MARY ELLEN’S LEGACY
MICHAEL S. WITHERSPOON
Some people live charmed lives, not necessarily rich or famous, but everything seems to go right for them and everyone seems to like them. Most live ordinary lives with ups and downs and have to struggle to get by often wishing that they were one of the charmed few. The hardest lives are the poor and disadvantaged who try so hard just to make it through another day, the true champions of the world. And then you meet up with people like Mary Ellen Duncan. She was raised in a strict religious household that left her few freedoms and many chores to co-inside with the religions of the family. She had friends at school but they were neither allowed to call her or come over to visit, her time at school was to be spent bettering herself through education and then it was planned that she would enter a religious college. Plans are always subject to change.
It was when Mary Ellen was sixteen and living in Bay Watch, Indiana, the same small town of three hundred that she was born in, that she became impregnated by Jason Black, her high school sweetheart. It was difficult, as you can well imagine, for them to find time for them to get together but raging teenage hormones will not be denied easily. She had always felt alone and neglected until she met and fell in love with him. Theirs, however, was a love that was not meant to be. Her parents forbade them to see each other and pulled Mary Ellen out of school as a result. It would have brought much shame to her parents for her to have the baby there so she was sent sixty miles away to Irony, Indiana, to live with her grandparents until after she gave birth and gave the child up for adoption before returning home. Everyone in town was told that her grandmother was ill and Mary Ellen was going to take care of her. But before she got shipped out, Mary Ellen called Jason, and cried trying to get him to come get and her so that they could run off together and raise their child. But he told her that they were too young and the plan her parents had would best for everyone because he wanted to go to college. She was devastated and they never spoke again until after she gave birth.
Her grandparents weren’t much better than her parents, treating her like she had robbed a bank instead of having fallen in love. As soon as she began to show she was kept in the house or the fenced in back yard. Most days she simply sat and looked at the fish in the aquariums in her grandparents house realizing that as pretty as the fish were, they were as trapped as she was. When she found out that not only was she was carrying twins, and that they were both males and were in excellent health. She was absolutely delighted and immediately decided on names for them. The first born would be named John and his brother would be named Sean. She begged that they would be kept together but the hospital said that they couldn’t promise her that, it would depend on whether a single family would or could for that matter, be able handle the two bundles of joy at once. She followed a good diet and took all of the vitamins that she was supposed to do to ensure that the children would be born healthy. When she went to the hospital for her last checkup before the anticipated birth, two weeks later, and was signing in at the desk, when her water broke. A nurse put Mary Ellen into a wheelchair and rushed her up to maternity as quickly as possible. No sooner did they get her on the table and cut her underwear off when John was born and less than three minutes later Sean made his arrival into this world. Mary Ellen never experienced the first labor pain and although the children were supposed to be taken out of the room immediately, the nurses and the doctor, all of whom had seen her through the pregnancy and had very large hearts, let her hold her sons for a few minutes before they were taken away from her forever.
After the babies were cleaned up, they were placed in her arms where she hugged and kissed them both before speaking to them. They were identical and yet not. The dark haired child, John, had his father’s coloring, jet black hair, deep blue eyes and favored his father in his looks. Sean on the other hand had Mary Ellen’s blonde hair and green purposeful eyes and favored her family more. Mary Ellen told her sons that the wicked family of theirs wouldn’t let her keep them but they would always have her love and that she would always be watching over them. Then they were taken in separate baskets to private viewing rooms to meet their new parents, ironically a dark haired couple and a blonde/redhead couple fell head over heals with their new sons and families were bonded immediately. Both were told that the mother’s only request was that they keep the first names that she had given them and they agreed. Neither couple was told that their son was a twin. So the next day while Mary Ellen was recuperating the babies were being taken to their new homes, John left to reside in Manhattan, N.Y. while his brother Sean was taken by his new family to live in Clearwater, Fl to where they would begin their lives.
The grandparents picked Mary Ellen up from the hospital and on the ride back to their place she was told that her parents would be there the next day. She settled in her room and then went downstairs to her grandfather’s shop in the basement and hunted for one of his small revolvers, the short kind that only held six bullets and could be concealed easily. Grandfather was taking a nap up stairs and Mary Ellen walked quietly into the room and gently woke him. “What the hell are you doing in my room?” He asked her.
“I’m here to send you to hell where you belong,” She told him and then blew his brains out.
Next she went out to the garden where her grandmother was tending all of her plants both flowers and vegetables and walked across the newly planted seedlings and her grandmother asked her, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m sending you to hell to be with granddad,” Mary Ellen said and then put one shot in the middle of her grandmothers forehead killing her instantly. She went back in the house, filled a large glass to the brim with orange juice and sat on the sofa waiting for her parents to get there, with her gun by her side and just watching the fish swim back and forth like they had some where important to go.
Her parents arrived at ten the next morning and her mother came to the house while her father added water to the radiator. When Mary Ellen’s mother asked her where grandma was she pointed to the garden. “That’s no surprise, mom we’re here,” Her mother said and headed for the garden with Mary Ellen fast on her heels. Grandma was laying on the ground and Mary Ellen’s mother rushed over to her side and rolled her over and saw the gun shot in her mothers head and before she could even ask what happened, Mary Ellen put a bullet in the back of her mothers head. Her father hearing the gunshot ran into the house and hollered, “What the hell is going on in here?”
Once inside the house she told her father, “Everyone is going to hell in a hand basket daddy, and you’re next.” One bullet straight through the heart took him down. She took his car keys and drove back to her hometown and looked up the father of her two sons at his family home and told him about their two beautiful sons, children that he will never have a chance to see. He saw her pulling the gun out of her pocketbook and started running. Her first shot hit him in the ass and when he turned back towards her, she shot him in the balls and let him live like that and left him crying on the lawn as she sped off.
Returning to her home, she wrote a note explaining her actions, signed it and laid it on the coffee table before laying back on the sofa and peacefully willed herself to die of a broken heart. She wouldn’t know for any certainty that her sons had found good homes but as the fates would have it, they would both grow up happy, healthy and surrounded by love.
John became John Carter Evans II, the only child of John and Louise Evans. Mr. Evans Senior began working as a factory worker and now had three of his own. Two of them produced uniforms for restaurants and hotels and the other manufactured off the rack clothing for retail stores and they were sold throughout the United States and abroad. He finally married his secretary and five years afterwards found out that they could not have children the natural way and turned to adoption. John looked a lot like his father’s baby pictures and no one would ever have been the wiser if they said that John Jr. was his own flesh and blood but they had decided up front to let their friends and families know what they were planning to do. Everyone agreed that John was a wonderful gift from God for the couple and that it would complete their lives. Some of their more wealthy friends decided to do the same to add to their own families following their example.
John’s resemblance to his father changed over the years as children often do, but father and son grew to be the best of friends and their friendship only grew stronger over the years. They went nearly everywhere together, or at least when his father was not at work. He also wanted for nothing, if he asked for anything at all his parents saw to it he got it. But he wasn’t a greedy child and that helped his father’s decision to give him everything and more. On John’s third birthday his father took him to a pet store to buy him a dog. John’s father fell in love with a collie puppy. John just sat on the floor and stared at the tropical fish displays, watching them swim back and forth in the large tanks as if they had somewhere special to go. Dad bought the collie and had some of the brightly colored saltwater fish and the tank delivered to the house that night. For months he would spend every waking moment he was not with his parents, in front of the tank, completely mesmerized by them. New fish were added constantly and young John would name them all. As the years passed and John moved into a larger room that would be his for life and his father bought larger tanks and established a charge account should he see any thing else he wanted to put in them. John’s interest continued and he would travel to any and every aquarium available. Later when he was old enough and got the training necessary, he began scuba diving mostly to watch the fish. He also developed an interest in photography along the way and eventually found that he could combine his two loves with an underwater camera. John senior had a photography studio built for John and his mother would nag him about whether or not she should bring his clothes and school books down there. He got the message and began spending more time with the family at the main house and spending more quality time with them. He did however, supply the family with some of what he considered he better pictures on a regular basis, much to his mother’s delight and his father’s pride.
The family went on some of the most wonderful vacations together and John’s mother told him that just trying to keep up with him was keeping her young. His father did a lot of things with him at home but vacations were what his mother loved, away from everyone and her daily grind, she became a child again with John. His father was never jealous of this bonding time between them but actually reveled in it because it was like bring a bride home from each vacation.
John discovered that high school was both exciting and scary. He was rapidly becoming and adult and his body and mind were going through so many changes that he was not sure at times that he was quite ready for. It was during those four years that he came to realize that he was gay and glad to find out that he was not just a nerd. Gay he could handle but being a nerd was something that he could not. While most of his guy friends were checking out the girls he was scopeing out the guys without even realizing why until the light in his head went on and he began to enjoy the sport of it. It took the first couple of years to fully realize just exactly what his being gay meant and talked it over with his parents without feeling any fear, due to their constant closeness. Both of them had gay friends and there were many of them at the plant as well. John told them that he had to be whatever it was that made him the man that he was becoming. Louise admitted to the two Johns that she wasn’t really the grandmother type anyhow and everyone laughed. His parents also arranged to have some of their gay friends talk to him as well. He had met some of them before at parties there at the house and other homes but never quite made any connections before this that they were gay. They told him horror stories about the gay life and the real problems of trying to hide who you were, and that in some places it was still not cool and that he had to watch his back. On the other hand, they would tell him, when he met the right man that everything else will fall right into place. “It is just like being straight only there is twice as much testosterone in one house,” One of their friends had told him and they all laughed.
John’s best friend Sam and he were both overachievers and had a friendly competition going on each year since grade school to see which one would be the best in class, and they were tied for first place at their school in their junior year rolling into exams. It didn’t really matter to them which was first as long as the other was second. The final exams for the year were going to be rough and they both knew that. They had made arrangements to have a weekend sleep over at John’s place because he had no brothers or sisters to disturb them like it was over at Sam’s house. John had a small refrigerator that was constantly restocked by the maid and they also had a microwave oven in there as well. John and Louise took their cue from the boys and went out for the night and promised not to check on them until the morning and would stay out of John’s room as long as they showed signs of actually being alive in there.
