Most of the dinner was spent in awkward silence and Sam just couldn't wait for it to end so that he could go back to his room. But his mom wasn't about to give him that pleasure of getting away with it without being humiliated.
" You know, Sam.. I've been thinking long and hard about this.." she said, putting down her knife and fork, looking into his eyes. Sam realized it was the first time since Christmas that she even acknowledged his presence. Maybe that was a good sign. " I figured that it wasn't your fault for being gay. And I get it now, Sam. I get it." she smirked. Ben looked confused, looking from his wife to Sam. Priscilla reached out for Sam's hand and squeezed it. Sam smiled back, finally content with her realization.
" It's the society's fault." Priscilla said on serious note. Sam frowned. Priscilla nodded.
" Because if the media didn't make it so cool and popular to be gay, you'd probably still be straight." she said. Sam's heart sank. He moved his hand away. Haley's mouth was half open in shock.
" Mom, what do you mean?"
" I just realized there have been a number of coming outs from celebrities in the last few years and I can't help but wonder whether that affects young people who idolize those celebs. I mean when I was young, there were no gays. But now.." she shrugged. " They're everywhere. This can't be a coincidence." she continued. The more she talked, the more Haley's brows furrowed. " You're just confused, Sam. You're 15 and you don't know anything. I will help you through this."
Her words touched him to the point where tears started gathering in his eyes. Haley on the other hand seemed frozen with her mouth open in pure shock. It was as though she wanted to say something but something hindered her.
" I don't think it's the society that changed though." Ben started." I think it's the environment. Those hormone disrupting chemicals that get into our food must have something to do with it." he said, wagging his finger triumphantly. Priscilla nodded.
" And I also think it might be my fault as well." she said. " Maybe I breastfed you too much when you were a.." she was about to finish when Haley cut in.
" Mom, I know you mean well but don't you think you're taking it too far?" she asked, with a sense of uncomfortable in her tone. " I mean, look at him.." she pointed to Sam who broke down crying. " You're literally bullying your own son!"
Priscilla and Ben both gazed at their son but even as they looked at him, Sam had a feeling they felt disconnected. It was as though they were looking at a stranger and that broke his heart.
" Oh, don't cry now. Be a man!" Ben yelled.
" Mom, I love you but you have to realize that times changed because the people changed." Haley started. Priscilla cocked her head to one side, apparently dubious to what her daughter was saying. " The reason why in your time there weren't many gays is because they didn't have the guts to come out! They knew that if they did that the society would ostracize them so they kept quiet, growing old with that huge secret. And now they're coming out because the mentality changed. But still there are some people out there that make it harder for most of them to come out. I know you're hurting, mom and I'm not asking you to accept them. I just want you to love your son."
Priscilla crossed her arms, looking away from Haley. Ben scratched his chin pensively.
" We do love our son, Haley. Don't ever dare doubt our love for you guys. We're just worried for his future, I mean, how will he ever have kids being gay? Huh? Our family name will die with him and I can't accept that!" he said, getting up and leaving the room.
" What about Tom? He can carry the name." Haley asked. But Ben didn't answer.