I opened the door to my apartment to see Calvin of all people at my door. I knew by the expression on his face he didn’t know. He just came over for some reason different.
“What’s up?! This is surprising.” I said in a calm voice.
Calvin still flinched at my tone. “Sorry, is something wrong. I came over because I got your present early and I had to give it to you. I couldn’t wait until tomorrow.”
He came over to give me a early birthday gift. Damn. That was Calvin. I shrugged. “I got a bit of sudden bad news. Come in. What’s in the box?” I asked turning walking back inside to sit at my couch.
Calvin frowned but came in and started looking around and then was smiling again in excitement. He sat the box down near my wide screen and started opening it up and took out a record player.
“What. Ah Cal I-” I went silent as he got out a signed record album of Purple Rain.
“Happy Birthday bro. I bet you don’t have one autographed by the legend.” He said not looking at me as he hooked it up and put it.
I sat back. I closed my eyes as the music came on. My hands still hurt but the pain and person who I beat was distant minor annoying memory.”
“Beau?! Your hands-“
“I found out my Dad died today. He had been killed by husband of woman he was having sex with.” I said.
“You want me to turn it off.” Calvin asked.
I patted the seat next to me. “Sit with me my friend. You just made the day less bitter and strange.”
Calvin was quiet as he came over and sat down with me. He didn’t say anything. He just sat with me and listened.
I finally looked at him to see him as closed nodding to himself. “He’s the best isn’t he?”
Calvin nodded. “Yeah. An amazing artist. Is the whole album like this?”
I smiled. “Yeah. Well at least to me. Though I have to warn you Prince does it saucy.”
Calvin gave me a look. “Even now you can’t stop ridding me on about being a Christian. Can’t you take one day off?”
I shook my head. “Nope. It’s funny to me. Thank you for the birthday gift. I think Rafael would have liked you.”
Calvin looked sad at the mention of him but he shrugged. “Everybody likes me if they have good sense of taste. I’m a likeable guy.”
I nodded in agreement. “A likeable guy and great best friend.” I said.
“About time you realized that.” He said with a warm grin.
I felt it. That feeling I had with Rafael that day we sang together for the first and only time. It was different in this context though. It didn’t feel strange. I just felt right. Calvin was my family now. Probably the only real person that bothered to see me like my grandfather did and the second person I could connect to like my father. It was fitting I lost a friend today, I lost my father for the second time but I gained a brother and a real friend at the same time.
“Your father is an outcast. So he is so are you.” My oldest cousin Frederick said calmly.
He was the first to speak after I entered living room of my Uncle James’ house. Two of my Uncles and three cousins were present. All engaged in games of chess or smoking cigars.
I faced Fedrick. “Interesting that is the reason I am here. Would you care to share more. You seem like you have a lot to get off your chest about Rafael.” I said in French.
Fredrick snorted and sent a glare over to Calvin. “Who is this guy a lover of yours? It appears you and-“
“Watch yourself.” I warned him calmly. “That’s my friend and family your talking about. Say what you want about me. Once again I didn’t come insulting your brothers. So let’s start again. Hello, my name is Beau Hanny.” I said.
Fedrick stared at me and then seemed to relax and smiled like nothing had happened. “Hello, Mr. Hanny. I am Fedrick Martin. You look very much like your mother’s father. I expect he was the one that raised you into the man you are.” He said and held out his hand.
I walked over and shook his hand giving him a firm shake and squeeze before letting go. Fedrick nodded. “So. What do you want to know about your father?”
I looked around the room seeing most the elders all ignoring me or staring at my face with a grimance. I smiled and they looked away. I turned back to Fedrick. “Can we talk outside?”
Fedrick nodded. “Sure. Sure. Don’t mind the elders they’re all still a bit sore at Rafael.” He said and led the way back outside. The moment we were outside I turned to look at Fedrick.
“What was with that whole act? I just came here to talk. You said it was okay to come over.” I said.
Fedrick nodded and sighed. “Like I said, the elders are still a bit sore at Rafael. They wanted me to test you first. Let’s say you passed. I’m to tell you anything you need to know about Rafael but the family reserve the right to tell you any family secrets. Your viewed as your father an outcast. So what you want to know?”
I had a great many things I wished to know. But, I was short on time and I knew now I would only get so much information. “Three questions. Why did Rafael leave Paris? Was he thrown out the family because of my mother and what was his father like?”
Fedrick whistled. “Damn. That is a lot to answer but I can see you’ve been thinking on this. Rafael always wanted to move to America and make it as a singer.. He has always had a gift for entertaining people and a pretty face. Rafael was thrown out of the family for getting a girl pregnant and refusing to marry her.”
“So I have a half sibling somewhere?” I asked.
Fedrick shook his head. “No. The girl killed herself. She was my mother’s sister so it caused many troubles for my father and my mother’s families. Just now those rifts are beginning to heal that is why you can never be welcomed into the fold and your an American.”
I glanced at Calvin to see him smiling. “Are you just about done? I can’t understand damn a word between you two.”
