If somebody is gracious enough to give me a second chance, I won’t need a third.
Ewan watched the barista make his order when he was addressed from behind.
“Excuse me, you are Ewan Cameron, aren’t you?”
Ewan froze for a moment, rolled his eyes, before forcing his best fake smile and turning around to find a middle aged woman, well groomed, not really the type of fan-girl, but he learned through the years that his fanbase came in all shapes, ages and sizes – and genders.
“Yup, you got me. The one and only. I’ll sign everything except body parts. Happily married man.” he flashed his most dashing smile at the woman.
“Oh, I wasn’t looking for an autograph. Is there somewhere we could maybe speak a little more … ahem … private?”
“Private? Appreciate the offer, but that’ll be a strong no. Like I said, happily married man, sorry lady.” Ewan had a harder time keeping things polite now, closed his eyes and counted to ten in his mind. She was at least twice his age. One of THOSE fans … urgh.
“No, no, you misunderstood me. Nothing like that. I really just want to talk.”
“Sure you do. Look, lady, not to be rude, but I am actually trying to get something accomplished here, just stopped for a quick latte to perk me back up in between my honey-do list errands. Shockingly, even celebrities are not safe from getting stuck with those from their wives.” he smiled, hoping that mentioned his wife again and the fact that he was just living a normal life today like everybody else would deter whatever that woman had in mind.
“Please Ewan, just 30 minutes of your time.” the woman pleaded.
“What for?!” his patience started running thinner, even though he didn’t flag being addressed by his first name by perfect strangers. When you’re a celebrity, people often thought they were your friends and that they knew you as such, confusing you with some persona you played in some movie or TV show.
“Fine, I really didn’t want to do that like this, but I don’t see another way. My name is Sarah Wynne. Once upon a time it was Sarah Cameron. I am your and Briar Rose’s mother, Ewan. Your father’s first – well – and second wife”
“What the flying …!? Is this a joke? It’s a prank, right?!” his forced polite friendliness was out the window.
“Can we please go somewhere we can speak without an audience?”
“Hell no! Why would I wanna talk to you?!” Ewan’s voice was at least two octaves higher now than usual.
“Ewan, please. We are both adults, mistakes were made, but you are a father now yourself from what I heard, and maybe you understand that parents make mistakes sometimes.”
“Ah – spare me! Mistakes, my ass. You did this twice. I mean, how many times do you need to make the same mistake till – as a mother – you realize abandoning your kids probably isn’t a good move? And who told you anything about me?”
“Sadly, nobody. I get most of what I know about you like everybody else, from the media. I always go see each of your movies on release date and always watch the Accolade Awards shows with your half-brothers. Not once missed one. So proud of what you have accomplished, despite of everything.” her voice sounded soft, pleading.
“Look uh … lady. I am not interested in doing some teary reunion thing with you. Try Bri, maybe she’ll forgive you, she has mellowed a lot over the years, especially after moving to the tropics. But me .. sorry, I don’t even remember you at all. You could be anybody. So, on that note, have a great day, and tootles!”
Ewan turned on his heels and rushed off.
To him this was the beginning and the end of it all, but naturally, it wouldn’t be.
Two days later he arrived at a cafe to meet his father, spotted him at a table but didn’t notice the woman sitting at the table with him until he already arrived.
“Oh come on now! Nope!” he said as he arrived at the table, shaking his head at his father.
“Ewan, son, do my a favor and sit down, please, without making a scene. I already ordered you your latte.”
“Nope! Not while that is roosting there.”
“Sit your ass down, boy!” Elias hissed angrily.
“Whoa! Fine, don’t get a coronary old man. I am sitting, I am sitting!” Despite of always having been on the spoiled rich kid side and having a big mouth, Ewan had always listened to his father, today marked no exception.
“Thank you, and I will ignore that comment. I just got through telling Sarah – your mother I mean – about …”
“Whoa whoa whoa … nope! Let’s get this out in the open right away, she is not my mother. Your wife is my mother, the first clue being that I have always called her ‘mom’. Let’s just clarify right away. No offense there – uh – Mrs. Wynne. Or actually, I don’t really care if it offends.”
“Ewan … I never asked you for much, but always asked for respect. I think I earned it, don’t you? Interrupting me is not very respectful, neither is your current behavior. You can do better, kiddo.” Elias said quietly, but effectively.
“Sorry dad. But seriously, WTF? I mean, not to be rude and all, but I don’t know her. I am almost 30, so why is she suddenly crawling from the woodwork to kumbaya with me after radio silence for what 20+ years?” he sounded very uninclined to play nice.
“Would you excuse me for a moment. I need to use the restroom.” Sarah got up and hurried towards the ladies room, obviously affected.
“Can you please tone it down, Ewan. The fact that I am sitting here should give you the first clue to at least hear her out. She found out she is sick, cancer, no telling how it will go for her, but it made her rethink her old ways and wish to patch up some things, just in case the prognosis comes back unfavorable. She sounds sincere. Maybe you should consider giving her a chance, at least hear her out and look at your half-brothers. Sometimes, those turn out to be a blessing in disguise.” Elias got sad for a moment towards the end, but caught himself, not fast enough though for Ewan to miss it. This told him why his father was trying. The memory of his own – late – half-brother Blake got him here. Poor dad, Ewan thought, got it all confused because he still missed Blake so.
“Are you really this gullible, dad?! She is playing you! Does mom – my REAL mom – even know you are here talking to my egg donor?! And I already have perfectly good half siblings, couldn’t be happier with them. Standing ovations to the creator – yay you.”
