Caring Christopher

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#32 Superman and Wonder Woman


It’s been a week since Dorothy died, but it still feels like five minutes ago. Christopher is only going through the motions of living, going to work and coming back home like a robot. He eats, breathes, talks to the kids, but it doesn’t feel like he’s truly here. He’s a shadow of himself, doubting himself every step of the way.

Jagger isn’t home much these days. He doesn’t even sleep here most nights, and I worry about where he is and what he’s getting himself into. I text him multiple times a day to ask if he’s okay and if he is coming home for dinner, and he always texts back one or two words – one of them usually a curse word – so at least I know he’s still alive. He hasn’t been to school all week, and the principal keeps calling, but there is nothing I can do to get through to him right now.

I remember what I was like the first week after my mother stopped remembering who I was, when I finally realized that this was it, that I no longer truly had a mother, even though her body was still there, and there was nothing anyone could have done to help me back then. I spent a lot of time yelling at the walls, throwing stuff, skipping school… until I pulled myself back together, realized I was the adult now, and that I needed to at last get a high school diploma if I didn’t want to end up in a ditch somewhere. Jagger doesn’t need to be here the way I needed to be at home with Mom, so of course he’s kicking off. He knows his brothers are cared for by me and Chris, while I didn’t have anyone to take care of my mother when shit went downhill for me at his age. I just hope he doesn’t do anything irreparable. Some night I lay awake wondering if I’m going to get a call from the police soon. Or worse, the ER.

The funeral was a few days ago, and it was a small affair. We buried her just the five of us, and afterwards Christopher’s family came by, along with his friends. Brittany and Jaxon were there too, and they tried to talk to me and get me to let my grief out, but I don’t have the luxury of breaking down this week. Christopher isn’t doing well, and the kids need at least one of us to truly be there, to listen to them, to be their verbal punching back when they get upset. He’s in no state for that right now, so I need to be the strong one. I’ve been the strong one all my life, and there’s no reason to stop fighting now. In fact, I’ve got more reason to fight than ever before, because I know my family needs me. I’m not just the nanny. I don’t know what to call myself, because mother feels like a lie, and like I’m spitting on Dorothy’s grave, but I do know I’m the only functioning parental figure right now.

When I get back home from walking the boys to school and I towel off Titus from the rain, Chris walks in after a night shift, looking like he doesn’t even know how he got home. I worry about him more than I worry about the kids, to be honest. He’s superman in my eyes, but he’s not acting like a superhero this week. Not at all.

Davy and Yoah started grief counseling yesterday, and Jagger was supposed to be there too, but he didn’t show up for his appointment. Chris doesn’t have any help or support other then me, and I’m not good at this. I pretend to know what I’m doing, and I try to say the right things, but I feel like I’m failing him.

“Hey,” he says when he sees me, leaning down to pet Titus. “Where are the kids?”

“School,” I remind him, pointing at the clock. “I just got back. I took the long way home to give Titus a chance to get out his pent-up energy.”

“Okay,” he replies, hanging up his coat and kicking off his shoes. “I’m going to bed.”

“Chris,” I say softly, moving over so I can hug him. “I worry about you.”

“I’m fine,” he says, stroking my hair. “Don’t worry. Just a tough night at work. I had to tell two families their kids aren’t getting better. That always sucks the life right out of me. Did Jagger come home last night?”

I shake my head and study Chris’ face, worried about the lines on his forehead and around his eyes that weren’t there a week ago. He aged ten years in seven days, or so it seems.

“What can I do to help?” I ask him, wishing I could do something for him.

He shrugs. “Nothing. I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not fine,” I insist, done with walking on eggshells around him. He didn’t even kiss me goodbye when he left for work last night, which means he’s doing even worse than he was the day Dorothy died. “Maybe you need to talk to someone, Chris.”

He shakes his head. “I’m fine. I deal with stuff like this at work every single day.”

“Yeah, but you’re not dealing with it this time around.” I know I’m pushing him, but I need to. He needs to face facts. “I don’t expect you to be okay right away, but you can’t keep walking around like a zombie. It doesn’t just hurt you, it’s bad for the boys as well. Cry, scream, kick off. Do something. This isn’t you.”

He sighs and tears pool in his eyes. “I know. I’m sorry. This is totally unfair to you. You’ve been through much worse in your life, and yet you handle this so much better than I do. I suck.”

“You don’t suck,” I assure him, hating how hard he is on himself. “You’re taking care of three kids whose mother just died, and Dorothy meant something to you as well. You’re probably feeling guilty that you get to keep her kids, raise them as your own, while she’s no longer alive.”

“So guilty,” he confirms my suspicions, wiping at the tears that are forcing their way out. “Jagger was right when he said I’m awful. I’m so happy I get to keep the kids, that Mary is moving along with the adoption application, yet I feel so bad for being happy about it. I can’t replace their mother, and I know they’d be better off with her still alive.”

