“I fell into a burning ring of fire,

I went down, down, down,

And the flames went higher…”

The day was sunny and hot as I pulled my car in front of the church and parked. I stepped out of the car, a joint in between my lips. I needed it. It had been rough few weeks and because I had no idea how to handle the loss of my grandmother. I stepped inside of the church, dipped my fingers in the fountain of holy water before dropping my joint inside, figuring it wouldn’t be best practice to toke up while in the presence of the big guy upstairs.

The statue-esque eyes of the Lord stared down upon me as I made my way down the aisle, keeping my eyes locked with his. I could just feel the judgement radiating off of them. Condemning me to the pits of Hell right from the start.

James: “Easy big guy…I put it out. I am still working on me, so don’t be so quick to judge. Nobody’s perfect remember…”

I walked a little bit more before stopping dead center of the altar. I released a sigh and shook my head. I closed my eyes and lifted my hands up, just as I was told to do as a kid.

James: “Dear Father…who art in Heaven…and all that jazz…my name is James. I am here today, praying which is something we both know that I don’t really do...but that is neither here nor there. I’m here because I guess you could say I’m having a crisis of faith. As you know, I am a professional wrestler. It is what I am good at, but the thing is that I don’t have the motivation to get back to the ring. And that kind of sucks because I’m a wrestler and like I said…it’s my profession…”

I shook my head again, putting my hands down and opening my eyes. I locked in on the statue of Big Guns. For a second, it looked like he smirked at me.

James: “Alright, let’s get down to brass tax here. I am screwed if I can’t find my mojo. I need motivation. I need something to break me out whatever funk I’m in. I mean…what else am I going to do? Go back to school for social work? I don’t think so. I am pretty sure my attention would elsewhere with all of that college snatch running around…”

???: “Excuse me…can I help you?”

I stopped talking and squinted my eyes still staring at the Lord’s resting statue face, wondering if the thing just talked. But then the voice came again, saying ‘hello’. I turned to the right and stumbled a bit as my eyes rested upon a beauty of a nun. She stood there. Her brunette hair pulled back and her almond shaped brown eyes stared back at me. I felt blown away.

I waved at her, trying my best to not look like a fool. Something told me that I was failing. I took a step forward and tried the next best thing.

James: “Hey…did you say something? I couldn’t quite hear you. I was talking to someone else.”

She nodded as she smiled.

Nun: “I asked if I could help you, James. I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. It seemed that you are troubled.”

I shrugged.

James: “So you were being a little eaves dropper, I see…”

I said with a chuckle, trying my best to flirt.

Nun: “Well, James, this place is pretty empty except for you and me, so one’s voice will carry, making it hard not to hear.”

She grinned and I smirked, letting her know that I picked up on her sarcasm.

James: “Well, I was just trying to have a private chat with your hubby up there. I didn’t know anyone else was here. I apologize.”

Nun: “No need to apologize, James. So, is there anything that I can do to help?”

James: “Oh no. It’s nothing something I would to bother a real person about. I’d rather just stand here and shout all of my problems at the top of my lungs to a statue. There is just something romantic about it, wouldn’t you say?”

Her smile flashed at me again and I immediately wished that I could at least pretend to be that happy all the time.

Nun: “It wouldn’t be a bother, James. It is what we are here for. And our Lord is always listening even if you don’t think he is.”

I shrugged my shoulders once more and nodded my head in approval, even if deep down I knew I hesitated to agree with her.

James: “Alright when you put it like that, I’d say you make a fair point. But I have to ask….if He is always listening then how come I feel like I never get any sort of response? I could stand outside in the pouring rain, butt naked, chanting and praying, yet the closest I get to an response is a lightning bolt to the tip of my dick…”

I closed my eyes immediately after saying the word and I shook my head. I remembered when I’d curse in church as a kid and get my hand popped or even my mouth, depending on who it was. My grandmother would definitely pop my jaws if I showed any sort of disrespect to the church. She didn’t play games when it came to that sort of thing.

