Chapter 11: Matt’s Find
Post Homestead-Miami Speedway
Angelica thought over Matt’s words as he went on to describe what he had found while they sat on the back porch steps. He showed her some things on her phone, as well as spoke to her about his thoughts about it.
“Now I don’t know if it works for you in your situation, but it’s something to consider,” Matt comments as he finishes off his explanation.
“My doctor never mentioned anything like it so maybe,” Angelica replies, unsure about everything. Since finding out a month ago, her mind had been set on her two months and trying to make the best of it by doing everything she loved. However, with this news, it was like everything changed and she wasn’t sure how to take it. Angelica lets out a sigh as she stands up and walks away from Matt a little. “I guess I could bring it up to him when I see him. I just….nevermind. You wouldn’t understand.” Matt then sets his phone down, watching her curiously.
“Try me.” She then glances back over at him and then away.
“When the doctor told me the news, there was denial. I didn’t want to believe it. Then I brought myself to the point where I would believe what they told me. That’s when it was time to say ‘Okay, I have two months. I got to make the best of it, make the memories that I can in that period’ and I’ve done that. That’s why I tried my hardest to win the championship. That’s why I want to run the Winter Classic and win it.” Matt then stands up and walks towards her.
“But Ange, if you even consider slightly what I am saying, you could make all of those thoughts disappear and get through this.” She shakes her head as she looks back at him.
“And what if I am getting my thoughts up for nothing? What if this is a false hopefulness that eats up everything else? Do I want that during this time? Do I want to get my dad’s, Kyle’s, Tony’s hopes up because of something and have it tore down again?” Matt puts a hand on one of her shoulders’ and gives it a slight squeeze.
“I know it’s hard to go through the turmoil of what’s going on. I couldn’t imagine going through it myself. However, if you were my daughter or my wife, I would want you to do whatever it took necessary, take as many chances as you could, to make things alright. No matter the emotional roller coaster, I would want that. That’s why I brought this thought to you and why I spent time randomly on Google the other night.”
“I understand what you’re saying, Matt. I just don’t want to get all hyped up for no reason.” She then walks away from him and back over towards the garage and he follows her.
“I understand. But promise me that you’ll at least consider what I’ve said and mention it when you have your doctor’s appointment, please.” She looks at him as she walks to the other side of her Legend.
“Fine. That’s a deal. I’ll do that but I can’t promise anything. I have the baby appointment tomorrow and then the doctor’s appointment on Thursday before we leave next week for Vegas. I’ll let you know after the appointment how it goes.” Matt smiles.
“That’s all I ask. Now, what do you say you start this thing up and have some fun? I know you’re craving to.” Matt peeks over the car as she slips her firesuit on. “Geez, I haven’t been in one of these forever.” Angelica laughs as she walks over to climb in after the suit is on.
“Matty hungry for a taste at one of these cars again?”
“Do you blame me with how quick this one is?” She laughs as she climbs in and he helps her get strapped in. “Pink, purple, green or yellow – the driver doesn’t care what color it is, as long as it is quick.” She smiles as she looks up at him before he closes the door shut, tight. “Let her rip.”
“That’s what I plan on doing.” He then backs away as she drives it out and starts running around the property. Matt smiles as he watches, grabbing a quick shot on his phone.
He looks up from his phone to see Tony standing there and smiles.
“She wanted to see if the car would still run,” Matt tells Tony, not wanting to give away thoughts of the Winter Classic.
“That car was always her baby,” Tony comments as he watches her run around. “Still can’t believe Kasey signed her to a deal in midgets before I did. I should’ve known to sign her quicker.”
“You didn’t know who’s daughter she was then either.”
“No, but I should’ve seen that natural talent. Who knew watching her run the Legend that she’d be a champion in Sprint Cup one day.”
“Kasey did.” Tony rolls his eyes as they both run over to her after she stops running around the property. “How was it?”
