True and Eternal Pt. 03byDoctorWyldcard©
Last chapters. Hope you have enjoyed the show.
Thank you jacuzzigal for your help with this story. I have loved working with you so far!
No sex in this either.
The wind blows, scattering the fallen leaves of fall. A solitary set of boots make their way to the until then forbidden area.
Ah Hello, I know I haven't been by since, well since then. I'm sorry. I just couldn't. I know I should have. I disappointed you. I failed. I—
The figure turns and starts to leave, then stops and steels himself. Slowly he returns.
Damn, I told myself that I could do this. I just. I just miss you so much Andy. I know what the doctors say. But I can't help but think that if I had made you go to the doctors sooner. If I had insisted on the tests sooner, that maybe we could have caught this.
The wind blows again; the cold bite of the changing season threatens to chill him.
You would think that now, with all those treatments and chemicals and fancy gizmos that we have that we could have stopped it. Ovarian Cancer. You know Andy, Amanda and I have joined a support group for survivors or it. It's really helped but I can still feel the hole in my soul that was made when I lost you. Amanda helps but she feels it too.
I make sure that she gets tested regularly. The kids also get regular check ups. Paranoid I know but I can't go though this again. Not now.
He takes a deep intake of breath to gather himself.
Well enough about me.
The kids. Well Michael, as I guess you know, you would be watching, his baseball dreams went up in smoke. One bad play and a torn shoulder and he's out. But he's doing his best. He graduates this spring from college. Then it's on to law school. I told you he was going to be a lawyer.
He's met a nice girl. Weirded me out when I first met her. Pink hair and all but she's nice. She has good parents too. They came down over the summer. I've even got a business deal or two going on with the father. Amanda thinks her mother is a riot.
Lisa, well did you know there is a professional softball team? Well there is and they are scouting her. But she wants to try for the Olympics. I say go for it no matter what. Guess I will have to get the expanded cable package to see my little girl play in the big leagues.
Lane is doing well. Studying some biological computer thing at MIT. Kelly and Kathy graduate from high school this year. I never had to worry about boys with Lisa after our talk all those years ago. But those two? Lord they are the twin terrors on male physiology. Amanda and I keep a good eye on them, don't you worry.
Mel is doing well in school. Did you know there was a shooting team on the campus? I didn't either. Well she made the team, came in third last year at the nationals. I think she wants to join the military then become a cop. I still remember when all she wanted was to play with her Barbies.
They grow up too fast.
Evan scared the crap out of me last week. He's 'decided' that he's gay. He's not even in high school yet and he's talking about boyfriends. Wow.
Amber thinks it's just a phase he's going through. Then again I have caught her talking with the Looney gal in private too many times to not have my suspicions about her too. Then again I caught her kissing the little Hayes boy too.
What a wonderful mess. I wish you where here to tell me what to do.
Drops fall to the leaves. He wipes his eyes.
Ah well, Amanda is good. So are your parents.
You know you scared the hell out of me with them. I can still remember it. You hadn't been, hadn't been gone for long. We gathered in the lawyer's office; Amanda, your folks and I, just as you requested. None of us had any idea of what was going on. Then she put the video in.
I also joined you when I saw you again. Then I noticed you were talking. Telling us that this was your will and yada and yada. Then you said that you knew that you said you would never ask me to do anything again. But you had one more request.
You wanted me to marry Amanda.
Everyone was shocked. Then as we all started to recover you dropped the big one.
"Alex, your kids need to have your name. If you marry Amanda, and I know you want to, you two have been in love for years, then you could adopt them and they can change their names to the ones they should have. Then they CAN call you 'Daddy' like they should."
I understood what you were telling me. Then I remembered that your mom and dad were sitting to my left.
"Mom, Dad. Alex has been having relations with Amada for years now. With my blessing. Hey I shared all my toys with her growing up, might as well share my biggest toy."
You never really had the best sense of humor.
"All of her kids are his. He fathered them. And I knew. He never cheated on me. Please I know this is something that you were not expecting but I wanted this for us then and I want this now. They all need you and your support."
I sat there through the rest. The legal voodoo that you had to do and plans that you had for some things. All the time I wanted to know what they were thinking. It was like that first day, all those years ago, when I was first with Amanda. Wondering if I had lost you. Then you finished and the lawyer left to give us some time.
I sat there waiting for all hell to break loose then your mom spoke up.
"They're not Thomas's kids?"
Amanda told her that they were not and they were mine. Your dad surprised me.
"Thank Gwad!" Love that man's accent.