James: “Look, I apologize for that little obscenity. I have been known to say a lot of inappropriate things at the most inappropriate of times. It is a gift and curse, depending on who you ask. I am sure the Big Man over there on the wall has heard me quite a few times over my lifetime. Hopefully I can be forgiven.”

Nun: “Everyone makes mistakes, James. And just as you said earlier, nobody is perfect. We just need to do our best.”

I nodded.

James: “Yeah I have tried that. I gave up pills and booze. Even sleeping around with beautiful women such as yourself. But that lasted all of two months pretty sure and I am back to getting fucked up on a nightly basis which has led to a train ride of forgetting shit as well as waking up in strange places next to strange faces.”

The nun nodded.

Nun: “I see. So you’re here more for this relapse spell than your wrestling career. Is that correct?”

I shrugged my shoulders, holding a puzzled look on my face.

James: “I’m not really sure. I feel like it is all going hand in hand.”

Nun: “How so?”

James: “Well, my grandmother died. That caused a spark in me. I have never had the best coping skills so I turn to drinking hard liquor and popping pain pills. I stepped away from wrestling because of my grandmother so I could spend time with her. Now that she’s gone, I can’t seem to stop feeling like shit…I mean, crap unless I’m buzzing. And I can’t find the motivation to even want to step back into the ring so I get a buzz to deal with the fact that I feel like a fuck…like a failure.”

The nun lowered her gaze from mine, slowly shaking her head.

Nun: “Seems like you have a lot of doubt when it comes to yourself and what you can do. I believe that you came to the right place.”

I tilted my head from side to side.

James: “Well, at least I got that going on for me. And who would’ve thought that smoking a J on good faith would lead me here…maybe he is listening after all. But now that I’m here, I guess the next question is what would be the next logical step?”

The nun shook her head, looking somewhat puzzled as well. That did not sit well with me. In fact, I’d say I was a little more than concerned.

James: “You’re shaking your head…what does that mean? Does it mean that there is nothing you can do? If so, I’d rather you or your hubby tell me that I am fucked up beyond all repair and recognition. I’m a big boy. I think I can take it. If not, I am sure I can find something out there that will help me cope with it.”

I started telling myself that I needed to prepare myself for the worst. That I wouldn’t be returning to the SCW. That I wouldn’t step foot into the ring against the likes of Tommy Valentine, Regan Street, Syren, or Rayvn Taylor. I wouldn’t even have the chance to possibly put on a wrestling clinic with the veteran, STD. No, I would be some bum, spending what money I’ve saved up at the bar, drowning in liquor and sorrow before finding myself living in a cardboard box. I told myself that would be my future until I decided to open my cardboard flap up to the Grim Reaper so he could welcome me home.

Nun: “That’s not what I am saying James. There is never someone who is beyond help or saving.”

That turned my concern away and made me regret my internal monologue of a rant, as I told myself that maybe there is hope.

James: “So what are you saying?”

She smirked.

Nun: “Well, typically in the Catholic church as you may know well…we recommend quite a few ‘Our Fathers’ and some ‘Hail Maries’, but in this case…in this particular case I don’t think that is going to solve your problem. I don’t even think it will lead you down the right path.”

James: “Okay…then what do you suggest?”

We locked eyes and her gaze was fierce.

Nun: “I could blow you.”

Her words hit me and it was like time stood still for a minute or two. I shook my head and blinked rapidly as if my mind, my body, and spirit could not handle what she said. I even leaned my ear toward her as I responded.

James: “Excuse me…did I hear you correctly? I really don’t think that I did.”

Nun: “What did you think I said, James?”

James: “I believe I heard you say that you could…you know…”

I looked around, trying to avoid contact with the statue eyes of our Father in Heaven, before returning my gaze to the incredibly sexy and attractive nun before me.

