Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star

Posted on 3:38 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Olivia waited until she was very sure that Tim was indeed gone for the day.  And then she waited some more, until she was sure that Tim wasn't going to come in and surprise her.  Taking the hook from the  cupboard she fitted it into the latch on the ceiling, and pulled down the stairs.  Putting the hook safely aside, she climbed up into the attic, and started moving boxes around until she found the one she had hidden away.  There it was!  Childish handwriting proclaimed that the contents of this box were "chrismas ordaments".  Derrick had helped her label this box when he was 7, and so very proud of being able to read and write.

Picking up her treasured box she carried it over to an old kitchen chair and sat down with the box on her lap.  Running her hands over the box, she started crying with the grief of not even knowing if her Derrick was still alive.  Why was she so weak!?  Why did she let Tim push Derrick from her arms?  Why?  Drying her face with her sleeve and struggling to get some control back she opened her box, and fell back into the past as she lovingly pulled out and experienced each item in the box.

"Come back to me baby, please!"  Olivia shouted into the empty attic, as she collapsed into her grief.


Abby stood shocked and amazed at the sight of her mom standing in her driveway.  Mouth open, eyes wide, unable to process that she was, in fact, here.  By the time her wits had returned Ben and Derrick were flanking her, both had their arms around her, with a steely look in their faces.

"Well?  Are you going to invite me in, or not?"  Irene snapped.

"Umm sure mom, come on in."

As they entered the house, Derrick tried to pull away from me, but I wasn't allowing him to do that.  She could either accept my life, or not.  I wasn't planning on changing my life or actions to suit her, and if she couldn't deal with it, too damned bad!

"I'll go start the coffee."  Derrick took off towards the kitchen.  I plopped down on the center cushion of the sofa.  Ben warily sat next to me, ready to jump up to defend me if he had to, mom sat down in one of the chairs that was across from the sofa.  As Derrick came back into the room, I could tell he was under a great deal of stress, but he sat down next to me, and patted my knee in support.

"What do you want mom?  I thought you made it quite clear that you didn't want anything to do with me?"

At those words, Irene shocked us all, by breaking down into tears.  After sitting there stunned, for what seemed forever, but was most likely only a few seconds, I leapt to my feet and ran over to mom.  She pulled me down on the arm of the chair and held onto me like there was no tomorrow.  Relief washed over me.  My mom didn't hate me, and maybe could come to deal with our rather unusual lifestyle.

"I'm sorry!  Oh, I'm so very sorry!  I do want you in my life!"

Ben handed me a box of tissues, I pulled several and handed them to mom.  Ben was back with the bathroom wastebasket.  Mom cried for quite a long while, and the wastebasket slowly filled up, as the tissue box became lighter.  Finally stuttering and hiccuping, mom's tears started to abate, when Derrick handed her a cup of coffee.

Holding onto the warm cup with both hands, she looked up at him saying, "Thank you….Derrick."  Mom sat trying to get herself under control, sipping her coffee, wiping her eyes occasionally, and at one point handing me her cup so she could blow her nose.  

Ben and Derrick had sat in their usual position, Derricks arm along the back of the sofa, with Ben sitting next to him, under his arm.  Mom sat and sipped her coffee, and just looked around the room, finally resting her eyes on the sofa.

"Is that the way you two usually sit?"

Ben smiled and said, "Well, yes it is when there is just the two of us."

"Where do you sit honey?  Over here?"

"No mom, I sit with them.  We sit together."

"Do they always sit like that?"  Mom vaguely waved her hand at them.

"Sometimes they do, but not always.  I haven't been pushed out by Derrick if that's what you're worried about."

"Oh, ok if you say so."

"I do say so, mom.  I love them both, and they both love me."

"Irene, that's what I was trying to explain to you when I went over to your house.  I still love your daughter.  I'm in love with her.  I'm also in love with Derrick.  Yes, this is not the usual way things work, and we know that, but it works for us."

Derrick stood up and came over to my mom saying, "Mrs. Hansen, I'm Derrick Addison, pleased to meet you."  Not knowing if it would be taken or not, he held out his hand for her to shake.  Mom sat there for a bit, before extending her hand to take his.  Derrick flashed her his mega watt smile, as he gently shook hands with her.

"Well, you're mother should be very proud of herself.  She raised a very polite son."

"Yes, I had a wonderful mom.  I miss her every day."

"Oh?  When did she pass on?"

"Mom's not dead, she just wasn't strong enough to stand up to her new husband, and allowed him to force me out of the house."

"When was the last time you spoke to her?"

