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This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely 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
Once our guests had found their seat, I stood and called for everyone's attention, "Thank you for joining us today. Noel and I are grateful to have all of you gathered to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our house."
"Noel and I have talked about our journey to where we are now several times since we moved into this house. We truly have a lot to be thankful for... Noel and I meeting in a support group, taking our first step as a couple, getting married, adopting Eagan, and enjoying our family and friends around the table," I paused for a few moments to get my composure back.
"Our parents, our siblings, our siblings' partners, and some very fine friends have almost everything to do with us talking with all of you today in this house. Chris and Gavin had faith in Noel and me. They both took a chance with us when we needed help getting on with our lives... And, I cannot forget to mention Mel. She was my rock through some very, very tough times. Whenever I headed in the wrong direction, she kicked me in the butt and made me change directions..."
"I will never forget one of the most humbling experiences I have had in my lifetime. Eagan called me daddy. He is our blessing this Thanksgiving as are all of you at this table... Thank you all for being here with us today."
"Perfectly said, John," Noel added. "You wanted to say something Mom?"
"Thank you," Noel's mother said to Noel. She paused and then began. "I have a lot to be thankful for today, too. I have three wonderful sons. I have the most charming grandson on the planet. I have a wonderful daughter-in-law and son-in-law. But, I must say, I was not always this happy for all my children. I have said and done some very mean-spirited things in the past in the name of religion. The first person I want to thank for, and I hope this doesn't shock you, is Mrs. Sanchez for kicking my butt and turning me in a new direction. Mrs. Sanchez, you don't know how much you helped to put me back on track to be a very, very proud mother..."
"The other reason for my transition into a better person are the two people I hurt the most. Noel and John. You have made me a different person. I will never forget your unwavering love and admiration you shower on each other... Your passion and energy for living life helps all of us be happier and more positive people. Please don't ever change. The two of you are a gift not only for me, but the world around you."
Noel and I wiped away a few tears and stood beside Noel's mother and hugged her.
"Thank you, Mom," Noel whispered.
Noel turned to our guests, "Let's eat."
Chapter 21: Life Can Change in a Single Moment
A week after we celebrated the new year, I received a phone call from my Dad. "John, I hope I'm not interrupting."
"No, not at all," I replied. "Noel and I are in the kitchen trying to figure out dinner. What's up?"
"I am hoping you, Noel, and Eagan can join your mother and me for lunch this Saturday," my father replied.
"Sure," I added. "Where?"
"Our condo," my father replied. "Around noon."
"We will be there," I replied. "What can we bring?"
"Nothing," my father replied. "We will have takeout from our Italian restaurant."
"If you decide you need anything, please let us know. Give our love to Mom," I replied as we ended the call.
I looked at Noel. I was ready to cry. "What's wrong, John?" he asked.
"I don't believe this will be a pleasant conversation," I replied as Noel took me in his arms and hugged me.
"Whatever it is, John, we will get through this together," Noel added. "Now, let's get dinner ready."
When we walked through the door of my parents' condo, I saw my mother sitting in the living room. She seemed tired. She seemed thin. She seemed worried.
My mother stood as Noel and I each gave her a hug.
"Thank you for coming on such short notice," my mother quietly said as she sat back in her chair while Eagan crawled onto her lap. "You look very good today, Eagan. Are your new clothes from Santa?"
"No," Eagan began to explain. "My Daddies said I growed too much, and I needed new things to wear."
"Did you have fun going shopping?" my mom asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied. "I got to pick the things I wanted."
"Well, you have very good tastes," my mother said. She looked at Noel and me. "Designer clothes for a three-year-old. Must be nice to afford designer clothing!"
At least she was smiling.
"He picked them out!" I replied.
"And you paid for the clothes," my mother said with a smile. "You don't say no to Eagan easily, do you John?"
"Nope," I replied. "We have three puppies to prove it."
Anthony and Timothy arrived to take the pressure off Noel and me. Anthony seemed worried about our mother's appearance as well.
Anthony leaned in to give my mother a kiss on the cheek. "Hi Mom," Anthony replied. "You look smashing, Eagan."
