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This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2016 by Steven Wells.
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John's Journey Forward
"Dr. Weinstein believes your mother has at least two to six months before she considers going into Hospice," my father finally finished. We sat in silence for several minutes.
"Please don't feel sorry for me," my mother began. "When my time comes, I will be ready to begin my journey into Heaven. John, do you remember the song `Angels Calling' on the Tenors CD you gave me at Christmas last year?"
"Yes," I replied.
"I will never forget the words," my mother explained. "`Take, take my hand. Stay with me, as I surrender. We've lived a life of happiness. You will be in my heart forever. I need you to know, that time is letting go. Don't cry, dry your eyes. Can't you hear the angels calling me up?'"
"It's not fair," Anthony said as he exhaled.
"No, Anthony," my mother said. "It's probably not fair. I won't see my sons get married. I won't see my grandchildren. I probably won't see you, John, graduate from MIT."
"How would you like to be at our wedding, Mrs. Sanchez?" Noel asked.
"What do you mean?" my mother asked.
"Right now, we can't afford a big wedding," Noel said. "But, quite frankly, I don't want to wait until we can afford a big wedding. Most of the people who will attend our wedding are sitting in this room. Add my brothers Jorge and Manuel and their significant others George and Kerry we have all of 10 people. We could have the reception here if you don't mind. Chicken Parmesan from the Italian place. I think John and I could afford 10 Chicken Parmesan dinners. What do you think, John?"
"Frankly, I love the idea," I replied. "Can we have our wedding reception here? In a few weeks?"
"Of course," my mother replied with tears in her eyes.
Chapter 17: Wedding Bells
Noel and I were greeting our guests at the rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. My parents were mingling with the co-workers Noel and I invited. Suddenly, Manuel arrived behind us and motioned for us to look at the entrance.
"Holy shit!" Noel said as he realized his mother stood in the doorway of the restaurant.
"Do you think the ceiling will fall?" Jorge said as he also moved near us.
"I wonder what she wants," Noel whispered into my ear.
"I believe we need to go find out," I whispered back. I put my hand on Noel's lower back and guided us toward the door.
"Mrs. Ramirez," I said holding out my hand. "It is so good of you to come."
"Thank you, John," Mrs. Ramirez replied. "I decided I didn't want to miss my son's wedding. Life's too short to miss the important events."
"Are you okay, mom?" Noel asked.
"Of course," Noel's mother replied. "Why wouldn't I be okay?"
"Does the phrase burn in hell mean anything to you?" Noel replied.
"Oh," Mrs. Ramirez replied. "I had a change of heart. Someone convinced me I needed to be more involved in the lives of my children."
"Who worked this miracle?" Noel asked.
"Let me just say, John, your mother can be very, very persuasive," Mrs. Ramirez replied. "We had a heart-to-heart talk over coffee a few afternoons ago. It's interesting how fresh insights can put events and preconceived notions into a different perspective. I still don't understand everything, but, Noel, I have decided I don't want to miss important events which I could regret not attending later in my life... if you don't mind."
My mother arrived to greet Noel's mother. "I'm so glad you decided to join us, Mrs. Ramirez. I'm certain Noel is thrilled, aren't you Noel?"
"Ahm...," Noel replied with a pause. "Yes! I'm delighted you decided to join us, Mom. Why don't we introduce you to the rest of John's family and some of the people we work with?"
As we circulated among our guests and introduced Noel's mother to everyone, I noticed Jorge, George, Manuel, and Kerry watching us. I interrupted. "Mrs. Ramirez," I began. "Would you like to spend some time with your two other sons and their partners?"
"Yes," Mrs. Ramirez said as she looked over to where the obviously perplexed other family members stood. "I believe I may owe them an explanation."
Once Mrs. Ramirez began her discussion with her sons and their partners, my mother joined us again.
"So, Mom," I began. "How did you pull this one off?"
"A mother-to-mother talk can lead to many miracles," she replied. "I merely told her how grateful I was you and Noel moved the date of your wedding up so I could attend. The rest was up to your mother, Noel. Give her time. I believe she will come around completely if you give her the time she needs to make adjustments to her core values."
"Why didn't you go into politics, Mom?" Anthony asked.
"I would never have made it through the first round of questioning," our mother replied. "It's one thing to deal with your son's future husband's mother, but I don't believe I would have had the same success with political constituents. I didn't make billions of dollars in real estate nor did I set up my personal e-mail server while I was secretary of state. I would never have thought to set up a personal e-mail server... whatever a personal e-mail server is."
