By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the Author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 6 - Fireworks on the Appaloosa Spread
I had just gotten downstairs from changing into my jeans and blouse when the door bell rang. I opened the door; Trevor and Louisa Mitchell were standing there. I looked to see where everyone else was. Trevor looked at me, "Not to worry, Miss Autumn, the rest will be here shortly. We all had different excuses for going someplace. Granddad thinks I have choir rehearsal. Aunt Louisa loves to hear good music."
Mrs. Mitchell laughed, "I'm tone deaf. I would be about the last person to know what good music was. For all I know Trev sounds like Jeremiah the Bullfrog."
Derek came into the entryway, "Mom, you need to help me with the mint juleps. They don't taste right. How soon is everyone else going to be here? Dinner is almost ready."
I looked at Derek, "Derek, slow down. You are beginning to sound like your cousin Trevor. Come on, Trev, let's go check on Austin while your Aunt and her wayward son fix the drinks."
We walked into the kitchen and Spring was commiserating with Austin that dinner wasn't working out the way it was supposed to. It was going to be late.
Trevor scowled, "Mr. Austin, what's the problem?"
Nothing seems to be cooking right. Trevor went to look at what was going on. Mr. Austin, you and Miss Spring go help with the drinks and me and Miss Autumn will take care of dinner. Send Trent in when he gets here."
While I'm no slouch in the kitchen, I watched Trevor operate and he had everything cooking in high gear. When Trenton arrived, the two guys worked together instinctively and I wasn't sure what my role was.
Trevor looked at me, "Miss Autumn, please go see how many people are to be here for dinner and see if they are all here yet. Dinner will be ready shortly."
I walked into the living room, "I was sent to see how many were going to be here for dinner and if everyone had arrived."
Mrs. Mitchell announced, "Everyone is here. There will be ten of us for dinner. We'll have our meeting over dinner."
I went back to the kitchen, "Your Aunt Louisa says that there will be ten for dinner and everyone is here."
Trevor was busy frying chicken, and Trent was taking care of corn on the cob. Trent looked at me, "Miss Autumn, please check the sweet potato casserole and make sure it is bubbling. If it is, please tell the others to make their way to the table."
The casserole was bubbling and I went to do as I was told. `Hey, I'm a slave in my own house.'
I watched as Robert and Howie helped Louisa and Leonora get seated at the head of the table. Robert sat beside Louisa and Howie sat beside him. Derek and Austin sat next to Howie so that left the two teenagers, Spring and me to take care of serving the dinner which I guess was only appropriate since it was Spring's and my home.
The guys served dinner family style so no one was jumping up and down and after the food was passed, Mrs. Mitchell started, "Autumn and Spring, thank you for allowing us to meet here tonight. I'm sure that you are wondering why we are talking in front of you. There are several reasons. First, my son has fallen in love with Autumn's brother or so he claims."
"Second, I understand that you have heard both Robbie's and Leonora's versions of what caused us to arrive at this point in our lives. Thirdly, Trent and Trevor both respect you and fourthly and most importantly the entire group may need your help Autumn so everyone can accept what is happening. I just wish you could do something for Dad to help him accept the fact that the world has changed."
"Leonora and Robbie, I won't be taking him back to Tallahassee with me. The primary reason is that he won't have any friends and he will try to take over and change the friends I have. We can't have him staying with Leonora and the boys or he would trying to make Trenton and Trevor conform to his antiquated standards."
Trent looked at everyone, "So what are you suggesting we do? We sure know that he wouldn't live with Dad and Mr. Willingham. You aren't suggesting that Miss Spring and Miss Autumn have him come to live with them, are you?"
Mrs. Mitchell laughed, "Heaven forbid, I think we need to make your Grandfather realize that he needs to move into an assisted living facility. While I'm here this week I intend to take him to visit such facilities in the area so that the seed is planted. I don't want anyone to pamper him when he starts to moan. He has had his own way for far too long. It is time that he realizes that we are capable of managing our own lives."
Mrs. Mitchell looked around the table, "I've had my say. Do any of the others of you have anything to add?"
Robert Nixon the third looked at his sister, "Are you suggesting that we throw our father out?"
Louisa looked at her brother, "Robbie, I assume that Dad still has enough money to live comfortable in a good assisted living facility where he could boss people around. I for one do not choose to have him trying to boss me and Derek around."
"It scares me what he might try to do to Trenton and Trevor after the way he has acted in the past week. It's almost like he is trying to hide some skeletons that are hidden in his closet."
