Review - "Stolen Moments" by Ariel Tachna
Very nice coming out story
Jacob Peters tried. He really did. He thought he had met the man of his dreams, and he would have his happily ever after. But living in East Nowhere Alabama, neither man could come out without consequences. Jacob is a schoolteacher at a conservative Christian private school. And his man, Beau Braedon, is a judge. So they have to manage their time together very carefully. Very discreetly.
When Beau cancels their infrequent meetings one too many times, Jacob has had enough. He calls, leaves Beau a message that he will be going out and will pick someone up and have some fun. He doesn't hear from Beau, and as a result, he is now married, to a woman, and has a beautiful son he adores.
But it's not enough. He misses Beau still. And is still furious with him.
Beau is a country judge, deathly afraid that someone will find out about him being gay. He has lived in the closet all life, and sees that continuing. He pushed Jacob away out of fear. His mother is ill with Alzheimer's, in a nursing home, and he has to be nearby for her. He doesn't want to face what might happen if he comes out.
But living without Jacob is hell. And he wants him back. So he calls Jacob, wanting a second chance. Asks for a meeting, so they can talk.
It might be the worst idea ever, but Jacob can't forget Beau any more than he can forgive him. But when Beau proposes a deal - give him six months. Six months to prove that he can work out a way for them to be together. Worst. Idea. Ever.
So of course Jacob agrees.
As they embark on an affair, will Jacob be able to forgive Beau? Will Beau be able to convince Jacob it can work? And when it all threatens to blow up in their faces, will their love be strong enough to keep them together in their conservative Alabama town?
This is a thoughtful, loving look at two men who learn to be enough for each other. Ariel Tachna has created a beautiful story of two men who prove the idea of synergy - that the sum of two coming together is so much more than the individual strengths.
Jacob is the strong one at the beginning of the tale, and Beau, seemingly, is the lesser of the two. In fact, Beau is rather unlikable. And as they move through the story, Jacob stumbles, and it is up to Beau to be the strength in the relationship. And to my surprise, Beau stepped up and proved proved his meddle. Be the pillar Jacob needed.
That is what love is all about. Being there for each other, sharing strength and weakness and joys and sorrows. And Ms. Tachna has gently shown us that.
And without beating us over the head, she shows us that one should never underestimate people in a small town. As a black police officer tells the two:
"I know what hatred look like. I've stared it in the face since I was old enough to know what I was looking at. It wasn't right when they hated me because I was black. It ain't right that they're hating you because you're gay."