“Baby girl, stop it.”
Penelope looked away from the mirror and to her husband. “Are you sure I look okay?”
Derek laughed and kissed her, “You look sexy.” Derek started kissing her neck.
“You better not give me a hickey. We're going to see my family.”
Derek placed one finally kiss on her neck before pulling away. “Such a tease.”
She playfully hit his shoulder, “You know it my chocolate thunder.”
Aaron was finally shaving. It had been weeks. The shaving helped him look younger, but he still looked aged. His hair greyer, his frown more evident, and the wrinkles in his forehead were more noticeable. He had started going downhill when Haley found out about his affair. He hadn't seen Jack in three weeks. He begged and pleaded, but Haley wasn't giving in.
He put his wedding ring on and adjusted his tie after he was done shaving. Trying to look like the perfect lawyer his dad wanted him to be.
If only his dad knew.
“Are you sure you can do this?” JJ asked nervously.
“JJ, it’s fine.” Her best friend Kate reassured her.
“Okay, just cal-”
Kate interrupted her, “I promise I’ll call if something goes wrong. Now you better get going.”
JJ looked at the time on her phone. “You’re right.” She pulled Kate into a hug. “Thank you again.”
“Of course. You’re always helping others, especially me. Now,” Kate pulled away from her, “go have fun.”
JJ grabbed her light blue suitcase and rolled her eyes. “Oh, yay, family reunion. SO much fun.”
“Try to have fun?” Kate suggested.
“I will. I’m going to go say bye to Mom then I promise I’ll leave.” JJ walked into the living room where her mother was doing a crossword puzzle. “Mom.” Her mother looked up at her.
“Yes?” She answered.
JJ walked over to her mother and hugged her. “I’m leaving and I wanted to say goodbye.”
“I love you, Rosaline.”
JJ gives her mother a weak smile. “I love you too, Mom.”
Spencer had been texting with his sponsor a lot that day. Having to face his family wasn’t helping his temptations at all.
Spencer, maybe you shouldn’t go
Spencer quickly texted back. If I don’t go then they’ll know something's up.
Just text me whenever. Call if it gets too bad, okay?
Spencer checked to make sure everything was off before he left.
Spencer put his small black duffle bag in his twin sister’s silver 2008 Honda Accord then jumped into the passenger side.
She started to pull out of the apartment parking lot. “How are you doing baby bro?”
Spencer rolled his eyes, “JJ, we’re only two minutes apart.”
“Spence, we’ve talked about this before, you're always going to be a baby to me.” She smiled at him then ruffled his hair. Making it more messy than it already was.
“Speaking of talking how about we go over things we are NOT talking about.” He and JJ had always kept secrets between the two of them. It was apart of their twin code. If your twin told you NOT to tell anyone else (especially the rest of their family) something then you didn’t. It was as simple as that.
“I don't want them to know about Will. You don't want them to know about your recovery and neither of us want them to know about Mom.” JJ listed off the things the two wanted to keep away from the rest of their family.
“I'm glad we both remember.” He cheerfully told her.
Emily looked at the house in front of her. She could have gone on with the rest of her life just fine without having to come back, but here she was. Back at her childhood lake house. She still wasn't completely sure why she was here. If she hadn't shown up then her family would have known something was up.
Emily then once again tried to get the car seat out of her car. Her son was luckily fast asleep and not crying. That would only make things more frustrating.
“Em?” Emily turned around to see her big brother Aaron.
She smiled at him. “Hello, Aaron. How are you?”
“I'm good, how are you?”
“I'm good too, except I can’t get this car seat out.”
Aaron laughed at her. “Want some help?” He asked her.
“Yes, please.” Emily moved out of the way to let Aaron try. Five seconds later and it was out. Emily was shocked, “How did you do that?” She exclaimed as she took the car seat, now baby carrier, from Aaron.
“You hadn’t unbuckled the seatbelt that was attached to it.” He explained to her.
“Oh.” Emily said defeated. Emily looked up and saw as another car pulled up. Inside was a little blonde girl. She wasn't really that little, but she always would be to Emily. In the passenger side was the baby of the family. Emily pointed to the car, “Little ones are here.”
Aaron turned around to see them. “They really are little.”
Dave had been waiting all week for his kids to come home. He could barely contain his excitement when he heard the knock at the door. Behind the door were four of his kids. His two oldest and two youngest. Also, his grandson.
“Come on in kids.” He pulled each one in for a hug and kiss on the forehead. “Now where's that crazy sister of yours?”
“Pen?” Emily asked him as she took Declan out of the carrier. He nodded. Emily smirked now Declan was laying on her chest with his head resting on her shoulder, “Probably distracted by that husband of her’.”
Dave cringed, “I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear that.”
Then there was another knock at the door. Dave opened it to see his daughter Penelope and her husband of two years, Derek Morgan. Penelope hugged him. In his ear she murmured, “Remember to be nice, Dad. Please.”
“I’m always nice, Pen.” He replied.
After hugging Penelope he hugged Derek. “Good, to see you sir.”
“You too son.” Dave replied. “And it’s Dave. You’re family.” He reminded him. “Okay, now let's go eat!” His kids and Derek followed him into the kitchen.
The night was a fun one. They eat spaghetti and laughed.
Little did Dave know that all of his children were putting on a facade and each was hiding a deep secret.
Posted January 13, 2016
“You do see what I mean by the fact that she's perfect?” Penelope asked Derek.
“I can see how people could see her as perfect, but personally I like my girls to have some curve to them. JJ is a stick, not my type.” Derek informed her.
“Good.” Penelope kissed him.
“You need to stop comparing yourself to other girls. Your body is beautiful the way it is. I love you.”
“I love you too sexy.”
Emily could not believe she was sharing a bed with her sister.
“When was the last time we did this?” Emily asked.
“Did what?” JJ asked her.
“Shared a bed together?” Emily answered.
“I don't think we ever have. You always shared with Penelope and I was always with Roz.” The mood in the room seemed to dim down after Roz was mentioned. “I still miss her so much.”
“Me too kiddo. Me too.” She leaned over and kissed her little sister’s head. “Goodnight.”
JJ was always the first one up. All her siblings would sleep in, but not her.
JJ went to the bathroom attached to the bathroom and weighed herself. 108. It was getting better. JJ knew she should tell her family about the fact that she had hyperthyroidism, but she should also tell her family about Will, her mom, and many other things.
She took her medication which was helping a lot with her trying to gain weight. 108 was not a healthy weight for someone her height.
She went downstairs and made coffee. When it was ready she added two sugar cubes. She looked at the time and decided to call Kate.
“Hello?” Kate answered.
“Hey, it's me. How's my mom doing?” JJ asked.
“Um, about that.” JJ could hear Kate’s voice start to tighten.
“Kate, what happened?”
“I may have forgotten to set the alarm and I kind of lost her.” Kate admitted.
JJ tried to stay calm. “You lost my mother?”
“Yes. Chris and I have been looking for her all morning.”
“Why didn't you call me? You promised to call if anything happened.” JJ started to head upstairs to get her car keys so she could leave.
“I knew you were stressed out enough and I didn't want to add on. I thought I would have found her by now, but I don't know where she drove off to.”
“Drove? She's driving?” Kate’s silence was answer enough. “Shit!”
“JJ, you okay?” JJ looked at her bed and saw Emily was awake.
“I have to do something, I'll be back later.” JJ took her keys off her nightstand. JJ left the room not noticing that Emily was following her. She walked into the boys room and woke Spencer up.
“JJ?” Spencer sleepily asked.
“Spence, I need your help.”
Seconds after saying that JJ heard her father yell downstairs, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE, ERIN!”
“Fuck!” JJ dropped her phone and ran downstairs.
Spencer closely followed JJ. He watched as JJ went to try to calm down their mother. “Mom?”
His mom practically looked through her. “Who are you and why are you in my house?”
“Mom-” His mom cut JJ off once again.
“Dave, are you cheating on my with this slut!” She yelled.
“No, Mom it's m-” Spencer watched in horror as his mom slapped JJ across the face. Spencer, ran over to her.
“Are you okay?” He asked her while trying to see how badly she had been hit.
JJ ignored him. “Mom, you have Alzheimer's. You don't live here anymore. You live with me now and my friend Kate, do you remember?”
