I drove away from Bennu’s place, punching the dashboard, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” I yelled at myself every time my fist hit the hard plastic. I drove around the city aimlessly, berating myself, “Well, great going, genius.. Now the woman you love hates you and never wants you to touch her again. How the fuck do you fix this? How do you keep the boys? How do you have Bennu the way you want her? You can’t go over there and visit with Bahiti without thinking about what Bennu’s wearing or what her lips might taste like that day. You can’t hold her anymore, you can’t kiss her anymore, not to mention you can’t have the best sex of your life anymore.. Arruugghh! Stupid!” I yelled at myself, punching the dashboard once again and my knuckles started to turn red.
I couldn’t go home, I didn’t want to go back to work, and there was no way I could go back to Bennu’s.. I wound up driving to the only other place I could think of that could help me calm down after all that has happened. I pulled up to the cemetery and the gate was locked, but I managed to hop onto the stone wall that only came up to my shoulders, then jumping over the gate behind it and I got in without a problem.
I walked through the cemetery quickly and no one else was around, not even the keeper of the land and I was here alone. I walked to my parents graves and looked to my father’s for a few seconds, narrowing my eyes angrily, but I then looked to my mother’s headstone and my expression grew less irritated the more I looked at it. I took a few deep breathes in, letting each of them out slowly but my nerves didn’t calm nearly as much as I needed them to.
“Mom, I don’t know what to do anymore.. There’s been too many times where something I loved has been threatened to be taken away from me, some of the most important ones I have lost, too.. I can’t lose anything else, I won’t.. I’ve known and loved this woman for so long, I found out we have a daughter together; she’s so, so beautiful.. I wish you could see her. She looks a lot like me, so smart, too.. You’d absolutely adore her, I know it. God I wish you could meet her,” I said softly, sighing and dropping my view to the grown in pink flowers, then back up to her headstone.
“I love her, she’s the one I want, the one I want to be with, but Faline.. The boys.. Faline’s smart, if I left her, she’d know I’d been lying.. She’ll see in my face that there’s someone else even though I just denied it to her over and under. She’ll find out about Bahiti and I’ll never see her or the boys again,” I stopped, crossing my arms and looking over my shoulder towards the city, “I need to know what to do.. I need help, Ma. How do I keep the boys and have Bennu the way I want her so badly?” I questioned, my attention coming back to her headstone, “How do I get what I want without losing everything all at once?”
I stepped closer to her grave and knelt down, holding my arm with my other hand, unable to hold back my tears and I felt one fall down my cheek. “Mom, please.. Anything. Show me anything, tell me what to do,” I begged, waiting there and keeping silent for what seemed like minutes as I wept there like a child. I felt so pathetic, only during desperate times did I ever ask so much from my deceased mother, especially knowing that after this long of feeling nothing from her, I knew she still wouldn’t help now. But, hell, I tried anyways..
I crawled towards her headstone and turned around, leaning my back against it and looking up at the huge black sky full of blinking stars. “I wish you were still here.. It’d be so much easier if you were just still here,” I said softly. I stared up at the stars for I don’t know how long, watching each one individually for a few moments before switching to the next. The night was cool and each gentle breeze made me calmer by the minute, feeling a presence around me that was slightly comforting, but I was less eased by it than I thought I should be. It didn’t feel like my mother. A sudden force of weight fell over me and I felt uncomfortable, a gentle shiver down my spine and I didn’t feel alone anymore.
I tilted my head down, away from the stars and my eyes searched the cemetery, taking a moment to adjust to the extra darkness the trees cast over the land. My eyes soon met the cement bench about 100 feet away from me, seeing a figure sitting upon it and I sat up slowly, “Hello?” I called out softly, not seeing the figure react to me as their head tilted up to look at the stars. I sat up more, climbing slowly to my feet and I dusted the back of my pants off, beginning to take a few hesitant steps towards the bench not too far from my parents graves. I looked back towards my mother, then around the cemetery once more to check if anyone else was there besides the stranger and I and we were all alone, my heartbeat accellerating quickly as I grew closer and I recognized the back of the man’s head, my body beginning to shake.
I reached the bench and looked to the side of the man’s head, “This.. Can’t be happening,” I said softly, looking to the side of my father’s face and seeing his spiced-brown hair was now older and streaked gray, “You’re dead,” I continued. He didn’t look over at me when it was obvious I was standing near him, but he spoke instead.
“Not who you expected, I’m guessing..” He voiced quietly, his tone deeper and more intimidating than I remember. I didn’t respond, simply walking past him and standing on the edge of the tiny hill before us, “Probably the last person you wanted to see,” he continued.
“Lucky guess,” I eventually replied, hearing a hummed chuckle come from him behind me.
“What’s wrong? Not excited to see me?”
“Fuck you,” I spat quickly back at him.
