Blemished Love Episode 24 – 25 Loudest Thoughts

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Blemished Love Episode 1 - Loudest Thoughts

Blemished Love Episode 24 – Loudest Thoughts

They knocked and waited for an answer.

‘Am I going to see mommy this dawn.’ She picked up her book when they walked inside.

‘Sweetheart, it’s late and besides I’m not so happy with this your new behavior.’

‘I want to go and live with Grissel.’ She folded her hands across her small chest.

‘Dani, I’m your only parent. You can’t chose me over that woman.’

‘Dad?’ She called and frowned.

‘Yes my dear.’

‘She’s mom or Grissel, not that woman.’ She said and turned to her story book.

Dane opened his mouth and closed it.

Dani has been the most important thing in his life since her brother died, he wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt her.

Melisa, held his hands as they were fumbling. She gestured him when she realized he was finding it difficult to give in to his daughter. She smiled at him and nodded her head indicating it was okay for him to grant her wish.

‘Okay, I will think about your offer.’ Dane said and glanced at Lisa who smiled. .

‘You don’t need to think. You see my bag there,’ she pointed to her pink traveling back, ‘it has already been packed waiting for my plane ticket.’

Dane’s eyes suddenly shot with rage and his blood boiled instantly.

Melisa drew him closer to herself as she knew the next thing on his mind. ‘She’s just a kid, you don’t want to smack her.’ She whispered quietly into his ears.

‘What if I do Lisa?’ He said probably referring to smacking her.

‘Then you lose her and I’m sure you don’t want to lose another child.’

He glanced at her and walked closer to her daughter who was pretending not to be in the room with them.

‘I will arrange that for the two of us next weekend.’

Lisa couldn’t help but smile and when Dane was fuming with anger she looked away.

‘No, you will block my chances. I’m going with Lisa in the morning.’ Dani was being serious and had a straight face on.

Dane glanced at Lisa again but she raised her shoulders indicating she doesn’t mind.

‘Okay, anything for my princess.’ He said and walked towards the door.

‘One more thing please, I need some money for a gift for mom.’

‘That’s enough Dani.’ He yelled now.

She dropped her book and sat on the bed.

‘I just want to meet my mom. I can’t believe she was this close and you lied to me.’

Dane swallowed hard controlling his anger. ‘You will but my money is certainly not buying anything.’

‘Fine, can I have my money that Grandpa gave to me last month?’ Dani demanded innocently.

Dane shook his head and walked out without answering her. Melisa followed in a bit after tucking Dani in to bed. He was very furious and his eyes were red when she joined him outside.

‘You are doing the right thing Dane.’

‘You think allowing my daughter near that woman is the right thing to do.’

‘Don’t worry, I will be around all the time besides the Grissel I know now maybe different from the one you knew eight years ago.’

‘Is that supposed to make me feel better? What if she falls sick?’

‘Don’t you trust me?’ She asked smooching him on the back.

‘I do trust you but Dan….’

‘No buts. Trust your ex-wife has turned her life around.’

He scoffed. ‘She’s probably pretending to you and the family.’

‘She’s not Dane and give her some credit for giving you a beautiful princess.’

‘Dani is mine alone.’ He was beginning to flare up again.

It’s okay, let’s go to the room. You need to book a flight before morning.’

‘You are right but I wished you could stay for a few more days.’

‘That’s not happening. You get to see me when you dismiss that case in court.’

‘That’s not happening either.’ He replied and tickled her.

They both laughed and walked hand in hand to their room.

***

True to his words, Lisa and Dani were on the next flight to Seattle.

She didn’t want to inform anyone of their coming because she knows how Grissel might react.

Once they landed at the airport, she got into the next cab with their luggage.

Dani had packed a lot of stuff, which she had to repack. Before they left, she insisted on buying a card for Grissel which Dane made clear his money won’t buy.

She asked to borrow money from Melisa who gladly gave out.

Dani bought a drawing paper and made her own card.

Melisa has told her a lot about Grissel and Tom.

She was so excited to meet them and was also ready not to be accepted by her mom.

The cab driver dropped them in front of the house and they dragged their luggage inside.

Tom who comes home early these days, was having a conversation with Grissel’s mom when their bell rang.

They both looked at each other, because they didn’t hear the gate open.

‘It must be Grissel. Thank God, I’m starving.’ He sighed and left to open the door.

Grissel’s mom had wanted to cook but Tom insisted his wife would do it once she gets back.

Grissel was on her way home when her mom asked for an ice cream. Since she was in the mood for an ice cream herself she turned around to go get her some hence her delay in coming home.

