Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46 and part 47
STILL HALFWAY MARCH
Somewhere deep inside, Kevin is glad that his office needed repainting after a leak had been discovered. The paint fumes had chased him out of his office and back to his home, where he can make his notes in the sun-lit living-room, while enjoying some good coffee instead to that black stuff their coffee-machine insists on calling coffee.
This case is nearly ready and Kevin is glad he’ll be able to get it finished today and he is about to congratulate himself with a piece of the apple-pie Scotty made this weekend, when there’s a knock on his door. He grins. He knows that Mrs Berryman has a nose for gossip, but now also for apple-pie? But he cannot think of anyone else right now.
So when he opens the door he expects one of his neighbours and not his sister Kitty, who nearly runs into the loft as if she fears Kevin will slam the door in her face... which would not be an unfounded fear.
“Kitty! .... Why are you here?”
“I called your office and they told me that you were at home.” She replies, looking around her at Kevin’s the place, as this is the first time she’s here. “Cute....” She says.
“Thanks. Listen, I actually have to work and....” ...I want your out.
“Yes, that is what I thought and I wanted to give you a little coffee-break.”
“You mean, you want me to supply the coffee and the cake?”
“Good. For moment, I thought you would actually offer something to me. Glad to know I was wrong and that the world is right again.”
“Are you implying that I’m selfish.”
“Kevin, you can be so funny sometimes.”
“True. I’m a regular killer, but not today. I wasn’t joking.”
Kitty tries to ignore the hostility and laugh it away, but Kevin is clearly not appreciating her company.
“So what do you need?” Kevin asks.
“Can’t I just be interested in seeing where my brother lives?”
“No... So stop pretending. You want something from me.”
“Where’s mom? I’ve been trying to reach her and ....”
“Why come here and ask me?”
“Because you the National Enquirer of this family.”
“I don’t do gossip. I prefer to see myself more like a CNN.” Kevin replies. Kitty shrugs.
“Do you know where she is?”
“With her friend, Emily Craft. Broke her ankle. Won’t be home for a few days.”
“How come I didn’t know?” Kitty asks out loud.
“Mom called last Saturday-night. ‘s All I know.”
“I need her.... I talked to Jonathan... He’s very angry.” Kitty hesitantly starts, wondering if she can and should confide in Kevin, but she needs a sounding board, she needs someone to talk to.
“The nerve of the guy! You leave him practically at the altar and now he is upset. Go figure!” Kevin laughs sarcastically. Kitty winces.
“That is not what I meant. I understand that he’s angry. I just... I don’t know what to do.”
“And you need my advice as a lawyer or as a brother?”
“Does that matter?” Kitty’s voice breaks slightly, though Kevin doesn’t notice immediately.
“No, not really. If I’m supposed to give you advice as a lawyer, you won’t get it from me, because I’d have to bill you and you won’t pay me, so a total waste of my time. If I have to give you advice as a brother, you won’t listen to me. Again, total waste of my time.”
Kitty takes a deep breath, her voice trembles a bit.
“Why are you so unpleasant to me? If it were Sarah, Tommy or Justin or even mom, you’d jump up and run to protect them.... Why do you hate me so much?” Kevin finally really looks up at his sister, who slowly sinks down on the chair opposite of him.
She’s pale and there’s concern in her eyes, she looks tired and scared. Hurt even. And he becomes less defensive. He plays with his pen for a few seconds, before answering, in a gentler tone.
“I don’t hate you. And you are right. If it were Sarah, Tommy or Justin I’d be right there for them, free of charge. You know why?” He asks. Kitty shakes her head. “Because they are there for me if I need them.”
“And I’m not?”
“Oh, come on! When have you ever been interested in us? Seriously interested? When did you ever call mom to just ask her how she is? Are you even remotely interested in how well Sarah manages to raise her kids? How Justin dealt with his drugs-addiction? Do you even know what we went through with him?
