Chapter One: The Phone Call
"It sure is great to see you guys again," Laura Lee Winslow Urkel remarked, taking a spoonful of her chicken noodle soup. Looking around at her parents, she smiled as the peaceful quietness began to sink in and make her even more relaxed. Carl Winslow and Harriette Winslow, her parents, smiled and nodded in agreement. Both of them sat happily next to her at their dining room table, the same table they gathered at for years every evening to talk, exchange news among other things. A few months had passed since Laura's birthday that marked her 23rd and Thanksgiving was only a few days away. Ever since her birthday, she felt even more thankful for having the man that she has known for most of her life as her husband. The same man who in Kindergarten agreed to eat Play-Doh after she had told him to. The same man who offered the wedding ring to wear for their pretend marriage that they had to do for school. The same man who went through nine years of wanting to hear the three words "I Love You", with 'you' being Steve Urkel, and on their wedding day she meant each word. Remembering that she had an extra sick day and no class, she decided to spend it with her parents, especially with her mother. Not forgetting that during her birthday dinner, her father had told her that her mother was feeling a bit down about not seeing her children as often, she decided to keep to her word; that she would put aside time between work, school and other personal plans to chat and catch up on things with her mom and dad. She had asked Steve and Eddie to do the same, the both of them agreeing to do so.
"No problem, sweetheart," Carl chimed in, dressed in his white Captain uniform and reading the newspaper. Harriette flicked her wrist and looked at her watch, looking at the back door soon after.
"Laura, Eddie said he would be here right?"
"Of course, mom," Laura answered. "But you know how he is."
"Talking about he's known as the 'Prince of Love', right?" Harriette sarcastically questioned, receiving a nod from Laura.
"Mmm hmm. But known only to us and Greta, and nobody else," Laura answered as the both of them laughed.
"Hidey ho, Harriette! Big Guy! Laura Lee!" A familiar voice shouted as he strutted in backwards through the kitchen door, wearing his new chosen attire from his makeover of a nicely pressed tan button up shirt and dark brown slacks with brown casual shoes. Carrying a tray full of glasses filled with various kinds of sodas in his hands, Carl looked on with a concerned look on his face.
"Let me help you with that, Steve." He said, standing up and walking over to Steve, who almost dropped the tray.
"Don't worry Big Guy, I got it!"
"No, Steve, let me help," Carl pressed on, grabbing one edge of the tray.
"Carl, don't be so silly, it's only a few sody pops on here! I'll make it!" Steve managed to take the tray out of his hands, accidentally causing some of the liquid from one of the glasses to splash on Carl's face. "Sorry Carl…"
Controlling his anger and muttering a few words recommended by his doctor to say in case stress came over him, Carl walked away and over to where the paper towels were and wiped off his face. Steve continued to put the sodas on the table as he felt Laura's hand caressing his in an attempt to help him feel better.
"'Sup guys!" Eddie walked in through the back door, dressed in his blue police officer uniform and began to hug his sister and mother who were both still seated at the table.
"Hey Eddie," Harriette responded, Laura soon repeating after her mother.
"Where's the grub?" Eddie rubbed his stomach. "Arresting a few suspects and a few hours of patrol can make a brother hungry!"
"Over there is the chicken soup and there's some other food over there by the stove," Harriette answered her son, the latter making his way to the pot containing the sustenance his stomach was looking for.
"I'm real sorry Big Guy," Steve walked over to Carl, who had managed to take out the few spots on his uniform with the paper towel in his hand.
"It's okay Steve, no biggie," Carl patted Steve on the shoulder and walked over to the back door, grabbing his hat from off of the coat rack next to the door. Steve looked on surprise, expecting Carl to explode and yell at him but received nothing except a smile and a reassuring pat on the back. "See you guys later, I've gotta head back to work."
"See you tonight Carl." Harriette said, a smile on her face.
"See you, sweetheart." Carl said before leaving out the door.
"What in gadzooks is up with Big Guy?" Steve looked on in amazement, still in astonishment of Carl's behavior.
"What do you mean, Steve?" Harriette wondered, taking a sip of one of the sodas that were placed on the table.
"After I spilled a drink on him, I didn't hear one yell or feel one grab or anything!"
"Well…" Harriette began to explain as she got up and walked over to Steve. "Ever since you and Laura got married, he felt that after all the good things that you did do for us, and especially for Laura…that he would turn over a new leaf."
"We're talking about the same Carl, right Harriette?" Steve asked with a look of suspicion on his face, receiving a nod from his mother-in-law. "Big Guy? Carl Winslow? The Carl Winslow that lives here in this house and is married to you?"
"The same one." Harriette answered with confidence. "And I'm glad the three of you could make it. I've missed you guys."
"Awww, mom," Laura said, feeling as if she were about to jump out of her seat to hug her mother.
"No prob, mom," Eddie said as he carried his bowl over to his seat at the table next to Laura and began to dig in to his food.
"You're welcome, Harriette!" Steve smiled, stretching his arms out for a hug. Walking over to him, she embraced her son-in-law. Steve looked down at Harriette, surprised that for the first time she accepted one of his hugs.
"Oh where did the time go?" Steve sighed and tightened his grip of his steering wheel of the trusty 1960 BMW Isetta. Driving down the dark street that led back to his home with Laura by his side, for a moment he looked at her sleeping visage lying on his shoulder and then quickly put his eyes back on the road. He wished that he could freeze that moment and look at her serene face resting in peace, but he knew that he had to keep his eyes on the road.
"…Steve?" Laura's eyes opened a little as she looked around to see where she was.
"We're almost home, Laura Lee," Steve put his arm around Laura's shoulder, snuggling her close to his side.
"I've been so tired from work and school, as soon as I sat in this seat, I fell asleep just like THAT," Laura snapped her fingers.
"Well, tomorrow is the weekend, so you can get all the sleep you want."
"For what, my sweet?"
"For everything…and for you being here."
"Anytime, Laura Lee. Anytime."
"Hello?" Steve picked up the phone on the table next to the sofa, happening to hear it ring as he left the kitchen. It had been a day since Steve and Laura had visited their parents' home and things were going well with Steve and Laura as well as the rest of the Winslows. "Oh hey Rachel!"
"Is everything all right?"
"Not really…you see…the airport's been snowed in and I won't be able to make it to see you guys until the day after Thanksgiving unless someone picks me up."
During this conversation, Laura began to walk down the staircase that was almost a complete replica of the one at her parents' home, suddenly hearing Steve's voice from her bedroom that cut through the silence that had previously filled the entire house. As she reached the final step, Laura's ears perked at the words "snowed in". Walking next to Steve, she had one hand on her hip as Steve covered the phone with one hand and whispered that it was her Aunt Rachel, to which Laura nodded.
"Well, if we leave right now to get you we'll be able to arrive tonight and bring you by the Winslows' house in the morning."
"Thanks a lot Steve. I'm sorry Harriette and Carl couldn't make it, but they told me they were tied up with things going on at the house."
"No problem Rachel, we'll be there in a jiff!"
Hanging up the phone, Laura clasped her hands and walked over to Steve who had gone over to the coat rack to put on his thick gray coat.
"Steve? What's going on?" Laura asked as she suddenly felt her own coat suddenly placed in her hands by the fast moving Steve.
"Get your scarf and boots, Laura Lee! Rachel's snowed in at the airport in Detroit and we're gonna pick her up!"
To Be Continued...