Happy birthday my dearestaddie71
Thanks you so much for your wonderful friendship. With your lovely letters, your posts you're a sunbeam on a rainy day! May this day be very special, as special as you are with people you love, with lots of fun, joy, happiness and love! You deserve all the very best!
Love and big tight birthday hugs,
This is for you, sweetheart!
Title: The Picture
Pairing: The Connors, Zeke
I love my family as there are Frank, my husband, and Casey, my son.
Frank is a good man, sometimes a bit old-fashioned. Old-fashioned but not close-minded.
Casey is a son like no other. Honestly true, polite and loving. I’m proud of my guys.
And there is Ezekiel. He’s a very close friend to my son. They are hanging up a lot, spending as much time as they can get together. They stick together you can say, I’m sure they’d go through thick and thin for each other. Spending too much time? No, not at all. I never saw my child so happy. The time before Ezekiel he spent all days in his room or got lost in photography.
But let’s start from the beginning.
Casey joined the photography club in town two years ago. It’s more than a hobby, it’s his passion. He’s good in this.
He had chosen us as his first ‘objects’ as he said. Lovely photos I must say, at least most of them. Besides the one of me wearing those incredibly ugly curlers, my worn out dressing gown and Frank’s old felt slippers. Good god, I never ran around like this anymore when he showed the picture to me! Wouldn’t call me that sexy bitch as Frank uses to say, secretly of course. We laughed a lot about another one – Frank on Sunday morning, still in his old crumbled pyjama with his typical Sunday morning hairstyle. And of course he wore ugly slippers, too. It seems we both have a soft spot for extraordinary slippers. I don’t have to mention they landed at once at the garbage can.
Then he started taking pictures of ‘ordinary things’ like he said, a single daisy between stones, a book pile underneath the table, a lady walking through the rain. It’s a wonderful photo, with it he won the second price at the Annual Herrington Photography Contest. I remember how proud I was when he got us the invitation for the exhibition. ‘There’s a surprise waiting for you’ he told us. Give curiosity a name and call it “Meredith!”
When we arrived Casey was standing in a crowd so we couldn’t see him at all, neither him nor his excellent works. They showed many photos of him – until that time we knew he is good. What we didn’t know is that he’s brilliant.
Walking around in the hall we stopped thunderstruck at the winning photo. It showed a young man, almost still a kid even he looked very mature – a black and white one. It was made by Casey Connor! That’s when we saw him first. Not face-to-face but yet… Frank and I stood there motionless, staring at this work of art. Those eyes, so sad and lonely, lost in thoughts it seemed. It was one of these moments you want to take care of a child, taking him into your arms and just hold him, wishing he’d stay a little boy. It was hard not to cry, even for Mr. Connor. He murmured “where is the hell this kid had to go through”. Casey kept quiet, Frank linked our fingers. Do you know this? Sometimes you see someone and you want to know a little bit more than his name but on the other hand you won’t break the … mysterious charm?
Suddenly there were murmurs, some people turned their head and so did we. There he was – the guy from the photo. Tall, slim, young with this mystical aura around him. The crowd went quiet – he just stood there and watched them, hands in his pockets, casual leaning against the wall, very self-assured it seemed. Slowly he walked over to Casey – at this moment only Casey existed for him – I could feel it. I saw his eyes, they made my heart ache. Frank held his breath …’movie in slow motion’ I thought. Casey slowly walked up to him.
So that’s Casey’s best … friend? There is more, much more… love was all we could see in their eyes. Zeke bent down and whispered something that made Casey blush. Good god, they were both beautiful, illuminating the room with their gazes.
Leisurely people started to talk again and the charm was broken. To them. Not to us. Casey took Zeke by his hands walking him to his photos. He seemed unattainable and yet there was something that touched us both. His eyes – dark hazel and his smile! Entrancing.
After a while he excused himself and simply vanished.
Frank decided to get us this photo, he wouldn’t have sold it to a stranger.
Casey was angry at first, he wouldn’t hear any of it that his dad would pay 500 USD for it.
I could get you a copy’, he said. A discussion between those two stubborns never runs easy but Frank surprised Casey this time. “It’s one of those picture I must have, Casey. Not only because you made it. No. It’s the kind of expression of it. It only doesn’t make you think – it makes you feel…” Casey listened attentively, his lips quivering … close to tears. He was so glad his dad understood what he wanted to express with this photo. Stubborn hubby insisted to pay for it – not matter what Casey said. We stayed at the show for almost two hours watching Casey talking to some people. A sigh of relief and pride escaped us when they put a note on “our” picture as well as on the ‘lady in rain’ picture: sold.
Casey told us a few days later he could have sold Zeke’s photo for more than hundred times, but he didn’t – though it would have been easy to do few prints. “It’s unique and it’s for you only.” As I said I love my son.
Last week he introduced Ezekiel to us. I’ve to admit I was a little nervous, can’t explain it but I felt like this. When he entered the room I had to hold my breath – this guy is a match winner, and eye candy. I called the picture beautiful and now I couldn’t find a word that would have done him justice. Frank had to nudge me to get me out of ‘trance’. Jesus Christ! The boy felt uncomfortable, understandable - having a middle-aged lady standing in front of him with this stupid smile, unable to talk one coherent sentence. He was very polite, charming – oh, how I wanted to know what’s beneath that surface. His mom must be very proud of him. He’s intelligent, eloquent and this deep fascinating voice is a killer. He was very polite – don’t ask me what he said, I just can’t remember it. The afternoon was over all too soon – thanks to Frank that he saved the day! - and the boys left. Arm in arm we stood at the porch watching them until they were out of sight. I couldn’t help myself sighing “What is it that touches me so…” Frank held me closer. “As I said – we’ll have to find the hell this kid had – and still has – to go through. Did you notice? Even when he smiles his eyes stay sad, a bit angry I would say.” No, not angry Mr. Connor – hurt.
“But when he looks at our son his face softens, it seems to find what he’s looking for – warmth and peace.” And something else I couldn’t say, not yet.
Sitting at the couch later, looking at “our” picture I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I cried about him even I didn’t know why. Stupid me! My Frank just understood. “Meredith. He’s a wonderful young man and he's strong, he's a son his parents can be very proud of.” But something was wrong. Very wrong.
We didn’t sleep well the night because of a boy we didn’t know, because of Casey, because of Zeke and because of a massive headache … no red wine anymore I swore to myself.
“I’m glad they are friends, Frank…”
Putting a kiss on my scalp Frank murmured “I think they do each other good. Casey has changed, he has become very mature the last weeks. Did you know they meet for about 6 months? He asked me for permission to join Zeke to an open-air concert next week. Is it ok for you, honey?”
How could it not.
I love my husband.
I love my son
And I think I love this Zeke guy, too.