Chapter 1.30: Dear Diary, Passing of the Torch (Pt. 1)

Memphis and Liev get a surprise that might bring Leo home.

Entry 30:

After Mr. Valentine arrived, we lost track of Chrissy altogether and it worried me sick. Mabel was moved to a nursing home and at first, Chrissy stayed where she was supposed to at the Valentines’ home in Barnacle Bay. During that time, we kept in phone contact with Mr. Valentine in hopes that we could help in some way. Not long after Chrissy got there, though, she ran away. Try as we might, no one could find her. As time passed, we could only assume that by then, she’d had the baby and that he or she was still with her.

I fretted night and day about the infant, wondering if he or she was all right and being cared for. Chrissy had been seriously neglected, for how long, I didn’t know. Would she know what a baby needed?

Liev pushed all of his other cases aside in order to search for her. He traveled to Barnacle Bay to speak to Mr. Valentine in person. The only new information he was able to learn was that just a few weeks before running away, Chrissy met a boy and it was assumed she was with him somewhere. Liev was unimpressed with Mr. Valentine’s disinterest in finding the young woman and child. Because Chrissy was now a young adult, he told Liev that he was officially washing his hands of it all; after all, he had his own children to raise. Liev spoke to everyone who had come to his attention as being her friend. He suspected some of them might know where she went but they weren’t cooperating with him.

All of this could not have disappointed me more. The Chrissy I knew, albeit briefly, was not prepared for life as a responsible mother. I hoped and prayed she and the baby were all right and that I would get to see this child soon.

Many long months went by and my heart longed to know how the baby, who was surely now a toddler, fared. Liev and I had spoken to Leo many times. He was also concerned about the well being of Chrissy and the baby. He wanted to come home as soon as he learned everything that had happened, but we encouraged him to stay at Keniesha’s because he seemed to be doing so well there. As we saw it, there was nothing for him to do here except worry. Our decision was that he should finish the his senior year of high school there and we would keep him updated on anything we found out.

We’d almost given up hope altogether when Liev received a phone call from one of the friends he had questioned on his trip previously. She explained that she could no longer keep the secret as her conscience had been heavy with the knowledge that the baby might be in trouble. With this new information in hand, Liev left immediately for Barnacle Bay. To my immense relief, he located Chrissy and the child. I spoke to Liev every day while he was gone. He said the child was a girl and that he was trying to persuade Chrissy to come with him to our home. I prayed with all my being that she would agree.

1

My wish, it appears, was not that far fetched. The following morning, Liev and Chrissy arrived. She was carrying the little toddler in her arms. The child was dirty but absolutely beautiful.

As Liev brought in a small grocery bag of what looked like baby clothes and a few diapers, I tried to usher Chrissy inside to the living room. But she resisted, standing awkwardly in the foyer.

“Where have you been?” I gushed. “We’ve been looking for you for the the longest time.”

“Well, now you don’t have to look anymore,” she said, regarding me with hardened eyes.

2

She unceremoniously plopped the child onto the floor and turned back to speak with us.

3

“So, I’m sick of changing this brat’s diapers. I can’t afford her at all and Bobby hates her,” she blurted.

“Bobby?” I asked in a daze. I realized she had a new boyfriend and I could even understand not liking the smell of diapers or not having the money to take care of her, but to hate her? How could anyone be so lacking in affection as to hate a little child?

Liev and I exchanged a glance and he explained, “Bobby is Chrissy’s boyfriend. I couldn’t explain everything on the phone, I just wanted to get them here.”

4

“What he’s trying to say is, I don’t want her anymore,” Chrissy said. “I just can’t handle it. She cries all the time, she stinks, she costs a butt load of money every time I turn around and Bobby said it’s him or her.” The way she said ‘her’ had me cringing. It was as if she had tasted something horribly bitter and she couldn’t get it off her tongue fast enough.

“Chrissy, this is… we shouldn’t talk about this in front of her.”

Liev picked up the child and bounced her a little on his hip as Chrissy and I spoke.

“Look! I don’t have time for this! I have important stuff going on and I can’t be tied down! Leo hasn’t helped me even once, so guess what? It’s his turn now!”

5

“Leo hasn’t helped you – we haven’t helped you because we didn’t know where you were. We’ve been frantically trying to find you,” I said.

“Well, I just couldn’t stay with that jerk and his ridiculous family. He acted like he was doing me such a favor to take me in!”