James: “…blow me…I mean, you could tell me that I’m wrong because why wouldn’t I be? I’m sure its because I’m high. It would have to be. I mean, why would a nun offer to do such a thing? And believe me, I’m not saying that you’re not attractive because you are. I am sure there is a bit of a wildfire inside of you, behind that little nightgown of yours…”

Nun: “You didn’t hear wrong or misinterpret what I said, James.”

I ran my hands over my face a few times, trying to comprehend what was going on here. As my hands were removed from my face, I felt hands going downstairs around my pants. My belt was undone as I heard the buckle snap. I heard the sound of a zipper being unzipped and then a slight breeze as my jeans snuggled next to my ankles. I looked and saw a seductive grin appear on the sexy nun’s face as she slowly dropped to her knees. I felt another breeze as little me made an appearance before being engulfed in a very pleasant, yet damp, warmth.

I looked up and saw the judgmental statue eyes of our Savior glaring down on me with great vengeance. I slowly lifted my hand up as if I were blocking his view before staring up at the ceiling to keep myself from exploding so soon.

James: “Our Father who art in Heaven…Hallow be thy name…I promise the Kingdom I plan to come, and then I will be done…”

And just when I felt the sensation, that tingling sensation in the base as it worked its way to the tip top, I heard a voice. A very familiar voice. And all of the goodness I felt in the house of the Lord, the fulfillment of my spirit quickly subsided as I heard…

???: “I see that not much changed down there for you, James…”

Confusion began to form in my brain as I felt myself growing softer by the second.

James: “Wait…what…”

I looked down to see the nun staring up at me, startled and almost as disappointed as me. I then turned my head to the direction of the voice, only to find my grandmother, arms and legs crossed, eyes locked in on me as she sat in a pew just a few rows back from the altar, fuming furiously. I saw her and all I could muster up to say was…

James: “It’s not what it looks like…”

I looked down to see the nun still going to town before turning and locking eyes with my grandmother before a loud buzzing sound came out of nowhere, causing the entire church to vibrate and shake. The nun and my grandmother exploded into a blinding light.

Then I woke up.

I looked around. I was in a bed. I rested my head against the pillow and released a sigh. But then I looked around some more and realized that I was not in my bed, or in my room. I had no idea where I was. I then noticed movement underneath the covers. I peeled the covers back to find a very familiar looking face with eyes staring back at me. It was the nun from my dream…except she wasn’t a nun. She was tonguing my nether regions as we locked eyes.

James: “Good morning…”

Girl: “Morning to you too, stud…Did you have a nightmare or something?”

James: “I’d go with the ‘or something’ part.”

She moved and climbed back up, resting beside me. I watched as she leaned over and grabbed a cigarette. She offered me one so I took it. Why not, I asked myself. I hadn’t smoked or drank in awhile, but that had changed when I started watching my grandmother die. I became what I didn’t want to become.

…A coward…

James: “So, I hate to be that guy…but where are we? And who are you?”

She looked at me a little shocked. I couldn’t blame her. My questions were of the dick persuasion.

Girl: “Well, that is much appreciated James. But then again, I’m not surprised you don’t recall much from last night. You took a few hits of “X” and not too mention all of the Jager bombs, among other things, that you drank last night…I’m surprised you’re alive. And my name is Zoe by the way.”

I smirked.

James: “Of course I did and of course it is…it’s all slowly coming back to me now. We met at that club in downtown Manhattan and then…How did we end up here?”

We both took drags off of our cancer sticks. She let out a laugh and I followed, except you could tell that mine was fake.

Zoe: “You kept saying that you wanted to fuck a world champion…”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and shook my head. I was at the bar drinking away, watching Breakdown. I watched Syren aka Zoe Sperling defeat Amy Chastaine for the SCW World Championship. I remembered thinking that I found both women highly attractive, but for different reasons. Amy was attractive in that down to Earth, wholesome kind of way whereas Syren was that slutty, let me some show a lot of skin to get attention, kind of way. I shook my head some more as I recalled hearing a couple of girls talking and I heard the name Zoe, which more than likely led me to where we are now. I told myself that Ace would be proud to know that I got laid without his help.

