6:19 If Only

09-25-19_6-36-16 PM

It had been a few weeks since work on the youth center had begun. Andy decided to stop in at the site to see how things were going. He saw Campbell and smiled as he walked over to him.

“How are things going?”

Campbell looked over at his grandfather. “We hit a snag, but it’s been dealt with.”

“What happened?”

“The inspector was supposed to check the foundation yesterday, but was in an accident on the way. He was here this morning and checked it and everything it is back to work now. Only put us one day off schedule. Since I worked several days into the schedule to account for things like this, we are still okay.”

“Good. I checked in at the park before coming here. It looks really good over there.”

“Thanks. I’ve been trying to split my time between here, the park, and the office. I have great crews working at both sites which makes it easy for me to step back and let them do what they need to do.”

09-25-19_6-36-35 PM

Andy took a closer look at his grandson and saw something in his eyes that he hadn’t seen in awhile. “What’s wrong, Campbell? Don’t say nothing. I know you better than that.”

“I keep expecting Devin to come walking through.”

“I suspected as much. To be honest, I still do also when I’m at the sites.”

Campbell sighed and looked at his grandfather. “I still miss him so much. It’s been hard coming to the sites and knowing he won’t be here. We had so many plans to work on these projects together.” 

“I know. I looked forward to seeing the two of you working together on these.”

Campbell turned and walked toward the trailer. He knew it was empty at the moment and that he could talk to his grandfather in private.

09-25-19_6-44-32 PM

Andy followed him and locked the door once they were inside. He knew that Campbell wanted a private talk if he was coming in here. 

“Talk to me, Campbell. Tell me what is wrong.”

“I know it wasn’t my fault, but I blame myself for Devin’s death. If I had made him leave the party with me and Rita…if I had stayed with him…”

“He still would have had the overdose and died, Campbell. He had gone to the bathroom and did it there. That is why he was already gone when he was found. Nobody knew what he was doing in there until it was too late.”

“I know. I know it’s not my fault, but I can’t stop feeling guilt.” He looked at his grandfather. “I have talked to Dr. Brown about it. He says it’s a normal feeling. Survivor guilt or something like that.”

Andy had heard about that before. He had talked to Philip about it. “I think you and your dad should talk, Campbell. You could probably help each other out.”


6:18 In My Blood

09-25-19_3-19-35 PM

Annette looked up at Campbell when he came in. “Your grandfather wants to see you in his office.”

“Thanks, Annette.”

Campbell knocked on his grandfather’s door before going in. “Hi, Grandpa.”

Andy pointed to the chair and finished his call while Campbell waited. He smiled as he looked at his grandson.

09-25-19_3-24-37 PM

“How did your finals go?”

“They went well. Passed them all.”

“With perfect scores, I bet.”

Campbell shook his head. “Almost. It was one or two questions on most of them. Still very high scores though.”

“Good job, Campbell. I am extremely proud of you.”

“Thank you, Grandpa. Annette said you wanted to talk to me.”

Andy nodded. “I do. I wanted to let you know that I am going to give you your own crew.”

Campbell was surprised. He hadn’t expected that.

“You have done some extremely good work and I feel that you are ready now.”

09-25-19_3-25-02 PM

Campbell didn’t know what to say. He was surprised by everything that has been happening lately. “Thank you, Grandpa.”

Andy handed him a file. “This is your crew. You can decide which of your two projects you want them to work on. I will loan you one of my other crews for the other project. Your crew will start tomorrow and meet you here so you can tell them where they are going and give them the details.”

Campbell listened to his grandfather while he looked through the file. He would study it more closely at home so that he could get to know his crew before he met them. 

Andy handed him another file. “This is all of the paperwork for the youth center. All of the permits and everything you will need.”

Campbell put the file with the other one. “I want the crew to work on the youth center.”

Andy nodded. “Then my crew can work on the park. How is that coming along anyway?”

“We break ground on it tomorrow morning. I will have Annette schedule a meeting with the new crew for after the ground breaking.”

Andy wrote something down and nodded. “The crew you have been working with on the park can continue the work. They already know what you want done and have everything they need.”

“Thank you, Grandpa. I do appreciate that.”

Andy looked at his grandson. “Are you going to be okay with attending the groundbreaking? I can go in your place if you want me to.”

Campbell shook his head. “I’ll be fine. The structures have already been removed from the park so it doesn’t look like it did before. That makes it much easier for me to push aside what had happened there and focus on what needs to be done.”

“Okay. If you decide you would rather me go, let me know at least an hour before time to be there.”

