Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chapter 88-Making Amends

Mulo POV

“Why are you here?” Aric stood outside his house blocking the door way. He didn’t even give me a chance to knock.

“Is that anyway to greet your father?”

“Well I could punch you again.” I smiled remembering the right hook he caught me with the last time we saw each other. I was proud of how he defended his mother like a good son should.

"I like the new house. Grow tired of the beach?"

"No, Nina thought it was too large for just us and wanted something smaller, that felt more like a home. Mom rents out the beach house now. You haven’t answered my question.” The anger rolled off of him in waves. I hated that my actions caused this rift in our relationship, but now that I was back I wanted to make amends for the wrongs I made with him.
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Friday, November 2, 2012

Chapter 87-Bygones

“Hey mom.” Aric said giving me a hug. He and Nina came over when I called telling them I needed to talk to them both. I took little Jonathan from him giving him a big hug. He was getting bigger and looking more and more like Aric every day.

“Where’s Finley?” Nina inquired. “I was hoping they could play a bit while we talked.”

“She stayed the night with Carter. He should be bringing her home in about an hour before his shift starts. Let’s go sit. I need to tell you something.” We walked into the living room. Nina sat John on the floor where some of Finley’s toys were before taking a seat next to Aric.

“Mom you seem upset. What’s going on?” Upset was an understatement. I barely got any sleep last night. I was haunted by the memory of seeing Finley face down in the pool. Knowing that my children had been so corrupted that they would stand by and let something happen to their sister broke my heart. I was also angry, so very angry over the fact that she just couldn’t leave me alone. I was doing what she asked yet it still wasn’t enough. Taking a deep breath I told them about how the triplets haven’t’ really gotten better explaining the near fatal incident with Finley.

“Is that why she’s not here?” Aric asked.

Continue Reading: "Chapter 87-Bygones"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chapter 86-Cruel Intentions

After the meeting with the school I tried to be more diligent in making the triplets spend more time with me and Finley. To help bring out their individuality I enrolled them in different afterschool activities. Edson was in Art club, Elphie was taking Ballet, and Elton was now a scout. Aric and Bynni had both come over to talk with them about the importance of being responsible with what they are. They seemed to understand and apologized to me and the teacher for their behavior. We enjoyed family meals and they started even taking an interest in playing with Finley.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chapter 85-Saying Goodbye

“Carter, um I hadn’t expected to see you.”

“Yeah I was on duty and saw the family out in the waiting room.”

“Oh, do you want to see her?”

Carter walked over and pulled the chair up close to the bed. I was happy to see him but a little cautious since the last time we spoke wasn’t on the best of terms.

“I called Jonas, but I guess he must be at work.”

“No, he’s here.”  Now I was really worried. Maybe Jonas had changed his mind about wanting to be in her life and couldn’t figure out a way to tell me so Carter was sent to soften the blow.

“Oh, I see. Does he not want to see her, or me?”

“I’m sure he would if he was able…” Carter paused and took a shaky breath. “Jonas was admitted.  He was at work and he and his partner were exiting after doing a final sweep of the building but a beam—“ He paused again, but this time I could see the tears forming in his eyes. “A beam fell on him, pinning him. He landed on a piece of rebar that punctured a lung. Because the floor had partially given way from the impact they couldn’t get to him right away.” My heart dropped as I feared where this was going. My thoughts started racing, not wanting to believe what I was hearing.

“But, but he’s ok right? He has to be ok.” Without fully thinking I started climbing out of bed.

“Whoa where are you going?” Carter asked trying to stop me.

“Where is he Carter?  I need to see him.  Please Carter.”  Letting out a heavy sigh Carter left and returned with a wheel chair followed by Ceula. “Is he awake?”

“I’m not sure why?” I looked over at the sleeping figure and he immediately knew what I wanted. “Let’s go check and if he’s up then I’ll have the nurse bring her down. It’s against procedure, but since he might…” He choked on the words unable to say out loud what we were both thinking. He had been trapped for a while, in a fire, with a dirty piece of metal going through his body.  The nurse was checking his vitals when we arrived.

