Lenny's Funeral & Finding Love
Monica drove home with still the thought of bumping into Mike. Monica wonders to herself what life would have been like if she would’ve cross paths with him again before she met and fell in love with Griffin. Would the feelings ever bloom into something more? Would she allow herself to fall for him and not Griffin? Monica stops her thoughts right there. Griffin is the love of her life. It was written for him and her to be together not Mike. Monica shakes her head and clears it. She doesn’t want to think about what life could have been like if she would have chosen Mike. The once romantic feelings she felt back then for Mike died the moment she said goodbye to him to continue to be an angel. And the only one person she thought of that still makes her heart skip a beat, is Griffin her husband and the love of her life.
Monica pulls into the driveway and sees that Griffin’s brother’s car is here. She figures Kurt drove Griffin back to the house. Monica climbs out of the car and locks it, as she heads into the house. Little bits of snow flurries started to come down. Just like how she first came to this town one year ago. Monica bounds up the front porch as she heads into the house where it is warm and toasty. She hangs up her light brown winter jacket and pulls off her hat and sticking it into the closet beside the coat rack.
She smiled when she heard Sarah’s laughter as she rounds the corner and into the living room to find Sarah, Griffin, and Kurt playing Phase ten. Monica stood in the hallway being trance by the moment before her. An hour ago she saw the hurt and sadness in her husband’s eyes. She sees a little bit there, but at this moment playing a family game with his brother and daughter, he was happy. Griffin looks up to find her standing there. Monica and Griffin shared a moment with their eyes, and Kurt looks at his brother, “Bro It’s your turn. Draw.”
Griffin looks down at his hand. Then he looks at the discard pile, “Thanks, Kurt. Now I can lay down two sets of four.”
Kurt looks at the card he just put down, “Ah Shit Forgot you where collecting 7s.”
“Hey, no swearing,” Sarah stated.
Monica came into the room and giggles to Sarah’s remark. She came and sat beside her husband. Griffin looks to her and wraps his arms around her waist and kisses the back of her neck. “You guys are playing Phase 10.”
“Yeah. I’m winning so far. It’s a tie between Sarah and my brother here.” Griffin stated.
“Shut up Roan. I’m not that far behind you.” Kurt stated.
Griffin chuckles and holds up his direction card to her and whispers in her ear, “Sarah and Kurt are both stuck on number 5.”
Sarah beams up at her parents, “Not anymore, I’m moving on..finally. Your turn dad.”
Griffin looks at his cards and places a card in Sarah’s run, and puts one in the discard pile. Griffin only has three more cards left. Kurt picks up a card from the draw pile, and a sour face came upon it. Sarah looks at her father’s cards laid out, and she puts one in her father’s laid out cards and discards her last card. “Out.”
Kurt hands in his cards and stands up, “Well munchkin I have to go. Monica is back, and I think they want some family time with you, so I must get going.”
Monica looks to him as she stands up with her husband beside her, “No, it’s fine. We can have some company.”
“Thanks, Monica, but I have to head to the hotel I’m staying in. Sandy should be arriving there sometime tomorrow morning.” Kurt smiles.
“Sandy? So you two are…” Monica looks at Kurt.
“Serious…I think so...I really..really like her a lot.” Kurt smiles to himself, Then he shook off the smile, “Well goodbye Monica..” He embraces her and then pulls back. Monica moves aside so that her husband and his brother could say goodbye to each other. Kurt then waves the family off and heads out of the house.
Griffin looks to her as Sarah goes into the kitchen to have some leftover homemade chicken noodle soup, from Kathy’s home. Monica senses her husband’s worries about his father. Griffin goes to her and kisses her forehead, “I’ll tell you later about what we discussed about Lenny, and when the funeral will be. But right now I just want to be with you and Sarah, and just be together as a family.”
Monica smiles at him and squeezes his hand as in agreement, “And I will answer any more questions about your father okay.”
Griffin nods, to Monica’s statement and pulls back from her close embrace and stares at her. Monica then turns and heads into the kitchen to have some soup, as Griffin follows after her, “Kathy made some extra lasagna and homemade chicken noodle soup. Figure since we all had a rough few days and all, would be nice to accept food from her. And with you gone to parent-teacher conference.”
Monica smiles as she scoops up a bowl of soup and heats it up in the microwave. Sarah beams up at Monica, “So what did my teacher say?”
Monica looks to her, “Well he says that you should be in advanced placement in science.”
“Really?” Sarah asks as she looks up.
Monica nods, “He figures that you will succeed better in advance placement than in the lower level of science.”
“Thanks but I’m going to pass,” Sarah stated.
“Sarah,” Monica stated.
“I think it’s awesome to be placed in there. But science isn’t really my thing. I think my teacher is awesome and like some of the topics. But if anything that I want to succeed in advance placement, is English or social studies.” Sarah stated. “I want to go into more in-depth into something I love to study and love to learn more about. Isn’t that’s the whole point of going to school is to learn.”
Sarah did have a point. Monica looks to her daughter, “Are you sure, you don’t want to try it?”
“I’m positive mom. Besides the advanced placement, we have to go into more in-depth about evolution and the whole Darwin theories about humans evolving from apes. And that topic will get me really pissed off, because I know we were created by God, and not by apes. You taught me that Monica.” Sarah stated.
Monica smiles at her, “Okay.”
Griffin smiles at his daughter’s faith with God. He hopes and prays that she will not lose sight of that, the way he did. However meeting Monica one year ago changed that perspective for him. She taught him how to seek God, and with her love he gets it. Now he worries that his father is losing sight of his faith.
“So I hear that the new Twilight is coming out next year,” Monica stated once she is seated at the dinner table along with her husband and Sarah.
“Ugh, why would you bring that up,” Sarah stated with an annoyance.
“Well so many girls are talking about it. Thought you would be interested in it like you are with Harry Potter.” Monica smiles. Griffin looks up from his plate of food, as he watches the interaction between Monica and Sarah, as he tries to hold back a chuckle. He already went down this path with Sarah once about Twilight, and she gave him every reason why she hates it. Now it’s Monica’s turn.
“First thing, Harry Potter has deeper values than Twilight and a better storyline. Second, Harry Potter doesn’t ‘Sparkle’ like Edward in Twilight and takes action and stands firm in his beliefs. And he never gives up no matter how hopeless it may seem. His parents died when he was a baby. Someone murdered his father and mother, just like in Batman, and you don’t see him feeling sorry for himself because of all the loss he had to endure in his life. In Twilight, the main character Bella thinks her life is sucky because her vampire “boyfriend” leaves her and Bella is just so annoying. Plus she still has both of her parents, when Harry Potter does not. And lastly, there is no comparison between Twilight and Harry Potter. Harry Potter is just better and will last throughout generations unlike Twilight, that is just there for the preteen phase and will eventually fade in time.” Sarah stated her case.
Monica looks at Sarah with her explanation of why she hates Twilight so much, then Monica glances over at Griffin who was silently chuckling, “Let me guess you went down this road with her.” Griffin lets out a laugh as he nods.
Sarah looks at Monica, “I read the first book that Uncle Kurt gave me for Christmas one year. I didn’t like it. And now I roll my eyes whenever Twilight is mention. Dad tried to get me to see Twilight as one of our father and daughter moments. I told him, I much prefer to go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before I go and see any Twilight movies.”
“Sarah you will always go and see Harry Potter before anything,” Griffin added in.
“No that’s not true. If it comes down to it, Harry Potter vs. The Lion King. I choose The Lion King. Which that is coming out in 3D next September.” Sarah stated proudly. “And even the cartoon Disney animated film, The Lion King has a deeper plot and story to it than Twilight. I mean, having Scar killing his own brother then framing his nephew for killing the King, all for the sake of being king of the Pridelands, has a more interesting and darker tale than, ‘sparkling’ vampires.”
“Yeah, I heard about that. However, Harry Potter will be done before then.” Griffin smiles at his daughter.
“I’m not big into fantasy movies like that,” Monica admitted.
“You’re not? Dad, I got to get her into the realm of Harry Potter.” Sarah giggles. “She needs to read the books. The books have so much detail in it, which is just unbelievable. I read the 1st book in 4 days. And the 6th book in 5. It is that good.” Sarah stated.
“I think I’m set, Sarah,” Monica stated as she ate the last little bit of her soup.
“Harry Potter is good, but Lord of the Rings, in my opinion, is so much deeper in the story, and has an underlying message throughout each book series.” Griffin smiles as he walks to the kitchen with his daughter and Monica.
“See, that is a bit too dry for me, dad.” Sarah looks at her father.
“One day, you will enjoy it. It has been one of my favorites when I was in high school, and still is.” Griffin looks at his daughter
Sarah puts her dishes in the dishwasher. “Okay, I’m going to go and study and then read.”
Monica glances at her before she leaves the kitchen. “Read what exactly.”
“My English book. Of Mice and Men. I got to read up to Chapter 4. I’m in the middle of Chapter 2.” Sarah stated. “Don’t worry I won’t get distracted by reading some more Harry Potter things. I know the rules. Homework first then free time.” Sarah walked out of the room and went up the stairs to her bedroom.
