About: Walkers & friends
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52, part 53, part 54, part 55, part 56, part 57, part 58, part 59, part 60, part 61, part 62, part 63, part 64, part 65, part 66, part 67 and part 68
HALFWAY APRIL 2008 – WEDNESDAY - THE DAY OF THE FUNERAL.
“I’m sorry, Nora, I tried, but…”
“It’s alright, honey, I know your husband can be so stubborn…. I’m glad you’re here. You’ll be a good representative and I’m glad that I can finally introduce you as my son’s husband… even if it is on such a bad occasion.” Nora replies with a soft smile.
She had hoped to have her whole family here, but obviously, it wasn’t meant to be. She sees Tommy and Julia enter. Oh, dear Lord, poor Tommy looks so bad. Nora is really surprised by how hard Tommy has taken William’s death… Well, they had always been close, until recently, that could explain it.
Kitty looks great in black. Personally, Nora thinks she’s too skinny and should eat a bit more. She feels a hand on her back and startles.
“Sorry. How are you, honey?” Emily asks, giving Nora a hug.
“Surprisingly cheery. I feel weird, Em. I should be a grieving widow and …
It’s not there. The feeling is just not there. I’m not even angry or hurt. I feel nothing. Yes, I’m suddenly a fashion-critic, wondering why Mrs Bells is wearing that gown. She looks like a recently mowed lawn.” Emily hides her laughter behind her hand.
“Nora Walker! This is a funeral.” She warns.
“Yes. I know.” Nora replies more seriously. “I can’t help it. I just want to go around and make stupid jokes, so everyone stops being so serious.”
“You’re not getting hysterical, are you?” Emily asks, concerned over the rollercoaster-vibes she gets from Nora.
“I wouldn’t be surprised… No, my mom would have a fit, if I didn’t behave like the grieving widow….”
“Speaking of Ida. Where is she?”
“On a cruise…. She was so sorry she couldn’t make it. ”
“I’ll just bet she was.” replies Emily, knowing that Ida is probably out celebrating. “Oh, and Holly asked me to convey her condolences as well.”
“Oh, right. How is she?”
“Still mad at William, feeling guilty towards you… spending the weekend with her daughter to get away from it all.”
“Good plan. I wish I could go away…. Sorry, Em, I see Saul. I need to talk to him.”
Nora quickly says her goodbyes to Emily and catches Saul by the elbow.
“So, have you looked at what I asked you to look into?” She asks.
“Yes, financially it would be a good idea. Get Sarah and Tommy to go along.”
“I will.” Nora quickly answers, before getting yanked away by one of her neighbors wishing to offer her sympathy. Saul searches for Tommy and quickly finds him, standing away from the crowd.
“Here, thought you might want to have this back.” And he gives Tommy his letter of resignation back.
“I took it away before the police thought to check William’s office. Ojai Foods will need you and so will Sarah and Nora. With William gone, perhaps you and Sarah can finally implement the changes you wanted to make... I have faith in you, Tommy.”
And with those words Saul leaves Tommy to find Justin. Tommy sighs deeply and Julia joins him.
“Everything okay?” she asks.
“Yeah. Uncle Saul gave me back my letter… He thinks I should stay at Ojai Foods.”
“So do I.” Julia replies and Tommy looks at her with surprise on his face.
“Yes… the problem wasn’t Ojai, it was your dad. With him gone, perhaps you can finally be who you were supposed to be and … Ojai is in your blood, honey. You cannot be happy without it.”
“You’re an amazing wife.” Tommy replies with pride.
“I know.” Julia smiles with a wink. “Let’s find the others.”
“In a bit. I… I want to say goodbye to dad.” Tommy says and, now that most have paid their respects to William and it’s a bit quiet around the coffin, he approaches it.
Tommy looks at his father. William Walker’s face is so well-known to him. He has seen every wrinkle that got added over the years. He can remember William laughing whole-heartedly at a joke. Yes, he will miss his father’s laughter. He heard it so little these last few months.
He spoke to William’s doctor this morning.
“I keep thinking, if I only had gone in to talk to him, if only I would have found him and called 911 straight away…?”
“It wouldn’t have made a difference, Tommy. Your father hadn’t been feeling well for a while.
We had an appointment scheduled for this week and if I would have talked to him I would have realized that he was living on borrowed time. He had done too much damage to his body… I’m sorry, Tommy. Stop feeling guilty, that you didn’t go in that night….” And the doctor’s words gave him comfort.