“She felt just as good as she used to,” Angelica comments. “Just don’t know how good compared to the others. Gonna have to make some tweaks if I want it to run good at the Winter Classic.” She then looks and sees Tony standing there, smile on his face. “Shouldn’t you still be sleeping?”
“I came out to see what all the noise was about,” Tony replies and she laughs a little. “I figured that’s why you got the car out though.”
“So you knew about her thoughts?” Matt asks and Tony shakes his head yes. “Now someone just needs to tell Dale. But I’m sure he’ll be okay with it. Remember what I told you.” Angelica shakes her head yes as she climbs out of the Legend. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but Matt did have a good idea after all.
Chapter 12: Doctor’s Appointment
Angelica sat on the bed, waiting. It had been a busy week. Earlier that week they went and saw the baby doctor. It was official. Her fertilized eggs were now inside of Lindsay. Weird and different, but it was true.
And now they were at her bi-weekly check-up. They had done the scans and she was now waiting to hear the results. She look at her dad and then at Kyle, seeing the nervousness on their face. It was typical in what they’d hear, but there were always some nerves.
“What’s taking the doctor so long?” Angelica asks as she lies back on the bed. She knew she had to ask the doctor about what Matt had said, but wasn’t ready to go there just yet. She then watches the doctor come back in and close the door as she watches the doctor carefully. “Well Ms. Andrews, what do you have to tell me today?”
“Well things are still as ugly as they were before,” Doctor Andrews starts as she sits on her little stool. “It’s still there and we’re still at the same diagnosis as before.”
“Has it spread at all?” Angelica remembered the initial conversation that she had with Lee Andrews, her specialist, and the talk of spreading and everything that surrounded that.
“Are you sure there’s nothing that we can do?” Kyle asks, still trying to find some hope in the situation.
“It hasn’t spread anymore – oddly – and as I said before Kyle, I wish there was but there isn’t,” Dr. Andrews says and Kyle looks down disappointed. “So just take it easy and remember what I told you before Angelica.” Angelica shakes her head.
“What about the Winter Classic?” Dale asks, surprising them all. Tony had done the liberty of convincing Dale to let her do it. Dale was stuck in a box where he didn’t want to stop her due to everything that was going on. No matter his own beliefs, he knew that he had to let her do it. Even if he said no, she was an adult and could do it herself if she wanted.
“She should be fine running that Dale. “Angelica smiles as she clears her throat, remembering Matt’s words.
“Dr. Andrews, I know that you’re probably done your homework, but there’s something that a friend of mine asked me to bring up to you,” Angelica starts as she pulls out the notes that Matt gave her. She then hands them to the doctor.
“Your friend has some decent research here and some things I have considered,” Dr. Andrews comments as she looks over the notes. “The surgery and the chemotherapy all depend on what stage that the patient is at, though. At the stage that you are, survival rate isn’t the highest and that’s why it is highly unrecommended. It usually just makes things harder and that’s why the doctor recommendation is to go with how we’ve gone about it, Angelica.” Angelica takes a deep breath, understanding the doctor’s words. However, that false hope that she wanted to avoid was filling her.
“Say we go with one of those or a combination, how do things look?” Angelica asks curiously.
“Considering how things are, you would have to go with a combination of the two in my opinion. You’d do the surgery first to remove the biggest part and the main cell. However, after that to cure the last little bits, you would have to do some chemo. The chance of you surviving the surgery and the chemo working, amidst all the stresses that come with it, are at 15% survival rate. With all the pain and suffering that a person has to go through, that’s why we tend to avoid that.” Angelica takes a deep breath as she takes in what the doctor said. She knew it was a 15% chance and she knew there was a lot to come based on the words, but it was better than waiting around for the next two months to pass with no chance.
“And what would you say if I agreed to take that chance? I’d rather do what I can than just let this pass.”
“Angelica, are you sure that’s what you truly want?” Angelica shakes her head yes, sure. She didn’t want to get caught up in false hope, but seeing the looks on her family’s faces and wanting to spend time with them, she had no choice.
“Yes. Let me run the Winter Classic in a couple weeks and then let’s do this. I’d rather do what I can than just sit here.”
