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Home of the blood, white, and blue.

Book By: LiveYoungForever
Action and adventure



Read to find out.


Submitted:Feb 28, 2013    Reads: 7    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Picture everything you know and grasp to be true; every principle, every conviction, everything you can confidently say is concrete information--Now throw it all out the window. That's how I felt on April 18th, 2015 at 4:08 AM, like everything I'd ever known had been ripped out from under my feet and torn into such tiny pieces that there was no way of putting it all back together again.

My dad was the first president of the United States to ever kill himself.

It wasn't like it was expected or that he had been dealing with depression…He was contently happy, self-confident, and independent. He was one of the most inspiring men I'd been blessed with in my life. He was the kind of dad that would put everything of work aside for a while and spend time with his family and he was the kind of dad that would read me stories every night before I'd go to bed. He was a sturdy rock to lean upon, a good man, and a great president.

There are some images that tend to stick in your mind for a while, perhaps a scary face or ghostly image from a scary movie, or the face of a friendly stranger you met on the subway. But I can't get the image out of my head; him lying there, a gun in his left hand, a bullet wound in the head. It was almost like he was asleep and would wake up and yell, "Gotchya!" But that never happened. He just lay there and his body became paler and paler with each passing second. The blood ran cold through his veins and he was no longer there. When I passed from the kitchen out into the family room I glanced and saw him there as the secret service and police surrounded him. My heart pounded so hard against my chest and a lump formed in the back of my throat. Ever since that bleak early morning I can't stop thinking about him, just lying there.

I could still picture him playing catch with me in the backyard and twirling me around in his arms. I remembered when we fought my freshmen year of high school because I wanted to go to a regular high school but he wouldn't let me. He had a gentle firmness about him. My brother and I always wanted to make him proud. If you disappointed him, he would get this soft look in his blue eyes that would drive anyone insane. He told me that no matter what I decided to do after high school, he would support me. He told me he was so proud to see me graduate with such high grades and couldn't wait to see me graduate college. I had just finished my first year in college 2 weeks ago that day.

At first I didn't cry. I was so furious with him I couldn't contain myself. How dare he?! I thought. How could he do that to us? I think in my mind I couldn't grasp that he was dead so instead I resorted to blood boiling anger. My mom was an emotional mess, blubbering and crying everywhere, and my older brother, Danny, sat on the couch looking as though he had seen a ghost. Danny's complexion was as pale as my dad's. It was then that the head of secret service, Captain JJ Calondale, or as my brother and I called him, JJ, came and gave us the suicide note that my dad had left.

"I'm sorry. I love you all so very much, but I can't do this anymore."

I held the note in my shaky clammy hands. Dad had once held this note in his hands.

"JJ," I said to him before he left the room, "I don't know how to-I don't und-How can any of this be real?"

That whole time it had all felt like a terrible nightmare that I was dying to wake up from. The image of my dad's limp body kept passing through my brain again and again in such a vicious way that I just burst into tears.

Danny wrapped his arms around me and we wept together. The man whom I thought was so happy and such a role model had taken his own life. I couldn't handle it.

I thought he would die by assassination, honestly. Our family talked about the realistic possibility of this kind of attack. Because of my dad's win in the war over seas, and because my dad was able to stop a huge nuclear terrorist operation he had made a lot of enemies. The secret service was doing the best they could, but there was no telling what could happen. Dad had told us just last week that so many threats had been coming in against him. He was in his third term in office and the terrorists wanted him out.

My brother and I rarely get along. I feel like he hates me sometimes just because I have dreams, goals, and ambition. My parents constantly had to mold him into the son they wanted for press conferences and such and he hated that. He told me to stop complying with "the system" and to stop being "another puppet in the white house", but honestly I don't do anything differently. I know that being a part of the first family of the United States constitutes acting more professionally and composed in front of our public, but it's not like I was saying things I didn't want to say. He loved to rebel against our parents though; it was his favorite form of revenge. Danny and I never talked much at all, most of it is just endless bickering. He's 3 years younger and spends most of his time playing guitar in his room and avoiding public events.

