The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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1-5 Recap (Volume 7)

Remember Tristan in the first week of Volume 7! Volume 8 launches on Monday, May 6th on the GoPride Network!

1-5 Recap (Volume 7)
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Remember Tristan in the first week of Volume 7! Volume 8 launches on Monday, May 6th on the GoPride Network!


Charlie looked out in front of him and was saddened how few people had shown up. In their days bar hopping through Boystown, it seemed that Tristan knew everyone. But now, fidgeting in his black suit, asked specifically to give the eulogy, he realized he as more to Tristan than the bar bestie box that Charlie had put him in. And that was about endearing and nerve-wracking.

"Tristan was always the life of the party," Charlie began, clearing his throat, looking at the sparse group gathered at the cemetery on a cold winter day. "That may not seem like a lot, but he was always more concerned about the good time that others were having that he never really worried about what was happening with him. Most people knew him as a party boy, someone who always knew who was wearing what and when, who knew who, and who was doing what. I knew him as the one person who could make me laugh when the whole world seemed to turn its back on me. I never worried about who I was with him because I knew who I was because of him. That was his great gift. He brought out the best in people, whether he knew it or not. In trying to be everything to everyone, he became one important thing to some one. He was the sass in a room full of blah. He was the toast of a cocktail at the end of a rough day. He was a laugh despite the tears. He was all of these things at some point for all of us. He was loyal. He was a friend. He was my friend."


Jaison wandered away from The Bitches as they all laid flowers on Tristan's grave.

"Where are you?" he demanded via text message to Bryan.

"Um were we supposed to meet up today?" Bryan replied.

"I'm at Tristan's funeral. Where are you and all his bougie friends? Tristan loved y'all too. He was your friend."

"Oh. Something came up."

Jaison was livid. A good fuck was a good fuck, but you don't turn your back on your people, especially when they're getting put in the ground.

"You know what ho?" Jaison texted back. "Next time you wanna kick it with me and are finna text me, just know that my answer is something came up."

And Jaison deleted Bryan's number.


Everyone had left as the winter-spring sun began to set. Fitz stood there, watching the gravediggers fill Tristan's grave with dirt.

"We're having memorial drinks for him at The Pitstop," Hunter said as he came up behind him. "We should get going."

"This happened on my watch," Fitz said quietly.

"Did you answer the call?"

"No. That's not what I mean. This neighborhood... it's mine. I should've protected it."

"Babe, you can't be everywhere... "

"But I should've been there for Tristan, he was... "

"He as a good guy who... "

"... is the first person I knew and have had to file a report on." Fitz looked at Hunter with tears in his eyes. "I could've stopped it."

"His friends said it was some random hook up. There's no way of knowing... "

"I could've warned him. I could've told him how risky it was, how it's been happening more and more in this neighborhood."

"Would that have stopped him?"

"I dunno," Fitz said. "But it might've saved him. And it happened on my watch."



There were definitely more people at The Pitstop memorial for Tristan than were at the funeral. Brad couldn't help wonder if it people hadn't weaseled their way in just for free drinks.

"I hardly knew him, but I still feel bad," Tyler said, coming back with two beers.

"I barely remember him from when Becka lived with Charlie," Brad said, loosening his tie. "I just remember they were out a lot. Sometimes, Tristan would be crashed on the couch when we'd wake up in the morning."

"Can I tell you something I've never told anyone?"

"Should I have a mic on so you can accidentally tell the whole bar?" Brad joked.

"Har," said Tyler.

"Go ahead."

"I met Tristan my first night in Boystown. I was just off the bus, scared out of my mind, with hardly any money in my pocket. I was trying to get to know people, make a friend. I met him, he pulled this whole cutsie 'buy me a drink' and then disappeared. Then he sent his friends to pull the same thing on me. That bummed me out so bad. Like, was that what gay life was all about? I remember seeing him with Charlie and thinking how shallow he was and how most of the guys in Boystown I encountered were like him and it just bothered me."

"Scene queens Becka used to call them."

"But then he was there for Charlie when he was in his coma. Nothing to really gain from it, he was there because he was Charlie's friend."

"And now that he's dead, you feel bad that he's just a footnote in your life."

Tyler sipped his beer. "Yeah."

"Like it or not, we all are. I've only ever been Becka's fiancé. Charlie's friend. Pat and Marys kid. That's one of the biggest things I found out after Becka and I broke up: I've only been someone in relation to someone else."

"So you're Tyler's... what... ?"

"Can I just be me for a minute? I haven't even figured that part out yet. Am I gay am I bi? I don't know dude."

