Chapter 2.15: Dear J, Sincerity

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Dear J, things have been moving right along. Ruby and Blue spend every waking minute together. Last night, they slept in their sleeping bags downstairs. I had to go in three times after midnight to tell them to settle down. The last time I checked on them, there were feathers all around. A testament to the pillow fight I’d heard earlier.

It’s my parental duty to make sure they get some sleep. But honestly, I really enjoyed hearing them giggle and talking in hushed whispers. I can only imagine what secret information they share.

It reminds me of the secrets we used to share with one another. After you were gone, I often heard Rachel and Daylynn doing the same thing.

Anyway, it’s really nice to know that Blue has a best friend to share those important things with.

3

I finally finished up some details on one of the compositions for the film I was working on. Tomorrow, Leela was going to watch the girls while I headed into the city to deliver my music to the studio. It was Josh’s turn to take over with the orchestration. I would act as a consultant, but until the pieces were recorded, I wasn’t needed.

Just as I was getting ready to climb into bed, my phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Leo? It’s Chrissy. Look, I know you probably want to hang up on me, but I really want to talk to you.”

I let out a reluctant sigh. This was both the phone call I was hoping for, and the one I was dreading. “I’m not going to hang up on you. What do you want?”

She sounded just as reluctant as I did. After a long pause, she said, “Could you meet me in Central Park tomorrow? So we can talk.”

“Uh, yeah, it’s going to have to be really early, though. I have to go to Bridgeport for a meeting.”

“That’s fine. Whatever time is fine.”

I told her I’d be there at seven and then we hung up. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that well.

4

The next morning, I dropped the girls off to spend their Saturday at Leela’s, then I hurried to the park. I was running about fifteen minutes early, but was still shocked by what I saw.

Chrissy Valentine, the mother of my child, was sound asleep on one of the park benches. Cautiously, I came nearer to make sure it was her.

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It was definitely Chrissy, and she was sound asleep. But why here? Had she been there all night?

7

She sat up, stretched, then rubbed her eyes.

“Chrissy?” I said, stepping even closer.

She startled, her blue eyes widening with surprise. “Oh, Leo. I didn’t realize you were here.”

8

“Chrissy…” I began, my voice trailing off as I slowly sat next to her.

She shook her head, her eyes filling with tears. “You know,ย I never imagined my life would turn out this way.”

Her voice was so quiet, so full of despair, I just stared at her for a moment. She couldn’t meet my gaze.

“What happened?” I asked after a few moments passed.

“There’s no point in bringing it all up. You’re just going to think even worse of me than you already do.”

9

“I’m here because you called me. What’s happened to you?”

For a minute, I didn’t think she was going to answer me. Her eyes looked off into the distance and seemed very far away. Finally, she said, “I don’t think I can do it anymore.”

My breath caught in my throat. “What does that mean exactly?”

For the first time, our eyes met. “You don’t owe me anything and this isn’t your problem. I shouldn’t have called you.”

Was this a new game she was playing? I didn’t trust her, that was true. But she seemed so down, desperate even.

“You know, once we were good friends and I would have done anything for you. I wish you’d tell me what’s going on.”

10

“We weren’t good friends, Leo. We barely knew each other at all. In fact, we were just two stupid kids that did stupid things.”

She had a point. “We shared something, though,” I said. When she didn’t respond, I decided to change gears. “Did you really come over the other night to see Blue?”

Chrissy let a small sigh pass between her lips as she gazed off into the distance again. “No,” she admitted. Before I could say anything, she quickly added, “But I did mean what I said about knowing that what I did was wrong. Someday, maybe, I’d like to see her. But I know I can’t right now.”

Raising an eyebrow, I chewed on my lower lip for a minute. There were so many questions I wanted to ask, I wasn’t sure where to begin. But maybe my next question would tell me how sincere she was being. “Why can’t you?”