“He’s in and out of consciousness Dr. Day.”

“Thanks Judy, we won’t stay long.”

Carter wheeled me to his bed; he looked so different laying there. There was beeping and wires and his chest was all bandaged.

“Jonas you have to be ok.” I whispered taking his hand. “You’re a dad now. You were so excited about becoming a father you can’t leave us now.” His fingers curled around mine and I looked up to see him trying to give me a weak smile through the mask he was wearing.  He attempted to move the oxygen mask off his face but Carter stopped him.

“You need that.” He scolded gently. Jonas made a scribble motion with his hand; Carter looked around to find him some paper and a pen.

What did we have?

“A girl. Finley Duff.  She’s so cute and tiny and has black hair like you.”

I want to see her. He showed it to Carter who nodded then left the room. It was hard to see him like that and I couldn’t stop from crying.

I’m gonna be fine.  It’s only a scratch. I couldn’t help but laugh a little. Even hooked up to all the machines that were beeping keeping check on his vitals he was trying to make me feel better. Carter walked in with Finley bringing her over to the bed so Jonas could see her.

“You’ve scarred the poor girl; I think she has your nose.”  Carter joked. Jonas laughed a little which turned into coughing which sent the machines screaming. The nurses came rushing in ushering us out of the room.
The funeral was hard, his co-workers all gave their condolences to Carter and I. The kids all showed up for support, it was still hard to believe he was really gone.  He had gotten an infection that ravaged through his body. The antibiotics weren’t effective; his body had gone through too much trauma to fight it off once it got to his kidneys everything starting shutting down. I was determined not to let myself sink into that depressed state like I had with Marcus.  It was hard because with each passing day she looked more and more like him which was a curse and a blessing all at the same time. 

Carter started coming around to check on us on his off days.  We never spoke about our last conversation, it no longer seemed important.  We put it behind us and moved forward helping each other grieve and taking care of Finley. I was getting to know Victoria better as well.

She was a very nice woman, and she appeared to really adore Carter.  I was happy that he found someone special.  He deserved it. Things were hard, but I was used to that being part of my life.  I could whine and complain about it, but that wouldn’t change the cards I was dealt.  It wasn’t all bad so I was determined to try and focus on the good.
Aric and Nina had their baby, a little boy they names Jonathan, and couldn’t be happier to finally be parents. Dax at gotten on with the local minor league sports team.  He was always very athletic so it only seemed like a good fit for him. Dunham and Embry were making things work. He had gotten an internship at the Science Facility.

I got to babysit Kylie on occasion when their schedules overlapped. Embry was still not my favorite person, but I tried not to dwell on that instead choosing to focus on the adorable little girl that came out of that terrible situation.  The triplets were becoming more and more exclusive. They didn’t want to interact with Finley much and spent an awful amount of time either in the tree house or at the park down the street. Their teacher had called wanting to have a conference.  She wouldn’t say what it was about over the phone but she sounded very troubled when we talked. I asked them about it when they got home, but denied knowing any reason that she would want to see me. Nervously I waited outside the principal's office trying to figure out what they were in trouble for.
“Mrs. Smith, Mr. Polax will see you now.” The elderly secretary lead me towards the back into the office. There sat Mr. Polax and the triplet’s teacher Mrs. Brookstone.
“Mrs. Smith thank you so much for joining us today.”
“Of course. I wasn’t given much information on what this meeting was about.” I gave a glance over at the teacher then back to the principal.
“Well Mrs. Brookstone has voiced some concerns about the behavior of your children and requested that we have a meeting to discuss them.” Mr. Polax leaned back in his chair waiting on Mrs. Brookstone to begin.
“Um yes, well you see Elton, Elphie, and Edson were delightful children at the start of the school year. Always listened and got along with the other kids. But in the last few months they have started acting…well a little strange.”
“We’ve had a few changes at home and they have began spending more and more time together as a group but they are triplets so they have a special bond.” Mrs. Brookstone sat wringing her hands in her lap as she tried to come up with the words she needed to continue.
“Changes at home? What sort of changes?”
“Well their older brothers graduated and moved out of the house. They just got a new sibling and they loss a close family friend. All of these things happened in a matter of months so they may be be having some adjustment issues.”
“Yes, yes that could explain why they are acting out now. Little minds have a hard time processing loss sometimes. And sometimes it’s a cry for attention.” She gave me a pointed looked as if she were questioning my parenting skills. I chose to ignore that instead wanting to focus on the more pressing issue at hand.
“Acting out?”
“Yes well. They play a lot of make believe with the other students. They like to tell them they are vampires and that the students are there as a food source. They have even attempted to bite some of the children.” I sat there staring in disbelief. We hadn’t talked much about them being responsible with who and what they are but I never thought I would need to.
“Oh.” Was all I could manage to get out.
“Yes and on occasion they have tried with me to get me to change grades. Which I don’t understand because when I looked at my grades for the class they have pretty much aced everything.” I tried to think of times I recalled seeing them do homework or studying lately and nothing popped. Life had been hectic but they were pulling in good grades so I assumed they were on top of things. Now it seems that they were compelling their teacher somewhat to make changes. This is not what I needed to hear.

