‹ Prequel: Kids Are Forever
Status: One Shot

One Day We Will All Meet Again

Getting My Life Back

Evgeni’s POV
“Dad wake up,” the bed dipped down before I was being rolled over, “wake up.”
“No,” I mumbled feeling the affects of my excessive drinking from the night before and every other night for the past few years.
“Here I brought you some water,” Lacey nudged my shoulder.
“Thanks sweetie,” I sat up with a ranging headache.

“You should probably get up soon.”
“and why is that?” I gulped down the glass of fresh cool water.
“because Luka and all them are going to be here, remember Christmas… Dad!” she groaned, “don’t tell me you forgot again, you do this every year.”
“No, no I haven’t forgotten, now shhh dad has a headache. Let me sleep, 15 more minutes and then we go to airport.”
“Dad we don’t have to pick them up until 1,” she looked annoyed.
“Well then why am I awake?”
“Because you promised we would go for a run, now come on,” she stood up and ripped the blankets off the bed.
“No,” I curled up trying to keep warm. I would never get used to the cold chill of a Pittsburgh winter.

“Yes, besides you could use a workout.”
“What does that mean?” I sat up with a frown on my face highly offended by that statement.
“Ah… you’re fat,” a cheeky smile crossed her face.
“I am…” I looked down at my stomach, “this is no fat, you want fat Uncle Sid is fat. I have that metab--“
“A high metabolism,” she folded her arms over her chest.
“Yes that, I never get fat, now shooo I get changed we go running.”

Lacey was so much like her mother. I think if she had have moved up to Montreal with her mum and the other’s I wouldn’t have been able to survive each day. She wakes me up, she makes me breakfast, she does a lot. I know she is the reason I am no longer depressed everyday. She was my princess.

“Lacey…” I puffed, “wait up,” I stopped bending over to catch my breath as we ran through our favourite park.
“Oh come on dad,” she sighed, “we still have another 5 kms.”
“Walk for a bit,” I put my hands on my hips and caught my breath.

“How come you not tired?” I frowned at her.
“Because I have won cross country for the like past 3 years now, it’s kind of my thing.”

She still played hockey all the time but as I had learnt before I can’t make my kids do something they don’t want to.

Luka was still into playing hockey we were all hoping that he would drafted into the QMJHL like Asher did and keep going from there and Asher, he was doing really well. He had been drafted by the Montreal Canadians, which was half of the reason Kate had gone up there, to be with him through everything.
Zach had was starting his first year of hockey too so maybe we would have another little hockey star.

But Nikolai he had never really been the same after Clark died. He turned 8 this year and he was spitting of his brother, the basketball thing and all. It made it hard to look at him, to play with him, to do anything with him because I was always thinking of Clark. I know this Christmas I am going to have make everything right with him, before I lose another son.

“Hey dad do you think you and mum will ever get back together?” Lacey looked over at me like she knew something I didn’t as we continued through the park.
“Maybe, I don’t know,” I shrugged because really I didn’t think Kate would ever forgive me for what I did.
“Maybe you should talk to her, Luka says she misses you.”
“Really?” I raised my eyebrows in surprise, “I thought she hated me and never wanted to talk to me again.”
“No she was angry just like you, you both said things neither of you meant,” and now I was getting lectured by my 15 year old daughter, great. Since when does she know more about this stuff than me? “if you just apologize then she will forgive you and they can come back to Pittsburgh and stop speaking that dumb French.”
“French is dumb and it would be nice to have them back, I mean no one cooks better than you mum.”
“So you will talk to her?”
“I will send her email tonight,” I put my arm around Lacey’s shoulder.
“Ok good idea,” she beamed.

Kate’s POV
“Hey are you guys ready?” I walked down the stairs dragging my luggage bag behind me.
“Yeah,” Luka sat on the couch flipping through the channels not caring much for what I was saying.
“Zach have you got your teddy?” my 5 year old was standing on the couch completely occupied by the tv.
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged.
“Well come on, turn the tv off and go get ready, we have an hour until we have to be at the airport,” I ushered them upstairs.