"Robbie, I know that you don't remember this, but I do because I am five years older than you. Dad would disappear for several days especially on the weekends. He would always come home exhausted. I don't know if everyone realizes that it was our mother who had the money and she controlled it. In the early days when Dad was sowing his oats, Mother made sure that he was totally dependent on her for money."
"I was about nine when Dad returned from one of his binges. I heard Mother yelling at him, 'Mr. Nixon, either you start acting like a husband and a father or you are going to be sleeping in the gutter. I'm not going to share you with that man any longer. He doesn't love you. He just wants the money he thinks you have and I'm guessing you allow him to have his way with your body. From now on you will sleep in the bedroom over the garage."
Trevor stood, "Aunt Louisa, are you saying that homosexuality runs in our family. First we find out that our Dad is probably gay, then Derek unloads and tells us he is in love with Austin and now you're saying that our Grandfather is at least bisexual. What does that say about Trent and me? Are we going be homosexuals or bisexuals?"
Trevor looked at me, "Miss Autumn, are there any other homosexuals or bisexuals, as Austin proclaims he is, in your family?"
Robert started to stand, "Trevor, that's none of our business. What is being discussed here has nothing to do with Autumn and Austin's family."
I felt compelled to speak, "Mr. Nixon and everyone else, you have laid a lot of information in front of Trent and Trev in the past several days. I suggest that they have every right to ask questions.
They find out that their Dad and only cousin are gay and now tonight Mrs. Mitchell tells them that their grandfather has dabbled in homosexuality. Trent and Trevor, I suggest that you talk to a counselor or school psychologist other than me. I'm too closely connected to the problem to be impartial. Let me set up an appointment with Bill Wilkinson for you. I'll call him tomorrow and see what I can arrange. He's the best. He's been with the school system for 20+ years,"
Austin and Derek stood up and Austin announced, "Sorry to eat and run, but we need to get back to Atlanta. I have a meeting in the morning. Mom Louisa, we'll be back to pick you up next weekend. Sis, we're going to bring a friend who we think you might like. He's into horses. Maybe Trevor will share you with him."
Trevor started to choke, "You're just trying to divert our attention so we won't win the jumping contest this weekend. Does this mysterious person have a name?"
Austin started to laugh, "His name is Alexander the Great but we call him Attila the Hun. He looked like King Kong and acts like Little Boy Blue."
Derek picked up, "Actually, he walks around on his toes singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and doing the can can."
Howie was laughing, "I hope he's wearing a jock strap or something when he does the can can. Guys, you're welcome to stay at my house, so people won't talk about two virile men and a fairy staying here with these two ladies."
Austin grinned, "With that comment, we're leaving. It has been an interesting weekend to say the least. Sis, maybe you can line up some normal people for us to meet next weekend."
Derek and Austin departed. Trevor and Trent were helping Spring and me with the dishes while the Nixons, Aunt Louisa and Mr. Willingham were discussing what to do about Mr. Nixon the second in the living room. We had just finished taking care of the kitchen and were going to join the others in the living room when the doorbell rang.
Spring went to answer and Mr. Nixon the second was standing there with another gentleman, "Miss Winters, I would like to speak with my son and his family. I know they're here because their vehicles are parked in front."
Spring stood aside, "Please come in, Mr. Nixon. Good evening, Dr. Butler, I'm surprised to see you here. Welcome."
Mr. Nixon the third looked up, "Dad, what are you doing, chasing us down? Do you want to yell at us some more and tell everyone how evil Howie and I are? Who are you going to accuse of being queer now? Why is Dr. Butler with you?"
"Doctor Butler, let me introduce you to the people you might not know. I don't know if you remember my sister, Louisa. She's been away from here for some time."
Doctor Butler nodded, "I remember Louisa from when she was wearing braces."
Mr. Nixon the third continued, "You know my wife, Leonora, and our two sons, Trent and Trevor."
Doctor Butler laughed, "Yep, it's a good thing that everybody's teeth aren't beautiful as Trent and Trevor's or I'd be broke."
Mr. Nixon gestured to me, "The young lady sitting beside Trevor is the co-owner of this spread, Autumn Summers. Since you obviously know her partner, Spring, you have probably already met her."
Doctor Butler shook his head no. "Actually, I've never met Miss Summers. I only know her by her reputation." That caused some heads to look at me.
Dr. Butler continued, "Yep, I heard that she and Trevor whipped everyone's butt on Saturday. I also know about the great work she does at the schools from my daughter, who is the principal at one of the schools where Autumn is the psychologist."
