Dinner and Some News
"It was funny; he fell in front of the girl he was trying to impress by doing a trick on his board," Reggie said, laughing. "I don't think she'll be calling him anytime soon."
Lily watched as her family laughed with her brother. "That's not funny, especially if he got hurt."
Everyone stopped their laughter and smiled knowingly. "You're right honey," Jackson commented.
Kendall sat back in her chair and observed her make-shift family; Reggie was explaining what was funny to Lily, Jackson was pretending to be annoyed at Erica fixing his tie, Aiden and Greenlee couldn't stop smiling if they tried, her boys were playing with their food and enjoying it, and she could feel her husband, and then her mother staring at her.
"Kendall honey, you've been quiet all evening," Erica started. "Is everything all right?" she continued, gaining the attention of everyone else.
A little nervous about what she had to tell her family and how she would go about doing it, Kendall slowly nodded. "Yes mother; I'm fine. I did have to tell you all something though."
No less than the words were out of her mouth did her family begin postulating.
"What honey is it honey? Are you pregnant again?" Erica asked.
Greenlee didn't hesitate. "So that's why you've been acting funny?!"
"Is the baby all right?" Lily asked. "Didn't you get electrocuted?"
Zach felt Kendall tense briefly and then relax. She shook her head.
"No guys; I'm not pregnant. What I was trying to say is-"
"Mother why are you interrogating her in her condition?!"
Every single head turned to see Bianca with Miranda in tow. Met with silence, Bianca walked over to Kendall and put a protective hand on her shoulder.
"Bianca!" Erica yelled, elated. "What are you doing here?!" Erica quickly got up and gave Bianca a hug she wasn't quite returning.
Jackson met her as well. "Not that we're not thrilled that you're here honey," he said, placing a kiss on her forehead, "but what do you mean in her condition? She's not pregnant."
Bianca, surprised, nervously chuckled. "I meant…" she looked at Kendall and Zach for direction. "You haven't told them?"
Kendall gave a weak smile and shrugged her shoulders. "I was trying to."
"Okay," Reggie said. "What the heck is going on?"
Kendall motioned for Bianca to get a chair. "Mom, Jackson; you guys should sit down for this one."
Erica took a step back, only to resume her position in defiance. "What do you mean we should sit down? You tell-"
"Erica," Zach cut her off, "please, sit and listen to your daughter."
Jackson led a worried Erica to her seat and sat down himself.
"Kendall?" Greenlee probed, needing to know what was going on. She felt Aiden give her thigh a gentle squeeze.
"Well, I've had a bit of practice at delivering this news, so forgive the bluntness," Kendal began. She just needed to get through this, and then everything would be alright. She stole a quick glance at Zach and Bianca.
"So, I'm not pregnant."
"That's good," Lily stated.
Kendall chuckled lightly. "Yes," she said, looking pensive. "It is." She chose her next words carefully. "Weeks ago I wasn't feeling very well; I was fighting some pretty bad headaches and was tired all the time. Long story short, I got checked out and they ran some tests."
She stopped and looked at her family; it was a little harder than she thought it was going to be, if possible.
Her voice grew softer. "I, um…well, it turns out I have cancer. They want to start chemo soon. I have about six months left."
"Six months until you start chemo?" Erica asked. "Isn't that a little long to wait?"
Kendall swallowed hard. This was it. She forced the growing lump in her throat down and corrected her mother.
"No. Six months is how long they expect me to live."
The only sound heard after her statement was Greenlee's fork dropping. Still not ready to look up and see everybody's reactions, Kendall held her head down and played with her napkin. Bianca held and squeezed her hand; she didn't realize how much she needed her sister until that moment.
"No." Erica said softly. It sounded like a whisper.
"What honey?" Jackson asked.
"No," she said again, a little more forcefully. "There has to be something we can do."
Kendall met her mother's gaze and offered a smile. "There is. You guys can treat me like there is nothing wrong with me. Enough things are going to change and I would appreciate it if sometimes…you could just forget…or pretend to, for a just a little while."
"But there is something wrong with you. You are going to die," Lily said, her voice factual and tears streaming down her face. "I think I need to get more air outside."
Reggie got up and put his hand on Jackson to signal that he'd follow her. Before doing so, he walked over to Kendall, everyone else not daring to move just yet. He leaned over and hugged her, whispering in ear.
"You're going to be fine; you're Kendall."
Kendall looked up at her pseudo-brother's tear-filled eyes and nodded. She watched him go after Lily.
The room remained quiet and still. For once, not really enjoying the attention, Kendall got up and placed her napkin on the table, Zach standing to join her. "So, who wants dessert?"
Her joke didn't go over as planned.
"Kendall!" Erica yelled, getting up and throwing her chair back in the process. "How, how can you make light of something so, so-"
"Screwed up, unfair, painful, and all around unpleasant?" Kendall finished. "The alternative is too hard mother."
She didn't mean to sound so harsh; she simply couldn't stand the pity and silence. She knew they had every right to respond how they were; she even knew that the next person to hug her and tell her it was going to be alright would be the catalyst for the unleashing of the levees she was holding at bay, and the words that just left her mouth were an attempt to keep them back.
"I'm sorry," she muttered. "I'm going to go get the pie."
Aiden released his hand from Greenlee's as she got up slowly to follow Kendall. Miranda was looking around and trying to figure out what was going on as she played with her younger cousins. She knew something was making her mother sad.
Zach waited for Greenlee to enter the swinging door before addressing Erica, Jackson, Aiden, and Bianca.
"You have to understand how hard that was for her; how hard all of it's been," Zach explained. "I know you're angry and hurt and upset, but-"
"Upset?" Erica asked incredulously. "Upset is when someone breaks your favorite glass, or your team doesn't win. This," she said, motioning around her, "is something horrible, something final, something that affects all of us and she's acting like she has the flu instead of something ...and…."
Zach nodded in understanding and waited for Jackson to calm her down. He knew what she was feeling but needed to make things okay for his wife, first and foremost.
"This is a lot to take in," Bianca added, "but we have to be there for her, and right now she just needs everything to be normal for as long as it can. Think of what it's like for her."
Jackson nodded. "We can do that."
Everyone watched as Erica slowly nodded, looking quite troubled.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Greenlee asked, interrupting the silence her best friend was attempting to continue in.
Kendall put down the knife she was using to cut the pie and looked at Greenlee. "Truthfully?"
"I didn't know how. You're happy with Aiden, I needed to stop getting involved in other people's lives-" she stopped when Greenlee rolled her eyes and smiled. "Okay, so that's not really a valid point, but, you were happy. I also needed to tell Zach first, and look how long it took me to tell him. It was nothing personal Greens."
Greenlee sighed and leaned against the counter. "I know," she said quietly, holding back tears. "It's just…"
Kendall took a step forward and embraced Greenlee. "I know."
After a few seconds she stepped away and smoothed her hair. "What do you say we go out there and have some dessert?"
Greenlee smiled and took a few slices as if she were a waitress. "For now Slater; for now."
A/N: I know!!! It was short! But after all your constant wonderful reviews, I felt that I should send out what I had so far. So, here you go and have a great weekend. Bug me again and I will TRY and get you a longer next one, SOON! :D
ILoveMyAnimals: I'm humbled. Thanks for reviewing!
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Jilianna: Sorry it took be so long!
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