Dear J, I wish I could say that the drama has died down with Blue and that we’re no longer having trouble. But that would be a lie as you can see from the screenshot I took above of a fansite someone put up about her.
Now that she’s older, it’s harder to protect her from the paps. Not only that, but kids all over the world have taken notice of her and these fansites are starting to pop up all over the internet. People want to know what she’s wearing, where she’s going, who she’s dating. And it all makes me really uncomfortable.
Blue is famous by association and it doesn’t seem fair, but it’s a fact of life. The site that has me most concerned is this one because it seems like whoever runs it must have been in Hidden Springs to get these pictures.
And did you see the pictures? I haven’t even shown some of them because I just can’t bear to look at them. What I’ve come to realize, and what hurts the most is that Blue lied to me about her prom night. It’s obvious the kids didn’t go out for burgers after the dance.
To make things worse, Leela and I didn’t have much time to discuss any of this because Chrissy had seen the site and hurried right over.
“We’ll talk to Blue about this,” Leela said when Chrissy explained why she was there.
“Have you seen the other sites? I’m on three of them!” she exclaimed.
“Is that why you’re dressed this way?” I demanded. “Because you hope you end up on these sites? You need to go home and put some clothes on!”
As you can see, I was nearing the end of my rope.
Instead of attacking me for what I said, Chrissy turned to Leela and said, “My you’re getting huge! I don’t think I ever got that big when I was pregnant with Leo’s baby.”
I stepped forward, anger nearly bursting through my brain and out my mouth, when Leela held a hand up that stopped me in my tracks, indicating she could take care of this. With a tight smile, she said, “You can’t hurt me, Chrissy, so you may as well stop your efforts. All you’re doing is showing what a child you are. But if you would like to continue, perhaps you could leave the room or something while the adults discuss what we should do about all of this.”
This is not at all how I would have handled Chrissy, but I have to tell you, what Leela said, shut her up but good. I’ve gotta mention, yet again, what a classy woman I’m married to. How’d I get so lucky? Never mind, it’s best not to dwell on that kind of thing. I don’t want to jinx anything.
And then Leela did something that made me grin inwardly. She managed to produce the easiest, most confident smile I think I’ve ever seen. I could tell Chrissy was really thrown.
“Well, I think I should be going now.”
“So soon?” Leela pleasantly said.
“Why don’t you stay for some cookies, milk and nap time?”
Chrissy’s jaw dropped about a foot. “Now you’re just making fun of me.”
“What? No, I’m just trying to be a gracious host.”
I was about to add my two cents when Ruby ran inside, out of breath.
“What’s wrong?” I asked. “Are you okay?”
She nodded and when she could talk normally, she said, “Did you see those fan sites about Blue that popped up?”
“We were actually just discussing those,” I answered.
“Well, the whole school is going on and on about them and what happened on prom night and Blue is really upset!”
“Did you notice the pictures of me on at least three of those sites?”
I gave Chrissy a harsh glare, then turned back to Ruby, “Go on, honey.”
“She’s really upset and she said she won’t come home ever again.”
Furrowing my eyebrows, my heart sinking, I said, “Why in the world would she say that?”
“She’s afraid you’re going to blow your top at her and she said she can’t deal with it right now.”
This view Blue had of me was really cutting me to the core. Had I ever been unreasonable with her? Okay, that probably wasn’t the best question, but I honestly didn’t think I’d ever given her any reason to fear me. Sure, I was seethingly angry and felt like blowing my top, as Ruby put it. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t try to be calm.
Mainly, I wanted to know exactly how far things went with that boy on prom night. At the moment, that was my biggest concern. Once I found that out, I could talk to her about it. Maybe that night has had something to do with her recent attitude problems.
“Leo, this is outrageous! It’s clear to me that you aren’t able to provide her with a place she feels comfortable being in.”
Finally, I gave Chrissy my full attention. “I don’t remember inviting you here. Also, you’re not really qualified to speak about Blue as if you know her. It’s time for you to go.” When she started to protest, I stepped closer to her, backing her up without touching her until she was near the front door. “See ya’,” I said as I opened the door.
After she stomped her way down the driveway, I closed the door and leaned against it. “Ruby, text Blue and tell her to come home, that no one is going to yell at her.”
“Okay, but I don’t know if she’ll listen to me.”
“Tell her if she doesn’t come home, we’ll be looking for her with the police.”
“Ooooh, I think that will do it,” Ruby said as she pulled out her phone.
It was getting late when I heard Blue come in. I was in the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher. Not hurrying to go see her, I finished what I was doing which took a few minutes. As I came through the dining room and then the foyer, I heard Blue playing the piano. It was an easy song, but it seemed like I hadn’t heard her play in ages.
“We need to talk.”
“I know,” she said. She finished the song, which was nearing the end anyway, before standing to face me.
“I know what you saw,” she said with a glum expression.
“Then suppose you explain it to me.”
Anger flashed through her green eyes, darkening them with fury. “You know, it’s not right that people can just snap pictures of me when I don’t even know it and put it on a website!”
“I’m sure that seems really unfair,” I said, “but you’re in the limelight now and the worse you behave, the more people will crave pictures of you. It’s not right, but it’s how it is, so you need to adjust accordingly.”
“I need to adjust? Why can’t you make them stop?”
I counted to ten before answering her. “There’s something really wrong here, Blue. You seem to think I have control of this. Well, I don’t. I’ve tried to protect you as best I can but now that you’re older and you’re doing things without me, they are going to do what they want. So far, they don’t seem to have printed anything untrue. You know what’s really amazing to me right now is that instead of being remorseful for the prom pictures, you act like you’ve been wronged!”
“I have been wronged! And it’s your fault. Were it not for you, I wouldn’t even be in this predicament!”
And there we had it. She’d probably been wanting to say that for a long time, but had only now found the nerve to actually do it.
“You know what?” I said with a harshness to my voice that shamed me later when I looked back on this moment. “I have tried to do the best I can for you! I worked hard to make sure you had a good life and never needed for anything! I put up with stuff you don’t even know about and I was willing to pay any price to make sure you lived a charmed life! Maybe I should have left you, too, to live with your Grandparents, but I didn’t think that was the right thing to do. You know why? Because you’re my daughter and I love you more than anyone or anything!”
She clenched her fists into little balls and gritted her teeth. “Well, I’m sorry you went through so much! I guess you shouldn’t have had me!”
“Did you even hear anything I said? As soon as I learned you existed, I wanted you!”
Staring at the floor, her breath coming in angry heaves, she bit her lip until it bled a tiny bit. I watched her for a moment and then decided, since we were having it all out, I should just try to find out everything I
wanted to know needed to know.
“Tell me what you did on prom night. I want to know everything.”
“It doesn’t matter now.”
“Tell me,” I said, emphasizing every word. “I saw some pictures.” When she still didn’t respond or look at me, I continued, “Did you sleep with that boy?”
“Yes!” she screamed at me. “I did! But it doesn’t matter now because he broke up with me.”
In a kind of muted, stunned silence, which seemed to sometimes hit me, I thought about that scrawny boy with his hands on my daughter. The most precious gift I’d ever received and that damn scarecrow had his –
– I had to stop my line of thought and concentrate on Blue.
“Do you hate me?” she asked, her lower lip shaking slightly as tears filled her eyes.
“No.” It was all I could say at the moment.
As I stood there, trying to ignore the tightness in my chest and the grief stabbing my heart, Blue slowly backed out of the room and went upstairs.