July 25, 2012

Carpenters - Round 24

Willow sat next to Valerie Carpenter, the woman she thought would be her mother-in-law.  She'd spent years developing a friendship with her & wouldn't let Zane stand in the way of it.  "I just wanted to come see you and let you know that even though Zane and I broke up..."

Valerie gasped.  "What? What happened?"

Willow glanced down.  Oh no!  Zane hadn't even told his Mom.  Maybe that meant it wasn't serious!  Maybe he wasn't going to stay with Chasity McMillan, the home-wrecker!  "Well, it's kind of complicated.... we're kind of going through a rough patch.."

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Valerie said, reaching out to pat Willow's knee.  "It happens to the best relationships.  Is there anything I can do to help?" she asked.

Willow smiled sadly.  "No, I just need to talk to Zane," she said, getting up.

"Well, we'll see you soon," Valerie said hugging Willow goodbye. She certainly hoped Zane and Willow were able to patch things up.  Willow was such a delightful young lady!

"Mom! Willow?!" Zane said, startled.  "What are you doing here?"  

Willow glanced up and saw Chasity with him and her heart plummeted.

"Mom, Dad," he said as his Dad wandered into the room.  "I have an announcement.  This is Chasity, my wife."

Zane cringed when Willow ran from the room.

"What's going on?" Marshall demanded as Valerie just looked at him helplessly. 

"I'll be right back," Zane whispered to Chasity as he followed Willow to the other room.

"Don't say it! Just don't say it."  She said fretfully, pulling back when Zane tried to comfort her.   "Don't touch me!" 

Zane sighed.  "Look, Willow.  I'm so sorry! I never expected it to happen," he said lamely.  "We just met... and it... it just happened... it was like a lightening bolt (or three)..."

Willow turned and glared.  "Oh, sure and it's not like 3 lightening bolts happen every day, is it?" she said snidely.  She knew she was being a little snotty, but didn't she deserve it after her heart broken in two?  "You know, there was a time we had that connection... do you remember?"

Zane watched Willow turn her back and sob into her hands and felt his heart squeeze.  It killed him that she was hurting so much... but it was clear... his future was with Chasity. 

He just wished her introduction to the family hadn't been spoiled by Willow...  They'd both overcome a lot to be together, free and clear.
 ...Lindsay had made sure that Quincy knew she was over him...

              ....and that she was happy with Zane...

                                       .....Zane had proposed to her....

                                                         ....And Lindsay had happily taken his ring in matrimony.

Zane wouldn't feel guilty about his decision either.  He and Chasity were going to be a family!   He'd hated breaking Willow's heart... and his Mom's heart (she'd been set on throwing a big wedding), but in the end... he'd followed his own heart.

Valerie greeted Lindsay McMillan.  "It's so good to see you again," Valerie said to her old friend. 

Lindsay smiled tersely.  "I just wish it were for a happier occasion," she said tightly.

"Now, now," Valerie said.  "Just because they did things to their own drum doesn't make it wrong.  I think they'll be happy."

"But pregnant! And both of them leaving long-term relationships for each other! I just worry it won't last," Lindsay fretted.

Valerie looped her arm through Lindsay's.  "We can only hope for the best & offer our advice if they ask," she said sadly.

"Charity! You came!" Lindsay said happily.  Her new in-laws were throwing them a celebration dinner.  Valerie had insisted, saying it was the least they could do since they missed the wedding. 

Charity hugged her sister.  "I wouldn't miss it!  Have you met Jace?" she asked, pointing to her date.

Chasity smiled.  "I haven't, but I've heard all about you," she said as she greeted her sister's love. Turning back to Charity, she glanced down as she asked, "Did Chantel come?"

Charity's smile faded.  "I wish you two would make up! It makes family reunions so awkward!"

Chasity made a face.  "I would make up if she'd apologize," she griped.  "She stole my boyfriend!"

Charity leveled Chasity with a pointed look.  "And you stole Willow's boyfriend."

"Yeah, well, it's not like I'm trying to be her friend," Chasity said lamely.  "Fine! Fine! I see your point! I'm not innocent in all this either, but... she's my little sister!"

"And you never would've met Zane and been having this blessed little niece or nephew if she hadn't stepped in.  So, you should really thank her, right?"


"So. Thanks for coming," Chasity said tonelessly.

Chantel shrugged.  "Mom made me."

Chasity rolled her eyes.  "Well, thanks anyway."

Chasity was saved from having to make any more small talk when Valerie called out from the kitchen, "Dinner is served!"

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