Disclaimer in part 1
(Sorry about any spelling or grammer problems, I did not have this
proof read by anyone!)
Thanks for all the feedback, it is GREATLY appreciated!
CJ could feel herself waking up and was trying to fight it.
She could not remember the last time she had slept so well or felt so
safe. CJ felt herself being held from behind. She was confused.
Who was in her bed? She opened her eyes and realized that she was
not in her bed. In that second reality slammed into CJ. She
remembered the events of the previous days and remembered that her
sister was gone forever. CJ scrambled to sit up, Josh groaned and
rolled over, but did not wake. CJ heard a soft whimpering and
realized that the noise was coming from the next room. She quickly
got up and walked into her nephew's room. Sure enough, he was
sitting in his crib, not really crying, but just making enough noise
so that someone would notice that he was awake.
CJ walked slowly up to the crib knowing that Alex would be expecting
his mother and would be startled to see anyone else. He may be only
a little more than a year old, but there were certain certainties in
his life, one being that every morning of his short life he had seen
the same face when he woke up in the morning. He looked up at CJ as
he approached. The smile that he had on his face when the door
opened and he realized that he had caught someone's attention
disappeared when he realized that the person was not his mother. It
was someone that he recognized, but it was not his mom. CJ saw the
changing emotions on his face and began to speak softly to him. `Hey
Alex, how ya doing buddy? It's your aunt CJ remember me. I know you
were expecting your mom, but that is something that we have to talk
about.' At these last words, CJ's voice cracked and tears sprang
once again to her eyes. She reached into the crib and carefully
lifted her nephew into her arms. Alex did not protest as CJ carried
him over to the changing table and began to change his wet diaper.
As she was changing him, she began to speak again. `I am not sure if
you can understand what I am saying, but I think you deserve to know
what is going on. Last night mommy and daddy were in a bad
accident. Because your mommy and daddy were in the accident, Jesus
decided that he needed them to come and help him in heaven. So that
is where they are, they are in heaven helping Jesus. They are
watching over you. Alex, I don't know what is going to happen over
the next couple of days, but I want you to know that I am not going
to let anything happen to you, no matter what.' Moments before Josh
had woken alone to the ringing of a phone by his head. He was
greeted by the weary and tired voice of CJ's mom on the other end.
They had spoken and met several times and the past and she did not
sound at all surprised to hear Josh's voice at 7:30 in the morning.
Josh knew that she needed to talk to CJ, so he immediately went in
search of her. He knew that she would have to face the reality of
what happened all over again in the light of day and wanted to be by
her side in case she needed him. He walked down the hall following
the sound of CJ's voice. He could tell by the tone of her voice that
she was talking to Alex. He stood at the door not wanting to
interrupt the moment. Instead he just watched and listened. He
listened to the explanation that CJ gave Alex and her pledge to take
care of him, and it brought tears to Josh's eyes.
CJ glanced up and noticed Josh standing in the doorway. CJ
had no idea how long he had been standing there and felt a little
self-conscious about seeing Josh in the light of day after spending
the night in his arms. `CJ, I just came into to tell you that your
mom is on the phone. She is calling to give you her fight
information. I think she is calling from the plane.' CJ picked Alex
up and handed him to Josh on her way out of the room. `Thanks Josh.
Can you bring Alex downstairs and start getting Alex's breakfast
ready? Julia will be here in about 20 minutes.' Josh just looked at
the child who was sitting patiently in his arms and nodded. Josh had
not spent a lot of time around children and honestly no idea what to
do. `Well buddy, you are going to have to help me out here, I am not
really sure what you eat or anything.' Josh said quietly to the
child, who just sat staring up at Josh with a smile.
Josh carefully carried the child down to the kitchen and placed
Alex in his high chair. He had no idea what 1-year-olds ate. He had
never been asked to care for a child. The thought terrified him,
although he knew he would only be alone with the child for a minute.
As he walked towards the cabinets, the doorbell rang. He glanced at
his watch and realized that it was 7:50 and it was probably Julia at
the door. Josh lifted Alex out of his high chair and walked to the
front door. He glanced through the window and saw Julia standing
there. Josh opened the door and smiled, `Hey Julia.' `Hi Mr. Lyman,
Hi Alex.' Alex had burrowed himself in Josh's arms and just smiled.
