Fifty or Sixty Years
RATING: This story is rated R for later chapters.
SPOILERS: Through season 8 and bits and pieces of season 9
ARCHIVE: Since most of the words and some of the minor characters are mine, please do not archive this story without my permission.
DISCLAIMER: Obviously I do not own the main characters in this story. If I did, I would have written seasons 8 and 9 differently. However, I would like to thank TPTB at Warner Brothers for creating John Carter, Peter Benton, Mark Greene, Luka Kovac, Susan Lewis, Abby Lockhart, etc. I would also like to thank the actors who brought them to life. Though occasionally some of the lines are taken directly from episodes, no copyright infringement is intended. This story has been written solely for the enjoyment of ER fans. However, since most of the words and some of the minor characters are mine, please do not archive this story without my permission.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Though Secrets and Lies was not the favorite episode of many fans, it is one of the favorites of this author because it allowed ER fans the opportunity to see what motivates these characters to behave the way they do. It was after that episode that this story began to take shape. As a faithful viewer since the first episode in 1994, I have made every effort to incorporate what we know of the history and development of these characters into this story. I have also tried to follow closely the storyline of season 8 and write what could have possibly taken place between scenes or in the minds of the characters during a scene. In later chapters, I have loosely followed the storyline of season 9. However, the final chapters are pure fantasy. The quotes and comments at the beginning of each chapter are intended to give the reader some idea of what inspired the author to take this fan-fiction in a particular direction. Though I would not recommend basing any medical decisions on information found in this story, I have made every effort to research the medical scenes and keep the medical treatments plausible.
SUMMARY: John Carter searches for answers and finds love that lasts -- fifty or sixty years.
"So what happens to me now?"
"Now, I'm going to have an oncologist come down and take a look at you."
"No, I mean where do I live?"
"Oh, I don't know. I'll find out."
Conversation between Martin Lindsey and John Carter: Rampage
* * * * *
John Carter leaned against the ledge surrounding the roof of Cook County General Hospital; he was drinking a Coke. This had always been one of his favorite spots to come when he needed to sort things out. Tonight he had a lot of things to sort out. The day had been one long nightmare. They had set records in the ER for the most GSWs treated in one shift. Or was it two shifts? The whole day was a blur.
He had tried to explain to Abby why he was applying for a position at Northwestern but she did not understand. Instead, she was angry that he had not told her sooner. He had not thought it would matter to her. Whenever he tried to talk to her about anything, they always got back to Abby's favorite topic: Luka. Finally, today, he told Abby that he did not want to be her friend. She acted like she had no idea what he meant. Carter was tired of having his heart broken. He shook his head. Lucy would have understood. He looked around the roof. How many times had he come up to the roof with Lucy to talk? God, he missed Lucy.
Lucy and he had talked about love. She understood that he wanted to find someone special, someone who loved only him, someone he could depend on to always be there. They both knew Carter had no idea how to do that but he kept looking. Lucy, on the other hand, was independent. She had grown up with one parent and had been quite happy. Her mother had never married, never saw the need to have a man in her life. Lucy didn't either. Carter took another drink of his Coke and looked out over the city.
Lucy would have understood about his career goals. She might have told him he was arrogant or too ambitious but she would have understood. It was not just that he wanted to be a good doctor. He wanted to make a difference in the world. Carter wanted the world to be a better place because he had been in it. So far, he had achieved just the opposite. He wanted to succeed, to earn the respect of his peers. He wanted to teach others what he had learned. He had failed miserably at that with Lucy. In spite of him, she was becoming a good doctor. Then, she was gone . . . gone like so many others whose lives he had touched. Carter sighed.
