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by, Monica

Christine ran her nimble fingers over the pads of paper and blueprints that were scattered across the old, oak desk in her office. Carefully, she brushed the dust off of one of her sketches and looks at it. It was a pre-blueprint of how she wanted to set up the living room. She laughed to herself. The living room now was switched around and looked nothing like she was planning to have it. Christine settled it down with the others and blew off little particles from a silver plate it seemed like. Though, as she brushed it off more and more, she soon discovered it to be her and Chris' wedding picture. Tears played down her cheeks as she lifted up the silver framing containing the memory; and that's all it was- a memory. Sitting down in the old, moveable chair, Christine traced her fingered up and down the outline of the picture and started on the frame as she continued to stare at the glassed in thought. Sighing, she hugged it to her chest as she started up the stairs.

Walking up, she saw Ethan playing with his building blocks on the living room floor. His dark chocolate brown eyes looked up at his mother. Grinning, it was visible of the disappearance of his two front teeth. It reminded her of Chris singing it to their son during Christmas time. Ethan nestling his head into his father's chest as Chris sang the tune, making the little boy giggle as he pointed to his mouth, showing off proudly the gap. But that again was just a memory. One that Christine would cherish, carefully tucking it away in her mind.

Stirring her coffee, she sighed. Almost on cue, the phone rang, making Christine smile a bit. "Hello?" She asked, bringing the cup to her lips to take a sip.

"Hi Christine."

A voice, which mostly was always cheerful, was now full of sadness and exasperation on the other phone line. She knew who it was as she pulled a piece of hair back behind her hair. "Hi Britney. How are you? Immediately, a sob broke out over the phone line. Christine felt her heart crumble as she ran her finger up and down the lukewarm mug. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked that."

"No no." Christine could hear a sniffle over the line. "It's not your fault. I just called to see if you and Ethan would like to join the kids and me for dinner. I really have nowhere else to go. Kelly and the kids are going to her parents' house; Bobbi is taking Cristan to go to see her sister, and Justin-" She broke down again, making Christine feel like doing that herself.

"I understand. Why don't you come over here? I'll cook, which might be harmful at first." She could hear Britney let out a sighed laugh.

"Yes, that would be nice. Taking care of three kids by yourself isn't the greatest thing."

"Yeah.." She trailed off as Ethan yelled over for her to come see what he made. Sighing, she finished off her coffee and spoke back into the receiver. "Listen Brit, I have to go. Ethan wants me to see what he made. He's a little show off like Chris was." Britney let out another small laugh.

"That's fine. We'll be over around six, is that OK?"

"Perfect." The farewells were exchanged as Christine made her way over to her son, who was seated on the couch looking at his creation. "OK little man, what did you want to show me?"

"THAT!" He pointed over to the building that was made from LEGOS. It was a castle with the tiniest detail over the tower down. Curiosity got to her as she looked over to the left of it and saw the building blocks scattered around the floor. "It couldn't make a castle." Ethan replied as he saw what his mother was looking at. "It just didn't seem to fit. That and it looked weird." Christine chuckled to herself as she nodded her head to his castle.

"It's cool. Why don't I put it on the table and you can show Dean and Jordan when they come over?" Ethan nodded his head. She got up off the couch and picked up the LEGOS carefully and sat it on the coffee table. "There." She nodded her head and started back into the kitchen as the little boy turned on the television to watch the Disney channel.

Six o' clock rolled around. Christine let in her guests as the doorbell. The door swung open as three children brushed past the two women at the door. "Sorry I didn't tell you, but Cara is joining us." Britney whispered. "May she?" Christine smiled warmly.

"Of course!" Cara smiled as the two women walked into the dining room and sat down to walk the four children watch TV. "So, how are you two holding up?"

"I'm OK." Cara responded, taking the cup of tea Christine offered. "It's hard, but it's OK. I usually help out with Britney or Kelly." Britney ran her fingers around the rim of the cup before taking a sip of the liquid.

"It's hard. Sometimes, I'll just yell at them and all they're doing is playing with their toys." Britney said, tears slowly coming down her face, "I don't know how much more I can take." Cara hugged her friend as Christine looked at them with sadness. "What about Christine? How are you holding up?"

"It was hell for the first month, but now it's ok. I'm slowly recovering from shock." She spoke. Clearing her throat, the three women heard a cry from the other room.

"Excuse me," Britney bolted out of the room into the other to go comfort one of her children's screams. Cara and Christine looked at each other for a moment till Cara spoke up.

"I talked to Lynne yesterday. She's thinking about taking the kids from Brit for a little while."

"That might be best."

They sat there in silence for a few seconds till Cara spoke up again. "They were talking about the crash on TV again. It really hurts losing them." She stopped for a moment, and then continued. "I know Lance and I weren't married or didn't have any

"You were going to be married, and from me knowing Lance, you guys would have had kids up to the rooftops." They quietly laughed till Cara spoke up again.

"They still haven't found the problem that caused the accident. Engine problems people are saying. I think it was fuses that blew up." She starred at the cup before a sob escaped from her lips. "Lance said they were going to take a later flight home but I said no. That I wanted to see him as soon as possible." Tears fell onto the table, "I should of said yes. I should have calmed down my impatience and waited. Now I won't be able to see him again." She fully broke down after that. Christine walked over and hugged her friend tightly. "I killed them. I killed them all cause I was being selfish!"

"No!" The young woman shook her head furiously. "You didn't kill them. It just happened. It wasn't anyone's fault." Christine rubbed her sobbing friend's back. Britney came in after a few minutes of quieting Nessa's cries. Looking at her friends, she joined them, her tears adding to the group that already fell.

"Maybe we should just go." Christine knew Britney needed some more time alone. Cara, her, and the kids left, leaving her and Ethan by themselves.

"Well buddy," She said, looking at the young boy. "Looks like it's just going to be us tonight." After eating dinner, she carried her son upstairs to lay him to sleep. Walking out of his bedroom and into hers, she sank behind the door. Christine broke down, clutching onto face and screaming out. She threw her head back as the tears came swiftly down her cheeks. She couldn't raise this child on her own, nor the next one. She gently touched her still small stomach with her fingertips pressed down on it.

"Why Chris...Why did you have to leave me and Ethan alone? Why did you leave me to take care of this baby?" She broke down again. "Why?" A soft wind blew across her cheeks as she breathed it in and started sobbing once again.

"I love you too."