Generation 3, Chapter 16

Gibson’s POV

_________________________________________

Screenshot-51
Screenshot-49

Sunday’s were the one day I had off of work from the bookstore, so I took the opportunity every Sunday morning to sleep in as long as I could. I looked up at the clock on the wall and it read a little past nine, taking a deep breath in and letting it out heavily as I continued to relax. Every occasional Sunday, however, the owner of the store needed me to come in to receive shipments or let in an electrician to work on broken or worn out lights, I just hoped today wasn’t one of those Sunday’s. 

Screenshot-11

Hannah and I had saved up just enough money to invest in my idea for her to open her own bakery and to put a down-payment on a vacant lot, and within a year the business had begun to finally pick up. There wasn’t a single other place within Lucky Palms that sold homemade sweets and baked goods, so she had no competition, everyone loved what she made. With her bakery running well, and with how much time I had put into working at the bookstore, we made enough money to pay for our wedding. Hannah and I were doing as well as we could, though I wish I could be home more often. I open the store around six in the morning and we don’t close until seven, so by the time I get home every day, all I want to do is eat and sleep. After a while of being good at my job, the owner was open to my idea of closing the store on Sunday’s so people like me who work thirteen hours a day, six days a week, could spend time with their family. But, we still weren’t close to being perfect.

Screenshot-12

I wish it was pure hard work and dedication that got us to where we are now, but it wasn’t, nor was it luck. It’s been a little over two years since the baby shower and with the hospital bills we had from having a baby, along with a few loans we had taken out to remodel the bakery, buy our new house and a new, safer car, we were up to our hips in debt. With how much we owed, it would be a long time before we could pay everything off and be able to get onto the positive side. This was usually the first thing that came to my mind every day when I woke up. In a way, it fueled me to keep working hard to make sure I could provide for my family, yet at the same time I regret the decisions we’d made in the past. As much as I wanted to marry Hannah, we should’ve spent that money we saved up on our bills to pay them off rather than spend what we had saved on the wedding.. It was all too much, too soon. I laid in my bed, eyes half open and I spaced out through the window, worrying about money on my day off. But, I tried not to think about it anymore, I had more on my mind than I’d care to admit, and today was not the type of day where I had the luxury to dwell on it by myself at work and away from my family.

Screenshot-14
Screenshot-56

I had dozed back off for another hour and I was woken up by the sound of a gentle, sweet voice by the door to my bedroom. I was able to hear Hannah through the silence of the morning, whispering, “Go to Daddy, go wake him up..” I couldn’t help but smile. Without turning over to face the door, I shut my eyes again and tried to straighten out my expression, pretending to be asleep as I heard a tiny pair of footsteps running around on the floor and I moved closer to the edge of the bed without being noticed.

Screenshot-17

I could hear them getting closer and I tried to not let my smile come back, hearing those tiny footsteps a little better now and the sound soon stopped at the side of my bed. I heard gentle pleas and noises coming from in front of me, then feeling tiny hands tapping against my arm and pulling at my hand, then fingers gripped the blanket and began to tug with minuscule force, trying to get my attention. 

Screenshot-18
Screenshot-21
Screenshot-60

I began to hear gentle whimpering and the tugs began to get a little harder, deciding that my pretending had reached it’s end and I leaned over the bed, smiling instantly when my sight met my son’s and he smiled excitedly back. His hands went from open palms to closed fists repetitively as a means to tell me to lift him up and I couldn’t deny his plea, reaching down quickly and holding him above me as he giggled.

Screenshot-23

I gently laid him down next to me on the bed, holding up his arms and I began doing soft raspberries on his stomach and he let out high pitched squeals of laughter while trying to break free from my grip by flailing his arms and legs. I could hear Hannah laughing softly by the door and I pulled away when I knew he had had enough, laughing softly as I looked down at him and I couldn’t describe the feeling I had whenever he looked back at me with eyes that gleamed a soft sapphire. I had been waiting so long to start a family, to have a child, and finally I could be proud enough so say that I had one.

Screenshot-26

Our son, Oliver Theodor Dubois, was born a little over two years ago and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than him. His eyes reminded me of my father and he had the same hair as Hannah; a deep, dark brown with lighter brown spread throughout randomly, but he looked a lot like me despite the color differences of his eyes and hair.

Screenshot-30
Screenshot-32 (2)

I looked towards the door where I saw Hannah approaching us, seeing her still in her nightgown and she crawled onto the bed with us with a smile on her face. I laid on my side with my hand around Oliver’s small torso, seeing his eyes going back and forth between Hannah and I. She laid down facing both of us and took Oliver’s hand within her own, bringing it to her lips and kissing the back of his hand a few times before looking to me then and keeping her smile, “Do you want any breakfast?” She asked.

“Yeah, tha’d be great,” I replied, keeping my smile as I looked to her, then back to our son lying between us.

“I’ll feed Oliver and make something, why don’t you shower and get ready for the party?” She suggested and I nodded in agreement. 

Screenshot-36
Screenshot-38
Screenshot-41

Hannah rose back up and off the bed, picking up Oliver into her arms and kissing his cheek, “Let’s get you changed and then we can go make food for Daddy,” she told Oliver, walking towards the door and he didn’t take his eyes off me as he looked over Hannah’s shoulder, I smiling back at him as Hannah left the room with Oliver and then shut the door behind her.

Screenshot-42

I let out a rush of air as I laid back down and took my time getting up to get ready, deciding to relax just a little bit longer. We hadn’t owned the house long, we moved in about a month ago and today we were finally moved in enough to throw a housewarming party and have my family come over to celebrate us finally getting settled in. Bennu and Bahiti were coming, along with Gareth and Nina and their daughter, my niece, Katalina. As much as I wished it was going to be a relaxing day at home so I could spend time with Oliver,  I hadn’t seen my family in a few months, it’ll be good to spend some time with them as well.

Screenshot-43
Screenshot-44
Screenshot-51

I finally worked up the strength to get out of bed and I went to the bathroom within our room, starting the shower and stepping in when it was hot enough. I showered for about fifteen minutes, then went to my room again and tried to pick out a casual outfit, something comfortable. I walked out of the room and down the hallway, coming into the large, open living area and I could see Hannah making food and Oliver was in his high chair, eating whatever Hannah had given him.

Screenshot-64
Screenshot-66
Screenshot-60 (2)

I walked up to Oliver and he smiled, reaching for me to lift him up and I did, tickling him gently on his side.

Did he eat everything?” Hannah wondered as she finished cooking, putting plates down on the counter with pancakes, eggs and bacon and I nodded.

“Yeah, just about,” I replied, kissing Oliver’s cheek before passing him off to Hannah.

Screenshot-63

“I’m going to put him in the playpen and then go change and get ready, will you watch him while you eat?” She asked.

“Yeah, I can do that,” I replied, watching her take him over to the play area and I took my seat at the counter, beginning to eat the meal in front of me. Although I couldn’t see Oliver from where I was, I was constantly keeping my ears open as I ate, listening to him playing and waiting for him to request to be let out like I knew he would soon. 

Screenshot-66 (2)
Screenshot-69
Screenshot-92

Thankfully, today he let me finish breakfast and even clean the dishes before he began seeking attention, wiping off my wet hands on a towel and walking over to the playpen he was in. His expression was desperate and you’d think we’d left him alone for hours by how torn up he was without someone to play with or be by, chuckling softly to myself when I lifted him up and he hugged me tightly as I brought him back over towards the living room. I turned the television on and placed him in my lap, putting on a kids show and he leaned back into me, the show able to grab his attention enough that I could just sit here and relax as I tried not to get too bored with the show. Even though I had woken up only an hour ago, I still felt tired and my head bobbed as my body threatened to fall asleep again, but I was woken up by Oliver every time with him yelling something out or him hitting my leg to get my attention, “Daddy, look, bunny! Bunny!”

“Yeah, Ollie, it’s a bunny,” I replied with a happy tone, giving him reinforcement that he did good at guessing the animal correctly.

Screenshot-74
Screenshot-76

Hannah eventually came back from getting ready and by that time, Oliver was already napping in my lap and I had turned on a different show as I laid my hand over him to keep him in place and not fall off the couch. I smiled towards her as she walked over to us and she sat next to me on the couch, looking down at Oliver and brushing her fingers over his cheek. “I’m going to the store to get food and stuff for the party, do you want me to take him or can you watch him?” She asked in a whisper, still looking down at Oliver.

“I’ll watch him.. We can nap together,” I replied back just as quietly.

“Oh, you’re still tired?” She wondered, looking up to me with concern.

Screenshot-76 (2)
Screenshot-81

“Just a little, I’ll be awake and ready before anyone even gets here though, don’t worry,” I answered, giving her a brief yet reassuring smirk.

“I’m glad you’re home, it’s going to be nice seeing you here for more than just a few hours,” she said with her own smile and I nodded in agreement.

“Believe me, so I am.. I always look forward to Sunday’s,” I reply, seeing her smile wider and she nods.

“Me too,” she said quietly, reaching up to touch my face and she pulled me into a soft kiss, then she leaned over to kiss Oliver’s forehead and stood up to leave, “I’ll be back soon,” she continued and I nodded, watching her walk to the door, grab her purse and leave. 

Screenshot-83
Screenshot-85

I looked down to Oliver, brushing his hair with my hand and I contemplated how to position myself so I could lie down and nap with him without waking him up. He was such a light sleeper that sometimes even the tiniest of sounds woke him up and I was surprised that he didn’t wake up while Hannah and I were just talking.. I lifted my hands, but stopped, then again, and stopped, trying to figure out the best way to go about this.. I wanted to sleep with him so I was good for the party and if I woke him up, he’d be up for the rest of the day, I only had one chance at this to relax a little more on my much needed day off and I needed to get it right the first time. I finally figured out my approach, sliding my left hand under his back and I pushed it up until his head was in my palm, pulling him up slowly and then sliding my right hand under his bottom, leaning over so he met my chest.

Screenshot-88
Screenshot-91

I pulled back slowly and turned slightly, laying down just as steadily until my back met the couch and my head touched the armrest, looking down towards Oliver and he was still asleep, though now laying on my chest instead of in my lap. I let out a relieved sigh, glad that I had pulled it off and that I could get about another hour of much needed sleep, and the one thing that made it better was I could enjoy it with my son.

Screenshot-103
Screenshot-104

I was woken up by the sound of Hannah making food in the kitchen, looking down to my chest and seeing Oliver wasn’t there anymore. I sat up quickly and looked behind me towards the kitchen, “Where’s Ollie?” I asked Hannah in a slight panic and she looked over her shoulder towards me.

“In his playpen,” she replied casually.

“Was he asleep when you got here? He wasn’t awake and running around when you got home was he? I’m sorry, I was supposed to watch him,” I answered, seeing her smile and she stepped away from the oven to fully face me.

“Relax, he was fine.. He woke up when I walked through the door with the groceries,” she replied and I let out a sigh of relief.

“Good.. When is everyone supposed to be here?” I asked next.

“About fifteen minutes?” She guessed and I was glad I had a little time to wake up some more before everyone got here. “I told everyone to bring their swimsuits, too, if anyone wanted to swim in the pool,” she continued and I nodded.

“Yeah, good idea.”

Screenshot-101
Screenshot-108
Screenshot-111

“Do you want any help in there?” I asked and she shook her head.

“No, it’s alright.. I’m almost done anyways, just relax a little longer,” she replied with a smile and I nodded, both of us hearing a timer go off and Hannah went to the oven to remove whatever she was cooking. I looked towards the playpen and saw Oliver, occupying himself with the sliding blocks and I smirked softly, turning my attention then to the television and watching the end of some random show while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Screenshot-112
Screenshot-115

At one o’clock on the nose, I looked towards the front door and could see Bennu and Bahiti walking up, seeing me through the glass door and they both smiled, letting themselves in and I walked over to greet them. “Hey, you found the place,” I began with a smile.

“Gibson, this house is crazy! It looks so nice from the outside,” Bahiti began, then taking a moment to look around, “The inside is really nice, too,” she added and I nodded in thanks.

“It’s great to see you, Gibson, you bought a very beautiful home,” Bennu said with a smile, coming up to me for a hug and I hugged her in return.

“Thank you, we fell in love with it the moment we saw it,” I replied, “Hannah’s in the kitchen making food, why don’t you help her, Bahiti?” I suggested and she smiled and nodded, walking passed me and towards the kitchen.

Screenshot-116
Screenshot-119

I watched as Bennu waited until Bahiti was far enough away before she looked back at me and I watched as she removed a small envelope from her purse and put it into my front left pant pocket before I could even look at it, already knowing then that it was a check and I tried to stop her, “Bennu, you don’t have to do that, really..” I tried to convince her, but she refused to hear my words, batting my hands away and continuing to put the envelope into my pocket, then pulling me in for another hug.

“Consider it a housewarming gift from your father and I,” she said softly as she held me and I sighed.

“Thank you..” I said quietly and she released me from the hug.

“You’re very welcome. Now.. Where’s my grandson?” Bennu asked excitedly and I chuckled, pointing over towards his playpen and she didn’t waste any more time with me, rushing over to him and giving him unconditional love the moment she picked him up.

Screenshot-120
Screenshot-123
Screenshot-122

I watched as Bennu brought Oliver into the kitchen with Hannah and Bahiti and I took that time to adjourn to my room for a quick minute. I shut the door behind me and took out the envelope from my pocket, sighing softly as I opened it and looked at the amount, my eyes widening when I read that she had given us five grand.

Jesus, Bennu..” I said quietly to myself, opening the top drawer to my dresser and putting it underneath a stack of my folded shirts. I stood there a moment, putting one of my hands into my pocket and the other rubbed the side of my head in annoyance, hating that Bennu could see right through me. ..Actually, did she even know we were in debt..? How could she? Maybe it was just the overabundance of generosity that surprised me, maybe it is just a gift.. Whatever the reason there was behind it, I didn’t care that much the more I thought about it.. This money is one more step closer to being out of debt, and I was thankful for it.

“Where the hell’s Gibson?” I heard the question coming from the living room, knowing my brother had finally gotten here and I rid myself of any remaining negative feelings before leaving my room. 

Screenshot-126
Screenshot-128

I walked out of my room and went towards the front of the house, seeing Gareth as I walked down the hallway and he looked towards me, seeing him smile and throw his arms up, “There you are, what the hell is all this? This place is huge,” he continued, pulling me into a quick hug.

“Glad you like it, watch the swearing, too, will you?” I asked and he chuckled.

“Your parental suggestions still fall on deaf ears, little bro,” he replied, patting me on the shoulder and I rolled my eyes.

Screenshot-130
Screenshot-135

I looked past Gareth and saw Nina holding Kat, smiling as I walked over to them, “Hey, Nina,” I said warmly and she smiled.

“Hi, Gibson.. You’re new place is really nice,” she complimented.

“Thanks,” I replied, looking to Katalina and my expression went excited, “There’s my beautiful niece,” I said happily and Nina gave her to me, tossing her in the air and she laughed. I pulled her into my arms and kissed her cheek, then looked to her with adoration, “Are you going to go swimming today in the pool?” I asked and she smiled.

“Yeah, yeah!” She replied excitedly and I chuckled.

Screenshot-137

“Hey, come on.. I want to talk to you still,” Gareth said, coming up to me and taking Kat from my arms and handing her back off to Nina, “Give us a minute,” Gareth said towards Nina and she nodded, walking away from us and towards the kitchen with everyone else. I didn’t like that he had taken her from me, I adored his daughter and her and Oliver got along extremely well already, I wanted just a few more minutes to talk to her, but I guess that was too much to ask from Gareth.

Screenshot-139
Screenshot-143

“You can’t give me one minute to talk to my niece?” I asked with little patience and he scoffed.

“There’s time for that later, got anywhere we can talk in this huge place?” He wondered somewhat mockingly and I sighed heavily, nodding and motioning with my head for him to follow me and I walked down the hallway with him so we could talk more privately in the study.

Screenshot-145

We got to the study and Gareth began instantly, “Hey, so, again, same question as before.. What the hell is all this?” He asked with a serious tone and I looked to him.

“What are you talking about exactly?” I asked in return.

“This place, Gibs, how the hell did you afford this house? Last time I talked to you, you and Hannah weren’t doing that well in the financial department.. Then the next thing I know, you buy a house..?” He questioned as if I was stupid, sitting on a couch within the room and I sat on the opposite one.

“We’re doing better now, don’t worry about it. It’s not any of your business anyways,” I replied shortly and he chuckled with attitude.

“So, when you weren’t doing well, you made it my business by venting to me about it and still not taking the fucking money I offered to you years ago, and now that you’re supposedly doing well, you’re an ass about it as if you don’t want to talk about it and you expect it not to be my business anymore?” He replied sarcastically and I looked to him, “You’re the one that let me in on what was going on.. Stop acting like you’re okay, I can see right through you better than anyone,” he continued to insist and I looked away from him.

Screenshot-147

“Gareth, I don’t mind talking about it, but it’s not that.. I just don’t want to do it now. I haven’t seen you all in a while, and this is the one day I get to stay home with my family, I’d like to spend it with them rather than dwelling on shit that bothers me every day regardless,” I replied and he sighed.

“Just.. I want to know why you won’t take the damn money. If you guys aren’t doing okay then I’d be happy to help out, you kno-”

“Well, I don’t need your help,” I cut him off and he gave me a stern expression, “I don’t need you taking care of my family for me, it’s why both Hannah and I have jobs,” I continued.

“I’m not trying to take care of you, I’m looking out for you. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes, you know?” He replied, “Why the hell haven’t you taken the money, too, if you’re in such deep shit? You seem to have no problem taking money that Bennu gives you,” he continued and I looked to him in surprise.

Screenshot-150

I furrowed my brow, “First of all, I never said we were in deep shit, and second, Bennu didn’t give us any money,” I lied, though I was mostly just trying to avoid answering his question and I heard him chuckle sarcastically to my response.

“Bullshit.. You threw a housewarming party, what the fuck do parents and other people give you for moving in? Money,” he replied, answering his own question for me.

“They give you new things like a microwave or, I don’t know, a goddamn toaster..”

And sometimes money, which if I know Bennu well enough, which I do, that’s exactly what she gave you.. So, how much did she give you? I could probably double it if you want..?” He asked and I kept my stern expression.

Screenshot-151

“Now that, is none of your business, and I don’t want your money,” I replied.

“See? I knew she did..”

“Fine, she did, now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to spend time with my son by the pool on my one day that I have off from work,” I reply, beginning to walk away from the couch.

“Gibs, come on, don’t be like that.. Just talk to me,” Gareth said as he watched me walk away, but I continued out of the study and left him there.

Screenshot-156

I began walking down the hallway and saw Bennu and Bahiti approaching me, having Oliver and Katalina in their arms and they stopped me, “Where’s the bathroom in this place? We wanna change into our bathing suits,” Bahiti wondered and I looked behind me.

“First door on your right, Oliver’s room is the second door if you want to go in there and find his suit in his dresser,” I replied and they nodded in return, walking passed me and following my directions.

Screenshot-158
Screenshot-163

I continued towards the living room where I saw Hannah walking out of the kitchen, “Where are you off to?” I asked.

“Changing into my bathing suit, too, I haven’t swam with Ollie in a while and I’d like to on a nice day like this, you should swim with us, too,” she replied with a smile.

“Do me a favor and wear something not that revealing,” I requested and she gave me a bored expression.

“Gibson, don’t start this again.. I only have one bathing suit, anyways.. What else am I going to wear..?” She tried to contest but I stopped her.

Screenshot-167

I don’t know.. But you know how my brother can be, I just don’t want him to have any more reason to gawk at you.. He does it enough already right in front of my face,” I continued.

“Doesn’t matter what she wears, bro, she looks good wearing anything,” Gareth answered before Hannah, hitting my back playfully yet it was harder than it needed to be, watching him walk passed us but he looked back at me and gave me a serious glare behind Hannah, in whom which didn’t mind the compliment, getting into my head and I grew a little angry as he walked towards the kitchen and out the back towards the pool.

Screenshot-171
Screenshot-176

“See? He knows it pisses me off, yet he still does it,” I continue with an angered tone and Hannah looked to me with a blank expression.

“I don’t care about how he looks at me, I care about spending time with my son and the ones I love.. Stop worrying about things that don’t matter and come out back by the pool with the rest of us,” she replied, not giving me a chance to say anything else as she walked past me and towards our bedroom. I wanted to follow her, I wanted to say so much more, but it would only result in an argument and I didn’t want to fight when everyone just arrived, taking a deep breath and walking towards the back of the house to go outside.

Screenshot-178
Screenshot-181
Screenshot-184

I walked out to the back and saw Gareth sitting under the shade in a lounge chair, sighing softly to myself when realizing those were the only seats we had put out here and I wanted to sit, but not by him. I guess it wasn’t that bad, though I didn’t know what to say to him when I got there, and I wasn’t going to apologize for what I had said and he overheard. He knew it was the truth, and he didn’t give a shit. He never did, or would. But, I knew that it still bothered me and it was hard to talk to him when I was angry. I suppose I didn’t have any other choice though, and there was no use at trying to avoid him when at my own house. I finally continued walking around the pool and towards the lounge area and I could feel his eyes on me as I passed him, choosing to sit on the chair next to his and complete silence fell over both of us, my gaze falling to the water.

Screenshot-188
Screenshot-185

I didn’t like this silence, and knowing the girls, they’ll take a little longer with changing since they had Oliver and Kat to change as well, guessing that either Nina or Hannah would be the first to come out. I tried to think about other things, trying to keep my mind occupied through this grueling silence, but it was harder than I thought when I knew he was looking at me. “So.. How are you and Nina doing?” I wondered, though I knew it was a pointless question to ask.

“..Fine.. Whatever,” he replied blandly, hearing him letting out a heavy sigh. After his reply, I grew even more discouraged at where this conversation was going, now hoping that someone, anyone, would come outside soon so I had someone else to watch or talk to.

“What about Kat?” I asked next.

“What, do you need new glasses? You saw her.. She’s fine, too,” he continued his blandness.

“I’m sorry,” I began sarcastically, “I barely got the time to ask her anything before she was ripped from my hands..”

“Oookay, bro,” he replied with annoyance and I sighed softly.

Screenshot-191

I decided not to say anything after that, it was clear he didn’t want to talk just as much as I didn’t, so I decided not to waste any more words on him in trying to fake both of our underlining vexation. This was already turning out to be not such a great day and somehow I had the feeling it was only going to get worse.. I couldn’t quite decipher why, but I always had this off feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me worry, once a bad day starts, it doesn’t stop for me. Had my family not come over, Hannah wouldn’t be making me worried about what she’s going to wear in front of Gareth, I wouldn’t be a little angry with her at how much she doesn’t care that I don’t want her to flaunt herself like she sometimes tends to do in the presence of company, and I wouldn’t be mad at Gareth for disrespecting me by constantly eye-fucking my wife. I’d just be at home, without any of them but Hannah and Oliver, and soon I remembered why I hated family parties. However, Bennu and Bahiti were the only exceptions, so I suppose Gareth is the only factor that I didn’t care much for.

Screenshot-202
Screenshot-192
Screenshot-195

Everyone had eventually came outside, Bennu getting into the water right away with Oliver and I was glad that I had other people to occupy my mind with rather than sitting in the awkwardly annoying silence I had with my brother. Oliver seemed to be having a lot of fun with Bennu, which made me a lot happier, then I looked over by Nina and Bahiti, seeing them talking by the edge of the pool and Kat was crawling around behind them. Hannah walked past Gareth and I and I noticed she didn’t look towards me, sitting on the far seat and beginning to put sunblock on her arms and legs. I sighed as I faced the pool again and continued to watch Bennu and Oliver, though I saw out of my peripherals Gareth sitting up and stretching, then laying forward over his legs.

