Drifted – Part 14


Another night came and went. Brenda was feeling more lonely than she ever wanted to in her life. She cried for herself and her daughters. How could life be so damn cruel? It wasn’t something she looked forward to on a daily basis. Getting up in the middle of the night to flip over her pillow and toss John’s pillows onto the floor. She’ll regret it in the morning when she goes to make the bed. She’ll put the pillows back in their place as she never threw them off in an act of frustration. A little before 7:30 in the morning, her alarm awakes her from the short nap she gets every night now. She hits the shower to wash away her never-ending tears that flew out of her eyes at anytime. After she got dressed in something casual, she made her way into the kitchen and every memory of she and John helping each other make breakfast for the girls came back. She pushed back her tears again for the hundredth time. She got everything ready for her coffee pot. She turned around and looked at the small table and Ivy’s high chair. It looked quite the cute little kitchen for five women living in one house. No man to help them out, even though John hardly ever did that so this was nothing new to Brenda, but yet the sleeping alone part was the part she never went through. John might’ve cheated on Brenda, but he always came home to her. That should count for something. That’s at least what her heart kept telling her.

After making sure everything was ready, she checked the clock one last time, before heading into the three oldest girls room: Ava and Tatum share a bunk bed, while little Gracie baby has her own bed. She is just a four-year old, but she has had some delaying issues with her speech and body. She can easily fall out of a big girl bed. Before they found out she had Autism, they did get her a big girl bed, but it was short-lived since the sidebars were too little for her and when she’d roll in the bed at night she’d fall right off and Brenda or Claire would find her asleep on the floor just laid out and looked pretty comfortable actually. So after four accidents, they decided to get her a crib and that way they knew she wouldn’t get out so easily, because that was the other thing. If she wasn’t sleepy, the little child would run out of the bed and somebody would have to chase after her. She might not be able to get her words figured out, but she’s got the giggles down pat and knows what to do when there are people after you. Brenda stared her sleeping girls and wondered what they were dreaming about and it was difficult for her to wake them up from a dream where they were princesses and had a better life than where they had both of their parents around and felt like they loved them unconditionally. They do in reality, but it didn’t mean much after being around one parent for a little while.

After staying at home yesterday, and for waking up late, Brenda struggled to get her girls up and ready for school. While Ava and Tatum went to regular elementary school, Grace had to go to a special school for half a day and work on her speech and learn different things that she should already know by now. “Okay, you ladies look lovely, all right so we’re running a little bit late, so take each other’s hand and walk into the living room. Don’t go on the couch, but line up by it. I have to get Miss Ivy ready too.” Brenda said, she was out of breath after helping putting on clothes and brushing three sets of teeth. Now she had to get the baby going so they could leave before she decided to keep them all home. Ivy was already awaken and was in the mood to play peek-a-boo through the bars in her crib. When Brenda got up closer, she leaned over to play a little with her tiny daughter. Brenda always wanted to be a mother. She was always around kids growing up, she loved the challenge of kids. Even though she imagined having all boys and maybe a girl, but having all girls made her happy too. She remembered the laughs and fights between her and sisters better than anyone. She knew that if anything happened later in their lives, they would be there for each other like their mother and their aunts were there for each other. After a couple more rounds of peek-a-boo it was time to get Ivy ready. Brenda grabbed a pink and white onesie that had said, “Daddy’s Littlest Girl” and she hadn’t even noticed what she grabbed at first until she pulled it over her head. She wanted to burst into tears again, but Ivy was the perfect distraction.

By the time Brenda got Ivy’s little booties on, something got their attention. There was lots of different noises going on from the living room. Usually Ava and Tatum have to argue about who had the prettier coat and better shoes, even though they both have the same jackets and shoes, just in different colors to keep them separate. John thought that would be better; hell that’s what their in-laws thought as well, but nobody gets to get them ready in the mornings like Brenda and hears the constant fighting between them. Surprisingly, it didn’t sound like they were fighting at all. They sound happy, which is very weird unless one of them has decided that mommy was taking too long and they turned on the TV in the living room, but as Brenda carried Ivy on her hip, she didn’t hear the TV on, but a man’s voice. A familiar voice that she was thankful for, but was also concerned because she hadn’t heard a knock on the door either. She walked further down the hallway and made her way into the living room to find John had let himself into the house and brought the girls breakfast. She was stunned to see him there, as he has never done this before. Why the change in heart? Then everything made sense after seeing the smiles on the girls faces. Pure joy, and even Ivy got on the action too.

