It felt strange coming back, that the place I had fled as a teenager with a husband and son was the one place I could return now. I couldn’t go home to Archer right now, and part of me missed this neighborhood, the openness yet the ability to be connected to others. This had been my home for several years.
It was strange to be pregnant and running back here instead of running away. My room was exactly how I had left it. The only bright room in the house. It was too late for me to have another baby, too late for me to toss another possible heiress into the mix. I wasn’t sure how Archer would react, he would be hurt, but had he expected me to be faithful to a ghost? I just truly wondered about how my daughters would react.
I found myself at my mother’s bar. It was bad to drink while pregnant, I knew that, but there had already been so much drinking and I just needed a little to take the edge off. I had to work, I had to see Declan.
He and I had a talk, our feelings for each other out in the open, and the feelings for this baby I was carrying. It felt good to move on with my life but in order to begin this new chapter I had to end the current one.
When I got home from work Archer confronted me about how I hadn’t been home for nearly two days. The truth was coming out and I decided to just rip off the bandage, no anesthetic. I told him about Declan, I told him about the baby.
Archer was devastated and maybe I had been a bit colder than I had needed to be. He had been a good man but I just wasn’t interest in literally living with a ghost. The conversation dragged on as he sorted out his emotions- naturally they weren’t good.
He decided to leave, to remove to his netherworld. I wasn’t sure how the kids would take this, how they would react. He was gone and I was pretty sure he would never return.
Shawshank grew up without her father and I felt guilty for it. All of my children were grown and here I was growing another. I hadn’t told them yet, but they hadn’t seen their father- he hadn’t said goodbye. I would have to tell the girls myself.
I would wait to do that, I would wait til after work when we were all home and call a meeting. I was dreading it but I wouldn’t let it get in the way of my work. Though in the back of my mind I was planning on what to say to my girls, how to say it. First I had to talk to Declan- discuss our future so I could tell my children.
I spoke with Declan at a park and I just needed to know in this new chapter he would be there for me- I was without a husband, and I felt perhaps he should be without a wife. Then we could get on with our lives together.
I was glad when he agreed, when he ended his marriage, when he and I became boyfriend and girlfriend we knew we would have to keep it secret for work. Still, my life was moving forward and I was glad.
The girls did not share the same optimism for my life. The twins were heavily upset with me when they learned about their father, Shawshank was mostly sad that I had run her father off before her birthday. It was Attica who took charge, though. She wasn’t willing to let my “selfish wants” ruin the family.