Behind the mask 22/?By Marea67About:
Kevin/Scotty and others.Rate:
When Scotty has to deal with too many disasters at once, William offers him a solution that will change his life
The moment Tommy enters his father’s study, he knows there’s trouble. His sisters have a grim look on their faces. His mother looks like she could kill him. William has joined Justin and Scotty in the corner. All three seem ready to fight or something like that. It’s above all the white face of his wife, Julia, that worries him.
Then it slowly enters his mind that William is not
behind his desk, but someone else is and seeing that
person is the real shock to Tommy’s system. He hadn’t seen Kevin awake in a long time. He had grown accustomed to the thin, slender figure, sleeping in the bed, not aware of how life around him was passing faster than he could keep up with.
But now, Kevin is awake. In Kevin’s eyes is the smoldering anger of someone who has found out that he’s been screwed over in the worst possible way. Damn! It had been bad news to find out that Dryden, one of his best friends ever, had died, but, being far away in America, there had been nothing that Tommy could have done.
His father had insisted he’d stay in America and so he had not been able to make sure, that there would be someone else looking after Kevin. Upon hearing that Scotty would do it, he had given a sigh of relief. He had never considered Scotty particularly smart and he had thought that Scotty would keep Kevin as drugged up as Dryden had.
Obviously, Scotty hadn’t. All those months where he hadn’t heard of anything bad happening in Wales, he had believed his secret was safe and it’s a shock to find out it hadn’t been.
“Kevin.” He says, knowing that someone needs to take the first word.
“Tommy.” Kevin nods. The tension between them can be felt by everyone in the room. Kevin’s fingers caress Dryden’s diaries. “These last few days I’ve found out quite a lot about you…. Through Dryden’s notebooks, I started to get a story that was at times fascinating and at times made me angry. But, above all, it left me feeling betrayed.”
Tommy cannot look Kevin straight in the face. He stares at his shoes instead.
“I … I don’t know what Dryden…” He starts to say, but Kevin shakes his head to show that he knows that Tommy is lying and Kevin picks up the first diary and starts to read out loud, so that everyone in the room can hear it too.“Tommy thinks that life can only get better if Kevin would no longer be there. Kevin is the oldest. The one who will inherit most. The family-business, the house, the money. Tommy thinks that Kevin will not share much with him and the others, because Kevin is more interested in sucking up to the McCallisters, then standing up for the Walkers…”
Tommy can almost hear
Dryden’s voice come through the words. He shakes his head.
“It was just stupid teenagers talking stupid things…” He tries to explain.“That,
Tommy is an entry he made a few weeks before
my accident…” Kevin pretends not to have heard Tommy’s words. “Want to hear more? Here it is….”“Tommy keeps saying that he wishes that Kevin was dead. I know it’s bad to think like that, but maybe Tommy is right. I told him, I know of a way to get rid of Kevin, one that will look like an accident… He said ‘go for it’. Tommy says he’ll always be my friend…. That he will look after me. I trust him.”
“He was just a kid… So was I.” Tommy now tries to defend himself and Dryden. “I was sixteen. He was seventeen. What did we know about these things? We were drunk. I never… I never actually
thought he would try and kill you…. I swear.” Tommy looks at the others around him, begging for understanding, but all he meets is a wall of cold stares.
Kevin picks anther page and reads merciless:“I placed the explosives. Everyone will think that the gas-heaters were responsible. They won’t look any further… Accidents happens so often with them, especially with these cold winters. Gas builds up and then a spark and then ‘bang!’.
All I needed after that was to get Kevin to return to Ojai. That was easy. Tommy was supposed to take some papers home with him, but I took them out of his bag and left them at Ojai. Now, Kevin will drive by Ojai Foods to get them. It is rigged that once he enters his dad’s office…. Boom!
A few hours later: “I nearly killed Tommy. I forgot that he would most likely go with Kevin. I’m so glad that Kevin went in alone. I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if anything would have happened to Tommy… Kevin is still alive however. He survived the blast. Guess I didn’t make it strong enough….”
Tommy, seeing an escape, lifts his head to look at Kevin.
“See, I didn’t know. Yes, I was talking stupid, but I never knew that Dryden would actually really
try to kill you. That was never supposed to happen. I never wanted that. I swear… I may have said ‘go for it’, when he suggested killing you, but I didn’t mean it. I was just being me.”
