Finding Love after a Broken Heart

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Finding Love after a Broken HeartApril Fools, I thought it was an April fool’s joke. A few members of my department walked into the courthouse. I was assigned there for the month. It is okay to be an officer in the courtroom, but I would prefer to be out on patrol.As I said, a few members of my department walked in and they asked if I could come with them. The Judge wasn’t happy that his courtroom was disrupted. But when the Captain wants to talk to me, what am I supposed to do? One of the other officers stayed in my place.”Tony, there is no easy way to say this,” the Captain stated. He looked down and then I looked at the other officers and they were all my close friends.”What’s going on?” I asked.”Freddy is gone,” the Captain stated.”What do you mean? He headed to work this morning when I did.””Tony, Freddy is gone. He was killed this morning,” the Captain responded.”This better be a joke. Come on, tell me you’re joking.””Tony, I wish it was.”I looked at my Captain then at my friends and I could see it was the truth. “John, tell me it is a joke, please.” John just shook his head. “No, tell me it is a joke, please. He can’t be gone. Ryan please tell me.” After looking at them all shaking their heads no, I asked, “How?””It was a traffic accident on the freeway this morning,” my Captain responded.My world fell apart, “He wasn’t going to take the freeway this morning. He said it was always backing up. You have to be mistaken. Please, you have to be mistaken.” Tears were streaming down my face, what was I going to do? Freddy was my everything, my rock.I remember asking to see him, and they took me to the morgue. He had been cleaned up, mostly; I could see blood in his hairline and all the contusions. They had him on a gurney; they didn’t pull him out of the drawer like you see in the TV shows. They have a large walk in fridge they roll the bodies into. I caressed his forehead. He looked like he was sleeping, and then I buried my head in his chest and cried. I don’t know how long they let me cry, but I remember telling them when they pulled me away that I needed to stay with him.The next few days are a blur. I remember people coming into our house. I remember going to the funeral home and doing all the stuff to get the funeral set up. I don’t remember sitting there. I don’t remember the funeral itself, but I remember watching his casket being lowered into the ground. They wanted me to leave, but I needed to see it. I watched as the backhoe pushed the dirt in on him. I stood as they took everything away from me. My life was gone the moment Freddy was lowered into the earth.John somehow was able to get me back to our house. There were tons of people there, and food everywhere. I didn’t feel like eating. A plate was pushed into my hands, but when they weren’t looking I tossed it in the trash.Freddy was a picture taker. He loved taking our picture whenever he could. He had pictures all over the walls in our house-of us at the beach, backpacking, or working in our backyard. He loved taking pictures. Looking at them killed me. I was on autopilot. I took a box, and I just started removing the pictures from the tables, mantel, and walls. Everyone was watching me, but I couldn’t stop myself, I had to remove him, from everywhere. John and Ryan tried to stop me, but I told them I couldn’t look at him. It was killing me.Another friend stepped forward, Chuck. I remember seeing Chuck before the lights went out. I woke in the middle of the night in my bed. I hadn’t slept in my bed since they told me. I couldn’t; it smelled like him, and when I woke, I thought he was there and reached out and there was nothing. I started to bawl, and I heard someone come into the room and hold me, but I still don’t know which of my friends it was. I know Chuck, Ryan, and John were around the house all the time; they didn’t leave me alone for even a minute.A week went by. The Captain stopped over and I begged him to let me come back to work. He told me to take one more week, and I argued with him, saying I couldn’t just stay in this house, I had to have a distraction. He allowed me.Work was a distraction; I put my heart into my work. I think I was writing more tickets than I’ve ever written in a month’s time. No one received a break from me, old ladies or teenagers; I even pulled over a Priest and gave him a ticket. I was doing my job. The Captain pulled me aside one morning and told me to ease up on the tickets, they were getting complaints about me. I did but didn’t, I let a few people off a day, but still continued to pull people over. It was my job, traffic enforcement.A month, then two and three had gone by. I never slept in our bed after the time they d**gged me to sleep. The couch was uncomfortable, but it worked as a bed. I didn’t even go into our room unless I had to; his smell was still there. I know most people take comfort in the smell of their loved one, but it killed me to smell his cologne, to smell how our bed smelled after we had slept in it.My friends would alternate and come by and see me, keep me company in the evenings. I had to send them home because they wouldn’t go. I think they were afraid I would commit suicide, the cops’ way of killing oneself with their service weapon. I would never do that. Freddy would be extremely upset with me. I think that is why I haven’t done it, knowing Freddy would be mad that I took the easy way out, to leave my pain behind.Living day by day was hard, but as long as I didn’t go into our room, I was okay. I had put the box of photos in there. I opened the door long enough to push it through with my foot and shut it again. I had Ryan one day grab all of my clothes out of the closet and dresser.When October came around, I was standing in the kitchen and I don’t know what brought me to our door, but I was standing at our bedroom. It took me forever it seemed to reach out for the handle, but I finally did and opened the door. Freddy’s smell instantly filled my senses but I continued into the room and sat on the bed. It had been six long months without him, six long lonely months.I had been sitting on the bed when a conversation I had with Freddy after we had married came back to me. We had been lying in this room, in this bed together.”Would you start dating someone, if I ever died?” Freddy asked.”No, I wouldn’t want to live without you.””Tony you have to; you can’t stop living if I die. I will be honest; I would, if you were killed.” I remember looking at him in shock. “Don’t get me wrong, Babe, I love you, and I would be devastated that you were dead, but I would hope one day I would have the courage to move on and start dating someone else.””I don’t know if I could.””Then you have to promise me, if I ever pass away before you, God forbid, but if I ever do, you have to move on. You can take your time, but at the six month mark you have to start to move on.””Why are you giving me a time frame? Shouldn’t I be allowed to grieve in my own time?” I asked.”Tony, I know you. You will just sit on the couch and never leave the house except for work, and you would never move on. So you have to promise me three things.””Three things?””One, you can’t commit suicide. I will haunt your dead body, do you hear me?””Yeah, can’t commit suicide.””Second, after six months, you have to pack up my things. I know you won’t be ready or able to do it by yourself, so asked Ryan or John to come and help you. Hell, make it into a party, a cleaning out of Freddy party.””Do we have to talk about this right now?””Yes, we do. Promise me that you will do this.””Okay, I promise.” I was getting angry at him and he knew it.”Third.” I sigh. “Yes, Tony, third. I want you to move on and date someone. I’m not saying it has to be just after the six months, but don’t let it take you over two years. Someone is going to catch your eye sometime; take a chance and love again.””Really, why are we talking about this? I’m the one that has the dangerous job. I should be asking you this, not you.”He started laughing at me. “Honey, I had to convince you to date me. You were so standoffish, it wasn’t funny. I had to ask Ryan and John constantly if I even had a chance with you. They just kept telling me to stay in the fight