October 31st, 2020
Halloween was Stevie’s favorite day of the year, the day where what she loved the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year was ‘normal’ for a day. The memories of Halloween’s past filled her head as she would help Lindsey’s kids get ready to go trick or treating, opening the door to hand out candy, and the little kids so excited for the candy as their parents were in awe because it was Stevie. The parties the woman has thrown over the years made her Halloween parties one of the best places to be when it was this time of year.
But, like everything else in this sh*t year, the sound of laughter and footsteps walking through the house were replaced by a silence that made Stevie uneasy, a silence that - even though she had six months to get used to - was something that drove her insane. This new outtake on life lately has been hard for everyone, but for someone like Stevie who thrives on being on stage and with her fans, it’s soul-crushing. She spent all year trying to work on new music, trying to do something to give her an ounce of normalcy but nothing she was doing was making sense to her, nothing was sounding right, and the more she attempted the angrier she got.
”Stevie, are you sure you’re going to be okay alone tonight? I know you’ve been okay with it lately, but it’s Halloween. I can always head over there tomorrow” Karen’s voice would echo down the hallway as Stevie sat in her smaller studio in her living room. The reality was Stevie hated being alone as it was, but especially today, on a day where normally her house and her heart was so full everything was just so...empty. ”Yes, go. Your sister would be so angry if you didn’t show up. Just - be careful okay? I’ll see you when you get back in town” Stevie frowned as Karen stopped at the door briefly. It was nothing against Karen, she’s been Stevie’s assistant for over twenty-five years and easily was one of her dearest friends, but for her to be the most human interaction Stevie’s had for months is heartbreaking for the woman. ”I will be fine. I’m supposed to FaceTime Christine in an hour or so just so we can do our yearly Halloween shot and I’m gonna attempt to work on some new music for this album I want to do. I’ll be fine” Reality was Stevie wasn’t sure if she’d be fine, but she didn’t want Karen to cancel her trip to see her sister a few hours away, even if Stevie felt she shouldn’t be traveling within the state. ”I’ll call you when I get down there” Stevie nodded her head before using her right hand to shoo Karen towards the door. ”Go! Send the family my love and I miss them, I hope the kids like the gifts I got them” Keeping the smile forced on her face until Karen walked out, Stevie would let out a defeated sigh before she heard her phone go off in her side pocket. Pulling it out as she got up from the stool she was sitting on, a big smile formed on her face as she opened a group chat while walking towards her kitchen. Clicking the video that was in the chat, tears formed in her eyes as her fingertips grazed across the screen lightly as the video started playing and she saw the three people who meant the world to her - Stella, LeeLee, and Will.
”HAPPY HALLOWEEN, MAMA! It’s just us three this year and we all miss you SO MUCH! We’ll quarantine and be over soon because we all just need a hug from you. We love you so much!”
Using her free hand to wipe the few tears that rolled down her cheeks while she watched the video, Stevie would clear her throat before hitting reply and going to her camera. Taking a second to make sure she didn’t look like she had been crying, she would slide over to the video option before letting it record. ”My babies! Oh God, you made my heart so full with that video and I miss you guys so much. I can’t wait to see you three and give you the biggest hugs, even though I feel like hugging Will is going to be like hugging Mick - stop growing, please! Soon we’ll be together again and I can’t wait. I -- “ being cut off by a knock on the door, Stevie looked over her shoulder briefly before looking back to the camera. ”I guess Karen forgot her keys. Be careful and I love you three so much, see you soon!” Giving a kiss to the phone, Stevie would quickly send the video into the group chat before turning on her heels and walking towards her door. The closer she got this feeling in the pit of her stomach, not exactly a bad feeling nor was it uneasy, she couldn’t exactly place what it was. To get to her front door you needed to know the code to get past the gate, so she knew it wasn’t some crazed lunatic, but Stevie didn’t have a clue who it was unless it really was Karen and she had forgotten her keys. Reaching out to grab the door handle, Stevie started pulling it while talking. ”Karen, if I had a dollar for every time you forgot your ke --” Stevie stopped mid-sentence as she felt her heart start to race, her hands growing sweaty and her eyes growing soft at who was standing on the other side of the door. Her eyes went right to the papers in their hands before back at him.
