Chapter 1: Chapter 1
"I finished my waffles daddy." My seven year old daughter Sadie informs me. I’m having dinner with my kids and Kevin. It’s frozen waffle night…again.
I'm 30 years old and I'm recently a single father to two kids. As I said before, my daughter Sadie is seven, I also have a five year old son named Johnny. I had a third child a one month old son named Kevin (yes named after my brother). He died in a car accident along with my wife Tammy two weeks ago. We haven’t even had a funeral for them yet because of expenses. We were married for 8 years before she was tragically taken from us. I sure could use her right now, we’ve been living off of frozen waffles for the past two weeks. I’m not much of a cook.
I take Sadie’s plate and rinse it off in the sink, barely making eye contact with her. It’s hard looking at her at times because she looks exactly like Tammy. I feel like I’m seeing a ghost every time I’m near her. Luckily Johnny looks like me so I don’t get that feeling from him.
"I'm finished with my waffles too Kenny." My brother Kevin tells me. He's been living with me since I was 18. He's special needs and can't live on his own. He suffered from Shaken Baby Syndrome when he was a baby (obviously) from my parents roughly shaking him one too many times which caused severe head trauma. It was a miracle that he even survived. However, that’s had a severe impact on his life. He’s a slow learner and suffers from hearing loss in one ear.
"Okay Kevin, go rinse your plate off and put it in the sink." I tell him. Even though he’s special needs, he’s still 34 so I try to make him do some things for himself. I swear he’s like having another child in the house. I decided to take Kevin in when I got my own place because my parents were abusive towards him. They don’t have the patience to deal with him like I do even though it’s their fault he’s like this. He’s a good guy and means no harm. Sometimes he just doesn’t understand what’s going on or what people are saying to him. The kids love having their uncle around, he’s basically a play mate to them, a 6’4 play mate, but a play mate nonetheless.
"Okay Kenny. Can I play video games?” He asks.
I shrug. "Sure." I look at Sadie. "You need to get ready for bed."
"Aww come on, can I play for a little while?" She begs.
"What did I say?" I ask giving her a stern look.
"You said get ready for bed..." She says dejected.
"That's more like it." I look at Johnny. "Are you done?"
"Not yet daddy."
"Hurry up. You need to go to bed too!"
"Yes daddy." He begins to quickly stuffs his face.
"Don't stuff your face!"
"I was trying to hurry!" He says with a mouth full of food.
"Don't talk with your mouth full. You know better!"
I take a deep breath. "It's okay, just finish so you can go to bed!"
"Okay daddy." He finishes his food and heads to his room. I check to make sure the kids are in bed then I head to the kitchen and grab a bottle of whiskey. I can't start or end my day without it. It helps me get through everything that's going wrong in my life. I didn’t realize how much drinking can ease your pain until two weeks ago.
I head to Kevin's room and see him playing video games. "Time for bed." I tell him.
"Come on Kenny, I'm almost done!" Kevin whines. I’m not in the mood for this shit.
"No Kevin, I'm turning in for the night so you need to too!"
"But I'm not sleepy!" He pokes out his bottom lip.
"What did I say Kevin?" You see why I say he's like having a third child?
He sighs. "It's bedtime..."
"That's better. Turn the TV off and get into bed."
"Okay Kenny. Good night."
"Goodnight." I head to my room and get into bed.
"Kenny, I have to go!" I hear Tammy’s voice.
"Come home, I can explain!" I tell her.
"No! I don't want to hear it! I'm- AHHHHHH!" Then I hear a crash.
"Tammy! TAMMY!" I yell out. I sit up. Whew, it was only a dream. Funny, I don't even remember going to sleep. I grab my whiskey bottle that I keep under the bed and take a shot. I’m starting to feel better already.
"Daddy?" I hear. I look and see Sadie standing in the doorway. It’s so creepy that I had a dream about Tammy and now Sadie is standing in the doorway. I quickly hide the bottle.
"What is it?" I ask her.
"I had a bad dream..." Sadie cries.
"It was just a dream, go back to your room."
"But I'm scared!"
"I don't care! You're a big girl! Go back to bed!" I snap at her.
"What did I say Sadie?"
She lowers her head. "Yes daddy..." She walks away sadly. I take another drink before lying back down. I’m not even sure if I want to go back to sleep at this point…
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
I'm at the bar with Stan and Kyle. Probably one of the last places I should be, but I could always use a drink. I’ve had about 6 drinks so far…I think. I think the two of them are only one their second drinks. What a bunch of lightweights!
Usually when we meet up, we catch each other up on what’s going on in our lives. So far we’ve been listening to Kyle go on and on about his job. He’s a dentist so he’s complaining about his patients. All I can say is thank God I’m drinking. "So how have you been holding up?" Kyle asks me.
I shrug. "I have my ups and downs."
"You need to call us when you have one of those down moments."
I shake my head. "I don’t want to be a burden."
"Dude, you're our friend. You're not a burden."
"So have you planned the funeral yet?" Stan asks.
"Dude!" Kyle smacks him in the back of the head.
"It's okay." I tell Kyle. I look at Stan. "Still trying to get the money together. Her parents set up a GoFundMe page."
"That's good, how much money have they raised?"
I shrug. "I don't know, I'm staying out of it."
"Staying out of it?” Kyle jumps in. “That's your wife and son!"
"Yeah and I can't even afford to give them the proper send off. Her parents have to do it for me." I down my drink just thinking about it. Tammy’s parents have given me hell for being unable to afford the funerals.
"Don't let them takeover. You have rights!"
I shake my head. "I'm not even in the mood to do this."
"I know you're grieving, but so are her parents. You need to help!"
"They don't want my help."
"Let it go dude..." I hear Stan whisper to Kyle.
Kyle nods. "So what's new with you dude?" He asks Stan changing the subject. Thank goodness. That discussion was beginning to get to me.
"I'm finally going to ask Wendy to marry me!" Stan announces proudly.
"Really? That's awesome dude!"
"Yeah, it's been long enough." He looks at me. "This doesn't make you uncomfortable, does it?"
I shake my head. "Why would it?"
"I mean given your situation and all..."
“No dude, I’m happy for you and Wendy. You don’t have to be afraid to talk about your love life around me.”
"Let’s change the subject!" Kyle interjects.
“Dude, it’s cool!” I take another drink.
"Look, there's Craig." Stan points. I groan as he's the last person I want to see right now.
"Hey guys!" Craig greets as he approaches us. Only Stan and Kyle respond to him. He looks at me and smirks. "What's up Kenny?" I glare at him. "I heard about Tammy...oh and your son too. Sorry for your losses."
"Fuck you Craig!" I snap at him. “Don’t ever speak my wife’s name!”
Craig laughs. "It's like that?"
Craig shrugs. "I guess so." He looks at Stan and Kyle. "I'll see you guys around."
"Dude, what was that about?" Kyle asks me.
"Fuck Craig!" I slam my glass down breaking the bottom of it and cutting my hand in the process. “Shit!”
"What happened?" Stan asks with his eyebrow raised.
"I don't want to talk about it." I look at my bleeding hand. I stand up. “I’ll be back.” I head to the bathroom. I rinse the blood off my hand and put a paper towel over it. I stare at myself in the mirror. I’m so pissed off! I fucking hate Craig, but I shouldn’t have let him get to me like that. I start feeling sick to my stomach.
“You didn’t have to be such a dick to him…” I swear I heard…I look around, but I don’t see anyone there.
“Just my imagination…” I whisper to myself.
“Craig isn’t the one you should be angry with…”
“Who is that?” I look in the stalls, but there’s no one here. I’m losing it!
“You’re better than that Kenny…”
Now I’m getting annoyed. “Whoever that is, stop being a coward and show yourself!” I yell.
“Kenny?” I turn around and see Stan. “Who are you yelling at?”
“Did you see anyone walk out of here?”
He shakes his head. “There’s no one in here except you. Are you okay?”
“I heard a voice. It sounded like Tammy…”
Stan laughs. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Not enough apparently.” I lean over the sink. “I swear I heard her voice…”
“Are you feeling guilty about something?”
I glare at him. “NO! What would I have to feel guilty about?”
He puts his hands up in defense. “I don’t know dude. Maybe about her parents taking over the funeral plans? No need to bite my head off.”
“Sorry, I’m just a little tense.”
“No kidding. Well I came to check on you, you’ve been in here awhile. What’s wrong?”
I shake my head. “Nothing. I’m cool dude. I need another drink.”
“Dude, I think you’ve had enough.”
“Are you going to pick up the kids and Kevin after you leave?”
“The kids are staying with Tammy’s parents for the night.”
“That’s a relief, they don’t need to see you like this. What about Kevin?”
“I’m going to get Kevin, he’s with Karen.”
“Maybe you should let him stay the night with her. You’re in no condition to drive or care for him.”
I shake my head. “Karen can’t take care of Kevin. She only agreed to pick him up from daycare so I can hang out with you guys.”
“If she knew how drunk you were, she would understand.”
“I’m fine Stan. I’ve been taking care of Kevin my whole life, I don’t need help now!” I turn to leave, but Stan grabs my arm. “What?”
“I’m really worried about you dude…”
“Don’t be! I’ve got everything under control!” I pull my keys out, which are quickly snatched by Stan. “Give them back!”
Stan shakes his head. “As your friend, I can’t let you drive home.”
“I told you I’m fine!”
“You lost your wife and son in a car accident, do you really want to get behind the wheel intoxicated?”
I frown at him. That was completely low. “That had nothing to do with alcohol!”
“Think about your kids!”
“I’ll walk!” I storm off. Yes, I’m drunk, but I’m capable of making it home. Now after listening to a lecture from Stan, I have a pounded headache and I’m feeling sick to my stomach. I throw up and that’s the last thing I remember…
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
I wake up with a headache from hell. I put my hand on my head and feel a bump. I see Kevin is standing over me smiling. "Kenny! You're awake!" He pulls me into a bear hug.
"Please let go Kevin." I tell him as he's crushing me.
"Sorry..." He lets go and looks down.
"It's okay." I look around and realize we're at Karen's house. "Where's Karen?"
I sit up. "I'll let her know I'm awake."
"Nope!" Karen barges in the room. "You lay back down and rest."
"I'll take care of you!" Kevin announces trying to put an ice pack on my head, but Karen snatches it from him.
"Kevin, I have it under control!" Karen snaps at him.
"I just want to help!"
"We don't need your help! Go watch TV or something!"
"Okay..." Kevin lowers his head and leaves.
"You don't have to be so harsh with him." I tell Karen.
"Sorry, but he's hard to deal with sometimes. I don't know how you do it." Karen chuckles.
"It's called patience."
"I guess so."
"So how did I end up here?"
"You passed out outside of the bar. Stan found you and called me and said he was bringing you over here. He drove your car here." That explains the bump on my head.
"I'm glad he didn't call 911. The last thing I need is more ammo for Tammy's parents."
"They still want to fight for custody?"
I nod. "They don't think I'm in the position to take care of my kids. That's bullshit! I've been doing it!"
"Maybe you should let them stay with them temporarily." Karen suggests.
"You're under a lot of stress right now. Your focus isn't on them at all."
I’m taken aback by her comment. "How can you say that?"
"Look at you! You're out getting drink with your friends while Tammy's parents are watching YOUR kids!"
"That happened once and only because they're watching them."
Karen glares at me. “Do you expect me to believe this is the only time you’ve had a drink since Tammy and Kevin died?”
I nod. “It is!” I lie.
She laughs. “You’re such a liar!”
“Okay, I have a drink every now and then, but that doesn’t mean I’m not focused on my kids!”
“It’s has to be tough to take care of them and a special needs adult brother.”
I nod in agreement. “It is, but it’s nothing I can't handle.”
“You need a break. You really should consider putting Kevin in a group home.”
“I’m not going to do that!”
“You can’t take care of him and your kids! He requires too much attention. You can’t handle all of that by yourself!”
I shake my head. “I’m fine.” I feel around my pockets. “Where are my keys? Kevin and I are going to head home.”
“Do you really think you should drive at this hour? You could have a concussion. You should consider getting checked out at the ER. Sadie and Johnny shouldn’t have to lose their father too.”
“I’m fine, like I said. Where are my keys?”
“On the kitchen table.” Karen tells me. I stand up and head towards the kitchen. “I didn’t offend you, did I?”
I shake my head again. “No, I know you’re just trying to look out for me. Just know that I’m okay.” I give her a kiss on the cheek before getting Kevin and leaving.
“I’m leaving and you can’t stop me!” Tammy yells.
“Fine, go! But the kids are going to stay with me!” I yell back.
Tammy laughs. “Not in this lifetime!”
“I’m not going to allow my kids to raised by someone like you!”
“Do you think you’re any better? At least I have the decency to not do this at home!” Tammy grabs little Kevin and storms out of the house. Within minutes I hear her speeding off. I pick up my phone and call her. “WHAT?” She answers.
“Get back here! We need to discuss this!” I order her.
“There’s nothing to discuss!”
“Come on, just hear me out! It’s not like you’re innocent either!”
“I have to go Kenny!”
I sigh trying to calm down so maybe she’ll consider coming back home. “Just come home so we can talk about this!”
"Kenny, I have to go!" I hear Tammy’s voice.
"Come home, I can explain!" I tell her.
"No! I don't want to hear it! I'm- AHHHHHH!" Then I hear a crash.
"Tammy! TAMMY!" I yell out.
“NOOOOO!” I wake up in a cold sweat. I grab my whiskey bottle and start drinking and crying. I’m so tired of reliving that moment. I don’t want to think about it anymore. How can I make this nightmare go away? I take another drink.
The next afternoon, I go to Tammy’s parent’s house to pick up Sadie and Johnny. “I didn’t expect you this early.” Mrs. Warner tells me.
I shrug. “I miss my babies.”
“Come on in.” She steps aside as I walk into the house. She closes the door. “So we’ve raised enough money for the funeral costs for Tammy and baby Kevin. We’re going to have the funeral next Friday at 11.”
This is what I’ve been waiting to hear. “That’s great. Is there anything I can do to help?”
She shakes her head. “No, we’ve taken care of everything. Thanks for all your help though!” She says sarcastically as she smiles. Okay, this has become a little awkward.
“I’ll get the kids now.” I try to walk off.
“Before you do that, I need to say something.”
“Yes?” I don’t think I want to hear what she has to say.
“You really should reconsider letting the kids live with us.”
I shake my head. “It’s not going to happen.”
“I’m concerned about their well being. Sadie couldn’t sleep last night because she’s having nightmares about Tammy.”
She’s not the only one. “I’m aware of that.”
Mrs. Warner raises her eyebrow. “So…you’ve done nothing about it?”
“What am I supposed to do? She’s a kid, kids have nightmares.”
“Not about their dead mother! She needs to see a therapist! You’re so focused on yourself and your brother that you don’t know what’s going on in your kid’s life. Or maybe you know and just don’t care!”
Now I’m really aggravated. “Okay, it’s time for me to get my kids and go!”
“Your kids need help Kenny! They lost their mom and brother! Don’t ignore their feelings.”
“I don’t want to discuss this with you anymore. I’m going to get the kids and we’ll see you at the funeral!” I head to the room to get the kids. I think I know what my kids need better than she does. Sadie misses her mother so it only makes sense that she’s having nightmares about her. They’ll go away in time, just like mine will…
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
The day has come. I've said my last goodbyes to my wife and son. I've had my kids by my side. Sadie has been crying the entire time, while Johnny has stayed silent. I'm doing my best to hold it together for both kids, but I had to shed a few tears.
I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around and see Stan and Wendy. "How are you holding up?" Stan whispers.
I smile. "I'm glad they're finally laid to rest."
"Kenny, if you need anything, we're here for you." Wendy tells me.
