Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chapter 125-Elephant In The Room

I spent the night curled up in Marcus’ office after he’d walked out. I sat in his office feeling the same empty, all-consuming ache that I’d had when he was missing. I sat there on the floor for hours until the sounds of life coming from above made their way into my consciousness. I pulled myself up off the floor and slowly made my way upstairs. I heard Finley in the kitchen along with the cooing of one of the babies. I quickly darted upstairs to clean myself up before she saw me. As I got to the top of the stairs, Marcus was coming out of the nursery.

Our eyes met briefly. I wanted to say something. Hoped maybe he’d speak, but instead there was silence. I turned and headed into our room, closing the door quietly behind me. Leaning against the door, I listened and waited. Waited to see if he’d come knock even though I knew he wouldn’t. Marcus was very clear last night. It was over with us and the sounds of his footsteps on the stairs reminded me of that.

I’d hurt him. I’d hurt him so deeply and I had been blind to it. What happened to me? When did I become this person? This selfish, self-absorbed bitch capable of causing so much pain and heartache to the best man I’ve ever known? Pushing off the door, I slowly made my way to the bathroom. My eyes were red and puffy from spending most of the night crying. I grabbed a wash cloth and ran it under the cold water before pressing it to my face.

These next few weeks were going to be hard, but unavoidable. I’d tried to push him away once, to save him from me and he’d insisted on staying. Now he was running when I wanted to keep him and as much as it hurt, I had to let him go. That’s how I could start to make up for the wrongs I’d done to Marcus. He wanted free of me, so he’d get his freedom. Once I pulled myself together, I followed the sound of voices and found everyone in the living room.

“Hey Mrs. Smith,” Zana greeted. She and Finley were playing with two of the babies. I glanced over at Marcus who was taking a crying Graham from the swing.

“Hey Zana, dear. How are you today?” I asked hoping my face didn’t show how I was feeling.

Marcus looked in my direction briefly before making some comment about Graham needing a fresh diaper then quickly leaving the room. The dance had begun.

During the day Marcus and I interacted only when necessary. We’d care for the babies, handled Finley’s end of the year things and tried our best to function as a family unit. At night we’d go our separate ways.

I hated being in our room so I’d obsessively clean things that didn’t need cleaning or I’d sit out by the pool. Other nights, I’d fall asleep on the couch or go for long walks. Marcus stayed in the boys’ old room. Some nights I’d hear him working out or doing whatever down in his office.

I checked in on Ceula often, her recovery was going well. Trey said she was still having nightmares and some of them had been about David, however he seemed to be more a figment of her imagination instead of a real person. That news wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but we were all ready to step in and help her deal with things should her memory of him fully return.

Each passing day got harder to manage. Being in the same space as Marcus would be tense and uncomfortable. At times I found myself just as eager to get away as he was. We’d retreat to our separate corners of the house, or he’d go out and I assumed it was to view possible places to live. There was so much I wanted to say to him, but I never did. Instead, I continued the charade.

“I liked having Marcus as a dad,” she said as she helped me put the quads down for bed.

“What do you mean liked?”

“Mom, anyone that is around you two for any length of time can see it.”

“I…” I stopped trying to figure out what to say. She wasn’t a kid, so trying to sugarcoat things wouldn’t go over well. I couldn’t lie and say we were fine knowing that we’d most likely be divorced soon as she graduated. “You’re right honey. Things with Marcus and I aren’t working out. But that’s us. Why would you say you liked having him?”

She rolled her eyes at me. “Come on Mom. I think I’m just destined to not have a father-figure stick around. My real dad died, then after whatever happened with Mulo, he stopped coming around and now Marcus. I...I guess I still have Uncle Carter, but he’s been super busy with work and now that Victoria has had her baby, he has his own child to care for.” She tried to sound nonchalant about it, but she failed.

My baby girl. My sweet little girl who suffered loss before she was even a day old, had become another casualty of my bad choices. All the pretending Marcus and I had been doing was pointless since Finley picked up on the discord between us anyway. I pulled her to me and she cried quietly as I stroked her hair.

