Chapter   Eighteen

A couple hours later.....

Kevin walked into his mom's house and went straight to his room. He picked up the phone and dialed Brian's house.

"Hello?" said a female voice.

"Hi, Aunt Jackie, it's Kevin."

"Oh, Kevin! It's nice to hear from you," Jackie Littrell said. "How have you been? I can't remember the last time me or your Uncle Harold heard from you."

"I know," Kevin apologized. "I'm sorry about that, but with everything getting so hectic with the group, I barely have time to talk to my own mom. So how's Uncle Harold?"

"He's just fine. How's your mom doing? And your brothers?"

"They doing great. Jerald's got a new girlfriend."

"Sounds romantic."

"Yeah," Kevin agreed. "Listen, is Brian or Valerie there? I need to talk to one of them."

"Of course. Just one minute," Jackie said. Kevin could hear her calling Brian. Then she got back on. "Brian's coming. You say hello to your mom for me and you take care of yourself."

"I will," Kevin promised.

"Good. Here's Brian. I'll see you later. Bye."

"Bye, Aunt Jackie."

The next voice Kevin heard on the line was Brian.

"Hey, Kev. What's up?"

"Brian, you'll never guess who I ran into at the hospital?"

"Hospital? Why'd you go to the hospital? Is something wrong?" Brian asked.

"No, I'm fine," Kevin assured him. "I took Madison. She bumped her head on a kitchen drawer. Anyway, while I was at St. Joseph's Hospital, I saw Tricia there. Did you know she moved to Lexington?"

There was dead silence on the other end.



"What is it you're not telling me?"

"Nothing?" said Brian innocently.

"You knew, didn't you?" Kevin asked him. "You knew and you didn't tell me?"

"Okay, I knew," Brian admitted. "But I wanted to tell you. I was out-voted though. Tricia told us she didn't want anyone to tell you she was moving out here and made us promise not to."

"So, who's 'us'?"

"Me, Valerie, Ariana, Anissa, Tamera, Howie, Nick, and AJ."

"Everyone knew except me?"

"Yup. Sorry, cuz."

"That's okay," Kevin told him. "I can't blame Tricia for not wanting me to know after what I did to her."

"Have you talked to her?" Brian asked.

"I tried to at the hospital, but she wouldn't listen."

"Too bad. Hey, why don't you and your mom come over for dinner? My parents would love to see you and Aunt Ann."

"Okay, hold on a minute while I ask." Kevin put down the phone and opened the door to his bedroom. "Mom!" he yelled. "Where are you?!"

"I'm right here," Ann Richardson said, walking up the stairs. "What it is?"

"I'm talking to Brian on the phone and he wants to know if you'd like to have dinner with him, Valerie, Uncle Harold, and Aunt Jackie?"

"Sure, I'd love to," Ann agreed, smiling. "Just ask Brian what time and we'll be there."

"Alright, cool." Kevin went back to the phone. "Brian?"

"Still here," Brian said.

"We'll be there," said Kevin. "What time?"

"Hold on a minute," Brian said. Kevin heard him ask his mom what time dinner was. A minute later, he was back on the line. "7:30pm."

"All right," Kevin said. "See you then."

"Laters," Brian said. Then the two cousins hung up.

Kevin went downstairs into the living room where his mom was.

"Brian said dinner's at 7:30pm," he told her.

"Okay. I'll be ready by then," Ann said.

Kevin sat down next to her and hugged his mom. Ann laughed and hugged her youngest son back.

"I'm so glad you're home," she said. "I missed you so much."

"I missed you, too, mom," Kevin said.

They let go and went on to watch TV for a little while.


Brian hung up the phone and went into the kitchen where Valerie was helping his mother with dinner. When Valerie looked up at him, she smiled. Brian walked over to her and gave her a kiss. He saw his mom smiling at them from the corner of his eye.

"Did Tricia say she's coming?" Brian asked.

"Yeah," Valerie answered. "She'll be here."

"I sure hope this works. I hate seeing Kevin all sad about her."

"I know you do. I don't like it either. And no matter how much Tricia denies it, I know she misses Kevin just as much as he misses her."

"Did she say at least that much when she called earlier?"

"No, but I could tell. We'll see what happens tonight."

Brian nodded in agreement. He gave Valerie a kiss on the cheek then went into the living room to watch the sports channel.