“I will.” Campbell made a couple notes on his notepad then looked at his grandfather. “I want to find a way to honor Devin at the youth center, Grandpa, and the people who were killed at the park. I think there should be something to memorialize them.”

“I agree. Grab the plans and lets see if there’s something we can change that will allow us to do it while staying in budget and not messing up the time frame.”

09-25-19_4-36-37 PM

Campbell went to his office and grabbed the plans off his drafting table. He took them to his grandfather’s office and spread them out on the table. They both looked at the plans. 

“What if we put something in this garden area here? A fountain with a plaque or something?”

Campbell looked at the area his grandfather was pointing to. It was one of the larger garden areas in the park. It would be easy to put a fountain there.

“I think that would be perfect.”

09-25-19_4-36-42 PM

They made the changes necessary for the fountain and adjusted the budget for it.

“I think I know where we may be able to get a fountain for free. It may need some repairs since it hasn’t been used in many years.”

Campbell looked at his grandfather. “Where?”

“Come with me to the warehouse.”

09-25-19_4-06-34 PM

They went to the warehouse and looked around. Andy led him to a back corner and smiled as he showed him the fountain.

“It’s a bit larger than I pictured putting in there.. I’m not sure, Grandpa.”

“Let me tell you about this fountain before you say no.”

Campbell was willing to listen. 

“This fountain was purchased by a man named Zaiden Maynard…my grandfather. There was a woman he really loved and she had seen the fountain and loved it. He bought it for her and the day he finished installing it in the yard, he surprised her by proposing to her beside it.”

Campbell looked closely at the fountain. “This was your grandparents’ fountain?”

Andy nodded. “I used to sit beside this fountain a lot when I was a kid.”

“We’ll find a way to use it, Grandpa.”


6:17 I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)

Two year time jump!

09-22-19_5-12-53 PM

Campbell walked out of the classroom for the last time. He was finished with college. Because of the classes he took while still in high school, he had been able to graduate early. He was glad. He was ready to put the books away and go to work full time with his grandfather. 

He made the drive home and pulled into his driveway. He smiled when he saw his house. It had taken two years to build both his home and Clare’s, but they were both finished and moved in. 

He put his keys on the stand and looked through the mail. He saw the envelope from the college and knew it was the paperwork for graduation. He tossed it down beside his keys. He had already told his parents and his grandpa that he wouldn’t be going to the graduation. He would pick up his stuff another time. 

His mom tried to talk him into attending the graduation ceremony but he just couldn’t. It would remind him too much of his last graduation and the party. Plus it wouldn’t be the same without Devin there with him this time. He did the ceremony for high school. He didn’t feel the need to do it again for college.

He pulled out his phone and called Rita to let her know that he was home. He smiled when she said she would be over soon. She would bring dinner with her instead of them going out this time.

09-22-19_5-14-27 PM

He headed up to the bedroom to make sure he hadn’t left his underwear on the floor. He cleaned up really quick then went back downstairs.

He smiled seeing that Rita was already there and was unpacking the containers for their dinner. He kissed her cheek then grabbed plates for the two of them.

09-22-19_5-17-16 PM

“How was your day?”

“My boss was an asshole today. That’s nothing new though.”

“Why don’t you just quit your job?”

“I can’t afford to. I’m barely making rent even with the roommate right now.”

Campbell frowned as he listened to her. “Honey, you know I will help you out if you need it.”

09-22-19_5-19-05 PM

“I appreciate that, darling, but no. I don’t want to be the girlfriend that relies on her boyfriend to pay her bills.”

He did have to respect her for that. 

“The offer is there if you need it.”

She kissed his cheek and smiled. “Thank you, darling. I have my review next week. The pay raise should help some.”

“Hopefully it is a big one so you can stop worrying about the bills.”

“That would be nice, but I doubt it. The boss is an asshole. He gave Jeremy a raise of only a penny an hour.”

09-22-19_5-18-34 PM

Campbell shrugged his shoulders. “I’ve met Jeremy and seen him work. He was lucky to get that penny.”

Rita did grin and nod her head. “That is true. How was your day, darling?”

“It was a pretty good day. I only missed one question on the final.”

“That’s great. I’m proud of you. I know how hard you studied for that one.”

He nodded and grinned. “Now onto the next stage of my life.”


6:16 Goodbye My Friend

09-22-19_2-16-13 PM

Campbell stood in front of the grave. This was the one grave that was the hardest for him to visit. The grave of his best friend…his brother.

“I’m sorry, Dev. I shouldn’t have left you at that party. I should have stayed with you.”