“Entry. Two days after
my accident. “Tommy is mad at me. I’ve never seen him this angry before. He yelled at me that he never, ever wanted Kevin dead. But he did. I swear, he did say it. Even when he wasn't drunk. I would never have done it, if he hadn’t said ‘okay’. If he tells anyone, I’m dead.”
That is two
days after my accident, Tommy. Within two
days you knew what
had happened to me, why
it happened and who
was responsible? You knew within two
days and, yet, you kept that secret and you lied about it for twenty
years?!” Kevin yells, suddenly jumping up. Justin takes a step forward to come between his brothers if necessary, but Scott stops him.
“Yes! I knew! …I’m sorry! But, yes, I knew! And then what?! Would it have helped you to know that it was Dryden who had done this to you? Would it have made you feel better to hear that I wanted you dead? I was a kid. A stupid kid saying stupid things and not believing that Dryden would put his own stupid plan into action!
It was all stupid! A mistake that snowballed out of control! It could have happened to me too. What if I had gone in to get those documents? That idiot could have killed me too! … Do you have any idea what that night meant to me? Yes, I said
I wanted you dead, but when I saw you lying there…” Tommy’s voice breaks.
Kevin looks at him defiantly and Tommy pulls himself together.
“... When I saw you lying there, I wanted you to live. I would have gladly died instead of you. I was terrified during that drive to the hospital. You just kept losing blood, there was so much blood. Everywhere! And I thought you were going to die!
And I prayed you wouldn’t. I begged God to save you… I never, ever
wanted you to really die, to really be hurt, to really leave us. I wanted you to stay with us…. I would have gladly have those fucking McCallisters in our house, in our lives, in our company, if it would have saved your life…”
“What does any of this have to do with the McCallisters?” Kevin asks, not quite understanding Tommy's logic, if there was one to begin with. “Why are you so sure that they would have taken over anything from us?”
“Because they always do. The McCallisters are like a criminal organization. They infiltrate and then they take over.”
“That is ridiculous!” Kevin brushes his brother's accusations away.
“And that Jason, that worthless mouse, you were going to marry wouldn’t have stopped his family from taking us over…” Tommy continues, nearly foaming at the mouth with anger. “All
dad had worked for. You were just going to hand it over that useless shit of a Jason.”
“What on Earth…?” Kevin starts.
“I heard you two talking about having children. If your plans would have come together, you
would have had the first-born grand-child in this family. But that child would have been a McCallister! And not
a Walker! You wanted the first child to be Jason’s!”
Kevin becomes pale. He had completely forgotten about that conversation he had had with Jason years ago, when they had been daydreaming about having a family. Kevin had wanted one and he had been pleasantly surprised to find out that Jason had wanted that too… In time.
“I wanted a child, a family, with the man I loved, with my future husband? And that
was the reason for you to want me to die
?!” Kevin is horrified.
“Yes! Those McCallister leeches would have contaminated our
“Yes!” Tommy answers furiously.
“I talked about having a family. I was in love. I was… daydreaming… not thinking of bloodlines getting mixed or ‘contaminated’. And there is no
way that the McCallisters would ever have laid a hand on anything that belonged to the Walkers.
I was in love, but not stupid. They wanted me to sign a pre-nup, saying that in case of a break up, I’d get nothing from Jason. Dad returned the favor. In case of a break up: everything would be separated to the letter between us.
What belonged to the Walkers would return to the Walkers, what belonged to the McCallisters would return to the McCallisters, what we had built together would have been seperated between us through an intermediar. There was no way in hell that the McCallister would get their hands on Ojai Foods, this house or dad’s money and they knew
Tommy is flabbergasted. To him, Kevin had always been this gay guy, overly in love with some other guy and it had never occurred to him that Kevin would have had his business well protected from anyone who would want to take over. For a moment it knocks the wind out of Tommy, but then he regroups himself.
“You were becoming a threat to the Walker-family nonetheless.” Tommy replies stubbornly. “And I was angry with that. And when I got drunk, I would talk about how much easier life would be without you… Yes! … I did that! But …. When I saw you lying there… I … I didn’t want to lose you…”
Kevin looks at Tommy and he believes him there, because his words get corroborated by Dryden’s entries about how upset and angry Tommy had been, but he’s not done with Tommy just yet.
“You should have told all of us the truth.” Kevin maintains.
