The next Morning Scarlet hurried to shower and make breakfast. She went extra lengths for dressing and fixing her hair. She was getting a driver license today. For once in the last few years she felt normal. Other than her money situation she felt life was being kind to her.
She made Range and Lucas breakfast and she ate a bite. Not much was being discussed but Scarlet knew Range would have a long day. “Lucas, Mommy has some errands to run and Mr. Range is going to watch you. I want you to help him okay? He also is having some visitors and they are sad right now so no extra questions and try to play quietly okay?” She explained.
“ Mommy, I’ll be good cause Mr. Range loves me and he will play with me too. Lucas said.
“ Yes he does honey” Scarlet said
He was proud as a peach at The words Lucas spoke. She could tell Range truly cared for him.
“ Ok here I go!” She was a bit nervous.
She hugged Lucas and grabbed her purse. She was at the door when Range caught her hand. “ Have fun.” He whispered. He leaned in and kissed her cheek. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too. “ She stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. Then turned and left. Be still my heart. She got in the car and left. She had marked the DMV in her gps and headed out.
Her test was done and she stood waiting for her drivers license to print. The clerk handed them to her and this was one more step in her new freedom! She wanted to holler out but instead smiled and took a picture of it and sent it to Range. “ Thank you for another piece of freedom!!” She texted.
“BEAUTIFUL!” He texted back.
“❤️❤️❤️“ she replied.
She put the church in her GPS and headed over. The pastors wife was waiting in her car.
“Hello! She said to Scarlet.
“ Hello!” Scarlet said back. A few other women were pulling up now.
“ We will all get together then ride with each other. “ Sophia the pastors wife said.
Sophia was a mid sized woman she was about 5’5” and about 180 she wasn’t heavy but wasn’t thin, she had brown hair she wore in a ponytail. She and Joel were in their early 40’s. They had 3 children, 2 girls and one boy Savannah 17, Adrian 15, Merrick who was 6. She hoped that Merrick and Lucas would become friends.
The other ladies that showed up was Bonnie, she was an older woman who loved life. She was so funny. Then there was Susie, she was very quiet but was sweet. Susie was about 53-54. A blond pulled in she was well put together already but she seemed to be the life of the party. Pam was cool and collected. She was also about 5’3 and was thin she looked about 30 but Scarlet knew she had to be older. Everyone greeted each other and Sophia introduced Scarlet.
“ Is Haddie coming?” Pam asked Sophia.
“ You know she will be late.” They all laughed.
As on cue, a rough green huge car pulled in. After a bit a heavyset black woman stepped out of the car with a large orange purse. She had a blue moo moo dress and greeted the ladies.”Hey babies! How are you? We are blessed to be together today! The Lord is good.” She hugged everyone and introduced herself to Scarlet. “ I’m Haddie.”
“I’m Scarlet.” She said.
The ladies bantered about who was riding with who and it seemed they had done this a time or two. Scarlet laughed at all their jokes at each other.
Haddie , Pam Susie rode in Pats vehicle and Sophia, Scarlet and Bonnie rode together. The ladies started out to a day at the spa and the mall.
Range went to the bedroom and pulled down all the boxes from the top of the closet he placed everything on the bed.
The doorbell rang and Range went to open it.
“ Come in.” Range said to Emily and Paul. “ I’d like you guys to meet Lucas.” Range had his hand on Lucas’ shoulder.
“Hey buddy!” Paul said.
“ Hello.” Lucas as said shyly.
“ Hello Lucas.” Emily beamed at Lucas.
“ Hello Ma’am.” Lucas replied.
“ Lucas this is Mrs. Emily and Mr. Paul. This is my wife parents.” Range explained.
“ She is in Heaven with Jesus right?” Lucas asked.
“ Yes Buddy.” Range answered worried how Emily would take it. He looked her way, she just looked at Lucas.
Range hurried to change the subject. “ Scarlet is his mom she is one of Caroline’s “girls”. “
Both Paul and Emily nodded their head as if understanding. “Lucas, will you please play in the living room? We are going through some things in my room ok?”
“ Yes Mr. Range. “ Lucas took his truck back to the living area. He sat on the floor. Range had put cartoons on for him earlier and he was watching them and playing.
“ Let’s go in the bedroom I started getting g things out for you to look through.” Range said to Emily. Range noticed she was almost catatonic.
Paul darted a look at Range as if to say this was a new norm.
Emily picked up a box she opened it and it had Caroline’s birthday cards in them from everyone. She sat it aside and found another box with random things Caroline had tossed in. She opened another box and it held high school items in it. Emily started to let the tears fall.
“I know you both think I’m losing my mind, and in a way I have. But this was my only baby. This was my life. She was so kind. She didn’t deserve sickness like that. Why did God let this sweet girl waste away with cancer? She helped so many people. “ Emily cried.
“I know how you feel. I have asked the same questions. “ Range sat beside her and put his arm around her. “ Emily, she was a younger version of you. You and Caroline are both 2 of the kindest people I know. I don’t understand his timing or all the whys, but I know I will love her til I die. “ Range let the tears slide down his face. Emily held his hand.
“Take anything you want Emily. “ Range told her.
