“……….” Scotty feels the sweat in the palm of his hand. This familiar nauseating fluttering in his stomach. He wants to hang up, but he know he HAS to do this.
“Hello?” The voice is slightly more irritated.
“Mark? Hi. It is Scotty…. Scotty Wandell?” Scotty finds his voice again.
“Scotty?... Wow. It has been a while since we talked to each other.” Mark seems genuinely surprised. And why wouldn’t he be after 7 years?
“Yes…. I left in a bit of a hurry.” Talk about an understatement.
“….Yes. You did. Not that I blame you. I was awful to you. I really treated you badly. I’m sorry.” Mark’s voice is kind, caring, concerned, just as he remembers.
“It’s alright. I didn’t call to…. I don’t really know why I’m calling you.” Scotty tells himself not to waver too much. With someone like Mark you can’t afford to lose grip.
“It is good to hear your voice…. How are you?” Marks asks.
“Good, thanks. And you?” Scotty doesn’t really care, but he wants to be polite.
“Not so good. Lost my job and it’s hard to find another..” Slowly a smile starts to play around Scotty’s lips, he remembers how important Mark’s job was to him. He knows he’s cruel about this, because he shouldn’t feel so happy about it, but he does.
“Sorry to hear that. Are you in a relationship?” he asks, somehow a bit amused and more secure of himself.
“No, not anymore. We broke up two weeks ago….. And you? Work? Love?” Ah, so there is the question. Scotty leans back in Kevin’s easy chair, puts his feet on the desk and replies casually:
“Oh,…I’m a sous-chef in a 5 star restaurant here in Los Angeles. I got married two weeks ago. He’s a lawyer. A little older than me, but we are good together.”
For a moment it is quiet, as Scotty lets the words sink in with Mark, then he hears Mark reply, with obvious trouble:
“Wow. You really made it. Good for you. I didn’t know you were doing so well.”
“Bet you didn’t expect it.” The smile on Scotty’s face is even bigger. The nausea is gone.
“No. No, I didn’t….” Well, at least he’s honest. “Scotty, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you. I guess I never realized how lucky I was. After you left, things were never the same.” Scotty knows this is supposed to soften him, but it doesn’t. How come he never heard before how this man could whine?
“Sorry, to hear that….” Yes! Almost sincere. “ You know, I said, I didn’t know why I called you, but I do… I talked about you with my husband this weekend and realized that I still had a lot of anger in me, but thanks to him, that is now gone…. I wanted to let you know that I have forgiven you. That I will let go of you and what you did to me. I am very happy now and I wish you happiness too.” So there! Get it off your chest, Scotty!
“…. Wow…. Scotty… Thanks… I mean, it is good to know you feel that way. You were always such a good and gentle boy and….” Mark stammers, his voice overly friendly. A good boy? The nausea comes back, but this time not because Scotty has these conflicting feelings pending between fear and admiration, but because Mark disgusts him. Who the hell does he think he is anyway? Scotty shakes his head, takes a deep breath and with a smile he says:
“You know, Mark, we have nothing left to say to each other…. Goodbye, Mark.”
“Goodb…..” Is all Scotty hears, the connection is broken.
For almost a minute Scotty just stares at the telephone, but then he realizes: He talked to Mark and now Mark will be out of his system. History. The Past. No longer important. And now there is only one thing left to do. Only one voice he wants to hear. He dials. The phone gets picked up.
“Hi, sweetie, get up late…?” he hears Kevin’s voice, laced with tenderness and he starts to smile and he knows. Happiness is hearing that one voice of the man he loves.