A Way Out: Book One

Chapter Thirteen: Father and Son

Just as planned Carson left to go back to school the next day. Luckily there were no storms until he got back. I wish he could have stayed of course but he had to get back. That Monday I contacted Anne and Matt to let them know what had happened over the weekend.Matt was excited to hear his father knew about him at last and wanted to meet him. Anne I could tell was apprehensive so when Matt left the room I asked Anne what was wrong. She told me she was scared of Marcus finding out about her alcohol problem and how Matt grew up. What scared her the most was how Matt had been treated by herself and her boyfriend. I told her that we would work all that out together when the time came.

I understood her fear but in the short time that she had her son taken away and returned she had cleaned her self up a lot. Matt was less stressed as well. We all hoped she would stay sober.

A week later while I was at work there was a knock on my door. I looked up and saw Marcus."I'm not interrupting anything am I?"He asked

I stood up saying "Oh no not at all come on in." Then I walked around to greet him I shook his hand and invited him to have a seat. As he sat down on the couch I closed the door behind him. Then I took a seat across from him.

"So, what brings you here?"I asked but he remained quiet I could tell he was nervous. Although I was with him a week before I never really spent much time with him aside from when I was telling him about his son. Sitting there with him I could see how much he and Carson looked alike in some ways but more than anything I could see just how much Matt and he looked so much alike.

"You said we needed to talk about uh, well my son." he finally said

"Yes, I did, I apologize for not coming to you first, but I wanted you to come when you were ready. I didn't want you to feel rushed or anything. I can tell this whole thing is making you nervous as well."

he nodded his head to confirm what I said.

"Marcus, I know what I had said to you that day didn't make complete sense to you.I must have left you with a lot of unanswered questions. But you need to understand that there are some things I had to leave out at that time."He nodded his head understanding what I was telling him."I need you to keep a clear mind about anything that comes up with meeting Matt. Got that?"He nodded his head.

"Marcus, I need you to tell me you can."

I will do my best."

"No, you have to promise that you will, not for me but for you and Matt both."He was silent for a minute then said

"Okay, I promise to keep a clear mind for me and my son."

"Very good," I told him

I then told him what I knew about Matt's upbringing, excluding the abuse that brought him to my office."Are you okay? I know this has got to be hard to take but you have to just accept things as they are. No matter how bad they may seem."I told him

"Yeah, I'm okay I just feel so guilty for not being there for him."

"Of course you do but it is not your fault, there was no way for you to know. Now is there any questions you have right now?"

"Yeah there is, why did Anne come in and tell you about me and her it seems kinda odd."

"She came in to talk to me about Matt and thank me for helping him. This was after I had a feeling you were his father. So, I got her to talk to me about his father, that is when she confirmed my suspicion."

"Okay, I get that. But what I mean is how did you help Matt?" He asked confused.

I looked him right in the eye and said: "That I cannot tell you, Marcus, I'm sorry."

I could tell he was concerned and annoyed with me."Why can't you tell me?"

"Because that would be betraying Matt's trust. Look, Carson knows, but only because he was here when Matt came to me for help and Carson figured it out on his own. Don't go asking Carson though he won't tell you. You will in time learn how I helped Matt. Until then focus on meeting Matt and getting to know him. He needs a man in his life that cares for him and you are that man."

He stayed quiet for a long time. I watched him until I could tell he was having a hard time dealing with leaving his wife and gaining a son at the same time. So, I got up and sat next to him then wrapped an arm around him, he leaned into me to accept the comfort I was offering.

"I still love her. Some days I don't know why but I do. I loved her from the beginning, but it wasn't until after we were married she started to change. She was controlling in almost every aspect of our lives. I just went along with it because I was in love." he paused for a moment, I knew he was talking about Marsha.

"I didn't really see anything was wrong until my family and friends started talking to me about how she treated me and them. Eventually, they stopped telling me because I wouldn't listen. That is until the last couple of years. I started putting my foot down on things she said and did. I was so blind I didn't see how she was treating Carson even though it was right in front of me. I hate myself for letting her be so cruel to my family and to me. You know I had always wanted children, but she kept making some excuse as to why we shouldn't. I was tempted to leave her for that, but it would have been so dumb to leave the women I love over something like that." He went quiet so I left him to think and went to grab a drink for us. When I returned he was wiping his eyes with a tissue. "I guess I have taken up too much of your time I should go." He said getting up to leave.

"Marcus sit down," I said softly. "You need to talk about this, it's clear and since you are comfortable with talking to me about it you might as well continue."

