Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
The next day was a blur. We had set a date for our wedding, but not the original date. We decided on having it at the end of our summer break. We would intern at Kenner engineering and then have a week before we were married. Father Jim Laymone was very courteous when he came to Grandpa and Grandma's home. I am getting used to calling them that now.
"So, August 18th, that's the date you've decided on" he said with a smile at both of us. "Gives us time to get all organized" Cal replied. "I know the answer already, but I have to ask, Calumn" He said, looking into my future husbands eyes.
"Am I inviting my Mother?" Cal interrupted. "Yes" he replied.
"No, she has made it perfectly clear I am dead to her; so dead I will be" he said, and a chill ran down my spine. "You know what I mean" he added, looking at me.
I smiled and just nodded.
The house phone rang and Gramps answered it.
"Hello" he said in a one sided conversation.
"Yes Marty, 7pm will be fine, see you then" he added, and hung up the phone.
We bid the Father a good day, and the smile on both of our faces was infectious. "It's getting so real" I said, pulling Cal into a hug. "Can't wait" Cal replied.
We ate an early dinner, as we planned on taking in a movie. He has a hankering for this new Will Smith movie. I, however, do not like what I have read about it, but I will withhold judgement.
A knock at the door disturbed our conversation and Grandma answered the door.
"Good evening Marty, Calumn is in his study" she said, as he walked into the hallway. "Hello boys, having a good visit?" he asks, making polite conversation.
"Yes, Uncle Marty" Cal replies.
"Hey Marty, can you come in?" Grandpa asks, and Marty disappeared into his study.
"The film starts in an hour, babe" Cal says, and we stand.
"Cal, can you come in for a minute" Grandpa asks, and he walks into the study with a bemused look on his face as he entered and closed the door.
"Problem Grandma?" I ask, as she takes her seat and drinks her cup of tea. "No child, just Kenner talk, you know how it is" she replies and I frown.
I sit for almost twenty minutes. I thought I heard raised voices at one point, but then I heard nothing. "We are going to miss the start of the film" I say to Grandma.
"Don't fret child, catch the next showing" she smiles.
Then I heard a racket coming from the study and the door burst open.
"No Grandpa, I will not do as you say. If my decision upsets you, I am sorry; but what you are asking me to do is wrong" Cal yells, and he comes over to me and his face is red with anger.
"Calumn Kenner" Grandma yells.
"Grandma, don't, I have had just about as much as I can take" He adds, now glaring at both his grandparents and his Uncle Marty. I, at this point, was spared his wrath.
"Calumn, we are only thinking of your future, you need to be protected in case something goes wrong" Grandpa adds.
"Do you and Grandma have one?" he asks.
"They didn't have them back then" he replies. I am still somewhat in the dark, and now worried about Cal. Protection? What protection does he need?
"Come on we will miss the film" Cal says in a soft voice.
"Is anyone going to tell me what the hell is going on?" I eventually get out. I stand up and wait.
"Nothing, and I mean nothing" Cal replies, taking my hand.
"Bullshit" I respond, not caring about upsetting anyone at this point.
"Joshua, this has nothing to do with you, you understand. We love you. It's just, we need to protect our grandson" Grandpa gets out.
"DROP IT" Cal yells.
"Cal, babe let him speak, I want to know what you need protection from. I need to know" I say softly. "Josh, please let me handle this, please?" he asks, and says it as though he is about to break down in tears.
"Cal, I can take whatever anyone has to throw at me. I want to know what you need protection from" I say, and squeeze his hand. I turn and look at Cal's grandparents.
Then Cal speaks and what he says hurts me more than those assholes could have ever done to me last year. "You, they think I need protection from you" he weeps taking a seat. And that hurt, I thought they liked me, I thought they cared about me, how wrong could I have been.
"They want me to have a pre-nup" Cal adds.
"Oh, I see" I reply and take a seat next to Cal.
"I don't need one, I have told them this, what is mine is yours" Cal replies and squeezes my hand in attempt to reassure me.
