Chapter 37 – Some Day
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Red Forman felt fat and happy as he kicked his feet up on the footstool. The volume had been turned down but a football game was playing on the new television and Kitty was snuggled on the edge of the sofa talking softly with a very pregnant Lydia. Taylor and Eric were standing by the piano gesturing animatedly and their mouths were possibly issuing sound, but Red didn't care.
This was his Norman Rockwell Christmas.
Jackie and Lydia were washing dinner dishes in the kitchen discussing babies and men when the patio door slid open. A shorter curly-headed Steven Hyde poked his face through the door, "Hey, did I miss lunch?"
Jackie smiled wryly, "Why yes you did and it was fan-TAS-tic." She wiped her soap damp hands on a dish cloth. "Come in out of the cold and we can feed you warm leftovers."
Lydia leaned a heavy hip against sink. This was the Steven that Jackie had pined for last year? Sure he looked corporate smooth but was certainly no heart-breaker, at least in her opinion….Now Eric Forman…..Lydia smiled at the cute picture that Jackie and Eric made as a couple. She sighed as the baby twisted around low in her belly. To be as crazy about someone as Jackie was about Eric made Lydia just a bit wistful. Not that Taylor was lacking…he was just freaked out about being a father!
Hyde sat at the familiar kitchen table savoring the long missed flavor of sweet potatoes with cinnamon and marshmallows. The homemade cranberry sauce was just as he remembered. The melt-in-his-mouth turkey breast was the best he had ever tasted. This was coming home.
Steven Hyde was home. It felt good and liberating to say that. Having Kitty back in the Forman house and making her tasty meals was one of the good things he would always remember about his teen years – the nurturers who replaced Bud and Edna – he grew up in a good environment and could never thank the Forman's enough for what they did.
Jackie stopped by the kitchen table and dropped a kiss on the top of Steven's head. Startled, he looked up, "What was that for?"
She smiled, "Because of what you and I had and didn't have….I now have something great and can appreciate it so….thank you."
Hyde wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that information so he replied, "You're welcome?"
She smiled, "C'mon, we're unwrapping presents in the living room."
Kitty was almost overwhelmed to see her Steven in her house on Christmas day. She had her son, Skipper, the canine gift from her daughter, Jackie and Lydia were taking care of the dinner dishes and Midge was poking Bob awake. This was heaven and she smiled wide as Red winked at her. "So….look what the storm blew in."
Hyde squeezed Red's shoulder as he walked around the green chair to sit next to Kitty on the sofa. "Hi mom," he said in a soft voice.
Kitty turned her cheek for a kiss and patted his hand as her second son sat next to her. "How ya doing Red?"
Jackie was practically dancing in her chair, "Okay already, everybody's here…let's do presents!"
Eric had been standing by the Christmas tree and reached down finding a box for his dad. He tossed the wrapped box over the sofa and Red caught it easily. He looked at the gift tag and smiled, "Honey, when did you have time to go shopping for me?"
Kitty beamed, "I have a lot of little helpers."
Eric continued dispensing gifts until the bottom of the tree was bare. Jackie could feel her heart dropping. Sure, she got some nice gifts from Eric and his family, but she didn't get THE GIFT. Even after the mistletoe story and everything, she got a pair of leather gloves, albeit nice expensive leather gloves. Perfectly fitting and gorgeously soft gloves….they weren't what she was hoping for.
Eric leaned over the sofa, "Hey Jackie."
Trying to keep the look of disappointment off her face, she smiled and answered, "Did you forget something?"
Eric looked his dad and winked without Jackie catching the exchange, "Yeah, I sort of did. I have one last present in the trunk, I was wondering if you would come help me finish wrapping it….you know, for my mom."
Her heart fell again. "Sure." She would do most anything for Kitty Forman, even if that meant suffering through a holiday so Eric's mom would have a blessed day. Jackie pushed off the couch and walked to the staircase where she grabbed her coat. She didn't see Kitty and Red exchange knowing glances as Kitty said, "Honey, when you come back can you make a new pot of coffee?"