Once Sarah was out of the room Monica looks at Griffin who was putting away the leftover home-cooked meal. Monica goes over to her husband and leaves a gentle and loving butterfly kisses on the back of his shoulders. She looks up at him as she softly spoke, “You raised your daughter to be a bit of a geek, huh.”
Griffin smiles to her touch, and stops what he was doing and turns to face her, “Why do you say that?”
“Talking about Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings. Didn’t know you were a fan.” Monica looks at him with admiration in her eyes.
Griffin smiles at her, “Always have been since I was 16. And Harry Potter, that was Sarah’s doing, not me. I guess she in some ways raised herself to be a geek.”
Monica giggles as she embraces her husband, “I find it all very cute, having the love of my life, and my daughter talking and geeking out about famous pieces of literature. It means the world to me more than you know.”
Griffin smiles at her comment and then heaves out a heavy sigh, and Monica caught onto it.
“What?” Monica asks looking up into Griffin’s blue depths.
“Kathy wants the funeral this Saturday. She says it’s the best time, before Thanksgiving.” Griffin stated.
Monica nods, “How are you holding up honey.”
Griffin looks to her and tries to be strong, but the look in her eyes, made him feel weak and wounded. Like the night when he watched his victim died in his arms. The next instant Griffin was in tears. Monica senses his pain and pulls him to her. Griffin’s face fell in her shoulders, and he cried as his heart broke in two. Monica stood there holding him. She hates seeing him like this, but she knows Griffin has to walk down the road of suffering and to grieve before he can heal. Griffin pulls back and looks into his wife’s eyes, “I..I feel like it’s my fault.. that Lenny died.”
Monica takes hold of Griffin’s hands and led him to sit at the bar with her, “Babe, it’s not your fault that Lenny died.”
“It feels like it is…I let him down so many times when he looked to me for help. I saw it in his eyes, but I refuse. That is not how my parents raised me. That is not what you taught me.” Griffin stated.
Monica looks at him and then puts her hand to his face and made him look at her. “Roan, you did try and helped your brother out many times. And he is the one that refuses your help. But in the end, he forgave you. He came to be at your wedding. Our wedding honey. He loves you, and he wanted to change. Because you gave him hope to. It’s not your fault that he died.”
Griffin looks down and then back up at Monica, “Why does it feel like it is?”
Monica smiles, “Because you feel that you had caused his death which you haven’t. You didn’t encourage your brother to keep drinking his life away. You never abandon him when he needed the help. You loved him. And you were trying to be the savior in his life like you are to Sarah.”
Hearing those words from Monica was all true. He looks at her and smiles. He knew that Monica is right. But he still has that pull that he was the cause of Lenny’s death. Griffin wipes his tears away and kind of chuckles, “I hate crying in front of you.”
Monica with a curious look on her face asks, “Why?”
“Because then it makes me feel that I am weak.” Griffin half smiles.
Monica sighs and leaves a small kiss on his cheek, “No you are not. Not to me. Crying is a form of healing. And it doesn’t make you weak sweetheart, it makes you stronger, and it makes you human. Don’t ever think that crying is weak, because it is not, okay.”
Griffin smiles at her remark, and he looks at his wife and feeling the heat between them, he gently pulls Monica near him. Monica’s schoolgirl like smile came on her face as she moves into kissing him. Griffin kissed her right back and melted in her embrace. Being in this moment with her loving him, made him feel safe and secure, even when it feels like his world is falling apart before him. He was so in tune with kissing her and was lost in the moment he didn’t even feel her lips leaving his. Griffin pulls out of the daze as he looks at Monica.
Monica bits her lower lip to keep from giggling. Griffin looks to her and smiles as he goes to her. Monica moves away from him and goes to the sink as she holds up the extended water pump. Threaten to spray him with water if he took a step near her. Griffin and Monica shared a moment of playfulness and Griffin took a step to her, and Monica reacted on instinct and sprayed her husband. But it never stopped him. He came to her smiling and laughing with her as he pulls her to him. Griffin pulls a lock of Monica’s reddish-brown hair behind her ears and looks into her rich chocolate brown eyes. Then at that moment, he kisses her.
Monica smiles against his lips and soon gets lost in the moment with him. Monica kisses him deeply and softly. Knowing this is where her heart is. After a moment of making out in the kitchen, Griffin pulls back from her and looks down to her seeing eye to eye he tenderly said, “I thank God every day, that you came into my life, and gave me love.”
Monica smiles, and she replies right back, “I thank the Father every day since I’ve known you, and feel so blessed to share this life with you. You are my one true happiness in this life.” After sharing another moment of love, they both together put away the food and soon ventured into the living room cuddling next to the fire on the sofa. Monica strokes her husband’s forearm as she stared into the glowing fire. She occasionally will feel Griffin’s lips on the back of her neck, and she smiles at that. He still triggers her sweet spots that really get her turned on.
After staring into the fire, Monica looks up to him, “So for Thanksgiving. Everyone is coming here right?”
Griffin looks to her, “Yup. Since last year, as you remember was at Chris’s house. This year is at mine…I mean ours.”
Monica gave a kind smile to him, as he is still not used to the idea of sharing possession. As she snuggles deeper under his chin, she hears his soft and shallow breaths, as he breathes. “It’s so weird that one year ago, you and I were dancing around the truth of liking each other.” Monica looks up at him as she smiles reflecting back on the memory.
Griffin smiles to that, “Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking. I should have just let my feelings for you go instead of holding back. Around this time, I was..” Griffin pauses as he felt Monica looking at him. Griffin looks into her glowing dark brown eyes, “I was…falling in love with you. Didn’t really hit me until the first time I kissed you under the mistletoe.”
Monica smiles at him, “I kind of always knew that you were falling for me around this time.”
“You did?” Griffin arched his eyebrows.
“Yeah, even when I was an angel at the time, I kind of had the vibe from you during Thanksgiving night. When we touched hands when saying a prayer, and the way you looked at me, I knew there was something there.” Monica smiles. “Like you, I too was in denial about how I felt for you. I didn’t want to admit that I was falling in love because of of…being an angel, and how angels aren’t supposed to have these feelings developed. But for some reason, you enchanted me. You won my heart that no other man in my past did. And that night during Christmas eve I knew I was in love with you.” Monica looks into his sparkling midnight blue depths, as she continues to make a circular motion with her fingertips on her husband’s forearm as she tenderly stroke them.
Griffin looks to her and felt loved when she said those words to him. “You knew that I was falling in love with you even during Thanksgiving.”
Monica slowly nods, “It’s kind of hard to miss it when you been alone for most of your existence and closed off from human love.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Griffin asks.
Monica stops her stroking of his arms as she pivots her body to be fully facing him. “Because you weren’t ready to hear what I had to say. And I was too afraid myself how I truly felt for you during that time as well. I didn’t know what I was feeling and didn’t know if it was right or wrong. But I think it worked out for the both of us what happened New Year’s Eve. If you and I admitted our feelings for each other before that night, it would have ruined what we had to go through. I think the Father did that on purpose so that our love will grow stronger.”
Griffin knew she was right. He had to walk through the pain again to be entirely in love with Monica. Griffin looks to her and kisses her forehead. Griffin pulls out some of Monica’s baby book names. He looks to her, “So I’ve been looking through some of these names that you circled for our child today before my brother showed up.” Griffin pauses as he held up the book with Irish names.
Monica looks at him, “I did a little research on the names, but I wanted your opinion also. This is your child too. So I wanted to go through the books together.”
Griffin flipped to the section that stated M. He pointed out the name that Monica had highlighted and looked at the meaning of it. “I think this should be our daughter’s name if that is what it is.”
Monica smiles at him. “Really.”
“Yeah.” Griffin kisses the side of her neck. “If she is anything like her mother, which I’m sure she will be. I think that she should have an Irish name.”
Monica giggles at his remark. “I think I have one better for her if it’s a girl.”
Griffin smiles at her, “What’s better than Maolisa. The meaning of the name is the follower of Christ.”
“Thinking about it. But the name is too common. I want our child to have a name that is unique and uncommon.” Monica stated.
Griffin looks through the book with her. Monica soon comes across his name, and Griffin looks away. Monica beams up at him. Griffin senses it, “What?”
“I’m looking at your name and what it means.” Monica smiles.
Griffin looks to her and then blushes. “My dad wanted to name me after my grandfather. He wanted to carry on the Irish name…I know I don’t resemble what the name represents. I don’t have an ounce of red hair like you do, my love.”
Monica giggles and kisses his neck, “Well that is one translation of what your name means babe.”
Griffin looks to her, “What you mean there are more?”
“You have two translations. This is one, and the other is a little seal.” Monica stated. Looking at Griffin’s flush face because of his name, she gently reaches up and puts a hand on his cheek as she lightly caresses his jawline with her thumb and then Monica moves closer to her husband and presses her lips on his. She kisses him in a slow rhythmic motion and then slowly pulls back. Then Monica looks into his deep blue eyes, “I didn’t fell in love with your Irish name, honey. I fell in love with the man before me, with the strong and caring person that you are.”