“One more minute.” I said to him and then turned to Fedrick. “What happened about his father? My Nanny says he was someone she met and married in her youth but he died suddenly. Is that the truth?”
“Does it matter? It won’t help you explain who you are or what made Rafael the way he is. He was always a passionate handsome jack ass.” Fedrick said.
“The truth always matters even when it’s unpleasant.” I said smoothly.
“Are you a religious man?” He asked suddenly.
“Yes and no. Yes I believe in objective morality. No. I am not affiliated with a religious set. Will you answer my question?”
“Rafael’s father was a business man that owned a popular Café in the city and farm land in the south. He married your grandmother for business reasons and he was a closeted homosexual for all of his adult life until he died found in bed with his eighteen year old lover in his apartment in the city. The family hushed it up with money and bribes but people around here still know. Your father is his double. They both were singers and had a charm about them for seducing men and women a like. Rafael’s sexual habits also made your mother flee from him to protect you. He didn’t mean to leave you. His marriage just failed.”
“How the hell do you know that?” I said staring at him. This way more he could possibly know.
“Rafael told me. He did try to change but he couldn’t. He loved your mother. It just wasn’t enough to change his nature. He’s not an evil man. He’s just a man that couldn’t control his appetites.”
“What is he saying to you?” Calvin asked.
I looked at him. “He’s telling me my grandfather was on the down low and married my grandmother for money and children. Added on to that Rafael’s crazy sex habits made my mother run from him.” I told him.
Calvin nodded. “Alright. Can we go home now?”
I stared at him. “Nothing shakes you, huh? Doesn’t shake your Christian-“
“-you knew finding out wouldn’t be pleasant.” Calvin cut me off. “Stop pretending like you didn’t already thought about hearing some like this.. It’s got nothing to do with you. Rafael is Rafael. He told you nobody made him the way he is and you finding about his Dad being on the down low ain’t got nothing to do with how you live your life. I came here to support you brother. Take the love of a sweet grandmother, your too serious mother and that old general grandfather of yours and let it be. I’m not letting you beat yourself up over something that has nothing to do with you.. Let’s go home.”
I sighed and nodded. I turned to Fedrick rubbed a hand down my face and held out my hand to him. “Thanks for telling me what I wanted to know. I won’t trouble your family again.”
Fedrick held onto my hand and stared at me. “I don’t know you but I’m old enough to be your father and give you some advice. Live your life. Get a family of your own and be happy.” He said and held my stare.
I had no intention getting married or having kids but I got what he was saying and the compassion in it. I nodded. “I’ll do my best.” I said instead it was enough.
Fedrick let go of my hand. “Please be happy. You appear to have been raised well up and have a decent loyal friend to travel with you on such a journey in search of answers that are unpleasant to hear. I wish you well cousin and a better life.”
I sat in the tiny Café in the middle of the city of Paris France and thought it finally. This was really going overboard in my research.
“Your meeting your grandmother for lunch in Paris. Why do you have to over think everything?”
I turned to Calvin Deckwood who sat beside me sipping coffee and looking outside the glass window to stare outside at the city like a first time tourist. He was smiling and enjoying himself and totally relaxed though a few hours ago he hadn’t known I would ask him to go with me to Paris to see my Nanny.
I smiled at his easy going profile. Calvin was a semi close friend of mean. Matthew’s being my best. I asked Matthews first to come with me but he had been busy and said he couldn’t make it. Calvin had been busy but he brushed it off just because….I smiled that was Calvin.
I looked up and got to my feet as a beautiful lady in a white dress and hat approached me. I noticed she wasn’t alone another lady was with her as well a friend maybe. Anna’s eyes had tears in them.
Calvin stood beside me and gave me a little push. “Give a hug.” He said.
I laughed and went over to her and hugged her. She laughed and cried on my shoulder. I couldn’t help laughing. Though I didn’t know the reason.
It was some time later that we all finally sat down. Anna was red eyed but happy. She looked at Calvin. “Who is your friend Puppy?”
I smiled glancing at Calvin. “He’s my…brother. My best friend. Calvin Deckwood.”
Calvin grinned. “Look at you. I wouldn’t have missed this moment for nothing.”
“What moment?!” I asked him frowning.
“Seeing you this happy. It was well worth the long flight over.” He said.
“Your full it.” I told him.
Calvin waved away my stare. “Talk to your grandmother. You won’t ruin my mood.” He said again looking out the window.
I turned to Anna whose eyes were lite with emusment. “It’s been a long time coming huh?”
Anna nodded. “I am thankful your father finally allowed us to meet.” She said.
I glanced at Calvin. He gaze was averted but he frowned sharing my thoughts. Rafael was being Rafael. I glanced back to Anna but her friend was watching my face.
I noticed her. She was of an age like Anna and just as beautiful. They sat close together and I noticed only because I had associates and been around women that moved in a certain way. I glanced at Calvin who was looking at me.
“What’s up with you?” He asked.
