Tuesday, October 2, 2018

1.9 Approaching

Franco looked sideways at his older sister. Since they learned that their father is a famous actor, Bellandra spends several hours reading the celebrity section in the newspaper or researching in the library's computers, but never wants to talk about him.


"Bell..." Franco started tentatively, thinking about how he was going to explain to her that together with Ramira they'd decided to meet their father.

The teen sighed and left the paper on the coffee table.

"I have homework to do for tomorrow."

Normally, Franco give up at that moment but this time it wouldn't be like that. So with all the determination of a nine year old boy he followed his sister and sat in front of her. She's not going to ignore him.


"Ramira and I have decided that we are going to meet dad."

"What?" She asked softly.

"What you heard. We want to meet Devin."

Bellandra threw the pencil at the table in frustration, her concentration to study had evaporated with her brother's comment.

"The truth is that I don't want to see him yet." 

Ramira chose that moment to to join the conversation.

"We could tell mom that only we two want to see him." She said looking at the sad face of his older sister. Although Ramira didn't understand why Bellandra didn't have the same desire as her and Franco, she didn't want to make her sister feel bad.


The three remained silent for several minutes.


There was so much seriousness in her siblings' faces that Bellandra couldn't deny them what they wanted.

"I'm going to talk to mom for you." She finally said, knowing that that was what the twins wanted,  the help of their older sister. "But I still don't want to see him, so I'm going to tell mom that this is from you two alone."

"Thank you, Bell."

"You're the best, sis."


Hours after talking with her eldest daughter, Zoe took courage and called Devin.


Zoe, ignoring the knot in the pit of her stomach, asked if they could see each other since she had something important to talk about with him.


Devin found himself in front of the house of the woman he always had in his thoughts. The call of the previous evening had left him intrigued, and a bit worried too.


Zoe was nervous on the phone and had choked several times, at the end she sighed resignedly and asked to see him. But resigned why?

When the door opened, he saw that Zoe's nerves from the night before were nothing compared to the ones reflected on her face. The greeting was awkward and Devin remembered clearly that the last time they had a full conversation had been the day he had informed her of his engagement to Caroline.

They sat on a sofa, the house had been enlarged a little since the last time he had visited, and he wondered, like so many other times, if she had someone in her life. It wouldn't be surprising, she was a beautiful woman inside and out. If so, he hoped it wasn't a draining relationship like he had with Caroline.

Devin shook his head, it wasn't time to think about his troubling fiancee when Zoe was in front of him sitting stiff like a rock.


"I think I'll have to be the one to break the ice."

Zoe thanked him with a smile. "Sorry, I'm really nervous."

"I can see that, though I don't understand why."


The woman was silent again, trying to find the right way to explain it to him.

"There's something I should have told you a long time ago." She began with a trembling voice, he looked at her worried.

"What's wrong?"

Zoe ran her hands through her hair and breathed deeply.

"I have four children." She started tentatively. "Three biologicals and one adopted."

Devin looked away from her toward the window, a strange heaviness had settled in his stomach. So she was married or at least she'd formed a family with another person. During all the years they hadn't seen each other, Zoe had been persistently in his thoughts and a very selfish part of himself had wanted her to stay single.

"So are you married?" He asked still not looking at her.

"No, I am a single mother." She said biting her lips.

Devin turned sharply.


"What?!" He couldn't avoid exclaiming. He didn't understand why that response had altered him, his heart had accelerated as if his body had understood something that his mind couldn't.

"I never told their father." Zoe continued speaking as if Devin hadn't interrupted her. "I tried several times to do it but... I always cowed..." She lowered her eyes to her knees. "I'm sorry Devin, I should have told you."

Devin kept looking at her, understanding in his eyes and words trapped in his throat. "I am a father... all this time, all this years." He clenched his hands tightly. "And you never told me. Why?"

Zoe opened her mouth to say something but Devin interrupted her. "Why?! WHY?!" He got up suddenly and started walking around the room, Zoe watched him without saying anything.


"I'm a father and I don't even know the name of my children! How old are they? Are they boys or girls? What color are their eyes?!" He took a deep breath looking away. "God, Zoe. Why?"

She approached gently "Bellandra is fourteen and the twins, Franco and Ramira, are almost ten years old."


"Twins." He said with a forced laugh. "You shocked me so much that I didn't stop to think that you could only get pregnant twice while being with me."

In the middle of his tirade, Devin went to the door and Zoe immediately followed him.

"You're leaving?"


"I don't know! Like I don't know anything about my children or why are you telling me all this now?!"

"Because they want to know about you." She said through clenched teeth, trying to stay calm.

He stopped short and turned to her with a mixture of emotions. "They want?"

"Yes, they want to meet you. Well, Ramira and Franco want to meet you."

"And Bellandra?" He tested the name in his mouth. It was the first time he said his daughter's name and it left a bittersweet taste.

She thought of the way to say it delicately so that the blow will not be so strong. "She needs more time."

"So my daughter doesn't want to know me." He said getting angry again. "This is your fault."


"Hey! It's not all my fault. I was going to tell you when I got pregnant with the twins but that same day you told me that you were engaged to that Custard woman. A relationship that you denied to have a few days before, in case you don't remember."

"That has nothing to do with this." He said raising his hands up.

"Of course it does, do you think that didn't weigh on my decision?!"


"And Bellandra? You have no excuses for hiding that pregnancy?"

Zoe gave a frustrated cry. "I was nineteen and pregnant of an upcoming actor that traveled all the time. I was scared of your reaction, of you acusing me of trying to hang on to your fame. And when the twins came and you were engaged my fears transformed into what would happen if you wanted to take them to raise them with your fiancée." Some tears had fallen from her eyes.

Devin looked at her closely, the whole fight had left him tired and empty. "I would never..."

"I know, Devin. I know. It was my fears talking and fears sometimes are irrational."


The silence that came after the fight went on for a long time, the man's eyes searched every corner of the room looking for a sign of children but, except for a video game console, there's none. When he looked at her again, he found Zoe's eyes watching him intently.

"I'm not ready to forgive you."

"I know." She said in small voice.

"But I want to know everything about them."

Zoe smiled tremulously. "Come to the couch again? Better to be comfortable for everything we have to talk about."


They talked for the rest of the afternoon, Devin absorbed every detail that Zoe shared trying to recreate memories that he would never really have. It was unfair to be new in his children life, to accept that perhaps his eldest daughter will never want to meet him.

When the door closed behind Devin, Zoe stood in the middle of the room thinking that their life would not be the same anymore.

5 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I can understand why Devin would be angry! But good for Xoe for finally telling everyone the truth. I hope they can all move past this :)

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    1. That's the idea. Devin in the game was quite present in his children's lives, he's always calling to talk with someone in the house or inviting Zoe to a date. I really like him so I want to include him as much as possible.

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  2. Very interesting story line and character development plus your English is getting more fluent with every post :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! Writing the blog is helping me a lot with the language. I know I'll have a lot to improve and it's good to have feedback.

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