The chess of my life

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Chapter 3 - Maddie

Jessica lay on a blanket on the floor, Derek picking flowers and making her a headdress next to her. The nanny trying to keep Oliva away from the lake. Avery and Ethan sat huddled together. Greg with a magnifier glass doing god knows what with his father. I had given up trying to work out their current job. Nathan had them both on their bikes for an hour, but I think he was exhausted with running after them. Derek got it though. Bless Oliva as she worked out how to pedal her trike too. Tamsin kept trying to crawl off, but she thankfully couldn’t move yet. I had the camera ready though. I sat with dad near the lake a chess board between us. Playing a game that was breaking my heart. Dad had forgot how to move his pieces. He was frustrated. I kept assuring him it was okay but he was crying on off. Kept asking who everyone was. Kept claiming the board was wrong. He kept trying to make moves he would never condone. “did you want to stop daddy?” I asked him. He nodded in tears. He barely spoke anymore. Nathan got the nanny to take a few pictures of us as a family. Dad kept looking at us all puzzled. Jessica wasn’t strong enough to even sit for long let alone stand. It was okay though as she liked watching the kids play. At lunchtime we ate the picnic then Nathan drove dad back to the carehome. I went and laid with Jess. The kids playing and the nanny watching them. I looked at the sky. “Who do you think we are going to loose first dad or me?” she asked. “I don’t know.” I admitted tears running down my face. “im the wind around you. Im always there.” she told me. I squeezed her hand gently. “I’m scared.” I told her. “that’s okay im scared too.” She said. we watched the kids. “I love you all” she said. “we all love you.” I assured her. She fell asleep. I sat up and went and helped the boys play on there bikes. We waited for Nathan then loaded everyone into 3 cars and drove back home. The housekeeper had cooked us dinner in the oven it smelled lovely. But Jess wasn’t up to eating she hadn’t kept food down for a few days. We unpacked the car. She sat at the table. I emailed her all the pictures of the family.

It was a month later, I was coping okay. The kids had gone back to school last week and it had been a challenge at first school run with 6 kids. 2 babys 2 in elementy and 2 just started highschool. It was a nightmare. But I managed. But Jess, Jess wasn’t managing now. I was in the room next door and I could hear her being sick over and over again. I couldn’t count the last time she had stoped. I went out the room. Nathan was there looking petrified a phone in his hand. “ive called an ambalance.” He told me. “did you want me to wake the kids?” I asked worried. Jess shook her head barely able to open her eyes. I heard the sirens then. Tamsin started screaming. “ill get the baby.” I said. “Maddie.” Nathan said. we both saw it, that was the thing Jess was being sick blood. “Ill bring the kids to the hospital.” I said. “just go I’ll get them all there.” I said. Nathan scooped Jess up and took her downstairs. Jess was going. All our plans gone in that moment. I was numb. I walked to the babys room and picked her up. Tamsin wrapped her little arms around me. I then went into Averys room. She was asleep. “Avery.” I said loudly. “mm.” she groined. “not school yet.” She moaned. “Avery sweetheart its time.” I said tears started. Avery obviously heard my sob then. She looked at me sitting up. “We need to go hospital.” I told her well at least I think I did between my sob. she was up quickly throwing on clothes. I went to Ethans. He was already getting his shoes on. I went the twins room. They were both sparko. “I got them auntie Madds, you get Oliva.” Ethan told me. I nodded and went to the toddler’s room. She was asleep too. I scooped her up. she came kicking and screaming. “shh its okay we are just going a small drive okay baby.” I said. she wrapped her little arms round me. I didn’t bother dressing the babys. I took them down. I was strapping them in. when Avery came out the house the diaper bag and bottles in her hand. “thanks.” I said. “are you sure you can drive?” she asked me. I shook my head. “I think so.” I said. I looked at Ethan as he Greg and Derek came out they all climbed in the car. I drove I hoped safelty but honestly, I lost 40 miniutes. But none of the kids mentioned bad driving. I got them all out we went in. Nathan would have had an hour here by now at least I hoped he had. Nathan came down the corridor when I texted to say