Griffin smiles at her words. Then very curious he looks at her, “What does your name mean?”
Monica moves away from her tight embrace with him just a bit as she responded to his question, “Like you, I have two meanings.”
Griffin asks, “Which are?”
“Does it really matter?” Monica looks at him.
“ No, but I want to know. I want our son or daughter to have the best name and their meanings to fit them.” Griffin openly admitted to his wife.
Monica closed her eyes for a moment as she breathes in and then exhaled her breath, as she puts down the book and looks up at her husband, “Okay, the first translation to my name means counselor or advisor.”
Griffin smiles a bit more to that as he made that comment, “That does fit you because you like to help out people and counsel them. But that is one of the qualities I fell for.” Monica beamed at him and was lost in his eyes. “Okay and the second translation.”
Monica shakes her head, “The second one is..” Monica pauses and then looks directly into his eyes and her face was near his, “Daughter of God.”
Griffin was amazed by that, and her name is just so beautiful. “Wow.”
“Wow?” Monica repeated.
“Your name is lovely. God choose the right name that fits who you are.” Griffin smiles as he laces his hands with hers, “I want our son or daughter to have a name like that.”
“And it will. It’s still quite early to discuss their names. I’m only 13 weeks pregnant, Griff. And typically we will know what the sex of it is during my 20th week. There still is time.” Monica smiles.
Griffin looks to her and nods, “I know I just want to be..”
Monica smiles as she puts a finger on his lips, “Roan, we will come back to picking names later. You don’t have to have things planned out right at this moment. I was getting things ready.”
Griffin sighs in defeat. He knows Monica is right. It took him and his ex-wife Crystal close to Crystal’s eight-month period of being pregnant to deiced on what to name their daughter. He wants this pregnancy to be different from his previous marriage. “You’re right.”
Monica smiles at him and kisses his cheek. Griffin puts away the baby books, and he brought out his acoustic guitar. Griffin strummed his guitar. Monica was reading a poem book when she stopped and looked at her husband. “You know, you could sing and play a song for our baby.”
Griffin looks to her, and a smile kept on his face, “Do you have a song in mind?”
Monica smiles, “Whatever you feel like sharing. This is your moment with him or her.”
Griffin took a moment to think of what song to play. Then he thought of one. He had a particular moment with Sarah, by playing Daddy’s Little Girl. Griffin thought of a new song for this child. He strummed the guitar and played the notes of the song; I’ll Be By Your Side by Lifehouse. Griffin played to Monica’s belly, and occasionally he will hum out the tune to the song.
Monica slowly stops reading the line she was on and looks to her husband as he plays a song for their son or daughter. Seeing him with his guitar and singing to their child was magical. It made Monica feel at peace, and it made her happy watching her husband play a song for their unborn child. Monica slowly puts down her book and look at her husband who glances up at her and smiles.
After he finishes playing, he sets the guitar down and spoke to her stomach. “And that is the song I played for you. Now I’m going to have some romance time with your mother.” Griffin looks up at Monica and sees her giggling as he came to her and laid butterfly kisses on her belly and gradually moving up to her neck. Griffin then laid on his back as Monica comes into his embrace and puts her head on top of his chest as she strokes his forearm.
After a moment of snuggling Monica looks to him, “What song did you play for him or her?”
Griffin sighs, “I’ll Be by your side by Lifehouse. One of my favorite bands. I usually play special songs for my kids when they are in the womb. I played Daddy’s Little Girl for Sarah when she was born and in Crystal’s belly. I saw my dad did that to Lenny. I wanted to do that with my children.”
Monica smiles at Griffin’s statement. He surprises her every moment of their marriage. She feels like the luckiest woman and wonders to herself, how could Crystal ever let a wonderful man like Roan Griffin go like that. He is very loving and very devoted to his family. Monica soon looks at the time as it read 10:50. She pulls out of Griffin’s embrace, “I think it’s time for me to go to bed.”
Griffin looks at the time, “Okay.” Griffin stays on the couch as Monica slowly walks to the stairs. She pauses slightly before exiting the room as Griffin didn’t follow her.
“You’re not coming with me?” Monica asks.
“I’m going to stay up for a bit. I’ll be joining you shortly.” Griffin stated.
Monica nods and soon retrieves to go upstairs. It took her about 5 minutes to change into her sleepwear, and she was in Griffin’s small private bathroom to brush her teeth and to apply some face cream to her beautiful face. Since she turned human, her soft and radiant face as an angel has been fading. She now has to apply some makeup to hide her blotchy spots, as well as her skin age, to protect the age of her human self to remain beautiful. She knows Griffin will still love her no matter how horrible she looks.
As soon as Monica was satisfied with her image she turns off the bathroom light and climbs under the soft blankets and sheets of their bed. She soon pulls out her therapy book and reads some more out of it. Monica read for a good 35 minutes until her eyes couldn’t take it any longer. She sets the book down beside her alarm clock and turns to see if her husband was coming. She wonders what is keeping him. Part of her wants to go and investigate, but part of her wants to sleep. Monica’s tiredness won her over, and she switches off the small bedside lamp and soon drifts off into a slumber.
Griffin stayed up and watches the glow of the fire. Thinking about his father. I wanted to know why he was so angry at Monica. And the phrase came back to him Tell him why falling in love with angels is a fucking death sentence to our fucking families. He wonders what his father meant by that. Did he mean his family with Monica or the family he was born into? Was his mother really an angel like his wife? Griffin pulled back from the question. That’s ridiculous Roan. Griffin thought to himself. My mother is not an angel. Don’t be silly. Just because I fell in love with one, doesn’t mean that my father did. But what did he meant by falling in love with angels is a death sentence? The question puzzled him for a while. Griffin soon glances at the time and soon realized that he had thought about his question for nearly 45 minutes. Griffin soon turns off the gas fire and heads to bed with his wife.
Slowly he rises to his feet and turns off the gas fire and heads up the stairs to his wife. By now Monica is fast asleep in her spot on the bed. He smiles at her peaceful form. In minutes in stripped out of his jeans, and hopped in his PJs and climbs in bed with his wife. He looks down at Monica as she softly breaths. He brushes the hair from her face and kisses her forehead. Monica unconsciously moves in closer to him, as her hands stroked his smooth bare chest. Monica nuzzles her nose under his neck and slides her legs in between his.
Griffin smiles to her embrace. Having her here beside him, and embracing him, made his worries and questions he had for his father fall away. Monica calms Griffin’s stormy seas inside of him, and he feels at ease. Even when she isn’t even conscience, she still manages to calm his worries. Griffin guesses it must be her inner angel self-senses his troubles. As Griffin listens to Monica’s soft breathing, it soothed him and made him go into a deep slumber.
Thanksgiving was approaching quickly. Although before the day of thanks to being shared, Griffin gets ready to attend his brother’s funeral. That morning getting prepared felt like a steel prison of grief. Looking in the mirror of the bathroom as he slips on his black suit, the sad feelings rushed at him. Griffin is trying so hard not to let the floodgate open. But too late, without any warning tears began to flow out of his sad blue eyes and he softly cries for the death of his little brother. Griffin cries for a moment or two, as soon as he hears Monica coming into the room, he wipes the tears from his eyes as she walks into the small bathroom. “You okay honey?” She asks.
Griffin looks to her, “Not really. I just..” Griffin had no words to say.
Monica looks at him and kisses his cheek, “I’m here beside you dear.” And then Monica places Griffin’s black tie around his neck and ties it. Usually, when she does that, it turns Griffin on. But right now, he is in depression mode that her tricks of sexual arousals are not working for him.
Griffin gave a little smile to her and put on some of his man cologne and heads out. The funeral starts at 10:30 AM sharp, and the immediate family needs to be there a half hour early. Griffin heads downstairs to greet his daughter. Monica was finishing getting her hair and makeup situated when Griffin left the bedroom. Griffin reached for a bowl of oatmeal as Sarah sat down at the table eating some frosted flakes and a banana. She beamed up at him, “Morning daddy.”
Griffin leaves the microwave and went to his daughter and kisses her on the head, “Morning to you too sweetheart.”
Sarah was dressed in a black sweater with black slacks. Griffin knows Sarah hadn’t known her uncle all that well, but he knows she is still quite sad. She looks to him, “I wish I knew Uncle Lenny better. I hardly knew him, daddy.”
Griffin sat down beside her, “I know sweetheart. Partly was my fault. I kept him from you, because he was a constant drunk, and I didn’t want him around you. I guess I was too much of an overprotective father.”
Sarah leaned into him and gave him a hug, “Well, I’m grateful for that daddy. Really. But since Uncle Lenny is part of this family, and I did get to know him a little before he died, I am as sad as you, grandpa, Uncle Kurt, and mom. Well, Monica…Can I start calling her mom, since this Monday I’m going to be her child anyways.”
Sarah’s last remark made Griffin chuckle a little bit, “Yes, Sarah you can.”
