Chapter 3.22: Dear Diary, It Ends with a Haircut

Author’s Note: This chapter of Noble Doubt and the last chapter of my spin-off series “Dax in Paris” have overlapped in a story. Because of this, you may want to read “Like a Brick in the Face” featuring Dax prior to reading this chapter.

1

Dear Diary, as you can imagine, after seeing Matthieu in a fist fight with Dax, I met him in our yard when he came home, expecting a full explanation. His expression was one of such regret, though, I was no longer so eager to ask him what happened.

“Are you all right?” I asked instead.

Hanging his head, he nodded. “It seems you and some of the children saw that.”

“Unfortunately, yes. Charles, Laurent, Marty and I were folding diapers on the dining room table when Laurent called us to the window.”

2

“I wish it had never happened,” he sighed. “Why didn’t you tell me you were upset about Dax yesterday?”

“I see now that I should have. I guess I was just trying to put it out of my mind. Dax has been so strange.”

“You’re telling me. He said some pretty rotten things. Still, it’s no excuse for my part in this. I need to talk to the children about it.”

“Yes, that’s a good idea. They did their chores and helped fold diapers, so I told them they could play. Marty and Charles are in the treehouse and Laurent is playing with Bootsie.”

4

I should mention here, Diary, that I was not a witness to the events coming next. Instead, I’m writing this in a different way, using the information Matthieu gave me.

»»————-¤————-««

All the way back to the house, Matthieu pieced together what he wanted to tell the children. His mind was deeply troubled by the fight they had seen him get into with Dax St. Cyr. Normally, it took a lot to make Matthieu react in such a way, and now that it was over, he wished he had walked away.

5

The first thing he did was ask them what they saw. Charles spoke for the younger two, explaining that they had seen the scuffle and Dax limping away a few steps once it was over.

“Are you hurt, Daddy?” Charles asked, his face clouded with concern.

“No, I’m not hurt. And I think Dax is all right, too. What I want you to understand, though, is that what I did was wrong. It was done in the heat of the moment and in a fit of temper. We must always be careful not to lose control of ourselves because someone could get hurt. Do you understand?”

“But, Daddy, if Dax was mean to you, why was it wrong to bust him one?” Marty asked.

“Well,” Matthieu began, “do you think Dax and I worked anything out by handling it that way?”

“No, I guess not,” she answered.

“Wouldn’t it be better if Dax and I were able to work out our differences and remain friends rather than the way it really happened?”

“I wouldn’t want to be friends with him if he was mean,” Laurent said. “Besides, you don’t make mistakes.”

Matthieu smiled down at him and said, “But I do make mistakes. Everyone does. I’m your father, so I try to be a good example in order to teach you how to behave. The problem is, sometimes, even I don’t make the right decisions. That’s why I’m talking to you now, so that you know what I did was wrong.”

6

Charles stared at the ground for a moment.

“What is it, Charles?” Matt asked.

“Well, Sir, I think if it was me in that situation, I might’ve hit him, too. When he came to our picnic yesterday, Momma got really upset and I could tell it was because of him.”

“So you would hit him because he hurt your momma?”

“Yessir, I would and I don’t think I’d feel bad about it either!”

Matthieu looked toward Laurent who was being especially quiet. “And what do you think, son?”

7

“Well,” he began slowly, taking the time to measure his words, “I think Momma wasn’t in danger and she didn’t say she needed help, so it would have been wrong to clobber him then.”

“And what about today?”

“I don’t know what he did today, Sir, but sometimes I wonder…”

When his voice trailed off, Matthieu prodded him to continue. “Tell me what you were going to say.”

“There’s this kid that sometimes plays with us – ”

” – Oh! Yeah! Theo! I can’t stand him!” Marty chimed in.

” – yes, Theo,” Laurent said. “He’s really mean sometimes. Once he pulled Marty’s hair and another time he made another kid cry. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, it’s because I’m thinking about Theo.”

“Yes? And what do you think?’

“I think he’s really sad.”

“So maybe Dax is sad?” Matt asked with a small smile. He was glad Laurent could put these thoughts together and explain them in such a way that Charles and Marty would pay attention to as well.

“Yessir.”

8

“I think you’re on to something, Laurent. Come with me. I want to take you somewhere.”

As Matt and the boys started to walk away, Marty lagged behind.

9

“Aren’t you coming?” Matthieu asked her.