we were there. “shes.” He started but started sobbing. Don’t say gone don’t say gone. I thought. “Shes conscious.” He said. I nodded. “why don’t you two go in first.” Nathan said to Ethan and Avery. They looked torn. “go sweethearts its okay.” I said weakly. They went. Nathan went with them. After a while he popped his head out. “Greg Derek.” He said. the twins went in. I stood with the babys asleep on me. Nathan came out after a while. “Madds.” He said. I went in. Jess was grey and attached to tubes. i looked at her she was barely there. “I love you.” I told her kissing her head. I woke the babys. “kiss mommy.” I said. Oliva kissed her so did Tamsin. “I love you all.” She weakly said. “Its okay you can go sleep now.” Nathan said weakly seeing jess fighting sleep. all the kids took it in turns saying goodbye in case. One at a time. Jess slept through it. When it was my turn I went in. I sat in the chair. “ill try my hardest Jess. Ill make mistakes. The kids and I and Nathan wont be perfect. Im scared but ill try.” I told her. “I love you.” I said. “bye Jessica.” I said tears running down my face. I sobbed into the blanket. She weakly squeezed my hand at two points. She was going. “we will always love you.” I kissed her head. “I love you Jess.” I said. I then stood up. “bye Jess.” I said. I left the room tears running down my face Nathan stood there the older kids with sleeping little kids on there laps spread on hospital chairs. “Nathan go be with her.” I said. he looked torn at the kids. “We will be fine daddy.” Avery said her voice breaking. We all sat in the waiting room. Two hours later Jess took her last breath in her sleep. She went peacefully.

It had been 5 weeks since Jess passed and I was still numb we all were. We walked round the house as small zombies. I think if it wasn’t the little ones I wouldn’t be leaving my bed. Nathan was there though. He was only doing the must dos. His work was being understanding and being the boss he got away with it. His new partnering firm had taken over his shorthand. They wouldn’t take over because everyone knew Nathan had the brains and funds to go places and set so many safe gaurds to stop it happening. The funeral was going to be hard. I sorted out the ribbon in Olivas hair for the millionth time. I sorted it out in Tamsins hair for the millionth as well. I looked at all the pictures of us the Jessica had chosen. She planned her own funeral so Nathan and I wouldn’t have to. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t breaking down. I looked at Avery and Ethan holding a twins hand each. If it weren’t for those two I wouldn’t be on my feet either. “Auntie Maddie.” Avery said. “yeah.” I said. “Grandpa is trying to take his clothes off.” Avery said. “thanks can you hold the girls.” I said handing her both the girls. I went and sorted dad out. he didn’t talk to me. he didn’t ask whos funeral. I wondered if he even knew.

The service was a blur of words and I honestly couldn’t focus. I just wanted Jess back. When she was being buried dad looked at me. “Who died?” he asked it was an innocent question I knew it was. “Jessica.” I told him. “ok.” He said. ok? did he know who that was. I looked at him and realised he was sobbing. “Daddy?” I asked. He didn’t say another word to me. he just watched the coffin going down sobbing. Ethan squeezed my hand I looked at him. He didn’t say a word either. Tears run down my face I didn’t even bother trying to stop them or clear them. When It was over I took the babys in and Nathan took my dad in, in his wheelchair. I changed the babys diaper and took Oliva toilet when I came out. Nathan was thanking friends of his and Jess and he was being so strong. He was so strong. He was holding Dereks hand the whole time. Greg had disappeared. I went hunting for him and found him stood at the window with his pawpaw in the wheelchair. Looking out at the backyard. We had come home for the wake. Greg was talking and it surprised me. Dad wasn’t talking. “youll look after mommy right?” Greg asked him. Dad stayed silent. “youll be the old you then and take good care of mommy?” Greg asked. “Greg?” I asked. Greg wiped his tears away. I went in close to him. “Greg baby are you okay?” I asked my face was covered in tears. “No.” he said. I didn’t expect that answer. “No auntie Mads. Im not okay.” He said. I went and hugged him tight. I held him tight to me. “that’s okay its okay not to be okay.” I told him. “its okay to hurt.” I told him. “its okay to be scared.” I told him. “its okay not to be okay.” I said. he held me tight and cryed into my dress. Dad just sat