Disclaimer: I do not own Atticus, Jem, Scout, Dill, or Aunt Alexandra they are all property of Ms. Harper Lee. However I do own Diana, William, Robyn, Jonathan, Rosa, and Gracie. Thank you
A/N: No flames please. I know I'm bad at certain aspects of writing, but so is everyone when you think about it.
November 18th, 1954
They say that if someone was to do something in a small town it will always be remembered and seldom, if anytime, it's forgotten. Now, I've lived in Maycomb, Alabama all my life, all 28 years of it, and not once have I have to face anyone to defend my father, mother, or brother's name...ok...that's a small fib. I was quite a wild one when I was a girl. Something happened in this town the year I turned 9 that I'm sure no one, who lived around here then, has forgotten, but, dare not speak of.
Maycomb is filled with a certain kind of folk, the type of folk that fills every small town, the type that mind their own business, until it comes to things they feel is their god given duty to gossip about. Unfortunately, most of gossip that circulated Maycomb in the late 30's and early 40's revolved around my family, the Finch's. You see, my father, Atticus Finch, was the best lawyer in the state, a rather bias opinion, but rather accurate as well, and being a lawyer of his caliber meant he was awarded those high cases you only hear about on radio now a days.
He was chosen to defend Mr. Tom Robinson, a Negro, who was being convicted of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, who prior to the court date was almost unheard of and unseen by most of the townspeople. Atticus lost the case, but in more ways than one gained a lot of people's respect, be he black or white. Because of that I'm mighty proud of Atticus, he still maintains to this day that he was just standing up for what he believed in. That may be true, but in my eyes he was also one of the main catalysts when it came to introducing change to a stuffy society, which had followed the same rules for 100 years.
Like I said earlier, I have lived here in Maycomb all my life, so has my 30 year old brother, Jeremy Finch, who is now a lawyer just like Atticus, and doing quite well at it too. Along with Jem, that's what he goes by, and my self staying in Maycomb my husband, Dill has stayed. He was originally from Meridian, but moved here after his aunt, Miss Rachel, died of pneumonia back when I was 21 and he was 22, almost 23.
Dill had promised to marry me the first summer we met, and I had no doubt he would. I just never thought it would be when it was. Within a year of Dill settling into life in Maycomb he and I were husband and wife and were expecting our first child.
I thought Atticus would be cross with me rushing into things so fast when he met my mother when he was well into his 30s and had Jem and my in his 40s, but he wasn't. When we told him we were expecting he grinned...he grinned, I had never seen him grin before, oh, boy, what a time to see a "first".
"Congratulations, Scout..." his normally somber voice held more of a jump to it, like he was excited or something. If he was he hid it well, like he did with almost anything. He took off his glasses and rubbed them clean with the bottom of his overcoat. Then slid them back on his face and smirked at me, "Dill, if you don't mind I would like to have a word with you, Scout, wait here..."
I looked at Dill and nodded and he got off the couch where we sat and followed Atticus. I occupied myself by counting the number of dots in the couch's fabric. Just as I got to 245 Dill came back in and held his hand out to me. That was my queue to get up and go. Before we got to the door he stole a kiss,
"Charles Harris, what was that for?" I asked, surprised at the sudden show of affection,
"Not a thing, Mrs. Harris..." he smiled, and squeezed my hand.
On the walk home I asked him what the conversation he and Atticus shared contained. He just smiled and told me Atticus was proud of me. I, in some way, had always known it, but it was nice to have that reassurance.
As the due date drew closer and closer I would find Atticus on my front porch inquiring as to how I felt almost every day. There was a certain gleam in his eyes I seldom ever saw as a child, plain old excitement shone in his eyes more than the moon shone in the sky. I always told him no as nice as I could then I would invite him. Never once admitting that I was just lonely, with Dill away at work, and no one else to talk to, I was lonely more often than not. Our conversation were usually drawn and somewhat boring, but were extremely more interesting than talking to the wall for 8 hours a day till Dill came home.
I remember one conversation in particular, we were exchanging our normal pleasantries when suddenly I hissed and told Atticus to fetch Dr. Reynolds. I must say, I have never seen a man of 68 literally jump off his seat and head for the door as quick as Atticus did that day. It only confirmed my suspicion, he really was excited.