If I was looking for a detailed explanation as to why she ran away, it would appear that I would be looking a long time. Yet, despite the horrible things she was saying and the way she was acting, I still felt empathy for her. I took a slow, deep breath before speaking, trying to imagine myself in her shoes. “It must have been extremely difficult to have been taken from your grandmother and brought somewhere to live with strangers in an unfamiliar place. Then to give birth on top of everything… it must have been horrible for you.”

She rolled her eyes. “Give me a break!”

Quickly switching gears, I tried a different tactic. “So, what’s her name?”

“Blue Valentine Capra,” she impatiently answered, tapping her foot on the floor. “Blue’s my favorite color, so why not? Her birth certificate’s in the bag.”

“You’re just leaving her here?” Liev asked. I could feel his anger rising just beneath the surface of his tone.

“I said, I don’t want her! What’s so hard to understand?”

“Please, not in front of her,” I urged again, trying to keep my voice even and calm, “we don’t even really know…”

6

I was going to say we didn’t even know if Leo was really Blue’s father. But then, I truly looked at her for the first time. The toddler looked back at me with Leo’s green eyes. My green eyes.

For a moment I couldn’t speak. I’d been hoping that somehow he wasn’t the father, even though Leo had shamefully admitted it was possible. I knew we’d need a paternity test to make certain. But seeing Blue’s face… her expression… her eyes… I just knew beyond a doubt.

Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. I only hoped Liev would feel the same way.

7

“Don’t go. I want you to stay here, too. It won’t be easy for any of us, but we’ll figure this out.”

Her eyes grew large with disbelief. “You’re asking me to move in?”

Nervously, I glanced again at Liev and then nodded, my personal feelings put aside and my mind made up. “Yes, I want you and Blue to move in. There’s no reason we can’t work something out that is best for everyone involved.”

She thrust her chin forward, squinting her eyes. “And what about Bobby?”

I shook my head but it was Liev who answered. “Bobby is not a part of this deal.”

Chrissy squared her shoulders and glowered at us. “Then there is no deal. He wants me to choose between her and him and to be honest, the choice isn’t that hard!”

“Wait!” I said, stopping her again. “Please, reconsider. Give yourself a moment to think about this seriously.”

“I have thought about it and thanks, but no thanks!” she yelled, gritting her teeth and clenching her hands into fists.

“How long do you plan on leaving her here?” I stammered, realizing there was no way I could hold her against her will.

“Uh, have you been listening at all? Forever!” Chrissy hissed.

I tried not to let her outbursts daunt me even though, inwardly, I was still cringing. “You don’t just drop your own flesh and blood off and leave because of a guy!”

8

“A guy? You think I’d leave her for just some guy? I love him and we’re going to be together forever!” Chrissy shrieked, her voice getting higher pitched by the minute. “I said I can’t handle it! I said I don’t want her! She’s your problem now! If you don’t like it, get Leo to man up! You figure it out!”

My back stiffened but, surprisingly, my voice remained neutral. The last thing Blue needed was to be exposed to anymore arguing. “Okay, Chrissy. Go then.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the girl turned on her heel and left without so much as saying goodbye to her daughter or looking back. I didn’t know if we’d ever see her again or not. But I couldn’t worry about that now.

9

Taking Blue from Liev, I held her close to me. Her tiny body melted against me. She was so quiet. So precious.

10

“Everything’s going to be okay, sweet girl,” I cooed as I stroked her dirty hair. I closed my eyes, sadness overtaking me as I thought about what it was like to feel abandoned and unwanted. Yes, I had an amazingly good childhood and my circumstances were very different from Blue’s. But even as a small child, as lucky as I was, I still had that little nagging feeling always plaguing me, always wondering why my parents gave me up. Always wondering why they didn’t love me enough to keep me.

Holding this small child, my heart bursting with love and empathy for her, I knew I would never let her feel that way. She would be so loved and cherished, she would never have to wonder any of those things that had tormented my mind as a child.

11

I took her upstairs and gave her a bath then dressed her in one of Rachel’s old outfits I’d stored away. After I brought her downstairs and fed her, I put her on the carpet in the living room and gave her a peg box to play with. Sitting with her, I showed her how to put the different shapes in the corresponding openings. When she seemed to have the hang of it, I settled next to Liev on the couch.

12

As we watched, she played very quietly, not vocalizing at all, which concerned me.

13

But she was the sweetest, loveliest baby and she was my grandchild. Tomorrow, I would take her to the pediatrician, then we would begin teaching her all of the things a little one needs to know;  to talk and walk, and of course, the messy task of potty training.

14

“Isn’t that the way you used to fix Jilly’s hair?” Liev asked as he put his arm around me.

Oh, the memories. “Yes. Blue has dark hair like Jilly did. I guess I did it that way without thinking.”