and one day you would come around, that you were interested in me, but were too stupid to realize it.””Oh, did they now?” I was laughing, too. Yeah I didn’t known that was something good even when it hit me square in the chest.”I love you, Tony, but you know you can be a muscle head sometimes. I thought sometimes when I was dating you, you must have dropped more than one weight on your head, because you were such a blockhead at times.”I laughed at him and pulled him closer. “I thought you loved my muscles…”The memory just stopped like that. It was like Freddy was telling me it was time. It had been six months and I was sitting on the bed crying again. To be able to do it, I did need Ryan and John’s help. I would never be able to pack up the room without help and maybe with someone here, I wouldn’t cry as much.I’m glad I have friends like John and Ryan, and their wives are very understanding. Sarah and Anna have put up with me since we were all teenagers when I was too stupid even to come out to myself. I didn’t date, but I didn’t want to admit to myself I like guys either. I was amazed when John and Ryan stuck by me when I finally realized, and they are the ones that kept telling Freddy to keep trying.It took a long Saturday, but with John, Ryan, Anna and Sarah we packed up everything of Freddy’s. I wasn’t ready to part with some of it, but we did take his clothes down to goodwill. I put some of the pictures he took back on the walls, mantel, and tables-not all of them but some. The rest I put in our walk-in closet on a shelf. I never did move into another room in the house. I kind of just had my clothes in baskets in the living room. So I brought my things and put them back in the closet and the dresser.The first night staying in our bed was the hardest; I didn’t sleep at all that night. The next few days it became a little easier. Over the next few months I was sleeping the entire night in our bed and not dreading it. Christmas was hard, but with the help of my friends, I made it through. Then it was April Fool’s Day again, and I went down to the cemetery.I spent a lot of time at the cemetery during the first few weeks, then I couldn’t stand being there and wouldn’t show up for months. I continued in that cycle. I was in the off part of the cycle when the first of April came around. But I needed to go; I needed to put his favorite flower on the grave. He loved tulips not roses, so that is what I would bring down with me. I even was allowed to plant some in front of his stone.I sat next to his stone and talked to him for a long time that day, told him I loved him, and I was going to abide by his wishes. That it wasn’t going to be anytime soon, but I would move on. I made that pledge to him the following year also. I couldn’t see myself dating anyone a year after losing Freddy. I didn’t think I could see myself dating anyone at all after Freddy.Then one day, I saw him.Every morning, while walking into the station from the parking lot, there he sat on a park bench. There is a square that is set up with the courthouse on one side, the police station on the other, and parking lots on the other ends. There are beautiful flowers that line the walkways and benches every twenty yard or so. And each morning he would be sitting eating his breakfast on one of the benches.I knew of him. He was a clerk in one of the many departments in the courthouse. I wore my sunglasses every morning so he couldn’t see my eyes, but I would watch him as I walked up and past him. Once I would get to the front doors of the station, I would glance back to see if he was watching; he always was.”When are you going to go over to Chad and just ask him out?” Ryan asked me as we were walking in from the parking lot. I was staring at Chad again. I could see him looking, but trying not to be obvious about it.”Why do I have to make the first move?” I laughed. “I know, it’s because he has been watching me for over three months, and he can’t make a move, either.””Yes, and you know Freddy would like you to start dating.””I know, I know. It has been almost three years now.””Almost, Tony? It has been over three years.””Three years and a few months,” I conceded.”Then when are you going to ask him out?” Ryan repeated.”I don’t know, one of these days.””So you’re going to just keep torturing the poor guy?””No,” I smiled. “Not really.” Then I looked at Ryan. “Okay, I will stop in his office today.””You’re coming by tonight for the game, right?””Yeah I wouldn’t miss it for the world, and it isn’t like I could avoid coming. Remember you moved in next door,” I laughed at him. “Anna would come and drag my ass over if I didn’t show up.””Yeah, she would,” He chuckled. “She is waddling more than usual these days. So you would really anger her if she has to waddle over to get your ass.””Maybe I will have to not show up to see that.” We both laughed as we walked into the station, I glanced back at Chad before walking through the doors. I could see him getting up to head into the courthouse.I never got around to stopping off at Chad’s office during the day, and when I was almost off shift the duty sergeant asked if I could work a half shift and I told him no problem. I let Ryan know and was sent back out in a patrol car for four more hours.It wouldn’t have been a bad night getting off at seven-thirty, but I had someone decided to resist arrest after I took him into custody. I pulled him over for a no-turn-on-red and ran his license. He had warrants out for his arrest. Yippy. So I had to call in a backup unit and then take him into custody. As I said he was fine until I got him to the station. Then when I was getting him out of the car, he decides to resist. He head butted me in the face, hitting my right cheekbone and breaking my sunglasses.Thank God there was another cop around or I think I would have put this guy on his ass for doing that. I knew I was going to have a nice shiner in a few hours. After getting the suspect booked, and filling the new charge of resisting, I was about to clock out for the night when the duty sergeant, said he had called for an EMT to look at my face before I could leave. It was either let an EMT look at it or go to the ER, so I was glad he was bringing in an EMT.When Paul showed up from the fire department, he looked me over and told me I was going to have one hell of a bruise by morning. He didn’t think I fractured my cheekbone, but he told me if pain continued, I should get it checked out. I thanked him. The duty sergeant was happy, and I clocked out for the night at eight. I knew the poker game would be in full swing by the time I got to Ryan’s.When I pulled into my driveway, I could see there were a lot more cars than normal at Ryan’s. I went in and took a shower and just pulled on shorts and a t-shirt. Apparently it wasn’t just a poker game tonight; it was bring-your-wives-and-be-social night. I always feel like the odd duck when they do this to me, but I always stay. If I hadn’t, Anna would have been on my ass. I could see a card game going off to the side in the family room and people coming in and out of the backyard, when I walked in.”Hey man, what the hell happened to you?” John asked when I walked into view of the poker table.”Resist.” I looked around. “Deal me in when you get a chance.””Where’s your money?” Eric responded.”Home.””Then, hell no. You bring your money, then we’ll talk.”I threw sixty bucks on the table and they all smiled and handed over some chips to me. “Good. We needed some new money on the table; the new guy is cleaning us out,” Eric stated.”New guy?” I inquired. Both John and Ryan looked away from me when I asked.”Yeah, Chad, from the courthouse, Ryan invited him. He is in the backyard probably talking up one of the wives. He asked to be dealt out these next few rounds, so he could grab something to eat.” I just looked at Ryan and shook my head. He knew I wouldn’t get around to asking him out, so he was going to make sure we got together.I went out the backdoor to grab a beer from one of the coolers, and Chad was in the corner of the yard talking with a few of the guests and looking sexy as can be. He didn’t see me. I just walked back in and sat down at the table and waited to be dealt in.A little while later Chad walked back in and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me. I