"Thank you, I really appreciate that."
"I mean it. Even if you need us to watch the kids or Kevin, please don't hesitate to reach out to us." Wendy takes my hand and squeezes it.
"Thank you." I repeat.
Sadie hugs me and sobs into my shirt. I pick her up and she continues sobbing. "I want mommy!" She wails.
"I wish she were still here too, sweetheart." I rub her back. I feel a tug on my pants leg and I look down at Johnny. "Are you okay, buddy?"
"Daddy, are Mommy and Kevin angels now?" He asks.
I nod. "Yes they are."
Oh boy, I don't even know how to answer this. "They were good people that's why."
"I don't understand..."
I put Sadie down and kneel down to Johnny’s level. "You'll understand when you're older." I pat him in the head. I stand up and see Craig. "Johnny, take your sister and find Grandma and Grandpa."
"Okay daddy!" He takes Sadie’s hand and they walk away.
I walk over to Craig. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"I came to pay my respects!" He tells me.
"You have no right to be here!"
"Why not? Tammy and I were very close."
"You're not welcome here!"
Craig smiles and nods. "Sure I am! Mr. and Mrs. Warner invited me."
I’m taken aback by that statement. "Why the hell would they do that?"
He shrugs. "They love me! I'm the son in law they wish they had!" He smirks.
"You son of a bitch!" I raise my fist.
"Go ahead! Hit me in front of your in laws and kids! You're only going to make yourself look bad." Craig continues smirking. I put my fist down as I realize he has a point.
"Get the hell out of here!" I whisper angrily.
"I'll leave when I'm good and ready. I have just as much right to be here as you do."
"No you don't! I'm her husband!"
"I was her boss... and a little more than that..." He winks.
He laughs. "You really need to get a larger vocabulary!"
"You need to leave!"
"I'm here to say goodbye to the love of my life and her son...you know the son you thought was mine." I feel my face turning red with anger. "Tammy told me all about that. I hope you feel stupid knowing that he was your child all along and you didn't even bond with him..."
Now he’s going below the belt. "Go to hell!" I walk away.
"The truth hurts, doesn't it?" Craig follows behind me.
"Leave me alone!"
“Tammy even named him after your brother and you still didn’t accept that he was your son! Do you even care that he’s dead too?”
I turn towards him. “What kind of question is that? Of course I care!”
“Do you care because you loved your son or because you feel guilty? Did you even love your son?”
I shove Craig. “Get away from me!”
Craig starts laughing. “Did I strike a nerve? I’m going to go with you feeling guilty.”
“You don’t know shit about what went on in our house!”
“I know a lot more than you think! Tammy couldn’t talk to you, so who do you think she confided in?” I glare at him. I want to hit him so badly. “Honestly, it’s your fault they’re here…” My eyes widen.
“Is everything all right here?” Stan approaches us. “It’s looks intense.”
“It’s fine. I was just leaving.” Craig tells him. He looks at me and chuckles. “You’re really not worth arguing with. I’m just glad that Tammy and Kevin are now in a better place no thanks to you.” He walks away.
I think about Craig’s words and begin to tear up. I turn my back to Stan. “What was that about?” He asks.
I wipe my eyes. “Nothing…”
“Come on dude, you two weren’t arguing for nothing. What’s going on between you and Craig?”
I turn towards him as tears are now streaming down my face. “You know how Wendy said you guys could watch the kids and Kevin for me if I need it?”
He nods. “Yeah…?”
“Can you do it tonight, please? I’ll give you my key.”
“Sure dude, but tell me what’s wrong!”
I wipe my eyes. “I don’t want to talk about it right now.” I give Stan my house key.
“Okay dude, I understand. You promise you’ll tell me what’s going on soon? This isn’t the first time you’ve gotten into it with Craig.”
I nod. “I’ll tell you once I’m ready to talk about it. I promise. If Kevin is too much for you, have Karen come get him, okay?”
Stan nods. “How long are you going to be gone?”
“I need a day. This has been too much for me.”
“Will your phone be on?”
I nod. “But please only call me if it’s an emergency.”
“No problem. I hope you feel better.”
“Thanks, I’ll see you later.”
“Don’t you want to say bye to your kids first?”
I shake my head. “If I do that, it will be harder for me to leave them for the night.” I walk off. I know I probably seem like the biggest dick right, but after hearing what Craig said, I know I need to get away. I have to get my head straight. I’m doing this for my kids. They’re all I have left.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
"He's still not answering." I tell Wendy. Kenny's one day has turned into three days and I'm really worried about him. This isn’t like him at all. I know he’s upset, but he wouldn’t leave his kids for days and not even try to contact them. I’ve been trying to call him, but so far I’ve been unsuccessful.
"Should we file a missing person report?" Wendy suggests.
I shake my head. "That's not a good idea."
"If his in laws find out, they'll use it against him." I had to tell them that he’s working overtime so they don’t try to pull anything while he’s away.
"Oh yeah. Well what should we do?"
"I think I should look for him."
I shake my head. "I'm going to ask Kyle to help me."
"What about Kevin and the kids?" I can tell she’s a little nervous about being left alone with them.
"Call Karen if they're too much for you."
"What if you don't find him?"
"I will." I kiss her on the lips.
"Please check in often."
"Don't worry babe, I will."
"I mean it Stan! I don't want you to go missing too."
"I won't, I promise." I give her another kiss before leaving.
As soon as I get in the car, I call Kyle. "Hey dude, have you heard from Kenny yet?" He asks as answers the phone.
"No, that's why I'm calling. I think we should look for him."
Kyle chuckles. "I'm already a step ahead of you."
I’m shocked to say the least. I thought I was the only one that was concerned. "You are?"
"Ike is cop, so I have him looking for him."
"Good. I'm still going to look for him."
"You need to stay with the kids."
"Wendy is there. She'll call Karen if she needs extra help."
"You're really worried about him, huh?" Kyle asks.
"Yeah dude, I've never seen Kenny so upset. He was in tears before he left."
"Well he had just buried his wife and youngest son..."
"I think there's more to it than that. Something happened between him and Craig."
"Something like what?"
"I don't know. I saw them arguing and when Craig left he started crying."
"I'm sure he was just upset about the funeral."
"Well like I said, Ike is looking for him so you stay put in case he comes home."
"If you say so. Keep me posted."
"Ike will bring him home if he finds him. I'll talk to you later."
"Later." We hang up. Well since Kenny won't tell me what happened between him and Craig, maybe Craig will tell me. It could help me figure out where Kenny ran off to.
I'm at home looking at pictures of Tammy and me. God, she was so beautiful. I can't believe she's gone. I loved her so much! She should be here with me, not 6 feet under. Suddenly there’s a knock on my door. I answer the door, and I’m shocked by who it is. “Stan? What are you doing here?”
“Hey, do you mind if I come in? I need to talk to you.” Stan asks.
I shrug. “Come on in.” He comes inside and I close the door. “So what do you need to talk to me about?” I’m pretty sure it’s related to Kenny.
“What’s going on with you and Kenny?” I knew it!
“What do you mean?”
“Kenny went off on you in the bar a few weeks ago and then you two clearly had an intense conversation at the burial the other day. What’s going on?”
I laugh. “Think about what you said. KENNY went off on ME! You should ask him what’s going on.”
“I’m just trying to get to the bottom of this. Kenny is my friend and I’m worried about him.”
I nod. “So if Kenny is your friend, then why aren’t you having this conversation with him?”
“I wanted to get your side of things. I don’t want to pass judgment so I’m giving you a chance to tell me your story.”
I put my hands up in defeat. “Fair enough. However, it’s not really my place to tell you what’s going on. I will say, that Kenny didn’t appreciate what he had when he had it!”
Stan raises his eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
“He didn’t appreciate Tammy or Kevin.”
Stan shakes his head. “He loves his wife and son.”
I laugh again. He doesn’t know his “friend” at all. “I think he needs to define what love is.”
Stan frowns. “Dude, stop being so vague and tell me what the fuck is going on!”
“Kenny was cheating on Tammy!”
Stan’s eyes widen. “You’re lying!”
“No I’m not. Kenny is famous for sleeping around so I don’t know why this is a shock to you.”
“He changed once he and Tammy became serious.”
I shake my head. “That’s not what Tammy said. She said he was sleeping with Red!”
“Red is a good friend of Kenny’s.”
“She’s more than that according to Tammy.”
Stan narrows his eyes. “How the hell do you know so much anyway?”
“Tammy and I were very close. You know I was her boss.” I smirk.
“That’s all it was?”
I shrug. “It may have turned into more than that. But that’s because Kenny was cheating on her. She wanted him to know what it felt like.”
“Did Kenny know about you two?”
I nod. “He caught us in the act before. He didn’t think Kev…never mind.”
“What was that?”
I shake my head. “I’ve said more than enough. Go talk to Kenny about it!”
“Okay…well this has been a little helpful.”
“Glad I could help.” I smile. “So I hope you have some understanding to why there’s tension between Kenny and me.”
“Yeah dude, but you were totally wrong. Even if Kenny cheated, that didn’t have anything to do with you.”
“I loved Tammy. If she were my wife, I never would’ve done anything to hurt her. Kenny treated her like a possession. She gave birth to his kids, cooked, cleaned, fucked and sucked him on the regular and he still cheated! She was too good for him anyway!”
“Wow…I better get going.” He leaves. I go back to looking at pictures of Tammy.
“He never deserved you…” I whisper to myself.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
"I don't believe it!" Wendy exclaims. I filled her in about my conversation with Craig. "Maybe 10 years ago I would have, but Kenny has changed."
I nod in agreement. "I'm having a hard time believing it too. Not with Red. They've never been interested in each other."
Wendy looks away. "Well Kenny was never interested in her."
I raise my eyebrow. "Red liked Kenny?"
Wendy nods. "She always has. Kenny never gave her the time of day beyond friendship."
"But I still don't think they were sleeping together. Red would've told me."
"Maybe she didn't tell you because she thought you would tell me." I shrug.
"You believe Craig?"
I shrug again. "I don't know, babe."
"Don't! Craig is trying to make Red look bad."
"How can you be certain it's not true?"
"Because she would never try to come between Kenny and Tammy. She wanted him to be happy."
"You should call her."
Wendy frowns. "Why?"
"Maybe Kenny's with her."
Wendy nods. "Good point." She pulls out her phone. "Hi Red, it's Wendy, how are you? I'm good. I was wondering, gave you seen or heard from Kenny in the last few days? Really...you're kidding...” That’s starting to make me worry. “Well if you hear from him please have him call Stan. Thanks girl!" She hangs up.
"Has she seen him?"
She nods. "She saw him after the funeral. He went to her house to borrow money so he could get away and start a new life, but she turned him down. She said he told her he was going back home."
My eyes widen. "Wow...now I'm really worried."
"I am too. Where could he be?"
"Uncle Stan, where's my daddy?" We turn and see Sadie, Johnny, and Kevin standing in the doorway. The kids have always referred to Wendy and me as Aunt Wendy and Uncle Stan. I have to think of some lie to tell them about Kenny.
I kneel down in front of them. "He had to go away for work." I lie to them.
"How come he hasn't called?" Sadie asks.
"Umm..." I look at Wendy for help.
"He doesn't have the best service where he is." Wendy steps in. “He’ll call as soon as he can!”
"I miss my daddy!" Sadie pouts.
"Don't worry, he'll be home soon." Wendy hugs her.
"Are you sure?" Kevin asks.
"It's not like Kenny to be away from us for so long. I miss him too." He looks down at his shoes.
Wendy and I exchange glances. I put my hand on Kevin's shoulder. "Don't worry, like Wendy said, he'll be home soon. Why don't you take Johnny in your room and play video games?" I suggest.
Kevin's eyes light up. "Really? It's not too late?"
I shake my head. "Not at all."
"Thanks Stan! Come on Johnny!" He takes Johnny by the hand and they leave.
"You guys aren't getting rid of me that easily! Where's my daddy?" Sadie asks folding her arms.
"I told you he's working." I repeat.
“He never goes away for work, so why now? Why would he leave when we need him the most?”
“He wanted to take his mind off everything so he’s working overtime.”
“That’s not fair! We can’t leave to take our minds off of it.”
I look at Wendy hoping she’ll jump in and rescue me. “Well…”
“Sadie dear,” Sadie looks at Wendy, “just know your daddy is doing this for you guys. He’s working harder to get his mind right so he can be a better father. Remember, he has to do this alone now. The transition is hard for him.”
“It’s hard for us too. I wish I could talk to or see my mommy.” She tears up. “It’s hard not having a mom anymore.”
“Oh sweetie!” Wendy hugs her again.
“I can’t even talk to my daddy about how I’m feeling!” She begins sobbing.
“You can always talk to me, or your Uncle Stan, your Aunt Karen, and your grandparents. You’re not alone honey!”
She wipes her eyes. “Thank you Aunt Wendy. I feel a little better. But I really want to talk to my daddy!”
Wendy nods. “Soon honey, I promise you. Why don’t you join your brother and uncle and play some video games?”
She shakes her head. “No thanks, I think I’ll read until I fall asleep.”
“That works too.” Sadie hugs Wendy.
“Good night.” Sadie looks at me. “Good night Uncle Stan!”
“Good night!” I tell her as she heads upstairs. “You’re really good with her.” I tell Wendy.
“I feel really bad for her…all of them. Kenny is wrong for pulling this disappearing act.”
I nod in agreement. “I’m sure he has a good reason.”
“There’s never a good reason to abandon your family in their time of need. They’re grieving as much as he is!”
“I know, but let’s not try to pass too much judgment until we know the whole story.”
“I’m surprised you’re giving him the benefit of the doubt.”
“He’s my friend and I know this isn’t like him.”
“Maybe.” She looks at the time. “I guess I should get Johnny and Kevin ready for bed.”
I nod. “Good idea. I’ll be up in a few to help with Kevin.” She nods and leaves the room and I decide to call Kyle for an update.
“Dude!” Kyle answers the phone nearly in a panic. “I was just getting ready to call you!”
I swallow nervously as his tone leaves me feeling unsettled. “Did Ike find Kenny?”
“Yes he did. He had him rushed to the hospital.”
“He overdosed…” My jaw drops and I drop the phone. As far as I know, Kenny has never done drugs a day in his life. Alcohol was always his poison. Why would he do something so stupid? I have to go see him! I worry what the consequences of this will be…
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
"You're so stupid and selfish!" I open my eyes and I realize I'm in a hospital bed. How did I get here and why am I here? Tammy is sitting on the bed looking really disappointed.
I sit up slowly. "This has to be my imagination..." I close my eyes and open them and she's still there.
"Haven't the kids suffered enough?"
I nod. "Yes they have."
"You left them with Stan and Wendy! That was irresponsible of you!"
"I wouldn't leave them with a puppy much less my kids!" She shakes her head in disappointment and sighs. "Craig would've never done that..."
"What?" I can’t believe she would even mention his name to me.
"I always thought Craig would make a better father than you. If only I could go back..."
I feel my face turning red with anger. "You've got to be kidding me!"
"Craig would never leave our kids to grieve by themselves! He's a responsible adult!"
"I'm responsible too!"
"You're so responsible that you overdosed and ended up in the hospital!" It immediately hits me why I’m in the hospital.
"It was an accident!"
"An accident that almost caused our kids to be orphans! If it wasn't for my car accident, you wouldn't even be allowed near those kids!"
"I wouldn't have allowed that to happen!"
Tammy laughs. "You wouldn't have been able to stop me, you pathetic drunk!"
"I'm not a drunk, damnit!"
"Then what do you call it?"
"It's a stress reliever!" I could use a drink or two right now.