Screenshot-202 (2)
Screenshot-197
Screenshot-204

I knew it, I knew he was staring at Hannah and of course he didn’t care that he was doing it right in front of me. Around the time when he had first met her, I noticed he tended to look at her occasionally, but it’s been more and more obvious over the years and I still hated it every time it happened. “Do you mind?” I said quietly, though with anger.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he replied casually.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about,” I answered, still anger in my undertone and he chuckled.

“Stop freaking out, I’m looking at Kat,” he spat back, though it made me angrier knowing he was lying.

Screenshot-219
Screenshot-221
Screenshot-226

When Hannah was done putting sunblock on, I looked to her as she rose from her seat and walked towards the poolside closer to where Oliver and Bennu were swimming, looking at her body as she stood there, yet I wished that I was the only one admiring it. Gareth sat up and I knew he was still looking at her, still angering me since he hasn’t taken his eyes off of her the moment she came outside. I wished she hadn’t worn that suit, even if it was her only one.. What surprised me slightly though was she didn’t so much as flaunt herself, but more so acted as if we weren’t even there and she acted normal, noticing that she wasn’t blatantly seeking the attention made me feel a little better, but I still wasn’t comfortable with this whole situation when I knew Gareth was watching her more than I was watching him, and I was watching him like a hawk.

Screenshot-213
Screenshot-215
Screenshot-218

I tried to shake off my worries as I watched her sit on the edge of the pool and I looked to Bennu who was helping Oliver swim towards Hannah. “Mommy!” Oliver called out as he paddled his hands and feet, trying to swim to her with the help of Bennu and I smirked softly, beginning to relax a little as I watched my family playing together.

“Come on, Ollie, come to Momma! Swim, swim!” Hannah encouraged and my slight smirk grew into a smile as he tried harder for her to get to her quicker. Although I was still a little angry and a little on the agitated side, seeing Oliver smile was something that warmed my heart to the point where nothing else could reach.

Screenshot-207
Screenshot-230

I looked down at the ground when I noticed Katalina crawling towards Gareth and I, “What the hell are you doing? You know how to walk, you’re going to scrape up your knees if you crawl too long on this stuff.. Get up and come over here,” he scolded her lightly.

“B-But.. Turtle!” She replied in contest, though she stood to her feet like he had told her to and went to him.

“I know, you’re pretending to be a turtle, but don’t do it on this.. You do that shit in the grass or on carpet,” he replied to her, picking her up off the ground and placing her on his right knee. I was a little surprised.. Though I hated how he used curse words around the toddlers, his logic and teachings weren’t wrong and I didn’t disagree with him on how he scolded her, yet I just wish he worded it differently or else she’s going to have the same foul mouth that he does when she grows up, and that’s no way for my beautiful little niece to be taught how to speak at such a young age..

“Didn’t I ask to cut back on the swearing?” I said softly and he scoffed angrily at me.

“Didn’t you also tell me to mind my own fucking business? Now mind your own.. Oliver can’t even hear me from over here, anyways,” he replied sternly and I didn’t reply, sighing softly as I continued to mind my business, though it was hard to with him right next to me.

Screenshot-239
Screenshot-237
Screenshot-244

I looked over to them out of the corner of my eye and I could hear Gareth whispering to Kat, “See Mommy over there?” He questioned and she nodded, “Remember what I taught you at the beach the other day?” He questioned and she nodded again with an accompanied giggle that she couldn’t contain, “Go on, I’ll watch you.. Make Daddy proud,” he continued and I was curious as to what he was up to, nothing good, I’m sure.. Gareth placed Kat back onto the ground and we both watched patiently as she walked passed Hannah towards Nina and Bahiti. 

Screenshot-245
Screenshot-247
Screenshot-241

When Kat reached Nina, I wasn’t expecting her to put all of her tiny toddler strength against Nina’s leg and we watched as Kat pushed Nina and she lost her footing, Nina letting out a gentle cry before falling into the pool and Gareth busted out laughing. My expression went surprised and I wanted to laugh, though the fact that I didn’t approve of what he told her to do kept me from doing so. “Gareth, that’s an awful thing to teach her,” I said in a disapproving tone and he ignored me, continuing to laugh and Kat looked back at him, smiling when she saw her father’s joy out of what she had just done.

“Good job, baby girl!” He called out to her, continuing to laugh and she laughed with him. 

Nina soon popped up from under the water and she didn’t look too happy, “Gareth! I know you taught her that!” She said angrily, but he still continued to laugh.

“What?! You’re wearing a bathing suit, what’s the big deal?” He replied through his laughter and she didn’t merit him with a response, climbing out of the pool with a sour look on her face. I was sure that she wasn’t mad at the fact that she had gotten wet, but by how Gareth was pretty much teaching Kat how to be a bully and his asshole personality was already rubbing off on her.. She was only two, what was she going to be like when she was seven? Thirteen? Our age? I worried a little for her, but it wasn’t my place to be her parent or to tell Gareth how to raise his child. I’d like to think that he’ll find out the hard way down the roads a ways when she hits puberty and he won’t be able to stand her because she’s just like him.

Screenshot-258
Screenshot-271
Screenshot-268

Eventually, Oliver and Hannah were able to convince me to come swimming with them, going inside to change into my bathing suit and Gareth came inside to change as well when Katalina had convinced him to come and swim, too. We all spent a lot of time in the sun and in the water, enjoying one another’s company as the family day that I was beginning to hate was starting to get a little better now to my surprise. Hannah didn’t seem too irritated with me anymore and she let me hold her as she played with Oliver and I made faces behind her to make him laugh. 

Screenshot-278
Screenshot-280
Screenshot-276

After the sun began to sink behind the large, desert orange mountains, one by one we vacated the pool to relax and dry off until Hannah and I were the only ones left swimming. I held her close to me and I could feel the slight guilt I felt from earlier coming back, “I’m sorry for before.. It’s just that you know how I get around him when he’s around you. I don’t like it,” I said softly so only she could hear my words.

“I know.. But you just have to try and not let it bother you.. We can’t invite everyone but Gareth, that would look terrible to everyone else. They’d all think there’s something going on between you two, or worse, the three of us, when there isn’t..” She replied and I soon nodded in agreement.

“You’re right, it’s just.. Very hard to ignore,” I replied and she sighed softly as she looked to me.

“Look, I can’t control what he looks at and I can’t change how I look, and even if I could, I wouldn’t, because it’s what got you to notice me,” she replied sweetly and I smiled.

“Well.. I guess I can understand that. ..You do look super hot in this bathing suit, too, I don’t know what was wrong with me when I told you not to wear it,” I answered and she giggled softly.

“If no one else was here, I wouldn’t be wearing it,” she hinted flirtatiously and I let out an intriguing ‘mmm’ with a soft chuckle following it, pulling her into a long kiss before soon helping her out of the pool and joining the rest of my family in the lounge area to dry off before heading back inside.

Screenshot-283
Screenshot-284

After everyone was dried off and ready to come back inside, we all changed back into our regular clothes and sat in the living room together, deciding that a movie was a good idea for everyone. I sat by Hannah with Oliver in her lap, Bennu on the other side of the couch and Bahiti and Katalina were on the love seat together. I could hear Nina and Gareth talking in the kitchen behind us, though I couldn’t make out any of the words they were saying while the movie was playing.

Screenshot-288
Screenshot-289

Gareth soon came into the room and Bennu grabbed his attention, requesting him to sit by her since she hadn’t spent as much time with him as she had with Hannah, Oliver and I, though I wasn’t pleased when he didn’t contest and he happily sat down between Hannah and Bennu. Nina then came into the room as well and went to Kat, taking her from Bahiti and announcing that she was heading home because she was tired and wanted Kat to get to bed on time. Everyone said goodbye to her and Kat and they left, though I was curious as to why Gareth was staying. Maybe he wanted to spend a little more time here with all of us and would get a ride home with Bennu and Bahiti, but him wanting to spend time with his family seemed a little too genuine for Gareth’s taste. I wanted to know what he was really up to and why he was staying.

Screenshot-294

About half way through the movie, my cell phone began to ring and my heart dropped, seeing Hannah look to me instantly and I sighed, getting up from the couch and walking away from the living room as I pulled out my phone to see that the owner of the bookstore was calling me, “Shit..” I said under my breath angrily, answering the phone as I walked towards my bedroom for privacy. “Hello?”

Screenshot-300

“Gibson, good.. Am I interrupting anything? I hope not.. Listen, I need you to come in for an hour or so, there’s a shipment of books coming in that I specifically ordered for a buyer who’s picking them up tomorrow morning when you open the store. This guy is holding them for me but he can only deliver them tonight and I need those books and that buyer to be happy. Do you think you could go to the store and get the books from him?” He asked and I sighed heavily.. As much as I appreciated the man letting me have Sunday’s off, there hasn’t been many Sunday’s where I didn’t go into work for at least an hour because of some bullshit he wanted me to do because he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it himself.

“Why can’t you, sir?”

Screenshot-296 (2)

“I’m out of town at the moment and I won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon.. I need you to get those books tonight, hold them, then sell them to the buyer first thing in the morning.. I need this sale, Gibson, I’ll give you overtime for however long you’re there waiting for him. Can you do it?” He asked, his tone sounding somewhat pleading. I wanted to say no, I truly did, but when I had heard him offer me overtime, it was hard to resist when we needed the money.. “Gibson?” He asked and I sighed heavily once more.

“..Yeah, I’ll come in..” I replied with a defeated attitude, already knowing that Hannah was going to be furious.

“Great! Thank you. You’ve saved my ass a few times now, I owe you. I know you’ll do everything right, Mr. Perfectionist, that’s why I can always count on you. Thanks again!” He replied, hanging up before I could answer him and I put my phone away in my pocket.

Screenshot-301

I turned to face the door and leave the room so I could tell Hannah I was leaving, but I stopped when I noticed her already in the room and she slowly shut the door, “Going somewhere?” She asked, though I know she already knew the answer.

“Hannah, I need to go to the store, it’s only for a short time, maybe an hour or so,” I tried to reason with her before this blew up into an argument, which is what I wanted to avoid at all costs, but who knew with us.. She and I were so opinionated that sometimes we tend to say mean things just to take jabs at one another the more we didn’t understand each other’s logic behind the reasons. 

Screenshot-302
Screenshot-306

“An hour or so? Why do you even need to go at all? I swear, sometimes I feel like that damn bookstore is more important to you than we are,” she replied angrily and those words hit me hard.

“Do you even hear yourself? I work my ass off so we can have money to pay for debt that we got ourselves into, forgive me for wanting to take care of my family,” I said sarcastically and I knew it only made her more angry, but I continued, “He’s giving me overtime, and you know we need to money. I do this only for you and Oliver, nothing else. Not my own pleasure and not to get away from you guys.. Do you really think that I like being there? I admit that I used to love working there, I used to go there even when I didn’t have work, but when I met you, and especially after we had Oliver, I’ve hated this job from those moments on. There isn’t a day that passes that I hate myself for working so much that I barely see you two, but I do it for you two,” I tried to make her see my reasoning behind it, but she still seemed incredibly angry.

Screenshot-313

I stepped closer to her and she avoided looking at me, watching her turn around to leave the room but I grabbed her arm and kept her from leaving, “Hannah, please don’t be mad at me for this.. I’ll make it up to you,” I tried to compromise, but she pulled her arm out of my grip.

“When? When are you going to have time to do that? You know, this doesn’t only upset me, it upsets Oliver, too. You and I aren’t the only ones who look forward to Sunday’s.. He gets excited all during the week that whenever Sunday comes, Daddy’s going to be home to play with him, and he’ll even be home to put him to bed and wish him goodnight.. He’s not a baby anymore, Gibson, he remembers things a lot better now and things stick with him. Do you want his first memory of you to be one where you’re never there?” She asked, her voice cracking a little and I knew she was getting more upset to the point where she wanted to cry, though her strong demeanor kicked in and she refused to do so in front of me.

Screenshot-316

“Hannah, you know I don’t want that, but-”

But you’re going anyways..” She answered for me and I didn’t have anything else to say. She was right, I was still going to go, I needed to, I just wish she was willing to see my point of view before sweeping me under the rug, “Well, don’t be late for work,” she added sadly, turning around and leaving the room before I could say anything else or stop her. Even though I knew I was doing the right thing by going so I could make more money, I couldn’t help but wonder if I actually was doing the right thing by leaving them. I was hardly ever home, she was right, but for as much time I got to spend with Oliver today, I didn’t think anything of him wanting me to put him to bed or telling him goodnight. Was he really going to remember me as the Dad that was never there? Or would he eventually realize I wasn’t there physically, but in all other aspects, I was? If I quit my job to be home more often, we wouldn’t make enough money only on Hannah’s income and we’d go bankrupt in no time, but that option was completely out of the question.. Honestly, I’d rather keep my job, our house, her business and my family and never see them than live on the streets, struggling even more to get by and but seeing them all the time. I couldn’t do that to myself, I’d feel like a failure. I had too much pride to admit defeat, and I was even more determined now to go and do my job so we could keep everything and eventually pay off the debt that had now become the reason for most of our arguments. In the underlining of it all, that’s what it came down to every time.

_______________________________________

Hannah’s POV

_______________________________________

Screenshot-324 (3)

I walked out of the bedroom after arguing with Gibson, anger and angst consuming me as I walked towards the living room. I didn’t know what to do when I got there, my face cried ‘help me’ but I had to get rid of that demeanor before I walked in there and faced his family. I couldn’t let Oliver see me, and I knew that the moment he’d look at me, I’d start crying and wouldn’t know what to do. I couldn’t go back in the living room and act like everything was okay either, because whenever Gibson came out of the room and was going to leave, I’d cry then, too, and I’d be in the same situation. At this point, it’s safe to say that if anyone looks at me, I won’t be able to hold it back anymore. I tried to focus, keeping my eyes straight forward and taking a deep breath, trying to calm myself down before I entered the living room with Gibson’s family.

Screenshot-318
Screenshot-324

I held my breath as I walked through the living room, trying to keep my eyes off of everyone. It worked for the most part, but when I noticed a head turn towards me out of my peripherals, I subconsciously looked up and Gareth was looking at me, his expression going from bored to slightly concerned when he noticed sadness in my eyes. I turned my head away and continued towards the kitchen, reaching the counters against the wall and I put my hands down on top of them, taking a few deep breaths as I felt my eyes begin to water. 

Screenshot-320
Screenshot-322

I heard the movie end while I stood there after a few long minutes, hearing the television being turned off as well, “Hannah, sweety, are you alright?” I heard Bennu ask from the sofa and I cleared my throat quietly, trying my best to calm down and I hoped that my voice wouldn’t crack when I answered her.

“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks,” I replied, and although my voice didn’t crack, how I said it came off as the exact opposite of what I was hoping for.

Screenshot-320 (2)
Screenshot-324 (2)

After a few more minutes of standing there, I finally had stopped crying, but the moment I heard Gibson coming out of the bedroom and into the living room, my tears began again and I walked over to the opening of the kitchen to the sun room. “Hey.. Sorry, but I have to go to work for about an hour.. You guys are welcome to stay if you want, I’ll be back soon, but if you leave, thanks for coming and I hope we can do this again really soon,” Gibson said to the room and I tried to wipe my cheek to get rid of a few falling tears as I then listened to everyone say goodbye to him. I could feel his eyes on me, standing there in my own aura of silence as it seemed to take so long for him to leave, but in reality was only a few seconds. The moment I heard his footsteps again and the sound the front door being opened and closed filled my ears, I realized I wasn’t okay enough to even face his family and I began to panic a little, knowing I’d be unable to say goodbye to them all while I was crying and I most definitely didn’t want to discuss what happened between Gibson and I like I knew Bennu and Bahiti would ask..

Screenshot-327
Screenshot-336

I walked out the back towards the pool, I needed to get some air and the nights here in Lucky Palms had become my favorite ever since I moved here. I often came out here on a nightly bases, but of course Gibson would be sound asleep when it’s only about nine at night, tired from working all day. I admired him for working so hard, but it isn’t fair that I barely ever see him, and neither does Oliver, which worries me more. I understand that he’s working hard to pay off the debt that we’d managed to fall into, but I’d rather work to pay off this debt for fifty years slowly than be working to pay it off in only a few like Gibson insists on doing. “The sooner it’s gone, the better,” he sometimes says and as much as I agree with it, I still have my doubts since it’s done nothing but keep us apart. My bakery wasn’t open that long during the day, only because I can’t be away from Oliver as long as Gibson can and I’m a better babysitter than anyone we interviewed to watch Oliver, so I take him with me to work. I open around eleven and I close it around three or five, depending how busy I am on any certain day and depending on if Oliver is in the mood to stay or go home. I made sacrifices to earn less money to spend more time with my family, so why couldn’t he?

I soon heard the back door open behind me and I looked over my shoulder when I heard Oliver, “Mommaaaa,” he whined with a tired tone.

Screenshot-339
Screenshot-345

I was a little surprised when I saw Gareth holding Oliver, “Hey.. Uhm, I got rid of Bennu and Bahiti for you, they said they had fun today.. I figured I’d stay and wait for Gibson to get back, if you’re okay with it?” He said quietly and I nodded softly, reaching for Oliver and Gareth handed him to me. “I could put him to bed if you want, give you some alone time out here if you need it.. Or, whatever you need,” he suggested with the same concern he had showed me when I had first walked into the living room earlier. I kissed Oliver’s cheek for a few long seconds then looked to Gareth, nodding softly.

“Sure, thanks..” I replied with a small smirk, looking to Oliver then, “Your Uncle Gareth is gunna put you to bed, okay? I love you, Ollie,” I said warmly, kissing his cheek once more.

“Love you,” he replied with a tired, soft voice, handing him back to Gareth and I watched as Oliver’s eyelids grew heavy and he rested his head on Gareth’s shoulder as they went back inside.

Screenshot-346
Screenshot-332
Screenshot-335

I walked around to the other side of the pool, heading under the lounge area and taking a seat on one of the chairs, removing my high heels and setting them aside. I began rubbing my feet, working out any kinks I may have and trying to relax a little more now that I had some time to myself. I didn’t want to think about Gibson anymore, because no matter how hard I tried to make him see that this job isn’t worth being away from his family and barely spending time with his child, he still insisted that the money was more important.. Almost as if we’d hate him or think less of him if he took a few more hours off of work a week and made less money. I sighed softly, standing up and walking to the edge of the water, sitting down slowly and slipping my warm feet from the hot ground into the cool, still water of the pool. This helped me relax a lot more and I was able to soon find a slight sense of peace, my mind empty now and all I did was sit there in the silence of the night, wondering when all of this would be over and we could go back to living our lives like a normal, stable and healthy family.

Screenshot-347

After about ten minutes to myself outside, I saw Gareth walking back through the house, walking to the back where I was and he came outside, seeing him searching for something and I had guessed it was me by how his searching came to end when he looked towards me, “Do you want any company..?” He asked from across the pool, thinking to myself for a moment.. Although I didn’t think I’d be very entertaining because of how I felt about what happened tonight, I didn’t want to turn him down when all I wanted to be was not alone like I always was every day of the week. I thought today would be different, but even though Gibson said he’d be back in an hour, I knew his boss would give him something else to do, and I couldn’t even guess when he would actually be home..

“Sure, why not..” I replied casually, watching as he then came around the pool like I had and he walked behind me towards the lounge area.

Screenshot-353
Screenshot-351
Screenshot-356

I leaned back and looked behind me, seeing Gareth sitting on the same chair that I had, “Do you want to talk about it?” He asked softly and I shrugged.

“There’s not much to talk about, you know how he can be when it comes to work,” I replied, seeing Gareth nod with remorse.

“You’re right about that.. It sucks that he chooses to be away from you guys so much, it must get lonely around here a lot,” he continued and I watched as he began untying his shoes and taking them off, along with his socks as well and he tossed everything aside.

“Yeah, it really does.. I just care about what this is all doing to Oliver, or will do to him if Gibson continues working such ridiculous hours.. I feel like Oliver barely even knows him,” I replied, watching as Gareth then rolled up his pants to just under his knees and he rose from the chair, walking up to the edge of the pool and sitting down next to me. 

Screenshot-359

“How are you dealing with all of this?” He wondered, dipping his feet in the pool with me and I looked to the water.

“I’m dealing with it as best as I can.. With an absent husband and a child I feel like I’m raising alone, there isn’t much else I’ve been thinking about lately..” I replied with a sense of longing. I didn’t want to appear weak or sad in front of Gareth, or act like I need any sort of saving from the situation I was in, though it was nice to talk about it with someone other than Gibson.. I enjoyed not arguing about all of this for once with someone who was willing to listen.

“I’m sorry.. For how much he used to talk about having a family, I’d never expect him to be so absent all the time when he finally has one..” He answered again with remorse, yet there was an underlining layer of disappointment in his tone.

“It’s okay.. It’s not your fault this is happening. He’s just.. A very driven person and it’s hard to make him see the downside to what he believes is an upside. He looks at extra work as a blessing or something, but he doesn’t see what it’s doing to Oliver.. Or me for that matter,” I retorted, my words trailing off a little as I reached the end of my response.

Screenshot-363

“Well.. If it counts for anything, I like spending time with you..” Gareth replied, smirking softly to myself at his attempt to cheer me up and he continued, “I don’t know why he’s so okay with just leaving you home alone all the time.. It’s like he doesn’t even care how it makes you feel, just so long as he gets to work on time,” Gareth said with more disappointment and I began to get a little irritated, hearing him pretty much taking the words out of my mouth and I sighed heavily.

“How did you do it all those years living with him? I mean, you guys are twins.. You’ve been together since birth up until a couple years ago, how did you used to talk to him when he was fighting with you?” I wondered, trying to figure out if there was something else that drove him to feel this way and I needed Gareth to help me understand him better. I knew him as well as a wife should, but people act differently around certain other people.. I only assumed Gareth still knew him better than I ever would, and I was curious to know if he had always been this stubborn and constantly seeking approval or to feel accomplished by his own choice in actions, regardless of my opinion against or for his logic..

“He’s always been a straight A student and adamant about doing good at any job he got, he was always looking to be the best.. And I never won any fight against him. Ever. Even if I got the last word in on an argument about the fight, it never ended until he was ready for it to.. He’s really hard to persuade, and he’s even worse at seeing the reasons behind why someone is angry with him if he thinks they’re wrong,” he replied. I sighed softly to myself, looking up at the stars as I thought about Gareth’s words. I knew his words to be true, yet I suppose I just wish they weren’t.. Now hearing it from someone else besides thinking it myself, I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold out like this, knowing now that my words were going completely unheard by Gibson and he was more so doing this for himself, if anything.. 

Screenshot-367

“You know..” He began softly, looking down from the stars and I watched as he kicked his feet slowly through the water, “He told me about your guys’ money problems..”

“He did?” I asked with surprise, watching Gareth nod and I grew angrier with Gibson that he had told his brother the trouble that we were in. I was hoping to keep it between the two of us..

“Yeah.. I’ve been trying to help you guys out for years actually, but you know Gibson.. Too damn prideful to borrow or even take a generous gift like that, no matter how many different ways I phrase it for him.. My line of work makes me a shit ton of money, and it’s only about one job every couple of months.. If you really need help, I’m happy to do it, I figure it’s better to talk to you about this than Gibson since he’s refused to let me help him every time I’ve offered,” Gareth continued and I was in slight shock. Never once had Gibson mentioned Gareth offering him money to help us out and I was a little angry that he never even thought to talk to me about it. I admit, I didn’t feel good about borrowing money, let alone taking some without feeling I need to pay it back, but that’s what we were doing when we took out those loans, so why was Gareth’s generous offer of giving us the money to pay off those loans turned down? 

“I.. Don’t think I ever knew what you did for a living.. What is it?” I wondered and he gave me a smooth grin.

“If I told you I’d have to kill ya,” he replied with a chuckle and I laughed softly at his joke.

Screenshot-365

“I.. I don’t really know what to say.. I want to thank you for how kind that offer is, but I don’t know if I can accept it either.. Not without talking to him first,” I replied.

“He didn’t talk to you about my offer ever,” he answered, making a good point and I grew slightly conflicted..