just happen to be looking illegal bahis up at the door when he came through it. “Hey, he’s back to try to win more of our money,” Eric said. “Come sit down, then Tony won’t be winning so often. I don’t know what the hell you do, Tony.”I laughed, “I count cards and I have a few extra taped under the table.” I looked up at Chad. “Hey come sit here, I will grab another seat from the basement. I’m out anyways on this hand.” I threw my cards at Eric and I got up and walked around the table and nudged Chad toward the chair. Where my hand touched the small of his back felt just right and I panicked.Instead of heading downstairs to get another folding chair, I headed out into the garage. Ryan must have heard the door and followed me out. “Tony, you okay?” I looked at him and he was looking at me with concern.”I’m not ready yet.” I was breathing in short breaths. “It’s not time yet. I’m not ready. I can’t be ready yet. It’s too soon.” I kept repeating over and over. I was shaking and my intakes of air were getting shorter and shorter.Ryan rushed over to me. “Tony, calm down. Tony, look at me, calm down.” I was looking at him, but I couldn’t control my breathing. “Tony, sit here and put your head between your knees. Shit man, you’re gonna to pass out, if you don’t.” I did what I was told. He had pulled over a little stool on wheels and I sat down and put my head between my knees. “What happened in there?”When I could catch my breath I looked up at him. “I just touched him, and it felt right.””And what’s wrong with that, Tony?””It hasn’t been long enough.””Tony, Freddy has been gone for three years and three months. He would want you to move on. You know he would have.” Tears came to my eyes when he said Freddy’s name. “Man, we all know you loved Freddy and Freddy did you. But you need this, Tony. You need to open up to someone again and live. You haven’t been living these past few years. We can all see it.” I just looked at him. “But we all noticed when you saw Chad.””What do you mean?””You were happier in the mornings, when you saw him on the bench. It was John and Mark that noticed you one morning. They were standing in front of the station when they watched you coming from the parking lot. They noticed when you came into view of Chad you puffed up, like a peacock showing off your feathers. They told me about it, and I smiled and laughed. I didn’t believe them until one day I was coming behind you from the parking lot and witnessed it for myself.”I just laughed. “A peacock, huh? Do you know I deliberately came in one morning to run before work, just to see the look on his face when I ran past him?””So you were trying to kill the poor guy.””My heart is telling me it is time, Ryan, but my head keeps telling me I need to wait.””Tony, it’s baby steps. Talk to him. Take him out for coffee or a drink. You don’t have to go all gung-ho, just take steps.””I know you’re right, and I’ll try.” We walked back into the house and towards the table. Chad was gone. “Where did Chad go?””He just said he had to go, and told us he would settle up later,” Eric responded”When did he leave?””About five minutes ago,” John responded and I started for the door. “He is gone, I watched him drive away.”I went back to the table, sat and played poker the rest of the night, getting more drunk the longer we played. I remember John and Ryan leading me home and putting me to bed, but other than that nothing else. I woke the next morning with a hangover, and all I wanted to do was roll over and go back to sleep, which I did for a while, until I felt someone tapping my shoulder.”What?” I whispered.”Come on, it’s after three. You need to get up,” Ryan stated. “I have coffee on the table here. Get up and take a shower. John is on his way over.””What are we doing?””Anything you want today.””I want to sleep today away.””Okay, anything but that. Come on, Tony, get up.”I sat up on the side of the bed, and Ryan shoved the coffee cup in my hand along with some aspirin and told me to drink. I sat there for a few minutes until the dizziness went away, then I stood and held on to Ryan. “God, did I drink that much last night?””You went and grabbed a fifth from your house after about your sixth beer.” Then he laughed and guided me to my bathroom. I took a long shower, and when I came out fully dressed from my room, John and Ryan were sitting in the living room.”Feeling better now?” John asked.”A little more human.””Good, because we are going to dinner.”We left to a local steak place. “You know the girls don’t think we talk about anything other than sports or cop shit. I know that is marginally true because that is all we talk about in front of them, but Tony, you need to go and see Chad on Monday,” John stated.”Yeah, I will. Can we drop it now?”We ate, and then went back to my place to watch a ball game. We didn’t drink as heavily as the night before. Or I should say I didn’t drink as heavily; the guys never do. We sat around and shot the shit until Anna decided it was time to break up the testosterone fest. The guys went home, and I locked up and went to bed.On Sunday, I went by the cemetery, taking Freddy more tulips. I cleaned his stone off. I hadn’t been there in a while, so I kept apologizing, saying I hadn’t forgotten about him, but life had gotten busy. I would tear up a bit whenever I went to the cemetery, but I wasn’t crying anymore. The rest of Sunday was uneventful. I just worked on getting myself ready for the week, washing and ironing my uniforms and getting my lunches made.Monday morning, I was up early and ran for a bit before getting ready for work. Ryan was bumming a ride with me this morning, so when I walked out to my car, he was actually waiting in the passenger seat. “I thought I was going to have to pull you out of your house this morning,” Ryan said when I got in the car.”Hey, this is the time I leave every morning. You know that.””Yeah, but you’re supposed to talk to Chad today. Remember?” I just grunted and started the car. We don’t live that far from the station, only a few miles, so it didn’t take us long to get there. When we were walking towards the station, I looked over to the normal bench Chad would be sitting on and he wasn’t there. My heart sank a little. “Well maybe he is running late this morning.””Yeah, maybe.” The day sucked. I was on patrol on the other side of the city. I pulled over a few people and, of course, they yelled at me for doing so. I know I can bring out the irritation in some people, but everyone that I pulled over had an attitude today. When I finally pulled back into the lot, I was happy the day was over. I met up with Ryan in the locker room. I don’t change at work. There isn’t a need to do that, when I’m just going straight home to take a shower anyways, but he tends to like to change into jeans and a t-shirt to head home.When we walked out, he asked if I had a chance to stop by the courthouse. I told him no. The next few days went the same exact way-no Chad when I would walk in each morning, and everyone had an attitude when I pulled them over, not even thanking me when I would just let them off with a warning. When I didn’t see Chad by Friday, I knew I had fucked up last Friday when I had my breakdown in the garage. I’m sure he thought I didn’t want anything to do with him.The weekend went by fast. I was amazed at that one. I was busy most of it, too. Just normal shit, maintaining the house, doing the laundry and stuff. I was hoping Chad would be back at his post come Monday morning but he wasn’t. I tried not to let it bother me, thinking it was probably for the best, maybe I couldn’t really love again. I already had my love story.Apparently, according to John and Ryan or anyone else I would come in contact with, I was grumpy. I thought I was normal. They said no, that all last week I was too easily irritated. I don’t know. I thought I was fine. Midweek I stopped at the cemetery again, which was not normal for me. I don’t know why Freddy had been on my mind more than usual.I went out to dinner that night by myself, which is also unusual. I was sitting at the table eating when I saw Chad come in with another man. They were talking and laughing. Chad didn’t see me, and they were seated in the back of the restaurant. I lost my appetite and asked for my bill.I