Tammy laughs even harder. "That's how you want to define your alcoholism? What a joke! You're a joke! I never should've married nor had kids with you!"
I look down feeling hurt. "You don't mean that..."
"Yes I do! You're a lying, cheating, drunken asshole!"
"I never cheated! You were the cheater!"
"Kenny?" I look and see Stan and Kyle in the room. "Who are you talking to?" Kyle asks me.
I point at Tammy. "You don't see her?"
Stan and Kyle exchange looks. "See who?" Stan asks.
I point at Tammy again. "Tammy! She's right..." I look and she's gone. "Well she was right there."
"Dude...you know Tammy died, right?"
"But she was here! I swear! We just had another fight!"
"I guess the drugs are playing tricks on you..." Kyle adds in.
"I'm not on drugs!"
"That's not what we were told! They said you OD'd on Ambien as a suicide attempt! There was also alcohol found in your system!"
I shake my head. "I wasn't trying to commit suicide, I just wanted to sleep!"
"How many Ambien did you take?" Stan asks me.
I shrug. "I don't know two or three."
"Then you drank alcohol? You could've died, dumbass!" Kyle berates me.
"I was drinking long before I took the Ambien. I haven't been sleeping well since Tammy and Kevin died. Some nights I haven't slept at all. I just wanted to get some sleep."
"This just shows that you should let your in laws have custody of your kids..."
I raise my eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"It's clear you're not in the right frame of mind to take care of your kids! You can't even take care of yourself! Let them stay with their grandparents."
I shake my head. "I'm not letting anyone take my kids from me!"
"I'm not saying permanently, just until you get yourself together."
“I need my kids!”
Kyle shakes his head. “No dude, they need YOU! Not the other way around! In this state, you’re not doing them any favors.”
“Once I get out of here, I promise to be the best father ever!”
“You can start by getting you and the kids to a grief counselor.”
“We don’t need counseling! We’re good!” I snap at him.
Kyle rolls his eyes. “Yeah, you really care their well being. What about Kevin? He has special needs, you definitely can’t care for him.”
“He doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I can’t send him to my parent’s house, they’ll abuse him and Karen doesn’t have the patience to take care of him.”
“You could always send him to a group home. They’ll take good care of him there.”
I shake my head. “I’m not going to do that to him. He’s comfortable with me and that’s where he’s going to say.”
"You're just willing to let everyone suffer? Those that you claim to love so much, huh? Sounds selfish to me!"
I start to tear up. "I'm not letting anyone take my kids from me!"
"Kyle," Stan steps in, "why don't you go get something to eat?"
"Are you trying to get rid of me?" He raises his eyebrow.
Stan smirks. "Yeah kind of."
"I need to go home anyway." Kyle looks at me. "I didn't say any of that to be a dick, I just want you to be realistic. If not for your sake, for your kid’s sake."
"Sure dude..." I reply to him sarcastically.
"I'll see you guys later." He leaves. Stan pulls up a chair next to me.
"Thanks for getting him out of here." I tell Stan.
"No problem. I know how Kyle can be and I could tell he was getting to you." Stan explains and he’s right.
"He was. So...do you agree with him?"
"About the kids going with your in laws?"
Stan sighs. "Well to be honest...yes. But like Kyle said, only temporarily while you get your shit together."
"I have my shit together, I just made one mistake."
"Dude, you've been gone for four days. You said you would be back the next day. I couldn't reach you! Your kids and Kevin miss and need you!"
"I wanted to get away and clear my head. I guess I needed more time than I thought."
"What did Craig say to you that had you so upset?"
I put my hand on my head. "Do I have to get into this now?"
Stan nods. "I already talked to Craig and he told me about his affair with Tammy."
"That son of a bitch!"
"He also told me about your affair with Red..."
My eyes widen. "I never had an affair with Red! We're friends!"
"He said that's why Tammy cheated on you."
I shake my head. "He's so full of shit!"
"So you and Red never slept together?
"Never! She's my friend, I wouldn't cross that line with her!"
"That's good to know."
"He somehow convinced Tammy that I was sleeping with her. She refused to believe me...even on her last day."
Stan narrows his eyes. "What happened?"
"Well I told you that Tammy was sleeping with Craig. I wasn't convinced that Kevin was mine so I had Red do a paternity test. She came over to give me the results and it went down from there…”
“You came at the right time, Tammy is out with Kevin.” I tell Red.
She hands me an envelope. “Here are the results.”
I open the envelope and it read it. “He’s my son!” I smile, Red smiles as well.
“I’m so glad!”
“Me too! I wasn’t 100 percent sure, but this confirms it! Thank you so much Red! You’re the best!” I hug her.
“What the hell is this?” We turn and see Tammy. She’s holding Kevin. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Tammy, it’s not what you think!”
Tammy glares at Red. “Get the fuck out of my house, you home wrecking slut!”
“Tammy, I’m not as-“ Red begins to say before she’s cut off.
“GET OUT!” Red runs out of the house. Tammy looks at me. “I’m done with you! I can’t believe you would bring your whore into our house! I’ve never brought Craig here out of respect!” She turns towards the door.
“Tammy, it’s really not what you’re thinking. Just let me explain! Red did a paternity test and Kevin is mine!”
Her jaw drops. “You went behind my back and had that bitch perform a paternity test on OUR son? Fuck you!”
“You’ve been sleeping with Craig for God knows how long! I had to be sure!”
She turns away from me. “I’m leaving! I’m going to be with Craig! He would never do something so underhanded! He’ll raise ALL my kids!” She puts Kevin in his car seat.
She’s crazy if she thinks I’m going to let that happen. “Tammy, wait!” I try to stop her, but she pushes me away.
"I'm leaving and you can't stop me!" Tammy yells.
"Fine, go! But the kids are going to stay with me!" I yell back.
Tammy laughs. "Not in this lifetime!"
"I'm not going to allow my kids to raised by someone like you!"
"Do you think you're any better? At least I have the decency to not do this at home!" Tammy grabs little Kevin and storms out of the house. Within minutes I hear her speeding off. I pick up my phone and call her. "WHAT?" She answers.
"Get back here! We need to discuss this!" I order her.
"There's nothing to discuss!"
"Come on, just hear me out! It's not like you're innocent either!"
"I have to go Kenny!"
I sigh trying to calm down so maybe she'll consider coming back home. "Just come home so we can talk about this!"
"Kenny, I have to go!" I hear Tammy's voice.
"Come home, I can explain!" I tell her.
"No! I don't want to hear it! I'm- AHHHHHH!" Then I hear a crash.
"Tammy! TAMMY!" I yell out.
“She never responded. I kept calling her name and no answer. I got a call a few hours later from the hospital telling me that she crashed into a pole. Kevin was dead at the scene and she died on the way to the hospital.”
“Dude…” Stan says softly.
I burst into tears. “I feel like it’s all my fault! If I didn’t get that paternity test, Tammy wouldn’t have been so angry and left the house! She thought I was having an affair, but I never got the chance to explain things. If I didn’t call her, she would’ve been paying attention and wouldn’t have hit that pole! Now I’ve lost her and my son!” I sniffle. “Craig was right about one thing, I didn’t get a chance to bond with Kevin. I have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
“Dude, I’m really sorry.”
“I felt that in the back of my head, but hearing Craig say it, it really hit me and it hurt.”
“I totally understand dude, but you have to get yourself together for the sake of your kids.”
I lay my head back on the pillow. “I know dude. I haven’t been able to sleep since. I keep replaying that incident and I keep seeing Tammy. That’s why I needed the Ambien. I just wanted to sleep.”
Stan nods. “I get it dude. I really think you should see someone.”
I shake my head. “No, I’ll be fine.”
“Dude, you’re seeing your dead wife! You’re not fine!”
I frown. “You’re starting to sound like Kyle! I’m fine, I don’t need to see anyone, my kids don’t need to see anyone! We’ll be fine! I promise you! I’m going home to them soon!” Suddenly, I hear a monitor going off.
“Kenny, you have to calm down!”
“I AM CALM!” I scream just as a nurse comes in the room.
She looks the monitor and then at Stan. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Mr. McCormick needs to rest.”
Stan nods in agreement. “I’ll come back and visit tomorrow. Is that okay?”
“That’s fine.” I tell him. “Please don’t tell my kids what happened to me.”
“I won’t dude.” He leaves. The nurse gets my blood pressure back down and advised me to get some rest before leaving. I don’t know how they expect me to get any rest in here, especially if I see Tammy again. What am I saying? I’m talking about seeing my dead wife. Maybe I do need help…
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
After five days, I'm finally being released from the hospital. They had me on suicide watch for the first two days. After that they wanted to make sure, I wasn’t a threat to myself or anyone else before releasing me. I felt like a prisoner in here and I’m insulted that they really think I tried to commit suicide! All I wanted to do was sleep. Whatever, at least I’m getting out of here.
There’s a knock on my door and Stan sticks his head in. "Hey dude, are you ready to go?" He asks.
I nod. "More than ready!"
“You already signed your paper work and you have a ride. Nothing is holding you back.”
"Well let’s go! I can't wait to see my kids!"
"Umm...yeah." Stan replies nervously as we begin to walk out.
"What does that mean?"
"I'll explain when we get to the car."
"Okay..." We get to the car and I see Wendy sitting up front.
"Hi Kenny! Glad you're coming home." Wendy smiles.
"Thanks! So I have a question for you two..."
"If you two are here, who's watching my kids?"
Stan and Wendy look at each other. "That's what I needed to explain to you..." Stan tells me.
"Tammy's parents came to get them yesterday. They have temporary custody."
I’m immediately overwhelmed with anger. Those little bitches! "How the hell could you let that happen?"
"They have a court order."
"No way! Take me to their house!"
Stan shakes his head. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"It might make things worse."
I nod. "Yeah for them! I want my kids!"
"You need to go home and relax."
I cross my arms. "Fine, take me home! I have a car.”
"We'll take you!" Wendy offers.
"What?" Stan glares at her.
"We can diffuse the situation if it gets out of hand."
Stan sighs. "I guess." He looks at me. "I guess we're taking you to your in laws.
"Thank you!" When we arrive at their house, I get out of the car and pound on the door. Both Mr. and Mrs. Warner come to the door.
"Do you mind?" Mr. Warner asks. "Johnny is taking a nap."
"I want my kids! NOW!" I demand.
Mrs. Warner holds up a piece of paper. "We have a court order. They're in our custody where they should be."
"No they belong with me! I'm their father, damnit!"
“Yeah and that's why they haven't seen you since the funeral!"
"I was away for work."
Mr. Warner frowns. "Come on Kenny, the kids may buy that excuse, but we don't. You're a security guard! Where are they sending you?"
"I had to work at another location."
He laughs. "We know you were in the hospital due to an overdose. Not shocking at all…"
I swallow nervously. How the hell did they find out? "It's not what you think."
"It doesn't matter. You're in no shape to care for those kids!"
"Yes I am! They're my fucking kids! SADIE!" I yell out. "Sadie, its daddy!"
They step out the house and close the door. "I will not have you making a scene and upsetting her!"
"You don't think having her taken from her home would upset her?"
"Get out of here Kenny! The judge granted us custody so you have no say!"
I try to attack him, but I'm quickly held back. I look and see Stan holding me back. "Dude, you don't want to do this..." he whispers.
"They have my kids! I want them back!"
"Not this way. You're going to make things worse for yourself."
"You should listen to your friend." Mrs. Warner steps in.
I sigh, trying to calm myself so maybe they’ll listen to reason. "Please just let me have my kids and I'll go. My kids are all I have!" I beg them. "I promise you can see them whenever you want!"
They laugh. "Honey, you've got it backwards. We're going to see them all the time. You'll be lucky if we let you see them!"
"Stupid bitch!" I lunge forward, but Stan gets a tighter grip on me.
"Kenny, let's get out of here before things get out of hand." Stan tells me.
"Please go before I have you arrested for trespassing!"
"Come on dude." Stan escorts me to the car. Once I get in the car, I bury my face in my hands and sob. I can’t believe they took my kids from me.
"Kenny, don't worry. Stan and I will help you get them back." Wendy tells me putting her hand on my shoulder.
I wipe my eyes. "I can't believe this happened. How did they find out about my overdose?"
Stan shrugs. "I don't know dude, but you know they're going to use that against you in court."
"I know. But it wasn't a suicide attempt!"
“I believe you. We’ll help you get a good lawyer.
“Thanks, you guys are the best.” I look out the window. “Can you drop me off at the bar please? Any bar is fine.”
Stan shakes his head. “No dude, you need to go home and rest. The last thing you need to do is go out drinking.”
“I just need a drink.”
“I agree with Stan.” Wendy steps in. “Besides, don’t you want Kevin to come home? He misses you too.”
“I’ll deal with him after I have a drink. If you don’t drop me off, I’ll just get in my car and go when I get home.” I tell them.
Stan and Wendy look at each other and start whispering amongst themselves. Stan looks at me. “I’ll drop Wendy off and then I’ll take you home and make sure you stay there!”
I roll my eyes. “Dude, I’m 30 years old. I don’t need a babysitter!”
“I just want to make sure you don’t do something you’ll regret later.”
“I just want a drink!”
“Do you have anymore Ambien?”
I shake my head. “No, they took what I had at the hospital.”
“Good. I’m still going to stay with you for the night.”
I’m really not in the mood to argue with him. “Fine, whatever!”
As promised, Stan dropped Wendy off first and then he took me home. “You can sleep in Kevin’s room if you want.” I offer when we get inside.
“Thanks. Is it okay if I watch some TV before turning in?” He asks.
“Dude, you don’t have to ask. Go ahead.”
“I’m going to attempt to get some sleep.”
“This early? It’s only 7:30.”
I nod. “I’m really exhausted and pissed off. I need to get some sleep to try to take my mind off of things.”
“Okay dude, I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll let Karen know that you’re home and you’ll get Kevin the morning.”
I head up to my room and close the door. I change my clothes and climb out the window. If Stan thinks I’m going to stay in the house and sober, he’s lost his damn mind! I’m going to a bar and getting white boy wasted!
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
I'm at the bar when I notice Kenny there drunk off his ass. What a sad excuse for a man and father! Even though Tammy is no longer with us, I’m so glad she’s away from this bum. He’s totally useless! I walk over to him and tap him on the shoulder. He turns and glares at me. "What the fuck do you want?" He slurs. He reeks of liquor.
"Should you be out drinking right now?" I ask him.
"What I do is none of your damn business!" He takes a shot.
"If I lost custody of my only living kids, I would be focusing on getting them back not drinking."
He glares at me. "How do you know about that?"
I shrug. "Word travels fast, it's a small town."
"It's none of your business! Stay out of my life! You're the cause of this!"
I raise my eyebrow. "How so?"
"I'm not having this argument with you again!"
"Then don't go around blaming me for your problems!"
"You fucked my wife!"
I shrug. "You were fucking Red! You don't have the right to point fingers."
Kenny stands up. "For the last time, I've never slept with Red! She's my friend!"
I shake my head. "I don't know why you feel the need to lie to me. I'm not your wife!"
"Because you're the one that told her that ridiculous lie!"
"If you insist on sticking to that story..."
"It's the truth!"
"Then why was Red at your house before Tammy had that accident?"
Kenny frowns. "How do you know that?"
"Tammy told me. She was on her way to my house."
"She was leaving your sorry ass for good! Her plan was to divorce you so we could get married and be a family with HER kids!" I smirk.
"They're my kids too!"
"Biologically, yes. But I've had a chance bond with all of them. Even with Tammy gone, I still plan to keep in contact with them. It will be easy since they're with Tammy's parents."
"They won't be there for long!"