John and Sam started on Friday afternoon, going right to John’s house after school, went upstairs and started cramming after removing shoes and shirts. After being up all day and until four in the morning when the words on the pages began to blur and their eyes burned, the boys stripped down to their shorts and jumped in bed. Once the lights were out the only light in the room was provided by the full moon outside the bay of windows. Unclothed and relaxed they began to talk about everything they had been studying that night and began to rag on some of their classmates at school. Who knows what time it was when the both finally crashed and passed out, but they did. Several hours later though, they woke up in each other’s arms with legs wrapped around each other and quickly jumped out of bed. Each one wondered if anything had happened during the night but both were convinced in their own minds that they would have awakened if it had. Neither spoke of it until around midnight of their second night of their cramming party. John spoke first saying, “I don’t know if anything happened between us last night but it would not upset me to know that it did except I would rather have been awake to have enjoyed it.”
“I feel the same but I do know that I was way too tired to have instigated anything,” Sam told him.
That said they went down stairs for food and then returned back upstairs to the books. But they decided around two in the morning that it was time to call it a night. It was almost the third day of their session and they had to know everything by Monday morning. Again they stripped down to their underwear and jumped into the big bed, but the talk that night would not be of studies or classmates. Instead they talked of the feelings each had for the other and also about being virgins, except they had each kissed girls at some point and although they really didn‘t enjoy it, it was a learning experience. There was a lot of talk to in the locker room at school, although most of it was wishful thinking, however it did give all of the virgins something to think and talk about. Graphic descriptions of what they had done to the girls in question and how they loved it was the stuff of wet dreams and choking chickens under the covers.
With only the third night of the full moon to guide them, the best friends began to explore each other’s bodies and did lots of kissing. It did go further a little later that night and in the many months to come, right up until the time that they set off for college the following year. Sam knew by his father’s language that it would not be a good idea to let him know about their liaison, fag and queer were not pretty words in his house. The boys did exchange sleep overs at each other’s house and when they turned seventeen, John’s father arranged, in full knowledge of what was going on between them, for the boys to have an expense paid holiday that summer at one of the theme parks in central Florida. The first two days were spent in the room where they were free to make any noises and any experimenting that they cared to do. And after those days they hit the rides and shows. But it was on the drive back that they took a side trip to Charleston, South Carolina where John found the college of his dreams.
Ocean Bay College was dedicated to the search, rescue and study of marine life and everything else dealing with Oceanography. There was a six-month curriculum up front that was nothing but hitting the books before you ever set foot on the boats. Students had to be able to identify and categorize them before even thinking about an outing. Many of the students drop out by the end of their second year but it was a fully accredited four year college. John gathered up all of the information he could find and knew that he would be able to search more on the net. Sam was going to Harvard and they would have to commute on holidays and vacations and maybe long weekends, if their relationship were to continue and both hoped that it would. But this was what John had dreamed of all of his life without even knowing it. Sam said the he had a scholarship to go to Harvard or he would try to get into a university there in South Carolina. John was also afraid that his parents would be upset because he too was scheduled to go to Harvard. They of course wanted whatever it took to make their son happy and reveled in his discovery. His dad kidded him about wishing he had never bought John that first aquarium. Louise laughed and gave young John a big kiss on the cheek. “You have always been fascinated by those fish and I guess it is the next natural next step for you to go and study there. But don’t forget that you are the lone heir to dad’s factories and someone has to run them,” His mother said.
“And just who doesn’t know that you are the one that actually runs the place,” John asked his mother. “Dad just goes out and gets new customers that you have to supply with the finished products.”
“Are you calling me a slacker?” His father asked. “I’m the one that founded those factories if you don’t mind. I just let her think that she runs the place and give her a big salary. Also the designers work better with her, she understands the designs, all I see is the finished product.” Louise and her son just laughed but she gave his father a mean look that she could not hold for very long.
There were a lot of sleep overs on their senior year and Sam and John enjoyed each of them to the fullest. Each knew that there would be temptations out there and many who would just like to break them up just to say they did. It was agreed between them that if temptation got too strong it would be alright for them to give in once in awhile but the other didn’t want to know about it. They also knew that the likely hood of them staying lovers with that great of a distance between and the differences in curriculum would be almost impossible, but they were going to try. The summer before college the two of them took off and were gone for a month. They drove to California, up to Washington and across the northern states before returning home again. If they did break up, they decided, they had one hell of a honeymoon and met a lot of interesting people along the way. Many they had met on the internet and made arrangements to catch up with them on their trip. Then they spent time with their families and getting ready for their big send offs. John had to leave a full month before Sam and it was the hardest thing he had ever had to do.
Adam Simon was tired as hell what with his heavy workload at the office and so after a quick dinner he sat mindlessly watching television. But when one of those weekly hour-long news programs came on he sat straight up. The intro before the real program came on said, “Stay tuned for our special hour-long look about how to build a better boyfriend”, and then went to commercial. Well, needless to say he wanted to hear what they had to say on the subject. Since he came out of the closet he had not had one decent relationship. Maybe it was him or maybe it was them, who knew. His friends told him that he just kept getting involved with the wrong kind of guy. If ‘the wrong guys’ were airplanes, then certainly he must be the airport from hell. He was sure that this program was probably geared to the female audience but what the heck, maybe the good doctors on this show could throw a little help his way too. A quick trip to the kitchen for another soda and he made it back to the sofa just in time to see the program from start to finish. And he didn’t budge an inch till it was over.
“Welcome to our show tonight.” The commentator started. “Have you had a string of bad relationships (DUH) or perhaps just one that was so devastating that you are unwilling to go out and test the waters again? Well we just might have the ideal man for you, because you build him just the way you want him. Our guest tonight is Dr. Ivan Mandalay and he is here to talk to us about the new android technology that will soon be available. Get a pen and a piece of paper ready because at the end of our show we will tell you where to call to have a chance to participate in a research study program and receive one of these androids free for just being part of a test study.”, The anchor said.
The good doctor and his staff had created these little beauties that could easily be mistaken for human. One of them was sitting right there, listening and talking with the doctor and they didn’t tell you that he was one of them until the middle of the show. The inner workings (computer chips, data banks, voice recognition and audio-video feeds, etc, etc.) were already programmed for normal operations and only waited for its owner’s commands to complete them. His exterior, the hair, eyes; body type and skin tone were all waiting for the owners to describe in detail the complete the package. The android would then listen to your voice as it’s master/mistress and from that point on you would be in complete control. “For taking part in this controlled experiment there will be no monetary payments, other than any possible damages, however if things work out well and you wish to keep your android lover, it will be yours free of charge, except for normal maintenance.” Dr. Mandalay said. “They will sell for around half a million dollars each when they go on the market, so you can see we are not talking about toys here. The programming that you enter would be for personal commands such as personal security and for protection, or for having him enjoy the same things as you do, and display affection in the manner that you dictate. Those are the kinds of things that you will want to add.”
Adam was getting a raging hard on just looking at the already completed models, and at this point he still didn‘t know that the doctors assistant on this show was one of them. Those guys could have just walked off of a photo shoot they were so hot. And you get to choose just about everything about the looks of your new buddy. Oddly enough, they said that they were looking for gay men and straight women in order to get an all round view of how things would go for future models and how to gage sales. It was further stated that your ‘boyfriend’ could be set up as a top, bottom or versatile and you choose everything about him right down to the size, shape and cut or uncut of his lower equipment. Adams head was spinning and he was even dizzier than normal. Your new ‘boyfriend’s’ body would be covered in a new material that was extremely realistic both to the sight and to the touch, and they were still waiting for their patent of an even newer skin, that they promised was realer than real. No one other than a doctor or other health care professional would be able to tell the difference. They went on and on throughout the rest of the hour, but Adam was simply waiting for the phone number to come up. He had the phone in his hand and was ready to dial instantly.
He could not believe his luck because when the number did show up on the screen he dialed it immediately, and got thru right away. He spoke with the woman that answered the phone and she took some preliminary information from him. It was being done on a first come first serve basis and he was definitely up there as his was the third call received. It would take them about twelve hours to run a background and credit check on him and make sure that he didn’t want his android to go around robbing banks or anything like that. (You know, you don’t even think about those kinds of things until they plant those seeds in your head.) Although there was a lot of programming that would keep that from happening, they wanted to go to every extreme to try and insure the safety of him and themselves. He would also put himself in front of you to protect you from being shot or otherwise harmed. The screening woman told him that he would be called between eight and ten o’clock the morning after next to make sure that everything checked out and asked him if there would be a problem with that. Also, to make insure the safety of their ‘boyfriend’, he was told not to speak to anyone of this matter. Not your parents (like that was going to happen) close friends, co-workers, absolutely no one. Once you are cleared you will need to spend about two weeks here with us, at our expense of course, including roundtrip airfare. At that time your preferences would be loaded into his data bank and you will also be making choices about his physical appearance. It would be nice if you already have a name chosen when you arrive so that he can start talking to you and he will recognize your voice as the main one to answer to. He will have no free will, ever. Don’t panic though, you will be able to give him additional commands when the two of you leave here. She then asked if he had any further questions at this time?”
He told her, “I’m just trying to absorb all of the information you have just given me. I know that I will have more questions as soon as we hang up but right now I’m drawing a blank.”
She said, “She understood and that if he had any questions or concerns to just write them down and he could ask them when he got there.”
He did very quickly ask, “Do the units have regular biological functions and were they sexually functional?”
“Your unit will be able digest food but it will be burned up inside his system, anything he drinks will come out in the normal fashion when his gages hit a certain limit and he will ask you for directions to the bathroom about a half hour before that happens.” She told Adam. “In the event you are one the road or in an area where facilities are not available, he can wait up till one hour beyond that limit. Sexually he will be able to function with the grace and ease of a regular human male and a fluid imitating sperm will be released on your command that is harmless to humans, can be ingested and has a pleasant mint like flavor.” And on that note, they ended their conversation.
He barely slept for a day and a half, even calling in sick from his cell phone so as not to miss a possible early call. He knew his background check would go through, he had to have one for work because his company worked on government contracts and all employees had to be cleared. He kept the television and radios turned way down low so as not to miss the call. Reading was out of the question as his concentration was nil. He had tried to read and read the same paragraph of the newspaper three times and still could not tell you what he had read.
