Epilogue

Reba frowned as she laid in her bed, tears slowly falling down her cheeks. She couldn't believe what was happening. She never expected this day to come. Reba didn't want to get up. She was hoping staying in bed would put off the inevitable. She honestly could not believe this was happening to her. Why her? Why did she have to give everything up? Why did everything have to happen to her? Reba couldn't take this happening again. She wasn't ready to handle the emotional rollercoaster that she knew would come along with this.

Reba sniffed and wiped away the tears. She looked at the clock and realized she had to get up before the storm started. Reba sighed and moved the blankets away from her. She sat up only to be pulled back by a strong arm. Reba smiled and patted the muscular arm. "Honey…" Reba said trying to move away. Vic kept his eyes closed and just cuddled up to her, nuzzling his face into her neck. Reba rolled her eyes. "Vic…"

"Hmmm…"

Reba shook her head and giggled as she snuggled herself back under the covers. "We really should get up. You know what today is." Vic nodded. "The storm will be blowing through any moment. We can't avoid it forever."

Vic nodded but kept a firm hold on her. "I just want to stay this way for as long as possible."

Reba smiled and snuggled up close to his bare chest. "You smell good." She said running her fingers up his chest.

Vic chuckled deeply and kissed alone her jaw line. "You smell even better." Vic raised his head just a bit and glanced at the clock. "How much time to you think we have before the storm hits?"

Reba glanced at the clock and then she heard it. "I would say about five seconds."

Vic chuckled and just as he tightened his grip on his wife their bedroom door burst open and in ran a little girl with soft curly black hair and piercing green eyes. She jumped on the bed and gave a beautiful toothy smile. "It's time to get up!" she screamed excitedly.

Reba groaned and pulled the covers over her head. "She is too perky for her own good."

Vic chuckled and yawned as he sat back against the headboard. "She gets it from you."

Reba removed the blanket and looked at her husband curiously. "Excuse me? She gets this from me?" Vic nodded. Reba rolled her eyes. "This is coming from the man who has gotten up at five thirty EVERY single morning for the past five years."

"I have to! Its part of my new job description and today is my first day off in a long time." Vic had gotten the promotion to partner with the real estate company they work at about four years ago.

Reba rolled over and closed her eyes. "Take care of your daughter."

Sophia frowned and hoped off the bed over to where her mother was facing. "Mommy!"

Vic chuckled and snuggled back down into the bed. "She said she wants mommy."

Sophia placed her hands on her mother's hip and began to shake her. "Mommy, get up!" Reba groaned and turned back over, cuddling up to her husband. Sophia tapped her chin and crawled back up onto the bed and moved in between her parents.

"Hey!" Reba said as she was suddenly shoved away.

Sophia sat between them with her arms crossed and looking very irritated. "I am not moving until someone gets up with me!"

Reba chuckled. "She is very demanding. She gets that from…"

"Me/You." Reba and Vic said at the same time. Sophia did get her demanding personality from Reba.

"Mommy!"

Reba sighed and smiled as she sat up. "All right, come on."

Sophia smiled and hopped off the bed. "All right, I want pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast! Today is a big day!" she said excitedly as she ran to her room to wait for her mother who was still trying to get out of bed.

Reba sighed. "I guess I have to go make her breakfast. Today IS a big day." Reba said sadly.

Vic smiled and caressed her arm. "It will be all right."

"What if she is not ready? It's our dream, not hers. You know how she is."

Vic shook his head. "Reba, its kindergarten. She will be fine."

Reba nodded as she snuggled back down in his arms. "I am just a little sad. She's my baby girl."

Vic frowned and rubbed her shoulder. "I know. It seems like only yesterday she was born."

Reba smiled. "Yeah, she…"

"Mommy!" Sophia screamed.

Reba cringed and shook her head. "…Has a good set of lungs on her."

Vic chuckled and let Reba get up. "You better go. I think the storm is going to cause serious damage unless taken care of."

Reba got up out of bed and walked into her daughter's room across the hall. Reba walked in only to stop right in the doorway. She tried not to burst out laughing. Sophia looked up and smiled when she saw her mother. "What do you think mommy?" she asked turning. Sophia was wearing her ballerina outfit from her recital she did last month over a pair of jeans.

