Finding Home

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Chapter Twenty Four

“Mommy!” Kelia shouted as she exited the small green airplane with my mom following behind her. My heart aches for my mom. I couldn’t imagine going through what she is going through but with Matty. I couldn’t imagine losing Matty at such a young age again.

I waved at her as I watched her step down the stairs to get to the ground, “Hi princess!”

“I can’t believe she is actually here.” Matty waved and smiled at her beside me.

“I’m just happy she is, with everything that is going on.” my voice cracked but I’m trying to stay strong for my mom and Kelia.

As soon as she stepped down from the last step she ran towards Matty and I with a smile on her face. When she reached us she had wrapped her arms around our legs and squeezed tightly. I missed her little tight squeezes, she has the warmest hugs and can warm anyone’s heart. It will probably be used as a weapon when she is older, but I don’t ever want to stop receiving her warm and loving hugs.

“Hi, baby.” Matty picked her up and she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Hi, mommy and daddy.” she said neutrally.

“Are you okay?” I moved a loose strand of her extra curly hair our of her face and tucked it behind her ear.

Tears started filling her eyes as she rested her head on Matty’s shoulder and she stared at me, “Grandpa is sick.”

“I know, baby. But he’ll be okay.” jeez, I never thought about how Kelia would feel about losing her grandfather.

“No! He’s not!” she started crying hysterically and my mom had approached us quietly.

“Hi, ma.” Matty greeted my mother with a kiss on the cheek as he held Kelia tight in his arms and rubbed the back of her head to calm her down before she makes herself sick.

“Hi, baby.” she exchanged a kiss on the cheek with Matty and patted him on the back.

Matty turned to me, “I’m going to take her to the tent to calm her down.” he whispered to me.

“Okay, Kelia. Why don’t you say bye-bye to grandma before she has to go back home to grandpa.” I didn’t know how to help her, the only thing I could do is comfort her and try to persuade her that he is going to be okay.

But if I’m being honest, I have my doubts that he is going to be okay, too.

She leaned back from Matty’s shoulder and she held her arms out for my mom to grab a hold of her, “Remember what we talked about, honey?”

Kelia nodded as she sniffled.

“Remember, he needs you to be the strongest one right now.” Mom kissed her on the side of the head as she held her close to her body.

Kelia nodded, again.

“Remember what you promised him and I, and no matter what we will always be where?”

She pointed to her heart as she silently cried, “That’s right, baby. We will always be there. Why don’t you go get your things set up while mommy and I talk?”

She nodded and held her arms out to Matty, “I love you, grandma.”

“I love you more, sweetie.” Mom blew a kiss to her as Matty and her started walking away from us.

Mom turned to me, “How are you, Kiera?”

“I’m fine. How are you, Mom?” I’m staying strong.

She threw her arms out and wrapped them around my shoulders as she rubbed my back lightly, “How are you, honey?”

I felt the tears starting to form in my eyelids and my voice cracked, “I’m fine.”

“Well I’m not. And neither are you or your brother.” I didn’t even know that Allen was on speaking terms. Last I knew he hadn’t spoken to them since the day he turned eighteen and left without a word said. I always knew him and Roxy would be together forever and I knew they would obviously move in together. But he wasn’t able to forgive them for what they did to their little girl. His little sister.

“Lucky for you, this isn’t about me. It’s about dad and you, and what the next step is.” I took a deep breath in to relax my nerves and exhaled aggressively.

“You can try to keep up this act, but I know it’s going to hit you sooner or later.” she pulled away from me, “I’ve only got a few minutes before I have to get back on the plane. Do you want to talk?”

“There is nothing to talk about, dad is living with cancer and he is going to die when I’m only twenty two years old. I’m going to be twenty two years old and living without a father. What more is there to talk about?” my voice cracked again and the tears were threatening to fall.

“Just because someone has cancer doesn’t mean that they are going to die. We’ve made it thus far, honey. Most people can’t relate and I know that’s awful to say but I know that God is going to make things right and heal your father.”