“It’s not like you killed her to get them,” I tell him, knowing that is exactly how he feels. “You took her in when you didn’t have to, never once made the kids feel like you wanted to replace their mom or their dad, and you even let Jagger move in without having more than a second to think about it. Dorothy wanted you to keep her kids because she knew you will do whatever you can to raise them right and make them happy. That means taking care of yourself too, Chris. And you’re not. You’re not doing that.”

He pulls me to him and kisses me softly, still crying. I knot my hands in his hair, relieved to feel him coming back to live. Sure, he’s breaking into a million pieces, and I’m basically holding him up so he won’t slump onto the floor, but at least he’s feeling again.

“You’re right,” he says softly when we break apart. “I’m so sorry, Abby.”

“Don’t be,” I tell him with another kiss. “Come on, let’s go to bed. I haven’t been sleeping well either and it’ll be hours before I have to pick up the kids. Let’s lie down together. You’re exhausted, and so am I.”

He lets me lead him to the bedroom and I undress him, tucking him in like a child. He falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow and I drape myself around him, inhaling his familiar scent. His soft snores lull me to sleep soon enough, dragging me down into the blissful darkness of sleep.


I wake up with a soft yelp when Christopher rolls over and somehow elbows me in my side. I rub the sore spot, and smile when I hear his soft apology. My pained cry woke him up as well.

“How are you feeling?” I ask, snuggling up to him.

“Horny,” he replies much to my surprise. His erection presses into my side and he grinds against me with a groan. Suddenly, he stops, his eyes flying wide open. “Is that okay?” he asks, sounding incredulous. “I mean… is it wrong to feel like that after everything that happened?”

“No, Chris, that’s not wrong.” I roll over so I can kiss him, throwing a leg over his waist and moving against him with a moan. “It sure as hell doesn’t feel wrong.”

He grunts in agreement and flips me onto my back, pulling up my shirt so he can kiss his way up to my breasts. I moan when he sucks a nipple into his mouth, using his hand to pinch the other. I pull off my shirt as he kisses his way down, tugging at my panties with his teeth. Fuck, it’s so hot when he does that.

“I missed this,” he mumbles against my skin.

“Me too,” I reply breathless, lifting my hips so he can tug off my panties. We haven’t been intimate all week, barely even shared a kiss or a hug until now, and I feel like I could come from his hot breath on my wet folds alone.

His tongue moves over me hard and fast, for once not taking his time with me. Two fingers plunge in, making me gasp, and he gets me off in record time, grunting against me he feels me shudder with my release. Normally he’s gentle and patient, but not today, and that’s fine with me. I need to connect with him so badly, need him inside of me, to remind both of us that we’re in this together, that even though we’re getting over a death, love still exists.

“Fuck me,” I beg, tugging him up by his hair. “Please, Chris.”

He tugs off his shorts, grabs my legs, puts them over his shoulder and enters me with a loud groan, his eyes locking with mine. He’s in as deep as he can get, my body struggling to accommodate him since he didn’t ease himself in at all, but it doesn’t hurt. Sex with Chris never hurts, which is a small miracle, since sex has always been painful and stressful for me with the guys before him. I don’t tense up when we’re in bed, because I trust him like I’ve never trusted anyone before. Part of me wishes that I would have just refrained from having sex at all, to have waited for his wonderful man fucking me right now, but I know I wouldn’t have appreciated him the way I do now if I hadn’t gone through hell and back to get where I am now.

“I love you,” he says, his voice strained from trying to hold himself back from blowing already.

“Me too,” I pant.

He moves his hands underneath my ass, lifting me a little to change the angle, and I cry out at the pleasure he gives me by thrusting into me again and again, my pussy spasming around him so hard that my entire body shudders with the release that washes over me. He grunts my name when he comes, shoving into me one last time as my walls tighten around him over and over again, milking him for all he’s got.

“Fucking hell,” he breathes when he pulls out and collapses onto the bed. “I really needed that.”

I hum in agreement, putting my head on his chest while I slowly come down from my high, my body convulsing every few seconds, sending little waves of pleasure through me even though he’s no longer inside of me.

“I love you, Abby,” he whispers into my hair, his voice tight. “Thank you for taking care of me this week.”

“Always,” I vow, raising my head to kiss him. “I’m not just here for the great sex, you know. I’m here for you when it all goes to hell as well.”

“Same here.” His lips find mine again and he groans into the kiss, his cock jumping back to life when I move my hand over it.

We take our time for round two, making sweet love as we gaze into each other’s eyes. We kiss every few seconds, and he keeps repeating how amazing I am, how much he loves me, thanking me over and over again for being here. I can tell this is a turning point for him, that he needed me to push him and to make him feel like a man again so he could finally move through the numbing grief and start to heal. It will take a while. The next weeks – or even months – will be brutal for us and the kids, but we will get through it.

Superman Chris is back. And this week showed me that he’s not the only superhero in this household. I’m a goddamn Wonder Woman myself.

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