“If I took it and used it towards the debt, he’d definitely notice and want to know where the money was coming from..” I replied, wanting to take his generous offer that Gibson had apparently been turning down for years, but it still didn’t feel right..

“What if whenever you bring in money from the bakery, you can take a small chunk of the money I give you and just add it in, maybe a few hundred at a time or whatever? I’m sure he wouldn’t notice if you just tell him you’ve been getting more business..?” He suggested, and to me, it didn’t seem like that bad of an idea anymore.

“But, well.. How would you get the money to me? Gibson would get suspicious if you came over when he wasn’t home,” I replied.

“I’ll come visit you at the bakery.. I’m home all the time, it’ll give me a reason to get out of the house and see my nephew more, too, instead of just sitting on my ass all day,” he answered with a chuckle and I smiled, “Plus, seeing you more is a whole other reason in itself for me to want to drop by,” he answered with a charming grin and I could feel my cheeks getting warm. I was glad it was late at night so he couldn’t see me blushing. 

Screenshot-369
Screenshot-372

I moved my hand across my waist and turned my gaze away from him, smiling softly and I heard him let out a soft laugh, “What? Don’t act like me saying that is at all a surprise to you,” he teased slightly and I could see him lean closer from the corner of my eye.

I laughed softly as well, “It’s just surprising to hear it out loud. Usually you just tip-toe around it, but that was pretty blunt of you,” I replied with a slightly impressed tone.

Shit, you must be used to it by now.. Despite how much you try to fight it, I always have a way of making you smile, don’t I?” He questioned and I laughed softly once more.

“And why do you even try?” I asked, curious as to why he bothered trying in the first place and also why he’s kept up his infatuation with me for this long already.

“Is that a serious question..?” He implied, his tone turning serious and my smile began to fade slightly.

Screenshot-377

I turned my attention towards Gareth when he leaned closer and slid over towards me more, his knee touching mine and I could feel my heart beating hastily. I was frozen in place as he looked at me, seeing his gaze fall to my lips and back up to my eyes, “If I were to guess, money isn’t the only issue you two are having behind closed doors,” he said quietly, “I can fix everything for you, if you’d let me..” I was ashamed to admit it, but by how I dropped my gaze from his, it was a clear sign that he was right. Despite the everyday kisses Gibson and I shared, our life in the bedroom had dwindled since Oliver was born and on top of him not fulfilling our son’s needs as a father, he hasn’t been fulfilling my needs as a husband nearly as much as I wanted him to either. In only two years, I was baffled when I realized just how far apart we’ve grown from one another in such a short amount of time.. 

Screenshot-379

“Look at me,” he requested softly, hesitating a moment before slowly turning my head and my eyes met his. I then watched as Gareth leaned towards me more, slowly closing the gap between us, but he stopped when our noses touched, “I came ninety percent of the way, are you gunna come the last ten?” He questioned lustfully and my heart raced even faster. Without bothering myself with the ‘what if’s’ or ‘why not’s’, I leaned in slowly and shut my eyes, meeting his lips with my own and we finally kissed for the first time. Our ongoing, pent-up sexual tension for one another had finally come to an end. 

Screenshot-383

Was something like this meant to happen? Were we meant to go down this road? I believed in fate and destiny, and I was convinced that Gibson was and is who I was meant to find, though now, seeing what he’s become, I felt like I might’ve made a mistake on jumping into all of this with him. Was I thinking straight when I made all of those decisions to be so serious with him? I was grateful that I had met him and got Oliver out of it, I’d be a complete wreck without my little boy, but the price I was paying now for the decision I made to stay with Gibson was getting harder and harder on me each day. If we had never had Oliver, would I have stayed with him after we moved in together? Did things only work because we felt obligated to make it work for Oliver?

Screenshot-387
Screenshot-386

It didn’t take long for us to realize that a simple kiss just wasn’t enough, feeling him leaning into me more and I followed his lead, letting him lay me down on the ground. I reached behind his head and my fingers ran through his long blonde hair, pulling him into me more and the kiss only got better as we both relaxed and soon our tongues came in to play, the kiss then growing rougher with lust. I haven’t been kissed this good in a long time and the sheer amount of love I felt coming from him compelled me to hope this would never stop. I missed this feeling, the feeling of being needed, wanted, sought after, fought for.. It made me feel like myself again, yet, something was eating at me in the back of my mind, the feeling of guilt beginning to crack the surface and I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into until it was too late, something I’ve been doing a lot in the past few years.

Screenshot-390
Screenshot-396
Screenshot-399

I felt Gareth’s hand that was behind my back begin to move slowly down my side, feeling him sliding it back up over my stomach and he soon slid it high enough to grip my right breast in his hand, messaging it gently and it was then that I snapped back into reality. I took my hand out of his hair and it met his shoulder, pushing at him suddenly and Gareth pulled away from me quickly and held his hand up and away from me, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.. Got a little ahead of myself,” he spoke first, responding the best he could by the reaction I had given him and he put his hand on my hip instead, leaning down to continue to kiss me, but I kept my hand on his shoulder and kept him from continuing.

“No..” I said in a whisper, “No, I can’t do this.. We shouldn’t be-”

“What? Shouldn’t be acting on how we feel about each other?” He cut me off, trying to save whatever he had thought he had ruined, but it was me that ruined everything. Oh my God.. What the hell was wrong with me? 

“Yes, exactly that,” I agreed strongly with his rhetorical question, pushing him gently off of me more and I sat up.

Screenshot-403
Screenshot-408

Gareth kept his hand on my hip and he made it difficult for me to stand up, “Wait, wait, wait..” He tried to stop me, but I couldn’t be out here anymore, I needed to get away from him before anything else happened between us that I knew I’d regret later, not wanting to add adultery to my long list of fuck-up’s.

“No, Gareth.. I-I can’t, this is wrong.. So, so wrong..” I replied, trying to stand once more but his hand remained on my hip and he slid closer than I thought he could.

“You do realize I’ve been waiting for that ever since I first met you, and I know you have, too, right? Who’s to say it wasn’t supposed to happen like this?” He questioned.

“My marriage license, the ring I wear, the bed I share, the child I have, you’re child, your girlfriend.. Pick one!?” I answered his question frantically, grabbing his wrist and pushing his hand off of my hip and removing my feet from the pool quickly, standing up by myself yet Gareth followed right after me.

Screenshot-411
Screenshot-415

“Wait Hannah! Just calm down for a second..” He said as he stood, stopping myself from walking away and I turned to face him. 

“I’m married, Gareth! To your brother no less! This was all just a bi-”

“Don’t call it a mistake.” He cut me off, his tone serious and I could tell he was already hurt by the words he didn’t let me say.

“..I-I’m sorry, Gareth.. But that cannot happen again..” I said firmly.

“Hannah..”

“I’m sorry..” I said in a whisper.

Screenshot-422

I turned around and left my shoes behind, along with a man that seemed to good to be true and I began walking away from him quickly, “Hannah, wait! ..Please..” He tried to stop me, but I tried to ignore him as I continued walking around the pool to go back inside. I wanted to forget tonight, I wanted to black it out and act like it never happened, but it was too late for that now. All I could think about was him when I knew it to be wrong. I should be with my son, I should be with my husband, but instead I was with someone that I realized I cared for almost just as much as them and I grew so confused and distraught. I brought my hand up to my mouth and tried to hide the pain I felt behind my now quiet sobbing from not only walking away, but also knowing I did the one thing that I had tried so hard to avoid. Why did I let it happen in the first place? What was going to become of Gareth and I now? ..Of Gibson and I? So far every decision I’ve made in the past two years has always made me wonder if I was doing the right thing, but what was the case for this situation..? I couldn’t help but wonder now if I had made a mistake by choosing Gibson, or if the mistake was choosing Gareth over him when it was too late to go back now.


 

heir poll

Downloaded: Gibson and Hannah’s House

Toddler Stats:

Oliver “Ollie” Theodor Dubois

Traits:

  • Insane
  • Light Sleeper

Favorites:

  • Color: Spiceberry
  • Music: Beach Party
  • Food: Sushi

Sign: Aquarius

Katalina “Kat” Rose Dubois

Traits:

  • Artistic
  • Grumpy

Favorites:

  • Color: Grey
  • Music: Indie
  • Food: Fish and Chips

Sign: Capricorn

Generation 3, Chapter 15

    Gareth’s POV     

Screenshot-71

These passed six months have been awful without Gibson living with me.. Nina was almost to her due date and Hannah was roughly six and a half months pregnant and I hadn’t seen Gibson in about two months.. He probably wasn’t too busy for me, but I hated not seeing him. Nina was literally driving me insane and I couldn’t take this. Ever since Gibson moved out, Nina has been pressuring me to let her live with me since there was so much room now but I couldn’t take living with her, let alone even being around her when she was like this.

Nina has been so goddamn emotional, needy, and temperamental that she was even more impossible to handle now than she was before. I.. I hated to admit it, but I was a little lost without Gibson.. I was lost without his guidence and lately I’ve been having that nagging urge again to feel warm blood on the very tips of my fingers, yet somehow.. Somehow I’ve still stayed strong and haven’t touched anyone in a violent manner since Katherine on the beach..

Screenshot-69
Screenshot-73

I’ve been sitting at the bar at the venue for about an hour now that Bennu had rented for Nina and Hannah to have their baby showers.. Bennu went a little nuts and bought both Nina and Hannah so many gifts that the entire gift table was mostly her doing, but some of the presents were from friends of both the ladies. I knew that Hannah wasn’t here long enough in the Palms to meet new people to have a lot of friends, most of them being friends of Nina’s, but at the same time, most of Nina’s friends were girls I’ve slept with, so I hid my face at the bar ever since I got here to avoid confrontation of any sort. I noticed Hannah and Nina conversing by the opening to the ‘man cave’, the area for men to go to so we could avoid all the mushy bullshit of pinks and blues.. Bennu talked to me for a few seconds to let me know that Gibson was coming later, and that he was still working. Bennu wasn’t too happy about that.. I felt bad that he had to work the afternoon shift during his baby shower with Hannah, yet ever since I showed him the money I made from my occasional jobs, he’s been avoiding asking me for any of it and he’s been working more, even more than when he used to when he lived with me. 

Screenshot-75

I felt like he was avoiding me, but I didn’t want to believe it. I’ve called him a few times, even to come over and have a few beers with me, but he’s been so involved in his shitty ass job at the bookstore that he hated and wanted to quit that he could never come over, and if I were to put a tally on it, I’ve seen him about ten times throughout Hannah’s whole pregnancy. I was on my fourth beer already since I got here and it hadn’t even been that long since I had arrived, but I needed something to distract me from all of this pregnancy shit. If Gibson thought it was hard for me to be around Nina when she was less than two months pregnant, he hasn’t seen me yet when she was close to her due date.. 

Screenshot-90

“I should’ve known you’d be hiding in here,” a voice rang softly and I looked towards the entrance, seeing Hannah approaching me and I couldn’t help but smirk.

“Who said anything about hiding? I’m just.. Patiently waiting for another guy to show up before I feel like blowing my brains out around all you hormonal women,” I replied, still holding my smirk and I looked in front of me instead of at her.

“Ouch, have you been rehearsing that for whenever I’d come in? I don’t think that would go over well with anyone else that’s attending,” she answered and I chuckled.

“Nope, I’ve just got a quick sense of humor. But, in no way am I implying that I’m at all quick with, other things,” I hinted with a wink her way and she shook her head lightly.

Screenshot-88

“Still hitting on me, huh? After all this time?”

“What else is there to do around here? I only take the opportunities that people give me, babe,” I imply and she chuckles.

“I have something you could do, how about you feel your brother’s baby kicking? You know, the one I’m carrying right now?” She replied with attitude to put me in my place and I scoffed with a grin. Hannah and I have continued to be flirty around one another, though it was almost an unspoken agreement not to get involved with one another, especially after we all found out she was pregnant. Although I still wanted her just as much now as I did when I had first met her, there’s no way I’d try anything with a baby in her. The very thought of pregnancy for me was ruined thanks to Nina, and although I didn’t like looking at pregnant women, Hannah was the only one I could tolerate, just as long as I didn’t look any lower than her tits. Things were kind of awkward between Hannah and I ever since the night I met her, but she’s been slowly getting used to me more and more and I actually do think that she likes me now and is able to put up with my sometimes vulgar humor. Even if she isn’t in the mood for my advances, it’s still fun to do and I’ve noticed that my words can sometimes make her smile if she’s feeling down, though I think that if anyone made it as obvious as I was that I wanted to sleep with her, they’d be flattered and flustered as well.

Screenshot-92

“You won’t be able to use that belly of yours as an excuse for me to not hit on you much longer. Once it’s born and you get that perfect body of yours back, I’ll be coming onto you harder than ever,” I hint once more and look towards her, seeing her shaking her head disapprovingly once again, yet she still held that intrigued smirk of hers that I seemed to love so much. “I’m not making you too hot, am I? Do you want some water? A bed that we can lie on for a little while?” I continued and she rolled her eyes as I laughed.

“You’re unbelievable, Gareth..”

“Unbelievably handsome..? Funny? Irresistible?” I egged on, turning towards her and giving her a flirtatious grin. 

“All the opposite, actually,” she replied with a grin of her own and I chuckled.

“Now we both know that that isn’t true.. There you go lying again, acting as if you don’t enjoy a single second of this.. Yet here you are, still standing in my, how you would say, unbelievable presence,” I continued and she rolled her eyes yet again, though didn’t deny my words.

Screenshot-90 (2)
Screenshot-93

“Hannah?” A voice we recognized said by the entrance of the bar area and we both looked, seeing Gibson smiling at her as he walked in.

“You’re finally here!” She said excitedly, going to Gibson and I watched them hug for a few long moments, then their embrace turned into a long kiss and I averted my eyes briefly. I wasn’t mad that the first person he greeted was her, though I was surprised with how long it took him to notice me sitting at the bar, especially after not seeing him for two months. He didn’t even glance towards me after he had pulled away from their kiss and then began paying attention to Hannah’s growing belly, sighing softly to myself. I’d never be one to be so excited about a baby, whether it was mine or anyone else’s. It was surprising to me to see just how genuinely happy Gibson looked when he paid any sort of attention to Hannah and their unborn, even if they weren’t talking, just being in the same room with her I could see his enjoyment. 

I tried to avoid looking at them and chugged the rest of my remaining beer, then ordered another as they continued to talk, but I tried to ignore their conversation as well. I didn’t much like not being acknowledged, I even started to feel a bit ignored, but before I started resenting him a little, I felt a hard pat on my shoulder.

Screenshot-99
Screenshot-110

Hey, it’s been a while, bro,” Gibson said and I looked to him, seeing him smiling as he took the seat next to me. 

“Sure has..” I reply, chuckling lightly then when I noticed a subtle change about him, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you with facial hair.. You look.. Weird,” I said with a laugh and he joined me.

“Shut up.. It’s not weird, you’re just not used to it..” He replied, attempting to defend himself as he rubbed his own chin.

I took a sip of my beer and the bartender came over to us, talking to Gibson, “Hostess said that Father’s to be drink free, so what’ll you have?”

“It’s the one good perk about this whole fucking thing,” I added and the bartender tried to refrain from laughing.

Gibson gave me a disapproving expression and looked back to the bartender, “I’ll just have whatever he is,” he answered and the bartender nodded, grabbing him a beer and placing it down in front of him.

“So what’s been keeping you so busy? Can’t take an hour out of your hectic life to come visit me for two months?” I teased.

“Sorry, but you’re right.. Things have been a little hectic. Hannah and I are trying to buy a house.. I got promoted to Manager, too, so now I run the place. I’ve been working a lot more hours ever since I got that job, too. Plus, with Hannah being pregnant, it’s hard for her to get around and do normal things sometimes, so when I’m not at work I try to help her out in the daycare with the kids she watches, that’s pretty exhausting, as well..”

Screenshot-106

“Well, I guess it’s good practice for when your own is born, huh?” I reply and he nods with a smirk.

“Yeah, great practice.. Those kids are pretty much an example of everything I’m not going to do with mine. They’re monsters sometimes.. If my kid ever yells at me because he isn’t getting his way like this one kid does at the daycare, there will be zero tolerance from me.. I can’t stand when kids screams just to scream.. I don’t get it,” he replied with a chuckle and I laugh.

“So, what were you and Hannah talking about?” He wondered next, taking a sip of his beer.

“When?” I asked, confused.

“Just now, before I got here,” he replied and I nodded.

“Oh, uhm.. Nothing really, I’ve just been in here since I arrived about two hours ago and she felt like I needed company I guess,” I replied with a shrug.

“Isn’t that what Nina is for?” He replied with a sly grin and I chuckled. 

“Hey, Hannah came to me, okay? And besides.. Nina’s mad at me. I told her I didn’t want to come to this and I’d just be doing the same thing at home as I am here, but nooooo, I had to come, even though I’m doing exactly that.. Well, and.. I might’ve slept with a few of her friends that are here..”

Screenshot-112 (2)
Screenshot-118

Gibson looked to me, his expression surprised as mine remained unwavered, “..Does Nina know?” He asked and I smirked.

“Hell no. I actually don’t even know why they’re here if not for me,” I replied.

“Try to keep things civilized, please..” He requested with a stern tone and I chuckled, “You don’t think that they’d cause a scene or anything, do you?” He wondered and I shrugged, unsure of how to answer him.

“Uhh.. Well, one of them is like Nina but less clingy.. The other, uhm.. She holds grudges sometimes, she didn’t like being broken up with. But don’t worry, I can deal with her if she tries anything. Nothing’s going to get ruined if that’s what you’re worried about,” I answered and he gave me an uneasy expression.

“Are you sure, Gareth? I really don’t want anything to ruin this for Hannah or Nina,” he replied and I sighed softly.

“Look, don’t even worry about it. It’s not like she’d say anything in front of the whole damn party. She’d wait until I was alone and she’d come to me at a reasonable time, I just won’t give her that chance,” I reassured him and he soon nodded, seeing some of the worry begin to leave his eyes.

Screenshot-11

“Boys, come out here!” Both Gibson and I looked towards the entrance and saw Bennu, smiling and motioning with her hand for us to come to her then placing her hands on her hips, “The girls are opening their gifts now,” she exclaimed and I sighed heavily, watching her leave and I looked back to Gibson who had a smirk on his face.

“This stuff really does make you happy, huh?” I asked and he chuckled lightly.

Screenshot-5

“I don’t expect you to understand because you don’t want any of this. But, I do. I guess I’m just really excited to be a Dad.. Only two and a half more months and I will be,” he replied with a wider smile and I simply shrugged, unable to understand his very apparent excitement.

We should go out there, be there for them.. Even if you don’t want to do any of this or be part of bringing life into the world, you should still try and show Nina some support. She needs it from you the most and I know you haven’t supported her once through this whole thing. She must feel really alone in all of this,” he said with a somewhat remorseful tone, though I knew he still didn’t care as much as he was trying to portray.

“Whatever, she has her friends..” I answered, taking another sip of my beer.

“The friends that betrayed her and slept with you?” He points out with slight attitude and a grin as I frowned, “Hey, I’m just trying to talk at least a little bit of sense into you to help you see this more of a good thing than a bad one. You know, this isn’t all her fault, if you think of it like it is.. You didn’t protect yourself, this is just as much on you as it is her.. If you truly didn’t want it, you would’ve been more careful,” he continued, finishing his beer and I finished mine as well. Gibson was right, though I despised admitting it to myself.. I still didn’t want the kid, but I was foolish to think for a second that I did everything I could to prevent Nina getting pregnant.. “Come on, let’s go people watch at least, will that make you feel better? We haven’t done that in a while,” he suggested as he rose to his feet and I smirked, looking up to him and I nodded, joining him in the other room with the rest of the party.

Screenshot-12
Screenshot-14
Screenshot-16

Gibson and I took our seats, furthest away from everyone so we could still talk amongst ourselves without disturbing anyone else. I tried to space out a little as we waited for them to begin, though seeing all of the baby stuff on the table and surrounding the two ladies, it was hard to focus on anything else when all of that shit was staring back at me. It was almost like a slap in the face of the realization that I wasn’t lucky enough for all of this to be just a simple, stupid dream. It was real, we both were having babies, and the very thought of it made me cringe.

I looked over to Gibson and he held a slight smirk as he looked up at Hannah and she held a smile of her own as she looked back at him, wondering to myself if that’s what love looked like. I only assumed it was because I had only seen that look one other time in my life and that was from my Dad and Bennu. My eyes then went to Nina who was already looking at me, though she wasn’t smiling, nor was she showing any sort of excitement, but I figured I was the reason why. I didn’t know how to make it better for her, I wasn’t in the mood at all to try and make her feel more at ease by complimenting her or even giving her some kind of smile, afraid I would give her a false sense of hope as if I loved her, so she continued to hold her submissive yet blank expression. ..It was going to be a long day, and all I wanted was for it to be over.

Screenshot-22
Screenshot-23

After all of the gifts were opened and my boredom had reached an all time high, I decided to excuse myself from the party for a few minutes and have a cigarette outside. I was in desperate need of one anyways. I wasn’t sure if the day would ever come to where I’d be okay about having a kid, but I suppose I should start keeping more of an open mind about it. There was no avoiding it now. I know that Nina wanted to keep it from the very beginning, but I never quite understood why..? Did she just want to have something of mine, going as far as to get pregnant, to keep me around? Was this her way of thinking, resorting to having a baby with me so I’d stick by her side no matter what happened? Our lives were never going to be the same again, and I can still wholeheartedly blame her for it. The first night we finally had sex, I was done with her the moment I came, but for her it was entirely different, as if us having sex was a bond that she would never let be broken and she almost came off as if this baby was a good way to change me and to make me realize I love her or something equally ridiculous.. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how girls think or even why they tend to act certain ways.. All I know is that I’m in too deep of shit to get myself out now.

Screenshot-27
Screenshot-28 (2)
Screenshot-28

I was on my third cigarette now, chain smoking seemed to be the only thing keeping me from losing my mind here. I sat on the railing of the deck in back of the venue and continued to sulk by myself, no one had even bothered to join me out here either, not even Gibson. Every time I looked inside, all I saw was everyone talking and laughing, obviously having a much better time than I was. Gibson would follow Hannah around like a good dog, Nina would talk to Bennu and her own friends, Bahiti mingled with everyone, and all I did was sit here. Alone. My insides tingled a little and I couldn’t quite hone in on what I was feeling at the moment, but I sure as hell wasn’t feeling myself. When I still lived with Gibson, I knew that if and whenever I decided to come home, he’d be there waiting for me. He was always someone that I knew would be around that I could talk to, even if we did argue a lot, arguing was better than sitting at the house with no one for the passed six months. He had someone else to care for now, and he was going to be a father, just like me, but how was he able to pay attention to just one girl for the rest of his life? Hannah was special, I suppose.. Different. Hell, even I’ve never met anyone like her before, either.. I could see why he likes her so much. Maybe that’s why she was so hard to shake from your thoughts, her personality was hard to forget just as much as her looks were. I sighed heavily when I found myself thinking of Hannah again, but that seemed to be what always happened when she was around me. I wasn’t jealous, was I? 

Screenshot-31

I hopped down from the railing and tossed the rest of my smoke over the edge, leaning over the wood and unsure of what to do with myself now. I continued to think of Hannah, the only woman I wanted more than a hundred year old bottle of whiskey, and even the satisfaction I got from smelling the iron in blood on my hands wouldn’t suffice my need to feel her at least once before I die, whenever that may be. I didn’t understand why I would constantly think about her when nothing else could occupy my mind. Maybe it was the way she carried herself or how she walked, maybe it was the way she laughed at my jokes and the fact that I didn’t repulse her with some of the more vulgar ones. Or, maybe it was the way she flirted with me.. I did most of the work and she would always come off as if she didn’t like it, constantly dismissing my advances or rolling her pretty blue-green eyes, but the smile that she couldn’t wipe off her face during it all told me that she enjoyed everything I had to say to her. I understand that she doesn’t flirt back as obvious as I do when Gibson could show up at any moment, but just once I’d like to get another chance to be alone with her like the chance I had when we first met. I wondered what she would do if we were ever alone again; would she still turn me down? Now that we’ve become friends over the passed months, I could see a night with her alone ending with more positive results than last time.