Monica came down the stairs and went to the doorway when she hard Sarah’s last phrase. She softly chuckles herself to her daughter’s words. After a brief moment at the door, Monica enters the kitchen to join her family. She sits down beside her husband and has a bowl of fruit, as well as a piece of toast. Monica looks at her husband, “So after the funeral service, we are going to Kathy’s house?”
“Yup. That is what she stated. She wants the potluck thing to be at her house, this way it takes the pressure off Chris and me.” Griffin stated.
“Well, that is sweet of her.” Monica smiles.
“I guess she wants to keep an eye on my father.” Griffin had a sad tone at the end of his statement.
Monica looks to him and places her wedding band hand to his right hand and strokes it softly, “Your father is grieving too Roan, I know you know that he still loves his family. And what happened a few days ago, he didn’t’ really mean it. He is just clouded by his grief, which made him delusional. ”
Her words seem to ease him, and he squeezes her hand to say thank you. Sarah looks up from her homework and sees the two of them exchanging a look. Sarah knows her father is hurting. However, she still can see a bit of happiness coming from her father’s smile when he looks at Monica. The moment only lasts a few short seconds then Sarah looks down at her paper. Monica looks over her husband’s shoulder and smiles at her daughter. “You know I can see you looking this way.”
Sarah tries to hold back her smile when Monica said that. Monica moves from her spot, and goes over and kisses Sarah’s small head, “Working on your homework at 9:30 in the morning.”
“Yeah. I figure I will get a head start since with everything that will be going on today. Plus oh never mind.” Sarah stated.
Griffin looks at his daughter, “Well Sarah we will just be busy in the morning and a little bit in the afternoon. But we will return home sometime around 1.”
“I know just thought I will get a head start on my algebra and Spanish homework. Say, mom, can you help me figure out question 29. I’m stuck and been working on it for over 10 minutes now.” Sarah stated.
Monica kind of chuckles, “So you are calling me mom now?”
“Yeah basically I’m going to be your child in 48 hours, so why not?” Sarah giggles.
Monica came over by her and hugs her very softly and kisses Sarah’s cheek. She had been waiting a long time to have Sarah as her child, and this Monday she will officially have her. After a brief mother and daughter moment, Monica pulls back and looks at the book, “Okay what are you having issues with?” Monica studies the book and looks at the question. Sarah moves down one seat to have Monica sit beside her. Monica squinted at the problem.
Sarah looks at her, “Are you having some issues with the problem too?”
Monica looks at her daughter, “Somewhat can I use a piece of paper?” Sarah rips a page of notebook paper out and hands it to Monica. Monica begins to write the problem down and writing some information on it. Then she looks at the question in the book again and begins to explain to Sarah on how to solve it, “Okay to solve 4/(p-3) - 2/p = 0, have 4/(p-3) be equal to 2/p so it will write..”
Sarah begins to write down the equation that Monica was telling her, “like this.. 4/(p-3) = 2/p.”
Monica nods, “Yup. Now multiply everything by p(p-3).”
Sarah begins to multiply but gets stuck, “Oh I see…I think..” Sarah soon writes out the equation and slowly does what Monica told her to do. After she was through, she found the answer, “So p is -3. Right?”
Monica smiles, “Well a way to check that is to go through the problem with your answer and see what you come up with.”
It took Sarah 2 minutes to go back and check the answer. “It equals out to 0. I did it. Thanks!”
Griffin admires Monica’s help with Sarah’s algebra homework. He was never really good at algebra. He was more of a geometry person. Griffin looks at the time, “Done with the problem, Sarah?”
“Yup. Thanks to mom here.” Sarah smiles as she looks up at Monica.
“Okay, because we got to get to the church,” Griffin stated.
Monica eyes Griffin with a worried look. Sarah closes her math book and rushes over to get her fall jacket. Griffin follows his daughter and Monica comes by his side as soon as Sarah was out into the muddy yard as a light rain fell, Monica stops Griffin by the door as he turns to lock it. Griffin senses her worry and looks into her beautiful brown eyes, “I’m fine, Monica…really.”
Monica steps forward and puts a scarf around his neck. She looks into his sad blue eyes, “I hate seeing you in pain.”
Griffin touches her cheek to reassure her, “I know…I hate it too. But you ease my pain.”
Monica smiled at his statement and gave him a light kiss on his cheek. She then turns to join Sarah at the red Cadillac. A moment later and Griffin was at Monica’s car. They decided to take Monica’s car because Griffin was in no mood to drive, and Monica knows that. Monica drove to the church that was located by the local park. Already she spotted Chris’s and Kerry’s car, along with Mrs. Parker. Monica pulls up to the line of vehicles that will be going to the cemetery after the service. Sarah hops out of the car as well as Griffin. Griffin talks with one of the funeral home people about the situation with the hearse. And soon the man places an orange flag on top of Monica’s red Cadillac.
Monica takes hold of her husband’s hand and walks up the steps of the church with Sarah a few feet ahead of them. As soon as they stepped in, Griffin squeezes Monica’s hand and promptly let go to embrace some of his family. Near the front of the church was the coffin that held Lenny’s body. With some flowers surrounding it. Monica spotted Kerry and her family along with Chris and his. She let Griffin embrace his other brother, as well as Mrs. Parker. Monica was at his side, and the far left of the pew was Griffin’s father, Seth. She was afraid to approach him after what had happened a few days ago. Monica wondered if he is still angry at God. Monica decided not to cause a scene stayed away from him, and went to embrace Kerry and Kristin.
After a few moments of exchanging some hellos a priest came to them, “Is this everyone here for the immediate family of Leonard Griffin?”
Kathy nods, “Yes, Father Thomas.”
“Very well. Come sit, and I shall begin a prayer.” Father Thomas stated.
Griffin sat on the left side that held his brother Kurt, and his girlfriend, and Mrs. Parker and her husband along with Griffin’s father Seth, and Mac. Monica sat beside him holding his hand, as he laces his fingers with hers. Next to Monica was Sarah, as she snuggles next to her. The other side held Kerry’s family, and Chris’s as they bowed their heads to let the priest say a prayer.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us all with the gift of this earthly life and has given to our brother Leonard Jacob Griffin. His span of years and gifts of character. God our Father, we thank you now for all his life, for every memory of love and joy, for every good deed done by him and every sorrow shared with us. We thank you for his life and for his death, we thank you for the rest in Christ he now enjoys, we thank you for giving him to us, we thank you for the glory we shall share together. Hear our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen..” Father Thomas spoke, and everyone murmured amen.
The family waited for the rest of the guest to come in. Around 10:30 the priest came back as Lenny’s funeral service began. Monica looks over at her husband. As the ceremony started, she saw that he was trying to fight back his tears for his brother. Monica leans into him, and softly nuzzles the end of her nose to his neck, giving him the okay to shed his tears for his brother. Griffin took hold of Monica’s hand, and squeezed it tight and soon came to her shoulder and quietly sobbed into her. Monica tenderly strokes her husband’s arms to try and comfort him through his pain. Hearing his sobs made Monica tear up as well. She never really gotten to known Lenny, but at this moment she shed tears for her husband’s brother. Monica looks over to the right row, and from the third pew back, she spotted Griffin’s ex-wife Crystal. The Priest was saying a passage from the Bible, to give some spiritual enlighten for Lenny.
Then Kurt got up from his spot and went to stand beside the microphone to speak for his brother. “My brother Leonard was a wild one at times, but he has my mother’s spirit. Always trying to make himself good in this world. Although through his tough times of his wife Amy passed away is what got him. I wish I…” there were a brief pause in Kurt’s speech. Monica notices he was trying to hold back his own tears. It took him a moment as he continued, “I wish I were more of a big brother to him, then. I thank God for the moments and a life with him. You will always be my little brother. Take care of him, mom. We will miss you both.” Kurt stepped down from the microphone as tears flowed out of his eyes.
Monica looks to her husband, and he slowly rises to go and speak for his brother too. As Griffin stood at the podium his hands shook, then he gazes into Monica’s eyes, as she encourages him to talk. Griffin took a deep breath as he gently spoke into the microphone. “My brother Lenny was a delightful spirit. He always leaves a smile on everyone’s face when he would joke about something or tell a story. I will never forget the time when Lenny and I would have our bonding time by setting mom’s cornfield on fire, and building ramps to crash into.” Griffin smiled at the memory. Then he continued, “I’ll never forget those times. Even when he was at his worst, I helped him see the light. I guess Lenny accepted his death in the end. He wasn’t afraid. You still hold a special place in all of our hearts. May you rest in the Father’s arms, Lenny. I love you even at times I didn’t show I did...But I love you…” Griffin pauses as he steps off and lays a red rose on his brother’s coffin.
Griffin walks back to his seat, and Monica smiles through her tears. Griffin whipped his tears away and held onto his wife’s hand. Monica strokes his back to help ease up the pain. The priest came back and nodded to the woman next to a small boom box. “Now a song in memory of Leonard Jacob Griffin.” The song that Kurt and Griffin picked out for their brother’s funeral song was their father’s favorite that he sang to him as a baby. I’ll Stand By You. When the song played Griffin looks over at his father who was now sobbing at the song, and Kathy holds him tightly. He knows that this is a very personal song between his father and his little brother. Griffin looks at Monica, and her eyes met his. Then his gaze fell on his brother’s coffin, and he started to cry again. After the song was over the Priest shared one last passage from the Bible and then closed in prayer, ”God our Father, we thank you that you have made each of us in your own image, and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.
