About: Nora, William, Holly, Emily, Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, Scotty, Justin, Jordan, Jason, Chad.
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, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51 and part 52
HALFWAY APRIL 2008
At 8 o’clock that morning Nora opens the curtains to be greeted by the most beautiful blue skies she has ever seen. The garden looks even more colorful than usual with the flowers just coming out. The pool is clean and the water sparkles. Nora feels like she’s never been more ready for a party than this one.
Last night, right after William left, she called had Scotty who came over immediately and had helped her with the first preparations. He would be back later today and they would work together to finish the plates of food. The wine is stored. Justin picked all the music. She’s ready to get started.
When the alarm goes off at eight-thirty to wake up Julia, Tommy is already up. He woke up, before the alarm, which is unusual for him. Though he’s used to being up early, his body seems to know when it’s Saturday and it can therefore go into ‘switch off’-mode. But Tommy has a good reason to be wide awake.
This morning, when he had opened his eyes, he had known, just simply known, that it was time for changes. Last night, just before falling asleep Tommy had made a decision, that he found he still agreed with when he woke up. He and Julia had talked about the pros and cons for days now. So when Julia comes downstairs she is not surprised to find Tommy, writing his letter of resignation.
Kevin turns around in Scotty’s arms and kisses him.
“Wake up, sweetie. You set the alarm.”
“I know.” Scotty says groggily.
“How late do you have to be at mom’s?”
“Around two o’clock ….”
“Why set the alarm at 9 o’clock then? Have you got something else to do this morning?” Kevin now asks. Scotty thinks it over for a second and then he starts to grin.
“Yes, I have to do this.” He replies, pushing Kevin over to cover Kevin’s body with his own.
“Jordan! Wake up! We have to get ready for the party.” Justin bangs on Jordan’s door. Jordan, who was just dreaming of this really delicious guy bending over to kiss him, wakes up, pretty annoyed with Justin.
“Justin, it’s nine-thirty, I’m still dead.” Jordan hollers back.
He tries to keep his eyes closed and hopes he can pick up his dream, where he left it, but he should have known better. With Justin around there’s very little chance of that.
“Jordan! … Breakfast is ready!” He hears Tyler call out and so, with deep regret, Jordan says goodbye to his dream and the gorgeous stud.
Sarah looks at her kids. They are both so excited about this afternoon, but she can still sense that they miss their dad. Joe called them yesterday and, sure enough, Cooper told him that mom would bring a friend to the party… The silences in the subsequent talk between Sarah and Joe had been very telling.
Joe knows. Sarah knows he knows. They both know what is going on, but neither of them takes the first step. They both pretend that everything is alright. Sarah is getting nervous about this afternoon. To introduce Noah to the kids, even as just a ‘friend’, makes the end to her marriage with Joe so… final.
She looks at her watch. Ten-thirty. Still a few hours to go until the party starts. Luckily she promised Nora to be at the house at two and help Nora and Scotty with the food and she doesn’t know what makes her happier. The prospect of helping Nora to have a party or knowing that Kevin, Kitty and Justin will take those two attention-consuming children of her hands for a few hours.
Jason looks at the flickering lights of the candles before him, his hands still entwined for prayer, but he is not praying. Not really. He’s worried. The party starts at three. That is four hours from now and he’s looking for a way out… But out of what? Is it just the party he wants to get away from?
Or is it the fact that he has to accept that he’s gay? Something his family will not appreciate. He has lied for so long. Kept his secret hidden for so many years. But lately it’s getting harder and harder. He feels ‘temptation’ is all around him and no amount of prayer is helping.
Of course, being a minister helps. No one expects you get a girl-friend, get married, have children. But his own urges are growing. He longs to be with someone, to a point where God is no longer sufficient. He longs to be touched. To be loved. To feel what it’s like to be intimate with a partner….
He had hoped that getting exposed to the ‘unnatural’ ways gay men live and love would bring back that horrified feeling, of sexual relationships between men, that he was brought up with. And the first time he had been at Cinnamon Jack, he had been shocked to see men dance together, kiss each other in public and just be together.
But unfortunately for Jason, rather than re-ignite that feeling of ‘sinful behavior’, what he had hoped for, he discovered his longing to participate, to explore and to undergo became even stronger. The casual way Jordan took him up in their little group was amazing. It was friendly and with open arms… Unconditional. No questions asked.
And now Jason is scared to lose that. That friendship, that connection. If they find out he’s a Catholic minister he’ll most certainly be out of the group. They won’t accept him. And God knows how they will react when they find out that he is the closeted brother of Robert McCallister, a Republican Senator, who is very outspoken against gay-marriage.
He is scared that they will find out, yet he wants an end to the secrecy. So far, he always wanted out of the closet, but could only think of reasons to stay in. Now, he wants to be honest about who he is, and because of all the secrecy he runs the risk of losing these newly acquired friendships that have come to mean so much to him. All he can do is pray for strength and for his worst fears to not come true.