“Oh, screw God!” the first tear fell at that statement, “If God is so great and powerful enough to heal dad then why did he get sick in the first place? Who is he trying to punish in this family? I just can’t believe after everything that he has thrown at me, he still has more. And I just need it to end.”

“You don’t actually believe that, sweetie. You’re just angry.” she tried grabbing ahold of my arm as I turned away from her to hide the tears.

“No? Then you clearly don’t have an idea of who I am because I stopped believing in the almighty God himself years ago when I got pregnant and you guys kicked me out.”

“You can’t possibly think of your pregnancy as a mistake with the life you’re living. You’re living your best life and I couldn’t be more proud of you.” she said softly. “And we can’t ever make up for the time lost and the actions that were pulled but we will forever live knowing that we are probably going to hell for what we did.”

I don’t know why I’m so emotional and why I’m speaking out like this, especially to my mom who abandoned me at fifteen years old. I can’t believe she just told me that she thinks that her and dad are going to hell. Anything to make this about her, she will take the opportunity.

“I got pregnant at fifteen mom, be realistic. I love Kelia and Matty with all of my heart and I will go to ends meet just to make sure they are okay. But if I could go back to that night knowing what I know now then I would’ve just stayed friends with Matty.” I started crying hysterically.

She stood there silently. I could tell she was trying to find the right thing to say without hurting my feelings but there isn’t anything anyone could say. I made a mistake and now I’m going to pay for it for the rest of my life, clearly.

She wrapped her arms around me again, “You can’t change fate. You and Matty are soul mates and you would’ve found your way to each other one way or another. Kelia would’ve been conceived anyways. You have to look at it on the bright side, Kiera. I thought we were past this stage.”

“I can’t do this mom, I just can’t do this.” I started to have a hard time breathing.

I’ve had so many anxiety attacks today, I’m starting to not feel good. And it’s really taking a toll on me. My body. My mind. Everything is tired.

“I-I-I I just want to drink.”

“No, sweetie. You want to numb the pain and it’s okay.”

“Mrs. Johnson? We are ready for take off whenever you are.” a young dark man approached mom and I and stood at ease in military position.

“Yes, go ahead and get her started. I’ll be over in a second, I’m just going to say goodbye to my daughter.”

“Of course, ma’am. Take your time.” he bowed his head and walked away from us towards the plane.

“Look, before I go sweetie. I want you to know something, it doesn’t matter if you got pregnant at fifteen or if you got pregnant at thirty, you were our babygirl and neither of us are still not ready for yours and Matty’s future. You’ll forever be our baby, and you will forever hold that feeling with Kelia and your other kids.”

I took a deep breath in and started holding it for ten seconds. My therapist taught me that trick. Ten seconds in, hold ten seconds, let out for ten seconds. She told me your brain focuses on the counting and breathing that your body starts to calm itself down in the process.

“You are perfect, and everyone including your father, brother, your fans, friends, and I couldn’t be more proud of who you are as a person. You are so strong baby, you take that after your dad.”

I held the breath in for ten seconds and I felt the tears starting to let up very slowly.

“We weren’t strong for you when we deserted you, and we will forever live with that nightmare we created, but be better than us and stay strong for us when we need you. Don’t follow in our footsteps, be better than us baby.” she kissed the side of my head and hugged me tightly before she let go.

I let out the breath for ten seconds, “I love you, Kiera Santiago.”

“I love you, mom. Thank you.” what she had said calmed me down while I did my breathing techniques. I’m not saying I’m one hundred percent at ease, no. I’m more at a sixty to sixty five perfect at ease. It takes time, and time is all I have tonight.

“I’ll call you when I make it to the airport and before my flight to check in on Kelia and you.” she kissed the tip of her fingers and blew the kiss to me.

“Have a safe flight back home, mom.” I blew a kiss back to her and wiped my cheeks of the tears stains.

I watched as she walked into the dark night toward the aircraft and she waved at me one more time before the young pilot had held his hands out to help her.