We thank you for Leonard Jacob Griffin, the years we shared with him, the good we saw in him, the love we received from him. Now give us strength and courage to leave him in your care, confident in your promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The Priest paused and nodded to the funeral home director to take Leonard’s body to the cemetery. Some people stayed to say their goodbyes to Lenny, and consult their condolences to the mourning family. After about 10 minutes or so, the director nods for the family to go to their cars for the drive to the cemetery. Monica walks out with Griffin beside her and little Sarah. She holds tight to her husband as he was still sobbing and watching the funeral director put the casket in the car. They went to their vehicles, and Monica started up the car. Then slowly she follows Kurt out with the head car to the cemetery.
As they arrive at the gravesite, four men laid down the coffin on a green tarp. The Priest said one last prayer to Lenny, and inserts a blessing on the coffin. Then Griffin watches the coffin lower in the ground. He closed his eyes and said a small prayer to God to watch over his brother and to be by him. He felt Monica’s touch and looks onto her. Then softly he whispers in her ear, ”Thank you, for being my solid ground, and for being who you are." Monica smiles at him and leans her small head on his shoulder. He knew that she knows what he is talking about. After a moment or two, he walks over to his mother’s gravestone. Monica followed him and knelt down beside him. She looks at the tombstone as it read. Ruth Clarisse Griffin. Beloved wife and mother.
“Your mother’s middle name is Clarisse?” Monica asks.
Griffin nods, “Yes. I was thinking of having Sarah’s middle name to be that, but Crystal didn’t like it.”
Monica smiles, “Well...I think it’s pretty.”
Griffin smiles back and puts a white rose on his mother’s gravestone. Then turns and walks a few paces to talk with his best friend. Monica lingers at Griffin’s mother’s gravesite, and she too puts a white rose on the gravestone. Then very softly she said a small prayer to her, “My old friend Ruth. May God’s love be with you and your beloved son. Thank you again for allowing me to share a life with your child. And I will promise to uphold your secret. May God be with you.” Monica smiles as a small white dove sat next to her grave. Monica nods and walks back to be with her husband.
When Monica arrives by his side, he looked over at her and gave a faint smile to her. She laces her arm with his, as her head fell on his broad shoulder. Chris looks to his best friend, “Well shall we head back to Mrs. Parker’s house.”
Griffin nods, “Yes. Because I think our daughters are quite cold.” Griffin nods to Sarah and Julia as they huddle together under an umbrella.
Sarah was by her Uncle’s gravesite, as she puts a small white rose next to a bunch of red ones. However when she laid down her rose, tied to it was a small figure of a white dove. Julia looks to her, “Why did you put a white dove on your flower?”
“Because. White doves are healing signs from God. And they are a symbol of peace. Monica told me that.” Sarah stated. “I want my Uncle to be at peace in Heaven, even the pain he had caused with my dad for so many years.”
Julia gave a small smile to her best friend, “You know God forgives all sinners. Your Uncle is there.”
Sarah smiles as she places her cold hand on top of Julia’s as the rain poured down around them. Sarah said a small prayer to her uncle Lenny as she says her final farewell to him, Uncle Lenny. Even that I have not gotten to know you over the years, but I love you. Even if you were in my life for a short while. And I forgive you for kidnapping me. It wasn’t your fault. I know that you will never do such a thing. So here is my forgiveness. Farewell for now, until we will meet again. As soon as she finished her prayer, she lays her flower on his grave site. When she bent up, she sees Monica and her father approaching.
“Come on squirt. We got to go.” Griffin said.
Sarah nods as she hands Julia her spare umbrella and runs to the safety under Monica’s big white umbrella. Monica holds her tight and guides them to her red Cadillac. She soon pulls away from the curve and drives a slow, steady pace behind Kerry’s minivan.
Monica pulls into a parking space across the street from Kathy’s small white picket fence home. She locks the door behind her and walks in line with Griffin. The rain had lightened up a bit to just a light sprinkle. Sarah was right beside her father, as they approach the home. Griffin gave a little knock and was greeted by Mrs. Wilson, “Hello Roan. Sarah..and..” the woman pauses as she looks at Monica.
“My wife, Monica…” Griffin stated.
“Right sorry forgot you got married again...Hello Monica, I’m Joanne Wilson come in..you guys must be cold…have some food…and try my famous Macaroni salad.” Joanne stated as she led them in.
Monica looks at Griffin, “Is that the same person who..”
“Who used to babysat Sarah, before you came along yeah that’s her.” Griffin chuckles
“I see. Is her food any good?” Monica stated.
“Only if you want to be sick later.” Sarah claim in.
“Sarah!” Griffin glared at his daughter.
“Well, it’s true. Her cooking skills are not the greatest and don’t go near her macaroni salad.” Sarah added in.
Griffin shook his head, “She doesn’t like her cooking.”
Monica giggles to Griffin’s statement, and then go over and dishes out a plateful of veggies and fruit. Monica is not hungry, but she will have something to munch on, while people mingle. She watches Griffin approaches a woman who was still sobbing over Lenny. Monica must have guessed it was one of his relatives. Monica stayed close to the living room, but once more people sat and talked about her husband’s childhood and life with his brother, she felt a little left out. To clear her mind, Monica decides to walk out into the crisp autumn afternoon air. She stepped out onto the small patio of Kathy and Henry’s home. They have a beautifully landscaped backyard with a beautiful picket fence that was surrounded by flowerbeds. Monica guesses once spring and summer arrive the yard will look breathtaking.
Seth kept his distance from his son’s wife. Not wanting to get too close, but with Tess’s visit the other day, helped him see the light again. He decided to make his peace with Monica before the holidays set in. He saw her leave to go out into the back porch, and he follows suit after her.
Then something in the corner of her eye caught her attention. It was the same dove she saw at the gravesite for Lenny. It cooed at her, and then it flew away with the figure that was coming right up beside her.
“Here thought you could use this,” Seth stated as he hands Monica a small throw blanket.
Monica turned slightly and was surprised to find Griffin’s father beside her. His behavior has changed dramatically since her last encounter with him. She wonders how that happened. To be polite, she gave a small smile to him, “Thank you.”
Seth took a few paces back and settled himself to stand about a foot or so away. It was a bit awkward, but finally, Seth made the bold move to apologize to her. “Monica, I’m sorry for what I had said to you, a few days ago. I lost my mind. Seeing my baby boy dying like that...I just..”
Monica turns to look fully at him now, and to Seth’s shock face he doesn’t see any hurt or anger in her eyes just pure love and understanding. “I understand. You were going through a lot..”
Seth places his hand on hers, “Still didn’t excuse for what I did. And what I..I could of expose my son, your husband, to the truth about Ruth..”
“You didn’t. Ruth’s secret is still kept safe. From Kathy and I.” Monica stated.
Seth looked at Monica with a surprised look on his face, “Kathy told you?”
“Yeah. She saw the same similarities in me as your wife Ruth and made the connection. She also knows about my secrete as well, that I used to be an angel.” Monica smiles, as she pulls the blanket closer to her body.
Monica moves past small talk and really hits the core of why he was talking with her, “So what had made you come and apologize to me about your lack of faith with God. The way Roan explained your faith with God, it is beautiful. And the way you behaved the other day, it felt like an insult to the person who created your life.”
Seth did not meet her gaze. Looking into her eyes at that moment, he felt total shame. For some reason, her eyes have the same reflection as his wife Ruth, of being utterly devoted to God. Seth took a moment then he answered, “This will stay between you and me ok.”
Monica nods, and she allowed for him to continue. Seth’s gaze was almost fixed on hers, but still, he did not want to look into her eyes directly. “I was…I was visited by Ruth’s best friend..as she puts it, your mentor for when you were an…” Seth paused and lowers his voice, “angel.”
Monica looks at him as her eyebrows raised slightly, “Tess?!”
Seth nods, “She was very convincing.” Monica smiles at her old friend. Tess can be very convincing, and loving all at the same time. Which is why she loves her, and why Tess will always be Monica’s number one friend. Seth explained his story and explained how Tess made him see his error. “I now have a better understanding of God’s mercy for people, and for…well you know..”
“For fallen angels.” Monica echoed his thought.
“Yes…” Seth gave a half smile.
“I may be human now, but my love for the Father goes really deep. Deeper than the love that I have for your son. I love Roan with all my heart and soul, and God knows how much I do And I would think twice before ever breaking his beautiful heart. But nothing can ever compare to the real love that comes from God.” Monica explained.
Seth looks to her now with sadness in his eyes, “I wish my relationship with God could be as strong as yours, you have no doubts.”
Monica gave a short chuckle, “Oh, believe me, I had my doubts with my own faith with God, even when I was an angel. And I was born in his love, yet I still manage to have my doubts and not trusting his word at times.”
Seth looks at her with dismay, “Really? Even when you were an angel?”