“Hey Ash, have you seen Nicky?” I caught him as he was about to head upstairs.
“I think he is outside.”
“Alright and can you make sure they pack properly?” I gestured upstairs where they was a lot of arguing going on.
“Thanks,” I rushed outside to find the last prodigy.

“Nikolai!” I called out. There was no response just the sound of a ball bouncing.
“Nikolai!” I rounded the house to find him playing basketball on the ring on the side of the house.

He looked so upset and every bounce of the ball got harder and harder.
“Hey sweetie,” he looked over at me and I could see his little pink nose and his little pink cheeks and I knew he had been crying.
“What’s wrong?” he kept throwing the ball at the wall as if I wasn’t even there.
“Nothing,” he sniffled.
“Well, have you packed yet?”
“No,” he mumbled.
“Why not?”
“Because,” he was the only one who wasn’t excited to go see his dad for Christmas.

“Hey what’s going on with you?” I knelt down in front of him so he would stop with the ball and pay attention to me.
“I just don’t want to go,” he shrugged.
“Why not? You used to love spending time with your dad,” I grabbed his free hand as he tucked the ball under his arm.
“Well I don’t anymore,” he shrugged trying to look away from me, “he doesn’t care,” I could see the anger rising in him, “All he cares about is Clark!” he threw the ball at the ring not caring how far away it bounced.
“Sweetie,” I sighed feeling sorry for him, “he never meant anything he did.”
“How do you know?” he sat down in the snow and folded his arms.
“Because I was like it too but you forgave me, right?”
“I guess,” he stood back up as I pulled him into my arms.
“It will get better, I promise,” I kissed his forehead, “now come on, I will help you pack.”

A part of me has been missing ever since that night and will until the day I die. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children, there not meant to lose them and there is nothing on this earth that will prepare you for that battle.

My son had been dead for five years now and I am not sure what had made it easier to cope. The kids? Time? Moving away? Or maybe I am slowly losing my ability to feel any emotions? Either way as life moved on it has gotten easier to live everyday.

I don’t remember much for the first few weeks after losing Clark; it is all pretty much a blur. I felt like maybe I was in a state of shock, not being able to do anything, just wanting to stay in bed. Asher made sure the twins were up and ready for school and brought Evgeni and I breakfast which we never ended up eating.

It took well over a month and a lot of coaxing from Veronique just to get me to go out for a walk in the much needed fresh air.

At the time I wished they would all just go away but thinking back now I realized that without her and our friends I never have gotten my life back on track.

But with moving on comes a lot of hardships and with Evgeni a whole lot of fights.
I only recall him leaving the house whenever he ran out of alcohol because apparently drowning in his sorrows was going to make him feel better, but it didn’t. Using a depressant on an already depressed person never did make much sense.

So one day after a year of living through hell I upped and left. I took the kids and we left because being with him wasn’t helping anyone especially the kids.
I told him he wasn’t allowed to have anything to do with them until he cleaned up his act. Maybe a shock like that was what he needed because it wasn’t until a year or so later that he began to see light, but it was hard for me to forgive him.

Eventually Lacey decided she wanted to go live with her dad which I was fine with. Having a hard headed person like her around was going to do him some good and I knew she would keep me in the loop and let me know what was going on. After all she was just like me and couldn’t keep her mouth shut sometimes.

Evgeni’s POV
“Dad come on,” Lacey was a little too excited to be seeing her brothers for Christmas. I know they each other but they were never this excited to be together.
“Yeah wait up,” I rushed after her as we jumped in the car.

“Why are you so excited anyways?” I turned her as we pulled up at the airport.
“Because we have a surprise for you,” she unbuckled her seat belt and climbed out of the car in a hurry.
“Why for me?”
“You need a break,” she shrugged not giving me much of chance other than to follow behind.

My eyes searched around the airport and as I heard my daughter yell in excitement I saw her.
“Mum!” Lacey smiled so much as she ran through the crowd and into her arms.

Why did I ever let her go? She the most beautiful woman I had ever met in my life. Even after all these years she still took my breath away. If I could take what I did, take back the drinking, the fighting I would. I would do anything to have her back.

