Author's note: I wrote this story back in 2012. However, I am revising it again in order to write the sequel Rougher Tides. Some of the dialogue will be changed although I'm doing my best to keep it to the original story line. If you are interested in this story, you can read the full version by clicking on the following link and purchasing it. However, the story will be updated once this revision is complete.
Over the weekend, the two women had their ring fingers measured. Honey thought this was ridiculous but went along with it. After they had stopped for lunch.
“We need to set a date for our wedding,” Jackie said between bites of her sandwich.
“And meet each others families to see what we're getting into and if we need to run,” Honey joked.
“It's amusing how long we have been together and still haven't met them yet,” Jackie stated.
“I'm afraid you'll run away after meeting my own family,” Honey admitted.
“Baby,” Jackie said softly. “You're family doesn't define who you are. Besides, whatever happens, we will work it out together.”
Honey sighed. She hoped Jackie was right. Everyone she had known had judged her based on who her family was. Maybe this time things would be different. She gave Jackie a halfhearted smile. Time would tell her for sure.
The next weekend, Jackie and Honey were on their way to meet Honey's mother. Honey had explained to Jackie that her parents were separated for over nine years and they had to be introduced seperately. Jackie wondered why this was the case when parents should put their children first no matter what, but she stayed silent.
Pulling into a driveway, she saw a lopsided dull red house. Through the living room window which had no covering, she could see the room was in disarray. Shaking her head, Jackie couldn't believe this was where Honey's mother lived.
The two women got out of the car and knocked on the door. Jackie braced herself prepared for the worst to come. A man opened the door. He was six feet six inches, with messy dark brown hair and glasses. Jackie didn't notice this though as the smell coming from inside the house assaulted her nose. She backed away and down the steps. It smelled predominantly of cat. Forcing herself to enter the house for Honey's sake, she hoped this visit would end quickly.
As if the smell wasn't enough, when she stepped foot inside her head swam. Mess was everywhere. Garbage strewn here and there, three couches in the living room, one in front of the other. Cats appeared everywhere. It was evident there was a hoarder in this house. One that needed desperate treatment or rather, a serious wake up call. 'How could anyone live like this?' She wondered how Honey was related when she was so clean compared to this? Years of therapy? Or something else?
Following Honey into the kitchen, she wished she stayed in the living room or outside. She witnessed a cat spraying on cans of food. 'Who puts litter boxes in their kitchen?' Disgusted, Jackie wondered how Honey had come from this. It made no sense, none at all.
Turning to Honey, Jackie saw an older woman walking towards them. She had graying hair and looked like an older version of Honey, only she was heavy set compared to Honey's petite frame. She also had gray eyes. Her clothes had food stains and she was holding a cat in her arms. Jackie forced herself not to grimace.
“Hello,” the woman introduced. “You must be Jackie. I'm Honey's mother but you can call me Mom. All her friends do.”
“Hi,” Jackie said. She refused to call this woman mom or anything but mentally insane. Was this what the future would hold for Honey?
“You're welcome to stay for dinner with us,” Honey's mother said. “I'm about to order a pizza.”
Jackie shivered and was thankful this seemed to go unnoticed. The mention of food in this disgusting house was beyond her. It was the final straw.
“Where's your bathroom?” Jackie choked out.
“You'll want to use the upstairs bathroom. It's the door on the far wall next to Honey's room on right,” Honey's mother said.
Jackie kept her mouth shut, stuck her thumb up, and dashed up the stairs. She entered the bathroom and before she could see or do anything else, she lifted the toilet bowl cover and vomited. Once she was done, she wiped her mouth with her arm and stood up. Where did this madness end? She looked at the sink and was even more disgusted. Mildew and mold was forming everywhere. Did no one know how to clean in this house? She quickly washed her hands although she felt it was futile thing to do here. There was no way she would agree to eat a thing in this house.
Heading back down the stairs, she smiled faintly. She looked at Isaac and then Honey.
“Why don't we go out to eat,” Jackie said, hoping this would go well. “It will be my treat for everyone.”
“You certainly scored yourself a keeper Honey,” Honey's mother said and winked.
Honey just stood there. Jackie forced herself not to say anything. Isaac walked back upstairs.
Jackie drove Honey's family to a Friendly's restaurant on Honey's mother's request. She was thankful her lover didn't tell her she was rich. That wouldn't have gone over well. She still found it odd that Honey came from such a disastrous environment. To make matters worse, throughout the car ride, she noticed Honey's mother was attempting to make Honey look bad to her. Jackie quickly glanced at Honey in the back seat and noticed she was flinching. Focusing back on the road, she admired Honey's strength of character in regards to her psychotic mother. Many people had issues with their families but this was strange. She guessed it was strange because she was romantically involved with Honey. She just hoped that her lover would not go down the same path in the future.
