About: Nora, Kevin, Chad, Jason, Sarah, Joe, Kitty
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, part 52, part 53, part 54, part 55, part 56, part 57, part 58, part 59, part 60, part 61, part 62, part 63, part 64, part 65, part 66, part 67, part 68 and part 69
HALFWAY APRIL 2008 – WEDNESDAY - THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL.
Nora is glad that they can finally go outside to the place where William will put to rest. She had not expected that so many people would show up. She’s happy that her family shows a united front. Especially because so many people had been witness to the huge fight that had erupted last Saturday.
But she can hold her head up high, as she slowly walks, with Kevin beside her. She’s aware that Tommy and Julia are right behind her and that Justin, Kitty and Sarah are close as well. Scotty is hardly two paces behind his husband and Joe carries Cooper on one arm, while Paige holds his other hand.
Tears fill her eyes, not so much because of William, but because she’s so proud of them all, for showing up and for the love that she can feel between them. And while she takes her slow steps following William’s coffin, she realizes that everything William has done has united her family.
A year ago, Kevin was unhappy, unattached, unmarried. Kitty lived in New York doing God-knows-what. Tommy and Julia were both focusing too hard on having children, living in world of their own. Sarah and Joe’s marriage was going nowhere and Justin was in an equally hopeless relationship.
They all lived in their own little worlds, their lives only brushing against each other at family dinners, where the latest gossip was spread and no one really told what was going on, what their real feelings were and how bad their lives were. All that has changed. By two opposites. William had made them all angry in one way or another.
The one who had drawn them back together was Kevin…. And Scotty. They had all been on Kevin’s side. Every one of them had been appalled by what William had done to Scotty and amused by how Kevin and Scotty had dealt with it. And earlier today, she had noticed how incomplete they had all felt, until Kevin had joined them.
Her grip on his arm tenses and Kevin gives her an encouraging smile.
“Hang in there, mom, it’s almost over.” He says softly.
“I know… It all feels so unreal.”
“I agree. It’s like the funeral of a stranger. I no longer knew who that man was.”
Weird. That is what she had been thinking as well. What had happened to the William she married? The man who had stood there at the altar with tears in his eyes, saying that this was the most beautiful day of his life, because this was the day she became his wife.
The man who had been willing to give up his dream of his own company when she got pregnant, because he wanted to be a responsible father and the health and safety of their child came first. The man who had cried like a baby when Kitty was born too soon and they came close to losing her that first night.
The man who had danced around with her in their first empty warehouse they could afford. He had picked her up and held her tight. Promised her to be the best husband ever. And, oh, how he loved her…. They had made love there on the cold concrete floor of the warehouse… Tommy was conceived right there and then on that floor.
The man who had called her his ‘good-luck-charm’ because a year later, their ware-house was so full that they needed to expand… they passionate made love that day. On his desk, she now remembers. She grins as she’s realizes that that must have been where Kevin had been conceived…
Somewhere between Kevin and Justin something changed. William worked harder and harder. Though he spent time with Sarah, Kitty and Tommy, he didn’t pay much attention to Kevin. Kevin was often sick. Really, there couldn’t be a flu-bug or a bacteria in LA or it would be on Kevin, like a magnet.
William always considered Kevin a ‘mommy’s boy’ and Kevin never got rid of the label, no matter how good he was in hiking, canoeing or running, or how good his grades were in school or that he hadn’t had a sick-day in several years. Of course, Kevin’s coming out hadn’t helped. She sighs. Wondering where it went wrong.
They stop at the gravesite and the coffin gets placed.
“Is there someone who still wants to say something?” She asks, looking at her children, who exchange glances, but it seems none of them have something to add and then she hears Kevin clear his throat.
“I do.” He says and everyone’s eyes are on him, but he only looks at Scotty, as if he tries to find his strength in those blue eyes, that are fixed on him. “Many of you where there, at our party, last Saturday, when some … harsh words… fell between my father and me… I’m not going to apologize… Not to him… Not to anybody.