Monica nodded, “Angels are not perfect. Sometimes we screw up just like humans do. I remember several times, I disobeyed God a lot, and I had to be disciplined. Not in a bad way, because like you stated earlier, God is very merciful. He knew I had to fix my mistake, and learn from my errors that I have made. I was still an angel in training when that happened. God knows that people have doubts. He knows that we struggle along the way, but he will always be there to help us. Even if we refuse, he still loves us.”
Seth smiles, “You are starting to sound like Tess.” Monica places her wedding band hand on Seth’s right hand and smiles at him. Seth took her hand and squeezed it for saying thank you. Then a chilling breeze kicked up, and it sent Monica shivering. Seth took that as a cue to go inside, “Come on let’s get you out of the cold. Wouldn’t want my grandchild in there to let their mother freeze to death.”
Monica squinted her eyes as she looks at him, “How did you know?”
“That you’re pregnant.” Seth softly stated. And Monica nodded. Then Seth sighs, “my son told me. He called me up a few nights after you gave him the good news saying, ‘he’s going to be a father again.’ Plus Kathy also reminded me a few days ago after you came and visited. She went on, and on that, you refuse coffee and going to tea.” Seth smiles as he led Monica back into the house.
Monica smiles, “Yeah had to stop drinking my favorite coffee because it was making me ill. Well, it doesn’t make me ill, just the baby thinks it is poison for me, so it is protesting about it.” Monica stated with a disappointment. “And Roan will tease me over it, and then drinks it in front of me just to make me crazy. He likes to do that a lot because he loves how angry I get at him.” Monica adds in a smile at the end of her comment.
“Ruth was the same way. Had to stop drinking her usual. And when she saw her cup of coffee in commercials on tv, she sobs.” Seth laughs at the distant memory of his wife during her pregnancy.
Monica smiles with him, “I haven’t gotten to crying over coffee just yet.”
Seth cast a side look to her, “You will. If you think my son teases you over your refusal for coffee, he is going to have so much fun with your unbalanced hormones go all over the place. How many weeks are you?” Seth asks as he opens up the door.
“This will be my fourteenth week coming up,” Monica stated.
Seth smiles, “I’m glad for you and Roan. Very glad, bout time Sarah has someone to fight with, and another grandchild I can spoil.”
Monica smiles back at him, “I am too.”
Griffin lingered by his cousin Margret for another 3 or 4 minutes. He left to find where Monica went. When he looked, she was nowhere to be seen. He wonders where she could be. Griffin moves out of the living room and past the doors to the outside. He stopped when he saw her beautiful, radiant face light up with gladness. And when he looked, he was in shock. He found outside on the patio his father talking to his wife. A few days ago his father was in a complete angry rage and was going on about his hatred towards God. And now to his amazement, the angry and bitter man Griffin witnessed before was now his usual self. Humble and gracious towards his wife. Monica was right. His father was going through his grieving stage and wasn’t seeing clearly. However, the one thing Griffin does not get is, is his family really going to be punished by God Almighty, because of Monica’s choice of falling from heaven to be with him? And how falling in love with angels is a death sentence? His questions vanish away when she spots him, and says goodbye to his father, and goes and greets him with a warm and smooth kiss to his lips.
“What, what was that about?” Griffin asks after his wife kissed him.
“The kiss?” Monica asks.
“No. You and my father…talking?” Griffin stated.
“Oh, he was….he was just making his amends with me about the other day….and later on he wants some alone time with you too, and apologize for his outburst.” Monica looks at him.
Griffin looks down, “He scared me when he did that. Attacking you like what he did was like he was attacking me.”
Monica came to him and laced her fingers to his, “I know. And he knows that too that’s why he wants to speak to you to apologize after the little get together. He loves you and your brother. And the last thing he wanted to do was to hurt you with his own broken heart.”
Griffin puts one of his hands on her face, “Why do you have so much wisdom and healing words in your heart?”
Monica smiles and embraces her husband, “Because I had many experiences with this kind of behavior before in my past. And the wisdom comes from the experiences that I learned…”
Griffin looks into her soft brown eyes and smiles. He loves her comforting words that she gives to him. And the sexy Irish voice still melts his heart. God did chose the right name for her; she defiantly is a councilor when trying to counsel the grieving. Griffin then takes hold of Monica’s hand and motions her to be with some of his family members that she never got to meet.
A few hours past and everyone had plenty of food. Monica meet some of Griffin’s relatives from other states, as well as a familiar face in the crowd the Irish couple who helped both Monica and Griffin on their honeymoon in Northern Ireland. Monica gave a friendly hug to the Irish couple and talked with them. They only came for a short while to pay their respects to Lenny, as well as being there for Seth. Once they went to be with Seth and share their condolences, Monica turns and only to find Crystal standing near the fireplace looking at the memories, of what used to be her brother-in-law. Monica softly approaches her.
“Here, thought you could use some tea.” Monica offered.
Crystal looks to her, and accepted Monica’s drink, “Thanks.”
Monica looks at the photos of young Leonard as she looks at the family. “You were close to this family weren’t you.”
Crystal gave a half smile as the fire cast a shadow on her face, “They were the only family I had, besides my aunt and uncle. It wasn’t easy living my life…” Crystal slightly took her gaze off the roaring fire to look at Monica. Then she sighs revealing part of her past with her, “then I found Roan…well…your husband now…and he changed my view on life.” Crystal smiled at the last word, remember her time with Griffin.
Monica is feeling slightly jealous of her, and part of it hurt her. Monica turns as the glow of the fire highlighted her face. She looked at Crystal and said what Crystal was trying to hide, “You are still in love with him aren’t you?”
Crystal looks up into Monica’s soft brown eyes. Part of her wanted to slap Monica in the face and ask how dare you to say that. But she knows that she is right. There was no fooling her ex-husband’s new wife. Crystal looks into the fire and softly replies, “Yes. Part of me will always be in love with Roan Griffin.” Crystal then took her gaze off the fire and looked directly into Monica’s soft brown eyes, “But he will always be in love with you.”
That shocked Monica. She thought Crystal would deny it, but something in Crystal’s heart made her accept the fact that she can no longer have Griffin. And the next phrase really amazed her. “Even when I was married to him for a short while, and gave him Sarah, Roan had never shared the amount of love and happiness that he had with you when he was with me. Part of it was my fault, as I didn’t let him in to have him truly love me, as you did. I thought Roan would be happy with me, but it turns out he never really was….” Crystal’s voice had a hint of sadness to it. Then she looks at her, “I know this because the moment I saw the look on his face at your wedding with him, was the moment I knew…” Crystal took a sip of her tea as she gazes into the glowing fire.
Monica looks at Crystal and a soft smile formed on her face as she looks at Crystal, “You know Crystal, we can be friends instead of enemies. You are not a horrible person, even though you claim you are.”
Crystal froze up just then when Monica said that. Because she is scared of love, and Monica was pushing her same way her ex-husband used to do. Crystal shook her head and drew back from the fireplace, and then she looks at Monica, “Nothing personal Monica, but I think I’ll just stick with you being an acquaintance. You are a nice person, and I admire you trying to be friendly towards me even though I shouldn’t deserve it. Thanks for the tea.” Crystal walks away from her not looking back. Monica understands for Crystal’s resentment from her. It hurts her too much to watch the people she loves moves away from her and goes to Monica instead.
Griffin walks away from the crowd and goes up to his brother’s old room. Everything in here reminded him of his brother. The old high school hockey sports coat, which his brother loved to wear after his state game. He never would forget that moment. Studying for his police exam as his younger brother comes into his room shouting ’I won..I won..’ He went through some of his brother things until he came across a small journal. Griffin held the book in his hands for a moment just gazing at the cover. He was afraid to read it as It held all of his brother’s privacy.
Griffin slowly opens the black book. Inside held a picture of his brother and his wife, Amy. At that time in Lenny’s life, he was happy. Griffin still remembers that terrible day. Just finishing up patrolling the highway on route 96, when he got a call from his captain, stating there is a major accident on Route 94 heading to New York City. Griffin still a rookie at the time, took the call, and he wished he hadn’t. He went to the end of the highway just off route 94 that was heading into New York City. He came across a head-on collision with fire trucks and ambulance all around. A drunk driver hit the oncoming traffic that was heading to New York City. The man had a few broken ribs and a fractured leg. He came with his big pickup from New York and got off course and hit the car straight on.
Griffin got out of his patrol car and went to the crash site. He looks at the familiar car of Amy’s red Buick, and his heart froze. Pinned between the guardrail and the back of the pickup was Amy. She only had a few minutes to live, as Griffin stood there cradling her half torn body. He watched her life disappear from him, and he knew he had to call his brother about the bad news. When he arrived at his brother’s door, Griffin will never forget the wailing and the hurtful cries coming from his little brother. Tears were coming out of Griffin’s eyes as he relived that horrible moment, as he closes his eyes shut trying so hard to block out the awful sounds coming from his brother’s heartache and pain from the distant memory.
There was a soft knock, and Griffin closes the black notebook and looks up to find his father. “Dad..”