“You were disfigured. You lost Jason. You lost your dreams. You lost everything. How would knowing that it was all the result of Dryden mistakenly misunderstanding my words, make you feel any better? What would it have accomplished?”
“Maybe I could have believed, that you did it to protect Dryden or me, but you didn’t, did you?” Tommy gives him a confused look and Kevin reads out loud:“Tommy is no longer angry with me, but he says I should make amends. Tommy says I should look after Kevin from now on. Because it’s my fault that Kevin nearly died. I want to tell William and Kevin the truth, but Tommy says no. He says that William will kill me if ever he finds out what I’ve done.
And I think Tommy’s right. I know William Walker. You don’t touch his family or his friends. And I’m scared. Tommy says that it’s best if I keep my mouth shut, pray for Kevin and look after him. I will do that, I guess.”
Sp, you threatened Dryden with telling dad, if he didn’t do as you ordered and ‘make amends’ by looking after me? What the poor idiot didn’t realize, is that you could never
have told dad the truth, without having to explain your
part in it. His silence is what saved your ass! It was convenient for you
“You’re crazy! Insane! I loved you! And, yes, I shouldn’t have been stupid, but …” But Kevin won’t let Tommy finish his angrily spoken sentences.
“Stop lying! We’ve all read the diaries! We know what’s in them!” Kevin yells back at Tommy and he picks up another diary.“Tommy wants me to lie to William and Nora. I have to tell them that Kevin doesn’t want to see them anymore. It is not true, but he says it’s easier, because then I would have more freedom, because they wouldn’t be constantly here. I don’t know. I guess, he’s right.
But it was very sad. Nora cried so hard. I almost cried with her. I almost told her that it was lie. That she should go upstairs and get Kevin away from someone as evil as me...”
Kevin turns to the next page, for the entry of a few days later.“William didn’t accept my words. He came back. Luckily Tommy was here or I wouldn’t have know what to do. He pretended to be Kevin and he hit me and then pushed me down the stairs. I have no serious injuries. Dad used to be more violent than Tommy could ever be.
But now William thinks it’s Kevin who did that. He doesn’t want to upset Kevin any further. He was so grateful that I wanted to continue working for Kevin. I feel mean. I know that Kevin is drugged and cannot even wake up half the time. And now is family thinks he’s mean and violent… It’s wrong. I know it is. But what can I do?”
“You knew! You knew all along that Kevin wanted us, needed us and that he wasn’t violent, but you kept quiet!” William now adds himself to the conversation. “Do you have any idea of how hurt your mother and I were, believing that Kevin didn’t want us in his life anymore?” He wonders and Tommy becomes all quiet.
“I could kill you for this, Thomas Walker.” Nora says with tears in her eyes. “You and your best friend! We trusted
you. We were grateful
for your love and your attention and we believed you did it out of genuine affection for your brother. Boy, are you a huge disappointment!” Nora’s face now displays her anger and hurt.
“I’m sorry…” Tommy stammers. He seems completely surprised by the emotions in the room as if it had never even occurred to him that someone might actually miss Kevin.
“Sorry?” Justin echoes. “Sorry? Do you have any idea how much I’ve missed Kevin? He as my favorite brother. The one who protected me from your bullying!”
Tommy winces. The gap between him and Justin had always been big, but now it seems even wider, to a point where perhaps they would never find a way to connect again. Scotty grabs Justin's arm and pull him back and he whispers that it's between Tommy and Kevin.
Tommy looks for support from his sisters, but they both glare at him and even Julia seems to have disconnected herself from what is happening. Her face is completely blank.
“And there’s this is an entry from four years later.” Kevin picks up again.“I can’t believe it, but it’s true. Kevin’s face is healing. At first I thought I was just imagining it. I’ve prayed so hard for him and for forgiveness. I thought I was seeing things. But some of Kevin’s scars have started to fade. Slowly.
I called Tommy. I thought he would be happy with the news, but then he got mad. Saying that it was impossible. That I was an idiot and that I should stop drinking. I don’t understand.”
And then you went up to see him.“Tommy says that he’ll be in charge of Ojai Foods soon and, if that happens, I can come back to London. Until then I have to keep Kevin quiet. More drugs, because Kevin is getting used to the ones he has. He’s restless. I’m afraid. I’ve kept him alive. I want him to get well. But that cannot happen, because it will destroy me.