"Those kids are so great. Johnny is really quiet, but he’s very intelligent. Sadie is like a little Tammy. I swear that little girl has been here before. She’s wise beyond her years. Let’s not forget little Kevin, God rest his soul. You didn’t bond with him, but I did!” I gloat. “He should’ve been my son! All of them should’ve been my kids!”
Kenny stomps his foot like a three year old. "You better stay the hell away from my kids!"
I laugh. "You can't stop me. No, I'll never be their stepdad, but they will remain a part of my life."
"No they won't!" Kenny swings at me, but misses.
"Dude, you're drunk! Sit down before you get hurt!"
"You have no rights to my kids!" He tries to swing again, but this time I grab his fist.
"You don't want to do this. I'm not trying to fight you."
"Then you better stop talking about my kids! They’re my kids, not yours! I’m a damn good father and I’m going to get my kids back!"
"I get you're upset, but fighting me won't change anything. What would Tammy think?"
His face turns red and he puts his free hand around my neck. "I’ve told you before not to mention my wife's name!"
"You have two seconds to let go of me!" I warn him.
"Don't you dare say her name again! Show some respect!"
"I have more respect for her than you ever did!" I manage to shove Kenny down. "I loved her and she loved me! If it wasn't for you, she would still be here!"
Kenny stands up and grabs a beer bottle off the bar and breaks it. He charges at me, but I move out of the way. He tries again, but again misses. I take the bottle out of his hand. "I'm sorry the truth hurts."
"Fuck you!" He swings at me, but before he connects, I end up hitting him knocking him to the ground.
"Kenny?" I nudge him with my foot. “Kenny?” I call out to him again, but he doesn’t respond. "Oh shit!" I mumble.
"You're going to have to leave." One of the bartenders tells me.
"I think he's hurt!" I explain to him.
"We'll take care of it, but you have to leave." I slowly walk out watching as the bartender tries to wake Kenny. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I had to defend myself. He was trying to stab me! I pull out my phone.
“It’s Craig…Kenny is at the bar again and he’s wasted. We had a fight and I knocked him unconscious. I’m not sure what’s going to happen to him. No problem.” I hang up. That will teach him to start shit with me. I smile to myself.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
"Dumbass!" I wake up and look around. I see Tammy coming out of my bathroom. Oh dear God, not this again! I have a headache from hell and I'm not in the mood the deal with this.
"Please leave me alone..." I look at the clock and see it’s 9am. “It’s too early for this shit!”
"You got into a fight with Craig and got beat up! You made a fool of yourself!"
"He had it coming!"
"No he didn't!"
"He was taunting me about you and the kids!"
Tammy laughs. "He had good reasons!"
"No he didn't! I love my kids and I'm a good father to them!"
"So good that you got a DNA test for one..."
"I had to be sure."
"Craig would've never done that to me..."
I cover my ears. "Ugh! I'm so sick of hearing about Craig! All you ever did was talk about how "great" Craig is! Fuck Craig!"
"No, fuck you!"
I shake my head. "I'm losing it. You're not here!" I close my eyes tightly and open them and Tammy has moved closer to me.
"I'm here." She smiles. "I think you need some Ambien."
"They took them away from me at the hospital."
"Are you sure about that?" She holds up a bottle of Ambien and my jaw drops.
"Where did you get those?"
"You left them in the medicine cabinet."
"No I didn't!"
She opens the bottle and walks closer to me. "Don't you want one? Or maybe 10?"
"Get away from me!" I start backing up.
"Come on, you know you want it!"
I shake my head. "No I don't! I've been drinking!"
"So? Has that stopped you before? Don't you want to sleep?"
"Kevin and I are dead and you lost the kids, so what do you have to lose at this point?"
"I'm getting my kids back!"
"How? You're an alcoholic and a pill popper! No judge in their right mind would give our kids back to you!"
"Whatever..." I mumble.
"Now here!" She puts the bottle of Ambien in my hand. "Go on and take them!"
"Kenny?" I turn around and see Stan standing at my door. "Who are you talking to?"
"Tammy!" I point to her.
Stan sighs heavily. "Oh dude, not this again."
"You don't see her? She's right there!" I point at Tammy again. She laughs.
"You're so pathetic!" Tammy continues laughing.
"Did you hear that?" I ask Stan.
"Hear what?" Stan raises his eyebrow.
"Tammy! She's here!"
"Kenny, Tammy is dead!" Stan starts shaking me.
"She's still here!"
Stan snatched the bottle of Ambien out of my hand. "How many of these have you had?"
I shake my head. “I didn’t take any, I swear!”
Stan opens the bottle and looks in it. “This bottle is almost empty.”
“I honestly don’t know how they even got here.”
“Dude, you told me the doctor took these from you at the hospital.”
I nod. “That’s true, I swear I didn’t have another bottle.”
Stan sighs again. “Kenny, I want to help you, but you have to be honest with me.”
"I am being honest with you..."
"So you expect me to believe Tammy is here?" He looks around. "Where is she?"
I look at Tammy who's smirking then at Stan and sigh with defeat. "Never mind..." It’s no point in arguing. For some reason, I’m the only one that can see her. I don’t want to look crazier than I already feel.
"So where did the pills come from?"
"I swear I don't know!" I plop down on my bed. "The only bottle I had was taken from me at the hospital. There’s no way I could get another prescription so I don't know where they came from."
Stan sits down next to me. "Dude, I think it's time. Well past time!"
"Time for what?"
Stan gets up and sticks his head out the door. "Come on in guys." Suddenly, Kyle, Wendy, and Red come in the room.
"What the hell is this?" I ask.
"It's an intervention." Kyle informs me.
Red puts her hand on my shoulder. "Kenny, with all due respect, you need to seek professional help."
"I don’t need professional help!” I’m shocked to hear that come from Red of all people. Hell, I’m surprised at Stan too!
"We're your friends, we just want to help."
I frown. "If you guys want to help me, then help me get my kids back!"
"All the more reason you need to get help."
"You have a problem dude!" Stan steps in.
"A drinking problem!" Wendy adds.
"Let's not forget the drug addiction!" Once again Kyle is wrong.
"I'm not addicted to drugs!" I snap at him.
"Plus you're seeing Tammy." Stan steps in again. "As your friend, I'm begging you to get help!"
I look over and see Tammy still smirking at me. I lie back on the bed and sigh. "What do I have to do?"
Red sits down next to me. "I have the name and number of a good therapist."
"How will this help me get my kids back?"
"It will be in your favor if you can show the judge that you're trying to get your life back on track." Stan tells me.
Red gives me a business card. “It’s really for your own good Kenny.”
I sit up and I look at them. “Thanks everyone. I promise, I’ll get my shit together. I’m down, but I’m not out!” I smile and look at Tammy, she shakes her head at me and disappears. I don’t know what the hell that was about, but I hope that’s the end of me seeing her. It could be the first step to my recovery. The next step is to prove that I’m not on drugs and get my kids back! That’s all I want!
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
A week after the intervention, I'm finally going to see the therapist. Red decided to come with me for moral support which I truly appreciate. "Do you really think this guy can help me?" I ask her.
Red smiles and nods. "He's one of the best!"
I shrug. "I just don't want to open up to a stranger about my problems."
"It should be easier because he's a stranger."
I shrug again. "If you say so." Suddenly my phone rings. "Hello?" I answer.
"Kenny...?" It’s Kevin and he sounds distressed.
"Hey Kev, how's it going buddy?"
"Can you come pick me up?" He asks in a low tone.
"Where are you?"
"I'm at mommy and daddy's..."
I’m shocked to hear that. "Why?"
"Karen said I had to stay here until you come get me."
"What's going on over there?"
"Mommy and daddy are fighting." Kevin sniffles. "I'm scared Kenny…"
"It's okay, just go in the closet and stay there until I come get you." I say gently, trying to calm him.
"I'm really scared. What if daddy hurts me?"
"Where in the house are you exactly?"
"Your old room."
I let out a sigh of relief. "Okay, well like I said, go in the closet. They're probably so drunk that they don't even remember that you're there. This way you'll stay out of sight."
"Please hurry Kenny. I'm scared and hungry."
"When was the last time you ate?"
"I don't know..."
My eyes widen. "How long have you been there?"
"A day or two maybe."
I swear I could hurt Karen for leaving him there of all places. "Okay, I'll be right there!" I hang up the phone and look at Red. "I have to go."
"What about your appointment?" She asks.
"My brother could potentially be in danger, I have to get him."
"I can get your brother while you're in with the therapist."
I shake my head. "I couldn't ask you to do that."
"My dad can be dangerous. I wouldn't forgive myself if he hurt you in any way."
"You think he would?"
I nod. "I know he would!"
"But you really need to see the therapist."
"I'll reschedule. Kevin needs me." I walk over the receptionist. "Hi, I would like to reschedule my appointment."
"Sure, there's a fee for a last minute cancellation." The receptionist informs me.
Damnit! "How much?"
Shit, I don't have that. "Please ma'am, I have a family emergency. Can't you waive the fee?"
She shakes her head. "I'm sorry sir. You have to cancel/reschedule within 24 hours of your appointment."
“Bitch, I just told you that I have a family emergency!" I slightly raise my voice, but I don’t care. She’s pissing me off.
"Please lower your voice sir..."
"I will when you tell me you'll wave the goddamn fee!" I slam my hand down on the counter.
“I’m calling security!”
Red walks over. "Ma'am, how much is the fee?" She asks the receptionist.
"$75." The receptionist tells her.
Red digs in her purse and pulls out her credit card. “I’ll take care of it.”
“Red-“ I begin to say.
“Nope! I’ll pay for it!”
“I can’t ask you to do that.”
“You didn’t, I offered.” She smiles and hands the receptionist her card. She swipes the card and hands Red the receipt for her to sign.
“Thank you so much!” I tell Red as she puts her card back in her purse and we walk out.
“You’re welcome. I know you need to get to Kevin, so I’m happy to help. Besides, I really didn’t want you to get arrested over a $75 fee!” She laughs and playfully shoves me.
“I promise I’ll pay you back.” I tell her as we’re walking out.
“Don’t worry about it!”
“You’re amazing, you know that?”
Red smiles, then puts her hand on my shoulder. “Go get Kevin!”
“What about you? How are you going to get home?”
“Don’t worry about me, you focus on Kevin. We’ll talk later.”
I give her a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks for everything Red!”
“Anytime!” I get in my car and speed off. I know I promised to get help, but Kevin needs me more than I need a therapist! I just hope I get to him before dad does.
I arrive at my parent’s house and as soon as I walk in, I see dad sitting on the couch smoking a joint. Mom and Kevin are nowhere in sight. "What the hell are you doing here?" Dad asks me, I can tell he's drunk as well as high.
"I came to get Kevin." I tell him.
"Why?” Dad snorts. “He's fucking worthless!"
"No he's not!" I try to walk past him, but he stops me.
"You haven't been here in awhile..."
"I know. I had no intention of ever coming back here."
"Did you forget where you came from?"
"No I didn't! But I refuse to continue to live my life like this! I have my own family now and they deserve better than what I had."
"Is that so?" Dad smirks.
"Yes it is!"
"Your wife and son died and you lost custody of your other kids. It sounds like you don't have that family anymore."
Dad puts his hands on my shoulders. "Come home son. This is your life!"
"No it's not dad! Now excuse me, I'm going to get Kevin." I tell him, shoving him out of the way.
"He's staying here!"
"No he's not!"
"Come on Kenny! We need Kevin here! Help your parents out!"
I raise my eyebrow. "How is Kevin staying here helping you?"
"We need that disability check."
I frown. I should’ve known money was involved. "Bye dad!" I storm into my old room and open the closet door and find Kevin sitting down with his eyes closed, covering his ears. I touch his shoulder and he jumps in fear.
"No! Don't hurt me!" He cries out and begins twitching.
"Shh! Kevin, it's me." I tell him in a calm tone.
He opens his eyes and immediately pulls me into a hug. "Where have you been? I missed you!" He hugs me tighter.
"I'm sorry, I've had a lot going on."
"I thought you left me..." Kevin whines.
I shake my head. “No. I’ve been going through a lot of shit. I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you.”
“You promise you won’t leave me again?”
I nod slowly. “I promise. Let’s go home, okay?” He nods and we both stand up and head up, Kevin clings to my arm the entire way. I really am a mess. Not only have I failed my kids, I’ve failed Kevin as well. I need to see this therapist ASAP so I can get my life back together. Not only for me, but for Sadie, Johnny, and Kevin.
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
After I picked Kevin up, I took him to Happy Burger to get a kids meal, got him home, gave him a bath, and now I’m getting him ready for bed. I forgot how exhausting it can be caring for him. "Are you all settled?" I ask Kevin as he gets in bed.
"Yes." He responds and I tuck him in.
"Did you get enough to eat?"
He nods and yawns. "Can I go to sleep now?"
"Of course. Good night." Poor guy, he’s had a rough few days.
"Good night Kenny." I turn off the light and head downstairs. You know the first thing I do is fix a drink. I know this is the last thing I need right now, but one drink won’t hurt anything, right?
"I told you, you care about Kevin more than your own kids!"
I turn around and see Tammy. I shake my head. "Not again..." I mumble.
"If you put half the effort into Sadie and Johnny that you do Kevin, you might have custody right now." Tammy folds her arms and taps her foot. She always did that when she was annoyed with me. But this is my imagination right now…
"It's only my imagination...only my imagination..." I close my eyes and repeat to myself.
"Remember Kevin is an adult!"
"I know that! But remember he has special needs."
Tammy rolls her eyes. "Oh please! He's fully functional and aware of his surroundings. He can take care of himself!"
"If he could take of himself then he wouldn't be here now.”
"That's because you constantly baby him!"
"I do not...what am I doing? Why am I arguing with a ghost? You're not a ghost, just a figment of my imagination!"
Next thing I know, I'm slapped across the face. "Was that a figment of your imagination too?"
I shake my head and touch my face. "No way..." That slap felt so real. But it wasn’t…right?
"You have to stop putting your brother first!"
"I never put him first!"
"Bullshit! He's what drove me to have an affair!"
My eyes widen. "Excuse me?"
"All the neglect because you had to tend to Kevin is what sent me right into Craig's loving arms!"
I raise my eyebrow. "I thought it was because you believed I was having an affair with Red?"
Tammy nods. "That was part of it. But it was mainly because of Kevin! He ruined our marriage and our family!"
I feel guilty. I never knew she felt that way. "I'm sorry, I never meant to make you feel neglected..."
"I don't want your apology! Your kids are the ones that need it!"
"They feel the same way?"
Tammy nods. "Especially Sadie. She always complained that every time she tried to get your attention, you would ignore her for Kevin."
"I never did that!"
"You were too busy to realize it. Johnny is still really young so he's not as aware as Sadie is. I’m sure if little Kevin were still alive, he would’ve gotten the same treatment. Hell, you ignored him anyway because you didn’t think he was yours."
"You're lying!" I tell her as I take a drink.
"Why would I make this up?"
"To hurt me!"
"Aww, did I hurt your feelings? I guess you haven't had enough to drink..." She picks up a bottle of Jack Daniels.
"I'm fine..." I tell her pushing the bottle away.
"No you're not!" She grabs me and pins me to the wall. I’m in total shock! How is this happening right now? I try to push her off, but she's too strong. "Don't fight it!"
“I don’t need any more alcohol. I have to take care of Kevin!”
She shakes her head. “It’s always about Kevin…I guess you haven’t been listening to me.” She forces my mouth open and pours the alcohol down my throat. I start coughing and gagging as Tammy laughs. “Too much, hon?”
“That’s enough…” I say as I continue coughing.
