Inspired by and written for #Writephoto – thank you, KL
Well, my initial thinking of a grim horror write went out the window as I have been longing to catch up with Gai and Kip, my two guys escaping the tyranny of fascism and hate towards the LGBT+ community in my story ‘The Crossing’. I’m taking them on a few years in their lives and exploring the emotional Kip as an adult instead. Wow, KL, thank you for providing the inspiration.
It had been years since Gai and I had visited the home of Loban and Arina, the couple that had taken us into their home when we had escaped. Between them, they had given Gai and I a chance to live and love away from the hate of antiquated ideas and old-fashioned dictates of what love should be.
Gai and I had moved to the city shortly after our marriage and eventually, Loban had joined us to live out his old age with his sons. Not only had he and Arina welcomed us into their home but made us part of their family. I have only vague memories of my own mother and to this day I value the parenting nurture Loban and Arina gave me, to me they were and are my mum and dad.
For the first time since Loban’s death, Gai and I have returned – finally ready to face the memories and discuss our own future. Opening the door, the years of dust were obvious, yet despite being empty for so long I felt like I had come home. I looked at Gai, and didn’t say anything, I didn’t have to I could see in his eyes he was feeling the same.
Gai walked quietly through the house, me, well I went out to the garden. To the little table where so much tea had been drunk. It was rusty and flaky, looking sorry for itself.
‘Oh, you will clean up easy enough’ I said ‘and a bit of white paint, I’ll have you looking as good as new.’
‘Kip’ Gai’s voice called from the house ‘did you say something?’
I looked at the garden and knew what I had to do. My hands started pulling at the wild overgrowth. ‘I know it’s here somewhere’
I didn’t hear Gai come out. ‘Oh, Kip, I should have known what you’d be at.’
His hands started pulling the over-grown plants out the way. Pulling and pulling, a pile of leaves and branches appeared on the long grass of what was once a lawn. Finally, I saw the stone figures and pebbles, once delicately painted now just stone. I was on my knees rocking backward and forward, the tears crying out of me ‘Oh, mum, please forgive me.’
Gai hugged me and whispered me calm. After the surge of emotion had faded Gai looked at me. ‘I can hear Arina, Kip, and you know what she is saying?’
‘Let’s have some tea?’
‘I’ll make it.’
I continued the task of pulling at the overgrowth until at last the small stonework well appeared. Loban, Gai and I had built it in Arina’s memory so long ago. ‘Hey mum’ I said ‘I will sort this all out, I promise.’
Gai was putting mugs of tea on the table, and I went to sit by him at the little table. Neither of us cared that the rust was staining our designer jeans. I felt his eyes piercing me. ‘You still going to sell up, Kip?’
Decision time, Loban and Arina had left the house to me. I didn’t need to think.
‘No’ I said. ‘Gai, what do you think if we moved back home?’
‘Babe, like I already knew we would.’