“I think you are right Lexie.” I said after I came back in, I had Alyssa on the couch and I’m sitting beside her on the edge. “About you not being able to do two jobs, cheerleading, school, taking care of Alyssa, friends, family, and Nick?” Lexie asked “Yeah. I’m going to quit Cheerleading. And then I will get an extra hour with Alyssa in the day.” I said and Lexie smiled at me “if that will work then let it work. But I’m proud of you Colleen.” Lexie said and I smiled at her “Thanks.” I said “Let’s hope you don’t get the flu next week because you can’t afford to miss any more school or work.” Lexie said and I nodded.
Friday night she was feeling better, moving up around and playing with Bryce so I knew I was able to go to work tomorrow at Publix. “Mama.” Alyssa said “What?” I asked “mama” Alyssa said “Lexie! She said her first word!” I said and Lexie smiled at me, “I have it on camera and you saying that.” Lexie said and I blushed. “Momma’s baby girl. Come here baby.” I said and she walked to me and I kissed her cheek.
I woke up at six and got ready for work, I arrived at seven and got off at midnight to make up for the past couple days because I really need the money. I found out Alyssa has said a couple more words today “eat, pee, poo, Au, Le, Bry.” “If she mentions pee and poops then she is ready to be potty trained.” Lexie said “I know. I need to work on that, I think she’s ready.” I said and Lexie smiled at me “Trust me, she is.” Lexie said and I smiled at her.
A year later:
Colleen’s Pov still:
Today I am graduating high school, Alyssa is two and a half years old, Kelsey is a year and a half year old, Bryce is five years old, Braden and Holly are four years old, Connor is graduating college tomorrow so we’re going there for that. Nick and I are still together, we’re going to college together in Tampa. Chase still isn’t in Alyssa’s life but that doesn’t bother me. “Do you mind taking her? I can’t have her with me because nobody will watch her.” I said and Lexie nodded “Sure, go on. You look beautiful by the way.” Lexie said “Thanks sissy.” I said and she smiled at me, Lexie is twenty-three almost twenty-four, Jake is twenty-two, Connor is twenty, and I’m eighteen years old.
I make it to the high school and smile at Nick. “You look beautiful.” Nick said and I flashed him my famous smile. “Thanks, you look good as well.” I said and he kissed my lips. “Let’s line up.” He said and I smiled. “Colleen Summerland.” Was announced and I walked up to the stage and got my diploma and walked back to the crowd. Afterwards I made my way to my family; Zoey is four months pregnant with Jake’s first child but her third. Austin handed me Alyssa. “Mommy, I’m proud of you.” Alyssa said “Thanks baby girl. I’m proud of myself as well.” I said and she smiled at me, we saw Chase past by and he smile. Alyssa looks just like I did at that age, and Kelsey looks just like Alyssa mostly.
“Dinner tonight at the Meadows.” Lexie said and I smiled, I’m taking Nick there tonight so he could finally see the magical place that Lexie found when our daddy died. “It’s hard to believe it has been twelve years.” I said “I know Coco but we’re doing good. He’s in heaven.” Lexie said and I smiled at her. “I know thanks sissy.” I said and she smiled at me. “I love you.” Lexie said “I love you too.”
This year has been crazy, it flew by. Kelsey is now a year and a half, Bryce is five years old, Alyssa is two and a half it seems like just yesterday for everything. Now all of the kids are running around the house. Colleen just graduated from high school; Connor is graduating from college tomorrow. We’re in the car on our way to Tampa so we could make it on time. “I can’t believe how fast this year has gone.” I said “I know. It seemed like just yesterday Kelsey was a new born and now she’s almost two.” Austin said “I know. Honey, I’m pregnant.” I said “How far along?” He asked “Eight weeks.” I said “Congratulations baby.” Austin said and I smiled “congratulations sissy.” Colleen said and I smiled, Colleen and Alyssa were riding with us.
After Connor’s graduation we helped him pack up his stuff and helped him load it up. “You best call when you get there.” I said “Yes Lexie.” Connor said “You need to. We will be worried about you.” Jake said “I know Jake.” Connor said “You be safe.” Colleen said “I will Coco.” Connor said “One big group hug?” Colleen asked and I nodded. Austin took a picture of Connor, Jake, Colleen, and I together. Connor since he graduated he is going to try to get a career over in Cocoa Beach, because he doesn’t want to go back to Stuart. “Now is a better time to say this.” Jake said and I looked at him “I got a job transferred. We’re moving to Tallahassee.” Jake said “Oh.” I said and Colleen looked at me “Don’t, I know you’re going to Tampa but school.” I said “Also to live. I don’t want to stay in Stuart area either.” Colleen said “Oh Coco.” I said and she smiled at me at least.
I got news that Colleen is moving next weekend to Tampa, transferring to that Publix they already have a day care service for Alyssa, an apartment where they can live in. When we got home after I set Kelsey down for bed and Bryce went to bed I grabbed Sassy’s leash and walked off. I couldn’t jog since I’m pregnant again but I walked fast to the meadows. I sat down by the pond and started crying. Everything isn’t the way it should be, everybody is going their own directions, nobody is going to be close anymore. All hours apart. “I miss you daddy. I miss you mom.” I whispered. “Lexie, it’s okay.” I heard Colie’s voice say. She walked up to me and hugged me, she was also pregnant. We have this thing of being pregnant at the same time. “Really? Everybody doesn’t want to stay in Stuart.” I said “Lex, can you blame them? You guys lost both your parents here.” Colie said “Yeah you are right.” I said “Our husbands have good news.” Colie said and I looked at her “They are being transfer to Daytona Beach.” Colie said and I stared at her. “He didn’t tell you?” Colie asked “No. I took off before he could.” I said and she nodded at me.
The next day, all of our families gathered at the meadows together for a lunch. “Promise me, every year on June 11th we come here? No matter what is going on.” I said “Yes.” Connor, Jake, and Colleen said. Kelsey walked up on my lap “Mommy, it’s pretty here.” Kelsey said “Yes it is, isn’t it?” I said and she nodded. “Well we are all getting our new beginnings aren’t we?” I asked and they smiled at me. “No matter how far we are Lex, we will always still be so close.” Jake said “ I know, it’s just my pregnancy hormones.” I said and Colleen laughed. “I’m going to miss you. Thank you for everything. You took me in and finished raising me and helped me with Alyssa.” Colleen said and I smiled, Alyssa was in Austin’s lap. “You better visit more. Alyssa will miss Austin and her cousins.” I said and she smiled.