“What?!?!” Brenda and Claire look up at their newlywed sister, in her eyes she looked like she had cried all night long and could see she was on the edge of tears now. “How can that be? Did he deny it?” Claire said as she slowly put down her coffee mug on the table. Brenda still couldn’t believe the words Chloe had just said. It’s one thing to be going through something in the middle of your marriage, but it’s much awkward when it happens in the very beginning. “Well, he told me, he’s known about it, but doesn’t think it’s his.” Chloe said as she took two steps from her resting spot. She desperately wanted to sit down, but didn’t think she’d have the strength to even walk over to the chairs. “So what are you going to do, sis?” Brenda said as she cleared her throat, she honestly didn’t want to hear this today as she wanted to talk to her cheating husband later. “I don’t know, I mean, her son looks somewhat like Hank, but he’s not a splitting image of him like she thinks he is.” Chloe said as started walking to the unwanted chair and sat down slowly. Her sisters couldn’t believe everything they were talking about just now. Claire hugged her sister and Brenda put her hand on her shoulder, to show her affection, but in all honestly Brenda wasn’t sorry for her because they’ve all thought at some point love wasn’t worth it at all.
“Chloe, why don’t go sleep in the guest bedroom for a little while? You look like you need some rest.” Brenda said in a warming tone, as she moved little strands of hair away her eyes. Chloe wasn’t in denial at all, but didn’t want to be alone. She wanted to be around her sisters and nieces. She wanted to be around her family in her time of need. “No, I’m okay. I am going to go to the bathroom and freshen up, that way the girls won’t know that I’ve been crying for twenty-four hours straight.” Chloe said as she started walking from the kitchen into the bathroom. She flicked the light on and closed the door. She looked at herself in the mirror and hated what she saw. Another man had caused her to cry. She was a newlywed, she should be excited to be married. Now she was crying while she tried to wipe the tears away. She turned on the sink and put her hands underneath the faucet and leaned over to wet her face with the cold water. It woke her up from the last two days of hell and as she dried her face with a towel, she noticed a small figure out of the side of the mirror. Little Gracie was peeking from the door. She didn’t hear the door squeak and she smiled slightly as she put the towel back on the sink counter. “Come on Gracie, come to Aunt Chloe.” Little Gracie came up to her aunt slowly and Chloe lifted her up and cradled her to her chest. It was surprising for someone so small and hardly talked, knew when somebody wasn’t happy.
Brenda cleared the table while her middle sister was in the bathroom. She was in shock, but knew it would happen someday. Chloe had always wanted true love, but so do Brenda. She believed that she would be safe from the backlash of their father’s infidelity , but they weren’t. John cheated on Brenda many, many times. Her younger Claire was the one who cheated on her boyfriends. In her words, it was easier than the other way around. And now, Hank who just married their sister just a week ago, was in the running of becoming a father to a five-year old. How could all of this happen to her family? As she continued to think about her family’s curse, she felt physically ill inside. She poured the rest of her coffee out of her cup. She washed the dishes and dried each one, while her mind continued to circle around everything that has happened in the last nine years. Claire noticed her older sister staring off into space as she washed the dishes. Claire wasn’t the perfect girlfriend in her past relationships, especially her most recent relationship with Matt. She knew he had cheated on her with a couple of girls, but instead of speaking to him about it, she cheated on him with his best friend. Matt found out and actually forgave Claire, he actually wanted to start over their relationship, but that’s not what Claire wanted. That’s not what she was used to, she was used to her exes breaking up with her, after her wrong doings. So in the end, Claire had to break his heart again and discontinue the relationship altogether.
