“Foundations” by Timothy Forry from Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction (Cleis Press, 2014)
Oh, this story. This isn’t a short story so much as a Movie of the Week, and I was on the edge of my seat most of the way through.
They’re all here, the elements that make up a great nail biter. A pending storm, a hurricane, moving in on the area; a main character, David, who is away in the city, using work as an excuse to distance himself from his partner, Claude, because of Claude’s recent infidelity; even a dog, a golden retriever, no less, named Riley.
When David calls home to check on things there you could cut the tension with a knife. He says almost nothing, yet his mind and heart are swirling with the hundred things he wants to say, or ask.
And then the backstory. How good it was before it all went to hell, and the way it might be again, if only they can find their way back from this awful phase. And provided the storm doesn’t dash their hopes for a future.
There’s some lovely descriptive language, too. Need a weekend in New England but can’t afford one? Read this story.
Just be prepared for a good, cathartic cry at the end.