The car ride was long. There was awkward silences here and there. John
talked to Braden a little but Abbie was quite the entire ride. John
checked in the rearview mirror to see if she was o.k. She was looking out
the window at all the places around her. They pasted by Rodi’s.
“Oh and that place right there, They have the best I mean the best
burgers you’ve ever tasted. I’ll have to take you guys sometime.” John
said trying to start up a conversation. He knew that it wouldn’t be easy.
After all they did just meet and didn’t know anything really about the
“that sounds like fun. Abbie loves burgers, don’t you.” Braden said
looking back at her as he sat in the passenger seat. She looked at him
and nodded her head with a smile. John looked back out of the corner of
his eye at Abbie. She was holding onto the handle bar connected to the
car tightly. John remembered back to the letter. Kerry (my wife) died in
a car accident. Luckily I did not lose my little girl. No wonder why.
John wouldn’t blame her. When they got to the house John helped them get
their things out. He opened the door and let them in, showed him there
rooms and called his mom.
“hey mom its me.”
“oh, why hello John, are they there yet?”
“yes the are. Let me tell you what,” he went into his room, shut the
door, then went into the bathroom and shut the door.
“oh mom you have got to meet them. They are nothing like Scott, I’m
“o.k. Do you want me to come over now?”
“If you like.” he said playing with the soap.
“o.k.” John could tell by the sound in her voice that she was glad to
meet her grandchildren.
“I’ll be over in 30 minutes John”
“alright mom.” he hung up his cell phone and decided to call Michael and
Shannon too. Just as he left the bathroom, his cell rang.
“hey.” is was van
“hey Hon, are you coming home.”
“I should be home soon.”
“o.k. I need to go check on the kids. I left them by themselves.”
“Alright I’ll let you go then.”
John hung up once more and left his room. He went to go and check on
Braden first. He was sitting on his bed strumming lightly on his guitar,
until he heard John come in.
“I wasn’t interrupting anything was I?” John asked.
“no. not really” he replied.
“oh. O.k. um… I just want to let you know that your going to have some
visitors come by today.”
“who might I ask?”
“well um your grandmother, your Uncle Michael and your cousin Shannon.”
“Shannon will be going to LU with you the semester. She said that she
wanted to take you and show you around.” John lied a little. He knew that
was on Shannon’s try to avoid list.
“I just want to let you know.”
“thanks.” he replied. “Don’t take it personal”
“take what personal.” John questioned. Sitting next to Braden on the bed.
“Abbie’s quietness. She does that all the time when she’s around people
that she doesn’t know very well. In a few days she will be herself.”
“thanks.” John said getting up and Going to Abbie’s room. He taped on the
door lightly. She was already putting away her cloths in the draws that
were provided for her.
“Guess what?” John asked.
“what” she replied get up and off of the floor.
“were having visitors come over this afternoon.”
“who are they?” she said raising her brow.
“your grandma, Uncle and Cousin.”
“o.k. sounds cool.”
“alright.” He shut the door leaving it just cracked. He made the call to
Shannon and Michael and they said they would both be there. Evangeline
came home. She went looking for John. She found them in the kitchen
getting off the cell phone.
“hey handsome.” She said rapping her arms around him.
“hey beautiful.” he replied back giving her a peck on the lips.
“so how’s it going.” She asked.
“its o.k. better than I thought it would be. You were right.”
“I’m always right.” She replied with a smile.
“yeah yeah yeah.” he said with his smile.Braden and Abbie came in the kitchen. John and Van pulled apart quickly
before they would see.
“Guys this is my wife, Evangeline.” She took one look at them and could
tell that she would already love them.
“why don’t we grab a seat in the living room.” Van suggested.
“o.k.” they agreed. They followed her into the living room as the waited
for the rest of the family to come.
“so what grade are you in Abbie” Evangeline asked
“10th.” John almost spit out the coffee that he was drinking.
“But your 14. Shouldn’t you be in…”
“I skipped a grade because I’m a H.A.G.”
“What’s that mean” he questioned while wiping his mouth.
“Highly Academically Gifted.”
“So I should enroll you in a high school then right.”
“yes.” As soon as she finished her sentence the door bell rang.
“well look who it is. Shannon McBain is not the last one here .” John
said with a smirk on his face.
“I was in the area anyways. doing some shopping.”
“Come on kid get in here.” He said letting her and shutting the door. He
lead her to the couch.
“Abbie, Braden, this is your Cousin Shannon.” Shannon looked at them. Not
what she had expected but better.
“Hi. John giving you a hard time?” she said with a laugh.
“Actually no, not really.” Braden replied.
“Wish that would happen to me.” She turned to John glaring.