"You probably wouldn't have put the family dog in a carrier on the roof of the car either," Anthony added. "You would have gone nuts with a dog slobbering all over the windshield of the car."
"We didn't have a family dog, Anthony," my mother reminded my twin brother. "I didn't want dog hair on the living room furniture, remember."
"Yea," Anthony replied. "John and I were traumatized during our teenage years, but we seem to have recovered."
Noel and I were standing in front of our guests in my parents' back yard. It was a bright, sunny, and crisp afternoon. The UCC minister we found to perform our wedding ceremony stood facing us. My twin brother Anthony and my workmate George were my groomsmen. Noel's brothers, Manuel and Jorge, were his.
"John and Noel," Reverend Carol Strand began. "Thank you for allowing me to be part of this special day. We are gathered here together to witness the love and respect that you have for each other. You are you entering into this marriage freely, voluntarily and without any conditions?"
"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created:
· The little things are the big things.
· It is never being too old to hold hands.
· It is remembering to say `I love you' at least once a day.
· It is never going to sleep angry.
· It is at no time taking the other for granted.
· The courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years.
· It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
· It is standing together facing the world.
· It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
· It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
· It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
· It is not expecting one person to wear a halo or the other to have the wings of an angel.
· It is not looking for perfection in each other.
· It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
· It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
· It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
· It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
· It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
· It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.
· It is not only marrying the right partner; it is being the right partner."
"Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity. Civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."
"John and Noel please face each other."
Noel and I turned and began to look into one another's eyes. "Noel, I come here today to join your life. I pledge to be true to you, to respect you, and to grow with you through the years."
"We are many things to each other. You are my soulmate, best friend, and warm and caring lover. You keep me grounded. You keep me on the high road. You give me strength to face life's challenges with confidence and dignity. Time may pass, fortune may smile, trials may come; no matter what we may encounter together, I will make my home in your heart from this day forward. Besides, I've become very comfortable riding around in the passenger seat of your BMW."
Noel put his hand over my heart and began reciting his vows to me. "John, I, too, come here today to join your life. I pledge to be true to you, to respect you, and to grow with you through the years."
"Little did I know the first night we met, you would become an integral part of my life. Sometimes we finish each other's sentences because we are so connected. Sometimes we sit on the sofa together, and I feel your energy and my energy melt into one energy. We are one and always will be one through all of life's crisis, good fortune, and whatever else we encounter. I live here, John, in your heart. And, I really don't like driving my BMW without you in the passenger seat. I love you and always will."
We took the rings from our respective brothers.
"Noel, what I have to give you is the promise to take you as my only love from this day forward, to stand by your side, to listen when you speak, to comfort you when you cry, and to join your laughter with my own. Please take this ring, and be part of my life forever."
I slipped the ring onto Noel's ring finger.
"John, what I have to give you is the promise to take you as my only love from this day forward, to stand by your side, to listen when you speak, to comfort you when you cry, and to join your laughter with my own. Please take this ring, and be part of my life forever."
The minister continued.
"Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings. The wedding ring is a symbol of the vows taken here today... a circle of wholeness perfect in form. The unending circle of a ring is a sign of fidelity, the pledged faithfulness of a couple to each other. These rings mark the beginning of an unending journey together filled with wonder and surprises, laughter and tears, celebration and joy. May these rings glow in the warmth and happiness of you both today!"
"There may be times filled with happiness, sorrow, tears or laughter, whatever it may be, remember love has given you wings; your journey begins today; John and Noel, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, remember the love that brought you here today. It is only love which can make your marriage a glorious union, and it is by this love your marriage will endure."
"John and Noel, as you have consented together in lawful wedlock and thereto have pledged your faith to each other, and have declared the same by joining hands and giving and receiving of rings and exchanged your first gifts as a married couple, by the powers vested in me in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you are now married!"
"You may kiss your husband!"
I grabbed Noel and Noel firmly grabbed me and we kissed.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome John and Noel Ramirez-Sanchez."
As Noel and I turned to face our guests, everyone stood and gave us a rousing applause. We had done it! Noel and I were one!
Noel and I had just finished dancing with our mothers. We settled into our table with our groomsmen before the caterers served the meal. Anthony was the first to grab the microphone.