“Will you read me a bedtime story?” Kelia whimpered on her bed with her arms wrapped around Matty and I.

“You’re already tired, baby?” Matty rubbed her hair out of her face as he laid next to her.

“Didn’t you sleep on the way over?”

She shook her head with a sad look on her face and her lip stuck out.

“Talk to us, princesa.”

“I just couldn’t sleep but I’m tired now.” she said emotionless.

“Fine, which story do you have in mind?”

“Cinderelly.” She whined softly.

My heart is breaking into a million pieces as we speak. I sat up from the bed and I walked over to the table where I had seen her lay the hard cover book down. I walked back over to Matty and her and I placed myself on the opposite side of Matty.

“You want anything else? A glass of warm milk and honey?” Matty offered her.

She shrugged her shoulders, “No thank you. I’m just really tired.”

“Come here.” I sat up straight and opened the book up as she and Matty snuggled into each other and leaned on me. “Once upon a time,”

I read the book the slowest I could so she would fall asleep to my voice. I feel awful for her and I want to take all of her pain away but I feel like there is nothing I can do to help her. I feel completely useless as a mother and if I could I would take all of the pain in the world for her.

As I finished the book her eyes had fallen shut and she fell asleep with her head resting on my lower stomach and I tucked a loose strand of her curls behind her ears so I could see her gorgeous face clearly, I didn’t want to leave her side and I definitely didn’t want to leave her alone in here without the other kids but I can’t expect them to miss the party tonight to hang out with a six year old.

“Let’s get up before she wakes up to see us still here.” Matty startled me while he whispered lowly.

“Maybe we should just carry her back to our tent, she’d be safer there.” I said lightly without moving a muscle.

“Actually, it wouldn’t. Everyone is going to be out here tonight and Hailey and Justin are right beside her along. She’s tired babe, we should let her rest and get used to this sleeping schedule.” Matty picked himself up from the bed lightly.

I kissed Kelia lightly on the top of her curly locked head and I slowly slid off the mattress, “Do you think she is going to be okay?”

“She will be, let’s just let her be for right now.” I watched behind me with my head over my shoulder and Matty wrapped his arm around my neck as we walked out of the tent and shut the curtain, “How are you feeling?”

“A little sad, but I’ll be fine.” I wrapped my arms around his torso and twined my fingers together as we walked towards the musical sounds and dancing crowd, “Thanks, babe.”

“Are you hungry? You haven’t eaten and I can cook you up something if you don’t want to go to the party.”

“I think I’ll actually take you up on that offer, I just don’t have the energy to jump around tonight. But we should go tell Hail’s and Justin that we are heading in so they can check in on Kelia.”

“Sure. What are you in the mood for?” the music was louder than anticipated. The party is calling my numb. I think of it more as my numbing medication rather than partying anymore. At least when I’m drunk I can be happy.

“Rice and beans?”

“What kind of meat do you want?” he chuckled.

“Fried chicken. Is that even a question?” I spotted Hailey and the kids dancing while Justin sang at the campfire circle so we started walking towards them.

“You do love my fried chicken.”

He wasn’t lying. He seasoned it perfectly and when he pulls it out of the hot oil it’s nice and crispy.

All crispy.

“Hey, guys!” Hailey whispered as she clapped and moved to Justin’s song that he was singing.

“Hey, we just wanted to let you know that we are going to be heading to bed. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow and today wasn’t the best day.” I said as Matty kissed the side of my head and showed my affection while watching everyone dance and clap to Justin singing What Do You Mean.

“Okay, Kelia is in bed?”

“Yeah, do you mind checking in on her and keeping watch until tomorrow when we can move our things over here?”

“You’re coming back here?” she looked at me worried.

“Yeah, just a thing for Kelia.” I lied, it was to put my mind at ease for the fact that she was in a different country for her first night without me being near to watch over her.

“Okay, yeah. Justin and I will keep an eye on her, the boys were just about to head into bed soon anyways.”