He hadn’t told anybody that he felt guilty for leaving without Devin. If he had stayed, he might have been able to stop Devin from trying the meth for the first time…the first and only time. He may have been able to prevent him from dying of an overdose.09-22-19_2-19-28 PM

He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned his head to see Clare. He hugged her then stepped back and looked at her.

“How are you doing?”

She shook her head and wiped at the tears on her cheeks. “I didn’t know he had done anything. He went to the bathroom and didn’t come back. I should have stayed with him.”

“You didn’t expect him to go in there and get high. You can’t blame yourself.”

“And you can’t blame yourself for not staying. He was going to go home with me that night, so you were free to leave and enjoy your night with Rita.”

09-22-19_2-19-47 PM

He knew that what happened was not his fault, but that didn’t stop him from blaming himself for not being there.

He sighed and looked at the grave.

“We’ll get through this. We all will. We have each other to get us through.”

Clare nodded and put her head on his shoulder. “I’m going to rely on you to tell this baby stories about it’s dad. You have so many more of them that I do.”

09-22-19_2-20-00 PM

Campbell smiled thinking about it. “You have plenty of stories of your own to tell. You spent almost as much time with him as I did.”

She gave a little laugh thinking about it. “The Three Stooges. Isn’t that what your dad called us?”

09-22-19_2-20-10 PM

Campbell nodded. “Larry, Curly, and Moe.”

“Now Moe and Curly don’t have their Larry.”


6:15 I’ll Be Missing You

09-21-19_10-56-51 PM

Campbell tapped on his grandfather’s door before poking his head in. “Grandpa? You busy?”

Andy looked up when he heard his grandson’s voice. “Come on in. You okay?”

Campbell shook his head as he sat down. “Not really. I miss him.”

“We all do.” Andy looked at his grandson thinking about the two boys. “You two were always side by side from the time you were still in diapers.”

“He was my best friend. I feel lost without him.”

“Have you talked to Dr. Brown?”

Campbell shook his head. “No. I probably should call and make an appointment.”

“It would probably help. I doubt this is what you came in here for.”

Campbell nodded. “I was thinking about Clare and the baby. I know Devin wanted a house built on the land you gave him so they could all be together. I’d like to still build the house for Clare and the baby. I want to make sure they are taken care of.”

09-21-19_11-03-28 PM

Andy sat back in his chair listening. He could see there was more that his grandson wanted to talk about so he stayed quiet and waited patiently.

“I need your support and your help with something else that I want to do, Grandpa.” He was a bit nervous asking his grandpa for this, but it was something he was really wanting. “I want to build something for the teens…a place where they can hang out and be safe…no guns, no alcohol…no drugs.”

That was it. Andy could see that was what he was there for. “What do you need me to do?”

“I know how to do the designs, but that’s all. I don’t know how to get the funding or the approval for the project.”

“We’ll work on this together. Give you on the job experience with it so you will know what you need to do in the future.” 

09-21-19_11-03-46 PM

Andy moved to sit beside his grandson. “Call Dr. Brown, Campbell. Let him help you get through this. As hard as this is for the rest of us, we are still here for you. We know how close you and your brother always were.”

They all were worried about Campbell. With his depression, they knew that this could get really bad for him. They had been keeping a close watch on him. 

“You know that any time you feel like you need to talk, you can come to any of us.”

09-21-19_11-04-31 PM

Campbell nodded. “I know, Grandpa. I just don’t really want to talk about it right now. Not yet.”

Andy hugged his grandson tight. “I love you, Campbell.” 

He could feel the tears on his shoulder and just held his grandson.


6:14 Dynamite

09-21-19_9-28-33 PM

Campbell was having a good time with his friends, but he really wasn’t in the mood for a party. He just wanted to go home and watch a movie and have a relaxing night. He squeezed Rita’s hand and smiled.

“I’m going to go find Devin and see if he wants to get out of here.” 

She nodded and watched him walk away. She turned her attention to one of the other girls they had been talking with.

09-21-19_9-30-04 PM

Campbell found Devin in another room with Clare and some of their friends. 

“Hey. Rita and I are heading out. I’m just not feeling the party tonight.”

Devin hugged his brother. “Drive safe and text me when you get home so I know you are okay. I love you, Cam.”

09-21-19_9-30-45 PM

Campbell smiled and nodded. “Love you too, Dev. Give me a call when you are ready to for me to come get you.”

Devin shrugged. “I think I’m going to stay with Clare tonight. Spend the night with my wife.”

Campbell went back to get Rita then head to the house. “What movie would you like to watch tonight?”

“I don’t care. Anything you want to watch is okay with me.”


