“But mommy!” Rayne exclaimed. “I don’t want to go with you guys to Gramma’s house. I already told Tay I could sleep over tonight. And besides, we were just at Gramma’s last week!”
Amy sighed and shifted Joseph to her other hip. She was losing her patience.
“Rayne sweetie,” she said. “I know you want to go to Taylor’s, but I already told Gramma that we were all coming.”
Rayne’s father, Scott walked into the room.
“Daddy can’t I go to Tay’s and go with you guys to Gramma’s next time?” Rayne asked. “Pleeeeeeeeease?”
Scott and Amy shared a look. Rayne looked up at her parents expectantly.
“All right Ray,” Scott said. “You can go to Tay’s. Just as long as you come with us next time we visit Gramma.”
Rayne gave both her parents a hug. “I will!” she shouted as she ran towards her bedroom. “I promise!”
2 hours later - around 7:00 p.m. :
“Pass it over here!” Taylor yelled.
Rayne kicked the soccer ball in Taylor’s direction. He stopped the ball and gave it a swift kick towards the goal. The ball sailed past Isaac and into the net.
“SCORE!!!” Taylor yelled. He ran around the Hanson’s backyard triumphantly, his hands raised.
“DINNERTIME!!” Diana yelled from inside the house.
“Last one to the house is a rotten egg!!” Isaac yelled, as the three raced towards the house.
After washing up, everyone sat at the table. Walker and Diana sat at each head of the table, Rayne, Isaac, and Taylor shared a bench on one side, and Zac (3 years old), who was in a booster seat, and Jessica (15 months old) who was perched in a high chair, shared the other side.
They bowed their heads and prayed, then Walker looked over at Rayne, Isaac, and Taylor.
“Go ahead guys,” he said with a smile.
Rayne, Isaac, and Taylor glanced at each other, and started at the same time.
“Aaaaaamen,” they sang in perfect harmonization.
Diana beamed as they sang. They began to eat.
“Hey mom,” Isaac said, as he reached for the potatoes. “Do you think we’ll ever be a real band?”
“If you kids work hard enough, and never give up, I’m sure you will be,” Diana said with a smile.
“Can I be in your band?” Zac asked.
“No way Zac,” Taylor said. Rayne and Isaac nodded in agreement. “You’d just mess everything up.”
“Be nice Taylor,” Walker said sternly. “If Zac wants to join you guys then let him.”
Taylor pouted, but only for a minute or two. The phone rang suddenly, and Diana got up to answer it.
“Hello?” she said, then paused. “Yes, this is Diana Hanson....oh my god.”
Walker stood up and walked over to his wife, who had begun to cry. She handed him the phone, then put her face in her hands, crying quietly. Isaac, Taylor, Rayne, and Zac looked at each other.
“Yes...thank you,” Walker finished the conversation and turned to his wife, comforting her.
Isaac finally spoke up.
“Dad? What happened?”
Walker turned to the table, a grim look on his face.
“Rayne?” he said.
Rayne looked up at him.
“Can I talk to you for a second? Alone?”
Rayne stood up without a word and followed Walker into the living room.
Diana stayed in the kitchen. She dried her tears and looked at her children. She sighed softly and sat back down at the table.
“What’s wrong mom?” Isaac ventured.
“Well kids,” Diana began. “There’s been an accident.”
“What kind of accident?” Taylor interrupted.
“Rayne’s family was in a car accident. They were on their way home from Rayne’s grandmothers house, and a drunk driver hit them, ” Diana said tearfully.
“Are they all right?” Taylor asked.
Diana shook her head solemnly.
“No sweetie. They were killed instantly.”
Isaac and Taylor gasped. Zac began to cry, and Jessica just looked around, oblivious to what was going on.
Rayne looked at Walker blankly. She couldn’t believe what he had just told her.
“But...” she began. “Is Joey okay?”
Walker shook his head sadly.
“I’m so sorry honey,” he said.
Rayne began to cry softly.
“But where am I going to live?” she asked between sobs. “I don’t want to move! I want to stay here!!”
She began to cry harder, and Walker leaned over and pulled her into a hug, tears in his eyes.