“Aww, you just need your medicine to go with it.” She opens my mouth again and puts two pills in my mouth. “Sweet dreams my love!” She kisses me on the forehead and disappears. Was this all just a dream…? I’m really confused. I make an attempt to walk upstairs to check on Kevin, but I immediately get dizzy and fall over. This isn’t going to end well…
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
I just finished taking a shower, when I hear my phone ring. It’s almost midnight, so who could be possibly calling me at this hour? I look and see it's Kenny calling. "Hi Kenny!" I answer.
"I'm drunk..." He responds slurring.
"Did you get Kevin?" I ask him.
"Yes. Can you come over? I need your help."
"Sure, is everything okay?"
"I'm drunk and can barely stand up."
"I'll be right over."
I get dressed and rush over to Kenny's. I ring the doorbell and after about five minutes Kenny finally opens the door. "Hey..." He slurs. His eyes are bloodshot red and he smells like he bathed in liquor. This isn’t good.
"Come in!" He takes my hand and pulls me inside closing the door behind me.
I look into Kenny's eyes and he looks like he’s a million miles away. "Kenny...how much have you had to drink?"
"Too much...I'm trying to stay awake, but I have Ambien in my system too."
My eyes widen. "I thought you gave those up?"
"It wasn't my fault, I swear!"
"Then who's fault was it?"
Kenny looks away embarrassed. "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me."
I think I know where he's going with this. "Let me guess...Tammy?"
He nods. "Yes! She was here and she forced me to drink alcohol and take two Ambien. I'm struggling to keep my eyes open."
"Maybe I should take you to the emergency room." I suggest.
He shakes his head. "No way! If this gets out, I could lose any chance of getting my kids back!"
"You could get sick! Or worse…" I really fear he may overdose again and may not be as lucky as he was last time.
"No emergency room! Please!"
"So why did you say you needed my help?"
Now I’m confused. "He's asleep, right?"
"Yeah, but he'll be up soon. I can't tend to him like this." I can tell Kenny's eyes are getting heavy.
"I really think you should let me take you to the-"
"I'm not going there!" Kenny cuts me off.
"I'm worried about you, for more reasons than one."
"I'm okay! I just need you to keep an eye on Kevin for me until I sober up, okay?"
I sigh. "You can't keep doing this Kenny..."
"I told you it was Tammy!"
"So why do you think “Tammy” keeps appearing to you?" I ask trying to humor him.
"I wish I knew..."
"Do you feel guilty about anything?"
He shakes his head. "This time when she appeared she accused me of caring about Kevin more than my kids and said Kevin ruined our marriage."
"Do you agree?"
"No! If anything I care about my kids more because they're my kids! I don't think it's fair for her to say that or that he ruined our marriage. She said Kevin is the reason she had an affair."
"I thought it was because she thought we were sleeping together?"
"That was part of it. It was mainly because of Kevin. It was so mean and cruel. Kevin is special needs and he needs me to be there for him. It’s not fair to accuse him of ruining our marriage or of me putting his needs above my kids!" Kenny begins tearing up.
"I see. Kenny, I really want to believe what you're saying, but-"
"But you don't, right?" Kenny interrupts. "I know it seems hard to believe but it's truuuuue!" He begins to close his eyes.
"Maybe you should get some sleep. I can tell you're tired."
"It's the Ambien..."
"Did you reschedule your therapy appointment?"
He shakes his head. "After the episode there, I may have to go somewhere else."
"It will be fine."
"I guess." Kenny takes a step and nearly falls, but I catch him.
"Please go get some rest."
"You'll keep an eye on Kevin?"
I nod. "Of course."
"There's extra blankets in the closet." He tells me before going upstairs. I sit on the couch and watch some TV before falling asleep.
I wake up to the sound of the doorbell ringing. I look at my watch and see it’s 8 in the morning. I’m assuming Kenny and Kevin are still sleeping so I decide to answer the door. I’m shocked when I see it’s Craig. “What are you doing here?” I ask him.
“I could ask you the same question, but I’m sure I already know the answer.” Craig laughs. “It didn’t take you long to move in, did it?”
I roll my eyes. “I didn’t move in. I’m just visiting.”
“So what do you want?”
“I came by to get some of Sadie and Johnny’s things.”
I raise my eyebrow. “Why…?”
“Tammy’s mom asked me to.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“What reason would I have to lie?”
I shake my head. “Never mind. It’s early and Kenny’s still sleeping, come back later.”
“Fine, sorry to interrupt.” With that, Craig leaves. I close the door. There’s something really fishy about Craig stopping by. I head up to Kenny’s room and knock on the door. He doesn’t answer so I slowly open the door.
“Kenny…?” I whisper. I move closer to him and he’s still sleeping. I tap him and he opens one eye.
“Craig was just here.” I inform him.
“He said he wanted to get clothes for Sadie and Johnny.”
“Tammy’s parents have clothes for them.” He closes his eye. “Can we talk about this, when I wake up?”
“Sure.” I leave the room. I decide to do what I came for and that’s to tend to Kevin while Kenny rests. While I’m fixing breakfast for him, I’m think about the morning visitor. There was something completely off about his visit. I’m very suspicious of Craig and I’m not going to rest until I find out what he’s really up to.
Chapter 14: Chapter 14
I finally went to therapy. It was somewhat helpful…I guess. All I did was talk about how much I miss my wife and kids. He suggested that I reach out to Tammy’s parents so I can at least see my kids. It’s been almost three months and I miss them like crazy.
So here I am at the Warner residence. I ring the doorbell and Mrs. Warner answers the door and she looks shocked to see me. "What are you doing here?" Mrs. Warner asks me.
"I came to see my kids." I inform her.
"You don't have custody..."
I nod. I’m trying to be polite, but I can tell she’s going to try to push my buttons. "I understand that, but can I at least see them?"
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"I don't want the kids to get hurt."
"I don't want to hurt them, I just want to see them. Why are you keeping them from me?"
"Because it's in their best interest."
"I don't want them to think I've abandoned them."
"They're aware of what's going on."
I raise my eyebrow. "What did you tell them?"
"It doesn't matter, now would you please go?"
"Mrs. Warner, please let me see them! I'm begging you." I plea with her.
"I'm sorry, but you can't! Now leave! If you come here again, I'll be forced to file a restraining order."
"Trespassing! I don't want you on my property!"
"Fine, I'll leave, but first I want to tell my kids that I love them."
She shakes her head. "Maybe some other time."
I raise my eyebrow. "Are you hiding something?"
"No, I just want you to leave!"
"You can't keep them from me forever."
Defeated, I turn to leave when I see Craig's car pull up. He gets out the door and opens the back door and out walks Sadie and Johnny. My jaw drops. "What the fuck are you doing with my kids?"
"Daddy!" Johnny runs over to me and gives me a hug.
"Hey buddy!" I kneel down to his level. "Are you okay?"
Johnny nods. "Uncle Craig took us to the toy store and then we got ice cream!" I cringe at the fact that he calls him Uncle Craig.
"Johnny, you and Sadie go inside sweetie." Mrs. Warner tells him.
"Aww, I want to talk to daddy some more!" Johnny whines.
"Listen to grandma!" Sadie steps in talking his hand.
"Sadie?" She looks at me. "Aren't you going to give me a hug?"
She shakes her head. "No thanks..."
I'm immediately heartbroken. "Sadie, daddy loves you…"
"Sadie, Johnny please go inside!" Mrs. Warner orders.
"Yes grandma." Sadie replies taking Johnny inside with her.
"I love you guys!" I yell out to them.
"I don't think Sadie feels the same way." Craig laughs.
I turn towards him. "What the fuck were you doing with my kids?"
"Spending time with them. I told you I was going to stay in their lives."
"They're not your kids!"
"Tammy would've wanted that." Mrs. Warner steps in.
I turn towards her. "Did you think I would be okay with this?"
"It doesn't matter, you don't have custody. Therefore you have no say!"
I glare at Craig. "If I ever see you with my kids again, I'll fucking kill you!"
Craig smiles. "Mrs. Warner, did you hear that?"
"Yes I did! You better watch it Kenny!" She tells me.
"You had no right to let my kids go with him!"
"What's the big deal? It's not like Craig harmed them in anyway."
"I don't want him around my kids! He wrecked my marriage! Don't you get that?"
"That's between you two, it doesn't have anything to do with your kids!"
"Yeah, Sadie and Johnny love their Uncle Craig!" Craig adds in smirking.
"Fuck you!" I punch Craig in the face, I go to hit him again when I hear...
"Daddy stop!" I turn and see Sadie standing at the door. "Don't hurt Uncle Craig!"
"Real smooth Kenny." Craig smiles.
"Shut up!" I pull back, my fist, but I catch myself.
"Please don't hurt Uncle Craig! He's been nothing but nice to Johnny and me. He was also really good to mommy! We love him!" It breaks my heart to hear her say that. I can’t believe they really care about him.
"Sadie, please go inside and stay there!" Mrs. Warner tells her.
"As soon as my daddy promises he won't hurt Uncle Craig!"
I sigh. "I promise I won't hurt him." I back away from Craig.
"Thank you daddy." Sadie goes back in the house.
"Feel stupid yet?" Craig asks.
Craig laughs. "You're such a child. It's a shame that your seven year old is more mature than you are!"
"I said shut up!"
"Now will you please leave? Haven't these kids suffered enough because of you?" Mrs. Warner asks.
I glare at her. "You're going to pay for this..." I threaten her and look at Craig. "You will too!" With that I leave.
As soon as I walk in the house, I immediately grab the bottle of liquor. I nearly down the whole bottle within less than five minutes. Red comes in the kitchen. "I thought I heard you come in.” She says as I take another drink. “No Kenny, you promised to stop drinking."
“I need it. I’ve had a shitty day.”
“What happened? Did you get to see the kids?”
I nod. “Yeah I did. They were with Craig!” I break down.
“They’ve been spending time with him. He’s really trying to replace me. He didn’t get Tammy, so I guess now he’s going through my kids!” I continue to sob.
Red hugs me. “Don’t worry, you’ll get them back soon enough.”
I shake my head. “I might have fucked that up too. I hit Craig and Sadie saw it.”
“I thought she went in the house. She was begging me not to hurt him. Do you know how that made me feel?” I take a drink and wipe my eyes. “I don’t understand it Red…”
“I’m so sorry Kenny…”
I pull her into a hug. “Thank you…”
She raises her eyebrow. “For what?”
“For your continued support. You’ve been such a good friend to me through all of this. If it wasn’t for you and Stan, I would’ve done something crazy by now.”
“I’m happy I could help. You know I care about you.”
I smile. “I care about you two.” I stare into her eyes and the next thing I know, I pull her into a kiss. I slip my tongue in her mouth then I quickly pull away. “I’m so sorry!” I can feel my face going red with embarrassment.
“Kenny…it’s okay. I didn’t mind at all.” Red smiles.
“It was wrong of me. I’m sorry! Maybe I’ve had too much to drink. You’re my friend and I don’t want to take advantage of you. Thank you for taking me to therapy and keeping an eye on Kevin for me. I have to get some sleep.” I rush up to my room and close the door. I don’t know what the hell that was about! Given my situation, this is so, so wrong! I won’t lie…I enjoyed it.
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
I decided to take Kevin out for a walk so both of us can get some fresh air. During the walk, I decide to stop by Stan's. I ring the doorbell and he answers. "Hey dude!" Stan greets me. He looks at Kevin. "What's up Kevin?"
"Hi Stan..." He replies shyly.
"Come on in." We follow him inside and sit down. "So what brings you by?"
"We were taking a walk." I tell him.
"Nothing wrong with that." He looks at Kevin who's now fidgeting. "Do you want to watch TV?" Kevin nods his head. "We can go outside." Stan whispers to me as he turns the TV on. He hands Kevin the remote. "You can watch whatever you want." Stan and I head out back. "I can tell you have something on your mind."
"How can you tell?" I ask him.
"I know you dude. So what's up?"
"I went to see the kids yesterday..."
"That's great!" I don't respond. "That's not good?"
I shake my head. "They were with Craig."
"Wow, what the fuck for?"
I start tearing up. "He's been spending time with them..."
"Damn, I'm sorry dude. I hate to tell you this, but…”
“Kyle told me that he took the kids to see him for their dental appointments.”
“What the fuck? God, I’m so fucking pissed! He’s not their dad!”
“Calm down dude. So what are you going to do next?"
I sigh. "I have to wait until we go to court I guess. It’s coming up soon. What I really want to do is knock Craig's teeth out!"
"That's not going to solve anything."
"I know. I hit him and Sadie begged me not to hurt him."
Stan’s eyes widen. "Dude, please tell me you didn't fight him in front of your kids..."
"I didn't mean it. I thought they were in the house."
"You know they're going to use this against you in court, right?"
I sigh again. "I'm aware of that Stan. I don't know what I'm going to do."
"Have you talked to Kyle’s dad?"
"You better. Sooner rather than later."
"I will, but I want to talk to you about something else that happened." I change the subject.
"What?" Stan asks intrigued.
"I kissed Red..."
Stan’s eyes light up. "Really? So did you tell her you have feelings for her?"
I'm taken aback by his question. "Dude, you know I don't have feelings for her! She's my friend. I was drunk and I don't know what came over me. I feel so guilty."
"Because she's my friend and I don't want her to think I'm trying to take advantage of her."
"Was she upset?"
I shrug. "I don't know."
Stan laughs. "You would know if she was upset, so I'm sure she wasn't."
“I went to my room before I really could see her reaction. I was so embarrassed.”
“You don’t need to be. You know she likes you.”
I raise my eyebrow. “She does?”
Stan glares at me. “Come on dude, you didn’t know that?”
I shake my head. “No, we’ve always been friends.”
“Trust me, I didn’t see it at first either, but Wendy brought it to my attention and then I started noticing how Red is towards you. Honestly dude, I think you feel the same way.”
“I don’t! She’s my friend! Plus I’m still grieving!”
"I understand that you're still grieving, but-"
"But nothing!" I cut him off. "I love and miss Tammy. Yes, she was cheating on me, but my feelings for her haven't changed."
"You have to move on."
I lower my head. "I'm not ready..."
"Sorry, I won't press the issue anymore."
"Thank you." I sigh. "I don't know what to do about Red. I think things will be weird between us now."
"It will only be weird if you make it that way."
"I have her watch Kevin for me since I can’t rely on Karen anymore. Now I won't feel right asking her."
"You're making a bigger deal out of this."
"Because I don't want to lose her friendship!"
"Just talk to her. I'm sure you'll realize you're worried for nothing.”
"I hope so..." Stan’s right. All I need to do is talk to Red. I just hope she’s not too angry to hear me out.
Kenny sent me a text asking me to come over so we can talk. I’m really happy to hear from him. I’m secretly hoping maybe we can pick up where we left off the other day, but I’ll play it cool. When I arrive, I see Craig snooping around outside. I walk up behind him and tap him on the shoulder. He jumps.
"You scared the shit out of me!" He replies startled.
"Well if you weren't doing something you had no business doing, you wouldn't have anything to worry about!"
"I wasn't doing anything wrong!"
"So why are you here? Don't tell me you're here for clothes again."
"I was doing my daily run!"
I narrow my eyes. "At Kenny's house?"
"I thought I would check on him."
"For what? It’s not like you two are friends."
"To make sure he doesn't do anything stupid."
"Why do you care?"
"It's for the sake of his kids."
I laugh. "Don't act like you really care about those kids."
"I do! They're like my own."
"You're using them to get under Kenny's skin. Why don't you just leave him alone?"
"Fine! I'll let the court take care of him!" He walks away.
"I better not see you over here again!" I yell out to him. Now I’m even more suspicious of Craig than I was before. I ring Kenny's doorbell and moments later, Kevin answers it which surprises me.
"Hi Miss Red!" He greets me.
“Oh Kevin, you don’t have to call me Miss Red. Where’s Kenny?”