"What about your work?" He asked

"I have nothing that has to be done right away," I said and sat down with him again.

"What made you decide to leave her now?" I asked him.

"The way she was talking about Carson and about us for accepting him.I never thought he was gay, but I knew that I would love him no matter what, he is my brother and I love him. If she couldn't handle that then I wasn't going to be married to someone that hates him for who he is. Of course, that's not the only reason but I was so angry at her for what she was saying, I was hurt too. I have spent the last week filing for divorce and talking with my lawyer. I have been so stressed worrying what kind of damage she would try to do to me or my family. I would never have thought it before, but I know she can be revengeful. So, with that and worrying about meeting Matt I am on edge. Now here I am spilling my guts to my brother's lover."

I pulled him to me, he wasn't crying but I knew he needed some comfort. After a few minutes, there was a knock on the door.

"One moment" I answered and pulled away from my brother-in-law."I will be right back," I told him.

I got up and went to the door and opened it. Peeking out I saw Matt of all people. I got nervous suddenly not knowing what I should do.

"Hey, buddy what's up?"

"I just wanted to see you," He said.

I turned to look at Marcus."I have to talk to one of the kids, you can stay here as long as you need to," I told Marcus, he nodded.

I stepped out and said to Matt. "Come on let's go to the break room."

In the break room, we sat at the table. "We don't have to talk right now if you are busy," he said.

"It's okay, a friend of mine dropped by to talk, he has a lot on his mind, so I think he could use a break and think about what to do next," I told him.

"Is he ah from here, I mean is he a kid from the center?" He asked

"No, he is an adult, he came by to talk to me about something very important but he ended up talking about other things too. I feel he is quite overwhelmed with what's going on in his life and I happened to be someone he can talk too," I replied.

Matt smiled "Yeah I know what that's like, and you are easy to talk to."

"So, did you want to talk about something?"I asked him.

"I wanted to talk about my dad."

"Okay we can talk about him, so shoot," I said.

"What is he like?" He asked.

"Well that is hard to answer, you see I haven't had a lot of time with him to really get to know him. But I know he is a wonderful man that cares deeply for his family. He has always wanted children and is looking forward to meeting you, although I feel he is nervous about that."

"Yeah I feel the same way," Matt said with a slight smile.

"Matt, I told him very little that day I told him about you but since then I have told him nearly everything. I told him he needs to keep a clear mind when it comes to meeting you and knowing about your life. He has so far but he got upset when he learned about your mother's drinking and the way she brought you up. I told him that your mom came to thank me for helping you and as I expected, he asked what I had helped you with. I, of course, told him I couldn't tell him because I wouldn't betray your trust. I assume he will be angry when he finds out what happened to you, but I have no reason to believe he will think badly of you. It was not your fault in any way," I said.

"Mom is afraid of him finding out, out about everything. But I guess he knows now, most of what was going on when I was growing up. I hope he can see past that. She really is a good person, a good mother but her depression and drinking makes her not so good sometimes." He said

"You're right about that and I hope so as well. But I don't want you to worry about that. What matters most is you and Marcus getting to know each other, and preparing to meet the rest of the Willerdson Family. They are great people."He just smiled at me."So, did you and your mom talk about meeting Marcus?" I asked him

"Yes, she's not sure if she wants to meet him again yet but she wants me to meet him, so I can get to know him." That's good news I thought to myself.

"Matt will excuse me for a bit?"I said and stepped out of the room. I walked straight to my office door. I stopped when I got to it and took several deep slow breathes because I was really excited and extremely nervous at the same time. When I felt calmed down enough I opened the door and stepped in. I found Marcus right where I had left him.

Looking up he said, "Everything okay?" He asked.

"Yes, everything is just fine. Marcus, we need to talk."

"About what," he asked nervously.

"You and Matt of course. Matt is more than ready to meet you, although Anne is a bit hesitant as you can imagine. But that doesn't mean you and Matt can't meet without her." I said. Then I sat down next to him. "Marcus, Matt is here right now. In fact, that was him at the door. I could have just let him come in, but I wanted you to be prepared. You know, no springing surprises on you both. Are you ready to meet him right now?"I asked him as calmly as possible

"Yes of course I am," he said a bit too loud.

"Okay good, I will go talk to him while you collect your thoughts. Then I will bring him in."

"Okay, that works for me."

"Wonderful, I will be back shortly."

