7:36 Bound To You

09-25-20_5-45-30 PM

Kyndall and Victoria were released from the hospital. Cason drove them home instead of hre parents. He had spent a lot of time at the hospital with her and their daughter. Kyndall was hoping it was a sign that he was ready to step up and help with Victoria. It was going to be a talk they would have to have soon. She would need to know what would happen to their daughter if her treatments failed.

At the house, her father took Victoria up to the nursery and told her to sit down and rest. She was actually feeling pretty good for the first time in awhile, but she wasn’t going to argue with her dad. She sat down on the sofa near her mom and waited for Cason to sit with them.

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“Do you feel up to going to grab something to eat? We won’t be gone for long.”

Kyndall shook her head. “Not tonight, Cason. We just got home. I’d like to spend some time with Victoria for a bit before going to bed.”

She was a bit annoyed by the disappointed look on his face when she turned down his offer of going out. He was going to have to deal with the fact that they had a daughter that needed to be taken care of.

She stood up and headed for the stairs. She was actually surprised when he followed her.

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Kyndall sat in the rocking chair as she watched Cason pick up their daughter. She watched him rock her and softly talk to her. She knew that he would be a great father if he allowed himself to be. 

She smiled softly to herself as she thought about the dreams she once had for her future. This was much like what she dreamed of. Her and Cason together with their children.

It was a future that may stay only in her dreams. Cason had other dreams for his own future. Kyndall didn’t even know if she would have a future. She was doing everything she could to make sure she did, but there were no guarantees.

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She watched him lay Victoria back down and stood up. She didn’t want their voices to wake the baby.

“Can we talk tomorrow before you go back to school? There are some important things that we need to discuss.”

Cason looked at their daughter, knowing that she was what Kyndall was referring to as important things. “Yeah. I can come by in the morning.”

He learned toward her and kissed her softly.

“I’ll see you tomorrow. “

She watched him leave and sighed. She wished that real life was as simple as it was in her dreams.


7:35 Everybody Hurts

09-25-20_1-07-30 PM

Kyndall sat talking to her family while Cason met his daughter. She was happy that her father was able to get him to come to the hospital. He seemed happy to see the baby which had been a big change from his first reaction. She was hoping that seeing their daughter would change his mind about wanting to be a part of Victoria’s life. Their daughter needed her father.

She looked around the room and frowned when she couldn’t find her own father. “Mom, where did Daddy go?”

Abbey shook her head. “I don’t know, honey. I haven’t seen him since he left the room to call Cason.”

Philip frowned as he listened. “I’ll go see if I can find him.”


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When Philip couldn’t find Campbell in the hospital, he had a feeling he knew where he would be found. 

He parked his car next to his son’s and grabbed his umbrella.  He was able to see Campbell standing in the small cemetery where the family had been buried for the past several generations.  He would give him a few minutes, but not many. He didn’t want his son to end up sick because he was standing in this cold rain.

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As he slowly walked to the gate, he was able to hear Campbell talking to the graves. He knew that Kyndall being sick was hard on him, but it wasn’t until this moment that he realized how scared his son was also.

He quietly opened the gate and walked over to his son. He gently put his hand on Campbell’s shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze.

“You have a beautiful granddaughter, son.”

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Campbell looked over at his dad as he let the words sink in. “Is she okay?”

Philip nodded. “She was tucked in her father’s arms sound asleep when I left to find you. Kyndall was looking for you.”

The mention of his daughter made his heart ache. She had been through so much the past several months to bring her own daughter into the world. “Is she…?”

Philip saved him from having to ask and gave his son a small smile. “She’s okay. She still has a long recovery from everything, but right now she is okay. She was sitting on the bed talking to Abbey, your mother, and your grandfather.”

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Philip moved over to one of the nearby graves. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.”

Campbell moved to his father’s side and looked at the grave of his brother. “It’s okay, Dad. Not everybody visits cemeteries except for funerals. Devin knew that you loved him.”

Philip nodded and looked at his son. “Your daughter knows that you love her. Right now she is scared and needs you to be strong for her, Campbell.”

Campbell looked down at the ground. “I know, Dad. It was just hard for me to be there today and wait when we didn’t know the outcome. I felt like I needed to be here with the rest of our family to help gather strength from them to get through this.”