don’t remember walking over to Ryan’s that night. I was hammered. I woke on his sofa the next morning. He was sitting there drinking coffee and just pointed to some aspirin and a mug for me. I told him I was just going to call in sick, but he wouldn’t let me, telling me, I have to live with the consequences of drinking on a work night. He drove that morning. I was thankful so I could close my eyes.The staff sergeant took one look at me and stuck me on desk duty. I got to man the reception desk all day. I asked Ryan if he wanted to eat lunch, and he informed me he was busy. I just said okay, and was glad I grabbed my lunch that morning.I was sitting on a bench in the far corner of the square. I was blocked by a few trees, but I could see people enter the courtyard and head either to or from the court house or station. That is when I saw Ryan and Chad. They were coming back from the parking lot. Ryan waved to Chad as they parted to go in opposite directions. Ryan still didn’t see me and walked into the station. He came out a few minutes later and looked right at me and walked over.”Tony, before you start yelling.””I’m not going to yell, I’m just going to walk away.” I got up and walked back into the station. I knew he wouldn’t try to talk to me there. Ryan would wait until we were heading home. Since I didn’t have a change of clothes and some decent walking shoes, I had to wait and take the ride home with him. I was hoping the afternoon would go slow, but of course it flew by.I was standing at his car waiting for him when he came out. He got in and I followed suit. “Tony, I settled up his winnings from two weeks ago.””Okay.””And I asked him to come this Friday.””Okay.””He told me his cousin is in town and said he couldn’t make it this week. I told him to bring his cousin.””What else did you tell him?”He looked at me, “That if he likes you, to hang in there, that you’re a bonehead. Just like I told Freddy.””What if it is for the best that I don’t fall in love again?”We were sitting in his driveway by now. “Tony do you remember last night at all?””Honestly?”He nodded his head.”I don’t remember much after getting home last night and waking up on your couch this morning.””I didn’t think so. You came over crying last night, man, saying you lost him. I thought you meant Freddy. I thought you had reverted back to when you would get drunk those first few months after Freddy died. Both Anna and I were trying to calm you down, when you told us no, you lost Chad. That you saw him out on a date. Do you want to talk about it now, now that you will make some sense?””Not really.” I blew out a breath. “I was out to dinner and he came in laughing and talking up a storm with some guy and they looked good together. I left not long after they were seated, and you know what happened after that.””Why don’t you just ask him out? He couldn’t have started dating someone just like that. You two have been looking at one another for months. Just talk to him. This is Freddy all over again. Do you realize this?””I was stupid with Freddy, too, I know. I just have a hard time approaching a guy-not any guy, the only two I’ve been attracted to.””Come over tonight. Anna and I are firing up the grill, and we have a few people coming over. Come, eat, and socialize.””I don’t know, Ryan.””Come, or I will send Anna over to get you.””You know you don’t play fair, right?”I went home, shaved, showered, and got dressed. Around seven I walked back over to Ryan’s. I could tell John and Sarah were there, but there was another car I didn’t recognize. I rang the bell and walked in. I could hear laughter coming from the family room. “It’s about time you came over.” I heard Ryan shout out, before I walked through the opening of the family room.When I walked in of course I quickly scanned the room, and my eyes met Chad’s. I saw the tiniest smile before he shut his emotions down to me. Next to him was the guy I saw at the restaurant. Ryan spoke up, “Tony, of course you know Chad, and this is his cousin, Mike.” Ryan put the emphasis on cousin.I smiled and extended my hand to Mike and then to Chad. When I touched him, my heart flipped in my chest. God, why does just touching him produce that effect in me? We all went out to the backyard, and Ryan started grilling, and we all sat down and talked. After we ate, Mike excused himself to the bathroom and the other four made themselves scarce.”Chad…” I didn’t know what to say.”Tony, you don’t have to freak out. I can tell you don’t like me. Mike and I will go.” I could see the sadness in his eyes. “Thanks for at least being nice to me in front of my cousin.””Chad, I do like you.” I leaned forward in my chair to talk lower, “It just scares the hell out of me.””Why? You just take the chance. Haven’t you been in a relationship before?””Yeah, Chad, that’s why it scares the hell out of me.” I looked at him. He looked completely confused, so I knew no one had told him about Freddy. “Chad, come with me for a few minutes so I can show you something.” I looked at him. “Please.” I stood up and held my hand out to him. He took it, and I led him through the gate over to my house.When we stepped through my front door into the living room, I walked him over to the mantel. When I pointed to my wedding picture, I saw his eyes go wide. “You’re married?””Was. I’m a widower. Freddy was my life. I lost him a little over three years ago.” He looked at me with shock. “It’s okay. It’s has been a while.” I explained to him my own reluctance to move on and that I hadn’t thought I could, until the day I had seen him. He seemed to soften a lot when I said that. “I can be a blockhead, Chad. I know this,” I laughed. “Freddy would tell me that all the time. I like you, and I would like to see if we could have something.””Are you asking me out?””Only if you’re accepting.”He smiled and pulled me down to kissed me on the cheek. “Yeah, I am.” He pulled me back to the door. “Let’s go back over, before they miss us.”While walking back over to Ryan’s we made a date for Saturday night and exchanged numbers before walking in the backyard. We sat back down in our chairs like nothing had happened and started back in on the conversation. No one said anything to us, but I knew I would get the third degree after Chad and Mike left. I was praying they would stay a little longer, but they left a little before nine. When they said their goodbyes, I tried to say mine but John and Ryan put their hands on my shoulders.”Well?” Anna said before anyone else.”What?” I smiled.”Did you two set up a date while you were at your house?””Not while we were at my house,” I chuckled. They just all looked at me. “Yes, we are going out on Saturday.””Good.” All of them said in unison.The next morning as I was walking in from the parking lot, Chad was sitting on his bench. I smiled and stopped to sit down with him. “Good morning.”He handed me a coffee. I hadn’t noticed he had two.”Thanks.””Well, did you have to answer a ton of questions last night? Because I had to,” he chuckled.”A few. Are you coming to poker tonight?” He nodded his head.And that is how it started. Every morning we would meet out on our bench for coffee before work, and every night we would talk on the phone before bed. We would go out either Friday or Saturday night. We were slowly, and I mean very slowly, warming up to one another. I wasn’t completely ready to jump into the deep end yet. I was wading in ankle deep water. I could tell Chad was trying to be very patient with me, and I was grateful for that.We were at my house one Saturday evening after I had taken him out to dinner. We were sitting on the couch, kissing and groping one another. He straddled my lap, and we were going at it hot and heavy for a little while. He was grinding his hard-on into mine. After a bit he got off me and held his hand out to me and pulled me down to my bedroom, but when we got to my door I froze, “Chad I can’t.””Why?” I could hear the need in his voice and see the need in his eyes.”I haven’t done this.””I know, in over three years.” He took my hand and led me into my bedroom and gently pushed me down on my bed. “Baby steps, Tony. Just baby steps today.” He laid down in front of me, facing me and kissed me again. “Baby illegal bahis siteleri steps, Tony.” He then turned around and snuggled his