Reba smiled and bent down to her daughter's level. "As perfect as this outfit is I think we should leave the ballerina outfit at home and keep it for recitals only."

Sophia frowned but nodded. She knew she could never win with her mom so she didn't bother to argue. "Can I wear my blue sweater?" she asked hopefully.

Reba smiled and nodded. "Sure." Sophia smiled and ran over to her small dresser that held her clothes. Reba smiled as she watched her little girl pull the drawer open with a little force. Sophia immediately started emptying her dresser and Reba kept catching the clothes that Sophia was throwing everywhere. "Sophia…honey…" Reba said as she was hit with a pair of jeans. Reba chuckled and stopped her daughter from throwing out any more clothes.

Sophia frowned. "I can't find it."

Reba patted her daughter's cheek and smiled. "Why don't you go brush your teeth, I'll find the blue sweater, and then we will go downstairs and I will make you the best first day of school breakfast, okay?"

Sophia smiled and nodded. "Okay. Thanks mommy." Sophia leaned up to kiss her mother's cheek and she ran from the room to the bathroom.

Reba chuckled and began to search for her daughter's blue sweater. Reba stopped when something caught her eye. It was a picture frame on the dresser. Reba smiled and picked it up. It was a picture of Vic, Reba, and Sophia at Vic's cabin four summers ago, when Sophia was a year old. Reba sat on her daughter's bed and couldn't help but think of how big her baby has gotten. Reba had not been looking forward to this day. She knew her daughter would only be at school until Reba picked her up at three but she was just growing so fast. It seems like only yesterday she heard her say her first words.

Her whole family was moving on and away from her. Cheyenne and Van were doing great. They had Elizabeth, Daniel, and soon their second little boy would be making an appearance in the world. Kyra was happily living in Los Angeles with her husband/band mate and her band was doing great. They sold out concert halls everywhere. Brock and Barbara Jean were happy with their two boys, still living down the street and still making Reba's life a living nightmare…just kidding. She really liked them now but she would never admit it to their face and Jake…her baby boy…they had just dropped him off a week ago at school for his first year of college. He was going pre-law and now her baby girl was going to be in kindergarten.

"Mommy?" Reba's heard shot up and looked at her baby standing in the doorway. Sophia frowned and approached her mother. "Why are you crying?"

Reba chuckled and wiped the tears. She hadn't even realized she was crying. "I just can't believe my baby is a big girl now." Reba said tickling her daughter's tummy.

Sophia giggled and pushed her mom's arms away. "Mommy…we have to get ready. Where is my blue sweater?"

Reba smiled and stood, reaching in the drawer and pulling out the light wool blue sweater. "Come here. I'll help you change."

Sophia shook her head and took her sweater from her mother. "No, I'm a big girl. I can do it."

Reba frowned. "Are you sure?"

Sophia nodded. "Yes Mommy, I can do it myself."

"Okay…" Reba said sadly. "Here's your undershirt sweetheart." She handed over the white t-shirt to her and stood up, walking toward the door sadly. Reba stopped and turned to see her daughter pulling the ballerina outfit over her head. "Are you sure you don't need my help?"

Sophia dropped the ballerina outfit on the bed and shook her head, picking up the undershirt. "I'm sure."

Reba frowned. "Okay, I'll be downstairs to make your breakfast. You said you wanted pancakes?"

Sophia nodded. "And bacon and eggs."

Reba smiled. "Okay, I'll be downstairs if you need me." Reba said slowly walking out the door, giving Sophia plenty of time to stop her if she needed Reba's help.

Sophia smiled as she pulled the shirt over her head. "I'm okay mommy."

Reba frowned and left the room. She walked downstairs, not sure if she liked the fact that her daughter didn't need her. She walked into the kitchen to see Vic sitting at the table. Reba walked over to the cupboard and began taking out pans for her daughter's breakfast, rather forcefully.

Vic watched as Reba banged the pans around and stomped from the stove to the refrigerator. She didn't seem happy. He was startled when she dropped the carton of eggs and began to cry. Vic immediately jumped up and wrapped his arms around her. "Honey…what's wrong?"

Reba sniffed and wrapped her arms around his middle. "We're losing her!"