“What are you doing here? We have to leave.” Brenda says to John as she still has Ivy in her arms, but Ivy has a hold of her daddy’s hand. “I know, but I missed my girls. And I knew they would probably be hungry anyway. So I brought them something to eat.” John said as he looked right at the smiling baby on the left. “Oh, look what mommy put you in! Daddy’s favorite shirt.” John said in his sweet voice. That voice that Brenda missed in the middle of the night. She did not want to miss this man after hearing about him cheating on her for some time now. If things were to get any better, it would take time. She knew things wouldn’t get better after a few days, even her heart knew that, but she couldn’t exactly keep him away from the girls. That wouldn’t be right for them as they are too young to understand what is going on with their mommy and daddy. So she kept a fake smile upon her face to insure that her daughters knew that things would get better. John exchanged a smile to Brenda but knew better than to believe she was really happy he was there. He was making her and the girls even later than before. It was 8:25am, if she didn’t leave now than she’d never get him to leave. “Well I’m sorry to cut this short, but we really have to go. Tell daddy “thank you for the breakfast” and let’s get to school!” Brenda said in a cheerful tone as she watched Ava and Tatum say their “thank you’s” and kiss John on the cheek. Gracie had to be a little more complicated but John helped her off her chair and walked her out to the car. He buckled the girls inside and watched Brenda as she put Ivy in her car seat. He kissed her on the forehead and was about to kiss Brenda before she stepped back. She wasn’t ready to take him back yet, and as much as she loved his sweet side, she knew better.

When she stepped back, John steeped in one last time and smiled at his four girls, before he hadn’t thought about the consequences of his actions. What if he couldn’t get Brenda to forgive him? He knew they were going to need help, if they both wanted to make this work for their daughters. “Hey, I think we should go to couples therapy?” John said in a whisper after he shut the door shut of Brenda car. He continued to look into Brenda’s eyes, but she looked so distanced. They didn’t have a future in her eyes anymore and it was all his fault. Brenda opened her driver’s seat door and looked at him once more before getting inside the car. “I don’t know John. Do you really think that would help us? Keep you from cheating on me with anything that has long eyes.” Brenda said in a stirn voice and then they both heard somebody say in the backseat say, “Daddy likes daddy-long-legs?! There’s one up on the ceiling in our room. Daddy can you kill it?” Ava said from her seat way in the back of the van. John couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit. Leave it to a little kid to lighten up the mood, especially when it was on this kind of mood. Not so pleasant for everybody. “I might, if I can find it, okay?” John said as moved his head over by Brenda’s chair. She was unmoved by what the bonding moment between them. “Just think about it.” John said as he looked at his wife again. “All right, I will.” Brenda said before she sat down in her seat and pulled the seat buckle to her side to strap herself in. “Drive safely dear. Bye girls!” John said as his goodbye to them and then shut Brenda’s door. He backed up a couple of feet before she drove off.

Now they were extremely late. Luckily, all of the girls teachers understood that she was now on her own as she emailed that there might be a slight change on the time she and the girls would get there. It was almost nine o’clock. She probably would have made it if John hadn’t showed up and brought breakfast for the girls. She was pretty sure that the girls still had sugar on their fingers from the small bites of donuts he gave them. She felt bad for their teachers. She pulled out of their little community and onto the main highway. She remembered the first time, she and John found their place. John just became head of the business and Brenda sadly had to quit because John couldn’t keep his hands off of her. After the birth of Ava, she went back to work and Chloe would come over and baby sit her brand new niece. When Tatum was born, Chloe and their mother Sandra would come over and help out whenever they could, but after Brenda had Grace and his delayed speech and movements. Brenda thought it would just be better if she worked from home, which led to her getting almost fired the first time around after Tatum going on mommy’s laptop and sending an email to her boss that didn’t make sense and when her boss found it, he thought she was drunk. Once she found out she was pregnant with Ivy, there was basically nothing keeping her there. She wasn’t really happy there anyways. Since John took her job, things were heading south. She started putting theories together to when maybe John started cheating on her. That timeline would have fit perfectly. Almost too perfect though!