Ring, ring, ring. Brenda’s telephone starts ringing, which brings her out of space and she stops Claire from picking it up, because she knows its John wanting to meet up with her to talk about their crumbling marriage. Even though her sister was going through her own drama she wanted things to work out for the sake of the girls. “Hey” she said in a normal voice, but also firm too. “Yeah I’ll meet you there, in about fifteen minutes.” She said into the phone while both Claire and Chloe are staring at her. While Brenda was paying more attention to her sister’s angry looks, she heard John say “I love you” before he hung up. She hung up the telephone and accepted the looks before she moved past Chloe to go change for the meeting. “Claire, can you babysit the girls for me while I go out for lunch?” said Brenda as she walked into her bedroom, and changed her clothes. “Yeah, sure. I’ve got nothing else to do today.” Claire said in annoyed voice. “Thank you.” Brenda said while putting on a little makeup, like she was getting ready for her first date. Which ironically was with John too. “You’re joking, right?” said Chloe, who was still holding Gracie as she said those words. “You’re going to meet up with him, he needs help and you need to wake up from this make-believe marriage you have in your head.” Chloe said as she handed over Gracie to Claire who offered to put her in the play room. “I need to do this for the girls. They need him in their lives. They can’t be like us and watch their mother cry constantly about the fact their father is with another woman. Besides who are you to judge me, when your husband might’ve fathered a child that is five years old, Chloe? How could he haven’t known about him?” Brenda said as she grabbed her purse and keys. “Sorry Chloe, but you know it’s all true.” Brenda said as she walked out the door.
Claire was just walking out of the play room as the argument was ending. Chloe didn’t speak but turned her head towards Claire. She was again on the break of crying once again. In all honesty, everything was getting too much for Claire to handle. She didn’t believe in love and liked things that way. She hurt the ones who loved her when she denied feelings for them. “Chloe, what are you going to do with Hank and Nicole?” Claire said, as she walked back into the kitchen and grabbed in the fridge to fix something for her to eat. Coffee wasn’t going to hold her over with everything that’s going on. “I don’t know Claire, I mean it feels like an episode of Maury.” Claire couldn’t help but laugh out loud, which got Chloe laughing too. “You know our entire family could be on his show for how we all been acting for the last several years.” Claire said, while she walked back over to her sister to give her a tight hug. “Do you want something to eat? I have to fix the girls something to eat too.” Claire said as she walked back over to the kitchen. Chloe said as she noticed three of the girls, running out of the play room, “Yeah, and I guess they are hungry too.” Three little girls grinned from ear to ear. “All right, I’ll get them ready for lunch and make them something. Can you get Ivy from her playpen for me?” Claire said as guided the girls to the sink to get their hands washed and dried before lunch. “Love to.” Chloe turned on her heel and headed to the play room for Ivy until she gets an unexpected text from Hank.
From Hank: “Hey, we really need to discuss this. I’ve already told you and Nicole that I’ll take the paternity test. You know everything Nicole and I did was when we broke up. Just so you know, I never said I’d take care of James, and I’ve never seen him before. You of all people wouldn’t believe Nicole, so why should we believe her now?”
He had a point. After everything with her parents and Nicole and her mom making up rumors about her family when they were younger. She shouldn’t believe it, but it was five years ago. James is exactly five years old, or seemed to look like a five-year old to her. Things just kept tumbling down on Chloe. She tried to ignore everything and tend to her baby niece Ivy, she got her cleaned up and brushed her thin light brown hair, she looked like John. It would kill Brenda, if any of her daughters ended up in her position or in John’s when they got older. Chloe was trying to wrap her mind over the life of a five-year old, whose mother doesn’t even know who her baby’s father is. A child so young, doesn’t need to be through that. Chloe thought about how it must’ve felt for Claire, she was only ten, when their father left and look who she’s become. A person who cheats while she’s in relationships. She never tried to fix them, it was like if it was going good, she needed to ruin it and fast. She had always seen heartbreak on our faces and our mother’s face. This was how she learned to fight back the heartache in her love life. She carried Ivy into the kitchen as Claire was giving the girls their plates of sandwiches and chips. Chloe stuffed Ivy’s little feet inside the high chair and turned to face the cabinet to find Claire had already grabbed two jars of baby food for her.
