He knocked again, could hear the dog scratching on the door from inside, sometimes letting out a light bark. Suddenly the door was unlocked, a person came partially into view peeking out from behind the opened door.
Alas, not the face the visitor had been expecting.
“Yeah?” the person who answered the door sounded drowsy.
“Hello Blaine, I am sorry to … wake you … is Viktoria home?”
“Not right now, but should be right back. Come on in. The daylight … you know.” Blaine stepped further behind the front door and Ezio entered.
He had only been to their home twice before and both men ended up in a brawl the first time and the second time Ezio had delivered a Viktoria stiffened by the shock of their mutual son committing suicide right in front of them. Hopefully the third time would be the proverbial charm.
Blaine had gestured Ezio into the living room, offered a beverage, which was declined.
“What did you want to see Vik about?” Blaine asked bluntly.
“Something … umm … she and I discussed … ummm it’s rather personal.” Ezio danced around the subject, trying not to get Viktoria into trouble in case she had not mentioned it to Blaine yet.
“Personal between the former husband and my now wife? I have to say, piques my interest even more.” Blaine was suspicious.
“It’s about my son. I need her help with … something concerning him.” Ezio avoided a direct answer.
“Look man, I hate to be this way, but I do not like you involving Vik into your personal stuff anymore. From where I sit, it looks like you are trying to tie her to you, somehow, and needless to say, I have a problem with that.” Blaine said, without the usual smirk, just a cold look at Ezio.
“A little late for that. We are tied by our mutual childre… child.” Ezio corrected himself, but quit speaking, obviously the memory made him forget his argument.
“Sorry again.” Blaine got up, left the room and shortly after came back with a bottle of hard liquor and two short, stubby glasses, holding them up as a question to Ezio, who nodded.
For a while after that they sat on couch, pouring glass after glass without much talk.
At some point Ezio, his voice already noticeably slurred, turned to Blaine.
“You are a lucky, lucky man.”
“Yeah. You got it all.”
“All I ever wanted in life was to be happy and have a little family. A warm place to come home to at night. Cozy. Relaxing. Thriving kids, a wife who loves me. Someone to hold at night. Someone who loves me for me, not because of my wealth or name, or the status. I had that, and I let it slip through my fingers. And found out, that you can never replicate it. I had the one I was meant to be with, and lost it all in a jealous rage …”
“Look man, I don’t want to sound all cheesy and all, but Vik and you may have had some great times, but you were never meant to be. Vik and I were. Always. I do not know how much you know, but we have known each other since we were like 3 years old. We always belonged, just both kept fighting it, for various reasons. This …” Blaine stopped talking and gestured around him, then continued “this is not something that happened because someone did something and then something else happened. This was always going to be. Just delayed. Means, your ‘one’ is still out there, but it ain’t my Vik.”
“Well, it ‘ain’t’ my wife either. She filed for divorce, you know. She sent my attorney her wish list. Ha, too bad only I always make women sign a prenup. I am not THAT much of a fool.”
“Money ain’t everything.”
“You know why I came today? I want your wife .. and you in a way .. to raise my son if I can’t anymore. Vik said she would. Did she tell you about that?”
“Nope. Look dude, if she told you yes, then file your papers or whatever you need to do. We’ll do it. Easy as that.”
Both men talked more and ended up in a bro-hug.
Which is when I entered the living room. Ezio saw me first and let go, Blaine turned to face me.
“This is new.” I stated, my finger circling in the air pointing to both men. Both stood up immediately, looking as if they had been caught doing something they should not have been.
“Need I be worried? Oh I see, you both had a bunch of liquid courage, wasn’t that bottle brand-new? Are you guys drunk?!”
“Naaaahhhh..” Blaine smirked.
“So, what’s with the bromance here? Don’t tell me I need to call some daytime shows to find out if you two have been cheating on me?” I joked. Blaine got up, embraced and kissed me, while Ezio looked down at his shoes.
“Just two guys talking … ”
“Two guys who usually beat the crap out of each other on sight?”
“We grew up. Right, Ezio?”
“Yeah, right. I’ll be cooking lunch. You two just continue whatever this is, as long as no blood is spilled.”
“Viktoria, I … told Blaine. About my son .. and you taking care of him.”
“Yes, and your wonderful, amazing husband has absolutely no problem with that.” Blaine smirked, looking at me with a sense of accomplishment.
“Ok, you both get cookies and a pat on the head …” I shook my head and left the room. Men! Who could ever make sense of them, especially when you add alcohol to the mix. *sigh*
“She didn’t seem very impressed.” Ezio slurred.
“Women! Can’t please ’em, pass the whiskey!” Blaine laughed.
“Mommy? Why are daddy and Vittorio’s dad sleeping together in the living room?” Vivian had come home from school.
“Do what?” I wiped my hands on the apron and went to the living room. Sure enough, both men had toppled over sideways, probably passed out, Blaine on top of Ezio. I could do nothing but shake my head. There were no words for this. Now I really had seen it all. Men!
As amusing as this little incident was, as usual it would soon be overshadowed by bad news.
We all had finally wrapped our head around the fact that Blaine Jr. and Addy had gone their separate ways many months ago, when the police stopped by late one evening. I answered the door, Vivian was already in bed, Blaine was engrossed in the game show we had been watching together, when they asked for him. My neck hair raised up. In the past, that had always meant that he had gotten himself into trouble and the police finally made it to my mom’s and my home looking for him. He would eventually turn up and be put in jail, where mom and I would go bail him out. I asked the officers inside, they were not wearing uniforms, which seemed different. We entered the living room, Blaine looked up and muted the TV.
We then were informed in a rehearsed sounding fashion which showed that this has been done hundreds of times before, that Blaine’s son, Blaine Jr., had died in a fire at some event he was playing at with his band. I do not know if that was only my imagination, but Blaine, who was usually pale because he was a vampire, seemed to pale even more.
Neither one of us got any sleep that night.
We later heard from Casey that Addy had a nervous breakdown when she found out. His teen son, my Blaine’s grandson, was a mess, but insisted on remaining in the house he and his dad had lived at.
Due to the fact of his gruesome demise, there was no viewing and he had to be cremated, then buried after a small ceremony on a late, dreary and rainy afternoon.
This was endlessly sad, as that boy had been so dear to my heart as well. When the world seemed against us, Blaine’s son was always there, always upbeat and I had grown to love him like a son.