“I don’t want to see her until I’m the person I should be.” A single tear escaped her eye and rolled down her cheek, dripping off her chin. She hastily wiped it away. “The guy I was with, he was no good. I found out he was only with me because he thought I could get money from you. If you didn’t pay me what he wanted, he was going to have me give you a hard time with custody of Blue.”

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I was stunned into a temporary silence. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I want you to know that I’m not like that anymore.”

“You’re not? You were just at my house,” I said.

“Well, I don’t want to be like that anymore. I’m tired. I don’t care if you don’t believe me. I am just sick and tired of how I live. Since high school…. since Blue was born, it’s just been one guy after another. They always promise things but they just turn out to be abusive drunks.”

“So, what’s changed then?”

13

I’ve changed. After I left your house, I was feeling lower than I ever had. Seeing how well you’ve done for yourself, and for Blue, made me feel like even more of a failure. So, when I got in the car, I told Steve that things were going to change.”

“What happened then?”

She shrugged. “He left me here.”

It was my turn to sigh. “Let me guess, you’re broke and you’ve been sleeping in the park?”

She nodded as more tears escaped. Impatiently, she wiped her face with the hem of her blouse. “I’m just a loser. Like I said, I’m not your problem. I would totally understand if you got up, left and never looked back.”

My head and heart were in a battle. Chrissy looked as sincere as anyone could. She seemed truly miserable without a friend in the world. But could I trust her this time? She’d abandoned our daughter. Shouldย I now abandon her?

Nervously, she clasped and unclasped her hands over and over again. Slowly, another test formed in my mind. Whatever I decided to do, depended on how she answered my next question.

“What do you think you should do?”

“I know what I need to do. I’m just…. scared.” Wiping her face again, she said, “I need to go to rehab and get myself straight. Nothing is going to go right for me until I do that.”

“Do you mean it?”

She nodded as more tears spilled from her crystal blue eyes.

14

Gently, I pulled her into my arms. My trip to the city would have to wait as this was more important. While I didn’t completely trust Chrissy, I couldn’t leave the mother of my child to live homeless on a park bench either.

Her shaking body melted into me as I held her. As she cried, I murmured into her ear that everything would be okay, that she would be all right and that someday, she would meet Blue.

16

I’m not sure how long we sat there, but it was the first time in a long time that I felt close to her. I knew that I couldn’t save her from herself. She had to decide that she was serious about her treatment and get clean. All I could do was help her get there.ย So as morning turned to noon, I took her for some lunch, then to the hospital where she checked herself in to the rehab unit. She was to stay there for a few days, then transfer to a residential setting on a private lake with intense therapy, which I agreed to pay for.

Just before I departed, Chrissyย hugged me, telling me thank you. The last thing she asked was that I not tell Blue about any of this. She was embarrassed and didn’t want Blue to see her until she was better.

I had reservations about keeping this all to myself, but in the end, I agreed to since I thought it might help ease Chrissy’s mind. Blue was going to be a teenager soon, so I figured this could wait.

17

After my trip to the studio, I arrived at Leela’s late in the afternoon. She had a pretty little lake house not far from where I lived. The yard was immaculate and I could see why Blue loved it here so much. She and Ruby often swam right from the deck ย in the back of the house.

Tall windows were framed by rough cut stones, painting a picture of calm serenity and beauty. Kind of like Leela herself.

18

Peeking around the garage in the front yard, I saw Leela and the girls in the garden. They were weeding but it seemed to me that the garden had been neglected for a while as the plants were brown and some were overgrown.

19

Smiling to myself, I came further around the corner so they could see me.

“Hello, ladies,” I called.

20

The girls called a hello back to me and continued with their work as Leela came out to greet me.

“How’d it go?” I asked, noticing a smudge of dirt on her nose.

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“Oh, everything went just fine,” she said. “The girls have been helping me in the garden. I’m afraid it’s a bit of a lost cause, though.”

23

I glanced around her at the sad looking garden, then smiled at her. “It’s not as bad as that. We could have it looking great with a little work.”

Surprise lit up her face and eyes. “Are you volunteering to pull weeds, Leo?”

