Confrontation Ch. 07bylannasage©
*Thanks again for the feedbacks guys, that's what keeps me going. Do rate and comment, cheers. This chapter is dedicated to TRELLYWELLDOITWELL* Olanna.
Rhea looked at her reflection in the mirror one last time, pleased with what she saw, she picked up her handbag and made her way to the door.
She had gotten a job in an accounting firm as a receptionist, it wasn't much, but it kept her busy and helped her make a decent pay. It was pertinent that she get a job recently since she didn't seem of much use anymore. She had begun a schedule with Mitch when she got the job concerning Jonas, he would pick him up at 7:00am to take him to school and she would drop by his place later in the day when she was returning home to pick him up.
This way, Jonas got to spend more time with Mitchell..not like he was interested in spending time with her since Mitchell's outburst over a week ago, Jonas had been withdrawn. Towards her, he didn't hate her, it was more like a feeling of betrayal , he didn't smile as much as he used to when he was around her he didn't talk much either.
She clearly remembered their conversation as she drove them home that day he had asked her casually why she hadn't told him Mitchell was his father and she had simply replied that the time hadn't been right.
"When were you going to tell me?" He asked, apparently not buying that excuse.
"At a later time she replied.
"But he was right here, he had always been, I don't get it. All you had to say was 'Jonas, Mitchell is your father' how hard is that?" He shot, his tone a little angrier.
She hadn't replied hi, because she couldn't give him a straight answer and she honestly couldn't explain to him, the complicated and highly shameful story of his conception, there were some things he would never know, that was for sure.
He had huffed and folded his arms when she failed to reply him.
"I'm sorry." She spoke after some minutes, it was a sincere apology.
Jonas didn't reply, he just stared out the window, that marked the beginning of his silent treatment.
It saddened her whenever she'd talk to him and get one-word replies, but once Mitchell was present, he morphed into a chatterbox, he had even began calling him 'Papa', not that she had a problem with that, it was Jonas' refusal to acknowledge her presence that caused her much worry, she supposed it was something she'd have to endure, to some extent, she deserved it.
She stepped out of the house and locked up the door behind her, just as she stepped off the porch, she noticed Jared's dark brown truck heading to the house, she frowned. She still partially blamed him for the fracas that led to her temporary fall out with Jonas, if only he hadn't gone running his mouth...
She watched the car come to a halt a few metres from hers and gave a brief look at her watch, she supposed she could spare ten minutes.
Jared got out of his truck. His eyes skimmed over her curvy frame, she looked dressed for work going by her grey colored fitted skirt that just brushed her knees, the turquoise blouse and a pair of low-heeled, black peep-toes, it was supposed to look conservative, but with a body like Rhea's it was difficult to pull off the conservative look.
When his eyes finally reached her face, he could instantly tell she was unhappy with him. He walked toward her, stopping when he was half a foot away, "hi" he began.
Rhea wanted to be pissed at him, yes, he did cause all of the drama she was going through right now, but looking at the bigger picture, he wasn't all that responsible, he was more of a blur in it all, "Hi." She replied, her voice as bland as possible.
Okay, so he had pissed her off, "How have you been?"
"I've been well."
The conversation felt like one being held by two estranged people, she hadn't called back to accept his proposal, so it was obvious she wasn't interested in dating him, this reception had solidified that fact...then again, he wasn't so sure he wanted her to accept the proposal either. Things with Rebecca had seriously muddled his feelings up, he still liked Rhea- a lot, but not as much as he had when he first asked her to date him, or over a week ago, when he had confronted Mitch because of her.
He scanned the area idly, unsure of what else to say, "Rhe.."
"I can't Jared." She cut in.
He creased his brows, "You...can't...what?"
Rhea sighed, "I really appreciate everything you've done for I and Jonas, but I can't date you, not now, not ever. I just have too much going on with me and I don't want you in all of my drama, I..." She took a moment off babbling and sighed in exasperation, "...I'm sorry." She finished solemnly.
Jared was quiet as he assessed the feelings those words brought, the first thing he realised was, he wasn't as gutted as he thought he should be, he was disappointed, yes, he was a bit sad, but he wasn't angry. Perhaps because inwardly, he had expected the rejection, perhaps that was why he has been bidding his time all these years, postponing the inevitable. He liked Rhea, but this was one battle he had lost before it's beginning.
