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Bliss: Chapter 2

Yes he can…” I said, feeling the tears start to creep to the fore. “He made me cry in front of my family.”

And once again, I devolved into a blubbering mess that my wife had to comfort. I didn’t know what I would have done without her.


The buzzing of the air conditioner in Doctor Fenberg’s office sounded like the baseline of a house tune. There was something soothing about it, about the ambience of the room in general. Nothing like his old office, at the back of an Italian restaurant. He’d moved to this one about a year after I’d started seeing him — moved up in the world. Started charging, too.

It was Wednesday afternoon, and I’d taken a rare break from the kids to see him. It never felt good leaving them for even a short time, but the nanny, Gaynor’s aunt, had come highly recommended. We trusted her, and the kids seemed to like her.

Roger hummed a nameless tune as he watered his plants. I watched him not really seeing him, content nesting in the leather armchair, in my own little world.

He stopped humming, turned to look at me. “You ready to talk yet?”


We were ten minutes into my session, and I’d said nothing since I broke the news of my father’s return over a week ago.

I mean, I don’t mind getting paid for nothing, and I wouldn’t feel so bad if it was anyone else…”

This was how he spoke to me. I knew he was trying to cheer me up, in his own way. We’d built up a quasi-friendship over the years; and despite not having seen him in over a year, the dynamic was still there.

I threw up my arms in frustration. “How dare he come looking for us, after everything he did. Like, what would possess him? Did he think we’d be happy to see him?”

So maybe I was ready to talk after all.

Roger put down the watering can, sat in his chair across from me, crossed one leg over the other, made a face at how it looked, then uncrossed it. He said nothing, just watched and listened, letting me get it all off my chest.

And to show up at my house! My fucking house! Oh, I swear again, by the way.”

He waved a dismissive hand to show it didn’t bother him.

I wanted to… kill him. I don’t know what I would have done if my brother hadn’t stopped me. I thought that side of me was dead. And when I think about how easy it was to get back there, to feel that much rage, I just know that rage must still be inside him too. There’s no way he could have changed. No way.”

That much we had in common. Only, my violent rage was aimed at abusive men. I would have plucked out my eyes and hacked off my limbs before I ever laid a hand on my children. He’d done it so easily to his.

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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