About: Kevin/Scotty and others.
Summary: When Scotty has to deal with too many disasters at once, William offers him a solution that will change his life
“What?!” Justin looks from Kevin to Scotty to Tyler, wondering if he heard it right. “So, what it comes down to is that, for years you were drugged to your eye-balls and you believed that you were a monster, when in reality…?” He can’t even finish his sentence, unable to understand or believe what he just heard.
“So you can understand my horror at how awful Kevin was treated by Dryden?” Scotty asks needlessly.
“Then why wear your veil now?” Tyler asks, her head is spinning with the news as well and she’s simultaneously angry and sad.
“I felt it would be better for everyone. Aside from Scotty no one knew the truth… To face Justin and for him to see that I wasn’t as badly damaged as he believed, …. I was afraid to looked at like I was some liar….” Kevin’s voice is so soft and there’s so much pain in it, that it breaks Tyler’s little heart.
“Can we now see your face?” She asks, when Justin doesn’t seem to have the courage to do so.
“Are you sure?” The doubt in Kevin’s words cuts through her soul. How lonely must this man have been? She nods silently. Scotty keeps an eye on Justin, who seems to be completely overwhelmed by this news.
“Justin?” Scotty now asks and Justin looks at him. “Are you ready to see Kevin’s face?”
“Yes.” Justin looks frightened, but also determined. Kevin can see how Justin’s fingers search Tyler’s and how her fingers entwine with his. He smiles behind his veil. Such a lovely couple.
Kevin can’t help the fact that his own fingers tremble as they grip his veil and he slowly pulls if from his head. He can see how Justin had mentally prepared himself for anything but what he eventually comes to see. Nothing. Nothing as bad as he had imagined. Tyler looks at Kevin’s face in a detached way at first.
Yes, there are scars, but not as terrible as she had expected, but then it slowly starts to creep into her mind and body. This anger that anyone could and would do something so atrocious to someone else. Her horror is that of being unable to understand how any man can do this to another man.
Thankfully, Kevin can recognize the look of revulsion on her face as not being directed at him, but at Dryden, and he’s overwhelmed by how she can put herself in his place.
“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.” She eventually says, unable to give words to her anger and frustration now that she’s faced with Kevin’s awful life before he met Scotty.
Scotty tries to find out what is going on in Justin’s mind. He seems frozen. Like he’s looking at Kevin, but not seeing him. Suddenly Justin jumps up.
“I have to… I just have to…” He waves his hands about. He sounds as if he’s unable to breathe.
“Justin?” The question comes from both Tyler and Scotty, but Justin just ignores them and rushes out the room, leaving Tyler and Scotty completely flabbergasted. Kevin slowly gets up.
“I’ll go and talk to him.” He sighs and he sets out to find Justin.
“He took it bad.” Tyler says, a little disappointed.
“I don’t know. If you find out that something you’ve been told is a lie, it’s always painful. And I think he really missed Kevin, when he grew up. After all, Justin isn’t close to either Tommy or his sisters.”
“I always thought that you were the one who replaced Kevin. You took the place in his heart that Kevin used to own.” Tyler assumes, but Scotty shakes his head.
“No. Justin was crazy about Kevin. Kevin was his role-model, his protector, his older brother… He was the best of the best of the best. In Justin’s eyes anyway.…
I know that Justin loves me, but what he felt for me never managed to come close to what he felt for Kevin. He worshipped Kevin and losing Kevin was such a big loss to him. And now… it was all for nothing too…” Scotty sighs. Tyler reaches out to him and squeezes his hand to give him comfort.
Kevin finds Justin in the garden, near the rose-bushes. He paces up and down.
“Hi.” Kevin softly makes his presence known and Justin freezes. He turns to Kevin.
“It was all for nothing? All those years? Just a lie? Why?!”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you have any idea how much I’ve missed you?!” Justin’s voice rises. “All those Christmases without you? Looking at my family and just knowing that someone is not there, when he should have been? All my birthdays you missed?! I got completely wasted on my 18th birthday…. Did you even known that I was turning 18?”
“No.” Kevin answers honestly. “My life consisted of registering that my room was either dark or light. I had no concept anymore of time passing, what date it was or where I was. I was completely numb.”
“I dedicated my high-school-diploma to you. Mom cried.”
