Alexa Chapter 29: A New Tradition

Alexa Chapter 29: A New Tradition

The trip to London had been a wonderful time, but now it was in the past and the specter of school had returned. The daily grind was a letdown, but one that was necessary if we wanted to get through the semester. Luckily, I only had one lecture I had to attend but it was going to be the two massive papers I had to write that were going to be my downfall. Jenny had gone into an academic shell. She was trying to spend as much time getting caught up and back on track that I only seemed to see her for a brief period at night and on the weekends. Katie was no better. She had lots of labs and was also doing some shadowing at U of M Children’s Hospital. This pretty much left me alone, which usually is never a good thing. I would spend lots of time at libraries researching the two papers I had and I seemed to be devoting a lot of energy to the one class I had. After the incident on the first day of class, the rest of class just saw me as Alexa, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, but there were a few guys that began to give me looks that would unnerve at me. On those days Jenny would receive extra special attention when she got home, as my own personal form of penance.

I continued to see Debbie once a week, though now it was Tuesdays. Because we had extended our trip by a day I had been back a week before I got a chance to see her. She was all excited to hear about my trip to London and the things we saw and places we went. I couldn’t help but tell her about the run ins Jenny and I had throughout the course of our trip. “But the funny thing was Debbie, no one accused me of being anything other than a lesbian. It was really odd.” She asked me to explain and the first thing I told her about was the couple in the Eye of London. I also told her it didn’t really affect me like it had in the past. “I didn’t get all weepy. I didn’t on any of them, even when the two thugs approached us on Birdcage Walk. But then again I had Marty standing up to those two jerks.” Debbie was surprised by this. “Marty stood up for you two to two hooligans?” she asked and I told her about how outraged he had been, and how Jenny and I were more scared he may get hurt than us and how lucky we had found a police officer nearby. Debbie was a little shocked by Marty’s actions. “Was that the first time he ever stood up for you, physically I mean?” Debbie asked. I told her no it wasn’t. And as much as I wanted to forget the incident at the reception, I knew I couldn’t.

“Ah, no.” I stammered as the thoughts of that drunk jerk Andrew came flooding back to me. “When we were at the Vikings reception on Saturday night, he, um got a little physical with a guy, who um, started to get a little handsy with me.” I said. Debbie nodded and said that may happen to any woman but then asked what occurred. “Well after I kneed him in the balls, Marty came up. I didn’t see it until the end, but he slammed the guy up against the wall by the throat.” I was both shaking over the thought of the jerk but couldn’t stop smiling as I remembered the actions of Marty. Debbie sat there in shock. After a moment, she finally responded “So what did Marty say to the guy?” I became a bit embarrassed over the upcoming response, but knew I had to say it. “He said that’s my daughter’s fiancée, so I guess you could say my daughter just kneed you in the balls” I gave a little giggle as I relayed Marty’s comments. The counselor Debbie left for a moment and the friend Debbie appeared. “Did he really?” Debbie asked with a giggle of her own before straightening herself up.

“That is one thing about being a woman I hoped you would avoid, but to have Marty protect you like that is wonderful. You have been so lucky to have the support you have had Alexa. Now don’t forget it. There are so many people out there who are going through what you are that are abandoned by their family and friends.” I assured her that I was never going to forget the support and love that had been given to me. We continued to talk about the trip and if I had any other issues and then I told her about the woman at Winchester and how I came back at her. Debbie admonished me a bit for being so mean but did get a chuckle out of it. She reminded me again that none of these people had come after me because of what I was born, just what I was now and that was a woman.

It was approaching the end of our session but we were still talking about my trip. We hadn’t had Debbie over in some time so I thought it might be a good time, so I asked her if she had anything planned for Saturday. I watched as she began to get a little down. “Nothing at all. It has been kind of quiet for me recently on the weekends. My friends are starting to have kids and when I go over to their homes I feel as if I am in the way. I have been spending a lot of time reading and working.” My counselor told me. I knew exactly what was needed and I also knew that at worst it was going to be just me and Jenny at home watching Netflix. “Well then, with that sad story it is decided you are coming over on Saturday night. We will even come pick you up so you don’t have to worry about driving.” I don’t know if it was my enthusiasm or the reputation that Jenny and I may have earned, but Debbie was a bit hesitant to agree to come over. “We’ll make it a cooking lesson Debbie, maybe we can teach you something that you can use on your next date.” Debbie shot me an evil look that just made laugh. “I’m just teasing Debs. So, you up for it?” Reluctantly she agreed and we set a time.

When I got home I knew it was going to be no problem with Jenny, but when Katie announced she was going to be around we all became excited. As we laid in bed that night, Jenny and I began discussing our options for dinner. “We could make spaghetti again, but Debbie might have that one down by now.” I offered up and it was Jenny who decided we should do Mexican. “We can make a little of everything. We can teach her to make tostada shells from scratch and I can teach her to make Chicken Enchiladas!” Jen said and I agreed that that sounded like a plan. “Are you going to teach to squeal when you mix by hand?” I asked which got the two of us in a minor little tickling match which ended in a long deep kiss that was soon followed by a more thorough wrestling match.

Saturday morning after our morning coffee the three of us headed out to the grocery store to get the items we needed along with a stop at Target to pick up some margarita glasses that we had not replaced since March and cleaning supplies. Katie had been all over us that the apartment needed a good cleaning, “You two are such slobs! The bathroom is a disaster and if we are going to have Debbie cooking at the apartment that kitchen needs a thorough scrubbing” Jenny and I tried to refute that we were not the whole problem, “Danny is a bigger slob then I am, always has been. Plus, we were in England” Katie just laughed at my issues “I will take care of Danny’s mess but the way blondie over here leaves a trail of destruction in the bathroom is amazing and I know for a fact that there are still dishes and food from your two’s little ‘cooking lesson’ last weekend.” Jenny and I looked at each other and began giggling. We had decided to make a simple meal of Chicken Stir Fry but somehow a food fight broke out and the idea of eating didn’t return to us until after the truce talks were completed. We agreed that the kitchen was our issue and that Jenny had a way of destroying a bathroom and said we would clean.

