‹ Prequel: God Please
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Second Chance


A smile turned up the corners of Brian’s mouth when he pulled up in front of his favorite out of the way bistro, and found his sister already sitting at a table on the patio. The multicolor-haired woman turned and waved at him, a similar expression pinned to her features. People could say what they wanted about siblings and their so-called rivalry, but these two never had much of that. She adored her older brother, and he just loved his younger sister. Who wouldn’t? McKenna was sweet, caring, whacky, inspiringly creative, with a zest for life that was just insatiable.

“Where have you been?! I’ve missed you!” the younger of the two exclaimed, and threw her arms around his neck for a tight squeeze.

“I’ve been around, Ken.” He chuckled, and dropped a kiss to her temple. “I’ve been working with the guys a lot, and with Emily’s new venture.”

“I heard about that. She hasn’t given me the details yet, but she seems super excited about it.” She beamed, and slipped back into her seat. “I ordered you a coffee, and told them to bring it out as soon as you got—”

“Good morning. Your coffee, sir. Do you know what you’re going to have today?” the waiter questioned the moment he had the stout navy blue mug on the bistro table between the pair.

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

“Normally I wouldn’t object to anything a guest requests, but really I don’t think you’d like it.”

“I wouldn’t?” a brow crooked in question now. “Why not?”

“She is having peanut butter avocado toast on pumpernickel bread with a side of honey mustard, eggwhite scramble with olives, and a side of tofu bacon with ghost pepper sauce.”

“Oh, wow. Uh,” he laughed now. “In that case, I will have the monster omelet with everything in it. Hold the gravy.”

“Cheese on top?”

“DOUBLE CHEESE!!!” her outburst drew strange looks from both parties, and a hand came to her lips to stifle a giggle. “Sorry.”

“Yes, cheese on top. And a side of cheese for her…..uh….combinations as well.”

“Yes, please. That is what I meant.”

“Hangry much?” the stringsman smirked.

“Too much coffee, or not enough; you pick!” she belted out so cheerfully, it was nearly in song. “Anyway, back to you. How are things?”

“Busy, but good. How about with you?”

“Going well. Can’t complain!”

The duo joked, teased, and chatted through their meal. They were close, and although it was tough for them to be apart as often as their schedules forced them to be, but they were resilient. They could pick up where they left off at a moment’s notice, and that was something they each valued most about their relationship. They were just about as involved in each other’s lives as could be, and never really knew another way to be with one another.

Near the end of the meal, McKenna’s black and purple fingernail polished pick hand came to take his fret hand and gave it a squeeze. Chocolate brown eyes glanced up to see a more serious look etched on her face now, and it prompted a simple cock of his head. He knew the gesture was the beginning of what she likely had invited him to breakfast to say, so he didn’t make an attempt to verbalize the question.

“You know that I’m a freethinker, and you and I sometimes have different beliefs on things; dreams being one of them. I know you don’t put much stock into them.” She said so softly, that she wasn’t positive the breeze that danced around them hadn’t carried it away entirely.

“I don’t; but I know that sometimes people do.” He paused to give her hand a light squeeze of encouragement. “What brought this on? Did you have a dream?”

“I did…..and this may sound crazy, but I know it’s not just a dream. I can just feel it.”

“What do you mean?”

“See, Jimmy was in it; and I never dream about him. Or, hardly ever, I should say. Never anything important, but this was.” As tears threatened to spill over lightly lined eyes, she looked away for a moment to gain her composure.

“Tell me. You know if you say it’s important, I’ll listen to you.” He coaxed gently. “Come on, what was it?”

“In the dream, we were all was sitting in the floor as a family at mom and dad’s house like we used to do when I was a kid. It was Christmas time, and we were watching all the kids play with their new toys. I had a couple of kids nestled between my legs that looked to be three or four years old. Brent was chasing his kids around and tickling them, and dad was pretending to help, but then he kept betraying them and just handing them over to their daddy.”

“Sounds about right,” he snickered.