"I'm John's better looking twin brother Anthony," Anthony began. "I felt duty bound to talk frankly with Noel on this special day as he and my brother John begin their new lives together. I suspect you already know this about my brother, but he takes being a neat freak to a new level. If he disappears on you, go directly to his closet. You will probably find him rearranging his collection of shoes, slacks, shirts, and sweaters. First, he sorts by clothing type. Then, by color. When he is finished rearranging his closet, it will be exactly like it was before he began to rearrange things. My advice to you, Noel, is not to let him rearrange anything else but his closet. You are good together. You will do remarkable things together. Thanks for being such a positive force in my brother's life!"
Anthony handed the microphone to Jorge. "I'm Noel's YOUNGER brother, Jorge," Jorge began. "First off, I congratulate the two of you on your marriage. You will be the role model for George and me. You've found each other. You are terrific when you work as a team. All of us look at the two of you and see a lot of things, but, most of all, we see the love you share for each other, the commitment to each other, and the compassion you show those around you. Thanks for being you, bro. And, John, thanks for being with my brother. He is certainly so much happier than I have seen him in years now he has you in his life... There is one more person who wants to say something to the newly married couple."
Jorge handed the microphone to his mother. I felt Noel tense immediately.
"Noel and John," Mrs. Ramirez began. "I must admit I have been less than supportive regarding your relationship in the past. I listened to a few too many unsympathetic people. I am trying to change so I can keep you both in my life. John, your mother, Mrs. Sanchez, came to me last week and we had a good talk about the two of you. I am still in the process of divesting myself of misconceptions, but I promise to get clean as quickly as I can. But, I do know I want to have all of my children and all of my children's families around me. Life is too short to be overly rigorous. Thank you."
Noel and I crossed the distance between our tables and hugged Mrs. Ramirez.
After the hug fest with Noel's mother, my father arrived at our table to talk, "Tell me how a small wedding with only 10 or 20 people morphed into 100?" At least he was smiling.
"John's work, my work, and a few other friends," Noel replied. "I hope we didn't overstep our bounds."
"Not at all," my father replied. "I'm just happy we have the space here."
My mother and Anthony also joined us. "This is a beautiful wedding, guys," my mother said. "It is so relaxing and fun."
"Thanks," I said. "We didn't have time to stress out about making it too formal and stressful."
"John, your mother and I wanted to give this to you and Noel personally," my father explained as he handed an envelope to me and Noel. "We also have something for you, Anthony. We wanted to do something special for you, and we know you already have almost everything you need for your apartment."
"Thanks, Mom and Dad," I said as I handed Noel the envelope to open. "You weren't supposed to do anything except let us have the wedding at the house."
"What's this?" Noel asked.
Noel handed the envelope and contents to me, "This is grandma's furniture in your attic!"
"We thought you might like to have some of it for your new home," my mother replied. "Think of it as a gift from your grandparents."
"But, you said this is worth a lot of money!" I protested.
"Yes, but we aren't using it," my mother continued. "It is just not out taste. You and Anthony—and Timothy if you want—need to divide it up."
"Thanks Mom and Dad," I replied to their generosity with a hug.
"Yea," Noel continued. "Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez. This is really generous of you."
"We will take it away as quickly as we gave it to you unless you start calling us Mom and Dad," Noel.
"Thank you, Mom and Dad," Noel replied with a smile.
"Thanks for including me," Anthony replied. "And, just to let you know, I do want Timothy to be part of the process. I have this feeling he and I are going to be together for a long time."
"This is all very contemporary looking furniture and art," Noel added.
"My father and mother collected contemporary furniture and art," my mom replied. "We were told it was worth money when we took possession of it."
I gasped as we entered our suite at the Mandarin Oriental after several more hours of eating, talking, and dancing. "Wow! Chris and Gavin went all out!"
"I think I could get used to Chris and Gavin's tastes," Noel replied. "We just need to increase our income stream for this to be the normal and not the abnormal!"
"In due time, husband," I replied. "In due time. At the moment, though, I am certainly going to enjoy myself. How would you like to get naked and try out the bed?"
"Only if you are also naked as we both try out the bed," Noel replied. "But, I do need to warn you, Gavin said we had a chilled bottle of champagne and some nibbles waiting for us. Do you think, my horny husband, you could be convinced to wait until we have had a few sips and nibbles?"
"As long as it's a FEW sips and a few nibbles... Some of the nibbles, I warn you, could be on your body," I replied.
