‘Safe’, by Cody Kennedy, was an incredible read. Powerful, honest, pure, and touching; this story had me in its clutches from page one. It soon became apparent that it was not going to release me until I finished it. And even then, it continued to stay with me.
When I fell in love, I wanted the world to know. In my case that was never a problem, whether the object of my affection was male or female. My family didn’t care either way, as long as we were happy. I had it good… So many other people did not. Even now, in 2015, there are still people who need to ‘hide’ who they are. And who they love.
Whether you need to hide or are ‘out and proud’, coming out can be scary. And coming out has to be your decision. Being ‘outed’ is so much worse for many people; they have no control over who gets to be ‘in the know’.
Caleb and Nico have known each other since they were ten. Now, at eighteen, they have been together for six years. Nobody knows, and that is the way it needs to stay; parents will object, school will be a nightmare if it became known that they are gay. But, Cody starts the story not when Nico, age ten, comes for his first swimming lesson at Caleb’s house, but at the moment that Caleb is about to meet his father at school. School has phoned Caleb’s and Nico’s dads when one teacher sees them sharing a quick kiss in an empty hallway…
‘Safe’ is a story about two young boys coming of age and their struggle with being outed. And it is a story about abuse; Nico is being beaten by his father, often and severely. The tone of the story, though–however difficult the subject matters–is one of hope. Caleb has one mission in life and that is to keep his boyfriend safe. Cody finished the story with the words: ‘The Beginning’. I hope this means that Nico and Caleb will be allowed to tell the rest of their story. I just know that there is more to them and their stories.
They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen.
Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally.
One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.