While she thought the past, she wasn’t really focuses on her surroundings. As both Tatum, Grace, and Ivy were bundled up in their heavy jackets in the backseat. Little Ava was old enough now where she was allowed to sit up in the passenger seat; even though she chose to ignore the right height for her child to seat in the front seat. Brenda had a small car. She thought after her third kid, she would get a mini van, but the girls were still small enough to fit nicely, except for Ava. She was only seven years old, but was taller than the girls in her  class. She sat up in her seat, listening to the radio, and looking out her window. Ivy sat in her car seat cooing at her older sisters sitting next to her. Everything inside the car screaming calm and controlled, but inside Brenda’s mind was restless chaos from every way she turned. They were almost up to the school. Brenda watched the sides of the roads to see if anybody was going to be turning to the left anytime soon. There was a car headed for that way but it was going too slow she thought and she pulled out in front of it. She thought she was in the clear until the car sped up just after she pulled out and hit the right side of her car very hard. Brenda’s eyes were wide as she watched the front end of this red car run right into Ava and Gracie’s doors. The crash shook the car with such force that the glass in the windows busted and the car skited on its side before the other driver finally stopped. Everything was a blur in Brenda’s eyes, but her hearing hadn’t gone out as she could hear Tatum and Ivy screaming and crying from the backseat. Brenda lifted her up and looked at Ava, she looked to her in a glaze but could still speak. Brenda unhooked her seatbelt and checked on the other girls. Tatum and Ivy had some glass on their heads, but were fine. It was Gracie that wasn’t okay at all.

The Connection – Part 13

Claire loved spending time with her older sister and nieces, but when Brenda told her to go home and rest. She didn’t hesitate whatsoever. She needed a break from life. Matt was talking to her less and less. She could have stopped this from happening, but that’s how it always ended up. She would ruin a good thing before it got even better. At the end of each of her relationships, she’s usually out looking for another boy to have for a one night stand. Yup, little Claire Middleton was that type of girl too. It only happened when she was depressed and funny thing was, the last guy she slept with was Matt. The dude she cheated on with Matt was some random guy her friend knew because he was in a band. She didn’t sleep with him because that wasn’t her style. The guy wasn’t her type and yes, she actually had a tape too. Everything about her surroundings that night, wrote “Claire” in captial letters. Maybe she was in love Matt and she just didn’t know it then. When she got into her car, she turned it on but switched her radio off. She wanted to sit in the quiet and let her mind wander around. She thought about Chloe and the fact that she hasn’t talked to anybody since Brenda yelled at her. She thought of Brenda and her nieces fixing dinner and wondered if John was already cheating on Brenda again after three days of not being able to come home. And lastly but not least, Matt. What was he doing? Was he with Samantha? Did he miss her as much as she missed him? Sometimes Claire regretted her decision to let her mind wander around and think about things that could be different in reality. Chloe could make up with Hank and forgiven him already. Brenda could be doing her worst and John could be at the house sleeping in their bed with her. And maybe, just maybe Matt could be alone. It wasn’t likely for any of these to be true, but inside she had some hidden hope in her heart.

When she got back to her apartment, it still smelled like the day before Chloe and Hank’s wedding. Which was three weeks ago. Damn, lots of things could happen in those three weeks that could change a lot of things for a lot of people. She went inside and parted a path, as that last night she spent there Matt couldn’t make it because he was still pretty pissed off at her for what she had done prior to the wedding. He had moved out of her apartment and packed up most of his stuff. When she made it to her small kitchen, memories of simple love came flooding back to her. She was trying her best to ignore her feelings, but the whole place had still smelt like Matt’s cologne that he loved wearing around her. He had been wearing it for years because she remembered the first time she noticed he had it on when they were in middle school together. According to him, he was trying to impress another girl in one of his other classes and that’s when Claire jealously perked up. That could have been her warning right there, but she had chosen to not believe in the lie called love. In her family, love was hard to come by and even back then it was never in the books for her. Every memory of her wanting to be around Matt back in school came back to her and she so desperately wanted to give in and cry, but that wasn’t her at all.

