Please note that this scene takes place in Sweet Love’s storyline. I hope this makes your heart smile as much as it did mine. ❤️
Beckett is Sweet Pie
Six years old
The recess bell rings, sending all of us outside to run around and have fun. All of my friends skip past me, their laughter drifting through the air but my heart is too heavy to join them.
The warm sun dances along my bare skin but it does nothing to ease the cold fear hiding inside of me. Fear for my Mama as she lies in the hospital to give Aunt Lucy a piece of her so she doesn’t die.
Daddy promised she’d be okay, that he’d take care of her but I’m still so scared. The thought of never seeing her again, never getting to hug or kiss her and tell her I love her is too much to bear.
I walk to the large tree in the corner so the other kids can’t see me and tuck my small knees into my chest, burying my face in an effort to hide my tears. It’s minutes later when I feel a warm hand on my bare shoulder.
“Hope?” The familiar voice has me turning my head to the side, there I find Beckett. My brother’s best friend, my neighbor, and most of the time, my biggest tormentor. A boy I’ve spent my six years seeing every day while he and my twin brother pull their favorite pranks on me.
He kneels next to me, bringing his face level with mine. “You okay?” he asks softly.
I shake my head, my throat aching too much to speak.
“You sad about your mom?”
“Yeah,” I sniffle, wiping my wet cheeks but my tears won’t stop flowing.
Quietly, he sits next to me in the dirt, his shoulder touching mine. Oddly, the small touch is comfortin’, and so is his presence.
“Where’s Parker?” I ask. They play together every recess, usually chasing me around and drivin’ me crazy.
“I couldn’t find him. I think he wants to be alone right now.”
He probably does. My brother is as worried about Mama as I am. He’s been trying to be brave, especially for me but I heard him cryin’ last night when he thought I was asleep. It hurt my heart because he never cries and that’s when I knew this thing with Mama is more serious than we all wished it wasn’t.
“I’m so scared, Beck,” I whisper, needing to talk to someone. “My Mama is my best friend. We have big plans for our pies. She can’t leave me. I need her too much.” A painful sob tumbles past my lips, my frightened heart too broken to hold it in any longer.
Beckett wraps his arm around my shoulders, pulling me in close. “Don’t cry, Hope. She’ll be okay. I know she will. Your dad won’t let anything happen to her.”
I nod, knowing he’s right but it doesn’t make it easier. I just want to see her with my own eyes then I’ll feel better. Grandma Catherine promised she would take us as soon as school was over. It can’t come soon enough.
My head rests on Beck’s small shoulder, his arm remaining around me, bringing more warmth than anything else could in this moment. We don’t speak for the rest of the recess. Once the bell rings, we climb to our feet. I dust the back of my dress off, feeling too shy to look at him.
“You gonna tell everyone, I was cryin’ ?” I mumble.
He and Parker love to embarrass me.
Reaching out, he drags his fingers across my wet cheek, wipin’ the remainder of my tears away. “I’d never laugh at you for crying, Hope. There’s nothing funny about that.”
I look up at him, seeing something in his eyes I’ve never seen before. A warmth, a friendship, something more than I can understand.
He takes my small hand, curlin’ his fingers around mine and gives me a crooked smile that has butterflies flocking in my tummy. “Come on, lets go back to class.”
As we walk into the school, hand in hand, I see him in a new light. I’ve always known Beckett is nice, even when he’s teasin’ me, but today he showed me kindness when I needed it most.
An idea forms, a recipe brewin’ in my mind and in my heart.
Two months later
“Freeze, you’re under arrest!” I bellow, trying to make my voice as deep as my Dad’s. I flip my little sister’s teddy bear over whose head I accidentally ripped off last week and slap the plastic cuffs around his fat wrists. “You’re going away for a long time. No one messes with my town.”
I toss him in the jail cell along with the rest of my sister’s stuffed animals then slip my gun back into its holster. I tip my hat at the town folk who all clap and thank me for saving the day.
“Beckett, honey!” My mom’s voice breaks into my victory, yanking me back to the real world.
Sighing, I walk over to the other end of my tree house, the dusty boards creaking beneath my feet as I stick my head out the window. “Yeah, Mom?” I call out, finding her at the back door of our house, holding my baby sister in her arms.
“Come down from there. Someone is here to see you.”
Before I can ask who Hope steps outside onto the deck. A weird feeling happens in my chest, making it difficult to breathe. It’s the same reaction I get every time I see her, especially lately.
I quickly pull my head back inside my tree house and yank the police hat off, fixing my hair. “Uh, be down in a second,” I yell back.
With lightening speed, I take off the rest of my costume then climb down the hanging ladder, the ground a long way down. It’s exactly how I wanted it, high enough to see all the houses around me, so I can keep watch. It’s my job to protect the house when my dad is gone so that’s what I do.
Parker helps too. We’re able to see each other when I’m in here and he’s in his room and we converse on our walkie talkies. Though, I usually find myself watching the girl in that house more often than not, especially when she’s in the kitchen baking with her mom.
I jump down from the last few steps, my feet hitting the ground hard. Straightening, I swallow hard, watching as my best friend’s sister starts across the yard toward me, holding something in her hands.
The afternoon sun is a little brighter all of a sudden, bouncing off her blonde hair that falls past her shoulders, the gentle breeze blowing it across her face. She wears a pink dress with a matching pink hair clip.
Pink and yellow are her favorite colors and if they weren’t so girly they would be mine too, because they look really nice on her.
Her steps are slow and unsure, she seems as nervous as me. I shove my hands into my pockets, my heart banging inside of my chest as she stops in front of me.
“Hi,” she greets quietly.
“Hi. What are you doing here?”
She never comes without Parker.
She dips her head shyly and thrusts the pie she holds at me. “I made you this.”
“For me? Really?” I ask, both surprised and excited.
She nods, still looking at the ground. “It’s to say thank you for bein’ so nice to me when Mama was in the hospital.”
I accept the plate from her, my stomach beginning to rumble with hunger at the sight of chocolate, berries and whip cream. “Wow. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome. I hope you like it.”
“You made it, Hope. Of course I’ll like it.”
She finally looks up at me, her light green eyes causing that weird feeling again. Giving me a shy smile, she tucks her blonde hair behind her ear.
“What’s it called?” I ask, knowing she had to name it something. She names all her creations. She’s so smart.
“Beckett is Sweet Pie,” she whispers, her cheeks turning a pinkish color. Even that looks pretty on her. Before I can say anything, she steps closer and leans in to give me a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you, Beckett.”
Without another word, she runs back to the house where both of our Mom’s stand at the door waiting for her, her blonde hair flying wildly behind her.
I blink several times, touching the side of my hot cheek where her lips just were. The biggest smile takes over my face as I crawl back up into my tree house and sit next to the window. I watch her and Aunt Grace walk back to their house hand in hand. As if knowing I’m watching her, she looks over her shoulder, directly up at me in the tree house and smiles.
It’s the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen.
As I eat the best pie in the world, I decide to do everything in my power to make sure she smiles like that every day.