Seth looks at his son as he looks at Lenny’s old things, “Thought I would find you up here.”
Griffin puts Lenny’s old things back in the box and sets the box down on the floor, as he wipes the tears from his eyes. “Just wanted to get away for a little while.”
Seth nods, “I know…” Seth moves to sit across from his son. Griffin looks at his father, and small tears ran down his face.
Griffin knows this is the perfect time to make peace with his father, “Dad..”
However, Seth beat him to it, “Son, I’m sorry for what I did a few days ago. I wasn’t myself, and I would like to apologize for the hurtful things I have done or said. I shouldn’t have taken my frustration and anger out on you, and your wife. You were both there to help me, and I dismissed that. That is not who I am, and that is not a fatherly example. I’m so sorry Roan..really.”
Griffin looks at his dad as tears streamed down his face. Suddenly Griffin stood up and went to his father as he embraces him and sobs into his father’s shoulder. Griffin felt like he was 15 all over again when crying for the death of his mother. Seth hugged his son, and he too was crying. Griffin pulls back as he looks at his father, “Just don’t scare me like that again…”
Seth looks at his son, “I won’t…believe me...I never want you to go through that again..I love you. You and Kurt are the only kids in this world that I have left.”
Griffin gave a little smile to his father. Then he asks the question that had been killing him for days now, “Dad, why did you say that Falling in love with angels is a death sentence to our families?”
Seth was taken aback, oh shit, he knows. Seth tries to come up with a lie to cover up his tracks, “I don’t know..I was…in a complete mess..”
Griffin got up and walks over to the window and stares at the darkening gray sky, “How do you know about my wife being an angel?”
“What do you mean?” Seth goes over to him.
“Monica, dad. You got all-defensive and pointed to her because she used to be an angel. Only I know that she used to be one because she exposed herself as one to me last New Year’s Eve when we both confessed that we love one another. So how do you know about Monica’s true identity, and blame her and her existence for Lenny’s death?”
“Roan..” Seth tries to back away, but it was too late.
“I want to know, how do you know she was one?” Griffin asks turning to look at his father.
Seth sighs and goes to bed. Griffin remains standing at the window. “Monica reminded me of someone I used to know back in World War Two. Your wife came forward and told me on your daughters birthday. That is how I know she is one. Hard to forgot when an angel visited you.”
“How come you never told me that angels visited you,” Griffin stated as his anger eased up a bit.
“Because that was one of the few memories I wanted to leave behind. I saw a lot of death in World War two and didn’t want to share with you kids. A memory I wanted to shield myself from let alone to shield from you kids as well.” Seth stated.
“Did you end up falling in love with an angel?” Griffin asks.
Seth didn’t want to lie to his son, but he didn’t want to expose his son the truth about his mother. So he carefully went about on how to answer his question. Seth sighs as he looks out the window of the attic. “Yes, I did. Shortly after the war, I was about your age when you went to the police academy when I fell in love with the angel too who was a nurse attending the front lines. She told me that being in love with her, is a big mistake and that it could jeopardize the balance between angels and humans. I was then sent away on a mission, and I wanted to share my love for her. We secretly met in the forest behind the campsite of the battlefields. When I went to her to confess my love for her, we were bombed, and I remember seeing her disappear in with the reigns of fire from the Japanese.” Seth paused at the memory of his wife, Ruth. Then he looks at his son, “That was the last time I saw her.”
Griffin was shocked at his father’s story. He thought he was the only one in the family who fell for an angel, but it turns out his father also did. “I thought I was the only one in our family who has fallen in love with an angel.”
“No son you weren’t. I was.” Seth stated.
Griffin nods as he looks closely at his father, “Do you still miss her?”
Seth nods, “Yes.”
“Do you love her more than you loved mom?” Griffin asks.
Seth looks eye to eye with his son, “No. Your mother was the only person I ever truly loved. I was just a love-struck boy at that time in my life. When I met your mother, it was different.” Seth smiles as he told a lie just a bit to his son because he is still in love with his angel, who happens to be Griffin’s mother.
Griffin smiles at him, “I’m glad you told me, dad..really.” And soon the worries and questions disappeared from him, and he hugs his father.
Seth smiles and hugs him back, “I’m glad too.”
Griffin then looks at the time and then he looks at his dad, “Well I’ve got to get back home. Sarah has some homework to be done, and I have to head to the station and talk with my boss. Thanks again for telling me, dad.”
Seth smiles, “You’re welcome. And Roan..keep Monica close in your heart. A love from an angel is one of the most powerful love there is. You are fortunate to be loved by her.”
Griffin smiles, “I will.” And with that, he returns downstairs.
Monica was looking at the photos of Lenny and her husband. She saw the happiness in her husband’s youth. She traces the smile on his face when an unexpected visitor came and sat down next to her. “That was the time Roan graduated from the Police Academy, and his brother threw him a party.”
Monica looks at the woman who held a glass of scotch in her hands. The smell of the alcoholic drink was already getting Monica a bit queasy, but she remains where she was. “Nice to see you again Sandy.” Monica politely replies. She still didn’t like having this woman around. Especially because Monica can sense that she still is eyeing her husband, and not his older brother, which makes Monica protective of her husband. She knows Griffin will always be loyal to her, and would never fall into the trap of this woman’s sexual ways, but still, she wants to keep Sandy at a safe distance from him.
“Thanks. Do you want some scotch? It helps with the pain.” Sandy stated as she offers the drink to Monica.
“No thanks, I’m set. Besides alcohol doesn’t go well with being pregnant. And it doesn’t help with the mourning of a loved one either. It makes it worse.” Monica replies. She can tell Sandy is a bit wasted with how much alcohol she already ingested.
“Forgot that you are pregnant now.” She took another swig of her drink. “How is your husband dealing with the grieving?”
Monica doesn’t want to talk with her. And she was wondering where is her husband to save her from the conversations. “He’s taken it one day at a time. Still is pretty shaken up with the trauma that had happened.”
“I know..Kurt told me...But you know what will help. Having hot sexual intercourse, it helps Kurt whenever he had a rough day..” Sandy smiles. Monica took a sip of her tea and pretending that Sandy wasn’t talking with her. But she keeps on pressing on, “Have you ever tried it with your husband...Kurt is a sexy beast in bed...I want to know how good Roan is. He seems wild in bed, I’m sure you know because you’re his wife, and well he got you pregnant, so you must know how he is in bed. I would like to know.....”
Monica could feel the hot anger rise in her body. How can this woman use her brother-in-law like that? Monica calmly talked to her, “Look, Sandy..”
Monica tries to move away from her, but Sandy presses on and follows Monica to the couch. “How does a woman like you. An outsider and gets away with marrying off to one of the most sexiest man around this town.”
Monica looks at her, and now she sees it. Sandy is still jealous of Monica of that night when she became human, and Griffin chose Monica over Sandy. Monica sets down her mug of tea and looks at this woman with a glow of a red flame in her blue eyes, “I am not an outsider Sandy. And Griffin married me because he truly loves me.”
Sandy snorted and rolled her eyes as she took another drink, “You know if you never came back he would’ve chosen me and forgot that he ever loved you. I am a woman who knows how to make a man happy.” Sandy looks at Monica, and she knows she is getting to her. Sandy presses on and tries to make Monica extremely pissed off and started a bitch fight with her again. She smiles contently as she looks into Monica’s brown eyes, “In fact..the other night before you came back into his life he kissed me. He got a little turned on. He would’ve slept with me that night, and forgotten all about his love for you. I think at that moment when we were making out, that he wanted to have sex with me.” Monica knows that’s a lie. Griffin told her that he never wanted to. Monica looks up as Sandy still keeps on trying to make her angry and soon spotted her husband coming to her rescue.
Griffin said goodbye to Kathy and her husband as well as some of his cousins. He found Monica talking with surprisingly Sandy. He came to her and smiles, “You ready to go honey?”
Monica looks at Sandy, and sets down her mug, “I got to go…nice talking with you.” Monica turns from Sandy as she never once gave her the satisfaction of getting angry over something so stupid.
Sandy gave Monica an evil glare. Her jealousy is still ruining her love relationship with Griffin’s brother. Monica feels terrible for Kurt. She knows the truth that Sandy is only with him so that she can get close to Griffin. Griffin looks down on her, “Is Sandy being nice to you?”
Monica looks at him as they go and find Sarah, “No. In fact, I think she is still jealous of me.”
“Jealous? Of You? Why?” Griffin asks as he looks into her eyes.
“Because I don’t think she truly got over her ‘love’ for you. And I emphases love for a reason because she is obsessed with you honey and is only after you for lust and not real love.” Monica looks at him. “She is still mad at me for coming back into your life, and you chose me over her.” Monica looks at him.
Griffin chuckles, “Sandy doesn’t know the definition of love. All she wants is sex. And for the record, I have always wanted you, and never her. Also got to say, I was always more attracted to you than her. Even that night at Sarah's Thanksgiving play.”
Monica smiles and kisses his cheek, “I know which is why I never gave her the satisfaction of me getting angry when she rambles on. Apparently, her true colors come out when she is drunk.”