They were actually happy that we had done this. Well not really happy. They hated that man too. They wanted Amanda to have an affair, dreamed it even. They couldn't bear to think that their grandkids were from that man.
So we all left there and I gathered everyone around at the house and asked the kids if they would like for us to do what you wanted.
It was like that surprise birthday party we gave you for your thirty-fifth. Pandemonium. Amanda and I got married in a small civil ceremony at the courthouse. I had Michael stand for me and Lisa stood by her mother.
Right after that we all went and got the kids' last names changed. The next few days must have been hell on teachers. All of a sudden you had this Brady Bunch on steroids running around. Everyone was so happy to finally be able to call each other brother and sister in public.
I have heard that there was some strangeness at school. People were wondering about the sudden marriage. But Michael told everyone that it was your last wish. For Amanda and I to be happy. Lisa and him said that they handled it.
But I really don't know how it all went. Amanda and I went on a honeymoon.
But we didn't enjoy it too much. We missed you too much. It was one of the most joyous times of my life and I was in so much pain, Andy. So was Amanda.
We miss you. I know that she comes here every few days. I wished I had her strength. I just couldn't do it. But I will now. I miss our talks. I need them. I promise I will come back and talk to you.
He looks up and sees someone in the distance waiting.
I have to go now, Andy. The kids are waiting for me. But I'll be back soon.
He bends down and kisses the cold stone. Tears fall. His voice becomes a whisper.
I love you Andy. We will be together again. We have to be. I can't go on forever with out you. Never forget that you are my true love.
He stands and leaves. The figure waiting on him wraps her arms around him when he reaches her. They walk off arm in arm. The wind continues to blow, recovering the small tombstone.
1979 – 2020
Wife, Mother, Sister, True Love.
"I said get away. I can sit myself!" Man, this kid will not leave me alone!
" I'm just trying to help." Ah no now here it comes, I thought. I've hurt his feelings. Damn.
"Ty, I'm sorry. I'm just––"
"Old and cranky. Dad, just let the kid sit you down and help. You said yourself that the kids today aren't respectful."
"All of them except the ones from our family, Michael." I try to reach out and ruffle Tyrone's hair, but he pulls away too fast. Getting old sucks. "You got a good grandson here."
"He's your Great grandson too, Dad. Ty, why don't you help me over here for a minute? Let Grands get some time alone. The party must be tiring him."
I watch them walk off. What a day.
Just three weeks ago Carrie, Michael's youngest, and her husband Matt had a baby girl. And the same day in the same hospital––I swear they arranged it––David, Lisa's eldest, and his wife Lindsey had a little girl too.
And the names. I expected something exotic or mixed up. It's all the rage now. But no. Carrie and Matt named theirs Amanda, while David and Lindsey named theirs Andy.
Damn, I can feel the tears coming to my eyes now.
There they all are. Lisa just came in with her second husband, too bad the first one died in the war. Lord, eight kids, each with at least 2 each, even the gay ones, THAT'S a kick in the pants, and some of those kids even have kids.
I have a brood.
Man, I wonder what all the spouses were thinking when they meet all of us. Well I know most of them thought we were hip and cool. Open minded. For them, they thought that having a bi daughter and a gay son was what did it. Or maybe when Mel brought Jerome home. Everyone was happy we didn't see color in this house.
They never knew until after they married why we were so open minded. I had two loves at the same time.
More tears, hope none of the girls see me, don't want them fussing over me. This party is for the new ones. I shouldn't be taking anything away from them.
Oh girls, we did well. But I still miss you both. Had several good years with you Andy, and many more years with you Amanda. You wouldn't take the latest treatments. "When it's my time, Alex, it will be my time. We shouldn't stop that."
I know dear but I have to protect them. They're my kids.
The coughs start again. I have to stop them or at least hide them. Can't make a fuss.
I look up. Lisa is paying with Eddie. Evan and his husband are looking on in pride. Even got himself a nice boy. He reminds me some of Amber's second spouse. Fun guy. Not as stuck up as her ex-wife.
Who's laughing? Oh that's me. I was just remembering when Amanda sat Michael and his wife down and told them about our past. Then told him that he couldn't have a second wife.
"To do that the man has to be extra special, Michael. You're great and all but your dad––"
"Moms, I only want Linda. We've been dating since college and I love just her. Don't worry. I don't think you'll have to have this speech with any of us. Well except for Amber."
"Don't worry, Amanda, it's just a thing with her. My mom's bi but she's been happily and monogamously married for years to my dad. It's just being young." I knew I liked that Linda gal, pink/purple/whatever-color-hair-that-is-today and all.