Tom opened the door and was going to ask what she wanted when Dani appeared in front of him.

‘Hello, you must be my new daddy.’

‘Emmm, I’m no…..’

‘Tom, this is Shirley.’

He paused and kept looking at her.

‘Is my mom around?’ She jerked him out of his thoughts.

‘Hey, how are you. You must be tired.’

He led them in and introduced her to Gina.

He wasn’t surprised they got along too quickly.

Tom dragged Melisa from there while Shirley and her grandmother bonded.

‘What do you think you are doing?’

‘Fixing your wife, I guess.’

‘You think bringing Shirley here would fix anything.’

‘It would besides I didn’t want to but she was so adamant on coming.’

‘And her dad, let her go?’

‘Not easily but trust me, Shirley can be persistent and she might just be the key to getting that forever after you want with Grissel.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘Dane won’t let the bigamy case go but Shirley is one thing he won’t let go either.’

‘I’m not a lawyer but are you suggesting what I think you are trying to say.’

‘Yes, and that’s the only way out.’

‘We can’t use that little girl and I’m not sure how my wife would react to you bringing her here.’

‘I don’t care how she reacts but any good lawyer would understand what I’m saying.’

‘I don’t like this but next time let me know before you do any such thing.’

‘Thank you Tom.’

‘Dani must be hungry and Grissel isn’t back yet.’

‘Dani or you?’ Melisa teased.

‘I’m hungry too but since you are here let me ask Grissel if you can use her kitchen. You know how sensitive she can be sometimes.’

‘Let me call her myself.’

‘Okay, and wait for her to come home first before you tell her about Shirley.’

Tom walked out while she dialed Grissel’s number.

‘Hello, I’m in your house and was told you are yet to come home.’

‘You are back?’

‘Yeah, I just got here, we can talk when you get back.’

‘Okay I’m almost home, just getting some ice-cream for my mom.’

‘Do you mind if I start cooking. Your husband is hungry so is everyone in this house.’

‘I’m really sorry, you can use the sauce from the freezer. That’s way faster and I have yam and potatoes.’

‘Thank you, drive safe.’

She ended the call and Dani was standing at the entrance.

‘Was that my mom?’

‘Yes, and she’s on her way home.’

‘But you didn’t tell her about me.’

‘It’s a surprise Dani.’

‘What if she doesn’t like me?’

‘Don’t be silly, who wouldn’t like a pretty you. Come and help me cook.’

Melisa said with confusion registered on her face but she managed to smile and reached out for her hands.

‘I’m scared Lisa.’ Dani complained.

‘You will make her like you.’ Melisa encouraged.

‘Yaay.’ She jubilated.

***

‘Melisa and Dani were still in the kitchen when they heard Grissel driving in. She thought the little girls mind wasn’t there as she didn’t make any attempt to go out even when the front door opened.

Grissel who entered found Tom helping Gina with sorting out her phone. She greeted them and dropped herself on the couch obviously exhausted.

‘Where’s Lisa?’

‘Kitchen.’ Tom answered scrutinizing her face before he could tell her about Dani.

‘Tom you are staring at me.’

‘I need to tell you something.’

‘Okay, I’m listening.’ She adjusted herself ready to listen.

‘Not here.’ He signaled towards Gina who was so engrossed with her phone.

‘Tom I’m really not in the mood this evening.’

‘Why don’t you go with your husband, you two are distracting me.’ Gina intentionally chipped in.

She looked at her mom and wanted to say something but stood up with her bag.

Tom led the way as she followed.

‘Let me check on your sist….’

‘No, come with me.’ Tom said and dragged her suspiciously.

‘What’s goi….’

She was saying when she spotted Dani at the entrance of the kitchen door.

Grissel stared at her daughter and froze at that spot.

Tom walked over and shook her out of her trance.

Dani who was tired of standing there walked to where she stood.

‘You must be my mommy.’ She said with a smile.

Grissel heard her tiny voice ringing in her ears.

‘You have to say something.’ Tom whispered.

She quickly regained her composure sounding teary.

‘And you must be my d….aughter.’ She stuttered at the end unhappily.

She drew her closer and carried her with an expression no one could read.

The next thing they knew she walked to Gina and dropped Dani there.

‘Wait here.’ She touched her cheeks and feigned a smile.

‘Okay mommy.’

Grissel turned around at the mention of mommy and that was when Tom dragged her towards the kitchen before she could say anything.

‘Lisa, do you know whose daughter you brought here.’

‘Relax, we got permission.’