“Everyone was laughing at them. You were sitting a little way away from me, watching everything. Just then, a little boy, about a year or so older than my kids, came running from the other room and dove into your arms. He bowled you over and you attacked him with tickles. He was screaming and laughing the sweetest laugh I have ever heard.”

“So, I was alone, and I had a son?”

“No. Emily was there, she was just in the other room. Anyway, he kept shouting, ‘Ken-Ken, save me!’. Of course, I had my hands full and couldn’t help, so he began calling for his mommy. Emily came out of the other room holding a baby girl. Not sure how old she was, but Em brought her over and handed her to you. You gave her kisses and she let out some totally adorable belly laughs. Not really sure how to describe it, but the camera or whatever panned out to a wider shot if you will, and…” she paused to swallow back a lump that had been forming in her throat. After a quiet breath in and out, she got up the courage to continue. “Jimmy and another man were standing outside, looking in one of the windows. He had the most amazing smile on his face. It was incredible. He turned to the other guy and said, ‘I’m so glad you sent him. He’s just so perfect.’ The other guy said, ‘In today’s world, so many kids grow up without a loving family. He doesn’t know yet how lucky he is to have two.’ I didn’t realize it until that moment, but the little boy you had didn’t look like you two like your daughter did. He had darker skin, and I remembered in the dream that you had adopted him. He just fit so well in our family, I completely forgot that he wasn’t naturally born into it.”

It was now Brian’s turn to push back a ball of emotions that had been gathering in his throat and chest. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of this. He wanted to ask questions, but found he couldn’t speak at that particular moment.

“I know you and Emily have had a long road to get here. Two years ago, you were only half open to kids, and that was just a someday thing. When you guys found out you were pregnant, it came as a shock, but I watched you form such a bond and love for Grey. I know that in those five or six months that you knew, you realized how much you wanted to be a dad; and she realized how ready she was to be a mom. I know you guys want to have kids on your own, and I believe that you will. This dream was just so real, Brian.”

“I know it was. I can hear it in your voice.” Speaking of which, he was surprised he was able to find his, but it still didn’t come out as loud as it normally did.

“I don’t know if you’ve thought about adoption, but I feel like Jimmy is trying to tell us something. Maybe you should look into it?”

“Yeah,” he replied lightly. “Maybe.”

“I’m sorry if I—”

“No, you’re good. I just, uh. I’m not really sure what to say.”

“If that wasn’t on the table, I’m not trying to push or anything. I just wanted to encourage you that you guys are going to have kids. I have never felt more strongly about something before, especially from a dream.”

A small nod moved his head, but any other form of response was lost on him. He was a bit taken aback at the whole thing, really.

“Please don’t be mad at me? I know all of this is a touchy subject, for lack of a better term. I just want to see you guys happy again.”

“I know. We are. I mean, we will be. I mean, well….you know.” Unsure lips stammered out. “We’re getting there.”

“You are, I can tell. You guys have seemed closer to yourselves than you have in months. I want to see that continue.”

“So do I, Mac. So do I.” a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding slipped out of him as he leaned back in his seat now. After a pause, he threw up a hand as an outward sign of the subject change. “So, tell me about you. How is everything with you?”

“They’re going well.” She replied simply, yet thoughtfully. A twinkle graced her eyes, and though it seemed there was more to it than that, that was how she left it.

“As in?”

“As in,” she giggled, “going well. What more do you want to know?”

“What has you so quiet all of a sudden? Usually, I can barely get a full sentence out before you’re gushing about your makeup, which is ironic, considering you called it Speechless. Music, the boyfriend, life. What’s up?”

Another happy sound of carefree amusement left her again, but only briefly so this time. Lightly made up eyes locked on his now and that same silence settled over her once more. It was then that he knew for certain that something was up. That knowing look, which alerted her that he knew, fell over his face, and she knew she had no where else to go with their visit but the answer. A glisten of a few tears gathered in the corners of her eyes now. There was no hiding the truth, and it was apparent that it bothered her.

“Mac. Tell me. What’s up?”

“Please understand that I never intended for this to happen.”


