She can’t sleep, she too excited about tomorrow…. She sighs and says out loud:
“You know, William, I was glad when Sarah and Kitty and Tommy got married, but now, I’m so extremely happy it frightens me.” She slips out of bed and goes to the stairs, where she turns on the lights. She looks at all the pictures on the wall. She should rearrange them. She wants a beautiful picture of herself and her kids. Perhaps taken at Kevin’s wedding and hang it there, where William’s portrait is.
She finds it more and more difficult to feel something for that man on the picture. Not only because of his deceit, which has hurt her, but these last few days she’s also, more than often, reminded of the rigid way in which he had behaved himself when Kevin came out. She looks down the stairs to see the study where nearly 18 years ago Kevin and William had their confrontation. No one had been able to hear what words were said, but Kevin had clearly been upset. And William’s voice had been low and angry. She shivers at the memory.
And then there had been the silence. William didn’t talk to Kevin for nearly a year. At first Kevin had continued as if nothing happened, he wanted to show his father that he was above this childish behaviour. He talked to William, even though William didn’t reply, but eventually Kevin stopped. And she remembered begging Kevin:
“Don’t give up, Kev. He’s your father, if you give up now….”
“Mom, I recently talked to the bathroom wall and got a nicer reply than I had from dad in weeks.”
“I know, honey, how it must feel to you talking to someone who doesn’t reply…”
“Mom! The bathroom wall is close to the chimney and therefore spreads more warmth then daddy does.” Kevin had replied and Nora had fallen silent, not knowing what to say to make the relationship between William and Kevin better, if they both decided to get stubborn.
She descends the stairs even further and as she walks into the dining room, it is as if it was 13 years ago, that she walked in.... she can so vividly remember William sitting there ... she can see him.... with his paperwork…..
…. all around him.
“Wasn’t it nice of Kevin to introduce his boyfriend to us?”
“That boy is a loser.” William said, without looking up. “Only interested in Kevin because Kevin will one day be a rich lawyer.”
“I hope you didn’t say that to Kevin.”
“Yes, I did.” Of course, that explained why Kevin exited the house, angry and upset, about 20 minutes after he came in.
“William, your ‘let’s chase every boyfriend away from Kevin’-attitude is not going to make Kevin any less gay.”
“I’ve noticed.” William replied dryly. And when he saw the question on Nora’s face. “He was kissing that boy in the garden. Was that really necessary?”
“Yes… Apparently… Maybe you shouldn’t have been watching.”
“It happened right there under my nose.” William said pointing at the garden outside.
“I doubt that Kevin did that on purpose, he’d be mortified if he knew you saw him.” Nora replied.
“Still, it annoys me. I know that Kevin is kissing men instead of women, it doesn’t mean I want to
‘watch the show’. Frankly, I don’t wish to think of specifically how Kevin and Paul are … doing it.”
Nora could not help but grin and merciless came her reply:
“Have sex, you mean?.... Oh, don’t worry. I frankly don’t think that Kevin wants to think of the specifics when it comes to us either.”
William looked at her, at first a little angry, but then he smiled and she continued: “William, there will come a day that Kevin will find that one person, that he’s been looking for all along and I don’t want you to chase that man or our son away.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s no way in hell that that Paul will remain in Kevin’s life. He’s a loser.”
Nora sighed at first, but then calmly asked:
“And what would be the perfect for man for Kevin, do you think?”
“Someone with integrity. Someone who will not freeload, but will work for his money. Someone who will treat Kevin with the respect he deserves, but at the same time will demands it in return. Someone who has pride and will not be someone's doormat. Someone who will make sure that Kevin stays sharp. Someone smart enough to keep Kevin entertained, but also capable of picking a verbal fight with him and … occasionally win.”
At the time, Nora had merely laughed, but a week later Kevin broke up with Paul, admitting that the sex was great, but Paul annoyed him endlessly and that he was sick and tired of always having to pay for everything, when they went out. William had been right about Paul and Kevin. And strangely enough, his description of Kevin’s future love is not very far of the mark either, although she assumes he probably had some attorney or accountant in mind and not a cater-waiter who had worked himself up to sous-chef.
“Oh, William, would you have supported the relationship between Kevin and Scotty? Would Scotty have received your vote of approval? Would you have recognized Scotty’s talents?” she asks softly. There will never be an answer. She turns off the light and goes back upstairs and it doesn’t matter anyway. Kevin would go his own way with Scotty, whether William would approve of it or not. And it makes no real difference to Nora either.