there blinking out the window. Someone cleared there throat I looked at Nathan. “Greg do you want to come talk?” Nathan asked worried. Greg shook his head. “can we just hug and cry?” Greg asked. “we can just hug and cry.” Nathan told him. Greg went with his daddy. I looked at mine. “Daddy.” I said. he didn’t look at me. I took a deep breath. “If you see Jess Addie and mom look after each other okay.” I said bending to his level. “I love you daddy always.” I told him. “Miss Prescott.” A lady said coming in the room in a nurses uniform. Okay she was here for dad. I looked at daddy. “Daddy its time to go home.” I said. he didn’t say a word. “im sorry for your loss.” The nurse told me. “thanks.” I said. I helped her out to the car. She loaded my daddy onto a van and I watched her drive away my daddy. “Its okay not to be okay.” I said outloud to myself. Derek slipped his hand in mine. “you okay?” I asked him worried. “its okay not to be.” He said. I kissed his head. “yeah kiddo it is.” I told him. I watched the car drive my dad away. “Derek.” I said looking at the little boy. “Yeah Auntie Maddie?” he asked. “your not going to set my handbag on fire right?” I asked. he weakly smiled. “you don’t use a handbag.” He said. There was no promise there. I wrapped my arm round his shoulders. “if you set me on fire your so grounded.” I told him. he gave me a toothless weak smile. “What you say me and you go find some icecream.” I told him. “We got people.” He said weakly. “We can hide.” I told him. he took my hand and we went back in, we went to the kitchen. Avery was stood in there Tamsin in her arms feeding her a bottle. “Thanks sweetheart.” I said taking the icecream out the freezer and grabbing some spoons from the draw. “Guys this is ben and jerrys they will be your dinner a lot.” I told them. Ethan gave me a weak smile. “thankfully auntie Maddie isn’t doing the cooking.” He told Derek who took his spoon. Avery and Ethan did as well and we started eating the icecream. When Nathan came in the tub was almost empty and most of us were crying. Nathan just put his arm around Avery and hugged her. he put his arm around Ethan his otherside and held the kids close to him. “your mom.” He started. I shook my head we didn’t need him to talk. “She recorded something for all you to watch today.” He said looking worried. “what?” I asked him. “She wrote letters and made videos for all of you for different times.” He admitted. “Okay.” I said. “You can all watch it upstairs then come say goodbye to people.” He said. “Can we say goodbye first?” Ethan asked. “sure bud if that’s what you want to do.” He said. “Wheres Oliva?” I asked in general realising I was two short. They all looked at me. “I cant of lost a kid already.” I said. “Shes in mommys and daddys room. She doesn’t want to leave there bed.” Derek said to me. “I’ll go.” Nathan told me giving my shoulder a squeeze. “are you sure?” I asked. “Yeah Kiddo im sure.” He said. “but in future remember theres 7 so count them.” He said. “theres only 6 unless your counting you.” I told him. he squeezed my shoulder again then gave Derek a quick kiss on the head. “no more icecream kids.” Nathan said. he then went off. We put the icecream cartoon in the trash. Then went back to talk to the guests. Nathan came down about 45 miniutes later with Oliva and gave her me. I held the two babys and I thought about it. Oliva was 3 now and Tamsin 9 months. They were babys and didn’t understand what was going on at all. Oliva did slightly, mommy was gone and this was mommys goodbye party. But neither really understood. People told me they were sorry for our loss and I said thankyou. The whole time wanting to run and hide. Nathan watched us all worried. But soon everyone was gone.

We all sat in the movie room, Nathan had assisted we came in here before we all went to bed. We were all in our pjs thought Nathan included. I wanted to point out none of us were ready for this. But Nathan had got us all a hot chocolate with cream and mashmellows the two little ones milk. Tamsin on my lap a bottle in her mouth. Oliva on her daddys lap with her beaker. “Alright everyone ready?” Nathan asked. “No.” Ethan said. “No.” Avary said. Nathan swallowed. “have you seen it?” I asked him. “No, I saw some of them.” He admitted. “but not all?” I asked. “She made a lot.” He admitted. “Personal ones for you all for the future and family ones and ones for situations no matter who it is.” He admitted. “Derek Greg you both okay there?” I asked the boys. They nodded. “Everyone ready?” Nathan asked. “just play it.” Ethan said. Nathan pressed play.

