But now, next part of "Pictures" .... it will be part 31 - the next to last one ... I don't know whether I'm happy or sad about this! Five month writing , 100+ pages - much longer than expected. It's hard to let them go on one side, but on the other side I think it's time for it. Just feeling a bit melancholic ... I'm not sure if I could do something like this again. Well, I've some ideas in my mind - longer and shorter ones - oh yes, and there is "Summerstorm" waiting to be completed. I hope you don't mind to read more of my scribbling ...
Well, but now let's go to "Pictures" .
Title: Pictures (31 / 32 )
Fandom: mostly Casey and his dad
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
Previous parts: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / sixteen / seventeen / eighteen / nineteen / twenty / twentyone / twentytwo / twentythree / twentyfour / twentyfive / twentysix / twentyseven / twentyeight / twentynine / thirty
"Go and pack your bags, Casey! You will come home with me today!"
Casey swallowed. Nothing had changed! After all the weeks they hadn't even talked to each other, all he did was to demand more. Not even one question about how he was doing. Just new demands. It would go to be a hard fight ...
"I won't, Dad! I'll never come back again! I can't!"
"Nonsense! You need to go to school! You need to graduate next year!"
"I know ... and I surely will! But after graduation ... I'll move to California."
If things would work out well! If the art school would accept him! Casey knew, in the moment he was just dreaming about his future in Frisco, but he wouldn't admit this. Not in this moment, not to his dad. His father pursed his lips.
"You will go to college, Casey! I've spoken with my old friend Gerald. He is a teacher in Boston at the MIT and he says, with your grades it would be a shame if you choose another way ... "
Casey shook the head.
"We don't need to talk about this, dad," he murmured.
"I'm not going to MIT!"
His father snorted angry.
"You are such a stupid boy, Casey. MIT! Do you know what this mean? No one pass up this golden opportunity! For a ridiculous dream ..."
"But it's my dream. Even if you will never understand, I will go for it!"
"Really, I've never understood you. I always wanted the best for you. I gave you every chance - but you never wanted it! You always was rebellious, you always dreamed about stupid shit. It feels like it is a great satisfaction for you to abase me ..."
Casey smiled sadly.
"I never wanted to hurt you, Dad! I just wanted to be myself. I just wanted to be accepted like I am. But you was never interested in me ... it was always just about you! Your ideas of my life!
I've tried it, dad, I tried it so hard, to show you my dreams. I'll never forget my sixth birthday. Grandma had given me my first camera. I wanted to check it out - together with you. But you laughed at me, as ever. You dragged my into the next football stadium instead. Because you wanted to show to me what red-blooded men were like. I hated it ... I hated you ...
Casey's voice became a whisper while he continued.
"And then, a few years later, I wanted to go to this art exhibition in Columbus. I begged you again and again, but you forbade me to go. But ... what you have never got to know: one weekend, you were on business trip, Mom is gone with me. Just one of our secret, little trips! We always had so much fun together ... without you ... she wanted to understand my dreams ... but ... however ... you've always stood between us!"
A short moment Mr. Connor kept quiet.
"Your mother ... your mother is like you!" he finally said.
"All too weak to see what is important. She never understood! You were a child, Casey, a very difficult child! She never knew what was good for you! She would just have spoiled you!"
"I'm not a child any longer! Next month I will be legal. And you cannot force me come back with you!"
"This is ridiculous, Casey! You are eighteen years old. You have not a penny on your name. What do you want to do? Living on the street? Or moving together again with this ... criminal subject?"
Casey's head jerked round sharply. Until now it just had hurt, but this was too much. He could feel annoyance climbing up in himself.
"Don't do this," he hissed.
"Don't you dare it ever again! You have no right to speak about Zeke in this way! I don't know what I would have done without him.
Remember? You hit me and kicked me out of the house. It was raining cat's and dogs, I had no money and I didn't know where to go. You are my father - you should care about me - but in this very moment you gave a fucking shit!
Zeke had no reason to help me, but he was there ... and he didn't ask for anything. He was just there for me! And he is still here! He gives me more than you was ready to give my during my whole life!"
Casey desperately panted for air. He couldn't cope with this any longer. He had to go out here, he felt this. Zeke ... he needed Zeke. And he needed him now! But when he turned to the door, his father held him back.
"Casey! Don't go! Please!"
Casey stopped, feeling numbly. Please?! His father never asked for anything, he never begged, he always demanded.