”It’s been a while, I know. Can - can I come in?”
Unable to form words in her mind to say anything, her mind just playing the last time she locked eyes on the man where he wasn’t lying in a hospital bed and knew who she was like he was when the kids snuck her in after his heart attack, Stevie slowly nodded her head as she moved so he could walk into the house. Shutting the door behind him, the echo of their screams at each other in the back of her mind played, her telling Mick it was either her or him because she was so angry and how she regretted it after she said it. How she snapped on Mick when she got told they fired him because they picked her because she wouldn’t have even been in the band if it wasn’t for him. The conversation they had a few years before that where Stevie said she didn’t want anything to do with him personally until divorce papers were in his hand because she was tired of being the other woman when they both knew hope they felt about each other. She wanted to kiss him, she wanted to hug him and yell about how he scared her after his heart attack, but yet she wanted to know why he was here. Her chocolate orbs once again went to the papers in his hand, before back at him as she was still trying to find the words to say anything to him.
”I’ve been on my own for a couple of weeks now otherwise I would’ve been here sooner, trust me. I know this isn’t what you were expecting this evening” a small chuckle escaped his lips and her heart melted, his laugh was one of the sweetest sounds to her ears, and where she’s heard it so much over the years it’s still like it was the very first time. ”Uh, a few years ago you told me I needed to figure out what I wanted in my life, where I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be with and I thought I had lost my time with you. I thought that when you walked away that night that you were walking away from us and from what we wanted to build in our lives so I stayed. The kids got older and formed their own relationship with you and I watched from the sidelines, I asked them all the time how you were doing but I never could ask you myself. Everything with the band happened and I was bitter after my firing and I blamed you” Stevie felt her eyes shift down to the floor while a deep sigh escaped her lips. He didn’t need to blame her for that, it was on the long list of stuff she blamed herself for in her life. “Stephanie, it wasn’t on you.” the way her name sounded coming from his lips still made her heart melt into a puddle at the pit of her stomach. “Stella finally told me the kids got ahold of you after my heart attack and you came to the hospital, but you left before I woke up and at that moment I knew. I knew the love was still there, I knew that you still wanted this, wanted us.” Stevie finally managed to get her brain to work enough to say something.
”Because you scared the sh*t out of me, I remember Stella calling in such a frantic. I never saw Will cry like I did when I walked into the waiting room. I left before you woke up because I didn’t want to cause an issue between you and Kristen.” Biting the inside of her mouth as she walked around him and sat at the piano in her living room, Stevie took a few deep breaths before her eyes went back to the papers in his hand. ”What are they? The papers, what are they?” No sooner had she asked did Lindsey drop the papers on the piano in front of her, a big smile on his face as she leaned up to look at them.
They were the finalization of his divorce from Kristen.
”I remember someone once saying not to come to them with any personal feelings or wanting anything beyond a professional relationship unless I was coming as a single man because you were tired of being the other woman - and I can’t blame you. You spent over twenty years being the other woman and you deserve the world, Stephanie” While he spoke her bottom lip started to tremble, her eyes shifting from the papers up to him. ”I know this year has been rough for everyone, and especially you, so I’m coming to you as a single man who just wants a final chance with the woman he loves. Do I deserve it? I don’t think so, but I know you deserve the world and I feel like you still want me to be a part of it” By the time he was done Stevie was already nodding her head, blinking a few times to see through her tears as she got up from where she was sitting. Watching him open his arms as she walked into his embrace, feeling them wrap around her as her head fell on his chest brought a sense of comfort she’s been silently begging for. ”Lindsey…” her voice was barely above a whisper, cracking as she spoke while her fingertips gripped the back of his shirt. Letting her head rest on his chest, the familiar sound of his heartbeat relaxing her in such a way that she’s been craving for years, she felt a soft kiss on the top of her head. ”Happy Halloween, baby girl. I’m finally home.”