But on this morning, we got along. For some reason I felt closer to him than I ever had in my whole life. I felt like I understood him as we sat there crying together. I understood that he was just a kid and didn't want to live his life as "the president's son". I could feel his pain and how hurt he was inside about everything. It was an overwhelming moment for the both of us.

That's when Mrs. Rivers, Mom's personal secretary/assistant, came in and started to talk to mom about dealing with the press. I couldn't even imagine how this was going to be dealt with. My dad was one of the most beloved presidents there ever was. And what could we even say about what he did? It was unexplainable.

Our day began at 4:08AM that morning and it felt like it lasted an eternity. Maybe it felt so long because there was a terrible hole in my chest, a hole so deep, hollow, and burdening.

The crime scene was cleaned up by 6:00AM. At 6:00AM was when they carried my dad through the house and out the secret passage in a body bag. I didn't want to look at the body bag, but I couldn't help myself. I stared at it intently, waiting for anything to happen.

By 10:00AM, the whole world knew of what had happened to my dad, via the uninformed media. The media told everyone the president had been hurt in some way.

"We'll have to put on our bravest faces today," Mom said.

I was sitting in her vanity room as she sat on her small metal chair across the room in front of her large Victorian mirror putting make-up on.

I was already wearing my outfit for the press conference, a sad black dress with pearls. I was sloppily slung into an uncomfortable golden chair at the far side of the room.

I was trying to distract myself by reading which usually worked. I was reading a Sherlock Holmes' remake. I tried to focus on the words and the plot but I couldn't stop my dad's limp body from appearing in my head. It was torture.

"Nicolette!" I hear my mom snap.

I looked up at her and she was turned around all the way in her chair now, just staring at me. I could tell she was really trying to hold herself together. Her eyes were glossy and her hands shaky.

"What?" I asked.

"That's the fourth time I had to say your name to get your attention," She said sounding breathless, "I said to put your book down and go get ready."

"I am ready."

"Are you?"

"Why do we have to put brave faces on today?" I said and could feel my tone turning sour, "Is it a crime to be upset and to cry?"

She was silent and her eyes began to fill up with red tears that had probably been dying to be set free. There was no reason to pretend we weren't sad in front of the press. We were devastated, that's a fact.

"I don't"-

A knock on the door interrupted my Mom's words.

"Sorry to interrupt," Mrs. Rivers said stepping into the room cautiously, as if she knew she had interrupted a heated conversation, "Kathy, I have your statement prepared for the press."

She slyly walked across the room and handed a paper to my Mom and said quietly, "The teleprompter is all prepped. I'll leave you be."

Just as quickly as she had entered, she left. Mrs. River was a nice woman. I never knew her that well, but rather I only knew her by the sound of her quick heels clacking and clicking across the hard marble floor whenever she walked.

Mom stared at the sheet of paper in her hands for several moments before looking up at me again.

"I didn't mean that kind of brave," She told me and walked over to my chair.

I scooted over and she squeezed into the same chair as me and placed her arm around me. Mom had always been really beautiful. I wondered why she spent so much time putting on make-up before public events when she could probably barely wear any of it and still look so pretty. Her cheek bones were high and she was naturally and beautifully thin.

"You talk just like him, you know," She said and laughed a little, "He was so honest with everyone and wanted to be a president who didn't hide anything from his public."

I nodded and she put her fingers through my hair, untangling it where it had been tangled.

"When I said brave faces…." She continued, "………Nicolette, people are going to say very terrible things about your dad now. There will be rumors and during the press conference people are going to ask horrible and nosy questions. This whole day is going to be absolutely awful, but there is no getting around it. We have to put on brave faces and get through it. Despite what they all say, we must remain rational."

"I know," I said, but I wasn't sure if I could handle this very long day.

"Vice President Kennedy will take over today," She said slowly as if she too was still processing it, "He called and told me we could stay here if we pleased. He and his wife would love to have us."