Eric snagged her hand as she wistfully replied, "Sure. Coffee. Will do."
The snow was softly falling. Fat flakes landing in her curly brunette hair and on her shoulders. Jackie stood by the trunk of Eric's car and waited patiently while he rooted around in the back. "Can't you find it yet? I mean we emptied it and it's freezing out here and I don't want to be a Jackie Popsicle….and…."
Eric stood up with an already wrapped present. "Found it."
Jackie sagged against the Mazda and echoed the sentiment, "Finally!"
He reached for her hand, "Only it's not for my mom….it's for you."
Jackie gulped as the small gift was pressed into her hand. "I'm not an expert at presents but I think you'll like this and I know you don't already have one like it."
Now she was curious. Jackie looked at Eric's face as he was biting back a smiled. The box looked so big sitting on the palm of her little hand. She easily lifted the lid to find another box. It was a jeweler's box in purple velvet. Eric easily reached in and pulled the box out as he lowered himself to one knee in the soft fallen snow.
Jackie gasped and dropped the faux wrapped box as she pressed her hands to her cheek. IT WAS HAPPENING! She could see his lips moving but the orchestra swell of music in her head dimmed her hearing. The hills are alive…with the sound of music…. Eric opened the lid to display a bright brilliant diamond ring which was threaded over a small piece of faded mistletoe. Her heart just came undone at that small gesture.
Jackie saw the words from his lips, "Will you marry me?"
Nodding her head YES! YES! YES! She fell to her knees and kissed him. Eric's smile never dimmed as she grabbed him into a huge hug. She wrapped her arms around his waist and he could feel her smiling against his chest. He murmured against her hair, "I'll take that as a yes?"
There was the sound of muffled cheering coming from the kitchen slider as Kitty was holding her camera and Red was smiling. Hyde was giving Eric two thumbs up and Lydia was holding her belly as she bounced with glee. What a motley crew they were. Eric waved and went back to the important business of kissing his fiancee.
Some Day became a day when Jackie surprised her fiance at work with a small jeweler's box. Principal Forman had his receptionist hold all calls while he "took a meeting" with the school's print vendor. Jackie smiled at the flummoxed teen's expression and promptly sat down in the chair across from Eric's desk. She sat there waiting while he looked at the box. "What is it?"
She smirked, "Won't know until you open it Eric."
He regarded this out of season gift with caution, "Is it going to bite?"
Jackie laughed, "No you goof. Just open it."
Eric did and found the box held a house key. With furrowed brow, he asked, "And?"
Jackie nearly bounced in her seat before she got serious. "That key is for the front door of the condo I hope you will buy with me."
Eric blinked. Was she serious? He held the key in his hand, "What are you saying?"
Jackie's engagement ring glinted prisms of color as she coolly tucked her hair behind her ears. She replied, "It means what you think it means."
He grinned, "We're moving in together?"
She nodded. "Someday we are going to get married and give your mom those grand-kids you talked about. Not today…but some day."
He nearly flew around the desk to envelop the girl he loved the most into the best kiss she would ever remember.
Some Day became a day when Jack Burkhart gave away his daughter to her future husband. He wept but it was with joy.
Some Day became a day when Eric and Jackie handed Kitty Forman an ultrasound picture of her first grandchild to be. She cried tears of happiness.
Some Day became a day when Grandma Forman held baby Gina in her arms and shared with her the pictures from the memory book - the book that Jackie created so Kitty would never forget those who loved her.
Some Day became a day when John Kelso, Jack Burkhart and Red Forman sat around a barbecue drinking beers and bragging about being grandfathers. Betsy Kelso was already practicing her babysitting skills with little Gina Forman. The smiles couldn't get bigger.
He was a high school guidance counselor. She was a vague figure from his memories. He was an adversary from the life she left behind. By some Random Acts, they came together and brought Kitty Forman back to the family she almost forgot. Somehow…somewhere along the way…they fell in love.
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