Status: Thank you for everything x

Footsteps for a Bride-to-Be

#16: "Red Flags"

November 12th, 2011

I missed Michael. He was all the way in London again, and it was for a month. I always missed him when he was away, it felt like a part of me was gone, but I did feel that way while I was apart from Baby Phelps for two weeks. The moment we landed in Baltimore and arrived in our own home, the first thing I did was run to the little guy and gave him a big hug as though we were meeting for the first time. He was as happy as I was to see me, but as usual, it was his Father that he loved seeing the most. I learned to accept - during our two week getaway - that Baby Phelps' relationship with Michael was close because he hardly ever saw him and it was really a cry for his Father's attention that the two created a secret bond of their own. We actually discussed this because one of the topics that came across was about our little family, mainly about children bearing in mind that Michael really wanted to add another two to the roster.
Thinking about the getaway made me miss my fiancé even more. It got irritating and lonesome. I really needed a decent distraction, so as I originally planned, Baby Phelps and I were with my Mom for the first two weeks of November, and then the last two weeks were going to be with my Dad in LA.

12:25pm - Mom and Nick's Place

Mom and Nick moved in a new house within months of marriage, and it was a pretty big house compared to the house my siblings and I grew up in when Mom thought her life belonged in Chicago. I haven’t been there before, Baby Phelps has and I guess he already made it his home. We were there only for a day so far and he already took to the environment like he was there his whole life, and he wasn't usually like that, especially at Dad's house. During our stay, my older Brother decided he wanted to join in while his girlfriend was back in Canada to visit her Family, and my younger Brother was with Dad.

"Mom," I called as I walked down the stairs of her beautiful new home with Nick. I wandered down a step at a time as I tied my longer hair up into a loose bun, and it made me feel like that little girl all over again - it was kind of a nice feeling. "Mom, where are you?" I kept on calling, and there was definitely no response from anyone. Not even Ralph was shouting back at me to use my eyes and not my mouth like he always did while we were under the same roof. Even though we didn't grow up in that particular house, it still had a vibe where our memories could easily blend in into that house.
"Pumpkin, we're at the back," My Mom called out, her voice slightly faded as the kitchen was all the way at the back. I walked slowly towards the end of the house, but taking the longer route so I could inhale and examine each and every corner of the house. Mom and Nick did a really good job on renovating and, sort of, recreating the whole interior like they were married since they were young. They blended their youth and history right into each other's past. While looking around, I thought about what the house my Dad bought Michael and I for our married life looked like, I still didn't have a clue and there was no hint other than the fact that it was located in Bolton Hill back in Baltimore. I did drive around that area once and a while whenever I was near, I had a slight glimpse of some of the homes there and could only imagine which one was the one Michael and I were going to call our own.
"Mom, you and Nick did one heck of a job with this house," I complimented out loud as soon as I stepped out the back door to their yard. I saw my step-Father cooking our lunch on a barbeque grill, my Mom setting the table and arranging them so neatly like she always did, and of course, Ralph playing around with Baby Phelps. He really was practicing.
"Thank you, pumpkin," My Mom replied with a boastful tone.
"What did you think about the bedrooms, pretty good, right?" Nick added with the same tone.
"Oh geez, you two are so great for each other," I laughed. I made my way to Ralph and Baby Phelps, they were sitting on the bench right in front of the little pond and watching the pet goldfish splashing about. The two of them were so relaxed and very in sync that I was troubled that I could be disturbing as soon as I sat next to them. "So, how are you, Ralph?"
"I've told Dad, he doesn't seem too happy that I told him last," He blurted out.
I leaned back on the bench and looked at Baby Phelps, he was bordering to falling asleep, I didn't want to touch him or overstimulate him so he could just fall asleep in his Uncle's arms. I crossed my arms and asked, "What did he say about it?"
"He was more upset than Mom was, but he accepted it and gave me troublesome conversation about life and what I should be doing with my life. I don't think he gets that I served in the army for quite some time. He's just stopped and now he's badgering me to give him two grandkids before I go through the treatment, but if you think about it," He paused. "I'd have to wait for at least three to four years before I admit myself to therapy, and Hailey doesn't want me to wait longer than two years. Working on one kid is hard enough."
"Ralph, I don't want to be hearing about your sex life," I groaned in disgust.
"Hey, I get to be talking about my sex life and you can with yours, but it's mainly Ricky's sex life that I want to be hearing about since he's just a rascal," He scoffed. Ah, Ralph was such an older Brother, and like he said, our not-so-little baby Brother was a rascal since he could walk and talk.
"How'd he take the news?"
My Brother paused, his expression dropped to a downward spiral and sighed. "That rascal cried," He gulped. "And you know very well that Ricky doesn't cry unless he is really hurt. Like that time when he broke his arm, he didn't cry and thought it was a funny thing to happen. But he cried when Grandpa died and he was depressed for days."
"Yeah, he's like that," I could only mumble under my breath.
"I told him to be strong."
"And we'll be strong."
"Nah, Anne, think about it-" Ralph beckoned down to Baby Phelps, who finally fell asleep in his arms. "You have other people needed to be strong for, like this little guy here."
I looked down at my little guy, he was a miracle and he needed to know I was going to be there for him no matter what. "You're right, but know am here for you, bro."
He shook his head again. "Not yet, let me judge if you need me first, then after a year of marriage, I'll tell you," He joked as he watched me freeze on the spot.
He was scary with his jokes, even Michael confessed to me about that.
"I'm kidding," He nudged me with his shoulder. "Anne, you're fine, and if I need you, then you know I'll call you without hesitation. Know that the same goes for you, yeah?"
I nodded. "If that's the case, then I need you to take care of Mitch while I go help Mom," I said mockingly as I stood up and marched hastily towards my Mom without him saying another word.

