What should he do? That was the question running through Ronald Stoppable's mind as he looked at the tombstone in front of him. With the rain falling heavily, the state of the weather had entered a sense of pathetic fallacy. Mirroring, near perfectly, the mood of the service, grim and sorrow filled. Everyone was crying, mumbling random phrases of comfort to the grieving widow.
Many who had thought that Ann Possible would be severely sorrowed by the experience, had been simply astonished when she refused to cry. But none of them knew his mother-in-law like he did. They didn't know the strong woman that let her only daughter go off and attempt to make the world a better place by fighting evil. Even knowing that her only backup was a clumsy boy, he could already hear Kim scolding him for even thinking that, she still never wavered. She truly was a strong woman, one he was proud to call his mother-in-law. Which made the thing he had to do next so much harder.
'Should he tell them?' He thought as he thought about the dire secret. Something truly image braking. Something he hadn't even told Kim. But he had to tell them. 'They deserve to know!' Taking one deep breath, he spotted the grieving widow being comforted by his equally grieving wife. 'This is It', he thought as he began walking toward them.
The ground was slushing away beneath him. Slush, Slush, as he made his way to his target. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulders. As he turned around to face the source of interruption, he noticed Felix looking at him with grief.
"I'm sorry for your loss man." He stated grievously.
"Yeah, it just came as a shock you know! I mean him dying from heart disease and all." Ron said sadly. It really was conflicting for him, on one hand he was really sad that his father-in-law had to go, on the other it brought a sense of relief to know, the nightmare that began just 5 months prior had ended.
"I know man. It must have been a real shock. How did Kim take it?"
"She's doing well. Ok, as well as she can with this kind of thing."
"Again man I'm sorry, I know he was like a father to you."
Father! What kind of Father would do this to his own kid's! But despite the anger, Ron Stoppable knew it was true, James Possible was a great man. A kind and gentle man, one he should have been proud to call his father-in-law. But above all else he was a great father. Not to just Kim, but him as well.
"I don't know KP. Are you sure this will be Ok?" An 8 year old Ronnie asked his best friend.
"Ok, come one. We're best friends forever, and best friends look out for each other. I know it's been tough on you ever since your Dad lost his job, so I thought it would be nice for you to hang out at my house for a while." Green eyes gleamed at him.
"No buts mister, you are coming home with me and that's final." She said firmly.
Ronnie was snickering. "You said butt." He stated as he continued to snicker.
Kim rolled her eyes before proceeding to laugh along. "Huh, guess I did say butt. I did say…"
"Ouch… KP stop that." Ronnie said as he gently rubbed the area where his best friend had just pinched him.
"Make me!" She challenged as she pinched it again.
"Oh that's it!" Ronnie stated as he proceeded to pinch her in the same region.
This playful pinching only ceased when they arrived at the front door of the Possible home. But before they entered, Kim, smiled slyly, proceeded to get one last pinch in.
"Oh Kimmie-cub we were wondering when you'll be back. Would you like to have lunch?"
"Actually mom, dad, could I talk to you guys for a second."
"Sure." The parents stated in a somewhat confused tone as they followed their daughter out into the hall.
"Look. Ronnie's dad lost his job. And Ronnie is trying to help them out by saving money. The only problem is he saves up by not having lunch." Kim said in a hush tone.
"That's terrible!" The two parents could tell where this was going. "And of course he could have lunch with us till his dad's back on his feet."
"Thank you guys." Kim hugged her two parents.
As they walked in to the dinner table, they noticed Ron blankly staring into space.
"Why, Ronald. Why don't I get you a plate?"
"I hope I'm not imposing." Ron softly asked.
"Nonsense, you're always welcome in this house! And why don't you come buy for lunch until your dad gets back on his feet." James stated softly.
"Thank you .P"
"You're welcome Son!"
Sure there were better and more meaningful stories of how .P became a father to him, but this was the one he remembered most fondly. It was the memory that he thought was the most important, the one where he finally joined the Possible Family. This memory had other benefits like remembering Kim pinching him. Not to say they didn't still do that, it's just that the outcome is …um… slightly different.
About a year later, his dad got a job as an actuary, thereby ending his need to have lunch at the Possible's. But this didn't stop Ron from going to Possible's house for a meal. While it was slightly rarer, you could still find him at the Possible's. They had turned into a second family for him. This severely dragged his conscience, but this had to be said. He had to tell them didn't he?
