I was nervous. Mark kept sending reassuring smiles to me as we got ready and drove over, but I couldn't stop my leg from bouncing the whole way there. I stared at the modest looking house and suddenly realised why it never would have worked out between my parents. My mother would never have settled for something so ordinary.
I thought it looked perfect. The house was two stories high with a simple brick and siding façade. Bright blue shutters hung next to the windows and the door matched. It was homey. The gardens looked well cared for. It was slightly disappointing to think that I might have grown up happy here if my mother wasn't such a bitch.
The door opened before I even made it up the steps to the small porch. The man I supposed was my father stood staring at me with a tentative smile on his face. I smiled back and gave him a little wave. Mark took over the introductions on my part, recognising that I was somewhat tongue-tied. I was in a bit of a daze, just staring at him in the hopes that I might see something of myself.
"So, I understand that you spent most of your childhood in boarding schools?" He was trying for conversation and I roused myself.
"Yes, that is correct. I will be staying around here for my University education though." I finally managed to reply. He smiled and seemed pleased by the news.
"Really? I went to the local University here too. You can put that one of your parents is an alumnus now ...if you want to." He looked away awkwardly and I cleared my throat.
"I will be sure to do that." I replied back. It was uncomfortable, but I think anything like this was supposed to be. I just wanted him to know that I was here because I was trying to make a start with us. "Uhm, you have a really nice house." I know it was lame, but it got him talking again and that was all that mattered.
"It was your grandparents house. They moved into an apartment when my dad couldn't keep up with the gardens anymore. I married about three years ago, but I wanted to meet you on my own before you met my family. I hope that was okay?" He explained. I nodded and we were both relieved by the decision.
"Yes, I would like to meet them eventually though. I thought maybe we could do something for Thanksgiving. I should be all settled in at school by then and Mark is going to a conference that weekend." I said casually. His face lit up in excitement and he agreed to it immediately. He also suggested getting together for lunch, which I thought would be a good idea too.
I wanted to be more comfortable talking to him and that was a good second step. I gave him my personal email and phone number so we could keep in touch better. He put it into his phone right away and sent me a text. I sighed in relief. That was more my style. If we could just text back and forth for a bit, I was sure it would help.
I left his house feeling surprisingly good. He was a really nice guy. Not at all like the silent, irresponsible bastard my mother had made him out to be. I was glad I had given it a shot anyways. If it had gone badly then I would have just said 'see ya later' without giving him my number. He deserved a shot though. Even if I didn't think I looked a thing like him.
"He seems... nice." I said to Mark as we got back in the car.
"Yeah. I can see where you get your sharp cheekbones from." He grinned at me. My hands flew up to my cheeks as they flamed in embarrassment. Had he been looking at my cheekbones? Did that mean he had been checking me out? No, that couldn't be it. I didn't see it at all, anyways. Maybe he was teasing me.
"Do... do you think so? I hope I get taller like him. It would be such a waste if I ended up short like my mother." I chuckled to myself. I was a little euphoric from meeting him finally. Perhaps it was anticlimactic in a way, but it was a big moment in my life that finally had an answer. I had a father. He was tall with brown hair and blue eyes. He was at least a half-foot taller than me but about the same build.
He was married and had a good home. He wanted to keep in touch and get to know me. I maybe had a place to go if things with Mark didn't work out. That thought stopped me short and I was suddenly saddened by it. What about Mark? My father hadn't asked who he was but I think the investigator must have told him or he might have been weird about him showing up with me.
That meant we still had to get passed the whole 'used to be my stepdad' part of our relationship. It was another hurdle to people around me accepting us as a couple one day. I hoped that was where we were heading. With all my being I hoped my father wasn't homophobic. I would have to make that one of the first things on my agenda to ask him.
I sighed heavily. No sense in trying to make friends with him if he was just going to kick me to the curb. I opened a note and jotted a few questions down that I thought of while we were driving. I would ask them the next time I saw him. I glanced over to see Mark flicking his eyes back to the road. The quiet in the car was comfortable.
He was giving me space to think. It was strange to think that a man I knew for less than a year would know me so well. Even living in the same house with him had been no chore. I mean, other than trying to keep from making things awkward with my obsession with him. I had been doing very well in not perving on him, despite Emily's suggestions.
I didn't try to sneak peaks of him. I respected his space and his person too much for that. I didn't flirt with him too hard, obviously. A little light flirting sometimes, maybe, but I kept that to a minimum too while he was still technically married. I wonder how long it takes for someone to get a divorce... I opened the browser on my phone and looked it up.
Four to six months, after the paperwork is all in. Wait, that is only if it's correctly filled out and uncontested. Then there's a whole section on adultery. I sighed involuntarily. This might take awhile. Why did I have such a strong moral sense of right and wrong again? Oh yeah, because I wasn't my mother. Dammit. I sighed again.
"If you sigh too much you might lose your soul one of these days." I heard a dry voice from the seat next to me. I grinned and looked over at Mark.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to annoy you." I replied to the comment.
"You didn't. Not really. Just sitting here wondering what all the sighing is about." He looked over at my phone curiously. I blushed. As if I could tell him the truth. Well, maybe I could tell him part of it.
"I'm just worried about whether my father will be okay with me being gay. I figure I should make sure before I get too invested with him." I looked out the window to avoid his gaze.
"Like you said, he seems like a good guy. I am sure it will be fine." Mark tried to reassure me. I nodded and tried not to look back at him. I knew my face would just be filled with longing.
YOU ARE READING
My mother never could keep to one man. It wasn't like I went out of my way to fall in love. She was just blind, and he was just... perfect. It was impossible not to fall in love with my stepfather. The real question was... Did he love me?