backside into me and pull my arms around him. He was using the same term Ryan would use with me, ‘baby steps.’I awoke the next morning still completely dressed and holding Chad. I smiled and kissed the back of his neck, and he turned over in my arms. “Did you sleep okay?” Chad asked.”Yeah, the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.” And I was telling the truth. I still usually woke up in the middle of the night because a dream would wake me up, and I would reach out for Freddy and then remember he isn’t there. “Did you?””Yes.” He kissed my lips and then my neck. “Will you trust me?””I do trust you, Chad.”He didn’t say anything after that. He pushed me to my back and straddled my hips. He kissed me on the mouth again and then my neck; he was pulling up on my t-shirt. Once he had it up past my nipples he dove for them, sucking one into his mouth. I moaned. I missed being touched by someone else. Chad moved down my legs and opened my jeans and tugged them down a bit. “Chad I don’t have any condoms.””It is okay, we don’t need them today.” As he sucked my cock into his mouth, I moaned and grabbed for the bedspread. Oh shit, what he was doing to my cock was blowing my mind. Because I’ve missed human touch for so long, I came too quickly. I didn’t realize I was crying until he wiped at a few of my tears with his thumbs and kissed my cheeks. “See, baby steps.””I’m sorry.””What for?””Crying, coming too quickly and not getting you off.””Well, let’s take them in order of how you listed them. One, the crying: Honey, it was the first time you were intimate with someone other than Freddy. Did I expect you to cry, not completely, but I knew it was a possibility. Two, you didn’t come that quickly,” he smiled at me, “but we will work on your endurance level. And finally three, I came too.” He pulled my hand down to his jeans and I felt the wet spot. “I was a bad, bad boy, I humped your leg.” He smiled at me, and I pulled him in for a kiss.I ordered him to strip, and I took his clothes and my uniforms from the hamper to throw into the washer. When I came back to the room, he was sitting on the bed and had the bedspread d****d over him. “Now what am I supposed to wear?” he asked. I just pulled him up and led him to my bathroom and started the shower.I undressed and pulled him into the shower with me. I washed him from head to toe and gave him a proper blowjob. I was hoping I hadn’t lost my touch. I did have him panting and leaning against the wall when I finished with him. I pushed him out of the shower and quickly cleaned myself. When I came out he was standing in my bedroom in just a towel.”Again, what am I supposed to wear?”I smiled at him and started digging through my drawers and pulled out a pair of shorts, with a drawstring waist and the smallest t-shirt I could find. I’m Hercules compared to him. I smiled at him. “At least it is something. Next time you decide to hump my leg, have a change of clothes here.” He grinned at me.I checked on the laundry and put it in the dryer. When I came back out to the living room, Chad was sitting there awkwardly, with Ryan and John. Ryan spoke up, “we came by to see if you wanted to do lunch and then watch the game, but we see you’re busy.””You can go, Tony. I need to get home anyways.”I smiled at Chad. “Nope, not going anywhere today with the guys. They can stay and we can cook out or order in. Anyways, your clothes are in the dryer, and they won’t be dry for a bit.” He just stared at me while I smiled at him.”Okay, we’ll go and pick-up some steaks and the girls. Let’s just make it a little get together then. We will be back in about an hour, which should give some time for Chad’s clothes to dry.” They chuckled and left the house.Once they walked out of the house, I turned around. “Thanks,” Chad responded grimly.”What?””Now they think we had sex.””Is that a bad thing?” As I sat down next to him on the couch. “Are you afraid they are thinking badly about you for pulling a widower out of his depression?” I turned, hugged and kissed him.”Yes, I don’t want them thinking I’m pushing you too quickly.””Do you need me to save your virtue, and tell them I spilt coffee all over you?””Oh my God, you are a blockhead.” He laughed at me. “They know we went out last night. My car isn’t here, and I’m sure Ryan can put two and two together.” Then he looked at me. “Hey, why do you want them to think we had full blown out sex anyways?””I would rather them think that, than find out I was too scared to have sex with you right now.””Right now?””Chad, I know you have been patient with me, too patient.” I smiled at him. “We’ve been going out now for two months and in a normal relationship people would be having sex by now. Shit, after the first or second date.” I leaned back on the couch and pulled him up to me. “I know I shouldn’t but part of me feels guilty for moving on. I know Freddy has been gone for almost three and a half years, and I know he would want me to move on. He told me so, not too long after we were married.””He told you?”I told him about Freddy and I lying in bed that one time. When the guys weren’t back in the hour, Chad was dressed, and I asked him to come with me somewhere. I called the guys and told them I left the door unlocked and just to come over when they wanted, we had to run out for a few. I stopped off at the flower shop and pick up some tulips and then drove to the cemetery.”I hope this isn’t too weird for you Chad, but I would like you to meet Freddy, I’ve told him about you.”He just smiled at me. “I would love to meet him.” I got out of my car and rounded to the other side and he got out. I took his hand and had the tulips in the other. When we walked up to his grave I could see his eyes widen a little. I had his picture etched into the stone with ‘In Loving Memory of a Wonderful Man that Fell in Love with a Muscle Head.'”You actually had that written on his stone?” He smiled at me.”He always called me his muscle head and said he wondered how many weights I dropped on it.” Chad laughed and I smiled. “He called me a blockhead too.””Does that bother you that I called you one today?””No. On the contrary, it felt right.” I stepped up, knelt down, and took a rag out of my pocket. I cleaned off Freddy’s stone, laid the tulips at the base and stood back up. I stepped behind Chad and wrapped my arms around him. “Freddy, this is Chad, the guy I’ve been telling you about. He makes me happy, and I know you would approve of him. I know I have to move on, Babe. I love you.” I tightened my hold on Chad, and then led him back to the car. We rode back to my house in silence, and when we walked in, everyone was in the backyard, and Chad pulled me down to the bedroom.”Thank you,” Chad said, hugged and kissed me. “Thank you. I’m glad I can make you happy. I hope one day I will make you feel more than that.””I’m sure you will.” I pulled him up into a kiss.Our relationship took off from there. Chad stayed the night quite a few nights a week. After the first week, he finally made me stop at the store to buy lube and condoms. When we came home, he knew I was more than a little scared. “Baby steps, Tony.” He smiled at me. “Ok, pushed baby steps, but you can do it.”I laughed as he pulled me off to my bedroom and started kissing me. He unbuttoned my shirt and slid it down my arms and kissed my chest. I was almost a foot taller than him, but he knew how to man handle me. He unbuttoned my pants and let them slide down my legs before pushing me hard onto the bed, and he quickly straddled my hips. “You’re a feisty one in bed?””When there’s something I want, yes.” He looked me in the eyes. “Do you want me to get myself ready or do you want to do it?””I will get you ready. It’s the least I can do.” I smiled at him as he jumped off the bed and quickly undressed. “Okay, I’ve never seen you move that quick before.” We both laughed as he climbed back on top of me.”Come on Muscle Man, make me scream.” He said as he flipped around and put his butt in my face and handing me the lube. I just laughed. He was very forward in what he wanted. Believe it or not, he was so much like Freddy it scared me sometimes.I squeezed his ass cheeks and smacked one lightly. He squeaked, and I smiled. I put some lube in my hand and warmed it up a little before I put it on his pucker. He