Nick and Mom were acting like love birds, especially one that were newlyweds, and being the daughter of one of them, I coughed and felt nauseous inside seeing them being all lovey dovey. It's probably how Baby Phelps would feel when he's old enough to see and know that his Parents are being that way too.

"Pumpkin," Mom greeted me and tugged me to the seat next to her, her arms wrapped around me like how she would during my teens when she wanted to cuddle me for no reason.
"So Anne," Nick spoke up from behind the barbeque as he flipped the meat around and watched it sizzle against the heat. "How is the wedding planning going?"
"It's just the little bits and pieces now," I replied calmly as I cuddled close to my Mom.
"That's good to hear."
"Before I go through this, can I ask you guys something?"
The two of them looked at me kind of confused as I separated from my Mom and sat straight.
"Do you guys see anything to say that I shouldn't marry Michael?" I had to be blunt about it.
Mom paused, but Nick instantly shook his head and said, "I may not be your real Dad, but surprisingly, you three kids make me feel like I am. So I will be honest with you, I was kind of surprised when your Mom told me that I was going to meet her kids' significant others, and when you walked in with Michael Phelps, my jaws did drop. I never really believed it when Maria showed me magazines where you were in it because of your relationship."
"So, do you see anything I should be worried about?"
He shook his head without any hesitation. "Not that I see, but maybe you should be asking your Mom."
We both looked at my dear Mom, she was sitting there with her head lowered and nibbling at her lip with her arms crossed. It worried me that she had to think about it.
"Mom, are you seeing something I don't know about?"
Mom finally looked me in the eyes, her hand tapped on my lap as she explained, "There's really nothing I could complain about, but there's just one thing that makes me think about and that would be the fact that he's going to travel around a lot. If you think about it, even if he's going to retire, you don't think he'd get bored and would end up traveling to do other things like he still does now?"
"We talked about it before," I sighed. "He did tell me he wanted to do things for himself, and he told me that if Mitch wasn't born, then he would happily do them, but he said after Mitch was born, he couldn't think of doing things without us."
"That's true. Then again, how long would that last? He's always so used to being all over the place, and now that he was planning to stop all that to become a stay at home person, I am worried it'd cause problems," Mom was being brutally honest. She was throwing worries and doubts here and there, and it sounded like she wasn't trusting our relationship enough to hold on for long enough. Then again, it could be because it was similar to her and Dad, and that resulted to a divorce.
I did understand where she was coming from, but I didn't know how to react with it.