“Dad!” Zach ran as fast as he could and jumped into my arms.
“Hey buddy, how are you?”
“Good,” he wrapped his arms around me. There was another I wished I could take back. I missed seeing my little guy grow up, I got videos of him walking and skating and his first school play. I missed everything but he didn’t hold it against me, at least not yet and when that time came I would have a lot of explaining to do but for now I was going to make the most of it.

“Dad,” Asher and Luka appeared and wrapped there arms around me in a big group hug.
“Hey guys,” I had missed these two and they would never know just how proud I was of them, achieving so much even through everything that had happened.
"You guys ready for a fun Christmas?" I asked as we walked back over to their bags and ultimately where Kate was standing.
"Yeah!" they all cheered in unison.

"So mum," Lacey stood next to her mother with a big smile on her face and gestured to me. These kids were truly terrible sometimes. Having her here for Christmas was something they could have told me about. Then maybe I would have cleaned the house for once.

"Hey," she stood in front of me with that smile I fell in love with plastered on her face.
"Hi," I wasn't sure what to do and with our kids standing around staring at us but it wasn't making it any easier.
"Um do you guys want to go see if Nikolai is ok? Give you dad and I a minute," Kate ushered them away.
"Where is Nicky?" I thought something wasn't quiet right.
"He's just a little upset at the moment, he will be fine though.”
“I hope I am not intruding or anything but Lacey really wanted me to come down and see her, umm but don’t worry I am going to stay at a hotel.”
“No is ok you stay with us.”
“It’s fine really,” she tried to wave me off.
“No don’t be silly, you stay with us, here,” I bent down and picked up her bags.

I wasn’t going to give her any other option but to stay with us, it was going to be my only chance to prove to her that I was sorry and that I wanted her back. I needed her back.

We got back home and I helped the kids settle into the rooms which never changed. The house was still the same as it always way and I don’t think I was ever going to change it because it was home even if it wasn’t filled with them all the time.

“Where’s Nicky?” I noticed again his little face was missing from the couch.
“He went outside,” Luka shrugged.
“Why is he outside? It’s cold out there,” I got up and went to find him.

“Hey bud,” I found him outside shoveling the snow by the basketball ring, “why are you doing that?”
“Because,” he was struggling with all the snow that easily outweighed him.
“I want to play basketball.”
“Oh right,” it was a dumb question on my behalf but I hadn’t shoveled snow from the basketball court since Clark.

“You know mum always helps me shovel the snow at home, you never do,” he grumbled looking at me shooting daggers at me with his eyes.
“You want help?” I went to take the shovel away from him because honestly he was never going to get it down on his own.
“No,” he pulled away, “you don’t care you just want to because you it’s the right thing to do. Mum always teaches me about doing the right thing but you never do it, did grandma not teach you?” I could see the tears begin to stream down his little pink cheeks.
“Nicky,” I sighed remembering all the times I had let him down.
“It’s Nikolai!” he screamed pushing the shovel over before trying to run away.
“Come here,” I grabbed him as he kicked and screamed in protest.
“Let me go! Let me go!”
“No,” I wrapped my arms around.
“Let me go!” he wriggled and fought with me but I wasn’t letting him get away.
“Shhh it’s ok,” I pulled him into my chest, “just shhh.”
“Let me go,” he fought lamely before giving up completely.

“Nicky… Nikolai I am sorry,” I looked down at him as he held onto me and cried.
“I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to hurt your mum, I never meant to hurt anyone and I want to make it better, I really do,” I stroked his cheek.
“But you already did it,” he buried his face into my jacket.
“I know and if I could take it all back, take everything I did back I would, but I can’t,” I ran my hand through his thick brown hair to calm him down.

“But I can try and make it better. Hey look at me,” I cupped his little chin and made him look at up me. Wow, did he look just like Clark. The same piercing blue eyes and thick brown hair that curled up out from under their beanies, 8 years old and he was a spitting image of his brother.
“From now on I make it better.”
“You promise?”
“I promise. Lets go back inside, get some hot chocolate and we can do this later.”
“Ok,” he sniffled attaching to my hip and wrapping his arms around my neck.

