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- As Rosie and Travis continued to grow closer, she attended Paula’s dinner party with him. But when Claire and Tim asked Rosie about her family life, she again evaded the questions, just as she did with Travis earlier.
- Trevor went to his father for advice after learning that Alex had visited with Yvette -- and discussed adopting her baby -- behind his back.
- In
denial about the severity of her mother’s condition, Tempest was furious when Alex showed up at the hospital to check on Yvette and the baby and said that Diane had told him Yvette was close to death.
- The doctor sadly reported that Yvette had succumbed to her injuries from the car accident and passed away.

KB Memorial Hospital

In the waiting area of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Claire Fisher steers Tempest Banks toward a chair against the wall. Tempest allows herself to be moved like a puppet, her feet dragging on the green industrial carpet and her arms limp by her sides.

“Here. Sit,” Claire says as she maneuvers Tempest into the chair. She seats herself on one side of Tempest, and a quiet Samantha Fisher stations herself on the other side.

“I don’t get it,” Tempest says, though her voice is mottled by tears and snot. “She can’t be dead."

“I know. It’s a huge shock.” Claire rubs a hand gently over Tempest’s back.

Tempest looks to Samantha and then to Claire. Red capillaries stand out from the whites of her eyes, which are also brimming with wetness.

“I thought she was--” She has to stop herself, and Samantha reaches over to take her hand. “I thought she was gonna be okay."

“We were all hoping for that,” Samantha says. “I’m so sorry."

Tempest sniffles hard, and Claire is already reaching for a box of tissues that sits on an end table with a collection of scattered magazines. She holds up the box, and Tempest quickly takes several tissues.

“She wasn’t supposed to die like that,” she says as she wipes her nose.

Claire and Samantha nod sympathetically.

“Do you want anything?” Samantha asks. “Water?"

Tempest shakes her head emphatically. “No. I just…"

The other two women lean inward.

“What do you need?” Claire asks.

Tempest swallows hard and looks up, a crumpled tissue clutched in her hand. “I wanna see her. I wanna see my mom before they take her away."

322 Bar & Grill

"Still nothing from your mom?" Rosie Jimenez asks.

"No. I texted her before I left my place," Travis Fisher says as he holds open the door to 322 Bar & Grill for her. He follows her inside and adds, "Kind of hoping no news is good news."

The restaurant is busy with the sights, sounds, and smells of Sunday brunch. Animated conversations compete with energetic pop-rock music to fill the space. Silverware and glasses clink together. The scents of bacon, eggs, and toast float through the air. 

Travis steps up to the host's stand, where a woman about his age is just hanging up the phone. 

"We have a reservation," he says. "Fisher. Travis."

The harried hostess checks the book, then looks up at him with startled eyes. "Um, yeah. We're just getting a table ready. It'll be a minute or two. Sorry."

Travis steps back to wait and pulls out his phone. He frowns as he looks at the display.

"What's wrong?" Rosie asks.

"Nothing. I mean, still no word. I don't wanna bother Tempest by texting her."

"Yeah. Don't do that."

"What's got you two looking so worried?" a female voice asks from behind them. When they swing around, they see Kathleen Bundy standing there, with Jimmy Trask flanking her. 
  Travis Fisher

"Hey," Travis says to his biological mother, who is grinning broadly. He steps forward and gives her a hug; their interactions are still a little awkward, each rule being written and refined as they go along, but he is nevertheless happy to see her.

"Um, Kathleen, I think you met Rosie at the chili cookoff," he says. "Rosie, this is Kathleen, my, uh--"

"Other mom," Rosie says with a laugh as she extends her hand for a shake. "I remember."

"And I'm Jimmy," the man in the plaid shirt says genially before shaking Rosie's hand as well. "Everything okay with you two? You look awfully worried."

Travis sighs. "There was a car accident last night."

Kathleen covers her mouth with her hand. "Oh no! Who? Are they okay?"

"Tempest -- you know, she lives with Claire," Travis says, looking Jimmy's way, “it was her mom. Yvette. She was pregnant--"

Gripping Jimmy’s sleeve, Kathleen asks, “Isn’t that the lady we met?"

“At Cassie’s. Yeah.” Jimmy nods nervously. “What do you know? Is she all right? Is she…?"

“I’m waiting for my mom to text me back with an update,” Travis explains. “She, Tempest, Samantha, and Diane were there all night."

“God, that’s terrible,” Jimmy says. “I should let Danielle know."