Mom made me think - and it was a negative thought.


"I'm in the room right now," I spoke to the screen of my laptop as I sat with my legs crossed on top of my bed for the two weeks Baby Phelps and I were there. I readjusted the laptop screen backwards so I could see the proper brightness and my fiancé's face on the screen.
"I feel like a teenager right now. Secretly talking to each other at night while being apart," Michael chuckled at the other end of the video call, but instead of a laptop, he used his phone and he was practically zooming it close to his face. He was in bed with no shirt on while hidden under his sheets, it was nearing midnight in London and he looked rather beat. I'm surprised he's still able to be awake at that hour.
"Well, do you think we should be a bit quieter so we don't get caught?"
He shook his head and replied, "I don't think anyone cares, we're old enough. Aren't we?"
"Nope, I'm not old enough."
"Too bad, I already asked your Parents to get married to you, so you can't reject anymore," He argued back with a goofy grin, but I didn't react so quickly to his teasing that I kind of tried to cover it up with a fake smile, and knowing him, he probably picked up on my lack of interest. "How come you're being a bit off?"
"Nothing," I lied.
"Tell me, I know how you are, Anne. I pick up on the littlest things, even when I'm this tired."
"Well-" My voice croaked. I had to clear my throat as the right words were clogging up and wouldn't come out right in my head. "Michael," I began. "Did you ask your Mom and Sisters about us?"
"What do you mean?" Clearly I caught his interest as he sat up and his tired expression quickly changed to an intrigues one. He seemed to have woken up as well.
I rubbed the back of my neck and avoided looking at him.
"I have always talked about us to them, I am open to them about us, but-" He sighed. "If you're talking about other things, then you have to be specific with me. It's late here, so I need you to help my brain out."
"Alright, fine," I murmured. I grabbed a nearby pillow and hugged it tight, calling it for support. "Were there any concerns or worries that came up within your family?" I finally asked.
Michael fell quiet. He looked surprised by the sudden question.
I fell quiet too. I buried my face into the pillow, only my eyes were visible.
We were both quiet for a while. I didn't know what he was thinking, I didn't know what I was thinking either and we were both just staring at each other with no exchange of words.
"Babe," He finally spoke up. He trailed his fingers down his jawline, there were stubs of his beard coming out already. "Anne, I don't know if you're having cold feet or whatever, but why should we care what others think of our relationship? Shouldn't we only consider what we think?" He sounded rather defensive.
"Why are you getting annoyed? I was only asking." I responded to his agitated tone.
"I'm not getting annoyed, I am just asking why you're always doubting?"
"Where is this all coming from? Look, if you're tired, never mind. Talk to you later."
"No, Anne-"


I hung up on Michael, I didn't want to argue with him while he was tired, because it was actually my fault that I asked a rather heavy question. I slammed the laptop shut, my face smothered into the pillow and a little scream escaped from my lips.


November 15th, 2011

11:00am - Lula Café

It's been a few days since I last spoke to Michael. He's messaged me a couple of times, tried to call me and sent a message to my Mom once to tell me to answer him. I haven't spoken to him, I haven't sent him any response and he was so persistent. I loved him because of his persistence, but because he got grouchy at me and because I knew I was at fault, I avoided confrontation with him. I didn't want to distract him from his duties for the upcoming Olympics next year, even though Ryan has been sending me complaints that my fiancé wasn't participating in the fun that went on.
Throughout the whole time I stayed with my Mom and her new husband, my mind was out of my body, and thank goodness for Ralph, but I was really out of it that I couldn't even take proper care of my own son. I was so distracted that I wasn't participating in anything and wasn't talking as much as I should. I didn't even want to wander around the block whenever Mom and Nick toured Baby Phelps around the block in his stroller, and they weren't asking me what was wrong because they knew I won't tell them.