moaned when I inserted one finger. I rubbed his cock while I was opening him up. “See, it’s all coming back to you. It feels great, Babe.” I inserted one more and then two more fingers to open him. Once I had done that, he asked me to remove my fingers and he flipped around. He grabbed up a condom and the lube. After rolling the condom on me, he rubbed some lube up and down my cock. “How do you want me big boy?”I just shook my head and rolled him over to be under me. I wasn’t thinking anymore; instinct just kicked in. I placed my cock at his entrance and pushed in. After pushing the head of my cock in, I waited. I didn’t know how long it had been for him, I know once you have sex quite a bit, once you open someone up, you don’t generally have to wait long before they are ready to fuck. But not knowing, I wanted to be gentle.Oh God, the feel of him, the tightness, it felt so wonderful. I was looking him in the eyes. I could see the lust, the want, and the need. Then I felt his feet pushing on my ass, trying to make me go further in him. Oh did I oblige. I sunk my entire length into him, and he moaned and told me to fuck him. Aggressive little one he is, and God, did I like that.And he was a screamer. Oh my God, was he a screamer, and I loved every minute of it. Yeah it was only a few minutes. I will be honest about it. It was feeling so good, I couldn’t hold out. I came quickly, but that was okay, because he did too. He was rubbing himself as I was fucking him. I was trying not to squish him, so I was using my arms to keep me up and off him. But when I came, I did fall down onto him, then I rolled us over until he was on top of me. We laid that way for a bit, until there was a knock at my bedroom door.”What the fuck?” I said under my breath as I jumped up and grabbed a pair of shorts. I saw Chad run for the bathroom with his clothes. I opened my bedroom door to a smiling John. “Really, what the fuck are you doing here?””Other than waiting patiently for you to finish, which man, I will say didn’t take long.” John laughed and I punched him. “Just thought I would let you know, we are becoming uncles soon. Ryan just took Anna to the hospital; Sarah is in the car because she came to tell you and couldn’t stay in the house. But I didn’t mind.” John snickered.”You’re such a pervert. You know that, right? We will be up at the hospital in a bit.” John left and I went back into my room to the bathroom. “Chad, are you okay?”He was dressed and sitting on the tub edge. “Embarrassed. Do they always have to show up when we are being intimate?””Well I hope they wouldn’t but it seems they have lousy timing. But this time, was a good interruption. I’m going to be an uncle, so I have to go to the hospital.””Well, you need to take a shower, and I will go home.””No, we need to take a shower and we are going to the hospital.”He smiled.”You’re my boyfriend right?”He nodded his head.”Then we do things together. We will get embarrassed together, and we will meet my new nephew or niece, together.”Of course by time we made it up to the hospital, John and Sarah had told Anna and Ryan what we had been doing. So they were teasing us pretty bad when we first walked in. But Anna’s contractions made that backstory news, and within a few hours Ryan was introducing us to our new niece, Katie Marie.We had made a pact with one another when we were teenagers because we all were the only c***d, our k**s would all be cousins, and we would also have more than one each. It was a little harder for me, when I came out, but the guys just laughed at me and said they would have another one each to make up for it. I know it is weird for guys to talk this way, but believe it or not, we did, and we do talk about more than just sports and cop shit, just not around the women.In November there was a situation down at the courthouse. A man somehow got a gun past the metal detectors. I was on the other side of town patrolling when I heard it come over the radio. I had someone pulled over, but quickly returned their license and registration, so I could get down to the courthouse. Before I made it down, I knew there was a hostage situation in an office on the third floor. Chad worked on the third floor.When I pulled up, I quickly ran up to the door, and was stopped by my captain. “I can’t let you in, Tony.””Why? I need to find Chad.””Tony, the gunman is in his office. He is holding five people hostage. Estranged husband. Tony, you know what that means.””Shit, please let me go up.” Most hostage situations involve a man whose woman has left him in some way. The guy will barricade himself, and generally will kill his hostages and or be killed by the police, suicide by cop.”I can’t do that, Tony. Please don’t make me have to restrain you.” I backed away from the doors, because as he was telling me he would restrain me. John and Ryan stepped up and put their hands on my shoulders.”Come on, Tony. Let the team do their work. They will get him out. They will get him out. Just let them do their job.” Ryan said.It was the longest wait of my life. They had the guy talking, which was a good sign. If they hadn’t, I would have been more restless. But I hated it, Chad had to be scared up there. I couldn’t get to him, to make him feel safe. At first I paced back and forth outside the building, but news crews showed up, and they moved me to one of the courtrooms. John and Ryan were told to keep me there. I wanted to ditch them and go upstairs, but they kept their eye on me, and threatened they would handcuff me. So I paced around the courtroom. I’m sure I walked miles just inside the courtroom that day. Finally they announced they had taken down the suspect, and the hostages had been released.They were sent down the main staircase which was in the middle of the courthouse. I rushed out of the courtroom to the main stairs, and I saw him. They were trying to send him outside, but I stopped the officer that was pushing him and pulled Chad to me. I wrapped my arms around him, and he had a death grip on me.”Baby, you’re okay. You’re fine now. I love you,” I told him, as we hugged. The hallway emptied and there was only John, Ryan, Chad and myself. “Come on, Baby, let’s go home. Let’s get you out of here.” We all went out a side entrance near the parking lot, and I drove Chad to my home. He still hadn’t talked once. I had him sitting on the couch and turned to him, “Honey, you’re okay. You’re safe.”He looked at me, “You said you love me.””I did, because I do.””I love you, too, and you’re such a blockhead,” he smiled and laughed at me. At least he wasn’t quiet anymore.”Why, what did I do now?” I was clueless.”You finally tell me you love me when you thought you lost me.”He was right. I don’t know if I would’ve said it for a little bit longer, if I hadn’t been scared of losing him. “I’m sorry it has taken me this long, but I do love you.” He crawled into my lap and I held him tight. When we went to bed that night, we made love for hours. Not all in one time, but we would kiss, cuddle and make love, sleep for a bit and repeat. When we awoke the next day, I was so tired I didn’t want to go to work. Chad had been told to take the day off, along with everyone that was in his office. But he rode with me to work so he could pick up his car.Before I came home that evening, I stopped off at the cemetery. I needed to talk with Freddy. I know it sounds weird, but I took comfort in talking with Freddy when I need to think things through. When I arrived at home, Chad was there. He stayed the day saying he didn’t feel like being at his apartment. “Then stay forever,” I said to him.”What?” He turned to me when I said it.”Move in with me, Chad.” I walked over and put my arms around him.”What?”I chuckled, “Now who is being the blockhead?” I hugged him to me. “I want to share my home and my life with you, Chad. I love you and I want you around me. Do you understand?””Yeah, I understand, but I just don’t know.”My heart sank, but I didn’t let him see it.”Honey, I love you, but it is a giant step, not a baby step. Are you really ready for it?”I closed my eyes. “I went and told Freddy canlı bahis siteleri today. I know you don’t understand it, you don’t understand why I have to go to the cemetery and tell him. But I had to, and I told him I was going to ask you tonight to