Cry Me a River PG-13 Edition (3 page)

BOOK: Cry Me a River PG-13 Edition
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“Hey, I’m going by Heather’s
parent’s house to make arrangements for Lucy to live here with me.  That room you’re staying in will be redecorated for her.  Basically, I’m saying you can’t crash here anymore,” I say as I pour a cup of coffee.

Stewart stopped shoving the bacon Kendra made in his mouth for a brief second to stare at me.  “You want her here like
every day dude?”

Typical Stewart reaction, all he’s worried about is where he’ll be able to park his drunk ass.  He lives at home with his sick mother, so I can’t give him too much crap.  “Like
, totally dude!”  I reply sarcastically.

____________________________________________

Chapter Two

Never to suffer would never to have been blessed

~Edgar Allan Poe

The ride to Heather’s parents is only about fifteen minutes, so I spend the drive praying they’re home.  The neighborhood is non-descript with its overpriced houses and five different floor plans.  The pond I’ve had to have passed a thousand times has a huge water fountain shooting out from the middle.  I don’t remember ever seeing it before.  How can something so pretty be overlooked so many times? 

I pull up to their house with its American flag
and memorial wreath on the door.  I remind myself they just lost their daughter and Lucy is a part of her.  I have to remember not to remind them, she’s a part of me too.  Alan answers the door, a look of aggravation flashes across his face as he looks at me.

“Caide, what are you doing here?”  He asks curtly.

Trying to find something to do with my hands, I put them in the front pockets of my shorts.  “I’m here to see Lucy, she’s my daughter.”  I grit my teeth to keep me from saying something that will turn into a fight.  “My daughter lost her mother, she needs her father.  If you don’t mind, I’d like to see her.” 
Or I’m going to bust you in the lip, asshat!

“I do mind
, as a matter of fact.  You can’t just barge in here any time you want,” He raises his cigar to his mouth, trying to intimidate me or something. 

Smoke until you’re six feet under
, dumbass.  Like I’m scared of you with your half-lung. 
“Alan, I didn’t come to fight, I want to see Lucy.”

“Whoever’s at the
door let them in; you’re wasting the air conditioning.”  Darla says as she pulls back the door and sees Alan and I having our friendly talk.  “Oh, I see.”

“Caide is here to see Lucy,” Alan says.

“Is that so?  Today isn’t good for us.  Call next week,” Darla blurts out.

“Next week?  What are you?  High?  I’m seeing my daughter now.”

“You can’t…truth be known, she’s asleep.”

I hear a child’s voice and
a girl’s voice I’ve never heard before.  “Miss Darla, can I take Lucy to the neighborhood park?  She’s all fresh from her nap.”   A girl who’s holding Lucy on her hip comes to the door. 

“Lucy, hey baby…did you have a good nap?”  Lucy looks up at the sound of my voice and her face
breaks out into a huge grin.  Lucy leans forward as far as she can without losing her balance. I hold my arms out to her and she wiggles away from the girl.

“We haven’t met.
I’m Caide…Lucy’s dad.”  The girl’s eyes go wide as if she’s scared of me.  “Are you a relative of Heather’s?”

“No, I’m the nanny.  I’ve been caring for Lucy since the beginning of July.”

“Damn Caide, who says you can bombard in on us like this?  We’re mourning our daughter,” Darla complains.

My gut is tellin
g me to grab Lucy and run.  “I understand, Darla.  I was the one who called you trying to get help for her.  You act as if it’s my fault.  I loved her too!  She was the mother of my daughter; I’m not a complete…” I want to say
dick
but I don’t, “jerk.  I planned on her being my wife one day!”  I shout and Lucy puckers up in tears.  My arms go around her and pull her in tighter; she sets her head on my shoulder.  “It’s okay Goosey Lucy, I didn’t mean to shout. You okay?”  I whisper in her ear.  Lucy shakes her head yes and snuggles in tighter.  All of this is happening in the doorway of their cookie cutter house, in their cookie cutter neighborhood. 

Darla
turns away from Alan, to look at me.  “Come in before the neighbors start to gossip.”

I reluctantly follow them into the kitchen.  The last time I was here was to pick up Heather and Lucy
for a night out.  Nothing’s changed, same coffee cup boarder around the room and fake flower arrangement on the round breakfast table.  I pull out a wooden chair, trying to tuck the plastic tablecloth edge so Lucy won’t pull on it.   The no-name nanny puts a plastic cup full of Animal Crackers in front of Lucy.  She squeals in delight and fills her hand full of the tasteless cookies.