"He went shopping with his daddies and he picked out the things he wanted, right Eagan?" my mother said.
"Yup," Eagan replied as he did his pick me up and hug me dance.
Anthony did as asked. "So, little dude. How are the puppies?"
"Good," Eagan replied. "Daddy wouldn't let me bring them with us."
Anthony looked at me, "You're a mean daddy, John."
"A practical one," I replied.
"My daddy is not mean, Uncle Anthony," Eagan interrupted.
"I know, Eagan," Anthony replied. "I was just kidding."
"Okay," Eagan said as he transferred himself to Uncle Timothy.
"How are the puppies?" Timothy asked.
"Fun," Eagan replied. "Tiger sleeps with me. Tucker and Toby sleeps with my daddies."
"Do you like Tiger sleeping with you?" Timothy asked.
"Yes," Eagan replied. "He keeps me from being lonely. He and I talk about our life with my Daddies."
"I see," Timothy replied. "I take it you share a lot of good thoughts."
"Yup," Eagan replied.
"Eagan," I said. "Why don't we go into the den and get you set to draw pictures while we talk about some things?"
"Okay," Eagan replied as he transferred to me. I sat him on the den floor and handed him my tablet with the drawing app running. "I'll be back in to get you in a few minutes. Just draw and enjoy!"
"Okay, Daddy," Eagan replied as he jumped into drawing.
I sat next to Noel again. My mother began.
"I'm sorry to take up some of your Saturday, but we thought you should hear this from us as soon as possible," my mother explained. She took a deep breath. "I am officially in Hospice as of last Thursday. We fought as hard as we could, but it won. The doctors have told me I may as well enjoy my time while still on earth. So, I am going to do just what they suggested. I don't want you to be sad. I keep remembering the song on the Tenors album you gave me, John, `Angels Calling.' It is something I will keep in mind during this phase of my journey. I hope you also see this not as an end, but as a beginning in another place. I want us to enjoy ourselves until we can't anymore. Any comments?"
I couldn't move. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Finally, I stood and walked to where my mother sat. She stood and we hugged.
"I will miss you, Mom," I said through the tears. "You have always been a guiding light to me and Anthony. You've already shown so much love to everyone around you. It's our turn to be here for you, Mom, just like you were here for us. Count on it."
Anthony took my place. He tried to talk, but he just cried instead. "Same as John, Mom."
"I love you all," my mother said to us. "I always will."
I sat beside Noel. He took my hand in his.
"Now, let's eat," my mother said to the group. "I, for one, am starving!"
We sat at the table and enjoyed conversation and the meal. We didn't talk about the elephant in the room. We just enjoyed each other's company. Finally, we could tell mom was getting tired. We said our goodbyes and headed home.
As Noel and I were getting Eagan ready for bed, he surprised us. "Why is Grandma leaving us?"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"She is going away," Eagan replied.
"What makes you think she is going away," Noel asked.
"Tiger told me," Eagan replied. "I don't want her to go, but Tiger said she had to."
"Why don't we talk about this tomorrow, Eagan?" I asked. "You and Tiger might have more questions for us tomorrow."
"Okay," Eagan said as I tucked him in. Tiger settled near Eagan. "Good night, Daddies. And, Tiger told me you shouldn't be sad."
"Thanks for the advice, Tiger," I said as we kissed Eagan good night.
Noel and I settled at the kitchen island with a drink.
"This day really sucked," I said.
"Yea," Noel replied. "It did. I need to visit my mother tomorrow and tell her the news. Do you want to come with me?"
"Of course," I replied. "Maybe we could get Anthony and Timothy to stay with Eagan."
"Yea," Noel added. "We don't want another conversation between Eagan and Tiger."
"Exactly," I replied.
"How are you holding up?" Noel asked.
"I am at a turning point," I replied. "I don't want her to leave us, but I know she will. I don't want her not to be part of our lives for a long, long time, but I know she won't. It will be hard on all of us. I only wish Eagan could have more time with her. I only wish she could see Eagan graduate from college. I only wish she could see Eagan when he gets married. But, I know she will be in a better place. One without pain. One without sadness. One without hatred. We need to let her go and be at peace."