“In his room.” Kevin lets me in and I go up to Kenny’s room and knock on the door.
“Come in…” He grumbles. I open the door and I find him lying on the bed face down with an empty liquor bottle in his hand. I sit down next to him and shake my head.
“Why do you keep doing this?” I ask gently.
“Because I’m losing my mind…” Kenny slurs.
“Did you see Tammy again?”
He nods slowly. “I keep disappointing her. Even in death…”
Again, I’m feeling suspicious. “Was she just here?”
Kenny nods. “She left a few minutes ago. She tried to force me to take Ambien again.”
“Not this time.”
I let out a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness. Now if only we can get you to stop drinking.”
“I need it. It helps numb my pain.”
“Don’t let them win.”
“They won when they took Sadie and Johnny from me.” He rolls over.
“But what about Kevin? He’s here and he needs you.” He doesn’t respond. “Kenny?”
“I’m trying, I really am. But he’s an adult and can take care of himself.”
My eyes widen. “You can’t be serious.”
“I’ve treated Kevin like a child all these years, it’s time for me to treat him like the man he is.” He sits up and looks at me. “You were absolutely right…”
I raise my eyebrow. “About what?”
“I have put Kevin over the kids. I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to.”
“I didn’t say that…”
He moves closer to me and puts his arm around me. “I would be better off if I listened to you more.”
“Kenny…” I’m not sure where this is going, but I can tell he thinks I’m Tammy.
“You’re always right and I’m wrong.” He pulls me into another kiss. “Make love to me, Tammy…” He whispers in my ear. I push him away.
“Kenny! I’m not Tammy!”
“I’m Red, not Tammy! Tammy isn’t here, she’s gone!”
“Oh my God…” Kenny rubs his eyes and looks at me. “Shit, I’m doing it again! Fuck!”
I put my arm around him. “You’re drunk and you need to sleep it off.”
“I’m sorry Red. I feel like such a douche.”
“You don’t have to apologize.”
“I do. This is the second time I’ve come onto you. I don’t want you to think I’m trying to take advantage of you.”
“I don’t think that.”
He looks at me. “We’re just friends…right?”
“Of course we are.” Even though I wish we were more…
“So we won’t let this come between our friendship?”
“Not at all.”
“Now you rest and I’ll get Kevin some dinner.” I leave the room. I was beginning to think that maybe Craig was someone playing mind tricks on Kenny, but after this episode, I’m not sure what to think…
Chapter 16: Chapter 16
It's time for my hearing. I'm going to find out whether or not I'm going to regain custody of Sadie and Johnny. We’re only having a hearing because we’re trying to avoid going to court. I really hope it doesn’t come down to that because I really wouldn’t be able to afford Kyle’s dad. Stan, Wendy, and Kyle have come to support me. Red wanted to come, but I needed her to watch Kevin for me.
"Are you ready?" Mr. Broflovski asks me.
I nod. "As ready as I'm going to be."
"It's going to be all right dude." Stan tells me. "We're here for you."
"Before you know it, Sadie and Johnny will be back home with you where they belong!" Wendy smiles.
"I hope you're right!"
I see Tammy's parents walk in with Craig. I don't understand why Craig is here, but at least I know I can let out a sigh of relief knowing that they didn't leave my kids with him. Moments later, the judge calls us in. Me and Mr. Broflovski sit on one side of the table while the Warner’s and Craig sit on the other side. Stan, Kyle, and Wendy have to wait outside. They don’t even have a lawyer so I hope that gives me an advantage.
“So we’re here for the McCormick vs. Warner custody case.” Judge Julie begins. “This case involves full custody of two minor children Sadie Grace McCormick and Kenneth John McCormick Jr.” She looks up at me. “It says here that Mr. and Mrs. Warner were granted temporary custody because you abandoned your kids to get high on drugs.”
I shake my head. “That’s incorrect your honor.”
“In your words, tell me what happened.”
“My wife and son passed away. At their funeral, I had a heated confrontation with him,” I point at Craig, “and I needed to get away for a few days. A few friends of mine watched the kids. I had trouble sleeping for weeks so I took Ambien, unfortunately being grief stricken, I was drinking alcohol too which caused me to overdose and I had to go to the hospital for a few days under a suicide watch. I came home only to find out that my kids were taken.”
She glares at me. “Do you understand why they were taken?”
I shake my head. “No your honor. I didn’t put my kids in any danger. They were home safe and sound.”
“They didn’t know where you were. That’s considered neglect.”
“I love my kids and would never neglect them! I just needed to get my mind right! I’m in therapy now to help with that.”
“Bullshit!” Craig coughs.
Judge Julie glares at him. “Another outburst like that and you’re out of here!”
Craig shrinks back in his seat. “Yes ma’am.”
Judge Julie looks at Mr. and Mrs. Warner. “So why do you think you deserve full custody of these kids?”
“Because Kenny is an unfit parent!” Mrs. Warner exclaims. “He never cared about those kids, even when my daughter was alive! He cares more about his special needs brother than his own offsprings!”
“What makes him unfit?”
“He’s an alcoholic and a drug addict!” Mr. Warner explains. “He’s very violent too! He beat up Craig in front of the kids and he threatened him and my wife!”
“I have photos, your honor.” Craig hands her photos and Judge Julie examines them. She looks at me.
“I see you spend a lot of time in bars, huh?” She asks.
“Your honor,” Mr. Broflovski steps in, “my client has been under a lot of stress. He lost his wife and child and then his living children were taking from him. That’s a lot for anyone to go through at one time.”
“Mr. McCormick, when is the last time you had a drink?”
“It’s been a few days…” I tell her.
“That’s not true!” Craig interrupts. “I have pictures of him drinking at home just last night.”
Judge Julie puts her hand up. “Enough!” She focuses her attention on me. “Are you still taking Ambien?”
“No your honor.”
“I think I’ve made my decision.” I swallow nervously. “Mr. McCormick, it’s obvious that you still have a lot of growing up to do. It would be in the best interest of your kids that they remain in their grandparent’s custody-“
“YES! Thank you, your honor!” Mrs. Warner smiles.
“Don’t thank me yet. You’ll continue to have temporary custody for 6 months.” She looks at me. “That should be enough time for you to get your life together. You’re also going to continue going to therapy and you need to go to a rehabilitation center. That’s not a request. We’ll revisit this again in 6 months when I’ll make a permanent decision.”
“Your honor,” Mr. Broflovski steps in, “Mr. and Mrs. Warner have been keeping the kids from Kenny. Can he have visitation?”
“Absolutely!” She looks at Mr. and Mrs. Warner. “Mr. McCormick will be granted weekends with his kids. If I find out you’re not complying with this, you’ll be found in contempt.”
“Yes your honor…” Mr. Warner grumbles.
“So we’ll revisit this again in six month. Hearing adjourned.” She leaves. The Warner’s and Craig follow behind her. I’m sure they’re pleased with their victory. We follow behind them and we’re immediately greeted by Stan, Kyle, and Wendy.
“So what happened?” Stan asks.
“The judge gave them custody…” I lower my head in shame.
"I'm so sorry Kenny." Wendy tells me as she hugs me.
"It's only temporary Kenny." Mr. Broflovski tells me. "You can get yourself together in 6 months.”
"But I have to go another 6 months without seeing my kids."
"They have to allow you access every weekend. The judge said."
"That doesn't mean they'll listen."
"Then they'll be in contempt of court."
"It's going to work out dude." Kyle tells me. "You just have to stop drinking."
"Are you kidding me? I need a drink now!"
"Well if you want your kids, you're going to have to cut back big time!" Mr. Broflovski states.
"I'll make sure he does!" Stan adds in.
"Red will too!" Wendy throws in there.
“Speaking of Red, I need to get home so I can relieve her of Kevin.” I tell them. “I know he can be a handful. I’ll catch you later.” I head out. I have six months to prove that I’m a good dad and I have to stay in therapy and go to rehab. I need one more drink before I go…
Chapter 17: Chapter 17
After the hearing, all I want to do is have a fucking drink! Six more months of being at the mercy of Tammy’s parents and Craig! Why am I being tormented like this? I would’ve stopped at the bar, but since I’m being watched and photographed, I have to do it in the comfort of my own home. Stupid Craig…
Once I arrive home, I walk in the house and I see Red in the living room watching TV with Kevin lying down with his head in her lap sound asleep. She smiles at me. "How did it go?" Red whispers to me.
I look to my left and right, then at Red. "Well the kids aren't with me..."
Red frowns. "I'm sorry Ken."
I shrug. "I'll get to see them on the weekends so that's a plus."
"Yeah, but I have to stay in therapy and go to rehab if I want to get them back."
Red chuckles. "That's probably a good idea."
"I have to go back to court in six months."
"Then you better clean up your act! Six months will go by faster than you realize."
"I will, but first I need a drink." I head into the kitchen.
"No way! That's the last thing you need!" I realize Red followed me to the kitchen.
"I need to get it out of my system before I go to rehab."
Red shakes her head in disappointment. "I guess I'm going to have to take all of the liquor out of your house!" She starts grabbing some liquor bottles, but I stop her.
"Oh no you're not!"
"It's for your own good!"
"Because I need one more drink!"
"That's not going to solve anything."
"I promise this will be my last drink!"
"I would be a terrible friend if I let you do this."
I smile at her. "No, you would be a good friend!"
"You know, if you really want to quit, the best time to stop drinking is now."
"After the day I had, I really need it."
"It wasn't all bad, plus you get a second chance."
"Yeah, but I still I have to deal with this shit for another six months!" I grab a liquor bottle out of the kitchen and pour a drink.
"This is the last one, I promise!"
Red sighs. "Fine, whatever works for you."
"There's something I may need to consider."
I look around and make sure Kevin is still asleep. "I'm thinking about putting Kevin in a group home."
Red’s eyes widen. "You're kidding!"
I shake my head. "I wish I were..."
"Why? You're doing such a good job with him!"
"Yeah but in the meantime, I've been neglecting my own kids."
"You really believe that?"
I nod. "At first I didn't, but I'm starting to think maybe I have. Tammy was around so she was there to tend to them while I took care of Kevin. She’s no longer here so now they’re really going to need me."
"Do you have any other options?"
I shake my head. “The only other option is my parent’s house. I’m not going to take him there for obvious reasons.”
Red nods in agreement. “I wish you didn’t have to do this.”
“I’m not sure yet, but if I get custody, it’s a strong possibility.”
“Maybe I can take him in.” Red offers.
“You have a full time job. Who’s going to watch him in the daytime?”
“He can continue to go to adult daycare during the day, right?”
“It’s not cheap and I couldn’t have you do that. It’s too much for you.”
“What about Karen?”
I raise my eyebrow. “Are you kidding me? The last time I left him in Karen’s care, she left him with my parents. All they did was fight and starve him. Red, this really is my only option.”
“I have six months to figure it out.”
“I really hope you reconsider sending Kevin to a group home. Kevin really looks up to you and he’s attached to you.”
“I know, but Sadie and Johnny have to be my priority. They need me more than Kevin does.”
“How are you going to explain that to Kevin?”
I sigh and sit down. “I don’t know…” I feel like this is a dick move on my part, but what else can I do? I really have to man up and be a real father to my kids. Unfortunately, that means Kevin has to take a backseat in my life…
Chapter 18: Chapter 18
This is the first weekend visit with the kids and I couldn't be happier. Red is watching Kevin for me so we can have some alone time. I ring the doorbell and Mr. Warner brings Sadie and Johnny to the door. "Hi kids!" I greet them.
"Daddy!" Johnny hugs me. "I'm so happy we get to go home for the weekend!"
"Me too buddy!" I look at Sadie who's focusing on her iPad. "Hi Sadie."
"Hi." She replies monotonously without looking up from her iPad.
"Well let's get a move on." We head to the car. "So what would you kids like to do?"
"We can do anything?" Johnny asks.
I smile. "Anything you want!"
"Can we go to Chuck E Cheese?"
"That's fine." I look at Sadie. "Is that okay with you?"
She shrugs. "I guess." She still doesn't look up from her iPad.
"How about this? Since Johnny picked the first activity, you can pick the next one."
"Okay...so Chuck E Cheese, here we come!"
I drive off. The whole ride, Johnny was catching me up on school and life, while Sadie continued playing on her iPad. When we get to Chuck E Cheese, I get tokens for them and Johnny takes off to play games. Sadie sits at a table still focusing on her iPad. I sit down beside her.
"Don't you want to play the games?" I ask her.
"What would you like to do?"
Holds up her iPad. "I'm doing it now."
"You can do that anytime. What are you playing anyway?"
"It's an educational game! More educational than the games here." She states proudly.
I sigh. This is going to be tough. "Are you sure there isn't something else you want to do?"
She looks at me. "Can we go to your house? I want to play my game in silence."
"That's your home too."
Sadie shakes her head. "Not anymore." She looks away and goes back to playing her game.
"Where did you get that thing anyway? From your grandparents?"
She shakes her head. "No, from Uncle Craig."
I cringe at that name. "Can you please stop calling him that?"
"He's not your uncle..."
"He's the closest person I have to one!"
"That's not true. You have Uncle Kevin."
"He's more like a cousin instead of an uncle."
"You know that's not his fault."
"Nothing ever is..." She mumbles.
"Don't be like that. You know he has-"
"Special needs, I know!" Sadie interrupts me.
"That doesn't make him any less your uncle."
"He's an uncle, but like I said before he feels like a cousin…or even a little brother."
"You don't realize how lucky you are to have an uncle that can be a playmate too."
"He's Johnny's playmate, bit mine."
"If you gave him a chance, he could be."
"Are you angry because you think I pay more attention to him than you?"
She nods. "I'm use to it though." I think we’re having a breakthrough.
"I'm sorry if it appeared that way. It was never my intention."
Sadie glares at me. "Let me guess, that's not his fault either?"
"It's not. Take your anger out on me, not him."
"If you say so." She looks at me. "Can we go now?"
"Sure, let me get Johnny. Are you sure you don't want to go somewhere else?"
She nods. "I'm sure."
I find Johnny playing Skeeball and I tell him it's time to go. He’s a little disappointed, but I promise him we’ll come back another time. When we arrive at the house, I immediately smell food. I guess Red cooked for us.
"Oh you're home!" Red states. She looks at Sadie and Johnny. "Hi kids!"
"Hi!" Johnny greets her. Sadie whispers something in Johnny’s ear. "Are you my daddy's girlfriend?"
Red blushes. "No, your daddy and I are just friends."
"She's also watching your uncle Kevin for me so I can spend time with you two." I step in.
"Where is Uncle Kevin?" Johnny asks Red.
"He just went upstairs to wash his hands. Dinner is just about ready if you guys are hungry!" Red informs us.
"What's for dinner?" I ask.
"Chicken and gravy, rice, and string beans."
"One of my favorites!" I look at Sadie and Johnny. "How about you two go wash up for dinner."
"Okay daddy!" Johnny runs upstairs, but Sadie stays behind.
"Sadie..." I shoot her a warning look.
Sadie looks at Red. "I'm a vegetarian."
"Since when?" I ask her raising my eyebrow.
She shrugs. "Since yesterday."
"Well can you start tomorrow?"
"No." She looks at Red. “I bet you don’t cook as well as my mom…”
"SADIE! Go wash up! We'll find something for you to eat."
She rolls her eyes and stomps up the stairs. Red chuckles. “You have your hands full with her, huh?”
I nod. “Sorry about that. I swear her attitude is just like Tammy’s!”
Red laughs. “Has she been like this all day?”
I nod again. “Yeah, but I realize she’s angry with me and most of that anger is because of Kevin.”
“Uh oh…does that mean…?”