I told myself that I was attracted to pretty much all of the women I worked with but I never really made any sort of move or anything. I wasn’t one to take to Twitter and flirt over cyberspace. I attempted to do so with Kennedy Street, but neither of us was into it. At least I know I wasn’t. I’ve not been one to really do the whole social media thing. I always got that empty feeling seeing David Helms and Regan Helms talk back and forth. Even Ace and Kennedy. All of those couples showing up the Twitter feed, showcasing their love and adoration all over the place. Seeing Katelyn and Connor Green doing the MCM and WCW tidbits let me know just how lonely I have allowed myself to become. The drugs, booze, and the loneliness contributed to me making bad decisions and winding up in bed with someone I couldn’t remember.

I asked myself when the madness would end but before I could answer, Zoe spoke breaking me from my trance of self-loathing.

Zoe: “So…what was it like?”

I took a drag of my cig before replying.

James: “World championship material my good lady.”

She looked at me confused.

Zoe: “What is with the whole ‘world champion’ shit anyways? It confused me but you were hot so I just went with it. But now that the smoke has cleared, I figured it was time to ask.”

James: “It’s a professional hazard…”

Zoe: “Well, what do you do?”

James: “I’m a wrestler…and a non-practicing one at that. I used to be on TV, but I left due to family issues. Everything is over and done with now in terms of family, but I haven’t really committed to going back to wrestling. And the World Championship…it’s something that I want…well, wanted when I was competing.”

Just hearing myself talk made me want to drink again. I wanted to be World Champion at least once in my career, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that the ship had sailed long ago. It was pigeonholed between Amy, Syren, and Reagan. Sooner or later, Rayne would get the shot and more than likely win. All of them had something that I didn’t and that something was belief. I told myself that I had belief once but I had allowed it to fall to the wayside. I wanted things but didn’t want to put forth real effort in order to attain those things and to achieve those goals.

Zoe: “Well, if it makes you feel any better you’re my World Champion especially after going down on me for like forty-five minutes.”

I smirked, telling myself that there is hope after all, because apparently I am good at some things.

James: “I aim to please, what can I say…”

Zoe: “Well, you do a lot better than my husband. If I remember correctly, the last time he tried to do that, he had me take a shower first then spent half an hour trying to find my clit.”

She’s married, I told myself. These are the kind of women I attract these days, I continued, all superficial. Being the self-loathing cunt that I am, I entertained her and continued the conversation, in a desperate attempt to boost my ego and self-esteem if at all possible.

James: “Well…how did he do?”

She took another drag off her cigarette before exhaling and shaking her head, rolling her eyes in the process.

Zoe: “I am pretty confident that he figured it was on the bottom…”

I chuckled.

James: “That’s gross. Poor guy. I’ve never understood how people, especially men, can confuse a playground and waste disposal plant. It’s just never made sense to me.”

I took a final drag off of my smoke before putting it out, slowly maneuvering myself in the bed, slowly creeping underneath the covers.

James: “Well, I can take a hint. I have no issue going under the hood, downtown towards the south lane…”

I peeked at her before beginning to fulfill my duty as ‘world champion’.

James: “And don’t worry…I brought my GPS, secretly storing it up my brown eye, just in case I get lost.”

She chuckled before those chuckles turned into soft moans as my hands gripped her thighs and my tongue slithered around like a snake.

And then a car horn was honked, followed by someone yelling Zoe’s name at the top of their lungs. The guttural screams sounded quite manly. I immediately wished I could shrink myself and hide inside of Zoe’s snatch because the poor bastard wouldn’t be able to find me there. By the time he got to my hiding space, I would have slipped out of another orifice.