move in.”He just stared at me, and I moved away from him.”I know I am fucked up, that I have to still seek the approval of my dead husband.” I walked into my bedroom, feeling like shit. I heard him walk in behind me and he put his arms around me.”Honey, I do understand. You were with Freddy for eight years. I know he was your life, but you’re my life now.” He walked around me and stared up at me. “I love you, Tony. I love you. I’m just not ready to move in. Can you understand? Yes, we have been together for four months, just give me some time.” He smiled up at me.”Alright.” I said and pulled him into a hug.That was at the beginning of November. By Christmas he had moved in almost completely. I didn’t push him to move in; it had just kind of happened. Before that day in November he was staying a few times a week. Afterwards, he was staying about four nights, then it became five, and one week in December, he wasn’t going home much at all anymore. He was more stopping to pick more of his things up, so when he needed them they would be at my house. The only thing that kept him in his apartment was his lease, which was up in February. But by February we had everything in my house and he even turned in the keys early.What also was happening more was Anna and Ryan were leaving Katie with us. At first they would ask us to watch her for an hour or so for them to just have dinner alone at their house without having to worry about her. Then it became a few hours so they could have a date night. I ended up buying a crib for one of my spare bedrooms, because later date night turned into, could you keep her until morning so we can have a night together. I would just laugh at them. We would have taken Katie without them asking. I loved my niece, and Chad was falling in love with her too.April first came around, and I went to the cemetery alone. Chad wanted to come, but I asked him if I could do the anniversary date alone. It didn’t bother me to have him by my side any other time of the year, but something about the anniversary of Freddy’s death, I just need to do alone. Freddy had been gone for four years. I decided while I was at the cemetery it was time to get rid of more of his things. Other than his clothes, I pretty much kept everything else of his in one of the spare bedrooms.When I came home from the cemetery, Chad was waiting in the living room for me. “Hey Babe,” I said.”Honey, what’s wrong?” Chad asked.”Actually nothing and everything. I don’t know if that makes sense. Nothing is wrong, because I love you and I hope we are doing great, but everything because a lot is going to change.””What’s going to change?””I’m ready to let go of Freddy. He is here in my heart and always will be,” I was tearing up, but I needed to do this, “but I don’t need to keep his things anymore, because I know he will always be here.””So what do you want to do with it?””Donate it. I can’t bring myself to sell any of it, so I will donate all of it. His cameras and everything.” I told you Freddy liked taking pictures, which was his job. He would take pictures for the newspaper. When his job cleaned out his office for me, they bought an entire box of cameras and lenses home along with a ton of other things. “I would like to keep one of the cameras though. He had a digital one, he taught me how to use. I’m sure I will have to dig for it, but that is all I want to keep.””Do you want me to help you go through it all and make sure there is nothing that you need to keep such as paperwork?””Yes, I would love you to help me go through it all before I donate it. And it won’t bother me, but if there is something you see that you would like, please feel free.””I couldn’t do that,” Chad responded.”Honey, seriously it will not bother me. If you see something please take it. I’m going to ask our friends if they want anything as well.”I got in contact with all of Freddy’s close friends and his family and asked if there was anything they would like of his things. His mom and sister came over first and took what they wanted. They even asked for a few of the pictures, which I was happy to give to them. We had kept in contact, but it was always harder for me, because his sister was his twin and she reminded me too much of him. Just a few of his friends came by and took a camera each. They had all taken photography classes together. Other than the one digital camera and all his pictures, I donated the rest.Over the following months, I started using the camera. Chad started to hate it because I kept snapping pictures of him, then printing them and putting them on the bed for when he came home from work. Since I had put all the pictures over time back on the walls, table and mantel that Freddy had taken, I started taking some of the photos out of the frames and putting the ones that I would take of Chad or Chad and me. I did keep our wedding photo on the mantel, but I was removing more and more of Freddy’s pictures.In May, Ryan and I were called up to the hospital by John. Sarah was in labor. He had been staying home with her for a few days because it could be any day, so when Ryan and I got out of work that day we rushed up to the hospital. Sarah was going to be in labor for a while, so we all just settled back in her room to shoot the shit. Anna and Chad came up once they got home and changed, and Anna dropped Katie off with her parents.When Chad walked by me, I grabbed him and pulled him down in my lap, he giggled. “You can go home if you’re that frisky, Tony,” Sarah laughed at me.”Not frisky, just want to hold my Baby,” I laughed.”Well it only took close to a year, but at least Chad is not uncomfortable around all of us,” Anna responded.”It didn’t take almost a year. We’ve only been together ten months,” Chad smiled, then conceded, “Okay, it took seven of them.” Everyone laughed.I wanted to head home at ten that night, because I had to be up for work in the morning, Ryan said he would call when Sarah had the baby, since he didn’t work the next day. Since Chad rode up with Anna, he came home with me. “You guys are like brothers.””We are brothers. We made a pact a long time ago,” I responded.”Babe, I’m glad you had and have them. If they hadn’t been there for you, I don’t think we would have been.”I took his hand in mine and brought it to my lips. “I love you, Chad, and I’m glad I did have them to help me through my dark times, so I could come back into the light and see you.”Ryan called at four that morning to tell me we were the proud uncles of a bouncing baby boy. John and Sarah named him John Thomas Jr. It didn’t take long before John and Sarah were leaving Johnny with us to watch. I don’t know what they were thinking. I don’t know if they were trying to get us used to a k** or what, but it isn’t like I can impregnate Chad. I know we could always adopt, but right then, it was nice to be just the two of us.Summer went by and one fall day I was out of my patrol car in the downtown area, and I was walking past a jewelry store. I had just finished lunch in a little diner and a ring glisten just right from the sun and caught my eye. I walked in and looked at it. It was a wedding band. Was it time? It had only been a little over a year, Chad and I had been together. I told myself it wasn’t time and walked back out of the store. A few months later, I walked past the store again and the band was still in the window. I looked up at the sky and told Freddy to settle down, I had time.January that following year, Chad and I had been together a year and a half. I finally walked back into the jewelry store and bought the two matching bands. I had them in my pocket when I came home that Saturday from work. I found Chad in the bedroom organizing the closet. It still scares me how similar he and Freddy are. Freddy couldn’t just stay still either. Every minute awake he had to be doing something. Since Chad moved in, my clean house became our sparkling clean home.I smiled standing there watching him. When he turned around and saw me, he squeaked because I scared the hell out of him. He walked over and hit me. “Will you stop sneaking up on me?””No, I like hearing you squeak.” I pulled him into a hug and kissed him. His arms went around my waist, and he felt the boxes in my coat.”What’s in your jacket?””Nothing,” I smiled, released him, and