“Honey Marcus will still be around. Things aren’t working out between he and I, but that has nothing to do with you or your siblings.” I pulled away and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Marcus will always be your dad. We...we’re separating, he’s not cutting you out of his life. You aren’t his biological child, but he doesn’t see you as any less his daughter. Your dad is a good man, he loves you and will always be there for you.”

“Your mother is right.” I looked up to see Marcus standing in the doorway. “What’s going on with us, is between us and whether I’m married to your mother or not you will always be my little girl.”

Finley walked over and hugged him. “You promise?”

“You betcha, kiddo,” he replied, kissing the top of her head. Marcus looked over at me, frowning, before he draped his arm around her shoulders as they headed out of the nursery.

With the quads down, I headed outside. It was a beautiful night, clear skies and a cool breeze blowing softly. Cars in the distance hurried to their destination. Closing my eyes, I tuned into the sounds of laughter coming from inside the neighbor’s house. 

I’d seen them once or twice since they moved in; a young couple that was expecting their first baby. They always looked so happy, full of love and hope. I envied them. I heard the sliding glass door open and I figured it was Marcus just letting Fred and Wilma out.

“We need to talk.”

My eyes popped open at the sound of his voice. I was momentarily hopeful, but then I remembered the look on his face before he walked out with Finley. 

“I don’t need you to tell me how much my choices have broken things. I feel like shit knowing my daughter felt like she was going to be abandoned again. So you can save your lecture,” I said closing my eyes again.

I couldn’t look at him, it hurt too much. Seeing myself through his eyes, seeing the hurt, and the hate, and the disgust he didn’t bother to hide on those rare occasions we were alone, I didn’t want to be faced with that right now.

“You don’t get to play the victim here, Amari!”

“Play the victim?” I yelled jumping up from the lounger. “That’s not what I’m doing. I simply don’t want to do…this with you, Marcus.” I took a shaky breath. I didn’t want to fight with him and I didn’t want to cry in front of him.

Playing the victim? No that’s the last thing I’d do. I knew who was at fault here and I made no excuses for it. It killed me to live like this, but I did it. I kept my tears and pain to myself because I didn’t want him to think I was trying to guilt him into anything.

“Do what, have to face the fact you can’t have your cake and eat it too? I have to say I am surprised you haven’t run off to be with him unless he’s seen you for who you really are as well and doesn’t want you either.”

I stared at him, mouth agape, at the sheer venom in his words. My chest constricted and my entire body ached as if I’d been physically assaulted. He was angry. He was hurt. He was only lashing out. I tried to process what he said and the look on his face as he said it. He didn’t flinch; he didn’t react or look sorry. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach. He didn’t mean that, he couldn’t mean that! My head ached. I couldn’t think, I didn’t know what to say, so I stared at him. 

His lips were moving, but I couldn’t process what he was saying. I was stuck in a twilight zone moment, like the world had stopped and I was just stuck. I felt my body jerk and slowly became aware of Marcus gently shaking me by the shoulders as he called my name. I cocked my head to the side and looked at him. He actually looked concerned, like he cared, but he didn’t. I pulled free of his grasp and just ran. I needed away. I needed some way to get the anger, and sadness, and feelings of utter despair out of my system, so I ran.

When I got back, I found Marcus sitting on the bed, waiting.

“Where’d you go?”

“Why do you care?”


“Don’t. I get it. I hurt you. I know I did and you’re angry and you have every right to be. I try to grin and bear it, but what you said…” He walked towards me but I stepped back. 

“What you said…you’re lashing out because I am the root of your pain, I can tell myself that, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I’m sorry. I know that doesn’t mean anything to you, but I am. I am sorry for every bit of it. I’m sorry for what I’ve turned you into, for what I’ve turned us into.” I wiped away the tears I felt sliding down my cheeks. I didn’t want to cry in front of him, but like the destruction of my marriage, some things appeared unavoidable.

I looked at him and saw a glimpse of the Marcus I once knew. The sweet, caring, Marcus that used to love me. “If I could change things I would. I would make so many different choices, but I can’t change things. I can only deal with the fallout.” I took a deep breath before continuing. “I made a decision while I was out.”

“A decision about what?”

“Us…this arrangement we have going. It’s not good for either of us. I…I know you already found a place to rent, I…I overheard you on the phone the other day. I don’t see any reason why we need to keep pretending we’re something we’re not.” During my run, I’d told myself this was the best thing. I’d thought I was prepared, but it hurt like hell to say the words out loud.