“Still the little prick you always were, I see,” he replied and my spine tingled, I could feel him looking at me. I didn’t respond, I had nothing to say to him; he’s not who I wanted and asked to talk to. “Not even going to stick up for yourself.. That’s new. You were such a strong child, but I see you’ve only grown into a weak man. You’ve gone downhill, Jason. You never hesitated to throw my words back in my face, what’s so different now?” He wondered, cringing at him saying my name and it felt so weird to hear his voice again; how was this happening? Was I imagining this, or was he some sort of ghost like Archor was?
“I know I asked for help, but not this, this is far from it.. I get someone like you to hover over me rather than someone who actually cared about me, someone like-”
“What, your mother? Sorry kiddo, she couldn’t make it this time, she doesn’t like watching her sons life crumble before her eyes,” he replied.
“But you do?” I asked quickly in return, turning my head and looking over his way, but still refusing to look directly at him; I couldn’t.
“No, I didn’t say that. I’m here because I can handle things better than she and you can. You’d both just end up crying on each others shoulders all night, she out of grief from what you’ve become and you out of happiness because you get to see Mommy again,” he answered and anger built up inside me. “So, four children, huh? Just like your old man,” He changed the subject.
“I’m nothing like you.”
He ignored me, “Three of them are yours, only 2 are from the same mother, and one that isn’t yours at all, interesting life you’ve been making for yourself,” he began again and I let out a deep breath of annoyance, hating him even bringing the subject up. “First one, dead.. Faline’s a catch; small, frail, cute.. A good mother, yet the only reason you don’t like her is because she knows how promiscuous you can be and she has every right to think that. How many woman have you been with since you moved in with Faline?” He wondered, my hands beginning to shake with anger, “A dozen, I could imagine. Oh, and you’re last princess of the ball is a stripper whom you’ve just so happen to impregnate when you sleep with her at her place of work where it isn’t even allowed.. How low are you trying to go? How many more lives are you going to ruin, including your own? You can’t have everything you want, Jason..”
“Don’t ever talk about them like you know them. You don’t know shit about them or me,” I warned.
“Is that so?” He asked bluntly.
“I’ve had my doubts about every one of them. I doubted Lana ever since Lucy was born, I doubted Faline was going to last this long with me aleady, and I doubted that I’d ever get to see Bennu again. But, I’m trying to keep them all close to me for my children’s sake. I love them all and I’d do anything for them to make them happy, which is more than I can say for you.. I’m sure you’ve had your doubts about Mom. Never looked around the corner? Wished you’d never met her? Everyone makes mistakes..”
“Yeah, and you’ve made a lot so far now..” He replied and I clenched my teeth, “But, I can admit to that, I can admit I never wanted a family, but I gave your mother what she wanted regardless. And I was never unfaithful, I never so much as looked at another woman in that way.”
“Well, aren’t you just a saint. Killing your wife and attempting to kill your children as well is far less ungrateful,” I replied sarcastically, “I’d rather be unfaithful than kill someone, and on top of that being someone I cared about.”
“You’ve done both, so that still makes you half the man I am,” he replied and I heard him stand to his feet, still feeling his eyes on me and I thought about his words for a moment.
“What are you talking about? I’ve never killed anyone,” I answered sternly.
“Lana.. Did you really think she fell off herself? She was such a party girl, her attire was her everything, you think she’d really fall and slip in her heels? She was no stranger to a drunken stagger.. She needed help over that edge.”
I faced him instantly, “What the fuck are you saying? That I went there and pushed her off myself? Are you fucking insane?” I yelled and it only made me more angry when he smirked to my question.
“Funny you should mention that.. It’s all genetics, boy. You don’t know what you’re doing when you’re doing it, it just.. Happens. Like it’s something that’s meant to be. You’ve never felt it before? Blacked out and couldn’t explain it?”
“Shut up, just leave me the hell alone! I wanted Mom because I hate you, I fucking hate you more than anything, so why would I believe a goddamn thing you’d ever say to me? Why are you here and she’s not!” I continued to yell at him.
“I’ve already told you..” He warned, “And you must’ve felt this anger before with something.. If I were to guess, you felt it before coming here, and you felt it before going over to Lana’s so late at night, breaking into her home and giving her that little extra help that she needed to be ridden from your life so you could keep Lucy,” he continued and I put my hands into my hair, pulling at the roots slightly from the built up anger.
I walked away from him, unable to look at his face anymore and I stopped about ten feet away when he spoke again, “I didn’t want to do it, Jason..”
“Do what? Ruin my life?”
“Well, yeah, I guess if that’s how you see it. I never wanted you to have a life, anyways, any of us. Sometimes I wish I never met your mother,” he answered and I looked over my shoulder slightly. “I didn’t want you to become me, I couldn’t let you carry on the burden, so I.. I guess I torched everything, every trace, but I failed. Your great grandmother told me to be happy and to live my life with your mother, even despite everything that we both knew. I tried to get rid of it all and correct the mistakes I made, but it was too late, anyways.”