Back in the break room. Matt was sitting playing with his phone. I watched him since he didn't notice my return. In the short time of knowing him, I started to love him and adore him. He looked so much like his long-lost family that I just couldn't believe it. There he was sitting just like another teenage boy messing with his phone, he had no idea what I was about to tell him.

"Matt?"I said when I was ready.

He looked up and "Good you're back."I sat next to him unlike before I sat across from him.

"I'm sorry I had to step away, is there anything else that you would like to talk about? Anything at all?"I asked him

"Um, I don't think so no. But I wanted to thank you for what you have done for me. I had no idea my life would change like it did that day I came to you for help."He gave me a hug that lingered for a few minutes.When he let go I looked at him and slowly told him

"Matt you said you are ready to meet your dad, right?"

"Yeah, of course, I am but I am also really scared and nervous and well you get the idea."

"Yeah, I do, but keep in mind I will be right there with you when you two meet. Not that I expect anything to happen, but I will be there for support for both of you."

"Yeah I know, and I am glad you will be there. I just wish I could get it over with,"

Smiling to myself I said, "Granted Matt,"

"What?" He looked at me like I had lost my mind.

"Your wish is granted Matt, you can meet him right now. He is in my office."

"YOU MEAN?"He said, well screamed.

"Yeah he is, wait," he ran out of the room before I could finish my sentence. I would have yelled at him to wait again but that would have been pointless. I hurried back to my office, once I go there he was standing in front of a shocked Marcus. They just looked at each other not saying a thing.

"Marcus I would like you to meet your offspring Matt, Matt your father Marcus."I only introduced them like that to break the awkward silence. Instantly they grabbed each other in a death lock and started crying. My heart swelled, and I almost started crying with them but I stepped out closing the door behind me.

I walked back to the break room to compose myself and give them some time. I called Carson, but he didn't answer so I left him a message to call me back as soon as he had time to talk.

I gave them about twenty minutes then went back in. They were sitting by each other talking.

"I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you if I had known I would have," Marcus said with tear-filled eyes.

"I know Dad, I know,"Matt told him then wrapped his arms around him again.

Marcus looked up and saw me. When he did he mouthed "thank you".

I mouthed "you're very welcome" in return.

When Matt let go he said, "Why didn't you come see me sooner Dad?"

I saw on Marcus' face that he was struggling to answer."Uh, Matt

your dad here, he has had to deal with a lot this week. Remember how you reacted when I told you what was going on?"Matt nodded. "Well, your dad had to deal with the really big shock of finding out that he had a son. He came here when he was ready to talk about you again. This meet wasn't even planned as you can tell. But since you both wanted to meet each other so badly I couldn't keep you two apart any longer."

Turning to his dad he said, "But why did it take a week for you to want to come meet me?"

Again, Marcus was struggling to answer his son."You might as well tell him now," I told him

"Yea, you're right," Marcus said

"Tell me what? What are you two talking about?" Matt asked

"Son, uh, just before I was told about you I had just barely decided to end my marriage. I had been dealing with that and wanting to meet you all at once. I, I hope you understand that I needed some time before I was ready to meet you."

"Why did you do that?"Matt asked.

"Because neither of us was happy anymore and we had a big fight after Thanksgiving dinner. That was when I had had enough of her and her bullshit. Right after and I mean right after. Kirk and Carson sat down with me and that was when Kirk told me about a young man from his center. Then he showed me this picture." Marcus said pulling out his phone. He showed Matt the picture that Carson sent to his phone.

"I remember that day," Matt said, "I spent the day with Kirk, we went to a movie and hung out at his apartment," Matt said.

"You were so happy I wanted to get a pic of you, I'm glad I did too because it's the only one I had to show your dad," I told Matt

Marcus looked through his phone then showed it to Matt again "Look, you look just like me when I was your age?"

Matt took the phone and looked at the picture. "Yeah, I do huh, is that my aunt and other uncle?" Matt asked.

"Yep, that is your aunt Hannah and your Uncle Luke, that little guy with the cute outfit is your Uncle Carson," Marcus said with a smirk.

"I wouldn't let him know you talked about that cute outfit if I was you," I said.

Grinning Marcus said, "I won't tell if you don't."

"Deal," I said.

We talked for a while then Marcus took Matt to get something to eat. But not before I took a picture of them together.

Just as I was closing up I got a call from Carson."Hey, babe,"

"Hey what's up you sounded kinda funny when you called?"

"I had a cute visitor come to my office today."

"Oh, really and just who might that me?"


"OH, that's great, what did he say?"

"We talked about Matt mostly. I told him the things about Matt I told you I needed to let him know before they met."