24

“Sure. We can make a lot of progress if we both work on it.”

“But I can’t ask you to do that and you’ll spoil your clothes.”

I flashed my best grin, although I knew it would be lopsided like my dad’s. “I’m volunteering!” I brightly exclaimed, wiping the smudge from her nose with my thumb.

25

“Well, you might be crazy,” she laughed as I followed her through the garden gate.

“Yeah, maybe,” I agreed.

26

“You seem to know your way around plants,” Leela said as she watered a tomato plant.

“Well, see, whenever I got in trouble, my mom made me work in the garden. When I got older and I got in trouble, I had to chop wood.”

“So, you were in trouble a lot!” she said with a smile.

“To hear my mom put it, I was ‘incorrigible’!” I answered with another grin.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Blue and Ruby watching us, in a deep and hushed discussion. I briefly wondered what they were scheming, but I didn’t have a chance to ask them because Leela chose that moment to splash water on me.

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While Leela and I continuedย with the garden (and our playful water fight), the girls moved their discussion to the seesaw.

31

Leela and I looked at each other with satisfaction when we were finished.

32

Tonight, the way she looked at me, filled my heart to the brim with happiness.

“Thank you so much for your help. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Shyly, my face turning bright red, I smiled softly and looked at my feet. “Sure you could have. It just would have taken a lot longer.”

33

“Well,” she said, “the garden has been saved and you must be starving. Can I make you dinner as a thank you?”

“That would be great,” I gushed.

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The girls did their homework as Leela cooked. The conversation wasn’t heavy, it was small talk. But it was more company than I’d had in a long time.

We talked about how the girls were doing in school and about the cooking class Blue and I were taking. She seemed surprised that I was trying to learn how to cook. But I felt our friendship was making some real headway.

36

She told me that she’d been engaged to Ruby’s father, but he had died and never met his daughter. I wanted to tell her about Chrissy, but decided the girls were too within earshot, so instead, I told her about my music and what it meant to me.

Leela seemed impressed by the amount of work I put into my compositions and she asked questions that made me feel like she was truly interested in what I did.

It felt really good to know that we had so much in common even though we were coming from completely different places in life. She loved her bakery and took great pride in her business. And, I have to say, I’m proud of her accomplishments, too.

Someday, I might even tell her about you, Jillybean.

Author’s Note: The gorgeous Lake House was made by Bee (BMIT04) and can be downloaded at TSR.ย 

29 comments

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  • Chrissy returned! I don’t know if we can trust her, but she really seem sorry, even if I would be as conned as Leo in the end. I hope not. It’s so sweet of him to help her, I hope it will make her feel better with herself. Leela’s story is heartbreaking, I can’t believe her husband never met their daughter. I hope their relationship gets better soon. I love Blue and Ruby bonding!

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    • Thank you so much, Jowita! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the girls’ bonding, too. They are so close. Over time, we will get to know Leela a lot better as she opens up more to Leo. Maybe someday, he will open up to her, too. Let’s hope Leo did the right thing by helping Chrissy. She did seem sincere but only time will tell.

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  • Thank you for using my Lake House! It looks awesome in this pics. Now, coodos to Chrissy for wanted to get better, and to Leo for helping her out as well. I’m very glad that Chrissy was her straight to the point Sim when she said “We werenโ€™t good friends, Leo. We barely knew each other at all. In fact, we were just two stupid kids that did stupid things.โ€ She is so right, just two hurting kids who came together to try and fulfill an emotional need they both had. I don’t believe, even after Chrissy gets better that she will be the kind of girl he could have a solid relationship with of any kind. I’m worried she will also hurt Blue. So I shall whisper again *Leela Leela Leela!