“And what did you two know?” I asked sarcastically, not bothering to give him sympathy.
“That we’re all out of our minds,” he replied and I scoffed, not believing a word he said, “You think it’s a joke, but it’s the only reason why I’d try and stop all of this. I couldn’t let anything continue, for your sake. Us men, our gene, it’s dangerous, we’re toxic and I needed to stop it all.. But th-that dammed dog ruined everything,” he finished and my eyes widened slowly.
I turned around to face him, “Archor.. You did kill him, didn’t you? You’re mad at him for coming back and saving your children from death that you were going to be the cause of?” I asked angrily.
“You don’t understand.”
“Then make me!” I yelled, “You owe me that much you son of a bitch,” I answered with more rage than I could muster.
“The pain.. All the pain that you’re feeling, you’ve caused and are going to cause would never happen. Jason.. Our family is hexed, we hurt the things we care about in the end of everything, no matter how hard we try not to,” he continued and I still couldn’t believe a word he said. How can he say such things? Making up excuses, blaming it on a curse when he killed my mother?
I took the first chance I got and swung at him, missing the first few times and I never even grazed him, “How can you blame it on such bullshit! You killed my mother, your wife! How could you?” I yelled as I swung, still unable to strike him and he pulled back perfectly just out of my reach.
“Knock it off, you child! I tried to take responsibility and tried to stop the pain in this family, but I failed, accept it and deal with it for yourself now! You’re mother meant more to me than anything and I’d kill for her, but that hole was dug too deep already. I grew selfish for my own needs and I forgot what was important, and that was to not carry on this burden. I gave her everything she wanted despite what I did and needed to do.. But I realized what I did only caused more pain, or would if I didn’t put a stop to it, but I failed! Now it’s on you! Think for yourself instead of running to Mommy every damn time, you coward, and figure out what to do about it because I sure as hell can’t do anything about it now!” He yelled back and grabbed the front of my suit, throwing me to the ground without so much as a struggle on his part.
I turned as I was thrown, landing on my bottom and I looked up to the one thing that scared me more than anything; I felt as if I was 8 years old again having a fight in the house with my father. “You were always such a Momma’s boy. You hated me even before you could walk. Mommy isn’t here to help you, so what the hell are you going to do about it? Are you going to get rid of Faline to be with your mistress and the girl like you did to Lana to keep Lucy? Or are you going to be able to just be friends with your stripper whore and stay with Faline? Might as well make the best out of what you have already and don’t do anything stupid, or those boys are going to grow up hating you like you hated me,” he warned and I couldn’t breath; how did he know everything so clearly? The terrible things I had contemplated within my own mind and never spoke allowed? Despite me not believing a word he said, why did it sound so just and set in stone? Where there any other options besides the two he gave me?
“Wha…” I hesitated, succumbing to the fact that Dad showed up instead of Mom and it was the best option I had now, “W-What do I do?” I asked pleadingly, unable to take my eyes away from his hateful gaze.
“You’ve never asked me for advice..” He replied and I watched as he looked away from me briefly, but I couldn’t read his expression well; it almost looked as if he was appreciative, but I had never seen that before so I couldn’t be sure. He looked back to me and I held my breath again, “Think for yourself, be a fucking man and deal with it. Take care of what’s yours how you see fit. That’s all I’ve got, Jason,” he replied, lessening his cold stare and his expression went blank for a few moments.
“B-But.. What do I do?” I asked, looking down at my lap, “What does that all mean? How can-” I continued, yet stopping when I looked back up and not seeing my father in front of me anymore, gone without so much as a sound. “D-Dad..?” I questioned and looked around frantically, twisting around on the ground and searching the cemetery, but I was alone again. “Dad!” I called out and looked around once more, but still nothing.
I stood to my feet weakly, using the tree close to me for help and my head began to spin, dizzy after what I had just imagined and I wiped the back of my hand over my forehead; I was on fire. I couldn’t handle anything now. My mind was overflowing with things to worry about, ponder, contemplate, consider.. Too much. I staggered my way back towards the cemetery gate, not looking back at my parent’s graves once and I collided into the fence, catching my footing. I gathered myself for a moment, catching my breath and trying to calm my headache. I stood on the rocks next to me and jumped over the fence, going back to my car, getting in and sitting there for a few minutes, eyes shut and panting mouth open as I tried to comprehend everything I had just seen and heard. After about ten minutes of just sitting there, I pulled out my phone and noticed it was off; I remembered turning it off before I got to Bennu’s place. I turned it back on and checked the time, a little passed 11:45 pm and I started the car, deciding to go home after all of this.