“You have a lot of nerve showing up here Caide,” Alan snarls.

“Don’t you think this is a discussion better held when I don’t have my daughter in my lap?”  I kiss Lucy on the neck to reassure her everything’s fine.

“Erin, please take Lucy to her room and play with her.  Caide will come back there when we’re finished talking,” Alan orders the now-named nanny
, Erin.

Instead of fighting him over where Lucy should be, I hand her to Erin. 
Darla stands and pours three glasses of sweet tea.  She knows I love her tea, so I don’t say anything.  She’s still the Southern Belle, even when she dislikes her guest.  As she sits down, she puts a platter of cookies on the table and slides the centerpiece over to the side.

I remind myself they are grieving, hell, I am too.  “Look, I’m not here to cause trouble.  I’m here to see my daughter, this is a big change for her too.”

“It wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you.  You’re the reason Heather started doing drugs in the first place, now she’s dead!”  Darla wipes a tear from her eye.

Breathe, I remind myself.  “I’m the reason she became a junkie?  You’re kidding me. 
You know I called you to help her.  I loved her, don’t you get that?  I thought she would do better living with you guys.  How can you sit here and look me in the eyes and say it’s my fault?”  My stomach clenches at the memory of bringing her here.  She begged me not to make her live with them.  She hated the way they controlled her.  I fight to keep control of my anger, or I’d have a field day with them.  “I cut her off, how is that enabling her?  I heard you bailed her out of jail for a possession charge.  Didn’t think I’d hear about it; did you?  I have eyes and ears too.  Maybe, if she spent a little time in jail, she would have cleaned up a little bit.  No, mommy and daddy insisted their little princess couldn’t be in a dirty cell.  I’m not here for finger pointing.  I’m here because I have a daughter who will be coming home to live with me,” I blurt out.

They both gasp as if I just told them I was a serial killer.  “You can’t take her!”
  Darla jumps up, catching the table with her thighs making it lift a little.  Alan reaches for her hand and tells her to sit down.

“Why would she live with you?  You’d take her from her home, the only familiar place she’s had as a constant in her life?”  Alan asks.

Remember, they lost their daughter, they’re grasping for straws
, I remind myself.  “I’m her father, that’s why.  She is legally my daughter and I want her to live with me.  You see how she reacts to me when I’m around.  You can’t deny me my daughter.”

“We’re not denying you anything.  Don’t you think this is a little soon?  She lost her mother a few days ago.”

Everything in me wants to scream and shout to shut up and give me my daughter.  Alan and I are going to butt heads all day I can tell.  “Alan, I know she lost her mother this week.  You both act as if I don’t care; you know I do, I want nothing but the best for Lucy.  Don’t try to act as if Lucy is better off with you.  I’m not the one who was a junkie.”

Darla
sits back down, a look of determination on her face.  “Caide, honey, we want the best for both you and Lucy.  You don’t want to take her tonight do you?”

Suddenly I’m honey?
“No, I’m calling a service to come decorate her room and get it all ready for her.  I still have her nursery set up for a newborn; it’s time to get it ready for a toddler.  Don’t think I’m going to keep her away from you.  I want her to have you in her life and I’m sure you want the same thing.  I want you to be at her birthday parties and her dance shin-digs.  This isn’t a good-bye, but it is notice that I want my daughter to live with me.”  I’m proud of myself for not jumping up and down and pitching a holy-hell fit.

Alan’s
face is a deep crimson red; his blood pressure is probably elevated.  “What is your timeline?”  He runs his hands through his hair nervously.  His nose is too large for his face, one of the traits I prayed Lucy wouldn’t have. 

“I was hoping to have her with me within a month.  Sooner rather than later.”

“We’re planning a road trip to the mountains next weekend, but the following weekend you can come visit her,” Alan says slowly.

Darla
’s mouth falls open, her eyes bulging, her nose crinkled up, adding a few years to her face.  “What are you doing Alan?” She glares at him as she spits out the words.

He pats her hand and assures her everything will be fine.
  I sigh in relief.

After a few minutes
, it’s agreed on that I’ll pick Lucy up for dinner on Thursday evening. Thank God I’m finished with them.  I can live the rest of my life without another one of Darla’s pissed off looks and Alan’s sneers. 

