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One in a Million
Kennedi sat on the family room sofa, completely in a daze. This just couldn't be, was all she could think. Of course, she'd only learned the incredible news less than thirty minutes ago, but still, it just wasn't sinking in the way she needed it to. It didn't seem real, and the more she replayed the entire scenario, over and over, the more it felt like some fantasy—like some crazy dream her subconscious had concocted.
She was trying her best to accept what she now knew had to be the truth, but she wasn't sure how to deal with it. She wasn't sure what her next steps should be, although she guessed the first thing she needed to do was call her husband, Blake, on his cell phone. There was no doubt he'd be just as stunned as she was, and she couldn't imagine telling anyone else before telling him, not when this was the one thing he'd been hoping for ever since they married ten years ago.
Kennedi hurried into the kitchen, picked up the cordless phone, and dialed Blake's number. It rang four times before going into voice mail, and she wondered why he wasn't answering. He'd left for the health club more than two hours ago, but normally he only worked out for about an hour, meaning he should have been on his way home by now. Still, she left him a brief message.
"Hi, honey, it's me. I have something really, really important to tell you, so call me as soon as you get this, okay? Love you."
She ended the call but took the phone with her and headed back into the family room. She hoped he would return her call pretty quickly, because for some reason, she was finally starting to feel truly excited.She was starting to feel a lot happier as the seconds passed, and now she couldn't wait to tell him everything. As a matter of fact, she was now so blissfully beside herself and so dying to tell someone that she considered calling her best friend, Patrice. And she would have, except she knew Blake would be livid if he learned he hadn't been told first, so instead, she dialed his number again, and again, and again. However, it was all to no avail, and she was starting to get worried. Either that or her nerves were simply getting the best of her. She wasn't sure which it was, but she knew she needed to try to calm down. She needed to focus on something totally unrelated to this remarkable news she suddenly couldn't stop smiling about.
Kennedi walked back into the kitchen again, pulled a glass from the cupboard, pressed it against the ice dispenser inside the refrigerator door until seven or eight cubes fell inside, and then set it down on the granite island. Next she opened the refrigerator, removed a pitcher of red grapefruit Crystal Light, and filled her glass to the brim. She loved this flavor, and besides the FDA's recommended eight glasses of water a day, she hardly drank anything else. She did have an occasional caffeine-free soda every now and then, but never more than a couple times per month, thanks to the pact she and her mom had made a few years ago. They'd both agreed to forgo caffeinated drinks altogether and to drink carbonated drinks only once in a while, but this was after her mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and Kennedi had read an article stating that caffeine had been suggested as a possible risk factor for her mom's illness. Needless to say, her mom had given up her daily before-work vanilla latte from Starbucks almost immediately, and unlike Kennedi, she'd even given up drinks that contained artificial sweeteners. She'd quickly begun taking every precaution she could, trying her best to combat the horrible disease that was attacking her.
But sadly, in the end, none of her new health-conscious efforts, the removal of both of her breasts, chemotherapy, or radiation had been enough. The doctors had done all they could do, and actually, for about a year or more she'd remained in remission. That is, until six months ago, when she'd slipped back out of it and then passed away three months later.
Now Kennedi was looking through the patio doors in tears. She wasn't weeping uncontrollably, the way she had the entire first month after her mom's funeral, but right now she would have done anything, anything at all, to see her mother again. She'd have done anything to have her back with her, even if only for a short while, because she missed her terribly. She missed the woman who would have given her last dollar if it meant helping someone else.
Although, as an only child, Kennedi couldn't thank God enough for allowing her the chance to take care of her mom. At first, she hadn't known what she was going to do, but Blake had made it clear that it was more than okay for her to take a leave of absence from work so she could spend as much time with her mom as possible. Needless to say, this was exactly what Kennedi had been hoping she could do, but she'd worried about their finances. She'd worried that, for the first time since they'd gotten married, they wouldn't be able to pay their bills on time. But Blake had promised her they would be fine. He'd told her that they wouldn't be able to spend money on unnecessary items, but that they also wouldn't end up with credit problems either. He'd told her that he loved his mother-in-law no differently than if she'd been his own mother and that allowing Kennedi to take a leave without pay was the very least he could do. He'd insisted that living without two incomes was a sacrifice he had no problem making, and Kennedi loved him so much for what he'd done. She loved him because not every husband would have made such a loving and very selfless offer.One in a Million. Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.