“I understand. The last time I found you here was the day Kyndall was born and there were problems with Abbey. I remember how scared you were then.” He put his hand on Campbell’s shoulder. “You need to stop living with the ghosts of the past, son. It’s not healthy for you.”

Campbell looked back at the graves and nodded. “I know. I’m not sure why I keep coming to this place every time there is a risk to the lives of someone I love.”

“Because this is where you are afraid they will end up. You can’t think like that though. You have to have faith that they will be okay. Right now, your daughter is in the hospital after just giving birth to your granddaughter. She is starting some pretty aggressive treatments later today to help her get better so she can watch Victoria grow up. She is needing you there with her, Campbell.” He hoped that some of what he was saying was getting through to his son. He knew that all the loss in his life had taken a toll on him and probably always would, but he also knew that he needed to focus on those who were still in his life instead of those he had lost.

“Come back to the hospital with me. Meet your beautiful granddaughter.”

Campbell looked at his dad and nodded. “When they say great grandfather, I don’t think that just means old. You truly are a great grandfather…and an even greater father.”


7:34 (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

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Kyndall hadn’t been feeling very well the past few days. She was finally in the last trimester of her pregancy and it was a lot rougher than she had expected it to be. She wasn’t sure how much more of this she would be able to handle. The only thing keeping her going was the baby and wanting to see her daughter born.

She went to find her parents and was not surprised to find them in the living room talking. She hated to interrupt them since they had so little time to talk lately. Her father was always at work, and her mother was always doing things for her.

Campbell had seen her come down the stairs as he was listening to Abbey. He gave her a little smile then frowned as he got a better look at his little girl. He barely had time to stand up and reach before before she collapsed into his arms.


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Campbell and Abbey sat and listened to the doctor. They were going to take the baby early. It was a risk for both Kyndall and the baby, but it was a bigger risk to wait. Kyndall and the doctor already had a plan ready for this and what was to happen immediately afterwards.

Campbell looked at his daughter laying on the bed. She was resting while they waited for everything to be ready for her. Abbey discussed things with the doctor while Campbell just listened and had a million thoughts running through his head.

To most people, Campbell probably seemed like a worried father waiting for his grandchild to arrive. To those close to him and those who knew his past, they would see that he was not worried…he was terrified.

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Kyndall sat up on the edge of the bed. She looked at her father and frowned. She could tell something was wrong with him, but wasn’t sure what.

“Daddy?”

Campbell looked at his daughter and forced a smile onto her face to help keep her calm. “You okay, Princess?”

She shook her head. “I need Cason here, Daddy. Can you call him for me?”

Campbell nodded and did as she asked even if he was still mad at the boy for the way he had treated his daughter. It was her choice though, not his.


7:33 Daddy’s Hands

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Campbell looked at the bills on his computer screen and sighed. At one time, he had a very comfortable bank account balance. It was quickly disappearing though. Kyndall’s medical bills were draining it faster than he could believe possible.

He clicked the button that would send the money from his bank account to the hospital to pay the latest bill.

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Abbey was laughing as she went into the kitchen to start dinner. She heard their daughter mention taking a nap until dinner was ready.  

“You need any help?”

She pointed to the vegetables on the counter. “You could chop those for me if you don’t mind.

Campbell moved to the counter and picked up the knife. He looked at what she was fixing so he would know how to cut the veggies. ” We got another hospital bill today. I plan to pay it tomorrow. I need to move some things around in the accounts first.”

Abbey listened as she added the chicken to the pan and put it in the oven. “I can go back to work if things are that bad.”

Campbell shook his head. “Our daughter needs someone here with her right now.”

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When dinner was ready, Abbey went upstairs to wake Kyndall. She stopped near the bed and just watched her daughter sleep. Even thought she was trying her best to be supportive and strong, all she wanted to do was cry about how unfair it was that her little girl was going through this again. The first time was bad enough. This time was much worse. There was so much more at stake this time.


7:32 Didn’t We Almost Have It All

07-26-20_12-33-01 PM - CopyAbbey stood beside her daughter outside of the house. They had just left the dean’s office where Kyndall had withdrawn from the university and gotten the promise that she would be able to return in the future and pick up where she had left off with her studies. The only thing left was to collect her things from the house she had shared with Cason, Amira, and Bryan.

