Alyssa and Bob learn of Joanna's plan and about her past.
I looked over my plans for the last time. I was expecting Bob and Alyssa any moment now. If followed it precisely this plan could have the potential of working, if not it will blow up in all our faces. Bob and Alyssa will lose any chance of getting Emily back and I may lose my license. I knew one thing was for sure I don’t think either one is going to be happy.
I made my way into the Manhattan building nervous as all hell. I got a message from Joanna a few days ago saying she wanted to talk to me. I tried calling Alyssa a few times about it but she wasn’t returning my calls. She probably was being a happy couple with Gerard. She probably forgot about that kiss. Me I think about it every waking moment, dream about it every fucking night.
I took the elevator up to Joanna’s floor and when I got out I turned to the familiar left. I opened the door and saw Alyssa sitting there. My heart was beating a mile a minute, but I knew I had to play it cool.
“Hi Lys. I’ve been trying to call you.”
She just stared at me coldly. She really hates me for kissing her. How could I’ve been so stupid?
We sat there in silence for what seemed to be an eternity, finally Joanna came out.
“Hi Alyssa, Bob, please come this way.” We followed Joanna to a conference room that I’d never seen before. We took our seats opposite of Joanna with a chair separating us.
“Would either of you like something to drink before we get started? We have coffee, tea, water and an assortment of various soft drinks and juices.”
Simultaneously we both said “Coffee.”
I looked over at her and smiled, she just glared.
Joanna got up and left to get the coffee.
“Lys I’m sorry. I know I should never have kissed you. I don’t want to go through this process fighting. I promise I’ll never do that again.”
I hear the pleading in his voice and he has no idea why I’m mad at him. The problem is I shouldn’t be. I’m with Gerard, I love Gerard and want to spend the rest of my life with him. But lately Bob seems to be having this pull on me. Ever since the night at the club I’ve been a little distant to Gerard. I keep telling him everything is fine I was sad because he was leaving, which was partially true. He’s been gone for five days and I’ve been counting down the days, hours and minutes until I can see him again. I honestly think this break was good for us I was starting to put my head on straight, and sort through my feelings. Then like a ton of bricks my feelings for Bob come crashing down on me the instant he walked in that room. I have to stop it for everyone’s sake.
Joanna came back and gave us a half smile.
“The day after tomorrow is a big day for us,” she said. “The judge will see the paternity test and enter it as proof that Bob is Emily’s father.”
I smiled, “Then we can take her home?”
“I wish it was that easy. The court will need to know that you are providing a stable home. Let’s start with jobs, have you done anything on that front, Bob?”
“I just work at a couple of clubs in the city from nine at night to closing time.”
“Not the best scenario.”
“I look at it a pretty good one. I’ll be there for her when she wakes up and gets home from school.”
“And you Alyssa?”
“I’m not working right now. My parents left me some money that will be good to live off of for a while.”
“That definitely makes things look better,” she smiled.
“Why would that make it look better?” I asked.
Joanna leaned into me, “You told the court that you and Bob were dating not only that, you said the relationship was serious.”
“Well now we’ve broken up from the stress of it all.”
“I thought you wanted your baby back.”
“I do, can’t we just raid the office and get her medical records to prove abuse.”
“Miss Johnson, there are no medical records. If you want your child out of the house like you say you do, you are going to have to follow my instructions to the tee.”
“And those are?”
“When you walk out of this office, you and Bob are a couple. And will play that to the hilt until this is all over. No more over night stays at your boyfriends, no more pda with him. If you go in public with him I want Bob there too.”
I looked over at Bob scathing I knew he and he lawyer had cooked it all up. All his talk earlier about never kissing me again was a lie. At least that was what I thought until I saw the shocked look on his face.
“And for you Bob no more strippers called Candy, Lacey or Lacey’s girlfriend Melanie.”
“How did you know about that?” asked Bob.
“I have my sources.”
Before I could stop myself I blurted out, “So which one were you fucking two Saturday’s ago, at the club?”
I saw Bob’s face drop and I wanted to shove the words back in my mouth.
The next thing I heard was Joanna getting up and saying, “I’ll leave you two to talk.”
“You were at the club that night?”
“Yeah, I went out for a cigarette and to cool off and I was laughing with some guy about the activeness of a black jeep and then you got out.”
“I’m sorry you saw that, but why do you care anyway? You’re with Way.”
I looked a way, wishing more than ever I kept my mouth shut.
Then he grinned at me, “Are you jealous?”
“I think you are. You feel something for me. That kiss meant something.”
“No. I just think you shouldn’t be fucking around like that when we’re trying to get our child back.”
“So if I kiss you here and now it would mean nothing.”
Bob moved closer and next thing I knew his lips were on mine. I tried to resist but I couldn’t my body took over and started doing things I didn’t want it to do, like kiss him back. Finally my head took over and I pushed him off me.
“Stop it Bob, you have no right to kiss me like that.”
“You could have stopped me at any time, but you didn’t. You do feel something for me.”
“You’re a good kisser that’s all, nothing more.”
Bob smirked at me. I wanted to slap it off his face, he can be such a cocky bastard. Joanna walked in as I sat there with my arms folded against my chest I just wanted to hear what she had to say then get the fuck out of there and away from Bob.
“I know this will be hard on both of you for different reasons. You have to ask yourself how badly do you want Emily back and are you willing to risk everything, because you might have to.”
“Why are you doing this?” asked Bob.
I watched Joanna’s face change completely, she took a deep breath and finally spoke.
“Ten years ago I had it all, loving husband, beautiful daughter and a blooming career. One day I found out my loving husband wasn’t so loving. I found that out via a fist in the face. He had just lost his job and I asked him if he was looking. In order to keep the piece we agreed that he would stay home and look after our daughter while I worked. As we worked through our problems I became attracted to a co-worker we started having an affair. I asked my husband to move out. The divorce was ugly and he got custody of our child. Three months later she was brought to the hospital for a broken arm, two months after that a collarbone. And for the next three years there was one injury or another happening. The day before a custody hearing that probably would turn custody over to me, I got a phone call. It was from the San Francisco Chief of Police, one of my ex-husband’s neighbors called he had severely beaten our daughter. When I got to the hospital I had to make the decision of keeping her in that state or pulling the plug.”
I watched as tears streamed down her face from her eyes. My heart broke for her. I looked over at Bob who had so much hurt and sympathy in his eyes. I wonder if he was thinking of his life and what his father did to him.
Joanna looked at us both and for the first time I felt a kindred spirit with this woman. “I moved here determined to see that this never happened again.”