About: Brothers & Sisters
Disclaimer: I don’t own Brothers & Sisters – written with love, not for money.
Summary: Ingredients: Take a couple of Walkers, add a few Wandells, a pinch of Holden and a Caplan formerly known as Harper, a dash of Altamirano and Whitley, a teaspoon of Byrolt, Paresa and Salazar and (for added flavor only) a Barry&McCallister. Mix and shake…and… watch it explode.
Warning: It is my very own season 7, you guys! Go with it! ;) Don’t complain! If YOU can do better, post your own story! (I dare you!)
***** Part 2/4 *****
“Can I come in?” Kevin asks. Mateo turns over. He’s on his bed, but not underneath the covers. “How are you?”
“Okay, I guess.” Kevin looks at Mateo’s swollen face and he shakes his head.
“You’ve been crying…”
Mateo looks away again and Kevin sits down on the bed.
“Oh, that’s right! I forgot. Boys don’t cry. I swear, I’ve hated it whenever my dad said those words to me…. Because sometimes things happen that hurt and you have every right to have a good cry. Even if just in the privacy of your own room.”
Mateo heaves a sigh and wraps his arms around his knees.
“Paige broke up with me.”
“Last night. At the opening. I didn’t want to spoil the party… So, I …. I left…”
“W… why would she break up with you?”
“While we were in Hawaii.. she helped at Ojai… at Sarah’s request…. There’s was a boy from school, who helped Ryan with the installation of the computers… and … She and Bradley hit it off. He’s a bit older and…. She’s really in love with him…. or so she says.”
“I see…” Kevin nods. “And that hurts?”
“And that’s the reason why you didn’t want to go school today?” Mateo nods quietly. “I see….”
Kevin places his hands in his lap.
“I guess, that I could tell you that there are more fish in the sea and that … what you and Paige had maybe wasn’t the real thing after all…. Just puppy-love… and that … a year from now, you’ll just laugh it away… but that won’t make you feel better, will it?”
Mateo shakes his head.
“No. Of course not. I know, because I remember when…” Kevin suddenly stops talking, as he seems to change his mind and he makes throwaway motion with his hand. “… It’s not important..”
He gets up, but Mateo, curious, takes him by the arm.
“What about your first break up?”
“Boy or girl?” Kevin asks back.
“You dated a girl?” Mateo seems genuinely surprised. “I… don’t know… I’m sorry… I…” Worried that he might have offended Kevin, he’s glad when he sees a smile over Kevin’s face.
“Yeah. I did. Her name was Sarah Gimble. We met each other in Ojai, where we would spend our summer holidays. All the guys wanted to date her, but … she chose me…”
“But … didn’t you know that you were interested in boys?” Mateo asks. He’s fascinated that Kevin would tell him something like this.
“Yes. No… I don’t know. I wasn’t … I wasn’t out… I thought about it.. but … I wanted to be … normal, like all the other boys….
And being gay… well, that was wrong… Just like boys don’t cry, boys also always date girls…. So, I tried. I really did… And I liked her. She was a nice girl. Smart too. She could make me laugh… and I could do the same with her…. It didn’t feel weird. We were good friends… but she broke me up with me nonetheless…”
“She met someone else… Who wasn’t gay… as she suspected I was…”
“She was on to you?”
“Yeah, she wasn’t bad about it… It was okay to her, that I was gay, but she…” Kevin pauses to think through what he will say next:
“… she didn’t want to live a lie and pretend that I wasn’t gay. And that was her right, of course. Just because I was still in the closet, didn’t mean that I had the right to stop her from having the life that she could have… with a straight guy.”
“Were you really heartbroken over her?”
“Well. Heartbroken….” Kevin tries to dismiss, thinking about how truly heart-broken he had felt when he nearly lost Scotty, but then he changes his mind. “Yes…. That Kevin from way back then was seriously hurt by it.
I mean, it wasn’t just a girlfriend I lost or the status that I was finally ‘normal’, like the other boys were, but above all, I lost a friend, someone I cared for, even if I wasn’t in love with her…. We had known each other for a long time and … it just wasn’t the same, afterwards, whenever we met. Something had changed… And … It hurt. Like hell.”
Mateo leans back against the wall, thinking about what Kevin just told him.
“But now you’re happy… With Scotty….”
“I didn’t want to make that the moral of the story… Of course, I know, in the grand scheme of what your life will be, this may just a little bump. But the fact that that is known to me, won’t make you feel better. So, take from it what you like…”
“What did your family do, when they found you two had broken up? I can’t imagine that Nora wouldn’t try to comfort you?”
“They tried. My mom told me that it was just a puppy-love and I’d get over it. Dad told me that there were more fish in the sea and that men don’t cry. S
arah said that a year from then I’d laugh about it and Kitty needed to let me know that the girl wasn’t worth my tears and Tommy told me that we would go out and ‘score some other girl’ for me. But, you know, in the end … it still hurt like hell. And their well-meant advice didn’t help me at all. I just wanted to sit in my room and sulk.”
“I know the feeling.” Mateo nods, drawn back to his own pain. Kevin gets up and turns back to Mateo.
“I have to go to the office. I just came to check on you. Cry your tears today if you must, but … tomorrow it’s back to school for you…” He warns. Mateo nods. “Oh, and something else, I don’t know if this helps with straight guys as well, but I’ve never seen a problem that couldn’t be softened, or maybe even fixed, by an unhealthy dose of chocolate.
There’s chocolate-ice-cream in the freezer…. But steer clear of the strawberry ice-cream, unless you want Scotty to break up with you too.” Kevin winks.
“Thank you.” Mateo grins. “I feel better already…”
“So, what are you going to do today?”
“Google Sarah Gimble?” Mateo teases slightly and he can’t fully understand why Kevin laughs.
“Well, it beats googleing Tucker Booth, I suppose.”
“Who?” Mateo asks and Kevin’s grin becomes even bigger.
“Never mind. I’ll explain it to your when you’re an adult.” Kevin teases.
“Oh, so it’s about sex.” Mateo deduces.
“Take it easy today.” Kevin nods without further explanation. He leaves Mateo’s room and immediately searches Sarah’s number on his phone, but then he decides to wait until he has calmed down.
“I don’t know about you, but I could do with a nice glass of water … or something else…”
“You’ll have to get it yourself and make mine whiskey.” Nora answers her brother in a cynical tone of voice. She and Saul look around. With half the boxes unpacked, the yield so far was a lot of old clothes, definitely from the 50s.
Some of them had become so soft and old that the material crumbled between Nora’s hands.
“No mummies so far…” Saul says while he picks up a very old jacket. “but close enough... Were those his clothes?”
“I don’t know. I can’t remember him ever wearing this.” She holds up a grey pullover, looking at it as if it’s dead animal. “He must have worn these before we knew each other and he must have improved his looks when we married as well.” Nora remembers how he always wanted to look impeccable….
“I don’t get it. Why keep this for so long?”
“In case he wanted to run away again?” Nora wonders.
“These are his contingency plan?” Saul holds up a pair of moth-infested pants. “Alright, maybe at the end of the 60’s, early 70s he could still have gotten away with it…
But, you know, the 80s came… Why not throw it all away? Did he simply forget about it or something? Was he waiting for this to become fashionable again?”
“No. He was adamant that it shouldn’t be thrown away…” Nora shakes her head.
“I suggest we get some coffee and then come back here to check the other boxes…”
“Good idea.” Nora agrees, but while she waits for Saul to carefully go down the stairs, she wonders again what William was thinking about keeping all this worthless stuff. She stares at the empty boxes and then the full ones and she wonders what else she will find.
Lena straightens her shirt and coat and her fingers wrap tightly around the small binder that holds her diplomas and references.
“Well, girl, this is it.” She tells herself and she rings at the door of Carter & Walker and she climbs up the small stairs to the first floor, once the door has been opened.
“Hi. I’m Browne Carter. My partner will be here any minute. He got held up at home…. Coffee? Tea? Something else?”
“Just a glass of water, please.” Lena’s voice is a near whisper, so can’t believe how nervous she is.
“Do you know anything about us?”
“The agency didn’t give me much information.” Lena answers, gratefully accepting the glass of water. “And my laptop gave up on me a few days ago, so … I’m sorry…” She shakes her head. Browne is about to tell her more, when the door opens and Kevin enters. Lena gasps and she barely manages to hold on to her glass.
“Hello, Lena.” Kevin says, not too unfriendly.
“Kevin.” She acknowledges him with a little voice.
“Please, sit down.” Browne Carter points at a chair, but she shakes her head.
“No thanks. This was a mistake. I’m leaving.” She turns around, but finds Kevin opposite of her.
“Lena, I’m not the enemy.”
“I don’t think that there’s any point to this, is there?” Her question is straightforward, so Kevin answers it with equal honesty.
“I’ve spoken to Tommy and Justin, before I had you invited here. They can’t see any reason to oppose. Lena, I think I need to explain something to you. Browne and I started this company with the idea of a new beginning after a difficult period in our lives. Scotty and I have had some dark times and Browne just saw the end of his divorce and his career. We want a fresh start. And I wouldn’t mind to give you one as well.”
“I’m not the same girl I was way back then.” Lena says.
“I’m not the same man I was way back then either. I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I’ve … matured… You were always a smart girl, you showed initiative and you were interested in your work. At least, that’s the way I remembered you.”
Lena is a bit surprised. She had been all of that. She had been fascinated with the work in the winery and with the company in general.
“I’ve changed.” She has to admit. “I was married… I’m a widow. My husband died in Afghanistan. He was stationed there….”
“Sorry to hear that. Children?” Browne asks, Lena shakes her head.
“No. We wanted to wait until he got back. He said it would be a reason for him to come home…” Her voice dies on her and Kevin can’t help but feel sympathy for her.
“When did this happen? I wonder if you’re ready to take a job just now?”
“I am. At home I feel like the walls are closing in on me. My husband left me well-provided for. I’m not as desperate as some of the other women I’ve met… But… the house is empty without him, now that I know he’s never coming back.” Kevin nods slowly while he lets her words sink in. She’s definitely older, wiser and more mature.
“We have selected four applicants. You do stand a good chance. I don’t want to give you false hope, but if I would have felt, upon seeing you again, that this wouldn’t have worked I would have told you straightaway. As it looks now, you’re definitely someone the others will have to compete with.” Kevin explains and a hopeful smile come to Lena’s face.
“What will be the chances that I would run into either Tommy or Justin?” Lena now asks. From the look between the two men she understands that Browne is aware of what has happened between her and the two Walker-brothers. She’s not entirely sure if she’s angry or happy with that.
A side of her fears being judged, but on the other hand, she realizes that her past is known, yet they still want to give her a chance. New beginnings. She would like that.
“I don’t think that Tommy and/or Justin will be here often.” Browne says in a gentle manner. He can see why Kevin would like this girl.
“Tommy is working on his marriage with Julia. And Justin has an amazing girl-friend in Tyler Altamirano. She’s managing the hotel that Scotty, my husband, has inherited. They prefer to go to Café 429, the restaurant on the ground floor.” Kevin explains. “It’s owned by Scotty, and it’s more likely that they will show up there. If there’s trouble at Ojai Fruit and Wine, then I will go their offices. So, theoretically, it shouldn’t be a problem”
“Good. I don’t more trouble.” She smiles. “So, I have a chance?”
“Yes. You do.” Kevin confirms.
“Hello, what is this?” Saul puts the cover of the box aside and the box reveals something that looks like a book. Nora takes a good look. “Those look like those old photo-albums... Mom used to have one as well, from grandma, remember? We weren’t allowed to look at it, let alone touch it.”
Nora takes the first book out of the box and opens it. The first page shows two half-faded wedding-pictures. Underneath the pictures, written in a very beautiful handwriting, are the names “William & Mary – 1898”. Nora stares at the pictures. There’s something familiar about the man…
“1898? You don’t think…? Could those be William’s grandparents?”
“I don’t know, Saul. Maybe….” She moves on through the book. There are birth-cards for three children. Two boys, one girl. The girl died at the age of 13, something that saddens Nora for some strange reasons.
“Look at this… This is from the eldest son, also named William. He married a woman called Justine. Wow. I wonder if William wanted to name Justin after his mother….”
“Did you never ask?” Saul asks.
“No. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had the idea that William’s parents were dead.”
“Maybe he told you this?”
“I’m not sure, I can’t remember him specifically saying something about this or telling me about the how and why… I… I’ve always just had this feeling that I wasn’t allowed to ask him about it.” Nora explains.
She seems annoyed by her own inability to explain why she had these feelings or why these were her thoughts.
“You can’t remember ever meeting them?”
“He never said anything about them?”
“No. Just that they had a farm and that he had always worked on the land and in the orchards. I’m not even entirely sure, in hindsight, if he talked about his father’s farm or someone else’s …
I just know that he had learned a lot about fruit and vegetables and how to grow them, protect them and harvest them. He knew how to get larger crops. He had a feeling for the land… His or someone else’s…. I sort of always assumed that he had inherited this from his father.”
“But that isn’t based on something specific?”
“No… I can’t remember that he ever sat me down and specifically talked about his parents or his life before he came into my life… I don’t know. If ever I would ask for something, he’d give me some vague answer.
I guess that I sort of fused little bits of information together into one story, but I’ve never known if the story was correct. He certainly never told me that I was wrong, when I answered the kids’ questions in his presence. It was almost as if…. Weird… Come think back on it, it feels more like ‘I don’t care what you tell them as long as it’s not the truth’.”
End of part 2/4
**** COMMERCIAL BREAK****