He thought about Martin lying there, alone and scared. That was something else he had tried to talk to Abby about. She had not understood that either. Instead, she made some flippant remark about how life could be worse; he could get passed over for chief resident. He had not even bothered to try to explain. So, he had blown it off, commenting that he also could have been kicked out of med school and be forced to work as an ER nurse. Abby was never going to understand, no matter what he said. Sure, Carter was disappointed about not getting the chief residency but it was nothing compared to being twelve years old, alone and having cancer. He had watched Bobby go through that; that was the reason Carter had decided to become a doctor. He made a vow to himself the day Bobby died that when he became a doctor, he would never let a child die alone. He intended to keep that vow. Lucy would have understood that too. Martin was trying hard to be brave and grown up about his diagnosis. Yet, when he asked where he would be staying now, Carter could see the fear in his eyes. Despite his brave front, he was only a boy after all. No doubt, Martin was aware that social services did not like to keep sick kids in group-homes. They required too much care. However, it was hard to place a kid with special needs. Carter had tried to call social services but, since Adele had been shot, that department was in chaos. The head of Martin's group home was DOA; the call to DCFS provided no immediate answers. It would take time for Carter to be approved as a foster parent and Martin did not have a lot of time; he needed to begin treatment immediately. Besides, Carter knew his chances of being approved were slim. DCFS was very cautious when approving single males as guardians of children. Carter understood the reasoning; over 90% of pedophiles were male and what better way to obtain a steady supply of victims than to become a foster parent. Then, there was the problem of his drug addiction. Damn! That was going to haunt him the rest of his life.
Carter thought about Lucy again . . . thought about the time they had chased all over the city looking for Corrina's father. Heck, Lucy was impulsive enough to suggest they get married so Martin could have a home. He smiled as he imagined their conversation.
'Carter, we could get married. Then, we could even adopt Martin.'Carter took another long drink of Coke. The only time he had ever kissed Lucy was in Exam Six. He hadn't really loved her, had he? Well, one thing he was sure of, the sex would have been great. He tossed his Coke can into a trash and headed back down to see Martin before he left. He had made his decision. There was one other person who might understand how he felt and he planned to speak with her tonight. If anyone could intervene in this situation, she could.
'Lucy, are you crazy? We don't love each other.'
'What's that got to do with it? Carter, you don't even know what love is.'
'Yeah, but you don't want a partner. You said so yourself.'
'So, we'll split everything down the middle. You go your way; I'll go mine. The only thing we have to agree on is taking care of Martin. We should be able to do that.'
'Lucy, if we adopt, he won't qualify for insurance. Not, when he's already been diagnosed with cancer.'
'So, maybe we should just be foster parents. Or, we could adopt and you could pay the bills. What better way to spend the Carter millions you're always complaining about?'
'Lucy, are you sure you want to do this?'
'Sure Carter. Why wouldn't I be? The sex will be great!'
Gamma to the Rescue
"You're really going to do this? You're going to drag me back here and bail when it gets tough! The kid does not think he's going to have to go through this alone again! Don't leave him!"
John Carter to his mother: Simple Twist of Fate"I didn't spend much time thinking about how your brother's death affected you. I didn't spend much time on anyone."
Eleanor Carter to her son: Simple Twist of Fate"Gamma seems to be holding up well.""I expect she would."
Conversation between John Carter and Eleanor Carter: Four Corners
Carter stopped by Martin's room and found him watching television.
"Dr. Carter, I didn't think you would still be here."
"I wanted to stop by before I went home and let you know what I found out about where you'll be staying. For right now, you'll stay here in the pediatric cancer unit while oncology evaluates your case and decides on the best method of treatment. DCFS will be sending a caseworker by sometime tomorrow and, of course, I'll be here." Carter handed Martin a card with his phone and pager numbers. "Martin, I know this is scary but I'll try to be here as much as I can. If you need anything, even if it's just to talk, call me."
"Dr. Carter, I don't want to be a bother."
"Martin, I wouldn't tell you to call me if I didn't mean it. Sometimes things can get really scary in the middle of the night. So, call me, okay. I'll be back early tomorrow to check on you."
"Thanks, Dr. Carter."
Carter stroked Martin's brow with his hand, as he said, "No problem, Martin. You're not going to have to do this alone, I promise. I'll be back early in the morning but if you can't sleep, call me."
"Are you sure? You don't mind?"
"I'm sure." Carter smiled. "That's the reason I became a doctor."
* * * * * *
Carter arrived home that night late for dinner. However, both his grandparents and the household staff had grown accustomed to his irregular hours. Gamma had seen the news and had lots of questions about the shootings. Their conversation had given Carter the perfect opportunity to tell her about Martin. Carter had been right, she did understand but she also had some reservations.
"John, are you sure you want to pursue this? Raising a child is a big responsibility, especially for a single parent. And to take on one who is about to become a teenager could be very difficult."
"Gamma, I'm sure."
"John, I'm saying, you should take some time to think about it."