“Hello.” Jess said from the video. “MOMMY.” Oliva yelled trying to get off Nathans lap to go hug the tv. He let her go as it wasn’t stopping any of our view. Oliva hugged the tv. “Hey kids.” Jess said she looked worried. “If your daddy listened to me for once.” Jess started she looked sad. “Sorry Nathan we both know you always listen you just don’t always understand.” Jess said. Nathan weakly smiled. “Well i was adviced to do this. I was adviced to leave you all letters but.” Jess started. “I wanted to be there more than a letter.” Jess said. “today you all said goodbye to me.” Jess started tears started. “But im not gone.” She told us. “like I told you all im in the wind. Im right there. im watching over you all.” Jess said. “I am so proud of all of you and I always will be. Yes we all make mistakes. Its okay to make them. Its okay not to be okay. Its okay to breakdown. Its okay to cry. Its okay to be scared” Jess started. “but whats not okay. Its not okay to give up. its not okay to loss hope. Its not okay to let our fears control us.” Jess said. “I know your all scared. I know your all hurt and upset and.” Jess started but she obviously had to pause the video. “I trust you all to be there for each other. I trust you all to always love each other. Kids you got two people in that room who adore everything about all you.” Jess said. “you might have fights.” Jess said. “believe me I know there not the easiest.” Jess said with a weak smile. “but there trying so please try with them.” She said. “im always there and listening though.” Jess said. “even if you don’t think I am.” She said. “im with grandma and im not in pain.” Jess said. “I will see you all when your older. A hell of a lot older.” She told us. “I will always love you. Its okay to forget me. I know its hard.” She said. “Mommy.” Derek cried. I reached for him and pulled him close to me. Jess obviously had to pause the video. “You all made me your mommy. From the day Avery and Ethan were.” She started. Then went. “thought about.” I had to weakly smile, I looked at Nathan. “I have had an amazing time being your mommy.” She said. “I wish I had longer, but things happen that we have no control. And that’s okay. Its okay to loose control.” She told us. “its okay not to have all the answers my geniuses.” She said. “its okay.” She told us. “Avery And Ethan.” Jess said. “Avery you’re the eldest.” Jess said. “By a full 2 miniutes.” She said. “5lb 2oz my tiny baby oh how I thought I would break you.” Jess said with a smile. A picture of Avery and Ethan in there incubater came on the screen. “You were so yellow. I didn’t know babys could be yellow they were always pink in tv shows.” She said. “You were both so poorly but you two are my fighters. Espically you Ethan. But I don’t want you to fight people. I want you to fight for what is right always but with your words and brain not your fists.” She said. “I want you always to fight for each other.” Jess said. “and its okay to fight each other. But always forgive.” She said. “Never stay mad and even if your mad never don’t tell each other you love each other. That goes to all of you.” Jess said. Different pictures of Avery and Ethan changed whilst jess talked. “Ethan my precious boy 5lb 3oz because you always had to be bigger than Avery but you would never be mean and I trust you to stay the same charming man I love. One day son youll make a woman or man because I will be proud of you no matter what. But youll make someone the most amazing partner but you take care of yourself as well. You don’t have to look after everyone else. You have to look after yourself too but always care.” She said. “never stop caring.” She said. Ethan cried. “You will all go amazing places maybe not always together but you will all achive amazing things and no matter how small I will be proud.” She said. “Derek and Greg.” Jess started. Both the boys were looking as it changed to a picture of them both in there incubater. “My little evil geniuses.” She said. “DO NOT BLOW UP THE HOUSE.” She said. we all weakly laughed. “DO NOT SET ANYTHING ON FIRE.” She started. “boys I have made you both a safety video of everything your not allowed to do without adult supervision.” She said. Nathan and I laughed. “Greg my baby its okay not to want people around you. Its okay to want to be by yourself.” Jess said. “its okay to be you.” She assured him. “Just because you show how your own way. It doesn’t mean how you feel is wrong. You my gorgous baby were 6lb 9oz such a big boy and im so proud of you. Its okay to feel like no one understands you and everyone else is dumb. But its not okay to call people dumb.” She said. Greg nodded. “Everyone loves you for being you so don’t change for anyone