"For sure," Tyler said, kissing him, not sure whether he should be relieved or disappointed.



"There sure are a lot more people here then there were at the funeral," Other David said, surveying the crowd at Tristan's memorial at The Pitstop.

"'I'm surprised Josh isn't here," David said, sipping his drink.

"Oh, really?" Other David scowled.

"That's not what I meant."

"Then what did you mean?"

"That he was friends with Tristan too. He should be here."

Other David chugged his drink. "Maybe I told him not to come."

"What? Why?"

"Because I didn't want to see him."

"I told you, nothing happened."

"Yeah, but you wanted it to happen. You broke down on the side of the road... "

"But nothing happened. That's the point. I've been the perfect boyfriend all week."

"Out of guilt. Not out of anything real. It's not you."

"What's happening to us?"

"Why didn't you just do it, David? I would never have found out."

"I told you. Because I love you. And if I didn't love you, I wouldn't have told you at all."

"It's just... you wanted to."

David looked down. "I did."

"That means something's not quite... "

"Does it have to mean anything?"

"Yeah. Maybe you should do it. Get it out of your system."

David almost dropped his drink.



As the night died down, Braden addressed the crowd at The Pitstop.

"Hey everyone... I'm Tristan's best friend, Braden. As some of you may or may not remember, we had Tristan's friend Charlie give the eulogy at the funeral. Tristan always said Charlie was the smartest and most heartfelt friend he ever had, so we knew that it's what he would've wanted. Before we all left for the night, first I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the funeral's IndieGoGo campaign, especially the anonymous donor who paid thousands of dollars so that the funeral could happen. Tristan's family disowned him when he came out, but we were not going to let that stop us from giving him the burial he deserved. Second... well," Braden began to tear up. "I'll let Tristan go ahead and tell you."

Tristan's face blinked onto the screen. Charlie remembered the video as Tristan's failed attempt at becoming a YouTube celebrity. The crowd laughed with appreciation as videos flipped from Tristan making duckfaces, Tristan practicing selfies, and describing last night's drunken shenanigans. It was the final one that got everyone.

"Everyone makes fun of me cuz I'm OBSSESSED with Marilyn Monroe," Tristan said, holding up a framed picture of the blonde icon. "But let me tell you bitches, my girl as fierce! She could take on Gaga and Beyonce and Madonna combined. People never understood her, you know? She glittered with her own special light that nobody really saw but her. Y'all thought you knew her, but you didn't. That's like me. You think you know me... but you ain't scratched the surface. Arite bitches," he said kissing the screen and flashing a peace sign. "Deuces."

Somewhere in a dark cemetery, Bruce stood crying over a grave, and placing a single rose on a grave. Tomorrow he would deal with his accountant's frantic email, wondering where the majority of Bruce's funds had gone. Tomorrow he would deal with finding a way to make all that money back.

Today, Bruce mourned the one that got away.



Virgil chased after Fitz, but he was determined.

"Don't do it, man," Virgil pleaded with his partner. "Just leave it alone. It's not your place."

But it was too late: Fitz burst into his captain's office.

"Why isn't there more being done on the Tristan Edwards case?" Fitz demanded.

"And good morning to you, Caleb," his captain said, looking up from his desk with a cup of coffee.

"Powell said that the case was closed."

"You heard wrong. The case is cold."

"Well then heat it up. Light a fire under those detectives' asses and... "

"That's not your place to say... "

"The hell it is! The community is in shock. They're dubbing this perp the Grindr Killer and... "

"Well maybe your community will now take the proper precautions to protect themselves."

Fitz stood with his mouth agape. "Are you blaming the victim, captain? Seriously?"

"You're too close to this, Fitz. With all due respect, your community puts itself at higher risk than the community at large. You can only put out so many precautionary warnings. As tragic as your friend's death was, maybe this is exactly what they need to wake up."

"Let me see the case file. See if Powell missed something."

The case is cold, Officer Fitzgerald. Now I suggest you drop it before you and your partner get traffic duty for a week."

"Told ya," Virgil said as Fitz stormed out of the captain's office.

"That homophobic, dumb fuck Powell doesn't know shit," Fitz fumed. "This is a real threat to the community and Cap and Powell are just sitting there thinking, let the faggots kill themselves."

"The case is cold," Virgil said. "What can you do?"

"The only thing I can. I'm going rogue."

We'll be back for Volume 8 on 5/6.

Just joining us? Catch up here:

Volume 1 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

Volume 2 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

Volume 3 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

Volume 4 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

Volume 5 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five

Volume 6 -
Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five


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