I only met Craig Kennedy and his wife four times, but they were so kind. They were like the grandparents I always wanted. It's required that the vice president and the president are rarely ever in the same place for security reasons, so I never got to interact with them much. Craig is tall and handsome for a man in his early seventies, and his wife is also really tall and loves to write cookbooks.

"We'll probably stay here for a while," Mom continued on, still running her fingers through my hair gently, "But I'm thinking we should buy a house out on the country side, in the peace. Just like your dad always talked about."

We both looked at each other and smiled a little to remember how he once was.

My Mom was right; it was the longest and hardest day of my life. The statement to the press and to America was hard to listen to. Mom lied on and on to the whole United States of America live about how she had seen dad's depression deepen and how his life had been filled with many tragedies. I hated listening to the lying but I knew it was necessary and even Danny agreed that it was too. They had to explain what had happened to him to America somehow. If we couldn't explain it then there could be cause for panic. In truth we all had no idea why he did it. I cried a lot during that speech because reality hit me harshly again. My dad was dead. I was surprised at how many people I saw in the press before us that were crying and upset. The press conference followed the statement and that had to have been the worst hour of the day. Danny and I were required to answer questions. The questions were nosy and none of anyone's business.

"Nicolette, what do you think drove your father to suicide?"

I stared at all of them; camera's flashing, reporters writing in their note pads-the room was crowded with people all whom I didn't care to know. I could feel the anger welling up inside me and the silence between the question he had just asked and my answer was growing.

I just wanted to yell at everyone and tell them to leave us alone, but I knew I had to control myself.

"You know," I began to speak and my voice sounded shaky and weak, "My dad was a great man. What is important to me at the moment is to dwell on the happiness that he brought to us and to carry on his legacy in our lives. He was a person who gave nothing but his absolute best."

"That doesn't answer the question, Miss."

That's when I really thought about what they were asking. Had it been us that drove him to suicide? I tried to think about the last thing I said to him, but I couldn't remember. Was it something I did? He had no reason to kill himself unless he was hiding his depression. Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I should've paid attention more. Maybe he was suffering. I never actually thought about why he did it before.

"Miss?"

"Leave her alone," Danny snapped and the whole room fell silent. Even the camera clicks seemed to fade into nothing.

Danny reached for my hand under the table and held it firmly in his. We glanced at each other and shared a weak smile. Again, this was new for us, the whole being there for each other thing. My eyes were filling with tears. I looked out at the press and they were in some shock.

I tried to think about any reason that he might have possibly had for killing himself but my mind was going blank and my heart was becoming heavy.

"As you can imagine," Mom spoke into her microphone, "My children are devastated with the loss of their father. If you could please cut them some slack. They are children in grieving."

After the press conference Mom had interviews all day and the police crawled around the house all day in search of "clues". I didn't understand what there was to find. JJ told me that they were looking for drugs or anything that could explain his sudden suicide. Danny and I sat in the family room together as they ransacked the white house. The fact that his suicide made no sense was a big ugly secret that we'd have to keep for the rest of our lives.

At 4:00PM Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy started moving their stuff in.

Mrs. Kennedy immediately came to Danny and me and hugged us so tightly I thought I was going to suffocate. She was wearing heavy perfume that smelled of lilacs. She was a really tall woman with long hair that she didn't dye so it was a shade of white and grey.

"I know this day has been so hard for you," She said and tried to smile, "Wait, what are you two doing right now?"

I looked around. I guess we'd been watching the chaos all around us silently from the family room. I was thinking most of the time, still unsure if I was going to wake up soon. There were times when I would cry and there were times when I'd concentrate on something long enough to forget for a few moments.

Danny was silent. I shrugged at her.

"Why don't you come with me," She said, "I've got some gifts for you."

This I also dreaded. Presents and gifts couldn't stop what had happened or change the fact that I was completely torn up and sad. They were simply "I'm so sorry" gifts, and then every time I'd look at that gift I'd only be able to think about what happened to my dad.