“If that’s what you want, then I have no choice but to listen to your request. Are you sure you don’t want to talk to your family about this first?” Angelica looks at Dale and Kyle, curiously.
“It’s her decision,” Dale comments.
“We’ll support her no matter what she decides,” Kyle adds, feeling hope in the decision.
“Then I guess I have no choice,” Dr. Andrews gives in. “Come see me in a couple weeks and at that time, I’ll have everything worked out for you.” Angelica smiles.
“Thank you,” Angelica replies as she feels a bounce in her step. Maybe this wasn’t the end after all.
Chapter 13: Wedding Time
A week after the banquet, Angelica stood in front of the mirror admiring her wedding dress. She smiled as she twirled. She couldn’t believe that today was the day that she was going to be getting married. It was sort of surreal considering that she and Kyle had just gotten together a year and a half ago. Was she ready for this?
“Are you okay?” She hears as she feels hands on her shoulders and a bigger smile emerges on her face.
“Yeah,” she replies as she keeps her smile on. Inside of her, she was heading in different directions. She was nervous about everything going right. She was nervous about being married. She was thinking of the circumstances that forced this to happen sooner than they would’ve maybe planned it. She smiled at how beautiful she looked in the mirror. “I am just letting all my thoughts go through my mind before I go out there. I want to get all of the nerves out of the way.” Dale laughs slightly as she spins around to face him. “Dad, am I right for doing this?” Dale shrugs his shoulders unsure what to say to her in response. He understood why she was doing it maybe sooner than would have been planned and he didn’t mind due to how much she loved Kyle.
“That’s not my decision to make sweetheart. You know yourself better and whether you’re doing the right thing.”
“I just feel that I am doing this for the wrong reasons.” She then turns back to face the mirror and finds herself contemplating whether to go with things as they were planned.
“You love Kyle and that’s all that matters.” He then wraps both arms around her and pulls her close. “I know it’s maybe sooner than you would’ve thought, but you love him and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. That’s why I said okay when you told me about the idea. I know how much you love him and how much he cares for you. You’ve both been through a lot together and it just makes sense to do this.” She smiles as she turns to face her dad.
“How do you always know what to say to me?” He smiles as she kisses his cheek quick before stepping back away from him. “I guess it’s now or never, right?”
“Well, that or Kyle will thought that you left him at the altar.” She laughs as they head towards the aisle. “I don’t think I want to make him think that. He may get a little mad.” She smiles.
“Yeah, he’d be very angry.” They both then look down the aisle before looking at each other.
“Are you ready?” She shakes her head yes as they begin to play the song and Dale leads her down the aisle to where Kyle stands at the far end.
“I thought you were never coming,” Kyle whispers as they reach him.
“Sorry,” Angelica apologizes quietly as they both face the minister.
“Who gives Angelica Earnhardt away to marry Kyle Larson?” The minister asks and Dale smiles.
“I do, her father,” he says before turning to kiss Angelica’s cheek once again. “I love you and will always love you. You’ll always be my little girl.”
“I love you too Daddy and I don’t mind always being your little girl,” Angelica tells him. “Thanks for everything that you’ve done and continue to do for me.”
“Anything for you sweetheart.” He then walks over to Kyle. “I don’t need to say this but I will. Hurt her and both Tony and I will kick your ass. But I know you won’t do that because you love her. Welcome to the family, officially.”
“Thanks and I will take care of your little girl,” Kyle assures him and Dale smiles.
“I know you will.” Dale then goes and sits with Lindsay and Tony.
“Are you okay?” Tony asks as he looks over at Dale and Dale shakes his head.
“My baby girl is growing up,” he lets out as a couple tears trickle down his face.
“She’ll always be your baby girl.” Tony then wraps an arm around Dale and pulls him close as they listen to the ceremony. “She’ll always need her daddy.”
Chapter 14: Winter Classic
Below are the inspiration behind Angelica and Chelsea for the wedding.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this today?” Kyle asks as he and Angelica walk over to where the Legend is parked after the driver’s meeting.