It wasn’t long before the apartment and ourselves were clean and ready for our guest. Just as I was ready to call Debbie, there was a knock at our door. I opened the door to find my counselor on the other side. “Debbie! What, how? I mean come in.” I said in shock. I stepped aside and watched my counselor enter. The first thing I noticed was that she was not in her usual suit or even a dress. She was wearing a pair of jeans, boots and a red long sleeve shirt and a black vest. She also seemed to be a little more relaxed then she normally is. “Hey girls, I hope you don’t mind I came over a little early. I was down at Brits watching a replay of the Imps match versus Crewe Alexandra with some friends. I caught a ride with one of them, is that okay?” she asked. I could also notice a little glint in her eye. Had she been drinking? I was dumbfounded because this was not my counselor, I wasn’t complaining I was just in shock. Jenny luckily answered before I could get my mouth back in working order.

“Of course, it is Deb. You know you are always welcome here. Like the vest. What is that symbol on it?” Jenny asked Debbie. who got a bit of a proud grin on her face. “That is a Red Imp of Lincoln City. Best football club around.” The smile confirmed that the good doctor may have had a pint or two down at Minneapolis’ British pub. We led her into the living room, where we sat down. Katie noticed the animation in our friend, and that’s what she was a friend, and announced that it was margarita time. Debbie asked us if we had taken in a football match when we were in London. “Oh yes, not live, we met up with some friends at a pub and watched a game and even adopted a team.” Jenny informed her former boss. “Man City” I said, “one of our new friends is a big fan.” Debbie laughed, “I was nervous you going to say ManU” Jenny and I both informed her that there was no way that was going to happen. “Besides we both look better in Sky Blue” I said which got Debbie laughing even more. Kattie arrived with the pitcher of margaritas and we all sat back and had one while Debbie began to ask us a little more about our trip.

“We had so much fun Debbie. Sarah and Nikki are such sweet people and so was Stephanie. We even got to meet some of the Angels! We met Hannah and of course Nikki got us together with Jamie Lee.” Jenny told her former employer. Debbie shot me a funny look. “You didn’t mention you met Jamie when you were in London. I have met her myself, very beautiful woman and very nice. And I did hear a bit about your trip from a party you two were supposed to meet” Debbie jokingly chastised us. “I felt bad we never met Sarah’s mother, but we were kind of busy” I informed my counselor.

“Yes, I heard you four were busy in the pubs for four days” Debbie said with a laugh. Katie shook her head. “You should have heard you patient here. She called me one morning, evening over there a bit tipsy.” Debbie looks over at me and Jenny and just shakes her head. “That might be one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made, introducing the four of you” a slight smile came to Debbie’s face as we tried to protest her thoughts. “You should be happy you introduced us Debbie. They are great people” Jenny said. I agreed “plus I have the best guide in this whole adventure with Nikki. She has been through all this and she has been there to answer some of my sillier questions.” Debbie laughed and agreed that Nikki and Sarah were great resources for us to lean on, she was just teasing us. “I talked with Beverly last week about something else and she filled me in a bit on your trip over from the other side. She said that you asked them to be in your wedding?” Jenny and I both produced big smiles and confirmed that we had. We spent the next half an hour filling Debbie in on some more of our trip. Telling her the fun things, especially the trip to Harrods. Debbie asked how much we had spent there. Jenny and I both became a little ashamed over the amount but when we showed her the pictures of Jenny and I in our beautiful dresses, she understood the need to buy. I saw Debbie look a little more closely at the picture of me. “I can’t believe that is the same timid, young person that walked into my office a little more than a year ago. I must be pretty good at my job to give you that much confidence to look so beautiful.” Debbie said jokingly, but I told she was a major reason that I am who I am today.

After that first pitcher of margaritas, we decided it was time to start in on cooking. I led the other three into the kitchen and began putting them to work. “OK Katie, you get the basic chopping while I get these two started in the chicken enchiladas” I commanded, only to be rebuffed by my fiancée. “Just hold your horses there, young lady. This is my specialty. I will show Debbie how to make the enchiladas.” I just roll my eyes at my better half’s comment. Debbie laughs at the two of us and marvels at how far we have come as a couple. “You can see that the love is still there but you two do enjoy getting on each other, don’t you?” Jenny and I look at each other and burst out laughing. Then Jenny decided it was time to make me blush. “As much as possible Debbie.” A quick kiss and cuddle is shared between us while Debbie continues to marvel at us and Katie groans.

We get back to our assigned task and I begin mix up the masa flour for the tostadas while Katie began in on the chopping of the various things we needed. But that is when the fun had stated. Jenny began her lesson of how to make chicken cheese enchiladas. And at first Debbie seemed to be enjoying it, but when the time came for the mixing of the filling, she seemed a bit nervous of the method. I gently teased my counselor a bit about stopping the whining and was met by a bit of the mixture landing on my face, thrown at me by Miss Thompson. “Be nice to Debbie” I was warned by the blonde-haired girl. I reached over and pulled out a small bit of dough and threw it at her. The giggling went full bore as Katie picked up two pieces of tomato and threw one at each of her roommates. Debbie quickly called a truce. “I haven’t been in a food fight in years and I am not about to start now.” She said with a laugh. I couldn’t let that go and launched a piece of dough at her. By the time our mini food fight was over, I would up with the enchilada mixture on my face and half the tomatoes were gone. Surprisingly it was Katie who became the voice of reason after Debbie had launched a stray tomato bit at Jenny. “OK, we will never eat if this keeps up” Katie announced and after the usual “Yes Mom” comment from me we went back to work. That was until I could feel another tomato bit slide down the back of my shirt. I turned and chased a squealing Jenny out of the kitchen and pinned her to the couch where the tickle attack began. As I let up, and she came under control, we looked into each other’s eyes. The deep love we shared was quite evident and we leaned together and shared a deep kiss. Jenny whispered, “I love you Lex” as we broke our kiss.

“Would you two get off each other” a frustrated Katie yelled out. As Jenny and I were returning to the kitchen, I could her Debbie telling Katie it was OK “It is rather nice seeing two people who care so much about each other.“ Katie turned and looked at the smug smile I had across my face and I stuck my tongue out at her. “Yeah it is Debbie, but you don’t live with them. They are like two children and have to be watched at all times.” Debbie laughed even harder at our roommate’s comment and mockingly gave us a stern look.