I got home and noticed a car in the driveway but I couldn’t tell who it belonged to, not helping my nerves settle at all as I starred at the mysterious vehicle and touched the hood for a few seconds; the car was still warm, whoever was here just got here before me. I walked into a dark house, looking around the foyer and standing there for a moment, hearing voices coming from the living room and I stepped slowly towards it, keeping each of my steps silent.
The voices grew a little louder and I recognized the tones, peaking my head around the corner to confirm who I was thinking and I saw Anya and Julia in the living room with Faline; that must be Simon’s car or maybe Julia’s boyfriends, if she had one. I let out a quiet sigh, my heart had been racing at the thought of another man I didn’t know being in the house with Faline, with the twins, with Lucy, but I was relieved when it was only my sisters. Wait, what were they doing here anyway?
I heard Faline let out a large sigh as she sat on the couch and my sisters joined her, “Thanks for coming, I’m sorry it’s so late, but it’s my only free time I have after work when Jason isn’t here and after the boys and Lucy are sleeping,” Faline said softly and I could tell in her expression that she wasn’t happy.
“It’s not a problem, really, it’s good that you called,” Anya replied.
“So, wha’d the little shit do now?” Julia asked and my brows furrowed at her insult, I already knew they were talking about me, or were going to. I could even tell by how Julia worded the question that they’ve talked about me before in the passed and it made me a little uneasy.
“Well, so much has happened since we’ve last gotten together, I don’t know where to start,” Faline replied. Was I going to sit here the whole time and listen to everything they said, or should I leave and go upstairs, shower, and go to bed and let them talk? The curiosity I had was beginning to be too much to bare, so I brought my head back out of their view and leaned against the bookshelf, deciding to listen and I’d retreat if they simply threatened to walk this way; I wanted.. No, needed to hear what she was going to say.
“Hmm.. Has he fired his secretary yet?” Anya wondered, starting things off for Faline.
“No, she’s still there.. After all this time and losing count on how many occasions I’ve asked him to and he still won’t do it.”
“Have you told him she’s an idiot and can’t do math? Has the risk of losing his business even if she screws up any of the important paperwork?” Julia wondered.
“Yeah, I’ve told him that he could lose so much money because of her mistakes, but he still has someone checking her work, or he does it himself.. It’s such a waste of time to need to check it for her, she should just be able to do it and do it correctly. She’s just this ditsy bitch who can’t stand to even look at me and I know that she likes him.. He claims he doesn’t see it, though. But, I feel like they’ve..” Faline answered, hesitating.
“Have you ever caught him?” Anya wondered and my heart raced a little.
“No.. But it still doesn’t mean that nothing’s going on, or that something hasn’t happened already.. The way she looks, the things she wears at the office around him, it drives me insane.. But, I’m sure he doesn’t mind eyeing her all damn night,” Faline replied with a slightly angered tone. “I’m sorry, I know how hard this must me to talk about him with me, seeing as he’s your guys’ baby brother and all..”
“We’re all adults here, and we want to help you and Jason, we just need to know what’s wrong,” Anya cooed sweetly.
“Yeah, just skip the gross details,” Julia added and I can imagine the discomfort in her expression when she said that.
“We had a fight the other day, a pretty big one.. It was about his secretary and I accused him of sleeping with her because what other reason was there for him to keep her? Even when I didn’t know anything set in stone.. He blew up, completely flew off the handle and yelled at me like crazy,” Faline began and I could already hear the mixed emotions coming out in her tone, “He was furious and I didn’t know what to say to him after that because he was right with everything he said. I had no proof, and..” She stopped, pausing for a moment, no doubt all three of us waiting eagerly for her to continue. “Well.. We haven’t, um..”
“How long has it been?” Anya cut her off with a question, knowing that Faline was struggling with her words.
“Maybe about.. Four, five months? I don’t know..” Faline replied and I did the math in my head, trying to remember when really was the last time we had sex and I couldn’t remember either. “I guess it all kind of started when he hired his secretary.. That’s why I couldn’t take it anymore and I brought it up to see if he would deny it and he did.. But it just makes too much sense to me in my head. If it’s not her, though, I honestly think it could be someone else..”
“Did he act like this in college?” Julia wondered and I sighed to myself, knowing the answer before Faline could say it.
“Yeah, he was the big man on campus. Everyone knew him, especially the girls.. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen girls at a party crying over him because he had ‘moved on to the next’, sometimes during the party, too, he’d move on. Happened with a few of my friends, too.. A lot of friendships crumbled because of him, and I watched more happen than anyone else.. But, I was the last one I guess, the cherry on top of his college cake,” Faline replied. My blood was boiling and I couldn’t believe she would tell my own sisters the things I did in college when I had changed so much since then, and Faline knew it. I especially didn’t want my sisters to know that, to know I was such a glutton for different women and even I had no idea how many women I’ve slept with; the number probably extends into the hundreds, though.
“Ew, it’s so weird to know that Jason was That Guy..” Julia replied.