As a distraction Adam tried to make up a list of names for his ‘boy friend’ but nothing seemed right. He didn’t want anything too macho nor too feminine either. Definitely none of his old boyfriends, lovers or tricks names would do. Then he remembered that his sister Maryann had left a book of baby’s names when she was visiting. She had come to town to spend some time with her older brother and started having morning sickness. They had gone out to by a couple of those home pregnancy tests to check and make sure before calling her husband who had been unable to make the trip with her. She saw the book and picked it up just to browse threw, bought it and wound up leaving it there for him just in case he ever got pregnant. A joke between them. since she was the only one in the family that knew about his true sexual orientation. It turned out that she was pregnant and flew back home to tell him in person. Adam took a pencil and started at the back of the book moving forward, scratching out the names he knew he would definitely not use.
When he finally found the right name he could not believe he didn’t think of it on his own. Ethan. There was a film star a while back that was a very hot man and he teased with his friends after seeing one of his films that if he ever had a child he would name it Ethan whether it was a girl or a boy. Everyone got a laugh over that and called him a nellie old queen. Well wait till they see his baby Ethan now. He wondered if Ethan would be able to tolerate alcohol or not. If you are going to be able to hang with his friends you better be able to. While he was thinking about he wrote down that question.
Finally the phone call came in and he was told that he was approved for the experiment. The following Friday he would go to the airport, his ticket would be prepaid waiting for him and all he had to do is show them a picture ID at the ticket counter and they would hand him his roundtrip ticket to New York City. She had given him the time of the flight, the flight number and the name of airline, and then told him that someone would be there to meet him on there end and drive him the rest of the way. It would be a two-hour ride after the flight, so he should wear something comfortable. When he arrived he would first be taken to his room and someone would come and get him after he had a chance to freshen up and unwind. And after that they would take things one step at a time. It will probably be three or four days before you actually get to see him but don’t be worried or disappointed. We will be getting your specifications for him and doing some voice matching with you and teaching you some commands to use and teach you some minimal maintenance that you will have to be able to perform to keep him up and running so that nothing major goes wrong.
A friend drove him to the airport and promised to check his mail while he was gone. At the airport his friend asked again for an emergency phone number and he said that he had packed it but would call later in the day and leave it on his machine. He wasn’t sure if there would be a phone in his room or not that would allow for incoming calls, but the friend felt better knowing that he would call.
It was turning out to be a glorious day. Not a cloud in the sky as he waited for the skycap to finish tagging his luggage. Once inside, he marched his happy ass right over to the ticket counter and said that he had a prepaid ticket on the computer and handed the agent his driver’s license. She keyed in some information and she handed him his ticket, told him his gate number and pointed him in the general direction of the gates. He checked his watch and found he had enough time to get one more diet soda down before the flight. I will probably be pissing myself to death on the plane, he thought. With his newly acquired soda, briefcase and trench coat in hand he headed down to the gate. When he checked in at the gate they told him that he would be sitting in first class today and he said something about a first time for everything and she looked at him with a puzzled face. He figured that most passengers knew what part of the plane they would be sitting in even if he didn’t.
A light brunch was served and he had a Bloody Mary, since they were free. His flight was as smooth as ice until the got close to the New York area. The flight attendants were telling the passengers that there was a light snowstorm surrounding the airport and there was a lot of wind associated with it. The captain was making the adjustment now to correct things and assure a safe landing. Adam ordered another Bloody Mary and asked her to make it a double. Within a half-hour they had touched down to a very smooth landing. As he was deplaning he noticed that the snow was really coming down now. When he finally reached the terminal side of that tunnel he saw an older man in a driver’s uniform holding a place card with his name on it and he signaled the driver over to the side. The driver first took him to the limo with the heat already on, and then he took Adams tickets and collected his bags and put them in the trunk of the limo. The old fart knew how to drive on those icy roads and since Adam was nice enough to tell him to just call him Adam the driver softened up and started pointing out what he thought were sights of interest. The third shot of vodka was kicking his ass and he told the driver he might just nod off for a bit. When he awoke they were at the offices of the MANN Industrial Complex. Not knowing if this was the place or not, Adam waited for the driver to catch the door. He said that his bags would be sent directly to his room. Adam tried to tip him but he explained that they paid him quite handsomely and he was not permitted to take tips. He did, however, thank him for the offer.
Once inside the main building people were falling all over him. They only had one ‘host’ (what they called the recipients of the androids) arriving on any given day so they had more than adequate staff. Six of the staff members were gathered around a large conference table as the seventh led him in. At the time he had no idea why there were so many but he would be told later. Two of them were psychologist and a psychiatrist, one was a doctor, a nurse, one was a biological engineer, a linguistics coach and the seventh was a facilitator for the whole group. They put him through a battery of questions some right on top of the other. What they wanted to see partly was how he would be able to stand up under stress. If they had just asked him he would gladly have told them what his last five lovers had put him through and why this was going to be the best thing that ever happened to him. In fact, the psychiatrist and the psychologist would be questioning him on his former relationships to hopefully prevent the same thing from happening with their android. When they asked him if he had chosen a name yet, he told them right away. They asked why that name and he explained it to them. Would he like the android to look like the actor? He said, Hell no, everyone would be after him and trying to take him away from me if I did. Mind you I want him to be very good looking but there is already one Ethan, the actor and person. If anything ever happened to him, I would be saddened at the very sight of my android.”
The group at the table had been waiting for him to speak of the android in a possessive phrasing. He did not know how they were grading him but he passed this test at least. After about fifteen more minutes of questioning he was taken to his room. The room was really a suite of rooms and he almost wondered if they were going to put two or three other people in there with him. It was every bit as large as his apartment back home. His clothes were already unpacked and put on hangers or in drawers. Hell this place was so nice maybe they would just let him and Ethan stay here. There was a twenty-four hour cafeteria that served just about anything you could imagine, and you didn’t have to wash the dishes either. If you wanted to just stay in your room and eat, you could just call in an order and they would deliver it to your room. There was a television with all of the cable channels you could possibly ask for and a VCR but no tapes and no mention of a library either. There was a phone in the room for incoming and outgoing calls but there was no secretarial service. He called his friend back home and gave him the phone number and told him that his Aunt had no answering machine so he should just keep trying if there was an emergency. Adam also gave him his sisters phone number and quickly called her to tell her he was out of town for two weeks and had told the guys he was in New York with his Aunt. She laughed and said that they didn’t have an Aunt in New York and he said he knew. She tried pumping him for information as to where he really was and he told her she would have to wait for when his memoirs were published. They talked for a couple of minutes and then he hung up. He knew that all of this secrecy would drive her nuts because they have always told each other everything since they were kids.
About an hour after he got to his room there was a knock at his door. The medical doctor wanted to get a complete history and physical on him and thought he might be more comfortable doing it here rather than some cold, sterile office. Adam agreed that it would as he hated doctor’s offices all his life. He collected the history information in great detail and then told him to strip to his underwear. The problem was that he wasn’t wearing any and forgot that fact until his trousers were half way off and he was already exposed. The doctor quickly reassured him that this was okay, he was quite used to seeing the male human anatomy and found no shame in it. He poked and probed everywhere and then took some blood samples and told him he could dress now if he liked or just stay naked however he felt most comfortable. Adam retrieved his bathrobe and put that on. They talked for a few minutes longer and then the doctor asked him if he would like to join him for dinner. Adam told the doctor that he thought he would but he needed to dress again and would meet him there. The doctor said he had to get the blood to the lab and put his reports in the computer and could meet him there in about fifteen minutes.
They found each other with little trouble, as there was hardly a soul in the place. Adam went for a killer bacon burger and fries, diet soda and cheesecake for desert. The doctor just had a shrimp salad and a glass of iced tea. He said he was trying to maintain his weight. Adam could eat anything with his metabolism and not put on a pound. But he didn’t feel the need to make the doctor hate him by disclosing this information. Adam queried the doctor as to his report on him and he stated that Adam was as sound as a bell they would just have to wait on the lab results to be certain. They talked for about an hour past finishing their dinner and then the doctor excused himself and thanked Adam for his company and left.
Adam returned to his room and stripped down to his robe again and watched a little bit of television. Again there came a knock on the door and this time it was the company lawyer wanting to ask him a few questions if he wasn’t too tired. This guy was a knock out and he could ask him anything he wanted. After letting him in, Adam said he would go put some clothes on and would return to the room. The lawyer said that it was okay, he looked pretty good just like that. So he joined the lawyer in the living room just as he was dressed. There were questions about him having a will and told him that he would have to make arrangements to turn Ethan over to a friend or family member or he would have to revert back to the company. Adam had honestly not given that any thought. Especially since he had not seen or interacted with Ethan as yet. So far he was still a dream waiting to come true. Then the lawyer talked to him about his financial future, had he made plans for the future; a 401k or IRA account; stocks or bonds? You will almost be taking on the role of an adoptive parent here and we are prepared to offer you financial advice if you would like. While Adam’s head was spinning, the lawyer asked if he might get something cold to drink. Adam walked the steps over to the fridge and returned with a canned soda and gave it to him. He then admitted to the lawyer that he had not really thought that far ahead and the lawyer told him that he could get back to them later, he just wanted to plant a few seeds.
Then out of nowhere, the lawyer told him. “You are a very handsome man and I’m sure you will make some lucky android very happy.”
Adam blushed and returned the compliment and asked, “Do you have a lover?” And was very surprised when the lawyer said, “No, but that the very sight of you is making me extremely excited.”
Adam told him, “I’m feeling the same way and the room is paid for, so unless you have some place you have to be I strongly suggest that you get comfortable.” The lawyer removed his suit jacket and tie and walked over to where Adam was now standing, took him in his arms and gave him one of those kisses that make you weak in the knees. The lawyer then untied Adams robe and let it fall to the floor. Next he let his hands follow all of the curves of Adams body and brought his hands to rest on his cheeks and ears and gave him another of those kisses. Adam was opening the buttons of the lawyer’s shirt as fast as he could and was fondling his nipples and burying his head in the hairy manly chest. Next he stepped back and undid his belt and trouser snap then tugged the zipper down until the pants fell to the floor. The lawyer slipped off his loafers and then stepped out of the pants and kicked them across the room. Adam bent down to the floor and helped him out of his socks and then pulled down his paisley boxer shorts and admired the view while the lawyer stepped out of them. As he rose from the floor, the lawyer lifted him up and carried him over to the bed and then got in next to him. This time their game of touching and feeling was extended to every inch of each other’s body. Hands and tongues going everywhere that they could. And some of the very best kissing that either had ever had. They got into some very hot sex and in every position imaginable, and then doing it all again. Adam was exhausted and covered with sweat. He told the lawyer he had not had sex in almost a year and it had never been that great. The lawyer agreed but said he had to go now but he would see him again before he left with his android.
