Chapter 6: The Rest of the Truth
Angelica returned back to her seat, taking a deep breath as she looked between Dale and Tony. They had spent a couple minutes away from everyone, letting their emotions go.
“I first of all want to thank everyone for their patience,” Angelica says as she takes another deep breath. “The fact of the matter is the statement I said earlier is the truth, that is no lie about it. Last month following my wreck at Charlotte, I was required to have the check-up due to everything that had happened before. I went and something was off with how the tests were. They ran more tests and x-rays and it was determined that I have cancer, lung cancer to be exact. The doctor at that time said that I had three months – so till January – to live and that treatment wasn’t an option with how quickly it was spreading.
“With that said, I pushed and pushed for them to let me finish this season. I wanted to finish this year badly and finish off what I started this year going into the Chase and in the Chase. It took a lot of convincing to convince the doctors and NASCAR to let me do this. I want to thank them for letting me do this as it’s been amazing.
“Moving forward, I want to spend these final months the best way possible – living my life to the full extent possible. I don’t want to hide in a hole. I can’t let myself do that. I spent a couple days being upset – you may have noticed in Kansas – but I then determined that I have to live everyday as best as I can and make memories that last forever. Winning the championship this weekend is one of those moments that I am hoping to accomplish. Coming here as the points leader tied with my dad, it’s an honor and I can’t wait to start the race on Sunday.”
“With that said, we’re going to open the floor to questions,” the MC states as she looks around the room. She then points to the first reporter that has his hand-up.
“Marty Jenkins, ESN,” the reporter says. “This question is for Tony Stewart. Have you determined your team’s plans for next season?” Tony then clears his throat as he thinks back to ideas that he has.
“We have been talking with some drivers, but we haven’t set out next year’s plans totally yet,” Tony states as he looks over at Angelica before looking at Marty. “Right now, my number one concern is Angelica and her well-being. That’s what I have been focusing on lately. Everything else will fall in to place, no doubt. We should have an announcement in the next couple of weeks.” Angelica smiles, remembering the conversation that she had with Tony and the driver that was going to take her seat.
“Jenna Slyer, Associated News,” the next reporter says. “Angelica, considering that practice didn’t go well for you today, how do you see your chances on Sunday?”
“I have a lot of belief in Ron and the crew that they will give me a good car,” Angelica tells the reporter with a smile. “We’ve done it before where we’ve sucked in practice, and yet come back and won the race. I feel good about my chances going into the race and winning the championship. I joked with my dad at Phoenix that he better race me hard and not just hand it over. I want to earn this the hard way.”
“Now the question is – will you wreck your dad on the last lap if you need to?” Tony asks, trying to break the ice in the room. Angelica smiles as she shakes her head.
“I would never do that to him and you know that well Smoke. I love him too much to be dirty like that, unlike other people.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The room then laughs as Dale smiles looking towards Tony, thinking back to a race earlier that year when Tony gave Dale a bump to grab the win.
“He has a short memory.”
“I’m sure the media can remind you of what happened,” Dale comments as Tony looks at him surprised.
“Didn’t you forget about that race?” Tony asks and Dale shakes his head no.
“I’m just waiting for the right weekend to hand you some payback.” Tony rolls his eyes as he looks back out the reporters. He knew that they were both over what had happened.
“Bob Pocker for Sporting Press,” the next reporter speaks as Tony catches Dale’s eyes in a quick glance. “This question is for Tony Stewart. When you found out the news about Angelica, what were some of your thoughts and what are your thoughts on her racing through it?” Tony looks down as he remembers back to that day when he was told the news.
Angelica leads Tony to the back porch, closing the door behind her. He goes and leans against the railing as she sits in the one of the chairs.
“So, there was something that you wanted to tell me?” Tony asks and Angelica shakes her head yes as she glances up at Tony.
“The doctors had some interesting results to tell me today,” Angelica answers. She had gotten back from the doctors’ office two hours earlier after a scheduled appointment. She had gone with her dad and Kyle. When the news came down, she wanted to tell Tony and Rick herself, while Dale would tell Lindsay the news.