"Oh..." That was the only word he could come up with at first. He knitted his brows, "I..is..." He sighed, thinking of a simpler way to ask his question, "Is this about Mitch?" It was still hard to ask, it left a bad taste in his mouth.
She shook her head, "No, I just can't do this." Technically, that wasn't a lie. Yes, Mitch was partly responsible, a teeny weeny part, but on the whole, this had more to do with her and her inability to commit to anyone, she had built her life around herself and then Jonas, she had never been relationship material, she thought she was too strong-willed for anyone to tolerate. The longest relationship she had had was 2 weeks, that was back when she was a teenager. It was safe to say she had no dating experiences as far as her adult life was concerned. The whole idea of a relationship with a man, or even a woman, did nothing for her.
He nodded, "I get it. I just...I hope it's okay with you if I still want to remain friends." He suggested, finding he felt better with that option.
Her initial reaction was surprise, and then after further thought, she realised she was talking with Jared, he was easy-going like that, if it had been Mitch...if it had been Mitch, she would have given him a chance- bitter truth. But this wasn't Mitch as much as she secretly wished it was, this was Jared.
"I...sure." She replied softly, her voice a mixture of disbelief and relief.
He smiled at her, thinking of how he'd call he'd call Rebecca once he got home, she would love the news, "Thank you." He reached out for a hug and she obliged him. He inhaled her scent, thinking this the last time he would get this opportunity, even the feel of her body against his would be missed. He knew what he had had for her was an infatuation, she felt nothing a woman should feel for a man for him, it was Mitchell she wanted, she wouldn't admit it, but that was another fact he had discovered at the amusement park.
He had to go to his Rebecca, the woman he wanted who actually wanted him too.
"Appetite. A-P-P-E-T-I-T-E Appetite." Jonas completed with a large smile just knowing he had gotten it right this time. He had been trying to correctly spell the word without missing or misplacing any word and his efforts were paying off.
Mitch had agreed to help him train for a Spelling Bee he planned to register for that was to hold sometime in early December. He had overheard his class teacher talking about it and thought he could surely qualify for the competition- never mind that it was organised solely for pupils from the 3rd to 9th grade. He knew he was smarter than some of the third graders, hence, as capable as they were to win a Spelling Bee.
"That is..." Mitch held off his verdict, letting Jonas feel just a little suspense before he finished, "..correct. Hi-five!" He said as he raised his palm in the air, Jonas smacked it. He had agreed to help him out with practices and though he knew Jonas wasn't eligible just fro the way he had evaded the question when he had asked of his eligibility, he wasn't about to rain on the kid's parade. Besides, this whole training thing not only helped them bond more, it also helped with Jonas' vocabulary, though he almost dreaded the next week when Jonas would realise he just couldn't manoeuvre his way through certain things.
Jonas jumped around in excitement, "What else, what else?" He asked suddenly feeling like he could actually win those snobby third graders and shut them up.
"That's all for today Jonas." Mitchell replied.
Jonas ceased his jumping, "What? No, no, we only just started" he protested, his voice filled with disappointment.
"Actually, we've been on this for an hour, besides, your mother will soon be here to pick you up." Mitch said with finality.
That information made Jonas sulk, "But I don't want to go, I want to spend the night here." He cried.
Mitch sighed, they had been going through this for some days now he liked the attachment, but it was sometimes hard to pry Jonas off when it was time to go, it was getting increasingly difficult and tiring.
"I thought we talked about this Jonas. You spend the day with me and your mother takes you for the night."
"It doesn't make it any better. Why can't you and mama just live together? It'll save us some money." He suggested.
Another sigh escaped Mitch's lips, Jonas had no idea how much he'd love that. He wasn't pleased with this arrangement either, he wanted to spend all day with Jonas if possible- and Rhea too. Yes, she wasn't really speaking to him since his little outburst, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be remedied. He had been considering talking to her about them and the possibility that they could be a real family, but he had yet to have the opportunity to do so the time was just never appropriate, maybe he could schedule something this weekend if Lynn wouldn't mind babysitting Jonas. He would suggest that to Rhea today.