I sigh. “I’m going to have to send him to a group home if I get custody.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Thanks, but I do need a favor from you and I promise I won’t ask you this every weekend.”
“I think I know what you’re going to ask, but go ahead.”
“Can Kevin stay with you this weekend? I really have to give the kids my undivided attention…especially Sadie.”
“Of course. Do you want to pack a suitcase for him?”
“I’ll do that after we eat.” Just as I say that, Kevin, Sadie, and Johnny come downstairs.
“Are you guys ready to eat?” Red asks.
“Yes!” They answer…even Sadie.
“Great! I’ll fix your plates.” She heads into the kitchen as the four of us sit down at the table. I notice Sadie giving Kevin dirty looks. I’m probably giving her too much power by sending Kevin to Red’s for the weekend, but I know I’m doing the right thing. My kids are my life and I have to put them first by any means necessary.
Chapter 19: Chapter 19
Stan, Kyle, and I decided to meet up to catch up. For some reason, Stan suggested we meet at a diner. "I finally popped the question!" Stan announces proudly.
"That's great dude! Congratulations!" Then I think for a moment. "She said yes, right?"
"Come on dude, would I sound this happy if she didn't?"
"It took you long enough to ask!" Kyle laughs. "You only mentioned it to us months ago."
Stan shrugs. "I was waiting for the right time!"
"Sure dude! You know you were scared!"
Stan’s face turns red. "No I wasn't! Wendy and I love each other and we always planned to get married at some point."
"So why did it take you so long to ask her?"
"I don't know dude!" Stan looks at me. "So Kenny? How are the kids?" He quickly asks to change the subject to which I have to laugh about.
"Johnny is doing well. Sadie is, well...Sadie."
"Is she still giving you a hard time?"
I nod. "I send Kevin away for the weekends and she still gives me the cold shoulder."
"Has Red been there?" Kyle asks.
I shake my head. "Only the first time they came and that's because she was watching Kevin."
"That's good. She may think Red is trying to replace Tammy."
"She made Johnny ask her if she’s my girlfriend."
"Her problem isn't Red, it's Kevin.” I let out a deep sigh. “Tammy was right, she really thinks I put Kevin before them. I do…"
Kyle raises his eyebrow. "Tammy?"
I just realized what I said. Fuck! "Never mind."
"Dude, don't tell me you're still seeing her..." Stan looks at me.
I shake my head. "No, now that I'm sober, I realized I imagined all of that." I lie. I don’t think I imagined it because I was slapped and had alcohol and Ambien poured down my throat, but it’s true I haven’t seen Tammy since I sobered up.
"So you admit to being hooked on Ambien as well?" Kyle asks.
"I wasn't. I really can't explain that." I could, but they would think I’m crazy.
"Well hopefully when you complete rehab you'll be able to."
"I guess." Our food comes out and I look over at Stan. "Dude, why did you pick a diner?"
"Isn't it obvious? No liquor!" Stan smiles.
"Oh come on! You guys can still drink!"
"The last thing you need is to be around alcohol...or a bar!"
"I'm fine. I have a lot more self control than I did before."
"Yeah, but remember you have Creepy Craig stalking you taking pictures."
I nod. "That's true."
"So I was looking out for you."
"Yeah, but I don't want you to change your ways for me."
"Dude, we don't have to drink!" Kyle steps in.
"Yeah, we hang out so we can catch up with what's going on in each other's lives." Stan adds.
"Well as long as you don't feel forced to stay sober on my behalf."
"We don't!" They laugh.
"Good. Thanks guys."
"So," Kyle begins, "have you begin to look for group homes for Kevin?"
I nod. "I found a few that I want to check out before making my final decision."
"Have you told Kevin yet?"
I shake my head. "I don't know how I can make him understand."
"The sooner you tell him, the easier the transition will be.”
I sigh. “He’s going to be so heartbroken when I tell him…”
“I think you will be too…” Stan looks at me.
“Yes, I’m upset that I have to do this! I’ve been taking care of Kevin on my own since I was 18. It’s not going to be the same without him.”
“Just tell him!” Kyle says. “Give him time to process it.”
“You’re right…” I’m really not looking forward to having this conversation with Kevin, but I know it’s inevitable. I want him to be aware of what’s going to happen to him.
About a week later, I finally found give a group home that’s in a price range I can afford. I still haven’t told the news to Kevin, but I’m going to tell him just before dropping him off at Karen’s. Yes, I have to take him to her house because Red will be out of town this weekend.
“Why can’t I stay home? I want to play with Johnny!” Kevin whines during the car ride.
“I know you do, but I have to give them my undivided attention. That means, you have to be somewhere else while they’re there.”
“Are they mad at me?”
I shake my head. “Not at all.”
“Are you mad at me?” Kevin pokes out his bottom lip.
“You didn’t do anything wrong Kevin.”
“Okay…” He slouches down in his seat.
I sigh. I don’t think this is the best time to tell him about the group home. “On a positive note, I’m sure you and Karen will have fun.”
“What if she takes me back to mommy and daddy’s house again?” I can see the terrified look in his eyes.
“We’ve already talked about it, she’s not going to do that again.”
“Do you promise?”
“I promise. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”
“Next weekend, I want to stay home so Johnny and I can play.”
“We’ll see buddy.” He doesn’t understand why he can’t stay at home. He’s never going to understand why I have to put him in a group home…
In the middle of the night, I hear the sound of someone crying. Obviously it’s one of the kids so I immediately get up to see what’s going on. I walk out of my room and see Sadie, sitting outside of my room in tears. I kneel down beside her. “Sadie?”
She looks at me and quickly wipes her eyes. “Oh…what am I doing out here? I must be sleepwalking.” She stands up and tries to walk away, but I stop her.
“Don’t play games with me. Why are you crying?”
She shrugs. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You’re outside of my room crying for a reason. What is it?”
“I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere anymore.” She starts crying again.
“Sometimes I’m here, sometimes I’m at grandma and grandpa’s, sometimes I’m at Un…er Craig’s. I don’t have a home.”
She shouldn’t be at Craig’s at all. That’s going to come to an end when I get custody! I hug her. “Your home is here. Your room is exactly the way you left it.”
“But I rarely get to see it.” She looks down. “I wish mommy was still here. She would never let this happen.”
“I wish she were still here too.”
Sadie glares at me. “So are you going to start making us go to Red’s house like you do to Kevin?”
I’m shocked that she asked that. “Of course not. Kevin is there for other reasons.”
“Good, I’m not ready for a stepmom.”
I chuckle a bit. “Red and I are just friends. We’re not even dating so you don’t have to worry about having a stepmom anytime soon.”
“I just don’t like being the weird kid!” She sobs.
“Yes I am. Everyone knows we’re poor, mommy and baby Kevin died, Uncle Kevin is a retard, your parents are on drugs, Uncle Craig was mom’s boyfriend even though she was married to you. You lost custody of us to grandma and grandpa! I don’t want the kids at school to have anything else to use against me!”
“I had no idea this is what you were dealing with…”
She wipes her eyes. “Now you know.”
I hug her again this time tighter. “I’m so sorry. I wish you told me about this sooner.”
“Johnny’s lucky. He’s still little and doesn’t have to deal with this, but I know when he’s a little older he will.”
“I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen.”
“How? You’re too busy to help us.”
“You have to worry about Uncle Kevin, our problems don’t matter over his. This is why I need mommy and she’s not here! She’s who I would go to when I’m upset! Now I’m stuck with you and you don’t care!”
“I do care. I care a lot more than you think. I’m working on making changes and it will benefit all of us, I promise.”
“How?” She repeats.
“You’ll see. For now, you need to go back to sleep before you wake your brother. Do you want to sleep in my room?”
She nods. “Yes, I feel closer to mommy in here…” She gets in my bed (on the side Tammy slept on) and I tuck her in. She immediately falls asleep. This has been another eye opener for me. Now I really need to work twice as hard to get Kevin in that home and regain full custody of Sadie and Johnny.
Chapter 20: Chapter 20
Next week is my court hearing. So Red and I are taking Kevin to a group home in Denver. I want him to get adjusted now so when I have to tell him why he's there, he'll already be use to it. "You still haven't told him?" Red whispers.
I look in the mirror and see Kevin is asleep. "No, I didn't know how."
Red’s eyes widen. "Kenny! This is going to be harder for him. You had months to tell him!"
"I know, I just couldn't bring myself to tell him."
"But now he's going to be blindsided."
"Red stop! I feel guilty enough!"
We pull up to the place and I tap Kevin on the knee. "Wake up, Kev."
"Huh?" He asks as he wakes up.
"It's time to get out."
"Okay." Red, Kevin, and I get out of the car. "What is this place?" He asks.
"You'll see." I tell him as I get his suitcase out of the trunk.
"You should tell him before he goes in." Red whispers. "What if he has a meltdown?"
"He won't.” I look at Kevin, then back at Red. “But in the event that he does, the staff knows how to handle it."
We head towards the entrance and I find the doorbell. We're buzzed in. "May I help you?" The receptionist asks.
"I'm here to check in my brother, Kevin McCormick."
"Oh yes, Ms. Susie is expecting you. Have a sit, she'll be with you." We sit in the waiting area. Kevin starts fidgeting.
"Mr. McCormick?" I hear after a few moments. I stand up and shake hands with Ms. Susie. "Nice to see you again!"
She looks at Kevin. "You must be Kevin?"
Kevin nods. "Yes."
"Nice to meet you, I'm Ms. Susie."
"Hi." Kevin looks down at his hands.
"You're going to have so much fun with us!"
"I am?" Kevin looks at me and I quickly look away.
"Yes, I promise. Let's show you to your room."
"Okay..." We follow Ms. Susie.
"He's so confused." Red whispers to me.
"It's going to be fine." I whisper back.
Ms. Susie takes us to a room. "Here's your room!" She announces. "Do you like it?"
"It's nice..." Kevin looks at me a little terrified.
"Can you guys give us a minute?" I ask Ms. Susie and Red.
"Of course. Take your time." Ms. Susie tells me as she and Red step out closing the door behind them.
"Sit down Kevin." I tell him and he complies.
"What's going on Kenny?" He asks.
"You're going to be staying here." I begin to explain.
"For how long?"
I shrug. "I'm not sure yet." That part is true. I mean I could lose custody and he can come back home. Well, maybe…
"Did I do something wrong?"
I shake my head. "You didn't do anything."
“So why do I have to stay here?”
“It’s a better environment for you. You’ll make some friends, you’ll have Ms. Susie is going to take care of you, and you have your own room.”
“Are you going to stay?”
“No, I’m going to stay at my house.”
“How long do I have to stay here?”
“I’m not sure. But it’s going to be fine.” I open the door and gesture for Ms. Susie and Red to come back in. “Like I said, Ms. Susie is going to take really good care of you.”
“It’s going to be fine Kevin.” Ms. Susie takes his hand. “Your brother can call and visit anytime!”
“Will you?” Kevin asks me.
I smile and nod. “Of course.” I pat him on the back. “I have to get going, but you take care, okay?”
"Okay..." Kevin pokes his lip out making me feel guilty again.
"I'll help him get settled." Ms. Susie tells me. "You can call and visit anytime." She repeats.
"Thanks for everything." I look at Kevin. "I'll see you soon, okay?"
"Okay..." Kevin looks down and starts fidgeting again.
I give him a kiss on the forehead. "See you later."
"Bye." Red and I leave.
"That was so hard to watch." Red tells me once we're in the car.
"I know, but it was for the best."
"What if you don't win custody?"
"I'm not sure." I know I made the right decision for the sake of my kids, but was it the right decision for Kevin? What happens if I don’t win custody? Forget that, I WILL get custody! I refuse to believe anything else.
It's the moment we've been waiting for. It's time for Mr. and Mrs. Warner to be awarded permanent full custody of Sadie and Johnny. Mr. and Mrs. Warner, and I along with Kenny and Mr. Broflovski are waiting for the judge. Within moments, Judge Julie arrives.
“We’re here to reconvene the McCormick vs. Warner hearing.” Judge Julie begins. “As I stated last time, Mr. McCormick, you’ve been giving six months to get your life together. I’ve spoken with your therapist and your rehabilitation counselor and they have stated that you’ve made tremendous progress during these past six months. You’ve been clean and sober, congratulations.”
“Thank you, Your Honor.” Kenny smiles.
“Now before I rule, is there anything either party would like to say?” Kenny shakes his head.
“I have something to say!” I speak up.
“While Kenny has remained sober for six months, I think you should be informed that last week, he put his mentally challenged brother that he was caring for in a group home.” I hand her some pictures. I notice Kenny giving me the death stare. “If he can’t care for his brother, it should be questionable whether or not he can care for his two children.”
The judge looks at Kenny. “Care to explain?”
Kenny nods. “Yes, Your Honor. I had to put my brother in my home because it’s a better environment for him. If I’m awarded custody of my kids, there’s no way I can give them the time and attention they need if I’m caring for my brother. He requires a lot of attention so I took him somewhere where he can get it.”
“So full of shit…” I mumble as the judge looks at me.
“I’m ready to rule. In the case of Sadie Grace McCormick and Kenneth John McCormick Jr., I hereby reinstate full custody to their father, Kenneth McCormick. Effective immediately!” She looks at Kenny. “You’ve shown a lot of maturity and growth since the last time you were here. Keep in up for the sake of your children.”
Kenny nods. “Yes, Your Honor.”
“Hearing adjourned.” The judge leaves. My jaw drops. That little shit won! I can't believe it. Mrs. Warner bursts into tears.
"Don't worry, we can appeal it." Mr. Warner tells her.
"I hope so. Kenny will never allow us to see them again if we don't!"
Kenny walks over to us. "You're their grandparents, you'll always be a part of their lives."
"You're full of it!"
"I mean it. I know how much they love you guys. I wouldn't let our issues come between your relationship with them."
"So what about me?" I ask him.
"What about you?" He walks off. "I'll be there in a few hours to get my kids!" He yells out to Mr. and Mrs. Warner.
"This is your fault! You know that?" Mrs. Warner yells at me. "You should've gotten more dirt on him!"
"I've tried my best!” I mean I went digging through his garbage and came up empty.
"Now we're never going to see them again!"
"Yes you will."
"Why couldn't you find anything on him?"
I shrug. "I tried, but he didn't do anything reckless. The only thing I could think of was him putting his retarded brother in a group home."
"Yes and that work out in his favor."
"Don't worry, we'll figure out something."
"Well we better get back home and spend some time with them before Kenny comes." Mr. Warner announces. I’m pissed because we were supposed to win this! I was one step closer to getting those kids away from him and now it’s gone to hell. I guess it’s over for me now…
Chapter 21: Chapter 21
I go to the group home to see Kevin. Now that I was granted custody, it’s time for me to let him know that he'll be staying there permanently. "Hey Kevin!" I greet him.
"Kenny!" He runs over to me and gives me a big hug. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too, but you're hugging me too tight."
"Sorry." He pulls away from me. "So can I go home now?"
I shake my head. "This is your home now."
"You're going to stay here."
"Why can't I go home?”
"Because Sadie and Johnny will now be there permanently."
"So why can't I go home?" He repeats.
"I need to focus my attention on them."
"Do you understand?"
He shakes his head and his eyes are filled with tears. "No..." Here comes the hard part,
"The kids have to be my number one priority."
"Did I do something wrong?"
I shake my head. "Not at all. Please don't think that."
"Then why did you send me away?"
"Like I said, it's for Sadie and Johnny's sake."
"For whatever I did to upset you." He begins to cry.
"You didn't do anything, please understand that."
"I just want to go home!"
"I know you do, but you can't."
"I'll be good, I promise. Please let me come home!" Kevin sits on the bed and hugs his pillow.
"You're always good." I tell him putting my hand on his shoulder.
