I kept my look of hot daggers narrowed at him while I sipped my water.
“He didn’t come alone.” Dove took a breath, scratched at his five o’clock shadow, then said, “The reason why he knew about my music was through… through his son…”
Even though I’d been drinking the past minute, my mouth, once again, had become dry. I just stared at him, and he remained quiet while it sank in.
“He has another son?”
“And a daughter. Teenagers. Luke’s fifteen and Josie’s thirteen. They’re great kids.”
The bitterest taste came to my mouth then. I felt myself tensing up again.
“Then someone needs to get those kids as far away from him as possible.”
My grip on the glass was tightening. Was I strong enough to crush it with my bare hands?
Dove looked down. Although I didn’t know exactly what would come out of his mouth, I knew my blood pressure would reach new highs when it did. Just a feeling.
“He’s been sober nearly eighteen years, Dakota. A Christian for sixteen.”
I let out a sarcastic laugh. “So he’s found God?” You couldn’t make this stuff up: we’d both ended up in the church — father and daughter. Only my salvation didn’t cost nearly as much as his; we were nothing alike.
“What do you want me to do with this, huh?”
He shook his head, as though he knew that saying anything else would be futile. “He’s not the same person, Dakota. He’s married, respectable. He’s… changed.”
Ahh, Dove was doing so well. If only he’d left that last, blasphemous part out, maybe I wouldn’t have lost all control and hurled the glass tumbler in his direction, screaming as it went flying.
“No one like that can ever change, you traitor!”
Luckily he dodged it, just about. He gawked at me, eyes agape, like I’d grown a second head.
“What the hell is wrong with you? That could have hit me.”
“That was the point!” I screamed. The tears started again, and I didn’t bother trying to stop them. “Did you forget everything he did to you? Everything he did to us? We still have the scars.”
“I didn’t forget,” he screamed back, still shaken up from his near miss with the tumbler. “I just… I don’t wanna hate him anymore. I’m tired of carrying that around.” He sighed, rubbed his face. I noticed the redness in his eyes, spotted the tears clinging to his lashes.
My tears were far less resilient, and poured out like someone had turned on a spring. “I remember every single thing that asshole did to me. Carrying it around is not a choice. And even if it were, I’d choose to hate him forever, because that’s all a scumbag like that deserves.”
All these years, all that hurt and pain, the decades of hate compounded, I’d hoped and prayed that my hatred had killed him. That it had led him to a back alley to shoot up on some bad stuff that took his miserable life. But to find out that not only hadn’t he been miserable, he’d started a new family; two brand new children, two fresh starts. This angered me more than anything ever had.
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.