The doorbell rang. Evangeline came and answered the door.
“Eve, Michael!” She said with a wide smile.
“hello Evangeline.” She gave her Daughter-in-law a smile right back at
her and a hug.
“I brought Michael with me since I was passing by his work.”
“hey Van.” Michael said with a hug.
They lead themselves to the living room as Van got them something to
“And this is you Uncle Michael and Grandma Eve. Mom, Mikey. Meet Braden
and Abbie.” There was a silence as they looked at each other.
“well don’t just sit there. Let me get a good look at you.” Eve said.
Braden stood up as Abbie did the same as soon as she saw her brother did.
She walked up to them slowly and cupped Braden face. “You look just like
your father. A splitting Image when he was younger.” She gave him a hug
that startled Braden a little as he hugged her back.
“and you,” she moved on to Abbie. You look like you father and your
mother. She was very beautiful from what I remember.” she hugged Abbie to
as Abbie hugged her lightly, not saying a word. She let go and sat back
down next to her brother on the couch. They looked at each other and then
at the rest of the family. There family.
“So, what do you guys do for fun.?” Shannon asked, breaking the quietness
“Well Abbie and I play Guitar.”
“how come you didn’t bring yours Abbie.” John questioned.
“well I would have, but I play bass guitar. I would have to bring my AMP
and everything and that’s just to much of a hassle for me.”
“that’s cool. What else.”
“Braden. I love football. I played for my old college.”
“what’s one of your favorite teams?” Michael asked.
“New England” he replied.
“I’m tired of them winning all the time.” Shannon blurted out.”
“what do you like to other than Guitar Abbie.”
“umm. I like to hang out with my friends. That’s about it. I don’t really
do much. I love the mall though.”
“Me too!” Shannon squeaked. “we should go sometime together.”
“why don’t you guys go now??” John suggested.
“We should do like a girls night out and a guys night out. To show Braden
and Abbie around tiny Lanview.”
“o.k.!” Me and the girls will go to the mall and you and Michael and
Braden and go…go do some guy stuff.
“I can’t” Eve replied “I have to go and sing at this new place called ‘
“But Eve” Van wined
“Now don’t stop your plans because of little old me. Go and have a great
time. I know you guys will Especially the girls since you have Evangeline
with you. She’s a great shopper.”
“trust me I’ve noticed.” John said with a laugh.
“just because I have good fashion sense…”
“o.k. guys lets go!” he interrupted her and gave her a kiss. “bye!” He
felt the big lecture coming on and didn’t want to go threw with it.
Especially When they had guests. He wanted to make a good first
“Abbie are you going to be o.k.? Braden questioned.
“yes .”Braden and Michael followed him out the door as the girl were sitting
there by themselves.
“well I better get going to. I have to go and get ready.” She got up and
hugged the rest of the girls and saved Abbie for last. As she hugged her
she whispered in her ear” if you have any problems you can come to me.”
“alright. Thank you” she whispered back. They all left at once getting
into Evangeline’s car. Shannon let Abbie sit in passenger seat while she
sat in the back and Van drove.
“What kind of music do you listen to.” Shannon asked Striking up a
“mostly 70’s and 80’s. Some of the 90’s and Alternative rock” Abbie said
turning around facing Shannon.
“I think I’m going to like you.” Shannon said with a smile.
“so give us the scoop on your brother.” Van said looking up at the
stoplight waiting for it to turn Green. It felt like and eternity.
“He is annoying, but I love, him.”
“He treats you real good huh??”
“yeah. We have are moments but he’s a good brother.” She smiled.
“o.k. girls lets do some Shopping!” Van found a parking place and got
out. Abbie got out and stretched while Shannon slammed her door.
With the guys………
“Man John you almost got chewed by van back there.” Michael said with a
laugh. Braden joined in too.
“ I’m glad I stopped her when I did.” they heard a cell phone ring.
“oh. that’s me. “ Braden said flipping his phone.
“hello….sure, not to much though……Bye.” he put his phone back in his
“who was that?”
“Abbie. Wanting to know if she can use her Credit card.”
“she has one?”
“yeah. I have one too. Dad gave it to us for Christmas and told us to
take it with us when we come here.”
“so what’s you sister really like?”
“well she can give a mean punch. She’s a good Kid. Low self esstem sometimes
but she’s o.k.”
“ah. So where do you guys want to go?”
“I don’t know.”
“well if were not doing anything, why don’t we go back to the house and
watch some basketball or something.”
“that sounds a lot better than sitting around and driving don’t you agree
“yes. a lot better.”
“besides. I don’t want to waste. Gas. Prices are getting high.” They
reached back home when they saw the door cracked open. John pressed
Michael and Braden back against the wall hard.
