Drifter Challenge – House 3, Ch. 12

The last time I spoke to you, dear reader, I told you about the greatest shame of my life. My weakness and foolishness.

I sit here, smiling, because I am a changed man. Transformed by truth.

You see? I finally screwed up the nerve to confess to Blue what had happened between me and Aleah. It had been eating at me, and she pinned me to the wall with a direct question. What was wrong?

I couldn’t lie to her, so I told her the truth. I’d gone to see Aleah, and things had gotten messy. I kissed her. I was sorry because it was wrong, but now Aleah was silently stalking me, and it was all complicated mess.

She was quiet after that, and I couldn’t read the expression on her face. Did she hate me? Would she take Delia and leave our home?

“Do you love her, Caden?” she asked me at last. There was fear and hesitance in her voice.

“No,” I told her and as soon as I said it, I knew it was the truth. “I don’t love her, Blue. It’s you that I love, I just… made a mistake.” It sounded hollow in my ears. How many times did someone say ‘ made a mistake’ when they cheated like that made it all right?

“How do you know?” she asked. “How do you know if it was a mistake?”

Because that path leads to ruins, I thought.

“Because as soon as I did it, I feared to lose you,” I confessed. “My every thought is of you, not her. I’m sorry. So sorry. I wish I could undo it, but I can’t.”

Blue had once told me that she didn’t believe in marriage, because it was a piece of paper and she didn’t think people needed a licence to love one another. As such, we had never been formally married, and now I could feel that fear creep into my heart again. She would leave me alone. I would lose her, too.

Instead, she took my hand. “I don’t know how to feel,” she admitted. “I love you, Caden. So much. Our time together has changed how I look at ‘forever.’ This…”

“I’m sorry,” I said again.

“I know. I feel it.” She pressed her hand to her heart. “I feel it here. I just need time to process all of this. Give me time, but know that I still love you.” She kissed my cheek and walked off.

It wasn’t easy. I wanted to chase after her. To beg for forgiveness or retribution. Instead, I honored her wishes and gave her time. It was all I had to give.

During that time, things were happening around the neighborhood. The park finally was commissioned and made a reality. Blue and I took the kids to check it out and to play. They really did a good job on it.

Blue and I both got lured in by the cow plant. I’m slowly becoming familiar with the beast and how it feeds. And when it’s safe to take the cake. Why would I want to take the cake, you ask?

Well, ordinarily I wouldn’t. I’m a vegetarian and I don’t need a whole of sweets. Also there is the fact that getting gnawed on by a hungry cowplant is an uncomfortable experience. Really nasty, in fact. And if you’re not in tip top shape yourself, it can kill you.

That being said, after the cowplant spits you back out, you can milk it like a real cow, and obtain an Essence. I’ve been asked, since I have a cowplant, to test the Essence so I need samples.

It’s dangerous, but I’m trying to learn from past mistakes, trying to keep both myself and my family safe while I test this creature.

Another thing going on is the return of the vampires. Not that they ever really left but ever since his grandfather’s time, there had been trouble with vampires. His grandfather had even attempted to chase them off with magic, but it backfired and had turned himself into a bowl of fruit. It was not a good look on him.

My mother had her share of troubles with them, but not as bad, because Willow Creek gets colder in the autumn and winter, and the vampires do not fare well in the more extreme climates, it seems. I have decided to investigate them, as well, and see what I can do in defense of my home.

All of this going on, and I was still giving Blue the time she needed to absorb what I had done. We were still together, still sleeping in the same bed, but at first, there had been a ‘distance’ between us Gradually, I began to feel that distance closing, and we began to feel like we were going to be alright.

One day, she came to me and said we needed to talk.

“I love you, Caden,” she said in a soft voice, and took my hand. “I tried to be mad at you, but I realize that maybe you needed to make a real break from whatever hold Aleah Collette had on you.”

I tried to say something but she stopped me.

“I don’t want to know. I don’t need to. This is about us, you and me and our children.” She squeezed my hand. “I love you, and like I said before, being with you has changed the way I see ‘forever.’ Caden… I wish we were married.”

Of all the things I thought she would say, that wasn’t it.

I dropped to my knees and pulled out a ring. It was easy to ask her, and it filled my heart with so much joy when she said yes.

We planned a quick elopement because really, we were already living together. But in the place of a big wedding, we decided to plan a huge family vacation.

But first…

Birthdays… Elias (who I didn’t get pic of because I was at work) and then Delia, had their next round of birthday. Now, they were both teenagers.

They are beautiful, our children. Both smart and active, and they can often be found helping each other with their school projects.

Over dinner, Blue and I tell them that we will be going on a family vacation… to Sulani. We both have always wanted to go there together, and now, at last we will. As a family. The plan is to leave right after Hot Dog Day.

The kids are excited to go, and so am I!