Noel smiled at me.
"What?" I asked.
"This is the man I love," Noel began. "You know it will be so, so hard for everyone. But, you also know where she needs to be. It takes a lot of love to be as brave as I know you will be, John. You are my rock. If you need me to be your rock through this, consider it done."
"Thank you, babe," I replied as I kissed him. "We need to get some rest. It will be another long day tomorrow. I suspect we will have a lot of long days ahead of us."
"What do you think of the idea of going to church tomorrow morning?" Noel asked. "The service is at 11 am at the First Church down the street."
I thought for a few moments. "I think I would like to go, Noel. Thank you for thinking of it."
"Eagan can wear his new suit," Noel replied. "I hope the ceiling doesn't fall in."
"I think we might be safe," I replied as Noel helped me off the sofa and onto my feet.
As we walked to the church from the house, we were mostly silent. "What happens when we go to church, Daddy?" Eagan asked.
"Sit, sing, listen, enjoy," I replied. "We haven't been to this church before, Eagan. So, we will all be learning what it is like."
"We need to be quiet while we listen to the minister," Noel added. "Can you be quiet while the minister talks?"
"Yes, Daddy," Eagan replied.
We arrived at the church and stepped inside. A youngish man in an off-white robe greeted us, "Good morning! I'm Dan Golden, one of the ministers here at First Church. Is this your first time here?"
"Yes," I replied. "I'm John Ramirez-Sanchez, my husband Noel, and our son Eagan."
"I am glad you decided to join us," Reverend Golden replied. "Do you live near here?"
"Yes," Noel replied. "We live on Brattle Street. It is a short walk from here."
"Welcome to our service," Reverend Golden added as he turned to another youngish man. "Gene. This is Noel and John Ramirez-Sanchez and their son Eagan. Gene is my husband. Gene, could you please introduce John, Noel, and Eagan to some of the others?"
"Of course," Gene replied. "Why don't we step into the sanctuary? I just saw another couple you might like to meet. So, Eagan, how old are you?"
"I'm three," Eagan said proudly.
"Wow!" Gene added. "You're a big boy!"
"Greg, Thomas," Gene greeted two others. "This is John, Noel, and Eagan Ramirez-Sanchez. This is Greg and Thomas Griffin-Hale. It is their first time joining us this morning."
"Nice to meet you," Thomas said. "You two look familiar. Oh! The house on Brattle
Street. The renovations. You have three Border Collies."
"Yes," I replied. "We endured the renovation process and are now enjoying the house. I grew up in the house. My parents wanted to move to a condo, so they sold it to us."
"Outstanding," Greg replied. "Do you like your new house, Eagan?"
"Yes," Eagan replied. "Tiger and I are still exploring."
"Tiger?" Thomas asked.
"Dog," Noel replied. "Tiger and Eagan are almost inseparable."
We continued chatting until the service started with the power of the organ almost shaking the walls. Eagan looked worried for a moment. I think he realized it was safe and began enjoying the sound of the music.
Even more people greeted us as we left the sanctuary. When we were finally out the door, we hustled back to the house. Anthony and Timothy were inside waiting for us.
"Jeez, bro," Anthony exclaimed as we walked into the house. "You suddenly get religion. Amazing!"
"We decided to go to church late last night," I replied. "Spur of the moment decision."
"Where?" Anthony asked.
"First Church down the street," I added.
"The gay church?" Anthony asked.
"What do you mean, `Gay church?'" I asked.
"I am told one of the ministers has attracted a lot of gay couples," Anthony replied. "Unlike the Catholic Church. Have you told Mom and Dad you have converted to a mainstream Christian church?"
"No," I replied. "We didn't decide to go until late last night."
"So, Eagan," Timothy jumped into the conversation. "Are you ready to have some fun with your uncles?"
"Yup," Eagan replied. "Daddy told me they won't be gone long, but I will have fun with you Uncle Anthony and Uncle Timothy."