“Thank you, guys. We will check in later on, love you.” I pressed a kiss to the tips of my fingers and I blew it to them before Matty and I turned around and walked back to our tent.

“How are you feeling now? Any better?” Matty took my empty plate from my hands.

“A little, I still feel a little nauseous.” I wiped my mouth with a napkin, “But it was delicious babe. I loved it, thank you.”

I stopped thinking that it had anything to do with pregnancy seems how I’m probably not getting pregnant anytime soon with all of the stress in my life and the fact that I want to go home.

I loved being pregnant in the beginning but once I hit about seven months I felt like I was in hell. I started having hard times falling asleep. Staying comfortable for a good amount of time. I started feeling nauseous all the time. Oh, and my feet swelled horribly. I tried to ignore it for the last three months but I wanted her out of me secretly because of how much pain I was in.

I mean, I knew I wanted to keep her in there where I knew she would forever be safe but that’s the one thing I hated about being pregnant. The discomfort it drags along with it through the nine and a half months.

Matty walked back to bed with a big bowl his hand, “Microwave popcorn with milk-duds mixed in. ”

I moaned lightly, “My favorite.”

“You want to watch a movie tonight?” he plopped himself close beside me on the bed.

“What do we have?”

“Anything on Netflix, or Hulu, or I can see what movies Garrett packed for us.”

“How about we watch Lost? Haven’t watched that in years.”

“I freaking hate that show.” he chuckled while he reached for his Xbox controller at the end of the bed.

“What?” I giggled as I stuffed a piece of popcorn that had melted chocolate and caramel in my mouth and whined, “Why?”

“The show all together was good, but the ending was awful.” he laughed at my whining.

“Well, it couldn’t go on forever. It had to come to an ending somehow.”

“They could’ve chosen a different route in the story if they needed to end it that badly.” he typed in Lost on Hulu and clicked play on the first episode.

“Okay, Matty.” I was not laughing with him, I’m laughing at him. 100%.

“Shut up and watch the show.” he playfully wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me into his chest tightly. I rested my head on his pecks with the popcorn bowl on his groin.

I wasn’t sure what I was really feeling anymore. My dad has cancer and he could actually die. It hurts me and turns my world upside down. But when I’m with Matty, my heart warms and all the bad goes away for the time being.

Even if we are only staying in tonight and watching tv with a bowl of popcorn, as long as he is with me he tends to make me feel better even when he isn’t trying.

Another pro to add onto the pro’s and con’s board of marrying him, except the pro’s has tons of things but the con’s area is empty.

He’s sweet, he’s hot, he’s great in bed, he’s brave, and he makes pretty cute babies with me.

Where could I ever go wrong?

He is every girls dream prince charming.

He’s my prince.

“You have anymore?”

“Anymore what?” he asked confidently. He knew what I was asking for, he just wanted to hear me say it.

“You know,” I was talking about weed but I didn’t want to say it out loud.

It’s kind of embarrassing.

He reached over to the bed stand and opened the drawer and searched around for something.

I waited for him to grab what he needed to grab, “This?” he held the closed baggie filled to the top of the bright light green bud and a couple of blunts and joints with fruit printed on them in front of my face.

“You aren’t going to get in trouble for doing this with your job title, are you?” he opened the bag and grabbed two of the thick brown sticks.

“Well it’s legal, first off. And, even if they did decide to drug test me I have it prescription license for it due to my ptsd.” he sparked one of the blunts and handed it to me while my head never left his chest and I took a big puff of the medication.

“But — you don’t get your stress attacks anymore.” I thought about it for a second and maybe he was keeping it a secret from me and only telling his therapist back home, “Do-,”

“Shh.” he interrupted me with a short smirk on his face while he lit the other blunt in his mouth. “Watch the show and relax, baby.”

He went back to watching the tv show while I sat up straight with my back against the headboards and I stared at him for one or two minutes waiting for him to say something else but he just continued watching Lost, “Matteo.”

“Yes, mi amor?” he took a puff of his blunt and his eyes started to get a bit puffy.