Several of hours later Diana Graham Harris entered into the world, and after a couple minutes she was set into her grandfathers arms. I watched Atticus hold Diana from the bed and smiled when I noticed that the excited gleam that I had seen in his eyes for the prior couple of months had disappeared. Only to be replaced with a face that just screamed, "Pride". It was written clear across his face. I had never seen Atticus so at peace, even back when we were little I could tell there was more behind those chocolate brown eyes than what he let on. I saw no worry in his eyes whatsoever, he was happier than I had ever seen him.
As soon as Atticus became a grandfather he changed, not in a bad way. Oh lord no, if anything my father became a happier man. When Dill and I would come over with baby Diana, well, we wouldn't be in the house a full 30 seconds and Diana would be in Atticus' arms. His face an enormous grin. I'll never forget one time Dill and I were over. I was in the kitchen, helping Calpurnia who was our nurse/cook...and whatever else we need her for when we were small; with dinner when I heard something I had never heard in my life time. I heard, with my own two ears, Atticus right out laugh. By god- I thought – the world had come to an end- but no it, hadn't, it had just changed, without any sound warning it was going to do so.
I had heard it with my own ears, but that still didn't mean I could check. So, dropping the rag from my hand, I wiped my hands on my skirt and quickly found my way to the living room, where Dill and Atticus sat, and I'll be damned if I didn't hear it again, his laughter filled that old house like a warm hug. Something it had been missing for a long time. I couldn't hide my smile as I ducked back into the kitchen to finish my chores.
"Ya know, Mrs. Scout Harris, he's mighty proud to be a grand daddy..."
I smiled at Calpurnia's comment because inside I knew it was true, no comment had ever been truer.
The best times I would find would be when we would have family dinners when Diana was just a baby. Jem, Dill, Aunt Alexandra – she didn't live with Atticus anymore but she made the trek from Finch's Landing when we would have these get-togethers- , and my self. Atticus would voluntarily take up the duty of feeding Diana, it wouldn't even faze him one bit of his dinner got cold in the process. When Diana would start fussing I would calmly reach across to her highchair and tap her hand to make her stop. Atticus would just laugh and tell me that "She's acting just like you did when you were her age, Scout." When that happened I knew I had lost and gave up. I looked up at Jem, who was not use to seeing such inhibition to hide such a feeling of happiness and I would smile.
Like all children do, Diana grew, and as she grew so did her relationship with Atticus. Until she would fuss and fuss until she was back at Atticus' house. Atticus never mined one bit, as people may have thought. In fact, he loved the company. Diana was just as wild as me at six at the age of 2, which was the only thing that worried me. Atticus quickly dismissed it, saying it kept him young. Why sometimes he would play harder than Diana would and end up throwing out his back or do himself in by injuring himself in some other sort of ghastly way. Now, I don't care what Atticus says, a grown man in his early 70's should not try to be a child's horse, no matter how old or how much the child begs.
When Diana was 3 I had my second child, her brother, William Charles Harris, which not only gave Diana another playmate, but Atticus as well. William was a good, quiet baby, nothing like his wild child sister. His favourite activity, even as a tiny thing would be listening to someone reading to him. Can you guess who he enjoyed being read to by the most? Atticus of course! Atticus never ever denied his grandchildren of anything, even if it meant wearing himself down to the bone, by god, he did it!
When William was 6 months old a tragedy struck the family, Jem and his wife, Rosa's 2 month old daughter, Kate, caught pneumonia and died within the week. That was one of the darkest times I ever remember our family going through. Every person in Maycomb sent food to Jem and Rosa, and even Dill, I, and Atticus, because they knew how close a family we were.
During that period in our lives everybody had a black feeling hanging over them like the lord. Atticus, during this time, would not even smile or acknowledge Diana's requests to play, Instead he would ask her to come to him, and when she had toddled her way over to him, he would open his arms and hug her as tightly as he could without hurting her. Being only 3, Diana couldn't comprehend why her "da'" didn't want to play and would immediately start fussing. At this time I would step in and take her back, but to make sure he had some company I would ask Cal, Calpurnia, to watch over William while I took Diana back home to Dill. She would nod, and I would leave, hoping William wouldn't wake up and start fussing because I knew Atticus wasn't in the right state of mind to deal with a whining child, no matter the relation.
