Disclaimer: I don't own Two and a Half Men. I want to thank my friend Lucky for her input and encouragement

Charlie came downstairs while Alan was eating breakfast.

"Hey Charlie," Alan said, "Care for some cereal with assadolphos milk?"

"Yeah I think I'll pass," Charlie said, "Alan we have a problem"

"What did you do," Alan asked.

"What makes you think I did anything," Charlie questioned.

"Because whenever you say 'we' have a problem you caused the problem and I have to fix it"

"Actually Alan," Charlie said, "We both caused this and we both need to fix it. I was up in Jake's room and I found a poem... that he had writen."

"A poem? You found a poem in his room. Oh my GOD. Call the crisis center. My son is writing poetry," Alan said sarcastically.

"It's not about the fact that Jake is writing poetry, although that is something pansies do"

"Hey," Alan said, "I write poetry"

"Thank you for proving my point," Charlie said.

"Not funny," Alan said, "Charlie do not make me slap you"

"It is the content of the poem that concerns me Alan," Charlie said.

"Well what does the poem say," Alan asked.

"It's called My One Wish"

"Okay hit me," Alan said.

"Gladly," Charlie said slapping his brother upside the head. "Now onto the poem"

"OW," Alan said, "Charlie why did you do that?"

"You said to hit you," Charlie said.

"That was an expression," Alan exclaimed.

"I know but it's fun to slap you upside the head," Charlie replied.

"Whatever Charlie; just read the poem," Alan said.

He was starting to get really nervous.

"Alright," Charlie said, "It's called MY WISH AND WHY I WISH IT."

"Cool," Alan said.

It was simple but it sounded like it could be a deep poem.

"You think that I am stupid

You think I'm lazy and slow

You think that I can never learn

You think I'm doomed to failure wherever I go

The comments that you make

Really cuts my heart like a knife

It makes me feel like I'm

A disappointment in your life

You get mad when I act stupid

Like it's something I choose to do

Why don't you try for just one day

Living in my shoes

In your mind you're always comparing me

To someone no longer here

She would never disappoint you

I bet you wish I was there and she was still here

You think I can't learn through talk

Well you're just too blind to see

I wish I was Merribeth

That way you would love me.

Charlie was crying as he read the last line of the poem.

"Oh my GOD," Alan exclaimed, "I never knew that Jake was feeling like that."

"I think we have to do something," Charlie said.

"You think? Of course we have to do something about this."

"So what are we going to do," Charlie asked.

"You are going to call Judith and let her know to come right over," Alan began, "and I am going upstairs to talk to Jake."

Jake was lying in bed staring up at the ceiling. He was tired but he couldn't sleep. He was really feeling bad... empty and he had been feeling this way for awhile.

His sister died when his mother was pregnant with him. That was all he knew about Merribeth. He just knew he would never be good enough. There was a knock on the door.

"Come in," he said

"Jake," Alan said, "Buddy we need to talk."

He sat down next to Jake and Jake sat up.

"What did I do now," Jake asked.

"You didn't do anything," Alan said, "I did."

Jake looked confused.

"Okay," Alan said, "Look uncle Charlie found your poem."

Jake flushed 10 shades of red to match.

"Oh," he said, "I'm sorry dad."

"I want to clear some things up. Jake I DO LOVE YOU and so does your mom and so does uncle Charlie."

"You don't know what it's like to be different," Jake said.

"I do know what that's like," Alan said, "Look Jake the reason why I'm tough on you was not because I didn't love you but because I do. I was and I still am worried about you but now it's for a different reason. I thought you were going through your rebellious years. I thought I couldn't just talk to you anymore because you never seemed to be listening. It turned out that I was the one not listening."

"Maybe I just wasn't talking right," Jake said, "I just know I'll never be as good as Merribeth."

"Jake," Alan said, "Your sister was my first child. She was a wonderful girl. She was only 5 years old when she died."

"How did it happen," Jake asked.

"How did your sister... it's a long story Jake. Your mom was about 5 months pregnant with you and we had a doctors appointment to get an ultrasound. I remember that I was so excited that day because we were going to find out if you were a boy or a girl. I didn't care either way. I loved you even before you were born. But your mother and I had a problem. We didn't have a babysitter for Merribeth. Our regular sitter canceled because she was sick. We were going to take her with us but then Uncle Charlie said he would watch Merribeth. Your Uncle Charlie was what they call a closet drinker."

"Why would he drink in the closet," Jake asked confused.

"It means that he would drink without anybody knowing," Alan explained, "Like when you would hide in a closet. Your Uncle Charlie drank but nobody knew it. Because we didn't know that Uncle Charlie was a closet drinker we trusted him to watch your sister."

"Oh," Jake said, "Okay"

"Anyway we were gone for about 45 minutes and we get a call telling us to come to the Children's Hospital. There was an accident. Your uncle had gotten drunk when she was taking a nap. Well your Uncle Charlie decided he was going to take Merribeth to Disneyland. She was not supposed to be going to Disneyland because she was getting sick and we wanted her to take it easy. But your Uncle Charlie got it in his STUBBORN HEAD that he was going to take her to Disneyland."

"Did you get mad at him for that," Jake asked.

"For that; no," Alan said, "But for getting behind the wheel of the car drunk out of his mind you bet I got mad at him."

"Oh," Jake said.

"Jake," Alan told him, "I never meant to make you feel like I don't love you. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. But sometimes you do things that make me worry about you. I try to handle things in a tough way because I don't want to lose you the way I lost Merribeth."

"Dad," Jake asked, "Can we forget the argument we had yesterday ever happened?"

"What argument," Alan replied as the two of them shared a hug.