just be you.” Jess told him. “I love you all.” She said. “Derek my little cuddler.” Jess said. “6lb 8oz but god you were a poorly little boy.” She said. “Holding onto life as a fighter never wanting to be put down away from your brother. I loved every miniute.” She said. “I loved every hug. Don’t grow up to fast.” She told him. “Be you and wear your heart on your sleeve if that’s what you want baby boy. Always be kind.” She told him. “All of you always be kind and share and hug and love.” She told them all. I smiled. “You might not be holding my hand nomore but youll always hold my heart. Its all yours babys.” She said. “Oliva my little monkey.” Jess said. “Oh baby how I want to be there to hold you when you cry. How I want to be there to see you learn new things and see the amazing woman you grow into.” She said. “you always be you and always do what is right for you and I will be proud,” Jess said. “Mommy.” Oliva said trying to pull jess out the tv. “I love you bubbles.” She said. the picture was a picture of us all meeting Oliva in the hospital. “Oliva my biggest baby. daddy not included.” She said we all weakly laughed. “9lb 10oz. I thought you were breaking me.” she said with a smile. “you break peoples hearts. You be a little heart breaker but not the familys okay. Mommy wishes she was there but she cant be but im in the wind and everytime it rains that’s mommy kissing you from heaven.” She said. The picture kept changing. “Tamsin, oh my tiny baby.” Jess said. she had to stop the video again as tears made her unable to talk. When she came back in view she was holding Tamsin. “Your so tiny sometimes all I can do is count your little toes.” Jess said. “5lb 2. How many times during the pregnancy I thought I was going to loose you. But you fought to come and be apart of our lives and I just wish mommy had longer to fight with you baby. mommy wished she had longer to learn all about you all.” She said tears running down her face. “My babys.” She said. “I will always be proud of you all.” She said. “Maddie.” She said. “Are you okay Jess?” my voice yelled. she rolled her eyes. “I will have to wait for you to go out. you got the ears of a hawk. I think its so you never missed the adult conversation growing up.” Jess laughed. It was stopped. “Auntie Maddie.” Greg said with a smile. Jess came back. “Maddie.” She said. “my gorgous tiny baby fighter.” She said. “I can never thankyou enough. I know its not what you want to hear from me. but I thankyou for everything. I thankyou for being born for fighting. Look how small you were.” She said holding up a picture of me and Addison in our incubater. That picture was to much I looked away. “whys there two babys?” Derek asked. “because im a twin too.” I told him. “oh.” Derek said “Maddie you were 4lb 2oz.” she said. “The amount of times I feared I would loose you.” Jess said in tears. “You and Addie.” She said tears running down her face. “I know its not right to bring her up now.” Jess said. “but I need you to know we are together and safe.” Jess said. tears run down my face. I couldn’t watch this. Nathan came over and wrapped me in a hug. “Addie was bigger 5lb 12oz.” She said. the picture changed to a picture of Nathan holding me in his hand. “You litrelly fitted in Nathans hands.” Jess said. “you were so tiny.” She said. “but a fighter and I know youll always fight. You’ve fought the most out of anyone I know and lost the most.” She said. “ive made you loads of other videos. Theres one for when dads gone and come to be with me.” she said I shook my head sobbing into Nathans shoulder. “Maddie.” Jess said. “You have always been so brave and always looked after everyone else before you. I love you for that. But I need you to remember to look after yourself too.” She said. “Your still got to go after your dreams.” She said. “what ever they maybe.” She said. a picture of me and Addie a bit bigger. Addison was bigger almost double me. “When Addison became ill. None of us knew what life would bring.” Jess said. “But we all got on.” Jess said. Addison and I were 3 in the picture in matching dresses. “where is auntie Addie now?” Greg asked. “in heaven with mommy.” I told him managing to stop sobbing. “You were so smart Maddie. You say my kids are geniuses and they are. They get that from you.” Jess said. “I see so much of you in all the kids. So good luck with that.” Jess said. “Addison and you were inseparable. You both even had your own language and I swear sometimes you were telephatic. You knew everything about her even when you weren’t together.” Jess said. A picture of me and Addie sat having a teddybear picnic by the lake. “you were so amazing. Maddie I sometimes watched you both wondering if you were human