Following Katie’s latest lecture, I went about making the tostada shells. Debbie was fascinated at the whole process. The rolling out of the flour and the actual frying in grease. “Where did you learn to do that?” Debbie asked and I told her my mother had taken a class when I was younger and then I just watched how she did it. “This was about as wild as Dick-head would get with food. Tacos.” Katie added in her two cents ‘And yet he would still find a way to put ketchup on it” That got all of us laughing. We noticed by the timer that we still had sometime left before the enchiladas would be ready. So, Katie announced there was plenty of time for another round of margaritas. We hung out in the kitchen chatting like we did a year ago and it felt, comfortable. If I was relaxed last year when we had Debbie over for the first time, today I felt like this was how it was supposed to be. And while like a year ago, Jenny and I basically melded into one form, we were much more playful with one another. And it was great seeing Debbie let her hair down a bit more.

Dinner was excellent. Debbie seemed to enjoy herself and was very comfortable in teasing not just Jenny and I as a couple, but each of us individually. Once again it was another time where I realized that this is another thing I had always wanted. Four friends hanging out and having a fun time. I never had a lot of friends growing up, but now I had found friends that not only accepted me, but liked me for who I was and I began to tear up. Jenny didn’t pick up on it right away, mostly because she was cuddled back into me, but both Katie and Debbie did. Katie consoled me a bit as she cleared the table. Debbie just smiled and nodded until I told her to quit working so hard. Jenny finally picked up on it and turned and gave me a kiss. Debbie hung out for a little longer before saying she was going to head out. We called Uber for her and talked her into one more margarita. As her car arrived we thanked her again and we each got a hug from my counselor. “I think our next cooking lesson will have to be after the New Year. I can’t do this very often” Debbie said with a giggle as she left. After she was gone, we all collapsed back on the couch and agreed it had been a great night at that Debbie was more than a counselor for me. She was a friend.

After our fun night with Debbie, family once again struck center stage. And not just family, but the holidays. One year ago, Thanksgiving was the last time that either of our families had seen Alex, a person that had all but been forgotten. This year was to be the first time that Alexa was going to be center stage. But it wasn’t just my situation that had changed. Both families’ situations had changed, so new ground was going to be struck. As of the Sunday just two weeks before Thanksgiving, there was nothing planned. Leave it to mom to come through with a great idea.

It was a typical Sunday afternoon, the Vikings were away that day so I was parked in front of the TV, torturing myself watching the Purple. Jenny was parked on the other end of the couch, trying to study. Katie was at the table, feeling all lost. She was still missing that stupid boyfriend of hers, who was off attempting to shoot Bambi. The phone rang and it was my mom. “Alexa” she asked “are all of you girls there? If so put me on speaker.” Jenny was staring at me as a funny look came over my face. I didn’t break eye contact with her as I set the phone down on the table.

“Jenny, Katie? Are you two there? I have an idea.” My mother said. The three of us looked at each other with a little bit of nervousness as we awaited Charlotte’s big idea. “Well since all three of you are in new situations, as am I, I was thinking we have all of your families out to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.” The three of us stared at each other. I knew Katie would want to come, but it was Marty that might need some talking into doing it, but then another name was brought up “Could my Grandma come too Char?” Jenny asked. I let out an audible groan as I thought of the chance that Mary and my eldest brother would meet each other. My mother answered the question before I could even bring up my concerns. “Of course, she can, and bring whatever family you want. Katie, I will talk to your mother about it. I do expect you three to come down the night before and be ready to help the next morning. I will get everything organized. We now have a plan. Talk to you girls’ latter” Once again, before I could protest my mother had been my mother. She had a plan and she had implemented it. Katie ran to call her mother, even though mine had said she was going to. Jenny however saw the concern on my face.

“Lex? Are you OK?” Jenny asked. I slouched back into the couch and tried to gather my thoughts. Jenny shoved her schoolwork aside and cuddled up to me. “Lex, what is it? What is bothering you?” Anyone else I would have been able to ignore them, but not Jenny. As usual she could break away any walls I had. “What’s going to happen when Adam is, well Adam. How will that work? I don’t want Thanksgiving to be a disaster because of me” I said and started to breakdown a bit. Jenny pulled me in and tried to comfort me. “If Adam is a jerk, he will be the one to ruin Thanksgiving, not you. Besides if Daddy and Grandma are there it will be everyone against one.” I just nodded but the feeling of dread continued to hang over me, even when we went out to the lake that night to have dinner Marty and Mary. Both were very excited by the invitation that my mother had extended. Mary even pestered me to give her my mother’s phone number so she could thank her and to see if there was anything she could do.

For some odd reason, the next week and a half flew by. I had expected it to drag as I felt the weight of the coming events looming. Wednesday came and the three of us piled into my car to make the drive down to Faribault. Katie spent half the time talking about how we should go out that night in the exciting town of Faribault. I teased her that she just wanted get Danny drunk and take advantage of him. “Well I haven’t really seen him in a couple of weeks. I knew that deer hunting was big but I thought he would come by more than once.” Jenny and I just laughed. I then had to launch into a little more teasing of my ‘sister’. “And you know just because you are spending the night does not mean you two are going to be able to sneak off to his room. Charlotte will start sprinkling Holy Water on you.” I said. Katie tried to protest that Jenny and I weren’t married. Jenny and I both laughed at Katie’s predicament. “Yeah, but no unwanted pregnancies are going to come from us.” Jenny said. And while I knew it was true, it did hit me a little funny. I know I began to feel a little down, but I didn’t realize I was showing my feelings. Jenny instantly began apologizing. “Oh god, I’m so sorry babe. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way” She wrapped her arms around me and if it wasn’t for the fact I was driving, I think she would have started kissing me.

We got to my mother’s right in time for dinner. These were the times that my mother lived for. She loved having everyone under her roof, which was always tough growing up because every night there were chores that had to be done to make sure everything was ready. After we had eaten and showered my mother with her gifts from England, we were put to work. “Jenny, you go dust the living room, Katie can you go straighten up the family room. Danny get the extra chairs from the basement and Alexa you have the bathroom. “Why do I always have to do the bathrooms?” I whined which got my brother laughing. “Oh, poor baby. You afraid you might chip a nail or something?” he teased. When I told him to shut up and quit being a meathead. He began laughing even harder. That was when the voice of authority spoke up. “Would you two knock it off or you will not be coming to dinner tomorrow!” Jenny and Katie began laughing at the Quinn children. Mom brushed aside all our protests and told us to get working. As we parted for our chores I stuck my tongue out Danny who flipped me off. Mom saw this and began in on him “Daniel Timothy Quinn you get working right now and leave your sister alone.” Danny sulked off towards the basement.