Left alone with his just his thoughts, his head was just spinning. What if there was something wrong with his blood, maybe he had not done enough to protect the interest of the android and they would not let him have one. And if not, could he take the lawyer with him or stay here with the lawyer. The next thing he knew it was morning. They had not given him an itinerary so he didn’t know what to expect. He got dressed and headed downstairs for breakfast. He saw the doctor sitting alone and asked if might join him. They sat and talked about the results of some of the blood test. So far everything looks good the doctor had said. Then Adam asked him some questions about the company and commented on how smoothly everything seemed to be running. He answered all of Adams questions and said that the company had a rough start but that everything was going just smashingly now. He did not know what they had planned next for Adam but he could ask the next person that visited him. They should be able to help him. When they finished their meal he went back to his room and took a catnap while he waited.
He didn’t have long to wait. About a half-hour into his catnap a knock rapt on the door. It was the lawyer and he let him in. He said he was going to have a full day but wanted to know if they could meet for dinner and maybe he could stay the night. Adam’s response was an emphatic yes, and YES.
Ten minutes after the lawyer left there was another nock on the door and it was a Voice Recognition Specialist. She took him to a pair of booths in the east wing of the complex. After leading him into his booth she explained that she would be in the booth facing him. He had a set of headphones and a microphone that was built into the counter, and the height could be adjusted. There was a pitcher of ice water and a glass to his left for him to take drinks of water when she told him to. They would both be wearing the headphones and her microphone would go directly into his headphones. She would say a word and he would repeat it twice into his microphone, with a breath in between times. This was being done so that Ethan would be able to understand him when he spoke.
They would take a break at the top of each hour and this whole process would take about four hours. There was a thick cushion on his chair, otherwise he would have hemorrhoids the size of grapefruit by the time he got done. He was not looking forward to this but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do for his boyfriend. It just hit him that she had said, his android, Ethan.”
He asked her, “How did you know what his name was, since they had not discussed it.”.
She told him, “All of the information gathered thus far was on the chart and since only one of them would be working with him at a time, they had Ethan’s name already on his chart. Would you like to change that name?” But Adam said no.
The time was actually passing faster then he had expected. After a long list of words, they went on to phrases and then sentences. Then she told him, “We will run your voice patterns through the computer tonight and let him know if everything went well or not. Sometimes we may have to call you back for a couple of words or phrases just to make absolutely certain things will run smoothly when the two of you leave here.” She led him back to his room and talked much less technically than she had over the last four hours. Almost pleasant and with a lilt. “If something needed to be repeated we will call you by ten o’clock in the morning. Otherwise it was nice meeting you.” He said the same and then went into his room and took a quick shower before meeting the lawyer for dinner.
The lawyer was standing by the entrance of the dining hall waiting on him. Adam told him that he should have gone in rather than wait for him. But the lawyer told him, “Just watching you walk down the hallway made it all worth the wait.” Adam started blushing then the lawyer turned and led the way into the seating area where they sat and talked for a couple of minutes.
Adam said to him. “I feel so embarrassed, I never even asked your name last night. Come to think of it, no one has used their names around here.”
The lawyer told him. “They were simply not allowed to use names. We use our employee numbers even when talking to each other and that his was seven twenty-six. But you can just call me Seven.”
Adam cracked up and was saying, “My birthday is July twenty-sixth, 7/26. No way, “
“Really?” The lawyer said. “I must have skipped right over that and not noticed. Well then, I’m starved and you are going to need your strength later so lets eat up.”
They talked more over dinner. The lawyer was asking where exactly was Adam from, what was it like there, did he have many friends, what kind of work did he do? Adam said to him, “If I didn’t know any better I might feel like I’m being interrogated.”
“I’m Sorry, I guess it is just the lawyer in me.” The lawyer said. They looked across the table at each other and knew that it was time to leave.
The sex was just as wild and as much fun as it was before or maybe even better, then their first pairing. When they finally took a break, Seven asked him, “What do you think or at least hope sex will be like when you and Ethan got back home?”
Adam said, “I’m not quite sure what I should expect, hopefully it would be as good as what we have had. I was hoping that everything would go well and that we would have a long and enjoyable life together.” Now it was Adam’s turn to do a little questioning, “Will Ethan have any kind of feelings or emotions?”
Seven told him, “With the technology of today as good as it is, a well tuned Ethan will have a type of emotion but he would be dedicated only towards you and there would be no chance of him leaving you. He would be a fool to want to.”
Seven (Adam hated all of this secrecy with the names thing) told Adam, “In my best opinion, you are the type of loving and caring individual that anyone in their right mind would be looking for to make a lifelong commitment with. The hours we have spent together will stay with me forever.”
Adam was almost in tears and started kissing him and holding him. Then Adam started telling him about all of the bad relationships he had been through and the heartache they had caused him not only during but even after the relationship had ended. To run into his former partner in the bars or worse than that was to see them with someone else, was a killer. He wasn’t really sure how it was that he survived those times, except for the love of his friends. And when the television show about this place and the androids came on, well it seemed like the perfect solution to a great deal of my problems. When you are happy at home it reflects on the rest of your life. Truth of the matter is, I feel like I’m cheating on Ethan with you and I haven’t even met him yet. That must sound stupid to you but that is just exactly how I feel.”
Seven told him, “That it didn’t sound stupid at all, actually it was quite romantic and that he to hoped to find the ideal mate someday. Someone just like Adam.”
Room service brought the coffee, juice and toast at nine the next morning just as Adam had ordered it for him and Seven. They had already showered and dressed and were talking and watching the morning news. There was a knock at the door and he found another technician waiting on the other side waiting to take him down to the lab and go over the plans for Ethan’s completion. Seven looked at his watch and said, “I’ve got to get to the office right now but I would like to call you or just come by later if that was okay.”
Adam said, “Sure.“ And locked the door to his suite before headed down to the lab with the technician.
When he got to the lab he found that with all of the choices to be made he could be there all day. Eye color, hair color, skin tone, language and accent, height, weight, build etc. It was overwhelming to say the least. He thought he knew exactly what he wanted before he left home but now he wasn’t sure. The last couple of nights that he spent with Seven had his head spinning. He felt like he might be falling in love with Seven. Not just his looks or the great sex, but he seemed to be exactly what Adam had been looking for in a man all of his life. Then again, Ethan would never leave him. Adam and Seven both had good jobs and established lives that would mean one of them might have to be up rooted and he didn’t see that happening. To have Ethan built to look and act like Seven would be an insult to them both, and even if Ethan didn’t know, he would. He wasn’t sure what to do. The lab technician asked him if there was a problem and he said yes, and asked if it would be possible to see one of the psychiatrists. She called the doctor and he was able to see him right away.
The doctor had made arrangements to meet with Adam in his suite, thinking he might be more comfortable there and more likely to open up. To his credit, Adam didn’t go straight for the liquor cabinet but just headed for the fridge and got a diet soda while he waited for the doctor to arrive. When he got there they sat at the small table in the kitchen to talk. Adam had some of the best talks of his life over a kitchen table. He spilled his guts talking to the doctor, holding nothing back. The doctor asked him what he wanted to do to solve this situation and Adam but said, quite honestly, he wasn’t sure. He asked the doctor, “Is there was any kind of advice that you could offer and the doctor said he wasn’t sure, this situation had never occurred before?” Adam was holding up, but he wasn’t sure for how much longer. The doctor said he had to check on a couple of things and asked if he could get back to him in a couple of hours and Adam said sure, no problem, and the doctor took his leave.
About an hour later Seven showed up at his door and asked if he could come in. Adam let him in and told him, “A problem has arisen.”
When he was asked what was wrong. Adam told him the whole story and wasn’t even trying to hold back the tears as he did. Seven walked over to where Adam was standing and took him into his arms, just holding him tight and letting him get it all out of his system. When he finished, he backed away and grabbed a tissue. Adam felt like some nellie old queen again, but with red puffy eyes. Adam said, “I know it must seem silly or stupid and maybe both, but I have fallen in love with you. You are like no man I have ever known. By far you are the best lover I have ever had. You don’t hold back your feeling, unless I am reading you wrong, and with my track record I must admit that it is possibility. On the other hand, I know that Ethan will never leave me. Will never get sick or die on me and will take care of me always. You might say that you would do all of the same things, but all of my former lovers said the same thing and then they changed over the course of time. And you could as well, and I don’t want to go thru that again I want and need the security of a relationship to regain myself confidence, to throw myself head first into my work and build a career for myself and a fuller richer life for my partner and me.”
The doctor showed up at the door just as Adam finished talking. When he opened the door, both doctors and the nurse were standing there and asked if they could all come in and Adam opened the door wide to allow their entrance. They moved to the living area and seated themselves as he and Seven followed suit. They ran out of seating and Seven went to the kitchen and brought back a chair from there to sit on.
The psychiatrist Adam had spoken to said, “We were prepared for some of our guests to have innocent flirtations with some of the staff members but nothing on this scale.”
Doctor number two told him, “You are only the fourth person from the outside to be here and that the others seemed to only want a “robot” and nothing more than that. Along with your deep emotional caring you have also displayed strong logic, both rational and emotional.”
The first doctor said, “Those seemed to be a rare quality indeed to show these characteristics, as most humans don’t seem to be able to make the stretch beyond themselves. You are aware, I am sure, that you signed a privacy contract with us when you checked in, and Adam nodded, but didn’t know what this was leading up to. Then brace yourself. Everyone in this room is an android.” They gave him a minute to look at all of them trying to find something to prove what the doctor was saying was untrue. Everyone looked normal and human, and then he looked at Seven who reached out his hand to him. He took it but he felt a sense of betrayal, from all of them.
