Author’s Note: Two swear words and a little bit of vomiting (for those with weak stomachs).
Dear J, I wish I could say our honeymoon was everything we’d hoped it would be. Sure, it started out as a very romantic trip. For the first few days, we never left the cabin we were staying in. I was going to write more about that but it weirds me out thinking that Blue will be reading my account of events someday. When I first read Mom’s diary, I thought she was a bit prudish, but now I understand why she left some of the more risqué parts out. Actually, I’m eternally thankful to her because I don’t think I would have ever gotten over it had she told all the details.
The fourth day, Leela and I were getting romantic when all of a sudden, she held her stomach with one hand while she put the other hand over her mouth.
“Are you okay?” I asked, full of concern.
Instead of answering me, she hightailed it to the bathroom where I could hear her losing the lobster thermidor she’d eaten for dinner. Nervously, I knocked on the bathroom door, but she wouldn’t let me come in.
Finally, when she was done and had brushed her teeth, she came out.
“I’m so sorry,” she sheepishly said.
“Why in the world are you sorry? I just hope you’re all right.”
She blinked funny and looked down at her feet. “I ruined our perfect night.”
Putting my arm around her, I ushered her back into the bedroom and gently tucked her into bed. Sitting next to her, I felt her forehead. She didn’t feel feverish, so that was a relief anyway. I kissed her hand and stretched out next to her, lying on my side and propped up on my arm so I could look into her eyes.
“You’re so good to me, Leo,” she murmured.
“Do you need anything?”
After she yawned, she said, “No, I just need some sleep.”
She seemed to drift off pretty fast so I laid there staring at her for a while, still filled with wonder that she had married me of all people. She sank further into the pillow as I pulled the quilt up a little further on her shoulder. Watching her rest, I knew in my soul there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
Leela was looking and feeling a little peaked the next day, so we went out into the sunshine and sat in the grass, watching the pond. Every once in a while, a fish would jump up and we’d try to get a photo of it. We never did get that picture!
As if we were thinking the same thing, we both leaned back in the grass. Before I knew it, I was cradling her in my arms, feeling the smooth skin of her arm with my hand.
“Are you feeling any better?” I asked quietly, not wanting to disturb the stillness around us.
“Mmmmm…. not really,” she said.
“Maybe I should take you to the doctor? I’m sure I can find one in town.”
“No, Leo. I don’t need a doctor yet.” She smiled softly as she looked into my eyes. “Honey…. I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant.”
Pregnant? What? I had to snap my thoughts back to the moment before they drifted away from shock. Placing a hand on her flat stomach, I said, “Are you sure?”
A baby. A real honest to goodness baby. That meant I would finally get to experience what it was like. I’d be there for the birth. And I would hold my newborn infant in my arms.
“Are you okay?”
I blinked away tears of joy. “I’m so happy, Leela.”
“Me, too,” she whispered.
We stayed by the pond for what seemed like hours, talking about our new child and how our lives would change. It began to rain, so we moved inside and I built a fire in the main room where there was a cozy love seat calling to us.
Pulling her close, I continued our conversation, “How long do you think you’ve been pregnant?”
“I’d say at least three months.”
“Three months and you didn’t say anything to me?” It wasn’t an accusation, just an honest question.
“I wasn’t going to say anything until I was absolutely sure. We didn’t talk much about having children, so I wasn’t sure how you’d feel.”
My fingers made feathery swirl patterns on her shoulder and upper arm as we spoke. “I’m thrilled, to be honest.”
“Me, too,” she grinned.
After a couple days, Leela was feeling a little better so we decided not to cancel the tickets we had to the theater. She really dug live musicals, so I’d made sure to book a couple of seats for, “Nuclear Wizards.” We were going to have a late dinner after that.
Unfortunately, as we were waiting for the car, we were met by a paparazzi named Bunny Lake. I knew her because this chick showed up absolutely everywhere, it seemed. Once, I’d even laid into her for hanging outside of Blue’s school.
“Congratulations on your wedding!” she exclaimed as she snapped a picture.
It all happened so fast, I didn’t have time to put my hand up or shield Leela. I’m afraid it wasn’t the best pic ever taken of me and who knew where or when it would show up?
