Thanks for all the positive reviews on Chapter 1! I love writing Finchel fics and there will be LOTS of Finchel throughout this fic and lots of Finchel family moments. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Please comment if you enjoy it and want me to continue.
And I wanted to apologize for something: one of my readers managed to find a mathematical error in here and messaged me ;) Since Grant was born in 2025, that would make him two, not three. I got confused because it took place three years after "Keep Holding On," which begins in 2024, but Grant was born in 2025. So he's two, not three. Sorry for the mistake...
And one more thing - should I post pictures of the Hudson kids so you know what they look like?
Chapter 2: Wish You Were Here
The bell finally rang, letting Emma know that the school day was over. At last. It was only the first day of school and already she'd been shoved over. She didn't even know why these girls were so cruel to her. All she knew was that they shoved her into lockers, pushed her down in halls, hit her, made fun of her clothes and her body, had stolen things from her... and the list went on. Had the situation reached a breaking point? Should she tell her parents the truth?
Emma made it out of the girls' hallway without being stopped by Dominique, Brianna and Tiffany. She went into the main hall, where Ryan was with Nick.
"You going home?" Ryan asked Emma.
"Yeah," Emma said.
"Okay, I've got soccer practice," Ryan said. "Was the day okay?"
"I'm fine, Ryan," Emma said quietly. The school day couldn't be over soon enough. Why? Why did people treat her this way? She wasn't any different from anyone else. She couldn't hold it in much longer.
Emma got home and unlocked the door, where Sarah was sitting at the dining room table, eating a snack. "How was your first day?" Sarah asked.
"Eh, it was okay," Emma said. She COULDN'T tell her younger sister what was going on. Sarah would tell their parents. "How was yours?"
"I already made the honor choir," Sarah announced. "I'm pretty sure I'll be getting solos for the concert. Mom told me she always got solos, and I got my talent from her."
"You know, you don't need to be so full of yourself," Emma snapped.
Sarah gave her a look. "What?"
"Look, you're good, I get it, you don't need to shove it in everyone else's face," Emma said. "If you want people to like you, take it down. Our mother used to obsess about her talent and she had no friends in middle school or until she met Dad in high school. That could be you too, so I recommend you stop talking that way." She saw the hurt in her sister's face and immediately regretted what she said. Sarah had her diva moments, but usually she was a really sweet girl. And it wasn't like she "shoved it in everyone's face" all the time. She was probably the best singer and dancer Emma had seen besides their mom.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry I said that," Emma said. But it was too late. Sarah was storming off to her room and called back, "You're the worst sister ever, Emma!"
Everyone at school hates me and now my sister hates me, Emma thought to herself. She just needed to get her stress out and as a result, she made her sister cry. Rachel was staying after school for assessments for the high school's choirs and Finn was getting Grant from day care. Ryan was at soccer and Sarah wasn't talking to Emma. So now Emma decided she'd do what she always did when she needed someone to talk to. She left a note on the dining room table saying she went for a walk and got on her bike.
Emma rode her bike to the cemetery behind the church, which was where Jack was buried. She still missed Jack so much. She knew her parents went at least twice a week, but over the past two years, whenever she needed someone to talk to, she went to Jack's grave and talked to him. She'd never told anyone she did that. She feared if she told people they'd think she was crazy. Jack had only been five when he died, but Emma still felt like he was listening when she told him about what was happening. Also she never had to worry about him telling people.
Emma parked her bike on the bike rack near the church and went into the cemetery. She went up to Jack's grave and read the engravement. Even after three years, seeing her brother's name on a grave still stung.
Jack Christopher Hudson
June 24, 2019
December 12, 2024
Son of Finn and Rachel
Brother of Ryan, Emma, Sarah and Grant
"Hey Jack," Emma whispered. "Sorry I haven't been in a while. Well, I came a few times this summer, but that was because I was gone so much. I had the most unbelievable summer. I did a writing camp in New York for a month and met all sorts of cool people. I also went to the same camp I went to when you were around for two weeks. Remember, you cried when Ryan and I left for camp? Our family went to California and it was amazing. Especially the beach. I did summer swim team when I was home too and we won the championship..." She kept talking about all the fun things that had happened that summer before getting to the real purpose of her visit.
"School started today, Jack," Emma said. "You'd be in third grade now. Sarah's in fourth grade and Ryan and I are in eighth grade. It's only the first day and already I've been pushed down in the hall. Ugh, I don't know how much more I can take, Jack!"
She started crying. She liked to think that her brother was listening to her. "I wish I hadn't gone to Miramar! I have no friends there and the bullying's been too hard to handle. I have a feeling this year might be even worse than last year. I don't know what to do Jack! I just don't! And even worse, Mom and Dad and Ryan know that something's wrong. I don't know if I should tell them. So much stress has happened in their lives already. I just wish you were here. You never even got to meet Grant."
Emma just sat by Jack's grave and cried for about twenty minutes. She didn't want to be back at Miramar and she just wanted her little brother back. Finally, she stood up and began walking out of the cemetery when she saw a familiar face entering. "Nick?"
"Hey Emma," Nick said. "What are you doing here?"
Emma hesitated, but then she decided she could tell Nick without saying what she was talking to Jack about. "Well, you know about Jack from Ryan. This is where Jack is buried. Sometimes I just come here and talk. It makes me feel closer to him, like he's still here and we can still have a relationship."
Nick smiled at Emma. "I think when we lose someone, it's important to find ways to stay close to them. I do the same thing."