The second doctor explained, “It was the express desire of their benefactor that no one ever knows that the entire staff are androids. He too had felt the many stings of romance and was about to live his life alone when an inventor came to him with an idea. The first android ever built was for their benefactor and she was his loving companion until the day he died. The second went to the inventor with the same results. She was built with every likeness and feeling of his wife that had died in childbirth along with their only child. Their goal was to help others find the same happiness they had once known.”
Doctor number one said, “Every profile we ran on you showed that you would be an ideal candidate, and you have proven that every time we tested you, although I’m sure you were not always aware you were being tested. And Seven, as you so lovingly call him, was sent to test your sexual energy levels, compassion levels and your ability to give and receive love. He was only sent here once, the second and third times were completely on his own. We are not robots, we are far beyond the tales of old science fiction. What we are is science fact if you must put a label on us. There are some emotions built into us but the ability to expand those emotions exists and we are sure that is the reason Seven came back. He came back to us and told us an abbreviated version of the one you told me earlier. He had requested to have all of his memory chips be stored into the unit you want named Ethan so that he could stay with you.”
Adam turned to Seven and asked him, “Maybe it would just be easier to name you Ethan. Ethan Simon for that matter.” Ethan smiled at him and said he would like that very much.
It was the doctor’s turn to talk now he was very much in favor. He felt that Adam would be able to help Ethan grow emotionally faster than by staying here in his present position. But before they went any further, the doctors wanted to know how he would feel about staying on with them. There was much for them to learn and him to teach about human emotions. It would be a paid position of course, double what you are making back home, a fully furnished two-bedroom condo in the tower for the two of you and a limo at your disposal. In return they would ask that he sign a five-year contract to work with them, one that could be renewed or cancelled after the first five-years was up. Adam was caught up in all of the jubilation and then a sort of frown came across his face.
When asked what the matter was, “Adam told them about something that had been bothering him since Ethan’s first visit. He had said that Adam would have to make arrangements for Ethan’s care once he was gone and that brought his own mortality into view. He didn’t want to ever live without him, but now it would be Ethan that would have to go on without him.”
Doctor number one said, “Adam, first off you are still a young man and secondly we are one step ahead of you. We are going to make a mold of your body now so that a couple of years down the road, well you know.
Sean Patrick Evers, as he would be Christened at Saint Leo’s Catholic Church in Clearwater, Florida, was the other child of Mary Ellen‘s. His parents, Catherine and Patrick had been walking on a cloud since the day that they first received the phone call telling them that they were going to be parents. This day in their minds would seal for all of eternity that he was indeed their son. Both were brought up in the Catholic Church with all of it’s traditions and this superceded even the legal paperwork from the state. Sean could not have been more theirs if Catherine herself had actually given birth to him. He favored them both and other members of the family from the day that he was brought home from that small town hospital. When they had gotten the word, they threw a few things in a bag, grabbed the cell phone and off they went driving straight through. At first you could cut the silence with a knife, each afraid to break the luck if they talked about it. But then Catherine reached over and touched Patrick’s thigh as he drove and said, “Well, I guess this makes us old married folks now, what with a baby and all. No more staying out at parties, our child will be raised by us, not babysitters or nannies.”
“And don’t forget sleep, that is going to go right out the window as well,” Patrick said. “Even as the child sleeps I will be right by the bed staring in disbelief that unto us a child is given.” He broke out into tears and Catherine convinced him to stop at a diner and get some coffee and more tissues. Patrick admitted that he was acting like an old ninny and apologized for not being able to contain his emotions. Ironically that was the thing that Catherine admired most about her husband of ten years.
When Sean was placed into her arms the dam had broke and Catherine was bordering on hysterical. After about fifteen minutes she reluctantly let Sean be taken from her arms but not without constant advise from her as to how to hold him and what to be careful of. She was informed, by him, that this was not the first child that he had ever held. And so they cooed over him for awhile and then he was placed back into the crib while they signed their lives away, willingly.
Try as hard as she might, Catherine could not stop Sean from growing. All she wanted was for him to stay a baby all of his life and she could care for him. Patrick had his own fleet of fishing, touring and scuba diving boats, each with it’s own captain. That did not stop Patrick from going out with them or taking over when someone was ill. He hated being away from his wife and son and also away from the boats out on the waters. But Catherine and Sean had always been and would always be his first loves.
As soon as Sean was big enough to travel, he went off on the various boats and found his love on the scuba boats where they brought up the beautifully colored fish to be bagged and sold. Still unable to speak with a full vocabulary, at three years of age, he could point to the ones that he liked the best. Bold colors and shapes that were unknown to him at the time but he would squeal with delight as they were brought closer to him for further observation. Some of Patrick’s divers had their own underwater cameras and made sure that they all got some good pictures to put up in his room. He never wanted to leave his room after that and he would cry if you took him out of there even for a minute.
His interest in fish did not diminish as he grew and every weekend away from school he was out on the boat with his father from age ten on. He was taught to scuba dive and went out on one of those boats with his father and the captain, a handsome young man named Matt. Matt was the best diver and taught others that came there on vacation or supervised them underwater. The fish were so beautiful that they would nearly run out of air as the time flew by. Patrick liked to stay up on the boat, he had his years under the boat and preferred to be on top. The customers loved having Sean around and never objected. He was kind and considerate to all and could identify all of the fish to them. Jokingly, they would ask him when he was going to get his own fleet of boats but his standard reply was that he liked being with his dad.
Patrick would sometimes be called to captain the other boats and would ask Sean to go with Matt and help him out. His head was telling him to stay with his father while his heart was underwater with Matt. He had logged more hours in underwater than most of the professional divers in the area by the age of sixteen. Several times they were called to look for missing bodies or plane wreckage when they went down trying to make it to the local airfields when they would run out of gas. Sean had observed the fish enough to know that they were very inquisitive and would follow their trail to what they were looking for at the time. The nick name of Snoop Nose was awarded to him by one of the local law enforcement agencies and a small article in the local paper brought in even more business for his father’s boats.
The summer of his sixteenth year was his best and worst to date. Matt’s wife had left him for a man who was always home on time and had more time to spend with her. He said that it was probably for the best and Sean could not fathom how Matt could walk away from love so easily but never questioned him about it. Hurricane season was coming up and they were losing business. The locals knew when to go in and out but some of the tourist would brave the waters. With business being so slow, Matt asked if he could take some time off and do some serious diving, maybe a week. Afraid that Matt might not have taken the divorce as flippant as he had, Patrick struck a deal with him. If he took Sean with him, Matt could take the boat that he captained and he would even pay for the gas and maintenance up keep to give his son a real vacation. He could get away and clear his head and Sean would get the best vacation of his young life. The further out you went the more species of fish you can spot and catch on camera and that was exactly what Sean would consider heaven. Matt agreed on the spot. He and Sean had some really great times while they were scuba diving and it would me nice to have someone to talk to in the hours he was out of the water.
Patrick told Sean what he had said to Matt and they both went on a hugging frenzy. He asked Sean to keep a real close eye on Matt since no one knew what might really be going on in his mind since the divorce. Catherine registered her protest about being away from her baby boy for a whole week and was told that he wasn’t a baby any more. She rubbed her hand across the top of his head, messing up his hair and telling him that he would always be her baby and told him to have a good time and that he didn’t have to stay the whole week, he could come back early. But she knew in her heart that he would probably move out there if it were possible.
The second day they were out, the radio started going in and out and they blamed it on clouds and moved to another location. That was the night that Catherine and Patrick had gone out for dinner and a car ran a stop light and careened right into Catherine’s lap. For several hours she was pinned alive in the car while the fire department and paramedics tried to help her. Patrick stayed in the car with her trying to calm her while they tried to get her out. She seemed not to be in any pain and stated as much. All she could think about was that if she died now she would not be able to see Sean again and began to give Patrick messages to give to him. He insisted that she was not going to die and she told him that if she did, she wanted him to know all of these things and so he listened. Minutes before they were able to remove the wreck Catherine Evers died. Attempts were made to bring her back but all failed. Patrick refused treatment and was taken back to his home. It would be the next day before he would be able to try and reach Sean.
Matt and Sean kept moving around to find a good school of fish to follow and were becoming exhausted trying to do so. Back on the boat, Matt stripped off his suit and wasn’t wearing anything under it. Sean noticed and Matt noticed that Sean noticed. “I meant to stop and get new underwear and forgot, but it seems like you prefer me with out.” Matt said and turned slowly to give Sean the fifty-cent tour of his body.
If this was going to be the day he became a man, Sean was ready for it. He had always had this reaction when Matt took off his suit but there were always too many people around to strip down himself without exposing himself, literally. Sean had never actually had sex with anyone but his right hand before but he did have dreams and Matt was a major part of those dreams. Matt said to Sean, “Let’s get something to eat. By the looks of things we are going to need all the strength that we can get just to make it from now until morning.”
Sean followed along behind him and was getting anxious. “Couldn’t they just skip the food until they really needed it,” Sean was thinking, but he knew that it would be best to let Matt lead him. There was a lot of talking and questioning going on over their late lunch/early dinner. But when they retired to the cabin bed all was lost until the wee hours of the morning. With all of the wonderful sensations he had experienced in his short life, that one night will be remembered forever. And in the morning they would celebrate his seventeenth birthday in a most glorious manner. Patrick knew Sean was gay long before Sean did and also had figured out that Matt was more that his idol. Matt and Patrick had many conversations about what might happen and Patrick had also figured out that Matt was gay and wondered why he ever tried to conceal the fact. It was no surprise when Matt told everyone that he was getting a divorce.
Patrick and Matt had decided that the best thing was to wait for Patrick to discover himself and that he trusted Matt to do the right thing. Hopefully, Matt would like to think, he did. When Matt questioned Patrick about Sean’s age, Patrick would say that he was already more of a man than most of the guys on the dock and that as long as they kept it between the two of them no one would be the wiser. And when it all came down to it, everyone did. Sean never discussed his feelings with his parents, he was afraid of losing their love and would do nothing to jeopardize that. On the other hand he felt like he was compromising his own life and was determined to tell them about his feelings for Matt. There was less than ten years difference in their ages and he was a lot more compatible for Matt than his wife.