"That's great how did he take it?"

"Pretty good actually. He knows everything up to this point except the part about why Matt come to me for help. To be honest, I don't want Marcus to know for Matt's sake, but he is bound to find out and he has the right to know. It is a touchy subject that I feel that Matt should tell his dad when he is ready."

"Yeah, you're right about that but they have to meet first," Carson said.

"Hey, hold on a sec I gotta finish closing up," I told him.

Once I had everything closed up and in my car, I sent Carson the picture of Marcus and Matt.

"What the fuck?" Came from the phone

"They met? Why didn't you tell me?" Carson blurted out.

"Uh, I just did cutie."

"You know what I mean," he said with a harsh tone.

"I wanted to surprise you."

"Well, you sure as hell did, didn't you." Still with a harsh tone. "Carson?"I said

"What?" He said annoyed

"I Love You," I told him

"I love you too, you big goof."He said tenderly "So how did it go?"

"Perfect, I just wish you could have been here."

"Ugh, so do I," he told me.

At eight O'clock while I was reading a story from my favorite author on Nifty I got a knock on my door. I assumed it was Debbie, but I was wrong. Standing in front of me was Marcus. "Hey, what brings you here?"I asked

"Uh, I'm not interrupting you, am I?" He replied.

"No, not really, I was just reading is all. Come on in, it's too damn cold to be standing out there." I said

When he came in I invited him to have a seat, make himself comfortable. Then got us both something to drink. Then sat down myself.

"Been talking to Carson I take it," I said.

"Yea, how did you know?"

"How else would you know where I lived and what the pass for the gate was?"

"Oh yeah huh," he said chuckling lightly to himself.

"What can I do for you?"

"It's going to sound weird but it's just uh, I didn't want to sit at home alone and I figured, uh, you know what maybe I should just go. It's getting late anyway."He said standing up.

I stood up, putting my arm around his shoulder and sat him back down.

"You got my address for a reason and came all this way to see me. I am here for you not just because you're my brother-in-law but because you need someone to talk to. I can imagine how odd it is for you to come to your brother's lover like this. But just relax, think of me as your friend."

"Yeah, yeah you're right. It's just this isn't easy for me."

"The shit you have had to deal with this week wouldn't be easy for anyone."

"You ain't kidding," he said.

"Now what made you come here? Why now?"

"Well, like I said I didn't want to be alone at home right now with everything going on and I don't know why but the only thing I could think of was coming here. I didn't tell Carson I was coming. I told him I wanted your address to send a thank you, for what you have done for me and my son."

"That's okay, I am glad you felt comfortable with coming to me."

I slowly got him to calm down, so he could talk about whatever was on his mind. He told me that this week had been very difficult for him as I suspected it was. He was feeling so guilty about not knowing about his son and how bad Marsha had been treating his family. Since he worked so much, and his friends didn't like Marsha and she didn't like them he ended up losing just about all of his friends. He confessed he worked so much because Marsha had become unbearable the last year or so. He had been thinking about taking everything from the house he wanted then let Marsha have whatever was left including the house. ]

Under his parent's insistence, he had Marsha sign a prenup before they got married. Which pretty much said that she would get half of the amount that he was worth at the time they got married. Which wasn't much of course. The price of the house should cover that. I asked about the company and he told me he only worked for it, he was never made partner.I thought that was good he wasn't but maybe he will soon as the bitch is out of the picture.

We talked more about Marsh and Matt. I ended up telling him just how Carson and I met. Minus a few things of course. I asked him not to repeat what I said though. I told him that Carson and I want people to hear it from one of us.

By eleven the snow was really coming down, so I insisted that Marcus stay the night. He was reluctant, but I insisted, I wasn't going to let him drive home after drinking as much as he did. Luckily it was snowing so it was another excuse for him not to be driving home that night.

While lying in bed I thought about how I was going to tell my boy about my guest. I was sure he would understand I just had to let Marcus know I don't like to keep secrets from Carson. No way would I tell Carson all that his brother told me, I would just tell him the simple truth that Marcus needed someone to talk things out with.

I did think that maybe I would tell Marcus if things were really bothering him that he might want to seek counseling. Yea I am always willing to help out but if he needs long-term help it would be better if he got it from a professional. Then I thought, hell I should have gotten my degree ages ago, but I never really thought I would need it. Not to mention I wouldn't have time to run the center and council any kids that came along that needed it.

Author's Notes:

A big thank you to Max and Mason.


Comments always appreciated at C. J. Gibb