Sitting at the café with Baby Phelps on my lap, cradling him as he was starting to doze off. Mom and Ralph invited me to lunch, the three of us just so we could bond together. Nick went to work anyway, so there was actually a reason why it turned out to be a private time for us. I've avoided talking about the red flags again, and since that day in the backyard, Mom had been careful with her words when it came to talking and asking about Michael.
"Look at you," Mom smiled as she leaned forward to stare down at Baby Phelps. "You are quite tired, aren't you? Since you woke up your Mommy so early in the morning because of your little tantrum due to those cute little bottom teeth breaking through," She continued to talk to him as he let out giggles that were followed by a yawn.
"I can't believe he's already teething," Ralph sighed. "I'm getting old enough, Mitch, can you not grow up so quickly? I don't think your Mom can handle you growing up so soon."
I stroked Baby Phelps' brown hair to the side and gave the top of his head a light peck. "He's getting old, he's making his Mom and Dad more and more exhausted as he ages." And it was oh so true. "When he starts walking and talking, I think he'll tire me out within the first few hours of our day."
"If he's anything like you, pumpkin, then I suggest that you should get as much sleep as you can when he takes his naps," Mom advised with a smile.
"And he's gone," my Brother chuckled as I felt Baby Phelps' head leaned back and his arms flung down within minutes. "I can't wait til I get my own," He announced. "But first things first, Anne, what's gotten into you? You and Mom have this fake vibe between you, so talk it out."
I reached for the glass of water and took a big gulp and didn't realize I finished it.
Mom kept her smile as she leaned back on her seat, her arms crossed as she surprised me with an apology. "Pumpkin, I am sorry for making you be upset with yourself, especially causing you and Michael to get into an argument because of our discussion."
"It's okay, I asked him nicely and he had to be a jerk about it."
"Don't talk like that," Mom growled.
Ralph shook his head. "My complaint with your relationship is the fact that you two are both insecure," He confessed without a filter. He was just like Mom, that's why they were very close. "As much as you two seem to feel like you fixed it, but I think that you two haven't fully talked it out. Especially you, Anne, you are so mean to Michael just because you think that he's not into you or that he deserves someone else than you. You should know that he is invested in your relationship as you are, more so since you lasted since Ann Arbor, have a son and he's marrying you. If he wasn't so sure about you, he would've left you by now. I should know as I'm a guy and I left the other girls I've dated because I wasn't so sure about them in the first place. Hailey, I am two-hundred percent sure that I want to spend my life with her."

Hearing a male's perspective was such a slap on the cheek.

"As much as I want to side with you, I can't. You're being stubborn again. But in all honesty," Ralph reached for my hand and gripped on it tight. "The insecurities that are coming out between the two of you as you're getting closer to the big day is the only red flag."
I looked at Mom for reassurance of what my Brother said.
She merely nodded and reached out to place her hand atop of ours. "That's my only worry, pumpkin. The other things I said, I came to realize that he loves you and worries about you so much that he's even contacting me to try and get a hold of you." Mom gripped tighter. "Suck in that pride and call him. If not for yourself, then do it for Mitch. You don't want to end up parting and making him go through what you and your Brothers did, do you?"
I shook my head, fighting the tears that were starting to swell in my eyes. I held onto Baby Phelps tighter and gave him a light peck. I don't want him - and his future siblings - to ever go through the hardship my Brothers and I did when our Parents split up.

4:30pm - Mom and Nick's Place

Back at Mom and Nick's home again, I was back to where I was the last time I spoke to Michael. He was home early today, but I didn't call him until an hour later when I got the right words planned out and I managed to prepare myself for the upcoming conversation.

