54. Robin’s parents, part 1
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After dinner at Oliver’s place, Robin goes home. He’s back earlier than usual, so his parents are still up watching TV.

“You’re back. What about your shop?” his mum immediately interrogates. “It’s not been a year yet! Are you neglecting it already?”

“One of my workers is watching the shop,” Robin says calmly. “I visited the family of my boyfriend.”

His father’s face immediately darkens. “So the rumours are true!”

“This is getting out of hand,” his mother follows up. “You’re not home so many nights!”

“...It’s only twice a week,” Robin says, pushing down his annoyance.

“One night, two nights, three nights, all nights! How improper of you!”

“Do you know how often I have to deny those rumours?” his father says. “And now you’re telling me they are true! You give me no face!”

Robin snorts. “Who is the one ignoring the truth and painting lies?”

“You’re crazy.” his father snaps.

“What will people think, they’ll think you’re stupid...” his mother says.

Maybe she says it because she cares. But it’s not the kind of “care” that Robin wants.

Robin straightens, crossing his arms. He’s sick of being filial and meek, of not rocking the boat. If his parents won’t gracefully accept all the hints, then they'll have to swallow his direct words.

“Mum. Dad. I’m very happy with my boyfriend. And you know what? All the people I’ve met have been fine about me being gay. You, mum and dad, are the people who have hurt me the most. At this rate, maybe I should leave home and never come back. This way, you can have some of your reputation as being homophobic back, right?”

His parents’ faces are a mixture between stunned and how-dare-you-speak-back.

“I’m not a teenager,” Robin says. “This is not a phase. I won’t grow out of this. Maybe you want to protect me, to stop other people thinking bad things about me. But I don’t care about them. The people who have been thinking negative things about me are my own mum and dad.”

“So old and being so disobedient,” his father retorts.

“I studied hard, just like you said. I went to uni. I opened my own business. I’ve even hired more people because it’s going well! If you think the world isn’t good for gay people, then maybe you should help make the world better! Maybe I’ll be more filial if my parents cared about me more than other random people!”

Robin exhales harshly, and softens his voice. “My boyfriend’s name is Oliver Campbell. He’s a famous songwriter in Melbourne. I’m very happy with my boyfriend. I like him very much. Today, I met with the family of my boyfriend. One day, I hope my boyfriend will be able to meet my mum and dad, because my mum and dad are very important people to me, and I want your approval. But if you don’t want me...Then tell me how much I need to pay you back and I will leave.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” his mother says. “You’re our son.” She glares at Robin’s father. “You’re not allowed to chase him out!”

“I didn’t say it,” his father mutters.

“Please think about it. If you really need it, I can print out correct information about gay people,” Robin says. “I’m tired, so I’m going to bed.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to eat anything before bed?” his mother asks.

“No, I’m not hungry,” Robin says. He leaves them, heading to his bedroom.

In the quiet of his bedroom, his heart is still racing. He said all that to his parents! The burden of those words lift from Robin’s shoulders. He’s dreading the tense atmosphere between him and his parents in the future.

His phone buzzes with a message.

Oliver Campbell: [link] Friend sent me these baking hacks, but are they real?? 🤔🤔🤔?

Oliver Campbell: Also, my mum let me have most of the remaining cake lol

Robin’s heart eases. Here is the person who has given Robin enough confidence to come out. He smiles fondly at Oliver’s words, and starts texting back.




Only a few more chapters until the epilogue scenes start......