Travis’s face scrunches with surprise. “Danielle knows Yvette?"

“We all met her at Open Mic Night one night,” Jimmy explains. “Nice lady. Real nervous about singing. But we got her up on stage to sing an Alicia Keys song. Think she had the time of her life that night."

Kathleen knots her hands together. “I just hope she’s okay."

“I’m gonna text Dani and let her know,” Jimmy says. “But hey, if you two are waiting for a table, you’re welcome to join us. We’ve got room."

“Oh, that would be so fun!” Kathleen exclaims. “I mean, if you’d like to. We don’t want to interrupt anything--"

“It’d be fun. Yeah,” Travis says, glancing toward Rosie, who nods enthusiastically.

“Let’s do it,” she says. “Definitely couldn’t be any crazier than the family time we had last night."

“What happened last night?” Kathleen asks with concern.

“Oh my god, it was insane,” Travis says, launching into the story of last night’s dinner party at his grandmother’s as the older couple leads them back toward the table. 

Cassie's Coffee House

Alex Marshall sits at a small table near the window of Cassie’s Coffee House. Weekend activity swirls all around him -- chatter, laughter, music -- but all he feels is the sting of numbness. Even the pleasant brightness pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling window doesn’t seem real. Not after what happened at the hospital.

When Diane Bishop comes inside, coat clutched around her body and purse in hand, Alex manages to raise an arm to indicate himself. Diane hurries toward the table.

“How’d you beat me?” she asks as he slides the latte that he ordered for her across the table. “Thanks."

“That probably wasn’t my safest driving,” he admits. “I can’t believe Yvette is dead."

“Me, neither. I mean, I didn’t know her very well, but she was so alive just last night…” Diane lets out a hefty sigh. “It’s scary to think how fast everything can turn. Or end."

“I know.” Alex’s palms encircle his own coffee cup, and some part of him deep down is aware of the warmth emanating from it. “I feel so bad for Tempest."

“That woman made her childhood a living hell. Of course it hurts for her to lose a parent, but she’s overcome with emotion right now. In shock, I’d guess. She’ll get past this."

“Still… I remember how it was when Graham died. I was so angry at him for all the lies he told -- he blamed my mom for keeping me away from him, but the truth was that she had tried to get him to be a part of my life, and he just didn’t want to be at the time. And I kept pushing him away, but in the back of my mind, I felt like there would be a day when he… when he did enough to make it okay to forgive him. And then he died and I never had the chance."

“Graham was also a psycho who tried to kill Matt and probably would’ve done the same to Sarah."


“Okay, sorry. That was bitchy of me.” She pauses to take a sip of her latte. “My point is, your feelings about your father were obviously valid, just like Tempest’s feelings about Yvette are. But it doesn’t mean either of those people were worth your loyalty. They were shitty parents, and you were both within your rights to keep them at a distance. Just because they died doesn’t mean they were saints while they were alive."

“I know,” he says, setting down his cup. “But I remember what it was like to be in the middle of that, so for Tempest to feel like we were cheering for Yvette to die…"

“We were not. The woman was in a terrible car accident and was in critical condition. I was telling the truth on that voicemail. I’m sorry she had to hear it so bluntly, but it was true!"

“Still…” Alex stares out the window toward the parking lot. “I shouldn’t have been there. This whole thing has been a bad idea."

“Alex. Don’t say that.” She snaps her fingers, forcing him to look back at her. “Whether or not Yvette passed away, that baby was going to need an adoptive home. The accident was a tragedy. But you shouldn’t let your guilt over upsetting Tempest keep you from giving that kid the life he deserves."

“It isn’t that simple,” he says. “Trevor isn’t onboard. I’m marrying Trevor. All signs have been pointing to the right decision… and that decision is that I’m not supposed to adopt Yvette’s baby."


Trevor Brooks stalks over the cement path that leads through the cemetery, keeping his eyes out for the familiar landmarks -- the overly large angel-with-a-trumpet statue, the cluster of headstones of another family with the name Brooks -- as he makes his way toward his mother’s grave. When he finds it, he stands solemnly before the modest, tasteful grave marker, a square shape that rises nearly to his knees, and reads the familiar inscription: Rosalyn Brooks, Beloved Wife, Mother, and Grandmother

“Hi, Mom,” he says as he kneels. The grass is thankfully not wet today, though he has planted the knee of many a pair of pants in the moist, dirty grass without a second thought. 