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    • LOL! Thank you, Bee. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think Chrissy tried to show that she was telling the truth. Whether that’s completely true or not, will remain to be seen. I think Leo will do everything he can to try to prevent her from hurting Blue, but he can’t control everything, so we’ll see how it turns out. P.S. I hear little whispers…. I think it’s Leela’s name! lol ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • Loved the chapter. I think Chrissy is being sincere, but I truly believe she hasn’t told the whole truth. I am glad Leo is helping her as she IS Blue’s mother, but he needs to remain cautious she can still cause trouble. So glad Leela and Leo are finally getting along and building their friendship. Ruby and Blue are just too cute together and those whispers between then are they are plotting to get their parents together s they can be step sisters. Those little minions are going o do everything they can to get Leela and Leo together.

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    • Thank you, Lil! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you liked the chapter. You are right that Leo still needs to be cautious. And that’s an interesting idea about Ruby and Blue! haha You just never know what two little minions might be up to, but that’s a really good guess! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • I’m starting to feel bad for Chrissy… She does seem sorry and she really does seem to want to get help for herself, but I still can’t trust her completely. I’m glad that Leo is helping her though. He always does the right thing. I love how Leela and Leo are getting along! But what if Leo’s feelings for Chrissy come back and then he’s stuck between her and Leela?! :0

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    • Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel the same way about Chrissy. I really like Leela and Leo right now, too. I think that’s an interesting point you bring up about Chrissy and a possible triangle! Stay tuned. lol ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • Glad to see Leo taking the chance on helping Chrissy. I do think she was sincere, or she wouldn’t have corrected him romanticizing their former relationship. There was no mention of what she is going to rehab for, which could also be of concern in the future! Right now, Leela and Leo seem to be what each other needs, and I am glad he has a friend. Those two girls are going to bear some watching…I think the have a strong desire to be “real” sisters!! =D Good chapter, looking forward to the next one!

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    • Thank you, Marj. ๐Ÿ™‚ You make a good point when you say that since she didn’t romanticize their relationship (as Leo did) that she is sincere. I’m glad Leo has found a friend in Leela, too; someone who doesn’t have a motive for liking him. You just might be right about those girls! haha

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  • Hmm. I still don’t trust Chrissy completely, but if that story was 100% true (which I don’t think it is…) I feel rather sorry for her, and hope she gets better. It would be nice if she turned out to have been honest to Leo and her intentions are truly good, but what might happen to Leela and Leo then? I ship these two so much, I love Leela’s hardworking and kind personality, and they seem to be getting on very well. I also love Ruby and Blue’s friendship as well, looks like they were plotting how to get their parents together, haha.

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  • Whether she is sincere or not, Chrissy is trying to get help, for which I applaud her. Hopefully, she has a successful recovery.
    I think the girls want to get their parents together, which is pretty cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Chrissy…you’re confusing me. On the one hand, she sounds actually sincere. On the other, she’s been the cause of quite a few issues throughout Leo’s life. Blue’s mother or no, you don’t let someone so unpredictable into your child’s life. So kudos to Leo for keeping Blue out of it! Beyond that, I’m reserving judgement. We’ll see what happens first.

    Awesome chapter. by the way!

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  • That was so sweet of him to treat Chrissy with such dignity

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  • I sincerely hope Chrissy is on the up and up but I still have my reservations. It seems too rehearsed somehow to make Leo sorry for her. The line where Leo said he had reservations about keeping all this to himself felt like a premintion of something bad happening in the future. I hope not for all their sakes. Levels seems to be opening up more with Leo which makes me like her more and I hope they become something more than just friends. The little girls are too adorable together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dandylion. ๐Ÿ™‚ It would be nice, I think, if Leo had someone he could love and confide in. Maybe that person will be Leela, you just never know. I love the girls together, too. Hopefully Chrissy is on the up and up but only time will tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • It just occurred to me that he still hasn’t talked publicly about Jilly. Is it till a grief thing? Too painful? Or, is it more of a pride thing and he doesn’t want to be emotional in public?

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  • I take it back! Chrissy isn’t so sneaky after all. I’m so glad she wants help. I’m also glad to see Blue and Ruby are becoming such good friends. Me thinks they’re plotting to get their parents together. You go, girls!

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