“What did they tell you?” Angelica looks down as she takes a deep breath before looking back up at Tony.
“I have cancer.” Tony then looks at her shocked as he watches the tears stream down her face. “They told me that I have lung cancer, Tony. He said that I have three months based on what they saw. It’s spreading quickly and they can’t do anything about it. I….I….I just can’t believe it.” At the instant of those words, the tears begin to pour more as Tony walks over, sitting beside her, wrapping both of his arms around her to hold her, feeling his own eyes get misty.
“I don’t know what to say, Angelica. I can’t believe it either.”
“I was in pure shock when she told me the news, and then especially when she said that she’d finish the season,” Tony tells the media as he opens his eyes out of his own little flashback. “She’s proven that she’s a racer and saying that she’ll finish the year no matter what for personal reasons shows that even more.”
“She’s got in her genes – what else can we say?” Dale says as he wraps an arm around Angelica, pulling her close. As he did that, he shook his head as he thought back to when she was younger and the thought of having nothing to do with the first few years of her life. As much as Angelica kept telling him that there were no regrets to be had, he still regretted it.
“I’m daddy’s little girl in every way possible,” Angelica adds as she gives her dad a quick kiss on the cheek.
They then kept answering questions, fulfilling each of the questions with answers as everybody wanted to discuss the story even more. They all knew that if she was able to pull it off that weekend, it’d be magical.
Chapter 7: Post Reveal
She was then caught off guard by a knock at the door as she got up and opened it, surprised to see Matt Kenseth standing there.
“Hey Matty,” she said as she gave Matt a quick hug.
“Hey Angie,” he replies and she smiles. Ever since crossing paths, Matt had become ‘Uncle Matty’ and had always called it Angie instead of Angelica. She leads him inside as she lies back on the couch. He sits on the couch across from her, eyes focused on her.
“How can you just continue as if nothing is wrong?” She then glances towards him curious by those words. “With what is lying over your head, I can’t believe that you’re not crying or upset or anything.” She then takes a deep breath.
“If I did that, would it change anything?” She then sits up and faces Matt. “Would lying around, crying and feeling sorry for myself do me any benefit these final two months? No, it wouldn’t. that’s why I quickly made my mind up that I am going to do whatever I can these final months in making them the best months that I have ever lived.” Matt shakes his head in disbelief by her words. ”It-”
“I get it, I understand; I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe this is happening to you after everything that you and Dale have been through. I was hoping that you would both get that quality daughter-father time that you deserve. You both deserve to be happy and spend years together after what you’ve fought through to have the relationship you do have. It pains me to see this happen to you.” Matt then feels a tear trickle down his face as he looks at the ground. Angelica then stands and walks over to the side that Matt is sitting on, sitting down beside him as she wraps an arm around him.
“Matt, I wish it was that way also as I would love that also.”
“Then why can’t it be that way?” Angelica shrugs her shoulders before lying her head on Matt’s shoulder. “It’s just not fair. I hate to see this happen. Everybody was excited to see everyone grow up together, happy, over everything that happened.” Angelica lets out a sigh as she rubs Matt’s back. “Have you got a seco-”
“We’ve had the scans looked over by three different doctors, all with the same diagnosis. Matt, I know you don’t want it to be true and neither do I, but it is what it is and I’m sorry it is that way.” Matt shakes his head as he pulls her into a hug. “Mat-”
“I wish I could do something to change this. I’m sorry but I don’t want to accept it.” He then pulls back away from her. “You’re that little brat that I hate to see let go.” She smiles with a slight laugh. “I’m going to miss you so much. I just had to come see you myself after earlier.” Angelica shakes her head in understanding.
“It’s fine. I understand and Matt, let it go. It’s okay. I’ve accepted it and you need to accept it. It’s all we can do. Before you go, can I ask you something?” Matt then looks at her curiously as she looks down and then back up at him. “As much as Dale and Tony and Kyle keep trying to act like this isn’t going to tear them apart, I know it will. Promise me that you’ll be there for them. I need to know that they’ll be okay.” Matt shakes his head yes as she pulls him into a hug, holding back her own tears.