I’ve come to realize, I haven’t had much worries about Matty the past few weeks. It’s his first few weeks on the job since he left and last I knew he told me he was fine and his therapist confirmed it, but It’s only been a few months since he’d been back from the military and it could’ve come back.

He will always have the memories of being alone and not having anyone to talk to for years in the middle of no where off the radar.

“Are you okay? Are you having your stress attacks again?” I took a puff of the blunt in my hands.

He stared at me as I blew the smoke out with a smile on his face, “It’s fine, babe. I rarely ever have nightmares or panic attacks anymore, but just in case it does happen I have the ID so I can get it anywhere it need be.”

“Rarely? Babe, that’s not fine!” okay, maybe I was being a bit over dramatic and playing the mom role in our marriage now. “If it rarely happens then that means that it does happen. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Can we not make a big deal about it?” he went back to watching the show and continued smoking his blunt.

“I’m going to bed. I love you, goodnight.”

“Do you want me to turn the tv off?” even when I’m being a complete dramatic bitch to him he is still so considerate.


“It doesn’t bother me, you can keep it on.” I put out my blunt in the ash tray that Hailey had left on my night stand and I covered my body under the comforter shutting off my lamp with my back towards him.

“Can I get a kiss?” he leaned into my body.

I uncovered my body with a tiny bit of attitude and I turned on the small light again. I leaned into his body and quickly pecked him on the lips. I didn’t want to kiss him, he should tell me if he’s having nightmares again, I’m his wife after all. I instantly rolled back over and shut off the light without another word and covered myself up to go to sleep.

A few minutes of silence passed and my blood grew hotter to the boil and I wanted him to make an effort right now.

Why isn’t he telling me what’s wrong by now? He usually caves in.

I remembered when he gave me all the time I needed when everything had happened to me between what my parents did to me and what Javier did to me. He was there for me every second, and he made sure to give me enough space until I was ready to talk to him.

I sat up, again, and I turned on the small lamp again. “Hey. Sorry, Matty. That wasn’t cool, if you’re having nightmares and you don’t want to talk to me about it yet then I’ll support you no matter what. Marriage is all about compromise, right?”

He leaned in and cupped my face with the palm of good hands and he gently kissed me for a few seconds, “If it were something serious I would tell you babe. But we aren’t there yet, and I’ll be sure to tell you if I feel like going to the dark place again.” yet?

“I love you.” he kept his hands placed on my cheeks and I leaned in to connect my lips with his.

“I love you, most.” he lightly kissed me. “It’s nothing to worry about, baby.”

“Are you sure? I know it can get bad, Matty.”

“It can, but it’s not right not. And when it does — if it does — you’ll be the first one to know about it.”

“Promise?” I fell deep into his dark emerald green eyes.

He held out his pinky in front of me, “Promise.”

I connected my pinky with his before I laid my head on his chest again and we went back to smoking and watching Lost.

“Mornin’ sunshine.” Matty blinded me by ripping the blankets from above my body and he threw himself on top of me tickling my ribs.

“Jesus, Matty!” I tried holding back my laugh as I squirmed in his grasp.

“Good morning, today is a wonderful day today.” he positioned himself on top of me and moved my horridly looking mop of hair from in front of my face.

“What’s today, Matty? What makes today so great that you had to wake me up at,” I glanced at the time on the television box, “9:30 in the morning?”

Okay, I was a bit antsy. But who wants to be woken up by someone twice their size bouncing on them and tickling them without even giving them a second to completely wake up? Me. Even though I’m heavily annoyed and couldn’t stop tossing and turning all night, I wouldn’t change it from happening.

His excitement is just so breathtakingly adorable. Like a baby laughing for their first time kind of adorable.

“Six years ago we met officially at camp.” he grabbed his phone from his shorts pocket and he unlocked it to show me his screen that had the first picture we ever took together for our contact ID’s.

“Officially? We had gym class together for three years.” my heart warmed at the memory of the football almost hitting me in the face but he saved it from happening, even if it was semi-intentional.

