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Closer to Believing

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Book: Closer to Believing


Mark Antonious Richfield bounced his three month old son Isaac Milton or ‘Zak’ gently in his arms. He stood in the waiting room of a pediatrician’s office, one near his home in Paradise, California.

“Come right in, Mark.” A nurse waved him into the examination area. “You can use this room.”

“Ta, love.” Mark took the diaper bag strap from his shoulder, setting it on a chair.

The nurse placed a chart down on a table, washed her hands at a sink, and then smiled at Mark. “Let’s see how much Zak weighs.”

“Yes.” Mark took off Zak’s puffy outfit, one to keep him warm in the cool morning. The nurse showed him to a scale resting on a table. He placed his son on it.

“Fifteen pounds!” she said, sounding excited.

“He’s a big boy.” Mark tickled Zak while he lay on the scale.

The nurse measured Zak’s length as well, and then recorded his temperature and did a few other quick checks while Mark felt impatient and anxious.

“That’s fine, Mark. You can pick him up.” She tapped keys of a computer and added Zak’s information to it. “So, you’re here for a wellness exam and vaccines?”

“Yes.” Mark snuggled with Zak, bouncing him to keep him calm.

“Have a seat. The doctor will be right in.”

Mark looked around the small room and sat in a molded chair, holding Isaac on his lap. “It’s chilly in here, isn’t it?” he asked Zak once the nurse left. Mark wrapped his leather jacket around his son and held him against his chest.

While he waited, Mark thought about his new, young husband, Stan Charles Richfield. He was in Los Angeles filming a war movie, B is for Bravo, and Mark was losing his mind without him.

The door opened and an older man with spectacles entered the room. He extended his hand to Mark as Mark stood up to greet him. “Nice to see you again, Mark.”

“And you, Dr Rosen.”

“Time for Isaac to get his immunizations?”


“Very good.”

Mark kept Zak calm as the doctor and nurse prepared to vaccinate his little one against very scary diseases.


Stan sat on a chair in front of a mirrored vanity of his very own private trailer. He had been cast to play a Navy SEAL captain in a blockbuster war movie, B is for Bravo.

A woman from the makeup and hair stylist department was applying paint to his face. As she used a soft sponge to add fake soot and mud, he closed his eyes and ran the lines he had memorized in his head.

He’d been working on the production for months and was eager to finish it, but, he may only be three-quarters of the way through.

A tap came to his trailer door. “Five minutes.”

“Okay,” the woman replied, and touched up Stan’s hair. “There ya go.”

Stan opened his eyes and looked into the mirror, one surrounded in white globe lights. His skin was marred with powder, both light and dark, and the stylist had used a gel on his hair to make it appear sweaty.

His light hazel eyes reflected the circular bulbs, making them look as if they were glowing. Right before he left the trailer, he checked his phone.

The amount he missed his husband and son was driving him insane. He and Mark hadn’t connected as much as he had hoped. This movie was draining the life out of him, and making it tough to do anything but work and sleep. It didn’t help matters that the location was a two to three hour drive from Los Angeles.

The stylist left his trailer.

Stan sent Mark a text, ‘About to start filming again. Miss you and Zak so much I’m losing it.’

Hullo, pet.

Stan was thrilled Mark was with his phone. Even though he only had ‘five minutes’ he called Mark. As he stared at his reflection, his big beefy body in the Navy SEAL desert uniform and his dirty face, Stan heard his husband’s sexy voice.

“How are you, baby?”

The pang of longing was unbearable. “Okay. I don’t have much time.” He heard Zak crying. “Is he okay?”

“I’m at the doctor’s. He just got his immunization shot.” Mark cooed to Isaac, “Okay. You’re okay.”

Stan was upset he was missing this, missing things he wanted to do with Mark and his new son.

“He weighs fifteen pounds. Do you believe it?” Mark spoke softly to Isaac, “That’s a good boy. It doesn’t hurt for long, does it?”

“Stan?” someone called through his trailer door.

“Hang on!” Stan yelled back. He sighed and held the phone to his ear. “I have to go.”

“Yes. Louis is waiting for me as well.”

Stan didn’t want to hang up. “Mark…”

“I know, love.”

“I’ll try to contact you tonight, if I can.”

“Yes, love.”

The trailer door opened abruptly and the assistant to George Ford, their director, gave Stan an impatient glare.

“I’ll call ya later,” Stan said to Mark.

“All right.”

Stan faced his back to the assistant and whispered to Mark, “I love you.”

“And you.”

Stan disconnected the call and left his phone on the vanity. He stood from the chair and tucked his uniform shirt into his pants. He left his trailer and followed the AD to the set.

It was yet another sunny day here in the Mojave National Preserve. A prop man attended Stan next, packing the heavy gear on him for his scene.

Stan held a rifle as items were clipped and strapped to him.

He gazed at the cameras on cranes, at the dozens of crew members scrambling around to get ready, and the ‘city’ of industrious people hired to get this film made.

His costars were also in the process of getting prepared for their scenes; Carl Bronson, Diesel VanDen, Jeremy Runner, and, sadly, the moron of the bunch, Randy Dawson.

Stan was tired. He was lonely.

And he wanted to be with his husband and son in Paradise.