After Jenny and I had finished our tasks, we return to the kitchen where we find my mother on the phone “I’ll take care of it Karen. Yes. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.” As my mother hangs up the phone, I ask her if that was my Aunt Karen and whether they were coming tomorrow. “Yes, that was and no they are not” Mom tells me and then I watched her become a bit nervous “I am going to need you two to go to the grocery store for me.” It wasn’t the fact that she needed me to go to the store it was how she said it that caught my attention. Before I could ask what was going on, she changed the subject. “Jenny can you go see where those other two are. I don’t trust them. Alexa, go dig the serving platter and bowls out of the sideboard for me will you.” Jenny and I looked at each other and I could tell she knew something was up with mom as well. I tell Jenny to go downstairs and see if they are down on the couch in the basement while I get the dished for my mother. When I return to the kitchen, I can see a bit of an odd look on my mother’s face.

“Here is the list of things you need to pick up, but there is one other thing I need you to get.” Mom informs me. “Your cousin Ashley is sitting in the coffee shop. Evidently, she and her father got into an argument and I am going to take her for a few days, just to let everything settle down a bit.” I asked mom what they had gotten into an argument about but she wouldn’t say. I pressed her a bit and finally she relented. “It was about you Alexa. I had invited your aunts and uncles to dinner, mostly just out of duty. I knew they would all say no, but Ashley found out and questioned it. Karen surprisingly backed Ashley. Your uncle was furious, told Ashley to go have fun with her ‘freak’ cousin. So, I agreed to go pick Ashley up at Erickson's, but I think it would be better if you and Jenny go get her.” I agreed and waited for Jenny to come back. As soon as she came in the kitchen, mom was quizzing her. “I suppose you caught those two down in the basement didn’t you Jenny? I swear those two are worse than you two! Alexa, you two go to the store and I will deal with the love birds.” Char said and went out the swinging door.

Jenny and I grabbed our coats and purses and began making our way to Erickson's. On the drive in I explained to Jenny what was going on with my cousin. “We have to do something special for her Lex. Make her feel welcome” Jenny said. “I know we do” I told my fiancée. “would you have a problem if we just stayed in tonight rather than go out. Maybe treat Ashley to a slumber party?” Even in the dark, I could see the million watt smile on Jenny’s face. Nothing had to be said, my idea had been adopted whole heartedly.

The Erickson’s supermarket in Faribault was new and was one that had all the various departments like you would find at a grocery store in the Cities. It had a meat counter, a bakery, a deli and a coffee shop. That is where we found Ashley. She was sitting in a booth, a bag at her side and a cup of coffee in front of her. She was slouched over and I could hear that she was whimpering a bit. Jenny and I stood over my teenage cousin hand in hand. We looked at each other with big grins before I said anything. “Hey, Ashley. You ready to go?” I said. The teenager looked up in confusion. “Alexa? Wha-what are you doing here?” she asked. “We’re here to pick you up.” I said with a smile. “You, you two didn’t have to do that. I mean thank you but, you know you didn’t have to come.” I slid in next to Ashley and put a comforting arm around her. Jenny sat across from us in the booth. “We didn’t have to, but we wanted to.” Jenny explained and I could see a little grin try and surface on Ashley’s face before she broke down into my shoulder in tears. I tried to comfort her the best I could. I finally I heard some mumbling. I lifted Ashley up a bit. “Thanks” she said. I told her it wasn’t a problem. “We’re family, right? Family takes care of each other” Ashley hugged me tighter and cried a little more. But she wasn’t the only one at the table who was crying. I could see the beautiful blonde across from me tearing up and I could feel one slowly working its way down my cheek.

I stood up and motioned for Ashley to follow me out. “Come on Ashley. Let’s get Char her ingredients before she has a meltdown wondering where we are.” Ashley giggles a bit and slides out of the booth and grabs her bag. I take Jenny by the hand and the three of us begin moving through the store. As we walk through and grab the radishes and green onions my mother wants, I look at my cousin. “You know what we should do tonight? We should have a slumber party, just the three of us.” Ashley looks up and sees both Jenny and I smiling. “You guys have better plans than hanging out with some high schooler.” Jenny refuted her immediately. “Nah, we can go out anytime, we don’t get to have that many slumber parties, especially with our cousins. I only have one girl cousin I talk to and she is older than me. It will be fun. We will get a couple of movies, make some popcorn, do our nails. What do you say?” The smile that has slowly been percolating begins to grow bigger. She agrees to our plan and we make our way through the store.

It was as we reached the dairy case that Ashley was able to witness a little of what I get to go through. As I walked up to the case, Mrs. O’Brien, one of the crabby little church ladies, was at the dairy cooler. At first, she gave me a pleasant smile but then I watched as her face changed as she realized who I was. Not wanting to slink away, I tried to be pleasant. “Good evening Mrs. O’Brien” I said to her with a smile. She instantly began showing contempt towards me. “Ugh, it’s you! I can’t believe that you would go against god’s will this way. Pretending to be a woman! It is just revolting.” I looked at the woman who for most of my life had been a thorn in my side. I wanted to come back at her, I wanted to get her off high horse. “Excuse me Mrs. O’Brien, but for my whole life you have been one of the most self-righteous people I have ever known. And I know you are a staunch Catholic and believer in the doctrine of the Catholic Church. So why can’t you follow the words of Jesus when he says, “Love one another as I have loved you?”

The woman became confused that I would come back at her, but she rallied. “What you are doing is going against the teachings of the Catholic Church! It is sick and perverted” I could feel a little smirk come across my face. I looked over at Jenny and Ashley. Ashley was standing there in shock, her eyes as wide as saucers over my theological showdown. Jenny was working very hard to suppress a giggle. I turned back to Mrs. O’Brien “So what you are telling me is that the tenants of the Church supersede the instruction of our Savior?” Horror overtook Mrs. O’Brien’s face. I simply reached into the cooler and grabbed the tub of sour cream and returned to my fiancée and young cousin. Jenny’s face was now beet red and her hand was covering her mouth. I simply reached down and took Jenny’s hand. As we were walking away, I turned and wished Mrs. O’Brien a Happy Thanksgiving and we continued our shopping trip. As soon as we were in one of the aisles, Jenny and I both burst out laughing so hard we had to stop walking. Ashley had just caught up to us and was completely shocked at what had transpired. She looked at me and asked if that kind of thing happened a lot. Jenny answered before I could say anything.

