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A Wonderful Life ~ 34

"Toby, it's after nine," Ginger moaned when she noticed Toby still working in his office. "CJ went home three hours ago."

"I know," Toby growled.

"Maybe you should go home," Ginger mentioned.

"My wife kicked me out," Toby moaned. "Why are you still here?"

"Because you are," Ginger glared. "Go home Toby."

"You can go. I'm just going to finish this thing."

"Have it your way," Ginger rolled her eyes and left.

"You should listen to her," Josh said from the doorway.

"I thought everyone was gone," Toby mentioned.

"Everyone besides you and me. I had to finish reading over the banking bill."

"Are you going home?" Toby asked.

"Yeah. I promised Sam I would go over and introduce myself to Jack. Is he a good kid?"

"Yeah," Toby nodded.

"Where are you going to stay?"

"Here," Toby pointed to the couch. "I'll get more sleep here."

"You should call and say goodnight. If not to CJ, to Derek."

"Yeah," Toby nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah," Josh nodded. "And talk to Sam tomorrow. I don't know what you said to him, but it hurt him," Josh mentioned before walking out.

"Yeah," Toby said as Josh walked away. He then picked up the phone and dialed the number but couldn't seem to finish. He put the phone back in its cradle and sat back in his chair. What was he going to do now?

"Mom?"

"Yeah?" CJ said as she put dinner on the table.

"Why isn't dad here?"

"I already told you, he had to work late." She didn't want to tell him what really happened.

"So Uncle David is here for dad then?"

"In a way, yes," she said as she sat down.

"Cool." He smiled and turned to David. "So you will really help me with my Science class?"

"Sure thing," he said, smiling. "What exactly did you want me to talk about?"

"Anything!" Derek had a wide smile on his face.

SAM'S HOME

"Thanks for the car Josh," Jack smiled at the little plastic car. "It's great."

"It's not much," Josh smiled, proud at himself for bringing a gift.

"It's almost 9:30," Sam mentioned.

"Yeah," Jack moaned. "Bedtime."

"It was nice meeting you," Josh smiled.

"You too," Jack shook Josh's hand and went to his room.

"Sweet kid," Josh smiled.

"Yeah," Sam nodded. "He had a long day, I think he'll go right to sleep."

"Are you okay?" Josh asked. "What's going on with you and Toby?"

"I don't want to discuss it," Sam snapped. "You want a beer?"

"Sure," Josh shrugged. Just then, they heard a knocking on the door.

"Who could that be?" Sam asked. When he opened it he moaned. "Now what?"

"I'm a bad friend," Toby looked down. "I'm a bad person," He mumbled.

"What's that smell?" Sam asked. "Are you drunk?"

"It's possible," Toby said.

"Did you drive here?" Sam snapped.

"Charlie drove me. He told me I'm a bad friend too," Toby mumbled.

"What?" Sam couldn't understand him.

"I'm sorry," Toby looked up at Sam. "I didn't mean what I said."

"Thanks," Sam smiled. "Come on in. But be quiet, Jack's sleeping."

"I'm a depressed drinker, not a happy one," Toby moaned while walking in.

"Hey," Josh stood when he saw Toby. "Why are you walking weird?"

"He's drunk," Sam answered.

"My wife hates me," Toby said softly while falling down on the couch. "My son probably hates me. My brother hates me. My friends hate me."

"He really is a depressed drunk," Josh shook his head.

CJ's HOUSE

"Mom?"

"Yeah?"

"Why isn't dad home yet?" Derek asked for what seemed like the millionth time.

"He had to work late. He's working on a speech. Now get some rest, okay?" She kissed him and tucked him in.

"Can Uncle David come in and say goodnight too?"

"Sure, I'll get him."

"Thanks." He smiled at her.

CJ went and told David to go into Derek's room. "Knock, knock," David said.

"Hi," Derek said.

"What's going on? Your mom said you wanted to see me."

Derek nodded. "How come you and my dad aren't close?"

"Mostly for silly reasons, really. Basically, when our parents got divorced, our sisters started to blame Toby for what had happened, and basically pulled me on to their side. So he got depressed and started to really think that we did hate him. But we don't. He forgave our sisters, I don't know why he can't forgive me." David looked down at Derek. "But don't worry. I'm sure that one day we will reconcile, okay?"

"Okay. Goodnight Uncle David."

"Goodnight." He kissed Derek's forehead and left the room, leaving Derek to think of a plan of sorts.

TBC...

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