Spencer let JJ go and watched his mom as she slowly remembered. She brought JJ into a hug. “I'm sorry.”
JJ returned the hug. “It's okay Mom.”
Then came the name that always haunted him, “I love you, Rosaline.”
“I love you too, Mom.”
"Can we go home?" His mom asked.
"How about you go get some sleep then we'll go home." JJ suggested.
"I'll take her." He offered.
Spencer took his mother's arm and lead her to JJ's room.
Aaron wasn't sure what just happened. Currently himself, his dad, and JJ, who had an ice bag on her left side of her face, were sitting in the living room together. Spencer come down and sat by JJ. Then Emily, who had a baby monitor in her right hand, Penelope, and Derek came downstairs.
They sat in silence before he spoke up, "What's going on?"
He watched his two youngest siblings look at each other before Spencer started talking, "Mom has Alzheimer's. JJ has been living with her and the two of us take care of her along with JJ’s friends."
"Why didn't you tell us?" Penelope asked.
"Mom made us promise we won't tell. That was when she just learned that she had it." JJ tells them.
"Why did she tell you two?" Emily asked.
"We were still living with her. JJ and I were still in high school when she told us." Spencer continued, "You guys weren't talking to her already. She didn't want to worsen your relationships even more."
"Why was she calling you Rosaline?" His dad asked JJ.
"She doesn't remember Spencer or I. She knows she has Alzheimer's and so she thinks I'm a grown up Rosaline. We used to explain to her that she had two more kids and that Rosaline was dead, but it was too much for her, so we started going along with it. We just tell her that she had one more.” JJ explains to them. Aaron could see the pain in is sister’s eye.
“Anything else you two would like to tell us?”
“No.” They both said in unison.
“I know that means there’s more, but I won’t pry, for now.” Dave told his kids.
For now all their secrets were safe.
Posted January 10, 2017.
Erin never wanted to be a mom. She knew she would have been okay with having one child, but her career was the most important thing to her.
Unfortunately, she ended up being the most fertile women ever. She loved all her kids, but there were days when she wished she'd stopped at her first four. It was fine at three. Aaron was twelve and doing amazing in middle school, Emily was five and was reading above her age level, and little two year old Penelope was already quite the fashionista. Her and David decided maybe they should try just for one more to finish the family off.
Rosaline was born a year later and the kids were each aged a year. Erin hated it, but she somehow clicked with Rosaline better than her other kids. Then she found out she was pregnant with her fifth child. She thought of getting an abortion and not telling Dave about it, but she couldn't do it. Of course it ended up being twins. Jennifer-Joy and Spencer.
The twins weren't bad babies or even toddlers, but they didn't want anything to do with anyone, but each other and sometimes their siblings. Both of them had taken care of each other and never shared much with others. Which frustrated her, but Rosaline was always there. Rosaline was her calmest and easiest child. Rosaline would let her play with her blonde hair, that was so light it was almost white, with no complaints and they would sing together. Rosaline was always helping in the kitchen.
When it was just Rosaline and the twins in the house was probably the best time for Erin. She was able to work more hours because the boy next door drove the kids until Rosaline could drive. Rosaline handled all the meals. JJ would keep the house clean and Spencer helped managed the bills. Dave could also work more. Everything was perfect until Rosaline was seventeen and the twins were fourteen.
Nothing seemed out of place when she got home. She had gotten home late that December night and missed dinner and Dave wasn't home yet either. The three kids were sitting at the table in the kitchen drinking hot chocolate and doing their homework.
Erin sat at the table with her kids and lovingly gave Rosaline a squeeze on the shoulder. “Hi, kids. How was school?”
“It was good. Uneventful.” JJ told her then took a sip of hot chocolate.
“I got to learn all about fossils today.” Spencer then started to list random facts off.
Erin just looked at Rosaline who was busily working on what looked like chemistry homework.
“How was your day, Roz?” She didn't even notice she had cut off Spencer. The twins were used to it though. Rosaline was the favorite child.
Rosaline snapped out of whatever trance she had been in. “Busy. I just got all my study guides for my finals.”
Erin started to rub her back. “I'll help you study. Don't stress out, you’ll be fine.”
Rosaline smiled at her, but it wasn't her usual smile. “Thanks, Mom.” Rosaline always got stressed out before test.
Erin slept that night with no idea what was going on. She wasn't surprised when she heard the bath running late. She was glad Rosaline was taking a bath after studying so late. It’d help her stress hopefully.
A few hours later she heard the worst sound ever. A sound that would send chilies down any mothers back. The scream of a child. The screams of her child. Erin had never heard a worse scream. She won’t be surprised if the neighbors heard it. It sounded like someone was being murdered.
Both her and Dave were up and running the second they heard it. It was coming from the girls bathroom down the hall that seemed a thousand miles away, when in reality it was only a few feet. The scream did not stop, it grew louder, which terrified Erin more.
Spencer came out of his room and he looked scared. “What's going on?”
Erin kept going and didn't stop to answer his question, but Dave told the boy to stay where he was.
Her and Dave started running when they heard the person screaming start screaming for help. When entering the girl’s room she saw neither were in their beds. Dave got in the bathroom first. Erin was close behind.
Nothing could have prepared her for what she saw. JJ was scream while trying to get Rosaline’s limp body out of their bathtub. Dave went over and helped JJ he then told her to go call 911. JJ quickly ran out of the room and Dave started to do CPR. Erin could not do anything, but stand there and pray that her daughter would make it.
Erin didn't go to the funeral. She couldn't. She felt numb. What was life without Rosaline? Why did she have to lose her child? Why did the world take her away?
She wasn't surprised when her and Dave started fighting. Their marriage had never been good. They only got married because she became pregnant with Aaron.
They fought all the time. At the dinner table, in their room, in public, and everywhere else imaginable. She was losing her patience on the twins. JJ was refusing to sleep in her room, Spencer stopped talking, and neither would stop crying.
It took Erin awhile to figure out the affect all of this was having on the twins.
One night her and Dave probably got into their worst fight at one in the morning. She couldn't remember what it was about, but she remembers the aftermath.
Dave had left. Their fights only ended when one of them left. She was walking downstairs when she heard her children praying in Spencer’s room. She poked her head in the room and saw JJ and Spencer hugging one another in the corner of the room.
“Please, God make them stop fighting. Please, help our family grieve Rosaline and move forward.” Spencer practically begged.
JJ added on, “I know what Rosaline did was a sin, but please forgive her and let her join you in Heaven.”
That's when it clicked for her. She had lost a daughter, but her children lost their sister and their parents. She went into the room and wrapped her arms around both of them. They both froze.
She kissed them both on the head. “I'm so sorry kids. I'm so sorry about Rosaline and that dad and I have been bad parents lately. I'm going to change that.” She wiped the tears from their eyes. Let's go make cookies and drink hot chocolate.” They always did this around Christmas.
It took the twins a while to get used to her, but once they did they all started to really enjoy themselves. Erin was pretty sure this was the first time she had been truly happy since Rosaline's death.
In that moment Erin discovered so much about her twins. JJ loved soccer and wanted to have a lot of kids. Spencer thought chocolate chip cookies tasted the best and that he enjoyed writing poems.
Erin knew that her decision wasn't a mistake and was now overjoyed to have her two children. She could've actually aborted the person who discovered the cure for cancer. Also, she could've aborted the future best mom ever. Erin knew JJ would be the best mom one day. Both her twins were destined for greatness.
When the twins were eighteen she found out she had Alzheimer's. It seemed like a cruel punishment. She had been happy lately and now she wouldn't remember it.
JJ came home sweaty from soccer practice. “Hi, mom.”
“Hi, Jay. How was soccer practice?”
She watched her daughter’s face lite up. “It was good. Um, I have a question.”
JJ seemed nervous which wasn't normal, “Of course. What's going on sweetie?”
“Are you okay? You haven't been yourself lately.”
She sighed, “Can you go get your brother? We need to talk.”
“Alzheimer's?” Spencer’s questioning voice broke her heart. JJ looked devastated.
“Yes, I have Alzheimer's. Now I want you both to promise me that you won't tell anyone.” She instructed them.
JJ looked confused by this. “Why?”
“I just don't want people to know. Especially your siblings. They don't like me already, I don't want to give them another reason to avoid me.”