Screenshot-33
Screenshot-35
Screenshot-38

“Gareth?” A quiet voice I recognized instantly came from behind me and I stood up slowly, turning around to see Nina standing there, acting apprehensive as she looked to me.

“I thought you were too mad at me to talk,” I replied, seeing her look to the deck floor momentarily and soon back up to me.

“I-I guess not anymore.. I’m sorry you don’t want to be here, but I wanted to thank you for coming anyways. It means a lot to me,” she admitted with a shy tone and I sighed lightly. I realize I’ve been an asshole, and for the most part of it, I didn’t care that I was acting this way, but my selfishness and need to not be alone the rest of my life began to change my view a little. As much as she was a nuisance, I realized that with Gibson gone and the rest of my family unable to provide what I needed, it made me feel pathetic that I still wanted Nina despite what I thought of her or how I acted around her. She was all I had left now I guess, and I knew that I could always use her to fall back on should I ever need anything. She and my baby will always be there.

“Come here,” I requested, seeing her smirk a little and she walked over to me.

Screenshot-42

Nina stepped up to the railing and I pulled her in front of me, wrapping my arms around her slowly and Nina let out a quiet moan as well as a relaxed sigh when my hands went over her growing stomach, “I think this is the first time you’ve actually felt it,” Nina said quietly. She was right, this was the first time that I willingly touched her baby bump, but I more so intended just to touch her in general rather than show that I was admiring the baby growing. I felt the immense need for human contact after getting the chance to stew in my mind out here alone, and since I couldn’t do this with Hannah or anyone else right now, Nina was my best choice. “What are you thinking about?” She asked, my lips pecking her neck a few times and her head relaxed back onto my shoulder.

“Nothing..” I replied, thinking of Gibson’s words earlier from one of his life lessons he would give to me whenever we saw one another. He always had something to say that made me believe he still worried for me, and I was wondering if I should take his advice on this one in order to confirm to myself that I’d never wind up alone, “I’m sorry if I’ve been hard to deal with during all of this.. It still hasn’t fully sunk in yet..”

“It’s alright.. I’m not really ready for this, either.. I’m just trying to stay positive. I want to believe everything will work out the way it needs to,” she replied and I kissed her neck once more before turning her around to face me.

Screenshot-48
Screenshot-53

I pulled her closer to me and smirked, “What if we turned Gibson’s old room into our room, and my room in the basement can be for the baby?” I suggested and I watched as her face lit up with excitement.

“Wha- Yes.. Yes, that would be amazing, Gareth! A-Are you.. You are asking me to move in with you, right?” She wondered, wanting to confirm exactly what I was implying and I thought for a quick moment, trying to figure out for myself what the hell I had just said, but I guess I knew what I wanted to the point where I’d blurt out such nonsense.

“Yeah.. I suppose I am,” I replied and she smiled wide, throwing her arms around me and pulling me into an abrupt kiss to express her excitement, nearly knocking me down when her stomach had hit me before her lips did. I guess I took more advice and guidance from Gibson than I realized, taking my life into my own hands like he had and I was already beginning to regret my decision, but like I’ve thought before, there was no going back now, might as well see where this road takes me.

Generation 3, Chapter 4

     Gibson’s POV     

Screenshot-6

I enjoy getting exercise almost as much as I love being at the bookstore, it allows me to get away from the house. I didn’t bring my glasses with me, instead I wore a pair of Gareth’s many shades he had lying around throughout the house. I didn’t need my glasses to see normally as much as I need them when I read; I was more farsighted. Running around town gave me a sense of peace, as much as I loved reading biographies, it was just as interesting to watch people live out their lives in person and I often made my own hypothetical stories of their lives within my mind as I ran. I’d see a mother pushing her toddler in a stroller, seeing her eyes exhausted and it was obvious she hadn’t had much sleep. I imagined she had the toddler and at least three older children at home, seeing her walking around the park doing just as I was; getting away from it all. 

Screenshot-10
Screenshot-16

Sometimes, there would be no one out, a day like today. Bennu’s birthday. It was odd barely seeing anyone around town, especially around early evening like it was now. Usually things would be more lively the later it got into the day.. Maybe the fact that it was a Sunday kept people from leaving their homes and choosing to relax on a day that normally no one had work. Sunday is a day for calm minds and rejuvenation, a time to collect yourself and restore tranquility to any hectic, unstable life. The view of the mountains every which way I would turn provided something to look at, I always felt so nostalgic staring at them as I ran along the sidewalks of the inner part of the small town. Nature was something I thought people took for granted, and even surrounded by such beautiful structures, I doubted that people looked at them in such awe as I did every time I saw them.

Screenshot-20
Screenshot-34
Screenshot-36

I jogged for about an hour around town, getting home around 3:00 pm with enough time to continue a little more exercise before I needed to get ready to go to Bennu’s with Gareth. I went inside and walked towards the living room, breathing heavily through my nose as I tried to catch my breath after my run and I came in seeing Gareth upon the floor. I let out a quick, loud chuckle when I noticed him, he looked dead as he laid there. “You okay?” I questioned, not seeing him move at all and continue to look exhausted.

“Hung…Over..” He struggled to reply.

I lost my smile from my chuckle and gave him a serious expression, “Wait, you still drank after I told you to get some sleep last night? What the hell, Gareth? It’s Bennu’s birthday.. She can see this kind of stuff from a mile away. Why couldn’t you have just not drank last night so you wouldn’t have to go there in this condition?” I questioned with slight agitation.

“Whatever.. I came up to find you and collapsed on the couch instead.. I think I fell off about twenty minutes ago and I just.. I can’t get up..” He replied, his voice still weary and struggling to answer me.

“You’re hopeless,” I said with a long eye roll, continuing into the living room to finish off my exercise.

Screenshot-36 (2)
Screenshot-37

I proceeded to the center of the living area with the most room and stood straight up, falling down with a stiff body and my hands caught the ground at the precise time, catching myself and I began doing vigorous push-ups while counting the seconds in my head. One, two, three, four.. Every second I counted, I did a push-up and my breath began to grow heavy, eventually forcing myself to speak the numbers out loud with each push-up I performed, “Thirty five, thirty six, thirty seven..” I continued, hearing Gareth let out a heavy sigh as I kept counting.

“How in the hell can you be so alive right now..? Uuuuggghhh..” He asked with a strained voice, as if complaining that he himself was doing the effort that I was.

I continued counting each push-up in my head as I replied, “You’re hungover,” forty two, forty three, “Exercise is good for you when you’re this way, too. Have you been drinking plenty of water?” Fifty, fifty one, fifty two..

“Yeah, of course I have.. I’ve been drinking fuckin’ water like crazy since.. Since.. Like..” He replied, though still didn’t answer me, “I.. I don’t know..”

Sixty four, sixty five, sixty six, “Well, get up and get in the shower. It’ll wake you up and we’re supposed to go soon, anyways,” Sixty nine, seventy…

“Uugghhhhokaaayyy…” He answered with a groggy tone, hearing him let out numerous more groans before he actually got up.

Screenshot-40
Screenshot-42

“I’ll be quick..” He hesitated a moment, “You’re psycho for doing that shit, too.. Pace yourself, bro.. Take a load off once in a while, it might help that huge stick in your ass you’ve had lately,” Gareth added with a snicker when he stood up, teasing me and I hear him bump into the half-wall of the kitchen as he made his way towards the bathroom and I smirked amusingly to myself at his inability to walk straight. My arms began to burn as I reached into the 80’s count of my push-ups, but I didn’t stop. I always forced myself to 100 every time I did push-ups after my cardiac runs and I felt so much more accomplished when I reached the final triple digit. The feeling my arms would produce at the end of these sessions was a wonderful burn and I loved the slight pain it gave me, but it only made me feel like I had more energy and I felt so much more alive compared to the the ending result of my jogs. After my push-ups, I went into the kitchen and vigorously cleaned the dishes that were within the sink and I wiped down the cabinets and the counter tops as I waited for Gareth to be done with his shower so I could take one myself.

Screenshot-44

After Gareth showered, I did so after him and got ready to go to Bennu’s, reminding Gareth that he should look rather presentable for the occasion. He gave me an irritated expression when I had told him what to wear, but he reluctantly agreed and he had gone to his room to put something on that was more appropriate. After my shower, I went up to my room and changed into a casual suit. Blue colors were my ‘go-to’ when attending something a little less than the extreme formal, otherwise black would be my first choice when wanting to utterly impress the company I was expecting. I took pride in looking specifically good for every occasion that was presented to me.

Screenshot-46

I grabbed the present I had gotten for Bennu and put it into one of my pockets, going downstairs then and seeing Gareth meet up with me in the living room. “Feeling any better?” I asked.

“Not really.. The shower just woke me up, my head’s still killing me though,” he replied, shrugging sheepishly. I continued to stare at him, my eyes looking at his attire and a smirk ran over my lips, “What the hell are you smiling at?” Gareth wondered with a defensive tone.

It’s always so weird to see you dressed up, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it,” I said with a chuckle.

“Good, I don’t want you to get used to it, and don’t want to get used to it either.. Let’s just go so we can get this over with,” Gareth replied and I shook my head softly, walking out of our home first as Gareth followed behind.

Screenshot-48

“It’s not all that bad, aren’t you even a little excited to see them? It’s been months since you’ve been over there for a visit,” I said.

“Ehh, I dunno.. I guess it’s going to be nice to see them, I just can’t stand being there for more than an hour. Bahiti barely ever says a word, I don’t like how she’s changed from being our cute, shy little sister to this mute, depressing girl. It’s annoying, to be honest,” Gareth replied and I sighed softly.

“She just didn’t take the news of Dad’s actions well, he was always there for her, and us, but if you think about it, Bahiti is Dad’s baby girl since Lucy isn’t actually his. Fathers are always more protective and caring to their daughters, at least that’s what I took from the experience. Now with him not around, I can see how she feels a little lost,” I retorted, trying to give Gareth a more understandable conclusion, yet he brushed it off and I looked to him as he spoke.

“Lost? Whatever, man.. She’s 23 and she still lives at home, she just needs to get the hell over it already, being sad about it isn’t going to change anything,” Gareth replied shortly and I didn’t answer him, listening to our steps upon the wooden dock from our dress-shoes as we walked to the car. Gareth’s reasoning made sense to say the least, there is no point of still being sad for Dad when he only did it to himself, but I can also understand not forcing one’s self to forget things when it isn’t time to fully let go yet. Bahiti just happens to be taking longer to get over it than the rest of us, but now that I think of it, Lucy’s desertion proves that she’s in even worse condition than Bahiti is. I wasn’t about to bring her up to Gareth, however.. Lucy was a touchy subject for us.

Screenshot-61
Screenshot-59

Bennu and Bahiti’s house was a bit lavish for my taste, though there was a certain elegance about it that I admired. Architectural wise, I didn’t much care for the design at all, but Bennu had great taste when it came to decorating; the kitchen and downstairs living room were probably my two favorite rooms. The house was a little large for them as well, with four bedrooms and 4 baths, I didn’t understand why they didn’t relocate to a smaller home after Gareth and I moved out. We started out here when we first moved here after Dad’s transfer,  but Gareth and I left a few months into getting here and got a place of our own. I don’t know why Bennu doesn’t move. Maybe it was because these richer neighborhoods were closer to the general hospital and also the mental hospital where Dad was at.. Yeah, that was probably it.

Screenshot-63
Screenshot-69

When we got to the door, Gareth knocked loudly but no one answered, watching him check the door and it was open, so we both walked in. Bennu came out from the dining area into the large hallway, smiling when I saw her and she still looked amazing for being 45 years old. “I’m so sorry, boys.. I’m slow but I’m glad you let yourselves in,” she began and Gareth chuckled.

“You shouldn’t leave the door unlocked,” Gareth began, “What if some psychos walked through the door, huh?” He asked with a serious tone, though his expression was welcoming and humorous. 

Bennu came up to me first and hugged me, “Happy birthday, Bennu,” I cooed sweetly as I hugged her.

“Thank you, Gibson, you both look so handsome,” she replied, releasing me from the hug and going to Gareth, hugging him as well and he wished her a Happy Birthday as I had done. 

“Where’s Bahiti at?” Gareth wondered.

“Oh, she’s in the living room watching television with her friend, Julie, go on in and make yourself comfortable, boys, please,” she gestured in a warm, welcoming manner and I watched as Gareth left to go see Bahiti. Knowing Gareth, there was no doubt he was also wanting to see what Bahiti’s friend looked like.

Screenshot-65
Screenshot-71

Before Bennu could walk with Gareth to the other room, I caught her attention, “Bennu, hey..” I began, watching her turn back around and she smiled at me, “How are you today? Has your birthday been nice?” I asked, making small talk with her for the moment.

“Oh, yes.. Bahiti made me breakfast in bed, it was so wonderful,” she replied and I smiled, hearing the joy in her tone, yet there was still a little something she was holding back and I knew already that she was missing my Dad, wishing he could be here with all of us.

“That’s great.. Are you ready for Bahiti and I to make you dinner?” I asked.

“Yes, I really am! Thank you again for doing that, Gibson, it really means a lot,” she replied, giving me another warm smile and I thought of something to make her day even better.

Screenshot-73

“Turn around, I have something for you,” I continued, seeing her expression go surprised and then a calm happiness as she turned around and followed my request. 

“You didn’t need to get me anything, Gibson, your boys’ company is all I need, sweetheart,” she tried to contest before I even got her present out from my pocket. Bennu was so lovely, I adored her and I felt she deserved anything and everything good that came to her. I removed the necklace I had bought her and I put it around her neck delicately, holding up the two ends that connected in the back and trying to secure it. 

Bennu pulled at her hair a little to make it easier for me to secure and I smiled as I clasped the necklace for her; I knew this was a present I had agreed to share with Gareth, but I had planned on giving it to her without him anyways. “Please, I love treating you, especially on your birthday. You deserve it,” I replied, clasping the necklace and fixing the back of her hair so it laid over her nape comfortably.

Screenshot-76
Screenshot-75

I watched as she looked up after I had secured it and her eyes widened when she looked to the necklace I put on her, her lips curling up slowly into a large smile and she let out a giddy laugh from her excitement. I adored hearing and knowing she was happy without her using any words, I wanted to give her something special for her birthday and I wasn’t about to share it with Gareth when he never puts forth the effort at all. “Gibson.. It’s beautiful! Thank you so much, sweetheart,” she finally expressed her gratitude when she could find the words through her excitement. I smiled warmly and placed my hands on her arms, looking at her in the mirror in front of her as she continued to admire it.

“I wish Dad could see you with this on, he’d stumble all over the place from how beautiful you look,” I added and I watched her expression show immense appreciation, her fingertips tracing over the beetle and the large white jewel of a body it had.

“Gibson.. I can’t thank you enough, I love it,” she replied, looking at me in the mirror and we shared a warm smile together. She turned around and gave me the warmest hug I’ve ever felt from her, both of us then walking towards the dining area to join Gareth, Bahiti and her friend in the living room. I loved that Gareth wasn’t a part of this gift even though I told him otherwise, I deserved this recognition and I loved that my gift and my gift alone made her feel so good. I loved making Bennu happy when my father wasn’t around to do it, I sometimes felt I had a responsibility to provide happiness for Bennu since she hardly ever got treated now with Dad gone; I had always watched him giving her rings, necklaces and even the gift of a love-filled kiss whenever he felt it was needed.. I felt I needed to pick up his accidental slack for her, but I enjoyed doing it none the less. Bennu was more of a mother to me than my own Mom was and I was glad to have Bennu in my life.

Screenshot-79

I followed behind Bennu as she made her way passed the dining room, through the kitchen and into the living room, but I stopped near the fridge and waited there for Bahiti to join me. “Bahiti, come and greet your brother,” Bennu called out to her. As I looked at all of them, I was already a little irritated; I could see Gareth from where I was and I kept catching him stealing glances at Bahiti’s friend, knowing the small talk and flirting was about to commence not knowing even what she looked like myself, but I knew it still didn’t matter to Gareth. I wasn’t really a fan of diving right in, putting myself out there like a dog with a bone wasn’t my style and I was proud to admit I was a bit of a romancer. I feel that women get more out of being complimented properly while being spoiled with a wine and dine kind of date, but I think that’s where all of the reasoning behind it lied. I liked women, smart and well-mannered women, women with a strong passion in their lives, and a good education didn’t hurt. Gareth? He liked girls. Girls that don’t know any better, girls with more shoes than books and girls that had little experience so he could fulfill his own desires in getting them to experiment. If I was in the position of Bahiti’s friend, I’d run now while I could.

Screenshot-89
Screenshot-84

Bahiti came into the kitchen with a smile on her face, something I hadn’t seen in a long time. “Hey, Bahiti.. You look great, how’ve you been?” I asked, greeting each other with a warm hug and she was still smiling after it. I liked seeing her this way.

“I’ve been good.. I’m actually seeing a new psychiatrist and he has me on some meds that make me feel like floating,” she replied with a soft chuckle and I laughed, not liking the idea of her on medication, though I loved to admit I was excited to see her so happy. It was a nice change from the norm.

“Well then, at least you’re doing better,” I replied, seeing her nod in agreement.

“So, what are we making?” She wondered, walking more into the kitchen and opening the fridge.

“Well, I was going to make hot and sour mushroom soup, maybe you could just make starter dishes and let me handle the soup? It’s a little difficult to get it to turn out just right,” I replied and she looked to me and nodded.

“Okay, sounds good, Gibs,” she replied, beginning to pull things out from the fridge that she could prepare easily while I made the main dish.

Screenshot-91
Screenshot-93

“So, how have you been?” Bahiti wondered, “I just noticed I didn’t even ask.. How’s the girlfriend of yours? Was she unable to make it tonight?”

A knot formed in my throat and I sighed, “I’m doing okay, I suppose.. And we broke up not too long ago,” I replied, hoping to leave it at that, but Bahiti still questioned it.

“Oh, what happened? It seemed like you really liked her,” she continued.

“She was.. Unfaithful.. But it’s fine, I’m over her,” I replied, wanting to get off the subject of my ex. They had asked about her the last time I visited two weeks ago, but I didn’t tell them that we had broken up two weeks prior to that, I was still hurting and the last thing I needed at that time was to be pitied, so I never brought it up. I could never admit, too, that Gareth was the ultimate demise of the relationship. It seemed almost as a defeat on my part, admitting that my brother had taken such a humble woman from me..

“Oh.. I’m sorry, Gibson,” Bahiti replied with a remorseful tone.

“I said it’s fine.. Have you been painting or playing your guitar lately?” I asked, changing the subject to prove how over her I was.

Screenshot-97
Screenshot-103
Screenshot-113

After being in the kitchen for a little under an hour, dinner was getting closer and closer to being done and my soup was turning out quite nice. I had always loved my father’s cooking and also Bennu’s, you could tell they took pride in each dish they made for us back in Bridgeport and I eventually grew into loving cooking just as much as they did. What I would give to taste my father’s Ratatouille dish once more.. It was my comfort food, my favorite dish I’ll ever eat and I’ll never get tired of eating it. It made me calm and had a homey feeling. I loved all of the different smells and flavors it provided and how it was made in a thinly sliced kaleidoscope effect the vegetables gave off, making it quite a beautiful dish as well. I was beginning to regret making this soup and I felt a Ratatouille craving beginning to kick in.

Screenshot-117
Screenshot-120

Dinner wasn’t an awkward silence, that’s a phrase I’d never use.. Pleasantly content, that describes it a little better. With the lack of talking and only the sound of utensils tapping against plates and bowls, it was a quiet yet enjoyable dinner. Everyone seemed pleased by what Bahiti and I had made, finally hearing it from Bennu, “You two, this is so wonderful, thank you so much for cooking,” she said with a warm smile, looking at me and smiling as she placed her hand on top of mine momentarily and then doing the same to Bahiti. I loved how happy Bennu was and how appreciative she was towards us. She was always this way, but ever since Dad was diagnosed and sent to live at the mental hospital, she’s been upping herself and trying to be an even better person than she already was, like she’s making up for my Dad not being there. Keeping up with someone like him must be tiring though, I wish she wouldn’t stress about it so much.

Screenshot-145
Screenshot-147
Screenshot-149

After dinner, I offered to clean up for Bennu so she didn’t have to do anything, everyone going back into the living room to spend time with one another as I rinsed every plate and filled the dishwasher while packing up all of the leftover food and putting it into her fridge. Bennu and Bahiti walked towards the lavender couches and decided to enjoy a little bit of television together, putting on a show they religiously watched together and I could her them giggling and talking as they watched. Behind the couches, I looked to the middle-left of the room and noticed Gareth, already hypothetically prodding into Bahiti’s friend. I watched in dismay from the kitchen, my expression judgmental and I couldn’t understand what was going through his mind on how hitting on his sister’s friend on our step mother’s birthday was at all appropriate. 

Screenshot-151
Screenshot-153
Screenshot-159

I watched from the kitchen as he wooed and wowed her.. His large, gentle, light hand playing with her hair, his fingertips brushing down her cheek when complimenting her, the way he was able to uphold his flirtatious and lustful expression the whole time when I was the only one that knew he didn’t mean a lick of it. It was his own art form that I didn’t care for at all. The way he was so willing and able to manipulate women into thinking he cared was baffling and every time I was both impressed and disgusted. Had he used such techniques when taking my ex from me? I’ve seen this act so much that I had lost count of how many times it’s worked.

Screenshot-164
Screenshot-165
Screenshot-172

I was thinking many things while watching this game play out. Why doesn’t Bahiti care, does she just assume it’ll happen no matter who she brings over when Gareth is expected to be there? It’s almost as if she brought her just to distract Gareth and keep him out of her and Bennu’s way, but why? Bahiti is coming off as if her friend isn’t even there.. Is this person even her friend at all? I knew that Bahiti knew Gareth’s type, it was obvious when it came to how shallow he was; usually blonde or dirty blonde, and if not that, a wild hair color such as Nina’s. Slow, easily impressed, gullible.. They were all the same. Now that I thought back on it, my ex was a dirty blonde.. But, she had so much potential, she wasn’t stupid or ill-mannered. She had an elegance and grace about her that I loved looking at, yet she fell prey to the mind games of Gareth.. But, she was passed his level and more on mine while I was dating her, so.. Why? As much as I loved my brother, I’ll now always resent him for still being better than me in that one aspect. He can manipulate people to the point that he could pull off and do anything he wanted. I’m not jealous, am I? Jesus, that’s pathetic.. To be jealous of my half-wit, perverted brother.

Screenshot-172 (2)
Screenshot-238

I was sick of it. Done. I couldn’t just sit with Bennu and Bahiti and watch this play out. We’d be watching a television show and the next thing you’d know, I’d look behind me and Gareth and Bahiti’s friend would be gone, sneaking off to hookup in one of the bathrooms the first chance that they could based on his way on convincing them.. “Ugh..” I let out silently, sick of the situation entirely and all I wanted was to leave now. I called out to Gareth in front of everyone, making it less conspicuous as to why we needed to leave suddenly, “Hey, let’s get going.. I got work early tomorrow morning,” I voiced, seeing only Gareth’s eyes looking up to me as he kept his suave posture over Bahiti’s friend and I could tell he was asking me with his eyes to stay a little longer, but I refused to acknowledge it, “Ready?” I pressured.

He pulled slowly away from Bahiti’s friend and gave me a rather threatening glare, “Sure.. Let me just say goodbye to everyone,” he replied, his words strong and defensive, but my harsh and unrelenting expression didn’t waver and I could tell he recognized my displeasure with how the evening was going.

