So, last year I started this story about Adam and Emmaline. It never went anywhere. My brain rebelled and I wound up pulling the story from my blog because I couldn't put words to paper and finish it. This year, I'm hoping for better as their story has been on my mind as of late.
This is a seasonal romance. Not sure how long it'll be but I hope you enjoy it all the same.
Adam Cardamon wondered why his family bothered. At the end of the day, his son was going to take all the gifts he'd received and do two things with them: donate clothes and shoes and electronics to the local shelter, and give the money and gift cards to strangers he met while walking downtown with his friends. Adam learned a long time ago to stop giving Brandon anything because he only wanted one thing. Unfortunately, Adam couldn't give it to him. No one could.
Before his thoughts could wander more in that direction, his older brother Anthony appeared at his side holding two cans of beer. He took the one held out to him with a nod of thanks.
"Can't believe he's twenty now," Tony murmured then sipped from his can.
Adam studied his son seated in the armchair across the room. It wasn't fair. He wasn't supposed to grow up that quickly, but he had. He wasn't the little boy who'd struggled with school and making friends. No, the man feigning interest in his surroundings was a stranger to him and to everyone else in the room.
"Think he'll look for her again?"
Time screeched to a halt at Tony's quiet reference of Emmaline, Brandon's mom. Adam knew his son started looking for her two years ago after his eighteenth birthday; he didn't know Brandon had stopped.
Adam remembered when he saw her last; that meeting hadn't ended well. Tears were shed, hugs were exchanged, and bitter words were spoken. His heart clenched and he closed his eyes. Guilt gnawed at his stomach as the words he'd said rushed through his mind. How could he say those things to a woman he'd professed his love to?
"I hope he finds her."
Adam whipped around and stared at his brother. In the decade since her disappearance, Tony hadn't spoken two words of hope or kindness regarding Brandon's mom. Actually, no one had anything nice to say about her. Why now?
Tony turned and smiled ruefully. "Don't look so surprised. I've been a parent for six years. I know now what we did to her was wrong. It's why I want him to find her." He glanced at his nephew. "He deserves to be with her, Adam. He needs to be with her. He needs to know she still loves him."
Adam nodded slowly. He started to say something but paused to clear his throat when a scratchy grunt came out. "I know," he said softly. "I just wish he understood how much I love him too."
"I think he knows, but you have to see life from his point of view. He was old enough then to understand what was happening. He knows why she's gone. He's never hidden how much he hates all of us despite our best efforts to make him love us." Tony nodded in Brandon's direction. "He's a great kid, and you did good by him, but this has never been enough for him. You have to have known that."
He did know, better than anyone would ever understand. But he couldn't go back in time to change the wrong he'd done. All he could do was hope, like he'd been doing since that day, that his son would one day forgive him for what he'd done.