Still looking for someone to guess what's gonna happen at the end! It happens in the middle of this final chapter, so guess quickly! LOL. Enjoy this FINAL CHAPTER!
To Rosablasifann08, I promised you I would bring back the family song by the end of the story, so here it is! Read on to find out! Love ya lots!
A few hours later, Glory and baby Cole were resting comfortably. Maureen and Joanne knocked on the door and poked their heads in. "Can we come in?" they asked.
"Sure," Glory said, smiling at them.
"Can we hold him?" Maureen begged.
"Yeah, of course," Glory said, and she handed Joanne the newborn. Maureen leaned over Joanne's shoulder to look at Cole.
"He is darling, Glory," Joanne said, smiling at her. "You are so lucky. OK, Honey Bear, you can hold him," she added, grinning, because Maureen was practically on top of her, waiting impatiently.
Glory was silent for several moments, as she thought about what she was going to tell the two women, since she finally had them alone under good circumstances. Joanne noticed the look on her face and looked down at her. "Are you OK?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'm all right," Glory said. She knew there was only one way to tell them. "Aunt Joanne, I have something I need to tell you and Aunt Maureen."
"What?" Joanne asked curiously. "Should we get the others first?"
"No, that's OK," Glory said, shaking her head, as Maureen walked around, rocking the newborn gently. "I can tell them in a little bit. Aunt Joanne, I'm giving Cole up for adoption."
Maureen stopped walking and Joanne's head whipped around, she appeared to crick her neck; rubbing it, she asked incredulously, "What? You are?"
"Yeah, I am," Glory said, and she started to cry again. "I mean, I know I could support Cole, money-wise, and everything, but I couldn't give him the true love and life he deserves, that two of my favorite aunts in my life could."
Maureen came over to Glory and handed Cole to her, since he was hungry and starting to fuss. Glory had received lessons on how to feed Cole properly a few hours ago, so she started to feed him as she spoke to them. "So I'm giving him up for adoption, but not just to anyone," Glory said, looking up at them. "I want to give Cole to you two."
Maureen and Joanne's hands flew to their mouths, and they both started to cry into each other's arms. "Glory, are you really?" Maureen asked, hardly daring to believe it.
"Yes, Aunt Maureen," Glory said. "I really am. This is— the hardest thing— I will ever do— but I know it's— the best thing— I'll ever do for him."
As tears flowed down the three women's cheeks, Stephanie, Roger, Aida, Jennifer, and Mark came back into the room. Stephanie was the first to notice the tears. "Is something wrong?" she asked. "Are you two drama queens crying while fawning over my grandson?" She put her hands on her hips playfully.
"Steph, Glory wants— to give— Cole up— to us— to adopt," Maureen burst out through her tears.
Stephanie's eyes went huge. "What?" she asked, stunned. She looked at Glory. "Glory, you really do?"
"Yeah, Mom, I do," Glory said through her sobs. "It makes perfect sense. I don't know how to take care of a child at this age, and that's all these two have wanted ever since they first laid eyes on each other. Don't you see?" Glory asked, looking up at her parents. "It makes perfect sense. They can give Cole everything I couldn't."
Stephanie nodded, tears running down her cheeks. Roger pulled her close to him, wrapping his arms around her waist, as he kissed her hair.
"You're right," Stephanie said, wiping her eyes. "You're absolutely right, Glory."
"This is a really big decision, princess," Roger said, looking down at her. "Are you absolutely sure?"
"I'm positive, Dad," Glory said, nodding, "absolutely positive. Aunt Maureen and Aunt Joanne deserve him. We'll still get to see him as much as we want, anyway. My decision is final."
Roger nodded and sighed, as he leaned into Stephanie. His princess had grown up on him, and he hadn't even known it.
"Hey," Maureen said, "we really should think up a nickname for little Cole here. I mean, he can't be 'little Cole' forever. And with his daddy being Cole, too, it might get confusing."
"What about CJ?" Joanne asked. "You know, Cole James, only CJ."
Glory smiled. "If you two are all right with that," she said, "I think it's perfect."
Maureen and Joanne looked at each other, and then looked at Glory. "We love it," they said together, hugging each other tightly.
"CJ Bennett, you are gonna be one spoiled little grandson," Glory said to her son, kissing his silky golden hair.
"Are you ready, sweetie?" Stephanie asked, knocking and coming into Glory's dressing room in the trailer. They were at Madison Square Garden, preparing to go onstage to perform Love Heals for the biggest crowd Stephanie had ever seen. Cole was a week old today.
"Yeah, I am, I think," Glory said, looking over at her mother.
"You look beautiful, sweetie," Stephanie said. "Cole would have been proud of you."
"I know," Glory said, smiling at her mother. "I miss him."
Stephanie nodded. "I miss him, too," she said. "He'll be watching you today, though."
Glory nodded. "OK," she said, "let's go. It's time."
Stephanie smiled and followed her daughter out of the room. They met Roger, Mark, Aida, Maureen, Joanne, Jennifer, and the twins backstage, and were announced. Stephanie walked onto the stage and waited for the music to start. When it did, she opened her mouth and started to sing.
"Like a breath of midnight air, like a lighthouse, like a prayer…"
"Like the flicker and the flare, the sky reveals," Roger sang, as he walked onto the stage and joined her, taking her hand.
"Like the walk along the shore that you've walked a thousand times before," they sang together. "Like the ocean's roar… Love heals."
Their friends, the company, came out onto the stage after Stephanie and Roger finished the first verse, and then Maureen took the second verse.
"There are those who freeze their hearts, those who quit before they start…"
"Who've frozen up the part of them that feels," Mark sang, and the company echoed.
"Don't freeze your heart…"
"In the dark, they've lost their sight, like a ship without a star in the night," Stephanie and Roger sang together, looking into each other's eyes, as Mark and Jennifer came together, as well as Maureen and Joanne and Caleb and Aida. "But hold on tight… love heals."
The song continued, and finally, Glory's solo was about to come up. She looked up above the crowd, imagining Cole watching her, and she sang. "If your face is salty wet and you're drowning in regret, just…"
"Don't forget…" the company sang quietly, starting to clap. "Don't forget… Don't forget…"
"Oh yeah," Maureen sang.
"Love will lead you home," the twins sang in perfect unison.
"Oh, keep you strong, keep it in your heart, Baby," Maureen sang.
"I say love…" Roger sang, and the entire company came together.
"Love heals, when you feel like you can't go on. Love, love's gonna carry you home. Love heals. When you feel like, when you feel like you can't go on. Hold onto love, and it will lead you home."
And Glory took the final solo line. "Love… heals! Yeah!" With the final note, as the band came to a crashing, glorious end, Glory punched the air with her fist, beaming.
The crowd exploded into applause, as Johnny brought CJ out onto the stage and handed him carefully to Glory. He didn't seem bothered by the noise, and especially since he was close to his mother, he was surprisingly quiet. Glory beamed and set her mike on the stand and took a bow with her family. They had done it at last.
"Aida," Glory said, coming over to Aida the next day, "can you come with me for a little while? There's something I want to do, and I want you to come with me."
"Sure," Aida said, "what is it?"
"I want to visit Cole's grave again," Glory said, "just one more time. I want to talk to him."
Aida nodded. "OK," she said, "I'll go with you. When do you want to go?"
"Tonight," Glory said, "probably after supper, OK?"
"OK," Aida said, smiling at Glory.
After supper that night, Glory took CJ and went with Aida to Cole's grave. Sensing Glory wanted a few moments alone with Cole, Aida stepped aside, but Glory took CJ from her. She walked up to the grave and kneeled down next to it, with CJ in her arms, close to her body and wrapped warmly in his little coat and many blankets.
"Cole, it's Glory," she began. "I don't know if you can hear me, but I hope you're listening, because I have a lot to say. I'm with our son, nicknamed CJ. I named him Cole, after you, and James, because I like that name a lot and it fit. It means something along the lines of believing, and that's what you taught me to do. That's all that has gotten me through these past several months, you know? CJ was born on Christmas Day of this year. He's so beautiful, Cole, I wish you could see him. But you can see him, right? And I know you love him, just as much as I do.
"I don't know if I ever told you this, but right after I met you, my mom and my dad and our Bohemian family were supposed to record and perform a new song for my dad's tour. I didn't want to do it, because I wanted to be with you, so we postponed it and didn't do a tour after all, because then I lost you and got all messed up, and then I had CJ and everything changed. But we did get a chance to perform a special concert at Madison Square Garden. It was amazing, Cole. My solo was awesome. I wish you could have seen it. I mean, maybe you did. I don't know. Aida performed with us, too; she says to tell you hi and she misses you."
Glory looked down at his grave, as Aida came over to her. "I guess I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you so much," Glory concluded, as she started to cry. "I'll always tell CJ of you and will show him pictures and film of you, when you were alive, the wonderful man of mine he'll never get to meet. But he's just like you, Cole, in looks and personality. I love him so much, as much as I loved you.
"The night you died, you asked me an important question, and I never answered you." She choked up and covered her mouth for a moment to regain her composure. "You asked me what I saw in my future… our future." Tears spilled over as she gave Cole her answer. "And I answer you now. I saw you, Cole. I saw you. But we can't control our futures and our destinies, can we? That's what my family believes in, living each day as though it was your last, because you never know when that will suddenly come up on you and be gone forever."
Glory let the tears fall for a few moments, and then she got up with help from Aida. Aida put her arm around Glory comfortingly. "I have to go now," Glory said. "It's getting cold with autumn coming to an end, and I should get CJ home. I hope you aren't angry with me for giving him up to Joanne and Maureen to adopt. I feel like they can give him the best life possible, especially since they can never have a child of their own, and I don't know how to raise mine properly. I think it's the best decision I've ever made. I hope you agree."
The two best friends turned away and leaned their heads against each other for moral support, and Glory held CJ closer to her, as they walked away together.
5 years later…
"Say hi to the camera, CJ," Mark said, looking through his camera at the little boy sitting on Maureen's lap.
"Hi," he said, grinning. Five years old, CJ was a spitting image of his father. But he had his mother's beautiful, angelic smile.
"So tell Uncle Marky, CJ," Mark said, focusing the camera on CJ, Maureen, and Joanne, "who are Maureen and Joanne?"
"My bonus mommies who adopted me," CJ answered, looking up at the camera and giggling gleefully as Maureen tickled him.
"That's right, buddy. And who is Glory?" Mark asked, as he panned the camera away to include Glory in the shot.
"She's my birth mommy!" CJ squealed, and he ran over to Glory and hugged her tightly. Glory laughed and kissed her son's silky golden hair.
OK, so who gets the story dedicated to them? Since I haven't seen any new reviews yet, I can't know until I check my Email. It will be put in the summary once I see it! First review alert Email that is correct goes! Thank you to all who have reviewed faithfully for me throughout this story. I appreciate it more than you know. Thank you so much. Love you guys lots from Virginia! See you when I get home, a week from tomorrow!
Until next time, lots of love,