“You think I don’t know you were checking me out?”

He is so confident right now, its so cute but I’m going to playfully bring him down a notch, “What are you talking about? I didn’t know who you were until you introduced yourself.”

Innocent until proven guilty.

“C’mon, babe. You don’t have to lie to me, I’m Matty fucking Santiago.” he laughed in my face.

Want to know what makes a guy even sexier? When they know they are and that they can have just about anyone and he choses you.

“You must have me mistaken with the wrong girl? Maybe you’re thinking of Bianca?” I sarcastically suggested.

“I don’t know, maybe I am.” he looked at me with a mischievous grin. “It was years ago.”

I playfully slapped him, “Maybe you should’ve eloped with her, yeah?”

“Heavens, no! I take it back!” he gagged dramatically.

I couldn’t help but laugh at his nausea when the words rolled off my tongue. Of course, I recognized him in high school. He was the star football player of the team and like he said, he’s Matty fucking Santiago.

How could I not recognize him?

“I know you saw me, I caught you checking me out when I ran through the yard my junior year and your freshmen year.”

“Are you talking about when you stole our mascot costume head and joined the cheerleaders for their halftime dance?”

“How’d you know it was me? Why didn’t you tell anyone?”

“Who was there to tell? Did you forget that I was a nobody?”

“You weren’t a nobody, you were just,” he got lost in thought, “Quiet.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Come on, Kiera. Don’t act all innocent.” his voice grew serious.

“I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.” I laughed in his face but I was so confused.

I was a total loner. I had one friend since six years old and I wasn’t anyone to be noticed until I got boobs and a natural Brazilian butt figure and went to cheer camp. Everyone picked on me, especially Bianca and her little demon spawns.

“You were the virgin Christian who had a sexy body, everyone wanted a piece of you.”

“No, nobody wanted me. Nobody talked to me, Matty.” I admire that he thinks so.

“Because everyone knew they couldn’t get you into bed, especially the football team — they wanted to ask you out so bad but they didn’t have the balls the ask you out. We talked about it in the locker room.” he chuckled lightly.

“Who would’ve thought.” I side commented.

He chuckled, “I thought you said you didn’t notice me until I introduced myself?”

“Well,” shoot I messed up, “Yeah. But how could I not know it was you? I think everyone knew it was you.”

“Baby.” he smiled proudly.

“They did, didn’t they?” I was confused. I thought nobody was talking about it because it was supposed to be a secret.

“Nobody knew, I’m surprised you even knew.”

“It makes sense, you were the only football player who wasn’t on the sidelines or the field and you could tell by your body build.”

“Hate to point this out,” he tried holding back his laugh but failed, “You just admitted you checked me out enough to know my body build in high school.”

“Jeez.” I rolled my eyes at him. I playfully pushed him off of me and I slid off the side of the bed.


I waved my hand at him as I walked into the bathroom in my Puma black sports bra and my black thong. I would’ve thought with all of the sex Matty and I are having I would’ve been pregnant by now but I guess mother nature has other plans.

Maybe it’s a sign that I’m not getting pregnant. Maybe I’m not finished with something yet, like this adventure here in Cape Town - or maybe another big opportunity in some other way is going to present itself to me. I don’t know, I find it a bit strange that I got pregnant the first time I ever had sex and now I’m still having sex with him without any precautions for months. Guess what? I’m still not pregnant.

I’m not pregnant, but I’m convincing my body that I am. So I think that I’m causing myself to feel nauseated and tired all of the time. Plus, look at the job I have and the life I live.

It’s exhausting at times.

“Babe?” Matty said lightly on the other of the curtain.

“Yes, Matty?”

“Are you big mad or little mad?” he started bursting into laughter.

I quickly finished in the bathroom and washed my hands, “You stayed in New York for three weeks. You’re really out here trying to represent?” I said as I walked out and he was leaning against the side table beside the bathroom with an evil grin on his face.

“Shush.” he stopped me from walking away by stepping in front of me and wrapping his big soft thick hands around my butt cheeks and started squeezing lightly while looking me in the eyes.

