7. Imperfection

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After almost three more Disney movies we all just fell asleep on the couches and floor.  Beth even stayed in Alex’s lap all through the night.  I stayed on the couch with Cam’s arms around me.

In the morning I ended up waking up before everyone.  I looked around at them all sprawled out on the couches and floor and smiled.  We’re safe with them and they give me a peace of mind that I haven’t ever had.  No one is going to hurt Beth here.

I carefully wiggled out of Cam’s arms and walked to the kitchen.  Sitting at the table was Diane sipping on a cup of coffee and reading a book. 

She looked up when I walked in and smiled. “Good morning sweetheart.”

“Morning.” I said smiling back.

“Would you like some coffee?”

“Uh…yes thank you.”

She walked to the cupboard and got me a mug and poured some coffee.  She motioned for me to sit down and she set the mug in front of me.

“So, I assume you now know everything about Cam.” She said bluntly.

I took a sip of the warm coffee and nodded.  “I do.  He told me before the hospital incident.”

“Yes, well, I’m so happy you did end up changing your mind.” She smiled patting my hand.  “You’re special to Cam.  We haven’t known you long, but we cherish you and Beth very much.  No one’s been able to reach Cam so quickly the way you have, and I’m very grateful for that.  So thank you.”

I felt tightness in my chest, some tears were threatening to come out and she noticed.  “Are you alright Anna?”

“You all are just so kind.  I…I just don’t know how to handle it.” I said holding back tears.  “Since we got here you’ve taken care of us like family.”

She smiled sweetly, “Well sweetheart, I’ll tell you the truth, when you got here that day I saw something in you and it made me think that maybe this little girl, who is also raising a little girl, needs a little love in her life. I know you were trying hard to keep your home life a secret, but since we’ve had Cam around I know a look when someone is lying.  I don’t know the gory details, but I just felt like you could use a mother and a relief from raising Beth.  Whether you think so or not, she is not your responsibility to raise, that’s not saying you’re not doing an amazing job, but you need a chance to grow up and be young girl too.”

A tear finally escaped.  “Thank you.”

She scooted her chair close to mine and wrapped her arms around me.  I laid my head on her chest and let a few more tears escape.  She rubbed my back and I realized that this was the first time I’d ever been in a motherly embrace.  I was so happy I could burst.

Finally I stopped blubbering and leaned up.  “Thank you Diane, for everything.  You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met.”

She patted my cheek. “If you need anything don’t even hesitate to ask sweetheart.”  She stood up, “Now I should probably start making breakfast for those very hungry boys and adorable little girl in there.” She giggled. 

She then got up and began making waffles.  I helped her and about halfway through the smell was swimming all through the house and we could here everyone in the living room wake up. 

“Waffles?” I could here one of the boys say.

“Bacon?” Another.

“Eggs?!” Cameron said.

“Food!” Beth said giggling; I could here her clapping her hands. I smiled and brought the first batch of waffles and bacon to the table.

“Come eat you guys!” I called into the room.

They all piled in and sat down.  “Where’s your dad?” I asked Cam.

“Oh he had to leave early for work.  He’s always upset he misses this.”

“Aw, what a bummer.” I said taking Beth from Alex’s arms.  They were practically inseparable!

I sat her down and cut her waffle for her and put a little syrup on top.  Diane had also cut some fruit up so I got her a small bowl.

Finally Diane walked up to me.  “Anna, stop being mom for a bit and eat your breakfast.” She pointed at the chair with her spatula.

I sighed and conceded. “Fine.”

Cam, smiled at me with a big bite of waffle in his mouth.  It made me giggle.

We all finally got settled and were eating and chatting happily.

Once we finished we all got ready for the day.  We had to take turns since there were only two bathrooms and we all had to take showers, or in Beth’s case a bath.

Finally though once I was all ready I relaxed in the living room.  Cam was in the shower and I played with Beth since she’d already had her bath.

I got up to go get water from the kitchen when Alex approached me.  “Hey Anna, I have a suggestion.”

“Yes?” I said taking a sip of my water.

“Why don’t, for today, you let us take care of Beth all day and you and Cam go have a fun day?” He smiled.

I returned his smiled, “That sounds great.  Thank you!” I chuckled, “You’ve really taken a liking to Beth.”

“She’s adorable.  My fiancé and I have talked about when we want kids and she wants to wait for a while after we’re married, but I don’t.” He laughed.  “I guess Beth just brings out the brotherly or fatherlyness in me.”

I smiled wholeheartedly.  “Well, I’m so happy she has you.  She’s never had any sort of brother or fatherly love, so having all of you guys playing with her so much gives me a piece of mind.  It also makes me glad because I know in her future she’ll have men in her life she can depend on and will protect her.”

“You know, for only being like seventeen, you sure act older.” He chuckled patting my head and walking out of the kitchen. 

I just smiled.  I suppose I do, but it’s necessary. Adapting to survive and take care of Beth, that’s all I know.

**Kind of a short chapter.  I know it's mostly informational and emotional whatever and after sooooo long it might be boring, but I really just wanted to show the family more because they're important to the story for a girl who's only good family is her little sister. :) I hope you guys enjoyed it anyways!  If I made any mistakes about information I apologize.  I reread my story, but that doesn't mean I didn't miss something since it's been so long and I can't remember what I even wrote lol:)**

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