For now, he just plastered a warm smile to his face and said, "I'll tell you wh(, we'll see what happens after your birthday."
"Really?" Jonas grinned from ear to ear
"Yep, speaking of which did you want me to get you again?" Mitch asked hoping his new line of questioning would divert the current topic.
Jonas shook his head, "You won't have to get me anything, I just want mama to come live with us." He replied softly.
Mitch felt a small cramp in his chest. Jonas sounded so...sad. He was going to get Rhea to come stay with them, he would get her to marry him and it damn sure wouldn't be one of mere convenience.
Rhea nearly tripped on Mitch's porch as she hurried to reach his front door. She was late. She had meant to pick Jonas up earlier, but she had been flooded with various be sorted out and had lost track of time. The traffic hadn't helped matters, she hated the evening traffic.
She rapped at the door once, then a second time, in her mind's eye, she had a picture of Mitch taking his time to swagger to the door, of course, typical Mitch. She heard the door click and watched it open just a tiny bit, what did he think she was, a criminal?
Mitch opened the door wider when he saw Rhea, she looked frazzled, like she had done a sprint to get here. He wondered why, sure, she was late, but it wasn't like she left Jonas with some old witch, he was pretty safe here, "It's about time." He muttered as she rushed in.
Rhea ignored him and looked around the house noticing that it was much more organized than it should be if a kid was around and quieter too, "Where's Jonas?" She asked, her voice filled with confusion and fear. A ton of possibilities crossed her mind, what if Mitch hadn't gone to pick him up on time? No, if he wasn't here, Mitch wouldn't be this calm.
"Good evening to you too, how was your say? Mine went well, thanks for asking." Mitch replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Normally, she would have a witty statement shot back at him, but she was much too exhausted to trade words with him today, he'd have to wait another day to piss her off. She sighed, "Just get me Jonas, please, I'm in no mood for your childishness." She replied, her voice telling of her fatigue
Mitch raised his brows, he didn't exactly like that she had spoken to him like an exasperated mother would a troublesome child, he wanted to reply her, but seeing that she truly was tired, and he wasn't prepared to argue with her especially when he wanted to try and sneak his way into her good books to ready them both for his proposal, he let it go, "He's asleep in my room..." He began, he saw panic flash in her eyes and instantly quelled her doubts knowing just what she was thinking, "...yes, I made sure he had dinner, took his bath and brushed his teeth before he went to sleep, we even said prayers."
Rhea released another sigh and without a thought said, "Thank you." In her most sincere tone. She knew this was his duty, nothing he deserved a pat on the back for, but knowing Mitchell was the farthest from being a 'fatherly' man, it was good to know that he could take care of Jonas without her help...she paused in her thoughts, was that really a good thing? It wouldn't exactly be in her favor if he chose to seek full custody. Then again, he hadn't mentioned the custody thing since he threatened her with it at her house so she was starting to let her guard down just a little, but not so much that he could take her unawares.
Mitchell was momentarily surprised, had she just thanked him? And in a nice way, not that half-hearted shit she usually did. She must really be exhausted, he thought, "You're welcome." He heard himself say. An awkward silence cloaked the for some minutes, each nursing the fact that an invisible chunk of the large wall they had built to protect themselves from each other's spite had fallen off.
"Your bedroom is down the hall?" She asked to break the silence that made her highly uncomfortable. Again, the humor in their situation wasn't lost on her. She had a child for this an and she didn't even know where his bedroom was.
He nodded, "Yes..." She made her way toward it without waiting for the end of his sentence, "Rhea, wait." He called out.
She stopped walking and turned toward him, she had never hear her name sound so...good, coming from his lips. When he said it normally, it sounded to her like he thought it venomous, perhaps it was just her ears making everything that escaped his lips sound vile, what had changed? She wondered, "Yes?"
"I.." He sighed, "If you can make time this weekend, I'd like us to talk."
Fear gripped Rhea at those words, talk? Talk about what? What was there to talk about? Was he going to tell her that he had contacted his lawyer concerning the custody case? What could he want to talk about? Her thoughts were in a riot, quieting the voices in her head, she found the voice to speak, "I...what for?" She asked after getting some saliva in her dry mouth.