“It happens more than it should, but your cousin here has become much bolder as time has gone on. She is almost ruthless these days.” I feign indignation, which earns me both an “Aww sorry babe” and a kiss from Jenny. Ashley stands there giggling a bit and averting her eyes. We continue our trek for Charlotte and get everything on her list, plus a big bottle of diet Coke and some snacks before we check out. We stop at the Redbox in the store and pick out a couple of movies for the night before we begin our drive back to mom’s. Along the way, Ashley begins to ask us a few questions about us. ‘You guys are funny together, but do people come after you too Jenny?” Jenny looks at me for a moment before answering “Sometimes, more than Alexa knows probably. But that doesn’t matter. We love each other more than anything in the world.” Jenny says as she grips my hand a little tighter and flashes me her heart melting smile. Ashley continued her questioning. “You guys are pretty unique that’s for sure, how much you love each other. But have you ever met another couple like you? You know someone who is changing into a girl and a girl?” I fielded this one.

“Yes, we have, not exactly like us. They are two of our best friends in the world. We just went and saw them in London. Nikki has already had the operation, but I would say they are maybe the only two people we know who are more in love than us.” It was my turn to flash a smile at Jenny, who the said “We are more in love than Snikki” I began to giggle over that. “I’m telling Sarah you said that” I replied and the giggle fit between the two of us hit. Ashley stated grilling us about our trip to London and we began to tell her all about it. How we had gone to see the Vikings play, had met famous British celebrities and gone to two concerts of our favourite group. Ashley said she had never heard of ‘Out of Heaven’ before. “Well let’s change that!” Jenny said. “When you go back to school on Monday, you will be able to tell all your friends about this English group your cool cousin played for you. You will be famous for the being the first one to know of Out of Heaven.” With that Jenny connected her phone via Bluetooth to my car and the sounds of Becca, Adeole, Kayla and Steph’s harmonies were streaming through the car. Ashley was impressed and wanted to know more about them. I do think we embarrassed her a bit when Jenny and I joined in with the recording of our new friends.

We pulled into the driveway and got the groceries and Ashley’s bag and entered the house. I was the first in the kitchen. “Mom, can Ashley sleep over?” I yelled out as a joke. Ashley stood in the doorway, looking a bit lost. “Ah hi Aunt Charlotte” Ashley said in greeting. My mother looked up and a smile slowly came to her face. “As long as it’s family, it’s okay.” My mother answered. Jenny tried to play along a bit. “Does that mean I have to leave?” What came out of Charlotte’s mouth proved just how far Jenny and I had come in her eyes. “Oh, shut up Jenny.” She said. Rather than see Jenny get all hurt, her smile got big. I leaned in and whispered one of our favourite lines. “I think she is coming around” Mom shot the two of us giggling girls ‘the look’ while her maternal instincts took over with my young cousin. “Come sit down Ashley. Are you hungry? Thirsty?” My mom said as she led her to the kitchen table. Ashley told her she was fine but mom still needed to make sure her niece was taken care of. Jenny and I put the bags on the counter and left my mom and Ashley alone. As soon as we were in the dining room, Jenny took me in her arms and laid a long lingering kiss on me. “You are incredible, do you know that? What you did for Ashley just more proof of why I love you.” She told me as we began kissing again. She stopped after a bit “Let’s go change and get ready for this slumber party.” The two of us walked hand in hand up to my room and began to change into our Gopher Jerseys. As I was looking at Jenny, I realized that Ashley might feel a bit out of place and that’s when an idea hit me. I ran out of my room and went to Danny’s. A few minutes later I returned with Danny’s old Faribault Falcons hockey jersey. Jenny’s smile got a little larger as I showed her my idea. “Just another reason you are the best, Lex” she told me and we kissed again.

We went down stairs to the kitchen, where we saw my cousin and mother sat at the table. My mother had found a way to get Ashley to eat something. Ashley looked up from her bowl of soup and a true smile spread across her face. “You ready for our slumber party Ashley?” Jenny asked and she was answered with an excited nod. “I’ll go get my nightgown on and I’ll come join you guys.” Ashley said as she started to get up. I stopped her as she began walking towards us. ‘There is one rule though Ashley. You need a hockey jersey to be part of the party” I said trying to tease her a bit. Ashley started looking a bit down. I broke it with my comment “Good thing Danny still has his” I said as I produced the beat-up jersey. A slight squeal of delight came as Ashley hugged both Jenny and I as she ran off to get changed. Mom got up from the table and came over and gave both Jenny and I hugs. “I don’t know how you two do it, but you two always seem to bring out the best in people.” Mom said as she hugged each of us and gave us each a kiss on the cheek.

Ashley came through the door. The sad smile we had seen an hour ago was gone. Now the bubbly teenager we had seen at the State Fair was in front of us. “All set” she announced. I had Jenny take her into the family room and told them I would go get some sleeping bags and pillows. Jenny and Ashley disappeared through the door to the living room while I began to head upstairs. As the other two left, my mother called out “Alexa. Thank you for taking care of her. You are the daughter I always dreamed of having.” I began to tear up and raced back towards her and shared another hug before I headed out and mom began making some popcorn for us. I got the sleeping bags situated and soon the three of us were spread out in front of the TV watching some rom-com.

We were about halfway through the first movie, when Danny and Katie came home. “Hi Danny, Hi Katie.” Ashley squealed out at the two. Katie and Danny paused and looked at each other before turning their gaze back at us three girls curled up on the floor watching a movie and eating popcorn. “So, are you spending the night Ash?” Danny asked as he plopped down on the couch pulling my roommate with him. Ashley popped up from her prone position and the smile she flashed her older cousin was huge. “Yeah. Alexa and Jenny invited me over for a slumber party!” the fifteen your old girl informed the lovebirds. Danny shook his head, but Katie gave a knowing smile. Jenny and I asked the two about the festivities in town. They said nothing much was going on. While Danny was telling us a joke he had heard, Katie slipped away, excusing herself for a moment. Just as Danny had finished the punchline, Katie reappeared, complete in her own Gopher jersey. “Do you care if I join?” She asked. Danny shot her a funny look as we readily agreed. Katie slipped over and gave Danny a kiss, which got Ashley giggling again. “You know we weren’t going to be sleeping together, especially after the lecture we got from Char.” Katie said to her boyfriend, who got up from the couch and sulked off. Katie took her place on the floor as we hit the pause and returned to our movie.