“I thought you just wanted the boys to go.”

Matthieu knelt down and held his arms out. “I meant for you to come with us, too.”

10

Quickly, she ran to him, snaking her arms around his neck as he stood up.

12

“I love you, Martha. I would never leave you out on purpose. Don’t you know you’re my favorite six year old?”

13

“I love you, too, Daddy.”

14

After going to the St. Cyr farm, they found out Dax wasn’t there but was on the beach taking a walk. Matthieu and the children walked in the same direction and soon found him near a park bench.

As soon as Dax saw them, he took a defensive stance as if ready for another fight.

15

“I’m glad I found you,” Matthieu told him. “I owe you an apology. I’m very sorry about our fight this morning and I hope you can forgive me.”

Dax’s eyes narrowed. “Is this some kind of trick?”

16

“Why would I try to trick you – especially in front of my children? I mean it wholeheartedly. I’m sorry.”

Gradually, Dax began to relax until, finally, he said, “You know, I’m sorry, too.”

With all forgiven, Matthieu smiled widely and introduced Dax to Charles, Laurent and Marty. Up til then, they had been very patiently listening. After the introductions were over, they begged Matthieu to let them explore the beach and then walk to town to see if there were other children who could play. Matthieu relented and sent them off.

17

“Your kids are really a handsome bunch,” Dax said. “Oh, and uh, pretty.”

Matt laughed and said, “You should see the other three! We also have Lissie, Carrie and Susan.”

“Wow, that’s a houseful all right. It must be pretty exciting at your place.”

“It’s never dull, that’s true.”

18

Without warning, Dax crumpled to the ground, pulling his knees up. Unsure of what was happening, Matthieu knelt next to him. When he saw that Dax was crying, he was careful not to stare in his face for fear of making him even more upset.

“What’s wrong? How can I help you?”

19

Slowly, Dax shook his head. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I’m just awful to everyone but I don’t know how to stop myself.”

For a few minutes, Matt was at a loss. But remembering what Laurent said earlier when they were at home gave him an idea. “You seem really sad.”

“I thought what I’d always wanted was to go to Paris and paint. Then I had my accident and all those dreams faded into something that could never be. After that, my goal was to hide my hideous face. I was afraid I’d scare people or that they’d stare at me and make fun. Worse than that, I was terrified of hearing ‘poor Dax, he used to be so handsome.’ Just when I thought I’d given up on ever being normal, Blue came into my life and she treated me like I was normal even though I was so clearly not. It wasn’t hard to feel something for her, you know?”

Matthieu thought he was beginning to understand a little bit. “Then suddenly, the scars were gone.”

“Yeah, just like that. It changed everything so fast. When I found Mango’s letter telling me to give everything up here and go to Paris, I thought my prayers had been answered. I thought maybe my feelings for Blue weren’t what I’d imagined them to be and off I went.”

“Straight into a relationship.”

20

“Yeah, man,” Dax said. “When I got to Paris, it was all exciting and new. No one knew me and I could keep my past hidden. I could be anyone I wanted to be. Cosette’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but Mango told me to meet up with her because she could get me going in the art world. And she has. I think my last showing might be the break I was looking for all these years.”

“But…”

Dax didn’t speak for a long time and when he finally did, his voice was almost a whisper. “But now she knows my past. She knows who I am and I can’t pretend anymore.”

21

“Is that so bad, though? The Dax I knew was a pretty good friend and I liked him.”

“I think the guy you knew didn’t exist. Not really. The fact is, I don’t know who I am at all.”

22

By now, Matt’s legs were sore, so he suggested they sit on the park bench.

23

“Do you think you just wake up one day and say, ‘this is who I am! YAY!’” Matthieu said with a slight smile.

“Honestly, I don’t know what happens.”

24

“Maybe you just need a break.”

“A break? What kind of a break?”

“I hear that people on the mainland take vacations away from their lives for a week or two every year or so. Something like that. Go on a trip by yourself. Paint, read, do whatever makes you happy for a little while. You just might have an entirely new perspective on things when you get back.”

25

“I wonder how Cosette would take it… me going away by myself.”

“Does she love you?”

“I’m sure she does.”

“Then she’s likely seen you’re not yourself lately. If she loves you, she’ll trust you and understand. You never know, maybe she needs a break from you, too.”

“Very funny,” Dax said with a small smile.