“Nothing. Well. Nanny. Whose your lovely friend?” I asked her.
Anna frowned between Calvin and I. “She’s my partner. Marlina Bernard.”
I glanced at Calvin to him staring at me. “Okay. You need to relax. I’m going to take a walk around the city. Spend some time with your grandmother.” He said and turned to Marlina. “Miss Bernard. Would you do me the honor to walk around with me while my nervous friend has a talk with grandmother.” He said holding out his hand as he rose from his seat.
Marlina’s eyes lit with understanding and she smiled raising to her feet. I watched them leave and looked at Anna’s warm eyes. “Sorry about my behavior. I don’t have a problem with your sexual preference it’s Calvin. He’s a Christian and I didn’t know how he would react. I was overally concerned then.” I said.
Anna her head staring at me. “Rafael didn’t mention my partner to you?”
I stared at her. “We only met one time. It was…enough for us to resolve some of our issues. I understand how he is. If I wanted to meet you then I would accept you as you are. I came to him for a favor.”
“You and your friend are very close, yes.” Anna asked.
“He’s my best friend. He’s the person that suggested I meet with Rafael and I’m thankful to him. I finally understood Rafael after meeting him.” I told him.
Some of the brightness in her eyes faded. She shook her head. “You love him.”
I shook my head. “Not like that.. Calvin and I are just close friends.”
Anna shook her head. “You love Rafael.”
I didn’t know how to answer that question. I shrugged. “I don’t hate him anymore.”
Anna sighed and took my hands. “I know. I know. But, live your life. Your not him. I’m just grateful you two resolved your issues.”
I smiled but said nothing because though I didn’t have the anger for him. I still wished for what could have happened for what more, I could have said. I wish I could still understand him and made an impact on him.
I walked into the night club’s private room to see Rafael St. Martin was with two females in short pink and black dresses with cheap make up on and high heels. They looked like hockers. Though I would also have bet money that they were just some females he just picked up from the club to have the honor with sitting in his presence. The man had that presense about him.
I could see a shadow of resemblance between us. It was faint around the eyes otherwise we looked nothing a like. I stared at him. “I need to speak with you alone. I only need a moment of your time.”
Rafael rolled his eyes like he knew what I was going to ask him. All likely hood he didn’t. I was several standard digits above his intelligence and it wasn’t going to be a typical conversation.
“You want some type of closer or a chance to tell me off for all the years I missed raising then you can-“
“You have a very common French last name. I’ve been trying to get in contact with your family to gain some insight on your family for some research I’m doing. I have a possible lead but I need your approval and number to your mother so that I can talk with her.”
Rafael stared at me. “Your trying to connect to my family for a research paper on your family lineage? Is that all or is there some other personal reason?”
“I have questions and wish to find someone who might be able to answer my questions.” I said.
“Questions about me or your other family history?” He asked.
“Both. All I need is her number and name. Then I won’t trouble you again and you can go back to your…life.” I said calmly.
Rafael removed his arms from around the ladies shoulders. “Ladies. I have to talk a bit with my son.”
The ladies got up and left the room closing the door behind them. Rafael stared at me. “You seem a bit shy around the ladies are you gay or just-“
“-I’ve had sex before. I don’t have trouble finding a woman up for having a fun time. All I request is a name and number. Sir.”
Rafael smiled slowly and waved me to a seat to his right on the couch. I sighed and came over and sat down. We stared at each other.
“Why don’t you really ask me what your dying to know? Be honest.” He said.
He was playing a game. He had no intention on giving me a simple damn number and name. Even this was to much for him to do.
“Your a liar. I want to know why your such a degenerate loser. Your what forty-one now and still a chasing after dreams of living the lifestyle of a rocker sleeping with easy girls and stupid women.”
Rafael grinned. “Oh. Your an artist and an alpha to like your old man. Your thinking you’ll end up like me one day. So your trying to avoid it by researching where I went bad growing up. I didn’t I was born this way and your mother knew it she just thought she could change me. She couldn’t. I am what I am. Just like you are what you are. Son.”
I stared at him.
He raised an eye brow. “You still want your Nanny’s number?”
“Yes. It’s the whole reason I came here. Are you asking for money?”
“Two grand, Sonny and I’ll even let her know your calling her. She’s been waiting years to hear from you.”
I reached in my wallet and got the money. I heard purple rain play on the speaker system. Prince’s voice flowed into the room. I allowed myself a moment to enjoy the song and the voice of my idol.
I got the money out and put it on the table and sat back waiting for him. Rafael took the money and got a notepad and pen from his suit jacket and started writing.
“I remember the first time I heard this song. It did the same thing for me. It was was….”
“Magic.” I finished and closed my eyes and started to hmm.
*I never meant to cause you any trouble….” Rafael sang.
*I never meant cause you any pain… I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain.”
“Purple Rain, purple rain.” We sang together.
It was….it was the strangest saddest and beautiful moment I had with anyone in my life. It was in that moment I realized. Why my genius so serious mother loved this man once in her life…