The dust swirls around as they open the door, but the reason they can see it, is because there is so much sunlight entering the hallway. Scotty is speechless. An entrance. This house has a real entrance. And there are several doors. Kevin holds the floor plan to the house.
“Living area is through that door.” He says. Scotty opens the door. The room is big, empty, light and a bit stuffy. The walls have been stripped of everything, so anything is possible. The room is practical. No niches and not too many obvious pillars.
He walks to the back of the room, where the doors to the garden are. He opens them and the small porch looks lovely, as does the little garden with a cute shed in the back. It wouldn’t require much work to maintain it.
“Nice.” He compliments. Kevin smiles.
“Kitchen is over there.” Scotty follows Kevin into the kitchen. He holds his breath for a moment. It would easily rival Nora’s kitchen. Practical. All necessary appliances are there. Scotty is in awe and the grin on Kevin’s face is definitely smug. They look around a bit more. Toilet. Storage room under the stairs.
Then it is up the stairs. Two large bedrooms.
“Gee, we could chase each other in here.” Kevin grins. And Scotty wraps his arms around Kevin to steal a little kiss, while the real estate lady, Mrs Lockhart, is still in the other room. Kevin pushes Scotty away with a playful grin. And reminds Scotty with a warning look that this is not the place or the time.
The bathroom is perfect. The white tiles, the paint in warm blue colors, not to mention the bathtub. There is not much work that needs to be done here. Scotty admits, this house has potential. Through a small fold-up stair they arrive at the attic. It is quiet, dusty, but not scary. There is a large window that lets in enough light to chase the shadows away.
Back downstairs Kevin tells Mrs. Lockhart that he is impressed with the place.
“…. But we have not made up our minds yet…. “ Mrs Lockhart smiles friendly and comes with the obligatory sentence about ‘other viewers’ and of course Kevin ‘respects’ that, ‘understands’ the pressure, however….. As Kevin negotiates, Scotty looks around a bit more. But eventually Kevin promises to call back within two days and Mrs Lockhart will ‘postpone’ other visitors….
Back in the car, Scotty is quiet. Too quiet. Kevin doesn’t understand why. The place seems perfect and there is no reason for Scotty not to be enthusiastic. Kevin does most of the talking, explaining how he would like to see the place decorated. And Scotty gently agrees with him. There is nothing wrong with Kevin’s plans. He likes them. Kevin is, as usual, looking for the practical solutions. And his ideas aren’t half bad…
Once they are back at their apartment, Kevin can no longer stand Scotty’s absent-minded behavior.
“Scotty? What is wrong? Don’t you like the place?”
“Yes, it’s nice. It’s perfect.”
“Then why are you so quiet?... Am I too forceful in my opinions? If I’ve said something you don’t like….”
“… then I would have told you.” Scotty replies smiling, but the smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes.
“If you have other ideas…?”
“No, your plans are just fine.”
“But nothing. The house is perfect, your plans are good, it will look terrific….”
“Then…. What is the problem?” Kevin asks.
“You will think I’m being foolish.” Scotty looks definitely mortified.
“Come on, Scotts, if anything is bothering you, let me know what it is.” Kevin insists.
“There is nothing. You are right. The house is perfect. It has everything we were looking for and we can afford it and… It’s … It’s perfect. We should go for it.”
“No. We won’t. Not until you tell me what bugs you about the place.”
“It’s nothing. I’ll get over it.”
“If it something that you need ‘to get over’, than it IS a problem .” God, Scotty has forgotten how persistent a lawyer Kevin can be. He feels even more embarrassed, because he always insists that Kevin tells him the truth and now he, himself, is avoiding a topic.
He tries to start his sentence several times, but cannot find the words to convey to Kevin what his problem is. Kevin watches him patiently.
And eventually Scotty blurts out:
“The place doesn’t feel right….. Alright? I’m sorry. I cannot describe it any other way….. It is just a feeling…. And…. And I’m sure I’ll get over it. And I will love the place once our own stuff is in there and….” He looks at Kevin, feeling helpless. He expects Kevin to react with a logic, sensible reply and perhaps some witty sarcastic remark. But Kevin remains silent for a few moments, as if he needs to let the words sink in. He lets his fingers entwine with Scotty’s.
“Promise me you won’t laugh if I tell you a little secret?” Kevin then asks. Scotty looks at him, he’s curious. “When I went house-hunting a few years ago, I was shown this terrific place. Lots of light. Grand view. Affordable. Practical. Gorgeous. Big rooms. Small but suitable kitchen and bathroom. Really perfect, in any way, for a young man just about to start living on his own. I liked the place.
The real-estate broker, a woman I used to know in highschool, was thrilled that I wanted the place and we were ready to close the deal. She had to inspect another place. Not on the market yet. It was just across the street. Would I go with her? And I did.
She opened the door to this loft and the moment I crossed the threshold I knew … I was home. It was MY place. The original owner had left it in a sorry state, but I didn’t care. I wanted it. I knew exactly how I was going to decorate it. Everything fell into place. The moment my furniture arrived it looked as if it was supposed to be here all along. My point is, the other place was a perfect house, this loft was the perfect home.”
Scotty looks at him. His eyes filled with tenderness. Just when he thinks he cannot love Kevin more than he already does, he discovers another layer to Kevin that makes him even more dear to Scotty.
“You don’t mind than? That I feel this way? That this house, lovely as it is, is not what I’m looking for?” Scotty asks quietly. It is still strange to him to have to explain his feelings. Kevin shakes his head, his thumbs caressing Scotty’s knuckles and he looks up to him with a smile.
“No, sweetie. We will just keep on looking until we find that one place. Where we will cross the threshold and we will know: This is home. OUR home.”