26

“I’ll think about it,” he added. “And, Matthieu?”

“Yeah.”

“Thanks for being there for me even though I was so rotten to you.”

“Any time.”

»»————-¤————-««

27

And that’s what I know about Matt and Dax’s exchange, Diary. Later, he came home childrenless, kissed me, said hello to everyone, then went outside to work. It was plain to me that things had gone well, so I was happy.

I had just gotten the twins fed and Susan down for an afternoon nap when two guilty looking boys showed up.

28

“Yes?” I asked, expecting to hear something bad.

Unfortunately, they were not about to disappoint me.

“Momma, we’re sorry to have to tell you this,” Laurent began, then looked uncomfortably at his older brother.

“It’s Marty,” was all Charles added.

“Well, where is she and what’s she done?”

“She won’t come in. She’s afraid you’ll faint.”

“What in the world?” Leela asked.

“When have I ever fainted. You tell her to march herself in here this minute.”

The boys quickly disappeared and after what seemed an eternity, Marty made her appearance.

29

As soon as I saw her, I thought perhaps I was the fainting kind because, at that moment, I would’ve liked nothing better than to pass out and wake up to find out I’d only been dreaming.

“Good heavens! What have you done to yourself?”

Her lower lip began to tremble and she quickly brushed a few tears away. “I wanted short hair like Charlie and Laurent.”

30

Leela and Alice were sympathetic but also trying to stifle their shock.

Sighing, I gave Marty a comforting hug. “Well, there’s nothing to be done about it now. What’s done is done. I guess you know now why we don’t cut our own hair.”

31

Much to Marty’s dismay, I found a hat for her to wear which did nothing to lift her spirits.

“You look like a girl!” Charles laughed.

“I am a girl!” she scowled.

“You children quit fighting before you wake Susan up. Go find something to do or I’ll find something for you to do! I think there’s another pile of clean diapers ready to be folded and corn that needs shucking.” I said, shooing them out.

Too late, Susan was already crying to get up.

 

 

58 comments

  1. I can understand why she didn’t tell Matthieu about the confrontation as I am not sure I would have told my husband either.

    Matt is so good with the kids. I don’t think Dax could have been that good a dad with all his emotional turmoil going on and still going on. It’s too bad that couldn’t have been taken away with the scars to fully give him a new life. He seems angry still over what happened to him and he needs to be working on that instead of marrying Paris chick.

    Awwww, the kids first haircut! All kids do something like this, although this was a little drastic. Good thing, hair grows back!

    Like

    1. LOL! Thank you, Bee. My daughter, when she about 2, actually cut one of her pigtails off and glued it to the wall. Fun times. 😀 😀

      The steady way Matt is, I could only imagine him as a good father. I agree that Dax would not have been ready to be the father the kids would need, so it really is best how things turned out.

      Dax does need to work on that, for sure. I think he’s going to take Matt’s advice.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow, I am so proud of Matthieu. I mean, it must have been really awkward when he was dragged right into Dax’s problems, when they were never really close and for some time even loved the same woman. He gave him a good advice and became an exceptionally good role model for his children, apologizing in front of them. Bravo! I hope Dax can figure himself out.
    Look at that Marthy, I love her so much. Little troublemaker. You know what’s more funny? When I was a child I, too, cut my own hair. Not that bad, it just was very irregular and looked rather funny. Ridiculous, haha. I’m liking her more with each passing chapter.
    You and Matthieu handled this chapter so well! Congratulations to you both.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Jowita. lol When I was thinking of what Matthieu should do, I thought about what my dad would have done and there you have it. 🙂

      I love Marty, too. She is a handful, though! lol I just told Bee in a comment about how my daughter once cut her pigtail off and glued it to the wall. She was supposed to be taking a nap! :O 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Thank you so much! 🙂 It’s okay to be team Dax, I just don’t know how satisfying that will be where Blue is concerned. But strange things have been known to happen. lol

      I love these children so much. They are really fun in game. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Worse looking haircut ever! Just where would a child get an electric razor and know how to use it? Yay for Laurent and his observations! But I’m really starting to like Charlie best. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for Matthieu for being the bigger person and being a good example for not only his children, but for Dax as well. Dax definitely needs, as we say on the mainland, a vacation LOL.
    It is interesting to see each of the children’s different personalities develop based on how each one of them reacted to the situation. Charles wanted to hit Dax for being mean to his mommy, while Laurent saw it from a more emotional point of view. And I see how much Marty feels out of place being the only older girl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, socallucyfan! 🙂 I couldn’t see Matthieu doing anything different when he realized his kids had seen what happened.

