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Perhaps I should introduce to you the time period of my story for it does play an important role. The year was 2057, in Los Angeles. Due to the gay marriage ban about fifty years ago, the respect for gays had been reduced to almost inexistent. Gays were treated like blacks used to be treated a while back. I never paid close attention to any of this for I did have a lack of interest in politics. It was insignificant to me whether they had the same or different rights as me but later on, I dedicated much of my time to help gays, especially one in particular. Here is where my story got started.
I was quite the adventurer. I studied various species of flowers in the mountains, and I was going to explore the San Gabriel Mountains. I hiked up multiple trails without keeping a specific destination in place. I was trying to spot this rare type of flowers that I was hoping to multiply for it was once the flower of California. I did climb pretty high up those mountains and when the sun started setting, I had to go back empty-handed. The sun was setting fast and I realized that I would not achieve the bottom of the mountain before dark. I did not want to risk being in the dark and getting lost so when I spotted a nearby cabin, I decided to ask to spend the night.
It took me about twenty minutes to get to the cabin. It was made out of wood which I thought was cliché to have a log cabin secluded in the mountain but anyhow, I knocked on the door. No response was given so I knocked again. This time a man opened the door; not the type of man I had expected. He was not old nor did he have a beard. I explained my situation to him and requested that I spend the night in his cabin.
He stood there, eyeing me, as if he was puzzled. Then he told me that he was a homosexual. Now there was a sincere man. I was unacquainted with him, and if the wrong guy came along, he would have killed him thinking that he was doing the world a favor. His homosexuality did not bother me one bit. I just needed to rest. He could offer me the sofa for all I cared. I assured him that this did not create conflict between us.
He was uneasy in his decision and when he consented, he faltered a bit. I stepped inside and a warm fire atmosphere welcomed me. It was indeed a very homey living room. The quantity of books scattered around the room, to me, was the most startling aspect of the cabin. He held mystery, classics, biographies, and anything in between. I did not ask him right away for an explanation for the heavy load of literature, though.
He started by offering me a set of meals available for dinner. It ended up by being meatball and tomato sauce spaghetti. He prepared the dinner in about forty to fifty minutes and during the intervals of that time we were as silent as can be. I sat in the living room and picked up his copy of Fahrenheit 451 and started reading it. When the cooking timer went off, we gathered at the dinner table to eat.
I started by asking him his name and a little about himself. His name was Walter. He did not live in the wilderness because he was afraid of encountering a straight man. He lived there because he had a passion and this passion was writing. He was a brilliant writer and his zone of inspiration was here in the mountains. He told me dozens of fascinating stories that he had written by himself. He possessed this writing capacity which was beyond other writers. He would brilliantly mix non-fiction with fiction and developed his own genre. His only issue was that no one read his stories. They were so good but a gay was not allowed to publish a piece of literature.
I stayed up half the night evaluating his position and thinking about how to improve it. It was in the morning, after that I had received a brief sleep, that I formulated my plan. I would only proceed with my plan, if he approved it. At breakfast, I asked him what his one true writing aspiration was. He answered me, with confidence, that it was to get his work published.
His work, no doubt, would have been published if he was straight so I offered him to publish his stories under my name as if I had written them. I assured him he would receive all income and that I was not in it for the glory. He knew I was to believe thanks to our friendly dinner last night. He thought it over and gave me his accord. He handed me his work hastily. He really trusted me indeed for I could do and say whatever I wanted with his work and no gay could oppose it but I did not.
I took my jacket, said goodbye, told him I’d come back soon, and left. Before I left, I saw that a feeling of hope was within him. I went down the mountain quickly for the cabin was built only half way up. As I got to my car parked at the bottom, I headed towards the publishing building in downtown. I did not even stop home for I had already taken a shower and already had a business suit in my back seat.
The building was quite the monument. It had a grand entrance and everything followed a colossal style. I rode up the elevator to the designated floor where I met up with a man. I told him that I had a story to publish but he slowed me down. He told me that a story does not just get published so easily and that there are guidelines to follow. So I did not get the Walter’s work published that day.
I went home with the paperwork in my hand. I had a nasty load of paperwork to fill out. I knew that this meant that I would have to return to Walter to fill out the paperwork together. Again, I had a hard time sleeping. His story was implanted in my mind and nothing could distract me from it.
At dawn of the following morning, I set off to his cabin. I got there around noon. He saw me from his window and knew that it was a bad sign. He knew that no possibility could have let me get his work published in one day. When he opened the door for me, he seemed almost as if he were glad to see me.
He told me that he did not want me to return after his stories were published. He only wanted me to return if his stories brought pleasure to readers. I did not protest and settled over the paperwork with him. When the last blank had been filled in, I headed back down and home.
On my way back, I thought much about being a writer and not being permitted to show my own work. When I carefully analyzed it, I really regretted not having paid attention to the gay opposition. It was indeed cruel to reject such a group.
Next morning, was my appointment. I met up with the same man. He was not eager to my arrival but I was glad to finally get Walter’s work published. I handed him the paperwork along with the actual work and awaited his decision. He read over the various stories, flipping form page to page.
Quite some time elapsed before he raised his head and nodded. He told me that it would raise a great success but that was yet to be seen for it was not even printed yet. When the conversation ended, I stood up and exited the building with unusual anxiety. I loved Walter’s stories but there was some uncertainty in me that was trying to establish whether a global audience would appreciate his stories or not.
The stories were to be published in two weeks. I had spent those last two weeks very differently. I would count off each day as soon as I would wake. Day by day I would stare at my clock, sometimes even count the hours. When the day came, I went to the bookstore just to make sure they were published. That was the only thing that I was awaiting right now for I did not believe that they would get published. When I reached the bookstore they were there, carefully laid out on the upper shelf. Of course, I would now have to wait for success to reach the stories.
I kept waiting. One week went by, and another, along with another, until on the fourth week, word was going around about its greatness. That was the core of its success. Then was a chain reaction and everyone was purchasing the different novels. It became a bestseller in multiple libraries. Once familiar to this situation, I returned to Walter’s place.
Upon my arrival, he opened the door, as always. He did not know this time, what I had come to tell him. I told him everything. For a moment, he did not look cheerful. I asked him what was troubling him and he replied honestly, as always. He had realized that he had another objective. He wanted to let everyone know that it was him, a gay man who wrote these stories. He wanted to prove to the world that writing had no limits and that everyone should be permitted to write and have their stories read.
I briefed him on the gravity of the situation of an announcement like that but he was prepared for it. He wrote down this speech that he wanted me to say, admitting everything. I assured him that I would express his thoughts to everyone publicly. My speech was made on the twenty third of April, a day that was going to be remembered. During the speech, I had not delivered one hesitation.
The next days were unfortunate. The printing of Walter’s stories were terminated and all copies in bookstores removed. Walter, himself, was found and brutally murdered. I was left alone because police assumed that Walter had forced me to publish his work. I knew, that Walter had died happily, knowing that people had admired his stories and that he had showed the world that he was gay with this great talent. Some owners of Walter’s stories still held on to their copies, secretly, reading them and passing them on to their next generation. Walter had died, but his stories had never died beside him.