and not aliens.” Jess said. “we still wonder that.” Nathan said. I weakly smiled at him. “You loved math. I thought you were Crazy Addie thought you were crazy. But math calmed you. So don’t ever stop trying to work things out. its okay to make mistakes though Maddie. Its okay to be scared.” She told me. “I remember you hiding behind Addie all the time.” Jess said. another picture changed. Addie and I were 6 I was indeed behind her we were holding hands and wearing matching outfits. “Then that night. Ill never forget that night. I wished for years that I could go back and be there for you that night.” She said. “but I was already at my home pregnant with the twins.” She said. I shook my head. “You knew before anyone I know you did. Youd been saying for days that Addie was ill.” Jess said. I shook my head tears running down my face as another picture of me and Addie came on. Us at Jesses wedding. Addisons golden blonde hair one of the things I remember of my twin sister her goldern hair smelling like cherrys when we shared a bed. Her hair matching Jesses before it fell out. My own strawberry blonde hair in a matching style I was still smaller. “You said she was ill.” She said. “I remember the call ringing me, to ask me to come look after you.” Jess said. “But I couldn’t get there quick enough.” Jess said. “you were so young to go through that.” Jess said. “you’ve been so brave and you still are my brave girl.” She said. “You went the hospital in the ambalance with them making Addie smile the whole time. I was going to pick you up there. I was going to check on Addie. I was worried but I never realised it was so serious. None of us did. But I think you did. I remember dad saying you wouldn’t settle. That the only thing that calmed you was math and he was teaching you to play chess in the waiting room. But asking if I could hurry.” Jess said tears running down her face. “When Nathan and I got there. you were in bed with Addie.” Jess said. “both of you giggling and talking your own ways. You had the chessboard on her bed and was trying to teach her.” Jess said. “Then it happened.” Jess said. “the doctor asked to see us all out the room as they had the results back from Addie.” Jess said tears running down her face. “Nathan stayed with you both.” Jess said. “Ill never forget the look he gave me when he came out the room.” Jess said. “You both knew didn’t you.” Jess said tears running down her face. Nathan looked torn like he wanted to stop it. “You both knew how ill she was.” Jess said. “You took such good care of her baby. you took amazing care of me baby. I know you’re the right person to trust with the kids.” She said. “I remember the day the twins were born. You and Addie.” Jess said tears running down her face. “Did we meet auntie Addie?” Avery asked. “yeah sweetheart you did.” Nathan said. “why havent we seen those pictures.” Ethan asked. “There in your baby book.” I admitted. I hugged Derek to me and Tamsin who was asleep in my arms. a picture of Addie and Me holding the twins. One each Addies hair had been shaved off. “I didn’t think we were going to loose her.” Jess said. “they said the tumor was shrinking. I thought it would be okay. The twins fought and Addie fought.” Jess said. “you though baby. you were my brave fighter.” Jess said. “and none of us realised how much.” Jess said tears to much. “im so proud of you Maddie. Even when I cant belive how stupid your being.” Jess said. “you carry on fighting okay.” She said. “The day Addie died.” Jess said in tears. “you knew.” She said. “you knew. Nathan went to get you from school. It wasn’t even unheard of hed been doing it for months.” Jess said. “You got out his car and came in. I hadn’t even been told yet.” Jess said. “I didn’t know how to tell you shed gone into hospital but as far as I knew she was still alive.” Jess said. “I was waiting for you to ask if Addie was home you always did.” Jess said. “but you just went up the stairs quiet. Nathan told me you hadn’t said a single word since the moment he picked you up ands he didn’t know what was wrong.” Jess said. “you went up your bedroom and climbed in her bed not yours. You pulled out her winnie the pooh teddy and just laid there. I knew you knew she was ill. I went to tell you she would be okay.” Jess said crying. “I told you that you looked at me and shook your head crying.” Jess said tears running down her face. “I didn’t know. But you did.” Jess said. “When mom and dad got home. Dad was in pieces he just pulled you too him. You didn’t speek. You didn’t speek for so long.” Jess said. “but you got to rememeber to use your words.” She told me. “your so clever baby.” Jess said. “I watched you grow without Addie. You never wanted to talk