“Stop..” Anya spoke towards Julia. “Faline, do you really think he’d be able to do something like this with all of what he already has on the table?” Anya wondered, and from what it sounded like, she was defending me.
“You said yourself you have no proof, and I’m not trying to make you sound wrong, but who are you to assume such things when he graduated 4 years ago? Who says he isn’t passed it?” Anya continued and I couldn’t describe my appreciation for her.
“He said he spent the night at the office last night after our fight, but he didn’t,” Faline replied, listening to the dead silence in the room and my heartbeat quickened even more. “I followed him, that’s why I called you to babysit last night, Anya.. He was at the bar until about midnight, then he suddenly came out, went straight to his car and sped off. I followed him to an apartment building, the one on the northeast edge of the city.. He was there until I got too tired to wait anymore, so I came home before I fell asleep in the car,” Faline finished and there was another silence within the room and I felt sick to my stomach. She.. She spied on me, she knew where Bennu lived, but not who she was.
“Faline.. I know with what you said, it seems like a lot of what you’re worrying about, but spying on him? You must’ve had this distrust with him for a while for you to call Anya when you know she works at the hospital and is on call all the time,” Julia replied and I listened intently as my body quaked with fear, “You have children to look after. Anya has her job to worry about, who are you to put your children on someone else with a more important job than you just to spy on my little brother?” Julia finished and I was warmed by her defense.
“I knew this wasn’t a good idea..” Faline said softly.
“Julia.. Stop,” Anya demanded, “We’re not here to judge anyone, we’re here to help. She caught him going to someone else’s place, he stayed there, I think she might be right, as much as I hate to admit it,” Anya continued and I peaked in, seeing Faline looking at no one while Anya and Julia shared an electric stare.
“So.. He’s seeing someone else let’s say, what are you going to do?” Julia asked, taking my attention away from them again and only listening as I leaned against the bookshelf again.
“You know… I’m sorry Julia, that I’m saying this.. That it may seem like I’m calling your brother a unfaithful asshole,” Faline said with anger in her tone, “But I don’t want to lose him, Gareth and Gibson are too young for us to separate, but I know that he’s not being honest with me. I know him, maybe more than you. But, to answer your question, I don’t know what I want to do. What would you do if the father of your children has been cheating on you, and you don’t even know for how long?” Faline spat back at Julia and I clenched my hands into fists, wanting to bust into there and defend my sister, yet I couldn’t, let alone had no idea how to defend myself at this point when she’s caught me red handed.
“I’d leave him, or make him tell the truth. He denied it, you TRIED already, and he denied it. Why not believe him? Oh man, it’s a coincidence that he stopped touching you when he hired his secretary, but seeing as how you seem to never be there, how the hell can you say that he’s sleeping with her if you’ve never even witnessed it?” Julia spat back and I could’t help it, I had to peak in again and see them. Julia stood to her feet sternly, “Maybe you just need to gain a little more self confidence before accusing someone of something they said they didn’t do.. It isn’t healthy, especially if you’re still thinking about it and following him now after he told you no,” Julia replied and I couldn’t describe the newly earned respect I had for Julia, even if she was wrong to defend me. I watched then as Julia looked to Anya, “Enjoy dealing with this, I’m done,” she finished, walking passed them and towards me and I panicked a little.
I heard Anya saying something to Faline but I was too preoccupied by Julia making her way towards me.. Shit. What do I do? She’s walking over here too fast for me to hide. Fuck.. I thought fast and did the first thing that came to mind, seeing Julia come out of the living room and I pulled her quickly, covering her mouth and holding her against me as she struggled briefly, “Stop! Stop.. It’s me, it’s Jason,” I said in a whisper and she stopped struggling so I let her go. She turned to face me with an angered expression and grabbed my hand, pulling me away from the living room and into the foyer, then out the front door.
Julia let me go and turned to face me, “What the fuck is wrong with you, huh? So you’re a cheating, lying, sex addict now? How long were you listening? You know that she knows, right?” Julia began and I sighed harshly.
“I was there from the beginning, I heard everything. I got here a little after you two did,” I replied, still unable to calm my nerves.
“So it’s true, yeah? You’re seeing someone else behind her back? Who’s apartment is that that you went to?”
“No ones,” I said bluntly.
“Don’t you ever bullshit me.. Do I know her? Do any of us do? Is it your secretary’s place?” She asked,
“No.. It’s not her place, and no one knows her. Now drop it.”
“No, I’m not going to drop it because I’m in this. I’ve been in this with Anya and Hitomi and Faline for a while now,” she began and I shut my eyes in defeat, hating that Hitomi knew as well, “I don’t know what it is that you think you’re doing, but Faline’s on to you, you’re not hiding this well at all.. And you shouldn’t be hiding anything in the first place. Why don’t you get over your college days and grow the fuck up? You have kids to worry about, Jason, they’re just toddlers.. They need you around more than ever at this age, you can’t just act like they don’t exist and run off to have fun with some bimbo who shouldn’t mean anything to you! Grow up already, okay?” She replied angrily and I didn’t know what to say to her, my blood was still boiling and it bothered me that she sounded a lot like Dad when talking to me.