“Absolutely,” Angelica answers as Kyle pulls her close and kisses her lips. Since the wedding, the pair couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. She wraps herm around him, keeping him pulled close as she deepens her kiss. She then leans him back against the back of the Legend, deepening the kiss even more as she searches for his tongue. “God I love you so much.” She then runs her hand under his shirt, rubbing his chest.
“I can only answer that back with the same words. You’re beautiful.” He then pulls her down close as he fumbles with the zipper on her firesuit a little. She smiles as she pulls his shirt up a little.
“Mr. and Mrs. Larson, haven’t you been taught about the proper spots for sex?” Kyle and Angelica hear stopping them instantly as they stand to see Rick and Linda standing there.
“My dad Mr. Hendrick; she’s just so beautiful,” Kyle apologizes as Rick shakes his head.
“I’m glad you could make it Rick,” Angelica says before giving Rick and Linda each a hug.
“I’m going to go start checking things over before I start making out with you again.” Angelica laughs as she watches Kyle walk away.
“He’s one of a kind, eh?”
“He is definitely the perfect boy for you,” Rick comments. “I’m still surprised that she wanted to run this race so bad. Still bites that you came so close without winning?” Angelica shakes her head yes.
“Even with the championship sweetie?” Linda asks and Angelica shakes her head again.
“This is the big one and I want it badly,” Angelica comments as Linda smiles.
“Well I hope you win it. You deserve it for how hard you’ve worked at it over the years.”
“I still remember the nights where I’d call you for dinner and you’d say 10 minutes and end up being two hours late,” Rick comments and Angelica laughs. She definitely had some fun memories growing up at Rick and Linda’s house. “You turned out to be a wonderful lady. I’m proud of you.”
“Thanks Rick,” she replies. “That means a lot to me.”
“So you go in next Thursday for the surgery?” Linda then asks, changing the topic. In her last conversation with her doctor, she would have the surgery to remove most of the cancer on Thursday with the chemo to follow. Angelica takes a deep breath, shaking her head yes. “You look concerned sweetie. Are you sure about this?” Angelica shakes her head yes as she turns to concentrate on getting the Legend ready. “Angelica, you can talk about it if you want.”
“I’d rather not Linda,” Angelica starts carefully. “I know it’s the right thing to do as I have at least try, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not worried about it.” Linda shakes her head understanding.
“I understand.” Linda then walks over and puts a hand on Angelica’s shoulder. “Just know that Rick and I will always be here if you need us.”
“And Ang, it’s going to be fine,” Rick assures her as Angelica takes a deep breath.
“I hope you’re right. I don’t want to lose everything that I have.” She then stands up and grabs the tire pressure gauge, starting to set up the Legend for the first heat.
“You won’t sweetie. Believe in yourself and believe in the fact that God isn’t ready for you yet.”
“Come on Linda, let’s go get our seats,” Rick says as he motions for Linda to leave. As Linda starts to walk away, he goes over and hugs Angelica. “Remember her words and do well tonight. Good luck.”
“Thanks Rick,” Angelica says as she gives Rick a quick hug and watches them both walk away. “I hope this car co-operates with me. It’s going to be just like old times.” She smiles as she works her way to the front of the car, knowing she has to get her head in the game.
She did well in both of the qualifiers so she’d start at the front come feature time later that night.
She would start in fourth and quickly made her way into the second spot behind longtime rival Bryce Charles. She had raced Bryce many years in Legends for starting to race with Kasey Kahne in the sprints. They had traded paint and he wasn’t one to let her by easily. However, that night she wasn’t ready to be denied as on the last lap, she gave him a small tap in the final corner to move him up out of the groove to steal the win.
Instantly when she pulled in victory lane and hopped out, Kyle pulled her close and planted a kiss on her lips.
“Here they go again,” Rick comments as the pair of them laugh remembering what happened earlier.
“Like I said she’s perfect,” Kyle says as he looks at Rick with a smile on his face.