about her. but you can talk about her and mom and me and dad.” she said. “talk about us because talking about us keeps our memorys alive.” Jess said. Pictures of me a bit older. “I remember the day you told me about your first kiss.” Jess said. I weakly smiled. “good luck having those conversations with the kids because hell I was clueless what to say.” She told us. “not for years.” I said to them all wiping my eyes. “you were 12. I just stood there like it was a parallel universe. Right before you told me about the kiss you have been doing rocket science.” She said. “okay I know it wasn’t but it was to me.” she said. “you kept telling me how unhygienic it was.” Jess laughed. “God I wished youd kept that opionion a few years later. Kids if your still watching never listen to auntie Maddie about relationships.” Jess said. I weakly smiled. “I knew you had to make mistakes and god you made a huge one. You were too young to be about people who wanted to use you like that. I trust you with a lot of things, I trust you to raise my babys.” She said. “but I need you to trust you. You lost so much trust with just the wrong guy.” Jess said. “He was to old for you for a start.” She said. I laughed. “I could go into your mistakes with the guy forever but ive made you another video for that.” She said. I laughed. “you still have to date.” Jess said. “you cant let one bad guy cloud your trust.” She said. “Is she talking bout James?” Derek asked. “yes sweetheart.” I told him smiling. “I knew you loved him, which was so strange. I wanted to give you and him the benefit. I wish I didn’t.” Jess said. I weakly smiled. “but you had to make mistakes and I get that. You have to let the kids make mistakes. Just not burn the house down. I REPEAT NO BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN.” She said. “Mommy really thinks we are going to burn the house down doesn’t she.” Greg weakly laughed. I smiled at him. “its not imposible is it?” I asked them all. They all gave smiles. “Nathan.” Jess said. “I want to stop this.” Nathan said “Nathan my biggest kid.” Jess said with a smile. “Do not burry yourself in your work. You still got me. im in every single one of the people in that room with you.” Jess said. “Derek has my heart.” Jess said. “Greg has my eyes.” Jess started. “Avery has my attitude. Good luck.” She said. we all laughed including Avery. She then started telling Ethan how little bits of the kids were from him and her. “Nathan I have loved you from the first day of freshman year when we met.” Jess said. “When you sat next to me in science and said a lame perodic table joke. I realised wow he was the man for me.” Jess said. “you were even almost as smart.” Jess said teasing. “Im watching over you all. I will always love you. Its okay not to be.” She told us. “Theres videos and letters for everything im here if you need me. I love you all. Love each other. Bye babys. Always be there for each other. Nathan look after our family. But then you have been since the moment Maddie and Addie were born I know you wont let me down.” She said. “I love you all my brave babys.” She said. then It went to a picture of me all of us at the lake with dad. It then ended. I looked at Nathan. “Does anyone want to look at another?” he asked pointing at a box. “not tonight.” Avery said, she stood up. “Ill take Oliva to bed.” Avery said. “are you sure?” I asked her. she nodded. “night sweetheart.” I said kissing her. she kissed her dad too and went off to bed. Nathan took the twins to bed and Tamsin. Ethan and I sat there looking through the box. “dad starts dating.” Ethan said picking one up. “if it happens we have to be happy for him.” I told Ethan. “even if it kills us.” I said. “I didn’t realise you were a twin.” Ethan said. oh it was bothering him. I patted next to me. “Addie wasn’t a secret baby. if and when you all asked I would of talked about her. it just hurt everyone espically me.” I said. “but we should have talked about her. I will talk about your mommy.” I assured him. “Tamsin and Oliva.” Ethan said. “they won’t remember mommy.” He said. “But you can talk to them about her. so they remember her through you.” I told him. he pulled another video out. “Pawpaw dies.” He said. “theres one that says Maddie and daddy dies.” Ethan said. “your mom just wanted to be prepared and help.” I said looking at them all. “Ethan and Avery 16th birthday.” I said lifting one. “Graduation highschool and college.” He said. “I take it that means we have to go college.” He said. “well no duh I expect you both there before next year.” I teased. “Theres one for everything.” He said. “Your mom was a bit OCD its where you all get it.” I said. “This one says auntie Maddie has a bad boyfriend.” Ethan