‘Permission from who?’ Grissel wasn’t finding it so funny at all.

‘Her dad.’ She examined her sister in laws face and saw the anger written all over. ‘Listen she wanted to come and I couldn’t say no.’

‘You could have left.’

‘It was an impossible situation and I had no other choice than to bring her here.’

‘You had a choice Lisa.’ What if Tom had asked you two to leave?’

‘Okay that’s enough you two.’ Tom admonished. ‘She’s here already so can we act matured for a while.’

‘Tom are you in support of this. You know I’m not cut out for the whole motherhood thing right now and you are certainly not ready.’’

‘I know but she’s your daughter, we can’t exactly throw her out.’

Grissel sighed and held her head firmly.

‘Mommy are you okay.’ Came Dani’s voice again.’

‘I’m fine,’ she said with all her strength. ‘Wait for us at the table for your dinner.’

‘Thank you, I’m starving.’ She muttered and run off.

Grissel glared at Tom and then Lisa.

‘Feed her. I’m out of here.’

She shove her bag out of Tom’s hands angrily and walked out straight to her room, little did she know Dani had followed after a few minutes.

She knocked gently and heard come in.

Grissel assuming it was Tom turned around to see her standing at the entrance. He usually knocks when they get into an argument.

‘Won’t you come out for dinner?’ She asked stylishly walking closer. ‘Everyone is waiting for you.’

She took another look at her and sat up on the bed this time calmly.

Tears from nowhere begun to flow.

‘Are you crying because of my brother?’

Her words stung her as she sat closer to her giving her a warm hug.

‘I forgive you even if Daddy doesn’t want to. Lisa told me it wasn’t your fault that Shane went to heaven.’

‘I’m sorry Dani.’ Grissel quietly said still sobbing.

‘Call me Shirley.’

She brought her tiny self out of her mom’s arms and wiped her face with her small hands.

‘It’s going to be alright mommy.’

Grissel nodded easing up.

‘I made a drawing for you and it’s in my bag.’

‘Thank you. We will have a look at it later.’ She sounded at ease now.

‘You are pretty just like me.’ Dani said knowing everyone always told her she looked like her Dad.

‘And you are the prettiest Shirley.’ Grissel smiled for the first time during that moment.

‘Can we take lots of pictures with my dad’s camera so I can tell everyone at school my mom is not in heaven after all.’

Grissel was looking at her daughters mouth go up and down.

‘Pictures are my favorite.’

‘Me too.’ Dani said excitedly when her stomach grumble.

‘Let’s go and have our meal before Lisa finishes everything.’ Grissel made a joke while her daughter laughed.

She located her flip flops and carried Dani off the bed down the stairs.

***

‘Daddy doesn’t do it that way.’

Grissel who was putting her daughter to bed felt disappointed as she thought she could be good at least at tucking in bed when earlier Dani couldn’t stop blabbing about how her dad goes about her night time before bed as anything Grissel did that evening was not how Dane does it.

Tom who was standing by the entrance knew if he didn’t intervene his wife will break down.

‘So why don’t you show mommy how it’s done.’ He muttered and walked over.

‘Okay, mommy watch.’ She got out of bed and took the duvet with her. Dani gave the duvet to her mom and smiled.

‘I will lie down now and you c…..’

‘So you lie down first and we cover you with the duvet. Tom interrupted.

‘No, let me show you how daddy tucks in her little girl.’

She laid on the bed pulled the duvet over and rolled to all the sides and tucked in which Grissel had to help with at the last minute.

‘Ahuh, we get your way of tucking in now.’ Tom whispered gently.

‘Yes, this way I don’t sneak out of bed. She smiled to her mom.’ ‘Daddy said I’m too sneaky and snoopy.’

‘I’m sure you can’t get out of this tuck in.’ Grissel acknowledged just to get her attention off how Dane does it.

Dani grinned and made a metal note.

‘Alright goodnight. I will turn off the light on my way out.’ She stood up holding on to Tom.

‘But I haven’t had my milk and my bed time story yet.’

Grissel and Tom’s face turned pale.

‘It’s okay if there’s no milk but stories are important for me.’ She sat up ruining the tuck in. ‘I want to become a lawyer like you.’

‘I’m sure you will make a fine lawyer.’ She said hurriedly so she could get out of there. She was so tired after she had to spend about an hour washing her down her Dad’s way.

‘I have a book on that,’ she jumped out of the duvet. ‘Let me get it.’

Tom glanced at her and saw the frustration in her eyes and gave her a wink and a reassuring smile.