“You don’t get it.. I know my children need me and I would never put anyone else before them.. I’m taking care of my kids, all of them, all four,” I replied and I watched as Julia gave me an intimidating expression.
“Whoa, whoa, wait.. Four, did you say? Last time I checked it was only three,” she paused, nodding her head when she eventually figured it out, “I get it. The one in the apartment is another baby momma, huh?” She asked and I hung my head, unable to look at her anymore. “Jesus, Jason.. Do you even know what the word protection means?” She asked harshly.
“Ew.. Julia, you’re the last person I need to have this talk with..” I replied, trying to avoid this topic with my sister and she sighed, looking down at my suit for a few moments.
“Girl? Boy? How old?”
“She’s a little younger than the twins, only by a few months,” I admit.
“How long have you been seeing this woman?”
“I knew her all throughout college.. After I graduated we lost contact, but she actually found me yesterday and told me everything and showed me our little girl. She invited me to stay so I could meet her in the morning, so I did and I fell in love the moment I met her. I should’ve known better than to sleep somewhere else besides home, but I couldn’t leave.. I didn’t know when the next chance I was going to have to get to meet her,” I continued. Suddenly, earlier today popped back into my head and I remembered when Faline had asked me where I was last night, and I lied.. She didn’t call me out on it, she even let me pleasure her knowing full well I was lying. Why didn’t she tell me then that she didn’t believe me? Why didn’t she tell me that she spied on me?
“Are you ever going to tell Faline? Or are you just going to let her follow you around, spying on you and finding out that way?”
I didn’t know what to say to Julia.. I couldn’t keep this up forever and have Faline find out the hard way, I’d come home to an empty house. Yet, what the hell would I say to her if I confessed? I thought I loved her in the beginning, but all we did was grow apart and stop trying; she’d always be important to me as the mother of my boys, but I just couldn’t deal with this anymore. “I’ll figure it out..”
“Do you even want to be with her anymore? Try to fix this?” She wondered.
“No.. I mean, I want to be on okay terms with her, but I don’t want to be with her,” I replied and Julia sighed, looking down to the ground and nodding in understanding.
“You wanna be with the other mother, or just someone that’s not Faline?” She asked in return.
“I wanna be with the other mother.. I always have since I met her, even before having our little girl. Her name’s Bennu, our little one is Bahiti,” I replied, looking up to Julia.
“Whoa, exotic names.. Is she foreign or something?”
“Yeah, she’s Egyptian.”
“Ooooo, sexyyyy,” Julia said in a teasing manner and I couldn’t help but let out an embarrassed chuckle. “Hey, listen.. You don’t have to stay here tonight if you don’t want, you can always crash at my place.. Might be a little easier than seeing her and having to interact with her if you’re not ready.. Give you some time to gather your thoughts, I guess..” She offered. I was touched by her concern and worry for me, but, I needed to be here; I needed to be here for when the kids wake up, I couldn’t abandon them and leave them on Faline just because I was too much of a coward to look Faline in the eye.
“Nah, thanks though.. Not coming home the other night only made things worse.. I don’t wanna do it again and make things even more difficult for when I finally decide to talk to her about everything,” I replied.
“Alright, suit yourself.. Call me if you ever need anything,” she said with a smirk and wrapped her arms around me, hugging me goodbye and I held her in return for a few moments longer than she expected. This was so much better than being with my Dad; Julia gave me real advice, talked me through this and listened to what I had to say. I was so grateful.. “Okay, let go now,” Julia said with a chuckle and I let her go.
“S-Sorry.. But thank you, for hearing what I had to say instead of just hearing Faline’s side..” I replied with an uneasy smile.
“Never a problem, lil’ bro.. I’ll see you later. Don’t worry, things will work out soon enough.. And call me when I get to meet Bahiti,” she added, smiling as she walked away backwards pointing a strict finger at me and I nodded, then watched her turn around and leave, phone against her ear as she called a cab.
I walked back over to the front door, opening it quietly and coming back inside. I stood there a moment, debating on if I should go back towards the living room and continue eavesdropping or if I should go upstairs and go to sleep. As much as I wanted to keep listening, I couldn’t do it; I had heard enough already, and I didn’t like hearing people talk about me behind my back. I went upstairs and to my bedroom, jumping in the shower for a quick few minutes and throwing on a pair of pajama pants when I got out.
I walked out into the bedroom and looked around, taking in my surroundings and wondering how much it was going to change soon. Although all of the inadequate objects wouldn’t change drastically, seeing how almost everything was something of mine, I still felt it would be a little empty without Faline, despite how I felt about her and not wanting her anymore. I kept feeling sorry for her, but at the same time I hated it because I was going to be with Bennu when all of this ended. But, I still couldn’t shake the fact that it was going to be hard on the both of us, whenever the time to talk did arrive..
