New York City on-air television personality Greg Stafford is different from his brothers. He has a secret that none of the family knows about until he is arrested and the story hits the media. A scandal ensues, and he is suspended from his job for breaking the morality clause in his contract. In order to keep his position, he is ordered to submit to therapy. Little does he know that the woman who will become his counselor will become the most important person in the world to him.
He wanted to avoid speaking to his father for as long as humanly possible, so he dialed the house number instead. When his mother answered, he cleared his throat and simply said, “Hey, Mama.”
“Is it true, Gregory?” she asked in a tone that sounded like she was heartbroken.
He closed his eyes and dropped his head back so it thumped against the wall. “Yeah.”
“I just have one other question.” She exhaled a long sigh. “Why?”
The muscles in his throat constricted, and his eyes welled. “I don’t know, Mama. I’m—I’m not like my brothers.”
“I’m so worried about you, honey. We heard them say on the show tonight that you’ll be off camera for the time being.”
“It’s not a permanent decision. I’ll find out tomorrow. Don’t worry about me, Mama. I’ll be all right.”
“I’m not so sure, Gregory. Maybe you should talk to someone about this.”
“I will. I promise. Look, I have to go now. Talk to you later.” He clicked off the call overwhelmed by the shame that had become his constant companion. Whenever he had a hook-up with someone, afterward there was no elation or even a sense of satisfaction. Just shame and emptiness, and hearing the disappointment in his mother’s voice multiplied that shame ten-fold.
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