Spencer slowly nodded his head trying to understand all of this. “Okay, if that's what you want.”
Erin opened her arms. “Come here.” They both did and Erin held both of her babies.
This was her new life.
Posted January 11,2017.
Dave couldn't believe this ex wife was in his house. This wasn’t their house, but their lake house. Dave wasn’t sure why she came here, but she did. Of course his lovely twins forgot to mention that his ex wife has Alzheimer's. His children never told him anything. He hadn’t been around much for them, especially Rosaline, JJ, and Spencer. He had left them. He wasn’t surprised, but he was hurt.
He was currently sitting on the porch looking at the lake. He didn’t know what to think. He heard the front door open and someone approach him. “It’s late and getting cold so I thought I’d bring you this.” He looked up and saw Emily handing him a blanket.
“Where's Declan?” He asked her.
Emily smiles at him and sits by him. “He's being spoiled by his Auntie Penelope and JJ.”
“Three months old already, how did that happen?”
She laughs, “No, idea. I can only imagine how you feel. The twins are almost old enough to drink.”
“I rather not talk about them right now.” Dave tells her.
“Dad, you’re not the victim here. They were just respecting Mom’s wishes. Like what I’m doing right now with you.” She pointed out.
He sighed, “I know. I think I feel more guilt now. I just don’t know how to tell them. No matter how much I look up things or read things,” he stops for a moment to collect himself, “It just doesn’t help.”
Emily leans her head on his shoulder. “I’ll help you out. We’ve had a crazy couple of weeks haven’t we?”
He kisses her head. “Yes, we have kiddo. You’re sure none of your siblings know that you practically live here?”
“I’m positive.” She assured him.
“It was a nice touch that you pretended to have just gotten here. You do need to learn how to get his car seat out though.” He pointed out. “It’s not that hard, Em.”
She lightly punched his shoulder, “Hey! I hate this place, but I moved in here anyway. You should be grateful.”
She leaned her head on his shoulder. He softly started to rub her back.
“Dad, are you sure?” This had to be the seventh time Emily had asked this.
“Yes, Emily. I’m sure I can take care of a month old for a night. I raised six kids, remember?” Dave was getting quite a kick out of Emily. This was the first time Emily was leaving Declan and she was scared half to death. “Emily, sweetheart, we’ll be fine. We’re going to have a guys night. Watch some baseball and hangout.”
“Yes, I know, but what if something happens? What if he needs me?” She went to grab him.
Dave moved slightly away from his daughter with his grandson in his arms. “Then I’ll call you. Now, go out with your sister and have fun.”
“Okay,” She finally gave in. “Just one more kiss?”
“Okay, but you need to give your dad a kiss too.”
She laughed at him. “Fine.” She kissed Declan on the forehead. “Bye, baby. Be good for grandpa.” She then kissed him on the check. “Bye, dad. Have fun with baby.”
“Trust me I will.”
Dave had, had a great night with Declan. He was luckily not too bad of a baby. Emily had been harder, but she was nowhere near as bad as Penelope. The twins were ten times easier than Penelope.
He missed this though. Sitting on the couch and watching baseball with a baby or two in his arms. Aaron and Emily had gotten into baseball the most. They would sit with him even when they were teenagers.
He looked down at Declan and smiled. “You know you're a lot like your mama. She would sleep in my arms while I yelled at the TV too.”
“The Sock suck!” Little three year old Emily exclaimed.
“Emily! That's not a good word.” Erin scolded her.
“The kid’s just telling it how it is, Erin.” He said as baby Penelope started crying in his arms. He got up and started to rock her. “Sh, Pen. Daddy's got you little one.” This seemed to somewhat calm her down.
“Daddy, why do babies cry?” Emily asked him.
He slowly sat down on the ground where Emily was playing with her dolls. “Well, they cry for many reasons because they can't talk yet. Penelope cries if she's hungry, tired, needs attention, or is mad at baseball.”
“Oh, okay.” Then she went back to playing with her dolls.
Dave looked at his son Aaron who was being quiet like usual and looked very serious. He was only ten, but he was very mature for his age.
He was a lucky to have his three kids.
Three become four and then six at once. Aaron was seventeen, Emily was ten, Penelope was seven, Rosaline four, and Erin was heavily pregnant with the twins when Aaron graduated high school.
It had been a great day. He was insanely proud of his son. He had gotten a scholarship to college and was on his way to becoming a lawyer. His little siblings cheered in joy when his name was called and he received his diploma. Aaron, not being used to the attention turned bright red in embarrassment.
“Aaron!” The little girls ran toward him. He hugged them.
“Hey, guys.” Standing by him was his girlfriend Haley.
“Haley, you look pretty.” Penelope tells her.
Haley smiled at the young girl. “Thanks, Pen. That’s a real compliment coming from you.”
“Hi, Haley.” Dave pulled her into a hug.
“Hi, Dave. Have you seen my family?” She asked him.
He pointed to where her family was. “Over there sweetheart. Congratulations.”
Dave then pulled his son into a hug after Erin hugged him. “I’m proud of you son. You know you’re my favorite son.”
Aaron laughed. “I’m your only son. I’m the only one you’re going to get because Mom and you can apparently have only girls. I thought maybe because I’m leaving the babies might be boys, but no. Jennifer and Joy are on the way.”
“Baby B is a boy!” Boy?
They had thought they were having two girls, but no. Instead it was one girl and one boy.
“What do we do now?” Erin asked him. She was holding their son and he had their daughter in his arms.
“Well, we could name her Jennifer or Joy.” He suggested.
“Or we could combine it. Call her JJ for short.” She suggested to him.
He looked down at his daughter and smiled. “I like it. Jennifer-Joy Bella Rossi.” Bella was the middle name they were going to use for both twins, but now that didn’t seem to be an issue. “Now, what about the boy?”
“What do you think about letting Aaron pick?”
“I can’t believe I have a baby brother. What’s his name?” Aaron asked in amazement.
Dave looked to his wife and she nodded at him. “Your mother and I thought you could pick.”
He looked shocked. “Me?”
Dave laughed at his eldest son. “Yes, you.”
Aaron looked down at his little brother. “What about Spencer? It’s not weird, but it’s also not too common.”
“Spencer Reid Rossi.” Erin announced. “You picked JJ’s middle name, I’m picking Spencer’s.”
“JJ? That’s cute. What does it stand for?”
“I see why you shorted it.” Aaron commented.
After Rosaline’s death things started to go downhill in the family.
Erin and him couldn’t stop fighting and one day he left. He went to their lake house and stayed. He stopped talking to his two youngest.
After the divorce he moved on with his life.
“Who the hell is that?” He asked Emily when he saw Penelope walking into the house with a guy.
“Probably Derek, you know? The one she never stops talking about.”
“I don't like him.”
“Dad, you haven't even met him yet. I think you're really going to like him.” Emily tells him.
Emily was of course right. He ended up really liking Derek. Penelope and Derek got married and it was beautiful.
It was also awkward. The last time he had seen Erin and the twins was four years ago. Looking into the room with Penelope and her bridesmaids he saw Erin fixing her hair one final time. He also noticed Emily putting a little pink lipstick on a blonde woman who looked barely eighteen. JJ. She had really grown up. She was no longer a weak fourteen year old.
They made eye contact for a second, but she quickly looked away. He knocked on the door. “It's time, unless you want me to sneak you out of here.”
“Dad! Penelope scolded him.
He put his hands up i defense. “It was just a suggestion sweetie. Now come on. We shouldn't leave that boy for much longer or he might think you’ve left.”
“You may kiss the bride.” Dave watched the couple kiss and he cried a little.
One of his little girls was married. They were both smiling like idiots as they walked down the aisle together. The wedding party followed. Emily was with one of Derek’s friends, Aaron was with Haley, then there was Derek’s two sisters with two of his friends, and lastly was JJ and Spencer. He had just realized that Rosaline should be here and he felt a few more tears slide down his face.
It was a week later when he finally did it. He called JJ and Spencer and asked them to get coffee with him.
It took a long time for him to get any sort of relationship with them, but he did it.
“Thanks, for watching him dad.”
“It's no problem Emily. What is a problem is that apartment you live in. It can't be good for the baby to live there. You should move in here with me.” He suggested.