“I’ll do anything you ask. You’re amazing with how well you’re taking this.” She smiles as she lets him go and he stands up. “I will see you tomorrow. Between you and I, I hope you kick your dad’s ass come Sunday.” She then laughs as she watches Matt head for the door.
“I hope I do too. Bye Matty.”
“Bye Angelica.” Angelica watches Matt leave.
As soon as she hears the door shut, she stands up and slams her fist against the wall of the motorcoach.
“Fuck I hate this!” She yells before letting herself sink down to the ground and let her own tears fall.
Over at Dale’s motorcoach, Dale and Lindsay sat on the couch cuddling while Tony was out at the dirt track with Ricky and Kasey.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Dale asks for what seemed like the millionth time. Lindsay shakes her head yes, knowing exactly what the question pertained to.
“I can’t deny her this because I know how much it means to her,” Lindsay answers as Dale shakes his head.
“I understand.” He then kisses Lindsay’s cheek and she smiles. She then turns back to him, kissing his lips full of passion. “Thank you for everything that you’ve done for her. I was so scared when I told you about her and everything that happened. I’m just glad that she’s happy now, too. I just wish it was different.” Dale then feels a couple tears trickle down his face as Lindsay pulls him closer.
“I know. I do too.”
Friday Night – Homestead-Miami Speedway
Kyle opens the door and heads straight to the back of the motorcoach, flopping on the bed beside Angelica.
“Congratulations on the win,” Angelica says as she smiles at him.
“Thanks sweets,” Kyle replies before grabbing a quick kiss from her.
“I’m sorry I didn’t come to victory lane. I was just tired from everything today.” She then lets out a sigh as she rolls back on her back and looks at the ceiling. “I don’t know what to do.” Kyle then looks at her confused.
“What do you mean?”
“I just want things to be different, Kyle. I don’t want this to be my final year racing. I want to be a mother. I want to have a life that is full of happiness. I want to be able to spend time with you. I want to be spend time with my dad, Lindsay, Tony and my little Cheeseball.” She then feels the tears trickling down her face once again as Kyle reaches over and wipes them off.
“I wish it was too, but like you said, we can’t change the future.” She then shakes her head as she looks away. “We have to liv-”
“Live now and make the memories that we wish we could down the road. But why is this happening to me?” Kyle shrugs his shoulders, unsure.
“I ask myself that question everyday.”
“I just wish things were different. I hate that things are the way they are. I want to spend more time with you.”
“I can’t change what the doctor said. All I can do is treasure every moment that I have with you and spend as much time as I can with you.” He then kisses her lips with every bit of passion inside of him as she wraps her arms around him, pulling him close to her. She then returns the kiss in every bit of her passion. As they continue to kiss each other’s lips, Kyle reaches and pulls her pajama shirt up, smiling when there’s no bra underneath.
“I don’t want our love to end….” Angelica then pulls down the zipper on Kyle’s firesuit and slips it off of his shoulders. “I love you too much….I never want to lose you…..”
“I never want to lose you either.”
“Then why is this happening?” Angelica feels a couple tears tickle down her face and immediately, Kyle wipes them away.
“Forget about that for now. Let your mind be consumed with our love and how much we love each other. Feel this moment and let your body take over. I need you, Angelica. I need this.” She smiles as she kisses his lips, cutting off any future words out of his mouth, wanting to feel this moment with him also. She then moves her lips down to his chin, followed by down his neck. As he continues to rub her breasts, she moves her kisses to his chest. “God you’re beautiful.” Kyle then moves his hands lightly down her body, slowly slipping off her pajama pants to reveal her pink underwear underneath.
“You’re so sexy…..You’re perfect.” Kyle then slowly pulls down her underwear.
“You’re amazing.” She smiles as she pulls the firesuit the rest of the way down his body to his ankles. “You’re everything I love in a girl and more.” He then kisses her lips once again as she pushes her hips up to him.
“Show me all the reasons you love me, Kyle.”
