Chapter 2.17: Dear J, a Heart to Heart

 

1

Dear J, now that Blue and Ruby are teens, they’re both working for Leela at her bakery, For Goodness Cakes. I must say, I don’t mind this arrangement since it means seeing Leela on a regular basis and getting fat on the pastries.

Is it okay to say Leela’s cooking is even better than Mom’s? Maybe I shouldn’t go there. I’ll just say that it’s really, really good.

2

The girls are still thick as thieves and always whispering or nudging each other. I’m not even going to pretend I have a clue as to what that’s about. Leela says she has an idea, but she decided not to enlighten me, for whatever reason. I guess it’s “girl stuff.” Or something.

When the girls get carried away, Leela gives them a look that I wish I could do justice by describing. It’s kind of an “oh no you didn’t” look… but on steroids. Whenever she does this, Blue and Ruby straighten right up. I wish I had that skill mastered, let me tell you. When I attempt this, Blue just cracks up and rolls her eyes. She says I make it weird.

On a side note: I used to be so cool, so rock and roll and now my daughter says I make it weird! When did that happen? And how do I get back to cool? This drives me nuts!

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Today, when I got to the bakery, Leela was baking, as usual (OMG, my stomach started rumbling as soon as I got there – the wonderful aroma had me intoxicated as soon as I walked in the door). The girls were washing dishes… or well, I guess Ruby was washing dishes. Blue was watching her and she didn’t look happy.

5

Her face immediately lit up, though, when the sink suddenly broke.

“I guess we can’t do anymore dishes!” she announced brightly.

“Oh no!” Leela exclaimed. “Leo, do something!”

I guess she said that because I’m a guy and guys are supposed to be handy. But I’m a composer and that’s pretty much all I know how to do.

Regardless, I jumped into action. I guess that’s because I’m a guy, too. I would do anything to save the day, even if I had no clue as to what I was doing.

6

“Okay, okay!” I shouted as I attacked the sink, or it attacked me. “I’ve got this!”

I couldn’t see Blue’s face, but I could hear her laughing as the water shot up, splashing me in the face. I stupidly put my hand up like a stop sign as if that would hold the liquid back.

“Are you laughing?” I growled at Blue, blinking water out of my eyes.

“Well, I didn’t break it,” she said.

That’s when Ruby joined in.

7

“Here,” Leela said as she handed me a wrench. This was good. It was going to be okay. I knew this was a wrench! That was a start, anyway.

8

“I think you need to turn that thingy with the wrench,” Ruby said, pointing with her index finger.

I wasn’t going to ask any questions. Maybe the kid knew what she was doing.

9

Still convulsing with laughter, Blue started to mop the floor. At least she was being helpful without being told.

Leela turned back to the oven to check on her cobbler.

10

The water had leaked into the dining area, so Ruby and Blue mopped that, too.

11

By the time Ruby came back to check on me, the leak was fixed. I think. At least it wasn’t spraying water everywhere.

“Great job, Leo!” Ruby enthused, patting me on the back like a little kid that needed encouragement. After that ordeal, she probably wasn’t wrong.

12

In the end, it was all worth it to see Leela smiling at my accomplishment.

“Thank you so much. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here.”

Feeling the heat rising to my face, I smiled a little. “I think Ruby could have fixed it.”

13

“Ruby is very handy,” Leela agreed. “But I’m still grateful you were here.”

Blushing again, I said, “I’m glad I could help.”

“I am, too.”

“You, uh, still might want to have a plumber look at that.”

“That I will do,” she pleasantly said.

14

It was a minute before I realized I was just staring at her with a goofy smile on my face. As soon as I realized, I sobered up. “So, uh, how did Blue do today?”

“She did fine, but I think she was a little bummed to be spending her Saturday here. I can’t say that I blame her, though.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

15

“I know,” she said with a glimmer in her eye. “How about piece of chocolate pie?”

She knew me so well. “I will never turn that down.”

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It was so nice sitting together, eating dessert. It felt like a real family. Don’t get me wrong, I know Leela and I aren’t together as a couple and the four of us aren’t a real family, but it just felt so comfortable to imagine it for a little while.

Blue and Ruby were so excited to be off work, so they decided they were going to see Samuel Serendipity’s latest flick, Terminal Retaliation.

“I wrote the music for that.”

“Gosh, Daddy, we know,” Blue groaned, but when I looked at her, she had a look of pride in her eyes.

“It must be so exciting to be in the movie business,” Ruby said. “Blue’s great-uncle is the star and her dad and uncle did the music.”

“What are you working on now, Leo?” Leela asked.

“Oh, um, it’s a drama called Waiting for MacCorkindale. There’s another project after that called Room of Beards. I really had to fight for that one, it’s going to be really exciting!”

“Really? Who’s in it?” Ruby asked.

“Only the latest celebrity power couple,” I announced.

“Edgar Sinclair and Alexia Bloom?” Blue shrieked.

I nodded as both girls were lost in screeching spasms. They were talking to each other at once, with intermittent squeals until Leela told them to get going to the movies.