“Dad, it's just temporary. Once I get a job we’ll be able to move into somewhere better.” She explained. Emily never asked for help or wanted it.
“Emily, I need help here.” He tells her.
She looks confused, “Dad, what do you mean?”
He sighed and looked at Declan who was sleeping in his arms before he confessed, “I have lung cancer, um, stage three.” Tears started to form in her eyes, “I'm going to get weaker and I'm going to need help. I want to spend more time with you and Declan. So, please move in.”
“Okay.” She hugged him and started crying.
He noticed Emily fell asleep while sitting outside with him. He would let her sleep. She needed it. He stroked her hair as he looked at the lake.
Posted January 13, 2017.
“How's my Jack Attack doing?” Emily asked him.
“He's doing good. He's three so life is still pretty good.” This was a lie. He had no idea how his own son was.
“Aw, to be three years old again.” Emily says dreamily. “The only con is you can't drink.”
“And you have to be in bed by seven.” He adds on.
“That doesn't sound too bad. So, when are you and Haley going to have more?” She asks.
“We're staying at one.” This was true. They decided Jack was more than enough.
“Really?” He nods his head, “No, I need more nephews and I want a niece to play with!”
Aaron laughed at his sister, “You do realize you have three other siblings right?”
“Oh, yeah.” At that moment JJ walked in the room. “JJ, I need you to start having babies.” Aaron watched his little sister freeze.
“No!” Aaron heard his father exclaim. “She's too young! Why don't you have more kids, Emily?”
“Declan, is all I need. I just want him to have more cousins to play with.” She explains.
JJ sat at the kitchen table. “Did I just walk into a conversation about kids?”
“You sure did.” Emily tells her. Penelope and Derek walk into the kitchen together. “Why don't you two have kids, yet? You’ve been married for two years!”
They shrugged and sat down at the table. “We want to wait a little longer. I still have a year of school left.” Penelope told Emily.
“You two are going to have supermodel babies.” JJ said.
“You guys are.” Emily agreed, “You’ll be rich.” Emily laughed.
“Are you guys already exploiting my unborn children?” Penelope asked in a fake rage.
“Maybe.” Emily confessed. “JJ, who picked mom up?”
“My friend Will did. He’s going to watch her now because Kate’s sister just died.”
Dead. That’s how Aaron currently felt.. He missed his family. He had worked so hard to create his family and managed to worry it in just a few short weeks.
Nineteen Years Ago
“Son, I love you and I will support you in anything you want to do, but I don’t know about this. I mean acting? Son you suck at acting. Why do you want to do this?”
“Dad, I just wanna try something new.” Aaron told his dad, but that wasn’t the truth. He wanted to get to know the blonde he saw in the theatre meeting.
His dad paused and raised an eyebrow. “Aaron, you’re lying. Now, what’s the real reason you want to do this play? Is this because of a girl?” Aaron felt a blush cover his cheeks. “Oh, I see. This is because of a girl. What’s her name?”
“Haley Brooks.” He shyly admitted.
“Well, son we’re going to get you into this play no matter how much it kills me.”
And he did make it. He was also terrible, but he got to meet Haley. The two quickly fell for one another. On closing night they shared their first kiss.
It was the best night ever.
Three Years Ago
“Hi, baby. I’m your Uncle Spencer.”
It had been a very long and tiring ten hours of Haley being in labor, but now they had their baby boy.
“What’s his name?” Spencer asked him.
“Um, about that. Aaron why don’t you tell him.” Hayley smiled at him.
“Hayley and I are between three names and we want you to pick his name.” Aaron told him.
“Really? Am I really the best choice?” He looked about as scared as Aaron had been when he named Spencer.
He laughed, “Yes. I named you and we need your help.”
Spencer slowly nodded. “What are the names you guys are down to?”
“Jonathan, Eric, and Jack.” Haley listed off.
Spencer looked down at the baby before decided, “Jack.”
Two Months Ago
“Aaron, are you fucking kidding me?”
She cut him off, “You're what Aaron? You're sorry?”
“NO! GET OUT AARON! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” She screamed.
He had royally fucked up. He moved into a small apartment. Haley had yet to let him see Jack and he knew he could call the cops, but he felt like he deserved it. He was the one who cheated.
He was the one who cheated on his wife with another woman.
I'm looking for a beta for this story. If you're interested please comment.
Posted January 17, 2017.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Thanks to my awesome beta for editing this!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Emily wasn't interested in men. She preferred women, but knew she could never be with one. Her family would have a heart attack if she brought a woman home, or at least her parents would. They'd probably disown her. So, she dated men.
When she started dating Ian she thought he'd be the man she would marry. She was in her late twenties and he was a good guy, or so she thought.
After dating for about year he started beating her. She never thought anything of it. He had brainwashed her into believing she deserved the beatings. Also, he convinced her to have unprotected sex. Which lead to her getting pregnant. She wasn’t even sure why she was surprised. It only took one time.
“It might be a false positive.” Penelope reassured her.
“I don't think it is. There's too many signs that I'm pregnant.” Emily rubbed her face. “What am I going to do?”
“You could get an abortion.” Penelope told her.
“Or you could keep the baby.” JJ suggested.
She looked at her youngest sister like she was crazy, “Yeah, thanks.” She looked back at Penelope, “I've already had one abortion, won't that look a little sluty to have another one?”
“Wait, you had an abortion?” JJ asked her.
“Yes, I was fifteen. I don't regret it. Why is this bothering you so much?” Emily didn't understand why her sister was so against her having an abortion.
“It's not fair.” JJ told her. “It's not the baby's fault that you messed up.” With that her youngest sister left.
“Okay, then.” Penelope rolled her eyes. “Don't worry about her. She's just being nineteen. You need to do whatever's best for you.”
“Hey, Ian, there's something I need to tell you.” She was nervous. She was nervous as hell to tell him.
“What is it?” He asked her.
He instantly got angry. “Get out! Get the fuck out of here! That thing isn't mine!”
“Ian,” she tried to calm him down. “It can't be anyone else's.”
He hit her and then threw her to the ground. Her only thought was to cover her stomach and protect her baby as he started beating her. He eventually stopped, “Get out of here you bitch!”
She slowly left. She was in pain, but she made it to her car and drove to the doctors.
“You're both going to be fine.” The doctor told her.
She laid her hand on her belly and started to softly cry. Almost losing her baby made her fall in love with it.
Pregnancy sucked. That's all Emily had learned. The worst part by far was labor. It hurt like a bitch, but it had been worth it. The second she held her son she couldn't believe it. She had really made him. She was now a mother. She brushed at his pale baby hairs. “Hi, baby. I'm your mommy and you're so beautiful.” She sniffed and felt tears of joy fill her eyes. “I love you.” She then kissed his tiny forehead.
Her family joined her a few minutes later with balloons and candy. Her dad came up to her and looked at his grandson. “He's beautiful. Congratulations, Em.”
“Thanks, dad.” She moved the baby, “Do you want to hold him?” He nodded his head yes. She gently handed him over, “There you go. Go meet grandpa.”
“Does he have a name yet?” Aaron asked.
“Yeah.” She smiled. “Declan James Rossi.” She proudly announced.
“Declan?” Her father questioned.
“Yes, and can you really judge names?” Emily replied.
“All of you have good names.”
“Jennifer-Joy.” Emily and all her siblings, but JJ said together.
“For the last time there's nothing wrong with your sister’s name. Your brother messed it all up.” Her dad fought back.
“I think Aaron should have named me too.” JJ added.
Emily woke up. She looked at her phone and saw it was one in the morning. She looked at the crib by her bed and realized Declan was gone. She freaked out right away, but then she realized JJ was gone too.
She went downstairs and saw her sister talking on the phone and holding baby Declan in her arms. “I miss you too. I love you. Bye.” She then put the phone by her and started to play with Declan’s fingers.
“Who was that?”
JJ jumped a little. “Emily, you scared me.”
Emily walked over and sat down by her sister and son. “And I was scared when I couldn’t find my baby.” Emily started playing with his tiny foot.
“Sorry,” She apologized. “He was crying and I thought I’d just let you sleep. Declan just wanted to cuddle.”
“He does love to cuddle, especially with his godmother.” Emily laughed. “Who were you on the phone with?”