"Yes, we will, Eagan," Timothy said. "We will have a great time together. Now, let's get you changed."
"We've got this, bro," Anthony explained. "Do your thing while we entertain our favorite nephew."
"Thanks, guys," Noel said. "We appreciate your help here."
We arrived at Manuel and Kerry's house about 1 pm. Everyone had assembled and were sipping cocktails.
"You look absolutely handsome today," Noel's mother said. "Why the suits?"
"We went the service at First Church down the street from where we live," Noel explained.
"You kidding!" Jorge exclaimed.
"No," Noel continued. "We decided to seek a higher plain in our lives."
"Does this have anything to do with why you wanted us to be together?" Noel's mother asked.
"Sort of," Noel replied. "John and I will get a drink. Then, we can talk."
We returned to the living room with our beers. All eyes were upon us.
"We visited with my parents yesterday. My brother and Timothy were with us. It seems my mother has entered hospice as of last Thursday. She wanted us to know," I explained.
"Oh! Dear God!" Noel's mother exclaimed as she stood and wrapped her arms around me. "I am so, so sorry John. You must be devastated."
"It hit hard," I replied as I sat beside Noel again. "My mother is a trouper. Her exact words—which I remember as vividly as if she were right here—came from the heart. She said, `We fought as hard as we could, but it won. I don't want you to be sad. I keep remembering the song on the Tenors album you gave me, John, `Angels Calling.' It is something I will keep in mind during this phase of my journey. I hope you also see this not as an end, but as a beginning in another place. I want us to enjoy ourselves until we can't anymore.'"
"Wow!" Kerry said. "You know we feel your pain, John. She is such a lady. I had a wonderful conversation with her on Thanksgiving. It seems unfair. A person like your mother doesn't deserve this."
"She is facing this with courage," I said. "I would be going bonkers if it were me. Dad is stoic."
"How is Eagan handling this?" George asked.
"Funny you should ask," I began. "He was out of the room when we heard the news. We never mentioned it when he rejoined us. But, last night, while Noel and I were putting him to bed, he said something I will never forget: "Why is Grandma leaving us?"
I asked, "What do you mean?"
He said, "She is going away."
Noel asked, "What makes you think she is going away?"
He said, "Tiger told me. I don't want her to go, but Tiger said she had to."
He also told us "Tiger told me you shouldn't be sad," Noel added.
"He's our angel," I said.
"If you need anything, John and Noel," Jorge said. "Tell us. We want to help you through this."
"Yes," Manuel replied. "We want to be there for you and your family. They are our family now, thanks to the two of you."
"John," Noel said one evening after we put Eagan to be and cleaned up the kitchen. "I was thinking. Maybe we should get a cat."
I looked at Noel. "You've got to be out of your fucking mind."
"I could be talked out of it," Noel replied. He was smiling.
"Tell me about what it would take to avoid getting a cat," I said.
"Take a Thursday and Friday off and visit Provincetown for a few days," Noel explained. "I know things are quiet in Provincetown, but I think we need to get away. It would be fun to do with Eagan."
"Great idea," I replied. "We could determine the feasibility of using the house in the winter. It will also be a nice test drive to see how Eagan reacts to trips in the back seat of the SUV."
"Okay," Noel said. "We are settled. Decide which weekend is best for you, and I will do the same. One last item on my agenda."
"You sound like this is a business meeting," I said.
"Fuck you," Noel replied with a smile. "What do we get Anthony and Timothy for a wedding present?"
"I have thought about it," I began. "But, I hate to just buy something from a gift registry. Any suggestions?"
"Well," Noel said. "Anthony is your only brother and your twin. So, it should be something from the heart. But, it should also be something practical. We've done well financially, John. This year has been an amazing ride for us. When we first met at the HIV support group, I had no idea I would be saying what I am about to say... What if we gave them $10 thousand for a down payment on a house?"
I looked at Noel unable to speak. Finally, I could say something, "You want to give my brother and his future husband $10 thousand? For a down payment on a house?"