‘Wait, why don’t we just talk tonight?’ Grissel got into the duvet. ‘I’m sure you heard some scary things about me and I would want to clarify that.’ She had no idea where that energy came from.

‘That will be so cool.’ She jumped up covering her face and smiling all the time.

‘Great.’ Grissel responded.

Tom managed a smile and said goodnight.

‘Alright, don’t wait up for me.’ Grissel said when he got to the door.

Tom turned abruptly and frowned.

‘Uncle Tom, you will see mommy tomorrow.’ She smiled sheepishly.

He feigned a smile and waved them closing the door behind him when he came facing Melisa.

Melisa decided to stay out of their bedtime struggles.

‘This was all your fault.’ He admonished.

‘Come on. Do you have to sleep with your wife every day?’

‘This is not about sleeping but company.’

‘Just one night Tom.’

‘What if it continues tomorrow?’ He asked naively.

‘I’m surprised you are jealous of a little girl.’ Melisa laughed.

‘I’m not and you should have seen how Grissel pushed me away with her eyes.’

‘Just give her time to bond, it took her eight years and to me a day without her by your side doesn’t mean she loves you any less.’

‘I hear you counselor.’ He smiled and walked further away from her while she stared at him go.

‘Hey be careful around Stella.’ She paused after a while.

Tom gave her a look that suggests he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

‘I know you want to Tom and besides the way she was looking at you the other day tells me you must have already started.’

‘I’m not that person anymore.’ He scratched his head. ‘I’m in love with my wife.’

‘Okay, that alone should mean something to you anytime you are out there with her late at night.’

‘And you suddenly seem to care about me Lisa.’

‘I always did but you just didn’t notice.’

He saw the pain in her eyes and signaled her to come sit with her on the stairs.

‘I know I was so difficult to deal with from the beginning and I messed up with Amy.’

‘Let’s forget about that girl for a minute. I was never going to settle down with her.’

‘Good to know.’ She smiled with her hands supporting her cheeks. ‘So Stella.’

‘Stella what?’

‘You know what I’m talking about Tom.’

‘She’s a friend to both my wife and I.’

‘Does she know you have feelings for her friend?’

‘Bring your voice down Lisa.’

Melisa glared at him in silence.

‘Talk, I have all night.’

‘There’s nothing going on between us.’ He smirked. ‘But I must admit I do like her to a point.’

‘I knew it.’ She literally jumped up.

‘I love Grissel and nothing can take that away.’ He sounded so sure. ‘She’s always going to be the one for me.’

‘But you are worried about something.’ She poked him. ‘I’m still your big sister you know.’

‘I do worry all the time Lisa. Tom’s face went blank. ‘What happens if she decides to break it off?’

‘You think her ex-husband is back so she may want to go back to him.’

He nodded. ‘I see that happening soon. No offence to you by the way.’

She stared at him. ‘Come on that guy hurt her a lot.’

‘I know it’s impossible but I can’t help it especially when she seems distance in her actions since I found out.’

‘Trust me, she wouldn’t do that.’

‘What about your relationship with him?’

‘For now my family comes first, Dane is the least of my problems now.’

‘This might sound selfish but I don’t want him for you.’

‘I knew you would say that.’ She smacked him playfully but in her mind she was hurting.

‘I’m serious Lisa, I’ve got a lot of friends who are still single.’

‘Those one’s your wife doesn’t like.’

He laughed quietly. ‘She likes Austin.’

‘Yeah, he seems like a good one.’ Melisa said with a painful heart. She can’t imagine leaving without Dane but she had to put her family first.

They both sat on the steps while Tom hoped Grissel would come out and Lisa kept checking her phone probably expecting a call from Dane.

Blemished Love Episode 25 – Loudest Thoughts

Both Gina and Julia had decided to talk to Dane when they heard he was in town. Mr. and Mrs. Medt had called to inform them he was around so they could come over to have a talk but as heartless as Dane is he turned down their pleads.

‘Dane, so you don’t want to let go of this issue.’ Stella’s mom asked after Gina and Julia had left their end.

‘No, Grissel hasn’t paid fully yet.’ Dane replied her aunty checking out Dani’s pictures that Lisa sent to him.

‘When did you turn into this bitter person?’

‘The day she killed my son and you all helped her hide in this city.’

‘You think we knew she was here?’ Mr. Medt interrupted from where he sat reading.

‘And Stella, why are you quiet?’ Her mom asked before Dane could answer.

‘Mom, I have nothing to say.’ She coiled back on the couch.