      I’m laughing at what you said about Dax needing a vacation. hahaha I was thinking that the people in Winchester probably didn’t do that sort of thing, or not very often, anyway. LOL

      I’m glad you think the children are interesting and that you can see how each is different in their own way. In the next chapter, their ages all change again, so we’ll be adding the younger ones to the mix. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh goodness. If Marty is a hand full now, I can’t wait to see what she will be like as a teenager.
        We also have this crazy thing called a “weekend” here in the mainland. Of course being a nurse I don’t get much of one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. hahahaha Yes, my fellow nurse, I totally understand the lack of weekends. You sure learn to appreciate the ones you get off. lol

          I imagine Marty as a teen might have some angst, but I reckon we’ll see. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh dear! That Marty. Sounds like me. I was such a tomboy. Matt did the right thing and perhaps Dax will find his way. I thought they were all brothers. Or related some how. Well, no matter. Maybe Dax will find his way, which will make it that much nicer for Collette, though I kind of gathered she didn’t really care for seeing where he came from, which will be interesting down the road. Will we hear from them again>

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jolie. 🙂 Haha you and Marty – I can see it now. 😀 As for Matt, I really couldn’t imagine him doing anything different with the temperament he has.

      Dax, Elliott and Agathe are siblings. Matt used to work for them on their farm. With so many characters roaming around in this story, I’m surprised I can keep them straight sometimes. lol

      That is an interesting thought about Dax and his girl. Yes, we’ll hear from them again but I’m not sure exactly when. I do need to think about his story some more and what he needs to do to straighten himself out. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, I agree with Cathytea. I still have a fondness & contact with my first love and who also happens to be a fellow blogger. We have a nice long distance friendship. We’re both up in years but I cherish our friendship, yet glad we never married. It can happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Matthieu is a very sensible person. And I think he told Dax something that can help him along. Maybe now he’ll figure his life out?
    And the kid’s first haircut 😂
    Well, who knows, maybe she’ll make a good hairdresser when she is older?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. oh my poor Marty, I think instead of a hat Blue should just cut the rest of her hair off and let it all grow back out.
    Matt taught his kids a good lesson and I am glad he was able to help Dax get some thing figured out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely think Blue made the right choice about who to marry. Even though I like Dax, I think marrying him would’ve led to much more turbulent times. Matthiew is so sweet and calm! And he interacts with his children so well, plus apologizing to Dax was a great example of how mature he is. Lol at Marty’s haircut 😂 What a typical kid thing to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Raymond. 🙂 I think Blue made the right choice, too, for the same reasons you mentioned.

      I love Dax but I really love Matthieu, too. I want everything to work out for the both of them.

      Oh, Marty…. she is a handful! hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You solved Matthew problem so beautifully that I almost cryed. And how he spoke later to Dax was so touching. The whole chapter was full of positive emotions… only poor Marty got it all wrong… for why should she want to look like his brothers… is can’t be thinking she is less loved… or will she? What kind of teenie will she turn to? A very complicated one, if she is like Blue was. I can’t wait to see! ♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, hafuhga. Your words are so encouraging and nice. Poor Marty will think twice about doing something like this in the future…. I hope. haha I don’t think she did it because she felt less loved. I think it was more an idea that overcame her, so she tried it. lol ❤ ❤

      Like

  11. It’s really sweet how Matt taught the kiddies a lesson, I’m glad he could also help Dax figure stuff out. I really love Matt! He reminds me of Liev a bit. Also. Marty no! Not the hair!! :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rosie. I really love Matt, too. I really couldn’t imagine him doing anything different in that situation because he is so responsible. You know, he is a little bit like Liev, but more proper. haha

      And, Marty…. thinking before acting is the better thing to do! LOLOL

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, this chapter was awesome! I’m even more fond of Matt now, he’s such a good father, and I have no doubts that he was the right one to marry. I love the logical way he explained what he did wrong to his kids and how kind and understanding he was to Dax. I’m so glad he talked it out with Dax and I hope the vacation by himself will do him well!
    And Marty’s haircut is just 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Thank you, Lila. Marty is so funny in game, I could totally see her doing something like that if she were a real child.