"Yes," Noel replied. "I have no idea how much Anthony and Timothy make, but I want to help them get what we have here. A place to call home. John, we are so, so lucky. We've been at the right place at the right time. Otherwise, we would still be sitting in a third-floor apartment."
"In the big scheme of things, $10 thousand is not a lot of money... For us anyway...," I replied. I was still pondering Noel's suggestion.
"And, before you ask if we can afford this," Noel continued. "You and I make over $10 thousand in commission and bonuses most months. So, yes, we can afford it."
"When do we give it to them?" I asked.
"As soon as possible," Noel replied. "Timothy mentioned looking at condos. He also didn't have much hope in coming up with the down payment."
"Do we get a bank check?" I asked.
"Probably," Noel replied. "I don't think we want to give them cash. Somehow I don't picture gas station money as a good presentation for a wedding present."
"I can get the check tomorrow," I added. "Want to see if they can join us here for dinner?"
"Yea," Noel replied.
I pulled out my phone and called Anthony. "What's up, bro?" Anthony said as he answered the phone.
"Noel and I were wondering if you and Timothy would like to join us for dinner tomorrow evening?" I asked.
"We usually don't take a pass on free food," Anthony replied. "Sure. Anything we can bring?"
"Nope," I replied. "We have it covered. Six-thirty?"
"We'll be there," Anthony replied.
"Looking forward to seeing you, bro," I said. "Have a great evening!"
"You, too!" Anthony replied as he signed off.
"The deed is done," I said to Noel. "Now, let's do some deeds."
I grabbed Noel's hand and led him to the bedroom. I locked the door.
"Something on your mind, John?" Noel asked as he slipped his hands up my shirt.
"Your body, Noel," I replied. "Your hot, sexy body."
Anthony and Timothy walked through our front door at exactly 6:30. "Hey, bro. Your charming brother is here!"
Noel and I walked out of the kitchen. I was drying my hands on a towel. Noel carried four beers on a tray and set them on the coffee table in the living room.
"I see you are as effervescent as ever!" I said as I hugged Anthony and then Timothy. "Are you keeping him locked up?"
"I've tried with no success," Timothy said with a smile.
"Sit and enjoy!" Noel suggested
As we took our seats, Eagan and three dogs slid to a stop in front of the sofa. "Uncle Anthony! Uncle Timothy!"
"You seem excited this evening, Eagan," Timothy said. "Any particular reason?"
"You and Uncle Anthony are here," Eagan said. "I have something for you."
Eagan shot off Timothy's lap and raced upstairs. He returned with a drawing in his hands.
"This is a wedding present from me," Eagan said as he handed the drawing to Anthony.
"Wow!" Anthony said in response. "Tell me about this drawing."
"This is you, Uncle Anthony," Eagan began. "This is you, Uncle Timothy. And, this is me with the three dogs."
"Wow!" Timothy repeated. "It is so nice of you to do this for us, Eagan. This, I am certain, will be one of the best wedding presents ever!"
Taking Eagan's cue, I handed a wrapped box to Anthony and Timothy. "This is your wedding present as well. I know it is not as good as Eagan's, but I hope you enjoy it."
Anthony ripped off the wrapping paper and handed the box to Timothy to finish. Timothy slipped off the cover of the box. Timothy went still. Anthony looked into the box. He too didn't look up. He just starred at the contents.
After a few moments, Anthony spoke. "What the hell, John! Why did you give us ten thousand dollars?"
"Because we wanted to help on a down payment for a condo or house," I replied. "Besides, Mom and Dad gave us help with this house. I want to do something for you."
"John! This is a lot of fucking money," Anthony replied. "Why?"
"Because you are his brother—his twin brother," Noel replied. "We did it because we wanted to and can afford to give it to you. We caught a lot of breaks in the past year. Hopefully, this will put the two of you onto the path of catching a lot of breaks."
"Won't this put a damper on your finances?" Anthony asked.
"No," I replied. "I am not saying this because I want to feel superior to you Anthony, but Noel and I take in $10 thousand a month in commission and bonuses, which is on top of our salary. We want to get you and Timothy a head start in your married life. It is important to Noel and me. I am the oldest, after all."
