Meanwhile, there was still the matter of a book cover that needed to be designed. Chester went back to Dwayne's work, smiling as he was loaded into the car.
"You've designed book covers before, right?" Chester asked.
"Yes, I have," Dwayne replied.
"Have you ever designed a book cover for a book like this?"
"No. I haven't done anything like that before. But this won't be that much different or difficult to do. And you get to choose how it's done and what goes on there."
"Yes!" Chester squealed. "This is going to be so fun!"
"This is so hard," the redheaded boy groaned. "How do you do this at work all the time?"
"Chester, it'll be OK," Dwayne replied.
"I have ideas, but they don't work because I can't say them. I need scissors and paper and maybe some coloured pencils," Chester replied. Dwayne gave his son a piece of A4 printing paper, some scissors and a simple graphite pencil. He drew five basic faces. "It's like this. We used to be a normal family with my mum, my dad, my older sister, my older brother, and me. But after I got taken away, they got rid of me and it was like I never existed. It was like they cut me out of the family with a pair of scissors. I'll show you with the paper."
"Chester, no!" Dwayne grabbed his son's hand before he could even think about cutting the paper.
"What? Why are you doing that?" Chester looked up at his dad with a single eyebrow raised.
"You just gave me an idea for the cover," Dwayne replied. "It can be a picture just like this with a cartoon family, and the cartoon you is cut out of the picture with the scissors. Maybe the scissors are only halfway through the piece of paper when the picture is taken."
"That could work," Chester murmured, thinking about it. "Yes. That could work. And the scissors could be held by an adult and they photograph the hand."
"Yes! This is going great! A lot of work is done already!" Dwayne hugged his son tightly. "We'll just need a photographer and I'll do the rest. Don't worry about a thing."
"Yes!" Chester giggled. "I'll get to publish my diary and it's going to look so cool!" He squealed when his papa picked him up and threw him up into the air, catching him just moments later. He hugged his papa tightly, relaxing and going limp while Dwayne chuckled.
Everything was coming together.
"How did everything go?" Beckett asked, over dinner.
"I think the cover might be done already!" Chester grinned, smiling widely.
"This book will be done before you know it!" the blond dad sighed. "You're going to be an author!"
"A successful one, right?" Chester asked.
"I can't promise anything, but I think you will be." Dwayne petted Chester's head, his hand sinking into a mass of curly red hair. Chester's hair was growing fast, reaching just below his shoulders. He was just glad that the chemotherapy hadn't affected his hair and hair growth too much. "This is a lot of hair you have. You're going to need to start tying it up soon."
"Yes!" Chester squealed. "I want loads of hair. I don't want anything from the cancer days." Everything went quiet, and the boy's smile faded. "What?"
"When I had cancer and wore hats and my hair came off on my pillow in the morning and onto my hand when I scratched my head. Whenever I touch my hair, it reminds me that I don't have cancer anymore because my hair's all there."
"Chester, if you want to keep your hair long, then it's fine," Beckett reassured. "If you want it to be cut, tell us and we'll take you to a barber."
"Do I get to pick out the hairstyle I want if I do want a haircut?" Chester asked.
"OK," the redheaded boy replied. After a tense pause, Dwayne broke the silence.
"Chester, you know that you can ask us for anything, right?" Dwayne asked.
"Yeah," Chester replied.
"So if you want to talk to us, or maybe someone else about your fears and worries about the future, you know you can do that, right?"
"Chester, we're worried about you. At the end of your first day of your new school, you became very worried that we wouldn't be there and we'd leave you. Would you like to talk about this with a professional?"
"We think it would be really helpful," Beckett chimed.
Chester mulled it over for a little while. He wasn't sure how therapy was going to go, but he didn't want to be scared anymore. "I'll try it for a while," Chester replied.
"That's good. We're very proud of you, Chester."
"This is going to be so helpful," Dwayne sighed, smiling.
"Dad, Papa, what if the stuff's too expensive for you?" Chester said.
Beckett rubbed his temples, looking at Chester with pity. "Chester, we don't care about that. We just want you to be happy in your new home with us."
"So if I want, I can quit doing it?"
"Sure," Beckett agreed. Chester smiled and nodded.
"That's good enough for me, I suppose," he replied, sighing as he leaned back into his chair. Beckett exhaled loudly as he also leaned back. Dwayne shook his head and smiled. They had more in common than either of them would ever know, and they weren't even seeing it.
"Chester, you're doing so well with all of this. We're so proud of you," Beckett told the boy.
"Now, how about you have something to eat? Pasta sounds pretty good," Dwayne smiled. Chester nodded.
And the small family began preparing for dinner, a happy silence reigning supreme.