“As you wish my goddess.” She pulls him down close to her as he aligns himself inside of her, slowly pushing himself in. He slowly then begins pushing himself in and out as she lets out a moan underneath him. “Let me know if it gets to be too much.” With her current condition and her past, he was always careful, never wanting to hurt her ever. “I love you.” He then speeds up a little, letting their hips rock together. “So beautiful……Perfect….”
They keep going till they both cum inside of each other, riding it out fully, Kyle rolling off of her afterwards. He immediately wraps his arms around her and pulls her close as they both fall asleep, tangled in the sheets. As Kyle closed his eyes, he silently said a prayer to himself that in somehow, some shape and way, she’d be okay and this was just a dream.
“Ready to kick ass today?” Ron asks and Angelica laughs as she rolls her eyes.
“We’ll see,” Angelica answers as she leans back against her car. She then looks out towards the track, smiling. This was everything that she thought it’d be and more. Going for the championship, having a good car to do so in, it was perfect. Dreams were coming true and feeling better than they ever could.
“I believe in my driver.” Ron then looks out towards the track with her as he wraps an arm around her.
“I believe in my fiancé also,” they hear and smile as Kyle comes up behind Angelica, wrapping both arms around her.
“If you have the vote of confidence from the kid that has kicked butt all weekend, then I say you’ll do well,” Ron comments as both Kyle and Angelica smile before sharing a kiss. Kyle had done well so far, winning both the truck and Nationwide race.
“I guess I’ll have to make sure you stay in my mirror all race long,” Angelica comments before stealing another kiss from Kyle. “I love you.”
“Please tell me that you’re going to avoid having a pit road make-out session,” Ron comments as he walks away and they both laugh. Angelica then pulls Kyle even closer to her, kissing his lips once again and winks at Ron as they separate.
“I really love you a lot. Be safe. I’ll see you in victory lane.”
“Gotcha babes,” Kyle replies. “Love you. Be safe. You’ll do awesome today.” Kyle then heads down pit road to his car as Angelica starts getting ready to get inside of her car. She glances down pit road, catching her dad’s eyes smiling. He blows her a kiss and she blows one back before climbing in the car. As she climbs in the car, she smiles as she sees the lucky flower that Chelsea had taped to the dash still there. Wiping the final tears from her eyes, she finishes getting ready to go. It was now or never. The championship was on the line.
For the most of the race, it’d been Kyle, Dale and Angelica trading the lead. Though throwing a curve ball to them all, a caution came out with three laps to go setting up a green-white-checkered finish with Kyle leading ahead of Dale and then Angelica. If the caution hadn’t come out, Dale would’ve had the championship locked up with the gap between himself and Angelica. However with the caution, he knew he was in trouble as she had the quicker car between the pair of them.
“Remember what she said to you,” Steve reminds him and Dale smiles. The pre-race conversation had consisted with Dale promising to race her hard no matter what as she wanted to win it the right way. “Good luck driver.”
“Thanks Steve,” Dale says. “I’m going to see what I can do.”
“Try running a lane up maybe as that’s where she’s been running,” T.J. suggests and Dale takes the suggestion in. He had been running the bottom himself and had planned on getting down as soon as Kyle slipped ahead. However, the offer was there. “It’s up to you and how the car feels.”
“10-4. Let’s see if we can get a good restart and kick some ass.”
The race then restarts and they head into turn one with Kyle pulling ahead (as expected) while Dale is able to hold second on the high-side of Angelica. Heading into turn three, Angelica slips underneath of Dale and is able to grab the position off of the corner coming to the white flag.
The final lap sees her hold the position solidly without letting Dale get back to her bumper.
In the end, Kyle grabs the win, but more importantly, Angelica is able to come home second take home the championship.
“Wooohooo!” She screams on the radio, excitement totally taking her over.
“Way to go!” Her spotter cheers on the radio as she keeps smiling.