Screenshot-177

I watched with immense satisfaction as Gareth painfully said his premature goodbye to Bahiti’s friend, then make his way towards Bennu and Bahiti to wish them goodbye as well. I walked into the living room more and hugged Bennu and Bahiti as Gareth had done, keeping my eyes on him as he kept his on mine and I knew an argument was about to ensue the moment we left Bennu’s place.

Screenshot-228

I walked out before Gareth and my pace was quicker than normal, my anger driving me to leave and get further away from the house as I can so no one inside would hear us. “Gibson,” Gareth called out with a short tone and I kept walking. “Gibson, would you stop already? What the hell was that all about?” He continued.

“What? You said yourself you don’t like staying here long, so let’s go,” I replied after, keeping my pace and I heard his quicken behind me in hopes of catching up.

“Gibs, stop!” He called out a little louder than before, my steps slowing down finally as I almost reached the sidewalk and I stopped like he had asked.

Screenshot-230
Screenshot-231

“What the hell’s your problem?” Gareth asked when he had finally caught up to me.

“What are you talking about?” I replied in return, my lips sarcastically smirking and I watched as his expression twisted into slight anger.

“Cut the bullshit, Gibson.. You knew I wanted to stay a little longer,” he pointed out.

“Why? So you could ruin that girls life like you’ve ruined so many others?”  I retorted angrily.

“You’ve been such an ass lately! I know this still has to be about your fucking ex, isn’t it? I’ve already said sorry, what more do you want?” He asked in return.

“I just want you to be able to be a decent person in front of people, especially our family. It’s Bennu’s birthday and all you can think to do is spend time with Bahiti’s friend! Do you even remember her name?”

“Yes, it was Jillian!” He replied quickly and I scoffed.

“It was Julie, actually.. Jesus, Gareth.. When are you going to grow up and stop acting like you’re in fucking high school?” I retaliated.

Screenshot-233

“You’re too serious all the time! Why don’t you stop worrying about what other people think of you and live your life? Stop living in the past, get over it, and stop worrying about what I do with my life and focus on your own!” He retorted and I bit my bottom lip in anger.

“With how you live, there needs to be someone at the sidelines keeping you straight, you’ve just gotten so dependent on me that you even take advantage of the fact! You do whatever the hell you want and expect no repercussions, you can’t live like that forever and I don’t want to be chained to you the rest of my life to take care of you!” I yelled back.

“Again, what the hell are you talking about? I never asked you to take care of me! Besides, it’s supposed to be the other way around.”

“Yeah, and a reeeaaally good job you’re doing with that..” I replied sarcastically.

Screenshot-236
Screenshot-235

“What, so now you think I’m a shitty brother?” Gareth asked with a humerus tone and I stood there, hesitating a moment.

“Those aren’t my words,” I replied and turned around, walking towards the sidewalk slowly, “I’m going home, find your own ride,” I replied harshly, making my way to the car and not hearing Gareth make a noise or any sign that he was following me. Maybe I was a little too harsh, but I couldn’t go back on what I said so quickly. There was some truth to it, and once he’d look passed my words into what they could mean, I was sure he’d understand eventually. For now, I’ll give him time. I need time away from him just as badly. Living together for the past 23 years has finally taken it’s toll, I believe, and I contemplated moving out if Gareth refused to show any sign of changing. He’s destructive and he’s been losing my trust more and more as the years pass. I didn’t know how much longer I could live with it.

Generation 2, Chapter 19

Lucy’s POV

________________________________________________

g2c19 p1
g2c19 p2

The alarm within my dorm room went off and it was almost 6:00am, stirring me awake and I nudged my boyfriend, Lewis, in bed with me, “Time for practice, babe..” I said softly with a still tired tone. It’s my senior year of college and I’ve been working hard to get my Science and Medicine Degree for the past four years. I only have a few weeks left until graduation, but I’m not staying until the year runs out, I’m headed home today to see my family for the weekend, then coming back for all of my finals. 

Lewis and I met our Freshman year and have been inseparable since, we’re the most well known couple in the entire campus with me being popular and him the star quarterback on the college football team. Lewis is my first serious relationship and for how well things have been going, there’s no doubt in my mind that I want to marry him. But, he’s never met any of my family, and I’m not sure I want him to.

g2c19 p3

I got out from under the covers after him and sat up, needing to get ready for my last class in an hour before I head home later. Things have been severely rocky at home and I don’t particularly like going there too much anymore, but I have to. The twins are always getting in trouble with being Seniors in High School now and acting like they’re the top dogs, I always tell them to put their rulers away and start acting like young men, but it’s hard to get through to them with their huge egos. Bahiti is as sweet and gentle as ever, still a beautifully shy girl and a Senior like the twins, yet she’s grown a little more reserved and wants to be alone most of the time. Bennu has been nothing less than a strong mother to care for all of us since Faline has passed and she’s been working extra hard on trying to keep the boys in line. Even though they never really did listen to Faline, they listen to Bennu more and you can tell that even she struggles sometimes. I look up to Bennu, she’s never once given me a reason to believe that she wouldn’t try her absolute hardest to make this family stay together, but sometimes there’s things that even the kind-hearted and strong-willed can’t handle.

Dad.. He’s.. Different. He started acting weird after I had been accepted into the college that he went to, and I knew a little why now. Freshman year when I first started was a little hard, a lot of the same teachers that taught my Dad were still here and they had nothing but bad things to say about him, though not to my face. I heard everything little by little through the grapevine and it seems that my Dad was, for lack of a better word, a slut around campus. He hardly ever did his school work either, most of the professors here were astonished when they found out he was graduating; finding out he had a daughter now, too, convinced them that I was going to be no different, but over the years I’ve managed to prove to them that I’m really nothing like my Dad, so things have gotten way better for me here. At first, I thought my acceptance into here and knowing I would hear rumors about him scared him and he didn’t want me to go here for college, but still even after I showed him how well I was doing and lying to him about not hearing anything regarding him, he’ still not the same and has been getting worse.

g2c19 p4

“Come here,” Lewis said softly; I’m sure he could tell I was bothered by how long I was sitting on the bed doing nothing. I stood from the bed and went over to him and he pulled me into a tight, warm hug, “It’ll be okay today. Just try not to think about it so much and it’ll go a lot easier..” He tried to comfort, but him saying that only made me think about it more. I’ve told him a little bit about my family, he knows more about my siblings and Bennu than he does about my Dad, and my Dad is the one who Lewis knows makes the trip more difficult for me, even if he has no idea why. 

“I know.. It’s just hard to go back there all the time, it’s like I’m entering a completely different world and I can’t do anything to make it better,” I replied.

g2c19 p5

“Whenever you want me to finally come with you, I’d be more than happy to. You know I still want to meet everyone, I’d especially love to meet your Dad and tell him what a perfect and beautiful daughter he’s raised,” Lewis answered and I couldn’t hold back a smile.

“I know.. Just.. Not yet,” I replied, seeing Lewis nod in understanding and he pulled me into a long kiss. 

“Are we still meeting up later before you leave?” He wondered and I nodded.

“Yeah, have fun at practice. I’ll see you later,” I answered with another smile and he smirked, kissing my lips once more and gathering his belongings to go to football practice.

g2c19 p6
g2c19 p7
g2c19 p8

I walked into my bathroom after Lewis had gone and shut the door behind me, going straight to the tub and turning the water on so I could bathe before class. As the tub filled with hot water that soon caused my mirrors to steam over, I got out of my nightgown and tied my hair up, turning the water off as the tub grew full and I stepped in with anticipation. Baths were one of my favorite things in the world, they helped me relax when nothing else could and the warmth that surrounded me always calmed my scattered and troubled mind. There was always something for me to think about, whether it was Lewis, my grades, my friends, my siblings or my Dad, a bath usually was able to help me let it all go, at least for the duration I would be able to relax in it; the moment the plug was pulled from the drain, it all would come rushing back.

g2c19 p11

Dad let me borrow his car while I’m here because he is convinced that keeping mine at the house would keep it in good shape for whenever I wouldn’t be at college anymore, though I think the real reason he gave his car to me was so that I had a reason to come home. I wish he hadn’t, this car is what I take so many times in one day and it smells like him; even if I needed to go somewhere to get away from it all, he’d still always be implanted in my mind wherever I went. 

g2c19 p12
g2c19 p13
g2c19 p14

I always excelled in my classes and I always passed them with flying colors. When I’m in class, it’s the only real time I feel like I can get peace because my mind is focused on learning and challenging myself. Yet, of course, my luck runs out in the last class I have before I go home; the teacher is Mr. Dill, a friend of my dad’s from his old college days and now all I can think about is Dad again. His first name is Auturo I think, he’s talked to me before about my Dad and he was surprised just like everyone else to know that the notorious Jason Dubois had a daughter. But, he was a nice man, strict, but nice, and sometimes he favored me over everyone else.

g2c19 p15

My eyebrows began to furrow and my bottom lip tried to quiver as the threat of tears formed in my eyes, but I shut my eyelids quickly to keep them in and took a deep breath. “Lucille, still with me?” Mr. Dill asked of me and I slowly opened my eyes, looking to him and nodding gently in response and he then continued his teachings. I took a few more deep breathes, trying to ignore everything but what was being taught so I could make it through this class without needing to be excused.

g2c19 p16
g2c19 p17

After my class, I went to the nearest cafe and ordered something sweet for my late breakfast. Key Lime pie helped calm me a little from all of my nerves today, it reminded me of Bennu since her Key Lime pies were amazing and her cooking had now became one of my favorites next to Dad’s cooking, but he doesn’t do that too much anymore; he doesn’t like to be anywhere near the stove now-a-days, I don’t know why.. 

g2c19 p18

After my slice of a brief heaven and before I got the chance to leave the cafe, my cell phone went off and Bennu was calling me. I smirked softly and answered, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Good, good.. How are your classes?” She wondered.

“Going well, just got out of my last class and I’m about to head back to my dorm to get ready and come visit.”

Vonderful! I can’t wait to see you, Lucy, your father is very excited as well,” she said happily and I kinda needed that, it made me feel a little better about going there.

g2c19 p20
g2c19 p19

“How is Dad? Is he doing any better?” I asked, hearing a silence over the phone.

He.. He’s okay. He’s in our room right now resting.. Don’t worry about him, though, you just enjoy your last few hours at college and we’ll see you around 9:00pm. You’re still coming around that time, yes?” She answered.

“Yeah, I’ll leave around 6:00 so I can get home around that time.” I replied, then hearing commotion in the background and it was the boys by Bennu, both of them wanting the phone from her so they could talk to me. I let out a sigh at how childish they were despite how they constantly acted like suave little assholes. One of the boys had gotten the phone from Bennu and I listened to see who it was.

Lucy, bring Cara home with you,” Gareth demanded and I then heard Gibson in the background, “Bring her home for me, not Gareth!” “Shut up, I called dibs on her first!”

“You guys are idiots..” I began, “What makes you think Cara wants either of you?” I asked.

Please, Luce? Just put in a good word for me then,” Gareth tried to compromise and I rolled my eyes.

“Goodbye guys, see you later!” I added, pulling the phone away from my ear though I could hear them both trying to stop me from hanging up, but I hung up on them anyways. “Morons..” I said with a smirk, sighing softly as I left the cafe to go back to my dorm.

g2c19 p21
g2c19 p22

When I had gotten back and walked through the door, I looked upstairs where I noticed one of my roommates, Paris, walking around and I called up to her, “Paris, what are you up to?” I asked, seeing her stop and smile at me as I made my way up the stairs to her.

“Not much, honey, I was just about to get ready for Darrell to take me out. You and that fine man of yours should come on with, it’ll be a double date or somethin’,” she suggested, but I sighed softly, needing to turn the offer down.

“No, I can’t, sorry.. Lewis is at practice for a few more hours still and I need to get ready to go home for the weekend to see my family,” I replied and she nodded in understanding.

g2c19 p23
g2c19 p24

“Well, all right.. How’s your dad doin’?” She asked next.

“He’s doing good..  I’m excited to see him,” I replied, though some of that sentence was a bit exaggerated. 

“You sure? Last time you got back from visiting them you didn’t talk to any of us for a few days.”

I looked to the ground briefly, looking back up to her and keeping a small smile, “Every family has their issues, I just try not to bring those problems back with me to school,” I answered.

“I hear ya.. Well, have fun at your folk’s, I’ll see you when you get back before finals,” Paris said with a smile.

“Thanks.. See ya,” I replied, watching her turn to go back into her room and I turn around as well to head into mine.

g2c19 p26
g2c19 p27

After about a two hour nap, I was up and ready at around 4:00 to meet up with Lewis before I went home. I stood in front of my body mirror, making any other minor adjustments to my outfit, hair or makeup that I needed to before I left. I liked to wear more conservative and professional clothing around my family, especially my Dad. I didn’t want to be anything like my Mom. I didn’t want to act like her, look and dress like her, and I especially didn’t want to do anything she ever did when she was alive and my age out of spite. I loved my Mom, but she wasn’t a very nice person, nor did she ever even really want me around, especially when she had friends over. I remember when I was super young and the only time she would somewhat show a little love towards me was in front of my Dad.. I figured out a while ago why.

g2c19 p28

I looked at the family portrait of a few years ago when we had all gone to the Summer Festival together, I knew back then as well that Jason wasn’t my real father. About once every year to two years, my Mom’s old friend Matt would come over to Dad’s place when Faline and him were still together and Matt would spend a little time with me and leave for a long time. The older I got, the more my eyes opened and I started realizing things about him and I that seemed just too similar to ignore. When I had reached my teen years, I started to question things more and ponder what was going on; I knew Matt liked me whenever he would stop by my moms place when I was little, but every time he visited me after Mom died and I was living with Jason, Matt seemed to come by less and less as the years passed and he began acting more and more like it was a chore to come and visit me. The day that I turned 18, Matt didn’t come over anymore at all. I’m not stupid or oblivious, I put two and two together and figured it all out myself. From what I knew of my Mom, she was an evil person, and now knowing that Jason isn’t my real father, I’ve always known Jason to have a lot of money and I knew my Mom took advantage of him every chance she could get.. Always buying new things for me, the condo, and especially herself; all that money was from Jason, too. I figured she lied to him, told him I was his daughter, and did it all just to get his money. I knew Matt was my real father, but Jason is the only man in my eyes that has treated me like the Princess he always calls me. I’ll never not be proud of my Dad for taking charge and taking care of what’s his, even if it was all a lie. I smiled at the photo, then turned around to leave my room and go meet up with Lewis.

g2c19 p29
g2c19 p30

I came out of my room and noticed Cara, my other roommate and best friend since I was in grade school, had just came out of her room as well, wearing a dress she had borrowed from me a while ago I still never seemed to get back. “Damn, you look hot.. Where you headed?” I asked, walking over towards her with a smile on my face still. 

She let out a happy chuckle, “Thanks! Paris asked if I wanted to go out with her and Darrell so I’m meeting them at the bowling alley for drinks in a little bit. I know, I know, she left like, an hour or two ago, but I like to make a fashionably late entrance,” Cara replied and I laughed as she flipped her hair over her shoulder jokingly.

“That you do.. Going with anyone else? You seem a little too dolled up to just be the third wheel for bowling,” I hinted.

g2c19 p31

“Just going like this to maybe catch a few glancing eyes, no harm in trying to meet someone while I’m there,” she replied with a wink. “Speaking of, how are those cute little brothers of yours?”

“Ugh, swooning over you like always.. They wanted you to come with me back home for whatever reason. Well, I know the reason, but uhh, gross..”

“Mm.. A little twin Dubois action? I’m all for it,” she answered with a laugh and my expression grew a little weary.

“Again.. Gross, Cara.. They’re my brothers, and you’re not coming with me,” I stated.

g2c19 p32

“Aww, but they’re so cuuuttee! I wanna make a Dubois sandwich with those two,” She whined, but I rolled my eyes, showing her how annoyed I was.

“Wow.. Even more gross, Cara..”

Okay, okay, I’ll  stop..” She replied, then taking a moment to look at my outfit, “Where are you headed to wearing that?”

“Going out with Lewis for a little bit and then back to my house in Bridgeport to see everyone for the weekend. Try to have fun without me while I’m gone,” I teased her and she giggled.

“Don’t worry, I’m always the one that finds the fun for us when we go out anyways,” she teased back and I chuckled, watching her walk to the bathroom and I heard the front door opening downstairs, going to see who it was.

g2c19 p33
g2c19 p34

I looked down the stairs to see Lewis, looking up at me with his charming smile and I walked downstairs to greet him, “Wow, babe.. You look very pretty,” he said with a smile and I blushed a little as I continued to walk down the stairs, throwing my arms around him in a hug and he pulled me down the few steps I had left to help me join him.

“Thanks.. How was practice?” I wondered, pecking his lips lightly and letting him go from the hug.

“Fine.. Boring, repetitive. Glad to be outta there and with you now,” he replied and I hummed a soft giggle. “Ready for some grub before your long drive?”

“Of course,” I answered, watching as he opened the front door for me and I exited before him to go to my car.

g2c19 p35
g2c19 p38

Lewis and I got dinner together at the campus diner, staying there until it grew dark outside and it was passed 6:00. I was late to leaving, but Lewis and I were enjoying ourselves and I wasn’t ready to go home yet. He took hold of my hands and intertwined our fingers, pulling me closer to him, “You should get going, don’t you think? You don’t want to get there too late at night,” he suggested and I let out a soft sigh.

“You’re right.. Even though my Dad would stay up waiting for me until who knows what time,” I said with a light chuckle.

“Still, you shouldn’t make him wait. He’s going to think less of me and think I’m the one who made you late. I don’t want a bad impression with the guy when I haven’t even met him yet,” Lewis added with a smile and I sighed; he was thinking into it too much, my Dad doesn’t like anyone I date regardless.. Lewis moved in closer and kissed me for a few long seconds and I knew it was the kiss goodbye that I was trying to avoid. “I love you, Lucille.. Call me tomorrow or something, let me know how you’re doing,” Lewis continued and I smiled, nodding in agreement to his request and he kissed me one last time before I went back to my car.

g2c19 p39

After grabbing a few things from my place before leaving, I was on the road and headed back home. I drove passed the campus one last time before pulling off, knowing that I’ll be back soon, but just wanting to get one more last look. The drive was nice and a little relaxing despite my Dad’s car smell all around me, continuously thinking about him every now and then whenever my mind got off track and unfocused. I wondered how things have changed back at home, or if they even have. Dad’s been mostly staying within the confines of his room, only coming out every so often to either go to work for a few hours only or to get something to eat. He’s never really been like this and as much as I hate to wonder, I can’t help but feel like this strange nature took hold of him after I left for college. The weird things he’s been doing and the way he’s been acting makes me wonder, too, if this has been going on for a while before that, none of us happened to notice it though. I admit I probably could’ve been a little oblivious to it, Dad and I were always close, but once I got into high school, I tended to drift more towards my friends than spending time with him; maybe that’s why I never noticed until the passed few years..

g2c19 p40
g2c19 p41

Music helped drown out my thoughts as I drove, yet it was still hard to focus on anything but the family as I got closer and closer. There were so many stars out by the college, the air was crisp and I left my windows open to enjoy the breeze as I drove away from it, but the closer I got to the city, the worse it got. The atmosphere was thick and toxic, the familiar smell of public transportation and pollution from a cluttered city leaked into the car. The stars began to get harder and harder to see, and soon when I couldn’t see any, I knew I was close. The sky was lit but not by the sun; the city lights polluted the air and it still felt like it was around 6:00 instead of the car clock telling me a quarter to 10:00. As I drove down the bridge, I was only a minute or two away from getting home. I didn’t want to be there yet, I wanted to go back and see Lewis, finish my classes, graduate without anything negative on my mind, but, my family wanted to see me; what’s more important than family, anyways?

g2c19 p42
g2c19 p43

When I got home, the first to greet me was Bahiti. She had grown into such a beautiful young woman and I can see so much of both Jason and Bennu in her. I envied her in a way, I envied that she was the actual daughter of him and I wasn’t; but, I never showed it or ever made her feel uncomfortable about it, I don’t think anyone really has a clue that I know I’m not Jason’s. “Hey! How have you been?” She greeted excitedly to me and I went straight to her for a hug.

“I’ve been good, and you?” I asked in return.

“Pretty good, I guess. The guys are driving me crazy like always,” she replied with a giggle and I gave one back with a sarcastic eye roll.

“Of course they are.. Where are those two anyway?”

“In the living room playing a game, which is surprising considering all they ever do is go out and drink.. It still boggles my mind on how they get it,” she replied and I let out an aggravated sigh.

“Those little..” I began, but stopped myself, “Whatever.. I’ll talk to them about that later..”

g2c19 p44

“How’s your Mom?” I asked, giving a warm smile and wanting to get details before I saw my Dad.

Bahiti shrugged and sighed, though keeping a light smile, “She’s okay. She’s been with Dad all day, he didn’t go to work today. He hasn’t gone in a while, actually. I overheard them talking and I think Dad’s going to sell the bar,” she replied and my brows raised in curiosity. 

“Really..? Well, that’s good, right? That’s a good amount of money that’ll probably go towards your guys’ college educations. It’ll give him more time to be home, too.”

“Well, yeah.. But what’s the point of him being home if he’s just locked away in his room all day?” Bahiti asked in return and I suppose she had a point. But, despite him being home more and confining himself, they could all easily go to college anywhere they wanted, and I knew that’s what they all needed.

“Maybe he needs more time at home, maybe then he’ll come out of his room more often. Maybe he just wants to be home.. You’ll love college, too, I know you’ll do well,” I replied and she smiled, soon nodding in agreement.

“Which reminds me, I still have homework to do. Welcome home, Luce,” she said joyfully, smiling wide and I nodded in thanks as she ran up the stairs to her bedroom.

g2c19 p45
g2c19 p47

Without me even needing to go to the living room to see the boys, they walked out from it and Gareth waved to me as Gibson followed him, “Hey, Lucy!” Gareth said happily and I smiled.

“Hey guys, how’s school going?”

“Good, though I noticed you forgot to bring someone with you,” Gareth replied, referring to Cara from our phone conversation earlier.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with you, Luce?” Gibson added and I scoffed.

“You two are so pathetic. Whatever happened to you guys going out and just having fun rather than just looking for tail?” I asked in a teasing tone.

“Searching for tail is fun, Luce. Sorry we’re not in serious relationships like you and Lewis,” Gareth rebutted and I didn’t want to argue with the subject anymore. As much as they were responsible young men sometimes, the childish nature always came back every now and then and they were horny little teenagers all over again with a one track mind.

g2c19 p48
g2c19 p49

“Anywayyssss..” I stressed, “How’s Dad?” I asked, already getting one opinion, yet wanting everyone’s.

“Who knows..” Gibson replied softly.

“Exactly.. Who the fuck knows,” Gareth added, “He talks to everyone but us, really.. I feel like he’s been avoiding us for a long time. I don’t know what’s up his ass.. I seriously think I heard him talking to himself again a few days ago, too. What the hell’s going on with him?” He asked.

“I.. I don’t know.. I’m sure he’s not avoiding you guys. He probably is just realizing that we’re all growing up now and we’ll be leaving soon. He might just not want to face it.”

“And that makes him feel the need to talk to himself instead of us?” Gibson asked, unconvinced by my reasoning and I sighed softly.

g2c19 p50
g2c19 p51

“Listen.. Dad’s had a hard life, okay? He had me when he was your guys’ age. He was going to college and supporting my mom with me and then you two came while he was still in college. My mom died, your guy’s mom died.. Those are two people he’s been close with and had children with. Then Bahiti came along with Bennu.. He’s had a lot going on his in life ever since he was little, too.. Now he has that bar to stress over and all of his kids are almost to the age where they’re going to be leaving and moving out. He’s probably worried, too, that he’s never going to see any of us again for whatever reason. That would make anyone act a little weird.. Don’t you think?” I replied and neither of the boys said anything then. “He’s not ignoring anyone.. He’s probably just trying to cope with everything now so it all doesn’t happen out of nowhere all at once. I plan on moving out after I graduate. You guys and Bahiti are all the same age pretty much and you all are probably going to move out around the same time, too.. It’s a family of 6 being cut down to 2 just like that. Just give Dad some space, whatever he needs. He’ll come around, I’m sure,” I finished and Gibson nodded in understanding as Gareth looked to him and shrugged.