`Julia, please call me Josh. Thank you for coming today, I know it
was short notice.' `It was no problem. I have a flexible schedule,
so I can be around whenever Ms. Cregg needs me. I must say, though
that you look like a natural with a child in your arms. Alex does
not usually take well to new people.' Josh just laughed and walked
with Julia into the kitchen. Julia immediately began to get Alex's
breakfast ready. `Mr. Lyman, I mean Josh, I am all set with Alex if
you want to go take a shower or something. Alex and I are pretty
used to each other, so we should be ok. For the first time that
morning, Josh realized that he was still in his boxers and tee
shirt. He felt himself blush a little and told Julia he was going
upstairs to get dressed.
Josh walked upstairs and went into the master bedroom. CJ was
sitting on the bed, but was no longer on the phone. She was just
sitting there holding a picture of her sister with tears streaming
down her face. Josh did not even try to say anything; instead he
just moved onto the bed and took CJ into his arms. She turned
towards him, saying nothing, only clinging to Josh, as if he were her
lifeline. They remained this way for several minutes. Josh began to
whisper softly to CJ, `It's ok CJ, everything's ok, I'm right here,
I've got you.' Josh knew how to deal with just about anything,
except for a crying CJ. In this situation he was at a loss, so he
just held her, and whispered to her and occasionally planted soft
kisses on the top of her head and on her forehead. Finally she
pulled away, not completely, but just enough so she could see Josh
while she talked. `Josh, she's gone, I'm never going to be able to
spend time with her again, or laugh with her, or listen to her
lecture me or anything. She isn't going to be able to see her son
grow up or have any more children. Josh it's not fair, she didn't
deserve this.' `I know CJ, it's not fair, and right now it doesn't
make sense, and I know this is not going to make you feel any better
right now, but just remember that everything happens for the reason.
God would not let this happen without a very good reason. Just
remember that you are not alone in this, and it is ok to cry and be
upset. Please don't hold this inside CJ, you don't have to be the
strong stoic one.' Upon hearing this, CJ pulled away and placed her
palm against Josh's cheek. `Thank you so much Josh, you are so
amazing, I am not sure I could get through this without you.' She
leaned forward and kissed Josh on the cheek. She quickly pulled away
and began to pull herself together. She moved back and stood up.
Josh could not believe how quickly CJ was able to completely
transform herself. `My mom's plane is landing in an hour and she is
going to take a cab. She said that she talked to Tim's parents this
afternoon and they will be here around noon.' As she was talking,
she moved around the room and walked in and out of the bathroom.
`This gives me enough time to run to my apartment and get some things
together.' Josh again realized that he was still only in his boxers
and quickly grabbed his pants and pulled them on. He also put on his
very wrinkled shirt, but did not bother with his tie. `CJ I think I
am going to run home as well, I am going to shower and change and
then I have to run to the White House to get some files, but I should
be able to get back her around 11. Unless you want me to come to
your apartment with you. I was thinking that when I get back we
could sit down and try to get some of the arraignments made. I do
not want you to go though this alone. I want to help.' CJ stopped
her movements and smiled. `Thank you, I really do not want to have
to make those arraignments by myself. I think I am fine to go to my
apartment; plus, I need to be back in an hour and that way you don't
have to rush.' Josh nodded and the two walked downstairs together.
On the way down, Julia was on her way upstairs to change and dress
Alex. CJ told her the plan and told her she would be back in an
hour. Suddenly something dawned upon Josh. `CJ you are going to
have to come to the White House with me.' `What? Why do I have to
go to the office?' CJ asked. `I drove last night CJ. Your car is
sitting in the parking lot at the White House.' `OH ok, well let's
go, my mom will be here soon.'
The drive to the White House was quiet, both CJ and Josh
were lost in their own thoughts. Once they arrived at the White
House, Josh pulled his car up beside CJ's. He got out of the car and
walked with CJ towards hers. `CJ if you need me, please call me, I
will be back to the house by 11, but if you need anything before
then, PLEASE call me.' `I will Josh, don't worry, I will be ok!'
`OK CJ, I will see you in a couple hours.' Before he left he leaned
over and placed a kiss on CJ's forehead. He pulled away, and looked
into CJ's eyes. Before he could stop himself, he leaned in and
placed a soft kiss upon her lips. It lasted only a minute and he
pulled away quickly before CJ could react. `Please CJ, call me if
you need anything.' Josh said quietly and walked away quickly before
CJ could say anything.