With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.
This novella, mostly told as one long flashback, traces the high school career of Harold and Mario. Mario is the quintessential jock and his polar opposite, Harold the gay nerd.
The flashback as the plot device serves the author well as he develops the story line and characterization over a 20 year time frame, breathing life into the characters and vividly detailing life after high school.
Told with humor, great feeling and empathy for both characters; this is one of the most poignant stories I have ever read.
There is something for almost everyone to relate. Those whose lives peak in high school and those who go on to succeed later in life. Those who continue to relive the glory days and those who found high school something to be endured.
The reader knows from the outset that these two do not get together. What we find out is why. This is a major strength of this work. Why we choose the path we do and not the path of least resistance.
I high recommend this title.
Warning: If you are prone to sniveling, have a tissue handy.