Vic was a little confused. He pulled away just a bit to see the tears. "What are you talking about?"

"Sophia!" Reba cried. "She didn't need my help this morning. She brushed her own teeth, she picked her own outfit out, and then she even didn't need my help when she changed. I'm losing her." Vic couldn't help but chuckle. Reba looked up a little hurt. "You think this is funny?" Vic's chuckle turned into a full blown laugh. Reba smacked him across the arm and wiped away her tears. "Stop laughing, it's not funny!"

Vic rubbed his arm but didn't stop chuckling. "Honey…it's just kindergarten, relax, she will be home at three."

Reba still frowned as she pulled out some paper towel to clean up the eggs that were all over the floor. "I still feel this is going way to fast. Just yesterday she was lying in my arms in the hospital and…"

"Then you blinked." He said smiling.

Reba sighed and nodded as she dumped the egg yoke soaked paper towel in the trash can. "She's my baby." Reba looked up and saw Vic still chuckling a bit. "I'm sorry." Reba said smiling. "I'm just crazy. You knew that when you married me."

Vic nodded and smiled. "Yeah, she will only be at school. She will learn and grow and…" Vic's smile soon faded. "Make friends and she will want to spend time with them more! We are losing her!" Vic said frightening.

Reba's eyes widen until she saw the smile. She smacked him across the arm. "It's not nice to make fun of people."

Vic chuckled. "Well honey, come on, you have to admit that you did sound a little nutty but the best part of having her going to school during the day…" he said wrapping his arms around her and pulled her close. "We get to spend more time alone with each other." He mumbled into her neck.

Reba giggled and moved her arms to around his neck. "That is true." She said when he moved away again and looked into her eyes.

Vic chuckled and pulled her even closer. "We won't have to worry about interruptions anymore." Reba chuckled as Vic's strong hands went to her waist and set her on top of the counter.

Reba giggled as she felt his hands move along her sides. "You know this can't go any further. Your daughter is…"

"Ewww." A tiny voice said near the entrance to the kitchen.

Reba turned to see Sophia with her hands covering her eyes. Reba turned back to Vic. "See." Reba said with a chuckle. She pushed Vic away and jumped off the counter, chuckling as she walked towards her daughter. "Sweetie…" Reba said bending down to her level. "You have your sweater on backwards."

Sophia looked down at herself and shrugged. "It looks okay to me."

Reba chuckled and pulled the ends of the sweater up and over her head. "See this…" Reba said showing Sophia the tag. "This has to be on the back of your neck honey." Sophia shrugged and held her arms up so Reba could put the sweater back on right. Reba smiled and helped her baby girl dress. She guessed Sophia did need her just a little while longer. "I'm sorry honey but I won't be able to make you eggs or pancakes this morning. I dropped the eggs. I will make you your favorite dinner tonight, how about that?"

Sophia shrugged and walked up to the stool, slowly and struggling to climb up. Reba smiled and helped her daughter up. "Can I have cheerios?"

Reba smiled and nodded. "Of course you can." She said grabbing the box of cereal from the top of the cupboard. "You want bananas cut up in it?" Sophia grinned widely and nodded enthusiastically. Reba chuckled and poured her a bowl of cereal just as the phone rang.

"I'll get it." Vic stated as he grabbed the cordless. "Hello?" Vic smiled. "Hey, how are you…she's fine…you want to talk to her?" Vic pulled the phone away from his ear. "Sophia…phone for you."

Sophia looked confused as her daddy handed over the phone. "Who this?" she asked immediately.

The voice chuckled on the other line. "Hey squirt, are you excited for school?"

Sophia's eyes lit up. "Jake!"

"How are you this morning?"

Sophia smiled. "I can't wait for school!"

Jake smiled. "Did Mom make you her first day of school breakfast?"

Sophia made a face. "No, she dropped the eggs on the floor. She said she would make my favorite dinner."

"You better request the best dinner and…" Jake chuckled. "Did mom cry yet?"

Sophia placed a hand over her mouth and giggled. "Yeah, she did."

"She cried with me too. You're her last baby to go to school. It will be very hard for mommy, so be nice all right. Let her coo and gush over you, even if it's too much love, okay?"

Sophia smiled and nodded. "Okay."

