– Epilogue –
《 Four and 1/2 Years Later 》
I was running around frantically, everything just had to be perfect, there would be no forgiveness if I fucked this up.
“Omg, is that the cake, what the hell is that?!”
“Umm..” The delivery guy looked shocked as I was, as we look down at a cake with the biggest breasts I’d ever seen.
“This is my son’s third birthday, let’s save this till I take him to Vegas for his twenty first, I specifically ordered the Squishy Square Babies with his name on top, it should say ‘CJ’ in giant letters.”
“I’m so sorry, I’ll go check the truck real quick, please forgive me”
I put my hand on my head, to pull my dreads out, but I forgot I cut my hair off last week, my instinctive reactions were still in the adjustment period. I was panicking, I had to check on the food, the cake had to be right, the guest were arriving in an hour, I still had to blow up fifty more balloons, the Squishy Square Baby dancers I’d paid six hundred dollars to book for five hours weren’t here yet, and CJ had just started crying I the other room, I was about to scream.
“Relax, just calm down, do the breathing exercise.. one, two, three, one two, three.” Thick strong fingers knead into the tense muscles of my shoulders, working out the tight and aching knots, that routinely formed since the onset of parenthood.
“How are you coping with this better than I am?”
“I don’t know, maybe I’m just the better parent..” He replied jokingly, as he kissed his way up the back of my neck, I elbowed him sharply, as we both knew he was the better parent.
Parker seem built to be a father, it was natural to him, like fatherhood had been his destiny all along. For me, it was more troublesome and it lack the instinctive ability I’d come to have with most things in my life so far, it was like shaving against the grain or having to live in a random country where I didn’t know the language.
My kid didn’t even like me much it seemed, no matter how many times my husband tried to prove contrary. That’s why this was so important, my son was just starting to talk well and explore the world around him, it was imperative to have these moments to bond.
“Soryian, it’s not that big of a deal, don’t stress out.”
“No, you don’t get to say that this time, I need everything to be complete perfection.. besides, the cake was fit for a bachelor party, tigg ole biddies and all.”
“He might have liked that.” He reply with a laugh, those thick brows burrowing, as he below dryly.
“Yeah, a little bit too much, but then I thought about the parents and other minor guests who might not have appreciated the joke.”
“That, I didn’t think of, maybe you aren’t as bad at this as you thought.”
“Don’t patronize me..”
He finally succeeded in getting me to join him in laughter, which is what I usually did these days, aside from worrying and fussing over CJ. We were your normal suburban gay couple in the middle of nowhere, Parker worked all day for the city paper, and I worked from home for the Greenspan Solar electric company, just outside of town.
Life was easy, guilt free, fulfilling, and full of love..
He wrap me up in his arms, quickly suckling my lips into a kiss that pause the moment, he took the time to ignite the heat of passion between us, he was gasoline and I was the flame. We love insatiably, and I was thankful I couldn’t bare children, because I’d have a full lot when one was enough, I couldn’t imagine if I had to pull off two or more of these in the same year, I’d go insane.
Parker, CJ, and I were everyone’s favorite new family in town, Clearview Creek was a small population of fifteen thousand but our neighbors were amazing. People in our close knit community were all coming to the party, so I knew full well I was planning for an adult inclusive engagement, I was aware that they were nice enough people yet I still had an urge to impress.
I said a small prayer and decided not to be defeated by my hectic day, I would be ready for what comes and let God handle the rest.
“Oh my gosh, Soryian.. everything looks great, and so do you, I might add.”
“Yes, very sharp, where did you get that suit? I bet somewhere fancy like Macy’s.”
“Krissa and Calvin, I’m so glad you could make it, is your son Kalvin jr here as well or did you just come for the drinks?” I joked, with one of my favorite couples, they were a hoot and a holler, together they reminded me of an old friend who passed away.
“Sad shame, you know us all too well, lord.. if anybody asks, that kid right there is mine, or him there, or maybe him, I don’t know Cal, you pick.”
“Krissa jests, Junior would never miss CJ’s birthday, no kid in their right mind would, look at all this.”
I admit, the backyard looked like a small carnival, there were cotton candy and funnel cake stations, root beer and ice cream, a bouncy castle and a mirror house. The point at which I might have went to far was the farm, and reptile zoo, I was at the limit of my budget. All of that would have been for naught, if the Squishy Square Baby dancers hadn’t shown up, but they did, and all was right in the world.
The afternoon wore on, and the day was bright and clear, perfection for my
Little Man’s big day. Parker had the grill going, CJ was enjoying the attention and all the festivities, as for myself, I played the gracious host with pleasure.
“Soryian, come here please, please.. you just have to tell Bethany the story of how you and Parker met, it the most adorably salacious thing.”
“Oh no, Krissa, nobody wants to hear that again.”
“What’s going on over here?” Parker asked, looking interested in the conversation he walked up on, he loved to tell stories and rile up the crowd.
It was so unlike the person I married, whereas before he was laidback and mysterious, introverted but not entirely unrelatable. As things transgressed and we further integrated with normal regular everyday life, he seem to replace his guarded reflex, as mystery and a tight lip was suspicious in a place like this. So as a way to camouflage that, he became uber extroverted, he made people feel like he loved other people. It was a farce that had now become the norm, jury was still out whether I approved or even liked it, but at present, for the sake of normalcy I will just deal.
“Parker, tell this lovely young lady the story of how you two met and fell in love.”
“You know I never pass up a chance to tell that story Krissa, Soryian is gonna hate me now. Well, it all started on my first day at work for a new company..”