“It was Mom. I feel so much guilt not being with her, but Dad needs us.” JJ bit her lip after she said this.
“JJ, there’s no way Mom would be up at this time.” Emily pointed out. “Now, who were you talking to?’
“I was just talking to Kate.” JJ answered.
“No, you weren’t. If you had been talking to Kate then you would have just said that. You wouldn’t have lied. Who were you talking to?” Emily could hear herself starting to beg.
“Kate can’t help out anymore by the way. She adopted her niece, but I was talking to Will, the guy who’s been watching mom and he’s going to keep helping me out with her.”
“That’s very nice that your boyfriend is helping out.” JJ looked shocked. “I heard you say you loved him.” She explained.
They both started to laugh. “Yeah. Now give me details.”
“Maybe, later, but I was wondering if we talk about somethings.” JJ started.
“What’s going on?”
“Mom wants to move in here.”
“Yeah. I thought the same thing.” JJ sighed. “I don’t know what to do. I get this is where you guys grew up and it’s the house she remembers, but she still doesn’t like dad and knows he lives here.”
“I mean, maybe it’s not a bad idea. I’m moving in here to help dad because of his cancer-”
“What?” JJ exclaimed. “Dad has cancer?”
“Oh, shi-” Emily cut herself off, “Baby. I can’t cuss in front of the baby. I can’t believe I just said that. I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone.” Emily had her head in her hands.
“I wouldn’t tell dad.”
“Thank you. We should probably go back to bed now.” Emily suggested.
“Okay.” JJ agreed.
If she were to move in it would be helpful, but Mom would be moving in too. Things were about to get a lot more complicated.
Posted January 24, 207.
“Choker or no choker?”
She laughed at her big sister. “Em, you're going on a date. No choker. Chokers are starting to go out of style anyway.” She walked up to her sister and started to straighten her clothes out. “You need to look nice. This is your first date with this guy.”
Emily rolled her eyes, “We're going to a club. We're probably going to get drunk, and then fuck,”
“Emily, you're underage,” Penelope pointed out to her sister.
Emily smiled, “Not according to my ID,” She laughed. “Thanks, for not telling mom and dad by the way.”
“It's no problem. You’ve only lived here for three months. How is college going, by the way?” Emily was attending Pennsylvania University for teaching.
“College is amazing. You'll love it, Pen.” Emily turned to the side. “Should I wear something looser?”
Penelope looked at her thin sister's flat stomach, “You may was well wear that tight dress, you’ve got nothing to hide.”
That's when it started.
Later that night Penelope noticed that she didn't have a flat stomach, and it bothered her greatly. All three of her sisters were stick thin, so she became obsessed with tracking her calories.
In college she was absolutely terrified with gaining the freshman fifteen. That's when she started throwing up after all her meals. She was grateful that no one noticed. When she went home for the holidays she wasn't able to throw up because one, of her many, siblings would have noticed. That was the worst: she felt tense and jumpy when she couldn't throw up, all she could think about were the calories she was consuming.
For awhile she got better, but that didn't last forever. After Rosaline’s death, when she was twenty, everything fell apart. Her parents got divorced and she lost communication with her parents and siblings, except for Emily.
Not only did her eating disorder get worse, but she started drinking to help with the pain. She started failing classes and knew it was only a matter of time before she flunked out of school.
That's when Emily slapped her across the face, both metaphorically and literally.
“Why the fuck did you just slap me?!” She had screamed at her sister.
“Because someone needed to!” Emily screamed back at her. “You need to fucking get it together Penelope! I know it's hard right now, but this isn't the answer. I miss Roz too! And I hate that Mom and Dad are getting divorced, but dammit you're not alone. There are four other people going through the same thing.”
“That's not true. You're thin you don't understand!”
Emily looked shock. “Pen-”
“No! I hate my body and it doesn't matter what I do! I will always hate it.” She then broke down crying.
“Penelope, do you need help. I can't lose you too. I've lost one sister, I can't lose another one.” By this time, Emily had started crying too.
“Yes.” She confessed. Emily hugged her and the two cried together for hours.
Penelope hated therapy. It was long and took everything out of her. The therapist would force her to talk and get mad when she wouldn’t. She didn’t want to talk. There was nothing wrong with her, well, nothing too wrong.
“Did your sister’s death make your eating disorder worse?”
Penelope rolled her eyes, “I told you already. After Rosaline died I came clean to my sister Emily and she helped me find you.”
“Have you talked to any of your other siblings since Rosaline died? Also, how many siblings do you have?” The therapist, Dr. Blake, or something, asks.
“I had five, now I have four. And no, I haven’t talked to any of my other siblings since it happened. I haven’t contacted my parents either before you ask.” She answers and stands up. “You know what? This is useless.” she says, leaving.
When she went to the bar she wasn’t planning on sleeping, or even talking to anyone, but then she meet him. He was gorgeous. Tall, dark, AND handsome. Of course she was absolutely wasted and not thinking straight, but he wasn’t either. They ended up having sex at his apartment.
Penelope though it would be a one time thing, but no, he ended up appearing everywhere she went.
“That guy’s staring at you.” Emily points out while the two are at the same bar where she meet him. Penelope wasn’t surprised to see the mystery man when she turned around. “He’s sexy. You should go talk to him.”
“Fine.” Penelope walks over to him and when she reaches him she hits his shoulder.
“Ow!” He exclaims in shock, not hurt. “What was that for?”
“Stop following me!” She yells. “Stop it!”
“I’m not following you, baby girl.” He calmly tells her. While he was saying this Penelope saw on his left hand was a small pink semicolon tattoo.
“Well, you scared me! Also, why do you have a pink semicolon on your hand, it looks, um, weird?” It was the first insult that came to mind, if it even was an insult. She wasn’t sure.
She watched his smile melt into a frown and his eyes looked to his hand. “My sister Sarah committed suicide when I was a teen. I heard about the semicolon project when I was in college. A semicolon is used when a writer could have a sentence, but they didn’t. Instead the sentence continued unlike my sister’s life. The semicolon project is to promote people to get help into of committing suicide. Sarah’s favorite color was hot pink so that’s why I got the semicolon in hot pink ink.”
Penelope instantly felt horrible. “Rosaline’s favorite color was sky blue.” She blurted out. “Rosaline was my baby sister and she committed suicide too. I haven’t found anyone outside of my family who understands what it’s like to lose a sister to suicide.” She then takes a fluffy pink pen and yellow sticky note out of her huge purse and writes down her number, she then hands it to him. “I believe everything happens for a reason. So, here’s my number…?”
“Derek. Derek Morgan.” He answers.
“Then here’s my number Derek Morgan and I actually really like it.”
He smiles at her, “You should get a sky blue semicolon.” He suggest.
“Maybe I will.”
She still struggles with her eating disorder, but Derek makes sure she eats and that she doesn't throw up afterwards. He helps her feel beautiful and love her body: Derek Morgan is her everything.
She was woken up by a kiss on the cheek. “Time to wake up, baby girl.”
She turned and kissed him on the lips. “Ugh, I don't want to.”
“But you need to. Remember you promised your sister you’d watch your mom today.” He reminded her.
“Why did I do that again?” She asked.
“Because you're a nice person and JJ needs a break.” He reminded her. Since leaving their father’s cabin JJ had been watching their mom. She was doing a good job, but she needed to go to the library and study. Penelope decided to watch their Mom so JJ could do that.
“Oh, yeah. Well, I better go get ready.”
“Okay, so don’t let her out of your sight, hide car keys from her, and you might have to remind her where she is every few minutes, but today she’s doing good, so I doubt you’ll need to do that.” JJ explains, “Call me if you need anything.”
“I will. Now, go study.” Penelope encourages her.
“Okay, bye. Thanks again.”
“JJ, it’s no problem. She’s my Mom too.” Penelope tells her. JJ then leaves.
“Who are you?” Penelope turns around to face her mom. “And why are you dressed like a cartoon character?”
Her Mom had never liked her style. In high school there had been thousands, if not millions, of fights over what Penelope was wearing. Her Dad ended up taking her Mom’s side every time and she would be forced to change. “Mom, it’s me, Penelope. Your third kid.”
“Oh, yeah. You never did grow out of your baby fat did you?”
“Mom!” Penelope exclaims, “That’s rude!”