She took us into the side pocket secret passage which led to me and Danny's 'play' room. The secret servicemen labeled the room 'the play room' so that's what we're forced to call it, but that makes it seem so little kidish when it really isn't. In the play room we have a grand piano, which is mine that I love to play, an xbox 360, a large flat screen T.V., several pieces of work out equipment, a baking area, a half a basketball court, and an area for painting. I loved coming in this room just to get away. I'd play piano for hours in here.

"Do you still play piano?" She asked me. As if it was even a question. I've been playing piano since I was about eight years old and I've loved it so much I've had no reason to stop.

"Yes," I answered.

"I ordered several new piano books for you and placed them on the piano bench," Mrs. Kennedy said, "And I also got some ingredients so you and I can make cupcakes today after dinner, dear. But we'll do it down in the real kitchen."

The real kitchen. The place where my dad killed himself.

"That sounds great Mrs. Kennedy," I said, "But I'd rather make the cupcakes in here."

I pointed to the small baking area over in the right corner of the room. It was like a small kitchen and usually I made my own lunch there if I didn't feel like ordering from the downstairs chefs and waiting for it to be made.

Mrs. Kennedy was a sweet women and I enjoyed being with her. I just couldn't be in that kitchen again, or at least not today.

I thought she would get confused and ask me why but she simply said, "Alright dear." Without missing a beat.

Then she turned to Danny.

"I understand you like video games and to play guitar?" She said placing an arm around him.

He nodded looking like he didn't want anything from her at all, no matter what it was.

"I got you three new video games that just came out yesterday," Mrs. Kennedy said with a smile, "They're over next to your xbox and I also got you that new electric guitar your mother tells me you've been wanting."

Danny smiled slightly and gave her a hug, "Thanks Mrs. Kennedy."

After that she pulled us both in close to her and squatted down to our level.

"I know this doesn't fix anything," She said quietly, "And I know it hurts. It will for quite some time. But we have to remember that life must go on, my dears. He'll be with you all the time though. Everything he did and was will be with you."

It wasn't until 7:00PM and after I had played piano for a while that I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day. It didn't matter though because I wasn't hungry. I felt sick inside. Mrs. Kennedy tried to get me to come downstairs for dinner but I didn't want to so I told her the truth, I wasn't hungry. She understood and told me to come down at 8:00PM to help her make cupcakes, but I didn't even feel like doing that. She insisted that I come down to the kitchen where he died. I finally told her that I couldn't stand being in there but again she said that I needed to go in there for closure reasons.

Nonetheless at 8:00PM I joined her in the kitchen. I tried to clear my head of all images but I won't lie, the first thing I saw when I came in the room was the image of wear he lay, sprawled, with blood everywhere. Danny sat at the kitchen table writing in a notebook. He did that sometimes and I'd wonder what he was writing about, but every time I had asked him in the past it always turned into a fight so I decided to stop asking.

"Have you ever had any of my cupcakes before?" Mrs. Kennedy asked as we were cracking eggs and mixing up the batter.

She could tell my mind was full and I was having a hard time focusing on anything but him. She looked like the typical grandma at that moment, elderly and with an old flowery apron tied around her waist.

"No," I admitted, "But mom and dad love your cookbooks. I've never gotten a chance to try anything from them though."

She smiled a little and kept stirring the batter. She glanced behind her at Danny and then at me.

"What's he doing?" She whispered to me, stirring the batter more fervently to cover up her whispering. I was almost certain he could still probably hear her.

"It's a mystery to me."

Mrs. Kennedy's cupcakes ended up being delicious; I wondered why mom and dad raved about her cooking from time to time again. Her cupcakes were moist, rich but not too rich, and filled with melt-in-your-mouth crème. I had two of them and so did Danny. Mrs. Kennedy left the rest of them out with a note attached to the pan that addressed the kitchen staff.

The note said: Thank you for all that you do! - Linda and Craig Kennedy.

Finally at 9:30PM I had some privacy and went back to my room and tried to get some peace from all the chaos. Mom came and talked to me for a little while about the details of the funeral for the next day and what was to happen. Tomorrow felt like it was going to be just as long as today had been and I felt like I was drowning today. I was so exhausted and my body didn't ever have a shortage on tears.