Tommy told me to contact others doctors when our own doctor isn’t in. Pretend I’m Kevin. Get other medication. Not sure. May not be a good idea. I can’t talk to anybody. Tommy is the smartest between us…. I should trust him… I guess…”
The loneliness in Dryden’s words makes everyone quiet.
“You knew I was getting better, that my face was healing. But you left me there. All alone. Without my family. Drugged to the core.” Kevin’s anger takes over. “Do you know what it’s like to lie in a bed and watch life pass you by from behind a black veil? Believing you’re too hideous to show yourself to the rest of the world?
Do you have any idea how strange it is to determine your life by whether it’s dark or light in the room, without having a clue what day of the week or which month of the year it is? Dryden would hardly talk to me. All I ever got from him was silence. No music. No television. No life whatsoever.
I’ve lost 20 years of my life. I want them back, Tommy! I want you to give me back my missing years. I want you to give me back my wedding to Jason. My twentieth birthday. My twenty-fifth! - when ‘one quarter of your life is over’…. I want you to give me big 3-0. I want my tenth wedding-anniversary.
I want my family I never had. I want the first smile from the child I would have had – contaminated blood or not -. His or her first step. His or her first school-day. Swimming diploma. I want my twelve and half year anniversary, celebrated with a man who would not have been so crushed by our fate as he had been.
Give me back the first time I became an uncle for Paige. Or the second time for Cooper. Hell, give me back the first glimpse I could have had of your
kid, Elizabeth! Give me back mom’s 50th birthday. Or dad’s 60th. Give me back our grandfather’s funeral and being able to say goodbye to grandma.
Let me go back and yell for Justin’s first game. Or watch him graduate top of his class. Meeting Sarah and Kitty’s boyfriends… Let me watch them get married. … Give me back my life
!!!” There’s so much desperation in Kevin’s voice that everyone hardly dares to breathe. Tommy slowly shakes his head, unable to say something.
“Then…” Kevin continues quietly. “Will you give me one good reason, just one
, why you believe that I deserved it. Why did I deserve to get hurt like this> By you and by Dryden. Just one
reason. That’s all I ask. Just one
justification for all of this?” Kevin begs. Tommy opens his mouth and closes it again. He bites his lower lip, not knowing what to say.
” Kevin reminds him, almost gently coaching him.
“I…” Tommy slowly starts. “I wanted this family to be strong. And I didn’t think you would be able to lead it, if anything would happen to dad. I felt it should have been me. I should have been the first-born son. But I wasn’t.
And I had to watch how you would get all the opportunities, that I wanted to have. And I wished you would be gone. They often say, be careful what you wish you for, because it may come true. Well, it did come true for me. Suddenly you were taken out of the equation.
And I never wanted you hurt. I certainly never wanted you dead. Not for real. But once you were gone, I became the oldest, I became the one dad would turn to. I was going to lead Ojai Foods… And once I was on that track, I got scared that if you would come back that I would lose it all again…”
The silence in the room is heavy, except for the occasional sob from Nora. Tommy and Kevin are face-to-face and everyone is staring at them.“That…
. is the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.” Kevin says slowly and he picks up the last diary from the desk.“I don’t know what to do.”
He reads. “I can no longer go on keeping Kevin in a state of sleep. He wakes up more and more often. He’s nice. He’s kind. He has no idea that I’ve ruined his life. I was never the smartest one. That was Tommy. But I never see Tommy anymore. He never comes to see his brother... Or me.
It’s like he forgot all about me. I made a mistake 20 years ago. When do I stop paying for it? When can I go home? When will I have paid my debt to the Walkers? Can I even ever repay Kevin for what he lost? I’ve tried to build a life for myself here, but I hate my life. And I hate myself.
I had a lovely girlfriend, but how can I ever tell her the truth about myself? How can I ever be honest to anyone ever again? If I tell the truth I cause pain. If I don’t, I continue to cause pain. I want the hurting to stop. Whenever a Walker calls, I tell them that Kevin is fine, and in peace, but that he still doesn’t want to see them.
And that is lie, because Kevin wants his family, but Tommy has told him that Nora, William and the others can’t handle the emotional stress anymore… He stopped asking after them after two years. He just gave up. Maybe also because of the drugs. I don’t know. But I feel bad about it.