“What? You’re fat, that’s not a bad thing. I bet Rosaline would be to if she wasn’t all messed up.” Her mom tells her.
“Messed up? How wa-is,” she quickly corrects herself, “she messed up?”
“She got that weird sickness where your body won’t let you gain weight and she can’t have kids or something.” Penelope felt shocked. She never knew Rosaline had medical issues. Maybe, that’s why she committed suicide. “Can I go to bed now?”
“Um, yes Mom. I’ll help you get to bed.”
After getting her mom to bed she sat in the living room and thought about Rosaline.
“Hey, how was she?” JJ asks as she comes in through the door.
“Good,” Penelope answers, “She’s asleep.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, just thinking about Rosaline.” Penelope answers honestly.
“I think about her a lot. Do you want to talk about?”
“Not with you, no offense, but I would rather talk to Derek about this. He’s my person. One day you’ll find your person. Then you’ll understand.” Penelope explains.
“I’m glad you have him.” JJ confesses, “He’s good for you.”
“I’m glad too.”
Posted February 27, 2017.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
I honestly was going to stop writing this story, but all your comment encouraged me to keep going with it. Also, this chapter is unbetad.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Three Years Ago
She couldn't believe it. No one came. She was at her graduation all by herself. She now felt stupid. Her mom was having a bad day, so she couldn’t go. She looked through her text to see why the rest of her family didn’t show up. Aaron was busy with a case, Emily wasn't feeling well, and Penelope was busy. She had no idea why her dad and Spencer weren’t there. She hadn’t talk to her dad in a long time. Spencer should have been there.
JJ quickly wiped away the tear that tried to escape her eye. She wasn’t going to cry. She hated crying more than anything else. She was trying to distract herself with her valedictorian cords when she felt someone sit by her.
“Are you alone, darlin’?” She looked at the southern stranger. She had never seen him before. He was very handsome. JJ noticed his eyes were an ice blue. He had light brown hair.
She nodded her head, “Yes.” She then looked away ashamed.
“You should come to lunch with me and my family. My cousin Chris is the guy who graduated today.” He offers.
“I don’t know.” JJ didn’t want to intrude.
“Come on, it’ll be fun. Oh, I’m Will by the way. William LaMontagne Jr.” He tells her and holds his hand out for her.
“JJ.” She shakes his hand.
“I knew that. Valedictorian, uh? That’s a big deal.”
JJ shrugs her shoulders, “I guess.”
“Hey, Will.” Chris calls as he walks over to them. JJ kind of knew Chris. They had had a few classes over the years together. His girlfriend Kate followed closely behind him. “The parents left, so it’s just us.” He then turns his attention to JJ, “Are you coming with us?”
“Oh, please come with us, JJ.” Kate practically begged, “I rather not be alone with these two.”
JJ gave a small smile before answering, “Sure.”
JJ had a great time with Will, Kate, and Chris. They went to a tiny family owned Italian restaurant for lunch. JJ was glad to feel like a kid again. She was always taking care of her mom, doing homework, or at a soccer game.
After lunch JJ decided to go to Spencer’s apartment. She was starting to get worried because he hadn’t answered her text or calls. JJ was shocked to see an ambulance in front of the complex. She was even more shocked to see her brother’s body on the stretcher. JJ parked her car then sprinted over to the ambulance.
“Ma’am, we need you to move away-”
“That’s my twin!” She cried while pointing to Spencer. “We’re only a few minutes apart. I-I-” She then put her hand over her mouth to stop from sobbing.
He gave her a sympathetic look, “You can sit over there.”
JJ was glad to be home and not at her Dad’s house anymore. It was nice that her family knew about their Mom and were helping her out. She felt like she could breathe more in some ways. In other ways she felt more tense. She knew she should tell her family, but she was too scared. She had never brought a man to meet her family before.
Will had only meet Spence and her confused mother. JJ wished to keep it that way. Those were the people she saw as loyal to her.
During the divorce the family had split in half. Spence, her mom, and herself on one side and then the rest of her family on the other side. She had lost contact with her dad completely. She talked with the rest of her siblings here and there, but it wasn't the same as it used to be.
She longed for the days when Roz was alive. For the days where her parents were married and not fighting constantly. Where her big siblings were fun and caring. She felt so distant from them now. She'd never been super close to Aaron. She was born after he graduated high school. Emily and her had, had a decent sister relationship. She missed Penelope though. Penelope had taught her everything. She taught JJ how to put on makeup and walk in heels. Also, how to be a good person.
Penelope had been the person JJ went to. There were no secrets between the two. That was all before Rosaline died and their parents divorced. Now Penelope had Derek. JJ knew she shouldn't take it personal that Penelope would rather talk to Derek. JJ knew she would go to Will before she would Penelope. It was a reminder though.
JJ texted Will to come over. Aaron was taking their mom to an appointment, which she was grateful for. She hated doctor offices. She smiled when the doorbell rang. She opened the door to reveal Will with a pizza. She let him in and took the pizza so he could take his shoes off.
They entered the kitchen. JJ set the pizza down and kissed him. “Thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome darlin’. How's your mom doing?” He asks her.
“She's had a good day. My sister Penelope watched her for a few hours today. Now, she’s at the doctors. My brother Aaron took her.”
“Penelope, is the one who’s married, right? And Aaron’s the oldest?” Will was pretty good at keeping her siblings in order, even though he hadn’t met them.
“Yeah. Aaron’s the oldest out of all of us and Penelope’s third oldest.” JJ confirms.
“When am I going to met your family?” Will asks.
“I love you too much for you to meet them.” This had always been her answer.
“They don’t seem that bad.”
“Oh, really?” JJ questions, “How did we meet again? Oh, yeah, at my graduation. The graduation where not one member of my huge showed up. Well, I guess Spence wanted to, but...you know what happened.”
Will kissed her, “Don’t think about that. Spence, it just fine now.”
“You’re right.” JJ and Will then started to make out. It got heated and he carried her to the couch. Somewhere from the kitchen to the couch JJ’s shirt had been removed.
The two were so distracted by each other that they didn’t notice the door open.
“Hey, J-WHAT THE FUCK!”
The couple jumped apart. JJ looked up and saw her big brother Aaron and Mom. He looked pissed off. “Hey, Aaron.” Will threw her shirt at her and she put it on in record time. “Aaron?”
“Who is that?” He asks through his teeth.
Erin giggled, “That’s her fiancé. Even I knew that!”
“What?” He screamed.
JJ couldn’t move. All she could think was that this secret was about to come out.
Posted May 20, 2017.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Sorry, for such a long time between updates! I think I'm finally figuring my stuff out and getting back into this story. I'm going to try to update this every Sunday.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Four Years Ago
Spencer was an obsessive person. He had always been. He was obsessed with trains as a toddler. As a kid it was dinosaurs. Then as a preteen he became obsessed with books. He went through hundreds of books a week. Once he got to college he got into his most dangerous obsession. Drugs. His roommate, Tobias Hankle, gave him dilaudid. Spencer instantly became hooked.
Spencer could not function without it.
Every waking moment revolved around either taking the drug or trying to get it. He truly did not think he had a problem. Every college student took drugs. He was normal for once. He was able to finally get laid and had friends.
The only downside was that him and JJ were not as close. They still talked though. At least mom was doing well. She had barely been affected been her Alzheimer's, which meant that Spencer did not have to go home on the weekends. Instead he could party and get high.
Spencer was at the best party ever. He had never been able to get ahold of that much dilaudid before. Things got too out of control though. When he got home he was still high, but felt like it was wearing off. So, he took more. A lot more. He wasn’t sure how much because he blacked out.
When Spencer woke up he felt like shit. He was in a white room. After noticing the gown he was in and all the wires he realized he was in a hospital. He couldn’t talk. There was something in his throat.
He looked to his right. There was a window room and saw JJ talking to some guy outside his room. Spencer was pretty sure that he had never met the guy. The guy was about as tall as JJ. The back of JJ’s head was facing towards him. He knew it was her because she was wearing her soccer jersey that had their last name on it. The guy, whoever he was, seemed insanely concerned. His green or blue eyes-Spencer couldn’t tell from so far away-were wide. His forehead was scrunched up. He wasn’t saying anything. Spencer could tell JJ was talking because her hands and head were moving. She also talked with her whole body. It was the Italian inside of her.