Holly is so excited when she sees Emily drive up to the house. She feels like a child about to do something it’s not supposed to. It had been hard to turn down William, but after today she’ll know more about him. About Nora. About William’s children. Maybe if she tells him about this tomorrow, he’ll see that she really cares about him.
Oh, it will not be the same as with David. Love like that only comes once in a life-time, she’s sure. But that doesn’t mean she cannot still enjoy, with William, what is left of her life. She watches Emily park her car and she quickly goes to the front-door.
“Stay in the car. I’m ready.” She yells at Emily and Emily nods, that she understood.
Emily feels the knots in her stomach. Over the last week her interactions with Holly have been very frequent and she likes Holly more and more. She doesn’t want Holly to get hurt… But she’s also tired of hearing about William and knowing the incredible pain Nora is going through.
Emily knows that, for Nora, this party means a moment of fun and joy, before the inevitable. After long consideration, Nora has decided that next Monday she’ll confide in Kevin and ask him for a divorce-attorney. This is the last weekend of fun for the Walkers. From next week on it’s going to be chaos.
She looks at Holly, so excited and cheerful, and dreads what is to happen even more. It’s nearly noon. Holly and she will have something to eat along the way… She knows how deeply hurt Holly is going to be. All she can do is give Holly a good time before all hell breaks loose.
Chad wakes up, head hurting like he got hit by a frying pan. Not that he really knows what that would feel like, but he can imagine that feeling, and it probably feels exactly like he is feeling now. Hurting. Sinking down on the stool in his kitchen he listlessly picks up his sandwich, but the thought of food makes him feel sick.
Obviously the empty bottle on the floor is the reason for his headache. Steven’s leaving is the reason for his heartache. And he wonders if all the other aches in his body are a good reason to not go the party this afternoon. He loves Kevin and Scotty very much, but he doesn´t feel in a party-spirit.
Last night he had looked back at his life. Big house, enough money, plenty of work and yet it all seemed so empty. He had laughed when Kevin told him he wanted to get married. Now, he envies Kevin and Scotty for what they have. He wants a ‘forever’-love too.
But in all honesty, where will he get that? With his life? With his career-choices? Who would take his desire for a steady life serious? Not even Kevin would… He looks up. Nearly twelve-thirty. Damn, he has to hurry up, if he wants to look even remotely presentable at the party. Shower first then….. He cannot disappoint Kevin. Ever.
William turns around to look at the clock. One o’clock. Time to prepare some lunch. Eggs. He wants something with eggs. Once they are sizzling in the frying-pan William takes some time to look at himself in the mirror. He called his doctor yesterday, because lately he feels so incredibly tired.
He knows, he knows. Too much work, not enough rest. He eats unhealthy at the office and is not so much into sports anymore. And yet, this feeling that there’s something wrong with him, nags at him. He sighs, as he throws his eggs on a plate. He wishes Holly was here.
But no, Holly refused to spend this Saturday with him. She had other plans, she said. William is more and more determined to put an end to this relationship. Holly is becoming too demanding and he misses Nora more than he can say. Speaking of Nora, he wonders what could have possessed her to throw a party for Kevin and a few of his friends. His gay friends….
Nora practically told him to get lost, while she invited total strangers to their home, so Kevin could celebrate…. William puts his toast down. Contrary to popular belief, he loves Kevin very much… He just cannot understand why Kevin has to be different from all his other children. Why can Kevin not simply be straight, just like the others?
In fact, when William looks at his children he feels disappointed. None of them have really succeeded in life as well as he did. Tommy failed to give him a grandchild, a real Walker. He has heard the rumors about Sarah and some guy. Kitty ruined her chance on a good man and Justin… Well, let’s face it. Justin will always remain an addict.
William starts to see that Nora is wrong. He should be at this party. To put his children back on the right track. Things are going to have to change. And this is the weekend where changes will start. And in order to make it start he needs to be home…. So, 15 minutes later William is on his way back home.
Nora looks around her. Everything is perfect. The plates with food are ready. Oh, it is a blessing to have Scotty in the kitchen. He had watched the disorganized mess in her kitchen for about two minutes before starting to weigh in… It took nearly half an hour for Nora to realize that he ran her kitchen and she actually obeyed.
“Don’t!” She taps Kitty on the fingers.
“Mom, I’m hungry and this looks delicious.” Kitty pouts.
“Wait until it’s served at the party.”
“That is at least another hour.” Kitty reminds her.
“No, honey, I expect the first guests at around three-fifteen, so that makes it half an hour.” Nora corrects. “Now, make sure that you help Kevin and Sarah with the garden. I want enough chairs and tables there, so people can sit, when they are tired.” Still protesting Kitty leaves for the garden and Nora smiles. She looks around again. Everything is ready for the party.... Nora can't wait.
END OF PART 53
SNEAK-PEEK FOR PART 54
But when she steps back in the shadows of her favourite rose-bushes her lips tremble.