Jake smiled. "Now I have to go. I just wanted to wish you good luck on your first day. I have to get to class too."

"Okay Jake."

"You have a good day, I love you."

"I love you too, bye, bye." Sophia hung up and handed the phone back to her dad.

Reba set a bowl of cheerios with sliced bananas in it in front of her. "How is Jake?" Sophia mumbled something but she had a mouth full of cheerios. "Don't talk with your mouth full sweetie."

Sophia finished her bite. "He had to go to school too."

Reba glanced at the clock and smiled. "And so do you. It's a good thing I didn't make the breakfast. You better hurry up and finish your cereal. I am going to run upstairs to get dressed and to get your brush." She said pointing to Sophia. Reba turned to Vic. "Make sure she finishes." Reba rushed out of the room.

Vic watched as his wife ran out of the room. He turned to his daughter who was watching the same spot. "Mama is nuts." She said scrunching her nose. Vic chuckled and thought it was a good thing his wife had left when Sophia had said that.

Reba rushed to brush Sophia's curly hair and put it in a pony tail. Sophia finished her breakfast and all three of them made their way out to the car so they could head to Sophia's school.

"She should show off." Vic said after a long argument with his wife as they waited inside the school to meet Sophia's teacher. Reba rolled her eyes. They were arguing about Sophia showing off that she knew Greek and Italian, her father had taught her. "She's a smart girl." That was true too. She was a smart girl. She already knew her ABC's and how to write her name and she knew how to write a few letters too.

Reba rolled her eyes and let it go. "Adam!" They heard Sophia yell. Sophia broke free from her parents and ran into the classroom to the little boy surrounded by two blonde goofballs.

Reba smiled as they approached. "Hello Barbara Jean, Brock."

"Isn't this great Reba?" Barbara Jean said as she clutched her friend in a tight hug. "Our babies are so grown up."

Reba's eyes bugged out and she was struggling to breathe. "Air…need…air…"

Barbara Jean let go and brushed her friend off. "I'm sorry Reba."

Reba pushed her hands away. "Didn't your mother ever teach you to keep your hands to yourself?" Barbara Jean looked oblivious as usual and shook her head. Reba rolled her eyes and turned to Vic. "That sure explains a lot." Vic chuckled.

"Is Sophia excited about school?" Brock asked.

Reba frowned. "Yeah, she came into our room all excited and jumping up on the bed early this morning."

Brock chuckled. He knew Reba wasn't a morning person. "Adam was excited too."

Barbara Jean grinned. "It was so cute. He packed two of everything. I tried to tell him he probably won't even use any of it on the first day but he just wanted to make sure he had everything the teacher requested."

Reba chuckled. "Sophia packed her bag a week ago and then she wouldn't let me help her this morning. Jake didn't want to talk with me either. All my babies are leaving me." Reba said with a frown.

Vic tried to wrap an arm around her but Barbara Jean beat him to it. "I know. Henry wouldn't let me make him breakfast or anything, my babies are growing up and away." Barbara Jean burst into tears.

Reba pushed Barbara Jean's arm away from her and moved closer to Vic. He wrapped an arm around her and smiled. "Have you talked to Jake?" Reba asked Brock.

Brock nodded. "He called yesterday when he started classes. He is doing just fine Reba. There is no need to worry."

Just then an older woman walked up and smiled. "Hello, I'm Mrs. Jones." She held out her hand.

Reba took the woman's hand and smiled. "Reba Mariano and this is my husband Vic Mariano."

"Oh your Sophia's parents, lovely girl, she just walked right up and introduced herself." They all smiled.

Barbara Jean feeling left out took Mrs. Jones hand and shook it, a little too much. "I'm Mrs. Barbara Jean Hart and this is my husband Dr. Brock Hart. We're Adam's parents."

"Ah…" She said smiling. "I had to stop him from eating the paste."

Reba and Vic chuckled while Barbara Jean chuckled nervously. "I'm going to go find him." She then left and dragged Brock off to the toys area where their child was.

Reba smiled and turned back toward the teacher. "Is there anything you need to know or anything we should know before we go?" Reba asked politely.

Mrs. Jones shook her head. "I think we are okay here." She turned toward Sophia who was already talking with another little girl at a small desk. "She seems to be fitting in quite well."

