Saying goodbye is never easy
“You have time for one more.” Monica said following his gaze.
“Well if you insist.” He reached over and grabbed another one. “These are too damn good.”
Kelly smiled, “Yeah, Mom’s cinnamon rolls are the best. She even won First Place at the county fair one year.”
Gerard looked over at Monica, “First Place at the county fair and you never told me?”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Yeah, it was in all the papers. Can’t believe you didn’t read about it.” She looked embarrassed.
Kelly frowned, “Well it was in the Topeka Capital Journal.” She told him proudly.
Gerard smiled, “Well I’m impressed. You know we have fairs too. Maybe you should enter these.”
Monica picked up the plate containing the last two cinnamon rolls. “Don’t think so.” She walked over to the counter, “I’m gonna wrap up Bob’s. He obviously isn’t gonna make it downstairs in time to eat.” She opened the drawer and pulled out the plastic wrap.
Kelly giggled, “Yeah neither one of the lovebirds made it for breakfast.” She raised her eyebrows “or did they?”
Gerard, who was taking a sip of coffee, started choking. Monica shot Kelly a glance, “Enough” she warned.
Kelly gave them both her best innocent look, “I’m gonna get dressed.” She rose from the table, “Don’t leave before I get back,” She pointed at Gerard.
“I won’t. You might want to tell the lovebirds the shuttle will be here any minute.”
Kelly grinned, “Okay.” She started for the steps but stopped, “How about a car for my birthday?”
Monica groaned, “What? You want just want to sit in it. You know you can’t drive until your sixteen.”
“That’s so unfair. Back in Kansas you can drive when you’re fifteen.”
“Really?” Gerard was learning things about their life in Kansas he hadn’t known.
“Actually if you own what is considered a farm you can drive at fourteen.” Monica explained.
Gerard looked over at Kelly, “Start thinking about what kind of car you want for your sixteenth birthday.”
She nodded happily and took off to get dressed. Monica turned to him with a disapproving look.
“What? We got Kara a car. You know we’re gonna get Kell one too.”
“Gerard.” She shook her head. No sense in starting this conversation now. She would talk to him about trying to spoil Kelly later.
He finished off his coffee and stood. The phone rang. Gerard put his cup in the sink then answered. It was for Kelly. “Can I ask who’s calling?”
Monica raised her eyebrows.
“Just a minute” he said putting the receiver down. He walked to the stops. “Kell phone.” He yelled.
Monica laughed as she watched him pick up the receiver and listen until he heard Kelly pick up upstairs. He hung up.
“Who was it?” Monica asked.
Gerard frowned, “Mike”
Kelly flew down the stairs a few minutes later. “Mike got ungrounded. He’s picking me up for school.”
Monica and Gerard looked at each other. Kelly took off to finish getting ready for school.
“What do you think of Mike?” Gerard asked Monica quietly.
“Every time I’ve seen him he’s been very nice and polite.”
“Sure he was. He was on his best behavior for mom.”
Monica walked over to him. “You don’t think she should ride to school with him?”
He thought a minute. “I just want her to be careful. She promised never to get into a car with him if he’s been drinking.”
“Dad, the shuttle’s here.” Kelly yelled from the entrance hall.
Monica felt a catch in her heart. “Shit” she muttered.
He pulled her in close. “Yeah, shit.”
She inhaled his scent hoping to memorize it. “I still wish you would have let me take you to the airport.”
“Bob and I discussed it. He thought it would be easier for Kara if he left from the house.” He kissed her lips softly. “And I wanted to remember you standing in front of our house when I took off.”
She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately. They broke away when the heard Kelly walk into the kitchen. “Uh sorry. Mike’s here too. I wanted to tell you goodbye.”
Gerard released Monica and went to Kelly. He hugged her. “Bye Kell. Take care of your mom for me while I’m gone.”
She smiled at him. “I will. Be careful, okay?”
“Always am. Call me anytime. I mean it.”
“I will” she gave Monica a quick hug and walked in the direction of the front door. Gerard and Monica followed. As the reached the entry hall Bob and Kara came down the steps.
“I’m riding to school with Mike” Kelly told Kara on her way out the door. Both couples walked out to the front porch while the guy’s luggage was being loaded into the shuttle.
Bob and Kara moved away slightly to say their final goodbyes. Monica remembered Bob’s cinnamon roll and ran back inside to get it. As she came back out she stumbled over Frank who bolted out the door.
She started to hand Bob the roll when Gerard burst into uncontrolled laughter. Looking down she saw Frank weaving thru everyone’s legs trying to show off the new toy he had found, a mouthful of feathers.
“Ah, Bob. Did you forget to pack something?” Gerard asked pointing down at Frank.
Monica, without comment, bent down and wrestled Frank for possession of the feathers. She succeeded in taking them away, causing Frank to pout.
“Stupid dog. Why couldn’t you have found the socks?” Kara asked, shaking her head.
Monica gave Bob the cinnamon roll.
He was surprised, “Thanks, Monica.”
“I’m just gonna eat it when you’re not looking.” Gerard teased.
Bob shook his head; “I’m eating it as soon as we get in the van.”
Monica and Gerard walked down the steps. He pulled her close for a final hug. “I’ll call you when we get to our hotel.” He told her.
She nodded. Tears were threatening her eyes, “Love you.” She said softly.
“Love you too.” He looked up at Bob and Kara kissing on the porch. “Come on Bobosan.”
The couple broke apart and Bob walked to the van. “See ya Kara.” Gerard said smiling.
She nodded and gave him a slight wave. Suddenly she turned and walked back inside. The guys got into the van and with a final wave were gone. Monica took a deep breath and willed herself not to cry. He wouldn’t be gone that long. It would all be okay. This time it would be different. She had wedding plans to make, a home to care for and he promised it would be okay. So why was she crying anyway?