Chapter Twenty Four
Sarah shook her head at me. “A broken wrist and 5 stitches.” She looked at JJ as he slept on my knees. “I really hate that woman.” I nodded sadly.
“So do I. I mean how could you do that to your own daughter? Steal every penny in my account?” I shook my head closing my eyes.
“Don’t let her get you baby. We’ll get the money somehow I know we can.” She laid her head on my shoulder looking up at me. “You’re just a kid and you’ve already been though too much.” I shrugged looking at my casted hand.
“Sometimes I wish it was different. That I was normal, with a normal family, and a normal life.” I looked at her with a weak smile. “But I can never truly see it happening. I can never see myself normal.” She put her hand on my face.
“Baby you can be whatever you want to be. You’re your father’s daughter. You can do anything you set your mind to.” She smiled at me. “And you don’t rest till you do.” JJ gave a little whine as Sarah slipped in a blue pacifier into his mouth. He opened his blue eyes to look at me before yawning and closing them. I yawned making Sarah laugh. “Time for bed sweetheart?” She smiled at me.
“Maybe a little tired.” I smiled down at JJ. “But I haven’t seen you for so long. And JJ just got here.” I smiled at her.
“We’ll be here tomorrow Lightning. It’s late. I might if you sleep.” She stroked my cheek.
“It’s only 8 o’clock.” I shook my head smiling. “I’m 18 now. I do to sleep later than 8.” She laughed at me.
“Oh of course you do baby. But you have had a long day haven’t you?” I nodded as a knock came at the door.
“Hey Dad.” She smiled at him as he came in kissing her cheek. Tucker smiled at me his hands in his pockets.
“Sarah meet Tucker, my boyfriend. Tucker my step mother Sarah.” Tucker smiled at her putting his hand out to be shaken.
“Nice to finally meet you. Carson talks about you a lot.” Sarah smiled back.
“I’ve heard a lot about you too.” She smiled at him shaking his hand. Tucker looked down at the baby on my legs. “Meet my son, JJ. Car’s little brother.” He smiled down at him as he whimpered making his arms and hands in the knit blanket. Tucker smiled at me as cooed at JJ re wrapping him. “Did you bring the food Dad? I’m starving!” Grandpa handed her the take-out bag as she quickly opened it and pulled out a burger. Grandpa put him hands out as I picked up JJ.
“Let me see my new grandbaby.” He smiled taking the baby as I got up to stretch my legs. Tucker pulled me to him.
“I saw something when I was out.” He whispered in my ear. I looked at him confused. “And I had to buy it for you.” He pulled out a box from his pocket. “Open it.” He whispered rubbing my hip gently.
“Oh he went to Tiffany’s!” A nurse giggled walking into the room. I opened the box slowly looking inside of it. I looked at him biting my lip.
“You like it?” He asked his eyes searching my face. I nodded fighting the tears. “Then why you crying?” I shook my head.
“Cause she loves it sweetheart.” Sarah smiled taking another bite of her burger. I nodded at him as he wiped the traitor tears that fell.
“Woman. You never know what they truly mean.” Grandpa shook his head taking out his food. Tucker kissed my head.
“I don’t care if I can’t understand what you truly mean. I love you anyway.” He whispered making me giggled. “You want me to put it on for you?” I nodded moving my hair as he picked up the necklace from the box and laid it chest heavily. I looked down at the silver sand shovel and bucket charm handing from the silver chain. I smiled at Tucker as he wrapped his arms around my waist. I leaned back into him as Grandpa cooed at JJ.
“Where’s grandma?” I asked Sarah yawning.
“She’s waiting for your grandparents at the house.” I rubbed my eyes.
“Pap-paw and Mam-maw are coming?” I asked her. She nodded at me as I laid my head on Tucker shoulder after he sat down with me on his lap.
“I called them to tell them and they said they were leaving as soon as possible. That was hours ago, so they shouldn’t be too far.”
“Car or are they flying?”
“They’re flying in. They couldn’t get any early flights for some reason.” She said offering me a fry. I shook my head at her as my eyes grew heavy as Tucker rubbed little soothing circles on my hip. “Dad why don’t you take Tucker and Carson back to the house for the night?” Grandpa looked at me as I yawned again fighting sleep.
“I think you’re right there.” He smiled at her handing over a squirming JJ. “I think he wants a feeding anyway.” He picked up his jacket as Tucker helping me stand up. “Come on before you fall asleep on your feet.” I shook my head.
“I want to see Pap-paw and Mam-maw though.” I mumbled as Tucker put his hands on my hips guiding as I walked half asleep to the elevator.
“You can see them tomorrow Car. They’re staying at our house too. Come on.” I waited leaning back into Tucker as I yawned once again. “Come on into the car.” He said as we walked over to the car and getting in. “Do you want anything to eat?” He asked Tucker. Tucker shook his head.
“I’m good right now thank you.” Tucker stroked my hair as I laid my head on his shoulder. “Do you want anything baby?” He asked me as I shook my head.