“What are you doing?” I smirked at him.

He leaned into my ear and pressed his cheek to mine, “If it makes you feel better, I had a crush on you before I started high school.”

“Really? When?”

“Allen’s eighth grade graduation party.”

“Come again?” I didn’t even remember that he had a graduation party until now.

“You wore a navy blue floral above the knee dress with white crocs and you had your hair blonde and straightened.” he stared deep into my eyes, “Your were so beautiful that you were the only one who caught my attention at that party.”

I was surprised, I didn’t even remember going to Allen’s eighth grade graduation party or that he had one. How does he remember what outfit I was wearing down to my crocs?

I was speechless, when I tried to say something no words would come out.

He kissed the center of my forehead while wrapping his arms around my shoulders, “You hungry baby?”

I nodded with his lips pressed to my forehead still, “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I was on my bullshit, then babe. You know what happened before I moved to El Paso.” he laughed at himself like it was a joke but it wasn’t.

“So, you waited? Until you were ready to settle down to come and get me? How’d you know I would fall in love with you?”

“I just kind of felt the spark, like it was weird being around you. I still get this weird feeling in my gut. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s a warm feeling I guess?” he smiled.

“And what if I got a boyfriend and got pregnant with him instead?”

“Don’t ever say that again.” his face grew straight before his smile returned bigger than what it was, “Babe, I said what I said. I’m Matty fucking Santiago.”

“Well, Matty fucking Santiago, has our daughter been in yet?” I laughed at his gigantic ego.

“Not yet, I texted Hailey and she is still asleep.” he pushed his head back but kept his arms wrapped around my neck and rested them on my shoulders. “Food — what are you feeling?”

“I can cook for you, honey, you’re always cooking for me.” I pressed my lips to his, “What do you want?”

He thought about his options for a few seconds, “French toast.”

“Coming right up, boss.” I playfully saluted him.

“I’m going to get dressed. We are going to be filling the structures today, you going to be there?” he quickly pecked me on the lips before separating his body from mine and he walked over to the portable closet.

“I’m going to bring the kids over with us. Don’t forget we are going to be having the cameras for the movie following us around.” I said annoyed as I opened the fridge and grabbed the eggs, syrup, and milk.

I kind of hate that I can’t do something nice in this world without me being brought an opportunity to film it because I’m going to say yes every time.

“Is that a tude?” Matty threw on his plain white t-shirt and slid his basketball shorts down to his ankles before looking through his closet.

“I really wish I didn’t do this whole movie deal, the money and the cause is great but I wish I could just do something without it being recorded.” I walked over to the cupboard and grabbed the things I needed to make him and Kelia French toast.

“You’re grown, doing grown things babe.” he slipped a pair of his Adidas gray sweatpants over his waist and bent down to the small drawers that were installed and grabbed a pair of white socks, “But if you aren’t happy, maybe you should just stop?”

I was stunned by what he had said. I never thought about just stopping, I never even considered it let alone ever cross my mind. What would happen? Would I fall off the charts? Would I be stuck with a bad reputation? What stories would they make up about me then?

Is there even a just stop with the life I live?

I remember Justin and Hailey fell off the radar while she was pregnant with Gabby and the press made up the worst stories about the both of them and their Instagram’s blew up.

Or when Selena had taken a break from social media to focus on herself and deleted all of her accounts from her phone - everyone harassed her about Justin and Hailey even though she publicly announced she wouldn’t be on the media for a while.

And that’s just three examples of the thousands of celebrities in the world.

It’s awful, this profession.

Everyone’s always watching and judging by what other people say.

I don’t get it.

No one actually knows us, they know what the people say and no matter what you do to try and build your character there will always be that one person who just doesn’t approve and wants the worst for you. They don’t know what goes on in your personal life, but yet they are always judging and watching.

My phone vibrated twice on the counter beside me and I saw a text from my mom on the screen.

I know it’s early in the morning but I am in Vegas now and I will be leaving in a few minutes.