“How does it feel to be a newlywed?” she called.
“We’re late, so I’d appreciate it if you would just let us be on our way in peace,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Please, just a few questions!”
Leela was already backing up into the gate as if she could disappear. Clearly, the theater was not going to work out tonight.
Back inside the safety of our cabin, I decided to make some coffee. We weren’t going to the theater, but judging from Leela’s face, it was going to be a long night anyway.
“Can you believe the nerve of that Bunny Lake? I mean, can you even believe it?” Before I could say anything, she continued without taking a breath, “I should be able to go out for one night on my own honeymoon without being accosted by the likes of her! Here I was feeling so much better for the first time in days, and she ruins it!”
“Awww, honey, I’m so, so sorry – ”
” – Just like that as if we don’t have anything better to do than pose for some silly pictures and answer her inane questions! Why can’t they schedule these things? Not that I’d agree to be in a magazine anyway! Oh, I’m so mad!”
Finally, she was coming up for air. This was a side of Leela I’d never seen but at least now I knew what would send her over the edge.
“I’ll make it up to you, okay? You’ll get to see the show and we’ll have a nice dinner when we can get a decoy car set up. I really didn’t expect them to find us here since it’s so secluded, but I guess I should have known.”
Suddenly, she put a hand over her mouth and I was afraid that getting so upset was making her sick again, but then I realized she was stifling a little laugh.
“I’m so sorry,” she giggled. “You must think I’m crazy. Please don’t think I was angry with you, okay?”
With a huge sense of relief, I smiled, “I know that. I do wish I could have taken you to see Nuclear Wizards, though. The theater here is so huge, you’d really love it.”
Even though I could see the disappointment in her eyes, she managed a tiny smile. “Thank you for letting me vent.”
I smirked a little. “Is that what that was?”
Worry began to turn my stomach when she became more serious. “I hate to do this, but I think that now that they know where we are, this kind of thing is going to continue and I don’t think I can bear it.”
“Do you want to go home?”
She nodded. “I hope you understand.”
Even though I was disappointed now, I did understand. This type of life was not for Leela and it was just something I was going to have to understand about her. It wasn’t really for me either, but I had, in a way, invited it in by the career path I chose. And so, I was used to it. But she never would be, I feared.
It didn’t take long to pack and this time, I had the forethought of arranging a decoy car complete with two actors who were made up to resemble us. The pretenders were hunched on the floor of the limo so they couldn’t be seen by the ever growing number of paps outside the gate.
The decoy car entered through the gate and pulled up behind the garage. No one could see this area from the road, so it was then that the actors sat up in the seats and opened, then closed the car doors loudly, pretending to be us.
Slowly, the decoy limo left, the paparazzi following with their cameras.
Leela and I then waited for the real limo to arrive and we had a delightfully uneventful trip to the airport.
From the diary of Blue Valentine Capra:
Dear Diary, there it was in black and white, complete with pictures. I was so disgusted, I could hardly stand it. My insides felt all twisted up and my anger was getting bigger and bigger until I thought I might explode!
And isn’t this what my mother had eluded to? An affair right behind Leela’s back? What a total ass my dad was! I didn’t want to believe it, but seeing the pictures, it couldn’t be denied.
My stomach was aching… no, it downright hurt. It felt like a knife was stabbing me and twisting in my gut at the same time. Wiping away the hot tears on my cheeks, I wondered how this all could have been going on intermittently for years right under my nose? And speaking of my nose, I had to blow it again. The little trash can in my bedroom was now nearly full of crumpled tissues.
The more I thought about this deception, the more my mind kept churning out all of the terrible things that had happened to me growing up. Things I couldn’t fully write down or say yet. But they were there, just beneath the surface. Those things had changed who I am. And it still hurt immensely.
I wanted to believe in my father. I wanted desperately to believe he was the best person in the whole world. But I already knew that it was because of him so many things had happened to me. If he’d just been normal – a normal dad – none of it would have happened at all.
