Holding Onto Kinsley

By: Elisa Leigh
Dedication

To my readers who keep coming back for more and my first timers who decided to give me a try. I have a lot of love and respect for all of you. You are the biggest reason I keep writing.

Thank you for your support,

xoxo Elisa





One

Kinsley Ellington




As I’m getting ready for work, Becca comes into my room. Leaning against the door jamb, she eyes my reflection in the mirror, while I pull my hair into my classic Kinsley messy bun. She is probably looking for the tell-tale signs of my tears. God, I hope she doesn’t hear me at night.

I stopped crying in front of her a month after I moved in. She was starting to get depressed from all of the darkness I was bringing into the house with my shit. Now, I save my tears for the shower. Tears of shame, rejection, loneliness, and exhaustion.

I stare back at her. She doesn’t break my gaze but keeps staring, looking for something. Something she can’t find. I try giving her a smile, but it’s hard to make it real. I turn my head to avoid looking into eyes that see so much of me. I clear my throat of the tears that are trying to break through. “I’m trying Becca.”

She shakes her head and gifts me with one of her amazing smiles. “I know babe. God, do I know! This year has been anything but easy for you, but…” She trails off.

I know she has sheltered me and made my burdens her own. This girl. She has my heart. Whatever I have left of it, she’s got it. “Here, I made this for you.” She shoves a CD into my hands, and I look at her.

“Thanks, Becs. Thank you for everything. Without you with me on this, I don’t know…”

“Oh no, you don’t Kinsley. You will not sell yourself short. You are amazing and would have done fine on your own, and you know it. Just because your parents don’t see it, does not mean it isn’t true. I’m glad I could be here to help and be a part of this journey with you. You and Sadie are my family.”

Launching myself at her 5’4 frame, with her being only two inches taller than me, she falls to the ground and takes me with her. I kiss her cheek and hug her tight. “You are my sister Becs, Sadie’s Auntie, and our family. We love you.” I blow a raspberry on her cheek, and the heavy is broken.

Laughing, she pushes me away. “Get off of me hooker.”

I roll off her and get to my feet, while I hold my hand out to help her up. She grabs my hand to stand and then pushes me back into the bathroom. “You better finish getting ready for work. Ms. Sadie and I have a girl’s night planned and you being here a second longer is cutting into our time.”

Suddenly, we hear a loud giggle coming from the living room. I left Sadie to play in there, while I get ready for work. Becca winks at me and moves to make her way to her munchkin. I laugh because at six months my daughter has her Aunt Becs wrapped around her chunky little fingers.

Becca is not the only one in love with my daughter. Momma J and Pops, who are Becs parents, unofficially adopted me, when I came to town a little over a year ago and are BIG Sadie Ellington fans. I can’t say how grateful I am for our new family. I never felt as if I belonged before them.

I once thought what Liam and I shared was love. Maybe not a tremendous all-consuming love, but a nice, comfortable love. The kind of love that would last and be worthy of a big family, a 50th anniversary, and summers at a cabin on a lake.

∞∞∞



Liam and I played together when we were babies, or so the story goes. Whenever our parents would get together, which was a few times a month, I would follow him around. When his family moved away, he was ten, and I was six. We lost touch and didn’t see one another for a long time.

His family moved back to Connecticut when I was a junior at Vanderbilt majoring in Elementary Education, hoping to be a teacher. I went home for winter break, and Liam was there at a dinner my parents hosted. And as they say, the rest is history.

We started dating and became engaged a few months before I graduated. We had a quick engagement and ended up getting married a couple months later.

I was happy with Liam, he treated me well or what I thought was well. He was the first and only serious relationship I ever had. I dated a few guys while away at school, but nothing serious. I even saved my virginity for the person I would fall in love with. The night I gave it up, I thought it would be magical. Instead, while not downright awful, I couldn’t figure out what the hype was about.

Liam did not want me to work. He said my place was in the home taking care of it and getting ready to be a mom. I guess it didn’t matter I was only twenty-two and wasn't prepared to be a mom yet. It didn’t matter I went to school to do something I was passionate about.

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