The phone rings as a man in his 30s makes his way from his bedroom to the kitchen, knowing that no one else can get the call as he hears his boyfriend in the shower. Some of their friends keep asking them if they wouldn't want to adopt a child - seeing as more and more of their old friends have been settling down with children of their own - something about 'running out of time' and 'getting too old'. He knows that Denis actually loves the idea. They've talked about it before - but he's unsure about whether he would be able to be a good parent. Besides, they know that adopting a child as a same-sex couple might prove to be complicated. They both got full-time jobs, so they lack time. And he, personally, wouldn't want to have a child face extended homophobia because it has two dads. As he arrives in the kitchen, he takes the call.
"Hello, Marco Robins speaking.", he says while trying to keep himself from yawning. Who would call this early in the morning anyway? "Hello, mister Robins. The name's Reynolds. Can I assume that you are the brother of Monica Clark?", the person on the other end of the line says. Marco had not seen or heard of his older sister since he was 17, she was still called Monica Robins back then but seeing as it has been two decades since he last saw her, the change of her last name wasn't all that unexpected. She had always wanted to get married. "Yes, I guess that's right.", is what he answers, confused about why someone would be calling him about his sister. "May I know why you are calling, sir?"
The unknown caller clears his throat before he answers the question: "It seems that you didn't have a close relationship with your sister over the past years, or decades, seeing as it took us quite a while to find out your contact information.", the man then proceeds to say. "Yes, we did have some... complications. Sorry, but may I know what this is about?", Marco asks again, getting a little impatient and nervous. "Your sister, Monica Clark, and her husband, Josef Josiah Clark got into a huge car accident just a few days ago-", the moment he hears those words, he doesn't need to hear more to know what was going on. His sister had died. His thoughts started to spiral - he simply didn't know how to feel. His sister, who had cared so much about him when they were children and who had not contacted him after the day their parents threw him out of their house - who had only packed him some of his stuff and told him to leave - dead. The man on the other side of the call doesn't seem to have finished talking even after apologizing for his loss, making the middle-aged man wonder what else he might have to say. He just wanted to go back to sleep. "- however, this is not the only reason that we have for contacting you.", the man starts, making his listener actually interested in the conversation for the first time this morning while suppressing another yawn. What could it be? "Seeing as you didn't have any contact with your sister and haven't asked about it yet, I assume you don't know that your sister had children?", the man then asks, making his listener stop breathing for a second. He already knew that his own parents had both died by now and his feelings had been just as mixed back then as they were now with his sister. He never thought about having any nephews or nieces, but now that he thinks about it, it does make sense. Monica had always wanted to not only get married but also have a family.
A distant memory of them playing house with his sister's dolls pops up, but the man tries to blend it out. Then, a thought hits him. "Do they have any other family?", he asks, speaking fast. "I'm afraid they don't.", the man on the other side answers. "Which is why we're calling you, Mr. Robins. If possible, we would like you to think about taking them in. We do not want to pressure you and it is totally fine for you to say no. We will also give you time to think about it, however, if you won't take them in, they will be entered into the foster system. You could also try if it works out as their temporary guardian and decide if you want to become their actual guardian or not after a set period of time. After that time is over you can either give them away, take them in and become their permanent guardian, or properly and officially adopt them.", the man says. After a small period of silence needed to process what he had just been told, Mr. Robins answers with another question of his own: "You keep saying 'them', how many children are we talking about, here?", which he immediately gets his answer for "Three. Three sons. The oldest is nearly 18, so there isn't much to worry about since he is going to be a legal adult soon, his younger brothers however do need a proper guardian, at age 15 and six. And their brother won't be able to become their guardian even if he is legally an adult, as he has no way of providing for his family as a student." Feeling a huge lump in his throat, Mr. Robins manages to bring out a small: "I'll think about it.", before receiving a "We hope to hear from you as soon as possible.", and saying goodbye to the stranger who bombarded him with news and facts that he wasn't ready for.
After hanging up, he sits down right where he was standing and leans back against the wall next to him. Shortly after his boyfriend comes out of the bathroom, smelling like soap and drying his hair with a towel. The only piece of clothing that's covering him is a pair of boxers. "Marco?", the blond asks when he sees his boyfriend sitting on the ground, still with the phone in his hand. "Did you get a call? What was it about?", he then asks gently while sitting down next to him and taking him into a comforting embrace as he realizes that something is bothering his love. "Monica died.", Marco starts. "Your sister?", his boyfriend asks, making him nod. "I don't know how to feel about this.", he then proceeds to say, making his boyfriend hum. "It's just-", Marco starts, taking a deep breath before continuing. "I didn't know she had kids.", he then says, opening his bright blue eyes to look at his boyfriend. "She had kids?", his lover asks. Marco turns his gaze away again, before saying: "She had three sons, but since both she and her husband died in that car accident and my parents are already dead...", seeing as Marco was not going to finish that sentence, Denis takes over. "... they asked you if we would take them?", he guesses, making his boyfriend nod again. "Do you want to take them in?", he then asks. "I don't know.", Marco truthfully answers, shaking his head. "I don't know, Denis. They are my sister's children, but they are total strangers... I don't know anything about them other than the fact that they grew up in a similar environment that I grew up in. I don't even know if I would be able to take care of them, even if they accept me - accept us. I don't know if I can be there for them. I don't know how to handle kids for more than an hour or two, I don't have any experience. They also have very different ages. And they are going to grieve, and... would you even be fine with this? I don't know if I am, it would turn our whole world upside down, it would change everything... however, they said we could try to be their temporary guardians and see how it works, so maybe we should try it, I mean I can't... just abandon them, right?", the black-haired man says.
When he looks up he can see his boyfriend smiling. "I know you can't. This is just how you are. Your family kicked you out, but those kids have nothing to do with it so you want to try. I don't mind taking them in... besides, you know that my family got quite a lot of kids, right? I'm sure they wouldn't mind helping out... now, how about we go sit somewhere more comfortable and you tell me more about this? How old are they?", Denis says before standing up, taking Marco's hand to get him up as well. "The oldest is going to be 18 soon and the other two consist of a 15-year-old and a six-year-old... also, you should probably get dressed.", the black-haired man says to his blond-haired boyfriend. "Why, you don't like it?", the other answers playfully. "You already know the answer to that." Marco rolls his eyes. "Now get dressed, you kinda have to go to work in a bit. We should probably eat breakfast while talking about this... I mean, how do we even do this?", Denis gives Marco a peck on the lips before saying: "We'll figure this out. I'll get dressed and then we talk about it, okay?" Marco smiles. With his lover by his side, he feels like maybe, just maybe it would be alright. He has always been scared of the thought of having children. But maybe this was an opportunity - an opportunity for him to fulfill Denis' wish of building a family.