09-21-19_9-54-33 PM

Campbell sat on the sofa with Rita watching whatever movie it was they found on tv to watch. He had his arm around her while they snuggled together. 

His parents had made Fiona go to bed so she wouldn’t bother the two of them. His grandfather was working in his office. His parents had already gone to bed.

They hadn’t realized they had both fallen asleep on the sofa until a knock on the door woke them up. Campbell answered the door confused when he saw the cops standing there.

“Are your parents home?”

09-21-19_10-10-04 PM

He nodded then went to wake up his mom and dad. When they got downstairs, Andy was coming out of the office. He looked at them wondering what was going on.

“Police at the door, Grandpa.”

Andy looked at everybody frowning. “Where’s Devin?”


6:13 I Lived

09-21-19_1-04-38 PM

Andy had called both of the boys into his office. He had told them that it was to discuss their future after graduation. They had both graduated from high school the night before, and he was very proud of them both.

“Sit, please.”

He waited until they were both sitting then he looked at them both. He didn’t say a word. Just enjoyed watching them grow increasingly uncomfortable.

“Grandpa, did we do something wrong?”

Andy looked at Devin and finally smiled at them both. “You both made me very proud.”

09-21-19_1-08-00 PM

The boys both felt much better about being there now. They were able to relax and not worry about what they had done to upset their grandfather.

“I have a gift for the two of you.” He handed them both envelopes and watched while they were opened.

Devin wasn’t sure what it was he was looking at and looked over at Campbell who looked at their grandfather.

“Grandpa? You are sure about this?”

Andy nodded his head. “Land for the two of you to to do with as you please. If you both decide  to build homes, I will cover the cost of building them.”

Devin looked again at the papers in his hands. “I will need a place for Clare and I and the baby.”

He looked at his grandfather. “Thank you, Grandpa.”

Andy was glad that Devin was happy with his gift. He hadn’t heard Campbell’s feelings yet, however. 

“Grandfather, this gift is not deserved by either of us. We both have not earned it. We have both made big mistakes.”

Andy looked at his grandson. “Have you learned from those mistakes?” He waited for his grandson’s nod before continuing. “Have you repeated those mistakes?”

Campbell shook his head. He still did not feel this gift had been earned.

“Devin, I’d like to talk to Campbell in private please.”

09-21-19_1-10-10 PM

Once Devin had left the room, Andy moved to sit beside Campbell.

“Do you not like your gift?”

“The gift is great. I just don’t feel like I’ve done anything special to deserve it.”

Andy frowned as he listened. When did his grandson start to believe so little about himself?

09-21-19_1-10-18 PM

“You do deserve it, Campbell. You have worked your ass off. You graduated high school with almost perfect grades. You did that while going to college and working for me. That is something to be very proud of. Your redesign of the park…That is better than even I could have done.”

Campbell looked at his grandfather. “Really? You think so?” 

Andy nodded. “I do. You have talent, Campbell. I would not be giving you this gift if I did not think that you deserve it and could do something amazing with it.”

He still wasn’t convinced but he didn’t say anything. “I will do my best not to disappoint you, Grandpa.”


6:12 (I Like) The Way You Love Me

09-21-19_12-06-16 PM

Campbell kissed Rita’s cheek and squeezed her hand. “Relax. They are not going to change their attitude about you just because you are my girlfriend now. They liked you as my friend and they will like you now.”

Rita nodded and gave him a little smile. “I’m not one of your usual group of friends. I guess that is what worries me. I know how your mother feels about that group right now.”

“Like you said, you are not one of them.”

“What if they think I’m just a rebound from Holly?”

“Not all rebounds are bad, Rita. You are not a rebound. It’s been months since Holly died. She will always be in my heart, but now I love you and I want my family to know you as my girlfriend.”

09-21-19_12-06-10 PM

“At least we are being honest about our relationship and not keeping it a secret like Devin and Clare are. Can you imagine being married and expecting a child while living in different houses because you haven’t told your parents yet?”

Campbell could imagine it. He was the one that had to live with Devin and listen to the phone conversations every night and listen to his brother whining about not being with Clare and all the planning he was making for the two of them after graduation. 

“Let’s get inside so my mother can stop peeking through the window at us.”

Rita laughed and nodded.


09-21-19_12-08-56 PM

Shelby sat with Devin after Campbell had taken Rita home. “We need to talk.”

Devin nodded and looked at his mother. “What would you like to talk about?”

“You and Clare and the fact that you are married and expecting a child.”

Devin was shocked that she knew. “How did you…?”

09-21-19_12-10-02 PM

“Don’t worry about how I know. Why didn’t you tell us, Devin? We didn’t even know that you and Clare were dating.”