Stella and Dane were like five and six but since the incident, they hardly see eye to eye.

Dane ignored her and kept checking his phone every seconds until it rang.

He stood up and left the room smiling at them.

***

‘Hey Princess.’

‘Daddy, your daughter is fine and she’s now mommy’s princess.’ Dani knew that was going to be his first question.

‘Okay, I’m in town do you want to come around?’

‘Dad, we talked about this. No stalking.’

‘I’m not, I came to see your other Grandma.’

‘Hmmm, we both know that’s a lie.’

‘Alright, I was just worried. I will wait for the next few days so we can leave together.’

Dani was quiet at her end.

‘Dani, I can hear you breathing.’

‘I don’t want to go back.’

‘Young lady, do you want me to drive there and pick you up?’

‘Mommy won’t allow you take me away.’

‘Dani, stop being cheeky with me.’

‘I just want to stay a little longer so I could spend more time with the prettiest mom.’

‘Can I talk to Lisa?’ He changed the topic to avoid listening to her daughter make noise about Grissel.

‘Dad? We are not done talking about Mom.’

‘I don’t want to hear it, help me tell Lisa I will call in the evening.’

‘Okay, your choice.’ She said coyly and hanged up before her Dad could do anything.

Dani rushed off to where Melisa and Grissel were seated.

‘Daddy said I could stay for the whole of next week.’

‘Really? But you have school.’ Melisa asked while Grissel looked on.

‘He will talk to the teachers when he goes back.’

‘Your Dad is in town?’ Grissel asked grabbing her phone.

‘Yes, he came to see you Mom.’

‘Dani that’s a lie.’ Melisa admonished.

‘It’s true, he wants mom to bring me over to my other grand mom’s place.’

Grissel just kept her eyes on her. Dani reminds her of her old cheeky self. She quickly sent a message to Stella and dropped her phone.

‘Dani, what did your Dad say exactly.’

She turned to her mom who has been quiet all these while.’ He said to tell that woman to bring me over?’

‘Dani that’s not a nice thing to say.’ Grissel cautioned.

‘But daddy said it, not me.’

‘You are going back tomorrow instead of Sunday.’ Grissel said and picked up her phone.

‘I’m sorry I lied.’ Dani rushed onto her laps while Lisa looked at her face and poked her nose.

‘Daddy wants you to call her Lisa.’ She squirmed.

‘Mommy am I still going back tomorrow?’

‘You might if you keep lying.’

‘I will stop, I cross my heart.’ She smiled with her hands on her chest.

She wriggled her small hands in the air and run off to the kitchen probably going for her next round of ice cream.

‘How are you holding up?’

‘I will live Lisa.’ Grissel feigned a smile. ‘This isn’t a difficult case anymore, it will probably get dismissed.

‘Are you sure about that?’ She stressed.

‘Yeah, I haven’t done anything wrong this time.’

‘I know that but Dane still feels the pain and to him you betrayed him.’

‘Who wouldn’t feel such a pain?’ Her face colored up. ‘He was my son too but I did my time for that crime and I may never get over it but that shouldn’t make me heartless as Dane has become.’

‘I want to understand you two but it’s so difficult.’

‘I was thrown into a box without hearing for seven months. I just don’t understand why he won’t give me the divorce.’ She muttered painfully. ‘Shouldn’t that be enough especially when I have Dani to remind me of my failure as a mom.

‘You were not a failure, you just made a mistake.’

‘Tell that to your boyfriend who wouldn’t grant me the annulment.’

Lisa suddenly forgot what to say as she had her mouth opened for a few seconds and just closed it.

‘Am I asking him for too much?’

‘I don’t think so because I know you don’t need his money.’

‘You are right, I need only his signature and if he refuses this time I can get a default divorce.’

‘That’s a bit of relief but I can see something else is bothering you.’ Lisa stared into her eyes.

‘Stella signing that annulment paper was a wrong move.’

‘But it was verified the signature belonged to him when you sent to the judge right?’

‘Yeah it was but it could ruin everything for me if Dane decides to pursue it and I would lose the favor of the only judge who fast tracked all these for me before the wedding.’

‘So had it not been that Stella signed, this case would have been a foolish one considering the fact that you had no idea he wasn’t the one who signed it.’

‘Yes or probably argue I had no idea he was alive. If the court found out i had no contact with him I’m sure I could get my annulment.’

‘I’m really sorry.’

‘That’s fine, Dane has always been this controlling I didn’t think it would get to this but I hold no grudge.’

‘You don’t?’

‘Why should i? I’m human and I may not like it but he’s still a part of me.’

