Never Too Far (Chapter 39)
Seven days and Nan still hadn't opened her eyes. My mother was stopping by less and less. Grant was starting to be the only visitor that stayed around and showed up regularly. Abe stopped by once a day for only a few minutes at a time. It was Nan and me against the world once again.
"You need to call her," Grant said, breaking the silence. I knew who he was talking about. Blaire was constantly on my mind. I felt guilty as I sat here staring at my sister and all I could think about was Blaire.
"I can't," I replied, unable to look at him. He'd see that I'd given up hope if I did.
"This isn't fair to her. Woods said she isn't coming around and she hasn't called him in three days. He keeps a check on things through Bethy but even Bethy isn't sure Blaire is going to stay much longer. You just need to call her."
Leaving me would be the best thing she ever did. How could I be what she deserved if I was torn between my sister and her all the time? I couldn't keep Nan safe. How could she trust me to keep her and our baby safe?
"She deserves better," I managed to say it aloud. Instead of just chanting it in my head.
"Yeah, she probably does. But she wants you."
God, that hurt. I wanted her too. I wanted our baby. I wanted that life I let myself pretend we could have. How could I give that to her if my sister never woke up? I'd be riddled with guilt and pain. I wouldn't be the man she deserved. This would eventually eat at me until I was worthless to anyone.
"I can't," was all I managed to say.
Grant swore and stood up, slinging his jacket on the floor before he walked out of the room slamming the door behind him. He didn't understand. No one did. I just stared at the wall across from me. I was starting to go numb. I was losing everything I'd ever let myself love.
The door opened and I looked over expecting to see Grant. Instead it was Abe. I wasn't in the mood to see him. He'd deserted the two people I loved most in the world at some point in their lives.
"Why the fuck do you even come here? You don't give a shit," I snarled.
Abe didn't respond. He walked over to the chair that Grant had just vacated and sat down. He never sat down and stayed for any length of time. The fact he was going to right now didn't sit well with me. I needed to be alone.
"I do give a shit. Your mother doesn't know I'm here. She wouldn't approve of what I'm about to tell you. But I think you deserve to know."
There was nothing that man had to say that I wanted to hear but I remained silent and waited. The quicker he said what he wanted the sooner he'd be gone.
"Nanette isn't my daughter. Your mother has always known that. She wanted Nan to be mine but we both knew when she got pregnant that it was impossible. We'd been broken up for over eight months when she called me. She had just found out she was pregnant and she was scared. She was still in love with your dad which was why we broke up to begin with. I couldn't live up to the legend that was Dean Finlay. I wanted to be enough for someone. I never would be for Georgianna. But I loved her and she was worried about how she was going to manage another child. I was young and stupid so I went back to her and we talked about marriage. I told her I'd have to think about it." He stopped and looked over at me. I was still reeling from the fact that he wasn't Nan's father.
"Once I got there Georgie was leaving you with Dean whenever she could and still going out with friends as if she wasn't pregnant. She wouldn't tell me who the dad was. I had just about met my limit when Rebecca came to visit." His eyes went soft and he briefly closed them. I'd never seen the man show that much emotion.
"She was gorgeous. Long blond hair that looked like it was spun by angels. The biggest green eyes I'd ever seen and so damn sweet. She loved you. She didn't like your mother taking you to Dean. She worried you weren't safe with a bunch of rock stars. She kept you when your mother went out. She made you these pancakes with Mickey Mouse ears that you loved. I was drawn to her and I couldn't leave. Your mother used us both for awhile. Rebecca wouldn't leave because she worried about you. And I wouldn't leave because I'd fallen in love with Becca." This was not the story my mother had told me. This wasn't the story I'd been led to believe all these years but now that I'd met Blaire… that I knew her… this made a hell of a lot more sense.
"Your mom came home drunk one night. She wasn't far along in her pregnancy and she announced that Dean was the daddy of this baby too. I was furious that she'd been drinking and even more furious that your father had done this yet again with no intention of doing right by Georgie. So I called him and told him I wanted to talk to him. The talk didn't go well. He said that the baby wasn't his. If it was his he'd gladly claim it but it wasn't. She'd been sleeping with the lead singer of Slacker Demon for over a month. The baby wasKiro's and well, you've grown up around Kiro. You know him well enough to know he isn't father material."
Kiro was Nan's father? I buried my face in my hands as different memories came back to me. Kiro coming over late yelling and cursing at my mom about stealing his kid.Kiro calling my mom a cheap slut and hoping 'his girl' didn't end up the same way. I'd forgotten those things. Or I'd just blocked them out.
"Through this Becca and I got closer. Dean took you and swore he was going to take care of what was his. Your mother cursed and shoved Becca down a flight of stairs calling her names I will not repeat and told us both to leave after she caught me kissing Becca one night. We left after that. Becca cried a lot because she was worried about you. She always worried about you."
When he talked about Becca all I could see was Blaire's face. Her sweet innocent face and my chest felt like it was about to explode.
"I asked Becca to marry me. She agreed. Weeks after our honeymoon we found out she was pregnant with twins. Those girls were my world. I adored the ground they walked on just as much as I adored their mother. Never a day went by that I wasn't thankful for the life I'd been given." He stopped and choked on a sob.
"Then one day Val and I were driving back from shopping. We'd gone to get her some shoes for volleyball. Her foot had grown over the summer but Blaire's hadn't. They were nearly identical but it was starting to look like Blaire might be the shorter one out of the two. We were laughing about me singing along to some silly boy band on the radio. I missed… I missed the red light. We were hit on Val's side of the car by a truck going eighty miles an hour." He stopped and ran a hand over his face to wipe the tears and let out another sob.
"I lost my baby girl. I hadn't been paying attention. With her, I lost my wife who couldn't look at me and my other daughter who was only a shell of the girl she'd been. Then you showed up with that picture of Nanette and instead of sticking it out and being the man my girls needed me to be, I fled. I told myself they deserved more than I could give them. I'd never be able to forgive myself. I'd never be able to move on and seeing me would only hurt them more. So I left them. I hated myself then; I hate myself now. But I'm a weak man. I should have stayed. When I found out Becca was sick I went on a drinking binge. The idea of a world without Becca in it was impossible for me to accept. But going to see my vibrant wife, who I loved and will always love, lying there dying wasn't something I could do. I'd buried my daughter. I couldn't bury my wife. Because I was weak I left my baby girl to bury her momma. I will never forgive myself for that." He finally looked my way.
"All you see is a selfish man who only thinks of himself. You're right. I don't deserve anyone's love or forgiveness. I don't want it. Your mother and Nan wanted me. They both acted like they needed me. I could pretend with them. The truth is your mother is as lost and broken as I am. Maybe for different reasons but we're both empty inside. I was going to come clean with all this and tell Nan three months ago. I couldn't continue this farce. I just wanted to go sit by my wife's grave and grieve. But then Blaire called me. She needed me, but I had nothing to give. So I lied to her. I didn't know much about the man you'd become but I knew one thing. You loved fiercely. You would do anything for your sister. I had no doubt in my mind that the moment you laid eyes on Blaire that she'd get to you. The sweet gentle spirit that was in her mother is in Blaire. Val was me. But Blaire… she is my Becca. She is so much like her. No man can be around her and not love her. I wanted someone strong and capable of taking care of her. So I sent her to you." He wiped away the rest of his tears and stood up. I was speechless.
"Don't become me. Don't let her down like I did. You only deserve what you make yourself worthy of. Do what I couldn't. Be a man." Abe turned and walked out without another word.