“Wow,” I said with a relieved sigh when they’d gone.

Leela laughed a little and I helped her clean up.

21

Later that evening, Josh and I were practicing a part of my latest composition. I was having a problem with one of the measures, unable to figure out where the piece should go from there.

22

“A key change?” I asked as I played a few chords.

23

“Yeah… yeah, that’s it,” Josh agreed, quickly picking it up on his guitar.

24

We stopped playing as Blue came in. “Daddy, can I talk to you?”

25

“Honey, we’re working right now.”

“It’s okay,” Josh said, putting his guitar down. “I have to get home anyway. I promised Thea and Rachel I’d be home for dinner.”

26

Josh was barely out the door when Blue dove right in.

“I don’t think I should have to work at the bakery.”

“But… why? I thought you were excited to work with Ruby.”

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“It’s killing me,” she moaned. “Yeah, I wanted to work there when I thought I’d have a car and be able to drive to work! This is so lame that you haven’t taught me how to drive yet!”

Sighing, I said, “We’ve been over this and I’m not changing my mind no matter what kind of fit you throw.”

29

“Dad, come on! You’re killing me! Why don’t you trust me?”

Although I heard her words and knew there was no possibility that she would feel any other way about it, all I saw at that moment were swerving lights and the last thing you said to me, Jillybean, before the impact. I had never told Blue the story of you. I couldn’t bring myself to speak about you at all. Every time I tried, I choked on the words and couldn’t get them out.

It happened so long ago, yet it was still yesterday to me.

30

“Tell me why,” she insisted, her words forceful.

She deserved an explanation. There just wasn’t one I could provide that would satisfy her.

“You’re just going to have to trust me that I know what’s best for you.”

31

“I love you so much.” Without meaning to, my eyes filled with tears. The thought of ever losing her hurt so much, it had become an almost constant fear since her birthday.

Her features softened as she regarded me with her green eyes. “I love you, too. I just wish you’d be straight with me. It’s not fair that Ruby is learning to drive and you just refuse.”

32

Now she looked as if she would cry. I wiped a tear from her cheek, my heart aching to tell her about the accident, my mouth not saying the words.

34

“Be patient with me, Blue. Someday, I’ll tell you everything.”

It wasn’t the heart to heart I had imagined us having. And her response to being forbidden from driving was not unexpected. I sincerely did hope that “someday” would come soon.

35

Ruby came over, saving me from further conversation so I went out to get the mail. I was still muddling over my failure to give Blue an explanation that would satisfy her when I glanced down at the envelopes in my hand. Most of them were the usual bills.

But one was not.

My heart sank and my mouth grew dry as I read the return address:

Harbordale Manor.

36

Not wanting to take the chance of Blue seeing me and asking questions, I dashed inside and went straight to the study. Sitting behind the desk, I opened the file folder of past letters, pictures and bills. It was a full five minutes before my trembling fingers opened the envelope that came today.

chrissy-letter

My hands were shaking and my face drained of all color as I reread the letter again and again. I couldn’t believe the words before me. Perhaps if I read it yet again, they would change and say something else.

37

I can’t explain how I felt at that moment, other than stunned. How could she love me? Hadn’t she just told me a few months ago that we didn’t even really know each other?

Confusion clouded my troubled mind as I carefully added this letter to the folder.

Author’s Note: For Goodness Cakes, Leela’s bakery was made especially for Noble Doubt by Lil of Lil’s Creative Corner. Thank you, Lil!

33 thoughts

  1. I loved that chapter. It was so funny to see Leo trying to be a man for Leela and the girls. I hope he finally gets himself to tell Blue why he feels so bad about driving. I still can’t get used to seeing Blue as a young woman. The movie titles and the name of a bakery are hilarious!
    Chrissy, Chrissy… Oh, what a twist! I don’t know how to feel about that. Now Leo should think about his feelings towards her and if he loves her, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RosemaryMarie!!!!!!! I don’t want to have words with you!! Enuff said cause we already discussed this.
    Pictures are gorgeous as always. Laughed my head off at Leo trying to be “the man” for Leela. I think it is time Leo tells Blue about Jilly before someone else does. (tapping fingers) Okay can’t be silent after all – Leo and Chrissy were just two teenagers using each other to fill a need and that is not love by any means. If Chrissy thinks she loves Leo it’s just because she is grateful he is helping her and we can’t discount the possibility that she is up to something. If you learn anything from addicts, it’s that they always have an angle and they lie really well. Even if, Even if they had any feelings at all for each other as teens, it wasn’t a healthy relationship. He shouldn’t be thinking they should be together just because they have a child together. Blue is nearly grown up. Leo has done well for himself. He is still young enough to have a healthy relationship with someone (else) and have a new family (not Chrissy) to live a happy life (pssst Leela). Enuff said.