“You don’t have to do this, Sweetheart. You can wait in the car, and I can get your things for you.”

Kyndall knew her mother was trying to be helpfull and keep her from having to see Cason. After their last time together, she wasn’t sure how seeing him this time would be.

“It’s okay, Mom. I really want to see Amira and Bryan.”

Abbey wasn’t sure her going in there was a good idea, but she wasn’t going to stop her. She knew that her daughter was an adult now and able to make her own decisions…good or bad.

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Kyndall stopped at the door when she got a glance of Cason and their friends through the window. She felt her heart breaking knowing that they would be continuing their lives here on campus without her. That was not what they had planned. 

Abbey watched her daughter closely. She could see the tears starting to fill her eyes.

“Kyndall…”

“I’m okay.” She blinked a few times and took a deep breath. She could do this. She was a strong woman and could handle seeing her friends and packing her things.

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Cason looked up when the door opened. He looked a little surprised to see Kyndall and her mother. He shouldn’t have been though. He knew she would be coming at some point for her things. Amira had offered to take them to her on their next break, but Kyndall turned her offer down. Something about needing to talk to the people at the school anyway.

He looked down at the table. He was still ashamed of how he had acted the last time he had seen her. He knew that he had hurt her and that had never been his intention. He wanted to talk to her and try to explain, but he didn’t know how to start.

He saw the look of sadness on her face when she looked at him and felt even worse than he had before. He watched as she walked toward the stairs. He got up and followed behind her. He needed to talk to her and try to make things right between them. He knew he couldn’t take back the words he had already said, but maybe he could make her understand why he said them.

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He walked quietly into the bedroom that the two of them had shared. He watched her gather her things and set them ontop of the dresser. He sat down on the edge of the bed watching her for a moment.

“If I forget anything, can you mail it to me?”

He shook his head as he watched her. “I’ll bring it with me on my next trip home. It will give me an excuse to see you again.”

Kyndall closed her eyes not wanting to cry infront of him. “Don’t do this, Cason. I can’t right now.”

“Come sit with me for a minute. I want to talk to you.”

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Kyndall sat down beside him. If he was going to give her more reasons why she shouldn’t have their baby, she was going to leave and let her mother finish.

She was actually surprised when he reached out and took her hand in his. “Cason…”

“Just hear me out, please.” He waited until she stopped trying to take her hand from his. “First, I’m sorry. My reaction the other day was not how I truly feel, Kyndall.”

She shook her head and tried again to pull away from him. “First reactions are usually the most honest, Cason. You made yourself very clear.”

He tightened his hold on her hand a little so she couldn’t pull it away. “That is true, but not in this case. My first reaction was fear of losing you, Kyndall.”

She looked at him frowning when he said that. “You were afraid of losing me, so you broke up with me? That makes no sense, Cason.”

He shook his head. “I didn’t break up with you though.”

This time she did get her hand away from him and turned and looked at him. “You said that if I decide to have our baby, that we are over.”

He nodded and sighed. “I did, but…”

She put her hand up stopping him. “I guess we are over, Cason. I decided to have the baby.”

He was not surprised to hear that. He had actually expected it. He knew how much she loved children. “So are you breaking up with me then?”

She frowned as he said that. “You broke up with me…”

“No I didn’t.”

She sighed and shook her head. “I’m so confused. You said…”

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He leaned over and kissed her softly. “I love you.”

She was too surprised to say anything back to him. “Cason…”

He shook his head and looked at her. “I’m sorry, Kyndall. I don’t want to lose you.” He pulled her hand into his again. “I want to be here for you and our baby.”

She looked at him and could see that he was being honest with her. “Don’t ever do that to me, Cason.”

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He slid his arm around her and pulled her close. He kissed her forehead and smiled softly. “I love you, Kyndall. I do want to be here for you and the baby.”

She looked at him thinking about what he said. “I’m leaving school for awhile, Cason. The doctor wants me back home where I can do some of the treatments that are safe for the baby.”

He pulled back a bit looking at her. “Really? There are treatments that you are able to do?”