"Gamma, Martin doesn't have time. He needs someone . . . now; he needs to start treatment as soon as possible. Even with early, aggressive treatment, he only has a 70% chance of survival. It may not be that high. I found his mother's old charts and she died with the same type of cancer three years ago."
Millicent Carter knew her grandson was nothing if not stubborn and persistent. Sighing she said, "Well, I know a couple of judges who handle child and family service cases. Let me make some calls tomorrow and see what I can find out."
It wasn't an answer but at least it was a start. Kissing Gamma on the cheek, Carter went up to bed.
* * * * * *
Early the next morning Millicent Carter was up and planning her day. John had already left for the hospital. She sighed as she thought about John's request. Yet, she did understand his feelings. Losing a brother would have been difficult enough but losing one the way John had was appalling. She would never forgive her daughter-in-law for the way she had treated her grandsons.
As she sat sipping her morning coffee, she recalled when Bobby was first diagnosed with leukemia. He had looked tired and pale for several weeks. Millicent had hoped it was only because the children had spent so much time indoors that winter. She suggested that it might be a good idea to take the children for a check-up before Eleanor and Jack left for Paris but Eleanor was too busy planning her second honeymoon. Finally, Millicent dropped the subject and began encouraging them to leave two weeks earlier than planned. As soon as they left for the airport, Millicent phoned the pediatrician and scheduled appointments for all three grandchildren. Three weeks after they had flown to Paris, the doctor had given Millicent and Truman the bad news. Jack and Eleanor immediately flew home and Bobby began treatment. It was what happened later that Millicent found unforgivable.
Millicent agreed to take care of John and Barbara so Eleanor could focus her attention on Bobby. Jack cut back on his hours as much as possible, leaving Truman and Rolland to handle most of his workload. Eleanor left the house early every morning to go to the hospital. Jack would arrive late in the afternoon and spend the night. It was only later, after Bobby died, that Millicent learned Eleanor was spending most of her time in the museums, having lunch with friends, anything to avoid staying with her sick child. Millicent had never discussed that with Jack or John. What's done was done and there was no changing it. Still, she became angry every time she pictured how frightened Bobby must have been going through the treatments with only the nuns and nurses to care for him. She did not know if they knew about Eleanor's behavior pattern, but both men knew what Eleanor had done the day Bobby died.
Johnny had begged to go with his mother to the hospital that morning. He missed his brother and, despite everything he had been told, Millicent was sure Johnny knew Bobby was dying. The bone marrow transplant had failed, as had two more rounds of chemo. However, Eleanor insisted that Johnny go on to school. Johnny was riding his bicycle home from school when he saw Nate driving towards the house with Barbara. He flagged down the car and demanded that Nate immediately take them to the hospital because Bobby needed him.
When Nate arrived with Johnny and Barbara, the nurses were in Bobby's room. Eleanor had been at the hospital earlier but when Bobby started vomiting blood, Eleanor left. The nurse immediately called Jack to let him know that his son was in critical condition. Jack was on his way to the hospital. Barbara was afraid to go in the room but Johnny went in and helped the nurses get Bobby cleaned and changed. Nate phoned Millicent to let her know where they were and that Bobby had died, alone. When Jack arrived and found Eleanor missing, he phoned his parents. Learning that they were already on their way to the hospital, he left to find Eleanor. Johnny had stayed there, holding his brother's hand. Johnny kept talking to Bobby, telling him that he loved him and that he was sure their parents would be back shortly.
Forever, that scene would be etched into Millicent's memory. Through the glass she could see Johnny, holding his brothers hand, wiping his face with a cloth, talking to him. She recalled the myriad of emotions that crossed Johnny's face at the realization that his brother was gone. She watched as he leaned over and gave his brother one last hug. Jack returned to the hospital. He had given up his search for Eleanor. Stoically, Jack walked into Bobby's room. Johnny backed out of the way. Jack took his dead son in his arms and began to cry.
Eleanor finally arrived back at the hospital late in the afternoon, only to learn that her son was dead. That was her pattern, to arrive just before Jack was scheduled to relieve her and appear concerned. She came home that evening in a cab, went straight to her room, and refused to come out until the funeral. At the funeral she had been a gracious hostess. Everyone commented on how well Eleanor seemed to be handling things. The next week, she and Jack hosted their annual charity event as if nothing happened. Jack had wanted to cancel or, at least, leave early but Eleanor pressured him into staying for the entire evening. Millicent and Truman remained home and tried to comfort their grandchildren. Johnny was inconsolable. He was angry with his mother and refused to talk to anyone. From his red swollen eyes, it was evident that he cried when he was alone but he never allowed anyone to see him shed a tear.