“stay here.” he whispered. Slowly, he draw his gun out. Wondering what
was inside of his house. Michael tried looking in the crack to see who it
was. John whispered to himself “one…two…THREE!” He lifted up his leg,
kicking the door wide open.
“Did you hear that?” Shannon whispered.
“Yeah… I did. Shannon take Abbie into my room.”
“Now” She said in a harsh whisper. Shannon grabbed Abbie’s hand and lead
her to Van and Johns room. Van rushed to the bathroom and grabbed the
plunger. Holding it like a baseball bat While she did that Abbie and
Shannon scooted themselves under the bed.
“Does this always happen?? She asked Shannon.
“”Everything happens when you’re a McBain. That’s the number one rule.”
“oh.”John made his way to the back of the house. He heard some footsteps
coming closer to him. He got his gun ready.
Van heard footsteps getting near here. She got her plunger ready.
“what the hell??? What are you doing here?” John asked putting his gun in
“there was nothing good at the mall to do so me and the girls came back.
I’ll ask you the same question.” She kissed him softly.
“We didn’t know what to do since Shannon made plans for you guys. We were
going to come and watch some ESPN or something. A plunger?”
“It was the first thing I could find.”
“what are you going to do with it?” Michael said coming in the door with
Braden behind him. “suck his face in.” He laughed to himself while
everyone stared at him with blank faces.
“come on! It was funny!”
“If you call the comedy, you certainly need to work on your humor dude.”
Braden said patting his back.
“uh-oh.” Van started walking to the back of the house.
“what is it?”
“I thought you guys were robbers or something so I told Shannon to take
Abbie to are room for safety. She opened the door. It was dark and so
silent you could hear a pin drop.
“you guys can come out now. It was just John and the guys.”
“oh good” Shannon said sliding out with ease on the hard wood floor. “its
really dusty under there.
“yeah.” Abbie said pulling her self out as Shannon gave her a hand and
pulled her up.
“well if you don’t mind, I think I shall go. I’m meeting Rex at Rodi’s.”
Shannon walked out.
“You still go out with that kid?”
“why. He’s only trouble Shannon.”
“I know I know. Just be careful o.k.?”
“wait Shannon give me a ride.” Michael said jogging up to her.
“o.k. It was really fun shopping with you Abbie. We should to it again
“come on Michael!”
“bye guys. Nice meeting you two.”
“ditto.” Braden said.The last couple of hours they talked about everything they could think
of. School, work, economy, you name it, they talked about it. Later on
Abbie’s cell phone rang.
“hello…Daddy!” she squealed. John tightened his grip on vans hand that he
“ouch.” she tried to break free from his grip.
“sorry. Are you alright?”
“yeah. Guess your angry at you brother huh?”
“Angry doesn’t even begin what I’m feeling. He felt his anger towards his
brother build up. He had to get out of the room. He got up and went to
the kitchen to get something to drink. Getting a glass of water that he
jugged down in seconds. Abbie came in the kitchen.
“Uncle John.” She said in a low voice.
“yeah Hun,” he wiped his mouth from the water.
“daddy wants to talk to you.” He looked at her face. He could tell that
she was happy to get a call from her dad. Her smile was wide and still
expanding. He would hate for her to hear the conversation that he had for
“Great” he thought. Just what he needed. What was he going to say. He had
so many questions he wanted to ask.
“thanks.” He cleared his throat. And here it came. The moment of truth.
He deeply inhaled.
“John. Is that really you?”
“yes” John tried to keep his sentences short so he wouldn’t burst.
“so, how are you?”
“I’m fine. You?”
“great. How are my little ones doing??” John headed for the door to talk
outside privately. He didn’t want Braden or Abbie to hear what he had to
say to Scott.
“o.k. cut the bull-shit Scott. What kind of trouble are you in??”
“its not what you think John.”
“oh its not.”
“so you want to explain to me why you haven’t talked to me or the rest of
the family in years and ditching you kids at my doorstep with out even a
“I’m not going to let you screw up you children’s lives just because of
you dumb mistakes that you’ve made.”
“john I would never ever jeopardize my children’s lives and you know
that.” John paced up and down the front lawn. He felt a little guilty for
what he just said.
“You’re right. I’m sorry. So now do you want to tell me what trouble
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that. Give the children my love,” And with that he
“Scott…Scott.” He sighed. “Damn-it. He said hanging up the phone. He went
back inside the house.
“here’s you phone Abbie.” He said giving it to her.
“thank you.” she replied.
Outside John and Van house.
“I’ll get you McBain for destroying my life. You took my dreams away. Now I will take yours.”