'No, No. I have to tell them they deserve to know!' he thought dividedly. The dilemma was if he told them, they would finally be able to know just how imperfect James Possible truly was, forever ruining the reputation he spent years in the making. Where as if he didn't tell them, they would remember James Possible as a noble man, an image which, after the last five months, had proven untrue. What should he do? What should he do?
While, Ron was out on his dreamscape, he didn't notice the ebony girl leaving after talking to his grieving family. So naturally, they collided.
"I'm so sorry!" Monique said softly.
"It's Ok, .P was a good man. He was like a father to me." Ron said, the sorrow and doubt clear in his voice.
"No, I meant sorry for bumping into you. Although I'm sorry for that as well. So how you holding up?" she asked.
"As well as a man who lost his father. It just caught us by surprise you know, he just seemed so fit. I was heading over to Kim & Mom, you know to see if they needed my help." He stated with a forced smile.
"It truly is a tragedy you know, you all seem so perfect together." She turned away from him and proceeded to walk away.
'Yeah, perfect together. My fanny! How could he do that to Mom? What right did he have! Did he even know how much he would hurt mom by doing this? And Kim, did he even think about her!' He thought angrily. But still he moved on, he had to tell them!
As he approached the grieving pair, he noticed them staring at the picture of James Possible. This was it!
But before he could open his mouth, he noticed his wife quietly talking to the picture frame.
"You were always there for me dad. Even with your incredibly tight schedule, you still made time for us. And for that I am thankful. You've been such a great father to all of us. In fact, it's because of you I have the best thing in my life. If you hadn't pushed me that day in pre-k, I don't know where I would be. And don't say you don't like him, because I know that's a lie. You love him like a son, and I know you think he made a great husband. And you're absolutely right, he's a great husband and I love him. Thank you!" The tears on Kim's face were now visible despite the rain. "It's just so hard to let go, you know! Who am I going to go when I need advice? Who am I going to go to when my children's dates need someone to threaten them? "At this thought Ron smiled. He had always felt a ting of fear every time James Possible had said that line. "You taught all of us so many life lessons daddy. You taught me how to be brave. You taught me how to be caring. You taught me how to laugh. Heck you even taught me how to cry. You've taught me so much. But the greatest thing you taught me is that: You taught me, that everything's possible for a possible. I love you daddy, and I miss you."
As Ron took a couple of steps closer to them, his mom started speaking.
"I love you James Possible. You were the best thing in my life. You were my husband, my lover, and my anchor. I can't say how much I will miss you. How much I will miss you comforting me after a bad day at the hospital. How I will miss your warm body when I awake in the morning. I'll even missing the kiss you would give me when you when over to Kim & Ron's place to go watch Captain Constellation. Oh Jim, you left too soon!" Ann lost it at this point. The tears were finally flowing freely. Ron slowly started rubbing her shoulders, as he approached them. "I will never forget the time that we spent Jim. Because the time spent with you were the best years of my life. From the days of pulling pranks in College to now. Oh how I wish you could have held out a little longer. Not just for me, but for your children and future grandchildren as well. They will truly be at loss, to not have known the father that was James Possible." Ron felt Kim pull him in for a bone crushing hug. "I love you James. But I don't need to remember you, because you'll be right here." She said as she pointed at her heart. "I love you James. Thank you for all the memories you've given me." She said as she pulled the hugging pair in for a group hug.
After they broke up, Ron had decided what to do
"You know .P. oops sorry I meant dad. You have given so much. You've given us a husband, and a father, but you've also given us a man to look up too. A man who dares to dream, thinking about the larger scale of it all. A man who puts his passion of his family before his passion of anything else. For that we are grateful." With a deep breath he continued. "You know what my favourite memory of you is, the time you invited me to eat lunch with you guys. As it shows just how generous you were. To let a relative stranger into your house and make him your own. I will never forget what you did that day Mr. Dr. P. "
Ron finally understood something about life that day. 'Sometimes it's better to leave behind a false memory, then to leave behind the truth. For we all make mistakes, but we shouldn't be remembered by that one moment of failure. We shouldn't have our hard worked images and frankly more accurate images foiled by one created in a moment of weakness. So sometimes it's good to lie, if only to preserve the memory of an otherwise great man. And dad was just that, a great man.' A faint smile finally propagated his face.
The hugging trio simply stood there as the rain fell on top of them.
Authors Note: I decided not to include what the big secret was, deciding instead that it didn't matter. I might add a second chapter to this story, simply to revealing the secret. What do you think he did? What did you think, both of the story and the message. Rate & Review.