It was almost astounding to see how much they looked up to and were inspired by their parents. The only thing mine had ever inspired in me was fear and self-loathing. I understood Sarah’s appeal, but how could anyone respect my father?
My bitterness made the final mouthful of wine taste foul. I felt the anger building in me; I was like water in a kettle, about to reach boiling point.
“Must be nice,” I mumbled to myself. Their mother saved lives; my mother took them — first she’d tried to take ours, but then she succeeded in taking her own.
“Dad saves lives too,” Luke added, countering his sister. “Remember all those people in that building with the fire damage? If he hadn’t inspected the place they would have been in it when it collapsed.”
“It was my job,” my father said modestly. False modesty, that’s all it was.
The culmination of this plus the praise from his doting children was the last straw. It also didn’t help that the alcohol had gone straight to my head by then.
“Has he started using you as an ashtray yet?” I said to no one in particular.
“Dakota, that’s enough,” Naomi said, putting a hand on my thigh under the table.
I shoved it away. No one, not even she, could stop me now. “I’ve got stories about him, too. Only no one gets saved. Which one would you like to hear first, huh? The one about the time he hit me so hard he dislocated my shoulder? Or the time he wouldn’t let me out of my room to use the bathroom, then he hit me when I wet myself?”
“Dakota, stop!” Dove said, glowering at me.
My dad put a hand on his arm. “No, leave it. She’s waited a long time to be able to do this. Let her.”
“I don’t need your fucking permission!” I was up now, screaming, rabid, ignoring my wife’s pleas for me to keep my voice down, that I would wake our children. I was too far gone. “How dare you sit there like nothing happened. You abused us every chance you got, you fucking monster!”
“And I’m more sorry than you’ll ever know,” he said, eyes down.
“Sorry? Sorry! You think that’s gonna change anything? You ruined my life! I was a mess; Dove was a mess. And you think you can just say sorry and make everything better?”
“That’s not what I’m trying to do, Dakota. I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I’m… I was everything you said I was. And when I found God I asked him to take me, because I knew that was what I deserved.”
I gawked at him in open-mouthed horror. “Are you trying to get sympathy from me?” I couldn’t believe it.
“No, lov— that’s not—”
“You abuse me for eight years of my life, and you want me to feel sorry for you because you wanted to take yours? I wish you had!” I screamed. I picked up the jug of water, and before Naomi or anyone else could stop me, I threw it over him.
12 thoughts on “Bliss: Chapter 3”
Wow. That. Was. Intense. But in the best way! Well worth the wait, and now the story finally feels complete. Thanks for that.
The pace and build of this was perfect. I was totally with Dakota in all her thoughts and on edge during that whole dinner. I loved how everything was handled! Especially when Dakota lost it and threw that water over Marshall!
And ohhhhh, that ‘look’ Naomi can give really got me. Very well done. I loved it. Whew. You make some strong, competent, surprising, clever characters, dear Heidi; that’s for sure! I loved every bit of Naomi’s scenes, as always. And I really liked how you had her ‘win’ that fight. That was pure gold!
Anyways, great fluff, fantastic storytelling, and I absolutely cannot wait for more. Also, I don’t think it would be spammy to get an email every time you update. I’m pretty sure people are going to want notifications for quality content like this. Just thought I’d share my thoughts.
Thanks so much, Heidi!
Thanks for all the kind words! Glad you liked the final chapter. It’s kinda sad to say goodbye to them, but it had to happen eventually. 🙁
Yeah, pretty intense. Dakota’s never been able to control herself, lol. Naomi’s the complete opposite, which is why they’re perfect for each other.
Aww, I appreciate you saying that about the newsletter. I’ll have to think about it, maybe come up with a regular publishing schedule so that I don’t have to keep bugging people with them.
So, Um yeah, I love you. This is such a special treat for your readers. And I’m over the moon that you’ve gifted us this special treat. You’re a phenomenal writer and I’ve purchased all your work. I am fuckin freaking out right now. So, Strummed…. please write about Elle and Autumn. I just reread the book and want more from after they made up. Please…. I’m dying
Aww, thanks! 🙂 Glad you stopped by to read.
Haha, there is a planned Strummed short in the works, I can say that much. Every story in the header image of this site will get at least one short. I’m not sure when I’ll get to Strummed, but it’s definitely on the list.
Wow! Again thank you so much for this. The story was amazing and I’m glad she realized she needed to forgive her father after all, since she was pretty lucky to have the great family she had. Maybe next you can write about, A Scarlet Kiss, I would love to see what’s going on with Jenna and Scarlet. The book was so good but the ending was over so soon once they got back together. Runner ups would be, The Neighbor and Set Dreams. Would love to see what the couples are up to from those two steamy stories. And or maybe a wedding between Dana and Erica. Please send emails every time you add a new story, do not worry about it being spammy. We love you and your writing!!!
Hey! Thanks for reading.
Yeah, she really needed to heal. Her father probably didn’t deserve her forgiveness, but she deserved to move on, and letting go of the pain was the only way to do that. Plus she wanted a relationship with her younger siblings.
A Scarlet Kiss is definitely on the list for a short sequel, don’t worry. 🙂 As for the others you mentioned, they were really only supposed to be short novelettes. I don’t think I have enough material to extend them, to be honest. I only planned to extend the books in the header image above. But never say never.
I loved the story. It was filled with tragedy and then hope and back to tragedy to love and hope for the future.
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
What a chapter and a beautiful ending to this story! So happy that Dakota is moving forward, and you have to love how Naomi is her rock through it all. Thanks again for this incredible story. I can’t wait to read what you have coming next!
Loved the story and what a beautiful ending. ❤️ Sigh…. Looking forward to read what’s next in A Scarlet Kiss… the ending was too abrupt… and would really love to read more about Jenna and Scarlet 😊
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.
Just stumbled into this series and read the book and the bonus 3 chapters found here in 2 days. Definitely more to this book than the synopsis on the playstore. I know its been 2 years since you gave us this short story and wanted to know; would you ever consider writing atleast the counter part to Born Again, from Naomi’s perspective? There is a lot that could be worked on from there to give us an insight to her mind when it came to Dakota. Just a thought. Thank you again.