A soft, sad smile curled the corners of his mouth. “She has Leo’s eyes.”

I nodded, leaning into him. It was still soothing after all these years to snuggle up to him. This time, instead of watching one of our children play, it was our grandchild. That seemed impossible, yet here she was.

15

After a time, Liev pulled away. I could tell he had some things on his mind.

“We need to tell Leo she’s here. I think it’s time he came home.”

16

My heart leaped at the thought of seeing my son again after all this time. It would be wonderful but I kept wondering if being home again would cause a relapse. “I guess you’re right.”

17

He must have heard the trepidation in my voice. “I think he’ll be okay. I honestly do, Memphis.”

I thought about it for a moment and came to the conclusion that even if Leo wasn’t exactly ready to assume his responsibilities as a father, Blue was here and needed him. Was anyone ever really one hundred percent ready to be a parent?

“Yes, we have to tell him to come home as soon as he can.”

18

I watched Blue play as Liev dialed Leo’s number.

After a moment, Liev said, “Hi, son…yes, I called to wish you a happy birthday….. Oh good, good…….. there’s something else I need to tell you….”

 

 

 

  1. Oh my! Such a mess. I know Chrissy is not responsible and really prepared for being a mother, but leaving Blue just like that was so cruel. That Bobbie boy can’t really love her, because if he did, he would take her with or without the kid. How can they be together forever , because if he hates Blue, what about their children or if they’re even going to have them? What about if Chrissy’s unintentionally preggers again, how would he handle it? Blue is a beautiful kid with wonderful, special for the family eye color and she surely deserves more from life. I am so happy that Memphis decided to take the granddaughter in her loving hands. My first thought when I saw the chapter at my Reader was: hey , is that black hair just like Jilly’s? I wonder if she took it from the family or is it Chrissy’s natural color? I bet Leo is going to love her just like the lost twin. I hope he finds a better lover than Chrissy, too, for she can take care of Blue. Great chapter 🙂

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    1. I agree that Chrissy has a lot to learn about what love is. And you’re right that her current boyfriend can’t love her if he forces her into the decision she’s making. You bring up a good point regarding the fact of any future children Chrissy may have with this guy. It’s a lot to think about. 🙂 I think you may also be right about Leo in this case. We’ll see very soon. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  2. Awwwwww, BLUE is ADORABLE!! She isn’t Jilly, but it will be fun to have a new addition to the family. I bet you are excited too! Can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve.

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    1. Thank you so much! You are so right! I’m very excited to have Blue in the family. It’s really changed some things in a good way. 😀

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  3. I suspect that with parental support Leo will be a great dad.

    Although I notice, they didn’t get Chrissy to sign anything, hope she doesn’t come back later and stir up trouble.

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    1. I suspect you’re right. Leo has a lot to learn but, luckily, he has good parents. And your observation is spot on about Chrissy not signing anything…. we’ll see how that goes! lol 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  4. I loved the picture of Memphis holding Blue. The look on her face said it all!

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    1. I thought so, too! Thank you, Michele! 🙂

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  5. Blue is so adorable!!! I think Leo will be a great dad, although I hope Blue’s time with Chrissy didn’t hurt her development in any way. She’s really quiet for a kid her age

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    1. Yes, she sure is. But I think you’re right about Leo! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  6. Okay I know having a baby must have been so hard on Chrissy but leaving Blue like that was just cold-hearted. The Bobby guy sounds like real crap, I think he’s probably going to leave her even if Blue is out of his way.
    And Blue is so cute! I hope that when Leo meets her and becomes a dad he will begin to heal…

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    1. You’re probably right about Bobby and Chrissy, I’m afraid. I just don’t see how it could work out with them. As for Blue, thank you! I think she and Leo are going to be all right. 😀

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  7. A new baby is just what this family needs! Blue is a sweetie. I can’t wait for Leo to come meet her.

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    1. I totally agree! And I can’t wait either! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. 🙂

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  8. Well, I guess it was inevitable…I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. This hit awfully close to home, as my stepson (he’s still mine!!!) was left at the airport with his father when he was 4, and his mom said, right in front of him, that she didn’t want him anymore. When I met him, it was very soon after that, and he was so withdrawn, wouldn’t talk or play with other kids, that it broke my heart! He called me ‘momma’ from the beginning, and I had just met his father a few days before that! Anyway, this just brought all those feelings back. I am sure Leo will step up and be a great dad, and unless Chrissy doesn’t make some drastic changes, heaven help her if she tries to take Blue back!! I’m glad she had enough sense to put Leo’s name on the birth certificate. Memphis and Liev have such big hearts, it’s amazing, and I think this cutie-pie may become a big part of the family’s healing. I can’t wait to see what the twins think of her!! Great chapter, sweetie…now I will go blow my nose and wipe my eyes! ♥

