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Just Like That
"It's going to be okay Annie," You rapped your arms me and I cried harder. I put my head on your shoulder and cried and remembered it all. All of him.
I shook my head, " It's not okay. He's my only family I had left. And he's not coming back. He's dead. He's dead."
"Tell me to get up." I said.
" I should probably do some laundry," I stretched my arms over my head.
"So get up and do some laundry."
" Okay Chris,"I smiled, " Your not convincing , but okay," I started to get up but he grabbed my hand and pulled me back and I sat in his lap like a little kid," Come on now, be nice."
"But I kind of like you were you are," He said. And kissed me. The phone started ringing, so I got up and walked into the kitchen, "Who is it?"
"Why is John calling?" Chris questioned.
"I'm about to find out," I say and answer the phone, " Hello?"
"Anne? Is that you?"
"Yeah , what's up?"I say.
"Anne, your not even supposed to hear this from me but I figured it be best if I was the one telling you rather than someone else."
"What is it, John, spit it out. your worrying me." I said.
"Annie, I'm so sorry..." I started to cry," Simon , he didn't..."
"What do you mean he's the best at what he does?"
"They shot him three times, they were all kill shots, there was nothing anyone could do for him. His body is still being transported from Afghanistan."
"Ohmygod...Oh...my... I'll t-t-talk ...to you later." I hung up and fell strait to the floor and supported my back against the cabinet and Chris rushed over.
I sat down in the chair.
" So I'm Dr. Mason Spelling, and were just going to start today by assessing your background and your childhood and any specific trauma that has happened to you. Okay?" I nodded, " I'm going to ask some questions and some may be a little sensitive. You are married, yes?"
" Have you been married or engaged before this marriage?"
" I've been engaged."
"What happened with that?"He asked.
" Um.. he.. Corey passed away before we ever ... married," My voice weakening.
" And any domestic violence of any sort in your life?"
"When I was young, Dad was abusive but I was to young to remember it," I said.
"Towards your mother?" He questioned. I nodded.
" And they are divorced?" He asked.
" No, they both died along with my brother - Tommy- in a car accident when I was three," I looked down at my hands. A tear slipped its way onto my cheek.
" I'm sorry to hear that. When did you realize they were not coming back?"
" When I started living with other parents. And Tommy and Simon were gone." I said.
"Simon is another of your brothers?"
"Yes,"I said quietly.
"I feel like your holding back. Is there something wrong?" He asked. Tears welled up in my eyes and I took in a deep breath.
"He died, serving the country. " spit out, tears rolling down my face. I saw Mason sit back all the way in his chair.
"Wow. I'm so sorry. You have been through some kind of he**. Would you like to tell me more or are you spent for today? Because it's okay if that's all for today that's a lot of tragedy."
"Are you okay?" "Yeah, I'm alright," I smiled
"No. I'm actually okay."
"Simon, I'm fine really"I said. He smoothed my veil out a bit.
"My little sister is getting married, I'm entitled to be a bit worried."
"Yeah, and who would have thought Anne Riley would pick a ball gown on her wedding day?"
"Not me that's for sure," He said. There was a small knock on the door and Katie walked in.
"Ready or not," She smiled twirling her curly auburn hair.
"Okay,"Simon said taking my arm. The bridesmaids went first and then the doors opened for me . I stole a quick glance at my dress at the intricate lace top that flowed into the vineyard style skirt. I Looked up and saw Chris at the alter. Then, I looked at Simon who squeezed my hand and smiled.
" I'm Simon."
I hit his arm," I know who you are genius," I said.
"Well it's been nearly twelve years."
"To long," I said. I looked over at him. I saw something familiar in his face , something I recognized. And I latched on to it. But in truth, I didn't know my own brother. I didn't even know that he had blond hair and blue eyes like mom. I also didn't know I looked like my father - brown hair green eyes until he told me.
"How much do you remember about them- Mom and Dad?" I asked.
"Everything. I remember the day they died like yesterday," He said picking a piece of grass and played with it.
"I was ten years old, um so fifth grade and it was the middle of the day we were watching The Princess Bride and they called me down to the principals office and they told me that my parents and Tommy were in a car accident. Tommy was still alive in the hospital but in critical condition. And I thought ' oh well I'll just get Tommy out of the hospital and he would know were to find you.' I remember after school I rode my bike to the hospital and cried the whole way there. Then I spent the night with Tommy. He woke up that morning and didn't even know who I was and of course he died -um - in his sleep.
"And then the hospital contacted child services and both of us were put into foster care"He finished," No need to be in a bad mood, It's your birthday after all. How about some ice cream?"
"Simon, I know this is stupid but I don't even know how old you are," I said.
"I'm five years older than you," He said," twenty. You were born in '84 right? "I nodded.That conversation was the beginning of Simon and I being best friends.
I Sat down in the first pew closest to the alter and listened to the priest give a blessing. I felt Chris grab my hand as tears welled up in my eyes. I fought the urge to let them free fall from my eyes.
"Are you okay?"He asked. I nodded.
"Not really. Ready or not," I said. I sat through the whole thing thinking about how I'd lost my best friend. The only family I had left. And how empty I felt when I thought that he was never coming back.
When it was time I stood up and walked up to the coffin. I looked at him laying there he looked peaceful, like he was sleeping. I cried thought about Mom and Dad and Tommy.
"Not many people are lucky enough to have a guardian angel like you. I just miss you," I said under my breath, as tears ran down my cheeks," I don't think you understand how much you meant to me."
"It's a boy," Chris said handing me the baby.
"I told you we were having a boy," I said.
"What are we going to call him?"
"Kyle," I said ," Kyle Simon."
"Yeah Kyle Smithson, I like that. Did you plan that?" Chris asked.
"No I just knew," I said. There was a knock at the door and Chris's mother walked in. She looked like a rock star.
"It's a boy," He said.
"What about the name?" She said.
"Kyle," I replied. She smiled.
"What a lovely choice."
"Thanks Mom," I said.