“Hey what’s wrong sweetie?” Kate walked up and ran her hand over his forehead as he rested on my shoulder.
“He be fine, don’t worry,” I put him down on his feet and knelt down in front of him, “now go get changed into something dry and get comfy on the couch.”
“Ok,” he threw his arms around me, “I love you dad.”
“I love you too.”

“Everything ok?” she followed me into the kitchen where I began making the kids some hot chocolate.
“Yeah it will be ok, he just needs some time.”
“Hey once I have done this can we go for a walk?” it was now time to try and make things right with the one person I needed to most, my wife.

Kate’s POV
The moment we pulled up at the cemetery I knew I was going to be crying by the time we left. I hadn’t been to Clark’s grave in years. It was one place I couldn’t bring myself to go back to.

“Evgeni, why did you bring me here?” I looked at him with confused eyes.
“I bring him a new toy once a month,” he pulled out a little toy car from his jacket.
“Why?” I thought Evgeni was losing his mind but I realized it was his way of coping, his way of holding on.
“He loves them,” he shrugged thinking nothing of it.

I stood back as he knelt down and began to brush all the snow from the headstone.
“You want to help?”he turned to me.
“Ok,” I was a little reluctant but knelt down on the other side of the grave and began to help him.

As his name was revealed I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer.

Clark James Malkin

I ran my fingers across each letter of his name before Evgeni wiped one last part and my eyes fell on the plate with a picture of his smiling face.
“Clark,” I began to cry seeing him, “I miss you,” I traced finger around the picture.

“Do you miss him?” I looked up at Evgeni knowing the answer but wanting to hear him say it for myself.
“I miss him so much,” he knelt down next to me and put his hand on my back.

“I miss you too.”
“What?” I looked over at him and I had been crying so much that his face was merely a blur.
“I miss you Kate,” I could here the sincerity in his voice.
“I miss you too,” he wrapped his arms around me as I broke out crying for another reason.

He sat down and pulled me into his lap and held me. He just held on as I cried before sadness overcame him and he cried himself.
“You know I never signed the papers?” I stuttered.
“What?” he pulled back and looked at me with confused eyes.
“The divorce papers, I never signed them,” I was waiting for him to blow up in my face, get angry or something, but he didn’t.
“We’re still married?” a wash of relief ran over his features.
“Yes, I couldn’t bring myself to sign them, it just didn’t seem right.”

Even though I had said it, I yelled it at him. I wanted the divorce I was sick of his behaviour but when I saw his signature on the paper it was messy, it didn’t look anything like his I knew that he wasn’t thinking straight when he did it. The Evgeni I knew would never have signed those papers, not even with a gun to his head.

He wiped the tears from my cheeks before grabbing chin and tilting my head to look up at him.
“I love you,” he spoke so honestly that it hurt.
“I love you too,” I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him.

I hadn’t felt his lips on mine in forever. But the way he kissed me back I felt like nothing was ever going to hurt me again. I felt loved, something I hadn’t felt since Clark.

I had learnt to live with the loss of my son by carrying his memories close to my heart. I talk to him sometimes; I tell him I love him and how I miss him terribly. I do it for me, I do it because I know it is the only way I can communicate with him.

I know he is in a much better place then we could ever find on this earth and for those who think it is nothing I will be more than happy to be alongside in nothing when the time comes. But for us, Evgeni and I we know there is something, the place our son is playing basketball everyday and running around with Jeffrey and Copper, trying to stop Rocky from chewing up his basketball. We know that someday we will be together and that brings me comfort.

Death is a part of life. None of us will ever escape it’s fate. The whole that is torn from your heart when you lose someone so dear to you will always remain. But with Evgeni back I will be able to fill it with all the warm memories that we have of our son. The love we all share will always remain, between parents and child. It’s like a connection you have so you will always be able to find each other again. And you will.

“We can fix us,” Evgeni whispered as he stared into my eyes.
“We can fix us,” I repeated before he sealed it with a kiss.
♠ ♠ ♠
Alright guys this is the end for sure. I hope that this doesn't ruin the story for anyone but I felt like it needed it.