I pray and pray for forgiveness. But I know that the only person who can give me that is Kevin Walker, who is the only person who can never know the truth for it would destroy him and his family. But I cannot go on either. I don’t know who to turn to anymore. Tommy doesn’t answer my calls. As if I no longer matter…”
“That was his last entry. He fell off his horse that night and broke his neck...” Kevin speaks slowly. “It was confusing for me to wake up the next day. Unfamiliar sounds. Someone telling me that Dryden was dead…. But when he died, … I came back to life… Dryden gave me back my life….
Because his death meant that someone would have to come look after me. And then there was Scotty…” He briefly gives Scotty a loving smile. “.. You know what bugs me most about your reason? You
would have been the one to get Ojai Foods… I wasn’t interested in running a business, but you were in love with the place.
Dad and I had already agreed, that once you’d be eighteen you’d be prepared to run Ojai one day…. You never needed to ‘get rid’ of me….” Tommy closes his eyes as he knows deep inside that Kevin is speaking the truth. His eyes fill with tears, because he now sees that he’s never ‘gained’ anything from keeping Kevin asleep.
He had gotten exactly what he would have had coming to him, with or without Kevin. But he had robbed Kevin of twenty years of his life and from the mere feeling of the persons in the room, he fears that there will not be that much understanding for his actions.
“Tommy, your mother and I have had a long talk about all this, because we did feel partially responsible. We had been given you and Dryden, two kids almost, far too much responsibility. But we trusted you. And Dryden. We were grateful for your kindness, your loyalty… All of that now turns out to fake…
After a long talk, however, we both agree that you’re no longer welcome in this house. This is just… unforgivable.
We want you out of our house. And, for now at least, out of our lives.”
“But…” Tommy protests.
“I can’t speak for the others. They are free to do what they feel they must do, but I want you gone by the end of the day. You can pack your things at Ojai as well. I will give you an allowance, but you’re fired as off now.” William is dead serious.
“Who will run Ojai?” Tommy asks shocked.
“Sarah will help me.” William answers calmly.
“I will?” Sarah’s too happy with William’s decision to even try and fake being sorry for Tommy, which she isn’t. William nods.
“And don’t bother coming home either.” Julia suddenly says. “What you did was awful.”
“You have our full support, Julia.” Nora nods. “If you need any help with Elizabeth, or for yourself…”
“Talking about a rat leaving the sinking ship.” Tommy replies bitterly, but Julia shakes her head.
“No, after everything I heard today… I want you out of my life and out of that of my daughter as well. You have no loyalty to anyone else but yourself.” Julia replies. Tommy looks around.
“Don’t even bother to look at Tyler and me. We don’t need you in our lives either.” Justin immediately says.
With Kevin, Sarah, Justin, Julia and his parents no longer supporting him, he turns to Kitty, who widens her eyes and shrugs.
“What on Earth are you looking at me for? Seriously, Tommy, after what you did to Kevin...? Forget it, you’re on your own.”
Tommy looks from one to the other and then sarcastically shrugs:
“Fine! If you really believe that I deserve this after all I’ve done to keep this family together, then maybe you guys are just not worth it!
Dryden and I made a mistake, that’s true. We shouldn’t have kept Kevin drugged up and quiet either, once we realized that he was getting better. Another mistake, for which I take full responsibility. But let me put one question back on your plates… Where were you guys all these twenty years?
You want to know? You guys were nowhere, because it was all ‘just fine’ with you guys. You say that you had put your trust in me, wrongfully so maybe, but none of you bothered to check out if Kevin was really fine. No one ever got mad enough to say, ‘this has gone on long enough’. T
here are two parents and 3 other siblings in this room, who never bothered to take another look at Kevin and just took my word, and Dryden's, for his wellbeing.
I’m sorry, Kevin. I should never have done what I did. But I hope you will see the other side of this too. They enabled me to do what I did. And they are not as free of charge as they pretend to be. But don’t worry. I’m gone. And I hope you’ll all sleep well tonight knowing that you’re ‘innocent’ and that I’m ‘the only one’ to blame.”
And after those last words, he turns out and leaves his father’s study, leaving behind an uncomfortable silence where no one dares to look at each other, or Kevin, in the knowledge that there is truth to Tommy’s words.
“Well, I’m really glad we had that talk.” Scotty eventually breaks the silence with a sigh.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO