Summary: Juno graduates college with a degree in journalism. She marries Bleeker, who's a chemistry teacher and new track coach back at their old high school. Vanessa falls fataly ill and asks Juno a very very big favor, to have Juno adopt her biological son. "I'm not going to be around much longer, and I can't think of anyone else to love him more."
The sun poured into the window as Juno opened her eyes and stretched.
"Another lazy day of doing nothing." Juno thought to herself as she looked around her bedroom she shared with her husband, Paulie Bleeker. On the walls were pictures of them from their wedding and of prom their senior year. That was the year after. . . well, she didn't like talking about it. Juno rolled out of the bed and got ready to shower. Juno didn't really have a set schedule for anything. She just up and went as needed. Even with her job, or lack there of, she didn't have a schedule. Juno was in the market for finding a job, as she was a freelance journalist. Admittably, it didn't pay as well as she had hoped, but she found that she was bursting with opinions and she wanted people to hear them. She was even told that her sarcasm and turn of phrase were catchy, upbeat, and addicting. Yet, she couldn't find someone to take her work and publish it. So she was currently writing online for a website that paid her per story written. She didn't have deadlines, she didn't have anything to work for with this "job" and Juno wanted a challenge.
After her shower Juno checked her cellphone for missed calls. There were three. One from her husband, Bleek as she still called him even after all these years, even after all that had happened eight years ago. And two from an unknown number. Bleeker was at work, she'd check in on him around 12:15, that was his planning period. She had no clue who the unknown number could possibly be, she noticed the voicemail icon at the top of the screen and decided to listen.
"Hello? Juno? It's Vanessa. Remember me? I was wondering if maybe you would like to get lunch later today? I have a question for you. Call me back. Bye."
Juno stared at her phone.
"No. No way." Juno thought as she listened to the message again. "I thought I was done with all of this." With slightly trembling hands she called Vanessa back. "Please go to voicemail." she siliently pleaded, "please!"
"Hello?" Vanessa answered. Juno swore loudly inside of her own head.
"Uh, hi? Vanessa? It's Juno? You wanted me to call you?" Juno didn't exactly know what to do about this situation.
"Oh, yes, good you got my message. I need to talk to you. It's important. Meet me at the mall around, say, 11:30? We can talk and get lunch after."
"Uh, yeah, sure." Juno said as she glanced at the alarm clock on her nightstand and noticing the time said 11:15. "I'll be right there."
Juno hopped into her car and just sat there. Confused, worried, what if there was something wrong with the kid that Juno gave Vanessa? What did she name him? Oh, right, Anthony. What if something was wrong with Anthony and Vanessa wanted an explanation. What if he has a sickness of some kind and Vanessa wants money from Juno? She wouldn't do that, right? She wouldn't blame Juno for something so completely out of her control, would she? Juno cleared her mind rolled down her windows and drove off to the mall. The ride to the mall was a short one. Juno was glad because her thoughts were reeling and she found it hard to concentrate. She parked the car and headed to the main entrance of the mall where she saw Vanessa. Tall, dark hair pulled back into a pony tail, crisp white shirt under a grey sweater with jeans. Vanessa saw Juno and waved.
"So. . . what's up?" Juno asked tentatively. Vanessa took a deep breath.
"It's kind of hard to say. But I recently went to the doctor for a checkup, and. . . " she broke off.
"And what? What's wrong?" Juno asked worriedly.
"And I only have a month to live," Vanessa whispered. She broke down, sobbing. "I - I don't know what to do with Anthony. How do I tell him? He's only eight years old. How am I supposed to tell him his mommy is not going to be able to take care of him for much longer? How do I tell him?" more crying, "I only have one thing to ask you, Juno, it is probably the most important thing. I need you to take custody of Anthony."
"Wait. What? You want me to adopt him? Are you sure you want me to do it? I gave him to you in the first place." Juno didn't know what else to say. So she just said whatever came to mind.
Vanessa took another deep breath and answered, "I know. I'm not going to be around much longer, and I can't think of anyone else to love him more."
Juno didn't know how to handle this. When someone is dying and one of their last wishes is to have their adopted son taken care of by their biological mother, who knew he'd have a better life with adopted parents, what are you supposed to say? Sorry but I just can't take care of this kid?
"I don't know the first thing about raising children. Does he even know he's adopted?" Juno asked.
Vanessa nodded, "I've always told him that he has another mommy out there and she wanted him to be happy so she let him come live with me. To let me be his mommy and make sure he was happy and safe. He never asks any other questions than that. He did ask why he wasn't allowed to see you, but I told him that I didn't know where you were. Which wasn't a lie. I had to track down your friend, Leah, just to get your number. You don't have a landline so I had to call your cell."
Juno was dumbfounded. "I, uh, I guess I need to tell my husband. It would probably be a good idea to let him know we are going to be taking in our child."
Vanessa smiled. "Thank you so, so much Juno. You don't know just how much this means to me. We have so much to work out."
A/N: I know it's short. I'm not sure how this will be taken. I need YOU to help me out. YOU the reader need to tell me whether this is worth continuing. A beta reader will also be appreciated. Who's up for the task?