Matt wasn’t taking things lightly either. Despite feeling like it could happen to them whichever way they attempted to make their relationship work, something would ruin it. Matt had plenty of time to unpack his things. He was living with one of his friends from college, he offered to let him stay anytime he wanted to before he and Claire had started dating. So when he got word of what happened, Doug, said it was perfectly fine and that he’d get their buddies together and he be back on the dating scene in one time. Although, being in a relationship or having just a one night stand wasn’t something he was looking forward to. He just gave a slight smile and unloaded his stuff into the extra room in the small apartment. He didn’t want to give up on Claire, he knew a relationship wouldn’t work out as they hoped it would, but he was hoping they’d still be able to be friends. So every chance he wasn’t getting told by his new roommate about a new girl he’s seen around is single and the fact that word had traveled so fast out west that his old girlfriend Samantha had heard about the break up. Samantha was a good girl, someone his mother would very much appreciate marrying him one day, but Samantha was a very high maintenance woman. She liked to spend money on only herself, and made everything about her. So did Claire, but it was only when it came to relationships. Samantha was the type of woman who saw all of her partners in life as dollar bill signs, and Matt’s family wasn’t exactly rich, but yet this woman still wanted money from him. Thankfully, she wasn’t buying drugs with the cash he did give her at times.

That was what so different between both women. Claire’s family wasn’t rich. The only thing she was raised on was the fact that her sisters were her lifeline. They were a pack of alpha female wolves ready to attack anybody that threatened their territory. You messed with one, you messed with them all. That included Hank too. Matt and Hank had created a pretty good friendship over the years and knows Hank wouldn’t really do anything to him, but maybe scare him a little bit. Matt wasn’t the type of guy to hurt his partners in any shape or form. Hank knew Claire very well. If any sadness she was going through, it was entirely her fault. Matt kept a short leash on their friendship, because he didn’t know how well Claire would be able to take this kind of break up. This was new to the both of them. They’ve never dated their best friends before, so they didn’t know how to get their friendship back on track. So Matt dreaded lightly and send out a couple of texts to Claire every now and then, to see how badly their friendship was now. As he looked back then his phone, he reread the same texts over and over again. He seriously was in love with his best friend, but with her past, he doubted there could be anything left for them. Claire thought the same too.

While Claire walked in and out of all the rooms in her apartment, not checking to see if he took anything, because he wasn’t the type of person to steal from a friend. No matter how pissed off he was at her. She went into all four rooms checking to see if he forgot anything that would make come back. Sadly, he had remembered everything. Even his toothbrush and cologne. He did love his cologne though! When she walked back into the bathroom, she changed out of her clothes and noticed that she still hadn’t had her time of the month yet. Knowing what kind of life she led, by cheating on every relationship she’s ever had. This kind of thing always scared the shit out of her. She’s two big scares in her life, and for one ended with a miscarriage after her ex decided that he wasn’t ready to be a father. When she looked into her bathroom mirror, she remembered the pain on her face and back of her head. Plus, the emotional pain that she endured when she found out that he had pushed her down a flight of stairs that he swears now was an accident, but instantly killed the baby. She wasn’t that far along in the pregnancy but she had heard the baby’s heartbeat a week before everything happened. The only person that actually knew she was pregnant at all was Matt. She didn’t want to tell anybody in her family by the fact she’d just get a big lecture out of them. She went through her small cabinet and tried to find a pregnancy test, but she didn’t have one on hand. Which meant if she doesn’t start soon, she’d have to get a check up and make sure before she ruins something else for Matt.

