I spent the day at Dad’s, wanting to be close to Jilly. She knew what I was up to. She called me on it around lunch time. “Shouldn’t you be at home, working in your office next to Brynna? Thought you baby-sat her during the day now?”
“Ha-ha.” Hell, it was the truth, though. I did keep an eye on Brynna during the day while Houghton and Chance were off doing Houghton and Chance things. I didn’t mind—she was my sister. We’d been together practically since the day Brynna was born.
Except for those dark months I was in St. Louis in a hospital bed or in a wheelchair. I don’t think of those days often if I can help it. I am grateful I was close to Carrie, though.
She visited me every chance she could. She’s wonderful, and I am glad I got a chance to know my older sister now, too.
But it wasn’t my older sister who worried me, though she was determined that she would be coming down for Dad’s birthday next week. The first week of April was too darned close to Carrie’s due date for her to even be considering it.
But Sebastian said she was insistent.
“Earth to Mel. Focus.”
I looked at my sister again. Jillian had lost some weight, hadn’t she? It wasn’t hard to see—she had always been the smallest of all of us, and the lost weight really showed. “I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine. I’m dealing with what happened, Mel. Same as everyone else.”
“When are you going back to work?”
“I’m not sure. As soon as I graduate, I think. They won’t hold my job forever—no matter how big of a donation Houghton made.”
She sent me a pointed look and I shrugged. “You know how he is. Said we spent so much time there, the wing should be named for us. Thankfully, Fin didn’t agree. But the hospital was grateful.”
“And I’ll have a job there when I’m ready to go back. I know that. For now…I need to focus on getting my degree, and finding a new normal around here. It’s…quiet here. Syd…she’s gone more often than not, now. I see her moving to St. Louis someday, Mel. She and Gracie Reynolds…they want to form a band, and I think they’ll manage it somehow. With Brynna across the street it’s a little different, but she’s still here a lot. But…we miss you.”
“I’m going to try to be around here more often.” Somehow. I wasn’t entirely certain how, but I was going to try.
Truth was, I missed having a large family around, too. I love my husband and the life we are building together. I will never deny that.
But…I miss my family, too.
Damn it, why do I feel so weepy today?