Being seated at Friendly's everyone ordered the eleven dollar meals under Honey's mom's request. Jackie found this odd, considering people who had demanded control usually were on the cleanly side, but this woman was an anomaly. Staying silent through dinner, Honey had told her mom that her and Jackie were engaged. After her mother congratulated them, she started talking about different things and making all the stories about herself. Honey just nodded, agreeing with her mother even if half the things spoken were not true at all. Jackie hoped dinner would be over soon. She wasn't paying much attention and everything was a blur. Once the check came, she was grateful and paid immediately.
On their way back, Honey's mother was talking about something again. Jackie held back a groan. How could someone be so boring and selfish? Did Honey truly come out of that?
“Jackie,” Honey said as Jackie pulled into the driveway. “Wait here for a minute.”
Jackie was too happy to oblige. She had no intention of going back into that hell hole ever again. Looking at the dashboard and seats of her car, she decided she definitely needed to get it cleaned. Relief flooded through her when Honey got back into the car. Turning the ignition on, she pulled out of the driveway and began driving.
“Jackie,” Honey asked. “What's wrong?”
“That house,” Jackie responded keeping her eyes on the road. “You actually lived there?”
“Yes,” Honey sighed heavily.
“It's disgusting,” Jackie said without remorse. “How could anyone live like that?”
“I wonder about that too sometimes,” Honey admitted.
“Your dad the same?” Jackie asked, turning the steering wheel.
“Immaculate clean in comparison,” Honey replied rubbing her legs with her hands.
“Hard to believe you're related,” Jackie said. “You don't live like that at all.”
“It wasn't always easy,” Honey replied mysteriously.
I need a shower,” Jackie said changing the subject.
Honey nodded. They both needed one. The clothes they were wearing would also have to be washed. Honey forced herself not to scratch. Fleas was a thing she could definitely live without.
The next day, Jackie prepared herself to meet Honey's father. Honey had explained to her that the two people couldn't get along with each other and after meeting Honey's mother, Jackie understood. She only hoped the father was different. She still couldn't believe that this is where Honey had come from. It made no sense. Normally people in Honey's shoes would get passed over by everything and they would be viewed as less than human. Honey was a fighter though and would stop at nothing to succeed. Jackie admired this trait.
Her parents lived forty minutes away from each other. That had to be costly on gas. Jackie shook her head. That wasn't her problem.
Parking on the side of the road, she looked at a house with cool gray paneling. A long wooden fence surrounded the premises. 'Handicap children or pets?' The two women entered through the wooden fence and walked up a flight of stairs. It led to a deck that had a grill used for barbecues. There was a also a table with four chairs.
Honey lightly rapped her knuckles on the door and waited. A man with salt and pepper hair, six feet six inches, a bit on the chubby side, answered the door. He was wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants. Fixing his black plastic framed glasses, he looked at Honey.
“Honey?” He said. “I wasn't expecting you. You know I need at least two weeks notice before you come over.”
“Hi dad,” Honey said. “Sorry.”
Jackie looked at the pair incredulous. What kind of father told their child to give them two weeks notice before coming over? This was even more insane. When did the madness end?
“I want you to meet my fiance,” Honey said and introduced Jackie.
“It's nice to meet you sir,” Jackie said and shook the man's hand.
“I'm Steve,” he replied.
Jackie stood there, silent. Steve led the women inside. It was a small second floor apartment. They walked into a kitchen and on her left side was a small living room which she saw a little boy playing with toy trucks. She looked at Honey.
“He's my half brother,” Honey explained.
“Have a seat,” Steve said and motioned for the two women to sit down at the table. “Honey, I can't pay for your wedding.”
“I wasn't asking you to pay,” Honey said defensively.
Steve raised his hand. Honey went silent.
“I'm just making a statement,” Steve explained. “I'm sure you understand.”
“We won't need your money, Mr. Elizabeth,” Jackie replied growing even more annoyed.
“Just Steve please,” Steve responded. “How long have you two been together? Honey, you didn't introduce this one to your mom right? Who am I kidding, if you did she wouldn't be here.”
“I'm a teacher now dad,” Honey said, desperately trying to change the subject.
Jackie took a breath. At least the apartment was clean, but Jackie still wanted to leave as soon as possible. If he could treat any of his children like this, she refrained from shaking her head and waited.
“Congratulations,” Steve said and turned to Jackie. “What do you do?”
“I'm graduating from the police academy soon,” Jackie answered.
“Well, I wasn't prepared for two guests,” Steve shot a disproving glance at Honey. “But would you two like to stay for dinner?”
“Sure,” Honey said.
Jackie nodded. She knew this was going to be a bad idea. However, she would support Honey through all of this.
Later that night, Jackie was introduced to Steve's girlfriend Deandra. She had embraced Honey and acknowledged Jackie's presence. The two began setting up dinner, while the little boy was now dancing in front of a television set.
Steve handed Honey and Jackie a beer each. Honey lightly sipped hers. Jackie took the beer out of politeness but had not opened it. As Steve began setting up the grill, he was talking to Honey about some type of physics. Jackie was lost but Honey replied with even more complicated answers. Now she could see where some of the intelligence came from. Whenever Deandra had said something, Jackie found herself in agreement with her at some of the things said. This was a completely different world from the one Honey showed her previously.