She nodded. “I had a long talk with the doctor a few days ago. We covered all sides and all of the possibilities. None of the options are a hundred percent. I decided to do what would be the best for both me and our baby. I have a treatment plan in place.  We’re going to use the baby safe stuff until he or she is born, then go hard and heavy with the other stuff afterwards.”

He was glad that she had a plan in place with her doctor. He kissed her forehead again. “I wish we didn’t have to make choices like this.”

She wasn’t going to point out that it was her who had made the choice, not him. She wasn’t in the mood for another fight with him. There were bigger issues to deal with at the moment. 

“I should start packing my things.”

She looked at him confused. “What do you mean?”

“I want to be with you through this, Kyndall. I can’t do that if I’m here and you aren’t.”

She shook her head. “Don’t leave school, Cason. It’s too important. You need to stay and finish.”

“I need to be with you and take care of you.”

She softly caressed his cheek and smiled. “My parents can do that, darling. You need to finish school. That is what me and the baby need most from you right now.”

He looked into her eyes then nodded. “Okay. I’m going to miss you being here.”

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He pulled himself away from her and stood up. “Come here. I have something for you.”

She looked at him questioning what he was doing but did as he asked. “What’s going on, Cason?”

“Turn around and keep your back towards me.”

She turned and did as he asked, hoping he would let her know what this was about soon. She heard him doing something in one of the desk drawers. She was tempted to see what he was doing, but didn’t.

“You can turn around.”

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Kyndall turned and saw Cason on his knee holding something out to her. “Cason…?”

He smiled as he looked up at her. “Marry me, Kyndall. It was something we have already talked about. We know it is going to happen someday. Just tell me now that you will. Once you are better, we’ll have that big wedding you always dreamed of having.”

She leaned down and kissed him softly. “I love you.”

“Is that a yes.”

“It is.”

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He stood up and kissed her softly. “Everything will be alright. I know it will be.”

She hoped he was right.


7:31 Climb Every Mountain

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Kyndall spent a long time thinking about what her choices were. She considered all of her options and weighed the pros and cons of each. She did research  on the computer to find out the chances of her surviving if she decided to have the baby. She wanted to make this decision with all of the information.

She felt her stomach turning. She wasn’t sure if it was the leukemia, the stress, or the baby just trying to make its presence known. She moved to the bed and laid down to rest and think for a bit. She was feeling so overwhelmed with everything, but she wanted to make the right decision for her and the baby. She wished she had someone she could talk to, but everybody seemed set on her ending the pregnancy. She wanted someone she could actually discuss the options with and not be told what she should do.

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After the nausea passed, she called Dr. Roche to see if she would be able to talk to him. She wanted to discuss what would happen with both of the options so she could make a better decision. Maybe without her parents there, he would be more open to discussing the options with her.

“I can give you something to help with the nausea. It is safe for the baby and for you.”

She was grateful to him for doing that for her.

“Since you are here alone, I am going to assume that your parents were not told about this visit.”

Kyndall nodded. “I am an adult and can make the decision myself. I need to do this on my own without them pressuring me.” 

Dr. Roche nodded his understanding and listened to her. He knew that this was a tough decision for her to have to make. “How about if we discuss what to expect from both scenarios? That should help you make your decision.”

She was happy that he said that. It was what she was there. “That would be great.

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An hour later, Kyndall was feeling good about the choice she had made. They had set up a treatment plan that would begin the following week. She knew that the choice was the right one and now that it was written down, signed by her and the doctor, and put in her file, she was feeling good about it. 

As she left the office, she wanted to go see Cason. She knew that she couldn’t. Not after what he had said to her. It still hurt too much.

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At the house, Kyndall paused before going inside. She could see her parents through the window. They looked so happy and still so much in love after all these years. 

She laid her hand over her stomach and thought of Cason. She had planned on him being the man she would spend the rest of her life with. Now she wasn’t so sure that would happen. 


7:30 Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

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Kyndall had called Cason before stopping at the house to make sure he was awake. It was still early in the morning and she knew that he liked to sleep in when he did’t have a class to get to or a soccer practice. 

She saw the lights on, so knew he was awake. She smiled when she saw him at the door. 

“Good morning, beautiful. Come on in. I have fresh coffee if you want some.”