‘You still have feelings for him?’

Grissel scoffed. ‘Feelings? They died the moment he denied I wasn’t his wife and threw me in jail.’

‘But he still wants you Grissel.’

She laughed. ‘I pity him, he’s part of my life because of Shirley.’

‘Are you sure about that?’

‘You think I don’t love your brother enough? A smile appeared on her cheeks. ‘Even if I don’t, hasn’t he done too much for me already to deserve complete love from me?’

‘I know you do but it’s two different things.’ Melisa squirmed. ‘A man you have a baby with will always be part of your life and the one you love will be caught in the middle of it all.’

‘It will all blow over soon and Dane will lose what’s dear to him.’

‘Are you saying what I’m thinking?’

‘Of course, I’ve been working on custody for all these years but I never got anywhere.’

‘Won’t that affect you and Tom’s relationship?’

‘Your brother will be fine.’

‘Though the Tom I knew back then is different now but think through your decision.’

‘I will but what’s up with you and Dane.’

‘He will be dumped soon.’ She laughed painfully and Grissel joined.

‘Don’t dump him on my account Lisa. If you love him that much, it’s okay to be with him.’

‘You think I don’t already know that.’ Her face became dull suddenly. ‘How do you expect me to be with my sister-in-laws ex-husband?’

Grissel kept watching her and finally grinned. ‘You are blushing.’

‘What?’ Melisa asked and quickly reached out for her cheeks.

‘You need to look into the mirror to find out.’ Grissel teased.

‘Be serious Grissel.’

‘I am being serious but it sounds to me like you are asking me for permission.’

She kept mute for about two seconds. ‘Am I?’ Melisa asked faintly.

‘You don’t need me to make your love decisions, forget I ever existed Lisa.’

‘I can’t do that, you would always be in every conversation we have.’

‘It’s totally okay with me and besides my daughter likes you.’ She winked.

‘I see your plan now. Shirley would always be yours and that won’t change.’

‘I understand but I would be much okay with you around her than another woman I don’t know.’

‘Don’t trust me that much Grissel.’

‘I don’t but then I think I have your brother to deal with you if my daughter turns out wrong.’

She laughed and Melisa squirmed.

‘Gosh, of all the men I’ve been with why Dane.’ She covered her face with her palms like a kid.

‘Ahaaa, you just confirmed you are helplessly in love.’

Melisa rolled her eyes teasingly. ‘Dane’s kind of love is different. I just feel comfortable and relaxed in this relationship.’ She grinned. ‘Usually I do all the hard work but this time around I feel free.’

‘Then what is stopping you from being with him.’

‘I can’t stand what he is doing to you.’

‘So you love me too?’ Grissel teased.

She smacked her. ‘He does everything I ask him to but when it comes to you and his past he doesn’t want to let go.’

‘He loves you Lisa but he’s also a broken man. I did that to him and the thought of you being related to me won’t let him oblige to your opinion on this case.’

‘What do I do Grissel?’ She asked confused.

‘You keep saying he would be dumped soon but I would say just be there for him. He would need you after everything is over.’

‘Okay,’ she sighed. ‘Tom and his father won’t accept him.’

She scoffed. ‘You are scared of your brother’s reaction.’

‘I have to Grissel. I don’t want us going back to holding grudges and I can’t have him hating Dane either.’

‘I would handle Tom for you.’

‘How? He’s stubborn Grissel.

‘Your brother would do anything for me. Just trust that he would come to accept him eventually.’

‘Thank you so much.’ She reached out for her hands. ‘You know Shirley takes after you. She knows what she wants and makes sure she gets it.’

Grissel gasped. ‘Where’s she?’

Just then they heard a deafening burst in the kitchen followed by a shout and rushed there as Dani was out of sight.

***

‘Come here sweetheart.’

Dani was hiding behind the kitchen door probably petrified.

‘Mommy I was just warming my food and it went boom.’

‘I’m sorry, you could have called me.’

‘You were talking non-stop so I wanted to be a big girl.’

‘That’s alright, let me help you but next time wait for me. I can’t lose you too.’

Grissel moved away from her after a few cuddles and proceeded in getting the food ready for her.

‘Lisa did I ruin it?’ She asked Lisa who was checking out the microwave.

‘You damaged it dear.’

She became sad and walked closer.

‘Don’t worry, you can buy me a new one with your first paycheck.’ Grissel smiled at her.

They were still smiling when Tom came to the kitchen, opened the fridge and closed it.