As the first movie ended, Ashley got up and said she was going to get something to drink and asked if anyone wanted anything. After taking our orders, she bounced out of the room. As soon as the door closed Katie began in on me and Jenny “You two are too much. You just went and picked her up and pulled her in and turned her into a giggling girl again?” I nodded, but Jenny spoke. “I helped but it was all Lex” I tried to refute my girlfriend’s comments but she would have none of it and continued to sing my praises. Katie smiled “That’s why you are one of the best, Alexa. That’s the person you have always been, but now that you are happy with yourself it just seems to rub off even more.” Katie’s words got me crying. But rather than Jenny consoling me it was my ‘big sister’ who took me in her arms.

We plopped down and started watching the second movie. Mostly that one was ignored as a little gossip session started “What do you see in that big dope of a cousin of mine?” Ashley asked Katie, which of course got Jenny and I laughing away. Katie tried to get all defensive. “He is not a big dope. He’s very kind, and loving and sweet” Katie paused for a second and a slightly evil grin took over her face “plus he is hot.” The other three of us just gave out an “ewww” and then began laughing at Katie. She didn’t care though, she was in love. Jenny then turned her attention away from our roommate to my cousin. “So, Ashley, any boys in your life?” I watched Ashley turn beet red from my fiancée’s question. In a very hushed tone she told us yes. “I have been ‘going with’ this one boy from school. His name is Dylan Lewis. He is in my grade and is the backup quarterback on the football team. He is really nice, once you get him away from all the boys.” Katie began laughing. “I know the feeling. When Danny is with the guys, he tries to act like a macho jerk but when we are alone he is the sweetest, kindest guy. You will meet. Boys can be so silly” Ashley agreed with my roommate and then made an announcement. “For the rest of the night, no talking about dumb boys. It’s just us girls. I want to hear more about London.” And even though Katie was sick of London she agreed.

Jenny had started in on the story of our lunch with Stephanie, Kayla, Jamie and Snikki when she looked at me and stopped talking. Little did I realize it, but I had begun crying a bit. She instantly pulled me in and asked me what was wrong. Katie was used to my little outbursts, but Ashley wasn’t. She instantly got concerned, but Katie waved her off. Jenny just held me because she knew what it was that set me off. “It’s true and you know that, it is just us girls.” I nodded before looking up at Jenny and saying, “I know, but a Quinn just said that to me” I could see a smile come to Jenny’s face and she pulled me in a little tighter. We broke the embrace and I looked at my young cousin. I whispered a thanks to her and the two of us shared a hug. It just drove home the point that every day I was being accepted by more and more people.

The next morning came way too early for the four of us. We had spent the night doing each other nails, talking about celebrities and mostly laughing. We told Ashley all about our new friends in London, the famous modeling group the Angels. She was in awe over them as we not only showed her pictures from their website but that the fact that Jenny and I and Jamie were Facebook friends. But mom shaking us loose at 6 AM brought us back to the reality of the holiday that lay ahead. “Come on girls up and at ‘em! Busy day ahead! Lots to do. The four of us just groaned as we tried to stretch out from our evening rest. I almost felt sorry for Ashley. She was just looking for a brief escape from her family and now here she was being put into slave labor by her aunt. The four of us padded into the kitchen where thankfully mom had already had the coffee going and we each enjoyed a cup before beginning on our chores. “OK” Charlotte announced “We have lots of things to get accomplished in the next five hours, which includes all of us getting ready. So, Ashley, I want you to go to the side board and get out ten place settings and the silverware out of the drawer and set the table. If you need help putting in a leaf, wake your cousin up.” My mother told my cousin before spinning around and looking at Katie “and no you cannot go wake him up Kathleen!” Jenny and I lose it as Katie sulks.

Soon we were all doing tasks while mom floated around like some sort of director/foreman, overlooking everything we did and giving little tips here and there. I was getting a bit frustrated because I knew how to peel potatoes. Jenny had interestingly become my mother’s little pupil. She was teaching Jenny everything about preparing the bird for cooking and how to make stuffing. Katie, who was standing next to me cleaning vegetable for the relish tray, began in on Jenny. “Look at the little teacher’s pet.” I couldn’t help but giggle, which of course got Kattie giggling. I had to add in “looks like we have been replaced Katie.” I then felt a dish towel hit me in the back of the head. “Well at least she doesn’t talk back like two smart mouths I know” my mother told me and Katie. I turned to see Jenny standing there with a smug smile on her face, before she sticks out her tongue at me, an act that I repeated.

Just as Jenny, under complete supervision of Charlotte, slides the turkey in the oven Danny enters the kitchen in all his morning glory. Boxers, T-shirt, hair going every which way and scratching himself. Katie drops her radishes and runs over to give her boyfriend a kiss, while my mother begins in on her middle child “Danny! We have guests here! Go put on some clothes!” As he breaks his good morning kiss he smiles down at Katie before answering our mother. “I don’t see any guests, I only see family.” That comment and the mile-wide smile on Katie’s face gets Jenny and I staring at each other with our mouths wide open. Danny sees us standing there in shock “Knock it off you two” which causes us to giggle and Katie to turn around and flash us aa big smile. Ashley comes into the kitchen right at that moment. As she sees Danny her eyes grow wide and she begins to giggle. I wave her over to stand with Jenny and me. She tried to hide her eyes from her older boy cousin who stands there with his grin on his face.

We had plenty of time to get cleaned up and changed before the guests started to arrive. Jenny and I changed into simple, but still stylish dresses. Mine in purple, hers in red. And is always our custom, the two of us share a kiss. Ashley walked into my room at the same time. She started to giggle a bit and then saw what we were wearing. She paused and looked down at the jeans and sweater she was wearing and began to look a little sad. Jenny and I both noticed and we shared a smile before I spoke up “Hey Ash, how about we get you a little dressed up.?” The look of excitement was wonderful. Jenny went digging through our suitcases and came out with a nice tan, knee length skirt while I dug around and found a light blue blouse that would match perfectly. After Ashley changes, I began working on her hair and Jenny began putting some light makeup on Ashley. In just a few minutes my cousin had gone from a cute little teenager to a very attractive young woman. As she looked at herself in the mirror, her smile grew a mile wide but then something different happened, she started to tear up. She turned and gave Jenny and I both big hugs. “Thank you so much! I never had a big sister. But I feel like I have two now!” she said as she sobbed a bit. Our moment was broken by the sound of the doorbell and my mother yelling up for Ashley to get that. Jenny smiled and leaned over and gave me a light kiss on the cheek. “I don’t know how, but you just keep getting better and better” she told me.