Kyndall shook her head. “Not today. I need to talk to you about something though.”

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Cason followed her inside to the sofa. He waited until she had sat down then took the seat beside her and kissed her softly. “You look tired.”

She gave a small smile and nodded. “I am. I haven’t been feeling the greatest.”

He frowned as he looked at her. “What’s wrong? Do you need to lay down? Can I get you some tea or toast?”

She smiled and shook her head. “I just want to sit here and talk right now.”

He nodded and took her hand in his. “Tell me what’s wrong, Kyndall.”

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Kyndall put her hand over Cason’s and leaned against him. “Do you remember when we were kids and I missed all that school?”

He nodded thinking about it. “You where sick with cancer or something, right?” His eyes got wide as a thought popped into his head. “Are you sick with it again? I thought you were healed from that.”

She nodded her head. “It is back. My parents and the doctor are pressuring me to start treatment as soon as possible.”

He frowned as he listened. Why wouldn’t she want to start treatment if that was what she needed to do to get better again. “Is there a reason you don’t want to?”

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She nodded then got nervous. They had never talked about having children so she wasn’t sure how he was going to react to the news. “There’s a little complication with me starting treatment. I’m pregnant.”

If she had expected him to be happy about it, she was disappointed. 

“Get rid of it, Kyndall. Do the treatment.”

She was a bit hurt by his words. “It’s our baby, Cason.”

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He hadn’t meant to upset her. He was scared. “Kyndall…”

She shook her head.  “Don’t, Caason. Don’t be like them.”

He tried to take her hand in his but she pulled away. “Kyndall, there are other reasons not to have this baby. We are both young. We are both in college. I want to be settled in my career before having kids.”

She understood all of that. Those were all great reasons. Reasons she had for herself also. “Cason, listen, please.”

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He nodded and sighed. He would listen to what she had to say, but it would take a lot for him to change his mind. He knew that his main reason for wanting her to end the pregnancy was to save herself. Nothing could change his mind away from that.

Once she knew that she had his attention, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “The fact that I am even pregnant to begin with is a miracle, Cason. It may never happen again. The stuff they pump into my body to kill the cancer also kills my chances to have children. This baby of ours somehow managed to overcome all of that from before and is growing inside of me. I never thought I would be a mother.”

“And if you have this baby, you still may not be, Kyndall.”

She felt like screaming at him to shut up. She had already heart that from her parents and the doctor. She didn’t want him to be saying it also. “I know that, Cason. I know. If it leads to that, then the baby will be a part of me for you and my family to still love.”

“If the baby survives.” He saw the look on her face and knew it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. “I’m sorry, Kyndall. It’s a possiblity that also has to be faced if this is what you plan to do. I’ll tell you right now though, if you choose this baby over yourself, we’re over. I cannot watch you die, Kyndall. I just can’t.”


7:29 Home

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Campbell watched as his wife and daughter sat then took the seat on the other side of Kyndall. He watched as the doctor walked around them and headed for the desk. This doctor had been taking care of Kyndall for a long time. He was one of the best in the oncology field and Campbell knew his daughter was in good hands with him.

“I’m sorry to have to have you all come in today. I hope you were able to get some enjoyment from the holiday yesterday.”

Campbell shrugged as the doctor walked around his desk. “It was fine until your phone call.”

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The doctor nodded as he listened. “I understand, and I am sorry about that. I had considered waiting a few days, but it is important to get Kyndall seen as soon as possible. While the levels from the leukemia do not look as bad as they did when she had it as a child, there are special circumstances this time.”

“The baby.” Campbell hadn’t really been too surprised when she told them that she was pregnant. He knew what it was like in college. The environment was ripe for it to happen. 

The doctor nodded his head. “The baby causes a bit of a complication. The normal course of treatment cannot take place as long as she is pregnant.”

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Abbey was listening and saw Kyndall put her hand over her mouth. She knew that her daughter was feeling nautious and handed her the crackers she had brought with her. They sat and listened to the conversation between Dr. Roche and Campbell. 

“What do we need to do to give Kyndall the best chance of surviving this again?”

The doctor looked at the three of them. “The best chance for Kyndall to survive would be to end the pregnancy and begin treatment immediately.”

“Then let’s do it.”