Eventually, the guy looked at Spencer. He then looked back to JJ and said something to her. Whatever he said caused JJ to turn around. Spencer felt terrible when she turned around. Her whole face was red and puffy from crying. Her usually sparklingly eyes were now a dull and muted color. The last time her eyes were that color was when Rosaline died and their parents divorced. He had caused this pain. He did this.
JJ slowly walked in. The guy left. JJ finally got to his room. She gasp for breath for a few seconds before she asked, “Were you trying to kill yourself?” She then started to sob. He wished he could hug her and comfort her. He never wanted to hurt JJ. JJ was his best friend and his twin. He wanted to tell her that he didn’t mean to end up in the hospital. “The doctors said that you nearly overdosed, Spencer. They said it was dilaudid. How the hell did you even get that?” JJ wiped at her eyes harshly. Trying to wipe the tears away before they rolled down her face. “Gosh, I really wish you could talk right now.”
“I can help with that.” The doctor says as she walks into the room.
“That’d be great.” JJ tells her. The guy stands by JJ.
“Okay, Spencer this isn’t going to feel good, but it needed to be done. We put the tube in to help you breath. I’m going to take this out now.” The doctor starts to slowly take the tube out. Spencer hates every second of it. It’s the worse pain he’s ever felt. It takes a few minutes before his throat feels normal again.
After, Spencer confessed that he had been taking dilaudid for a few months the doctor offered him and JJ options. None sounded great.
When the doctor left Spencer finally asked, “Who are you?”
“This is my friend Will. Will this is my lovely twin Spencer.” She said this with an eye roll. JJ then started pacing. Spencer noticed her hands were shaking with both rage and sadness. She finally stopped and started yelling at him again. “What the fuck were you thinking? Why would you purposefully take drugs? Very addictive drugs. Fucking dilaudid, Spencer. I’ve never been this mad at you. Ever!”
“JJ, I’m-” He started, but was cut off.
“What? Sorry?” JJ asks.
“Yeah.” He whispered. He could feel tears start forming in his eyes. “I’m sorry, JJ. I’m so sorry. I’ll go to rehab. I will make this better for you. I love you.”
“I love you too.” JJ then started sobbing. She ran over to his bed and started hugging him. He hugged her back as tightly as he could.
Thinking back to that is what kept him away from drugs. He had been sober for years now. The addiction of dilaudid was always there. He got a therapist to help him stay sober. He had his sponsor.
Lately, life had became too much. He felt like he was going crazy. Spencer felt like killing himself. He held the dilaudid in his hands. Surely, JJ would understand and not be mad. She would rather him be alive taking dilaudid than dead, right?
Within seconds he ruined his years of sobriety.
Posted June 11, 2017.
Penelope was glad to be home. She really needed to talk to Derek. The secrets she knew were already driving her nuts. The sooner she could reveal what she learned the better.
Penelope found Derek in the kitchen. He smiled when he saw her, “Hey Baby Gir-”
“I think Rosaline killed herself because she couldn’t have kids.” She blurted out.
He stared at her in shock for a second before asking. “What?”
“My mom she accidently told me that Rosaline had a medical condition and that she couldn’t have kids. Derek, she wanted to be a mom so bad. Maybe, she thought that her life was over. I mean everything seems like the end of the world at seventeen. I don't know. She could've thought that no one would ever love her because she couldn't have kids. Derek, my family has always wondered why. This could be it. We might finally have some form of closure."
"I don't know Baby Girl. Maybe try to get more evidence before you tell your family. You don't wan to have to dig up old wounds of it's not necessary."
"You're right. I'll just watch my mom more. I bet JJ would love that."
Emily smiled as her son giggled in delight. Declan was currently laughing at the crazy faces his grandpa was making.
"I went to the doctors today." Her dad says out of nowhere.
"How did that go? I'm sorry I couldn't go." Emily finally got a job interview for a nearby school. She hoped it would work out. She loved her son and dad, but she needed to get away. She needed to work. She loved working.
"Don't worry about it. I had my little man. It's getting worse, Em. I think I'm going to have to tell your siblings." He confesses.
"Good. They deserve to know. The less secrets we can have in this family the better." Emily tells him.
"You're right. I'll do it soon. I promise."
"Are you sure you don't want to do treatment?" Emily hated that he reused treatment. She wanted him as long as she could have him.
"I'm sure. I want to go out as me. Not some sick unrecognizable version of me."
"Okay." She sighed. She really hated this. She wasn't ready to say goodbye to him.
"You're engaged!" Aaron roared out. Aaron had never gotten mad at her. "JJ!"
"Um," Fuck she thought. JJ grabbed the grey blanket on the couch and wrapped herself in it. "Will, can you take my mom to her room?"
"Sure." Will says.
"NO." Aaron says. "I'll take Mom and then I need to talk to both of you."
Aaron left with their mother. Will looked at her. "I'm screwed. Your brother is goin' kill me."
"Yeah, he's going to kill us both!" JJ dropped her head into her hands. "This is so bad."
Aaron came back in the room. "Jennifer-Joy, what the fuck! You're half naked and getting married? Are you fucking kidding me?"
"I'm not engaged. Mom's messed up brain came up with it and I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise. This is my boyfriend Will though."
“How long have you two been together? Two days?”
JJ could tell he was still angry. “Almost two years.” She tells him.
Aaron’s eyes widen. “Two years?! Jennifer-Joy! Does Dad know?”
“No.” She whispered.
“What?” Aaron asked.
Will put an arm around her shoulders and took over, “No, your father doesn’t know. The only people that know in your family are your mom and Spencer.”
“How did this even happen?” Aaron now seemed to just be trying to get his mind wrapped around all of this new information.
“Um,” JJ started, “I meet him at graduation and then we ended up at the same college.”
“If it was at your graduation then how come no one else knows?”
“Because none of you went-”
“WILL!” JJ cut off her boyfriend. None of her family members realized that no one made it to the graduation and JJ had kept it that way. Spencer didn’t want anyone to know how that day ended so it was easier to pretend it never did happen.
“JJ, what’s he talking about?”
“No one showed up to my graduation. I was all by myself so Will comforted me. He felt bad for me. We stayed in touch and then started dating soon after.”
“No one was at your graduation?” He seemed to have turned into a different person. He was her big brother again. He was caring and concerned. “JJ, I’m sorry.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Nothing can be done about it now. Just please be nice to Will and don’t tell anyone else. I promise I will tell everyone soon.”
“You’ve got it.” Aaron tells her. “I’m going to go now.” Aaron left without a goodbye.
“Does anyone in your family know how to say bye?” Will laughed.
JJ smiled, “I don’t think so.”
Spencer was at the store. He was in a major coffee withdraw. He was deciding between regular and vanilla when the wind was knocked out of him by a huge hug. The person was short and their arms only reached his waist. Spencer looked down and smiled. “Jack!”
“Uncle Spence!” Spencer picked up the young boy.
“Hey, Jack Attack.” Spencer hadn’t seen the young boy in forever. It felt nice to finally have his nephew in his arms. “Where’s your mom buddy?” He shrugged. “That’s no good. We should probably find her.”
“Yeah, and then can we find Daddy?”
“Your dad’s here too?”
“No.” Spencer was confused.
“Jack!” Spencer turned and saw a concerned Hayley.
Spencer gave the boy back to his scared mom. “Sorry, I think I distracted him.”
Hayley glared at him, “Stay away from him.”
“My lawyer said to keep him away from you people.” Hayley hissed at him.
“Lawyer?” Spencer feared that she knew about his relapse, but she couldn’t, right?
“My divorce lawyer.” Hayley said as if it was obvious.
“Why do you have a divorce lawyer?” It couldn’t be. Aaron and Hayley couldn’t be getting a divorce.
“You don’t know?”
“Know what?” Spencer asked.
“Aaron and I are getting a divorce.”
Uh, oh Spencer thought.
Posted June 25, 2017.
Spencer wasn’t sure how he’d make it through today.
He agreed to go to the museum with Aaron and Jack. This plan had been made before Spencer accidently found out about Aaron and Haley’s divorce. Now Spencer wanted to stay home and do drugs. He knew it was too late to back out now though.
