The Curse of the Scots Ch. 07bycarvohi©
Cayden rails against God, Caprice pleas for forgiveness, and Angie emerges
I watched her as she ran out of the restaurant. I wanted to run after her. I wanted to catch her, stop her, I wanted to hold her, wrap her in my arms and never let her go. I wanted to smother her in kisses. I wanted...I needed to save...protect her! God, I wanted to tell her she didn't have to go.
Del was outside on the parking lot when I got there. He murmured. His words were toneless, "She's gone, huh."
I dully replied, "Yeah, she's gone."
"What are you going to do now?"
Shrugging my shoulders while trying to hide my eyes I replied, "Angie wanted me to pick her up and take her home after... after she left. I guess I'll go over to her stand."
I could see Del had been crying. He told me, "I'll be at the barns if you need me."
I tried to smile, "OK, thanks Del," I got in my truck and started to Angie's stand.
Cayden got me and took me back to my mother's. Emily would be home soon. I'd told my baby about Caprice that morning. She cried at first; then she'd gotten angry. She wanted to know why I couldn't make her stay. Emily had come to love Caprice as much as I did.
Caprice and I had talked about our relationship. I told her I didn't consider myself a lesbian, but even so I knew that I loved her, that I loved being with her, and I knew life without her would be unbearable.
When we talked Caprice had no idea what was coming; just the same she seemed to understand that I was in turmoil. She explained that while she'd been a whore she'd learned men generally saw her, and the women like her as little more than meat, she and the other women were objects men would use and maybe brag about later. Whores she said weren't people; they weren't human beings.
Caprice explained that she and the other women often turned to each other when they needed companionship and affection. She told me the feelings we had for each other might have involved sex, but it was really more about the closeness and the need to love and be loved. She even joked once that while men laughed and said prostitution was the oldest profession; she and the girls knew the oldest profession wasn't prostitution at all but slavery. Before that I had never really looked at what she used to do that way. I mean being a whore was being more like a slave than anything else. I knew she was right.
Those first days after Caprice left were horrible. I cried a lot. Before Cayden brought Caprice into my life all my energies had been directed toward my anger for him. Then Caprice came; my anger dissipated and then died. Through Caprice I'd found a new outlet for my emotions; anger had been replaced by friendship and love. Now that she'd left I felt nothing. My old fury at Cayden was an empty well, and with Caprice gone I had no one. Those first days were awful.
Near the end of the first week after Caprice's departure I began to realize one of the many gifts Caprice left me with was the ability to see others in a new way. I watched Cayden; he was as unhappy and as lonely as I was.
I guess what I felt first was empathy, but pretty quickly I had to accept what I'd known all along. My feelings for Cayden were feelings of love, true love, not just the carnal, but a true, real, deep abiding hunger. I loved him. I'd always loved him. I loved his warm smile, his silly jokes. I fondly remembered his strong arms, those stupid woebegone looks. I wasn't thinking about sex with Cayden so much as just the joy of his nearness. It was funny; Caprice loved him, I loved him. Were she still here Caprice could have the sex; I wanted his nearness, his tenderness. I realized an awful truth about myself; the only thing that had kept me away from him was my pride, my stupid stupid pride.
I talked to my mother. I explained to her that I needed to see Cayden. I needed to be with him. At first our conversations were just that; simple civil conversations, but soon they escalated. My mother didn't want me to see Cayden. Partly I think she still blamed him for a lot of the things that had happened to me, but I think she was more afraid I'd leave her and she'd be alone.
What was just as bad was Emily. Emily was driving me crazy. She missed Caprice, but more than that she was a year older and much more aware. I couldn't put her off much longer. She heard things at school. The kids teased her. They all told her who her daddy was. I knew I had to face that problem and I had to face it soon.
Finally it all blew up one night while my mother was fixing dinner. Thanks to Cayden I had a job. Cayden had persuaded Del to come over and he had removed the bars from my bedroom windows. Cayden had persuaded Matt to withdraw his complaint. When the Social Services people came to visit there wasn't anything they could find. Because of Cayden Emily was safe. I told my mother I needed to see Cayden and straighten things out once and for all. My mom threw a fit; she went into a rage. I knew the time had come.
I remember we'd had an awful rowel.