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Kyndall looked at her father and shook her head. “No!”

Campbell was surprised to hear Kyndall yell. “Kyndall…”

She shook her head even more. “No, Daddy. I will make the decision on what happens. I’m not a little girl anymore.”

He looked at her and sighed. She was right. She wasn’t his little princess any longer. Now she was a young woman old enough to make her own mistakes. From the sound of it, she was considering making a big one.

“Kyndall, please use your head with this decision. Listen to Dr. Roche and do what he feels is best.”

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“Kyndall, sweetheart, your father is right. You need to do what is the best thing for you.”

She looked at her mother and shook her head. “Not you too, Mom. I thought you would understand.”

She looked at the doctor hoping he would at least understand. “I cannot make this decision right now. I need to talk to the baby’s father first.”

“Kyndall…”

She looked over at her mom. “Don’t, Mom. This is my choice. I am this baby’s mother. Cason is the father. Cason deserves to know what is happen and be a part of the choice.”


7:28 The Christmas Song

Dr. Roche looked over the lab results when they arrived in his in box. He called the lab to make sure they were accurate. They weren’t what he had been expecting, or hoping for.

He looked over the results again and knew that he was hoping they were be different this time. He knew they wouldn’t be.

He leaned back in his chair and sighed as he thought about what he needed to do. The only thing stopping him from picking up the phone was the fact that it was Christmas. Could he give this news on Christmas? Could he wait a day or two when he knew how important it was to get this taken care of as soon as possible?

He knew that the two test results that concerned him the most determined the quickness of his call. He knew this would not be able to wait.

He picked up the phone to make the call. “Miss Powell? I’m sorry to bother you on Christmas. Your lab results just came back. I’d like for you to come to the office tomorrow please.”


Kyndall looked at the phone as she hung it up. She almost wished that Dr. Roche would have called her mother instead.

She slipped her phone into her pocket then noticed that her grandmother was watching her. “Is everything okay, honey?”

Kyndall didn’t want to lie to them, but she didn’t want to ruin their holiday either. She still needed to process what she was just told. “I need to make a phone call in private.”

Shelby watched her granddaughter head up the stairs. Andy also noticed and looked over at his daughter. “What happened?”

Shelby shook her head. “I’m not sure.”

Andy looked at the stairs frowning. “I’ll go check on her.”

Andy walked up the stairs to Kyndall’s room and lightly tapped on the door. He could hear what sounded like crying inside. When he opened the door, he saw her wiping at her eyes. Without saying a word, he walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug.

“I don’t know who did whatever it was that made you cry, but I’ll make sure they never do it again.” He hated seeing her cry. He only ever wanted to see smiles and happiness on her face.

She shook her head and stepped back. “It’s not that, Grandpa. Nobody did anything. Well, Cason…” She shook her head again. She was still trying to work things out in her head. There was some things that she had not expected.

“What did Cason do, Kyndall? Did he hurt you?” Andy would kill him if he did.

“No. He didn’t do anything, Grandpa.” She frowned a little thinking about things. “i’m pregnant, Grandpa.”

Andy hadn’t been expecting those words from his great granddaughter. “Pregnant? What about college?”

She hadn’t considered that. She knew that a baby was going to make school rough…especially with the other news that she hadn’t told him yet. “I don’t think I’ll be going back this year.”

Andy sat down on the edge of her bed and watched as she sat beside him. “If it’s the baby, you have all of us to help while you finish school.”

She shook her head. “It’s not that, Grandpa.”

She looked down at her hands and felt the tears again. “I don’t know what to do, Grandpa.”

He could see that something was really wrong. He hoped that it wasn’t what he thought it was. “Talk to me, sweetheart.”

She looked at her grandfather. “It’s back, grandpa.”

He didn’t need to ask to know what she was talking about. He had already guessed. “You beat it once. You can again.”

She nodded thinking about it. “Dr. Roche wants to see me in the office tomorrow.”

Andy reached out and took her hand in his. “Take your mother with you, Kyndall. Don’t do this alone.”

He hugged her again before leaving the room.

 

She knew she needed to talk to Cason and let him know about the baby. She also needed to let everyone know what was going on. She trusted her great grandfather not to tell them. He would let her tell them when she felt it was time.