said. “I thought she trusts me.” I said. “I trust you.” Ethan said. “I trust you to.” I assured him. We both looked at the videos. I put another one on it just said memorys. Picture after picture started. Started with A picture of Jessica as a newborn with mom and dad and pictures of Nathan like it. Ethan and I watched hugging. video of mom teaching Jess to ride her bike. Dad yelling to be careful. There was about 8 dvds that said memorys labled 1 to 8. We were at a part of me and Addie and Jess sat with Nathan when he came in. “I didn’t realise she was going to bring Addie up.” Nathan said. “its okay.” I told him. “Night.” Ethan said standing up. “You don’t have to go bed yet.” Nathan started. “no its fine dad its been a long day im tired.” Ethan said. “night auntie Maddie. Night dad. I love you both.” He said. “night Ethan I love you.” I said. “night bud love you.” Nathan said. Ethan went off. Nathan sat next to me. a video of me at a spelling contest. “geek.” Nathan said. “Dork.” I said to him. “We can do this.” I said weakly. “we have to.” Nathan said. “you got to remember to talk to me. im not a mind reader.” Nathan said. “I will. You cant hide things from me Nathan okay.” I said handing him one of the dvds the one that said dating. “Not going to happen.” He told me. “we say that now. but years down the line.” I said. he took a breath. “Look Maddie makes relationship mistakes.” Nathan said. “Carry on and ill make you watch the kids first date one.” I told him. he chuckled. “Not happening for years.” He said. “or ever.” He said. “we could tie them in the basement.” He said weakly. “Nathan when I lost Addie.” I started. Nathan looked worried. “its okay you were only little.” Nathan said squeezing my hand. “Why did you never tell Jess what I said in the car?” I asked. “Because it wasn’t important.” Nathan said. “your as much my little girl as the kids. Don’t ever think your alone.” Nathan said. “I wont you treat me like im one of yours anyway.” I assured him. “but remember im almost 21.” I said. “your trust fund.” He started worried. “I don’t want you to ever feel like you need to touch it.” He said. “Then whats it for?” I asked. “when you know what you want to use it for.” He said. I smiled weakly. “The babys.” I started worried. “I don’t know Mads.” Nathan said. “lets see how it goes okay but you need help we get help.” He said. I nodded. “if you want to go back college you just need to say.” He started. “I will.” I assured him. “Nathan did you mean it about me working for your company.” I asked him. “yeah you would be amazing in our math department. If its not what you want the partners would be amazing for you too. Hell Mads you could even become a rocket scientist if you want. You and the kids can do anything you set your mind too.” Nathan said. “your geniuses.” He told me. I put my head on his shoulder watching Addie ride her bike with mom. Me looking back at mom shaking my head. “you weren’t ever going to go.” Nathan said smiling. “I wasn’t and never will be sports programmed.” I said. “Your dad.” Nathan said worried as it moved to a picture of me and Addie. “Im not sure he even understood today at all Nathan.” I said. “I don’t think he did.” Nathan said. “Spend as much time with him as you can.” Nathan said. “take the kids. Hell Mads do what the hell you want I trust you.” He said. “Yet you saw me make mistakes.” I said. “but we learn from them. You learnt a hell of a lot from that relationship with James.” He said. “I did.” I admitted. “You loved him.” Nathan said. “He was different when it was just me and him. I didn’t think he knew about my money. I didn’t think he knew about my family.” I said weakly. “I thought he saw me.” I said. “Well the kids and I see you.” Nathan said. “you see all them.” He said. I nodded I did. “Gregs finding it the hardest.” I said. “I thought it was Ethan.” He said. “No Ethans open about it. Im glad.” I said. “he is going to be over protective for a while. But I’ll protect him too.” I said. “Avery I thinks going to be a mother hen or she might fully rebel.” I said worried. “that be fun.” He said. “Derek will need a lot of reasureance but hes going to be the one who will try be there for everyone but be ready to break.” I told Nathan. “Oliva will miss mommy for a few weeks. But shell forget her.” I said. “Tamsin wont even realise you’ve been there her whole life.” Nathan said. “what happens if she ever comes out and calls you mommy.” He said. “I will correct her to aunt. But people outside the house. I’m the kids nanny but im there aunt.” I said. “I don’t care others opionions Mads.” Nathan said. “We got this.” I told him. “we got this.” Nathan said.

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