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    1. Your story is so touching, it put tears in my eyes. I’m so glad that your stepson ended up with you loving him. I think you’re right about Leo. And I agree that she’ll meet some pretty strong opposition if she decides to take this baby back! Thank you so much for your kind words and your feedback. 🙂

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  9. Blue is a sweetie. I just hope the family don’t try to substitute her for Jilly. She’s her own person or at least will be once she’s allowed to develop into her own personality. It’s going to be difficult for Leo to be a parent poor kid has been through enough already but with his parents help he should do fine. Chrissy better not try to come back and take Blue once she’s adjusted to a new family and become attached to them. That would be the absolute worst thing that could happen. Also I’m hoping that when things fall apart between her and Bobby she doesn’t try to get back together with Leo. Also I’m hoping Leo doesn’t let her back into his life. But this could be the start of something good so I’m hoping that the entire family will be able to heal together.

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    1. I really enjoyed your feedback! I’m thinking a lot of the same things. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  10. So touching .. Grandparents love is so special

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    1. It sure is! 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  11. I guess they have Blue to take care of now. Chrissy is not really fit to be a mother and doens’t want to right now, hopefully when she is older she won’t come back and try to get Blue back. Wonder how Leo will take the news.

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    1. You’ll find out very soon! 😀 Thank you so much for reading; you’ve read a lot yesterday and today! 🙂

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  12. Wow. I thought Chrissy would end up taking Memphis’s offer of a home. On one hand, I’m sorry she didn’t — it was a precious chance to get her shit together. OTOH, it probably wouldn’t have ended well. Chrissy’s is too old for a new mom. She has to want to reach out on her own, and right now it’s clear that all she has is anger.

    I LOVE Blue’s face. So cute and so not Face One. I am looking forward to seeing her grow up.

    “Passing of the Torch,” so the next chapter moves to Leo, then?

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    1. Your thoughts about Chrissy are spot on! I really like Blue a lot. I aged her up in CAS, so I could see what she looks like in the future and I’m really excited about it! 😀 As far as Passing of the Torch… Originally, this was all supposed to be one chapter, but then I thought it would be important to show things from Leo’s perspective while he’s still at Keniesha’s. So, I broke this chapter into two parts. Tomorrow, a special feature will be published from Leo’s POV, then on Saturday, the final chapter of Generation 1 will be published. 🙂

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  13. Whoa. You know what? Good riddance, Chrissy! And don’t come back! Ugh…it’s waaaaaay past my bedtime but I must finish gen 1!! One more, right?

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    1. lol Well….. you’re close anyway. Thank you so much for reading. 😀

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  14. Blue is so beautiful ❤ Chrissy… ugh.
    I wonder how Leo will feel – I think he'll be a good dad but is he ready?

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    1. That is a good question! 🙂

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  15. What a relief for Blue to be safe although I worry Chrissy may later come back for her and cause her more pain. Hopefully if she does, she’ll be more prepared to think of Blue’s needs at that point.

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    1. Thank you 🙂 Yes, that’s the concern, all right. Chrissy could probably show up at any time, I imagine.

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  16. Oh my god. I really did not expect things to escalate like this. Hmmm it seems like Memphis and Liev were already granted a granddaughter, but I wonder how Leo’s going to take the news!
    Bobby sounds like a really nice guy (not)!

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    1. LOL about Bobby. Right? Chrissy really knows how to pick ’em.

      It did escalate fast, that’s for sure. Hopefully, Leo will react all right.

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  17. Awww! She’s adorable. Really love Memphis’ character growth. She’s handling this very maturely and in a way that shows love and acceptance even if it’s difficult. Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you. I love Blue like crazy. lol I agree with your observation about Memphis.

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  18. I was kinda on the fence as to whether it’d be Leo’s kid or not, but after looking at the eyes – yup, no mistaking it. With Chrissy’s personality, I’m not surprised she declined Memphis’ (who’s taking this all extremely well) offer. It would’ve been nice to see her change for the sake of her child, and who knows, maybe she’ll re-appear further down the line as a changed woman… and maybe not. I have to say I was curious as to how Leo has been in Keniesha’s place and I can see there’s a glimpse into that before the next chapter, so I’m quite looking forward to it! 🙂

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    1. You are probably right that we haven’t seen the last of Chrissy. You might say she’s kind of like a bad penny….. lol

      I hope you like Leo’s entry! 😀

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