Jenny and I were just coming down the stairs as Ashley was opening the door. “Ashley?” we heard Barb ask. “Hi Mrs. Fahey! Come in!” Ashley said and held the door open for our roommate’s mother. “Wow, Ashley. You look so grown up, I didn’t even recognize you.” Barb told my cousin who told her it was all my and Jenny’s doing. Barb noticed Jenny and I coming down the stairs and smiled at us. “They are something else, aren’t they?” Barb said as she smiled up at us. The smile was one of approval and acknowledgement that we had done something nice. Ashley took Barb’s coat and Jenny and I followed Barb into the kitchen where she greeted my mother and then the two us. “I thought I would come early and see if you needed a hand.” Mom instantly put her to work. Katie finally appeared and mother and daughter shared a hug. Soon the six of us were working away in the kitchen to get everything ready for the meal. Barb did ask where Danny was. “I think your son-in-law is in watching the pregame shows” Jenny said which got all of us giggling except for Katie who stood with a proud smile.

I was at the sink when I noticed a familiar black Lincoln pull into the driveway. I watched Marty get out of the driver’s side of the car and head over to the passenger and help his mother out. For this first time today, my nerves were starting to get to me. This was going to be a little different meal then either of those two was going to be used to. I called out for Jenny to follow me and we went to the door to greet Marty and Mary. “Hello Mary, Marty, Happy Thanksgiving!” I told the pair as they walked up the sidewalk. “Hi daddy, hi grandma” Jenny called out as the two older Thompsons reached the front door. We exchanged hugs with both Marty and Mary as we led them into the house. Mom was standing right there as we entered. “Hello Mary and Marty. Welcome to my home.” Mom said as she exchanged a handshake with Marty and a hug with Mary. I could tell mom was a little nervous about having the two of them there, most evident when she began leading Mary into the seldom used living room. And once again, god bless Mary Thompson. She looked around. “Nice room, but where’s the kitchen? I prefer to hang out with the cooks and drink wine?” she stated as she flashed her devilish smile. Mom nodded and led her into the kitchen. I didn’t need to ask where Marty wanted to go and Jenny and I led him into the family room where Danny was.

“Hey Marty” Danny said getting up to greet my future father-in law “got here just in time. Game is about to start. Can I get you anything?” I was shocked at what a good host Danny was being, I was even more shocked over Marty’s response. “Yeah I’ll have a beer.” Before I could say anything, Katie came into family room and let her opinion be known. “Wow Mr. T, don’t think I have ever seen you have a beer before. Will you grab me one too Danny” Marty chuckled at Katie’s name for him as he always does. When Danny returns, Katie cuddles in the big recliner with her boyfriend while Marty takes a seat on the couch. It wasn’t long before the two men began dissecting the upcoming Viking-Lion game. Jenny and I return to the kitchen where we find a discussion on cooking a turkey going on. “I do miss cooking a big meal for my family, but they always have such different plans. Right now, Bridget and her family are off skiing and I can never get Robert home.” Charlotte sympathizes with Mary, “I have been lucky, but this may be the last one. With those two getting married and the other two practically married I will be lucky if I see any of them.” Mary nodded at that comment while Barb just stood there nodding her head. “It has always just been me and Katie and my mother, but now that mom has moved into the nursing home it’s just been me and Katie.” That’s when mom floored Jenny and me. “That’s all right Barb, you and I can be the two old bittys that drive their children insane at holidays.” Barb began giggling at my mom as she put her arm around my mom.

I thought everything was going great. Ashley seemed as glued to Jenny as I as she had been all night. Danny and Marty were chatting away about the game. Mom and Barb had formed a new alliance and being around Mary was always great. That is when I heard the front door open. In walked Adam, and I could see by the expression on his face he was not thrilled to be here. “Happy Thanksgiving” my mom called out to my oldest brother who just grunted in response. He merely walked past the kitchen and towards the family room with mom close on his heels. I grabbed Jenny and dragged her out into the family room. Mom was right there as Adam let out one of his typical comments “Who are you?”

Marty slowly rose from the couch and stood and eyed my brother up while mom began the introductions. “Adam this is Marty Thompson, Jenny’s father. Marty this is my oldest son Adam.” Marty extended his hand but Adam simply turned away and looked at Danny. “Any beer or is everyone turned into a bunch of wine drinkers?” Danny slowly rose from his chair and eyed up our older brother. ‘Take the man’s hand” Danny ordered. Adam looked at him like he was nuts but Danny pressed on “take his hand”. Adam grunted and turned and shook Marty’s hand before heading to the garage to get a beer. Danny called out to grab three more, that prompted the first shot by Adam at me. “I thought Alex drank wine now” as he went into the garage. Mom was incensed when Adam came back in the room. “Adam her name is Alexa and...” Marty turned and looked at mom and told her to relax. Adam handed two beers to Danny and reluctantly handed one to Marty before taking a seat in the recliner. “Thank you” Marty said but Adam just grunted.

I had been around Marty enough to recognize a lot of his emotions. I had had seen him happy, I had seen him sad. I had seen disgusted and I had seen him mad, but the look he gave Adam reminded me of the Vikings reception in London. It was that same look of amusement he had on his face when my old pal Andrew cried out “do you know who I am”. Mom was still upset, but she could see that Marty was more than a match for my brother. Jenny took a seat on the couch and I asked her if she wanted anything and she said she would take a beer so I went out and grabbed two before settling down. I knew that Jenny was not much of a beer drinker and that this was a shot at Adam. I handed Jenny a beer and took my seat next to my fiancée. Jenny than lobbed the next shoot at my brother, “Thanks babe” she told me and then leaned over and gave me a big kiss. I could hear both Katie and Danny try and stifle laughs at Jenny’s over the top kiss. Marty chastised us a bit telling us enough of that as we began to kiss a bit more. Adam just sat and groaned.

As the game went on, I think we surprised Adam by how into the game the three of us on the couch were. Especially when Marty and I got into our weekly discussion about the Vikings defensive backs. “Newman just needs to hang it up” I exclaimed as I watched Golden Tate catch another pas on the 39-year-old cornerback “What, you want Alexander in there?” Marty asked over the top of his daughter. “Linval would be a better nickel than Newman.” Jenny groaned “Enough you two! Every week the same argument! And neither of you is starting the Sendejo argument again do you understand me.” We both shook our heads. Adam couldn’t let it slide and gave out a little snort of derision. Marty turned at looked at Adam “Is there a problem Adam?” Marty said in an even voice. For the first time that I could remember, I watched Adam cower away from somebody other than my father. Adam shook his head and went back to watching the game.

