by Posy Roberts
In the opening scene of Tangled Mind, Beck Lund walks into to his house and hears his boyfriend Brady choking on his own vomit because of the heroin he injected. Brady dies right in front of Beck’s eyes, and there is nothing he can do to help.
So why start a book there? The simplest answer is that heroin can shut down a person’s natural coughing reflex, causing them to aspirate and choke. So that’s the reality of the drug.
The not so simple answer has to do with Beck and Brady’s relationship. They had a codependent relationship where Beck kowtowed to all of Brady’s needs in order to make life easier for him because Brady suffered from severe depression, untreatable by traditional means. And for Beck to have experienced a situation where he was utterly powerless to help, is earth shattering. He’s always been able to do something.
Beck loved Brady very much despite how unbalanced their relationship was, but it was by no means a healthy one. He would likely have stayed with Brady until he was used up. You’d think Beck would at least feel some relief or sense of freedom, but he’s utterly lost without Brady. It was a symbiotic relationship where Beck gained meaning from being a helper and being needed.
From the outside, Timothy Kallis, Beck’s best friend, sees how much Beck has struggled in the past, but it’s even worse after Brady’s death. Timothy wants to help him deal with the grief, but he also wants to see Beck grow stronger. Yet he sees how adrift Beck still is months after Brady’s death and helps Beck seek out professional help. So while Beck is working on recovering from a co-dependent relationship, he’s completely oblivious to the fact that Timothy has loved him from afar for years. Beck needs to be oblivious to other peoples’ wants so he can focus on his own for the first time, because after being in a codependent relationship for so long, he’s forgotten how to listen to his gut.
Brady’s death is the impetus of change that never would’ve happened for both Beck and Timothy. Beck would’ve continued in his life with Brady until he was so ruined that he’d become a shell of a man. Timothy wouldn’t have pushed Beck to get help or made other small changes to show Beck his affection. Sometimes we need the earth to shake so we can make changes in our lives.
Recovery has to happen before Beck has a chance of being in a healthy, egalitarian relationship, which he needs to be. Recovery before love. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.
About Tangled Mind
For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully his best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he’s oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.
Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.
Available at: Dreamspinner Press
About Posy Roberts
Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and loyal Brony, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.
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