"I was not coming to argue with you. Let us talk, Casey, talking sense, okay?"
Casey narrowed his eyes.
"What do you want to talk about? I will never be the son you always wanted to have! I won't go to MIT! I won't become the super-scientist you want me to be! I'm just gonna be a ridiculous, little photographer. Nothing you would be proud about!"
His father's answer made Casey almost speechless.
"Yes, I know! I'm not lucky with your decision, but if this is what you want ... I will accept it. Go to art school! Maybe it is the right thing for you."
"Jesus fucking christ!"
"Don't swear, Casey! I have had a look at your photo albums which you left behind ... I don't understand a lot of it, but I have sent a few photos to a friend in New York. He is working there at a gallery and he was really impressed. He said, with a suitable education you could become a good photographer. One of the best!
Well ... maybe your future prospects aren't that bad. You could be one of the best paid photographers one day, maybe you can win the Pulitzer-Prize and ... "
Casey had to smile. No, his father would never change. He could only accept the greatest, the best, the most successful ones. But he decided to enjoy this moment - the first time in his life, that his father was ready to give in. It was not necessary to tell him, that it was not about fame or money, but just about the fulfillment of his dreams, about his own life.
His father jolted him out of his thoughts when he continued.
"I've decided to support you if you really want to go this way. This school in San Francisco, it seems to be a good one ... I will pay the school fees and of course I will assume all your other costs, too.
But ...well ... hrm ... this other nonsense! Casey, I know, you're still a young boy. We will forget this stupid intermezzo. You didn't knew what you were doing! Over the next years you will focus completely on your education. Later there will be enough time to find a nice girl, who is ready to back you up ... "
Casey sighed. For a short moment he has hoped that his father at least started to understand. But he was wrong. He still tried to control and to manipulate everything.
"It's okay, Dad," he said.
"I don't need your money. I can do it by myself. Grandma ... do you actually know about the trust fund which she set up at my birth? It will disbursed soon. It's not that much, but it will be enough for a good start. I will also look for a job. Maybe I could work as a photographer, doing shots at weddings, birthdays .... I could earn a bit money with it and at the same time I'm gonna learn a lot."
He hesitated a short moment, but then he straightened his back. He had to say it, he owned it to Zeke and to himself.
"And this ... other nonsense ... this is a part of my life. I am gay, Dad! You cannot change it. There will never be a girl by my side. I won't deny who I am any longer!"
The face of his father darkened.
"My God, you are serious, aren't you? Have you considered this really well?"
"Yeah! Zeke and I, we are together. And I won't be ashamed for this. Zeke is the very best what has ever happened to me. He never tries to change me. He loves me like I am. He is there, just by my side, whenever I need him. He is all I want!"
He looked at his father's stony face. He seemed to fight with his feelings.
"This is hard to believe, Casey," he finally murmured with a broken voice.
"You are my son! You can't be ... this way! This is ... just disgusting!"
"I'm sorry, Dad!"
Their eyes were meeting. There was a slight, sad smile in his Dad's eyes, Casey couldn't understand.
"Don't be sorry, Casey! I'm proud of you!"
"You ... What ... ?"
"Yes, I am proud of you! I can't understand what you're doing, Casey. I can't accept it. But you're grown up. I would have never thought that one day you would be so strong and ready to fight for whatever you want. You will make your way, right? Yes, I'm sure, you will make it!"
Casey felt tears rising up in his eyes. Resolutely he forced them back. It was not the time to be weak. Not now! Not here!
But when he turned to the door, his father held him back again.
"Casey! Just one more word! When you're back in Herrington again ... maybe ... maybe you could come over for lunch, or so? ... Your mom ... I think, she's missing you!"
Casey slowly nodded.
"Yeah. Yeah, I think, I could do this," he whispered and run out of the house.
Zeke pulled him into his arms. He felt him trembling.
"Shshsh. Everything okay. It's over, baby! You don't need to meet him again, if you don't want it!"
"He is proud of me," whispered Casey.
"He has said, he is proud of me! We talked ... about college ... about Frisco ... and I told him about us ... And he said, he is proud of me, because I'm so strong!"
All the tension of the last hour loosened when he burst into tears. But it was all right. In Zeke's arm's it was okay to feel weak. Zeke would understand. Zeke would always be there for him. Zeke would keep him save. Zeke would love him. Everything was okay!
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