***********************************Bonus Pic of Jonathan*****************************

****Thanks to Kiddo for making the 'Bad News' hospital poses for me*********
Continue Reading: "Chapter 85-Saying Goodbye"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chapter 84-Growing Pains

The last several months have been rough.  The pregnancy has been relatively easy but I craved the plasma packs more so I worried about what this child was going to be when I delivered.  Dunham was still a little resentful, but with the help of his older siblings, he at least started speaking to me again. Dax was also upset with me especially after finding out who the father was.  Jonas and Carter were like honorary uncles to them so he felt it was really weird.  Now I stand here getting ready to go watch my boys graduate.  They both had grown into strong, responsible, and smart young men.  Marcus would be so proud of them today even with all the stumbles we had along the way.  

I looked at my rings that now sat in a box on my dresser.  I took them off no longer feeling it was right to wear them since I was carrying another man’s baby.  As I rolled the tension out of my shoulders I mentally prepared myself to have to sit the next few hours next to Embry.  They sent Carter an invitation but I wasn’t sure if he would be attending.  I hoped he comes for the boys’ sake but since we hadn’t spoken since that day I had no way of knowing.  Jonas kept me informed on how he was doing.  He and Victoria were going out officially and Jonas said that he did seem happy.  I was relieved that they didn’t have any permanent damage to their relationship.  It was rocky and tense for a while but in the end I was the bad guy and I was fine with that. 
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chapter 83-The Best Policy

Telling Dax and Dunham was harder than I thought it would be.  Dunham took it harder because of his current situation.  He didn’t really want to talk to me for a few days especially when I wouldn’t tell them who the father was.  I still had to tell Jonas and Carter and I didn’t want them going over there making accusations.  I had promised to tell them after I talked to the father.  I however put that off for two weeks as I tried and tried to figure out what I was going to say.  Jonas’s schedule also helped in the delay.  Now that his paperwork for his official transfer had come through he was working his 48 hours on 24 hours off at the station.  I really didn’t want to have that sort of conversation around ten other firemen it gave me an excuse not to tell him right away but I wanted to tell him before I broke the news to Carter.  However today was the day.  When I sent him the text telling him I wanted to see him he was all too eager to accommodate me.  I was happy I still wasn’t quite showing but I made sure to dress in looser fitting clothes to be on the safe side.  
 I arrived at the restaurant first the hostess seated me and I ordered a drink while I waited for him.  I toyed with the straw in my lemonade watching the ice cubes swirl around.  I really would have loved to have something stronger but that was no longer allowed. 
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chapter 82-The Whole Story

