Bob has his first visit with his 'niece'.
I looked at the clock about a dozen times in the last five minutes, and though the second hand is moving it seems like time is standing still. Bob left five minutes ago for his first meeting with our daughter. I can’t believe it’s been a little over a week since the hearing, because our lives have changed so dramatically. Bob moved in with me, but not without some ground rules. I can’t let him get to me anymore I have way too much to lose. All of our focus has to be getting Emily out of that house and with Bob. And then Bob turning over custody to me. I made Bob sign the papers before he moved in. The only stipulation he had was that I stay clean. Believe me when I say, I never want to go down that road again. I lost too much the first time and I never want to lose it again.
I looked at the clock again and only thirty seconds went by. I hate this, but it should be worth it in the end. I hope so since I’m losing so much. Gerard and I told them that we broke up and I was now seeing Bob and that it was pretty serious. I told them that I had been seeing him behind Gee’s back for months. Everyone hates me now, except for Ray and Christa. Speaking of I looked out my window and smiled as I saw Rays car pull into my driveway, of course he would be here. But as much as I love Ray it’s not him I need to see right now. But with Bob gone that was nearly impossible.
I opened my front door and started down the steps from the porch when I heard his voice call out to me, “Open the garage door, I have a surprise for you.”
I just looked at him oddly, it was then I noticed Christa was with him I waived to her and she waived back and smiled. I went back into the house through the kitchen that led to the attached garage. I smiled at my little Toyota sitting there and then went to the door and pressed the button I watched as the door slowly opened and Ray pulled his car in the empty space. I pressed the button again and watched as the door went down. I turned around to give Ray a hug, but stood in shock as I saw Gerard standing there.
“Hey there,” he said with a sly smile.
I threw my arms around him and gave him a huge kiss. When our mouths finally became unattached, I looked at him and whispered “How?”
“Ray snuck me in the back seat and I laid down with a blanket over me.”
Still hugging Gerard I looked at my best friend in the world and mouthed ‘thank you’. Ray just smiled and brought Christa closer to him and kissed her forehead.
After my little speech at the restaurant, it seemed that Gerard was hit by lightening or something and became the boyfriend I needed him to be. He was supportive about everything and even helped Bob move in. He once again called a truce for the sake of Emily. It was his idea that we tell everyone that Bob and I were together. He didn’t think it would be fair to have everyone lie for us or worse accidently tell everyone we really were together. We all felt this was the safest bet, even Ray agreed this time. Ray, Christa and of course Bob were the only ones to know that Gee and I were still together.
We all walked back into the house when I noticed Gee pulling something from the inside of his pocket.
“What’s that?” I asked and he showed me the envelope.
“My blood tests.” Ray decided to show Christa around the house and give us some privacy.
“I haven’t opened it. I wanted to be with you when I did. I wanted to tell you that no matter what it said, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to help you raise your child.” I couldn’t love anymore then I did at that moment. “No scratch that, our child.” Now I know I could love him more. It was then he got on one knee, “Alyssa Taylor Johnson I know this past year has been hell for you, and I know I haven’t made it any easier. But when this is all over and we get Emily back, I would be ever so grateful if you would do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
I just looked shocked at him and finally it dawned on me what he just did. I could see how scared he look as I didn’t answer right away. I came to my senses and looked deep into his eyes and spoke the only words I could, “Yes.”
He got up and hugged me so tight and whispered in my ear, “I love you now and forever.”
For a moment I forgot all about the time and Bob, this moment was ours. He finally let go and took the envelope from the counter, “Shall we?”
To say I was a nervous wreck was an understatement, had our recklessness led to me passing my disease on to him? It will kill me if I had. As if he could hear my thoughts he turned to me, “It was my fault and my fault alone what happened that night. I knew the risks and I didn’t care. We’ll deal with whatever the envelopes holds together.
He slowly opened it and pulled out the piece of paper. I stood next to him and I placed my hand over my mouth as tears filled my eyes.
I did everything I could think of to get out of meeting Uncle Bob. I pretended I was sick, but Mommy saw right through that, and it doesn’t help that Daddy is a doctor. I threw a temper tantrum, that didn’t work either. Mommy almost hit me again but walked away counting. I even tried to run away but I didn’t even get out the front door. I didn’t understand why I had to go meet this man. Daddy parked his car in front of a brick building that looked like a school of some sort, but not really. I’m going to try one more time to not meet him.
“We’re here,” announced Daddy.
“I want you to be on your best behavior,” said Mommy.
“I’m not going in,” I said.
“Honey you have to, Mommy and Daddy can get into a real lot of trouble if you don’t go,” Mommy said calmly.
“I don’t care.”
“Listen,” screamed Daddy “No one likes what’s going on. But I fucking refuse to go to jail because you can’t act responsibly.”
He scared me. Mommy was the one that always hit me but this time I was scared Daddy might. I’m scared it will be worse coming from Daddy.
“Honey,” Mommy said nicely. “If you go meet Uncle Bob we’ll go out to dinner and a movie, okay?”
“In a movie theater?”
“Yes sweetheart,” she said.
I smiled at Mommy because I’ve only been to one twice and that was at someone’s birthday party. We never go out and do anything just the three of us. Daddy is usually at work and when he’s not Mommy is sleeping and that’s our special time. But we haven’t had any lately. Daddy promised soon though. He said since the lady that came over didn’t see they were bad people they would leave us alone now.
“You go in Sarah, I want to apologize to Emily for yelling and swearing.”
I watched as Mommy got out of the car, and then Daddy turned to me.
“I’m sorry honey, it’s just your Uncle Bob has messed everything up. But after Mommy goes to sleep we’ll have our alone time and Daddy wants to show you something really special. But remember you can’t tell anyone not even Mommy okay.”