His words are matter-of-factly and they sting Kevin, because he would never have wanted to hurt his mother.
“I’m sorry…. I didn’t know if she even still cared about me. And my emotions were too dulled to care.”
“She would always leave the house on your birthday. She couldn’t bear to be in the house where you were born. She missed you so much. She cried so much. Never in front of us… That would have upset us…. But as a kid no one notices you and I’ve seen and heard her cry, when she thought I wasn’t there.
Tommy, Sarah and Kitty moved on reasonably quickly… Not so strange. With work, school, graduations, boyfriends, girlfriends. But it was harder for mom and dad. You know that dad isn’t the kind of man who’d easily talk about his pain, but sometimes I would hear dad and Robert … Robert McCallister… talk about you. How he missed you. But in general we didn’t talk about you. It hurt too much…
But for us you were always there… amongst us, but not with us…. The chair that would remain empty. The laughter we no longer got to hear. The stupid jokes that would no longer be played on us....The person who would no longer read to me…. I never finished that book we were reading way back then…
Our cook would always make pfeffernusse for Christmas, because they were your favorite, but no one would eat them, because no one else likes them… But mom insisted that they’d be on the table… Just in case, I presume…” He shakes his head. “And all that for nothing. There never was a reason for this… You could have been with us.
Why? Why did Dryden do this? I don’t understand. He was Tommy’s best friend, like Scotty is mine. He was a part of our family. Dad has always treated him good. He paid him well to look after you. He trusted Dryden, like he trusted Scotty. And why did Tommy never say anything either?”
“I haven’t seen Tommy, or spoken to him, in … many years.” Kevin shrugs.
“But Tommy would always come here. He was the only one. Because of you. And Dryden. Just like I originally came here to see Scotty.”
“I suppose, he didn’t get past Dryden either…”
“Tommy felt so terrible after your accident. I know that he felt like it was his fault. He should have been in that building to get the papers. He should not have forgotten in them in the first place. It should have been him. I heard him say it so many times. It should have been him, not you.
He went through a deep, dark period in his life. He missed you too, I suppose. I know he felt guilt when dad eventually started to show him how to take over Ojai Foods, because that you were no longer there. He felt that running the family-company should have been your job.”
“It wouldn’t have been my job. I already told dad that I had no interest in taking over the family-company and that I felt that Tommy would be far more dedicated to that job than I could ever have been… Jason and I had planned to move here, to Wales, after our marriage.
Jason wanted some space between himself and his family. He felt suffocated by them. And we both loved it here. The peaceful surroundings, the beauty of the land, the kindness of the people. It had stolen our hearts…” Kevin says. “So many plans, dreams and wishes… Gone forever…”
“You would have left us?” Justin asks. He’s stunned.
“I was eighteen, Justin. I was getting married to the man of my dreams. I was a grown-up who wanted his own life, his own family.” Kevin answers as gently as he can. “But you and the family would always have been welcome here.”
“I remember that we would come here very often. I loved it here too.” Justin sighs.
“Yes, you did.” Kevin smiles. Justin sits down on a small bench and Kevin sits down next to him. “And Scotty loves this place too. As much as I do. I think it’s only logical that we stay here…”
“So, you will continue to not be a part of our lives?” Justin’s question is sharper than he planned. Kevin smiles.
“Contrary to what I believed a few months ago, I can be a part of your life now. And I would love to be there, when you and Tyler get married?” He grins. Justin blushes.
“Will you be my best man?”
“Don’t you think you first have to ask Tyler if she even wants to marry you?” Kevin smiles.
“Would you?” Justin asks again, not letting Kevin change the subject.
“I’ll be there. And I’ll be your best man, if you want me to be. From now on, I want to be a part of your life. And actually be there for you. I want to see you get married to that pretty girl you have in that house. I want to become an uncle. I want to see built your life with Tyler.”
Justin hugs Kevin tightly. He’s happy that Kevin is so willing to become a part of his life, but Kevin’s words also bring him sadness, because, as happy as he is that Kevin wants to be an uncle to Justin’s child, Kevin doesn’t even seem to know that he’s already an uncle to Paige, Cooper and Elizabeth. An uncle they never got to know either.
END OF CHAPTER FOURTEEN