"Then why are you making me stay?"
I kneel down in front of him. "Because I'm only one person. I can't care for you, Sadie, and Johnny without someone feeling neglected."
"I'll stay in my room and you'll never see me. I promise. Please Kenny?"
"You can't, please try and understand."
Kevin starts kicking and screaming. "I want to go home! I want to go home!" He repeats.
"Shh! Calm down!" I say in a soothing tone.
"I just want to go home!" He continues to scream. Within seconds, Ms. Susie comes in the room.
"Is everything all right?" She asks.
"No! I want to go home!"
She looks at me "May I?" I nod and she sits down next to Kevin. "Aren't you having a good time here?"
"Then why do you want to leave?"
"I miss my brother..." He sobs.
"Your brother has called every day and he visits when he can."
"But I don't get to see him every day."
"I understand that. But you've been enjoying yourself all week and you've even made a new friend, right?"
Kevin nods and wipes his eyes. "Yes."
"So why don't you turn that frown upside down?" She smiles.
Kevin looks at her. "But I'll still miss my brother."
Ms. Susie hugs him. "I know dear, but he's still going to call and visit."
"Okay..." He looks at me. "Sorry Kenny."
"It's okay buddy." I look at Ms. Susie. "Has he acted like this before?"
She shakes her head. "Never. He's always so happy."
"Thanks for calming him down."
“I was just doing my job. I’ll leave you two alone.”
“Thank you.” I tell her as she leaves. I sit down next to Kevin and hug him. “I have to go, but I promise I’ll stay in touch and visit as often as possible.”
“You have to leave so soon?”
I nod. “I have to pick up Sadie and Johnny.”
“Okay…can you bring them with you sometime?”
I smile. “We’ll see. You take care and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” With that I leave. I admit, when I leave, I end up shedding a few tears in the car. That was really hard to see Kevin react that way. I knew he would be upset, but I didn’t expect a temper tantrum. I just one day he’ll realize I had to do this for his own good.
I made a Welcome Home dinner for Sadie and Johnny which consisted of lasagna since Kenny told me that was Sadie’s favorite, plus garlic bread. I fix their plates and just in time as Kenny and the kids come home. “Welcome Home!” I greet Johnny and Sadie.
“Thank you!” Johnny responds.
“It smells good in here.” Kenny smiles.
“Dinner is ready if you guys are hungry!” I announce.
Kenny walks in the dining room and sees the set up. “There’s only three plates.”
I nod. “Yes, so the three of you can have dinner.”
“What are you going to eat?”
“I’m going to stop and get something on my way home.”
“Nonsense! You went through the trouble to make this dinner, the least you could do is eat with us.”
I look at Sadie and Johnny. “Is that okay with you guys?” I ask them.
Johnny nods. “Sure!”
I look at Sadie. “Sadie?”
She shrugs. “I guess…”
“Great! I’ll fix a plate.” I’m sure Sadie doesn’t really want me there, but I know Kenny does. This is an adjustment for kids and him as well. I’m going to give him as much support as I can.
After dinner, Kenny gives the kids a bath a puts them to bed. I decide to clean the dishes and the kitchen for him. As soon as I finish, I turn and see Kenny standing in the doorway of the kitchen. “Hey, are the kids all tucked in.”
He nods. “Thank you so much for all your help.”
“Anything for a friend!”
He moves closer to me and runs his fingers through my hair. “I don’t know what I would do without you…”
“I mean it, you’ve had my back from day one. I don’t even think I would’ve stayed sober if it wasn’t for you.”
“Oh Kenny-“ The next thing I know, he pulls me into a kiss. He’s not even drunk this time! He actually meant to kiss me…I hope.
“Make love to me…” He whispers.
“You know I’m Red…right?”
He laughs. “Yes and I’m Kenny. If you don’t want to do this, I understand.”
“No I want to!” I’m just glad this time he realizes he’s talking to me and doesn’t think I’m Tammy.
“Let’s go to my room.” He picks me up and carries me to his room. Once we get there, he lies me down on his bed and closes the door. He takes off my shirt and bra and kisses my breasts. He goes from kissing my breasts to leaving a trail of kisses down my stomach. He then takes off my pants, followed by his own pants. He then inserts himself inside of me and begins thrusting back and forth. I can’t believe this really happening. I’ve been dreaming about this moment since we were in high school and now it’s happening.
“I love you…” I whisper in his ear. He doesn’t say it back, but instead he kisses me passionately. I’ll admit that I’m disappointed that he didn’t say it back. Just then we hear the door creak. We immediately stop.
“You heard that too?” Kenny asks and I nod. “One of the kids must have woken up.” He climbs off me and immediately gets dressed. “I’m sorry it has to end so quickly, but it was great.”
“It was.” I smile.
“We’ll have to do this again, but maybe a night when I have a sitter.” He gives me a kiss. “I have to go check on the kids. I’ll walk you to your car when I’m done.” I nod and he leaves. I’m still in awe about what just happened…
Chapter 22: Chapter 22
I decided to take the kids to the park. It’s been great having them back in my life full time, but I can’t help but think Sadie is angry with me. I think she’s the one that woke up while Red and I were having sex. I really don’t want to talk to her because it’s already an awkward situation.
Stan called me while we were out, so I told him to join us. I figured it was a good time to catch him up. "It's about damn time!" Stan smirks as I tell him about Red and me. It was the perfect time to tell him, the kids are playing on the playground and Kyle isn’t around to give his judgmental comments.
"I feel like a dick though." I lower my head in shame.
I look at him. "She said she loves me."
"But you knew that."
"I couldn't say it back. I don't love her."
"That's okay. It will come in time."
I shake my head. "I'm still very much in love with Tammy."
Stan puts his hand on my shoulder. "Kenny, she's not coming back."
"That doesn't mean my feelings have disappeared. She was my wife for fuck’s sake!"
"Why not? She was a terrible wife."
"She wasn't that bad."
Stan narrows his eyes. "Dude, did you forget how she was always accusing you of cheating? Did you forget about her affair with Craig?"
"I didn't forget."
"She was mentally abusive!"
"Stan, you're reaching."
"Either way dude, it's time to move on. You have the perfect women right in front of you." Stan smiles.
"I don't feel the same way about her."
"Then why did you have sex with her?"
I shrug. "It felt right. Plus it has been awhile…"
"I think you do have feelings for her, you just don't want to admit it."
"I don't, but thanks for making me feel guilty."
Stan laughs. "You don't feel guilty, you're just in denial about your feelings."
"No I'm not."
"Were you drunk?"
I shake my head. "I stopped drinking, remember?"
"So you can't even blame this on being drunk. Admit it, you like her!"
I sigh. "I don't know dude. I'm so confused!"
"Because I'm feeling torn."
"Because of Tammy?"
I shake my head. "Because of my kids, especially Sadie."
Stan raises his eyebrow. "Why?"
"Sadie told me she's not ready for a stepmother. Plus I just got custody of them. I can't add someone new to their lives when I'm supposed to be focusing on them!"
He bursts out laughing. "Who said you have to get married right away? Have you two even been on a real date?"
"Then you don't have anything to worry about. Just take your time. She knows your situation."
"I don't know dude."
"It's going to be fine. She’s clearly a patient woman and will wait until you’re ready."
"I put Kevin in a group home so I can focus on Sadie and Johnny. It wouldn't be right to start dating Red. That would still be less focus on my kids.”
"Think about it this way, if you and Red end up together, you can bring Kevin home. She can care for Kevin while you focus on the kids."
I shake my head. "That would be using Red. I can't do that."
"I guess you're right about that. But dude, you do deserve to move on and be happy."
"I will when the time is right."
"You have the right girl."
"I'm not quite sure about that." Just then Sadie approaches us.
"Daddy, can we go home now? I’m sleepy." Sadie asks.
"Sure. Go tell Johnny it’s time to go."
“Okay.” She walks off.
“We’ll finish this another time.” Stan smiles and winks. I nod, but really there’s nothing else to discuss. Red and I are just friends and right now, I won’t be dating. My only focus is Sadie and Johnny. I don’t have time for anything else.
I have some news to share with Sadie and Johnny and the only way I can do it is to swallow my pride and go to Kenny’s house. I ring the doorbell and Kenny answers it and frowns. "What do you want?"
"I want to see Sadie and Johnny." I tell him.
"No!" He tries to close the door, but I grab it.
"Just gave me five minutes with them and I'll be out of your hair."
"Why should I?"
Go figure he would be difficult. "I'm not trying to be rude, I’m coming to you as the mature adult and telling I just want to see the kids. To say goodbye..."
Kenny looks confused. "Goodbye?"
I swear I almost see a smile. "Really?"
I nod. "I would like to tell Sadie and Johnny bye before I go."
"Why? They're not your kids!"
"I know, but I'm close to them and I think the least I can do is tell them bye so they don't think I abandoned them."
Kenny sighs. "You have two minutes." He calls out to Sadie and Johnny and within seconds, they rush to the door.
"Uncle Craig!" The kids hug me.
"Hi kids!" I kneel down to their level. "I have some news for you."
"What?" Sadie asks.
"I'm moving away..."
"Why?" Johnny pokes his lip out.
"My job is moving me."
"Is it far?" Sadie asks.
I nod. "It's in Paris."
"What's Paris?" Johnny asks.
"It's a city the country France."
“Is it far?”
“Yeah it’s far. It’s about a 12 hour flight.”
“When are you leaving?”
“This weekend. I’m in the process of packing and I’m hopping on a plane Saturday night.”
Sadie lowers her head. “Everyone keeps leaving us…”
“What do you mean?”
“First mommy and little Kevin died, we can’t live with grandma and grandpa, and now you’re moving away. What’s going on?”
I look at Kenny, then at her. “You still have your dad and I’m sure he’ll let you see your grandparents whenever you want.” Damn, these poor kids have been through hell this last year.
“Are you going to keep in touch?”
I smile and nod. “Of course. My family is still here so I’ll be back to visit. Plus we can always Skype if your dad allows it.” I look at Kenny and smirk.
“Okay Craig, your two minutes are up!” Kenny states abruptly.
I roll my eyes. “I’ll see you guys later.” I extend my arms and Sadie and Johnny hug me simultaneously. “I love you guys.”
“We love you too Uncle Craig!” I stand up and look at Kenny.
“You have really great kids. “
Kenny glares at me. “I know that!”
“I don’t think you realize how lucky you are. You better take good care of them!” I threaten.
“They’re not your concern.”
“You better stay sober too if you intend to keep them!” I whisper in Kenny’s ear before lightly shoving him and leaving. I hear more goodbyes yelled from Sadie and Johnny. I sigh. Even though they’re not my kids, I’m really going to miss them…
Chapter 23: Chapter 23
"Thank you so much for cooking...again!" I tell Red. She prepared a roasted chicken, rice, and vegetables. Since she was kind enough to cook, as usual, I wash the dishes. “I swear if it weren’t for you, Sadie and Johnny would have to live off of food you put in a toaster!” I say jokingly, but in reality it’s the truth. “So again, thank you!”
Red chuckles. "You're welcome. I’m happy to see your kids well fed." She leans towards me to kiss me.
"Daddy?" I turn and see Sadie. "Aren't you going to read us a bedtime story?"
I nod. "I'll be up in a few minutes."
"Sadie..." I give her a look.
"Oh fine!" She stomps upstairs.
"I guess I should be going." Red tries to kiss me again, but this time I stop her. "What's wrong?"
"We need to talk."
"I want to apologize about last week."
"You know...us having sex."
Red looks confused. "What's the problem? You wanted and it and I wanted it."
"Yeah, but your feelings are more involved and I shouldn't have went there. So I'm sorry if I hurt you in any way."
She smiles and takes my hand. "Kenny I know you don't feel the same way I do and that's okay. I said I love you because I wanted you to know how I feel. I didn’t want to keep it in any longer."
"But you realize we can't go any further, right?"
"Right now...or ever?"
I shrug. "I don't know. I can't say what will happen in the future. But for now, we can't."
I see Red looking over my shoulder. "I'm guessing it's because of her?"
I turn and see Sadie peeking from behind the wall. "What are you doing?"
"I just want to know when you're going to come read us a bedtime story." Sadie gives me the puppy dog eyes. I know exactly what she’s doing and unfortunately, it’s working.
"In a minute. Now go wait upstairs!"
"Stay up there this time!" I yell out.
"I will!" Sadie yells back.
I look at Red. "You see? They require a lot of attention. I don't have time for a girlfriend or anything. You see I had to put Kevin a group home just so they have my undivided attention."
"I understand..." She looks down.
“Sadie has been very clingy lately too. I honestly think she saw what we did that’s why she’s acting a little…weird.”
“You don’t have to explain things. I get it.”
"I'm sorry if I led you on."
She shakes her head. "You didn't. I mean, I've always loved you and you've never looked at me as nothing more than a friend. Obviously things haven't changed."
"I'm so sorry..."
"Don't be, it's not your fault." She walks towards the door. "But don't worry, I'll still help out with making the kids dinner if you need me to."
"I guess I could always take cooking lessons." I chuckle.
"Yeah sure!" She laughs as well. "Can I kiss you one last time?"
"I don't think that's a good ide-" Before I can finish, Red plants a big one on me. I won't lie and say I'm not enjoying this because I am, but it's just not right. She pulls away from me.
"I'll see you soon!" She winks and leaves.
"Daddy, can we have our bedtime story now that she's gone?" Sadie asks. I see once again, she’s come back downstairs.
I sigh. "Yes honey."
"Johnny is already asleep. I guess he got tired of waiting for you."
I frown. "I'll go check in him and then you'll get your story, okay?"
"Sounds fine to me!" She gives me a big hug. "I love you so much daddy!"
"I love you too!" I know I made the right choice regarding Red. My children have to come first. Maybe there will be something between us years down the line, but now isn’t the time. Craig is out of the picture so there shouldn’t be anything else standing in the way of me and my kids…
I'm finishing the final touches to my new place when the door opens. I turn around and smile. "You finally made it!" I state.
A blonde woman wearing a hat and dark sunglasses smiles back. She takes off the hat, glasses, and blonde wig to reveal that she's Tammy. "Yeah, I finally made it. I wanted to make sure that Kenny was scared off from starting a relationship with Red!" She smiles.
"It still amazes me that you were able to move around South Park without anyone noticing you."
"It wasn't easy, that's for sure!"
"Yeah I'm sure. It was nice to make Kenny think he was going crazy!"
She laughs. "Drugging him was great! No one believed him when he told them I was there. Thank goodness Stan and Red were too stupid to check the closet. It was fun and game...until he got sober! Once that happened, I had to come up with sometime else."
"Tell me more!"
"I witnessed the disgusting sight of Kenny and Red having sex. I cracked the door making him think one of the kids woke up. Then I put a bug in Sadie's ear letting her know that Red was coming to take over and she would be neglected once again. Thank goodness she didn’t wake up, but I know she got the message."
I smirk. "You're bad!"
“Kenny caused the car accident that killed our baby and nearly me! I hope he spends the rest of his life alone and miserable! No one deserves it more!”
I kiss her. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help your parents get custody of the kids.”
She shrugs. “It’s probably for the best. How would I explain to them, that I’ve been alive this whole time?”
“You would’ve found a way. Plus then they would be here with us instead of with that loser asshole!”
“I know! I’m going to miss them so much. Maybe one day we’ll go back and explain everything.”
“Whenever you’re ready, baby.” We kiss.
“For now, I’m looking forward to my new life with you! The way it was meant to be!” We make out. She’s right, this is how it was meant to be. The only thing missing is Sadie, Johnny, and little Kevin, rest his soul. I know a day will come when we get Sadie and Johnny back into our lives. In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy each other while Kenny is alone and miserable!