Sam looked at his watch. He didn't know what he was expecting, but he knew who he was expecting. It had been years since he'd seen her, almost the length of their relationship. All he could think to himself was that this was a bad idea. A disaster, perhaps. But maybe time had changed her. Heck, time had changed him. Ever since he had joined the sex addicts group he found that he hadn't been enjoying the same things that he used to. Sex, alcohol, gambling (every now and then) had all lost their meaning to him. He'd found that he just didn't enjoy things the way he used to, and for that he blamed her.
Her. Diane. Diane Chambers. He couldn't remember her middle name, but Sam knew that he'd always been bad about that kind of stuff. On a good day he could remember his. But he knew there were so many things that he would always remember. Always.
Her fragrance. Sam never forgot the time that, out of the blue, he'd bought her some perfume. It wasn't much- he'd found it at a gas station- but he would always remember how happy it had made her. It had made him happy to give it to her, that was, until the day Carla told him how much her regular perfume cost- it was ten times the amount that he'd paid for his gift. One day he snuck in her bedroom and took it back thinking she would never notice, but she did. Oh how she noticed. He'd felt so bad when he saw her cry that he couldn't tell her that he was the one to take it back, so she bought her another one. To his surprise she dumped it out, telling him that objects could be replaced, not memories. Even Sam had to admit that he was confused and yet touched by that at the same time.
There were so many memories of their time together, so many bad ones, probably more so than the good ones. So what was it about Diane Something Chambers that he just couldn't forget? Today he felt as nervous as he had on his ill-fated wedding day to her. Even his first wife didn't cause him the kind of pain that Diane had. He'd blown it with his first marriage; he had no one to blame but himself. But he had plenty of blame to throw at Diane. He had and he did. So why was he so darn nervous about the day?
They'd put each other through hell and back. Never before had he spent so much time reflecting in the past. Even when he worked the twelve steps he had never really been honest about how badly he had treated her. But ever since he fell off the wagon about a year ago, he'd rejoined the program and that was what led him today.
The first step
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
It was a dark night when the phone rang, just a year ago today, their would have been anniversary. For some reason Sam had been in a bad mood all night. He shouldn't have had anything to complain about. He had his health, his bar, his 'vette, and heaven forbid he should lose this, his hair. Times had come and gone by but he knew he could count on his friends. Woody was, actually, like the younger brother that he wished he'd had. He knew that he could count on Woody for anything, and although it took him awhile to accept this, Sam had realized that Woody saw him as kind of a father figure. He'd resented that at times, he was far too young to be his father, but once Frasier explained it was kind of like how Sam had once seen Coach, then things made sense. Leave it to good old Frais to put things in a way that made sense. Go figure. That night, Woody must have had a sixth sense himself, for he was paying close attention to Sam, bugging the hell out of him until he finally told the younger bartender to go home. Woody didn't want to, but Sam had insisted, so he had. He probably should have listened to the young man from Indiana, but Sam had his pride, and had reassured Woody (if not himself) that things were all right.
"Good night Sam. Say, you know what we haven't done? We haven't had a sleepover in a really long time. Kelly is sleeping but I'm sure she would say it's okay. Why don't you come over to my place? I can even get the driver to take us there."
"No, that's okay. I'll be fine. Maybe some other time. You go on home and tell that wife of yours you love her. Maybe show it to her if you catch my drift."
"Sam…do you ever have things you want to say to a friend but you haven't?"
Sam looked at his friend curiously, nervous about where he was taking this. "Yeah..I guess… got something on your mind?"
"I don't know why but I thought I should tell you…I love Kelly and all but I love you too. Just in a different way."
Sam smiled and then looked at his friend. "I love you too, Woody."
That night Sam had his first drink in years.
The second step
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Sam had come close to losing the bar. Times were tough and he, like many small business owners, struggled financially. Life wasn't fair; he'd gained back his livelihood only to come so close to losing it. But then someone had left $2000 in his tip jar. There was only one person who could have donated that kind of money, and normally it would have offended him to take money from one of his employees. So he took Woody aside after work and asked him why he did it.
"Because I love you, Sam. We're friends, aren't we? Friends look out for each other. What good is money if you can't do something good with it," Woody said lightheartedly as he walked out the door.
That was the moment Sam knew that he believed in a Higher Power.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
Sam couldn't believe that he had gotten the phone call that he had. There had been an accident. When he found out who was the victim he became angry, angry at God, something that he was good at over the years.
"It's okay Sam. He's going to be fine," Kelly reassured him as he started to slam the wall at the hospital.
"Why him? Why Woody? He's the kindest, gentlest…heck he wouldn't even harm a flea. Who would hit him on his bike then drive away?" Sam demanded as he ran his fingers through his hair. At this point he could care less if it became tangled. Still, out of habit, he smoothed down his mane as he turned to look at Kelly.
"Please don't be angry, Sam. He wouldn't want you to be. He needs us to be happy and strong. You can do it. You're like his…"
"Please don't tell me that he's like my son. I'm too damn old to be his father!"
"I was going to say best friend."
At that, Sam hit the floor and began to pray for the first time in a long time, years perhaps. Just then the doctor came out and told them that Woody was going to be just fine.
"Good, now I can tell him the good news!" Kelly declared as she clapped her hands.
"Good news? Your husband could have been killed and you say you have good news? What could possibly be good in a time like this?"
Kelly placed her hand on her friend's shoulder. "Woody was coming to meet me at a restaurant. That's why he needed to leave early. I was going to tell him that he's about to become a father."
Sam stared at Kelly's stomach, then at her face. "You mean…"
"Yes, Sam. Woody's going to become a father!"
Just then he made the decision to turn his life over. As soon as he did a double take for Kelly's stomach, that was when Sam knew that he believed in something other than himself. And it was time to let that something take over.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
A few months later, Woody brought in the ultrasound. "It's a boy! I'm going to have a son! Can you guys believe that?"
"Hey, all right! Round of drinks on the house. Except for you, Kelly!" Sam declared as he got ready to start pouring drinks.
"You know what Sam? Kelly and I have been thinking about this. We would like for you to be our son's grandfather!"
Sam stared at Woody, then Frasier spoke up. "I believe you mean godfather."
"I know that. I just don't want my child to become associated with the mafia," Woody covered and then looked at Sam. "Will you be my son's godfather?"
All eyes were on Sam Malone at that moment. He gave Norm his beer and then opened his arms, where Woody found himself on the very nervous end of a hug.
"Yes, Woody. I would be honored to be your son's godfather. Only if you agree to let me play ball with him now and then."
Woody shrieked with excitement and then everyone started to clap. The next day, he drove out to the cemetery after calling off work.
"What am I doing, Coach? I am not married, I don't have kids, but Woody wants me to look after his kid! Who does he think I am? Who do I think I am? I'll tell you who I am. I'm a selfish, self-seeking, vain, arrogant no good son of a…"
"Coach I don't know why he wants me to be his son's godfather. Look at me. I'm a drunk for heaven's sake. No offense to where you're at. I just can't do this. Why me, Coach? Why me? What does he see im me?"
Sam brushed off the dirt off Coach's grave, then traced the outline of a baseball that had been engraved on it, and then smiled. "Probably the same thing you did."
With that, Sam had just made his inventory.
And that is how the next step took him to Diane.