“You did awesome!” Kasey adds as he joins them in victory lane.
“How does it feel to finally win it?” Rick asks and Angelica smiles.
“It feels like I’m on top of the world,” Angelica comments as Dale wraps an arm around her.
“Bigger than winning the championship?” Dale asks and Angelica looks at him surprised.
“Are you kidding me? Not even close!” They then laugh and spend the rest of the night celebrating together. They all knew that Thursday would bring a new chapter that none of them were sure they were ready for yet.
Chapter 15: The Big Day
“Are you ready for today?” Kyle asks as he sits beside Angelica’s bed.
“As ready as I will ever be, I guess,” Angelica answers as she looks up at him smiling. It was finally Thursday and the day that they all had been waiting for. It was the day of the surgery and the first of many steps towards everything possibly working out okay.
“You’ll be fine sweetie,” Dale assures her as he pats her hand.
“Your dad is right as you’re one of the strongest people I have ever met,” Kyle adds before kissing Angelica’s lips.
“I hope you’re both right,” Angelica says before letting out a sigh.
“We wouldn’t lie to you,” Tony assures her as she smiles.
“You’ve come through all the other crap to be the most amazing daughter ever so why would this be any different?” Dale asks.
“Am I amazing?” They hear a little voice and Dale smiles as he looks over at Chelsea.
“You’re amazing also Cheeseball,” Dale tells her.
“You’re special Chelsea,” Kyle adds with a smile and Chelsea smiles.
“I like new big brother Kyle!” Chelsea says as she runs over and hugs Kyle.
“I like you too.”
“Hey Chels, remember what I told you?” Angelica then asks and Chelsea shook her head.
“Take care of big brother Kyle, little niece and the car,” Chelsea answers and Angelica smiles.
“Good girl.” Dale then looks between the girls confused.
“What car?” He asks and a big smile crosses Chelsea’s face.
“Leslie,” Chelsea answers causing Dale even more confusion as Angelica laughs.
“The legend,” Angelica clears up the confusion. “I told her that she could have it. She just needs to grow a little more before she can drive it.”
“You got Leslie?” Kyle asks and Chelsea shakes her head.
“Present from Angie!” Chelsea cheers as Dale smiles.
“Can’t wait for that craziness to start,” Dale comments. “But Angelica, you’re going to fine and you’ll get to see her run it.”
“Plus, she needs you to give her tips on how to make it super fast,” Tony adds and Chelsea shakes her head as the doctor walks in.
“Are you ready Ms. Angelica?” The doctor asks and Angelica smiles.
“Yeah,” she answers before turning to Kyle. Kyle kisses her lips and smiles.
“I love you,” he tells her. “You’ll be fine.”
“See ya later kiddo,” Tony adds before giving her a hug. “Chelsea, time to head off to Rick’s!”
“Bye Angelica,” Chelsea says and Angelica smiles giving Chelsea a hug.
“See you later Cheeseball,” Angelica tells her before Tony and Chelsea leave. “Love you Daddy.
“Love you,” Dale says before giving her a hug and a kiss. “You’re going to be fine.” Angelica shakes her head.
“I believe you when you say that.” She then lays back and smiles at the doctor. “Let’s get this show on the road, please.” The doctor then wheels her out as Kyle and Dale share a glance as they watch.
“She’s going to be okay right?” Kyle asks worried and Dale shakes his head yes.
“She’s going to be fine so stop worrying,” Dale answers as they head towards the waiting room.
“I just hope you’re right. I can’t go through losing her. I love her too-”
“Will you shut up? She’s going to be fine, Kyle!” Kyle then looks down as he opens the door.
“Sorry.” Dale takes a deep breath as he looks at Kyle.
“No, sorry for spazzing on you. Listen, I’m worried as much as you are but I know how strong my babygirl is and I know that she will be okay.” Kyle smiles.
“You’re right. She is a pretty strong girl. If she can fight through what happened with jackass, then this will be no problem.” Dale smiles.
“That’s the spirit.”