And there she is, she's in her seventies and still colors her hair. Or is that a wig. Can't tell now a days.
I watch the mothers bring in their little girls. Sweethearts one and all. Everyone is happy about the "twins". Our little family's inside joke.
More tears. Damn and I don't care. I miss you both so. I still wake up in the morning and expect Andy to be blow-drying her hair. Or catch Amanda painting her toes.
I miss Amanda's burned eggs and Andy's habit of reading the paper out loud.
I miss the both of them.
I raise my hand. It used to be so strong. I used to be the big one on the block. Now I'm just old and feeble. And tired. So, so tired.
Breathing is getting hard. Have to talk to the doctor about that. Maybe, maybe I'll just rest for a second. Yeah just close my eyes for a little bit. Slow my breathing down. Take deep breaths.
Breathe out. Good.
A warm hand rested on his. Alex raises his head to see which kid is checking up on Grands now.
This was no kid. It was…
"ANDY! What? How?"
"It's ok Alex. It's ok." She pats him on the hand, and then tosses her hair back over her shoulder. "It's time."
"Time? What? The kids! They have to see you. Oh honey." Alex turns to the family and tries to get up. But he can't. It's like he is stuck.
Then his eye catches some one in the crowd. As the new mothers lay their babies down in a large crib for everyone to watch, a figure moves among them.
Her hair flowing, and in the dress that Alex remembers from so long ago, Amanda makes her way to the babies. Alex watches stunned as he watches her bend over and blow a kiss to them both. The babies look up and smile. Both try to laugh at her.
She stands up and starts to walk to Alex and Andy. Alex can't take his eyes off of her. Her skin so smooth and golden. Her hair moves as if in a slight breeze. She reaches them and laughs at his response.
"Well I wish I got that reaction all the time from him!" Andy laughingly comments. Alex turns to her. She was wearing those old blue jeans again. The ones that got torn up by the neighbor's dog so many years ago. She had cried for an hour. They were her favorite. Of course she was wearing them when Alex proposed. And her top, a simple white t-shirt, she had always loved that.
Probably stolen from my drawer, Alex thinks to himself. That's my girl.
"I don't think he realizes what's going on, Andy." Amanda jokes as she takes Alex's right hand.
Andy strengthens her grip on his left and stands up.
"I guess we just have to help him, sis!"
They both pull at Alex. The pain. A brilliant flash. In an instant Alex remembers everything then..
He stands among his wives. Gone is the raggedy shirt. In it's place his old Bruins jersey. Gone the white cotton pants that his nurse had given him that day. Now he had on those cargo pants that he loved so much in his college days. And his shoes!
"On no not those old things!" Andy laughs.
"Hey at least they LOOK new now." Amanda replies. They look at each other and giggle.
"And they don't smell!" they shout in unison.
"What, what is going on? How did you get here? Why do you look so… The kids--" Alex's bewilderment makes both girls soften and smile.
Andy puts his arm around her shoulders.
"Alex, it's time. You've taken care of them long enough. It's time for you to rest."
"With us," Amanda puts her arm around his waist and wraps his around her waist, "We've missed you. And the house needs you."
"We have our home Alex. Just the way we all have wanted it." Andy starts to lead the group away to the doors of the reception hall.
"Except we still need to hang the swing." Amanda rests her head into Alex's chest as they walk.
"And the shrubs need to be planted. And––"
"I thought you said rest." Alex tightens his hold on them both.
"A day of work"
"A night of our rest."
"You've earned it Alex," Amanda says. "Now come with us. We missed you as much as you missed us."
The doors open by themselves. Alex can see the house that he and the girls had always dreamed of. The warmth of the home pulls him.
Then he feels the slightest touch on his shoulder. It makes him turn.
He looks back to see his children gathering around, him.
Lisa is the one holding him. Michael seems to be holding back tears. Lane is holding his wife tightly, while Mel cries into her husband's shoulder. Kelly and Kathy hold each other while Amber consoles Evan.
The all are huddling around him. The wives and Alex watch as Michael bends down and kisses his father on the cheek.
"Tell Moms we love them Daddy. We miss them."
"And we'll miss you too. I hope you are with them. I hope they can take care of you like you have taken care of us," cries Lisa as she gives him one final hug.
"We miss you too babies," answers Andy.
"And we will." Replies Amanda before she turns and both girls give him a kiss.
"Looks like we have to make up for lost time." Alex chuckles as they turn and pass though the doorway.
"We will," the girls chime as the door closes. "Oh we will."