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Bliss: Chapter 2

At some point you have to let it go before it eats you alive.”

I couldn’t believe this was Dove talking. I’d lost count of how many times Dove had threatened to beat the shit out of our dad if he ever saw him again. Nothing made sense.

I don’t have to let go of shit!” I spat, squaring up to my brother, getting right in his face. I wiped my eyes, sniffed to clear my nose. “You might have fallen for his act of the pious Christian, but I never will. I invented that game, remember?”

Although he didn’t know the full extent of my debauchery whilst using the church as a ruse, he had a fairly good idea. I’d been at my wildest whilst promising to serve God. I knew only too well how easy it was to fake that.

It was at this point that I heard the voices of my family as they entered the apartment.

I had just enough time to clear traces of the tears away before they came looking for me, finding us in the kitchen.

Uncle Dove,” the twins said and ran to him. He scooped them into his arms, like nothing had happened.

Naomi came over to kiss me hello, and must have noticed the puffiness around my eyes. They were probably red. Then she saw the shattered glass on the floor. Dammit! I’d completely forgotten to pick it up.

A look of concern came over her face. “Dak, what’s going on?”

I got the broom from the pantry and swept up the glass, purposely avoiding her penetrating stare.

Nothing,” I said, “Dove was just leaving.”

Dove, who was being used as a human jungle gym by the twins, shot me a pained look. “Seriously?”

I narrowed my eyes at him. He actually had the nerve to feel affronted. “Yeah, seriously.” Traitorous coward, the voice inside me added but wouldn’t allow me to say out loud.

He hugged the twins, kissed Naomi on the cheek, gave me one final look before slumping away.

Naomi turned to me. “What was that about, honey?”

I need a bath,” I said, suddenly remembering that I was still in my gym clothes and must have smelled atrocious.

I hurried away before Naomi could grill me further.


…I think that one goes over there, sweetie. Next to his hat.”

It’s red, Mama, look,” Skye said excitedly, holding up the puzzle piece so Naomi could see.

None of the three people dearest to me knew I was standing at the bedroom door, watching them curled up on the living room floor, putting together the pieces of a new Sesame Street puzzle.

I was so mesmerized by them, so at peace just standing there spying on them, the proudest wife and mother in the world. It helped that I didn’t smell horrible anymore.

I smiled to myself, and the smile stayed there, happy to remain permanently if it came to that. It was easy to forget how good I had it now, despite my awful start — the start he’d given me.

7 thoughts on “Bliss: Chapter 2”

  1. 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!

    1. You’re welcome!

      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!

  2. 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 😀

    1. 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.

      1. 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?

        Answer: Dam

        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!

  3. 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.

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