"I can handle body nibbling if you can," Noel added in his sexiest voice as he began losing his shirt.
On Tuesday morning after our wedding, Noel dropped me off at work before he continued to Hanley Dawson in Copley Square. It was our first day back on the job after taking our vows.
"Hello, guys," I said as I stepped into our work area.
"John!" Sandy exclaimed. "How was the Mandarin Oriental?"
"Like nothing I've ever experienced," I replied. "Everything was absolutely perfect!"
"The hotel room or the sex?" George asked.
"Both," I said as I pulled some files and my laptop out of my desk. "We could easily get used to the surroundings. However, for the moment, our budget will not allow us an opportunity to spend the rest of our lives living at the Mandarin Oriental. We couldn't, I am certain, even afford the condo fees!"
"Things could change," George added.
"Things have changed, guys," Chris said as he entered our workspace. "Why don't I explain some of our upcoming changes to you in the conference room?"
As Sandy, George, Serge, Ralph, and I took seats around the conference table, Chris began. "We signed contracts yesterday with three new clients... So, in the past three weeks, we have added 12 new clients for your group. I am moving some of our other staff into your area. I will give you a list of potential transfers, and you can fight over them. You four team leaders working under Sandy will each have four other people to supervise. So, we are essential tripling your team's size. We will probably also add a few more people to the staff here."
"What about Tyler, Grant, Douglas, and Gerald," Sandy asked. "How do they fit into the picture?"
"The five of you can talk about the most recent hires," Chris explained. "If you think one or more of them have leadership potential, I would like to hear about it. We might need to send a candidate or two to a leadership conference."
"We can discuss the four new hires at lunch today," Sandy replied.
"Good," Chris said as he smiled at me. "How was the Mandarin Oriental?"
"Noel and I have decided we will need to make more money to afford the life-style we want to become accustomed to after the two nights at the hotel," I explained.
"It is an amazing place," Chris added. "Now, John, your academic advisor, Dr. Pablo Parrilo, called me yesterday. He wanted to know if you would like to add your work team to the audience when you present your first paper on the projects you are working on here at eSquare."
"You mean as in audience?" I asked.
"Yup," Chris replied. "Your choice. I don't want to make you nervous. On the other hand, I think it would be a good experience for you as well as a learning experience for the rest of our work group."
"You mean the whole company?" I asked.
"Yes," Chris replied.
"Can I think about it?" I asked.
"Let me know by the end of the day," Chris explained.
"Thanks for giving me time to decide," I said with a smile.
Three months after our wedding, Noel and I were sitting at the dining room table on a Saturday looking at condos online. My phone began ringing. It was my father.
"Hello, Dad," I said. "What's up?"
"Can you and Noel join your mother, me, Anthony, and Timothy at the house tomorrow evening around 6 or 7 pm?" my father asked.
"Sure," I replied. "Is something wrong, Dad?"
"We just want to talk with you about your mother's medical condition and a few other items of interest to the family," my father replied. He was quiet. It worried me.
"Sure," I said. "We can be at your house at 6. What can we bring?"
"Nothing," my father said. "I am going to grill some Salmon."
"Sounds good," I said.
"What's up, John?" Noel asked. He looked worried. I felt worried.
"He and Mom want to talk about her medical condition," I grimly replied.
"Shit!" Noel added.
"She hasn't looked too perky the last few weekends we saw them," I explained.
"I noticed," Noel replied. "But, I didn't want to say anything and make you worry."
"Thanks, babe," I added. "I didn't say anything either. Probably because I don't want to face the inevitable."
Our Saturday night turned into a solemn one. Once we were dressed on Sunday evening, Noel threw his keys at me.
"You're driving tonight, John," Noel explained. "Might help you keep your mind off other issues."
"You are actually going to let me drive your car?" I asked incredulously. "You've had it four months, and you've never offered to let me drive it."
"Yup," Noel replied. "I was thinking maybe you need to get a car."
"Why?" I asked.
"You could get to work faster and be more productive," Noel said with a smile.
"Parking would be a bitch!" I replied.
"Not according to Gavin," Noel explained. "Chris has a few reserved parking spaces in the garage."
"Before I buy a car, I want us to buy a house," I said as I steered the car down Mass Ave toward my parents' house. "Besides, where would we park it at home? We only have one space. It's for your car."
"We can talk about it later," Noel replied. "I just wanted you to have an option."
"Are you up to something, Noel?" I asked.
"Nope!" Noel replied. "Whatever makes you think I am up to something?"
