Amy and I had our third child, a boy named Gunther. He's as spoiled as our girls are. I enjoy the best of everything. I have wonderful kids, a great job, a wonderful wife, and all the things money gets us as well. I long for nothing. You'd think I'd be bored, but I have my hands full with the kids.
Amy enjoys entertaining in the neighborhood and throwing dinner parties. She's quite popular among the neighbors. Everyone's always glad to see her.
Because we always have extra money (Amy's family is filthy rich, but she didn't tell me that until after we'd married - she knows I love her for her), Amy had an addition built onto the house. I felt the place was plenty big enough with the upstairs dedicated to our bedroom and the kids' bedroom and play area and the downstairs as kitchen, living room, and toddler play area, but Amy wanted a guest room.
"Why so much green, Ames?"
"My mother loves green."
I didn't see how that was an answer.
Until her mother arrived. Amy had invited her to stay with us for a visit and to help out with the baby. I hadn't understood that fully when she had told me, but she did mention it. Her father had passed a few years before and her mother, Gretchen, was lonely in their mansion with just the butler, the maid, and the cook to keep her company. Gretchen is not the socialite Amy is, and her father was, so I can see how it was lonely for her.
Gretchen helped out and was great with the kids.
I began to show my age. My cat, Clover, had already retired long before and was grey about the whiskers. Now, so am I. But its okay. I have everything and everyone I want. My life is perfect.
Soon enough Amy was pregnant again. I guess my old swimmers were still fighting Amy's current and dodging the undertow successfully.
Sadly, just after Gunther's birthday, Amy gave birth. Excuse me, that's not sad at all. We have a wonderful little addition named Aaron. Four times the childbirth and the strain of it all, plus, she was at the far edge of her childbirthing years, and Amy passed away during childbirth. Aaron was virtually ripped from her. It was awful to watch. But we pick up the pieces and go on. What else can I do? I have four kids at home waiting for my care, after all. And they need me strong for them, so I hold it together.
Perth grew into a precocious child. She's a bit sassy at times, but we just give her The Look and she straightens right up. I can see her being a handful later. Sydney has been an absolute delight so far. I hope that holds out.
Clover doesn't have the patience for Gunther like she did for Sydney and Perth. She's no kitten anymore, hasn't been for most of my life, but she's part of the family.Gretchen stayed after Amy's death to help with the children. I suspect the mansion would have been a whole lot lonelier if she'd have gone back without her husband or her daughter.
I think we both needed each other, an adult to talk to. We'd meet in one of our rooms after all the children were tucked in and fast asleep and talk about good things: Amy's laugh, her husband's eyes, the way the girls liked to catch butterflies but always forgot to release them before they became dry sticks. We became quite close over that year after Amy passed. Perhaps we became too close. There was a moment, just one moment, where we - it was so natural - leaned in toward each other and our lips touched. Just touched, so brief and nothing more. We both pulled back as if burned, reminded of who we are and how we are related. Gretchen moved out the next morning. I agree that it was for the best, but I hope she's not too lonely in the mansion. She's to see the kids at Christmas. I don't think it will be awkward, at least I hope it won't be.