Erin the nanny and Lucy are sitting on the floor with a box of blocks.  Instead of making Erin leave, I join them.  She’s kind to
Lucy; I can tell they have a bond.  Looks like I should ask Erin to work for me.  I wonder if she minds coming out to the beach. 

Her face is
young; she looks fifteen, not really my thing. She has the wholesome looks of Jennifer Lawrence, with dark hair.  She’s tall for a girl, almost as tall as me.  My dad would call her a tall drink of water.  I’m six feet and rarely look a girl eye to eye without heels on.  She’s tan, probably from the Country Club pool and she doesn’t have on any make-up.  Even though she’s cute, she’s not my type.  She seems to be a straight-laced girl, which is great for Lucy and even better that I feel comfortable to have her nanny at my home.  I’ll have to keep Stewie away from her though.  “Hey Erin, how long have you been working here?”

Her eyes go wide as if I asked her what her breast size is.  “Well, ah….I’ve been here for a few months.”  Her accent is British, I didn’t catch it when she took Lucy earlier.

“Are you a live-in nanny?”

“Yes, I live here.  I stayed in my room when Miss Heather was home and awake.  Well, ah…if she was sober.  I like Lucy very much Mr. Caide.  It’s sad what happened to…”

“Yeah, I know.  Try not to say her name, I think it will be easier on little Goosey Lucy,” I say and I lean over and pull Lucy into a hug and tickle her.   

Erin stayed and played
with us.  Her interaction with Lucy was cute and full of happy laughter.  I stopped myself a couple of times from calling out for Heather to come and see how cute Lucy’s being.  I’m not happy they’ve hired a nanny without giving me any say-so over who is the primary care giver of my daughter, but it’s not worth fighting over.  Erin’s a nice girl and I will offer her the same job with me.  I guess I better buy a car for her to drive Lucy around town in. 

Everything was perfect, until Lucy started to get tired and cried for her mama.  My heart felt as though it was ripping away from my chest-wall. 
I rocked her and held her close, until she calmed down enough to feel comfortable about leaving.  I turned and noticed Darla is in the doorway watching us.  I abruptly stood up and told Lucy I’d be back to see her later in the week.  She doesn’t know the difference between this week and last week, but I try to give her a timeframe.  My dad always told me to be the kind of man I’d want my daughter to date one day, because girls tend to find men like their dad.  Watching Lucy cry for her mom made me angry at Heather and I wanted to get away.  Before I gathered up Lucy’s things and shoved them in my car and ran away with her, I decided it was time to go.  Relief washed over Alan’s face as I headed for the door.  I wanted to turn to him and tell him to kiss my ass, but I didn’t.  Darla stood at the door and waved good-bye to me as though she and I were best friends and she hated to see me leave. 
Yeah, whatever.  Up yours Darla, and your stupid house and dumb-ass neighbors! 

 

____________________________________________

 

 

August 11

 

I’m in my office with part of the crew.  One of the producers has an obsession with my desk and he’s sitting at it to make a phone call.  It isn’t the kind of desk like my dad’s big wooden one.  No, it is frosted glass that lights up to a light blue.  It’s amazingly cool in the dark.  I’ve always fantasized of having sex on it, so much so I looked up the weight limit to make sure it can hold it.  It’s reinforced and the glass is over an inch thick, so when the time comes, if it does, the desk won’t break.

My segment on how to grill the perfect steak for the Foodie Network is filming in an hour.  I have a live audience of twenty people for the show.  Originally, they tried to make me do it in front of a hundred fans.  I tried it once, after that, I told the network I would take a maximum of thirty people, but would prefer twenty or less. I like to interact with the audience and don’t feel like I can get up and personal with a great big crowd. There’s a lottery for the tickets on Mondays for shootings on Tuesdays. 

My assistant is
, Becky, she’s bubbly and silly, the audience always loves her. We have a good time teasing her on the show because she’s so short.  I’m always asking if she needs a step stool to reach the counter. I have no idea how tall she is. Heather said she was probably no taller than five feet.  She has a massive amount of dark, curly hair that hangs to her shoulders. She married one of the producers this past spring, so she’s off limits.  I don’t mess with married chicks.

BOOK: Cry Me a River PG-13 Edition
5.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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