As Matt went back to his life as a college kid. He couldn’t stop thinking about Claire. He missed her. He missed everything about her, even the things he hated about her. As he sat in his three-hour English course, he sat in his chair, daydreaming about the future. It was weird to still have her in his mind as he thought the future. Somehow they were still connected that made them closer than they were before. He couldn’t explain it, but everybody around him worried about him. His new roommate Doug, tried his best to make this newly single men one of the biggest douchebags on campus. So he was trying to teach him his ways in life. Luckily, Matt grew up with an older brother that acted just like Doug. This is how Matt’s brother Greg has two kids with two different women. Matt never saw them because they lived in different states. Greg moved a lot after he moved out when he was eighteen. When Matt turned eighteen, he was still living at home with his parents. He helped out around the family business and still does whenever he goes home on breaks. His family genuinely loved Claire, but only as a friend to their son. Yeah, even they knew about her past. Matt could always see passed her flaws and that made her the most beautiful person in the world to him. A little buzz vibrated in his back pocket as his professor talked to the large class, it was from Claire. The text wasn’t something he expected but then again it don’t come that big of a shock to him either.

She was really pregnant. She sat up from letting her doctor see how many weeks she was along. She told Claire that she might be around nine weeks pregnant. Which made her worry a little bit. Two weeks ago, as Brenda was feeling depressed about how badly her life was going, she shared some wine with her baby sister. “You should be fine. As long as you don’t have anymore in the next coming months, the baby should be healthy.” her doctor said in a concerned but sweet voice. She could sense Claire was worried, but she was hoping Claire was smart enough to be with somebody different this time around unlike the last time. “Okay.” Claire said in a very calm voice. How in the world could this happen? After the first two times she didn’t think she could ever get pregnant again. “You should come back in two weeks and we should get a better look on what the fetus measures at and maybe even what the sex is too.” her doctor said to her, still in sweet voice. Claire was distanced, but kind of excited too. She desperately wanted her last baby after she thought she was pregnant the first time. “Thank you.” Claire said and they gave each other a small hug before her doctor gave a slip of paper that she was supposed to get some vitamins from the drugstore. She was trying to wrap herself around that the fact she was pregnant, but now that she knew for sure. She had to tell Matt, since he was the last person she slept with at that time. She felt bad, but she knew it would be safer to tell him while he was back at college.

When Somebody Loves Somebody – Part 12


Chloe and Hank stayed inside their house without having contact with anybody from their families, friends and woes. They needed to be alone to figure out what they were going to break it to their families that Hank might have a son. Even though, the test would take at least another week to find out if Nicole was right or not. As much as Chloe wasn’t too sure to even believe an old friend like Nicole and think of her as somebody who wants to start trouble again, by using her own son as bait, but anything could happen. This was Nicole we were talking about here. Before everything happened to destroy their friendship, they had some signs even before Chloe’s parents departed that Nicole wasn’t such a good friend to have anymore. Once going into to school, it was a Monday, start of a new week, but it came to being one of the worst days in Chloe’s life. Chloe was coming down from being sick with the flu. She had missed the week before and since Nicole was in the same grade as her, she brought home all of her homework. Nicole had her caring parts to her, but during the weekend Nicole and a group of troubled kids decided to trash one of the two cafeterias, just because they were drunk and bored. They saw it as something to do. They used 100 rolls of toilet paper, duct tape, shaving cream, and bought eight cartons of eggs. The entire place looked like a disaster. Which apparently, that’s what they were hoping for, but something that they didn’t think they would get caught. When Nicole and her friends were in the principal’s office getting read their punishments, Nicole decided to save her own ass and threw her own best friend under the bus.