It was wonderful out there and Sean and Matt hated to come back but the radio was still full of static no matter what they did. They considered it a sign from God that they were not to be disturbed. Those on the dock avoided the two and that bothered them as there was no way for them to have known what went on there. Something was wrong but no one would speak of it. As soon as they docked and had the boat tied down, they headed straight over to Patrick’s house to find out what was wrong. Sean found his father on the sofa with bottles all around the living room, all he and Matt could figure was that Catherine had left him and both knew that was impossible. Then they saw the full page obituary and story of her life laying on the table. Sean fell to the floor and began to sob while Matt tried to rouse Patrick. Once Patrick’s eyes were opened enough to see Sean he jumped up and ran to him. He stumbled and fell into one of the chairs and Sean got up and ran to him. Matt felt that he should leave but he had always felt like a part of this family, even more so now and he moved to join them. They had missed the funeral by one day and Patrick was still too far under the influence to explain about the radio.
They helped Patrick up to bedroom and left him there clothes and all and then went down to try and clean the living room. Afterwards Sean made a pot of coffee for him and Matt and read the story. It was like a fairy tale up until the end. The fact that she stayed awake through all of the efforts to free her broke their hearts. Matt thought it might be best for him to go home but Sean pleaded until he gave in and stayed there with him. He wasn’t sure what his father would be like in the morning and it would be best if he had Matt there to help him. Sean promised not to pressure him for more sex but as it turned out that would not be a pressure but a comforting kindness. The only way for either to clear their minds and there would be no sleep on that night. Patrick awoke the next morning in his own bed and knew that he didn’t get there on his own. When he opened Sean’s door and saw the two of them entwined there he knew that Sean at least would be okay for now.
Patrick went down stairs and saw that it had all been cleaned up and made breakfast for them and two pots of coffee, one for him and one for them. He saw the newspaper report on the dining room table and knew that the had read it and would have a million questions when they came down and all he could do was tell them the truth. The smell of coffee woke them and they padded downstairs following the smell all the way. Breakfast went as expected and everyone cried in their half eaten eggs and talked until everything had been said that needed to be said. Patrick had gone to the funeral but remembered little of it so they all decided to go get some flowers and talk to mom. Even Matt thought of her a surrogate mother and it hit him just as hard as the others. At the grave side, Sean assured his mother that he would ditch college and stay there and take care of dad. Patrick told Sean, “No, you can’t do that. Your mother went on line after you two left and found the most perfect college for you. It is in Charleston, South Carolina and it specializes in Oceanography with some liberal arts courses as well. She left all of the paperwork at home on her desk, she was so excited and we had tried to raise you on the radio to tell you about that. By the way, what happened to the radio?”
“Everything was working fine until we came up from the first dive and all we could get was static from that point on,” Matt said.
“Between the three of us we can figure it out,” Patrick said. “And from what I saw when I went in to check on Sean this morning, you might as well move your stuff over here. That’s if Sean wants you under foot all the time.”
“I can help him pack,” Sean said. “But is it what you want?” Sean asked Matt.
Matt had been thinking of how he was going to be able to get along without Sean under his skin 24/7 and said, “I guess I can live with that.”
“I will have a year left after this summer before I have to go but I will be close enough to make it home on weekends.” Sean told the two men he loved. “And I’m sure that there are some local motels for trips during the week in slow season.
Sean and Matt went up to the school week and checked everything out and Matt thought that he would never get Sean back into the car to go home. Patrick was getting phone calls every night with reports from both of them. Matt was teasing with Patrick telling him that he found a job up there and would start when Sean went to school.
“Sean will be up there to study fish not screwing around, and I think that you two already have that down to a science,” Patrick kidded the couple and they said that they would be home by Thursday night.
There was a send off party down at the docks as word got out that Sean was going to college but would be back for holidays and the summer. It was a very sad day for Matt and Sean but they felt that what they had between them would still be there when Sean returned.
John showed up at the school, got all of the final enrollment papers finished and then found his room on the third floor facing the courtyard. He had to share it unless his roommate failed to show and he had his fingers crossed on that one. There were four buildings simply named, one; two; three and four, he was in building two. One faced three and two mated with four. His room was at the end of the hall with the elevator in the center of the building and a stairwell at each end. The rooms were large but not what he was used to at all, it was going to take some real finagling to place everything he brought to his side of the room. The people he had passed in the hall, other students he guessed, seemed to be quite nice. There was a real party spirit that would probably taper off once classes started the following Monday. Parking was a bitch and he wanted to park as far away from everyone else to keep them away from his dream car that his father had bought him for graduation. It was a candy apple red 1965 Mustang with white leather interior, completely refurbished and in top notch running order. Every time he would see one on the road he would drool and his father would say, “Someday”. His family, including Sam, came down about an hour after him and were standing in the courtyard with his father’s cell phone. They exchanged polite chatter for a minute and then he told John to look out the window and he almost shit himself when he saw the trio there. He was heading down the stairs and telling them that he couldn’t see anything. They were at the middle of the building staring up to see him in the window looking down and he snuck up on them for a group hug. Dinner was next at one of the local restaurants with lots of conversation about the room being so small when his father announced that he had paid for a private room and that he could spread out as much as he wanted. John jumped and ran over to his father and hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. Big John had tears in his eyes, he hadn’t had that much emotion from his son since he was ten. Sam and John played footsy under the table and rubbed each other’s thighs while talking to the folks. Louise told them what a happy couple they made and the boys just blushed and removed their hands. “You know that we have always considered you to be a part of our family before but I hope you know that it is official now,” Louise went further.
“I always thought of John as my best friend and you as my adopted parents but never even thought I would actually be this close to the two of you.” Sam told them. “I thank you both so much for accepting our relationship and I promise to never hurt John, not willingly anyway. I do love him very much.” Now it was Louise’s turn to cry. They finished dinner and then drove around town to see what all the fuss was about in Charleston.
They rented two rooms for the night that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean and it was a romantic view from their balconies but it was only viewed for about an hour between the two rooms and they left the next morning after a wonderful breakfast.
John was delirious about having the room all to himself and quickly started spreading out. Pictures he had taken were all over the walls of his room for any visitors to see. From his balcony he could see into the rooms across the way but could only see the balconies of the other two rooms. The courtyard was well kept with trees and flowers and there were paths leading from each building to a large gazebo in the center. He would have to go out and get some pictures in the daylight and also at night before it got too crowded he thought and then went back into his room and spread out some more.
Sean drove up to the building four of the school in his Jeep towing a small trailer behind him with all of the things he couldn’t bear to part with or just felt like he might want or need, including an eight by ten of him and Matt to put on his desk. He had seen the rooms when they were vacant but once he started moving his things in, with a roommate already there who was already unpacked he was waiting for the anxiety attack that was long over due.
His roommate Chuck was really cool and had been moved in for three days and getting bored. A path was cleared and the two of them went downstairs and unloaded the trailer and the Jeep and then Chuck rode with him to drop off the rental trailer. Sean bought lunch for the two of them in Charleston and they learned a lot about each other. When the arrived back at the dorm they continued to talk while Sean unpacked and when Sean boldly put the picture of him and Matt on his desk where he could see it from anywhere in the room. Chuck asked who the guy was and Sean said that it was his boyfriend. Chuck dug into his top dresser drawer and pulled out a picture of Tony, his boyfriend and put it on his dresser. “I’m going to take this as a very good sign that school and our friendship are going to be great,” Chuck said.
Sean said, “From your lips to God’s ears. I feel like I was drawn to this college for some reason, I don’t know what that reason is but I do know that it is going to be great.” After all of the unpacking was done Chuck and Sean headed out to explore the campus and the docks.
On their way they saw someone that appeared to be a student that was taking pictures of the gazebo area in the courtyard. “Who is that shutterbug over there?” Sean asked.
“I’m not sure but he has been taking pictures of everything that’s not moving and a few that are,” Chuck told him. “Every time I see him he has the camera hiding his face so it is hard to tell who he is. Nice body though.” With that said, they continued on their way. John saw Sean and Chuck walking towards the water and got a snapshot of them from behind and then whistled and they turned back around and shot him the bird before continuing on. John laughed and clicked off a couple of more shots before returning back to the job at hand, getting pictures of the messages etched into the wood of the gazebo. He was able to go back about twenty years by the dates on some of the carvings there and the dedication sign said as much as well. When he finished his third roll for the day he headed for the darkroom provided for the student’s use and printed out one copy of each before returning to his room.
Both John and Sean were extremely good looking and fairly well to do money wise. Throw in the fact that they were also both interesting and funny and you know why most of the dorm parties were held in their rooms and the other students felt confident in sharing problems and concerns they were having. The twins had no classes together the first semester and their paths never crossed but friends would tell each of them that there was another student here that could be a dead ringer for the other except for the different colors of hair. In fact, both would be asked when they had time to dye or bleach their hair as the case may be and the questioner would be met with equally curious looks. John and Sean assured all of their friends and teachers that they had no twin brothers but that it is said that everyone has a twin in the world and maybe they would get the chance to meet theirs, if it were truly so.
Eventually the day came that John was not hosting a party on a Saturday night and Sean and his roommate were and John went with a friend of his who wanted the two to meet. John was all eyes looking for the man who was supposed to be his twin, checking out every blonde in the crowd and not finding Sean anywhere. He was on an ice run and came back in to his room carrying bags of ice and handed them to John and ran back to the car to get the rest and ran back up all three floors to keep it from melting while people were tying up the elevator coming and going. When Sean returned with the last of the ice, John was emptying the last that he had into the cooler while others were digging it out almost as fast and filling their glasses. Sean parted the way and made it to the ice chest and blindly thanked John and started breaking the bags open to again fill the chest and the one cooling the beer cans. John was very seasoned in doing this so he jumped in until they were done and Sean dried his hand and extended it to John who was about to do the same when they came face to face and froze in place. Their mutual stare only lasted moments but seemed as though hours had passed as they stared intently at their mirror images before speaking. John spoke first saying, “You must be the guy everyone has been talking about. I have heard stories for months but I have never seen you on campus before. The name is John.” And pushed his hand forward to shake the one that Sean had already extended.
“I feel like I’m looking right into a mirror,” Sean said. “I like the darker hair but you seriously need to get out into the sun more.”
