’s arms.
Then Tony died.
God bless America.