Upon arriving home, I received a call from the funeral home, they wished to know if I was ready to meet with them. I said I must call them back as I wasn’t sure what was going on with Cat and her appointment yet.
Thankfully the hospital got back to Cat within the hour and offered her an appointment next week. I think we all sighed with relief as it seriously eased up on the pressure of the entire situation.
“Looks like were all good,” Cat said smiling. “We are all set up for next week and Dr. Devereaux said the delay should be fine.”
I was relieved that she had already checked with her OBGYN. If she hadn’t I would have suggested it, just to make certain.
“Have you… told Liam?” I chose not to take this fight. It made sense why she’d want him there, I just didn’t like it. This however, isn’t about me and I’m glad I didn’t get a chance to react earlier because it gave me the opportunity to sort out how I really felt.
“Not yet,” Cat informed me and she didn’t look happy about the prospect of doing so.
“Is there a problem?” I asked, trying to keep my cool, which is hard to do when things involved Liam. I don’t like that he’s still part of Cat’s life. That he still has the ability to make her miserable and I can do nothing to stop it.
“No, it’s just knowing him as I do, I’m not looking forward to dealing with the phone call.”
“Why not text him? Keep it short. You’ve already told him you were possibly rescheduling. This is just a follow up,” Tina suggested, which took us both by surprise as neither of were paying attention to the fact that she was still in the room. I guess with how familiar Tina seemed with the house I sort of expected her to just settle in.
Cat now looked like she was giving the suggestion some serious consideration. “You know what? That’s not a half bad idea. Not that it won’t stop him from calling me, but then I can deal with him when I’m a little less irritated.”
“Happy to help,” Tina said beaming. “So, the doctor suggested I stick to one floor since stairs could be an issue if I get dizzy. Where did you want to put me?” Tina asked.
It was a good question and I really wasn’t sure. “Let’s see,” I said offering her my arm. “I’m not sure what my mother and father have done with Aidan’s room since he left, we do also have a guest bedroom but Aidan’s room would be better as it’s across the hall from ours should you need immediate assistance in any way.”
“Sounds good,” Tina said.
“Are you both hungry? I can whip us up some lunch if you like?”
“Yes, please,” I said, since Cat’s returned so had my appetite.
“Anything off menu?” Cat asked of Tina.
“Nope. I’m good with whatever you make, thank you,” Tina replied.
“Okay then. I’ll bring it up to you when it’s ready,” Cat said before walking towards the kitchen.
“Thank you!” I hollered after her. Then I turned to Tina. “Ready to get settled in?”
“Yep,” Tina said, she barely touched my arm as we went up the stairs. I’m guessing she wanted to test her own limits but I made certain to keep a watchful eye on her.
I lead her to Aidan’s bedroom, which had been right across from mine. We had shared one room until we got older and my mother decided we needed our own space.
I missed sharing a room with him. It was one of the benefits of my parents' decision to disown him. We got to live together again. I opened the door expecting the room to be made over like my own, and all of Aidan’s things removed, but I stood stunned as it was left exactly as I remembered it.
“Hey, you okay?” Tina asked, looking up at me.
It felt like walking into a dream. I let Tina go and ran my hand along the bureau that had pictures of him and I or him and William tucked into the sides of the mirror behind it. I pulled one out of the three of us and stood staring at it for a moment or two.
I placed it down and went to his closet. There were his assortment of clothes, mostly designer, he was well into fashion since he was a teenager. He half thought of becoming a model, but my father squashed that idea as soon as he spoke up about it.
I knelt on the floor and rummaged in the bottom. Wondering if it would be there. Everything else was here.
“Alex? Is everything…”
I held up my finger for Tina to hold that thought as I found what I was looking for. I pulled out the box and swiped some dust off of the top.
“What’s in the box?” Tina asked.
I sat upon the bed and opened it. Tina came further into the room and sat beside me.
“It was our memory box, Aidan and mine. Whenever something good happened to us, we’d take a memento of the moment and we’d keep it in here. I thought it disappeared when my parents had turned my room into a guest bedroom, but I had forgotten that Aidan had the box last.”
I pulled out a gay pride pin. “This was the pin, William had given Aidan when he finally admitted to him that he was gay.” I ran my thumb over the pin. “It was also the day that he told me he was in love with my best friend,” I half laughed and half sobbed from the memory.
It was all there, in the box, every shared moment my brother and I had, our triumphs, our awards but also just our special moments together.
A small rock had caught my notice. “No, it can’t be?” I said, pulling it out, it was exactly what I thought it was, it still had a little blood on it from where it cut Aidan’s forehead. I didn’t know he kept it. That was the day I stood up to Aidan’s bullies.
We were coming home. It was eighth grade. Some no account named Colin kept at him, everyday at school. I hated that kid. One day he was lying in wait for Aidan, him and a few of his buddies.
We heard a loud bang in an alley and someone yell, “Hey, Homo!” Aidan turned to look and got hit in the forehead with a rock. It gashed him and blood ran down his face. I lost it. I went charging into that alley, tackled and beat the crap out of Colin until his two friends pulled me off of him and pinned me to the wall.