“So you’re kicking me out?”

He seemed shocked. He’d made the decision to move in the first place yet he seemed shocked. Maybe…NO NO NO!!! It’s over, you know it’s over. Hanging on to slivers of hope only prolongs the pain. “You already have one foot out the door, Marcus. Considering the talk we had with Finley tonight, your reason for staying isn’t really valid any longer.”

“I guess you’re right. I’ll see if I can change my move in date.”

He agreed! Of course he agreed, he couldn’t wait to be rid of me.

“Okay then. I…I’m going to try and get some rest before one of them wakes up.”

“Okay. Goodnight Amari,” he said, but lingered in the room for a moment before heading out the door.



“We…I…I want to sell the house.”

He nodded his head in agreement. “Okay.” 

**Thanks DJ for helping to fix a few pictures. **
Also remember to leave your questions for the cast HERE 


  1. Wow, All that's stuck in my head right now is:
    "I want to sell the house"
    That's bigger than the whole divorce/separation thing. Even after everything that happened the first time Marcus "left", she kept the house they bought for their family. Now with her decision to actually sell it...

    You actually managed to shock me with this!
    Selling the house feels very -final-. Like letting go of the glue that kept everything together.
    I... I'm still shocked, I don't know what to say...

    1. Well that house hasn't turned out to be what she'd hoped. More heartache than happiness in her eyes, so she doesn't want to be reminded of what could have been living there without Marcus. It was different when he was missing and presumed dead. :( It is a very final move. She's accepted she fucked things up beyond repair with him at this point. He wants to be free of her and she needs to figure out how to make a life without him.

      Glad to know I can still shock you. :) Woot! Not losing my touch!!!

      thanks for reading

  2. Poor Finley. I'm glad Marcus was able to comfort her and so that she realized none of this was of her making and that he would still be there for her.

    As I read this, I didn't feel a bit sorry for Amari...that's really telling. I just can't seem to sympathize with her character any longer. She made this huge mess of things and is still lingering on to a sliver of hope it'll get better. I don't know. Maybe it will with time and space but as it stands, I think these two need to be free of each other for good. Amari is like poison and as long as she loves another man, which she always will, she can never fully love someone else. It's just not possible.

    So...yeah...that happened.

    1. :( yeah Finley. Kids pick up on things, even moody teenagers, and she felt the tension between them. She'd grown close to Mulo when he was around for the triplets, then he stopped being there after he and Amari had their fight. She feared the same thing would happen with Marcus, but they both reassured her that he wasn't walking out of her life. :)

      I know, you hate Amari at this point in her life. She's fucked up, no getting around that. She did still have hope, but she's not acting on it. She's very aware of what she did to Marcus and how he's feeling so she's doing the best thing for him and letting it go. Despite what you may think, she does love Marcus and hurting him was never her intention. She honestly had blinders on to it but now she's fully aware of how her actions and feelings have affected him. She hates knowing how much she hurt him and is willing to let him go so he can heal and move on without her if that's what he wants. With the quads to consider, they won't ever really be 'free' of each other, but the relationship needs to be let free.

      Yeah...that happened. :( sorry

      thanks for reading

  3. Oh wow, it seems their separation/divorce/breakup is official. I still think it's better that they both go their separate ways, that arrangement they had going on wasn't healthy for all of them. But I just wish they didn't have to. I just wish Amari had put Marcus first when she still had time.

    I don't think Marcus wants to move out, otherwise he would have pushed to have his moving in date brought up much sooner. So maybe he does want to save his marriage. If only they could both have a moment of honesty and talk without putting emotions into it. I know, it's much harder than it seems.

    Finley, poor girl, it must be a very frightening and confusing time for her. But it's great that both Amari and Marcus are determined to put her needs first.

    1. Yeah :( Him moving out and her wanting to sell the house does make things feel pretty done. Marcus was trying to stay for Finley's benefit, but now that they know that isn't working there was no point in him staying. Marcus wishes she had put him first too. :(

      Marcus still loves Amari despite everything. He's not 100% sure on what he wants anymore than she is, but he does know he can't continue in the relationship in its current state. It's hard to keep the emotions out and neither are in a talkative mood these days. Pretty much everything he says to her is angry and she's just shutting down.

