Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Year of Sundays, ch 13 pt 1

Chapter 13 – July 24th
Part 1


Everywhere Silas turned, things were an absolute mess. First, and most obvious since he had to work on it every day - he was having trouble getting an important building permit. Yes, he'd put on his Armani suit, and yes, he'd stood before the zoning board and with the sketches of the proposed finished project, which presented as a very high-end, upscale residence.
It was a million dollar project, potentially more – with four bedroom suites, each with a full bath, two lounges, and at least one recreation room. They were still negotiating that part with the client. The place would be completely handicap accessible, with lots of green space, and even a pond.

But the zoning board was dragging its feet.

Yes, Silas knew it was to be a group residence for mentally ill persons. Yes, he knew such homes had been in the news several times recently, as one resident kidnapped and assaulted a female staff member, and a different resident of a different house and a different company provoked a police officer shooting him. But this isn't the same company, Silas soothed, and the housing is desperately needed.

 A few more weeks to do a community study, all right. Sure. Reschedule.

He could just scream. This was a hugely profitable project, and the zoning board had just put it on delay. Again.

Silas didn't need this kind of stress.

Melanie being in the hospital turned Sundays upside down. Instead of relaxing afternoons, they spent stir-crazy afternoons at the hospital where Melanie wouldn't tell them what was really going on. How could they help her? How could anyone?

Eric and Sam joined them today for a late lunch. And there was some kind of horrible tension between Liz and Eric that had them snapping at each other constantly, barely able to hold a civil conversation. Silas knew his sisters, had been interpreting their individual non-verbal cues since they were born, and whatever was going on there, it originated from Liz. But he never got a chance to corner her and ask what was going on. In fact, Silas got the feeling that Liz was avoiding him because she knew he would ask. Seemed like it was more than the usual failed attempts to get pregnant, though.

Seemed like every one of them was keeping secrets lately.

Which really wasn't fair, considering Silas had been perfectly happy with his secret gay life until their mother forced him to share. And somehow that led to his bringing Jeremy into all their lives, and if everything else was going to shit, at least that was going swimmingly. Everybody loved Jeremy to pieces.

Sometimes Silas thought maybe he should just move to the Twin Cities permanently and let Jeremy be their brother.

But now he knew he was just pouting.

He always got himself into this dark mood after hanging out with the happy couples of Josie and Jeremy, and Sam and Jessamine.

Yeah, it was irrational. Jeremy was gay and he loved Silas, so of course he and Josie were just friends. Still, the easy way they maneuvered around each other, both physically in the house and emotionally in conversation, was something Silas envied.

He and Jeremy had never been easy.

Jeremy always pushed for more than Silas could give, and Silas always pushed back, trying to force Jeremy to accept Silas's boundaries.

And still there were the strong flashes of jealousy when Josie wrapped her arm around Jeremy's waist, or when Jeremy dropped a kiss on Josie's head.

Stupid. If Silas hadn't refused to let Jeremy live with him at the beginning of the summer, none of this familiarity between Jeremy and Josie would have got a foot hold. So it was his own fault, wasn't it, for fighting so hard against what Jeremy wanted.

And then there was Jess and her badgering him about Butch. Silas wondered now why he thought encouraging Jess to read mom's journals was ever a good idea. Because clearly it had been a terrible idea. And Jess being Jess, once she caught wind of a secret, it would take some kind of natural disaster to make her stop trying to shake it out of the secret-keeper. She felt like it was her duty to safeguard all the secrets, and how dare they keep anything from her?

And why? It's not like she was going to send Silas into psychotherapy with Melanie acting the therapist.

Mel couldn't even manage her own life at the moment.

The truth was, Silas hadn't thought about Butch for years, and now was probably the worst time of his life to be bringing up that bullshit, anyway, when Jeremy had Silas wanting things Silas never believed he could have.

And that was the real problem.

The memories of his 'relationship' with Butch brought forth a whole host of negative emotions – anger, guilt, humiliation. The knowledge that he had allowed Butch liberties that should never have been allowed. How helpless he had felt at being too naïve to know how to handle Butch's perversion, or how to make it stop, or how to protect himself.

And a part of him had always known that the only thing he'd ever had to do to protect himself was stay away.

And yet he hadn't. He'd gone to Butch's house after school under his own power. Butch had made no explicit threat, and if there had been some kind of implicit persuasion, Silas couldn't identify it from here.

And when he watched Jeremy casually interact with Josie and the rest of Silas' sisters, it was like watching living porn, and Silas felt like he would explode with lust. Jeremy's every move, every gesture in normal conversation, translated to sex in Silas's brain.

Silas felt like a dirty old man.

Like Butch.

But the weird part was… he never felt that way when he was alone with Jeremy. Yeah, there was nothing easy about their relationship, but when it was just the two of them, there really was no room for fear or regret or feeling like their age difference alone was coercion. Because Jeremy was Jeremy, whether he was acting pretty or if he was pouting, and nobody was ever going to make Jeremy do something he didn't want to do. It was clear in the set of his head when he was angry and going into stubborn mode, and it was clear from the shining brilliance in his eyes when he got what he wanted.

And he wanted Silas.

Oh, he didn't brood outwardly about it, but when they were together Jeremy made it abundantly clear that with Silas was where he wanted to be. And if the closest Silas would give him was living at Silas's mother's house with Silas's sister, then that would do.

It didn't stop Jeremy from pushing, from wanting more.

And sometimes Silas thought Jeremy's swift move into the hearts of Silas's family was just one more way for Jeremy to manipulate further into Silas's heart. If Silas had a heart, that is.

But it was becoming obvious to Silas that there was… something between Jeremy and Josie. Something they shared with each other that they didn't share with anyone else. There were certain looks, an odd phrasing of words sometimes, that led Silas to believe that they, also, were keeping some kind of secret.

Silas's jealousy wanted to break out of its cage and go on the attack, convinced that they were sleeping together.

Which was patently ridiculous. And irrational. And all of those other psych words used to describe delusions.

So many secrets. No wonder Jessamine looked so excited lately. It must feel like Christmas morning.
Just as they were wiping the last of the dishes and discussion who would ride with whom to the hospital to hang out with Mel, the front door bell rang.

It was so unusual that they all rushed out of the kitchen, thinking they must be about to receive terrible news.

Sam had already opened the door, and Craig, Caleb's father, was standing in the entry, shaking Sam's hand.

He nodded and greeted each of them by name, including Jeremy.

And then he said, without introduction or warning, "I think Melanie's in bigger trouble than anyone knows."

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