James: “Who might that be?”

Zoe: “That would be my husband, Champ.”

James: “Since I can’t hide down here, would there be another exit nearby?”

Zoe: “You can go out the sliding glass down and hop off of the back porch…”

I nodded before getting out of the bed, just as I heard the front door open and slam shut. Her husband yelled her name a few more times as I grabbed my shirt, wallet and keys, and slid my boots on. I began to look for my boxers but they were nowhere to be found. I couldn’t even find my jeans.

James: “So, we have an issue. Where might my pants and underoos be?”

Zoe shrugged before hopping out of bed and grabbing a big T-shirt. She told me she would go distract him before running out of the bedroom and heading downstairs.

Zoe: “Honey you’re home…”

Husband: “Whose pants are these? And who the hell wears boxer briefs?”

The mystery was quickly solved…

Zoe: “I bought these for you babe. I just imagined how they would make your package look…”

Her attempts didn’t work.

Husband: “These have been worn. Where is he?”

I looked around and saw no pants lying around. I tried the door but it was locked. I shook my head and cursed myself before deciding to go ahead and accept my fate. I ran out of the bedroom and headed downstairs to find Zoe and her husband I presumed standing there, both holdings expressions of shock on their faces. I just waved as I reached the living room floor. Her husband was full on mid-life crisis hipster with his shabby hair and bushy beard and black framed glasses.

James: “Those would be mine…”

I quickly slid on my briefs and jeans before extending my hand out to her husband.

James: “My name’s James…”

My welcome was met with a quick punch to the face. I stumbled back a bit and let a laugh, because deep down I knew I deserved this. I was just laughing at the sick joke.

Husband: “I don’t give a flying fuck who you are. Are you sleeping with my wife?”

I spit some blood out onto the floor before standing up straight and shrugging my shoulders.

James: “I mean…not currently…But we did sleep…a little bit last night if I recall. My memory is a bit foggy…”

This resulted in another punch to the face, followed by a shot to the gut, which doubled me over and knocked the wind out of me. I pressed one hand to my gut and pressed the other down to the floor to balance myself, letting out a groan followed by another chuckle.

Husband: “Go ahead man…tell me more. I love it. So come on…let’s hear some more.”

Zoe: “Honey stop. That’s enough. Just let him go.”

I waved my hand in the air as I stood straight once more.

James: “No Zoe. He needs to know the truth. So listen up, Bieber…the little man in the boat…”

I did my best impression of a vagina with my hands before flicking tongue near the top, while holding a smile on my face.

James: “He’s up here…this is where he is…Use that for future reference…”

Zoe’s husband went for another punch. That time I dunked down and drove my fist into the man part section of his skinny jeans. He released a groan and dropped to his knees. I raced towards the door. I looked at Zoe once more as she started rubbing her husband’s back. She glared at me, shaking her head like I was the bad guy.

James: “You two can work it out.”

I fumbled around with my keys while racing down the street, clicking and listening for my car. A few clicks in and a block down from Zoe’s house I found it. I hoped inside, started it up and took off like a bat out of Hell, shaking my head at my actions, while a smirk formed on my face. I told myself that I got lucky but sooner or later, my luck would run out.

Maybe I need to go back to wrestling, I thought to myself as I continued my drive home. I was doing well, my mind continued. I was staying sober and out of trouble.

“Do you really want to go back down this path, James?”

The voice called out from the backseat. I looked in the mirror and saw my grandmother sitting back there, arms and legs crossed, with the scowl on her face just as she was in my dream.

James: “I’m not really sure grandma. I know I shouldn’t be but here I am. It’s hard to turn the car around and go the other way if you catch my drift. And before you say anything about the Lord or prayer, I don’t think Jesus taking the wheel would be the best option.”

Grandma: “And what do you think the best option is, James? Do you even have a clue?”