He sets a bright bouquet of flowers in front of Roz’s grave. 

“I don’t know if you’ve seen,” he continues, “but I’ve been dealing with some stuff lately. With Alex."

He pauses to listen to the faint breeze, wondering if his mother really can hear him, wherever she is. 

“He wants to adopt a baby,” Trevor says. “Like, now. There’s this lady -- she’s the mom of a girl we know, Samantha Fisher’s girlfriend -- and she wants to give her baby up for adoption, and… Alex really wants us to adopt the baby, and I’ve just felt like… like I’m not ready. We only found out about this a few weeks ago. And now the baby is here. And I found out Alex has basically been lying to me and still considering it even though he told me he wouldn’t if I wasn’t..."

Trevor lets the explanation trail off into a sigh and reaches out a hand to touch the headstone.

Dad’s been great to talk to, but to get your advice, too…” He feels his throat tightening and pauses. “I miss you, Mom. And I wish you were here so you could tell me what to do. You would know exactly how to handle this. I know you would."


Claire leads the two younger women down the corridor of the ICU until they reach Yvette’s room. Tempest and Samantha stand behind her as she pushes down on the door handle, cracks open the door, and peeks inside.

“I asked them to give you a few minutes before they move her,” Claire says. “Do you want us to come in with you, or--"

“I should go alone,” Tempest says, her voice still crackling through tears. 

Samantha squeezes her girlfriend’s hand. “We’ll be right here."

With a solemn nod, Tempest dips inside the room. Before even looking toward the bed, she closes the door behind herself. Her fingers linger there on the handle, and she wonders if she never turns around, then this might never be real.
  Tempest Banks

“Just do it,” she mutters to herself, the same way she has so many times in the past: when she left her mother’s house in the middle of the night, when she first set up a place to sleep on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, when she was so hungry that she stole from a grocery store even though she was terrified the alarms would go off. All of those times, though, there was a way to go back; this time, the reality is irreversible. 

Slowly, she turns. There lies her mother, banged and bruised but actually not looking that different than the last time Tempest saw her. Her eyes are closed, and her hands rest atop her stomach, which is still large from her pregnancy despite having given birth. For some reason, Tempest thought it would be much smaller by now, but she supposes that takes time.

Time that Yvette will never have. 

She approaches the bed one unsteady step at a time. Part of her expects Yvette to move, twitch, something. But she doesn’t. She lies there, purple bruises showing under the skin of her face and her arms. Tempest settles a few feet from the bed. Something about moving any closer feels like a violation.

“Mama,” she says quietly. 

Fresh tears press against her eyelids. She tries to blink them away, to no avail.

“You should’ve had more time. You should’ve had time to do things right. I know you wanted to."

Sobs overtake her as she stares at her mother’s body, so still, so… peaceful. Maybe Yvette is finally at peace. Tempest knows that her mother had a hard life, one full of tough decisions and many regrets. 

“You were my mama,” she says, “and you know I loved you for that, no matter what. I loved you…” Her words are swallowed whole by her tears, and she bows her head and cries as she looks down at the floor, unable to believe that this is happening.


“I can’t believe you actually did this,” Travis says over the table to Kathleen, as the waiter sets down four shots of tequila and four wedges of lime. 

Kathleen shrugs. “What can I say? I’m a wild lady, and I like wild things!” 

Rosie reaches for one of the shot glasses. “I like your kind of wild."

With a smile on his face, Jimmy drapes an arm over Kathleen’s shoulders. “So do I."

Travis eyeballs the tequila with trepidation before picking one up himself. “Well, here goes nothing. Here’s to all getting to know each other better."

“Cheers!” Jimmy proclaims, and the four clink their shot glasses together before downing the liquor. 

“Whoo-ee!” Kathleen says. She quickly takes a sip of her nearby bloody Mary. “That’ll make your Sunday afternoon a little more fun."

“Maybe it’ll put us to sleep earlier,” Travis says, “so we’re really rested tomorrow.” To his mother and Jimmy, he adds, “Rosie’s helping Landon and me move into our new apartment tomorrow."

“I might demand a bottle of tequila nearby at all times,” Rosie says with an exaggerated roll of her eyes, but she barely finishes the thought before something across the restaurant catches her attention. Quickly she diverts her gaze toward her plate. 

“You’ll have to let us come see the new place once it’s ready,” Kathleen says.