"I'm not sure, some time after graduation."  Derrick fell silent for a bit and then looked at Ben.  "Something else we both have in common, huh?"

"Yes.  Now I can tell you the truth Irene, I didn't lose my parents due to choice of colleges and careers which is what I originally told you. They caught me in bed with my boyfriend, and only allowed me to stay in their home until graduation day.  Which they didn't attend.  The last several months of high school were the hardest days of my life, because my parents acted like I didn't exist.  They wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't eat with me, wouldn't even stay in the same room as me.  I came home from graduation to a note on my bed telling me to be out of the house by the time they came back.  I had no place to live, no one to turn to, even my brother turned his back on me.  Yeah, I have a brother I never told you about.  But miracles of miracles I've got my brother back in my life, and I couldn't be happier."

Irene sat for a long while, holding her coffee cup, just holding it, with a far away look in her eyes.  We sat and gave her the space to work things out on her own.  Finally after quite a while she looked up at Ben and the sadness in her eyes was clear.

"Ben, I'm very sorry that I lashed out at you.  Will you forgive the horrid things I said to you?"

"Yes, Irene of course I'll forgive you.  As long as you accept us for who we are and how we have chosen to live."

"I'll try….it's going to be tough for me."

"Mom, we know how weird this must seem to you.  As long as you try to accept us, we will give you room to adjust."

"Mrs. Hansen, I want to assure you that while I did fall in love with Ben first, my love for Abby is no less than what I feel for Ben.  And if anything would happen to Ben, God forbid, I would take care of Abby for the rest of our lives.  It wouldn't be  burden to me either, but a labor of love."

"But, umm I thought Ben told me that you are ahh….gay?"

"Yeah, I am."

"But Abby is a woman."

Derrick smiled at my mom saying, "I did notice that a time or two.  My love for her transcends her gender.  It did cause me some confusion to be honest, but I realized that I love her, and what can be more important than that?"

"Do you umm…."  And then something I've never seen on my mom's face.  She was blushing!

Moving to rescue mom from having to complete that thought I said, "What we do in our bedroom is private mom, ok?  All that matters is that he loves me, and I love him."

"Ok…good….ok"

Derrick got up, smiled at me and disappeared into the bedroom, shortly returning dressed in shorts and a sleeveless tee shirt.  Giving all of his goofy grin he said, "Yeah,  I'm not really used to be all dressed up like that….so yeah."

"I like your thinking Derrick!"  And like a shot Ben peeled off to complete his own transformation into his weekend uniform of shorts and a tee shirt.

"Pfft!  Well if you two think I'm going to sit here all dressed up, you two have another think coming."  I came back in a pair of long loose shorts and a cotton sleeveless top.

Mom and I sat and caught up on things while Ben and Derrick started their weekend chore of lawn work.  At one point mom stopped talking and she had the oddest expression on her face.  Oh, Ben and Derrick had their arms around each others waist while gesturing with their other arms.  They are always coming up with one scheme or another to improve the back yard.  As they finished talking they gave each other a quick kiss and then went back to work.

"It's ok mom, they love each other."

Mom's face was bright red and I could tell she was very embarrassed having seen them being physical with each other.  It took a bit to get mom back on track, but she slowly started following the conversation as an active member again.  The guys finally finished the lawn work and came into the garage….oh shit!  I jumped up and ran into the bedroom to grab up their robes, and flew down the hall to the door leading to the garage.  They were both in the middle of putting their clothes back on, with rueful expressions on their faces.

"Yeah…we forgot your mom was here, sorry!"

"It's ok, put your robes on.  Hand me your stuff and I'll drop it in the washer."

"Umm no…..I'll put my stuff back on, ok Abby.  I'm not ready to have your mom see me in a robe."

"I agree with Derrick.  It just feels….wrong.  Ya know?"

"Yeah, I do."

"What was that all about?"  Mom asked me when I came back into the living room.

"They usually just walk thru in their boxers."

"Oh!  I'm very glad you stopped them then."

"Well, they remembered just in time."

"Good!"

Two very embarrassed fellas walked through the living room, and into our bedroom.  As the shower kicked on Mom got a funny look on her face.  Keeping mom from having to ask I just told her, "Yes, they do shower together.  I shower with Ben quite often, didn't you and daddy shower together?"  Which got me a second blush!  Whoa!  Who knew that mom was so shy about sex?

"Ahh, yes, well, umm sometimes…we did….I mean ahh…"

"It's ok mom.  I know you and daddy had sex, its ok."  And for that, I won blush number three!

Ben saved the day, when he plopped down into the chair next to mom, and pulled me onto his lap. "So how does shrimp cooked on the grill sound for supper?  I found a recipe that sounds really easy."