‘Tom do you need anything?’ Grissel asked and he ignored and kept pacing around scratching his head.

‘Uncle Tom, Mommy just asked you are question.’ He probably didn’t notice Dani in the kitchen earlier.

‘I think I left what I needed upstairs.’ He feigned a smile and went out without another word.

As if on cue, they all glanced at each other and raised their shoulders.

‘He doesn’t like me here and Daddy also he would not like me.’ Shirley said quietly and sadly.

Melisa drew her closer. ‘That’s not true, Tom loves your mom and you very much.’

‘Mommy is that true?’

Grissel shook her head and focused back on the food.

‘You need to talk to him.’ Melisa mouthed faintly to Grissel who nodded slowly with pain.

*****

‘Are you sure want to do this?’ Stella who picked Grissel up few blocks from her house to her place asked.

‘I have to sooner or later.’ She replied her.

Stella led her into the house where she greeted her parents who were excited to have met the famous Grissel.

‘We are happy to finally meet our daughter’s best friend.’ Mr. Medt said.

‘Yes, I remember Stella wouldn’t come home to visit when you got pregnant because she doesn’t want to leave your side.’ Her mom chipped in.

‘I’m happy to meet the family who has been so supportive.’

Grissel said uncomfortably because her mind was hot as she doesn’t know what to expect from Dane when she comes face to face with him. The other thing too is she didn’t tell anyone where she was going that evening.

‘Grissel it’s okay, let’s go and clear this up so you can go home before Tom starts a search party.’ Stella dragged her out of there towards Dane’s room.

When they got there, Stella gestured her to knock as she would prefer staying out of their way.

Grissel knocked and heard come in. She looked back at Stella and got a nod.

‘Leave the door open.’ Stella told her. She held on to the door knobs, turned it open and sighed heavily.

When she got in Dane was sitting on the couch reading Seattle news.

‘What are you doing here?’ He sprung up from where he sat earlier and sat down again.

Grissel who hasn’t seen Dane in eight years was uncomfortable and her head was down for some few minutes.

‘I want us to talk.’ She muttered with courage.

Dane who was seeing her for the first time after he left her at the hospital that night when Shane died for the cops to take her into their custody signaled her to come closer.

Grissel walked closer and sat down without being asked to.

‘What do you possibly want to talk about?’ He stood up from where he sat and moved to his bed.

‘I’m so…rry abo….ut Sha..ne but I want to move on and I need you to sign the papers.’ Grissel stammered at a point but she braced herself up at the end.

‘You think I want you to move on and be happy while I haven’t healed yet?’ He said with anger.

Grissel raised her head finally and found him staring at her.

‘What do you want then because I did my time and nothing I say right now is going to bring Shane back and I missed out on raising Shirley.’

‘You missed out or you run off after you got out.’

‘I missed out because I know you wouldn’t want to see me back in your house.’

‘And you think you are the right parent for my daughter.’

‘A mother should raise her daughter so yes I’m the right parent for Shirley.’

‘Right parent you say. What would you probably teach her?’

‘I know you don’t trust me right now but can we come to an agreement because Shirley wants to come live with me.’

‘Stop calling her Shirley.’ He snarled and stood up. ‘She’s Dani and for your information, I don’t need you to raise my daughter to become someone that fake’s signatures.’ Dane scowled once more.

Grissel was embarrassed and she knew he had no idea Stella signed the papers.

‘You know I could always get a default annulment right?’ She suddenly became alive when earlier she could barely talk.

Dane laughed suddenly. ‘If you could, what’s stopping you now? Fraud.’ He muttered and sat back on his bed.

Grissel swallowed so hard and tried to remain calm. The Dane she knew was strict but caring.

‘You should know your sister did the signing and I’m trying so hard not to bring that out in court.’ She finally let the truth out.

Dane glanced at her. ‘You still haven’t stopped lying Grissel.’ He called her by her name for the first time since she came in.

‘I’ve never lied to you Reed besides Stella is right outside there you can ask her.’

They both suddenly became silence. Grissel knew she wasn’t making any heads way with him so she stood up to leave. When she got to the door, he stood up also.

‘Wait, I may have an offer for you.’ He mentioned with a frown.

Grissel turned around quickly. She knew whatever Dane had in mind was only going to be in his favor.

‘Okay, let’s hear it.’ She asked holding her tears back from earlier.

‘’Come live with me, that way you can have Shirley to yourself every time.’

She glared at him. ‘You are not serious Reed. Why on earth would I want to stay with you when you are still with Melisa?’

