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Epilogue -- Letter to Timothy


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Epilogue -- Letter to Timothy

by Merkin

Dear Dr. Crowe,

I am David Stone, Jonathan Stone's son. I was sorting through Dad's things, getting the house ready to sell, and I came across a box filled with letters and photographs and his university stuff. Most of it was about you, so I thought I'd better write and ask you whether you would want any of it. Dad passed away a few weeks ago; he had been ill off and on this past year -- his heart -- and we all knew the end was coming. I'm his only child, and we (my partner Curt and I) were with him at the end. My mother Mary died last year after a long time as an invalid with MS, so he was alone and we were with him a lot.

I'm writing because I've figured some things out and I thought you'd like to know about us. I recognized your face in those photos in the box, because when I was a kid I went through his wallet once and saw a picture of the two of you there. He told me you were "Timothy, his old lab partner at the uni" and, being a kid, I didn't think much about it at the time or wonder why he would carry a picture like that all those years. Now that I've gone through the box I think I know.

I knew my dad met Mother when they were both at uni and once when I was in high school I asked my parents why their wedding date was only six months before my birthday. I found out in a hurry that was the sort of question a teenager shouldn't ask his parents, and I never mentioned it again. I do know that they loved each other and that my dad never hesitated to give my mother all the time and support she needed, especially after she became ill and more or less began to live upstairs. My dad and I were pretty close, I guess, and I figured that out by comparing our relationship to my friends and their dads. He listened to me and talked to me like I was his equal and he was my best friend while I was growing up.

He was a quiet man and lived very much inside his own head, but he was always there for me and I never felt shut out. Later when I left for the university I began to live my own life and then I met Curt, so when I went home I recognized his loneliness even while my mother was still alive. This is hard for me to say, but now that I think I know what you meant to him I also think I can begin to understand his situation. It helps that I have Curt. I can't imagine what you and he must have gone through, in that dark age before Stonewall. I think he was a little bit surprised on the day I told him I was going back to uni to be with my boyfriend, but now that I look back I think he knew all along that I might be gay. He loved Curt like another son, and he managed somehow to win my mother over to love Curt too.

I hope I am not intruding on you and whatever you have had to do to get on with your life. I just wanted to tell you about Dad, and offer to send you the contents of his box of memories if these few things would be of any value to you.


David Stone

(P.S. I am enclosing a photo of Dad with me and Curt. I'm the bigger one he's hugging, just as you were in the picture of the two of you. It was still in his wallet.)

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James, I'm not sure that is an epilogue. It does come later in the lives of all the characters, but it is crying out for a response by the good Dr. Crowe, and not necessarily in a letter. There are many alternatives for Dr. Crowe to make the reader aware of his reaction to the letter. However, I can also understand if you would prefer to leave the reader to contemplate how he felt.

If however you would like an addendum to the epilogue, I think I would like to explore it.

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That was beautiful James. :boogie[1]:

Des is right, there has to be a reply from Dr. Crowe, and I've been hoping Des would get involved. :icon13:

I'm just going to run out and get a new box of tissues now. :cry:

This just keeps getting better. :hug:

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Hey, can't we have two versions? We're not writing history here!

I want to see Bruin's slant, too.

If this is ever compiled into a story with chapters, a decision can be made at that time how to reconcile the two versions, or they can be melded together if they fit at all. But what we shouldn't be doing is cramping anyone's vision or limiting their expression.

I want to see them both!


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Of cooourse we can do that Cole. We can make the rules whatever we want. I wasn't trying to limit anyone, but you know what it is like when you get all excited, (I hope.) :boogie[1]:

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For better or worse here is my contribution. I am indebted to Trab for his kindly edit.

Jonathan's memories

By DesDownUnder

Curt looked at David's face, gaunt with emotion, on the brink of tears.

"What's happened?"

David made no reply; he simply extended his arm, proffering the open letter in his hand, nodding his head towards Curt.

Curt took the letter, moving to sit down alongside David on the loveseat. David placed his hand on Curt's back in a comforting gesture and watched his lover's face.

Dear David and Curt,

I have arrived safely back at my apartment. I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am that you have provided me with so many of Jonathan's memories, because you were correct, they are my memories too.

When I received your letter offering them to me, I was at first saddened to hear of your father's passing, and sincerely touched by your offer. Just knowing that he had our photo in his wallet all these years made me strangely happy and sad at the same time. After I spoke to you on the telephone and you invited me to visit you both, I have to admit to a few tearful moments.