Three weeks later, Millicent and Truman suggested that Eleanor and the children accompany them on the yacht for a tour of the Great Lakes while Jack was out of town on business. Eleanor refused, saying she needed to spend time alone with her children. The senior Carters left on Sunday for a two-week cruise. Jack left on Monday morning for China. School was out and Jack had tried to get Eleanor to bring the kids and go with him. However, Eleanor adamantly refused. Tuesday after the senior Carters set sail, Nate and Corrine left town for a ten day vacation of their own. Thursday morning, not long after she spoke with Jack on the phone, Eleanor took Barbara and flew to Paris, leaving Johnny at home with the maid. Jack had called frequently to check on Eleanor. Each time, Nadine had told him she was out with the children but that everything was well. However, the night Corrine and Nate returned, Sam and Nate found Johnny curled up in the stall asleep with Marigold. They immediately contacted both Truman and Jack. It was obvious that Johnny was extremely distraught and he absolutely refused to go back home.
As soon as they got the call, Millicent and Truman sailed back home. Millicent was seething. How could her daughter-in-law have flown to Paris without Johnny, and on his eleventh birthday, no less? Jack caught the first available flight out of China. He was furious with Nadine for not telling him that his wife had left. Within days of firing Nadine, he left for France. After that, John stayed with his grandparents whenever his parents were out of town. He continued that practice until he was in high school. Even then, he was a frequent visitor. John had stubbornly refused to tell anyone why he was in the stable that night, though Millicent had her suspicions.
Millicent had known last night that she would be unable to say no to John's request for help. Watching his brother die had been difficult but she knew it was the reason he had decided to become a doctor. All the family had been disappointed with that decision but, she knew now, it was the only profession that would ever make John happy. Sighing and praying silently that she was not making a mistake, Millicent Carter picked up the phone.
Weeks Following Rampage
Carter detested the idea of using his family name and influence to obtain anything. However, he felt this situation justified compromising his principles. Within three days, the judge declared John T. Carter, III, legal guardian of Martin Lindsey. Through the hospital, he had arranged to be Martin's primary care physician. From the first, Martin seemed pleased with the arrangement. When he explained things to Martin, Carter made three promises. First, he promised that no matter what happened, Martin would not have to go through it alone. Second, he promised to be truthful and explain everything about Martin's treatment options and prognosis and to answer all of Martin's questions. Third, he promised that if the treatments failed, he would let Martin decide when to quit. The promises were easy enough to make but the last one, especially, was difficult to keep.
Martin and Carter had no problems getting along and, the moment Millicent saw him; she fell in love with him. Martin's physical resemblance to John was incredible. He had the same dark brown hair and eyes. Marty even shared John's weird, slightly sarcastic, sense of humor. Millicent and Truman enjoyed having a young boy around again and Marty loved having grandparents. He had never known his own. Marty was a good kid and, despite his illness, tried to keep up with his studies. From the beginning, they decided Marty had to call Carter something besides Dr. Carter. The night before his first treatment, as they were playing Nintendo and eating pizza, Marty decided on Papa John. Marty's treatment began in the spring and continued into the summer. Gamma redecorated a room upstairs close to John's. As much as he could, Carter kept him at home. Private nurses stayed with Marty while Carter was at work. When Marty was in the hospital, Carter moved to County. He worked his shifts, spending all his breaks upstairs with Marty, and slept on a cot in Marty's room.
Everyone at County was very supportive and Marty became a favorite patient of all the hospital staff. Deb and Dave could always be counted on to switch shifts so Carter could be with Marty for treatments. Mark helped out when he could; though, with a new baby, his schedule was not as flexible. Even Luka had covered for him one time. Abby never once asked about Marty. Carter and Abby worked together but their relationship was over. She might have asked if she had known that Carter was more than his primary physician but Carter had not seen the need to make that information public. Deb and Peter knew, and of course, Dr. Nighster was aware of the arrangements. The information was on Marty's chart but few people ever took the time to actually read all the forms included in a patient's chart. No one at the hospital ever considered asking where Marty lived when he was not at the hospital.