“Whatever you say, Luce,” Gareth replied.

g2c19 p52
g2c19 p53
g2c19 p54

“Well, it’s good to have you home, Lucy.. Maybe you can get through to him since we can’t,” Gibson added with a brief smirk, turning around then and going back to the living room and Gareth followed behind him. 

“What the hell is going on with you, Dad..?” I asked myself quietly aloud, watching the boys leave the foyer. I looked up to Dad’s bedroom door upstairs from where I was and grew a little nervous again, trying to find things to say to him and ask him but in ways that I won’t make him upset. I didn’t acknowledge the boys when they mentioned hearing Dad talking to himself in his room because I had heard it too before, but I never wanted to admit it to myself. It’s one thing to talk to yourself when doing a task or trying to figure where you left your keys, but it’s another thing to get angry. I came home early one time to surprise them but only Dad was home and I know I heard him arguing with someone, yet when I walked into his room, he was alone and his phone wasn’t even on him. I’ve been wanting to figure out for a while now who’s he been talking to and I haven’t told anyone else, but I think everyone might feel the same way and aren’t saying anything just like I’m not.

g2c19 p55
g2c19 p56
g2c19 p57

Before I reached his bedroom door, I could hear Bennu talking to my Dad inside of their room, but before I could make out anything they were discussing, the door opened and Bennu walked out. I smiled when I saw her and she smiled warmly in return, walking towards one another and we hugged briefly, “It’s good to see you, Lucy, how has school been?” Bennu wondered as she let me go.

“It’s going really well, actually. I’m excited to be graduating soon,” I replied and she nodded.

“How’s Lewis? You two are still together, yes?” She asked next and I could feel my cheeks getting a little flushed.

“Yeah, we’re doing good, too..” I replied with a smile, “How are you and Dad?” I asked and I noticed the excitement in her eyes begin to lessen.

g2c19 p58
g2c19 p59

“We’re.. Okay. It’s hard to get him out of the house or even spend a little time with him outside of the bedroom, he’s not telling me something and it’s beginning to worry me,” she answered.

“Bennu, I’m sure he’s okay.. I feel like he might be acting like this because almost all of us are grown up and ready to move out and do things for ourselves. I told the boys the same thing. Dad just doesn’t want to face the facts. He’s going to miss us a lot, but he’ll still always have you by his side, so know that I’m sure whatever he’s trying to deal with, it has nothing to do with you,” I tried to comfort her but she kept her worried expression.

“I just.. Don’t really know what to do anymore, Lucy.. He’s gotten more secretive and quiet around us, around me, too. He hasn’t been going to work at all really, I’m scared to ask him about it,” she continued.

“Scared? Why..?”

She held her tongue for a moment, trying to find the words, “I haven’t had a decent, normal conversation with your father in a while. I don’t know what’s going on with him anymore, and when I ask, he gets angry.. I find him getting harder and harder to deal with.”

g2c19 p60

“Bennu.. Has he ever, umm.. Hurt you?” I asked, seeing her eyes widen a little.

“Oh, no, no.. He’s not violent now. I guess I’m more so worried if he will become that way if this keeps up,” she replied and I was a little shocked. “Sometimes his anger can get the best of him.. That’s usually when I give up and give him space. I hate fighting with him,” she continued.

“Yeah.. He can be a little overwhelming when he’s angry.. But, what do you think he’s angry about?” I asked, seeing her think for a moment and she soon shook her head.

“Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Have you ever heard him, um.. Talk to himself?” I wondered.

“A few times, yes. But I just assumed he was thinking out loud. Go see him, Lucy.. Maybe you can get him out of this weird funk he’s been in for a while,” Bennu suggested and I nodded in agreement. “I’ll be right downstairs if you need anything.. Welcome home, dear,” she continued and I smirked, nodding in thanks and she walked passed me and downstairs.

g2c19 p61

I walked towards their bedroom door and already I could hear my Dad talking to himself which only worried me more. He seemed to only do it when he was alone and I noticed he tries to hide it from all of us, but I wanted to know why. I put my ear closer to the door and his voice was muffled, I couldn’t make out the words he was saying, but it sounded like he was arguing with someone.. Was he on the phone? I was a little nervous to knock or even see him at all because of the things that everyone’s been saying, but at the same time, him seeing me might make things better.. At least I hope it will.

________________________________________________

Jason’s POV

________________________________________________

g2c19 p62

Lucy’s coming home today from college to spend the weekend with us and then going straight back to take her finals before she graduates. I couldn’t be more proud of her. Although I hated her going to the same school I went to, she has been doing very well and I’m glad that I didn’t take her out of there and make her go to a different school. I’ve been having a hard time ever since Lucy went to college, the boys and Bahiti have barely been home as well since they like to go out a lot by themselves or with friends. I’m beginning to worry a little because Lucy was supposed to be here an hour ago and she usually isn’t late, but I don’t want to call her and be a bother. But, it’s not like I can even focus clearly about that anyways with my father always glaring at me. I can feel his eyes on the back of my head and it’s becoming a problem that I’ve been trying to keep under control for a few years now. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see or hear from him at least once.

g2c19 p63

“I don’t know what the hell you’re trying to accomplish by telling me stuff like this.. Why can’t you just leave? Never come back? I thought I was done with you the day you blew up the house. I was ready for you to be gone, yet here you are, continuing to make my life miserable..” I was so sick of my father constantly being with me, it was driving me nuts. 

“I can feel your frustration..”

“Wow, you think? I’m laying it on pretty fuckin’ thick here,” I rebutted.

“If you would just do as I ask, like a good son, then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything anymore,” he replied and I turned around to face him.

g2c19 p64

“You’ve got to be joking, right? You’re one sick, twisted person, you know that? I don’t even know why I fucking talk to you.”

“That’s really what you believe? That I’m the twisted one? How many times do I have to repeat myself, Jason, before you finally figure it out..?”

“What the hell are you talking about? All that you’ve been doing is telling me to leave my family, or worse, off them like you did Mom! Why the hell would I do that? Why did you do it!?” I had to have asked that question a million times now to him, yet he still never gives me a straight answer, he always dances around the truth just to piss me off.

“You’ve read the newspapers.. You’ve watched the news channels. Bodies keep piling up higher and higher and you’re too ignorant to realize who’s doing it.”

“I..” I stopped, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, “The boys aren’t responsible for all of them. I’ve been keeping track, reading and watching the news, you’re right.. But, not every missing person or body found is them, I know it.”

g2c19 p65

“So, instead of stopping them like you should, you’re ignoring it. Even though all of them may not be a kill under the boys’ belts, that doesn’t disregard the fact that they already have killed. It doesn’t matter if they’re done, or have stopped, what matters is that they’ve already done it. Get rid of them, Jason. You know it’s for everyone’s benefit,” my Dad replied and I let out a scoff.

“I’m not doing a damn thing to them.” I stated strongly.

“You’re still no better than they are. You have a kill under your belt, as well.. Or have you forgotten about Lana?” The moment he mentioned her name, my chest felt as if it was caving in and it was a little hard to breath. “How about you just get rid of the threats? Gareth and Gibson need to realize that the things they’ve done is unacceptable, and so do you. Kill them before they have any time to reproduce, then off yourself. Do the whole world a favor and get rid of this family name once and for all!” His voice raised a little and my blood was beginning to boil with rage, yet a knock at the door made my nerves outweigh the anger.

g2c19 p66
g2c19 p67

I looked towards the door and watched it open slowly, seeing Lucy walk in and shut the door behind her. I felt as if I had been saved from the conversation with my father and I was grateful that she came when she did. “Lucy..” I said softly, my lips beginning to smile and she seemed happy to see me, though I could tell there was something bothering her.

“Hi, Dad.” She replied, both of us walking towards one another and I hugged her tightly, holding her for a few long seconds. I was overjoyed to see her, she was the only person that could change my mood entirely and help me think clearly. Perfect timing, too. “Where you on the phone with someone a minute ago?” She asked and I froze a little, releasing her from the hug and eventually nodding.

“Uh.. Yeah, I was talking to a buyer.. I’m thinking about selling the bar,” I replied. I lied to her about who I was talking to, but I wasn’t lying about selling the bar.

g2c19 p68
g2c19 p69

“Oh, well that’s exciting, right? Are you glad to be selling it so you’ll be home more?” She asked and I nodded again.

“Yeah, it definitely is. I’ll be home more and have more money to give you all whatever you need. But, we can talk about that later.. How’s school going? How’s that boyfriend of yours..?” I asked.

“You know his name, Dad.. It’s Lewis, and yeah, we’re doing pretty good. School is fine, too. I can’t wait to be done with it.” She replied and I smiled while nodding, but my smile faded as I continued to observe her face. There was something bothering her and I wanted to know what it was.

“Are you sure you’re doing okay? You look.. Bothered by something,” I asked, concerned that she was holding something back from me.

g2c19 p70
g2c19 p71

Lucy grew quiet and she hesitated, but she was a very opinionated young woman and I knew that she would say whatever she needed to when she was ready. I waited for a few long seconds and Lucy finally decided to speak up. “Dad.. I don’t know what’s been going on with you, but whatever it is needs to stop. Gareth and Gibson, Bahiti, Bennu, we’re all worried about you. Why have you been locking yourself away in here? Why are you suddenly ignoring your own family? ..Why do you talk to yourself?” She finally asked and her last question is the only one I really paid attention to. 

“W-What? Where are you getting these ideas?” I asked, getting a little irritated already by this conversation that I most definitely didn’t want to have.

“Dad, don’t play dumb. Everyone on at least one occasion has heard you and we know you’re not on the phone.. Who are you talking to? Why?”

“That’s enough, Lucille. I’m not crazy. I don’t talk to myself.” I stated harshly.

g2c19 p72
g2c19 p73

“Then what the hell is your problem?!” She raised her voice.

“You watch your mouth, Luce,” I warned, yet she continued.

“No, no more of this! What is wrong with you? You can’t just hide up here and hope we won’t figure anything out! The boys think you’re ignoring them! Same with Bahiti! Even Bennu thinks you need help! Just do us all a favor and talk to us more.. We’re worried, that’s all.. If you need someone to talk to, there’s all of us, not just yourself. Whatever’s the cause of this, you don’t need to be dealing with it by yourself..” She argued in return and I heard my father chuckle.

“She has a point. Though I don’t think it’s wise to tell her your plan,” he added and I looked towards him for a brief second.

“I don’t have a plan!” I replied to him, though I didn’t mean to.

“What? What does that mean?” Lucy asked and I sighed heavily, looking over to my father once more for a split second, “Who the hell are you looking at?”

“Nothing, no one! I just.. I don’t have a plan for anything that’s going on. There is no motive, I’m not ignoring anyone! Now drop it, Lucy.” I warned once more, though I knew Lana’s stubbornness ran through her veins and she wasn’t done yet.

g2c19 p74
g2c19 p75

“I want you to get help, Dad! I want you to go see Grandma again. You saw her when you were a kid, right? You got help before,” Lucy pressed and my eyes widened in slight shock.

“Things like that are supposed to be confidential,” I replied, but Lucy continued.

“I asked Grandma how you and Mom met, how she knew who you were.. She didn’t tell me about any of your sessions with her, just that you had seen her before and you and Mom became close after you started seeing Grandma.. Can I ask why you went there for help in the first place? Please?” She tried to pry, but I was in no mood to tell her why I went to a psychiatrist.. I haven’t talked to Lana’s mother in ages, I didn’t even know she was still alive.

“No, you can’t ask that. My mother made me go, and I went to make her happy. That’s it.”

“Dad, that’s not it..” Lucy continued.

g2c19 p76
g2c19 p77
g2c19 p78

“Man, she can read you pretty damn well without even being blood,” my father butted in with a slightly impressed tone and I turned away from the both of them, not wanting to have any part of this conversation anymore.

“This discussion is over. Go to bed, Lucy, get some rest,” I suggested strongly, unable to look at her still, knowing that her expression would bother me.

“But, Dad, plea-”

“Lucille..” I said her name sternly, stopping her from continuing more and I heard her let out a sigh of defeat.

“Goodnight..” She said just above a whisper, but I didn’t reply as I listened to her leave my room.

g2c19 p79

“Well.. That was entertaining,” my father continued.

“Shut up.” I hissed, though I knew he wouldn’t listen.

“Maybe you should go back to the psychiatrist. Maybe she’ll be able to knock some sense into you and get you to do what’s right.”

“Do you even listen to yourself?” I asked, “These are your grandchildren.. My children. I’m not going to make the same choices you did. I’m a better father than you ever were and I don’t plan to let that change,” I concluded, hearing him let out a chuckle to my words. “Is there something you find funny?” I asked with frustration.

g2c19 p80

“Well, yes. Look at you. You’re a mess. You don’t even realize that the path you’re already going down isn’t going to be an easy one. You’re deteriorating. Losing it. You’re trying so hard to ignore what you are that now everything you don’t want to happen is going to. If you ask me, that is pretty amusing,” he replied. What does he know? Nothing is going to go wrong, I’m not going to harm my boys let alone anyone else in the family. As much as I hated to admit it, Mrs.Hughes did help me a little when I was younger, but I stopped going to her after I met her daughter, Lana, which was then the new person that listened to my troubles and worries. I stopped seeing Mrs.Hughes and as the years went by, things did end up getting worse and worse; now things are worse than ever. My mind is telling me to do unimaginable things.. When I look at the boys when they’re swimming in our pool, I have the urge to hold their heads under water. Thoughts of cutting their throats while making dinner in the kitchen is the reason why I stopped going in there. What’s strange is that I don’t have these thoughts for Bennu or my girls, just the twins. Lucy was right, I have been avoiding the boys, but avoiding them is the best thing I can do right now as I fight the strange, horrific urges I have when I see them doing anything. I hate that I can’t look at them without wanting to dig my thumbs into their eyes, and the thing that kills me the most is why in the hell do I have these thoughts and urges. Maybe my father is right about one thing, maybe I should just off myself, that way I won’t have to worry about acting on my ideas and I can finally be rid of the torment he causes. Maybe I should just give up?

Generation 2, Chapter 18

g2c18 p1
g2c18 p1-2

I haven’t been to the graveyard in a long time, I didn’t have a reason to come here anymore; my Father followed me around everywhere I went and even if I did go to the cemetery, it’s not like anything else would change.. I still wouldn’t see my Mother. But, it felt so weird being here now, seeing the freshly dug grave of my buried ex-girlfriend and Mother to my twins no more than one hundred feet from where I sat.

g2c18 p2

Not many were here; Hitomi and her daughter Helena, Gareth and Gibson, Lucy, Anya, and Faline’s husband and their daughter Sherri. Faline’s parents and her brother were here earlier, but left before anyone else after Faline had been buried. None of them even bothered to make eye contact with me or the boy’s, they didn’t say a single word to us. Julia didn’t come along because she wasn’t very fond of Faline, Bennu and Bahiti waited at home, too, having no desire to be here for Faline either, but I don’t blame them.

g2c18 p3

I looked to my sisters along with Lucy and Helena, seeing them with sad faces as they mourned my ex, some crying, some not. Helena had grown into such a beautiful young woman just like my gorgeous Lucy, looking at my daughter last out of the bunch and I could see her crying as Helena tried to console her. My adopted daughter of my long dead best friend was crying over a Mother that wasn’t even hers, and here I sat without a tear in my eye. I didn’t even know why.. It wasn’t remorse, I wasn’t unhappy per say, I wasn’t crying or even really all that sad.. I guess I was just indifferent and only here for the twins’ sake.. Gareth and Gibson were behind me by my mother and father’s graves and I sat alone on a bench that my father had sat on 8 years ago, the night I first saw him. 

g2c18 p4

“Didn’t I warn you something like this would happen?” I jumped a little in fright as I heard my father’s voice ringing in my ear out of nowhere, looking over and seeing him standing in the grass, looking down at Faline’s grave where the last of the grievers stood that I failed to mention; Faline’s husband and daughter.. I didn’t reply, looking to them as well and soon my gaze went to the ground once more. “She was so pretty.. So young.. Is this catastrophic enough for you yet? That’s two on their list now.. Do you really think that she died from just falling down t-”

“Shut up.. Just, please.. Shut the fuck up for once.. The Mother of my son’s, my ex is dead and you really want to question that? Right now?”

“What? It’s not like you had even an ounce of care for her in your entire body..”

“You can’t just leave me alone.. Can you?” I asked.

“You ask such funny questions all the time.. I’m here because you need someone to talk to.. You can’t talk to your wife, your children, your sisters.. No one is here to listen but me,” he replied. I sat there in silence for a few more moments, not knowing what to say to him.

g2c18 p7

“Your sisters..” He began again, my attention going to my father briefly and noticing he was looking at them with a small smirk on his lips.

“What about them..?” I wondered.

“Just.. Look at them..” He continued and I kept my eyes on my father instead, seeing his expression calmed, happy, content, admiring his daughters and I finally looked to them as he had requested.

“Yeah.. They’re all grown up.. What the fuck about it?”

g2c18 p5
g2c18 p6

“Wow.. Hitomi has such a beautiful girl.. Anya looks just like Mom, doesn’t she?” He asked with a chuckle, looking to me with a smile and I scoffed.

“Shut up…”

“They’re all so pretty..” He continued.

“Yeah.. Don’t you wish you could tell them that yourself you fucking asshole?” I asked, looking to my father then with a smirk and he still kept his smile.

“It’s fun to see you try and torment someone. You’re only tormenting yourself,” he replied, but I was confused.

“What does that mean?”

“Again, with the funny questions.. Don’t you ever get tired of asking them?” He wondered with a smile and I turned away, losing my smirk instantly and focusing on the ground again.

g2c18 p8

I sat there in a short silence, trying to ignore my father, but he still refused to go away, “Have they ever wondered about me?” He asked.

“Who..?”

“The boys.. They’re by your Mother and I’s graves.. Have they ever asked about us?” He repeated.

“Yeah, I told them that their Grandmother was a saint and that their Grandfather was someone they should never waste their time thinking about..” I replied, looking to my father then with another smirk and he was the one with the serious face this time.

“They should know their history.. Why are you depriving them?”

“Maybe because you’re nothing to be proud of..” I retaliated, looking to him with a serious expression filled with anger and he then smirked, mocking me almost. 

“Heads up..” He replied, nodding his head towards Faline’s grave and I looked to where he motioned, seeing Faline’s husband walking my direction, though his eyes were set on the boy’s behind me.

g2c18 p9
g2c18 p10

I stood to my feet, ready to talk to him if he needed to but his eyes were filled with grief and hate as he continued to stare at my sons the closer he got. The expression he carried with him didn’t please me at all and it seemed as if he wanted to do something to the boy’s, so I stepped in front of him and stood like a brick wall, keeping him from going any further and he looked to me then, “I need to talk with Gareth..” He more so demanded than asked.

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” I questioned.

“Jason.. If you were ever going to be a decent human being in your entire life, you’d let me go talk to him and get what I need to say off my chest,” he rebutted but I held my ground.

I chuckled a little, “You don’t know shit about me. Now tell me why you’re giving my sons the stink eye at their mother’s funeral,” I requested sternly, still not letting him pass me.

g2c18 p11

“You know why.. That boy is nothing short of being the Devil himself and it makes me pity you on how you don’t see that,” he replied and a tingle went up my spine full of rage at his words.

You pitying me? That has to be the joke of the day..” I replied with a pathetic chuckle, seeing as how he was at his wife’s funeral claiming I was the one he pitied when really he should only feel sorry for himself and his daughter. The moment he implied an insult towards my son was when I knew for sure that he wasn’t just going to ‘talk’ to Gareth..

Let me pass or I swear I’ll-”

“You’ll what, exactly..?” I questioned, stepping up closer to him in an intimidating manner and he adjusted himself within his dark suit.

g2c18 p12

“He..” Faline’s husband continued, yet stopped to gather his next words, “Gareth did this to Faline, I’m sure of it..” He continued, “I was downstairs, watching television with her and she went upstairs to get something.. I heard another voice, his voice.. The next thing I knew, she screamed and I watched her fall down the stairs myself.. I watched my wife die before my very eyes..” He struggled to say, tears forming in his eyes and I noticed his body begin to shake. “The noise.. The sound of her neck breaking on the way down the stairs will forever be in my mind and it’s all because your son did it.. It’s all his fault my wife is gone..” He replied with a dead serious tone and expression. I could tell he wasn’t going to stop trying to get passed me, but one thing was for sure, there was no way I would let him.

g2c18 p14
g2c18 p15

You really want this to happen..? He just lost his mother.. What do you plan on doing exactly? Teach him a lesson as if he doesn’t already know how terrible he feels about her accident?” I asked, hearing him then chuckle to my words.

“Yeah.. Accident.. That’s exactly what it was..” He replied sarcastically.

I was done with this arguing, this pathetic attempt on blaming my boy for Faline’s death and I waited for an opportunity to put him into his place and get him to walk away. “Hey, whatever you were going to do or say to him, how about you say and do to me instead? I’ll be sure to give him the message” I offered an ultimatum.

“No.. Now let me by, Jason..” He refused.

“What is it? Are you going to beat up a little kid? Tell him that he’s the Devil in disguise? Tell him lies like Faline never loved him just to make him feel more like shit? Just get out of here, asshole.. You’re not getting any closer to my son and I guarantee this is the last you’ll see of him,” I threatened and I watched his face grow in rage.

g2c18 p13

“Do you know what I see when I look at him?” He asked me and I shrugged.

“I don’t give a shit what you see,” I replied but he continued anyway.

“I see a soulless, evil, conniving boy that got away with murder and I want to teach him a lesson for killing his own Mother.. My wife.. The Mother of my daughter!” He replied and I clenched my fists in anger.

“You want to teach my son a lesson? I would absolutely love to see you try,” I somewhat threatened.

“He’s like a miniature version of you, only more hollow and pathetic inside. What’s that old saying? ..Like Father, like Son?”

“Keep talking, bud, and I promise you’ll find yourself six feet under just as your precious wife is,” I threatened more and his eyes widened in both horror and rage.

“You piece of shit!” He called out and took a swing at me, though I expected it coming and I moved my body back and out of the way of his fist. 

g2c18 p17
g2c18 p18

I swung back, hitting him straight in the jaw as hard as I could and I watched him fall to the ground before me. I climbed on top of him and shoved my fist into his face again and again, making sure he would regret ever talking ill of my son and I could hear voices around me, though I couldn’t make out what they were saying; all I wanted to do was see this man pay for what he had said and make sure that he would never so much as think to come near my boy again.

g2c18 p19
g2c18 p20

I felt the strength of Anya and Hitomi, pulling me off of him with all of their strength and my sisters voices soon entered my ears, yelling at me to stop. Hitomi and Anya held me back as Faline’s husband stood to his feet and I yelled out threats as he staggered away from me, bleeding from his nose and lip, “Is this how you imagined spending your wife’s funeral!? Huh!? Taking out your grief on my boy, you fucking piece of shit!? If you ever talk about my son like that again I’ll fucking kill you, do you understand me!?” I yelled, trying to break free from Anya and Hitomi but they refused to let me go as I watched Faline’s husband walking away from me quickly.

g2c18 p21

Faline’s husband and daughter went passed the gates and left, I then jerked myself from Hitomi and Anya’s grip, “Get the fuck off me!” I demanded, feeling them release my arms and I could feel how hot and enraged my body was from what just happened. 

“Jason.. Don’t you think that was a little inappropriate timing?” Anya wondered.

“What the hell is up with you? He just lost his wife.. Calm down, alright?” Hitomi tried to compromise and I shook my head.

“Just leave me alone.. Thanks for coming, but just go home now,” I more so demanded, walking towards the twin’s who were looking to me in shock by my parents graves, ignoring everyone else that was there.

g2c18 p22

I went to the boys and looked to their faces, noticing Gibson was more worried than Gareth was. “Dad.. Are you okay?” He wondered. I looked to his emerald eyes for a moment and tried to calm my still quickened, anger filled breaths. 

“Yeah.. I’m fine, son..” I encouraged, placing my hand on top of his head and tousling his hair gently. Never did I think that Faline’s husband would try and start trouble with me or the boy’s at her funeral, I imagined him too weak to move and grieving too much to even come up with the conclusions that he did. What if I had decided not to come? What would he have said to Gareth? ..Would he have done anything to him..? I felt my heart beat beginning to race again at the thought of him hurting one of my boys, but I tried to put it passed me, more than happy that I had decided to come with Gareth and Gibson now knowing that Faline’s husband might’ve done something drastic. I was glad I was here to protect them. 

“That was awesome,” Gareth said with enthusiasm, a smile on his lips when I looked to him and I chuckled lightly.

“No, it was wasn’t.. Forget what you just saw,” I replied, looking down at my pants and noticing the they had scuffs in the knees, “Dammit.. These pants are ruined now,” I let out softly, sighing and looking back to the boys.

g2c18 p23
g2c18 p24

“Dad!” Lucy called out behind me and I sighed even heavier this time, knowing she wasn’t going to like what she had just witnessed me doing. I turned around and I could see in Lucy’s face how bothered she felt, “What the hell was that?” She asked.

“Nothing, baby girl.. I’m sorry, I just.. Lost my temper with him,” I tried to reason and calm her, but she refused; she was furious with me and it was written all over her face.

“What did he even say for you to do something like that? Faline loved that man and you got into a fight with him at her funeral for Christ sakes!” She spat back.

“Luce.. It’s a long story, I’ll explain to you later,” I replied, giving a glance back at the twins, trying to let her know I didn’t want to discuss it in front of them and Lucy let out an aggravated sigh, though catching my drift.

g2c18 p25
g2c18 p26

“Are you coming home for dinner?” I asked next, seeing her expression still holding a grudge against me and it made me regret everything that had happened with Faline’s husband.

Lucy shook her head, “I already talked to Aunt Hitomi and she said I could sleep over. Helena’s going to stay home with me tomorrow, I don’t want to go back to school yet..” She made fact without even asking me, but I decided not to contest it.

“Oh.. Yeah, I guess that’s okay.. Are you headed over there now?”

“Helena and I are going to go and hangout somewhere, then go back to Aunt Hitomi’s.”

“All right.. Will you call me tomorrow? Let me know how you’re doing?” I requested, Lucy pausing a moment before answering.

“Yeah, whatever, Dad..” She replied, not convincing me at all and she looked towards the twins, “Bye, guys..” She said softly, turning around then and leaving the cemetery.

g2c18 p27

The boys said bye to Lucy and I looked to them after she was out of our sights, “I bet Bennu is making dinner, are you two ready to head back now?” I wondered.

“Yeah, I’m hungry,” Gareth replied, yet Gibson didn’t say anything.

“Hey, why don’t you go wait in the car, bud? We’ll be right there,” I said to Gareth and he nodded, handing him the keys to my car and he left Gibson and I alone.

I looked to Gibson who’s expression was sad and unsure, furrowing my brows in worry and I knelt down in front of him, “Hey.. What is it?” I asked, seeing Gibson look to the grass before he looked back up to me.

“I just..” He stopped, looking to the ground again, “I miss Mom.. I just never thought anything like this would happen, or could happen.. Why does she have to be gone?” He asked, the moon showing a small glint in his eyes as they began to tear up a little.

“Hey, hey.. It’s okay. Accidents happen like this all the time. Why it had to happen to your Mother, I don’t know.. But, just remember that she’s in a better place now,” I replied.

“A better place than with us?” He questioned after, sighing under my breath and realizing that that might’ve not have been the best thing to say, but I didn’t know what else to tell him.

g2c18 p28

“Listen Gibs.. No place is better for her than to be with you guys, but she can’t now. The next best thing is in heaven, right?” I asked.

“What if I don’t believe in that kind of thing?”

“Well.. Even if you don’t believe it, that’s where she is. She misses you guys just as much, but she’s happy still, I’m sure of it.. Your grief will pass, but she’ll always be with you,” I replied, still trying to cheer him up, and for how bad I thought I was doing, he seemed to become more understanding.

“Are Grandma and Grandpa with you?” He asked, looking to me with curiosity and I let out another sigh.

“Yup, they sure are..” I replied, seeing him smirk softly and I bent down after standing, hugging Gibson and he returned it, “Believe me when I say things will get better, okay buddy?” I continued.

“Okay,” he replied, releasing me from the hug and I tousled his blonde hair, putting my hand to his shoulder then and leading him out of the cemetery to head home.

g2c18 p29

The car ride home was quiet.. Gareth played a game on his phone, laying in the back seat while Gibson rest his head against his window next to me in the passenger seat, staring blankly out it as we drove through the city to get home. I glanced in his direction a few times while driving, seeing his expression the same almost the entire time. I pulled out my phone, tapping his leg with it and he looked to me as if confused at first, taking the phone and looking to me questionably, “Text Bennu and tell her we’re on our way home, okay?” I asked and he nodded, doing as I had asked.

“She already sent you something, want me to read it?” He wondered and I nodded, waiting as he read the message, “Uh oh.. She wants to know why you got into a fight,” he said quietly and I let out an irritated sigh.

“Dammit, Lucy..” I said under my breath, knowing already that she had told Bennu, “Just ignore it, I’ll talk to her when we get home.. Tell her we’re almost there,” I replied and he nodded. Great, now I have to explain to her what had happened and I was in no mood to explain anything, I just wanted to go home, eat dinner and sleep after this long day.

g2c18 p30
g2c18 p31
g2c18 p32

The boys hopped out of the car before me and I followed, “Go straight upstairs and wash up for dinner.. You can change out of those clothes, too, if you want,” I told them after they walked into the house.

“Thank Godddd,” Gareth wined, glad that he could get out of the proper and formal attire he wasn’t used to nor very fond of in the first place. The boys went up to their room and I took in a huge whiff through my nose, smelling Bennu’s cooking coming from the kitchen that now filled the entire house. It smelled of her famous Egyptian Shawarma dish and I could also smell a pumpkin pie that had been made, the smells getting stronger as I made my way towards the kitchen and saw Bennu by the sink. 

I let out a soft sigh, preparing for whatever she was going to say, “We’re home,” I spoke softly, seeing her dry off her hands then and turn to look at me.

g2c18 p34
g2c18 p35

Bennu stepped up closer, “How are the boy’s doing? And Lucy?” She wondered, surprising me a little on how she didn’t mention the fight yet.

“They seem to be doing pretty okay.. How are you and Bahiti?” I wondered.

“We’re fine..” She paused, her eyes looking down to my tie briefly and letting out a sigh, “Why did you hit that man?” She finally asked, “Lucy called to tell me she wasn’t going to be home for dinner and she was already crying though that didn’t surprise me, but she was more than upset about the funeral.. She was upset about you.. So, why?” She continued, making eye contact with me again and worry was written on her face.

“The guy just wasn’t hittin’ the right buttons, he didn’t know when to shut his mouth, so I did it for him,” I replied.

“Jazon.. You are a grown man, what are you trying to teach the boy’s by acting like that?”

“Bennu, you should’ve heard the things he was saying to me, I couldn’t take it anymore.. I’m sorry I let it get out of hand, but I wasn’t going to just let him get away with what he was saying,” I answered, letting out a heavy sigh and I watched as her gaze fell to the floor. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

g2c18 p36
g2c18 p37

“You don’t.. You didn’t still have feelings for her, did you? Were you jealous of that man?” She asked, my jaw dropping a little in surprise and I wasn’t expecting that question.

“Bennu, no.. Of course not. Is that why you’re so upset about this?” I asked and she paused a moment, then nodding as she looked up to me. I was warmed by the thought of her being jealous, I had always liked when women would get jealous of others that were involved with me, but Bennu never has anything worry about. I stepped up closer to her and cupped her cheek within my palm, caressing her face with my thumb, “He was talking about Gareth.. He insulted him and me right to my face and I wasn’t going to stand for it, so I hit him.. Not because of Faline or because I was jealous of him,” I explained, “He should be more than jealous of me instead,” I cooed quietly with a flirtatious tone, seeing the tiniest smirk form on her lips.

“What did he say about Gareth?” She wondered, but I didn’t want to explain it all right now.

g2c18 p38

“I’ll tell you later,” I assured her, continuing to caress her cheek with my thumb. Even through the homey and strong smells of freshly made food within the kitchen, her scent still managed to overpower it all and it made me fall hard for her each and every time. “Do you love me?” I asked, seeing her then smile and nod.

“Of course I do,” she replied and I smile in return.

“And I love you.. Don’t you ever forget that, got me?” I joked softly and she chuckled, pulling me into a long kiss that I more than welcomed and I wrapped my arms around her.

g2c18 p39
g2c18 p40

Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti came downstairs from their rooms and we all sat for dinner, though it felt a little empty without Lucy there as I looked to the empty seat next to me where she usually sat; I imagined she was still out with Helena, probably eating at a diner somewhere that the two loved to do so much. Seeing how upset she was earlier made me want to go back and change the outcome of what had happened with Faline’s husband and I, but at the same time, I was proud of myself for sticking up for my boys; I wasn’t about to let him get away with the things he said just because his grief drove him to crazy assumptions. I felt he needed to blame her death on someone, and Gareth was it. I didn’t talk much through dinner and neither did Gibson, I mostly listened to everyone else’s conversations.. I wasn’t feeling very social right now for whatever reason.

g2c18 p42
g2c18 p43

After dinner, the kids all went into the living room to play a video game together while Bennu cleaned up and I stayed with her for company. “So, vhat did that man say about Garth? Now knowing why you hit him, I probably would’ve hit him as well,” Bennu said as she washed the dishes.

“He, umm..” I began, checking over my shoulder and still seeing the kids in the living room, looking to Bennu again, “He actually called him the Devil.. He’s blaming him for her death,” I said with a chuckle following it, anger building up again a little, but I managed to stay calm. However, Bennu didn’t.

“Uck! The nerve of that man! Calling a sweet little boy such cruel things.. You should’ve gave him a new face,” she hissed and I chuckled again.

“Yeah, well.. I would’ve but my sisters pulled me off of him before I could,” I replied, hearing her ‘hmph’ under her breath.

“Is he all right? Did he hear anything he said to you?” She asked, looking to me after the dishes were done and I shrugged.

“I don’t think so.. He didn’t act like he did, nor did Gibson..”

“Well, that’s good at least.. I couldn’t imagine how he would feel if he had,” she replied, letting out a soft sigh.

g2c18 p44
g2c18 p45

“Don’t let it bother you.. Come here,” I requested, seeing her smile and walk up to me. I turned her around and let my hands run up and down her torso slowly, feeling her lean back against me and shut her eyes in a relaxed manner.

“Mmm.. Let’s just go upstairs to the bedroom and not come out for days,” she said quietly, her tone filled with ecstasy as my hands rubbed softly just under her chest.

“Sounds like a plan to me,” I replied, chuckling as I leaned down and kissed her neck. She continued to let out soft moans in pleasure, my hands then continuing upward and they ran up to her breasts, though before I would indulge on her body and make her ache for me, a noise rang in our ears and it was the sound of the front gate being buzzed. “Fuckin’ figures..” I said with a groan following it and Bennu joins me in letting out a displeased moan.

“Make them go away,” she said with a wanting tone, giggling after and I smirked, kissing her neck again.

“I’ll be back in no time,” I replied, feeling her leave my grip and I hopped off the counter, heading towards the door and already hating whoever was there for cock blocking me from my own wife.

g2c18 p46

I got to the front door and pressed the button to talk, “Yeah?” I asked, wanting to make this quick so Bennu and I could retreat upstairs for some much needed time alone.

“Hello, Mr. Duboys.. This is Detective Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department, you may remember me from some years ago?” A man replied and I tried to think back.. Oh.. Shit. It was the detective that came by after Lana had died.. Or rather, been killed by me. I paused a moment, then held my finger on the talk button.

“Um.. Can I help you with something?”

“Well, if you wouldn’t mind letting me in, that would be great.. It’s getting rather cold out at nights now,” he replied with a chuckle. I hesitated once again, but soon pressed the button to unlock the gate and let him in; what could this be about..?

g2c18 p47

I grew a little nervous, wanting to know what the detective could be doing here at this time of night and for what reason. I opened the door for him and he came in, shivering a little, “Man.. You can sure tell winter’s coming,” he joked and I smirked, though I lost it just as fast as it had been formed.

“So, what brings you over on such a night?” I wondered, looking to him curiously.

“Straight to the point then, huh? All right.. Well, to be honest, I’m investigating the cause of death for Faline Hubbard, married now with the name Faline Ruttin.. I assume you know her, seeing as she was the mother of your twin boys, am I right?” He replied and I furrowed my brow in confusion.

“Yeah.. Knew her.. I still don’t understand why you’re here in my house, though,” I answered, seeing his face turn a little more serious now.

“Well, as you know, the autopsy shows that she broke her neck when she fell, which is what killed her.. But I’m just trying to put the pieces together on why she fell.. That’s all.. If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like to ask your son a couple of routine questions..?” He wondered, my expression then turning a little sour.

“Who?”

“Gareth. I’ve already recieved a statement from Faline’s husband and their daughter, Sherri.. I understand though that Sherri and Gibson were in bed sleeping when it all happened, so I would just like to ask Gareth if he happened to’ve seen what happened. Just a few minor questions, Jason, and I’m out of your hair,” he encouraged. I didn’t like where this was going, I could tell that he was lying to me, but I couldn’t figure out what was a lie and what was truth. I thought for a moment, then looked to the detective and nodded.

“Okay.. He’s in the living room,” I agreed, telling myself there was nothing to worry about, but I couldn’t help in feeling a little nervous about all of this.

g2c18 p49
g2c18 p50
g2c18 p51

I escorted Detective Grander towards the living room, walking in through the open doorway and the loud game along with their laughter and harmless bickering filled our ears. I stopped by the doorway and the detective stopped behind me, “Gareth, come here a moment, will you?” I asked, seeing him ignore me for a few brief seconds and I asked once more, “Gareth.. Come over here,” I repeated.

“Dad, I’m winning! I’m right in the middle of th-”

Gareth.. Now,” I asserted more and I heard him let out an aggravated groan, putting his controller down and walking over to us.

g2c18 p53

“Gareth, this is Detective Reed Grander, he just wants to ask you a few questions,” I introduced them and Gareth seemed to freeze a little after I had introduced them.

“Hey there, Gareth.. I just wanna get some information from you, that’s all.. I’m very sorry for your loss, you must be a little overwhelmed by today a little.. I understand it was your mother’s funeral..” The detective began, his tone filled with remorse.

“Uh.. Yeah.. It was a little hard,” Gareth replied, looking down to the floor briefly before looking back up to the detective.

“I can imagine you miss her a lot, huh?” He continued.

“Um, yeah.. I do,” Gareth answered, looking to me as if asking for help but I gave him a comforting expression back, letting him know it was okay and Grander continued.

g2c18 p55
g2c18 p56

I understand you were awake when your mother, um.. Fell.. Am I correct?” He asked and I looked to him, wondering if this was the best time to be talking about this, but Gareth seemed to reply without it letting it overwhelm him.

“Yeah, I was.. I was using the bathroom,” he replied.

“The upstairs one, or the one downstairs?”

“Upstairs.. There was a door to it in the hallway and through Mom’s room, but none of us are allowed in there,” Gareth answered. 

“Did you ever hear your mother conversing with anyone? Did you talk to her at all when you went to or came out of the bathroom?”

“No.. I was in the bathroom and I heard her scream, so I came out and saw her at the bottom of the stairs.”

“Oh…” Grander answered with an unconvinced tone, causing me to grow a little more nervous, but he continued anyways.

g2c18 p57

Sherri claims that you were at the top of the stairs when she came out of her room.”

“Yeah, I kinda just said that.” Gareth replied instantly; I couldn’t tell if he was telling the truth or just an amazing liar.

“I guess what I mean is, when she came out, she saw you and she remembers you saying the words ‘I didn’t mean to’, do you remember this?”

“I didn’t say anything like that.. I said ‘I don’t know what happened’.. She just probably got confused.”

“Ah.. I see.. Well, I suppose that’s all I need.. Thank you for your time, Gareth.. And again, I’m sorry for your loss,” Detective Grander replied and Gareth nodded, looking to me then.

“You can go now,” I confirmed his nonverbal question and he walked back over to the couches with his brother and sister.

g2c18 p58

Is something the matter?” The detective wondered as I stared at my children.

“No.. It just.. Brings back bad memories of you being here the last time.”

“Well, my apologies then. I’m sure after this visit, you won’t see me for a while, of course unless you give me a reason to come back,” he joked, seeing him smile out of the corner of my eye and hearing him chuckle lightly. I joined him in the chuckle, but only to humor him.

g2c18 p59
g2c18 p60

Bennu then joined us and cleared her throat, catching both of our attention and I smiled towards her, hearing a quiet whistle coming from Detective Grander’s lips that peeved me a little, but I was glad that his attention wasn’t on my boy anymore. “Sorry, this is my wife, Bennu.. Bennu, this is Detective Reed Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department,” I introduced them.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you,” Bennu said with a smile.

“Pleasure is mine, I’m sure,” the detective answered with a smile, “Interesting accent, where are you from?”

“I moved here from Egypt a little under 15 years ago,” Bennu answered proudly, “Please, can I offer you anything? Perhaps a cup of coffee?” She asked and he nodded.

“That would be wonderful, thank you, Mrs. Dubois,” he replied, finally getting my last name right for once..

“Would you like some, baby?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, thanks,” I replied, watching as she then smiled towards me and walked to the kitchen, the detective accompanying her as I hung back a moment.

g2c18 p61
g2c18 p62

I hung back and stood near the doorway like I had been, looking over to the couches where my children were and my eyes went fixed on Gareth. I didn’t know what to think anymore.. Accidents happen like this all the time, but for some reason this whole situation just wasn’t sitting right. What am I doing? I couldn’t tell if I believed my son or believed what the voice in my gut was telling me.. Was I in complete denial of what my son was capable of doing? He was so young, too young to be doing things like this to other people, whether he cared for them or not. 

g2c18 p63
g2c18 p64

I joined Bennu and the detective in the kitchen who were already enjoying the coffee that was made, seeing my cup in a spot next to Bennu and I joined them, trying to shake off everything I was just thinking and composing myself. 

g2c18 p65
g2c18 p66

So, what brings you to our home tonight, Detective?” Bennu wondered, taking a sip of her coffee.

“Oh, I just needed to ask Gareth a few questions.. Just tying up a few loose ends, that’s all..” He replied and I took a nervous sip of my coffee.

“Well, have they been tied up?” She asked.

“Not yet,” he replied, giving a quick glance over at Bennu that I assumed he thought I wouldn’t notice, continuing then, “But, it’ll he ruled an accident when I leave here.”

g2c18 p67
g2c18 p68

Just curious..” I decided to add something in, “What would compel someone to think a child would be capable of doing something like this, let alone to his own mother?” I wondered.

“Well, you’d be surprised to know that kids are just as capable of killing as much as adults are, but.. Given the grief he seems to show, even despite him playing his video games happily.. Mentioning his mother seemed to make him get very reserved and a little hurt by what we were discussing, as it should’ve.. If he was involved in any way, he would’ve most likely acted different. Playing video games is a good way to ignore, or even cope with loss, too.”

“And if he had showed any other signs than that?” I asked.

“Let’s just be glad we don’t need to be discussing that matter right now,” he replied, giving me a slightly comforting smirk and I nodded.

g2c18 p69

After finishing his cup of coffee with us and staying a little bit longer than he had intended, he stood from his chair and smiled, “Well, thank you for the coffee, I should be getting home now, though”

“Yeah, thanks for coming by..” I replied.

“Sure, just doing my job,” he added, looking to Bennu then and keeping his smile, “It was lovely meeting you.”

“Likewise,” she replied. I stood up to walk him out, but he put his hands up, gesturing for me not to bother.

“Don’t worry, I can see myself out.. Good seeing you again, Jason.. Despite the circumstances,” he said with a genuine tone, yet he was slightly apologetic with it as well and we watched him leave.

g2c18 p70
g2c18 p71

Bennu went upstairs to get ready for bed and I went to the living room to round up the kids and send them to bed as well, seeing them still playing the same racing game for the passed hour now. “Alright, time for bed, come on..” I announced, hearing them all groan and I let out a chuckle, “Come onnnn, turn it off.. It’ll be there when you get back from school tomorrow,” I encouraged, seeing them all then reluctantly get up and shut everything down. I followed them going to the stairs and watched as they all ascended up them, “Brush your teeth, change your clothes and all that.. Goodnight,” I added, watching the boys go to their room and Bahiti to hers. 

g2c18 p72
g2c18 p72-2

I got to my room and noticed a single light on in the corner, then over to the bed where I saw Bennu lying down with her leg propped up. “You still awake?” I wondered, shutting the bedroom door behind me and I pulled off my suit jacket to toss it over the chair near me.

I heard Bennu let out a relaxed sigh, “Yes,” she answered softly, “Are you coming to bed now?” She wondered.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a sec, I’m gunna shower really quick,” I replied, going to the bathroom as I removed my tie and began undoing my shirt.

g2c18 p73
g2c18 p74

I took about a ten minute shower, though I spent even more time at the sink starring at myself. My father’s words were all that I could think about at the moment;

     “Is this catastrophic enough for you?”

          “That’s two on their list now..”

I hated how I was starting to think he was right, but even if he was, there was no way I could stop them the way he wants me to. I refused to stood down to his level and off my own children like he attempted. My children are my life, and my boys were not monsters; they’re the ones that will keep our legacy going, and I was going to change our name so our pasts would not be only know for bloodshed anymore. I convinced myself I’d be the beginning to a new, better, less violent generation of the Dubois name.. I hope I could pull it off.

g2c18 p75

When I finally got out of the bathroom, I walked to the bed and crawled in, noticing Bennu had fallen asleep waiting for me. I propped myself up with one hand as the other found its way to the side of her face, running my fingertips down her cheek. I couldn’t imagine what was going through my fathers mind that one fateful night that compelled him to take such actions; from how I saw things, he was extremely controlling over us and my mother, yet I had never caught on once that he would one day be labeled a murder. As monotone, boring and strict as he was, he had always seemed to be in love with her.. I couldn’t imagine doing anything harmful to my wife as he had done to his.. Who would ever want to hurt the one they loved most in the world?