Mr. Nixon looked at Howie, "Dr. Butler, I'd like to introduce Mr. Howard Willingham. He just bought a spread down the road."
Dr. Butler moved toward Howie and held out his hand. "So this is the ever present Howard Willingham. I felt like I knew Mr. Willingham when he was your roommate at Duke. I heard about him showing up at Michael and George's party and catching everyone by surprise."
The two gentlemen shook hands. Dr. Butler wasn't finished, "Howie, why don't you just refer to me as Ray. I will have to say this, you sure a good looking man to have been a lawyer."
Trent and Trevor looked at each other and started to laugh. Trent looked at Dr. Butler and his Granddad, "Gentlemen, I think that it's time that Granddad stopped playing games. I get the feeling that you two are more than just poker buddies. So, have you really been playing poker every Wednesday and sometimes on Saturday as Granddad announced."
Doctor Butler nodded, "Well, we did play strip poker."
Louisa looked at her Dad, "Dad, what was so important that you had to track us down. Why do I have the funny feeling that you wanted to tell us that you would be moving in with Doctor Butler."
Doctor Butler answered before Mr. Nixon could, "Bobby and I decided that he should move in with me. We have been more than friends for too many years to have him move to Tallahassee. We wouldn't be able to get together very often if he were to move there. I talked with my son and daughter who live here, and they have no problem with us living together."
Trevor looked at his Granddad, "Granddad, why all of the histrionics? Why couldn't you have been more open with us like Doctor Butler? Doctor Butler, does that mean you want us call you Grandpa Ray?"
Leonora was laughing, "Trevor, you're pushing the envelope. You're going to get your butt grounded."
Howie spoke up "Leonora, I happen to agree with your sons that your father-in-law brought a lot of uncalled for attention on your family with his outbursts especially at George and Michael's party. I also find it unacceptable the way that he accused Autumn and Spring of several different things. I think that he should apologize to all of you and especially his three grandsons."
Louisa added, "Dad, I agree. It would have been so much better if you could have just sat down and talked to the family as Doctor Butler did. What has happened, happened and can't be undone. It is best that we just let this unpleasant situation blow over. Doctor Butler would you please answer Trevor's question? What do you want us to call you?"
Doctor Butler started to laugh, "You may call whatever you're comfortable with, but just make sure you don't let me sleep through dinner. The reason Bobby and I were looking for you is to tell you that we are going to be leaving in the morning for a trip to Los Angeles to visit my youngest son and his partner."
Mr. Nixon the third started to laugh, "So are you saying that macho David is gay?"
Doctor Butler nodded, "He told us he was gay when he was about Trevor's age. He was able to control his hormones until he received that football scholarship to play at Sothern Cal. When he got to college he made up for it. He had a different partner every time we would see him until he met Connor. David and Connor have adopted two little boys so they haven't been back to Georgia much. Both David and Connor are pediatricians and have practices just outside Los Angeles."
Louisa looked a little puzzled, "Doctor Butler, I vaguely remember your wife. Did she know what was happening between you and Dad as our Mother did?"
"Yes, but we made a pact that we would never embarrass each other. We played like we were a happily married couple for the children's sake. We had slept in different rooms ever since David was born."
Spring started to laugh and Trent looked at her, "Miss Spring, what's so funny? It sounds as if Dr. Butler and his wife had the same arrangement as our parents."
Spring shook her head no, "I was thinking about something that Autumn said the other night when we got home about having to lower her estimate of the percentage of the population who were heterosexual. Autumn, I guess you will need to lower it even more."
I stood deciding that I needed to stop this conversation, "Spring, take everyone into the dinning room while Trent and Trevor and I get everyone a piece of the pecan pies that the two college students bought."
Trevor stood, "Well if you insist. I should go home and do some homework, but who can resist a piece of pecan pie and I'm afraid that I might miss something."
Authors Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might wish visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Editor's Notes: When I received this chapter in my e mail today, E Walk said that there would be a big curve ball in this chapter.
I have to admit that I wasn't expecting that little surprise. It makes me dislike Mr. Nixon the second even a bit more than I did before, because of his hypocrisy. It is attitudes like that, that cause so many gay teens to end their lives.
Honestly, I don't have trouble with someone who has reason not to like homosexuality.
Different people are brought up differently. I don't actually like the idea that you can hate the sin and love the sinner.
Jesus taught us all to love one another. He didn't say we should hate anyone. But that begs the question. How can someone like Mr. Nixon The Second condemn his son and his son's lover for being gay and loving each other, when he himself was doing similar things? Maybe we will find out in the next chapter.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher