Carrie, Carly, & Candi. (Part 3)

“What a great movie,” Carly said, as the movie went off. “Wait are you crying?” Candi said. “No way. My allergies are acting up. Why would I be crying?” Carly said. 

“Mmhmm. Okay, sis,” Candi said. “It was a great movie though. Carly, it’s okay to show emotion. It means you have a heart,” Carrie said. 

“What are you talking about, mom? I’m fine,” Carly said. “Awww. My big sister’s a softy,” Candi said, as she tickled Carly. Carrie began to tickle Candi. 

“Look at the pot calling the kettle black,” Carrie said. Then Candi began tickling her mom and Carly tickled Candi. “Okay, ladies,” Carrie said, with a final laugh. “That’s enough, or I’m going to pee my pants.” “Eww mom, gross,” Carly said. 

The girls leaned their heads on Carrie’s shoulders. “Mom, is their a such thing as happily ever after?” Candi said. Carrie rubbed the girls back. “Yes, but it takes work. It’s not always as pretty as a picture or a movie. 

Sometimes it gets ugly, and both people must work to get past it,” Carrie said. “Are you happy momma?” Carly said. “I am baby. God has blessed me with the best daughters in the world. We have our health and strength, and our business is flourishing. 

I can’t complain,” Carrie said. “But don’t you want love?” Candi said. “I have love. I have the both of you,” Carrie said, before giving the young ladies a gentle squeeze. “I’m not talking about this kind of love,” Candi said. 

“But this is the only kind of love their is. It’s real, pure, unconditional. It’s the love of family,” Carrie said. “Family is everything,” Carly said. “That’s right,” Carrie said. 

That was confirmation that it was up to Carrie to make peace with her siblings. “Mom?” Candi said. “Yes?” Carrie said. “Did you divorce dad, because he was a wiener?” Carrie laughed. 

“You were too young to understand, huh? No, not really. Your dad and I unfortunately, just grew apart. He worked a lot. I mean a lot, a lot. 

That caused a lot of problems. I felt like he put work before our family. There were a lot of disappointments. I’m not going to put everything on him though, because I never communicated how burned out I was until it was too late. When I finally told him, it came out in a hurtful way. 

I know that I can be a tough cookie sometimes, but I do it to protect myself. I’m the strong one, so I do things that makes me seem tough. But being tough and strong are two different things. I’m learning that now, after eight and a half years of divorce. Being strong is nothing without the right support, and that has left me broken,” Carrie said, as she began to cry. 

The girls had never seen their mom cry. “Oh, mom. It’s okay,” they both said. They both hugged her. “We’ll be your support,” Carly said. 

“You have been. The two of you have kept me strong. I feel like God is humbling me though. He’s teaching me that it’s okay to be strong, but it’s better to be humble, than to be tough. Carrie wiped her eyes. 

“Wooo. I’ve cried twice in one day. What is going on with me. My emotions have been all over the place lately,” Carrie said. “It’s probably menopause,” Carly joked. 

Everyone shared a laugh. “You mean, like how your allergies were acting up earlier after that movie went off?” Candi said. Carly opened her mouth in shock. “Oh no you didn’t, little sister. Now, I’m going to make you pee on yourself,” Carly said. 

The girls began to tickle each other. “Oh, there won’t be any peeing in my bed,” Carrie said. “Mom, remember when Carly would come get in bed with you and dad, and pee in your bed,” Candi said, with a laugh. “Oh, you’re really about to get it now,” Carly said. Candi got out of the bed and ran, and Carly chased her. 

“Those kids remind me of me and Brooke. Candi is just like me. Good night, girls. I love you,” Carrie said, as she got up, to close her room door. “Night mom, love you,” Carly and Candi said. 

The next morning, Carrie, Carly, and Candi went to church. The pastor preached about forgiveness. That was even more confirmation that Carrie needed to reach out to her siblings, and she did. First she called Brooke, then she called Tim. They all agreed to meet over Brooke’s house. 

Brooke was making Sunday dinner. Things didn’t go as smoothly as Carrie hoped they would though. “What made you cook Sunday dinner?” Carrie asked. “We do it every Sunday, right Tim,” Richie said.

“Really? Since when?” Carrie said. “The last seven and a half years,” Brooke said, with hesitancy. “Wow,” Carrie said, in disbelief. “So, the two of you have continued the tradition,” Carrie said. 

“Yes. And since she’s been at the care facility, we visit her together, and take her a plate every Sunday,” Brooke said. “Sorry,” she said. “So, basically, the family tradition continued, just without me,” Carrie said. “Well, sis. 

You haven’t been easy to talk to lately,” Tim said. “Try never,” Richie said. “Hold up, Richard. This is a family matter. You don’t have anything to do with this, so please stay out of it,” Carrie said. 

“Don’t talk to my husband that way,”Brooke said. “Maybe this was a mistake. Mom, we should go,” Carly said. “We’re not going anywhere. I’m here for this,” Candi said, before biting into a carrot stick. 

“Now is not the time sis,” Carly said. “No, girls; I’ve got this. Listen, I came here to apologize and make amends. I didn’t come here to fight,” Carrie said. “Oh please, Carrie. 

You cause chaos everywhere you go,” Richie said. “Okay, quickie Richie. Why are you creeping with woman at hotels an hour away from your house?” Carrie said. “Wait, what?” Brooke said. “Brooke, I’m pretty sure that Richard is cheating on you,” Carrie said. 

“I don’t know what she’s talking about baby. She’s crazy,” Richie said. “And you’re a liar,” Carrie said. “Are you going to let her talk to me like that? I won’t stand for disrespect in my house. 

Leave. Now! Brooke tell your family that they’re no longer welcomed here,” Richard said. Brooke began to cry. “Brooke, grow some damn balls for once in your life,” Carrie said. 

“Mom! Remember. Humble,” Carly said. Brooke; I apologize. Can I please speak with you and Tim, alone,” Carrie said. 

“Anything you have to say to my wife, you can say to me,” Richie said. “Richie, brother, please,” Tim said, with his hand up. “I don’t want to disrespect you in your own home, so please. Just give us this moment, please,” Tim said. “Negro, what? 

Fool you can bounce too. As a matter of fact Brooke, if you go with them, stay with them,” Richie said. “You don’t mean that,” Brooke said. “You heard what I said. I can’t believe you allow them to come into MY home,” Richie said, before Brooke cut him off. 

“You mean, our home?” Richie kept babbling off and Brooke couldn’t take it anymore. Richie, please just shut the hell up!” Brooke screamed. Then she went back to her soft spoken tone. “We’re going outside to talk for a minute. 

I’ll be back in soon,” she said. Brooke, Carrie, and Tim walked outside. Candi bit into another carrot stick, “I guess she told you, huh?” she said. “Candi!” Carly yelled. 

“What?” Candi said, with a shoulder hump. “I’m just saying,” Candi said. “I forgive you sis,” Brooke said. “Me too,” Tim said. “Can you forgive us,” Tim said. 

“Yes,” Carrie said. Brooke exhaled. “Richie has been cheating on me for thirteen years,” Brooke said. “What the hell. That’s almost your entire marriage,” Carrie said. 

“I know, but I’m not strong like you, Carrie. I can’t see myself outside of Richard. Not only that, but who’s going to marry a forty year old, who’s barren. I have nothing outside of Richard. He takes care of me,” Brooke said. 

“Sis, you’re beautiful, smart, you have a good heart, any man would be lucky to have you, and you could always adopt. You don’t need Richard,” Carrie said. “And I’ve told you plenty of times, that you can stay with me,” Tim said. “I’m rarely at home anyway,” he said. “How long have you known he’s been cheating on her,” Carrie said. 

“Only a couple of months,” Tim said. “But she insists on staying,” he said. “He’s not going to divorce me. He doesn’t want me to have those military benefits outside of him. He likes to control everything. 

He’ll seek counseling or do whatever it takes to keep me here, but truth is, I’m tired. This marriage has been over. My body is here, but I tapped out mentally a long time ago… “Truth is I’m tired, options are few-“ Tim began to sing Tamela Man’s “Take me to the King.” The ladies began to laugh. 

“Shut up, Tim. You’re always joking about something that’s not funny,” Brooke said, with a smile. “Like the time he messed up our slide baby game,” Carrie said. “Exactly, and the two of you plotted against me,” Brooke said. “Oh, Lord. 

Carrie why did you bring that up? You know that Brooke has PTSD from that game. Talk about childhood trauma. Whew,” Tim said. “Speaking of childhood trauma. 

I went to see Terrell, yesterday,” Carrie said. “So did I,” Brooke said. “Me too,” Tim said. “Yeah, and God lead me here, to the two of you,” Carrie said. “Well I’m glad He did,” Tim said. 

“Now if He could just lead me out of this toxic marriage,” Brooke said. “Take me to the King,” Tim began to sing again. “You get on my nerves,” Brooke laughed. “It’s good to see a genuine smile on your face sis,” Tim said. “It’s good to be happy again. 

Family is my happy place,” Brooke said. “I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper,” Carrie said. “I am my brother’s and and sister’s keeper,” Brooke said. “I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper,” Tim said. “Rest in peace, big bruh, and Pop,” Tim said, before the siblings shared a hug. 

“Okay, let me go in here and play the good wife,” Brooke said. “Ugh. He’d better not get out of line,” Carrie said. “Remember, be humble,” Brooke said. “Whew, God is really testing me,” Carrie said. 

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