"I know you, Noel," I said with a smile. "Sometimes you are very transparent when you are plotting something."
"Plotting?" Noel replied. "I was thinking more in terms of planning."
"The word, as derived from your tone of voice, is plotting," I said. "Don't forget, we sometimes finish each other's sentences. If we can finish our sentences, then I know your plotting tone of voice!"
"We can talk after we know more about your mother's health," Noel suggested as I pulled into my parents' driveway.
We didn't knock, but I pushed open the front door. My parents were sitting in the living room. My mother had her feet up on the foot stool. Noel and I hugged my mother before hugging my father. Anthony and Timothy hadn't arrived.
I fixed Noel and I a vodka and tonic before sitting with my parents in the living room.
"How is work?" my mother asked me.
"Exciting," I replied. "We moved a few people from other teams into ours. I now have three other people on my team."
"How exciting!" my mother replied. "Your father and I are so proud of you John!"
"What am I? Chopped liver?" Anthony added as he and Timothy stepped into the living room to join us.
"They are trying to say I finally found a gig," I explained. "I had a certificate from a community college and worked nights shoving boxes around a UPS warehouse. So, bro, I had a little further to go than you!"
"And, you are probably making twice the money I do," Anthony added. "So, if I hit you up for a loan, don't be shocked."
"If we have it, Anthony, Noel and I will consider your application for a loan," I said with a smile. "Interest rates will probably be really, really high though."
"Now," Anthony said as he turned his attention to my parents. "What's the news?"
"First tell them about the cottage on the Cape," my mother suggested.
"Our tenant, who has been living in the cottage for almost 15 years, is moving out at the beginning of next summer," my father explained. "They needed to be closer to Boston and the medical facilities. We were really sorry to see them leave. However, we are now in a unique position."
"You're selling it?" Anthony asked. "You could probably get a bundle for it now."
"We aren't planning on selling it," my mother continued. "It was in my mother's family for three generations—just like this house. It would be a shame to sell it. It does, however, need some updating."
"We would like to transfer to cottage to a real estate trust," my father took over the conversation. "But, we would need your permission to do so."
"What kind of trust?" I asked.
"It would be administered by both Anthony and John," my father continued. "Of course, we would expect you to add your spouses' names to the trust as soon as you are legally married. Anthony. And, since John and Noel are legally married, we would want them both on the trust. We would leave the cottage 50 percent owned by Anthony and his spouse and 50 percent owned by John and Noel. We would also move the money your grandparents put in a trust to defray the costs of maintenance."
"After all this time, the cottage would probably require a lot of updating," my mother announced.
"There is sufficient money to renovate the cottage and still have money left over to take care of basic repairs for several years to come," my father explained. "The last I looked the trust for maintenance was somewhere around $750 thousand. Our last tenants took care of most of the maintenance. So, we haven't touched the money in the trust for many, many years. You could put as much into it as you want. You could rent it. You could sell it. You could use it in the summer. It actually has heat, so you could use it in the winter, too."
"Where is this cottage?" Noel asked.
"Provincetown. It's on the West End," I said. "It is near the Coast Guard Station, correct?"
"Yes," my mother replied. "It overlooks Cape Cod Bay. My mother was an artist. We used to spend the summers there"
"I don't remember much about it," Anthony said. "What's it like?"
"Four bedrooms on the second floor with ONE bathroom," my mother explained. "It has a lovely living room facing the bay with a deck. The kitchen faces the street. The dining area is on the end of the living room. It is very open. My grandmother converted the garage into an artist's studio when I was a child. It was built around 1920, but my parents had it renovated in 1980. They furnished it with all of the contemporary art and furniture in our attic."
"Where did your parents and grandparents get all of the money for a house in Provincetown?" I asked my mother.
"Don't be silly, John," my mother continued. "When they had the house, it was worth almost nothing. Only a few fishermen and a few artists really knew anything about Provincetown."
"And, your mother and I will NOT be disappointed if you decide to sell it," my father explained.
"Sell a house in Provincetown which has been in the family for generations?" I replied. "Not on your life. Don't you think Anthony?"
"We could be land barons in Provincetown," Anthony added with a smile.
"Now, you may explain about the other issue to the boys," my mother said.