"I just want us to straighten some things out. Before you reject, this is beyond just the two of us, it's for the good of Jonas." He added.
His mentioning of Jonas hadn't eased her fears, "H...how do you mean?"
Was she scared? No, it wasn't possible, she couldn't be scared, she was Rhea Myers, she was no wuss, "Like I said, if you're free this weekend, I want us to talk. We can't right now and it'll be better if Jonas isn't here either. Just the two of us."
Rhea nodded, "Sure." She replied. She was scared of what it meant, but she understood the implication, this little talk was long overdue. She just hoped it had nothing to do with what she thought it did.
Rebecca opened up her phone's inbox and read the message one more time. She had to be sure that she hadn't been seeing things, that this was real and not her mind deceiving her. Never mind that a call had followed minutes after the message when she hadn't replied as quickly as he expected, she was still unsure.
Her eyes devoured the message one more time, it was quite brief:
Hey, I was just wondering if you'd be free this weekend,maybe you and I could have dinner some time this weekend. It's okay if you don't want to.
He was asking her on a date. She had been ecstatic, just when she thought she was fighting a losing battle, it seemed fate had dealt her a lucky hand. There had been no signs that there would be such a turn-around on his part, after their kiss at their reunion, there had been none other, there were hugs and intimate touches, but whenever it seemed like they were crossing the line, he was quick to set things straight in a polite manner. Why the sudden change?
Once the excitement died down, she found herself thinking of why he wanted more to do with her, what could have happened between him and his lady love? Had she rejected him? Was that why he was running to her? As the second choice? Was she just the side chick he ran to because the main girl he wanted didn't want him?
She had accepted the date, not just because she really wanted to see if they could pick up from where they left off, but also, to be sure of where exactly he stood with her, to let him know in no uncertain terms that she wouldn't play second fiddle. She did love him, he was her first and only love, but she wanted his assurance that he felt the same about her before she returned to Boston on Sunday.
She had chosen to take a taxi to the restaurant they were to meet, declining his offer to drive them both there, the last thing she needed was riding with him to a romantic date, she needed to have her thoughts in order when she told him just how she felt about his turn-around.
"We're here." The cabbie, a salt and papper-haired man whose age she guessed to be mid forties said. She liked the man, he had made her comfortable once she got in with his nice ☺ that reached playful sky-blue eyes, she liked that rather than ogle her like she was used to from other cabbies, he had simply appraised and complemented her, but had gone no further. She especially liked the southern twang in his voice too. They had shared a little chat on their way here, he had told her she reminded him of a friend of his, by the sound of regret in his voice, it was easy to tell that the friend in question had been more than platonic, he hadn't given away any more information and she hadn't probed for more, he had told her as much as he was comfortable with and she was fine with that.
She gave him a warm smile, "Thank you Harry, how much is my bill?" She asked as she opened her clutch.
He waved her question away, "Nah, you ain't gotta pay me, I'm glad I got the chance to drive a pretty lady like you around. Your date's one lucky fella."
Rebecca's face showed her surprise, she wasn't used to such generosity, "Thank you Harry, have a great evening."
"You too Miss." He replied
With that Rebecca stepped out of the car, she turned to wave Harry goodbye and watched him drive off. She turned to look at the elegant building that was the restaurant she was to meet Jared. With a deep sigh, she walked into the restaurant, it was time to face her fears...or her future
Jared fiddled with his phone as he awaited Rebecca's arrival. He was nervous. And rightly so. He hadn't expected her to accept his invitation, her failure to reply his initial text had caused him to worry, hence why he had called her. He was glad she hadn't turned him down.
Now, came the hard part. He had a lot of things he was itching to tell her, but would she believe him? She would never have doubted his word when they were teenagers, but the circumstances they found themselves in brought up that possibility. Rebecca was no fool, he had always known that, his intention wasn't to make a fool of her, but what if she thought so? What if she thought he was a user? He couldn't stand that thought, a chill ran down his body and he seemed to hyper ventilate at the possibility that she would call his bluff.