Did you have a cozy flight?

It was steady for the most part.

I would’ve let you take my jet if I knew you had been coming before you were already on your way. Have you talked to dad? I texted him but haven’t got a reply.

I talked to Ricky a few minutes ago and he told me your father has been asleep for the night and was woken up for a full body scan to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else.

How long does it usually take?

My stomach grew weak and I started to feel dizzy.

A good hour or two it really depends on the line

Are you okay?

No and thank you for checking in on me but I’ve got to go.

I have to cook breakfast and then go to work.

Safe flight mom love you and tell dad I love him too.

You’re lucky I’m boarding my flight. We will FaceTime later on. Ok? We love you too be safe and wear a helmet.

Everything was silent, just like I needed it to be. To see if the cancer has spread anywhere else? I thought God was going to heal him not spread it around more? This is bullshit.

I set my phone down on the counter and I looked up to see Matty standing in front of me with a concerned look on his face while saying something but I couldn’t hear the words. I tried turning my hearing on but it was so faint not even a dog could possibly hear it.

Matty shook me lightly and I quickly bounced back into reality, “Kiera?”

“Hmm? What happened?” I shook my head to stop it from spinning in circles.

“You zoned out. You feeling okay?” he placed his hand on my forehead.

“Uh, yeah. Mom just texted and she’s getting ready to take off from Vegas. What were we talking about?”

“Filming?” I think he was questioning why I don’t remember.

“Right, I cant just stop. Sometimes I wish I could but I’ve seen people who try to get away from it and it never works out in their favor. They seem to always come back no matter what the situation is.”

“What were you and your mom talking about?”

“Wedding flowers. You know my mom, she loves planning ahead of something before its even official.”

“Before it’s even official?” he raised a concerned eyebrow at me. “Are you trying to tell me something?”

Look at what I did, I panicked and I fucked up.

“You know what I meant, babe.” I rested my hand lightly on his tensed cheek. “Please, don’t do this. I’m a mess.”

He kissed my forehead, “I’ll see you guys at the houses. Love you, baby.”

“Love you, more.” I lightly smiled as he took a bite of his French toast.

“When did I make that?” I pointed at the damp half eaten French piece of toast.

“You stopped halfway through and almost burned it. You don’t remember?”

“Sorry,” I muttered under my breath, “Dad is having a full body scan done to see if the cancer has spread.”

He dropped his fork and lost all color in his face and he started panicking, “Did something happen? Why are they looking? Is he going to be okay?”

“Calm down, babe. Mom says he is fine. They are just checking to make sure that he doesn’t have anything else that they aren’t aware of.” I placed my hand on his arm, “She said she will keep me updated.”

“Are you okay, baby? Do you want to take the day off?”

“No, we are already a week behind schedule because we took vacation days that weren’t fit into the schedule and we need to speed things up. I think Duma is getting too used to this place.” when I announced her name she shot up from her personal tempurpedic mattress we had flown over with us and her ears were pointed up.

“I think I saw that she has a little boyfriend back at the camp.”

“Yeah? Is he cute?” I laughed awkwardly.

“You know what that dog on Lady and the Tramp? The grey one?”

“Of course I know that movie,” I felt insulted that he would even say that out loud, it is so embarrassing, “He looks like the tramp? Oh my gosh, that is so cute!”

“She really enjoys playing with him and she even shares her food with him. He just showed up on the beach the day after we showed up and he’s kind of been there.”

That is so cute, my heart is so warm right now even after the bad news I just received. Animals make me happy, sometimes I cry when I see an animal on the streets with no one to bring home. I wish I could bring all of them home.

“I’m going to head out, I’ll take Duma with me.” he kissed my cheek lightly while chewing the last piece of his french toast. He saluted a peace sign while walking towards the exit, “I love you, wifey.”

“Love you, hubby!” I couldn’t help but smile at that nickname.

It is so basic but it is so cute coming out of his mouth.

“Duma, we out.” he called before he exited completely and Duma ran behind him.

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