When they were all seated at the table, Steve and Deandra had started talking about when Honey was a teenager. This didn't bode well. Jackie glanced at her lover and noticed Honey was doing everything in her power to prevent herself from trembling.
“I don't know what you're talking about,” Honey said.
“You just don't want to admit it,” Steve replied.
Jackie noticed Deandra nodding at what Steve had said. Honey had barely touched her food. Jackie felt a bit guilty about this since she had wiped her plate clean. Sipping her drink, she waited for what would happen next. Honey continued to shake her head.
“It doesn't matter anymore,” Steve said. “The least you can do is be honest about it now.”
“I don't want to talk about it,” Honey cried.
Jackie looked at Honey. She wasn't sure what she should do at this moment.
“Have I missed something?” she asked.
“We were just talking about how Honey went insane at one point and wrote about killing people,” Steve said lackadaisical.
Jackie stared at the man aghast. This was not something you bring up when meeting your daughter's fiance. She thought to herself that it was a plus they accepted that Honey was gay. This other stuff though was extremely surprising.
As the dinner continued, they brought up all of Honey's faults. Jackie tried not to show any emotion. She wondered when Honey would just leave. Then Steve compared Honey to her mother. This was the deciding factor. Picking up her cell phone, she pretended to have a call from Elena and answered it.
“Yes, Elena? Hold on,” Jackie looked at Steve and Deandra apologetically as she pocketed her cell phone. “I'm really sorry but Honey and I need to go. It was nice meeting both of you.”
Steve and Deandra nodded and looked at each other and then at Honey. Honey hugged and kissed them good bye and did the same with her sibling. As the two women got back into the car, Honey cried.
“I can't believe them!” Honey stated in between sobs. “Each time I try and give them a chance, it backfires on me and then they wonder why I don't contact them.”
“It's okay Honey,” Jackie said and put her arm around Honey.
“I'm regretting introducing you to them,” Honey admitted as she rubbed tears from her eyes.
“I'm glad I met them,” Jackie said. She was glad. She now knew and understood everything Honey had to fight through to get to where she was.
“I was afraid you'd run,” Honey said and looked up at Jackie.
“Love makes people do weird things,” Jackie explained and looked at Honey.
The couple smiled at each other. Jackie turned on the car and drove away. Honey breathed a sigh of relief.
The weekend after, Honey was to meet Jackie's parents. Honey hoped things would go better for Jackie and her parents than they did with her own. Still, Jackie had never clarified that Honey was female and Honey thought that shouldn't matter. Jackie had explained that she had never come out to her parents and Honey understood. Jackie had also prepared for the worst by setting up separate bank accounts that her parents couldn't touch.
At the mansion, they were escorted by Gerard into the dining area. He seated them next to each other and gave Jackie a coca cola and Honey a chamomile tea. They waited patiently yet anxiously. Honey held Jackie's hand under the table.
Two people walked into the dining room. A man with a lithe build and light brown hair and a woman with jet black hair and the same blue eyes as Jackie. Both dressed in fashionable clothes, the man in navy blue suit and the woman in a light blue dress that pronounced the blue in her eyes. They each took a seat across from Honey and Jackie.
“Hello, Jacquelyn,” the man spoke.
“Hi father,” Jackie spoke dutifully.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Miller,” Honey said and put her tea on the table.
“And you are?” Mr. Miller asked.
“My name is Honey Elizabeth,” Honey replied. “It's nice to meet you.”
“Where is your fiance?” Jackie's mother asked.
“Honey is my fiance,” Jackie replied.
“What?” Jocelyn, Jackie's mother demanded. “Is this some type of joke, because it's done in extremely poor taste.”
“It's not a joke,” Jackie explained. “I love Honey and I do intend to marry her.”
“Strange,” Mr. Miller said. “I expected to come home to a man but I see a woman. Are gays allowed to get married? I haven't been keeping up with politics.”
“They shouldn't be,” Jocelyn said. “Our daughter is an abomination.”
“I was an abomination for marrying you,” Jackie's father, William said.
Jocelyn upturned her nose at him. She looked at Honey and then Jackie.
“I knew we should have had another child. One to keep this one in line,” Jocelyn said.
“Jacquelyn is not an abomination. Given that we haven't had the ability to spend much time with her in her youth, we should support whatever her decision is,” William explained calmly.
“Don't attack me like that William,” Jocelyn hissed and then looked at Jackie. “I have no daughter, especially not one who can be turned gay. Get out of my house, both of you. I don't want to look at either of you. You disgust me.”
Jocelyn got up after that and walked out of the dining room. She didn't bother waiting for her husband. Jackie stared at the seat her mother was just sitting in.
“Do you have a place for Jackie to stay?” Mr. Miller asked Honey.
Honey nodded in response. William smiled.
“What have I done wrong?” Jackie asked.
“Nothing dear,” William replied. “Give your mother some time. She'll come around. I wish the best for you two.”
“You don't agree with mom?” Jackie asked.
“I believe love comes in many forms,” William said. “But for now, Gerard will escort you two out.”