"That sounds delicious!  Where's the recipe?"

"Derrick?  Could you bring me that shrimp recipe we found please?"  Derrick had continued on into the kitchen after his shower, I'm sure he had to be hungry by now.

There were some odd sounds coming from the kitchen, and then here came Derrick carrying a book in one hand, and a giant sandwich in the other.  Dropping the book onto the coffee table he used one hand to flick through the pages while the other one held that oversized sandwich.  He sat completely absorbed in finding the recipe and eating.  Finally finding it, he crammed the last of his sandwich into his mouth and stood up and handed the book to me and pointed at the recipe he wanted.  I glanced at the recipe and agreed with them that yes it did look like a good recipe.  Derrick got a paper and pencil and we worked over the amounts of things we needed to make supper.  When the ingredients for garlic bread came up I knew that the guys were going to make supper.

"I'll make the run to the store, ok?  Let me grab my wallet and the household card.  Ben, will you start the rice please?"

"Sure, no worries."

With a grin to all of us, Derrick was out the door, then right back in.  "Yeah forgot the list and the bags!"

With the sound of all of us laughing Derrick left.

"Ok sunshine, you heard the boss.  I need to make the rice, so up you get."

"Nope!"

"I can get you off my lap and you know it.  I'll tickle you!"

With a squeal I jumped off his lap, with him chuckling at me, "Told ya I could get you up!"

Ben went into the kitchen to start working on dinner.  Mom had a new funny look on her face at the fact that Ben, yes Ben was cooking!  He uncovered the grill and got it going.  Filled the rice cooker, and pressed the button which played "Twinkle twinkle little star", which always made me giggle.  The idea of a rice cooker playing a children's song, just struck me as funny, every single time!  Yeah, I'm really that easy.  Before long Derrick was back and the cooking started in ernest.  They asked a few questions, and a few times I had to go and look at something they were concerned about, but on the whole they managed dinner on their own.  And when it came time for Derrick to make the garlic bread, I made damned sure that mom watched.  She found it as cute and as endearing as I do, the way he kneels in front of the broiler .  As the day drifted into evening mom became much more relaxed, and started laughing, and teasing and chatting along with all of us.  Dinner was a success, the shrimp were fabulous, only next time we need to buy more shrimp!  I noticed that as the evening wore on Derrick seemed a bit….off.  I wonder what is bothering him?  Oh, well after mom leaves Ben and I will worm it out of him, no worries about that.  As mom was getting ready to leave, you could tell she was unsure of how to leave, with just a goodbye, or a hug?  So, Ben pushed the issue a bit, and reached out and gave her a hug.  She stiffened in his arms for a brief moment, before she hugged him back.  Derrick played it safe and just patted her shoulder.

I walked mom out to her car, and we stood for a few minutes in awkward silence.

"Mom?  I know this is hard for you to accept.  Thank you for trying, it really means a great deal to me.. to us."  I gave my mom a very large hug, and started to cry.  "I missed you so much mom!  Please, please don't shut me out again!"

"I wont!  This is going to be hard for me to get used to….but I promise to at least try."

"Mom, you might as well know every thing all at once.  We are going to have a wedding ceremony, the three of us.  We don't want Derrick to feel like a tacked on extra.  It's very important to us.  Will you come? And…….umm we are going to start trying soon to have a baby."

"Really!  I'm finally going to be a grandmother!  Whoopee!"

"Yup!  Umm….. mom?"

"Yes?"

"I…we…we……… Ok there's no easy way to say this to make it easier for you to swallow, but both Ben and Derrick are going to be fathers.  Can you accept that?"

"Abby?  Does this mean that you and Derrick….?"

"Yes, it does."

"Oh."  Mom fell silent for a bit, and just as I was about to say something, mom continued, "Are you going to wear the same gown?"

Her abrupt topic change took me by surprise, so it took me a few beats to catch up as to what she was talking about.  "No, I'm not.  In fact, I've already purchased the gown."

"It won't be a legal marriage, correct?"

"Correct.  No one allows multiples to marry.  This is a marriage of the heart mom."

"Are you staying legally married to Ben?"

"Yes."

"Ok, that's good then."  Mom reached out and pulled me to her into a giant hug, that lasted for a very long time.  When she finally pulled back she had tears in her eyes.  "All I want is for you to be happy.  I hate to see you get hurt, and this really worries me that you will end up alone.  I'm still concerned that Ben will leave you for Derrick."