John laughed and said, “Blonde is nice and so is the tan, but I rather prefer me just the way I am.” John said that almost curtly and realized that he did. “I meant that in the nicest way. Is your hair naturally blonde?”
“Boy, you just don’t know when to throw the shovel away do you?” Sean asked.
“What is that supposed to mean?” John asked.
“Well the whole you are digging for yourself just keeps getting deeper and deeper,” Sean replied. “No, I don’t bleach my hair. Being out in the sun a lot does help to lighten it but I don’t bleach my hair, I’m just another run of the mill blonde, or I was until you showed up.”
Others in the room began to notice the two talking and even if you had not yet met the other twin you were still thrown back by their appearance together. The noise of the party was hindering the conversation between John and Sean and they each grabbed a beer and walked out on the balcony which was at the very least a little quieter. There they asked each other the preliminary questions that one would normally ask someone who looked exactly like them. And almost immediately the questions came rolling out. Where are you from? How old are you? And that was when the grim reality of the situation began to form in both of their minds. “I was adopted,” Sean volunteered. “Maybe we are twins and your parents didn’t think they could handle twins for whatever reason.”
“Actually, I was adopted as well, but if you only knew my parents that statement would never have crossed your lips. They wanted a house full but I guess I got here just as my dad’s business really began to take off and mom went back to work as soon as she felt safe leaving me with the staff to look after me.” John said quite winded. “Do you know where you were born or who your birth parents are? All I ever got was that I was adopted and my mother requested that I be named John and they honored her request. They said that they never even met her.”
“The same here.” Sean said. “My mother said she only wanted me to be taken care of and loved and that she wanted me to be named Sean, which I think is Irish for John, or that is what I have been told anyway.” Even on the patio the party noise was still putting a hamper on them hearing each other speak so John suggested that maybe they could take a walk together. Sean agreed and they snuck out together and no one even noticed until they were ready to go.
“Did you ever get the feeling that something was missing in your life?” Sean asked. “I mean I’ve had a great life up until my mom died and I was out on a boat in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico with my boyfriend when she did, and the radio fried and we didn’t know until we got home. But there were times that I felt, and this might sound stupid to you, but there was something missing in my life. I had plenty of friends and was popular in school but it was like, well I wished I had a brother or sister to talk to from time to time and other times I felt like I did but never knew them. Then you pop up. Did you have your appendix removed when you were about twelve?”
“Yes, and you hit your head on something and almost drowned when you were about fifteen I’ll bet,” John said right back at him and then quickly they showed each other the scars and laughed, but in awe that they felt each others pain. “When the Christmas break comes, John continued, “I’d love to take you home with me and walk in and pretend to be me and just ask them how they liked the hair. Both boys laughed till it hurt.
“Yeah, and I’d like to see the look on my lover’s face when he sees you too.” Sean said. “Not that it matters, but are you gay or straight?”
“Well I guess we are identical because I’m gay too,” John told him. “It took a long time for me to actually act on it but he is a really great guy, I can’t wait for you to meet him. We were supposed to go to Harvard together and both were accepted but then I found this place. I have this weird attraction to fish like you wouldn’t believe and when I found out about this place and came and checked it out I knew that this was the place for me. Would you like to come to my room to see some of the pictures I have taken and have hanging on the walls?”
“You must come from the redneck part of our family, we don’t invite relatives up to our room to see our etchings,” Sean said but agreed he would love to see them. When they got there and Sean found out that John had a private room he wanted to kill him. John was surprised to see that Sean knew what all of the fish names were both technical and their nicknames as well.
They settled on the bed and talked about nearly everything that had happened in their lives, staying awake until just about dawn and then went out for breakfast. Both had a burning desire to find out who their birth parents where and wanted to know if it was possible to find out. It would really be cool to walk up to their mother and introduce themselves to her and let her know that they turned out alright. Neither felt badly towards her for giving them up, after all they had both had great lives as it were, but they hoped that she would be able to tell them about other relatives they might have and see how they turned out. Possibly they had other brothers or sisters, maybe even some step family. Right after breakfast they tried to hack into the computer to try tracking her down but with no luck at all. A friend of John’s, William, came by and just freaked out when he saw the two of them there together. “Someone get me a camera, please.” The boys posed for many poses together and separately and John developed them. Immediately they were sent to both families with a note that simply said, “There is something fishy going on here, I found out that I have a twin, did you know?” And they were sent overnight mail.
Both families called the next day and wanted to know how they were able to take those kinds of pictures and freaked out when they were told the whole story. That weekend everyone was there, even their lovers and everyone was freaking out except Sean and John who had more time to get used to the idea. All that week they were nearly inseparable and had both questions and answers for their parents. Both lovers wanted to know if a three way was out of the question and were given an emphatic YES. The boys had a local doctor run some DNA samples and they came up conclusive so they had that to confirm everything when they were speaking to their families.
The parents were able to fill in some of the blanks as to where, when and what agency it was that set things up for them but neither had any information beyond that as far as the parents. Except that they were told that their mother’s name was Mary Ellen, that had slipped during the interview with John’s parents, and that she was a young teenage girl who had gotten into trouble as they used to say. But it was a starting point for the boys.
Both families delighted in seeing their son’s twin and quickly adopted the other as their son as well. The boys went from being only children to having two sets of parents or uncles and aunts if you must. No one felt slighted, both were most thankful to have had their own son to raise, but both Sean’s dad and John’s parents agreed that they would have loved to have raised the twins and kept them together. Everyone agreed that they were sure that their mother would have wanted them raised that way.
When everyone was gone and things got back to normal, or as normal as life would ever come to be for them, John and Sean drafted and sent a letter to the Baby Now Agency that assisted both families with the adoption. The families had both told the boys exactly how the process happened and what the costs were. Sean teased his dad about being sold into slavery down on the boats and got a quick smack on the head for his efforts. The boys included this information in the letter so that the company would know that in fact they did have full knowledge of the complete information surrounding the adoption as possible and thought that the gates would just open unto them and disclose all of the facts. NOT! It took a lawyer that John’s parents paid a high price for to get what precious little information as they could about their mother. Her name was truly Mary Ellen, Mary Ellen Duncan to be exact, age at the time of delivery was sixteen, that she was born in Bay Watch, Indiana and the father’s name was Jason Black. They were also given an address for the grandparents on the mother’s side, her primary residence during the last six months of her pregnancy.
The lawyer further wrote that his detective had more information but would not disclose it and suggested that the boys take what information that they had and go on with their lives because they would not like to find out the rest of the story. One last thing that the detective did disclose was that through most of her pregnancy, the time with her grandparents, just sitting in the house staring at one of the long aquariums that the grandparents had. The boys just sat there, quiet and motionless for a few moments and then broke out in laughter.
“I guess that is where our love of fish comes from.” John said. “But if anyone thinks that we are just going to roll over and die with that little bit of information, they are very wrong. I don’t care if she was a mass murderer, I still want to see her and get to know her even if I have to go to a prison to do it. And I’m damn well sure that you feel the same.”
“Didn’t take you long to find out just how much alike we are, now did it?” Sean asked his brother. “Although I have to say that I don’t like the secrecy of the detective that the lawyer uses. If you are paid to gather and disclose information then that is what you are supposed to do, not just hand it off as you really don’t want to know. We want to know and will not stop until we find out as much as possible.”
John said, “Amen to that brother of mine. I have to tell you that it still gives me chills to call you that to you or to hear it coming from your lips as well, a good kind of chill. Growing up an only child I always wished for more family but it never happened and I especially wished for a twin brother because I have been told that the bond between twins is especially strong.”
“Life with mom and dad was great and I knew lots of other kids that had brothers and sisters and had to share the love between them, I didn’t,” Sean told his brother. “But the idea of a twin always intrigued me. Someone who looked so much like me that it was like looking in a mirror and mom and dad would not know who to punish or for what. And if one of us was better in a subject than the other you could switch classes, I know two guys, twins that did that. What a gas.”
John said, “And don’t forget about experimenting with sex while you were growing up together. I know a set of twins that were almost always invited to mom and dad’s parties. At first I thought that it was their closeness as brothers that made me feel that they were gay, but it turns out that they were. And they are monogamous lovers as well. After I came out to mom and dad they asked Ron and Don to have a talk with me and let me know that there were a lot of others out there like me. I talk to them every once in a while and couldn’t wait to call and tell them about you. They just can’t wait to meet you, I have already told them so much about how close we are, just like we had lived our entire lives together every day instead of missing the first eighteen years.”
“I know what you mean, when I talk to Matt or dad they both ask if we are just brothers or is this going in a different direction,” Sean said. “It is somewhat comforting to know that Matt loves me enough to be a little jealous I just don’t want it to get out of hand. He is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with but I don’t want to feel like I have him looking over my shoulder all of the time either. I don’t really think he will turn out that way but if he did that would have to be the end of it.”
John said to Sean, “Now lets get back to mom, do you suppose that she is still in that small town? I suppose we could start out trying to find out where our father is as well, maybe they got married after all..”
They called information for both names in both cities and came up blank all the way around. Next they went to the internet to see what if anything they could find there and again kept coming up blank. It seem that the only roads that they could find were all dead ends. The only logical choice was to go mom’s home town themselves to see what they could dig up on their own, they would be a lot more motivated than any detective that they could hire. After they explained to their professors why they had to have a couple of days off the time was granted and they were given the assignments and told that they could bring them back or fax them if they wished. Next all of the family had to be told what they were doing and that they would be available by cell phones everyday and that they would email any information they found each night. Everyone wished them luck but told them not to be too upset if they could not find any leads since they were going back so far. The boys promised not to be too hurt but that they were going to do level best, the same type of job they would do if they were trying to find their twin that they just found out about. That put everything into perspective and the said they were wished the best of hunting.
John and Sean left school Tuesday after classes and would be due back Monday morning at ten am for their next class. They drove more than half of the way there and then stopped for dinner at one of the truck stop diners along the way. For some reason the food at truck stops is usually piled high on the plate and is some of the best food you will ever eat, most of the time anyhow. Tonight was a good night to dine and the boys were stuffed after dinner and two deserts. The other patrons in the restaurant were tripping over their own feet looking at the twins with different colors of hair and wondering who dyed or who bleached. To the waitresses they were just two cute young men away from their home and took good care of them.
