Nothing Ever Happens - Completing the Family
Nancy smiled at their love and looked away, only to catch Aaron’s knowing eyes. She was proud of her husband for coping with years of conditioning to try and get to know his brothers-in-law.
Last night, when everyone was still tense, she’d gone to find Nathan and Andrew. She would never tell anyone what she saw by the flickering light of the campfire, but the one thing she knew is that these two men loved each other more than anyone she’d ever seen. They had touched each other with such tenderness it had almost made her cry, wondering why anyone could think their loving was wrong. Then other things had started and Nancy had melted away in the darkness.
Nancy had sat for a while in the den, processing her thoughts before facing Aaron again. She’d nearly jumped out of her skin when Gary had come in, a little worse for liquor, but not drunk enough to be offensive. As surprised to see her as Nancy was to see him, Gary sat down and started to talk about Andrew and Nathan, and their lives over the last decade. Nancy listened for a long time, holding back the tears when Gary talked about the effect Andrew’s mother had had on her son. By the end of the conversation, Nancy knew she wanted to know her brother again and she went to find her husband.
Aaron had argued with her but she was adamant, and eventually she’d got him to see that if he wanted to support his wife, then it would have to be with more than just words. Tense and angry they had gone to sleep, without their usual kisses and murmurs of love.
After dinner, she waited for the kids to get their belongings together. Aaron promised he would get everything packed if she wanted to talk to people. She didn’t.
Nancy wandered down to the dock, and looked out over the lake. It was already getting dark and soon she wouldn’t be able to see over to the other side of the lake.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Andrew said quietly as if he hadn’t wanted to startle her.
“You’re very lucky,” she agreed, knowing she would miss this view as she pottered around in her yard.
“It’s here whenever you want,” he said. “We let our family and friends come here whenever they want to. I’ll send you the calendar link so you can see when it’s free.”
“Thank you.” She looked at the fading vista. “I nearly didn’t come. I thought that not facing the family was easier than dragging up bad memories.”
“I’ve been Nancy for so long, I don’t know how to be Amy anymore.” She wrapped her arms around herself.
“You don’t have to be Amy. They don’t need to remember Amy as she was. They would like to get to know Nancy and her family. You’re still their daughter, Bob and Nathan’s sister. Why don’t you take a deep breath and start by getting to know them again?”
She turned to look at him. “I can tell you’ve been where I am.”
He huffed a little. “There were times when I didn’t know who I was.”
"You've been mine since the moment we met, Andrew Matthews."
The sound of Nathan's voice startled them both. Nancy smiled softly as Nathan wrapped his arms around Andrew’s waist. "Mine and only mine."
Andrew tilted his head for a kiss. “Possessive much?”
Nancy looked at them both. “You’re going to shake up my life, aren’t you?”
“Maybe just a little.” Nathan held his arms open wide, in demonstration and then pulled her in for a hug. “You won’t be bored with us around.”
Andrew groaned. “I’m sorry, Nancy. I had no idea he was going to be like this when I sat down in your café and asked for pancakes and coffee.”
“I can’t wait to go there.” Nathan actually bounced on the balls of his feet.
Nancy looked at him soberly. “I’m not going to lie, they don’t like gay people there. Or anyone that’s different.”
Andrew nodded his head. “I got that the first day I was there.”
“What happened,” Nathan asked curiously.
“I got interrogated by the sheriff and the mayor for being an outsider.”
“You never told me that,” Nancy said.
Andrew shrugged. “I showed them photographs of their town. They loved them.”
Nancy clicked her fingers. “The photo in the mayor’s office. That was yours?”
“Guilty as charged. I’ve spoken to Mayor Willard three times in the last month alone. I am very popular.”
Nathan shook his head. “You’re a manipulative little shit, that’s what you are.”
“Guilty as charged,” Andrew repeated with a grin.
Nancy looked at the two men. “I can’t deny I’d have liked to have met your wife, Nathan, but I’m just as glad to know your husband.”
Her breath caught in her throat when she saw the happiness mirrored on their faces. She’d thought Andrew was beautiful when she met him in the café, but here, in her brother’s arms, he was more than that. He was transcendent.
“Thank you for finding me,” she whispered. “For giving me back my family.”
“Thank you for joining ours,” Nathan said, tugging her closer. “Now our family is complete.”