I approached the building and it flooded me with the memories of my first place here in this city.  There were tenants hanging out in the courtyard, if you could call it that.  I checked the paper again looking for her unit.  I knocked on the door and waited.  After a few seconds I heard her calling out.
“Just a minute.”
Why was I here?  I still couldn’t answer that as I stood outside waiting for her to answer the door.  Maybe it was to buy her off or to simply see under what conditions my grandchild would be living.
“Sorry to keep you wa…” Her voice died out when she saw me.  “Mrs. Smith, um I, um what are you doing here?”
“May I come in?”
“Yes, of course.”  She replied stepping to the side to allow me entry. 
“Is um everything ok?”  She fiddled with the hem of her shirt.  Under it I could see the mound that was growing.  “Would you like something to eat or drink?  I have soda and juice.”
I put my hand up to stop her talking.  “I’m fine.  I came to talk to you about Dunham.”
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chapter 81-No Way Out

The first day I tried to tell myself it was stress.   
The second day I tried to tell myself it was a stomach flu.  
 On the third day I bought a test to confirm what I was trying to deny.  I was glad I was home alone as I broke out in a hysterical fit of laughter. 
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chapter 80-Consequences

I avoided Jonas for as long as I could which turned out to be only a few days.  Carter seemed to be doing the same to me and I couldn’t say I blamed him.  The relationships that had always been so relaxed and easy had now been made tense and complicated.  I had gotten everyone off to school when there was a knock at the door.
“You’ve been ignoring my calls.”  Jonas accused when I opened the door.
“Not ignoring.  I’ve been busy.”
“Are you busy now?”
“Great.  We need to talk.”
Jonas walked into the living room.  I sighed, closed the door then followed him in there.
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Chapter 79-Into the Fire