As the half went on, and the Vikings couldn’t get a running game going, the anxiety level in the room went up. Any arguments and hostility towards one another were now directed at the team in purple. Mary must have heard the yelling and came out of the kitchen to investigate along with Barb. Mary took up a spot behind the couch and in a move that shouldn’t have surprised me but did, she reached down and grabbed Jenny’s beer from her and took a sip. When the Vikings dumped it off to the tight end on 3rd and 8, Mary became visibly upset. “When are they going to find some linemen and give Sam some time.” She hollered out. Jokingly Jenny, Marty and I all ducked. “Knock it off you three. I am not the last one to break anything in this family.” Barb began to laugh and asked who had and everybody but Adam turned and pointed at Jenny, who began to blush. Mary went on to tell Barb the story of how Jenny broke a lamp during the Viking-Packer game.

As halftime approached, I could sense the activity coming from the kitchen. Knowing that this was a good time to get up and help mom, I grabbed Jenny by the hand and we began helping shuttle the various dishes to the table. Mom drafted Jenny to help her get the turkey out of the oven while I was directed to begin whipping the potatoes. I jokingly asked Jenny if she wanted to do the potatoes and I was met by a sly middle finger from Jenny that she pretended to itch her nose with. I had Ashley grab me the milk and butter I needed and had her help me drain the potatoes. We had made so many, it was easier for me to do it as two smaller batches and Ashley was a great help as I tried to maneuver everything. And just as Char had planned, everything was ready as halftime began. Everyone was called to the table and for the first time ever, someone other than King Richard took the chair at the head of the table on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it was someone who was almost as big a jerk as my father who assumed that seat. After mother began saying grace, Adam began to carve the turkey. He got plenty of advice from his younger brother which he was not too appreciative of and the two had to be reprimanded by our mother. I felt a bit sorry for Barb, who had been positioned to the left of Adam and Katie who sat on his other side. I realized that mom had set that up because they were two people who would not put up with Adam being Adam.

Thankfully the meal was quiet as far as Adam and I went. We had kept it civil, mostly because we didn’t say anything to each other. We had decided to save the fireworks until after dinner. During the meal, Barb quizzed Jenny and me about our trip, and as we had with almost everybody, we were a bit over the top in our excitement. I can tell Adam was none too impressed with the enthusiasm Jenny and I displayed. When we showed Barb the picture of me and Jenny in our dresses for the Viking reception, I watched Adam get up from the table and storm off into the family room. Danny started to get up but mom told him to sit down. “What’s wrong with Adam, Aunt Charlotte?” Ashey asked, “Why is he so crabby?” I beat my mother to the punch and explained that it was all because of me. “That’s just silly, doesn’t he realize how much happier you are?” Ashley asked and before I could answer, Mary broke in “No he doesn’t. He is more concerned in how he may be looked at.” Ashley nodded silently and I looked over at Mary as we exchanged a smile. Mary spoke up again. “Now if you will excuse me, Charlotte could you direct me to the powder room?” Ashley instantly volunteered to show Mary. I watched as the youngest and oldest guests walked out. Ashley, just like me, seemed captivated by the older woman and Mary was nothing but kind as the two went out. Danny and Marty got up from the table and returned to the Family Room to catch up on the game, while the rest of us went about clearing the table. Mom and Barb took control of putting away the leftovers while Jenny, Katie and I began ferrying in the various dishes. It was during my second trip to the dining room that I heard low rumble from the Family Room. Jenny was coming through the kitchen door at the same time. I must have displayed some look of fear, because I watched a nervous look come over Jenny’s face. I turned and went to the family room.

As I entered the Family Room, I found Adam standing there all worked up trying to explain his views to Mary. “He is a freak! He thinks this is all normal and has all of you convinced it is normal! It is a disgrace! I mean what he has to done this family is just disgusting! He killed my father! He’s got Danny and I fighting, all because he has decided he is a girl!” I could see Marty getting real red in the face and before he could say anything, I heard Mary tell her son to keep his mouth shut. I then watched an 86-year-old woman walk up to my bully of a brother and let lose. “If anyone has done anything to destroy this family it is you young man. From what I have been told, you have never even made an attempt to get to know your sister. And that is what she is, your sister. You have just taken it upon yourself to be judge and jury. It doesn’t conform to your way of thinking, so you lash out at it. You don’t realize what it does to others. You don’t realize what this close-minded view of yours has done to your mother. How your rejection of Alexa has affected her. You just want to sit here with some sort of superiority complex. Well young man I am here to set you straight. I think you need to do some hard thinking. And I will also let you know I will be watching. If you think I may have been nasty here, just wait. This is nothing.”

I could see the anger in my brother’s face. And I think he may have said something if it wasn’t for the fact that there were nine pairs of eyes staring him down, almost tempting him to say something so they could unleash on him. He just grumbled under his breath and stormed out of this house. A level of tension followed him out the door and what little tension there was, was broken by Barb. “We need to have this group get together every year for Thanksgiving. That was fun.” Everybody in the room began laughing and I watched Jenny give our roommate’s mother a hug around the shoulders. I began to cry a bit and went over to Mary and broke down as I wrapped her in a hug. She took me in her arms and let me cry on her shoulder. I whispered a thank you into her ear. She stood me up right and looked me in the eye. “You know better than to thank me young lady. You know I am here for you no matter what. You are family now and I will not let someone like him tear you down.” I could feel one of her arms release me and then a second latter I was enveloped by the arms that were always there for me. Jenny wrapped me up and showed me the love that always carried me through these times. As I was coming to grips with what had happened and the support shown me, I heard my other brother be, well my other brother.

“Are we done with all this melodrama? I would like to get back to watching the Vikings.”

Leave it to Danny to bring everything back to a normal place. As Jenny led me to the couch, she sat me down and held me. I looked up at those beautiful blue eyes and knew that all was OK. One year ago, I was freak, someone my family looked down upon but now I was surrounded by a family that cared about me. I looked up at Jenny and tried to thank her for taking care of me. Jenny smiled down at me and once again showed that she still could read my mind.

“Shh. Nothing needs to be said babe. We love you Alexa. All of us. Especially me” and she laid a long deep kiss on me. As we sat back, it really began to sink in that all of these people cared for me. Screw that bastard. I had enough family right here in this room, and no one more special than beautiful blonde woman who held me.

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