"It could happen, we never know what the future will bring.  But for now, we are happy together.  What you need to understand is that Ben was going to leave me, he couldn't live a lie any longer.  So, if I hadn't pushed him into finding and bringing someone home, he would already be gone by now.  Ben didn't want to hurt me, he was going to leave so that I could find someone that would be happy with just me, he thought I deserved someone better.  Ben didn't push me into this mom, ok?  I pushed him into finding someone, and while I didn't expect him to fall in love so quickly, him doing so threw me for a loop to be honest with you, Ben has never been so happy, ever.  Didn't you notice the difference in him?"

"Yes, I have to admit he seemed much happier, more I don't know, at peace maybe?"

"Well part of that is that he can finally be truthful to you.  It hurt him so badly to have to lie to you all those years.  But yes he is happier, I'm happier.  Now that my eyes have been opened I realize how unhappy Ben had been for a very long time, which caused me to pull away from him.  Things would not have lasted much longer between us."

"Oh.  Ok.  Well you would know."  Mom stood there with a thoughtful expression on her face, and then roused herself saying, "I'm tired and am going home.  I'm going to try, it's just going to take me awhile to come to terms with this.  But you are so very important to me, I don't want to take the chance of losing you.  Give me a hug and a kiss to go."

"Sure mom, any time."  I gave her a huge hug, and kissed her cheek. "Bye mom!"

"Bye honey."  Mom got into her car and drove away.  I stood there for a few minutes enjoying the peace patching things up with mom had brought me, a giant weight had fallen away when I knew my mom still loved me.

As I stepped into the house I heard Ben's voice say, "Are you sure you'll be safe?  Didn't you say he kept guns in the house?"  I froze and stood quietly so as not to interrupt them.

"I'll make sure he's gone for the day before I go in.  I promise you that I'll be careful.  It's something that I have to do, I need you to support me on this, yeah?"

A big sigh from Ben before he continued, "Yeah, I understand. I love you and want you be safe, that's all, ok?"

"It's very ok."

I heard kissing, so what ever they were talking about was finished, and I felt that it was ok to intrude now.  Stepping into the living room I asked, "Ok what's going on?  Where are you going that's not safe?"

"I'm going to go visit my mom.  Tonight really brought home how much I miss her, how much I want her back in my life.  If I have a baby, I want her to be part of their life."

"Yes!  I agree.  Are you even sure she still lives in the same place?"  I gave Derrick a hug and a kiss.

"Yeah, I check periodically.  So, I'll leave early in the morning, and I'm not real sure what time I'll be home.  I'l call and let you know when I'm leaving mom's ok?"

Ben smiled and pulled him in for a tighter hug,  "All I want, all we want is for you to be happy and safe.  Am I right Abby?"

"Of course!  If you need us, call us and we will come running."

"I love you both so much."

"Good!  Now, I'm going to soak in a hot tub before going to bed.  You two I'm sure will think of something to keep yourselves busy."

"Nite sweetie, sleep well!" Ben pulled me into his arms for a loving hug and a soft kiss.  Sigh, to bad I'm beat cause he certainly spiked a bit of interest there….

"Sleep well Abby, and I'll call if I need reinforcements."  I got a gentle hug and a kiss from Derrick.


When the clock rang me out of sleep, I was at first confused as to why I was awake this early on a Monday, my usual day off.  Then I remembered that today was the day I was going to go see my mom. Mom!  I carefully slid out of bed, no reason to wake either of them up this early.  Showered, shaved and dressed, and ready to go!  I made a quick breakfast and drank a cup of coffee.  And the longer I sat there the more worried I got…..what if she didn't want to see me??  No!  I'm not going to second guess myself on this.  I'm going and if she doesn't want me around, then at least I gave it one last honest try.  I poured the rest of the coffee in my travel mug, all sweetened and full of milk, just as I like it.  Then quickly reloaded the coffee maker for Ben and Abby.  And before I could change my mind, I picked up my keys and my coffee and was out the door, and headed for both my past and my future.

For a while the busy roads took a lot of my attention, but as I cleared the city, the traffic became lighter and my mind had some lea way to wander.  I wonder if I'll recognize her?  Surely she couldn't have changed that much, it hasn't been that long….I hope she will recognize me!  Ohh, I hope she still loves me.  Still wants me.  Sighing a long rough breath, trying to fight back the tears, the fear of being unwanted by mom.

I checked the clock, it was only 9 am, I'm worried that I was going to be early, to early for him to be gone yet.  That is if he still worked at the same job….hmm.  I'll pull over into some diner and have a snack or something to make sure.  The last person I want to see today is Tim.  I found a diner that was full and busy, ok that should be a good sign, yeah?  It was a very good sign, the place was super clean, the coffee fresh and hot, and the doughnuts were excellent.  After a quick trip to the rest room, I was ready to go.  It was almost 10 am, he should be long gone by now.

