“Oh my gosh,” I pulled up short and ducked behind Tony.
“What?” he asked, turning round.
“Over there, that’s the Food and Beverage Manager of the Hotel.” I told him nodding to a guy at a far table of the bar we’d just entered.
“And?” Tony didn’t get it.
“He doesn’t know. What if he sees me?” I was still wary of sharing my sexuality with anyone and hadn’t been working at the hotel that long, so hadn’t come out, or been outed.
“What if he does?” Tony grabbed my hand and drew me towards the bar.
“Well…. for starters it’s a gay bar.” I began.
“Yep, and why do you think he’s here? ” Tony asked.
Ping/Flash – a light-bulb went off in my head. “He’s gay too.”
“Lager is it?” Tony said favouring me with one of his special ‘you dumkopf’ looks. “Who are you talking about anyway?”
I discretely pointed out who I meant. “The guy in the suit over there, skinny : with the blond boy at the far table” I explained.
“Daisy,” Tony said.
“You know him?” I asked.
“Not really, but he’s often in here. That’s his camp name. Don’t know who he’s with though.” Tony handed me a pint and we sat down. It was obvious by now that ‘Daisy’ had seen me but was being as circumspect about recognising me as I was him. “Relax. he’s probably just as nervous having seen you here as you are him, especially if he’s not out at work either.”
“I really hadn’t thought about that,” I felt just a little bit stupid.
“Besides what does it matter?” Tony asked.
“I guess it doesn’t matter at all really.” I thought a moment. “But I want to let the secret out when I want to do it and not be forced to suffer a newspaper headline outing.”
Instead of saying anything else Tony leaned in and gave me a lingering kiss.
A couple of days later I was getting in the lift as ‘Daisy’ called down the corridor. “Hold the doors,” He stepped in and smiled at me. “Mark,” he greeted me. “D…” I began then changed mid-word “Mr ….”
He smiled again as I stood there like a rabbit in headlights.
“Going down?” he asked pressing the button for the restaurant floor.