I’m gay… I got married to a wonderful man… I haven’t had a single moment of regret that I made this decision…. This was hard for my father… He was unable to understand me … He just didn’t get it…. I should have been honest to him… but I preferred to not start the inevitable fight, that I knew would follow if he would find out.
I just wanted to be happy…. With the man I love…. This meant that I kept secrets and I asked my family to keep a secret… Although eventually everyone knew. Everyone except my father. I can understand how he must have felt betrayed.. not just by me, but also by his family… This, by no means, justifies everything he did.
But, dad, I’m taking my own responsibility in this argument. I have made my own mistakes and for those… I’m sorry. .. And I don’t know if you ever planned to ask me for it, but … I forgive you… I let you go… I wish you peace, wherever you are.” He bows his head and then whispers, so no one else can hear it: “And that you give me peace as well.”
“Chad! Not here. Someone can see us.” Jason replies shyly, but Chad yanks him behind a large plant to steal a quick kiss and Jason cannot help but immediately be on fire. These last few days have been a rollercoaster-ride, where he tries to see Chad as much as possible. In secrecy of course.
“I need it now. I won’t see you today and tomorrow, because you have to work tonight and me tomorrow.” Chad whines and Jason cannot help but smile. He feels so special, every time Chad lets him know, how much he desires Jason. So he lets Chad kiss him again and again, not knowing that Kitty can see them very well from where she stands.
“Thank you that you wanted to talk to me here.” Joe says.
“Mom was more than happy to take Paige and Cooper with her… At least, she won’t feel so alone.”
“She’s great.” Joe acknowledges, he has depended on her more often than Sarah knows.
“You look great.” Sarah starts. “Are you happy with how things are going?”
“I have to be San Francisco on Saturday-night. New gig. It’s good. It’s … revitalizing. I’ve written several songs. I’ve spoken with some of the guys of my previous band. We plan to get back together, after the last performance with this band.”
“Oh, when will that be?”
“A month from now…. My current band will have to search for another guitarist… I love it, but they’re a bit too young for me. I’m past my getting drunk and using chemicals period, I’m afraid.”
The silence between them is crushing. Sarah trembles as she gathers all her courage.
“And will you be coming home then?” she asks.
“Do you want me to?” Joe answers her question with another question.
“I.. I think so.” Sarah replies quietly.
“Things will have to change between us, Sarah. I can see how we grew apart over the years, but I cannot go back to the silences between us, the being taken for granted, like I don’t have an identity of my own. I want to go back to writing, maybe even playing. I don’t want to wait until Cooper is 18 years old, to start living again.”
“Me neither… I felt so empty. I had so many plans when I joined Ojai, but dad just squashed me. I started to feel depleted of all my creativity….” Sarah speaks quickly as if she’s afraid Joe might walk away. “I needed someone to tell me that I was still great and Noah did just that. He made me feel needed, wanted.”
“Sarah, I never stopped thinking you are the best that ever happened to me. You started by shutting me out of your life.”
“I didn’t feel that you were interested.”
“I was. You were my link to the outside world. I lived through you. And when you took that away…”
“Joe, living through me is not very healthy.” Sarah says and Joe has to agree with her. He takes another sip of this coffee.
“I want us to be a family again. You, me, Paige and Cooper. And I’ll take your family too.” Joe smiles. “I’ve missed them, believe it or not.”
“Joe, it’s going to be a very hectic time. With dad’s death and all…”
“We’ll take it slow, honey.”
“Will you at least sleep at home tonight? With me? In our bed? I want to be in your arms.”
“There’s no place I’d rather be.” Joe replies.
Kitty dives under her bed searching frantically for the file on Robert McCallister. She had spent half the afternoon wondering who ‘Jason’ reminded her of and suddenly she had remembered the picture in the file… Ah, there it is! That’s right! She knew it! He’s Robert’s brother, Jason McCallister…
No wonder that the usually so open Chad was so secretive about kissing Jason. The McCallisters won’t be too happy to see a porn-actor added to their family. But in a way it’s also cute that Robert McCallister has a gay brother, just like her. Now, at least they have something in common.
END OF PART 70