"We are selling this house and buying a smaller condo," my father began. "We decided we wanted to do this together before either one of us was alone. We have found a two-bedroom condo with an elevator in Boston not far from Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We could either walk to some of your mother's appointments or we could take a cab. It comes with one parking space. The last visit to your mother's doctor last week was positive. She will be involved in a trial for advanced stage cancer patients."
"Terrific news, Mom!" I replied.
"It is still not a cure," my mother replied. "But, we are hoping it will give your father and me another several months together."
"We wondered if either of you boys would like to buy this house," my father said.
"Ah... Mom and Dad," I began. "Noel and I would need to discuss this as I am certain Anthony and Terrance would need to discuss it. However, I suspect his house is a WHOLE LOT MORE EXPENSIVE than Noel and I or Anthony and Terrance could afford at this time of our lives. It's on Brattle Street! One of the most desirable neighborhoods in Cambridge."
"Well," my father continued. "We could make a deal one of you couldn't afford to pass up on. We have the mortgage approve for the condo in Boston with a sizeable down payment without selling this house. What do you think you can afford, John and Noel?"
"We have bank approval for $800 thousand," I replied. "We were hoping for about $300 thousand less."
"Anthony?" my father asked.
"It would be premature for me to even speculate about buying this house," Anthony replied. "If you don't want it to go outside the family and John and Noel want it, you have my permission to strike a deal with the two of them."
"Why don't we let John and Noel talk about the house until next weekend," my father suggested. "But, if Anthony has no objections, consider it yours for $500 thousand or less. Same time next weekend?"
"At our place, though," I suggested.
"Deal," my father announced.
"So, what do you think about the house?" Noel asked as we sat at Starbucks on Monday evening after our dinner with my parents.
"It needs some work," I replied. "Kitchen... $50 thousand. Master bathroom... $30 thousand. Two other bathrooms... $20 thousand each. Everything else, such as paint, floors, and other miscellaneous issues... Probably another $50 thousand."
"So much for getting something under $500 thousand," Noel added.
"But, my father told me as we were leaving the house was appraised for $1.2 million," I explained. "It is a four bedroom, 4,500 square foot house on Brattle Street in Cambridge. But, we need to talk to the bank again to decide what we want to do."
"Why is your father putting the house into a separate real estate trust?" Noel asked.
"Otherwise, we would be paying capital gains taxes on $600 thousand," I said. "If it is put into the real estate trust, we actually own the house before we get a mortgage on it."
"How did your parents actually afford to buy a $1.2 million house to begin with?" Noel asked.
"It was in my mother's family," I replied. "Same grandmother who had the Provincetown place. According to my father, my grandmother didn't have a pot to piss in, but inherited property well."
"How do I break the news to my family you and I are buying a $1.2 million house and adding another $170 thousand into renovations?" Noel asked.
"Why do we explain it?" I asked. "How are they going to know we bought a $1.2 million house with $170 renovations thrown in?"
"Zillow," Noel explained. "Jorge will look, Miguel will look, Kerry will look, my mother will look, my cousins will look. I come from a very, very nosy family. It is in the genes!"
"We could take out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to announce the news!" I added.
"It would save my family time..., but I am not certain my cousins read," Noel continued. "Newspapers I mean. Maybe we should just send a Tweet."
"It's possible," I said. "Brevity is always good in situations regarding money."
"Other people's money," Noel said with a smile. "Floors and painting? What do we do with the floors and painting of the walls?"
"I say we do everything before we move in," I explained. "When I was a freshman in high school, my parents decided to do some renovating while we were living in the house. It was amazingly painful. Every day when we left the house, we had to seal our bedrooms so sawdust wouldn't blanket the bedroom. I do not believe you and I could live in those conditions."
"One last question for you to ponder: Are kids in our future?" Noel asked.
"I think so," I replied. "Why?"
"I was introduced to a new organization today who handles adoption of potentially HIV positive newborn babies whose parent or parents are considering putting them up for adoption," Noel explained. "The organization's executive director visited our office this afternoon to talk with Gavin and me about possibly using our services—pro bono, of course."
"So, I believe you might be saying we should consider adopting an HIV positive child because we are HIV positive and understand the health ramifications," I summarized.
"How did you know?" Noel asked with a smile.
"We finish each other's sentences, right?" I asked.
"Yup," Noel replied. "I think it is one of the reasons I love you so much."
To be continued...
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This is my 17th posting of my third story on Nifty.org. Please also see:
Sam and Chris in the College section.
Jeffery Comes Home also in the Beginnings section.
Life With Tim in the Authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes pdepicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
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