It took me until 2:00AM to fall asleep that night.

Picture everything you know and grasp to be true; every principle, every conviction, everything you can confidently say is concrete information--Now throw it all out the window. That's how I felt on April 18th, 2015 at 4:08 AM, like everything I'd ever known had been ripped out from under my feet and torn into such tiny pieces that there was no way of putting it all back together again.

My dad was the first president of the United States to ever kill himself.

It wasn't like it was expected or that he had been dealing with depression…He was contently happy, self-confident, and independent. He was one of the most inspiring men I'd been blessed with in my life. He was the kind of dad that would put everything of work aside for a while and spend time with his family and he was the kind of dad that would read me stories every night before I'd go to bed. He was a sturdy rock to lean upon, a good man, and a great president.

There are some images that tend to stick in your mind for a while, perhaps a scary face or ghostly image from a scary movie, or the face of a friendly stranger you met on the subway. But I can't get the image out of my head; him lying there, a gun in his left hand, a bullet wound in the head. It was almost like he was asleep and would wake up and yell, "Gotchya!" But that never happened. He just lay there and his body became paler and paler with each passing second. The blood ran cold through his veins and he was no longer there. When I passed from the kitchen out into the family room I glanced and saw him there as the secret service and police surrounded him. My heart pounded so hard against my chest and a lump formed in the back of my throat. Ever since that bleak early morning I can't stop thinking about him, just lying there.

I could still picture him playing catch with me in the backyard and twirling me around in his arms. I remembered when we fought my freshmen year of high school because I wanted to go to a regular high school but he wouldn't let me. He had a gentle firmness about him. My brother and I always wanted to make him proud. If you disappointed him, he would get this soft look in his blue eyes that would drive anyone insane. He told me that no matter what I decided to do after high school, he would support me. He told me he was so proud to see me graduate with such high grades and couldn't wait to see me graduate college. I had just finished my first year in college 2 weeks ago that day.

At first I didn't cry. I was so furious with him I couldn't contain myself. How dare he?! I thought. How could he do that to us? I think in my mind I couldn't grasp that he was dead so instead I resorted to blood boiling anger. My mom was an emotional mess, blubbering and crying everywhere, and my older brother, Danny, sat on the couch looking as though he had seen a ghost. Danny's complexion was as pale as my dad's. It was then that the head of secret service, Captain JJ Calondale, or as my brother and I called him, JJ, came and gave us the suicide note that my dad had left.

"I'm sorry. I love you all so very much, but I can't do this anymore."

I held the note in my shaky clammy hands. Dad had once held this note in his hands.

"JJ," I said to him before he left the room, "I don't know how to-I don't und-How can any of this be real?"

That whole time it had all felt like a terrible nightmare that I was dying to wake up from. The image of my dad's limp body kept passing through my brain again and again in such a vicious way that I just burst into tears.

Danny wrapped his arms around me and we wept together. The man whom I thought was so happy and such a role model had taken his own life. I couldn't handle it.

I thought he would die by assassination, honestly. Our family talked about the realistic possibility of this kind of attack. Because of my dad's win in the war over seas, and because my dad was able to stop a huge nuclear terrorist operation he had made a lot of enemies. The secret service was doing the best they could, but there was no telling what could happen. Dad had told us just last week that so many threats had been coming in against him. He was in his third term in office and the terrorists wanted him out.

My brother and I rarely get along. I feel like he hates me sometimes just because I have dreams, goals, and ambition. My parents constantly had to mold him into the son they wanted for press conferences and such and he hated that. He told me to stop complying with "the system" and to stop being "another puppet in the white house", but honestly I don't do anything differently. I know that being a part of the first family of the United States constitutes acting more professionally and composed in front of our public, but it's not like I was saying things I didn't want to say. He loved to rebel against our parents though; it was his favorite form of revenge. Danny and I never talked much at all, most of it is just endless bickering. He's 3 years younger and spends most of his time playing guitar in his room and avoiding public events.