As I made the last turn into our subdivision, my stomach started doing evil things to me.  I thought at one moment I was going to vomit, but I managed to fight the feeling back, successful at least for now.  I cruised by the house very slowly, the only car under the carport was moms.  I was shocked to see that mom was still driving that old beater.  It was old when I was a kid…. that was the last car dad had bought before he died.  Wow, so many memories.  Ok, well things look safe enough, as I rounded the block again, I pulled in a big breath, and let it out slowly, and parked at the curb.  I sat for a moment drawing my courage around me.  The knowledge that back at home were two people who really loved me, helped me to get out of the car and up the walk, and ring the bell.  It seemed to take forever, it seemed to be to fast for there to be footsteps approaching the door.  I heard the deadbolt turn and then the door opened and there stood mom.  She looked older and so much smaller to me, and then a flash of recognition exploded in my mom's face and she leaped at me.

"Derrick?? Oh God!  It is you!!  Oh!! Baby I've missed you!!"

I had my arms around mom, she was tight against me holding me as if I were nothing but a mirage.  Mom was crying and holding onto me so tightly she surprised me with her strength.

"Come in!"  And saying that she tugged me into the house and slammed the door shut with her foot.  She towed me into the kitchen and pushed me into a chair.  She stood in front of me, looking at me, running her finger tips lightly over my face, as tears silently ran down her face.  "Where have you been?  Are you hungry?  I'm so sorry I let Tim push you out of my life.  Will you forgive me?  I guess you have cause you're here now.  Oh!"

"Mom, mom, it's ok, it's ok.  I'm here now.  I missed you so much, that I had to take the chance to come and see you.  I was worried that you didn't love me, but I had to find out.  I forgave you a long time ago."

We sat in the kitchen for a long time going over old stuff that we had never dealt with before.  The day grew hotter and mom pulled her sweater off, and her shirt sleeve rucked up and i saw that the inside of her arm was covered in bruises.  The imprint of fingers was bruised onto her flesh!  Oh, now that I was gone, he was beating up my mom!  How dare he!

"MOM! Has Tim been hurting you?"  I moved towards her quickly and she flinched away from me.  "Mom, mom, mom!  I would never hurt you!  Oh, god!  I'm so sorry that I left you with that monster!"

"No, it's not your fault.  I should have left him when he first hit you.  But I was weak and so tired of being alone."

"Mom, you're coming home with me, today!  I'm not going to take no either.  I'll run and pick up some boxes and we'll get you packed up."

"Honey, I can't impose on you like that!"

"It's not imposing mom!"  I pulled my cell phone out and debated on who to call first……Ben.  She didn't have an issue with me being gay, I'll spring Abby on her later…sigh I hope she will be able to understand our situation..

"Ben?  Hey, I'm bringing mom home with me. Yeah, Tim's beating her, no way am I leaving her here.  She worried that she will be imposing on us.  Can you talk to her please?  Sure."

"Mom?  This is Ben, talk to him."

"Hi?  Ok, uh huh.  But you…ok.  Yes, I see.  If you're sure then.  See you soon."

"Derrick, Ben wants to talk to you."

"Hi.  Good!  I'm kinda worried about that myself actually.  Well, time will tell, huh?  Ok, got a ton of stuff to do, gotta go.  Love you too.  Bye!"

"Ok mom, are you satisfied?  Now you know that Ben wants you to stay with us."

"Yes, yes.  But what are you worried about telling me?"

"Don't worry about it now, ok?  Let's just get you packed up.  Do you want to take your car?"

"Take my car?  Of course I want my car!  How would I get around?  I don't want to be a burden on the two of you."

Realizing that I had to tell mom the truth before I got her home, I sat her down and told her the entire truth.  She sat shocked for a moment or two and then asked me, "Do you love them both?  Do they treat you well?"

"Yes mom, I love them both.  I love Ben in a romantic way, and Abby more in a sisterly way.  They treat me so very very well.  When I was injured at work earlier this year, they both rushed from work to come and be with me.  The pampered me, and catered to my every whim and desire, until I was completely healed."

"That's good enough for me then.  If they love you, and treat you right, then how could it be wrong?  There isn't enough love in the world if you ask me.  Love doesn't always fit into neat little packages, that everyone one will enjoy either.  If you are happy, then I'm happy."

I thought my heart would burst apart hearing mom say that to me.

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