"I'm better looking," Anthony said with a smile. He turned to Timothy who was still staring at the check. "Are you okay, Tim?"
"I don't know what to say," Timothy look at Noel and me. "This is so nice of you to do this."
He paused as he looked at Anthony.
John, Noel," Anthony began. "Thank you. You don't know how much this means to Tim and me. We found a place we loved two days ago, but the lender said we needed $5 thousand more as a down payment."
"Where is this place?" I asked.
"Around the corner," Anthony replied. "It's a small cottage house. Three bedrooms. Two bathrooms. It needs work. So, it looks like we might be neighbors, bro!"
"Let's hope," I replied. "Noel and I are not handy. We give great advice and moral support. If you have any questions, I am certain I can convince our contractor to look into things and make suggestions."
"Thanks," Timothy replied. "It will be a long haul in terms of our renovations. We will need to take it slowly because of financial issues. But, it will be fun, I think. At least I hope it will be fun."
My phone rang at 10:30 the day after we had dinner with Anthony and Timothy. "John! I'm sorry to bother you, but I wanted to run something by you. Gavin mentioned hiring a graphic artist to help with some of our projects. We have graphic artists here, but the whole firm shares them. Gavin wants our group to have our own. Is your brother Anthony happy where he's working?"
"He loves the work," I replied. "From our discussions, his employer isn't paying him enough for the skills and creativity he has. Why?"
"Gavin wants to talk to anyone who has some talent," Noel replied. "This is a big bucks position. Also, it is very visible within the organization."
"How big?" I asked.
"About $80 thousand for someone who has experience and creativity and people skills," Noel replied.
"I'll call Anthony right now," I replied.
"I'll tell Gavin we have a candidate for him to talk with," Noel replied. "I love this work, John. Now, all I need to do is to convince Gavin he needs someone with a library science degree for my brother Jorge."
"Stranger things have happened," I replied. "I'll let you know what Anthony says."
We ended the call. I immediately called Anthony.
"What's up, Bro," Anthony said as he picked up the call.
"Do you have a couple of minutes?" I asked.
"For you, Bro," Anthony said. "I could even spare several. What's up?"
"Noel just called me," I explained. "Gavin, Noel's boss, is looking for a creative graphics artist to work directly Gavin's team. Would you be interested?"
"How is this in terms of financial issues?" Anthony replied.
"The right person could get $80 thousand," I said. Silence came from the other end.
"Who do I have to fuck?" Anthony replied.
"No one," I replied. "Just talk to Gavin and dazzle him with your knowledge and creativity."
"I can dazzle," Anthony replied. "Tell me when and where, and I will show up."
"I'll let you know," I replied. "I'll let Noel know you are interested."
"Thanks, bro," Anthony replied. "I appreciate your support."
"This is what brothers do, Anthony," I replied as I ended our call.
I immediately called Noel. "What did Anthony say?"
"He's definitely interested," I replied. "He said to tell him when and where, and he will be there."
"I'll give Gavin Anthony's phone number, and they can work out the details," Noel added. "I already gave Anthony an excellent reference. I need to run. I will see you tonight. I'll even make dinner tonight."
"I'll let you," I replied as we hung up.
On my way home, I picked up Eagan at early pre-school on my way home.
"We learned about horses today," Eagan explained as I strapped him in his car seat. "They used to run around everywhere, but now people take care of them and ride them. Can we get a horse, Daddy?"
"I don't believe we can," I explained. "We live in a house in the city. We can't have horses at home."
"Why?" Eagan asked.
"Horses need room to run around," I explained.
"Why?" Eagan asked again.
"They need to exercise," I added.
"Why?" Eagan asked.
"So they don't get fat," I replied. "And before you ask, I believe we don't need anymore `whys.'"
"Okay, Daddy," Eagan replied as he engaged in a new picture book.
I smiled as I caught a glimpse of our happy kid.
Anthony and I decided to visit Mom and Dad after work a week after Noel set Anthony up with an interview with Gavin. When we arrived, Mom was sitting in the living room.
"Hi, Mom," I said as I kissed her cheek.