“ Thank you Range. It’s just pieces she left. But it will help me I’m sure. “ Emily said. She picked up another box and it was thing Emily had given Caroline, a bracelet she had given to her when Caroline was 12, a post card from vacation, a wallet she loved that was Emily’s she had takes her out of. “ If you don’t mind Range I’ll take this box. “ she said through tears.
“ Yes you can.” He replied.
They pulled out old photos and looked through them and Emily took some. Then she went to the clothes. She smelled them hoping to get a scent of her baby girl.
“ Please take all her clothes and share them with anyone who may want or need them and keep what you want. Caroline and Emily were close in size.
Paul and Range loaded up their car with everything she wanted.
Lucas wondered into the bedroom. He watched Emily look around.
“You’re so sad.” Lucas said to Emily.”Are you ok?”
“ I will be, but yes I’m sad.” She said.
“ when my mom is sad she wants me to hug her and she says that all her sad goes away. Do you want a hug?” Lucas asked.
“I’m sure it can’t hurt!” Emily reached for him.
He climbed on her lap and hugged Emily. Emily got lost in this little boys hug. “ Thank you Lucas. That really did help so much. “
“ Your welcome, Mr. Range was sad too but now he smiles and laughs. That’s cause me and Mommy hugged him.” Lucas said.
“ I’m glad he can smile and laugh.” Emily told Lucas.
“ Lucas. “ Range said in a warned manner.
“He’s fine Range.” Emily said. “ Range, you lived Caroline with everything you had. You cared for her made sure her days were wonderful even during her most sick ones. You have been our son. I want you to know that if you meet someone and want to marry again, you have our blessings. We want only happiness for you. “ She stood in front of him and hugged Range. “ Thank you so much for all you have done. I was actually wondering, do you have the robe that Caroline always wore at bedtime? “
“ Let me check the bathroom. “ sure enough she had 2 robes hanging and Emily picked up the hot pink robe that was wearing out. She laid it against her face.
“It’s yours.” Range said.
She help on to it and told him thanks again. “ please don’t be a stranger Range. Emily said.
“ You guys are welcome anytime. Emily headed out the door and into the kitchen. “ Lucas, you can come over anytime with those hugs ok?” Emily winked at him.
“ Really?!” Lucas was excited. “ I would like that.” He said.
The adults laughed. Paul patted Range’s arm. “ You have one sweet boy there.” He winked at Range. “ Let us know when time is good and we can have dinner. “
“Will do.” Range knew what Paul was saying. They would meet Scarlet.
With that Emily and Paul left and Range went back to his bedroom. He looked at how empty everything was. He sat the boxes in a tote and looked around the room for any more of Caroline’s things. There was nothing left he went to the bathroom and made sure everything with her name on it was Gomez he then went threw the house and gathered all the pictures of him and Caroline and added them to the tote. The last thing he added was the tie clip and cuff links she had bought him. He placed the box into the tote and labeled it CAROLINE. Then took it to the attic. Lucas followed him quietly. Lucas stopped at a room on the top floor and just stared at it.
“ What you looking at buddy? Range asked.
“ I like this room. “ luysaid.
“ You Like this room? He turned on the light.
“ Yes, it’s right above your room and it has a bathroom in in and that closet is like a secret hiding room. “ He ran around the room that was completely empty.
“ Well maybe we need to put you a bed up here!” Range tried to sound like a bear. He chased Lucas around. Lucas giggled and ran harder. He fel down and Range fell down and tickled himself rn they played on the floor for a bit and Lucas grabbed Range’s neck and hugged him. “ I love you Dad.” Lucas wouldn’t let go.
“ I love you too buddy.” Range held him so tightly. He knew Lucas wanted a dad and he wanted someone to love him which worked out because Range loved Lucas , the son he never had.
Lucas laid on Ranges shoulder for a long time. Then told Range,”I’m hungry.”
“Let’s go feed this monkey!” He stood up and draped Lucas over his shoulder and Lucas squealed. They both laughed as Range carried him down the stairs.
He looked at the clock 1:00. He grabbed sandwich items from the fridge and made him and Lucas a sandwich. “ why don’t we go shopping too? “ Range asked Lucas.
“What we shopping for?” Lucas asked.
“ How about we get you a bed!” He said.
“ My own bed?!” Lucas was now really excited. “ yes!”
They cleaned the mess up and Range and Lucas went to town. Thankfully he had a truck so this would be easy.
They went to the furniture store he and Caroline had always used. He and Lucas looked around for a while then came upon a bed a sleigh style bed that had a pattern on it that reminded him of the stalls in the barn. Lucas shouted,” This one! Please please! “ He hoped up on the bed and flopped around. The sales lady was already near and heard them.
“ This is a fine choice buddy!” She talked to Lucas.
“ Can I help you? “ she asked Range.
“ Apparently he likes this one. Are there any deals or anything for this set?”
“ Do you have an account with us?” She asked.
“ Yes ma’am I do. My name is Range Hollister. “
“ ok let me look you up. I see you have purchased many things from us so that will make you eligible for some discounts. So if you purchase the bed only you will get 10%off. If you buy the bed the chest and the night stands it becomes 30% off. “
“ How much is all 4 pieces with mattress and box springs? “ Range asked.
She gave him the price then told him with that price he would get a free $50 item. So Range and Lucas tried to find a toy chest. They found a piece that would serve as one and paid for the items and had them loaded up. Range had a plastic cover for the furniture. They left the store.