      I love Matt and am so glad he and Blue are together. Thank you for your beautiful comment, you said it so well. Hopefully, Dax takes that vacay and figures his life out. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Aw, Matthieu, you’re the perfect dad. ❤ I like how he got the kids to give their opinion on the matter, get them actually thinking about it. And then carting them off, to show (not tell) how to resolve the whole thing: Be the Better Man. Well done, Matthieu, well done.

    Dear lord, Marty! O_o She's a bit more impulsive than I first thought. But in a good (sometimes) way! XD I loved how the boys tiptoed in and were all like, "just by talking about this, we're in trouble." XD I adore this family!

    I never cut my own hair as a child. My parents always told "never try to cut your hair"; for fear of scissors and all that. However, my six-year-old self interpreted that as, "so it's fine to cut my sister's hair, then." And off I went, shaving my three-year-old sister's hair clean off on one side. Good times! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness – I’m laughing so hard right now after reading what you did to your sister! hahahaha

      Okay, I think I’ve caught my breath now, but that was too funny. 😛

      When I was thinking about what Matthieu should do, I thought about what my dad would have done and there you have it. lol

      And what the boys said to Blue, well, my own kids once did that with a family member whose drinking glass they’d broken. They came to us and said, “We’re sorry to have to tell you this, but we broke your glass.” 😛 😛 Such sweethearts.

      Thank you again, fluffy!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Good on Matt for being such an upstanding father and showing them how important it is to forgive and try to help others. He’s such a good role model.
    Oh my gosh, Marty’s hair though! I understand wanting to fit in and be one of the boys, but that’s not the way to go. Honestly if it was less of a drastic haircut I would find it amusing, but as it is there wasn’t much they could do to solve it. That’s definitely a lesson she won’t forget!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Matt handled that well with the kids. Kids need to know that people can make mistakes, even parents. It was a good lesson for them and he sets a good example for them.
    I hope Dax goes away somewhere just himself without Cosette. She would only cloud his thinking. He needs to figure out what he wants. Find out who he is. I don’t think becoming a famous painter is the right direction for him. If it was it would have happened by now. Maybe he’s been relying on Cosette too much or maybe her pushiness is a big turn off for some people and that’s holding him back. Whatever it is he’s not happy and I don’t think Cosette is going to help otherwise he’d have been happy in Paris. I didn’t get the impression he was all that happy there either if he had to pretend his past didn’t exist. He has to learn to accept himself before he can be happy in a relationship. Matt gave him some sound advise.
    Marty poor girl! She really mangled her hair lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will post another chapter about Dax soon. You’re absolutely right that he needs to go away without Cosette and he needs to know what it is like to rely on himself alone.

      I think Dax could have been happy in Paris if he’d left the past where it belonged and had accepted himself. But he just wasn’t there yet.

      Hopefully, he will discover his true purpose and the direction he should go. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love Matthieu!!! ❤ Not only did he kick Dax's butt in the previous chapter, he's also being the bigger person! 😀
    Ok ok, I feel a little bad for Dax, but I believe he didn't truly love Blue. He's just still a confused boy. That vacation is needed for sure!
    And oh my, what did Marty do? 😂 Does she want to be a boy that bad?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Matthieu, too! ❤ ❤

      You're most likely right about Dax. He still hasn't really lived, he just went from one dependent situation to another. Hopefully, his vacay provides some insight for him.

      Oh, Marty is a riot! haha

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I love the maturity and resolution here. It also helped me understand Dax more. I have to admit I hadn’t really connected with his character much and I’m not sure what makes him tick. I hope he finds his happiness though… without dragging anyone down in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Gaaaaah! Matthieu is so freakin SWEET! Good thing I’m seeing the dentist tomorrow. I’m quite sure I have cavities now. He’s an excellent father and role model for the children. And a good friend too.
    LOL @ Marty’s hair!
    I hope Dax gets himself figured out soon.
    Oh, and I like the pictures! Forgot to mention that a few chapters back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! LOL I hope your dentist wasn’t too disappointed! LOLOLOL

      I love Matt, probably because this is the way I figure my dad would have handled the situation.

      I haven’t updated anything about Dax yet, but I do have a plan. I think it’s safe to say, he’s grown up by now, thankfully. 😀

      Like

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