Are you aware that your brother lost his child this weekend? Because, I understand, you haven’t gone to see them in the hospital just yet.” Kitty bites her lip. “The only time you show interest is when you need something. A place to crash for a few nights. Some advice. Money. If you need it, you show up.”
Kitty lets the words sink in, before retaliating:
“Well, maybe if you would ask for my help, I could offer it to you.”
“If you had paid attention, you would notice that I didn’t say anything about myself. It’s because, I know I cannot expect anything from you.
You resent me for being gay, for being a Democrat, for being me, who I am.... and that is fine with me. I don’t need you. But I dislike the way you treat the others. And I certainly don’t like the way you come in here and act like a victim. You’re not! You cowardly ran away from a guy who loved you enough to want to marry you.
Jonathan believed he could make you happy, he wanted a future with you and you flung his love, his dreams of a life with you, in his face and now you are the victim in this?... I’m sorry, I can’t sympathize.” Kevin is calm, each of his words hitting Kitty like little arrows. She shakes her head.
“I don’t resent you. I’m proud of you.” She says softly and Kevin nearly falls of his chair from the shock. “I never held the fact that you were gay against you. I admired your strength. And the way you went on with your life, in spite of everything daddy had said to you. You showed a resilience that I often thought of when I was feeling bad.
I’m sorry, if you and the others feel that I don’t care about them or you. Because I do... I just feel so... obsolete. You always bond together. I’m always on the outside looking in. If something happens, the first person you would run to is Sarah or Tommy, never me. You wouldn’t even think of me as a person to turn to.
If push would come to shove, you’d rather solve a problem on your own or with the help from an outsider, then ever turn to me. ... And you’re right. I didn’t go to the hospital. I’m not needed. I can’t do anything. I don’t know what to say. I feel lost.” She swallows hard.
“Sis, sometimes it’s just to know that you’re here. With us. For Tommy. For Julia.”
“And what if I do it wrong? What if I only make things worse? I’m so clumsy with the things I say or do sometimes.” She nearly cries.
“We know.” Kevin nods and she cannot help but laugh nervously. Kevin looks at her with more than the usual attention. He tries to figure out if she’s sincere, or just looking for a shoulder to cry on.
“I’ve always been so jealous... of all of you. You guys always formed a little clique in our family and I just never got asked in...” Kitty smiles thankful at the box of tissues that Kevin slides over to her.
“Well, it didn’t help that you were dad’s little princess.” He shrugs.
“Daddy’s little....? What makes you say that?”
“Daddy always favoured you over us.”
“I was the only one who paid attention to him.”
“You were the only one he paid attention to.” Kevin corrects her.
“Nobody else did. Aside from mom.”
“So what? If you can’t join them, have them beaten up?”
“Dad never beat any of you.”
“No thanks to you. You got us into trouble at every chance you got.”
“I know.” Kitty admits, surprisingly honest. “I hated you all because you were so different from me.... And at the same time I wanted to belong with you and you didn’t let me. I wanted to love you, like Sarah did, but you wouldn’t let me.”
“Kit, showing your love, by telling on us to dad, is not the way to get our love.”
“I noticed.” She answers wryly. “Kev, I know you won’t believe me, but I didn’t leave Jonathan on a whim. I just panicked no matter how hard I tried to stay calm. I kept feeling that I had left so many unsolved topics here, that it felt wrong to marry him. I wasn’t going for a life with him, I was running away from my life here...
How can I offer him a family, if I have no clue how to deal with my own family? I walked away from your homosexuality, from Sarah and her kids, from Justin’s addiction, because I could. You guys were there for each other. And you, Sarah or Justin... You wouldn’t even miss me.”
At that moment, there’s a noise at the door and Kevin’s heart skips a beat and, sure enough, Scotty comes in, a large smile on his face.
“Hey, I got off work early... I brought home some soft-shelled crabs, ... they’re not lobsters, but...” And then the words get stuck in his throat as he sees Kitty sitting at their table.
END OF PART 48
SNEAK-PEEK FOR PART 49
“What’s wrong?” Emily asks.
“That’s her.... The Blonde One. She just walked in.”