“I’m not hungry really.” I sighed.
“You sure? All you had today was that sandwich.” He gently put my hair behind my ear.
“I’m too tired to eat.” I mumbled at him making Grandpa laugh as he pulled up to a house I didn’t know.
“Come on inside. Your bedroom is up the stairs and it’s the second one to the left.” He said opening the trunk of the truck pulling out our bags. I nodded getting out of the truck and following him as he opened the door to the house. “Remember up the stairs to the right.” I raised my eye brow at him.
“Grandpa you just said to the left.” He winked at me.
“Just seeing if you were paying attention.” He laughed turning on the lights. I walked up the stair opening the seconded door to the left. I turned on the lights to a blank white room with a queen size bed against the wall. I ran my fingers over the new sheets on the bed with an old quilt on top. I moved to look at the ratty pillow cases. I ran my fingers over the Disney characters on them. Their faces worn and old from years of being slept on. I looked at the nightstand next to the bed. It had a clock, a lamp, and three pictures on it. One of my dad and me. The second of Sarah, Dad, and me from Dad and Sarah’s wedding. The last of Mam-maw and Pap-paw and me. I sat on the bed picking up the picture of Dad and me. Wow I really missed him. I put the picture back down.
“Carson?” I looked up at Tucker as he put our bags on the floor by the dresser. “You alright baby?” I nodded at him slipping off my shoes lying back on the bed. “What’s wrong?” He asked slipping off his shoes sitting on the bed next to me. I shook my head yawning again.
“I just miss my Dad.” He looked over at the picture. He kissed my head gently not knowing what to say. He knew all I needed was the comfort of his touch.
“Come on get out of these jeans and into some pajamas alright?” I nodded tiredly at him. He left my arms helping me pull off my sweat shirt before picking up my bag opening it. I closed my eyes as they started to burn with exhaustion. “Come on almost done.” He smiled at me unzipping my bag pulling out a shirt I stashed of his in my bag. He shook his head before undoing my bra. I slipped it off putting my arms up for him to put the shirt on. “See not so bad.” He smiled kissing me. I shook my head unbuttoning my pants pulling them off lying back down on the clean sheets. I closed my eyes the smell of home pulling me into the darkness instantly…..
I woke up to whispers outside in the hallway. I rubbed my eyes with my good hand looking at the clock on the nightstand. 7:30 am. I looked at a pasted out Tucker as he snored lightly in the morning sun. I got out of bed and made my way towards the door closing it as I left the room. I walked down the stairs towards the voices in the, what I assumed to be, kitchen. Everyone looked at me. Pap-paw looked at me and smiled. “Morning baby.” He smiled in his accent. I hugged him tightly smiling.
“Pap-paw I missed you.” I smiled happily. He kissed my head as I hugged Mam-maw next.
“Oh look at my little baby all grown up.” She smiled hugging me tightly. I nodded hugging Grandma next. Pap-paw pulled me back into his arms.
“Look at you.” He sighed holding me tightly. I held him tightly. He looked at my face running his fingers over my bandaged forehead.
“What happened?” He asked quietly. I shook my head laying it on his should as my wrist burned with the pain, with the reminder. I closed my eyes tightly. “Baby doll.” He drawled at me. He lifted my hurt hand gently in his looking at me with the same look Dad used when he wanted to know what happened. I shook my head. “Carson.” He gave a frustrated sigh. Mam-maw put her hand on Pap-paw’s shoulder shaking her head.
“Not now Troy. Not now.” She sighed. He nodded kissing my head. The phone rang and Grandpa went to go answer it. “Leave her alone.” They turned to look as Tucker came down the stairs rubbing his hair. “Mornin’.” Mam-maw smiled at him. He looked at the new faces.
“Uh morning.” He said blinking confused. Grandpa walked into the room holding the phone with an unsure face.
“Carson, you have a phone call.” Mam-maw looked at him then at me. I took the phone from him putting it to my ear.
“Hello Carson.” The smooth voice said. “It’s me, Harold.”
“Oh, uh, Hello Harold. Can I help you with anything?” I asked confused.
“I was wondering if I could maybe talk to you.” He asked nervously.
“Um, sure. Go ahead.” I asked confused.
“I mean in person.” He said clearing his throat.
“I’m in Dallas.” I said not really sure.
“I know. Uh, I spoke to Sarah. I, uh, I was wondering if we could talk now.”
“Sure. Where do you want to meet?”
“At the Starbucks across from the hospital, 10 minutes alright?”
“Sure I’ll meet you there then.” I said rubbing the back of my neck, since the phone was in my casted wrist hand.
“Thank you.” He sighed relieved.
“No problem. You see you in 10.”
“Bye.” I heard hustling and bustling in the background. He must already be there.
“Bye.” I hung up the phone putting it on the kitchen table not knowing what he wanted to talk about. Nervous none the less.
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