On good days, Marty and Carter rode horses or went sailing. When he was tired, Carter carried Marty out to sit by the pool or put him on a raft and let him float. Carter suggested a trip to Disney World but Marty turned it down saying, "Hey, what could they possibly have that would be better than the Carter Estate?"
As the weeks passed, Marty experienced more bad days than good. Finally, Carter was forced to keep his third promise. As he had done so many times before Carter pulled a chair close to Marty's bed. Then, as gently as he could, Carter explained to Marty that the treatments were not working and the cancer was spreading. However, he would keep trying for as long as Marty wanted. Marty's calm response had not surprised Carter. He smiled and said, "Papa John, it's time to quit. Let's go home." Then, he asked, "Do you believe in God? My mom used to take me to Sunday school and I learned stories from the Bible. Do you believe there's a heaven?"
Carter had wrestled with these questions for years. He could only answer honestly, AI want to but sometimes, I don't know." Then he asked if Marty would like to speak to a minister and immediately arranged for the pastor of his grandparents' church to visit Marty. While the pastor visited with Marty, Carter reviewed his chart. He had written many orders for DNR but this one was the most difficult. He cried as he signed his name to the bottom of the form.
The day Marty decided to stop treatment, Carter informed Dr. Weaver that he was taking some time off and he had no idea when he would be back. Carter wasn't sure whether she was amazingly understanding or just glad to be rid of him. Regardless, Carter packed all the necessary equipment and moved Marty home. During the next week, the Reverend Doctor Caldwell became a frequent visitor to the Carter mansion. He and Marty seemed to have formed a special bond. By July 1, Marty's condition was rapidly deteriorating. The judge, who had granted Carter custody, came by that afternoon with some forms to sign. Marty smiled when Carter let him read them.
Carter had purchased fireworks and planned a picnic on Wednesday evening. Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, Marty asked, "Can we set off the fireworks tonight, instead of waiting?"
"Whatever you want Marty. You're calling the shots, remember?"
Carter immediately called Peter Benton and told him the cookout would take place a day early. Amazingly, Carla was cooperative, and Peter arrived with Reese right before sunset. As soon as it was dark, they set off all the fireworks. Reese and Marty seemed to enjoy the show and, of course, Reese was not at all frightened by the noise. Peter and Reese left a little after nine. Around nine-thirty, Carter carried Marty into the house and administered his scheduled dose of morphine. They sat in the game room on the sofa where they had spent so many hours watching movies and playing Nintendo. Marty's head was propped on a pillow in Carter's lap; Carter had his arms around him. They talked softly; occasionally Carter gave him some ice chips. Despite the oxygen, Marty's breathing grew labored but he refused to go to the hospital. Even though it was difficult, Carter respected his wishes. Time of death: 23:56.
Marty's funeral was held three days later. It was small: Grandpa and Gamma were there, along with Judge Fletcher, Peter Benton, Donald Anspaugh, Robert Romano, Deb Chen, Haleh, Lilly, Mark and Elizabeth, Randi, most of the oncology staff, and, of course, all of the staff from the Carter estate. He was buried beside other members of the Carter family. At the funeral Rev. Caldwell, read a letter written a few days before Marty died.
Most people would consider May 4, 2001 one of the worst days of my life. Not only was I shot by a crazed gunman that day but I was also diagnosed with cancer. However, I consider it one of the best days of my life because that's the day I first met Dr. John Carter. From the very beginning he was honest about my chances, telling me I had a 70% chance of survival. Obviously, if you are hearing this letter, I flunked the test. Sorry, Papa John, math always was my worst subject.
The past few months have not been easy for either of us but we've had our moments. How many kids get to live in a mansion with two wonderful grandparents and a whole house full of people to take care of you? I've done things this summer, I never dreamed of doing. I've ridden a horse and spent hours sailing. I even got to ride in a helicopter. And don't ever forget the good times we had in the pool?
Papa John, I know you'll be sad when you hear this but try to remember the good times. Thank you for keeping all your promises; I know it was hard, especially the third one. I've lived in foster care long enough to know that a lot of kids aren't lucky enough to have one parent that loves them. I was blessed with three.
I love you,P.S. I know you're not sure what you believe about God but, when you figure it out, Bobby and I will be waiting.
