Journal 7: The Great Many Mrs. Maxfields

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A/N: Hey everyone! Glad you're still checking back this week to see the newest entry from Brandon. This covers Ch. 6 in TMMM which is Meet The Maxfields. 

Hope you like it! 

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I was five when my mother died so there isn't a lot that I remember about her. I knew she had thick, dark hair and warm brown eyes and she always gave me two chocolate chip cookies with my milk every night before I went to bed. 

It was a winter day and I had been sick in school. The nurse told me to stay put in the clinic because Mom was coming to get me. I fell asleep on the sick bed and when I woke up, Dad was there, sitting on a chair next to me. Calmly, he put a hand on my arm and told me that Mom was gone. I don't remember if I really understood then what he meant but the rest of that day was fuzzy, blurring together with the memories of standing at the cemetery, chilled to my bone as I stood next to Dad watching the coffin being lowered to the snow-covered ground. 

I don't recall much of what happened after that until one day, Dad came home with a woman. He told me her name was Evelyn and that she was going to join us for dinner. At seven, I don't think I really knew what was happening but I hadn't minded because Evelyn was so nice. She always smiled and laughed but I think I liked her better because she made Dad smile and laugh, too. Dad sat down with me one night, when he came into my room with a glass of milk and cookies and the book we were going to finish, and told me that he was going to marry Evelyn and that even if she was going to be his new wife, she didn't replace my mother. He told me that my Mom needed someone to look after me because she couldn't anymore. I told him that Mom would've liked Evelyn because she made really good cookies and always reminded me to comb my hair. 

Soon after they were married, they told me I was going to be an older brother. I listened to Evelyn's belly a lot and she didn't mind letting me touch it when the baby kicked. When Anna was born, I think I might have commented that she looked awfully ugly with her wrinkly skin and bald head. I'd thought that Evelyn would get angry at me for calling her baby ugly but she just laughed and told me that they get better after a few days. After Tessa was born a year later and the house was filled with crying and screaming babies who kept either biting me or drooling all over my shirt, I started to worry that I was forgetting my Mom. 

The sound of her voice was the first thing I couldn't remember anymore and I panicked. Evelyn found me staring at her picture one day and told me that mothers didn't mind things like that as long as their children remembered the more important things—to be a good son and brother, to take care of the family, to protect the ones he loved. It might have been then that I started to be fiercely protective of my family. It wasn't perfect but it was all I had. It didn't matter that Evelyn wasn't my real mother or that unlike my sisters, I only half-belonged into this family. 

Our home was warm and happy, full of family dinners and evenings spent together in the library. When Evelyn announced they were having another child almost ten years later, it was quite a surprise for Anna, Tessa and me, especially since I was already in college at that point. But Evelyn had married my Dad when she was only twenty so it wasn't incomprehensible. It didn't mean though that I enjoyed doing the math and being forced to think about my parents' sex life. 

Mattie was quite special when he was born. I still remember when we all surrounded his crib, gazing in wonder at this little bundled up baby with Dad's blond hair and blue eyes. He'd looked like an angel and gurgled and giggled probably like one, too. 

Everything seemed perfect until four years later, when Evelyn fainted in the kitchen. She hadn't been feeling well, calling it one of her recent migraines, but dismissed it and told us to enjoy the Sunday dinner she'd organized out on the patio that summer evening instead of worrying about her. Mattie, only four, found her and we heard him cry out. I dashed into the house with Dad and my sisters behind me and found her sprawled on the floor unconscious. I was about to pick her up when my Dad told me to leave her in case she had any injuries. Anna was sobbing on the phone at the 911 operator. Tessa had pulled Mattie to her, turning his face away from the sight of Evelyn. I got up and backed away to let my Dad get closer to her, watching him sink on his knees, his face as white as sheet as he picked up her lifeless hand and pressed it to his mouth. 

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