My flight and then the taxi ride to your house, your parents' old house, seemed surreal as clouds passed by the plane, and trees and streets sped by the taxi. My thoughts stood still as I remembered each of those cherished times with your father and mother so long ago.

Yes, I said, father and mother. I couldn?t bring myself to tell you in person, or to talk about it at all, but I must tell you now, I knew your mother. In fact I was responsible for your parents meeting. You must know that in those days things were very different from today. Even before Stonewall, there was a time of free love, when people loved whom they wished without recriminations, even if what we did was still a criminal offence in many places.

Yes, I loved your father, and I know he had feelings for me. What I couldn't admit to you face to face was that before he met her, I loved your mother as much as he did. She never knew about the two of us, about your father and me, at least I don't think she did. The thing was, I loved both of them and we went everywhere together; we became a trio without actually being a m?nage ? trios.

Curt stopped reading and looked at his lover, "Did you know about him and your father?"

"Not until I saw what was in the box of photos and letters, I found," replied David, "and even then the wording only had me making an educated guess. Read on and you will see my guesses were not far off the mark."

Curt returned to his reading.

In time it became obvious to me that they had fallen in love with each other and I told your father as much.

At first he was angry with me, told me not to speak such nonsense, but after a few days he came to my bedroom, we shared the same dorm, as I told you when I visited. He was silent for a long time and then he said, "You're right. I love her, but I love you too."

We talked for hours, into the night, but we weren't arguing. We just discussed things until I realised the full situation and I asked him, "Who do you think Mary loves?"

He saw it immediately. "It's true," he said with a grim countenance. "We do love each other, but she loves you too."

"No Jonathan, she likes me as a friend, it is you she loves."

"I can't disagree, damn it," he was calm as he spoke, despite his choice of words. "I know you?re right."

"Then you and I know what we have to do, don't we?" I told him.

He wrapped his arms around me and sobbed a quiet, "Yes."

Curt uttered an almost inaudible, "Oh my God." David smiled but his eyes revealed his concern as he watched Curt read.

I have to tell you that I have no regrets about that last night your father and I spent together. Shortly after that night, I transferred to a new Uni; ?to be closer to my parents? was my little white lie. Mary and your father married not long after, and I went into seclusion of sorts, concentrating on my studies and then my work, which caused me to travel to many different countries.

Jonathan and I exchanged letters quite often at first. He sent me some wedding photos and pictures of you as a baby. You were so cute, still are to these old eyes, if I am to be honest. Sometimes I would send him some photos of the cities where I was sent. I was careful to make sure he could show most of the letters to Mary.

It was after I was transferred to Europe that we lost touch and I only returned home a few months ago. I should have written. I won't bother you with stories of my lost loves except to say my life has not been empty.

Strangely now, as I thumb through this box of Jonathan's memories, and my letters to him, I feel somewhat closer to both of your parents and now, to you David, and Curt.

I thank you for thinking to give them to me, it has somehow made my life complete.

My love and affection to you both. I wish you the very best of life together.

Timothy S. Crowe.

Curt sat back into the loveseat, then turned his head and their tears were mirrored in each other?s eyes.

"Well he's sure right about you being cute," Curt said, trying to lighten the moment, but then he fell serious again, as only he could, and he took David in his arms saying, "Thank God you thought to offer Timothy, Jonathan's memories."

Echoing through time never to depart, were the words, "I love you," as they kissed.

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I agree, that was truly wonderful Des.

It was even more poignant because it brought back memories of that time era in my life.

Thank you.


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I've participated in a couple of structured group stories, but none have had what I would define as the amazing success of Uni; a success without a controlling structure. Each addition has added characters and developed them into real people.

I love the two latest chapters by James and Des. One thing that's amazing is how each addition has retained the intent of James' original Flash Fiction story, and extended it by adding depth to the story and complexity to the characters.

Colin :boogie[1]:

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I agree with you Colin. I think any attempt, well-intentioned as they may be, to provide an outline, inevitably ends up stifling the creativity of the participants.

This can often be seen in competitions, where the entrants have to abide by some ludicrous requirement set by an administrator who has an agenda far removed from the spirit of freedom that creativity requires. It is one thing to guide, but another entirely, to control.

The inspiration and spontaneity so necessary in this kind of work, have been joyous to me in watching each contribution further enhance and extend the original.


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  • 6 months later...

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