Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 6

        "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!"
        Kevin smiled as Courtney plopped on the ground and started laughing again.  "Again, Grammy!"  She exclaimed, standing back up.
        "Oh, Courtney, baby, Grammy’s getting a little tired, how about you go play on the swings while Grammy talks to Daddy, ok?"  Kevin’s mother suggested, smiling warmly at her granddaughter.  Courtney nodded in agreement and bounded off to the swings, leaving Kevin alone with his mother.
        "She has so much energy," Kevin commented.
        "Indeed, just like her father did when he was little," his mother said, smiling at him as she sat in a lawn chair next to him.  "Uh, honey, I got a call from Brian earlier today, he wanted me to tell you a few things."
        "What?"  Kevin asked absently, watching Katie.
        "Um, AJ is here, in Kentucky, he got here yesterday afternoon.  And Nick’s here, too, he and Maggie arrived yesterday morning."
        "Really?  Wow, no one’s seen Nick, really, for about two years," Kevin commented.  "Not since he and Sheryl had Maggie."
        His mother sighed.  "Well, there’s a reason he’s here."
        "What?"  Kevin asked, turning his head to look at her, giving her his full attention.  There was something about her tone that told him this was beyond serious.
        "Sheryl walked out on Nick two days ago, she left Maggie and Nick."
        Kevin practically felt his heart stop.  "Oh no, you’re kidding?  Poor, Nicky, I have to give him a call," he said, standing up.
        "No, Kevin," his mother said, catching his arm.  Kevin sat down slowly and looked at her.
        "Kev, he’s very broken up about it, and Maggie still has no idea what is going on.  All she knows is that her Daddy woke her up early and, instead of taking her to Day Care like he would every other day, he packed her clothes and took her to the airport to take a flight up here.  She’s excited to be around so many people, she and Brian are getting along well, Katie fascinates her, and Jackie treats her like another grandchild.  Nick is a mess, the only thing he can really do is try and smile for Maggie, trying to not bring her down with him, but its barely working.  He’s taking this hard.  She left him a note as a goodbye, nothing else."
        "What did the note say?"
        "It said that Sheryl was sorry, but that the relationship would’ve ended sooner or later, so she figured she might as well make it sooner rather than later, for both their sakes.  She just picked up and left, not looking back.  She said goodbye and that she was sorry to Maggie in the morning, thoroughly confusing the poor girl.  Sheryl has disappeared, no one can find her, not even her parents or her brother."
        Kevin shook his head, covering his eyes with his hand, blocking out the mid-day sun.  ‘Why does everything bad always happen to Nicky?’  He asked himself, running his hand through his hair and looking out at his daughter.  He stared into space for a while, not hearing his mother get up to answer the phone and Elaina coming outside and sitting next to him.
        "Penny for your thoughts," Elaina said quietly.
        "Hmm?  Oh, sorry, zoned out there," Kevin said, looking at her.
        Elaina nodded and leaned over, kissing his forehead.  "Try not to let it affect you so much, Kevy, something like this was bound to happen to at least one of us."
        Kevin shook his head.  "That’s just the thing, it wasn’t.  And of all people, Nick.  Out of everyone, he’s had the worst luck in his life.  First, Sheryl refused to marry him.  Then, when she finally agreed, they wanted to so bad that they were going to elope, but instead he got the flu.  Then when they finally did get married, their honeymoon got canceled because she was called away to do her job in New York.  And when Sheryl was pregnant with Maggie, they thought they were going to lose her many times.  When she was born, Maggie was premature, having the worst complications imaginable.  And now this, Sheryl walks out of his life.  Nicky always had the best relationship but with the most hardships, and now this.  He and Sheryl were made for each other, we all knew it, but it all turned out to be a hoax, she left him, and she’s never coming back.  Nicky is probably dying inside, he loved her so much," Kevin said, talking faster as he went, then slowing down to the painful realization of what had happened.
        "I know, baby, and you’re right, Nicky didn’t deserve it," Elaina said, running her fingers through his hair and resting her hand at the back of his neck.  "But you know what?  Life goes on, the world keeps turning, and people keep walking and aging, like nothing had ever happened.  Life throws some complicated things at you and you can’t do anything about it but accept it and move on."
        Kevin nodded and stared back out at Courtney as she went down the blue plastic slide over and over again.  He leaned back against the lawn chair, listening as Elaina started to hum to him, and closed his eyes.  He was asleep before he knew it.

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