Generation 2, Chapter 16

g2c16 p1

I can’t believe how fast time flies.. Eight years ago when Faline moved out was when my life finally started to get better and things didn’t seem so difficult anymore. The day she left, I couldn’t wait to get her out the door. We had been getting more on each others nerves and less involved with one another’s needs, but she didn’t have what I wanted. Ever since I met Bennu, I knew I wanted to be with her, I wanted to try, yet she did nothing but deny me because of her career, or job, whatever stripping can be labeled. But, then something amazing happened and she came to my office as jaw-dropping as ever and then the fourth best thing happened in my life; our daughter, Bahiti. Everything changed then, this was the sign I was waiting for from Bennu and to be honest, the moment she stepped through my office doors was when I knew deep down is that that would be what led to the demise of Faline and I. Bennu never asked me to leave Faline, nor did she give me any ultimatum, but she couldn’t be with me knowing I was with Faline and I felt as if I’d never be happy unless I was with Bennu; so, Faline was out of the picture, just like that.

g2c16 p2

Faline and I talked less and less, but that’s a given; she hates me more than anything, but I could care less. She married someone a few years back and they had a kid together; I only know because Gareth won’t stop complaining about it. Gareth doesn’t like her husband, who’s name always escapes me, nor the idea of not getting much attention from her anymore, but it’s understandable at that age. No one wants to be forgotten about. He’s grow away from Faline, too, ever since we split up; he enjoys being around Gibson, Lucy and I more so than Faline, but, I’m not complaining. I love spending time with my children. Gibson has grown into a pretty happy kid, nothing really bothers him and he doesn’t let a lot get him down, or at least he doesn’t let it show. His vision has gotten a little worse and I had to get him glasses not too long ago; he takes after Faline way more than me, he does have her eyes, after all.

g2c16 p3

Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti are all 12 now and Lucy just turned 16. Lucy’s grown into a beautiful young woman and it bothers me whenever I see boys her age googly-eyed over her, but I try my hardest not to get involved. She’s a strong, capable, determined girl, and I trust her judgment; she hardly gets into trouble, either.. Well, at least she’s never gotten caught doing anything bad that I had to hear about.. She’s growing up to be a lot like Lana as far as not taking shit from anyone, yet she’s nothing like her at the same time. It’s hard to describe, but either way, I’m proud of how she turned out despite everything she’s been through her whole life. We’re still as close as ever and we got through all of the bullshit together; she’s helped me get passed things more than she knows.

g2c16 p4
g2c16 p5
g2c16 p6

The summer festival was in town and we all came together to have fun and let go a little. Things at the bar were going well; I got rid of my secretary, Miss Chu, a little after Faline and I had split up and hired an older woman in her 40’s who knew how to do the job better. I hired a manager for the bar so I could have more time at home with my family, someone who could watch it without me needing to be there the whole time and they could even help me with my work in the office should I ever need them to. All of the kids have been doing so well in school, working hard to keep their grades up and I decided they all deserved a treat and I’m letting them do whatever they want today. Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti wanted to come to the festival, Lucy wanted to stay home or even go out with her friends, but since three of the four wanted to do the same thing, I made it into a family day and made her come with us all. But, Lucy doesn’t seem to mind now since she ran into some of her friends at the festival and I let her go off to hang out with them; just so long as she stays at the festival..

g2c16 p7
g2c16 p8

I heard quick footsteps approaching me and I looked to the source, seeing my pretty little Bahiti running towards me and I smiled. 

Daddy, look! I’ve won so many tickets!” She called out joyfully and I chuckled, checking out how much she had earned and I’d guess she was holding about 35 tickets.

“Wow, that’s great, baby. Where’s your mom at?” I wondered and she looked around.

“Hmm.. Last time I saw her she was skating, do you want me to find her?” She questioned, looking back to me with a warm smile.

“No, that’s alright.. I’ll find her eventually.”

g2c16 p9

“Can I get a snow cone?” She questioned next excitedly and I smiled more.

You can’t buy one with your tickets?” I joked and Bahiti laughed.

No, Dad! I need monneeyyy,” she pleaded sweetly and I chuckled, shifting where I sat and I pulled out my wallet, handing her a twenty dollar bill and putting my wallet back into my back shorts pocket, “Awesome, thank you!” She added as she turned on her heel and ran off and I watched her, letting out a soft sigh.

g2c16p10

“She’s grown into quite the young lady, huh?” Asked a deeper, more intimidating voice than my own; my body quivering a little in discomfort. I didn’t respond, leaning forward angrily and trying to ignore the voice of my father. “She looks a lot like both you and Bennu.. Who do you think she’ll resemble more when she gets older?” He wondered, trying to make idle conversation and as much as it seemed genuine, his words always started out that way, yet he always eventually turned into the asshole I knew.

“Why the fuck are you wearing a suit? It’s 85 degrees outside,” I spat back, hating that he was still haunting me ever since I visited the cemetery 8 years ago. I saw my father from time to time throughout the years, but he had been coming back around more often now and I found it hard sometimes to get rid of him.

“Well, that’s a funny question,” he replied.

“Why,” I asked bluntly.

“Gareth seems happy, Gibson seems like a good boy,” he ignored my question.

“Don’t even taint them by looking at them,” I answered.

g2c16p11
g2c16p12

“What are you going to do when Bahiti gets to be Lucy’s age?” He questioned curiously.

“What does that mean..”

“Well, Lucy obviously has filled out. She’s a beautiful young woman just waiting to be tainted by boys like you when you were that age.”

“Shut the fuck up,” I demanded. I refused to listen to his words and refused to think of my Lucy being described in such ways.

“What? She’s not yours, don’t get so worked up.” He replied. There it was, the negative thoughts and everything that I hated thinking about, all popping into my head now that my father had showed up. My body shook with anger, yet I shut my eyes and repeated to myself in my head that he wasn’t really there, but no matter how many times I thought it, I could still see him sitting next to me out of the corner of my eye.

g2c16p13
g2c16p14

“You know..” He continued, making my skin crawl with rage even more, “Gareth is going to be quite the little handful, not like he isn’t already, but he’ll be.. Different. He’ll be like the both of us in no time.. Worse, maybe,” he continued, my vision going to Gareth as he had a water balloon fight with Gibson. I saw him smiling, laughing, enjoying the company of his brother playing with him and I in the background watching, yet, I noticed my father was right; I could see pain behind his eyes no matter what expression Gareth took and I wondered what my father knew about him that I didn’t.

“Don’t talk about him like you know him.. He’ll be fine. There’s nothing wrong with me and there won’t be anything wrong with him. You, on the other hand, I can’t vouch for,” I replied and I heard him chuckle lightly in amusement. 

“I’m not asking you to, I’m only telling you the truth. I’ve been telling you the same thing over and over again for the passed 8 years and you still refuse to believe it,” he replied, “Even the boys themselves have given you clues that something’s not right with them, why do you withdraw yourself whenever these signs are apparent?” He wondered.

My anger lessened as my curiosity grew, turning my attention towards my father slowly and as much as I hated looking at any part of him, we finally connected eyes and I watched him smirk, “It’s been a while since you’ve had enough balls to look at me,” he said softly in his deep tone and I sighed heavily. I was worried for Gareth and Gibson despite how much I tried to hide it. “Look, I’m the only one you know who understands this best, there’s no point in lying to yourself and telling yourself that your children aren’t weird in the head. They may not show it fully now, but whenever that time comes, it’ll be something catastrophic. What’s worse here is that they seem to feed off one another, a good and an evil duo, yet both of them have the same twitch in their brain that makes them want to do bad things,” he continued and I turned my attention back to the boys.

“Is there a point to what you’re saying?”

“What I’m saying, Jason, is that it’s already started. Two is worse than one, especially if the two work together,” he continued and I looked back over to him, raising a brow.

g2c16p15

“What are you talking about? They haven’t done anything ‘catastrophic’ yet and they won’t,” I added, getting angry again by his words.

“Do you recall about two winters ago when Bahiti had come home crying, her nose bleeding, her face pale, her body shaking from being white-washed in the snow and tormented by a boy after school? He had called her names, very terrible names, and he even said terrible things about you and Bennu, probably thanks to his gossiping parents,” my fists balled in anger, remembering how scared and helpless she felt when she had gotten home. I could care less what the parents from the school said about us, all I cared about was that my youngest was getting bullied and no one seemed to be doing anything about it. Bahiti didn’t want to go back to school for a whole week, she refused, and I stayed home with her a few of the days that Bennu couldn’t, watching movies together and I held her as she sobbed on and off from what she had been put through. 

“Yeah.. I remember.”

“So, then you remember the boy being in the paper about two weeks after what happened to Bahiti?” He continued and I shook my head ‘no’, “Oh, you must’ve skipped over that section somehow.. He went missing, his parents thought he was kidnapped. But, they found his body when the snow melted in spring, he was bludgeoned to death with a bat and he had been buried under the snow the whole time,” he added and I looked to him with a somewhat worried expression.

“What does this have to do with anything?” I asked, trying to see his point.

“He was a big kid.. No one found out who did it, yet by the trajectory in which the bat had hit his skull, they said that someone his size or even smaller did it. Another child,” he continued.

“So? What, are you implying that one of the boys did it?”

“No, I’m implying that both worked together in order to get the job done in defending their sister since one of them alone probably would’ve ended up the same way Bahiti did. It only makes sense to have a partner in crime when you can’t get it done by yourself.”

“Are you seriously trying to convince me that Gareth and Gibson killed that little boy when they were only 10?” I asked, my expression growing worried, yet I tried to keep my cool as to not cause a scene; it would only look like I’m arguing with myself, anyhow..

g2c16p16

I watched as my father looked to the boys, “I’m not trying anything, I can sense that you don’t not believe it.. I’m telling you that it’s already begun and there’s no stopping it now.. Well, unless you do something like I attempted, but I failed, and so might you,” he added and I caught him smiling towards Gareth.

“No, I would never do anything to hurt my family.. I don’t understand.. If all of that is true, how were they able to do it? How do they hide it?”

“Maybe they don’t know they did it. Maybe they do know but have a fine understanding of it to know it’s wrong, but they don’t care. Maybe they enjoyed it, maybe they didn’t feel like it was wrong because it felt right,” he continued.

“What felt right..? Defending their sister, or just killing him in general?” I questioned, joining my father in looking at the two boys.

“Only they know, ask them if you’d like.. See if they grow scared of you in thinking they’ll be punished, or see if they’re excited about it.”

“No, I can’t do that.. I can’t lump them into the same category as murderers.”

“Why? You’re one,” he threw back. Over the years that have passed, bits and pieces of the night that Lana died came back into my mind and I realized only about a year or two ago that I was the one that pushed her over the edge. I went through a little rough patch in my life when I had finally realized it, but I was able to get passed it quicker that I had imagined I would.

“And so are you,” I replied.

“Then who’s to rule out that they aren’t?”

“Just stop, Dad.. Please.. Just let me enjoy this day with my family. I’m getting tired of talking to you,” I requested, unable to handle the conversation anymore and he didn’t say anything for a few long seconds.

g2c16p17
g2c16p18

I leaned forward again and took a moment to breathe, calming my mind and continuing to watch the boys. I didn’t know what to say.. When I looked at them, all’s I saw was two happy kids who have had a life with its up’s and down’s, but now that my father had opened my eyes a little more, I wasn’t sure what to think now when I looked at them. They looked so innocent. Gibson looked up to Gareth and Gareth has always looked out for his siblings, but it was still hard for me to believe that they could’ve done something so cruel already at such a young age.. Killing someone.. Gareth liked to pull his pranks and taunt his siblings, he was the one I had to punish the most out of all my children, but he’s never been that evil. Well, to my knowledge, at least..

g2c16p19

I stood from the bench, still watching the boys as I heard my father behind me, “Off to be with the family now?” He wondered.

“Yeah.. I’ve spent enough time just sitting here doing nothing,” I replied.

“You haven’t been doing nothing, you’ve been realizing and coming to terms with what happens to boys that are born in this family. It’s quite alright, you’ll come to understand it better soon.”

“I understand it just fine.. We’re crazy, we try to do things that we think is helping our loved ones, we try our hardest to make sure everything is the way it should be. But, what’s happened to everyone? What happens to the ones that try?” I wondered.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“What happened to your Dad? What happened to your grandfather? Great grandfather? ..Is there no one left to these families besides the ones that are here with me now?”

“My father killed my sisters and my mother, my grandfather killed himself, and my great grandfather experimented on his wife which eventually killed her. Happy now?”

“Not even close..” I replied, sighing heavily to myself.

g2c16p20

“So.. You tried to stop it all by getting rid of the only known Dubois’ to be alive, which I’ll remind you again that it was your own children and your wife, just to stop anything else bad from happening?”

“More or less, yes.”

“Well, like you’ve said a million times already, you failed. I’m here, my son’s and daughter’s are here, my sisters are here and their husbands, their children.. Looks like it’s never going to stop because I sure as hell am never going to be the one to lay a single violent finger on my family. So, with that being said, I’d appreciate it if you never showed up like this again. I’ve had hope that one day it would be mom instead of you, but it’s always you, wearing the same goddamn thing, saying the same stupid shit over and over. If you want us to live, if you’re worried that I might fall off the handle and do something to them, then leave me alone. You’re the only thing that shows me how right you are about us, that I’m nuts because you’re obviously dead, yet here you are.. Feeding me all of this information as if you want me to do something about it and I won’t. I’ll never stoop down to your level, I’ll never hurt anyone again.. Just leave me and what’s mine alone.”

“I’m sorry, Jason, our minds just don’t work that way. You’re the one that wants advice, guidance, some kind of understanding, so here I am. We’ll see each other again, I’m sure of it..” He replied.

g2c16p21
g2c16p22
g2c16p23

I shut my eyes and took a deep breath in, letting it out slowly and I checked out of the corner of my eye to see if my father was still sitting on the bench, but he was gone.. Good. I didn’t really have any plans on what I would do about my father, I wasn’t sure how much more I could take, listening to him repeat himself over and over about how he had failed at killing all of us the night that he tried. I could tell he had regret, but it wasn’t for trying to kill his family, it was failing at doing so. To think that if he had succeeded, it made me sick to think about how none of my children would be here, Lana would still be alive, Faline would’ve never met me and we never would have had that one night at college and I wouldn’t have my twins, I wouldn’t have Bahiti, Hitomi would’ve never married John and had Helena, Anya would’ve never met her husband.. So many lives other than our own would be so different had my father succeeded; whether they’re better or worse, with or without us, I’ll never know. 

“Be good, boys,” I said sternly as I walked passed Gareth and Gibson to go inside and search for everyone else.

g2c16p24
g2c16p25
g2c16p26
g2c16p27

I walked into the complex and I loved that we had the place to ourselves mostly. Bahiti stood by the edge of the skating rink, watching Bennu skate by herself and I joined her by the edge, watching her skate as well. After Faline and I had split up and she moved out, it didn’t take me long to get back in touch with Bennu and catch her up on everything that’s been happening. I told her about Faline and how she wasn’t involved in my life anymore and I told her about how I gained custody of Lucy and everything involving Faline and the boys. We started dating then and eventually I introduced Bennu and Bahiti to Lucy, Gareth and Gibson. Bennu and Lucy became friends quickly and Lucy absolutely loved the idea of a little sister more than her little troublesome brothers, Lucy and Bahiti liked to spend time with one another and play together. The boys loved to have someone younger than them around to tease and torment, but at the same time they loved playing with Bahiti and showing her new things; they’ve almost become more protective over Bahiti than I already was. The twins took a few years to accept Bennu being around more, but they seem to like her just fine now.

g2c16p28
g2c16p29

Bennu and I got married around 5 years ago and were even thinking about having another baby together, but it just never really happened; my life was hectic enough as it was, and although I would’ve been ecstatic if she were to get pregnant again, I knew I’d have to sacrifice a lot more than I already was to deal with the baby; not to mention a mountain of more stress and responsibility that I wasn’t stable enough for. I smirked softly as I watched Bennu struggle to keep her balance as she strolled around in skates for the first time in her life, admiring how well she was doing. I looked to the opposite side of the rink and noticed Lucy by herself now and I guessed that her friends had left, watching Bennu like I was and she gave Bennu encouraging words to keep her going without falling.

g2c16p30
g2c16p31
g2c16p32

“I hope she doesn’t fall,” Bahiti said softly and I looked over towards her with a smile.

“She won’t, look at her.. She’s a natural,” I replied and I looked to Bennu who was already smiling at me  before she passed us in the rink. “Why aren’t you out there with her?” I wondered.

“I don’t know.. It looks hard, and I don’t wanna fall.. I know I’m going to,” she replied with a sigh.

“No you wouldn’t, you’re strong and confident just like your mother. Look at how well she’s doing and it’s her first time. You know how to ride a bike, don’t you?”

“Yeah.. You taught me how,” she confirmed.

“Well, then of course you can skate. It’s a little harder than a bike, but not impossible. You can do it, baby,” I replied with a warm smile.

g2c16p34

Bennu came out from the rink and I watched her as she removed her skates, admiring her slender legs and she looked up to me and smiled as she put on her sandals. Every chance I could get, I’d check her out and lust after her, I couldn’t help it. I’m proud of myself for being faithful to Bennu, even despite than many tempting opportunities that still come my way, but I have no reason to stray any further; Bennu is what I’ve always wanted, all I’ve ever wanted since the day I met her. I looked to Bahiti for a moment, “Why don’t you go over to Lucy and see if she’ll skate with you?” I suggested, looking back over to Bennu and noticing an inviting smile on her lips.

“Okay,” she agreed, running off then to go to Lucy as I made my way over to Bennu.

g2c16p35
g2c16p37

I walked up to her slyly, “And where do you think you’re going, huh?” I teased, putting my hands around her waist and pulling her against me as she let out a gentle giggle.

“Looking for my handsome husband,” she replied with a gentle bite of her bottom lip.

“Well, we haven’t spent time together yet here at the fest, how about you meet me in that photo booth behind you and we can take some dirty pictures,” I suggested, hearing her let out another gentle giggle as I leaned in and pecked her lips softly, “Come, on.”

g2c16p38
g2c16p39
g2c16p39-2

I looked around to see what Lucy and Bahiti were doing, but they weren’t looking towards us and I motioned with my head for Bennu to follow me. I walked towards the photo booth and stepped in and she joined me in the booth with no time to spare. I watched as she entered the money needed to get the picture taking started and I sat on the bench, running my hands up and down her legs as she faced the screen. She faced me quickly when she was done and pressed her lips to mine harshly, deepening the kiss instantly and she disconnected after the first flash as her lips were like a waterfall down my chin, neck, over my clavicle, pulling my shirt up to kiss my chest and her lips soon danced just above the rim of my shorts. Another camera flash and she undid my pants, looking down at her as she looked up to me, my lips parted and panting softly with anticipation. No matter where we were, Bennu and I constantly kept things entertaining and new, whether our moods were good or bad, it always ended in a loving or rough way that involved little to no clothing. We talked about things, we understood one another, we kept each other in line and we still haven’t had any type of discrepancy that would threaten what we had or make either of us think of leaving the other. It just.. Worked. 

g2c16p40
g2c16p41
g2c16p42

After a joyous, spent-too-long-in-the-photo-booth time, I buckled my pants and she laughed excitedly, my eyes wandering up and down her as she walked out wiping her thumb over her bottom lip. I gathered myself quickly and followed her out of the booth, seeing her eyeing the pictures that were taken and she giggled. Bennu looked to me with a seductive grin and handed off the photos to me, “You should get rid of that before one of the kids see.” I smirked flirtatiously and watched her begin to walk away from me and I looked at the photos, seeing most of them were of me making pleasure-filled smiles and the back of Bennu’s head at the bottom. I felt my face grow warm and I folded the pictures, tearing it up then and shoving the pieces into my pocket.

g2c16p43
g2c16p44

I watched Lucy skate with Bahiti for a little while, seeing her teaching Bahiti how to keep her balance and how to stop. Lucy soon left Bahiti in the rink and came out, undoing her skates and putting her normal shoes on and she walked over to me. “Dad, can I go out with my friends now? I’ve been here for like a million hours already.”

“Oh, come on.. Is it that bad to spend time with your siblings?” I asked.

“Well.. No, that’s not what I mean.. I just, wanna go out.. You know.. Without my little siblings?” She added and I chuckled.

“Where are you going and who with?”

“Dad, it’s always with Cara. You know that, she’s my best friend.”

“Any guys?”

“Daaaaaaaad.. Come on, we just wanna go to the movies or something.”

“Or something..?” I questioned a little more sternly.

g2c16p45

“Dad, it’s Cara.. She’s as prude as they come. No guys, just a movie. Okay?” She asked sweetly, though it was still hard for me to say yes right away.

“Well, true.. But there’s guys at the movies, so who are you meeting there?”

“Oh my god.. Dad.. Plleeaasseee? Please stop being so protective and let me go! It’s just a movie, Cara’s Mom is going to pick us up, its fineeee,” she continued to stress with a smile.

g2c16p46
g2c16p47

“So.. If I call Cara’s Mom, she’ll know you two are at the movies together not meeting anyone else?” I questioned sternly still.

Lucy put on a huge smile and batted her long, beautiful eyelashes, “Please, Dad? Cara needs to get out more and I’m fun, I’m her best friend and I wanna take her out and be there for her. Pleeeeeaaase?”

“Only if you start dolling yourself down. You’re too pretty, Princess. I’m not worried about you, I’m just worried about everyone else,” I say with a smirk and she only smiles more.

“I’ll be fine, Dad, you know me. I even still have that knife you gave me in my purse and I have pepper spray on my key ring. I’ll be fine,” she stressed more and I sighed, soon nodding.

“Alright, but be home before 11:00.”

“12:00.” She compromised.

“11:00.”

“1:00.”

“11:30.”

“1:00.”

“Midnight.” My final offer.

“Okay, midnight.” Lucy confirmed and I leaned in to peck her forehead.

g2c16p48
g2c16p49

Lucy took home Gareth before she went out with Cara and was driving in front of me as I drove Bahiti, Bennu and Gibson home. “Did you guys have fun?” I asked.

“Yeah! It was so fun,” Bahiti replied.

“Yeah, Gareth and I had a waterballoon fight, it was awesome!” Gibson added.

“Who won?” I asked.

“Gareth… But I got him a lot, too!”

“I bet you did, he’s hard to beat though. You’ll get him next time, Gibs,” I added and I heard him chuckle.

“Damn right I will!”

Language, Gibson..” Bennu warned him and I saw in my rear view mirror him make an embarrassed expression and he smiled towards her.

“Sorry..” He apologized and I smirked, seeing Lucy pull into our driveway then and I pulled in after her.

g2c16p50
g2c16p51
g2c16p52

“Alright, time for bed, everyone,” Bennu announced once we all got inside.

“Whyyyyyyyy, I’m not tired!” Gareth contested as he walked the slowest up the stairs to his room.

Now, young man,” Bennu added sternly and I looked to her briefly with lust as she always took such good control over them all. Despite Bennu not being Gareth and Gibson’s mother, they listened to her as if she were Faline and I was grateful that they were so compliant to her words just as they were to mine. ” Goodnight,” she added and the three of them replied just the same.

g2c16p53
g2c16p54

I looked back over to Bennu when I heard the boys and Bahiti’s bedroom doors close, seeing her still smiling from whatever was on her mind and I tightened my grip around her waist a little more. “Did you enjoy yourself today?” I wondered.

“Yes, very much. I never thought I’d ever roller skate before, it was quite the experience,” she replied with a light chuckle.

“You didn’t even fall once, either. You’re a natural,” I complimented and she looked up to me with a soft smirk. 

“Were you all right today? You sat on the bench outside watching the boys for quite some time. You seemed like you were thinking very hard,” she asked and I lost some of the happiness to my smile.

“Yeah.. I’m fine. I was just.. Thinking about work,” I replied, lying.

g2c16p56
g2c16p55
g2c16p56-2

Bennu turned towards me and frowned softly, “Today was a relaxing day, you shouldn’t have worried about work at all,” she replied with a quieter tone and I could tell she felt sorry for me.

“I know, I’m sorry..  There was just a lot on my mind today that I couldn’t seem to shake,” I answered.

“Well, let me help you forget it even more,” she suggested, pushing herself up taller and pressing her lips to mine softly, bringing my hands up to the sides of her neck and returning the kiss without contest.

After a few long passionate seconds, I disconnected our lips and hoisted her into my arms effortlessly and she let out a giddy laugh, “You’re comin’ upstairs with me now, my gorgeous wife,” I added, Bennu holding on as her fingers played with the hair on the back of my head and I brought her quickly up the stairs and into our room.

g2c16p57
g2c16p58

It never ceases to amaze me on how I got so lucky. Despite my life seeming like a terrible roller caster ride with more downs than ups and loopholes even I myself have a hard time getting passed, things have smoothed out and I feel as if I’ve finally got my life in control. My children are amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to the mistakes I’ve made. Lucy, Gareth, Gibson, Bahiti; they’re all what keeps me sane in this fucked up life of mine and now I have Bennu to thank for making me into the decent man I am today. She keeps me level, honest, and out of trouble; I don’t know what I would do without her.