Three weeks later at his grandfather's funeral, Carter slipped away from the crowd for a few minutes to read the newly placed gravestone:
Robert Martin Lindsey-Carter
September 4, 1989 - July 3, 2001
Beloved Son of
Timothy Robert & Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey
John Truman Carter, III
Weeks Following Rampage
"John, you want to help your grandmother. Be a good host, go introduce yourself to Senator Herrero's daughter."
Jack Carter to his son: Four Corners
Carter stumbled through the rest of the summer. He kept busy with work and meetings. Dr. Upton had suggested he write up the soft tissue sarcoma case. He had the research completed but he couldn't write it. He was too close to the situation and the pain from Marty's death, followed so closely by Grandpa's, was too fresh, too intense. Eventually he might write up the case, but not now.
Senator Herrero's daughter had called and invited him to dinner. The evening was a loss; Carter could not recall a more tedious evening. Victoria droned on and on about the parties in Washington. They were so much more extravagant when Clinton was president and Clinton was so much more handsome than Bush. Carter wanted to ask what any of that had to do with the ability to run a country but he knew Victoria would not comprehend the relevance of the question. By the time the evening was over, Carter swore if he ever heard a woman use the phrase so much more, he would immediately run the other direction.
His parents had stayed around for a few weeks but only to meet with Peter Harkins regarding Grandpa's estate. They left before everything was settled, leaving Carter to help Gamma complete the details. Inevitably, Peter Harkins' daughter arrived sometime during every meeting. Carter suspected his mother had something to do with arranging that. Possibly it was the reason his parents left before the estate was settled. After all, it was out of character for Dad to leave anything involving money unfinished. Carter's parents were in Chicago for the final disposition. They had arranged a dinner meeting, which Carter missed. He worked all night treating rejects from a rock concert. He felt bad about not seeing Dad but missing dinner with Stormy Harkins was worth an extra shift. His one date with her was like a date with Barbie: great body and nothing but air inside her head. Carter was way too old to be dating women who could not carry on a conversation.
Work kept him busy but his career, like his relationship with Abby, was going nowhere. He and Gamma had several long conversations about life. Since he had moved back in with his grandparents, they had come to understand his love for medicine. Of course, they made it perfectly clear that the offer to assume command of Carter Enterprises remained open. Gamma had proved to be a very good listener on occasions and some of her advice was propitious.
One conversation kept running through Carter's mind. It took place the day of Grandpa's funeral. He and Gamma had taken the red Jag out for a spin, leaving the rest of the mourners back at the house. "You know John, marriage isn't only about physical attraction. Though that's certainly a big part of it."
"Oh, don't look so shocked. I should have had this conversation with you years ago." Carter started to speak. "Hush, I don't want to hear it, John Truman Carter. Just listen. Your grandfather and I had a good marriage. Truman was my dearest friend. I think that's what I'll miss the most. We had the same goals . . . the same hopes . . . the same dreams. We worked together as a team. Yes, we had our disagreements. However, if two people always agree on everything, one of them isn't necessary. I made sure your grandfather knew I was very necessary."
Carter laughed as he thought about some of their more vocal disagreements. "Yes, Gamma, I'm sure he knew."
"The important thing was we agreed on our basic values, John. I knew his success in business was important to him; he knew I wanted a family. His business became important to me and our family became important to him. He was always there when I needed him, John, and I tried to be there for him. Sharing the same basic religious views helped too. It's difficult to stay angry when you sit next to someone in church. Out of our religious beliefs grew our desire to help others. Together, we started the Carter Foundation. Oh, I know Truman hated dressing up for the fund-raising events but he enjoyed writing out the checks to the charitable organizations. What he enjoyed most was spending a day with some of the children many those organizations benefited. I think that's why he liked having Marty here so much."
There was a look of sadness in his eyes as Carter smiled. "I know," he replied softly.
Gamma continued, "I don't want you to get the idea our marriage was purely a business arrangement. Your grandfather was a passionate man, right up until the day he died." Carter saw the gleam in Gamma's eye.
"Don't look at me like I revealed something scandalous, John Carter! It's not as if your generation invented sex. How do you think we produced that family we are so proud of? Here, you drive. I'm having another glass of champagne."
Why hadn't he seen it before? He kept looking to his parents to be his role models. Yet, he had missed the relationship that was right in front of him all these years.