“Please know that I never meant anything, and I am so sorry it happened this way.”

“I know that. Tell me.”

“Brian, I swear to eff I never thought that—”

“MCKENNA,” he interrupted firmly, yet carefully, and sat forward in his seat. “What happened?”

“I’m pregnant.” Salty drops of sentiment began to flow freely, despite her best effort to stop them. Her voice came out so quietly now, it was hard to even classify it as a whisper. “Please don’t hate me.”

The words that he hadn’t thought he would hear again so soon, especially from his sister, hit him like a ton of bricks. It was more real than if someone had socked him in the stomach just then. His breath hitched in his throat, lips when dry, and his mind went everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

“P-pregnant?” he heard himself stutter out. “Pregnant?”

“I am so sorry!” emotion riddled words snapped off of her lips and her tears now practically sprang from her eyes like the plague.

Normally, seeing his sister cry would have crushed him. He hated it when she hurt, and it typically took no more than a split second for him to reach out to comfort her. Not today. He was frozen in shock at the moment. He wasn’t angry, but beyond that, he wasn’t entirely sure what he was.

“Say something!”

“I don’t hate you,” he pushed out as best he could.

“That doesn’t sound very convincing.”

“I don’t hate you. I love you very much. You’re my sister. I’m just…..” he willed himself to have the words. Some words. Any words. Inside, his heart ached at her news, but every bit as much at her distress. He wanted to offer some form of assurance, but nothing came to him.

“Angry. You’re angry at me.”

“Peanut butter avocado on toast—” the waiter came up cheerfully and proceeded to set her plates down, only to be immediately dismissed by the overly emotional Haner.

“Oh, I can’t eat now! Take it away!” she blurted.

With a simple nod, the man turned on his heels to leave. The courteous gesture netted him nothing more than a disgusted sigh from McKenna, as if he should have known what was taking place. He did not get more than ten feet away when she choked out her regret.

Acting on instinct, Brian stood to his feet and moved to stop his retreat. He leaned in and whispered a word of explanation to the gentleman, whose expression quickly turned a bit more understanding. A deep breath was pulled into the guitarist’s lungs before he returned to the table.

“He is going to keep it warm for you, and when you are ready, he will bring it back out. Okay?” his heart broke at the sad little nod his sister gave now, and he dropped a kiss on her forehead now. “It’s okay, I know the drill.”

“I’ve never felt more unstable in my entire life!” she sniffled as she pulled a wad of tissue out of her oversized purse.

“I understand that, too.” A sigh left him as he resolved he had nothing more to do than reclaim his seat. “I’m not mad, Mac. I’m not jealous that you’re going to be a parent before me. I don’t know how to explain it, really. It just hurts- and please don’t take that the wrong way.”

“No, I understand.” With a pause to blow her nose, she nodded and sat back in her seat. “I get what you mean. I can’t imagine how that feels, and believe me, I never planned to get pregnant.”

“Neither did Em and I, but we never regretted it. You won’t either.”

“I’m so excited, Brian!” she exclaimed now, and her features softened into the happy expression that typically graced her features. “I was scared to death to tell you, but I really am excited!”

“And you should be. What does dad think?”

“Dad doesn’t know yet! Are you kidding me?” she chuckled now. “I wanted to tell you first. That way, if I lived through it, I would be better prepared to tell him.”

“Only way I would have been upset is if you told Matt and everyone else first.”

“You’re my big brother, Bri. I couldn’t imagine telling anyone else before you.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Hello! It has been a LONG five months. Like I say many times in the wake of my absences, a lot has gone on. However, I hope you are all still here.

I hate to say this but I may have to shorten my plans for this story, otherwise it may not ever get finished. I was in a much different place when I started this story, and I love it too much to watch it go by the way side. I promise that if I choose to go that route, I will do my best not to make it seem rushed. I care that you have all been so patient and have wondered if I will ever return. I want to do this story justice, and finish it correctly by you all. I still wouldn't say I am "almost done", it is not THAT much of a haste. We will see where it takes us.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sticking by. I am going to try to update more regularly now!!