James: “No, I don’t. I don’t know what am I doing or where I’m going. I don’t have the slightest fucking…sorry…slightest clue.”

Grandma: “And you think drinking is going to help you figure it out?”

James: “I don’t think I will learn anything from it but right now, I feel like it’s worth a shot…or several if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.”

I looked up in the mirror and saw her shake her head.

Grandma: “I got the joke. The punchline wasn’t funny. I guess if you continue going down this road, you’re going to be the joke and everyone will laugh at you, instead of with you.”

James: “You’re probably right and I won’t argue with you on that. I’m just lost grandma. I lost you and now it seems like I’ve lost any and all spirit that I had for anything and everything that I enjoyed.”

I looked ahead as memories of what I enjoyed began to flood my mind. Spending time with my daughters, watching them run around laughing and playing while I stood in awe and amazement of the fact that I could create two little beings filled with such happiness and love. Memories of my career, defeating Shilo Valiant for the United States Championship. Pinning Brayden Walker after going through a fight with him and Matt Auclair before becoming the new Underground Champion. Crawling over and hooking the leg of the legendary David Helms before the referee counted the sweet sounding three before having my hand raised as the new Adrenaline Champion.

The three highlights of my career. Nothing else really. I was a runner up in the 2016 Shot of Adrenaline tournament but as the saying goes, no one remembers second place. I’ve dealt with that a lot recently in my career. Coming in second place for the number one contender tournament. Getting pinned after being slammed through some chairs. Yeah, I enjoyed most of it…

Grandma: “Don’t use me as an excuse, James.”

I looked into the mirror.

James: “That is not what I’m doing and you know it!!!”

Grandma: “Then what would you call it? You have talent. You have the ability. You just don’t use it. You expect things to be easier but that is just not the case. If it were, I would probably still be alive. I wouldn’t have had congestive heart failure, but I did. I struggled and I suffered. You are meant to suffer, James. I did and I fought as hard as I could. When are you going to start doing the same?”

I brought the car to a stop, putting it in park right outside of the apartment complex. I stared ahead, not really knowing what to say. If I did, I had no clue how to say it.

Grandma: “You need to fight for what you want, James. If you don’t, you will die out in all aspects of your life. I don’t think that is what you want. I know it wouldn’t be what I would want for you.”

My hands gripped the steering wheel as I pressed my forehead into it, slowly and softly banging it against the wheel, telling myself over and over that no matter how bad it hurt to hear those words, there was nothing that I could do but admit that she was right.

I continued to bang my head, cursing myself when my phone vibrated. It startled me at first, because I am not really use to it. I have never been the most popular person walking the Earth. I removed my phone from my pocket and found that I had received a Twitter notification, saying I had received a message. I found this odd because I have never been one to really use social media. I’ve dabbled but Ace Marshall I am not. I checked my messages to find that Amy Chastaine had messaged me. I found this even more odd.

Amy: “Uh... I'm fine, I think... are YOU ok?”

I stared down at my phone, puzzled and scratching my head, wondering what she was talking about.

James:” Yeah why would you ask?”

I had never spoken to Amy except when we were competing against one another. I am sure I bad mouthed her at various points during the match. I decided to dig a little further and then I saw it.

James: “Oh wait...”

James: ”I greatly apologize…”

I read through the messages, as I had apparently sent her some the night before during a drunken stupor. As I read the drunk messages, I couldn’t help but shake my head.

James:” heyyyy hlwyoub???”

James: “OMFG where r u...where am I?”


James: ”Ur so pretty...hope yousok...”

All I could think was, Jesus…

Amy: “No need.”

I sighed a little bit of relief, thanking Allah and everyone else in that category of Deity that Amy was taking it in good spirits.

Amy: “Just reads like you were maybe drunk... Is everything ok?”

I chuckled at that one. Drunk was an understatement seeing how my day had already been going. I wanted to tell her that I am far from OK but I decided not to, seeing how this would probably turn her off from me, which would be completely awkward as SCW shows.