“We thought it would be weird if people knew. That her being a cousin and all.”

Shelby shook her head. “But she is not your cousin. You were adopted.”

“I know. We all know that, but not everybody does. We were going to keep it quiet until we left for college where nobody would know us or about the connection between the families.”

“You should have told us, Devin.”

“I’m sorry, Mom.” He looked down at his hands. “I guess we should tell her father.”

09-21-19_12-10-15 PM

“He already knows. He has known for awhile now. We were all waiting for the two of you to tell us.”

Devin frowned a bit. “How did he find out?”

“Clare’s doctor called him. She is still only 17, Devin. Her father has control of her medical care until her birthday. Just like your father and I have control of yours and Campbell’s.”

They hadn’t thought of that when all of this happened. “I’m sorry we didn’t tell you, Mom.”

“Tomorrow, we are all going to get together and talk about what to do. We can’t have you and Clare being apart like you are. She needs you to be there for her and the baby.”

Devin hugged his mother. “Thank you for not yelling and being mad about this.”


6:11 Human

09-16-19_1-46-56 PM

Andy watched Campbell show his drawings of the park to his parents. He was very proud of both of his grandsons and how well they had been doing lately. Campbell had been putting all of his attention on his studies and plans for the park. Devin had stopped going to parties with his friends and was working hard with the construction crew. He had built his mother a new jewelry cabinet that he was looking forward to giving her for her birthday in a couple months. With their high school graduation just a week away, Andy had his own surprise for the boys to show how proud he was of them.

Devin saw his grandpa watching the others and gave him a hug. “You okay, Grandpa?”

Andy nodded and smiled. “I’m fine. Just thinking about you and your brother.”

“What did we do this time?”

“You made me proud.”

Devin had been trying to figure out what they had done to get in trouble again then was surprised by his grandfather’s answer.

“Proud? I thought we were in trouble again.”

09-16-19_1-47-11 PM

Andy shook his head. “For once, not this time. You both have been working so hard in school and at the office. I’ve been paying attention. I’m very proud of you both. That’s why I talked to the judge also. You are both off all of your restrictions through the court.”

Devin was really surprised to hear that. “Really? We’re free?”

“You are free. Just promise me that you will make smart choices and stay out of trouble.”

“Grandpa, we’re just having fun.”

“You can have fun without being arrested, Devin. Twice in one week was a bit too much fun, wouldn’t you say?”

09-16-19_1-47-32 PM

Devin shrugged. “I agree. That was a bit much. How about if we cut it back to only needing bail money once a month?”

Andy shook his head. “How about if when you need bail money, you pay it yourself?”

Devin looked at his grandfather a bit shocked. “Harsh, but okay. Once a year it is.”

Andy shook his head and couldn’t help grinning. He knew that Devin was just joking with him now…or hoped he was at least. “Don’t ever change, Devin. I would really miss that goofiness of yours.”


6:10 Freedom!

09-16-19_1-40-35 PM

Campbell was sitting at the counter in the kitchen working on his homework. He had just finished his Trig and was now working on the homework for his intro to business class.

Philip looked over at his son then at his wife. “Where does our son get his brains from? It sure wasn’t from me.”

“Not from me either, darling. I think he gets them from his grandfather.”

Philip nodded agreeing. “Your father is one of the smartest people I know.”

Shelby smiled when she said that. “I’m pretty proud of him. He did bring you back home to us.”

She kissed him softly, then pulled back when she heard the string of curse words coming from her son’s mouth.

“Campbell!”

“Sorry, Mom. I knocked over my glass and spilled my water all over my work.”

09-16-19_1-41-20 PM

Philip pulled himself away from his wife and went to help his son clean up the mess and see if the work could be saved.

Campbell was carefully blotting the liquid from the drawing he had been working on. Philip worked on the counter and books

“What is that you are working on?”

“Just something Grandpa is going to take to the city council and the mayor.”

“Really? That’s impressive. Do you mind if I have a better look?”

Campbell sat the paper in a dry spot so his dad could see it. He watched nervously hoping that it would trigger his dad or anything.

“Is this the park?”

09-16-19_1-42-10 PM

Campbell nodded. “It’s a new rebuild of the park. I want to be able to enjoy the park again.Right now, I can’t.”

“It has bad memories attached to it. I understand.” 

He hugged his son tight. “I’m sorry you have had to go through it.”

Campbell pulled back and looked at his dad. “I am just glad you are okay and all of that mess is over with now.”

“So am I, son. Now, tell me what your grandfather is doing with your picture here and how he is going to get them to let you redo the park.”