No more band camp! Yeah!
Returning to Him
Twenty-four years later
I stared at my Carter as he ran around the yard playing tag with the grandchildren. Clara sat beside me with Carter and my youngest grandson, Henry, who was named after my dead brother, in her arms. Caleb, our son, who had just turned twenty-four, sat on my other side, watched his father play with his four year old daughter, Annika, and his six year old niece, Sahara.
My granddaughters were finally able to tackle their fifty-one year old grandfather. Carter was laughing at that and Sahara and Annika came running back up to the porch. Annika crawled onto my lap and smiled at her papa and Sahara was trying to convince her mother to let her hold the barely even six month old, Henry. Clara kept looking at Sahara like she was sort of unsure if she should hold Henry and finally she let her, but only if she sat down.
"Granny, I am hungry," Annika said.
"Okay," I replied. "How about you and Sahara come help me cook? Go get your mommy. Clara come help."
"Mom," she huffed.
"Leave Henry with your father," I said and Carter made a move to get Henry, which Clara let him get.
We walked into the house to find Clara's husband, Zachery, raiding my fridge. She smacked him in the butt and he turned around to reveal he had a fruit rollup in his mouth and Sahara pulled the rest out of his mouth and ate it. He patted her head before walking out to the porch and I turned to find Annika pulling her mother, Mayra, into the kitchen. Clara walked to the phone and grinned.
"Pizza?" she asked and everyone nodded. "Okay, will be here in less than thirty minutes. When is Granny going to be here?"
I shrugged. "You know your grandmother, whenever she is gets here."
Annika laughed before coming to me and holding her arms out for me to pick her up. I did just that and sat her on my lap, when I sat down on the couch. She pulled her flaming red hair into view and begged me to braid it, which I did. She looked just like her mama with the red hair and the big blue eyes, but she had her father's nose and that is how we know my Caleb is her father.
Carter walked into the living room and sat down beside me on the couch and wrapped his arm behind the couch. I looked over at him and he smiled. Sahara walked to Carter and handed him a twenty, which he looked at me and back at Sahara. Caleb walked into the house followed by Zachery and he sat beside me before pulling Annika off my lap and told her to go play with Sahara, so he could lay his head in my lap like he used to when he was a younger.
"Caleb, what is it?" I asked, while running my fingers through his brown hair that he inherited from me.
"I am tired, Mom," he replied. "Someone kept me up all night." He looked at Mayra.
"Hey, we had a flight to catch to get here and you weren't packed yet," Mayra said. "Neither was Annika, so we had to get last minute things under control."
"You are fine, Caleb," I said.
He stuck out his tongue at me before getting up and walking to the kitchen. I leant back onto Carter and he wrapped his arms around my waist. I looked up at me and smiled. Then, our two pizzas got here and we sat down and ate with our children and grandchildren and my parents. Annika practically begged to sit on my lap during dinner and little Henry kept laughing at everything Clara or his papa would say.
"When are you going to marry me, Charlee?" Carter asked as we lay in our bed that night. "It's been twenty-four years since Sheryl went to jail and I have asked ten times in those twenty-four years and you keep turning me down. Marry me."
I kissed his cheek before shaking my head. "Carter, we have been through this. No, I will not marry you. We have two fully grown children together and we live together. Isn't that enough?" I asked.
He shook his head. "I want to legally make you mine."
"Well, I want another child, but we all can't have our wish," I retorted.
He leant up on his elbows and turned the lamp on before looking at me. "Since when have you wanted another child?"
"Since Sahara was born," I replied before turning so my back was to him. "I sort of miss it when Caleb and Clara were babies. I think we should have had that third child we talked about, when Caleb was ten."
"And you are just telling me this now?" he asked, turning me around to face him and I nodded. "I'll be seven-one by the time that said child is twenty, Char. Do you really want to put…"
There was a knock on the door and we both looked up to find Sahara standing there with her teddy bear, Allie, who used to be her mother's teddy. She came running to the bed followed by Annika and they crawled onto the bed. I looked at Carter and he stared at me like we weren't don't with our talk and I let Annika lay on my tummy like I used to let her father and Clara, which only made me want another baby more. Clara liked the idea, when I talked to her about it a few weeks ago, so I don't know why Carter can't like the idea of me have another baby. I think it is because I have already went through menopause and he doesn't want us to spend all that money just to find out that we didn't get pregnant, which I understand, but I still want a baby.
I looked at Carter. "Never mind let's just forget about this whole thing."
"Okay, fine," he said, not so sure, but I didn't care.
I turned my attention back to my grandchildren. "What are you two doing in here?"
"Granny, there is this noise coming from Uncle Cal's bedroom and it sounds like a monster," Sahara said. "I think the monster ate them."
"No, not Mommy," Annika cried and buried her head in my chest.
"Stay right here with Grandpa," I replied. "I'll be right back."
"Don't get eaten."
I grinned and walked out of the room. I went straight to Caleb's bedroom and knocked on the door. Then, less than a second later I opened the door and yelped. Caleb and Mayra looked up at me with an innocent, but confusing look on their face and I turned the light on get a better look at what was going on.
They were watching Godzilla, which had scared me because I hate movies like that. "God, you two turn that down. You're scaring the children into thinking you two are being eaten," I replied, turning off the scary movie they were watch. "Go calm down your daughter, Caleb."
He nodded before following me back to my bedroom. I watched as Mayra took Annika and Caleb took Sahara back to Clara' old bedroom and I settled down beside Carter again. I had my back to him and I wasn't surprised, when he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled my body closer to his again.
"So baby or not?" he whispered.
I shook my head. "You are right. We are getting old and the child won't get the parents Clara and Caleb got back when we were younger."
He nodded against my head. "Okay, baby. Beside all I need is to be with you until I die."
I laughed. "We still aren't getting married if that is what you mean."
He huffed in my ear before kissing my lips and we fell asleep shortly after that.