walked out of the closet.I went over to my little gun safe and opened it so I could put my service weapon away for the night. When he wasn’t looking I slipped the two ring boxes in as well. I know it is time, but I want to wait for the right moment to ask him. But, as usual, time got away from me. I looked at the boxes every day when I opened the safe to get my weapon or put it away, but always saying it isn’t the right moment yet.It is sad to admit it, but April first came around again and I still hadn’t asked Chad. Chad didn’t ask to go with me to the cemetery that day because he knew I liked to visit Freddy alone. I had to work on the second which was a Saturday. On my way home I picked up roses for Chad. When I walked into the house, I couldn’t find Chad. I found a note on the table, saying he was over at Ryan’s and to come over when I had gotten home. I walked to the bedroom and got the ring from the safe and took the roses with me to Ryan’s.hen I walked in, everyone was sitting in the family room. John and Sarah were also over. Anna was pregnant again. Katie was playing with Johnny on the floor with huge blocks. “You didn’t change?” Chad smiled when he saw I was still in my uniform. I hadn’t even removed my weapon. I was too preoccupied about the ring that I forgot to take it off. “And who are the roses for?””They’re for you. I was hoping to do this at home, but you weren’t there.” I got down on my knee in front of him and opened the ring box. “Chad, would you do the honors of marrying me?”His mouth opened and shut and opened again, his eyes were watering and he had a death grip on my hand.”Chad?””Oh my God, yes, Tony. Yes.” I kissed and pulled him into a hug. I bought him two rings, which when put together are as wide as my band. One of his was diamonds-embedded around the top half of the band. The other band was solid. I took the one ring out of the box and put it on his finger. It fit perfectly. “How did you know my size?””Guessed.” I hadn’t really. As I’ve said, Freddy and he were so similar, I just asked for the size Freddy would wear. I know it is terrible to keep comparing them, but as I’ve also said, they are so similar it scares me. “I love you, Chad.””I love you, too.”We decided to just stay engaged for a little while. We had a little backyard wedding on September twentieth. We had been together two years and two months by then. We only had a few family members and friends there. We both wore white tuxes with a red rose. The picture sits on the mantel right next to Freddy’s and mine. I was going to take it down and put it away, but Chad said it belonged there, so it stayed.When we were together for four full years, married for almost two, both John and Ryan had two k**s each, and Anna and Sarah were pushing Chad and I to adopt. One night a few months later, Chad and I were cuddling in bed. “Babe, have you considered adoption?” Chad asked.”Honestly, I’ve been thinking about it more and more lately. Would you want a c***d, Babe?””I’ve been thinking about it a lot more since I turned twenty-seven last month,” Chad responded. “It is weird. Every time Anna and Sarah have brought it up before, I really wasn’t keen on the idea, but lately…””Yeah, lately I’ve been thinking about it also.””Well since we are talking about it, Honey, do you want to be a father at thirty-three? You probably will be older than that by time we are cleared to adopt.””I think if John and Ryan can do it, I should be able to do it,” I smiled and pulled him tighter to me.In the following months we did apply to adopt and became foster parents to a little three year old. The agency called Chad one afternoon and told him they had a little boy that needed to be placed in a home. He had lost his parents in a fire, and there were no relatives that could be found. The k** had been in another foster home for a few months while they were searching for a relative, but the other foster home didn’t want a permanent k**. So the agency was asking if we wanted him with possibility of starting adoption process in a few months. Chad didn’t even take a second to think. He told them yes, and asked when he could pick him up. They told him he was ready right then to be picked up.I didn’t know that we were placed with a c***d until I got off duty and home. I was working a shift-and-a-half and Chad knew he couldn’t call me when I was on patrol. When I came home, John’s car was at my house, so I assumed Sarah, Anna, and Ryan with all the k**s were there too. I walked in and the k**s were running around and there was an extra one. Chad looked up at me and smiled. “Honey, you look tired.””I am, but I see we have company and an extra k** running around. Never seen him before, whose k** is it?””Nice that you feel like we are a burden tonight.” John jeered.”Honey, the k** is ours.” I was about walk out of the living room down the hall to take a shower when Chad announced that.I turned around and looked at Chad, stunned, “Say again?””He is ours.” Chad was smiling along with everyone else in the room. Chad got up and walked over to me. “Babe,” he tapped my forehead and laughed, “are you there?””You said he is ours?””Yes, Babe. He is ours. With option to adopt in a few months.””Really?” I was smiling now. Yes, having the k** here already was a little breath taking because I just figured we would be called down together and it would be a few more months. “Wow. What’s his name?” Everyone looked at each other when I asked that. “What’s going on?””Well Honey, I didn’t find out his name until I got down to the agency.””Okay, that is fine, what is it?””Fredrick.”I just stood there and looked at Chad.”Freddy.” Freddy ran up to Chad and hit his leg to remind him, I looked down at Freddy and he looked up at me.”Freddy?””Yeah Babe, Freddy.” I bent down and picked him up. He didn’t shy away from me. “He is a very smart little boy for being only three.” Chad hugged me when I put Freddy back down. He wanted to run around more. “Honey, go and take a shower and change. We were waiting to have dinner. The k**s already ate.”I was stunned, I will tell you the truth. Was I ready to have a k** in the home? Not completely. Was I ready to have a k** in the home that was named, Freddy? I didn’t know. I think I took the longest shower I have ever take that night. When I came out to the kitchen, everyone looked concerned.Anna walked up to me and put her arms around me. “He needs someone, please don’t turn him away.”I softened at that. “I’m not. It just freaks me out a little. That’s all, really.” Chad came and hugged me next.”Babe, I love you.”I laughed, “I love you too, Chad. It is okay. Really it is. But I’m hungry, and you know what I turn into if I get too hungry.” I smiled at Chad.Having Freddy in the house was a blessing. He was full of energy and tired both Chad and I out. Chad’s mom watched him when we both had to work, which was a blessing in itself, because it saved a ton on c***dcare. We did end up adopting him after six months, and he completed our family. We didn’t adopt or foster another one. Having Freddy was enough for the both of us. Now I know why my parents stopped at one.Chad and I just celebrated our sixth anniversary, and we have a second grader in the house. Freddy is a little social bee. We have k**s over at the house all the time along with Katie and Kyle, Anna and Ryan’s two, and John and Sarah’s two, John Jr. and Nicky. When they all sleep over, let’s just say it isn’t fun for me. They know I’m a big softy and over run me big time. Chad hates that I give into everything. He feels like the hated one because he has to maintain control. I need to start stepping up, or Chad is going to refuse to sleep with me one of these days.Chad is still my world though, and he knows it, because he can get me to do anything too. I bring him roses once a week for no reason at all. Every once in a blue moon, because I know his favorite flower is daisies I will bring them home. He thinks I don’t realize they are his favorite, but I know they are, so I keep those for special times. Roses are just a dime a dozen, I keep telling him. He still calls me his blockhead, and I hope he never stops, because as I said before he is my world. Well, he and Freddy are my world and it is a beautiful one.

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