"Anne, before you start talking, let me talk." That was the first thing Michael said as soon as he came on screen of the laptop. He was sitting up at the edge of the bed, he was in his boxers and he looked a little rough compared to the photos I've seen him in the magazines and news of the events he's attended. He scanned me for a few minutes before he released a breath and continued on; "I know we haven't been good friends lately, but this is the opposite as to what I wanted to be when we came back from our two week getaway. Babe, I love you, and I don't want the excuse of being tired to be the one to cause us to fight over something that is ridiculous."
"It's not-"
"-Please," He silenced me. "Let me talk, babe, but talking about red flags in our relationship is ridiculous. I'm sorry that you don't feel that way. However, I shouldn't have reacted the way I did. I'm sorry. I should've told you as soon as you asked instead of yell at you like a jerk."
I felt my eyes water. "I should be sorry too."
"Nope, you don't need to apologize for your reaction, it was my fault."
"I brought it up without warning-"
"-No, we should've talked about it a while ago," Michael interrupted me once again. He really wanted to talk more than letting me talk. I didn't want to be the listener at that time, but I had no choice. He rubbed his forehead and kept on going; "I spoke to Mom and my Sisters about us and asked them if there were worries about our upcoming nuptials. Mom told me that after six years and a baby later, I owed you for being patient, but they weren't sure whether or not you would stay as long as you did since my hectic life blended into yours without warning. I know you didn't ask for my schedule, for my type of lifestyle and for the type of relationship that we ended up having, but thank you for being there for me."
"Is that the only red flag?" I couldn't resist.
"Well, Whitney brought up the fact that you and I are very doubtful of our relationship." He sounded as though he tried to keep that line a secret.
I felt a tear roll down my eyes. I quickly brushed it away and asked, "Are you doubtful?"
His lips pursed together, swerved to the side and as much as he tried to hold in his words, he knew he had to tell me before I got more upset. He exhaled heavily as though there was a heavy burden on him to tell me what he was doubtful about. "I always thought that you'd leave me, eventually," He admitted.
"What?" My eyes narrowed.
"Meeting you in Ann Arbor, I got worried that I wasn't your type when you agreed to go on a date with me. I got nervous when I met your High School boyfriend, but I saw why you left him. The one person I was sure you would leave me for was the guy you lived with in New York, he was interested in you and was so obvious that I was sure you would've noticed, but instead, you ignored him." Michael kept going on and on about all the times he worried about me leaving him, he was the only one talking for a while that he even leaned back onto the bed. He looked more relaxed.
Listening to him, I felt the weight in my heart was getting lighter and lighter. "Baby, I love you." I exclaimed, stopping him at his tracks. "And thank you."
"For what?"
"For being the human being that you are," I repeated what he often said during the majority of his interviews ever since our getaway. "I really thought I was the only one."
"Well you thought wrong," He beamed.

From there, our conversation became lighter. We went on to talking about what I've been doing and what he's been doing to what our son has been up to. We were back on track.
Thank goodness.


November 24th, 2011

8:00am - Dad and Kim's Place

Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.
"I grew up around here, Mitchie," I whispered into his ear as we looked out the window, looking at the view and environment of where Dad and Kim had lived. Ricky picked us up from the airport, he was around because he planned on heading towards South Korea in a couple of days for a three week holiday tour with his new friends from College.
"I grew up in Chicago," my younger Brother announced so proudly from the driver's seat. His response is just like him, and it was actually the way he always talked to Ralph and I despite being the youngest one. I figured he got it from our Dad as our own Dad talked that way whenever he was around his own siblings during Family gatherings. "I'm thankful I did because I would've been dating before I graduated."
"Stop being such a little rascal," I hissed at him as it hit me right in the chest. Ricky would often joke around about dating early because Ralph and I dated during High School, he didn't start dating until he got to College, although we were certain he's had a bunch of girlfriends and judged us like the typical hypocrite he was. "What's up your pants, Ricky?"
"Nothing," He grumbled. "Except for that douche of a step-Brother."
"How old is he? Your age right?"
"Nope, that dude is our youngest sibling."
I chuckled at how much Ricky was unhappy with the fact he was no longer the youngest, and he sounded like he disliked our step-Brother way more than he disliked brussel sprouts.
"It's not funny," He groaned in frustration as he turned into the driveway. "You and Ralph didn't have to live with him for so long since you both moved out and ditched me," He kept complaining. "Living with him is like living with a big baby. He's so spoilt."
"Sounds familiar," I teased as I leaned forward to give him a pat on the shoulder.
"Walter is just a douche," Rick squeezed in as a final complaint before he sucked in a lot of air along with his many complaints and put on a brave smile. He turned the car off and walked out of the car without another negative word. I followed him as soon as I unbuckled Baby Phelps from his car seat and was met with an embrace from Kim.

