I am not one to get pulled into short stories very often. There just isn't enough space in them to let me come to know and love the characters and care about what they are going through. I don't read too many short stories for this reason. "See" by Jackie Nacht is a definite exception to this rule.

In this story, we meet Drew, a gay teen who is at the end of his rope. Since coming out, he's been basically ignored by his father, and he could only wish to be ignored by his classmates and former friends. He is being terrorized and assaulted on a regular basis. He finally decides that it is time to end the misery his life has become.

Just before Drew can use the knife he's taken from his home, he meets a ghostly version of Mason. This beautiful boy tells him that he will be his husband in the future, if Drew just doesn't give up now. In some mystical way (never explained), Mason is able to show Drew both what his life will eventually be if he lives, and the difference in others' lives if Drew commits suicide.

I love this story. The bullies who won't leave Drew alone make me furious, his parents' confusion on how to deal with a gay son, then their total love and support, make me cry. And sweet, loving Mason, and Drew's new friend Logan, make me smile.

Would I like for this story to be longer? Yes, of course. I would like to see the bullies get the beat down they so deserve. I would like to see more of Drew's friendship with Logan and his love story with Mace. But, honestly, everything I really need is here. I love these characters and I am thrilled with their journey. "See" is a story I would recommend everyone read - even if you typically shy away from gay romance. There is nothing explicit, but there is a strong and believable story of love, hope, and survival. Jackie Nacht has given me characters that I will always hold in my heart, and for that, I am very grateful.

Book Blurb for See

Drew has had a tough couple of months. Coming out to his parents wasn’t too bad except it hasn’t been brought up since. However, coming out to his friends his freshman year in high school is a whole different story. His friends turn their backs on him and have become leaders in the daily tortures he has since had to endure. When a humiliation page pops up on the internet showing pictures of Drew being bullied, he decides to end it all.

Just before he takes his life, the fourteen-year-old Mason appears telling him that he will be Drew’s husband in the future and spirits are guiding him to help stop Drew from making an irreversible mistake. Mason will be advised to take Drew on a journey to see what his future would be like if he didn’t end his life. When Drew is still unconvinced, Mason will show Drew the impact his life will have on the others around him if he does end it all. Will Mason be able to show him that Drew has a future to live for and give him the guidance to help him get through his darkest hour?

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2013 4.50