Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 11

        Kevin sat the phone on the cradle and stared at it for a moment before getting up.  He walked into the kitchen and took his cup of lukewarm coffee from the counter, sipping it as he walked to the back window, looking out at the vast backyard he had.  The moon reflected off of the swimming pool cover and the top of little fishpond Elaina had insisted on having.  He stared off into space, rethinking the conversation and its relevance.

        "Sheryl left Nick, Kevin, she just got up and left him, only saying goodbye to Maggie when she dropped her off at Day Care in the morning.  Maggie was confused and has no idea what is going on, all she knows is that Mommy went on a trip like Daddy sometimes does, but Daddy doesnít expect her back."
        "How could she do this?  Out of the two of them, she was the one more eager to get married, she was the one who suggested that they elope, Brian!  My God, what is happening to our lives?"
        "What do you mean?"
        "I mean, Elaina and I have Courtney who is six years old, and we have another baby coming and we shouldnít, Elaina wasnít supposed to get pregnant again.  Then AJ and Andrea, they canít seem to agree on much more than sleeping together every night.  If you really spent time with him, youíd understand.  He wants the new baby, but Andrea has been expressing regrets about it.  AJ is heartbroken, Bri, but he canít tell Andrea because heís afraid of what sheíll say.  And then Howie, he and Sonya have a little baby of their own, heís around six months old, but those two keep traveling because of his job and its already putting a strain on all three of them.  And then finally, you and Sarah."
        "What about me and Sarah?!"
        "Brian, you and Sarah have grown apart, even I can see it.  You two barely spend time together anymore, youíre both very busy people, and you have two kids.  Come on, Bri, think about it.  When was the last time you and Sarah really sat down and had a serious heart-to-heart talk?  Or when was the last time you two spent quality time together, alone?  Or better yet, when was the last time you two slept together, really slept together?!"
        "Damn you, Kevin, weíre at least working things out!  Sarah and I went out last night and we spent the night together, no kids, no relatives, no one breathing down our necks to do something for them.  We did what we wanted to do and if you must know, we slept together last night and it was the best Iíve had in a long time."  Brian was furious.
        "Ok, ok, Brian, calm down.  Look, I wasnít being serious, Iím sorry, itís just that this is becoming really strange and its almost becoming too much for us all.  The strain on everyoneís relationship is becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day and weíre all going to get in trouble if we donít do something about it."
        "I am doing something about it, Kevin, Sarah and I plan to spend much more time together now, we agreed on that.  Even if we have to travel to other places to do it, we will.  Weíve promised ourselves that, thereís no way weíre going to let this fall apart, not after we worked so hard to get to where we are."
        "Brian, look, I respect you and Sarah for keeping it together for so long, even when the boundaries that were set in your way were near impassable, you still overcame the obstacles and achieved what you wanted most.  But what Iím trying to get across is that our lives are falling apart, Nickís relationship is a wake-up call to us all.  We all thought that Nick and Sheryl were meant to be, that they were perfect together, and now look at them!  Sheryl is MIA, Nick is a wreck, and Maggieís in the middle of it all, totally confused about the turn of events.  Look, I have to go, but Iíll come over tomorrow for dinner and the exchange of presents, everyone will be coming."

        Kevin sighed and set his empty cup in the sink, then sat at the counter, looking at the marble top.  He closed his eyes and could hear the fight in his head, the fight that ended something that was so important to him.

        "What do you mean, youíre going to Florida?"
        "Exactly that, Iím going to Florida and Iím leaving Kentucky behind, Iím going to try to get a job down there and see about pursuing a music career."
        "A music career?  Kevin, thatís dead end, you know that.  Nothing will ever come of it, youíll just end up a poor musician on the streets, playing your keyboard or something for loose change just to survive.  Stay here, in Kentucky, all your family is here, Iím hereÖ"
        "No, I finally decided this last night and Iím going to go through with it."
        "Well, you donít have my support in it.  You can take this back, I donít want it anymore.  You know, I thought we meant something to each other.  I see I was wrong, your precious music career comes before your own fiancee.  Maybe you ought to rethink that after a while, that could be your downfall.  No one will want you after that, Kevin, and donít ever think about crawling back to me, I wonít take you back.  Goodbye, Kevin."

        Kevin shook his head, trying to shake out the image of Beth walking out the front door and out of his life forever.  ĎBut she was wrong, I was successful, and someone does want me, Elaina wants me.  And Courtney needs me, along with the new baby, we all need each other and I do not intend on walking away from all of this, not like Beth walked away from me.í
        "Kevin?  Honey, come to bed, Courtney is going to be up tomorrow at the crack of dawn and I need more sleep than that," Elaina called from the stairwell.
        "Be right there," Kevin called.  He heard his wife go up the stairs and open the door to their room, closing it behind her.  He got up from the stool and turned out the kitchen light, then walked upstairs.  As he neared his bedroom, he checked on Courtney, who was sleeping soundly, hugging the doll sheíd had since she was born.
        ĎI gave her that doll, she loves it, and that just goes to show that someone does need me.í  Kevin thought, closing the door over.  He walked into his room and changed for bed, climbing under the covers on his side and leaning back against the pillows.
        "Hey, baby, whatís wrong?  Whatís on your mind, youíve been on Mars for the last few days," Elaina said as she sat next to him.
        Kevin shook his head and gathered her in his arms, rubbing her stomach through her nightgown.  "Nothing, Iím just thinking about how happy I am with you and Courtney and our little babyÖ"
        "Baby boy, its going to be a boy, I know it," Elaina interrupted him, placing her hands over his.
Kevin smiled and kissed her before turning out the light next to the bed.  "A boy it is."  He held Elaina close to him, listening as she fell fast asleep.  His eyes were about to close when his mind drifted back to the night before he left Kentucky, after Beth left him alone, packing.
        ĎWhat if I was the one that walked away from it, not the other way around?  Was I wrong in accusing Beth of walking away from what we had?  Or was she right in accusing me of destroying what we had?  Oh, Iím too confused.í
        Without giving it another thought, Kevin closed his eyes and fell into a restless sleep.

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