"Joshua, we do love you, truly we do, but he needs to protect his wealth" Grandpa adds, and Cal glares at him.
"Mr Kenner" I start.
"Grandpa, please" Cal's grandpa insists.
"Mr Kenner" I repeat, ignoring his request. "I love Cal very much. You know for a fact that I did not know he came from money when we declared our feelings for each other. He was working in a diner on weekends for cash for extras. Cal asked me to marry him. I, at first, tried to change his mind. Money does not rule my life. If you need me to sign a pre-nup, fine, show me the dotted line" I declare. Cal stands up and places his hand on my shoulder.
"NO, YOU WILL DO NO SUCH THING" Cal replies angrily.
I just sat down. I took hold of Cal's hand and pulled him down. "Cal they are right, you need to protect what is yours" I say in a soft tone.
"It's ours, not mine, ours" he sobs, looking hurt.
He again turns and glares at his grandparents. "I know what this is about; the company name. It's because I said I would add Josh's name to the masthead, isn't it? You want me to change my mind on the Kenner-Miller name" he says, with such scorn.
While they go at it hammer and tongs, I stand and head for the door. They were arguing so intently they do not see me leave. I walk down the driveway and down a long tree lined street It is starting to get dark, but I just continue to walk. At this point, I just feel rejected. I thought they liked me; most of all, trusted me. How could I have gotten that so wrong.
I walked for almost two hours. I had no clue where I was, my cell phone was back at the house. I tried to get my bearings but I knew I was lost. I came upon a small motel and was pleased I had my wallet. I booked a room and entered it and just crashed. I cried myself to sleep. I love Cal so much, but this apparent rejection by his grandparents has stunned me to the core.
I woke with a start as a knock at my door shocked me. I looked at my watch at it was just a little after 4am. I stood up I was still fully clothed and opened the door.
"Sir, are you Mr Joshua Miller?" an officer asked.
"Yes sir, is there a problem?" I ask.
"Sir, you were reported missing last night, and we were just checking to see if you were okay" he replied.
"Oh, sorry, no, I am fine. I am not from Chicago and got lost. I came by here and just booked in for the night" I replied.
"You could have called someone and let them know you were okay" he responds, a little reproachfully. "My cell is back at the house, all my contacts are in it" I reply.
"Well, okay, as long as you are safe, we called the motel and they confirmed they had you as a guest. but we will pass on that you are safe. Do you want a ride back, Sir?" he offers.
"No, I think I will just sleep, and head back in the morning" I reply. "Okay, have a good night, sir" he replies, and I close the door.
I climb back onto the bed and hug my knees and again begin to sob. A few minutes later, I stretch out and attempt to go back to sleep. I woke again just after five and just lay there.
The daylight was now beginning to shine through the plain shades covering the windows. I was happy in the knowledge that I would be heading back to New York today.
What the fuck, it's like grand central station. Who the fuck is it, now? I walked over and opened the door.
"Hey" Cal said softly, looking tired.
"Hey" I replied, and pulled him into a hug. I looked into his eyes; they were now bloodshot from crying. "I was worried" he said, and I kissed his tear away.
"I couldn't stay and watch you all argue over me" I replied.
"Babe, we were not arguing over you. It was legal stuff, some I was not happy with" Cal replied. "Yeah, I got that much, but you do need to protect yourself Cal. I love you for you, not for what you can provide" I add.
"I know that, but I meant what I said what's mine is yours and vice versa, but I had to convince my grandparents about that, also. They are just so very protective over me" Cal adds, kissing my cheek.
"I just felt so rejected Cal and I just needed to get out of there" I replied.
"Yeah, I figured as much. Grandma insisted on calling the police" he added.
"What, it wasn't you" I enquired.
"Babe, I know you can look after yourself... well, for the most part. I just guessed you were a little pissed. I worked that bit out when you called my grandpa Mr Kenner again" he responds, and kisses me again.
