Second Chances by William Holden is now available!
A chance encounter on the streets of San Francisco changes the lives of Matt, a successful businessman from Boston, and T.J., a young homeless man forced to live on the street.
Though from two very different backgrounds, both men seek the same thing: love, companionship, and a sense of belonging. Matt is already in a relationship but it hasn’t been going anywhere for years, and T.J. has his own relationship demons, too.
Will their differences prove greater than their similarities, or will they find a way to work through their doubts and hesitations to find a second chance at love?
We sat on the sidewalk and talked for an hour. We laughed and ate the pizza that continued to get colder. Drinking the wine, which got warmer with time. Nothing else existed to us. The growing crowds of the Castro were nothing more than a backdrop to what was going on between us.
“That was so good. I can’t remember the last time I ate a complete meal.” T.J. spoke as he looked around at the empty bottle and pizza box then laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“Most people wouldn’t think wine and pizza was a complete meal. But it’s the closest thing I’ve had to it in years.”
“You sound as if the evening is over. I thought you might come back to my place after this. You could shower and get cleaned up, then who knows.” The glimmer I had seen in his eyes just moments before vanished, leaving his eyes empty of anything but despair. The tone of his voice became tense and shallow.
“So that’s it, isn’t it?”
“All of this, the wine, the dinner; bringing it all to me on the street. You just wanted to get me into bed.” He stood and grabbed his duffle bag. “You’re no different than the others.” He began to walk away.
“Wait!” I shouted as I stood and grabbed his arm. “Please, wait. What just happened?” He turned around and looked at me, but didn’t say a word. “Look, I know you’re not used to trusting people, but I didn’t do all this just to get you into bed. I did this because I wanted to. If sex was all I wanted, I could have gone to a bar, or hired a hustler online, but that’s not what this is about. I thought you knew that?”
“I don’t know what to believe.” He paused and brought his hands to his face and groaned frustration into them. “Okay, look. If sex is all you want please, just say so. I’ll understand. We can end this now before I let myself get carried away. I feel foolish thinking that somehow there was more to this than sex.”
“T.J. Please, come back to my place with me. You can take a shower and get cleaned up. If at that point you just want to leave and not take a chance on whatever this is, then I’ll let you go. No strings, no catches.” I could tell he was desperate to reach out to me, to have someone feel something for him, but he hesitated. “I think I may be falling for you.” The words spilled out of my mouth before I could stop them. It was one thing to think those words about someone who wasn’t your boyfriend. It was an entirely different story to hear yourself say them out loud. The confession even shocked me.
“Please, let me finish.” I gave him a soft smile trying to reassure him before continuing. “T.J. since the moment I saw you this afternoon, I’ve not been able to think of anything else but you. I see a part of myself in you. A part of myself that I gave up many years ago.” Tears began to fill his eyes as he listened to me. “Don’t you get it? It’s not about the sex. Earlier today while I was watching you I saw hope in your expression even as everyone was ignoring you. I realized that if you could still have hope, then my dreams and desires weren’t lost either. It was in your hope that I found mine again.”
“What’s the point, Matt? Why should we let whatever is developing here happen? You’re here for three months. Then you’ll get back on a plane and back to your boyfriend, and I’ll go back to living on the streets. Why put ourselves through that?”
“I don’t know what will happen. Neither of us does. Even if it works out the way you just described, I’m willing to take the risk to have three months of happiness with you.” I grabbed his hands in mine. “Please just come back with me. No promises, no false hopes, or dreams. Just tonight and nothing else.”