Spencer took a little bit of dilaudid before he left his apartment. Just enough to give him a buzz, but it won’t be obvious to Aaron. Spencer sat on a bench in the museum while waiting for his brother and nephew. Spencer knew that Jack would love the dinosaur exhibit.
“Spence!” Spencer smiled when he saw his nephew come running at him.
“Jack Attack!” He picked Jack up and spun him around. “How are you doing buddy?”
“I good!” He said. Spencer was glad that Jack was happy. Divorce sucked and he hoped it won’t affect Jack too much.
“You ready to see dinosaurs?”
“Hi, Aaron.” Spencer greeted his brother who had just found them.
“HI, Spencer. Want do you want to do first, Jack?”
“DINOSAURS!” Jack exclaimed.
Spencer decided to finally tell Aaron he knew about the divorce when Jack went to play in one of the kid discovery things. “Um, Aaron we need to talk.”
“About what?” Aaron asked confused. “Is this about Mom?”
“No, it’s about you actually. I ran into Haley the other at the store and she told me that you guys are getting a divorce.” Spencer tells him.
“Shit.” Aaron cursed under his breath.
“What happened? You guys seemed so happy last time I saw the two of you.” Spencer had been very curious of what went down when he had found out about the divorce. Spencer had always thought that Haley and Aaron would be together forever. They seemed like the perfect couple. They had been high school sweethearts.
Aaron looked ashamed then confessed, “I cheated on her. I was having an affair and she found out.”
“What?” Spencer was in disbelief. His brother cheated? How was that possible.
“I regret it, but it’s too late. Haley’s done. I don’t blame her.” Aaron tells him.
“How could you do that to Haley?” Spencer asked. “How could you just throw that all away? How could you do that to Jack?” Spencer was now angry. “Your parents getting a divorce is the worst.”
“I know that-”
No,” Spencer said cutting off Aaron, “you don’t. You weren’t there when Mom and Dad got their divorce. You weren’t woken up by them screaming at each other and blame one another for Rosaline’s death. You weren’t there when JJ and I would hide in my room and pray for them to stop throwing things at each other. You have no idea how awful divorce is as a kid. You were an adult when they got divorced. You didn’t watch their marriage explode. You know nothing. You’re just a selfish bastard.” With that Spencer left.
He needed drugs. He needed their comfort. He needed to forget everything that just happened. The only way that would happen is if he took drugs. JJ would understand.
Penelope isn’t sure why she thought a day out with her sisters was a good idea. The three were very different. Well, her and Emily were always close. Her and JJ used to be before everything happened. JJ and Emily had their moments, but they rarely talked. Penelope thought it was time they finally got together.
Going to a movie was safe. You didn’t have to talk during a movie. Afterwards, they were going to get lunch, but they would be able to talk about the movie. Penelope thought she made the perfect fool-proof plan. Sadly, she was wrong. They talked about the movie for about ten minutes and then sat in an awkward silence for about twenty-five minutes.
Then JJ got a phone call. “Hello?” She answered the phone. Penelope saw a small smile start to form on her face. “Um, yeah, I’m free tomorrow night.” She was silent. Penelope guessed that the other person on the phone was talking. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow. I love you too.” JJ then hung up.
Penelope looked at Emily in shock. JJ never said the L word. Penelope could tell it wasn’t a family member because JJ was blushing and trying to hide it. Emily of course asked, “Who was that, JJ?”
“My boyfriend.” She answered quietly.
“You have a boyfriend? Since when?” Penelope couldn’t believe how grown up her little sister was. Penelope was pretty sure this was JJ’s first boyfriend.
“Um…” She trialed off before finally answering. “About two years.”
“JJ!” Emily seemed as surprised as Penelope felt. “Why didn’t you tell us?”
“Because I really like him and when we got together I still wasn’t really talking to you guys. And then it never really came up.” JJ tells them. “I’m pretty sure Aaron hates him.”
“Aaron knows?” Penelope asked.
She nodded yes, “He found us half naked on the couch. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.”
“That’s terrible.” Emily laughed, “But also really funny. Wait, how far were you two?”
JJ covered her face with her hands. “Why did I tell you guys this?”
“Because you love us. Now, spill. How naked is half-naked?” Penelope asks her blushing sister.
“Everything, but shirts. And we were just making out.”
“That’s it?” Emily seemed disappointed. “How vanilla.”
“Well, we had just started.” JJ’s blush was slowly going away.
The girls talked for a few more hours. Penelope was glad that this all turned out well. Maybe, there was hope for this family after all.
Posted July 2, 2017.
JJ had never been this terrified. She couldn’t believe she was bring Will to meet her family. What was she thinking? This could only end badly. Deep down she let herself believe that maybe, just maybe, it won’t. That it would be totally okay and go off without a hitch.
“Jay, you almost ready darlin’?” Will asks her.
“Yeah, I’m ready. Are you?”
“I think so. Your family’s not as crazy as you portray them, right?” He jokes.
JJ rolls her eyes, “I wish. My dad however is not that bad. He’ll mess with you though. At least you're good at cooking. That’d help him like you.”
“That is my main goal. I feel like your other siblings won’t be hard to get along with, but your daddy’s going to be scary. I’m the first guy his youngest daughter has brought him.” Will tells her.
“Why do you think my siblings will be so easy?” JJ asks him curious of what his answer will be.
“I somehow got Aaron to like me even after I thought he was goin’ to kill me. Also, the rest of your siblings won’t see me half-naked on top of you.” He explains.
“Good point.” She agrees.
Spencer knew he couldn’t take any drugs before going to the dinner at his father’s house JJ would notice. And if she didn’t then her boyfriend Will would. He already felt the awful effects taking over his body. His hands shook. He felt sick and clammy.
Maybe just half a pill?
It would calm him down, but won’t be noticeable. He tried to split a pill in half, but he was shaking too much. Spencer was able to talk himself into taking the full pill. It was better. JJ would rather him take a full pill than cut his hand off and only taking half a pill. He was still in control though.
He felt instant relief after taking the sweet pill. JJ won’t be mad. She’d understand. She’d be happy that he was calm now. Spencer wasn’t an addict again. He could stop whenever he wanted. It was fine.
Penelope did not want to eat. What if her family found her repulsive because of all the food she eat? What if they had been secretly judging her every time they eat together? Did her family still she her as the little fat girl? Was she still fat? Derek told her not to worry. What was important was that she was healthy.
Was that a lie though? She Derek lying to her? Maybe he was. Maybe he saw her as fat too, but was too kind to say anything. That would be something Derek would do. He as always lying to her and saying what he thought she wanted to hear.
Penelope did not want to go.
Emily had just finished setting the table when JJ and her boyfriend arrived at the house. They were the last to arrive. Lucky, for them Emily answered the door and not their dad.
“Emily, this is my boyfriend Will. Will, this is my sister Emily.” JJ introduced them.
“Nice to finally meet you come in.” Emily tells them.
“Nice to meet you too. JJ, you weren’t lying when you said your daddy’s house is by a pretty lake.” He says looking around the house. Emily noticed he was an attractive young man. Also, that he adored JJ. He was looking at her little sister like the sun rose just to see her. Emily also noticed that JJ was smiling wider than she had ever seen her. Emily was glad. It seemed like Will treated her little sister well. “Wait, you’re the one with the baby right?”
JJ rolls her eyes, “He’s obsessed with kids.”
“Do you want to meet Declan?” Emily was surprised.
“Yes, I’ve been hearing about the little guy forever.” Will says.
“Okay. Can you watch him while JJ and I finish setting up for dinner?” Emily asks.
Emily went into the kitchen and grabbed her son. She then went back into the living room and gave Declan to Will. “Here you go.”
Emily helped get the boys comfortable then her and JJ went into the kitchen. “I can trust him with my child, right?”
JJ laughs. “Yes, I promise. Will’s really good with kids. Now what do you need help with?”
“Nothing, I lied.” Emily confessed.
“You just wanted to ask me questions about him behind his back?”
“Yeah…” She trails off.
Aaron had spent the whole day arguing with Haley. It wasn’t fair that she was keeping Jack from him. It didn’t matter that he cheated. It wasn’t fair to Jack. He needed his father. Also, he deserved to see his Grandpa Rossi, aunts, and uncles.
He felt like crying. How was he going to get through this dinner?
Posted July 9, 2017.