After much inner debate, I finally showed the clipping to Ruby. I needed her on my side for when we confronted the big jerk because I knew it would be too hard to do it on my own. But much to my surprise, she said she wasn’t mad at all. In fact, she said she loved and trusted him. Well, I loved him, too, but that didn’t mean I totally trusted him. Not after everything Chrissy had said and now this to prove she wasn’t lying.
More than anything, I wanted to stay in my room and continue sulking, but Grandma wasn’t having it. She practically dragged me out of my room and made me help her bake pies. Can you believe that? The world could be falling completely apart, bombs dropping right on the house, and she’d still bake her pies and cookies.
Of course, she asked me why I’d been crying, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. I’m sure if I did, we’d be in the kitchen even longer, adding cake to the things we’d have to make.
Nothing ever seemed to bother Grandpa. As we baked… and baked… and baked… he played several songs on the piano. He really was talented and I suppose that’s where Daddy got the music bug from.
Grandpa and Grandma had brought us back from Storybrook County when Leela called from the airport to tell them they were catching a flight home earlier then expected. She made up some tale about not feeling very well but I knew the real story. She must’ve found out about my lousy, adulterous father’s ongoing affair with Chrissy. Thinking about it all, I cringed and beat the eggs until Grandma told me they were beaten “quite well enough to do the job.”
When we were done in the kitchen, I decided to see what Ruby was up to. She couldn’t wait for the folks to get home. She was working on a little poem to give them.
“Why don’t you write one?” she suggested. “It’ll help keep your mind off of things.”
Puh-lease. Writing my dad a poem about lovey dovey stuff was the last thing that would keep my mind off of his betrayals. He hadn’t just done this to Leela, after all. This affected all of us.
Instead, I opened up a book to read, but I don’t even remember what it was called or what I read.
After about another half hour, they were finally here. Grandma made loud exclamations about how glad she was to see them and how good they looked (as if being gone for a week and a half had changed the way they looked).
Daddy hugged Grandma and told her all of the same things back. Adults are so weird that way.
As I watched them embrace, all I could think was would Grandma still hold him so lovingly if she knew what he did to Leela and to us? I think not! He should thank his lucky stars I hadn’t told anyone but Ruby and he should also be thankful no one had seemed to have read the papers lately.
Next, Leela hugged Grandma and the entire thing started all over again with the so good to see you’s and the you look so good stuff. You’d think we’d been apart for years.
Ruby hurried in, waving hello and grinning from ear to ear. The angry side of me wanted to call her a sap, but even I couldn’t go that far. I did love her and none of this was her fault even if she hadn’t sided with me.
As Grandpa made his way in and greeted them, I stood off to the side. I knew the look on my face was ugly and sour, but I couldn’t seem to help it. The betrayal was just too great.
And then he came over to me, asking me what was wrong like he always did. Well, if he thought about it even just a little bit, he would have known, wouldn’t he? Instead, he acted all innocent as if he’d never done anything wrong at all.
All I could do was glare at him and think about how he’d had the perfect parents and upbringing. His childhood had been absolutely normal and good. Yet, he’d turned out like this. What hurt the most was how much I’d looked up to him. There was a time when I thought the entire world was my dad.
Then the truth had come out and I now bore the terrible reality that he was no better than anyone else. In fact, he was much, much worse than anyone I knew. My world couldn’t have crashed down harder on me than if it had just exploded into a million pieces.
“I asked you a question, Blue. Aren’t you glad to see me?”
“No!” I yelled. “I’m not glad to see you! You are so selfish and the last person I want to see!”
I couldn’t see over his shoulder, but I could feel everything in the room coming to a screeching halt. All conversation and small talk abruptly ended. The air was suddenly too still and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
Expecting the worst, I squinted my eyes as if that would magically transport me from the situation I’d created.
But Dad stayed calm even though the shock was still in his eyes. Very quietly… almost too calmly, he said, “Go to your room.”
I was about to protest and tell him exactly why I should be able to stay wherever I wanted. But then I saw that little vein pulsing on his temple and I knew he was only minutes, maybe seconds, away from losing his shit.
So, without a word, I bitterly trudged upstairs. The tears flowed freely again and my breath came in ragged hiccups as I opened my laptop and began to write to you, Diary.