“Mmm, Marcus.”  I murmured softly as I snuggled closer to the warm body next to me.  The strong arms tightened in response.  I inhaled deeply which caused my eyes to fly open.  That was not his scent, this was not Marcus.  I looked around; I was in my house in my bed with a strange man.  I swallowed hard before lifting my gaze to see who I was lying with.  Oh no. I tried to ease away from the sleeping figure not wanting to wake him until after I had a chance to put on some clothes.  As I lifted his arm to free myself I saw a smile form on his lips.
“Good morning.”  He said as he looked at me.  “I don’t know how I never noticed before, but you have really beautiful eyes.”  I closed my eyes then turned my head.  I held on to the blanket while I slid away from him.  I wished I had been too drunk to remember what I did last night but as I glanced back at him, I recalled every detail.  It was a little fuzzy but it was there.  Bumping into him at the bar, drinking, talking, dancing, laughing having a good time.  Me asking him to stay with me a while because I didn’t want to be alone after he escorted me home.  Him holding me, him looking at me the same way Carter had then me kissing him.  In the back of my mind some tiny voice said this was wrong that I should have stopped but neither of us did.  I was so lonely and so very very drunk but so lonely.
“Amari are you ok?”
“Yeah Jonas I’m fine.”  I got up and ran to the bathroom before he could say anything else.  I locked the door then turned on the shower.  How could I have done this?  My best friend had confessed his love to me and I sleep with his cousin.  I felt low and dirty.  Once I was finished scrubbing myself, I wrapped the towel tightly around me before slowly opening the door.  Jonas was sitting there waiting on me.  I refused to make eye contact as I walked over to the dresser to get clothes.  After retreating back to the bathroom to get dressed I came out once again and he was still there waiting.
“Dax and Dunham sleep late so if you hurry you might be able to leave without them seeing you.  The triplets are probably up so I need to go check on them.”  I still wouldn’t look at him as I moved passed him towards the door.
“Don’t you think we should talk first?”
“No.  I don’t want to talk, there’s nothing to talk about.  I need to start my day and try my best to pretend I didn’t just make this mistake.”  Jonas looked as if I had slapped him.
“A mistake?  That’s what you think this was?  A mistake?”
“What would you call it then?”
“I don’t know but not that. “  Massaging my temples I tried to think of a way to make this better but I couldn’t.  My head was pounding from the combination of a mild hangover mixed with the stress.
“Look Jonas I’m sorry.  But right now I need you to put on your shirt and leave.  I hear them getting up and I have enough to deal with without having to explain why you are here in my room this morning.”
“Try the truth.”  He said angrily “You had too much to drink last night and I brought you home.  I stayed to make sure you were ok.”
“Jonas, please.”  I said burying my face in my hands.  “I’m sorry but please go home.  I had a really bad day yesterday.  I have a major situation I still have to deal with regarding Dunham and this…what we did.”
“Ok.  I’m sorry.  You’re right.”  He said pulling me into a hug.  “I’ll go, but we will need to talk.”
“Thank you.”  Jonas left and I took a few minutes to collect myself before heading into the nursery.  Both Dax and Dunham wandered into the kitchen as I was finishing up with the triplet’s breakfast.
“Morning mom.”  Dax said.  Dunham simply shot me a glare as he poured himself a bowl of cereal.  He took his bowl outside to eat without saying a word to me.  He was actually trying to make me out to be the bad guy in this situation.  I knew I was going to have to talk to him, there was no avoiding it.  First I would call Aric to see how their talk went last night.  The pain in my head was getting worse. 
“Dax watch them for a sec please.”
I went back upstairs hoping I had some aspirin or something I could take to make it stop throbbing.  This was more than a headache. 
Go away.
That’s not very nice.
Go away.
I massaged my temples and after a few minutes the throbbing started to dull a bit.  Before I could call him, my phone rang showing Aric’s number on the ID.
“Nursing a hang over this morning?”  I could hear the humor in his voice.
“Was I that bad last night?”
“Yeah but you’ve been dealing with a lot.  You are entitled to one night to let loose I guess.”
“Well thanks for your permission son.”
“Anytime.  Besides I had a good time.  Kicked Dax’s butt a few times at pool and the babies gave me no trouble.  I’ll have lots of practice for when Nina and I have our own.”  There was a hint of sadness there but he quickly recovered.  “So I’m gonna be an uncle.”
“Yes.  Did you have a chance to talk to him?  Can you tell me what the hell he was thinking?”
“What he was thinking is what got him in this trouble to begin with.  The pregnancy took him by surprise but he wants to do the right thing.  He really feels like he is in love with her.   He pursued her.  She was still wrong for not stopping it but he did go after her.”
She was wrong for not stopping it.  I still couldn’t believe she would do that.  He’s a child, my child and now he’s having one of his own.  Dunham was supposed to be the good one.  Not that Dax wasn’t but Dunham gave me less trouble, he reminded me a lot of Aric until now.
After I hung up with Aric I surprised myself with the next phone call.
“Mrs. Smith…I, I didn’t expect to…”
“Don’t talk, just listen.”  I said slowly as I tried to keep control of my temper.  I could feel it rising by simply hearing her voice.  “Be over here in half an hour understand?”
“Um..yes, yes ma’am.”
I hung up on her without a goodbye then went to find Dax.
“Can you help me take them over to Cece?”
“Yeah sure.”
“You can stay there or go hang out with friends.  I need to talk to your brother.”
“About Embry?”
“You knew?”
“No.”  He said quickly sensing the tone in my voice. “He told me last night.”