That period of time didn't leave without leaving its indelible mark, but when it did leave it was surely not missed. About 7 months later Jem and Rosa told the family at one of our dinners that they were expecting again. 9 months after that Gracie Mariana Finch was born. It wasn't until after Gracie was born did Atticus start smiling again.
And smile he did, especially when Dill and I told him about 2 weeks after Gracie's 2nd birthday that I was pregnant again. What he said after we told him kind of surprised me, he said, "Good news, Scout, I knew I'd be hearin' good news from you this week." – I knew he loved children, especially his grandchildren, but was that a little much?
The next couple months went on as normal, well, as normal as life can be in Maycomb County, until I started showing, about 3 months into the 9 month gestation period. One day when I was over at the house with 6 year old Diana and 3 year old William, like I usually am on a weekday because I, like Atticus, got tired and lonely and longed for intellectual conversations. Going to the house didn't help much though, because as soon as Atticus saw us he would go to his bookshelf and get out a book for him and William to read. By the end of that summer, I tell you, I knew every line in that damn book, Moby Dick, William's favourite.
Anyway, that day, just as Cal got lunch on the table and took a look at me she grinned and announced, "...Mrs. Scout, you're having twins..." My eyes grew to the size of the moon in a midsummer night's sky as I shot my attention to Atticus, who already sat at the table, with Diana and William seated quietly on either side of him. He had a small smile on his face, but you could see in his eyes he was much more than just a little pleased. The only thing that struck me as odd would have to be, how? How could call predict such a thing? I had been feeling sicker than I had with Diana and William, and I had noticed that I had been eating a lot more than I had with the other two, but that still didn't mean I'd be having twins, did it?
Well, it turns out that Cal was right. 5 months later, August 14th, 1953, I did have twins, Robyn Virginia and Jonathan Atticus Harris. What a family affair that was. It turns out I'm the first Finch in the history of all Finch's' to have twins. Unfortunately Dill doesn't know enough about his family to know if twins run in his family or not. Being the mother of infant twins is not an easy job, let me tell you. Sometimes I would ask Dill if he wanted to switch jobs for a day. He'd be the stay-at-home parent and I work at the post office, but, alas, it didn't work out that way. He would just pat me on the head, a gesture he knew I hated, and be on his way, leaving me with weeks old twins, a wild 6 year old and a fussy 3 year old.
I hadn't been as happy to see September come as I was last year. For that meant I'd be rid of one child for the day, one down three to go. I rid myself of the wildest one of the bunch, but, it still meant I had 3 more personalities to tend to. I opened the door to see Diana off to school about 3 weeks into September, with William at my feet and Robyn in my arms, Jonathan was inside sleeping, and saw Atticus and Calpurnia standing on the corner of the porch watching the scene in front of them with a smile on their face,
"We jist came over ta see if ya needed help, Mrs. Scout." Cal's voice held a smile as did her face.
I really wanted their help, but I got a deep feeling that I was making them go out of their way and that didn't sit right with me, so I denied their help and just stood there. I glanced down at Robyn and couldn't repress the sigh that escaped my lips when I saw her eyes were closed. Atticus caught my sigh and laughed as he side stepped me and grasped William's hand, as he walked into the house. "You tend to Robyn and Jack and I'll read to William here, hear?" I nodded, cause even at the age of 27 I knew that when Atticus spoke you better listen.
I stood at the door till Cal came in then quickly shut it and briskly walked to Robyns cot to put her down. As soon as she was down I sighed loudly and collapsed into the first chair I saw. I then through my head back and mocked a snore-filled sleep, ah...sleep, something I had greatly missed since the age of 22. I just opened my eyes just in time to catch Atticus look up from his book, Moby Dick again, no doubt, and smile at me. Then look back down at the book and continue reading to William, who sat quietly on his lap completely engrossed in the pages of the book.
One thing I've always admired about my father is he always helped and will probably always helps where he can. Without his help over the past 7 or 8 years I'm sure I would be in the insane asylum. I just hope Diana, William, Robyn, and Jack grow up to admire Atticus as I do. Which, judging by the way they look up to him already, it's a safe bet they will.
Atticus is a and was a great father, but he's an even better grandfather.