She said that Chloe had come up with the idea, but when instead of giving her friend a warning that she’d have not only the principal searching for her, but her parents and a couple of police officers came looking for her too. Chloe was still a little bit under the weather and she didn’t quite understand why everybody she was around in her classes was giving her the death glare. Even the teachers were giving her a similar look too. Chloe was very concerned but was too afraid to ask in hopes that she had something on her face. When her teacher, Mr. Robertson got that phone call from the vice principal saying they needed Chloe Middleton. She really got worried, but not because she knew she was being set up, it was the fact she was still pretty weak from her illness to walk such a long distance. So her boyfriend Hank offered to help her walk her down. Along the way, Hank decided to take her pass the cafeteria that got trashed. She hadn’t noticed it the first time as their were tons of people around her when she was walking to her class. She was so overwhelmed with the people and germs around her, that she ignored what they were talking about and looking at and went to her class. When Hank and Chloe got in the middle of the hallway, she was stunned with what she saw, but it didn’t give her enough to suspect her friend would set her up like this.

When they finally reached the main office. She saw her parents and Nicole’s mom. Both of their mothers were talking amongst themselves. Hank helped her sit down on a chair and kissed her on the cheek before leaving her there to fend for herself. She felt very uncomfortable just sitting in the chair in the corner while everybody else in the lobby looked at her. She was hoping that somebody could explain why her parents were sitting across from her. Chuck looked very unpleased with his daughter, only at fourteen year old she wasn’t the type to cause anything like this before. Brenda was more the wild child, but since she had met this nice guy named John, she had grown up a lot. Nobody would have guessed how roles have switched now. Within twenty of slowing walking up there, a large crowd of people slowly made their way out of the room. When she saw Nicole and her friends, being escorted by a couple of police officers. She knew something was up. When both the principal and vice principal walked behind them. They greeted Chloe’s parents and Nicole’s mom, and then looked towards Chloe and asked if they could come into the room. Chloe struggled to regain what little strength she had in her legs, but it was no use. So Chuck decided to put his arm around her and help lift her up and they walked slowly into the room. Her mom brought her fresh new tissues as she sounded stuffy when she spoke. When everybody sat in their chairs they got down to business and told everybody what had happened and who said that Chloe had orchestrated the mess in the cafeteria. Chloe might’ve had a fever, but she was pretty sure her inner rage was half of the cause of it.

“I did not do this!” Chloe said as her mom sat next to her. Nobody really said a word, and she wasn’t really feeling that well to be yelling at everybody. “She has been sick for probably two weeks straight, she hasn’t seen anybody since last week when Nicole brought her homework to her.” Sandra said in a concerned voice, “she shouldn’t even be here today but she begged me to let her go. So who are going to believe Mr. Jones?” She had a point. As the years went on, Nicole’s behavior was gradually getting worse. She wasn’t that good of a friend as she played to be. Nicole was into things that Chloe had always said “no” too. That didn’t mean that Chloe was such a good girl though. She had her moments too, but since her family was still intact–back then–she had a good heart and wasn’t into breaking the law. Rules were made to be broken, but the trashing the school’s cafeteria was a total different story altogether. “Did anybody else agree with her that Chloe was involved?” said Chuck, who rubbed her middle daughter’s back in a soothing way. “Well, actually no. It was only Nicole who actually said it.” Mr. Jones said back to him. “Mr. Jones, the security tapes have something they’d like for you to see.” said the secretary. “Excuse me for just a moment.” Mr. Jones said as he and the vice principal sat up from their chairs and left the room. Within an hour, they came back with some pretty surprising news.

“Well, Chloe and Mr. and Mrs. Middleton, you are free to go. We won’t be charging you with anything. Looks like your friend forgot about the fact that our security cameras come with voice software. We heard them talk about how they were going to set you up. Sorry Miss. Middleton. Looks like you can go back to your normal classes or if you want to, go home and rest up for tomorrow?” said Mr. Jones. “So that’s it?” Chloe said in a daze. She couldn’t believe within two hours or so, everything was fine again, but the fact remains that Nicole had actually tried to get her into trouble. What kind of friend is that? “Yes, I apologize on behalf of the school.” he said as her parents just glared at him for overlooking the good will of their sickly daughter. They walked out of the room, but not without watching Nicole and her friends get arrested for vandalizing school property. “Why did you blame me, Nicole? You’re supposed to be my best friend, not my enemy?” Chloe said in a nasal voice. Nicole smirked but never said anything back to her. She and Nicole’s mom watched them take her and her friends off campus. Five seconds later, Hank found his way back up to the main office but only to check up on Chloe. “What happened?” He said to her in a concerned voice. “Nothing, son. Sometimes you have to be careful on how you pick your friends.” Chuck said as he hugged Chloe tightly.  Chloe had a very clear picture of that day and so did Hank too. Yet, Nicole still made her way into their lives as a possibly baby mama to his child.