Back on the road they found that they were both tired and the rhythm of the windshield wipers and the smell of the rain was not helping matters either. About forty miles up the road there was a single motel with a vacancy sign on and John pulled in and got them a room. He returned to the car and drove over to the end of the building and parked in front of room twenty, their palace for the night. “All they have is double beds and one to a room and we just got the last one.” John told Sean. “I sleep the way the way I came into this world and if that is going to bother you I will leave the engine running for you,” And then he laughed.
Sean said, “The only thing that you have that I don’t is dark pubic hair, or at least that is all you are supposed to have. And just so you know, I sleep naked as well. I have no idea how people sleep with clothes on unless they are living in the street. Mom bought me a pair of silk pajamas for Christmas when I was sixteen and I couldn’t wear them because the material gave me a boner and back then the wind blowing did that already. There was never a delicate way to tell her that so I would just spill something on them every once in a while and then throw them in the wash just to make her think I was actually wearing them.”
“That is TMI younger brother, TMI,” John said.
Sean asked John while they were unloading the car, “What the fuck is TMI?”
“Too much information,” John said, slamming his side of the car shut and running for the room.
Although they were parked right outside of the room, both boys were soaked to the skin. Both had favorite pillows that went everywhere with them and they were also clothes horses as well so it took several trips back and forth to get everything into the room. As if on cue, both said coffee would be good and Sean braved the weather to go out and get several cups that could be microwaved if they got cold and returned to the room. John took advantage of the time on the time and took a long hot shower and was just drying off when his brother returned to the room. Sean looked at John’s naked body while he was towel drying his hair and was amazed just exactly how much a like they truly were. Same freckle patches, same moles the same size - well everything or so it seemed to the naked eye, he thought and laughed at his own pun. “What’s so funny, you probably look the same when you are naked?” John asked.
“Just you wait and see.” Sean said and set down the coffee’s and some pumpkin pie that they had in the diner.
John told his brother, “I love pumpkin pie.” When he saw what else his brother had brought.
“Somehow I knew that you would.” Sean said and stripped down to get into the shower himself and paused to show John what he had seen on his body and then proceeded into the shower. John put Sean’s pie into the small refrigerator that was in the room and waited for him to come out and see it gone.
When Sean said nothing about it being missing, John said, “Your pie is in the fridge, I’ve already eaten mine.”
Sean told him, “Both of those were for you, I ate mine in the diner and had whipped cream on mine, you can’t carry whipped cream in the rain so you got plain..”
“You bitch,” John said. “You could have had them put it in a cup or something.”
Sean replied, “Yeah, I guess I could have now that you mention it. But I am a couple of pounds lighter than you and I needed to catch up with you.”
“Double bitch,” John said. “Come get into bed, there is a scary movie coming on that I want to watch and I get scared easily.”
“What, like I don’t?” Sean asked. John savored his second piece of pie as the movie started and the movie was so hokey that they fell asleep watching it, curled up next to each other in the fetal position.
Both were wide awake the next morning and ready to hit the rode by nine after packing up the car and turning in the key. Once they got to town they looked up their mother’s phone number and then her family with no results. Next they checked on their father and his family but they had vanished into thin air as well. They headed for the sheriff’s office, but they were all young cops and knew nothing of what might have happened to their mom or her family from almost twenty years ago. It was lunch time and the two decided just to go through a drive-thru and then sit in the parking lot so that they could concentrate on what their next step might be.
Sean asked, “Don’t libraries keep old newspaper clippings on microfiche?”
“I think so, do you think that a place this small has a library?” John asked.
“Every town has a library, I think that is part of the constitution somewhere that they have to have one,” Sean said.
John told him, “You are so full of shit it is hard to believe that we are related. Okay then, how do we find this library?”
Just then a woman in her forties was getting in her car and Sean asked her, “Excuse me please. Could you direct me to the nearest public library and please bear in mind that we are from South Carolina?”
She laughed and pointed across the street from the burger joint and then said, “Is that good enough directions for you people from South Carolina?”
Sean thanked her, with a very red face and John got out of the car to toss out the trash. The woman looked and looked again and John explained that they were twins with different colored hair, and she just drove off.
At the library they found a very tall and pleasant to the eye young man named Scott behind the counter and the queried him on the microfiche and he confirmed that he had them. “What in particular are you looking for, maybe I can be of some help, I am the Librarian after all,” he said John and Sean explained the situation and Scott told them to hold on a minute and grabbed the telephone.
“Mom, it’s Scott, do you remember about twenty years ago a young girl named Mary Ellen Duncan, I have two twin boys here asking about her?” Scott asked. “My mother wants to know if you would mind waiting here for about a half an hour, she wants to talk to you herself, not on the phone?” The boys agreed and Scott hung up the phone. “She knows everything that has everything that has ever gone on in this town, some call her the town historian while others call her the town gossip, either way she has all the dirt.”
Mrs. Abbott, Scott’s mother, showed up a couple of minutes early and the boys thought that she was going to grab them and hug them on sight. She guided them to a table and chairs in the back of the room where she could watch for prying eyes and ears. “Your mother was a saint in my eyes, and nothing, not even what happened afterwards will ever change my mind about her.” Mrs. Abbott said.
John asked, “So you knew our mom?”
“Oh my yes, I was the nurse for the doctor who delivered the two of you,” Mrs. Abbott said. “Lots of times Mary Ellen would get their early and she would talk to me about raising kids. She said that her parents had sent her to live with her mother’s folks and that they would not let her keep you two. Well, at first we thought it was just one of you. But she kept thinking about running away and taking you with her and raising you herself. I told her how hard that was and even offered her a place to stay with us, let her raise you along with mine, but the grandparents got wind of us talking and tried to keep me from her. But I was there the day you were born and I swear that you look the same now as you did then. It is so good to see that you turned out so well, she would be so pleased.”
Both boys were misty eyed but Sean spoke up saying, “We got adopted by two different families and met up at college, how is that for coincidence, and a small private college at that. We call it fish school since we are studying oceanography.”
Mrs. Abbott was about to piss her pants and said, “Did you know that your mother had aquariums and used to watch the fish all of the time just swim back and forth. She said she felt as caged up in her small world as they were in that glass, back and forth with no place to go.”
“So, do you know where she went once she left here because we can’t find a trace of her or our father anywhere?” John asked.
“I really don’t want to be the one to tell you but it would come out more compassionate than reading about it yourselves with no one to explain it to you.” Mrs. Abbott said. She was such a beautiful young woman and all of the adults in her life, your grandparents and great-grandparents were nothing but shit heads. And no one really knows for sure, except your father of course, but once you were adopted out she killed her grandparents and then her parents for not letting her keep you two is my best guess and then she shot your father. First in the leg and then in the balls and told him he would never have anymore children to run away from.” Mrs. Abbott was sobbing as were the boys but they were laughing a little on the inside knowing that their mother had guts.
Mrs. Abbott went on about what a wonderful mother she would have made and a beautiful woman indeed. She wished that she could have had a daughter with that much determination but she was blessed with all boys. Always she would think of Mary Ellen as her daughter and that she was justified in what she did. “When she was done,” Mrs. Abbott went on. “She drove back to her house laid down in front of the aquarium and just willed herself to die. The coroner never was able to determine her cause of death and no drugs were found in her system to blame the incident on. The newspapers had a hay day with this story but with no one around to sue them it got real trashy, I just hope it was better that you heard it from me first, I loved that little girl. I will tell Scott where to look for the newspaper clipping for you now.”
“No need, grandma Abbott, we have heard what we came to find out, don’t you agree John?” Sean asked.
“I sure do grandma Abbott.” John said. “If we had just read the papers we might have thought less of our mother, the daughter you always wanted. But now we know the whole truth, thanks to you. Would it be alright if we keep in touch with you, you are kind of like a grandma?” She started crying and shaking her head yes and pulled the two of them to her chest.
At last Mrs. Abbott had been able to do what she had promised to try to do for Mary Ellen, to let her boys know that she loved them so much. She has been trying for years to track them down but in the end it was them that found her.
The boys didn’t talk very much on the way home until they stopped at the same motel as before and wound up getting the same room. They unloaded their things into the room and then headed to the diner to get more pumpkin pie and coffee, both had extra whipped cream this time. John was the first to speak and said, “I will tell you one thing, our mother had spunk and lots of it.”
“I don’t know how she managed all of those months, carrying us and knowing that she was going to give us up and being treated like a house dog,” Sean said. “And I will never try to justify her actions other than to say that I would not have waited that long. Her strong will was certainly passed on to the two of us, I have seen it in you and I know how much of it is in me.”
John agreed and laughed thru tear stained eyes saying, “And don’t forget our love of fish. All of those hours sitting in front of the aquarium must have some how affected us in our lives. I don’t think I will ever be able to look at an aquarium without thinking about her.”
“You’ve said a mouthful there, brother,” Sean said. Then they paid the bill and walked back to their rooms.
“I want to call Mrs. Abbott and find out if she knows where mom is buried.” John said and Sean agreed.
“Unfortunately, since she died without relatives, and under the conditions preceding her death, the state had her cremated.” Mrs. Abbot told them.. “They are usually spread over the river on the outskirts of town when they have enough to dispose of them. If I had known that they were going to do that I would have paid for the burial myself. We have no Potters Field here. But I didn’t find out about it until it was too late. I am truly sorry boys.”
John told her, “I think she would have wanted it that way. Now she is with the fish all of the time. Sean was crying too hard to say anything at all.
Next John called his parents and Sean called his dad and they told them the whole story about what happened. No one could believe what that little girl had gone through to make them parents and would have gladly adopted her and both boys, given the chance. And the boys believed every word that they said as gospel. Next they talked to their lovers who wanted to know when they would be back at school and met them there. Their parents came to the school the following weekend to make sure that everything was alright with the boys. It was. They found out what they wanted to find out and now they could let things rest and go on with their lives.
They would always be separated by area but never in their hearts. They graduated and Sean went back to Florida and John to New York. They talked almost daily and went on vacations together, sometimes without their partners but mostly with. The whole family gets together on Thanksgiving and Christmas, rotating every other year and have become one big happy family. Their mother was with them always and at times they could feel her presence very strongly especially when they were diving.