Chapter 10

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The next day, Melanie texts everyone except for Carmen to meet for lunch. Carmen and I woke up this morning and had breakfast and then I went home, so I don't have to make any excuses about having to leave. I walk around my big, empty house and think that I need to make some changes. I think I may need to sell it. Before I can do it, I have to go through their things and give them to someone who needs them. I tell myself when I'm able to go through her things, then I'll be ready to put the house up for sale.

I walk into the restaurant and there's a large table in the back with everyone sitting and waiting for me. I walk over to the group and sit down in the only seat left. Shannon comes over and sits in my lap, "Hi Uncle Samson!" I give her a squeeze, "Hi sweetie! What are you doing today?" She giggles, "What do you think I'm doing? I'm about to eat lunch!" I smile at her, "Yes you are."

"Did you spend the night over Carmen's last night?" Brock asks. "I did. She let me sleep in the spare bedroom. I couldn't leave her after all that happened last night." I tell them. "I'm glad you stayed. I was a little worried myself." Melanie says. The waitress comes over and takes our food orders and then walks away.

"The reason I called lunch today is because we can't leave Carmen at work alone every night. There are seven of us, we can come up with a schedule so that someone can be with her every night and walk her to her car so she can get home safely." Brock nods in agreement, "She's one of us now so we need to make sure that she's okay."

"She's taken care of herself this long without anything happening to her, why now?" Brianne asks. "Is there a specific reason that you don't like her Brianne other than you think that we're trying to replace Chloe?" Rose asks, "Because that's not what we're doing. Even if Chloe was here with us, she would be a friend. She is a genuinely nice person and I know that Raven has been asking about seeing her again. Right?"

At hearing her name, Raven perks up, "What?" She says. "Nothing honey. We just said your name." Brianne answers. "Since everyone is here, when is Carmen coming over again. She's so much fun!"

"We'll set it up soon honey." Melanie says. Satisfied with her answer, Raven goes back to her game. I smile at her. Kids get right to the heart of the matter. "If you don't want to be in the rotation Brianne, you don't have to be." Melanie says. The waitress comes to deliver our food with a little help since there are so many of us. After making sure we have everything we need, she walks away leaving us alone again. Rose looks at Kyle's soup with her nose in the air, "Why did you get that Rabbit stew?" Kyle smiles at her, "Because I always wanted to taste it and they have it on the menu."

"I hope you like it, because you have to eat all of it." Rose reprimands. Brianne doesn't say anything so we figure out the rotation without her in it.

The next night, we all go into her job as a group and tell her what we have planned. She tries to decline the help, but Rose insists. In the end she thanks us all and accepts the help.


After they come in and tell me what they are doing, I really start to feel better about someone being here with me at night. The next couple of weeks go by without incident. I notice that Brianne isn't in the rotation, but Samson is there every night that I work no matter who is there that evening.

Tonight all of them are here, even Brianne, although she is nice to me, she is still distant. We talk, while I take care of customers and clean. Peter walks in the door tonight and when he sits down, he looks agitated. I excuse myself and walk down to him, "Hi! Do you want the usual tonight?" I feel the familiar headache start to creep up from the back of my head. He frowns at me and gives me a short nod. I get his usual rum and coke, handing it to him. "Are you okay this evening?" I ask.

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