But on this morning, we got along. For some reason I felt closer to him than I ever had in my whole life. I felt like I understood him as we sat there crying together. I understood that he was just a kid and didn't want to live his life as "the president's son". I could feel his pain and how hurt he was inside about everything. It was an overwhelming moment for the both of us.

That's when Mrs. Rivers, Mom's personal secretary/assistant, came in and started to talk to mom about dealing with the press. I couldn't even imagine how this was going to be dealt with. My dad was one of the most beloved presidents there ever was. And what could we even say about what he did? It was unexplainable.

Our day began at 4:08AM that morning and it felt like it lasted an eternity. Maybe it felt so long because there was a terrible hole in my chest, a hole so deep, hollow, and burdening.

The crime scene was cleaned up by 6:00AM. At 6:00AM was when they carried my dad through the house and out the secret passage in a body bag. I didn't want to look at the body bag, but I couldn't help myself. I stared at it intently, waiting for anything to happen.

By 10:00AM, the whole world knew of what had happened to my dad, via the uninformed media. The media told everyone the president had been hurt in some way.

"We'll have to put on our bravest faces today," Mom said.

I was sitting in her vanity room as she sat on her small metal chair across the room in front of her large Victorian mirror putting make-up on.

I was already wearing my outfit for the press conference, a sad black dress with pearls. I was sloppily slung into an uncomfortable golden chair at the far side of the room.

I was trying to distract myself by reading which usually worked. I was reading a Sherlock Holmes' remake. I tried to focus on the words and the plot but I couldn't stop my dad's limp body from appearing in my head. It was torture.

"Nicolette!" I hear my mom snap.

I looked up at her and she was turned around all the way in her chair now, just staring at me. I could tell she was really trying to hold herself together. Her eyes were glossy and her hands shaky.

"What?" I asked.

"That's the fourth time I had to say your name to get your attention," She said sounding breathless, "I said to put your book down and go get ready."

"I am ready."

"Are you?"

"Why do we have to put brave faces on today?" I said and could feel my tone turning sour, "Is it a crime to be upset and to cry?"

She was silent and her eyes began to fill up with red tears that had probably been dying to be set free. There was no reason to pretend we weren't sad in front of the press. We were devastated, that's a fact.

"I don't"-

A knock on the door interrupted my Mom's words.

"Sorry to interrupt," Mrs. Rivers said stepping into the room cautiously, as if she knew she had interrupted a heated conversation, "Kathy, I have your statement prepared for the press."

She slyly walked across the room and handed a paper to my Mom and said quietly, "The teleprompter is all prepped. I'll leave you be."

Just as quickly as she had entered, she left. Mrs. River was a nice woman. I never knew her that well, but rather I only knew her by the sound of her quick heels clacking and clicking across the hard marble floor whenever she walked.

Mom stared at the sheet of paper in her hands for several moments before looking up at me again.

"I didn't mean that kind of brave," She told me and walked over to my chair.

I scooted over and she squeezed into the same chair as me and placed her arm around me. Mom had always been really beautiful. I wondered why she spent so much time putting on make-up before public events when she could probably barely wear any of it and still look so pretty. Her cheek bones were high and she was naturally and beautifully thin.

"You talk just like him, you know," She said and laughed a little, "He was so honest with everyone and wanted to be a president who didn't hide anything from his public."

I nodded and she put her fingers through my hair, untangling it where it had been tangled.

"When I said brave faces…." She continued, "………Nicolette, people are going to say very terrible things about your dad now. There will be rumors and during the press conference people are going to ask horrible and nosy questions. This whole day is going to be absolutely awful, but there is no getting around it. We have to put on brave faces and get through it. Despite what they all say, we must remain rational."

"I know," I said, but I wasn't sure if I could handle this very long day.

"Vice President Kennedy will take over today," She said slowly as if she too was still processing it, "He called and told me we could stay here if we pleased. He and his wife would love to have us."

I only met Craig Kennedy and his wife four times, but they were so kind. They were like the grandparents I always wanted. It's required that the vice president and the president are rarely ever in the same place for security reasons, so I never got to interact with them much. Craig is tall and handsome for a man in his early seventies, and his wife is also really tall and loves to write cookbooks.

