Chapter 5

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"Hey, Meg can you watch the kids for a minute?" Mia asks walking into my room. After I got home I showered and went straight to bed. I promised myself that when I woke up I wasn't gonna think about Isaiah. I was gonna be the me I was yesterday. Now here it is, almost one, and I'm sitting in bed looking at my high school yearbook.

She looks at me then to the yearbook in my hand.

"You're torturing yourself." She says, sitting down next to me on the bed.

"Can't help it." I murmur, staring at a picture of Isaiah during one of his basketball games.

He's always had the body for basketball. Tall and skinny. He's a lot more muscular than he was in high school but he still has that perfect body.

I wish I could remember last night. What we said and what we did, aside from the obvious. Were tender words exchanged or was everything quick and meaningless? How did he feel this morning when he woke up? Was he happy I was already gone? Did last night remind him of our love five years ago? It probably reminded him of why he decided to cheat, my inner-self tells me.

"You needed me to watch the kids?" I ask her, closing the book and blinking away tears.

"Yeah," She says standing up. "I missed a call from the hospital. Um, I laid Ryder down for a nap in my room, so I was wondering if I could talk in here?"

"Yup."

"Thank you! Zoey is coloring in the kitchen and Zander is on the couch." She tells me as I walk out the door.

"Whatchya coloring?" I ask Zoey as I walk toward the island counter.

"That's a pretty picture." I say, complimenting her Ariel coloring page.

She looks up and gives me a slight smile before continuing to color.

"What are you doing?" I ask Zander, sitting down on the couch next to him. The swelling around his eye has gone down dramatically leaving a dark purple bruise.

He looks at me then to the comic in his hand and then back to me.

I nod. "Right."

"Zoey thinks you look like Ariel. " Xander suddenly speaks up after a few minutes of silence.

I look at Zoey who's still sitting at the kitchen island silently coloring. "She said that?" I ask him confused, I've never heard her talk before.

"Yeah." He responds nodding. "She talks to me. She calls you Aunt Meg."

A smile forms on my face. "Really? Does call Mia Aunt Mia?

He slightly shakes his head and looks back to his comic.

"Well, what does she call her?"

"I don't think I should tell you." He says not taking his eyes from his comic.

Now I'm curious. "Yes, you should. I won't tell her." I promise him.

"Shecallshermomma." He mumbles quietly.

"What?"

He huffs. "I said, she calls her momma."

My smile quickly falls off my face. "Just- just make sure she knows not to say that in front of your mom." I tell him worried about how Marie would respond if she knew what her daughter called Mia.

Before I can ask him any more questions Mia walks into the living room. Her face is pale and her eyes are rimmed red, meaning she was crying.

I jump off the couch and rush over to her. "Mia, what's wrong?" I know the hospital bills are getting further and further behind. She's even started taking up extra shifts at her job to get a little more. "Mia, what did the hospital want?"

"Someone set up a new payment plan." She says and starts smiling. "The lady on the phone said that someone made a huge anonymous donation to the hospital and we somehow ended up with it. I don't even know how but she said they were canceling my payment plan and I wouldn't have to make any more payments. The donation covers what we owed and any future payments for mom's chemo treatments and dad's therapy." By the time she's done explaining she's out of breath and grinning ear to ear.

I don't even know what to say so I pull her into a tight hug.

After a few seconds police sirens can be heard outside the apartment. Mia pulls away laughing.

"I told Jonathan I had an emergency." She tells me walking toward the door.

I laugh with her. The poor dork probably thinks his sister is dying.

A few minutes later when I hear Mia laughing again I walk into the hall knowing the siblings' private conversation is over.

Johnathan is there in his officer uniform spinning Mia around in his arms.

"Are you and Meg coming to dinner at Mom and Dad's tomorrow?" He asks setting her down.

"I will be there but I don't know about Meg. I think she's already had an-"

"I'll be there." I cut Mia off. "Why are you asking?"

"I'm gonna re-propose to Autumn. We agreed to wait until the hospital bills were caught up and I'm not gonna wait anymore. She's getting her Christmas wedding this year." He explains, looking between the two of us, grinning.

Mia and I both start squealing. There's a small possibility that we're more excited by this than he is. Actually, that's not possible but we are really excited. Everyone has been waiting for them to get married since he proposed for the first time over five years ago.

"Okay, quit your squealing. I gotta get back to work. And Mia, next time, don't scare me like that." He then hugs both of us and walks out the door.

As soon as the door closes we start squealing again and I realize that it has been over an hour since I've thought about Isaiah.

I shrug to myself. It's a start.

***

When I started this book I knew how I wanted it to start and how I wanted it to end but I was struggling a bit on how the middle should go. I think I've got it figured out now. And can I just say- I'm super excited!

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