‘Melisa would understand and that’s the only way I can let my daughter ever near you again.’ He smiled mischievously. ‘I allowed her all these time to be with you because Lisa asked me to.’

‘So what do I gain from staying with you. It’s not like I would be getting my freedom.’

‘I can sign those papers when you decide to stay with us.’ He said to her surprise.

‘Why don’t you just sign them without any conditions?

‘So you take my princess away from me? No way Grissel.’ He was beginning to flare up again.

‘How would that even work Reed? I can’t stay in the same space with you.’

‘You can with no obligations.’ He said rather calmly.

Grissel wasn’t sure what has suddenly come over him to make such an offer to her.

‘No thanks, I will find a way.’ She quickly said and prayed silently not to regret her decision.

‘Suit yourself then. You know telling the court Stella signed those papers are not going to hold especially when she’s related to the both of us.’

‘You are very heartless Dane.’ She said with anger and held on to the door.

‘Thank you and by the way you look nice.’ Dane flattered.

‘And stop telling my daughter Tom doesn’t like her.’ She cautioned with anger.

Grissel slammed the door and walked out meeting Stella sitting on the floor crying.

‘Get me out of here.’ She said angrily and Stella stood up.

‘Are you okay?’ Stella asked when they left her house.

‘Don’t ask me that question and stop shedding tears in my presence.

Stella kept quiet the whole time Grissel was in her car. She dropped her off in front of her house and watched her standing at the gate obviously scared of entering the house.

‘Do you need help getting inside?’

‘No, thanks.’ She replied back and opened the gate. She entered the house and paused again.

***

‘Has anyone seen my wife?’ Tom came down worried.

Melisa who was playing with Dani’s hair paused and looked up at him.

‘Uncle Tom, do you mean Grissel?’ Shirley asked cheekily while Melisa kept quiet.

She thought allowing Shirley talk to Tom would ease the tension between them.

‘Yes, your mom. Did she go out?’ Tom asked again.

‘She didn’t tell me.’ Shirley replied looking at Melisa for confirmation. Melisa smiled at her.

‘Okay,’ he replied and turned towards the kitchen.

Melisa realized he was probably hungry.

‘Do you want me to cook something for you?’ She asked.

‘No, thanks. I would grab some juice.’

Shirley glanced at Melisa and back to Tom who was moving away.

‘Uncle Tom, maybe Grissel went to see my daddy at……’ She said suddenly and Melisa jumped up to cover her mouth with her palms.

Tom turned around watching their reaction just then Grissel came in obviously crying. She had no idea anyone was going to be in the hall.

‘Mommy, I told Uncle Tom you went to see my dad.’ She rushed off from Melisa’s arms towards her mom at the door.

Grissel opened her mouth to talk when she noticed Tom staring at her. He got the message clear as she was quiet so he walked away to the kitchen.

‘Sweetheart, go and play with Melisa. I want to talk with Uncle Tom.’

‘Okay.’ Shirley responded and rushed off.

When Grissel got to the kitchen Tom was obviously waiting for her.

‘Can you make something quick for me? I’ve been hungry since afternoon and I thought you got my message clear when I came to the kitchen earlier.’ He said innocently.

‘Alright, but can we talk first.’ She pleaded with her eyes.

‘Grissel, whatever you do with Dane is your business not mine.’

‘Tom, that’s your anger talking. I only went there to see if I could talk him out of this whole case.’

Tom looked at her and knew she was telling the truth. ‘Just tell me next time you want to do anything like that.’

‘So you could follow me?’ I just didn’t want a fight between you two besides you were mean to me earlier when you came to the kitchen.’ Grissel muttered slowly.

‘Really, I was hungry and when I saw everyone in the kitchen I knew I would be ruining mother daughter moment if I should ask you to make something for me when I had eaten an hour earlier.’

‘Sorry, I thought you were being mean to us.’ Grissel confessed.

‘No, I was jealous though.’ He smiled cheekily like Shirley who had some drama up her sleeves.

‘I knew it.’ She tried to smack him when he moved a step back.

‘Okay, how did it go then?’ He finally asked.

She sighed and walked towards him when she realized he was calm. ‘Disastrous, he humiliated me Tom.’

‘I’m sorry, come here.’ He opened his arms wide for her. ‘You said you don’t want me talking to him so I obviously can’t do anything about this humiliation.’

‘Yes, I know and thank you for not judging me.’

‘Great, I’m starving please.’ He complained.

‘Yes, yes, let me get dinner sorted out quickly.

‘Thank you.’ He planted a kiss on her lips and rushed out.

#OpraDre

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