Mrs. Bradford scowled, "Angie if you leave now, I'm telling you don't try to come back!"
"Come on Emily. We'll pack a few things. It's time we left."
"But mommy where are we going? I'm tired. I have to go to school tomorrow."
"I know you're tired sweetie. I know you have school tomorrow, but this is way overdue. It's time for me to grow up."
"Grow up? Mommy I don't understand?"
I told her, "You will. We're going on a growing up walk tonight."
I checked the clock. It was half past 8:00. I had to leave. It was time. If I didn't do something now I'd be under my mother's thumb the rest of my life. Besides I owed it to my little girl. I tried to give her my best big mommy smile, "Come on Emily upstairs we go."
We went upstairs and packed for the short walk. It was only about a quarter mile, but as I loaded the one small valise I could call my own I knew it would be the longest quarter mile of my life.
"Mommy can I take Candy Land?"
"Sure baby just let me tape the box top on real tight so none of the cards or pieces fall out on the way." I pulled out some scotch tape and firmly taped the lid on, "There, now you carry Candy Land and I'll carry our clothes." I squeezed as many of Emily's things in as I could, "There, ready honeybunch?"
"Mommy you didn't pack any clothes for yourself."
"I'll be all right sugar doll," I took her tiny hand in mine. I led her back down the stairs and out the front door.
As we started down the drive my mom yelled out, "You'll be sorry."
Emily and I kept walking. I heard my mom yell out again, "I lied. You know you can come back any time. I'm here. I'll always be here for you!"
I knew that.
It was a balmy dry October evening. We had a brilliant harvest moon to light our way. I'd been down this road a million times; walking, riding in Cayden's pick-up, and when I was a teenager pedaling on my bicycle. The valise was light. I had no trouble, but after just a short while I could see my girl was starting to flag. I leaned down, and picked her up so she rested on my hip, "Come on girlie you carry Candy Land. I'll carry you."
"I'm not too heavy am I mommy?"
I thought of the old song from that ancient Rock and Roll group Three Dog Night. They'd done a song based on something that had happened at an orphanage or someplace like that. I kissed her cheek as I struggled along up the road. I sang to her, "You ain't heavy. You're my baby," Maybe they weren't exactly the right words, but they worked for me. Emily snuggled her head under my chin. She shifted her weight and I almost fell down, "Hey watch it sweetie. Mommy almost lost her balance."
I looked down the road. My right arm was already tired. My jacket had started to ride up around my waist. The valise, though small had begun to cut into my shoulder. I'd be all right. I figured it was only about twenty minutes. I could make it.
Cayden is piteous.
Jesus I was tired. It was after 8:30, and it had been another long day. I wasn't sleeping very well. Caprice had been gone over a week. I don't know why, but I'd hoped she would've called. God I missed her. I knew Angie missed her too; she'd been a bear every morning when I picked her up to take her to work. It was hard to tell with Angie; maybe she was irritable because Caprice was gone, maybe it was because I deliberately got to her mother's before Emily's bus came, I did that so I could see both my girls together, or maybe it was her mother. Damn I heard them arguing and yelling at each other every morning.
I took my shower, and had a big glass of milk. I went to the front door to make sure it was locked and the outside light was off. Yep, everything was in place. I turned and started for my bedroom. I still used the smaller bedroom across from the big one that had the king sized bed. One can always hope. I crossed by the sofa and wide screen TV. Once I reached my bedroom I'd close the door and be gone to the world till the morning.
Just as I reached my bedroom door I heard someone knocking on my front door. I cringed, 'Damn who could that be? I bet it was Del or maybe Aubrey.' I shuffled back to the door. If it was Del he'd hear it.
I got to the door, turned the outside light back on, unlocked the damn thing and opened it. Jesus H. Christ!
Angie put her daughter down. She dropped the valise on the porch floor. With a hand on each of her little girl's shoulders she very quietly said, "Emily this is Cayden McLeish. He's your daddy."
For a second I was like totally stunned. I couldn't think. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. Though it was only a mere second or two it seemed like an eternity. I recovered. I dropped to my knees and reached out to my daughter. I whispered, "Hi Emily."
Emily, surprised and frightened, retreated into her mother's arms. Angie knelt beside and behind her, "Don't be afraid honey he really is your daddy, and believe me he loves you like all get out."