Chloe and Hank had always been in love with each other, even on their breaks. It wasn’t just a coincidence that these two belonged together. They were soul mates. Chloe dreamt of the life she wanted to share with Hank. She wanted a love like her sister and brother-in-law but without all of the cheating that John brought along. Chloe still wanted that life with Hank. She still wore her wedding ring on her finger, but looked like it as something that may not meant much to them both at the moment. Hank was distraught with the fact that after two weeks they get married he might’ve let one night get in the way of being together with the love of his life. Although life wasn’t going their ways, they both agreed that if Hank was the father of James, then they’d make things work and Hank was to be a part of James’ life. No matter what. When Chloe and Hank came into contact with each other inside the small house, it wasn’t what they’d expected after just being married. It was awkward and sad. Tears would form in Chloe’s eyes, but they’d never fall because then all that would do is make things worse. So she pushed back her tears and tried her best to keep herself contained. Hank was on the urge of tears too, but he was a guy. Crying in front of his wife or even his mother absolutely terrified so he hid them well inside, but he knew that if he didn’t leave that house soon, all hell would break for him.  So he made an excuse to get out of the house a bit, so he went out and said he was going to the gym. For Chloe, she knew he’d never go to a gym in his life but she understood the fact they needed some space between them. He came to her and kissed her on the cheek. He was being as loving to her as he did the day she realized Nicole was nothing more to her.

Hank had been out in his car most of the morning, since they came back early, he wasn’t expected to come back to work until next week. He knew that if the results weren’t what he and Chloe expected than going back to work would be such a good idea. So he decided to go in and ask the secretary to put him back on the schedule early. When he hopped out of his car, some of his co-workers were surprised to see their boss coming back so early, which only meant one thing. Things weren’t up to date as they usually are when he’s there on a daily basis. Looks like his plan to come back was a smart idea after all. When he went inside the building, his little brother, who was also one of his employees was flirting with his secretary Layla, she was a polite blonde girl, who was secretly a hater of men, but loved seeing them beg for her. Only Hank knew about this and seeing his brother Levi get down so low just for a girl made him laugh inside. “Levi!” Hank shouted, which made Levi jump out of his skin. Obviously Sophie didn’t tell her youngest son that his older brother and sister-in-law had made it back early. “Hey, what are you doing here?” Levi said as he tried to regain himself after making a fool out of himself. “I was just about to ask you the same thing.” Hank said in a smirk. “I’m talking to Layla, she was asking a question and I was explaining it to her.” Layla just rolled her eyes at Hank. Thankfully Hank knew better to believe his little brother. “Come on Levi, get your ass in here, before I fire your ass for harassing my people.” Hank said as shook his head at Layla and opened his door to his office.

The small room was very cool and decorated with company colors, brown and red. Trophies lined up on the walls along with certificates that were hanging up on the opposite wall. Hank was a very successful man after he took his father’s role in the company after he retired two years ago. Hank and Levi stepped inside and Hank pulled his black leather chair out of behind the desk that had a full stack of papers and folders that needed to be completed. He a row of pictures of him and Chloe before everything had to come back to break him in half. The pictures of his family, his brothers, buddies from school, work parties, and Chloe’s sisters and nieces stared back at him. Chloe had been the one to get him all these frames when he become the boss at work. She thought it looked professional and nice as he’s always been a family man. Levi definitely saw him looking at the pictures, “you should tell Chloe that you need another a picture frame of your wedding pictures.” He said in a voice that seemed to be fun, but after looking at his older brother seemed pretty concerned too. “What? Hank. What is going on in your mind?” Levi said as he took a seat in one of two extra seats. “It’s nothing that you should know about, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find out about it soon. So I guess I’ll tell you, but this stays away from our mother. Got it?” Hank said as he pointed at his baby brother. “Promise, tell me.” Levi said in agreement and Hank let the ball roll down into hell.