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  3. Loved the chapter. Blue and Ruby are growing up so fast. Leo IS GOING to have to be straight with Blue and soon. If he doesn’t it is going to drive a wedge between them. OH Chrissy Chrissy Chrissy. Why must you always cause problems and complicate things hmmmmm? Leo was finally getting his life straightened out and on the verge of finding love with Leela. I know Chrissy is Blue’s mother and they had a teenage fling and Leo has some feelings for her, but he would be much better off with Leela. Yes Chrissy IS finally getting her life straightened out but Leo and Chrissy are toxic for each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lil. 😀 The girls are growing up so fast, it’s true. I am kind of sad about that, but the future is exciting. I agree that this could drive a wedge between Leo and Blue if he doesn’t tell her himself. Heaven forbid she should find out a different way. I also agree that Leo and Chrissy are toxic for each other. Let’s hope Leo makes good decisions.

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  4. I cracked up when Leo was complaining about being “weird” because I vividly remember when my dad, a man I idolized for years, suddenly because weird to me. I love that he’s trying so hard with Leela! She is adorable and I hope that more comes from this!!!

    I’m feeling super protective of Leo though and I really want Chrissy to butt-out! I really feel like she has some ulterior motive for contacting him out of nowhere! She didn’t want Leo and her kid before! Why now?! Girl, please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, SweetP! 😀 You know, who doesn’t remember when their dad became weird? LOL 😀 You just might be right about Chrissy. Not long ago, she was telling Leo that they not only never loved each other, they barely knew each other. So, this is kind of strange coming from her. It could be she feels grateful or it could be a manipulation. Either way, let’s hope Leo makes good decisions regarding her. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, big storm brewing!! Leo needs to tell Blue the story about the accident, but he also needs to, somehow, tell her about her mother!! She is a teen, and anything she finds out that he is keeping from her, will feel like he still thinks of her as a baby, with no trust in her at all, and worse, a betrayal of her trust in him!. We all know how teens get! =( He best nip both of these in the bud, fast! Perhaps his mom could help him figure the best approach, especially in regards to Chrissy. That could make the ‘not driving’ issue seem very small in comparison!! Good chapter, hard on my blood pressure!! (I blame Bee for the gray hair!). Can’t wait for more!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marj. 🙂 Yes, there seems to be a storm brewing; you are very right about that. I totally agree with everything you said. I do think Leo needs to be the one who tells Blue or it could be disastrous for him.

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  6. “Love always?” Umm, I really hopes she means platonic love, because Leo has been over her for a while now.
    Also, eventually Blue will find out Leo’s past when some family member accidentally slips up and mentions Jilly. I mean, she’d feel bad if she finds out something like this from a person other than Leo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Yes, I agree with you. I know growing up, I have found out about some of the skeletons in our family closet because of a relative that slipped by accident. lol I do think Leo should be the one to tell her.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh no… Chrissy, why? I really hope she doesn’t complicate things between Leo and Leela, but I have a feeling she will. And I think she’ll get between Leo and Blue too. Blue deserves to know the truth, but I understand why Leo is hesitant. Better to do it sooner than later though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yikes! Blue’s a teenager and Chrissy’s the ex that’s looking for more. Fun times.

    Leo’ll need to talk to Blue about everything at some point. Secrets are fine to keep when the ones they affect aren’t poking around, but otherwise…that’s just trouble and heartache. Good luck, Leo.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OH Chrissy don’t go there! I highly doubt she knows what love is. It seems she’s mixing up gratitude with love. She’s just gonna keep making trouble isn’t she? Leo should tell Blue about Jilly and the accident. At least she’d have a reason other than her dad depriving her of something she wants. I don’t blame her for being upset. She has no clue why he is the way he is on this subject. I feel bad for both of them. I’m starting to like the idea of Leela being in Leo’s life. She seems to make him happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dandylion! 🙂 I think you may be right about Chrissy mixing the two up. She is clearly confused and probably needs a lot more time in treatment to sort that out. Well, hopefully, she will sort that out and not cause any more You’re also right about Leo needing to tell Blue about everything. At least then she would understand where he’s coming from.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Leo, I hope you get honest with Blue soon. She’ll understand. I just know she will! And oh my gosh, Chrissy! Stop playing with our emotions, girl. You had your chance, so just accept the friendzone. Leo has! XD For now. Tee hee.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The bakery is so cute!! ❤ And I loved the sink scene, so funny!
    I can understand where Leo is coming from, but Blue shouldn't have to pay too for the mistake of a drunk driver. I hope her dad sees that.
    And Chrissy! I can't believe that woman! She's either lying or she confuses gratitude with love. There's no way she loves Leo and I won't give up on him being with Leela, not yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Blue as a teenager. My heart. How she’s grown.

    Chrissy… She thinks she loves Leo, because he’s the one good thing in her life, and she’s craving stability, but I’m not sure she’d make a stable partner. She and Leo are better off as friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about Blue as a teen. I wanted her to be a toddler forever, tbh. I really loved her at that age especially.

      Again, you’ve really gotten it spot on about Chrissy’s feelings. And I totally agree about she and Leo being friends only. I don’t think either one of them is good for the other.

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