      Finley, yeah she's been through so much. :( She needed that reassurance that he would still be her dad even if he and Amari aren't together.

      thanks for reading

  4. Replies
    1. They will do joint custody. :) Marcus missed out on the lives of the twins and triplets so Amari would never cut him out of time with the quads. It's not ideal, but it's what needs to be done right now because their relationship is quickly becoming toxic with his festering anger. :( They are better apart than together right now.

      thanks for reading

  5. Oh Wow I was not expecting that selling the house comment at the end, that makes everything more official if it actually happens.

    Marcus moving out earlier is a very good idea. That remark he made shows how bitter he is right now and that had to cut like a knife. I'm not saying he shouldn't be bitter but Amari is not the only person living in that house. Anger like that can affect Finley as well as the babies and they shouldn't be subjected to living with that. There is no good reason for either of them to live together at this moment.

    I know Marcus is the injured party and I do feel bad for him because Amari made the wrong choices but there was one part that I really sympathized for Amari. When she heard that new couple that moved in next door expecting their first baby. That should have been her and Marcus in Riverview and most likely would have if George didn't use his daughters as a bargaining chip with Marisol. Amari's sister was cheated out on living her life and some might even say she was the lucky one as she didn't have to go through all this shit. Amari would have most likely never left Riverview and her and Marcus would have lived a happy life together. Amari is not playing a victim she is a victim as well as Marcus is. Sadly life did not turn out the way it should have for them but him moving out before more hateful words are tossed by is the only chance they have. Hopefully the time away from each other will help them heal and think about things clearer.

    1. Marcus wasn't either. :( Amari is accepting fate and needs to move on. Staying in that house would be a constant reminder of all that could have been but wasn't. She doesn't want to live with all those ghosts staring at her everyday.

      Yeah...he cut deep with that comment and he knew it. He is angry and he knows it. Not talking is best because when they do have to talk, unless it's about the kids, he's lashing out at her. It's a very toxic situation right now. They both thought they could function together until after Finley graduated, but they see now they were wrong.

      Aww...yeah like she said, she's not trying to play the victim. She knows she messed up, she's sorry for what she's done and is trying to make it right anyway she can which means holding her tongue and letting Marcus go. Yes, had George made a different choice, she and Marcus probably would have stayed in Riverview and lived happily ever after. That is the life Marcus still wanted and is now facing the reality that it wasn't meant to be. :( Yes George greatly derailed her life, but when it came to Mulo, her bad choices were all her own and she accepts that. What's the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe time apart will make them realize what they have is worth fighting for.

      thanks for reading

  6. "The dance had begun." Yep. That is the best way to describe it. Just keeping up appearances. but for who? Finley? She is the only person in the house besides the quads, and they're too young to understand anything. Finley is a young adult and I think she would have been able to handle it. She would have found out anyway after she went off to college. It would be very obvious to her if they suddenly separated right after she left that she was the only reason they stayed together. Teenagers are stronger, smarter, and more resilient than we think

    1. Yep, they were doing it for Finley's sake. Marcus didn't want to disrupt her life too much so he was going to try and stay until after she left for college. She did find out, the tension was too thick to be ignored. She feels better now knowing that things won't change with her relationship with Marcus. :)

      It's tough time for the family, but living with parent that are at odds is no good for anyone.

      thanks for reading

  7. I feel for both of them here. I would like them to pull through because I think they could but the other half of me says its time to say goodbye. Even though I still believe they have feelings for each other.

    1. They are in a bad spot right now. :( They do still have feelings for each other, but so much has happened that's given them stumbling block after stumbling block. Time apart may renew that love and allow them to focus on what's really important in their life.

      thanks for reading. :)

  8. Again, I don't feel bad for Amari (Does that make me a bad person?) Poor Finley though..she's worried she'll lose Marcus too :(

    1. Nope, not a bad person. You (and others) see things as Marcus does. She's had every opportunity and at each turn it was Mulo she ran to. He's at his limit right now as are you readers. :) Yeah, it hurt to find out about Finley and her fears on losing another 'father'. Luckily Marcus and Amari assured her that wasn't going to happen.

      thanks for reading