We got the kids settled then he took off to his friend’s house.  I found Dunham still outside sitting on the swings.  I still could not believe this was happening.  I keep waiting to wake up from what is turning into one really long really horrible nightmare.
“We need to talk.”  I said taking a seat on the other swing.
“Why do you want to yell at me more?”
“You really want to have an attitude with me Dunham?  I had, I have every right to be upset with you.  Do you have any idea how hard your life is going to be?  I’m an adult and having kids isn’t easy.  You are a kid.”  I turned away as I felt the tears starting to roll down my cheeks.
“I’m sorry mom.  I really am.”  I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes.  My heart broke seeing him like that.
“Oh Dunham what were you thinking?”
“That she was cute and that it would be cool to have an older girlfriend.  But we were careful.  I know we were.  But I do love her mom.  Really I do.”
“Oh Dunham.”  I sighed going over to hug him.  He was in over his head and that fact was hitting him hard now.
“Go get dressed son, she’s on her way over here.”
“Because she has things she needs to answer to.”  The look on my face stopped him from saying anything else.
By the time he got back down stairs Embry was there.  She gave him a weak smile as he walked over towards the couch.
“In the chair.”  I said stopping him.
“Mrs. Smith.” She started but I put my hand up to stop her words.
“Don’t.”  The sight of her was enough to get my blood boiling.  My gums were itching and I was trying not to lose my temper like yesterday.  I was lucky she was too scared of me in general to notice the difference.  After a few cleansing breaths, I spoke again.
“I don’t want to hear you are in love with my son.  I don’t want to hear this wasn’t planned or that you didn’t mean for it to happen.  What you did was WRONG.”  I looked over at Dunham then back to Embry.  “I should have you arrested and if you don’t comply with the terms I am about to give you I will have you arrested and Dunham will just have to get over it.”  I looked directly at him when I spoke those last words so he would know I meant it.
“How far along are you?”
“Um a..about 10 weeks or so.” She stuttered.
“Have you thought about your options?”
“Options?”  She repeated looking from me to Dunham who sat in the chair not saying a word.
“Yes, Embry, your options.  Adoption, termination, keeping it.  Options.”
“Oh…well um.  We had only found out a day or so before we told you.  I um haven’t um really thought that far ahead yet.”  I threw my hands up in frustration. 
“When do you think you will decide?”
“I.  I have two more semesters before I graduate.  I do love him Mrs. Smith so I’ll probably keep it.”  Dunham seemed to relax a little in the chair when she said that. 
“Your family.  Where are they?”
“My mom’s job relocated her to Bridgeport so that’s where she, my younger sister and step dad are now.”
“So are you planning to move to Bridgeport so your family can help you?”
“No I’ve been offered a job here after I graduate.”
“Not the high school.”
She quickly shook her head no as she sensed my displeasure at the idea she would be around other kids like my son.
“I’ll be a third grade teacher.”  She said quietly.
“Ok so this is what’s going to happen.  You of course are fired.  You also are to have no contact with Dunham.”
“Dunham be quiet.”
“You’re 10 weeks now, once you hit 14 weeks it will be safe for you to get a paternity test done.  You and your doctor can decide on the best timing but it will be done.”
Embry sat there shaking her head in agreement while shooting side glances towards Dunham.
“If it’s determined he ---if he is the father then if he wants and if it doesn’t interfere with his school schedule he can attend appointments with you.  You are not to contact him directly still.  All communication will go through me.  If I find you are talking, texting or even send smoke signals to him I will have you arrested.  Am I making myself clear?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“The same goes for you Dunham do you understand?”
“If you two are as in love as you claim then once he’s legal and can make his own decisions I can no longer stand in the way and you two can ride off into the sunset as one big happy family.  Until then these are my terms and they are final.”
Neither of them said anything.  They glanced at me then at each other.
“Thank you for not having me arrested.”  Embry finally said.
“I didn’t do it for you.  I did it for him but I won’t hesitate to change my mind if you break my terms.  Understood?”
“Yes, oh yes ma’am I do.”
“Good you can go now.  Call me once the paternity appointment is set.”
After she left I told Dunham that he would have to get a job if he was the father.  He was upset with me for thinking she might be seeing someone else.  He refused to believe she could do that since they were in love.  It was wrong but I hoped he would have his heartbroken by finding out he wasn’t the father.  He was in love and believed in her.  She was a good person he kept saying.  He didn’t want to wait until he got the results, he wanted to start working now so that he could start saving up to take care of his baby.  He was grounded for the next month that meant no car, no cell phone, no TV, and no computer unless it was school related.  After he helped me go pick up the triplets, he grabbed the paper to find a job.  There were several openings but he was hoping to get on at the book store.  That night after everyone had gone to bed I stared into the night.  Looking at the twinkle of the city lights couldn't help but to wonder if he was out there somewhere.
In the darkness under the stars was he there?  My hope of him coming back was fading and I was being forced to face the reality.  He was gone.  That fact didn't stop me from thinking what he would say or how he would feel to know what I had done.  I had not only slept with someone in my house in the bed I shared with my husband, I slept with my best friend’s cousin after rejecting his advances.  Did the depths of my depravity know no bounds?
"Oh Marcus I'm sorry.  I'm so very, very sorry." I muttered as I hugged myself tighter.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 79-Into the Fire"