Emily was still frozen in place. Angie returned to her feet, as she stood she lifted her baby and started to hand her to me.
I took to my feet at the same time. I marveled at Angie's strength. Heck she wasn't much bigger than Emily. As she handed me my daughter I reached out with my two much larger arms and pulled both, mother and child, in to my chest. Squeezing them both tightly, through my tears I hoarsely whispered, "Come in. Come on in," I couldn't help it I started crying.
Emily sat stiffly in my arms. Her mother's hands were still holding her by her armpits. Angie was crying too. She whispered to our daughter, "This is your daddy sweetheart. Let him hold you."
Emily reluctantly leaned forward and reached out with her little arms. I took my right arm and lifted her to my face. I kissed her cheeks. At the same time I half lifted Angie with my other arm. She was always so small. I half carried half walked my two girls to the sofa. I sat them both down; Emily on my lap, Angie on the seat beside me. Holding Emily firmly I pulled Angie in and kissed her. I had my left arm around and behind her. My fingers rested on the back of her head. I started to caress the nape of her neck. It felt like buckets of tears were rolling down my cheeks. Angie took her tiny hand and started to wipe them away. She leaned forward and kissed me.
Emily looked at me and whispered, "Are you really my daddy?"
I answered, "I really am."
She looked at her mother, "He really is?"
Angie leaned across me and kissed our daughter, "Yes Emily he really is."
She looked confused for a second and then she asked, "You want to play Candy Land?"
I looked at Angie. Angie smiled and wiped the loose fronds of hair that cluttered our baby girl's face. She said, "Not tonight. You've got to go to bed. You have school tomorrow don't forget, but how about a glass of milk before bed?"
Emily looked at me. I touched her precious chin with my index finger, "Mommy's the boss of us honey."
It was easy to see she was exhausted. Emily sighed, "OK, milk tonight but tomorrow," she held up her Candy Land game.
Angie and I both nodded at the same time. Angie whispered, "Right after school." She looked at me, "Where...?"
I hiccoughed back the tears, "The big bed where you and Caprice used to sleep."
That caught Emily's attention, "Is Auntie Caprice here?"
I murmured, "She's not here right now."
Emily seemed to sigh, she forgot about the milk, "Oh OK. I'm ready for bed now." Angie took her hand and walked her to the main bedroom. I followed. As we reached the door Emily turned to me and said, "Tomorrow?"
I was so happy. I agreed, "Tomorrow, Candy Land."
Angie turned and walked into the bedroom. I heard Emily ask her mother, "He really is my daddy?" I heard Angie reply, "Yes sweetheart he really is."
I played the jerk and got up close to the closed door and snooped a listen. Emily asked her mother, "Is this our home now?" I overheard Angie's answer, "Yes honey this is our home. We're home now."
I leaned back against the wall. Oh I was so happy. I knew I wouldn't get any sleep now. There were lists to make. Tomorrow Angie and I would have to go shopping; there were toys, clothes, curtains, bed-sheets, all the things little girls needed and wanted. I gasped, 'finally, oh finally I had my girls. At last I had somebody to spend all my money on! Then I stopped, I wondered where Caprice was? What should I do? I wavered on my feet. Could I be satisfied with two while one was still unaccounted for? What if she'd backed out about going to her parents? What if she ran away again? What if she...? That awful Vince...Oh god no I couldn't allow that! I knew the answer. My mind was made up. I didn't have to voice it.
I thought about the stories in the Bible. I knew I'd been right to send Caprice to find her parents, and I knew that was where she went. OK, I'll give her some time, but like the story of the lost sheep. I knew where her parents lived. I'd have to go and get her back. She was mine damn it!
For Caprice's the odyssey continues.
After the Olive Garden I knew I couldn't stay near Cayden. I had to get away as fast as I could. I drove all afternoon and late into the evening. I followed a route different from the one the G.P.S. suggested. The G.P.S. listed a northeasterly route that would have taken me up and around Philadelphia and New York City. I took a more westerly route. I drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and swung around west of Baltimore and then up #I 70 to #I 81. This way I'd scoot right across Maryland, through Central Pennsylvania and into New York. I got tired as I reached the Maryland Pennsylvania line so I pulled in to a motel for the night.