Yeah, my step-Mother hugged me like I was her own.

"Happy Thanksgiving," I said into her ear.
"Definitely thankful for you and your little family," She responded with a positive tone. It's different hearing her so loving and friendly towards me and Ricky. Something must've happened for her to suddenly do a three-sixty turn and be the opposite to the step-Mother I grew up with.
I suspected it was because of her son being in the picture.
"Come on in," She wrapped her arm around me and led me inside to meet the smell of a big turkey in the oven, the stuffing and some roasted vegetables.
"Sorry I'm late, Dad." I gave my Dad a big hug as soon as I saw him. I apologized because Baby Phelps and I were delayed due to a cancellation of our flight, nonetheless, we were there and Dad couldn't be happier. He took Baby Phelps from my hold and gave the baby a big hug.
As soon as I was certain that my son was in safe hands and was okay to be left behind, I slyly left the lounge and chased after Ricky to assist him with my luggage. There was a spare bedroom that my Dad always kept clean and untouched for me as Walter took over Ricky's old room, and Ricky was forced to move into Ralph's old room and was unhappy as he felt like he was invading our older Brother's privacy and memories. I felt so sorry for him.
"It's thanksgiving," I reminded my younger Brother to cool him off. He seemed really stressed.
"I know, sis, but there's not much to be thankful for anymore, especially when my only Brother, the only guy I looked up to, is sick," He confessed as we entered the room I would be staying in.
I could only stare at him with a sad expression.
"I was really hoping he would last as long as he said he would and see me get married."
"Ricky, is that the only problem?" I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.
He suddenly turned around and stared me straight in the eyes with a serious face. His fingers curled into a fist. "I don't want you to get married," His tone of voice so aggressive.
"What? Are you joking right now?" I nearly yelled, fortunately I managed to hold back the volume to keep our conversation private. "Now is not the time to be joking around, Ricky."
"I'm not joking, sis. I really don't think you should get married." He really was serious.
"Come here." I grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him to the bed, we sat along the edge and asked, "Why don't you want me to get married? Is this about Michael? Or is this about getting married in general?"
"Both," He mumbled, his fingers being twiddled around as he avoided my gaze. "Listen, Michael is a good guy and all, but I'm going to be honest, I don't want you to marry him because I think he will cheat on you and leave you for someone else. I don't want you to turn out like Mom, heartbroken and be depressed for a long time before she found someone that saw passed her fake smiles."
"Mom was depressed?" I questioned.
Ricky nodded. "You and Ralph didn't know because you two no longer lived with Mom while I had to for High School, and I saw passed her fake smile. She was pretending, and I wanted to ask him every day, but I couldn't. Mom really tried so hard to keep us happy and help cover the divorce," He explained. "You're like Mom, and if Michael left you, you're going to be faking your happiness."
"Do you think I'm faking my happiness now?"
He shook his head.
"Do you think I'm going to end up like Mom?"
He nodded.
"How come?"
He sighed. "Because I've seen you cry more than Mom did," He revealed so quietly, even trying to make it sound like a whisper so I couldn't hear.
But I did. "You've seen me cry, huh? Do you know why I cried? Are you assuming I was crying because I was sad?" I was full of questions, but it was for the sake of getting it through his thick skull that I was happy.
"Why else would someone cry? I've never seen anyone cry because they were happy."
"Sure I cried a couple of times because I was stressed out about a few things," I revealed. "And of course I have cried because I was sad. But the times I cried when I was with Michael was mostly because of happy memories, not sad."
"Are you sure?" Ricky looked at me with pleading eyes. He needed clear reassurance. He must've been as scared as I was when it came to marriage as our Parents were divorced, and nowadays, divorce became the option more than talking things out.
"Ricky, you have to trust me on this. I really am trying hard to not make Mitchell go through the same thing we did, and I know we went through hell, but I am trying my best," I explained to him. I held onto his hand before giving him a big hug. "Thank you for worrying about me, for protecting me and Ralph in your own little way. You know I love you."
He hugged me back, his head leaned against mine as he became a bit more relieved. It was a while before he let me go and switched to a different persona and complained, "That is gross, don't be saying stuff like that. Don't tell anyone what just happened okay? Because that'd be very uncool."
"I won't Ricky," I reassured him.


