“Hi, mom, it’s… it’s me, Scott.” Not Scotty, his mother hates that.
“Scott…” her voice is as stiff, as he imagines her to be standing there, in her living-room in Arizona.
“H…How are you?” Safe question.
“Fine.....” Wow! Sparkling conversation. “I’m fine.” Face it, Scotty, it’s more than she usually says to you. “You wish to speak to your father?” YES!!!!
“No, I can also ask you this…” He knows that all will depend on her answer anyway. "Mom, I’m getting married next Saturday and I’d love it if you and dad could come.”
“What?!” Her voice is cold and Scotty feels his nerves kick in.
“I can imagine this is a bit of a surprise. It was to me too. I’ve been living with Kevin for almost a year now, we got into a relationship and I’m very happy with him and two days ago he proposed to me and I said yes….” Scotty rambles on.
“And I’d like you to be there when we get married… well not really married, have a commitment ceremony….” His voice becomes a bit shaky. His knuckles are white from the strength he uses to hold the phone. He plays his extra card. “Kevin will pay for the plane-tickets and arrange a hotel for you to come here…. You don’t have to pay for anything.” He nearly begs. “It will be informal. We will hold it at Nora’s house,….” The silence on the other side is killing him, but she hasn’t hung up yet. She hadn’t turned him down yet. She is maybe still listening to him.
“… That’s Kevin’s mother…. His sister will officiate…. I will take care of the food,…. there will be 30 to 40 people…. It will be small, neither Kevin nor I want a big fancy thing…. All that I really want is for you and dad to … “ his voice falters and he nearly whispers “… to be there… With me.”
His heart is beating fast. His mother is still on the phone. He can hear her breathe.
“Next Saturday,… you… and another man….”
“Kevin… Walker… His name is Kevin Walker.”
“… think you will get married…”
“It’s a commitment ceremony where we pledge our love for each other.” Scotty tries to finish his sentence, but his mother doesn’t really let him finish.
“And you dare to put that on the same level as a marriage?”
“Alright, maybe marriage was not a good word.” Scotty feels slightly irritated.
”We will become domestic partners and the commitment ceremony is to openly mark our sincere desire to be together.” He rehearsed this over and over in his mind.
“And you will stand there and think that a few words are going to make legal this unholy relationship you have with this…. Kevin… and how can you think that what you have with him would be equal to what your father and I have….? It’s a mockery!” Scotty fights back his tears as his mother goes on: “… and you honestly think that your father and I would attend such a spectacle? A union not accepted by the church or by God, but just some little charade.”
He wants to lash out at her, wondering how she can make the church’s opinion much more important to her than his happiness. He wants to tell her about how lonely he has been, wondering if God would approve his being turned down by his parents. He wishes he could convey how much he loves Kevin and he doesn’t know if that equals the love his mother has for his father. He sometimes doubts if they actually do love each other.
But he doesn’t doubt Kevin’s feelings for him. Kevin loves him, will take care of him, support him and be his partner on every level. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death and beyond that. And that all the love, affection and tenderness will be returned by Scotty.
He wants to tell her all that, but he swallows it away. He swallows away his pain and disappointment. There is nothing left to talk about. She will not change her opinion of him. She will not share in his happiness. She cannot see him for who and what he is. Scotty realizes that all this time apart hasn’t changed her, or him. She will not attend his ‘marriage’ and she will make sure that his father won’t either. There’s no way that Wally will contradict his wife….
He sighs and plays with his phone. The silence hangs between them.
“So.. you won’t come? No matter what? There’s nothing I can say or do to make you change your mind?” Scotty has to ask it. Deep in his heart there is a faint hope that she’ll keep the door open, not make an immediate decision, but that she’ll want to think it over…
“No. I cannot….” He thought he was ready for what her answer would be, that he was prepared to get a ‘no’, but he isn’t and it hurts him deeply. The pain is unbearable to Scotty and it nearly takes away his breath.
“Fine!… Have a nice day!…. Bye!” Scotty cuts her off and he presses the button to break the connection.
He sinks down on the couch and presses his hands to his eyes. He stubbornly tells himself that he refuses to cry. He’s done crying. He knew upfront what her answer would be. So there’s no reason to be upset. But he IS upset and he IS angry and he HAD hoped his parents would take ONE step in his direction. The tears he’s been holding back start to come and he lets them. He will cry his tears today and not Saturday. Saturday will be the happiest day of his life and he will not let anyone ruin it. Especially not his parents…