Cayden had left me a box and some paperwork in a manila folder. I decided to look the stuff over before setting out again in the morning.
I laid out everything on the bed. There was a bankbook, a checking account book, a VISA card, insurance information, the title to the car, and two smaller envelopes.
I opened the thicker envelope. There weren't any pictures, but I found my arrest record, information about my parents, and a stack of papers detailing all the things they'd done to try to find me. God, they must have spent a fortune; that made me feel bad.
I read all the stuff over and over. I remembered a few things, but most of it was still just kind of a blur. My father was a minister in Rochester. My mother had been his secretary. Both of them were older people. It was clear I was a late in life baby. I figured it up. If I was thirty my mother was probably sixty-nine close to seventy now. My father was around seventy-one; it all depended on which month of the year they were each born.
It was pretty clear what had happened. I'd turned eighteen and run away; I couldn't remember why. I couldn't remember much of anything. Somehow right about the time I ran away I must have gotten hooked up with some bad people. One thing led to another, and after twelve years I wound up in a Central Pennsylvania tavern where a stupid Eastern Shore hay seed ended up buying me rather than seeing me suffocated. Of course the hay seed was Cayden.
I stared at the second envelope. I knew it contained a letter to me from Cayden. I was afraid to open it. I thought about everything that had happened to me. I'd had a childhood. I had parents. I'd been a whore. None of that mattered.
What mattered to me was in that second envelope. Yeah, some stupid naïve dumb backward jackass Eastern Shore farmer had saved my life, he'd fixed my body, given me a home and a life. Thanks to him I had friends. I'd become part of a community. People knew me at the Fire Hall. I belonged to a church. I had regular acquaintances. I'd stand around and talk to people at the supermarkets. I had a pretty regular spot on the beach where my best girlfriend and her daughter and I used to go and sunbathe and swim.
Yeah, yeah look at what he'd done for me. He'd made all these things happen, and then he showed me my past and sent me on my way. Yeah, great, he'd given me a life but in the giving he'd ripped my heart out of my body and hidden it away from me. Damn it, in seven months I'd gone from scared lonely whore to scared and lonely ex-whore. Thanks Cayden thanks a lot. I opened the second envelope.
Yeah, damn him, he'd written a stupid letter, stupid hick farmer. I opened it and read it. He was no Shakespeare.
'Dear Lauren', the jackass, he would use my real name.
'I only have five things I want to say. First, don't worry about Angie and Emily. I'll take care of them. Second, I know it will be hard, but you need to see your parents. They've been hunting for you for twelve years. You need to reconnect. Third, more than anything or anyone I love you. I'll love you all the rest of my life. I mean it; I'll love you till the day I die. Fourth, I'll wait for you. You owe me nothing, but I want you to know I'll always be here for you. Fifth, you have a car and you have a cell phone. The G.P.S. has a setting that will show you how to get back to me if you ever feel like it. In the cell phone contact list I've put my land line and my cell phone number. That's all I have to say. If you have any worries go back and reread the third thing. If that's not enough then reread number four.
I read the letter maybe twenty times. The man is an asshole. I didn't expect a sonnet, but this was about as romantic as the directions on a medicine bottle. How can you not love someone like that?
I put the letter away, and curled up on the bed. I thought about Cayden; oh that wonderful stupid man. I knew I had to find my parents; after that, well I sort of had a plan.
I got up and undressed and lay back down on the bed. I spent the next couple hours masturbating. I had this nice clean nearly tattoo free body. Thanks to the exercise and attention I got on Cayden's farm I had two pretty firm tits, and thanks to Cayden I had a beautiful new sweet spot that had been touched by only one man. I teared up over that; was the sweet spot in my vagina or in my heart? While I lay there fingering my new body I vowed; 'only one man has touched me, and if I live another hundred years no other man ever would.'
I felt a little puffy around my stomach. I counted back to that second time when I'd had sex, no made love, with Cayden. I knew then I was fertile. Maybe it was just wishful thinking, but I believed something was going on. I had a strong premonition I'd be seeing the asshole again; that made me feel better.
Breakfast at Cayden's.
I was up early. I wanted to get things ready so when Emily came out she'd be able to choose what she wanted for breakfast. This was a farm so eggs, sausage, scrapple, bacon, ham, pancakes, they were all readily at hand.