"We'll probably stay here for a while," Mom continued on, still running her fingers through my hair gently, "But I'm thinking we should buy a house out on the country side, in the peace. Just like your dad always talked about."

We both looked at each other and smiled a little to remember how he once was.

My Mom was right; it was the longest and hardest day of my life. The statement to the press and to America was hard to listen to. Mom lied on and on to the whole United States of America live about how she had seen dad's depression deepen and how his life had been filled with many tragedies. I hated listening to the lying but I knew it was necessary and even Danny agreed that it was too. They had to explain what had happened to him to America somehow. If we couldn't explain it then there could be cause for panic. In truth we all had no idea why he did it. I cried a lot during that speech because reality hit me harshly again. My dad was dead. I was surprised at how many people I saw in the press before us that were crying and upset. The press conference followed the statement and that had to have been the worst hour of the day. Danny and I were required to answer questions. The questions were nosy and none of anyone's business.

"Nicolette, what do you think drove your father to suicide?"

I stared at all of them; camera's flashing, reporters writing in their note pads-the room was crowded with people all whom I didn't care to know. I could feel the anger welling up inside me and the silence between the question he had just asked and my answer was growing.

I just wanted to yell at everyone and tell them to leave us alone, but I knew I had to control myself.

"You know," I began to speak and my voice sounded shaky and weak, "My dad was a great man. What is important to me at the moment is to dwell on the happiness that he brought to us and to carry on his legacy in our lives. He was a person who gave nothing but his absolute best."

"That doesn't answer the question, Miss."

That's when I really thought about what they were asking. Had it been us that drove him to suicide? I tried to think about the last thing I said to him, but I couldn't remember. Was it something I did? He had no reason to kill himself unless he was hiding his depression. Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I should've paid attention more. Maybe he was suffering. I never actually thought about why he did it before.

"Miss?"

"Leave her alone," Danny snapped and the whole room fell silent. Even the camera clicks seemed to fade into nothing.

Danny reached for my hand under the table and held it firmly in his. We glanced at each other and shared a weak smile. Again, this was new for us, the whole being there for each other thing. My eyes were filling with tears. I looked out at the press and they were in some shock.

I tried to think about any reason that he might have possibly had for killing himself but my mind was going blank and my heart was becoming heavy.

"As you can imagine," Mom spoke into her microphone, "My children are devastated with the loss of their father. If you could please cut them some slack. They are children in grieving."

After the press conference Mom had interviews all day and the police crawled around the house all day in search of "clues". I didn't understand what there was to find. JJ told me that they were looking for drugs or anything that could explain his sudden suicide. Danny and I sat in the family room together as they ransacked the white house. The fact that his suicide made no sense was a big ugly secret that we'd have to keep for the rest of our lives.

At 4:00PM Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy started moving their stuff in.

Mrs. Kennedy immediately came to Danny and me and hugged us so tightly I thought I was going to suffocate. She was wearing heavy perfume that smelled of lilacs. She was a really tall woman with long hair that she didn't dye so it was a shade of white and grey.

"I know this day has been so hard for you," She said and tried to smile, "Wait, what are you two doing right now?"

I looked around. I guess we'd been watching the chaos all around us silently from the family room. I was thinking most of the time, still unsure if I was going to wake up soon. There were times when I would cry and there were times when I'd concentrate on something long enough to forget for a few moments.

Danny was silent. I shrugged at her.

"Why don't you come with me," She said, "I've got some gifts for you."

This I also dreaded. Presents and gifts couldn't stop what had happened or change the fact that I was completely torn up and sad. They were simply "I'm so sorry" gifts, and then every time I'd look at that gift I'd only be able to think about what happened to my dad.

She took us into the side pocket secret passage which led to me and Danny's 'play' room. The secret servicemen labeled the room 'the play room' so that's what we're forced to call it, but that makes it seem so little kidish when it really isn't. In the play room we have a grand piano, which is mine that I love to play, an xbox 360, a large flat screen T.V., several pieces of work out equipment, a baking area, a half a basketball court, and an area for painting. I loved coming in this room just to get away. I'd play piano for hours in here.