"Look, lets lay down, get a couple of hours sleep; then we can head back, collect our stuff, and head back home. We can see if we can get an earlier flight" he adds, taking me back to bed.
We lay side by side and just held each other and drifted off to sleep.
I woke to the sound of 'the Big Bang Theory' ringing from Cal's trousers.
"Hey" he started.
"Yes Grandpa, yes, he's with me" he adds.
"Yes, he's fine, just a bit shocked and understandably upset at what was being said" he continues.
"Yes, I know, yes, yes, you know I do" he continues, and this one sided conversation was getting to me.
"Well, you can tell him yourself when we collect our stuff" Cal adds, and he has a smile on his face when he says it.
"Okay Gramps, see you soon" he ends the conversation.
"Okay sleepy head, we need to move" he says, bending down and kisses my lips.
I look at my watch and it reads 10:43am. We had a decent sleep. Well, I always do when he lies next to me. His scent soothes me.
"I'll order a cab" I say to him before we leave the motel room. "No, I have grandpa's car" he informs me.
I smile and head for the motel's office and pay the balance of my bill. Soon, we were heading back to his grandparents' home. I, however, felt a little embarrassed.
We pulled back into the drive and walked back into the house. Grandma opens the door and pulls me into a hug. "Joshua, oh Joshua, we never meant to upset you so" she adds.
"I was upset; shocked, yeah, upset...very much more disappointed if you ask" I reply.
I walk into the living room and Grandpa...erm.. I mean Mr Kenner was standing next to the fireplace. "Are you okay, child?" he asks.
"Yes, Mr Kenner, I will live" I add, and he does not come back at me with the 'call me Grandpa' remark. "Good, want breakfast?" he asks, and I nod.
We ate breakfast in relative silence, nobody saying a word. The room was fraught with tension.
After a short period of time, we sat in the living room, and I began to talk.
"I thought I had gained your trust, I thought you liked me" I say in a soft tone. Grandma looked at me, then at her husband.
"Joshua, we are so sorry if you thought we didn't care. We do respect and trust you; you are about to marry the most precious thing we have" she adds with a tear in her eye. "We just thought he needed a little protection; not really because of you, but more because of his mother" she adds.
"Sorry, what? How does a pre-nup affect his mother" I ask.
"Well, if you leave Calumn for any reason, you can gain a fortune from his estate; and, if his mother sees that as her proof that her husband, our son, made an error in changing his will, she can attack him again in court" Grandpa adds.
"Is this advice from counsel?" Cal asks, and they both nod.
"Grandpa, Grandma, the two of you were there for me when my parents turned on me. Dad came around far too late. Josh has been the one constant in my life since we met. You need to understand that I love him, without reservation, and he, me" he states with a sob, and I wrap my arm around him.
"If I have to give up everything to be with him, I will" Cal adds.
"Calumn, Joshua, we are so sorry to have caused you so much pain. I know... We know you love each other so much. We won't insist on a pre-nup, as we can see you will be together for a very long time. I hope you will have as much joy as we have had; and, without the pain, as well" they add; obviously thinking of their son.
"But, as long as you have each other, you will survive just about anything" she adds.
They both approach and hug me tight.
"I'm so sorry, child" she says, kissing my cheek. I could see sincerity pouring from her. Grandpa was in a similar vein of remorse over the incident.
"Is this old goat forgiven?" he asks.
"Yes, grandpa" I reply, hugging him tight.
"Okay babe, we need to head off for the airport" Cal says, standing up.
This weekend had its ups and some very big downs; but the one saving grace that came from it was, I never had to sit though that movie.
Sitting in the back of his grandpa's car as he drove us back to O'Hare, Cal hugged me tight. "A few hours, babe, and we will be back home" he adds. He's flicking through some app on his cell and smiles to himself.
"What?" I ask.
"I just booked tickets for that film for tomorrow night" he smiles.
"Oh, good" I lie.
To be continued...
Hope you liked this chapter. Comment as usual at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @DavidSpowart