44 - The law and the feelings of a family.

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(Harry)

After James proposal, my 'yes', and all the tears, the next step was.......to find a computer.

I mean, both of us knew that same-sex marriage was somewhat legal but we didn't know the details. James because it was never in his interest until recently, and I because I never thought marriage would someday be part of my life; my previous relationships were the kind that would never become public; the kind where we would mostly meet in private because my partners had too much to lose on society. I learned to be content with what I had and told myself that just being with someone was already good enough.

Anyway, in cases like this, the first thing you do is......search on the internet.

Seated on the sofa, with a laptop in James' hands, from page to page, we ended up at the site of the 'Office of the City Clerk'. And there we learned that same-sex marriage is not only legal but exactly the same as an opposite-sex marriage; same rights and obligations and same procedure.

That made me so happy that I almost cried again. Knowing that I could have the formal, full-fledged recognition and not some under graded alternative; that my love for James; my relationship with the man I love; was considered as good enough; as correct enough to be protected by the State; was like a dream come true.

James hugged me as I covered my face with my palms to hide the tears - ok, I did cry – and his hands made soothing circles on my back.

The site said that after getting a marriage license – it could be requested on the internet but we needed to go together to the physical office to complete the process. – we had sixty days to have the ceremony and make the marriage official by signing the license together with a witness.

With all that information in hand, the second step was, obviously, to tell James' parents.

And that is why we ended up, on a Sunday evening, heading to the suburban neighborhood that has now become familiar to me.

As always we are received by a smiling Denise, a hyper Jenna, and a carefree Julian – despite living in the dorms, Julian is frequently home on these 'family dinners' – Mr. Parker that I later came to know is called Jacob – yes, one more J – is usually calmly reading the newspaper in the living room and just nods his head once we come inside.

I wouldn't say that in the last year we have become great friends, but he doesn't mistreat me anymore and I have seen him, from time to time, discreetly staring at James and me with a small smile on his lips. I think that making his son happy earned me some points, after all.

The dinner is amazing as always since Denise made her famous recipe of spinach lasagna. And I am sure I would have appreciated it a lot more if I wasn't so nervous.

As we finish eating the dessert, James rounds up everyone on the sofa at the living room and pulls me to stand in the center together with him.

Holding my hand he stares at me with those green eyes I came to admire so much and smiles before turning to his family. "We have something to announce."

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