"Do you still play piano?" She asked me. As if it was even a question. I've been playing piano since I was about eight years old and I've loved it so much I've had no reason to stop.

"Yes," I answered.

"I ordered several new piano books for you and placed them on the piano bench," Mrs. Kennedy said, "And I also got some ingredients so you and I can make cupcakes today after dinner, dear. But we'll do it down in the real kitchen."

The real kitchen. The place where my dad killed himself.

"That sounds great Mrs. Kennedy," I said, "But I'd rather make the cupcakes in here."

I pointed to the small baking area over in the right corner of the room. It was like a small kitchen and usually I made my own lunch there if I didn't feel like ordering from the downstairs chefs and waiting for it to be made.

Mrs. Kennedy was a sweet women and I enjoyed being with her. I just couldn't be in that kitchen again, or at least not today.

I thought she would get confused and ask me why but she simply said, "Alright dear." Without missing a beat.

Then she turned to Danny.

"I understand you like video games and to play guitar?" She said placing an arm around him.

He nodded looking like he didn't want anything from her at all, no matter what it was.

"I got you three new video games that just came out yesterday," Mrs. Kennedy said with a smile, "They're over next to your xbox and I also got you that new electric guitar your mother tells me you've been wanting."

Danny smiled slightly and gave her a hug, "Thanks Mrs. Kennedy."

After that she pulled us both in close to her and squatted down to our level.

"I know this doesn't fix anything," She said quietly, "And I know it hurts. It will for quite some time. But we have to remember that life must go on, my dears. He'll be with you all the time though. Everything he did and was will be with you."

It wasn't until 7:00PM and after I had played piano for a while that I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day. It didn't matter though because I wasn't hungry. I felt sick inside. Mrs. Kennedy tried to get me to come downstairs for dinner but I didn't want to so I told her the truth, I wasn't hungry. She understood and told me to come down at 8:00PM to help her make cupcakes, but I didn't even feel like doing that. She insisted that I come down to the kitchen where he died. I finally told her that I couldn't stand being in there but again she said that I needed to go in there for closure reasons.

Nonetheless at 8:00PM I joined her in the kitchen. I tried to clear my head of all images but I won't lie, the first thing I saw when I came in the room was the image of wear he lay, sprawled, with blood everywhere. Danny sat at the kitchen table writing in a notebook. He did that sometimes and I'd wonder what he was writing about, but every time I had asked him in the past it always turned into a fight so I decided to stop asking.

"Have you ever had any of my cupcakes before?" Mrs. Kennedy asked as we were cracking eggs and mixing up the batter.

She could tell my mind was full and I was having a hard time focusing on anything but him. She looked like the typical grandma at that moment, elderly and with an old flowery apron tied around her waist.

"No," I admitted, "But mom and dad love your cookbooks. I've never gotten a chance to try anything from them though."

She smiled a little and kept stirring the batter. She glanced behind her at Danny and then at me.

"What's he doing?" She whispered to me, stirring the batter more fervently to cover up her whispering. I was almost certain he could still probably hear her.

"It's a mystery to me."

Mrs. Kennedy's cupcakes ended up being delicious; I wondered why mom and dad raved about her cooking from time to time again. Her cupcakes were moist, rich but not too rich, and filled with melt-in-your-mouth crème. I had two of them and so did Danny. Mrs. Kennedy left the rest of them out with a note attached to the pan that addressed the kitchen staff.

The note said: Thank you for all that you do! - Linda and Craig Kennedy.

Finally at 9:30PM I had some privacy and went back to my room and tried to get some peace from all the chaos. Mom came and talked to me for a little while about the details of the funeral for the next day and what was to happen. Tomorrow felt like it was going to be just as long as today had been and I felt like I was drowning today. I was so exhausted and my body didn't ever have a shortage on tears.

It took me until 2:00AM to fall asleep that night.





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