That was if I went back…

James: “Oh I'm great...”

James:” Just dealing with the loss of my grandmother, not sure what I'm gonna do when it comes to wrestling...”

Way to go James, I thought. Create yourself a good ol’ fashioned pity party…

James:” I'm pretty sure I have a black eye...life is just dandy LOL”

I shook my head at the LOL. I really fucking hate that whole internet lingo. She responded, and her response made me stop hating myself only slightly.

Amy: “Sorry for your loss.”

And then she followed up with…

Amy: “Black eye?”

To label me an idiot would be extremely kind, I told myself.

James: “Thanks...”

Why did you have to mention the black eye?

James: “And yep. Black eye but you should see the other guy. He was someone's husband.”

I figured I wasn’t really helping my cause as of right now. I couldn’t do any worse I’m sure. Might as well keep up with the honesty card. James: “There's a reason liquor and I don't mix well.”

Amy: “I'm not sure I even want to know...“

I sighed in disgust, wishing I could kick my own ass.

Amy: “You know, if you need to talk rather than drink, you can message me anytime. Wouldn't want you getting into any more trouble.”

This brought a small ounce of reassurance that she didn’t think I was a complete waste. But if she did, it is not like I could really blame her.

James:” I wish it wasn't this way.”

James: “I may have to take you up on that.”

Amy:” Feel free to. I understand, believe me.”

Her response brought a sliver of a smile to my face. Amy always seemed to be truly genuine and from what I had seen on Twitter, she had been blasted for drinking and battling alcohol. That is something I have never liked about humans as a race. We always rip into others who are suffering when some are not. It is just human nature. I felt like Amy and I could agree on that, as it seemed we were both battling demons.

I went to reply, but I stopped. I didn’t want to blow up her phone or anything, or come off any more annoying than I probably already had. I closed my phone, looked at my reflection in the mirror and sighed, before getting out of the car. I walked into the apartment building, making sure I had sunglasses to cover up my battle wound, as I reached Katelyn’s apartment. I knocked on the door and took a few steps back.

I heard the girls running around on the other side of the door, shouting happily and I pressed my ear against the door just to hear it a little better as a smile appeared on my face once more. Hearing their laughter brought a warmth to me. I felt whole and then the door opened. Katelyn stood with her hand on her hip, looking me up and down, drinking in the fact that I looked like a can of smashed assholes.

James: “Hey there she is. How are you doing, champ?”

Katelyn: “I’m doing a lot better than you appear to be doing. Are you okay? I’m sorry once again about your grandmother…”

James: “Yeah well…”

Before I could complete my statement, Katelyn’s arms wrapped around me, hugging me. I hugged her back, a part of me began to miss being with her, and the feelings we shared. The part of me that wanted to be able to wake up every single day to her and our daughters, but as the hug ended, the other part of me informed me that would never happen.

We missed our shot.

James: “I’m still having trouble with it, but I am sure I’ll come around. I always do.”

Katelyn nodded.

Katelyn: “That you do, James that you do. Well come on in. The girls are ready to go. They have been dying to see you ever since they got back the other week. They seemed to really love North Carolina. I couldn’t get them to stop talking about hiking and the food.”

James: “I’m glad that they enjoyed it. I loved having them there with me. I’m also glad that they were able to meet their grandmother before she passed. I wish I had…”

I sighed and shook my head. I looked at Katelyn and she looked down for a few moments before walking away from the door. I followed her inside and closed it behind me. It wasn’t long before I was being attacked by Kelly and Keira.

Kelly and Keira: “WE MISSED YOU DADDY!!!”

I gave them a real smile.

James: “Daddy missed you guys too…”

I wrapped my arms around them as we sat down on Katelyn’s couch. I leaned my head back and stared up at the ceiling and embraced the feeling of being blessed for one the few times in my life.