"Yea, Mom," Anthony said as he did the same. "Good day today?"
"Now that you two are here, yes," Mom replied with a smile. "Your father is running errands. He should be back in a few minutes. Sit! What's going on in your lives these days."
"Anthony has some news, Mom," I said.
"And, what might your news be?" Mom asked.
"Well, thanks to Noel and John, I will be starting with Hanley Dawson next week as a graphics designer for Noel's team," Anthony explained proudly. "I was at the right place at the right time."
"Congratulations, Anthony," Mom said. "Haven't you always wanted to work in an ad agency?"
"You bet!" Anthony replied. "This is a dream come true. Hanley Dawson is the largest ad agency in Boston. Almost the largest in the country."
"I am so proud of you, Anthony," Mom added.
"Thanks, Mom," Anthony replied. "I also get twice the salary and benefits! You cannot imagine. I am excited. It was luck and a lot of help from John and Noel."
"We just connected him with Gavin," I explained. "He did it on his own. Noel told me Gavin had 200 people to consider. Gavin didn't even advertise the position. Gavin picked Anthony over 200 others."
"You are on your way up the ladder. I can feel it, Anthony," Mom continued. "Both of you make your father and me so, so proud of you. What about the house, Anthony?"
"We are awaiting final approval for the loan," Anthony replied. "The officer in charge of the loan signed off on the papers. Now, it's up to the higher ups to make their decision, but it looks good we'll get the loan."
"I can't wait to see it," Mom effused.
"It won't be like John and Noel's, but it is exactly what we hoped to find," Anthony explained. "It needs work, but Tim and I are looking forward to tackling it project by project."
"Anthony is understating the potential of the place," I added. "It will be spectacular when it is finished."
"Anthony, your father and I hope you and Timothy can join us for dinner over the weekend," Mom said. "We want to give you something. We also want John and Noel and Eagan to be here as well."
"Sure," Anthony replied.
"We can make it, I think," I replied. "I'll check with John when I get home."
"Anthony," Mom began with a smile. "Will I be seeing another grandchild after you and Timothy get married?"
"Too early to tell, Mom," Anthony replied with a smile. "We don't work as fast as John and Noel most of the time."
"I'll be patient," Mom replied.
"We've got to run, Mom," Anthony replied. "I am meeting Timothy at a kitchen designer's place."
"We'll see you next Saturday," Mom said without getting out of her chair. "Love you both."
We headed to my car in silence. Anthony finally broke the silence, "What is with this `we want to give you something'?"
We concluded dinner with Mom and Dad before they delivered their gift to Anthony and Timothy.
"We have divested ourselves of some rental property we've had since we were married," my father began. "We were going to give it to you upon our deaths, but it seems to be a lot of work. We didn't want to saddle you with the burden. So, we are giving each of our sons and their husbands—or future husband on one case—part of the proceeds of the sale. Anthony, yours is larger than John and Noel's because we already gifted some of the value of the house the John and Noel."
My father handed an envelope to Anthony. "Holy sh... Molly," Anthony exclaimed. "Four hundred thousand dollars. What in the name of... whatever did you sell?"
"A developer bought all four buildings, which are next to each other," my father explained. "They offered nine hundred thousand and settled on one million."
My father handed me another envelope. This envelope held a check for $100 thousand. "You don't need to do this, Mom and Dad. You already made it possible to buy and renovate the house. You've given us too much already."
"Of course, we don't need to do this," my Mother replied. "We wanted to give this to you both. We thought you could use this now, not when we are dead."
"If you don't need the money, John, Noel," my Father continued. "Put it in a college fund for Eagan."
"Explain to me, please, how you happened to own four apartment buildings in a row," I added.
"You remember me telling you your great-grandmother inherited well at various points in her life," my Mother explained. "She taught your grandmother the same skills. I am not giving you all the details. I suspect it is best you don't know everything!"
"Did you learn any of your mother and grandmother's inheriting skills?" I asked.
"I'm not telling," my Mother said with a coy smile.
To be continued...
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This is my 21st 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 depicting 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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