It was around noon. Brenda had been at the nice little cafe for half an hour. She physically remembers telling John she’d be there in fifteen minutes. She thought if he really wanted to work things out he’d been there on time for once. She turned her heard around to search for him, but found no one. The cafe was fairly large and looked like a hunting lounge, since it was full of wooden tables and chairs. The place had solar lights, but was decorated with dead animals hanging up on the walls. Each table had a small stuffed animal as a centerpiece. Surprisingly enough, they had good coffee and pastries. She got comfortable in her seat as a lady in a black and white uniform, asked her if she would like anything. “Um, I’m actually waiting for somebody, but I would like a Mexican hot chocolate please.” Brenda said as she was handed the coaster for her drink. “Sure, coming right up.” said the blonde waitress, as she walked back, a tall dark-haired man walked past and gave a small grin to Brenda. “Did you get me anything?” John said, as he sat down next to her. “No, I didn’t think you needed any help in that department.” Brenda snapped, as she pretended to look at her phone. “So how are the girls? Do they miss me yet?” John said, they both looked up to the waitress giving Brenda’s hot chocolate to her. “Thank you.” Brenda said in a soft voice. “And, um, can I get a black coffee, miss?” John said with a wink. Five minutes with his wife and he’s back to flirting again.
The nice blonde waitress brought back his black coffee in a to go cup. My god is this woman a mind reader? Brenda thought to herself and kind of gave a chuckle. “What are you laughing about over there?” John said, like he was the innocent one in this picture. “Nothing, just thought of something, but it might be because I haven’t slept in the last three days.” Brenda said as she took a big gulp of her hot chocolate. Too bad there wasn’t any Khalua in her drink to make her feel better, but she did have to drink back to the house after this was over. She wondered if she had any at the house. If she didn’t, she might need to make a pit stop at store for a few things. “Why haven’t you been sleeping for the past few days, babe? Ivy keeping you awake?” John said as he put his arm around her. “No John. Keep your hands off me, Ivy has been an angel compared to your ass.” Brenda snapped back to reality, maybe Chloe and Claire were right. Maybe this was a mistake. “You just think that you’re the innocent one in this, don’t you? Because I remember leaving early from my own sister’s wedding and didn’t get say “bye, enjoy your honeymoon,” because I found out what over half of my family knew that you have cheated on me countless times during our marriage.” Brenda stood up and took her hot chocolate over to the counter, where the pastries and the pretty waitress was, “can you please, put this in a to go cup for me?” Brenda said back in her nice voice. John walked over and grabbed her arms, Brenda felt confused and pissed off at the same time. She missed his touch, but knew that he would only use her and go cheat on her again. “John, I was wrong. You can go to hell.” She said as she paid the blonde double and left the cafe and John, for good.
Brenda rushed to her car, with John right behind her. As she went to unlock her door, John came around to her left side and tried to stop her from getting away. “Leave me alone John! I’m through with you and your shit!” John looked like a deer in the headlights, just blank. “Look, yes, I’ve cheated on you. I still want us to work. Please, for the sake of our girls.” John pleaded, as Brenda finally unlocked her door, she looked up at John who looked like he hadn’t shaved his face in over a week. She wanted things to work out for the girls, but did they really need that kind of drama around them? Staying at their mother’s one day and father’s the next? Everything was just going too fast and she desperately wanted a break from it all. John leaned in and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek. She really wanted things to work out, but this wasn’t going to work out as fast as they wanted. John leaned in again and put his hands on her face and pulled her in again and kissed softly on the lips. She felt a sense of happiness, but didn’t know how long it would last. How long would he be faithful to her? That simple question stopped the passionate kiss and she pleaded to be let go. He wanted to keep going, but he respected her wishes and let go. As John walked away, there stood Hank in the window of the cafe. Obviously not happy about what he saw, but where was he to judge? She got in her car and drove away.