The doorbell rang out, cutting him off, the person kept pressing it over and over, like they were the police or something. I looked at Parker as I rose to my feet, he was about to follow me but I put a hand to his shoulder and smiled at our guests.
“Don’t let him finish this story without me Bethany, he doesn’t always tell the truth, I’ll be right back everyone.”
On my way to the door, I looked for my son and could see him eating cake at the dinner table, other kids were running around but he just watched them curiously, almost judgmental even. I followed the hall and wanted to scream from all the ringing, the person would not let up, it was beginning to get annoying.
“Alright, alright, I’m coming! I said I’m comin, hold on! I swear it better be damn near the end of the world with the way you hitting that button.” I checked myself in the mirror for a couple seconds, and opened the door, ready to raise hell. “Who do you think you are ringing my bell like..”
There was an awkward pause, as I look a stranger I knew all too well right in the eye, it was a battle not to follow through with the instinct to slam the door in his face. And what a face it was, clear and smooth like he hadn’t aged a day since I last seen him. His hunter green Armani suit and jet black trench coat, was a good look for him, but that wasn’t a warrant to stampede onto my property with armed forces.
“Famous? What are you doing here and what in damnation is all this?” I replied, gesturing to the armed guard and helicopter on my lawn. “How did you find me?”
“Something has happened, it’s classified until we are in the designated evac zone, we are here for you and your family because you are on a very important list.”
“Oh My God.. you people did it, you fucking did it, didn’t you?”
He didn’t say anything, he could barely look me in the eye, that silence spoke volumes though. I started to cry and he grabbed me up into a hug, but I immediately pushed him away. I didn’t like how comforting his touch still made me feel, and even then, time has passed, the ships have sailed, our fates were chosen a long time ago and I chose well.
“Is everything okay babe, who was at the door?” Parker asked, he walked out and immediately stiffened, his eyes scanning tactically over the situation on the defensive, they stopped coldly when they reached our guest.
“Shaw McCreed, its unfortunately good to see you looking so well, wish it were under better circumstances for me to make a visit, but there has been an incident. Project Sirius is doing an emergency launch ahead of schedule, the reasons are classified, all I can say, is that Cydnee Tyson and a plus one, that I assume is you, are to be evacuated to the designated launch site immediately.”
“What about my son?! I have little boy..”
“I, um.. I didn’t know you had a kid Cydnee, I have strict instruction on only allowing one person to accompany you, space is extremely limited.”
“I have to choose between my husband and my son, are you people insane?”
“Babe, just stop, calm down.. there is no choice because you and CJ are leaving with him, end of discussion.”
“No, there has to be another way, or I won’t go.”
“Don’t be foolish, you have to go, and you have to go now.” Shaw commanded as he started gathering things for us, and throwing them in a spare box, while I had to grab our son who whined because he hadn’t open his presents yet.
Krissa and Calvin stopped me in the kitchen, wanting to know what was going on, the other guests were panicking. I told them to grab their son, go home to pack, and get to the safest place they could think of. They looked confused, but Cal had sense enough to heed my advice, and started looking for his son.
“Cydnee, you have to come now, we need to go.” Aemous called over to me, from the door, Krissa looked at me unable to understand what was happening.
“Who is Cydnee? What is going on?”
I had neither the time nor the information to properly answer her, so I just gave her a sorry look as I rushed toward the door, guilt creeping its way back into my heart. Once outside, I could see my son was talking with his father, trying to gain some understanding of why we were leaving, and most importantly, leaving him?
There were more tears shed, especially when Shaw kissed me goodbye, it was so passionate, it made me feel like it was last I’d ever get one from him. So I kissed him once more, immediately after, so that wouldn’t be true. He urged CJ and I to get moving and ushered us towards the helicopter, I knew I had to be strong for my kid but this was breaking my heart. As we lift off, Famous look at me sympathetically, while I watched the life I’d cultivated get left behind, almost as if it never even happen.
The only evidence, was my son crying his heart out next to me, and the look in Shaw’s dark somber eyes as his family soared away into an unknown fate. I watched as our party guests and neighbors began to panic, scrambling around, not knowing what was going on but feeling the clear and present danger. I had so many questions, and would demand answers, but this wasn’t the time or place.
My husband stood there, still as stone, while pandemonium surround him, I tried to imagine we could continue eye contact up until we disappear over the horizon, chasing a setting sun. There was great sadness, but my only option was to trust in God’s plan for us, it would get us through the darkness ahead. I console my son, who cling to me for dear life, his whole world upended, it was a task to get him off the helicopter when we landed.
It was a small airport, so the large private jet on the strip was a standout, I look to Famous with a questioning arched eyebrow.
“We are the last to arrive, everyone is waiting on us, the jet will take us to the launch site.”
“If we’re the last to arrive, who are they?” I asked, pointing to two black expedition hybrids, speeding up to the curb and coming to a stop at the entrance.
Guards exited the front and passenger seat of the first car, then went to open the back seat, the heavily tinted windows block our view of whomever would be joining us. I grabbed my son’s hand, when I noticed how tense Famous had gotten, something was going on.
The man stepped out in a nice sleek charcoal Tom Ford suit, with tangerine custom Italian leather shoes that were immaculate, everything sharply tailored. I nearly groan in disgust, and hugged my son tighter to me, for the first time questioning the Lord’s plan. It was a knee jerk reaction, when I saw the impeccably dressed man was none other than Cedric Everly, of all people. He still look exactly the same, and when he saw me, he smiled wickedly.
“Surprise, surprise, bitch. It’s me your best friend forever.”