The baby monitor light lit up, picking up on subtle noises coming from the twins’ room and I looked to it, waiting to hear anything and I heard Gareth start to cry. I was used to him doing it around this time of night, but as I tried to ignore it in hopes he would go back to sleep, he didn’t. His cries got louder and he began calling for Faline and myself and it wasn’t like him to be so awake and upset. I grew a little worried, walking quickly over to the door and going out to go to the boy’s room.
I opened their door and walked in quietly, seeing Garth standing in his crib and continuing to cry. I went to him instantly and watched him wipe tears from his eyes, “Hey, bud.. What’s wrong? Did you have a nightmare?” I asked with sympathy, watching as he continued to cry and he couldn’t form words just yet. He reached up for me and I picked him up, pulling his cheek to my lips and pecking him a few times, “Calm dooowwnnn,” I continued to talk quietly, trying to get him to stop so he didn’t wake his brother.
I felt him wrap his arms around my neck tightly and I let out a nervous chuckle, walking him around his room and bouncing him gently, shushing him in hopes to calm him down eventually. As much as a downer this was, I was going to miss it; I knew once Faline and I got around to talking things through, the first thing we’d talk about is her moving out. Things were going to end up like how things went with Lana and Lucy, I wasn’t going to see them every day, every night, ever dinner; I wasn’t going to get to hold them like this whenever they woke up from a bad dream and I wasn’t going to hear Gareth fussing through the baby monitor around this time every night anymore, either.
I continued to hold Gareth tightly and calm him, feeling his tears on my shoulder as I walked towards the window to look outside, trying to get my mind off of the inevitable. It took Gareth about five minutes to calm down and soon he had calmed to a light sob on my shoulder, feeling his tiny fingers gripping my hair. “Hey, how you doin’, champ? What woke you up?” I questioned.
“B-Bad dream,” he answered quietly and I smirked to his cute behavior.
“It’s okay now.. What was your dream about? What made you scared?”
“I-I wasn’t scared,” he replied confidently through the slight frog still in his throat and I chuckled softly.
“Okay, you weren’t scared, tough guy.. Why were you crying then?” I reworded my first question.
“It.. It was a monster,” he answered and I rubbed his back, hoping to sooth him even more.
“A monster, huh? Well he’s not here anymore, is he? I’ve got you and he can’t get you anymore, I won’t let him,” I said softly, feeling his grip begin to give and I could tell he was calming down slightly. “There’s no such thing as monsters, only little things inside of your head to trick you. But, you’re stronger than them, right?”
“B-But he.. He was gunna hurt me and Gibs,” he continued quietly and I grew a little more worried. I tried to think of what I could say to him to make him feel better, he needed more of a push.
“Did I ever tell you about when you were born? Hmm?” I asked and I felt him shake his head ‘no’. “Well, Mommy was scared, just like you. It took you two 4 hours to be born. But, she made it through, she used all of her strength to make sure you guys were born and you know what? You were born first, and Gibson was born two minutes after, which makes you the older brother. You gotta be strong, too, just like Mommy was, and just like how I’m doing now for you. You gotta do that for Gibs, to be strong and protect him, keep him close and don’t ever let anything come between you two, not even the scariest of monsters. Understand?” I concluded, feeling him then nod against my shoulder and his crying had finally stopped.
I felt Gareth burrow into my shoulder a little, getting comfortable in my arms and I continued to rub his back soothingly. I swayed back and forth, trying to get him to fall back asleep with a newly calmed mind and I soon heard his exhales getting heavier. I continued to look out the window, watching the calm waters as I felt each of Gareth’s tiny breathes against my neck and feeling his tiny, quick heartbeat against my chest. I felt relaxed and nostalgic with all of them, unable to be or stay angry at anything when they were like this in my arms. I couldn’t hold Lucy like this anymore, so I took every opportunity I could to hold them when they wanted me to; they were all growing up so fast, I wasn’t ready for it.
I soon turned around, still swaying Gareth back and forth in my arms as he slept against my shoulder and I looked up, seeing Faline by the door and I froze for a moment, wondering how low she had been standing there. We stared at one another for a few long seconds, watching as she dropped her gaze first and even through the dark I could see her eyes beginning to water. She traced her finger under her eyelid gently, acting as if she wiped something away other than a tear and she turned around, walking out of the room and shutting the door softly behind her.
I let out a deep sigh through my nose and walked towards Gareth’s crib and as gently as I could, I pulled him from my shoulder and laid him down. He stirred a little as he slept, getting used to where he had been placed instead of being held and luckily he stayed asleep.