“You what?!” Levi said in a very loud voice. Some people in their family and people around town always saw Levi as that type of person that it would happen to, not Hank. Crazy thing is, Levi thought about it too from time to time. “You sure dude? I mean, it is Nicole Boyd. She’s like the slut after what happened between her and Chloe’s moms. You’re really going with what she says.” Levi knew Nicole and her family pretty well too. Nicole had a younger brother named Todd that Levi used to get along really well until he died in a car accident three years before Chloe’s parents separated. Todd went from a good girl to a guy who definitely liked to party, and then everything came down on him in instant. It was a shame it had to happen, but after it happened Nicole seemed to follow in his footsteps. After she and Chloe stopped being friends and her parents got criticized about how they raised their kids, they moved away. “I know, but she brought her son to the suite that Chloe and I were staying at in Hawaii.” Hank said with his hands together. Levi sat back in his seat, stunned by what his own brother was telling him. “Mom’s going to kill you.” Levi said in a small chuckle, and Hank returned one back. It wasn’t something to joke about, but with almost everything these two brothers talked about, was a joke. “Well, how is Chloe taking it?” Levi said as he fiddled with the nails of his fingers. “She’s a pro, you know how Chloe is. Even though I know she’s not exactly thrilled especially what’s going on with Brenda and John.” Hank said. “And Claire and Matt.” Levi said in a whisper. “What do you mean by that? What’s going on with Claire and Matt?” Hank said to his baby brother hoping to get some news.

Back at the house, Chloe took the advantage of the fact that Hank was not around so she cry as freely as she wanted. She had kept those tears inside for too long and they weren’t all from she and Hank, some were even for Brenda and John too. Growing up, even though her mother had found their stepdad, getting her to go out on an actual date was rough and both Brenda and Chloe did everything to get their mother back out into the world again. They didn’t want to see her get lonely, so they set her up on a few blind dates with men they had worked with and were single. During this time, Brenda had Ava and Tatum, Gracie was about five months old. So she had a whole roll of baby pictures of her grandchildren. Which ruined a lot of her previous dates, but when she met John, things took off and the fact that she had hidden a small stack of pictures in the bottom of  her purse didn’t even scare him off. He was definitely a keeper and all three girls had grown to love him, even if Claire was the most difficult one of all. Chloe had admired her mother and older sister for finding love and being able to be a family. She had hoped to have that with Hank someday down the line. To have their own kids and be together for always, seemed like the best thing ever. Now everything was crumbling down around her. After an hour of crying, she made it her job to stop crying enough to do some chores around the house. They still hadn’t unpacked from their honeymoon, so she knew laundry came first.

She sat up from the couch and turned on the radio to give her some motivation to get her body motion. After switching it on, going through stations because on weird days Hank likes to listen to some funky music. Considering the first song she heard play when she started flipping through the channels ” let’s get physical, let’s get physical…” and Chloe instantly started dancing but as soon as she heard it, she flipped it to another station, then came on was a song she remembered hearing in a move, The Black Eyed Peas’ song “Feel It” was actually on the radio which never happens and she took advantage of it and danced and grooved to the beat to get through her chores around the house. After finishing two loads of laundry, cleaning dishes, and putting clothes back on the racks in their closet. She seemed accomplished with herself and kept the radio on until she forgot about looking inside the mailbox. She just sat down, but lucky for her she was still feeling the good vibes going through her body as the next song played on the radio, it was a little bit slowly but she didn’t mind it much. Passenger’s song, “Let Her Go” played and it mellowed her out and she opened the front door. It had been a while she smelled the fresh air since she’s been trapped inside all day long. She put her inside the dark green box and pulled out a stack of papers, bills, and one surprising letter that she was expecting to come in next week. She quickly put down the rest of the mail on the table, turned down the radio, and called Hank on her cell phone. It was what they were waiting to find out since the first day of their honeymoon, the patientry test.