“Great job Ron! Great car! Great team! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Way to go sweetheart,” Ron says on the radio as he sits back on the pit box, tears welling up in his eyes. When he made the decision to leave Hendrick and go over to Stewart-Haas to work with her, he never dreamed of a moment like this. However, it had happened and he couldn’t had been happier. “We may have given you a good car, but you drove your heart off. You did an amazing job out there. Congratulations!” Ron then hops off of the pit box as he watches Angelica do a big burn-out down the frontstretch, joined by Kyle.
“Now that’s how you celebrate a frigging wedding to come,” Jimmie comments as he walks up behind Ron, hugging him. “Way to go buddy!”
“She deserved that and she needed that badly,” Ron says and Jimmie shakes his head totally understanding as Ron finds himself wiping the tears away once again. “I just can’t believe we pulled it off.” Ron shakes his head as he heads to the fornt stretch, ready to celebrate with her.
Once the burn-outs are done and she is pulled in on the front stretch, she climbs out of the car, both fists in the air, letting out a huge scream as the crew showers her with whatever they can find. She hops off the car, smiling as she wraps her arms around Kyle who is standing there.
“Shouldn’t be in victory lane?” She asks and Kyle laughs.
“I had to come congratulate my fiancé on the biggest moment of her life,” Kyle says before kissing her lips.
“I don’t want to argue with that decision one bit.” He then picks her up, kissing her once again as the crew cheers behind.
“I love you. I love you with all my heart and will always love you. Congratulations.”
“Gosh I love you so much. I wish I could hold on to you forever.”
“So do I. But we can’t change the future. We can only live in the moment and make these memories now. Go celebrate with your team.” He then lets her go as she smiles, remembering those words all too well herself. She then feels a small tug at her legs, laughing as she looks to see Chelsea is in victory lane.
“Sissy did it!” Angelica then picks Chelsea up, setting her on the roof of the car.
“My flower was lucky!” Chelsea cheers as Angelica smiles.
“Sssh, we can’t tell daddy about our lucky flower,” Angelica comments before letting out a little laugh.
“I gave Daddy one too, but yours was specialer.” Angelica laughs as she hugs her little sister.
“I love you Cheeseball.”
“Love you too, Angie.” Chelsea then looks down a little before glancing back up at Angelica. “Do you have to leave us to see Angels? Does Grandpa really need a buddy?” Angelica feels her heart instantly tugged by those words as she leans back against the car. She shakes her head, trying to hold her own tears back.
“Yes, I do sweetie. But remember what daddy told you. Remember that I will always be here with you, looking over you to make sure you stay out of trouble. You remember that right?” Chelsea then shakes her head before pulling Angelica back close to her. “You’ll always be my sweetie though. I love you Cheeseball.”
“Love you too, Angie.” They both then smile as Angelica looks to see her Dad standing there.
“I’m sorry I had to beat you like that,” Angelica comments as she walks over and wraps both arms around him.
“It’s okay,” Dale tells her. “You deserved it. You did an amazing job this year. Congratulations. And by the way, you’re the best sister that Chelsea could ask for.” Dale then pulls her close, kissing Angelica’s cheek. “I love you. You’re the best daughter that I could ever have.”
“What about me?” Chelsea then asks and Angelica and Dale laugh.
“I love you too sweetheart,” Dale tells her before giving her a quick hug.
“There’s something that we need to do once we get home,” Angelica says catching Dale off guard. “The baby, my wedding, but also a special car.” Dale smiles knowing exactly what Angelica means. “I want to make it perfect for her. I want to keep my promise.” Dale wraps his arms around Angelica.
“I don’t have a problem with that,” Dale tells her before he lets her go so she can join everyone else in the celebrating.
“Shouldn’t you be celebrating?” Kyle asks as he walks out on the porch. “You’re the Champion!” Angelica smiles as she looks back at him.
“It does feel good,” she comments before looking out at the backyard. Kyle then walks over, wrapping both arms around her.
“What’s wrong Ang?” Angelica lets out a sigh as she looks down.
“I should be happy. I should be ecstatic about this. But I can’t be. How can I be when in two months everything will be gone?” Kyle rubs her shoulders, knowing her feelings all too well. It was something that had crossed his mind many times the past couple of months.