Travis pulls his phone from his jeans pocket. “I have some pictures…"

Rosie barely hears the exchange. With her mind racing and her hands shaking, she manages to take her own cell phone from her purse. She stares at it, waits a beat, and then announces:


The conversation stops.

“What’s wrong?” Travis asks.

She lets out a sigh that she hopes sounds genuine. “They need me down at the station."

“What? It’s your day off."

“I know. They’re short-handed.” She lets her shoulders slump. “So annoying."

“Tell them you just took a shot of tequila,” Travis says. “No one wants a drunk cop."

Rosie shakes her head. “It’s fine. That’ll wear off. So annoying, though, right?"

“You haven’t even had anything to eat, hon,” Kathleen says.

Shoving her phone back into her purse, Rosie stands. “It’s fine. I’ll grab a cup of coffee and a snack on my way. I’m sorry to cut out like this -- I just feel like I’m still proving myself at the department, you know?"

“Oh, don’t feel bad,” Jimmy says. “We’re just sorry you can’t stay."

“You’re sure you’re okay?” Travis asks. “Do you need my car?"

“I’m fine. I promise. I’ll Uber to the station.” She bends down and gives him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll check in later. You guys enjoy your brunch, okay? I’m really sorry I can’t be a part of it."

Before anyone can say anything further, she gives a little wave and hurries out of the restaurant. 

“Poor thing,” Kathleen says. “But she really does seem like a catch, Travis. Don’t you go messing that up."

Travis watches the front door as it closes behind Rosie. “Don’t worry. I know. And I won’t."

Outside the restaurant, Rosie doesn’t stop moving until she has made it down the sidewalk and around the corner. Only then does she allow herself to pause long enough to catch her breath, which is coming in strained, shallow puffs.

That couldn’t have really been him… could it?

“There’s no way,” she tells herself aloud, and yet she keeps moving up the block, not wanting to linger to wait for a car until she is far enough away that there is no chance of him spotting her. 
  Rosie Jimenez


Alex’s body is overcome with exhaustion as he pulls into the driveway, especially when he spots Trevor’s car already parked there. He steels himself for a long moment, then steps out of the car and makes his way to the front door. His entire being feels drained of emotion as he turns the key in the front door of the bungalow and braces for what is surely to come. 

Almost as soon as Alex walks in, Trevor emerges from the kitchen.

“I’m sorry,” Alex says, almost reflexively. “For everything. I… Yvette passed away. I don’t have the energy to argue right now. You can let me have it later, but--"

“She died?” Trevor surges toward his fiancé and takes his hands. “What happened?"

Alex shakes his head. “I don’t know. Her injuries were just…” He feels his head pounding. 

Without even hesitating, Trevor wraps his arms around Alex. “I’m sorry. I know you… you were getting to know her, and…"

“It isn’t fair. Not for her, or Tempest, or that baby.” Alex leans into Trevor’s chest. “I’m sorry I lied to you last night and went to meet her. I thought-- I don’t know what I thought. I…” 

“You should go take a nap,” Trevor says as he rubs Alex’s back. “You need to be rested if we’re going to do this."

“Do what?"

“Raise a baby."

Alex steps back. His eyes widen with confusion and alarm. “What?"

“Let’s do it,” Trevor says, his face lighting up with optimism. “Let’s adopt Yvette’s baby."

“What are you talking about?"

“I don’t know. It just-- I talked to my dad, and I visited my mom, and I thought about it a lot, and-- my mom should’ve had so many more years than she had. Just like Yvette. But we can’t put off things that we want just because right now things aren’t perfect.  Some of the most important things in life happen when you take a big leap into the unknown. You know? If this is something you want…"

“We shouldn’t have a child because I want one,” Alex says. “Not if you don’t."

“I want to raise a kid with you."

Alex feels his exhaustion giving way to absolute shock, the kind fueled by a relief and joy that he hasn’t felt in days and days. “Are you serious?"

“Yes. That baby needs someone,” Trevor says. “That baby needs us. All of a sudden, it feels like this is right. This is what we’re supposed to do."

“Oh my god.” Now it is Alex’s turn to throw his arms around Trevor. “I can’t believe you’re-- thank you."

“You don’t have to thank me."

“This is why I love you,” Alex says. “This is why I want to marry you."

“We’re going to do this.” Trevor kisses the top of his head. “We’re going to have a family. You, me, and this baby. A family."


How will Tempest react to the adoption?
Did Trevor’s decision surprise you?
What made Rosie run away from brunch?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum!



Friday, May 12, 2017

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