“I’m sorry, dad. I’m sorry, you died alone. I should have been there for you. … I just want you to know that I’ve received your letter.. and that I love you… and I forgive you.” Tommy wipes away his tears and presses his lips to William’s temple. A final kiss is all he can give his father now.
Justin stands not far behind his brother. He couldn’t hear Tommy’s words, but he saw Tommy’s gesture and he feels touched that he witnessed it. He turns away from William and Tommy and is face to face with Jordan. He cannot hide that he’s pleased to see Jordan here.
“We’re here to show some support to you and Kevin and Nora…” Jordan says softly, giving Justin a hug. And Justin then greets Chad, Jason, Mario and Quinn.
“Kevin has decided not to come after all.” Justin says.
“Too bad. I hoped he would change his mind.” Chad sighs. “But it’s his choice and I’ll respect it.”
“Only thing we can do, I’m afraid.” Jason replies, though his attention is more on Tommy than on the others. Tommy joins their little group, feeling a bit awkward about seeing Jason again, but Jason react professionally, as if he doesn’t know what Tommy had done and eventually also Tommy relaxes.
Sarah however is less relaxed. She tries to keep track of her children, who, by the way, look adorable in black… and she feels so incredibly tired and she wishes, that Cooper would stay in the same place for just two minutes, so she can take an aspirin for her headache. Suddenly she sees Cooper jump up and run off. Now what?! She rolls her eyes, but decides to follow Coop.
Then she sees him jumping in the arms of man… Joe! Joe is here! Sarah feels completely overwhelmed. For one moment she dares to think he’s here for her, but she immediately put her own joy on hold. Of course, Joe is here for the kids. Maybe even Nora. Sarah knows how much Joe loves her.
“Hi.” She says carefully, not knowing how Joe will react to seeing her again. God, he looks good. Shaven, hair cut, sun-tanned, he’s lost some weight, but gained some muscles and in all he looks terrific and 10 years younger.
“I got your message.” Joe says. “I’m sorry about your dad.”
“Yeah, me too.” Sarah replies, no knowing what else to say. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“Me too.” Joe nods with a smile, but then the smile fades. “Is Noah here as well? I don’t want to cause a scene.” Somehow, with everything that has happened these last few days, that sounds incredibly funny to Sarah and she starts to laugh nervously.
It’s only when she sees Joe’s serious face that she realizes how inappropriate it is right now.
“No. Noah is with his wife and kids.” Her voice is more bitter than she wishes it to be. Joe nods.
“Let’s calm the children a bit and find a place to sit then.” He suggests as the ceremony is about to begin.
Kitty feels a bit lost. No one really talks to her. Some don’t even know she’s William’s daughter. She watches Tommy and Julia mingle with her father’s business-partners, Justin and Scotty are with their own little group, although now she sees a young woman added to the group as well. Tyler. Kitty is glad she remembers her name.
Nora gets full support from Emily and then she sees that even Joe showed up. Sarah seems happy with that. Kitty sighs, feeling excluded again. She walks alone to the chairs in the front-row, where Nora appoints everyone their seats, summoning Scotty to the front-row as well, reminding him he’s family!
Kitty smiles as Scotty sits down next to her. He has a delicious look of mixed feelings on his face, he seems surprised to be called ‘family’ in front of everyone.
“I just wished Kevin was here too.” Scotty sighs out loud to no one in particular. Justin, still standing, sees over Scotty’s head, that the door opens once again.
There, dressed in black, looking uncomfortable, but definitely in control, is Kevin. At Nora’s sigh and Julia’s ‘oh my God’, Scotty turns around too. Just in time to see his husband shyly walk up to the front. He shakes a few hands here and there and once he’s united with his family, he gets hugged by everyone.
Kevin sits down next to Scotty and Scotty offers him a relieved smile. Kevin moves closer to him and whispers:
“Scotts? Will you do me a favor?”
“What?” Scotty whispers back.
“Don’t become a lawyer,... you’ll put me out of business…”
Scotty swallows his laugher away, but can’t keep a straight, sad face. His smile cannot help but show itself. He covers his mouth with his hand and he hears Kevin continue.
“I thought it over and you’re right... I want a carefree future with you,… I love you.”
“I love you too, Kevin.” And their fingers entwine.
END OF PART 69