“I know what you’re saying. I understand. But like you said – you can’t change the news so you have to live in the present and make the best of it. You’re certainly doing that.” Kyle then kisses her cheek as he spins her around to face him. “That’s why I am trying to spend every moment I can possibly can with you.”
“But it doesn’t change anything.”
“I wish I could change everything; I would in a heartbeat.”
“I know you would.” Angelica buries her head in his shoulder, keeping him held close to her, not wanting to let go. If she could, she would spend the rest of her days like this. However, she knew she couldn’t as there were other things to do. “I love you. I never want to let you go.” Kyle smiles as he leads her inside and through the house upstairs. They head straight for the bedsroom and go inside as Kyle leads her to the bed. “Babes…”
“No, that’s not why I am bringing you up here.” With a long day behind her, he knew that having sex that night was out of the question. But that didn’t mean that the options were limited.
“Then why are we up here?” She then lays in the bed beside him and he instantly wraps an arm around her. She smiles, knowing that he read her thoughts in wanting to be together. “I love you.”
“Love you more. Goodnight sweetheart.”
“Good night.” She snuggles in closer to him and closes her eyes.
Early the next morning, she sneaks out of bed and grabs her cellphone before heading out. Glancing at the time, she realizes it’s 8 in the morning and probably too early for anyone to be up. However, sleep isn’t an option with everything on her mind and there were other things on her mind.
She then goes straight to the garage, opening the door.
“There you are baby,” she says as she looks to see the Legend still tucked in its special spot.
“What are you doing up so early?” She hears, causing her to nearly jump out of her skin. She then turns to see Matt standing there.
“Better question – what are you doing here so early?” Matt laughs as he watches her take the tarp off the Legend.
“I slept over in the western town hotel due to drinks with Brad and your dad. Now answer my question.” Angelica rolls her eyes as she looks over the Legend.
“I couldn’t sleep so I thought I’d get to work on this.” She then moves a couple things out of the way, knowing that she wants to take it outside. Matt, without saying a word, begins helping her move some things out of the way. Since their conversation on Friday, Matt had done a lot of thinking and even done some research of his own. He wasn’t ready to see this happen, knowing that he’d hate to see the same happen to any of his kids. “Thanks Matty.”
“No problem. Do you think it’ll start up?” Angelica then smiles as she climbs in it.
“She always did work for me before.”
“Give it a shot.” Angelica then hits the switch and like a charm, the Legend instantly starts up. She then drives it out of the garage, shutting it off and climbing out smiling.
“She’s everything she was before.” Matt then looks at Angelica curiously.
“So what are you doing with her out then?”
“Two special things.” Matt then leans against the garage, curious.
“What is that?”
“The winter classic and there’s a special girl that I promised this car too.” Matt looks at her surprised as she says the words ‘Winter Classic’. Everyone knew that the Winter Classic was the biggest Legend race of the year, typically held in late December. He thought with the season being done that she was done driving. “Wha-”
“Are you seriously considering running the Winter Classic?” Angelica shakes her head yes as she begins to look over the motor. “Seriously? Have you told anyone about that yet?” Angelica then looks up at Matt with a smile.
“Uncle Matty can keep a secret till I’m ready to tell Daddy and Kyle, right?” Matt shakes his head yes, knowing that he can’t say no right now as she goes back to work. She begins to check each part carefully as Matt stands there watching intently. Shortly after, Angelica stands and smiles. “Everything looks perfect.”
“Why do you want to run the Winter Classic so badly?” Matt then walks over to the side of the car, knowing that Angelica was ready to check the toe. “What is it about that race and this car?” Angelica takes a deep breath.
“In all the years that I ran the Legend, I came so close to winning that race but kept falling short. I want to win it. It’ll complete everything.” Hearing those words, Matt knew that he had to say what he had found.
“Angelica, there’s something that I want to talk to you about. I may have an answer to your problem.” Angelica looks at Matt curiously as she watches him stand up.
“The cancer.” He then walks over to where she is, wanting to tell her face-to-face. “I know that you were told two months. However, I’ve done my own research and we may be able to do something.”