“So you still love me Daddy?”
“Of course baby.”
He got out of the car and opened my door. We walked into the building. A lady walked up to us and then scrunched down. “Are you Emily?” she asked with a smile.
I looked at Daddy and he nodded his head for me to answer.
“Why don’t you come with me, I have a playroom that you might like.”
I looked up at Daddy again, and he nodded again.
I took the lady’s hand and walked with her, but watching Daddy get smaller and smaller. He put his finger to his lips I know he was saying shhhh.
We finally got to the room and there was lots of toys I went for the crayons and started drawing I didn’t even hear the lady walk out.
I walked in to the enormous room and there at the table was a little girl. I could only see her back, which was covered by brown curls.
I walked around the table to see her face. Her eyes looked up at me but then back at the paper she was drawing on.
“Hi Emily, I’m…”
“I know who you are.”
“I’m glad we finally got to meet.”
“I’m not,” she never looked up at me only continued to color.
“What are you drawing?” I asked.
“Can I ask what it’s about?”
“My family,” she showed me the picture. There were blue tears coming from the woman figure who I presumed was her mother, there were also blue tears running down the face of the figure with the curly brown hair. The daddy looked mad.
“Is this what happens in your house?” I asked. I’m sure it was what happened when she was being abused.
“No this is what happens when they talk about you. Mommy cries and Daddy yells, and I was crying because I didn’t want to come here. I hate you.”
I stood there in shock, I didn’t think we would be best buddies right away, but the venom in her voice was nothing I expected to come out of an eight year olds mouth.
“I’m sorry I upset you,” was all I could muster. “Can we talk?”
She just shrugged her shoulders.
“Do you have any pets? I asked.
Again she shrugged her shoulders.
It killed me to watch the scene unfold in front of me. Judge Patterson, Darryl, myself and a woman from protective services had been watching the visitation from behind a two way mirror. Every time she shrugged her shoulder or gave a one word answer Darryl smiled and he had every right to. There was no way that a court would see fit that Bob should have custody that this family shouldn’t be broken up.
“Where were you when I was growing up?” I heard Emily say.
“I didn’t know you existed.”
“Why are you here now?”
“I want to get to know you.”
“You’re my da…niece and I hope we could be friends.”
“So if you didn’t know about me before how do you know about me now?”
“My girlfriend told me and she gave me this picture of you.” I watched as Bob pulled out his wallet and showed her a picture.
“That was last year, how does your girlfriend know me?”
“Do you remember Miss Johnson?”
As soon as Bob said her name the child’s demeanor changed. There was a smile on her face that I had never seen before. It was fitting that she had her mother’s smile since it was her name that brought it.
“You know Miss Johnson?” Emily asked.
“Yeah, I do.”
“Can I see her?”
“She’s not here now, but I hope someday you can.”
I smiled and heard Darryl’s voice, “Your honor this is totally out of order. He shouldn’t be bringing her mother into this matter.”
“Why not?” I asked, “she is his girlfriend.”
“Do you have proof otherwise?” I tried not to say that with all the confidence in the world when I asked, but inside I was shaking to the core. ‘Does he know something?’
“No but she was pretty close to that black haired guy at the first trial.”
“He’s an old friend of hers. She’s with Bob now.”
“How convenient,” he spat.
“Your honor I want the next visit to include his mother along with a different environment,” I said to the judge and my friend.
“I’ll allow it.”
“What?” protested Darryl. “I object.”
Mr. Thomas this is a precedent setting case, I will not allow this to go to the appellate because I did not give Mr. Bryar every opportunity to bond with his daughter.
I knew there was a smug smile on my face.
“Next visit will be in two weeks. I will need to know one week in advance as to where the visit will be as it will still be a supervised visit.
I watched as Bob said goodbye to his daughter. There was no hug or special wave just ‘bye’.
When I walked out into the hall, Bob was sitting on a bench with his face in his hands.
“I fucked this up so bad,” he said in total disgust with himself.
“Well next time will be better,” I smiled.
“There’s a next time?”
“Yeah, and Alyssa will be joining you.”
“Yeah so I want to see a nice happy family. We’ll just need to pick somewhere.”
Bob smiled at the thought of having another chance with Emily and this time with Alyssa. Maybe then Alyssa will finally see that the three of them were meant to be together.
When I woke up this morning I dreaded this day. But now it’s all good. I’m now engaged to the most wonderful and caring man in the world. The best part was that his tests came back negative. Nothing can bring me down. Ray, Christa and Gee left about ten minutes ago, knowing that Bob would be home soon and I would want to talk to him. I heard a car pull up and looked at the time. It had to be Bob. The room was quiet as the footsteps got louder and louder. Then there was the knock on the door. I opened it, “You live here remember?”
“Sorry I forgot.”
“So how did it go?” I asked excitedly.
Bob plopped himself on the couch, “She fucking hates me.”
“Hate? I’m sure you misinterpreted it.”
“I think I can fucking interpret I.hate.you. pretty well.”
“I’m sorry it went so bad.” I sat next to him and looked into his hurt eyes.
He gave me a half smile, “We’ll try again next time.”
“You’re allowed to come on the next visit. It’s supposed to be in a more public place.”
Bob news was horrible at first but now it’s the best news ever. I’m going to see my daughter and spend time with her. This has to be one of the best days of my life.
“So how was your day?” I asked knowing she was probably sitting here biting her nails wondering what was going on.
“Gee and I got engaged.”
I was fucking speechless. “Congrats. I’m gonna go to bed.”
I know it was only early afternoon but I’m afraid to stay up cause seriously could this day get any worse?