She’d already finished her dinner, in record time. She pushed the plate away, thanked me. But her silence made me look up at her. There was something in her eyes. Guilt?
“What?” I knew something bad was coming, call it a premonition.
“There’s no point me asking you not to be mad, because you will be, and you have every right to be…” she started.
I narrowed my eyes at her. “Mad about what?”
She took a breath, a nervousness about her now, something I hadn’t seen before. “I spoke to Dove this afternoon at lunchtime. He thought, and so did I, and apparently so too does your therapist, that you need closure… Which is why I’ve invited your father and his family to dinner this Saturday.”
Numb. Too confused to be angry, and too angry to be confused, I stared back at my wife without blinking. Betrayed by my brother, and now, to put the final nail in the coffin, my wife had betrayed me.
“Baby, I just want to help. This situation is hurting you, and I hate that. And I know you want to meet your brother and sister; I know they want to meet you too. That’s what Dove said, they’re dying to meet you—”
In a zombie-like trance, while she was trying to appeal to me, I got up, ignoring her, grabbed my car keys and walked out of the apartment.
I drove for an hour, going nowhere, cursing and making empty threats to no one. I must have looked like a mad woman to anyone passing by.
“First thing in the morning I’m filing for divorce!”
“Even if I do stay married, I’ll never let her touch me again!”
“As soon as I wake up tomorrow, I’m booking one-way tickets for me and the kids to California and never looking back!”
By the time I cut the engine and looked up, I was in front of the old but familiar face of Strobe, Seattle’s most popular lesbian bar. It had been years since I’d been back here on my own, though Naomi and I had come together a few times before my pregnancy. The place sent shivers down my spine, and not the good kind.
I reached into the glove compartment, found a twenty dollar bill, stepped out of the car and headed inside the bar, driven by my betrayal and the need to feel something other than anger.
It hadn’t changed much since the last time I’d been here, though the crowd seemed to skew younger. Were all the older lesbians at home with their wives and kids, where I should have been? My heart ached to think about it.
I ignored the ravenous, eagle-eyed looks some of the women were giving me, and headed to the bar.
“Club soda,” I said when the barmaid approached. I thought about getting something stronger, but that thought quickly disappeared. That wasn’t who I was. I shared a glass of wine with Naomi every now and then at dinner, but that was about it. Alcohol just didn’t have the same appeal anymore. So many things had lost their appeal since I’d become a wife and mother.
It took twenty minutes for a woman to slide into the empty seat beside me and introduce herself.
I looked at her and nearly choked on my drink. It took her a second to place my face. Then I saw her cheeks flush.
“Oh, we know each other, don’t we?” she said.
I swallowed, suddenly ashamed. My past had come back to haunt me from the grave. I remembered her because of the unusual shade of her eyes, a pale, icy blue, like a frozen Caribbean sea. She’d been with her roommate, a blonde, and we’d all enjoyed a wild night of sex, drugs and rock n roll. I’d actively avoided committing their names to memory back then, and hoped she’d forgotten mine too.
7 thoughts on “Bliss: Chapter 2”
Wow. What a chapter – I’m still processing and will likely read again! Firstly, I love the theme of this. Woven with the forgiveness of self from the book with furthering that forgiveness with settling the demons of others.
I loved the therapist’s advice: “I hate to break it to you, but you’re the only person who would suffer, not him. You don’t really want that kind of thing hanging over you forever, do you? Eating away at you slowly.” A fantastic summary to Dakota in her quest for personal recovery and processing trauma of her past.
Naomi arranging that meeting without consulting Dakota also angered me, but I adored how they resolved it as a couple ❤️ I’m still hesitant on allowing the father to come around…but only time will tell! I hope Dakota doesn’t break anymore glasses even though it gave me a good laugh 😂
Thank you for (heavy) beautiful chapter!
Yeah, it was pretty heavy. Dakota is still carrying around so much pain from her childhood, and she needs to let go of it in order to move on. I don’t think someone with her personality can do that without confronting their father.
Thanks a bunch for your comment!
This was a very engaging chapter, holy crap! Every scene with Naomi is always my favorite. Something about the way you write just ‘how’ she looks at Dakota and always notices every little thing—no hiding for Dak from the too-good-to-be-true attentive wifey. Plus, I’ll never get over all those little acts of affections—arms around waist, lips to neck. I don’t know if I’m explaining well exactly what I admire here but you add these things to almost all your books and they really are just my favorite bits that keep me coming back.
The secret family meeting arrangement shocked me, that’s for sure! I would’ve freaked at Naomi too! But gosh darn it is just too hard to stay mad at that sweet cow… (‘to get to the udder side’ …by the way that joke from QoM will forever be with me whenever someone mentions cow. HA!)
Lastly, I’m beyond relieved Dakota went back home to Naomi. Thanks for that. Definitely looking forward to the next chapter, and all the future works to come! No pressure, of course. (Totally hoping for QoM insight one day. Still reeling all this time later for Wila’s departure…)
Never stop writing, you! You’re awesome 😀
Glad you found it engaging.
I, too, love writing Dakota and Naomi’s scenes. It’s funny you should mention the way Naomi looks at Dakota, because there’s a scene coming up when Dakota also notices it, and, let’s just say it doesn’t go down well…
OMG, I totally forgot about that joke! So silly, but those are the funniest ones, LOL.
I’m not sure which direction the muse will take me in, but I THINK The Queen of Miami sequel will be the next story I add on here.
Cheers for your comment.
lol. That’s the second time I seem to have stumbled onto your fiction plans. Always fun being on the same wavelength as someone!
I’m very excited to see this scene you mentioned! Thanks for the breadcrumb! I look forward to next update even more now.
And I’m glad to learn you appreciate puns! They’re my favorite of all the jokes! So, I will leave you with this one…
What does a fish say when it swims into a wall?
Yep. You are welcome 🙂
And let that muse blow you in any direction it wants. I’m familiar with all your worlds and look forward to every new piece of content you gift us!
Hahaha! I’m totally stealing that one!
Well…this was true to form when it comes to Dakota. I understand how hard it is to forgive a parent for the wrongs that they have done to you while you were impressionable and growing up. I had a similar up-bringing. It took me a while to forgive my mother for what she had done to me and all the abuse I suffered at her hands. That feeling gets engraved deep into the psyche. I was also born into the church, but fully took it on at 25 y/o and the time. And I am sorry to say that god stuff does nothing to quell the pain caused over the years. And a parent finding god and changing their lives does nothing for the horrific past they reared us in. I did in the end forgive my mother for what she did to me. And she is lucky of that, because when she got sick and had a stroke at a young age, I have been there for her caring and allowing her to live with me for years now.
So, I am ok if Dakota decides not to allow him access to her new family and into her life. Some things are just unforgivable and unforgettable. Him sitting around the dinner table as a loving father just burns me. Sure he is a great husband to his current wife and his “new” kids, but that does nothing to pull at my heart strings. I am glad Dakota was true to form and let him have it. Sometimes I wished she had done more, but for the sake of her own emotional and mental welfare, I am glad she didn’t. I am also glad that she is in a stable and very loving marriage to show her what love really is. I doubt that could have happened without Naomi entering her life. Thank goodness that Naomi had a good family and a great upbringing. She knows what love looks like, even with the challenges that comes with loving someone so hurt and broken like Dakota had been.
This is one of my favorite stories because of the abuse and the presence of the church. I left the church 20 years ago and never looked back. I hope this is something that Dakota does at well. The only difference between me and Dakota is that she found her Naomi. I am still waiting for mine.