“What exactly did she say to you?” Griffin asks.
“Enough for me to see that she still has the hots for you, my love.” Monica gave a smile as she cast a look at Sandy as she can sense her eyes eyeing her and Griffin. Then Monica reaches up and kisses her husband, and protecting him from Sandy, and making Sandy eat her words. She pulls back and then laces her fingers to his as she suggested, “Come on let’s go and find our daughter.”
Griffin was confused for a moment. Was Sandy really in love with his brother, or was she fooling around with Kurt so that she can get near him. Griffin shrugs it off as soon as he and Monica found Julia and Sarah playing Apples to Apples with some of Griffin’s cousins. “Come on Sarah. We got to go.”
Sarah smiles up at her father, “Okay. Bye Julia, I will see you on Sunday for church. Bye Alyssa and Mary, and Jackson..”
The other kids waved goodbye, but Julia is the only one who actually hugged Sarah. Sarah gave her best friend a hug goodbye and then follows her father and Monica out. Just before she puts on her small tan jacket, she caught sight of her birth mother. It still hurt Sarah to see her there. And she still didn’t want to talk with her mother. Sarah dashes out of Mrs. Parker’s house before Crystal ever caught sight of her.
Monica notices Sarah’s hurry, and the look that Crystal had when she saw her daughter’s resentment toward her, hurt Monica. She can feel for both of them. Monica looks at Crystal, and for a brief moment, the two of them shared an understanding look. The last thing Monica saw was Crystal leaving the room as tears fell from her eyes. For a moment Monica wanted to go to Crystal, but at the same time, she didn’t. For one thing, Crystal still didn’t like Monica. She made that clear earlier when Monica was trying to be nice. Monica closes the door and follows after her husband and daughter to her red Cadillac.
Later on that night, Monica curls up with Griffin watching the fire glow from candles in their bedroom. Monica loves it when she and Griffin spend some romantic time together. She loves how supportive he is, and just being near her. Monica still is having some flashback moments of feeling Charles Norman forcing himself in her. She wants the fear to go away so she can be completely intimate with her husband again.
Griffin senses her worries as he pulls back a little to give Monica some space. “You want me to stop?”
Monica shakes her head and places her husband’s hand’s back on her shoulders, “No..”
“I’m not turning you on am I?” Griffin asks as he lightly massages Monica’s tired shoulders.
Monica smiles, “Kind of you are..but I like this never thought how good you are at massages.”
Griffin smiles back, and touches her half-naked back and kisses the rim of her shoulders, “That because you never ask me for one.”
Monica as she continues to lie on her stomach so that Griffin could massage her. The last time they did this, was on their honeymoon, and it was after they had sex for the fourth time. It was one of Monica’s sexual desires to make love to her lover and have him to massage her naked body tenderly, and then eventually have him make love to her all over again. She never told him that. Monica softly exhales and felt utterly relaxed and reflecting on her memory of him and her in Ireland.
Griffin massaged his wife for another good 15 minutes then he lies down beside her as the soft glow of the candlelight outlined her beautiful milky skin, making it look creamy and warm. Monica turns her head and smiles at him, “That felt really nice, thank you.”
Griffin smiles as he laces his fingers with hers, “You’re welcome. Thought you could use a little relaxation after everything you went through these past few weeks.”
Monica smiles as she turns to look at him, “I saw your father go up into the attic. Did he talk to you?”
Griffin nods, “Yes. I now have a better understanding why my father behaved the way he did. He also told me about how he came to know your real identity as an angel, and that he used to be in love with one as well.”
Monica slowly rises to her elbows, “He what?”
“He told me that he too fell in love with an angel long before he met my mom. He was in Japan fighting the Japanese when he met his angel. Apparently, you and I are not the only ones who crossed the lines and fell for each other.” Griffin sits up as he explains to Monica what his father told him.
To Monica’s amazement, Seth told his son a little bit about how his father met his mother without giving away that it was her. He didn’t lie to him, and he actually told the truth. However, Griffin still didn’t read between the lines of the truth and that the angel that his father fell for was actually Ruth. And with what Griffin told her next was, “He also said before I left, that a love from an angel is the most powerful love there is.”
Monica looks at him, “Well, you and I both know that the most powerful love out there is God’s love. Nothing can compare to that. Sadly not even the love I have for you can compare to the love of God’s.”
Griffin nods, “True…” Then Griffin went into a more serious tone, “What is it like?”
Monica pulls out of his embrace and looks at him. The glow of the fire burned in his eyes as she looks at him, “What do you mean?”
“Heaven. What is it like when people die?” Griffin asks.
Monica sighs and then looks at him as she strokes his bare chest with her hands, “It’s peaceful, filled with love and not hate, and there is no evil. It’s the perfect place to be. And Griff…people are not dead their spirits are with God, living in his love.” Monica pauses as she looks at him, “Are you wondering if Lenny is with him.”
Griffin nods, “I want him to be happy…I miss him..seeing that coffin go into the ground like that..was like a piece of me. I wanted to save him….”
Monica smiles as she placed her wedding band hand on his left cheek and stroked it tenderly, “I know, my love….And yes Lenny is very happy…he is in peace, and he is with your mother, and your grandfather and grandmother, and with God. He wants you to live, and to be happy, and remember the times you had with him. And Roan you did save him you saved him by loving him, and remember who he is you brought him hope when he needed it, and love from his big brother. He knows you loved him.”
Griffin eyes her, and places his wedding band hand to hers, “Without you there with me today. I don’t know how I could manage to stay stable. Losing my mom was bad enough…now with my baby brother gone….” Griffin pauses as he looks at her. Monica knows his pain, and as she just listened to him telling all the memories, he shared with his little brother.
After when Griffin shared some memories with his wife about his childhood, he lays down on the pillows at the foot of the bed. And Monica continues to sit up. Griffin found her hand and brought them to his chest. Monica smiles at him, and carefully she lowers her body to lay on top of his. Before Griffin started the make-out session, he softly stated to Monica, “I’m so grateful that I’m in love with you, and that you are the love of my life.”
That won Monica’s heart over. And gently she came and landed a tender kiss on his lips. Monica loves it when Griffin’s shirt is off so that she can roam her hands over his smooth bare chest. The glow of the fire was heating up the romance between them. Griffin remains paralyzed to the bed as he felt Monica leaving hot moist kisses on his bare chest. For the first time, he is feeling her leaving some hickeys on his neck and chest. He was in complete awe with his wife, and Monica looks at him, and then he pulls her into a hot romantic lip lock. They were both caught up in each other’s embraces that Monica was getting sexually aroused. With Griffin on top of her, she can feel her body screaming at her saying it wants to have sex now.
In the mist of kissing her husband, she stops, and Griffin caught onto it. She looked at him and realized that he too was getting excited. “Griffin…I ah…I have to stop this act…I can’t engage in any sexual activities unless my therapist gives me the okay.”
Griffin nods, “I understand..just…you drive me crazy sometimes, and I can’t control myself..you make me feel complete when I’m in the moment with you..and I miss that feeling.”
Monica smiles and places her lips to his for a moment or two, “I know I miss it too…I am slowly letting you back in…it’s just taking some time. Norman…he violated my trust with humans. I have to rebuild that. But he didn’t take my love away from you...You still manage to turn me on. And I miss you making love to me, and that sexual pleasure that you give to me.” Monica smiles brighten a bit more as she looks eye to eye with her husband when she stated that. “For some reason, you bring out the woman in me, and never thought I would say this, but, you rock my world every time we have sex. I would love to move past my fear and continue to share my sex life with you, Roan. You are the love of my life as well.”
Griffin smiles at her comment as he kisses her neck and nuzzles his nose into her neck smelling her sweet scent. Monica smiles, even more, when he did that. After a moment of being in his arms, Monica moves out of his embrace and left the bed. Griffin was confused for a moment, and then she returns with Griffin’s guitar in hand. Griffin beamed up at her and took the guitar as she settles down beside him. “I’m guessing you want me to play you something.”
Monica nodded and stated, “Anything that comes to your mind. I love it when you sing. You make me melt, with your voice.”
Griffin smiles as he softly strummed his guitar until he found the right tune. Griffin thought for a moment, then in a soft, comforting melody he begins to play their wedding song, Feels Like Home. Monica smiles at him as he plays their song. She remembers what seems like years ago, that this was the first time she confessed her love for him. This song will forever remind her of her husband. To Griffin’s soft playing and the glow of the candlelit fire, it was soothing Monica into a relaxing state. In the middle of the song, Monica dozes off into her dream world, while lying next to the love of her life.
Griffin looks down and sees his wife is fast asleep. After their near sexual encounter, she was out like a light. Griffin smiles and sets his guitar back in its proper place as he goes and blows out the candles that Monica set up when they wanted to be intimate. The room immediately went dark as rain continued to pour down outside. Griffin carefully puts a blanket around Monica’s half-naked body as he moves his pillow back to its original spot. He soon slides in and lies next to Monica. As the sound of the raindrops hit the roof of the house and the windows and Monica’s soft breathing it made Griffin very sleepy as he soon drifts off and joins Monica in dreamland.