"Your Ghost"- Greg Laswell
It had been five years since he passed away. I still kept his clothes on his side of the closet. His toothbrush still sat next to mine by the bathroom sink. His silver watch I had given him for Christmas still sat on the nightstand next to a picture of us that had been taken when we were on vacation in Alaska one summer. There were reminders of him all over the house, yet I couldn't bring myself to box them up. It was what our kids were used to. His things were a part of what made our house our home.
I flung a stick down the beach and watched as Hank sprinted down the shore. He was a four-year-old German Shepard that I had bought just a year after he had passed away. Hank had been good for the twins and Sophia as well. He had been good for me too; having Hank around gave me something to keep busy with.
"That's a good boy," I cooed as I rubbed his ears and took the stick from him. "I think it's time we head home, Hank,"
When he was a puppy we had trained him to not need a leash. He would just trot at my side, unless of course he was chasing a stick or a ball. Once we made it back to the house and inside I got him a fresh bowl of cold water and set it on his rug for him. He gulped it down instantly without hesitation.
I sat down at the counter and began to do some work on my laptop. It was just after four, which meant Mason, and Wyatt would be coming home from basketball practice soon. It was late in the fall, and Brice and Lyla would be coming home for a long weekend visit. Sophia was planning on coming home from UW as well.
"Mom!" It was Mason who bellowed first.
"Kitchen," I called back.
"When's Brice getting home?" Wyatt asked as they began raiding the fridge.
"He should be here in time for dinner," I informed, looking up from my work. "Which, if you eat those chips, you'll spoil your dinner."
Mason sighed and grabbed an apple from the bowl of fruit on the counter instead.
"That's better," I smiled. "How was practice?"
"Mason had to run suicides," Wyatt snickered.
"What did you do?" I asked. Mason was more of a troublemaker than Wyatt, however they both were notorious for their mischief.
"I was… talking to… someone," he mumbled, not meeting my eyes.
"Emma Riley," Wyatt teased and Mason flushed, glaring at his brother.
"Oh really," I smiled.
"I'm going to go start my home work," Mason stalked off to his room.
Shortly after Wyatt climbed the stairs to their room to get started on his homework as well. About an hour later I began preparing dinner, nothing too special, just pasta and a salad.
"Mom!" It was Sophia this time that called from the front door.
"Kitchen," I simply called back.
"Hey," she greeted as she came over to give me a hug.
"Hey," I greeted back. "How's school going?"
"Great," she replied as she helped me cut up the lettuce. She had decided to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor.
"And how are things with Ben?" I asked, nudging her playfully.
"He's wonderful," I could see her smile beaming.
"Yeah?" I said, "Do you think we'll be meeting him soon?"
"You never know," she winked.
"Mom!" This time it was Brice.
I rolled my eyes at how routine my children had become.
"Kitchen," I called back for the third time.
He came into the kitchen with little Owen Kyle Trager in his arms and Lyla following closely in toe.
"There's my favorite grandson," I cooed, stepping around the counter to take him from Brice.
"He's your only grandson, Mom," Sophia pointed out.
"And that's why he's my favorite," I smiled.
Brice and Lyla and gotten married two summer ago and Owen was born sixteen months later. I greeted Lyla with a hug and watched as Brice went to test the pasta sauce that was simmering in a pot on the stove.
Brice had gone down his own career path and become a writer. He played hockey through college and played professionally until he tore his ACL a year ago. Now he was teaching high school English and working on a book. Lyla had become a nurse and worked in pediatrics. They both were very happy with one another and their lives together.
"It looks like this is done," I noted. "Sophia, will you go get your brothers for dinner?"
She darted to the bottom of the stairs and bellowed up to the twins. I handed Owen over to Lyla, then took the dinner plates from the cabinet and Brice took the food over to the table. We all fell into our usual seats at the table and began passing around the food until everyone had been served. There was playful teasing between the kids and a casual conversation of catching up.
After dinner had been cleaned up, the boys took Hank out back and began wrestling around. I sat on the back porch with a glass of wine enjoying the scene before me.
"They're 25 and 17 years old yet they still act like their 5," Sophia commented sitting next to me.
"That will never change," Lyla added as she closed the porch door behind her.
"Owen finally fell asleep?" I asked.
"Yeah," she sighed. "He just started sleeping through the night and it's been wonderful."
"I remember those days," I laughed. "Many sleepless nights spent awake with you kids," I teased Sophia.
"It was worth it," she retorted.
"I can't tell who's wearing who out more," Lyla noted as she watched the boys chase Hank, "Hank or the guys,"
"Oh, Hank's wearing them out," Sophia laughed. "They'll fall asleep easily tonight."
It began getting late and the boys eventually joined us on the porch. They brought their witty banter with them. Hank calmed down and lay at my feet. It was nice having all of my kid's home, even though they could be rowdy, I missed the noise. It was too quiet when it was just Hank, the boys and I at home.
Eventually everyone evaded into their respective rooms and went to bed. I pulled back the covers on my side of the bed, after changing into my pajamas. As I climbed into bed, Hank hopped up and settled at my feet. I laid there for a moment and ran my hand against the empty space beside me. After five years of him being gone, I still had trouble sleeping alone. I couldn't quite get used to the empty feeling. Not having him there to wrap his arms around me. Not feeling his warm presence beside me.
I sighed, and tried my best to push the thoughts out of my mind. I glanced down at Hank at the foot of the bed, his head resting on his paws. I turned over and onto my side, my back toward the empty space.
"I still love you, Kyle," I whispered into the darkness of the room. "Forever."
AN: I wanted to start off this last Author's Note by explaining a few things. I'll warn you now that this will be a little long…sorry.
Kyle XY was a huge part of my life when the show was still on. I still remember when it aired in 2006, to be honest; I wasn't even planning on watching the show. Sure, I had seen the promotions with Matt Dallas hold his shirt up and showing off his belly button-less abs. However I just didn't think to even watch it. Than the night it aired I was just flipping through the channels and I came across the show. As Kyle was welcomed into the Trager family, I fell in love with the show. It was one of the few shows that had a genuine concept and was very original.
I remember there being a Kyle XY forum for the fans to post questions or theories about the show. Than people began writing fanfictions about the show and that led me to this site. After reading a few fanfictions I took a shot at writing a few. I wrote Silver Bullet and attempted to write Still Standing. I will admit that those were not my best pieces of writing however everyone starts somewhere.
As Kyle XY came to a close and it became official that the show would not be returning for another season, I had the idea to write Fatherhood. I started writing Fatherhood in March of 2009. I feel that with this story, I was able to stay true to the characters of the show, however I was also able to evolve them into something of my own. With this story the characters were able to grow.
The intent of Fatherhood, was to have Kyle experience being a father. It started off as Kyle adopting Brice, and it evolved into so much more. I never intended to be writing this story for as long as I have. I never expected for it to receive such great reviews either.
With this story Kyle was able to see his kids be born and watch them grow. Through his children he was able to experience a childhood that he never had. There are many milestones that occur during a journey such as fatherhood, having kids, teaching them, and watching them grow. However with any child's life they must experience death at some point in their life. For Kyle's kids, it was unfortunately the death of their father.
I hope that there aren't too many hard feelings over the way I chose to end Fatherhood. I hope that you all can understand why I did. Anyway, writing this story has been beyond wonderful and I couldn't ask for better readers. You've all been fantastic and I thank you all for reading and sticking it out for as long as you have! Thank you!