“Good grief, you can be obnoxious, kid. First of all, please do not call Sarah an egg donor. When you were conceived she was so much more than that, please do not lessen your heritage. I used to love your mother, Sarah, and you were a product of that love. It just didn’t work out between her and me, and sadly, you and your sister got caught in the crossfire. Luckily your step-mom came into your life and gave you what I alone couldn’t. And yes, of course Meagan knows. We have not kept secrets from each other in all those many years of marriage, not gonna start now. She trusts me and my judgement. Maybe you should too.”
“Love is blind sometimes. But fine. I’ll play nice. But I am not gonna sit on her lap and let her blow raspberries on my wee lil tummy to make up for lost time.”
“Take after my dad … you proud?” Ewan smirked and winked at his father.
Sarah returned and Ewan did his best to play along with the catching each other up to current events.
Ewan and Eli learned that she had two sons with her husband, Carl and Maxwell, 26 and 24 years old now, one a Civil Engineer, the other an IT Manager. After their father passed away from an apparent heart attack, Sarah finally went to the doctor about some things that had been bothering her and they found cancer. Results and prognosis currently pending, it could be anything from completely curable to terminal, the limbo her future was currently in made her reflect on her life and some bad choices, wanting to make amends not knowing how much time she may have left.
Ewan and Eli exchanged looks a few times throughout the talk, making clear that both, while compassionte, were guarded.
After they walked her to her car and watched her drive off Eli patted his son on the back before placing his arm around his shoulder.
“Thank you, son. One day you will be glad you did this. This is as far as I go with the whole thing, feel like I have done my part, but I suggest you think about her suggestion to meet your brothers.”
“Half-brothers that I was also blissfully unaware of until today! And yeah … I hate you dad.”
“Sure you do. Why don’t you call your sister and see if you can get her to agree to meet with your mother as well?”
“Two things: not our mother – I get you do not like the term egg donor but seriously dad, I have zero memories of her, the only mom I have ever known is Meagan. And also: fuck no! I’d be deaf after Bri’s done yelling. You think I am hard on that woman, you KNOW how Bri feels about all that and you know she has the patience of a barracuda. You call her. She’s always been a daddy’s girl. She’ll listen to you. And you may even live to tell the tale, not so sure I would.”
“Shameless exaggeration and if she did listen to me about his, I wouldn’t bother asking you to talk to her, now would I?”
“Wait. So Bri told you to go sit on a big one, but I was dumb enough to oblige? Good to know. Hope you remember that when you draw up your will. Struck out with the big fat meanie, but good lil Ewan did as asked.”
“I will ignore that, Ewan, and since when are you hurting for inheritance money? By the way, how is that second grandchild coming along?”
“Daaaaad. Gavin is barely even walking now. Get on Lucas about this, he’s the newlywed and in my experience chances for baby creation are never higher. His turn to shower you with grandkids. And get Vero married and knocked up, she’s been with that fiancé long enough. Done my part for now.”
“Not what I heard last time you were over for the family dinner. I specifically remember you spewing things about wanting two kids close in age. Gavin is almost 3.”
“Fine. If you must know, the wifey vetoed it. Now laugh it up.”
“Because Hannah got to her first. Here is the evil master plan my lovely wife and cousin hatched: as soon as Hannah gave birth and it’s safe again, she wants to start trying again for the next baby, and since for women it is apparantly incomprehensibly more fun the more people are pregnant at the same time, she brainwashed my wife into waiting until then, so the babies are close together. She struck out with Charlotte, she and Eric just do not want more kids. So, Ava and me it is.”
Elias laughed hard, shaking his head.
“Oh, son, out of all my kids, you really are the most like me. I gotta get home. See you next Sunday for family dinner. Tell Ava not to whip you around too hard, kid.” Eli laughed again.
“Yeah .. thanks for the support, dad! Love ya too.”
The meeting stuck with him, giving him lots of food for thought, dwelling on it at home later on and even still the next day. Naturally Ava picked up on it.
“Ever considered that people may change, Ewan. Maybe she really has changed for the better. I mean she stayed with her new family and raised the kids without running, good sign right? Maybe she really regrets it all. And those two guys share your DNA.”
“Please tell me that you are not suggesting I kiss and make up with mommy dearest and those brothers I never even really knew I had. I thought there was just one, not two. And never knew their names. Carl … and Maxwell. Who names children Carl and Maxwell nowadays?”
“Who knows, maybe some name in honor of an ancestor and I am sure Maxwell goes by Max. Correct me if I am wrong, but from what I captured her sons have no other family than you and Bri, right? Sarah’s parents are dead, no aunts and uncles, her husband was an orphan, correct? There you go, that is why. If she really ends up dying, at least they have someone left.”
“Well, first of all they are grown men now and let’s just hope the old girl is tough and pulls through. But since you are so full of good family advice, let’s talk about YOUR family for a second.”
“Ah – I knew this was gonna come up. Fine. You play nice with your mother and half-brothers, I’ll talk to my dad. Not the brothers yet, and no promises!” she stepped forward and snuggled into his embrace.
“Fair enough. I’ll make you a deal. Throw in opening the baby factory for business again and I’ll go hang out with mommy dearest and meet those mystery bros ASAP!”
“Ewan … I promised Hannah …”
“So what? We can tell Hannah it was another accident. And don’t I as your hubby outrank my cousin?”
“She’ll be so sad.”
“She’ll give birth soon and be too busy to be anything but exhausted and dead tired. I know Hannah, she’ll get over it.”
“Fine, we can try once without protection – but only ONE TIME … then we will use protection again. Just a little gamble. Question being – do you feel lucky, punk, do you?”
“Ah – look at my dear wifey, even a threw in a little movie reference. And I don’t need luck. I shoot potent live bullets, babe!”
He pulled her close, kissing her, making her giggle.