I walked to the door and left the boy’s room just as quietly as Faline did, looking then over to my bedroom door and seeing it finish shutting from Faline. I stood there a moment and contemplated going in to talk to her or just leaving her be, but I didn’t know what to do. If I didn’t go in there and act like nothing was wrong, she’d only assume worse things, but then again, she probably knew I had seen Simon’s car from Anya being here since I was home early and I’d most likely question it. It was getting late, she had work tomorrow morning and I needed to get my sleep, but how were either of us going to get shut eye while occupying the same room and knowing what we both knew? I knew she had talked to my sisters about me, I knew she thought I was cheating on her, and I knew there was no denying it once I walked through that door. But, we had to face it eventually, and despite us both needing our sleep, I thought I was ready to handle it tonight if she wanted to.
I went to the bedroom door and slowly turned the knob, opening the door and looking in to see the room empty and I let out a relieved sigh, even though I knew she was just in the bathroom. I walked in and shut the door, walking then over to the bathroom and I raised a gently made fist to knock, but I held it back as I heard her crying and sniffling as softly as she could to try and hide it. I sighed lightly, not knowing what to do or what to say to her to make her feel better when I’m probably the last person she wants to see or talk to right now. I wasn’t good at this kind of thing, I’d never had a girlfriend in my life and I never had to break up with anyone before; I just simply moved on and they eventually found out the hard way.. Well, I guess it was the same thing in this case, it was only harder this time because I had children with this woman and I lived with her. But, I couldn’t avoid her forever, nor did I think she could do the same to me.. I remembered my Dad’s words back at the cemetery, telling me to man-up and as much as I didn’t want to, I committed to my raised fist and knocked gently.
“Faline? Are you okay?” I asked and it took her a few seconds to respond.
“Yeah.. I’m fine,” she replied, her voice giving out a little and I sighed yet again.
I tried the doorknob but it was locked, “Can we talk? ..Please? Can you open the door?” I asked and I listened to silence for a few seconds.
“Uhm..” She cleared her throat a little better, “I was just going to take a bath, I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” She wondered and already I knew she was trying to avoid me.
I rested my forehead against the door and sighed again, “Faline, it’s almost one in the morning, don’t you wanna get some sleep instead?”
“Why do you want to talk then?” She asked in return and I didn’t know what to say really.
“Because I don’t like talking to a door,” I replied, starting to get a little irritated, “Can you please, just.. Just open the door.. Okay?”
“I.. I cant,” she replied and I could hear her sobbing lightly again.
“Why?” I demanded to know, getting tired of this through-the-door conversation and I was beginning to have the urge to kick it down. She didn’t answer me and I was growing inpatient with each few seconds that passed without a response, my anger building quickly and I didn’t want to go back now, I couldn’t just give up yet and I hit the door hard with my fist, “Dammit, Faline! I just.. I want to know what’s wrong and I can’t help like this.. Just open the fucking door,” I voiced angrily and I heard shuffling behind the door.
Faline came to the door and opened it, looking up to me and my expression grew less angered. Tears still fell down her face and I watched as her eyebrows furrowed suddenly in anger and her palm cracked hard against my cheek. My head jerked right and I held onto the door frame to keep myself from stumbling over from the unexpected slap. ..Well, not totally unexpected.. “You can help me by leaving me the hell alone you lying asshole! I can’t even look at you!” She answered and grabbed the door, slamming it in my face and I put my left hand on my cheek, feeling it getting hot under my touch and I stretched my jaw a little to help lessen the pain.
“Ow..” I said softly; it had been a while since I’ve been slapped, I almost forgot what it felt like.
Well, this was it.. The beginning to the end of us. “Fine.. Talk to me whenever you’re ready then,” I finished, stepping back from the door slowly and starring at it for a few seconds, not hearing anything but her crying on the other side and I walked towards the bedroom door, walking out and shutting it a little harder than I would’ve liked at this time of night. I walked passed the pool table and went to the couch, sitting upon it and hanging my head, unsure of what to do or if there was even anything I could do now.. I wanted to know desperately how this was going to end, how and when she was going to finally talk to me or even if she was ever going to. Would she just leave while I was at work, making it easier for the both of us? But no, it wouldn’t be easy, it would never be easy. Explaining all of this to the boys? To Lucy? But, as much as I hated to admit it, there were more pros than cons. Sure, Faline would be gone.. But I didn’t want her. Yeah, the boys wouldn’t be something I saw daily like they’re used to, but it could still work out. Hell, it did with Lana and Lucy.. Or did it? I doubted myself, or began to. I grew away from Lana, I’m growing away from Faline; who’s to say I won’t grow away from Bennu?
“No..” I said to myself, “I can’t lose all of this and have doubts about who I’m doing it for,” I reassured myself, taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly, laying down upon the length of the couch and shutting my eyes, hoping that whenever Faline did end up talking to me, I’d actually be capable of letting it all go.