"So you've lost someone too?" Emma asked. Ryan had never mentioned that to her.
"Yeah," Nick said. "My mom."
Emma gasped. "Your mom?"
Nick looked down. "She smoked for most of her life. When I was nine she died really unexpectedly of a heart attack. It's hard for me to talk about. My dad doesn't really talk about her with my brother and me. I told Ryan about her and talk to him about her sometimes, but I really haven't ever said anything to anyone else."
"I'm so sorry, Nick," Emma said quietly.
"It's kind of like what it sounds like it is with you and Jack," Nick said. "I come here sometimes to talk to my mom. It makes me feel like our relationship isn't over. My brother was only six when she died. I don't know if he'll even remember her in ten years."
"Yeah, Grant never even got to meet Jack," Emma said. "He's too young to really know what happened."
"It's all really sad," Nick said.
Emma's phone went off. "That's a text from my dad. I should probably get home now. Bye Nick."
"Bye Emma," Nick called.
Emma smiled to herself. Nick was so sweet and made her feel better. Maybe this year wouldn't be all bad. She got on her bike and biked home. When she went inside she saw Finn sitting on the couch, reading a book to Grant. When Emma came in, Finn looked up from the book and gave Emma an angry look. "What happened with your sister?"
"What do you mean?" Emma asked, before the memories of her argument with Sarah came back.
"She told me that you said some nasty things to her, that you wished she'd shut up about her talent and that she was being a brat and that if she keeps acting this way no one will like her," Finn said. "Ring any bells?"
Emma sighed. "I said some stuff like that. I'm sorry, Dad."
"What prompted you to say that?" Finn asked.
"I just had a bad day at school," Emma said, not wanting to share the full story.
"What happened?" Finn asked.
Emma paused, trying to think of the right way to tell her dad without revealing too much. "I fell down in the middle of the hallway and some girls laughed at me and it was embarrassing. That's all." She went upstairs to apologize to Sarah before she began seeming like she was the equivalent of the mean girls at school to her own sister.
Emma knocked on the door. "Hey Sarah, can I come in?"
"Are you going to insult me more?" Sarah asked.
"No," Emma said softly. "I came to tell you how sorry I am."
"Maybe you're right," Sarah said, looking at Emma. "I guess I'm not talented as I thought I was."
"Don't say that," Emma said, sitting down and putting her arm around her sister. "You and Mom are the best singers and dancers I've EVER seen. You are VERY talented. I was having a bad day at school and I was stressed when I got home. I shouldn't have taken it out on you."
"I'm sorry," Sarah said. "I love you."
Emma hugged her sister. "I love you, too."
Finn couldn't help but wonder what had happened at school with Emma. She had NEVER screamed at her sister like that before. The girls seemed to have made up but he was still wondering. Had something else happened that she wasn't telling him about?
"Daddy, I want my teddy," Grant said. Finn had been distracted that his youngest son was right there.
"Here you go," Finn said, getting the teddy bear down from the top of the shelf. Grant began playing with his stuffed animals as Finn sighed and got out his cell phone. He needed to take action on this, and now. But he wasn't going to call the school just yet. He took out his phone and dialed Puck's number. Puck still lived in Lima, but they talked several times a week and saw each other every month or two. This was one of those times when you just needed a friend to talk to.
"Hey, how's it going?" Puck said when he answered the phone.
Finn sighed. "I'm really worried about Emma."
"What's going on?" Puck asked.
"I don't know, that's the thing," Finn said. "She says everything's fine. She's been quiet and won't talk about school for two years. Today she told me she had a bad day, but when I asked her what happened, she just said she fell in the middle of the hall. I doubt that would upset her so much."
"Did you try talking to Ryan?" Puck asked.
"He doesn't know of anything," Finn said.
"Okay, you need to call the school," Puck said. "The counselors, the teachers, someone's bound to know something."
"I'll try that," Finn said. "Thanks Puck. I really wish Emma had a group like New Directions."
"She'll find one," Puck said. "Speaking of New Directions, I talked to Blaine last night and he told me they're coming from New York to visit you in Cleveland this weekend. If you guys don't mind, can we come in too?"
Finn smiled. "I'd love that. I bet Rachel would, too."
"Maybe someone at the school will know something," Puck said.
"I'll try, see you this weekend," Finn said, hanging up the phone. Tomorrow morning he would call the school. As he hung up, Rachel came in with Ryan. "How was the first day at Roxbury?" Rachel asked Finn.
"It went fine," Finn said. "How about at Heights?"
"We have a really strong choir this year, I'm impressed," Rachel said. "Sorry I'm late at getting home, I had assessments to do."
"At least this way you could pick me up from soccer," Ryan said.
Finn laughed. "How was the first day at Miramar?"
"Fine," Ryan said. "But Emma still seems upset... I didn't see anything though."
Finn and Rachel exchanged a look. "Thank you for telling us that."
Ryan began heading upstairs. "You're welcome."
Rachel looked at Finn. "She won't tell us, she won't tell Ryan. What are we going to do?"
"Puck said we should call the school," Finn said. "I'm willing to give that a try. He also said that this weekend they'd like to visit since Kurt and Blaine are coming."
"That would be great," Rachel said. "I just hope the school knows something."
"So do I," Finn said, kissing Rachel. "So do I."
Next chapter preview: We will see several other Glee couples. We will also see more of the bullying :( Will Emma finally tell someone? Review if you want me to keep going!