Reba smiled and looked at her daughter. "Sophia…honey…Mommy's leaving." Sophia turned and smiled, waving goodbye and then turning back to her new friend. Reba frowned.

Vic decided it was best to get his wife out of there before she burst into tears. "It was nice to meet you Mrs. Jones."

"It was lovely to meet you." She said and she walked away.

Vic pulled Reba out of the room just as the bell rang. The students disappeared into the classrooms and the parents disappeared to the parking lot. Reba frowned as it was only her, Vic, Barbara Jean, and Brock left in the hallway. "I can't believe she didn't say goodbye." Reba said as she stared through the opened classroom door at her daughter talking to the little girl inside.

Vic smiled and pulled Reba away. "It will be okay."

Reba nodded. "Yeah I guess your right." She then smirked and playfully pulled on the lapels of his jacket. "And with her gone during the day it gives me more time to play with you." She said suggestively.

Vic chuckled and pulled his wife close to him. "Oh yeah, big girls are fun." They gave each other a sweet peck on the lips.

"Not in the school." Barbara Jean wined as she stepped up beside them. "I think I liked it better when you had no man and you had more time to play with me." Barbara Jean said in a pout. "What happened to that?"

Vic's eyes shot up and he couldn't help but smirk. "I would certainly love to know what happened to that."

"Me too." Brock said joining in with a smile.

Barbara Jean and Reba both rolled their eyes and smacked their husbands on the back of the head. "Keep your dirty minds at least one hundred feet away from school grounds." She said with a glare.

Brock immediately stopped smiling but Vic kept smirking. "You also used to sleep naked. I really want to know what happened to that."

Reba smacked him across the head again. "L'attesa giusta finché torniamo a casa." (Just wait until we get home) She said angrily. Reba had finally mastered Italian and was now trying to learn Greek but it was a little harder.

Barbara Jean and Brock looked extremely confused. "I hate it when she does that. What did she say?" Barbara Jean asked.

"I don't know." Brock said as he looked at Reba's angry face. "And I don't think we want to know."

Vic, however, had different ideas. "Non posso attendere certamente." (I surely can't wait) He said wiggling his eyebrows.

Reba rolled her eyes and they began to walk away until they heard a little voice behind them. "Mommy!" Reba turned sharply to see Sophia running towards her. Reba bent down and Sophia hugged her mother tightly. "I just wanted to say goodbye."

Reba chuckled and let a tear roll down her cheek. "I'll see you this afternoon when I pick you up."

Sophia broke the hug and smiled. "I know. I just wanted to say goodbye and I'll miss you." Sophia kissed her mother's cheek and then ran back toward the room where the teacher was smiling and waiting at the door.

Reba waved to her daughter. "I love you honey."

Sophia turned and smiled. "Love you too Mommy!" The teacher shut the door after Sophia had entered and Reba stood there, more tears slowly following the other.

Vic walked up to her and put his arm around her. "You feel better?"

Reba sniffed and nodded. "Oh yeah, a lot better." She turned to Vic and smiled, wiping the tears away. She gave him a flirty smirk and pulled on his jacket. Vic recognized this smirk and couldn't help but wonder what was on her mind. "Andiamo alla casa ed avere la propria ricreazione." (Let's go home and have our own playtime.) Vic chuckled and shrugged at Brock and Barbara Jean as Reba pulled him anxiously out of the school and to their car.

"Do we want to know what she said?" Barbara Jean asked as she and Brock watched Reba giggle with Vic all the way to the car. Brock just shook his head and Barbara Jean left it at that.

Later in the morning Reba caressed Vic's bare chest and smiled as she watched him sleep. Vic was always saying he didn't know how he had gotten so lucky. He always sweet talked her and told her how much he loved her but Reba had to believe that she was the lucky one. In a way, Vic saved her. She was bitter and lonely before he came along. She wasn't very happy with her life. He pulled her out of that. She couldn't believe she kept pushing him away but he kept pursuing and she was happy he didn't give up. They had a wonderful life together. They loved each other so much and now they had a beautiful little girl who was starting school. Reba sighed in content and snuggled up to Vic before drifting off into a deep sleep. Yes, life was good.

The End