“You done?” She has the nerve to ask, and I nod. “You think I had closure because I got to see him in a box? He was dead. You think just because I got his body that I got closure? You think it was easy for me to be the wife and mourn by his casket when all I wanted was to tell everyone what a fucking fake he was? If you think I got the better end of the deal, that is where you’re wrong.” She stands up now. “Your cousin gets to have the time to cry and ask questions, but I have to hide my pain and all my tears because I have two girls who I have to live for. I cry into my pillow at night quietly, so they don’t get up and ask me, “Do you miss Daddy, Mommy?” when the whole time I don’t fucking miss him. I fucking loathe him. He took our wedding vows and made a mockery out of them. He took me and made me look like a fucking fool. Do I have his name, yeah, but I would give it back to him. The only thing I can’t hate him for is giving me my girls.” She swallows. “When I look in their eyes, which are just like their father’s, I can’t hate him. So don’t sit there thinking you know anything when you know nothing.”
“We are very sorry,” Blake starts, and she puts her hand up.
“Please, spare me the fake sorrow. I don’t have the privilege to bash him and his ways because my in-laws hold him on a fucking shrine. I can’t look at them and tell them what a piece of trash their son was because then I will be left by myself. I play the wife role; I take the well wishes of the people who come up to me, but at night, when all the lights are off, when the kids are tucked into their bed, I’m left picking apart every single memory I have.” She raises her voice. “And it’s a lot more than eighteen months.”
“This was a mistake,” I say softly, looking at Blake.
“You came here to see who I was, and I get it. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to meet the woman who he felt he loved so much he lied and married her. But I can’t because, at the end of the day, those girls need me.” Blake nods then stands, and I walk out of the house without another fucking word. I walk down the step, climb in the truck, buckle my seat belt, and look straight ahead.
“Well, that was a good idea,” Blake finally says when we are far enough away. “Great fucking plan that was.”
“She is more broken than Hailey is,” I finally say out loud. “Hailey can forget about him, but she will never be able to move on.”
“You going to tell her about this?” he asks me, and I nod. “When?” he asks the million-dollar question.
“When she can handle it. Right now, the only thing she can handle is her bottle of wine. It’s got to fucking end.”
He nods. “Give her another week.” He stares ahead, not even bothering to look at me.
“Another week.” I throw my hands up. “I don’t give a shit what you say or that you’re older than I am and wiser. Next week, tough fucking love starts.”
“Deal.” He looks over at me. “And I won’t even give you a hard time about how you treated Samantha.” I roll my eyes. “She isn’t the enemy.”
I don’t bother to answer him. Instead, I close my eyes and devise a plan that I will put into place exactly one week from today.
“Come in,” I say when I hear the knock on my office door. I’m sitting at my desk going through resumes, looking for someone to replace Laura, my head nurse who took off with Bethany.
“Oh, son, I’m glad I caught you before you left,” my father says, and I don’t know if he’s being sarcastic or not. I’m here at the practice every single night till at least nine o’clock. The house is just too much for me to take in right now. But it’s getting easier. Once we got all of Bethany’s shit out of the way, I called the decorator back to make a couple of changes. Luckily, she was able to exchange the things I didn’t want, so now it’s almost my style. Almost.
“I met with Alan this morning, and I think having him on as the pediatrician would be a great idea.” I nod at him, thinking that adding on that part of the practice will be great.
“Walker’s building a lot of new homes, meaning new families are moving to town. I think it’s a smart idea.” I agree with him. “But now you know that we are going to have to add a couple of nurses, right? I think I found someone to replace Laura, but she’s from the city, so I don’t know if it’s a great idea. She will probably be bored out of her mind and then leave us high and dry.”