After a couple of hours getting used to the house once again, I never had the chance to sit and talk to Kim about the tests she gave us during the getaway. My Dad had taken up most of my attention, he was telling me about his time in London with Kim's Family, and I was telling him about the things that my step-Mother reserved for us to create an opportunity to speak to her, but whenever I mentioned something she paid for Michael and I to do, she would either be in the other room or didn't listen at all.
Before dinner, everyone was scattered all over the place and I was finally left alone with my step-Mother as she was busy in the kitchen and I made myself handy by setting the table. There was a bit of silence for a couple of minutes before I gathered enough courage to say something, and it was silly, but I started with; "I love the smell of turkey for Thanksgiving."
"Thank you, my dear," She replied instantly as though it was an automatic response.
"I was wondering if you wanted to hear how Michael and I went with the tests," I hastily asked before the conversation died down. "And we are so thankful for the reservations you made for us, it really was a good way for Michael and I to talk things out and be more open. We felt closer and felt our relationship is a lot stronger than before. Thank you."
Her back still faced me. "I'm guessing you want to know why I decided to make you two talk things out."
"I kind of do," I agreed to her statement, but deep down, I felt nervous.
With her back still facing me, she went on; "Walter's Father and I never talked about those things before we got married, and as much as I loved him and as much as I was hoping that our marriage lasted forever, it really didn't. I'm thankful for your Father to coming into my life, despite having difficulties blending into the new life of being a step-Mother, and with you and your siblings not liking the idea, it was really hard, but then, your Father and I discussed the idea of having step-children into our lives. If we hadn't, I suspect we would have divorced by now." She finally turned my way, we met eye to eye. "Communication is the most important part in the relationship, and looking at you and Michael, I knew the two of you never talked about the emotionally deeper things that came with the relationship. I thought, as a gift, I would teach you two what I learned during my first marriage."
"If I may ask," I coughed. "Why the sudden change of attitude?"
Kim smiled. It was a genuine smile that showed that she had completely become a different woman. "I came to realize that you were getting married, and despite our disputes and struggles to becoming a lot closer, I realized that our relationship was still like a Mother and Daughter. We were distant, but you were my only daughter and the first to be married away, and talking to your Dad, it's a lot harder for him to be letting you go. He's not losing a daughter, but he's technically trusting someone her life." She explained with such confidence. "I love your Dad, you three mean the world to him, especially you, so I'm rooting for the two of you to last and not leave each other for the stupid things."
I wiped the loose tears that dripped down my eyes while listening to her. I sniffed a bit, walked around the counter and wrapped my arms around her. It was the first time I ever hugged her out of my own free will, and it wasn't expected because I heard Kim begin to sob on my shoulder.
I've never felt so close to my step-Mother before.
"Thank you" was all I could say.
♠ ♠ ♠
I promise this is the last filler, lol, I really don't know what am doing. Thanks for reading though!