Chapter 2.80 – New Friend

Three weeks later…..

Cole woke up to the twins storming into his bedroom.  “It’s moving day Daddy! Get up!” said Ryan shaking him.

Today they were finally getting settled into their own home.  When Avery was arrested, they had immediately moved in with Cole’s parents.  As part of the divorce, his and Avery’s home was sold so Cole had been looking for a new place. Leroy approached Cole and asked him if he would like to buy his home. It had become too much for him to manage alone and he was going to move in with Cole’s parents.  He jumped at the chance and they had it remodeled with the kids and Miss Sarah in mind.

Cole sat up laughing and ruffled Ryan’s hair. “Oh… yes it is! Are you guys excited or something?” he asked.

“Yessss! My new room is soooo cool!” said Ryan.

Cole looked at his daughter who didn’t seemed thrilled at all. “What’s wrong Reagan? I thought you liked your room too.”

“I do,” she said looking miserable.

“Then why the sad face?” asked Cole gently.

“I want my Mommy,” she said and burst into tears.

Cole pulled his eight year old daughter next to him on the bed. “Honey, I know you do. We all wish things had been different. We talked about this with the counselor. Mommy loves you still. She just got mixed up with a bad person and she made some bad choices. Now she has to pay for those choices.”

“But you got divorced! You said you weren’t! You lied!” cried his little girl.

Now it was Ryan that looked miserable. “Don’t cry Reagan…”

Cole’s heart was breaking and he hugged his daughter tighter. “Reagan, baby, at the time I said that, I didn’t know what…..”

“Daddy,” interrupted Ryan, looking guilty, “I told Reagan. I’m sorry. I told her Mommy kissed a bad man and he made her do bad things.”

“Ryan, where did you hear that?” asked Cole.

Ryan averted his eyes and didn’t answer.

“Ryan,” he said more forcefully.

“On TV …. and the Internet,” admitted Ryan.

Cole figured they were curious, because even to an 8 year-old, his explanations felt hollow. He was going to have to tell them more of the truth. He just didn’t know how much truth they could deal with. But not now.

“It’s okay Ryan,” said Cole gently, “You were JUST trying to help. Is Grandma up yet?” Ryan nodded so he continued. “Okay. Then why don’t you run get dressed and tell Grandma that Reagan and I’ll be down in a minute.”

“Reagan, are you okay?” asked Cole after her brother was out of the room.

“I want to see Mommy,” she said, and wiped her face with her hand, “You said she loves us. She must be sad too.”

Cole hadn’t planned to take them to see her. He didn’t want them exposed to that. It seemed that choice might now be taken from him. He wanted to pretend like she had died. But Avery wasn’t dead. She was still their mother and Reagan craved a mother figure. He didn’t know what to say. Truth was, he didn’t think he could see Avery without losing it.

Finally the words came. “Reagan…you understand that Mommy is in prison, right? And I don’t think they let children go there. But I will check. And baby, honestly, she might not want to see you. Okay? And I know she doesn’t want to see me.”

“Why did she kiss that bad man?” she asked.

“She doesn’t love me anymore sweetie. Sometimes people fall out of love, or find someone they love more. But that’s not true for parents and their children. No matter what, parents always love their children. It’s a universal rule. I love you and Ryan more than anything or anyone.”

“I love you too Daddy. Please – don’t be mad at Ryan. I sorta helped him look on the Internet.”

Cole almost laughed, even with the seriousness of the situation. Those two had each other’s backs and didn’t even know it. It must be a twin thing. “You know you can ask me anything, right? Anything at all. I’ll never, ever be mad for you asking a question,” he said and kissed the top of her head. “Now you go get dressed and let’s eat. It’s moving day!”

As he watched his little girl leave his room, Cole’s thoughts drifted to Dannie and their last conversation, three weeks ago, at the restaurant. She hadn’t called or texted since. He must have really upset her. He knew the kids would adore her. Who wouldn’t. But then, that could be a problem, especially for Reagan. Should she bond with Dannie and Dannie left, she would be devastated. In fact, Dannie had similar concerns for her own little girl. After seeing Reagan’s state of mind this morning, maybe it was just as well that he and Dannie had parted ways.

He sighed to himself and got up to get dressed. Sadly, the timing for them was still wrong, even though they were both single. Things were just too tangled up and complicated.

******************************************************************************

Cole’s now smaller family got settled into their new home just two weeks before school started. The twins were going to go back to public school since the case was closed and the media was leaving them alone. They were super excited.

He and his mom took them shopping for school supplies and clothes over the weekend. Cole didn’t know how he would have gotten through the last year without his family’s support.

Afterwards, they took the twins to the park to let them burn off some of their energy. He and his mom sat down while they played and made new friends.

“Cole, what happened with Dannie?” asked Sofia, “I thought you two were getting close during the trial.”

“She’s moving away soon and we didn’t want the kids to get attached and then have them leave. Plus, neither of us is looking for a relationship. Everything’s just still too raw. We are friends, that’s all. Oh, and I’m worried about Reagan. She wants to see Avery. I don’t know what to do.”

Sofia let put a slow breath. “I’m sorry Cole. You probably need to talk to Avery. Will she even want to see them? And maybe the counselor too.”

“Maybe counselor first. I don’t want to give Avery any indication that Reagan might want a relationship with her.”

“Daddy! Grandma!  I made a new friend!” said the subject of their conversation.

“You did?” asked Cole, “that’s nice!”

“She’s going to be in the same school as me and Ryan but she’s a grade ahead. That’s even better! I have an older friend!”

“Hobnobbing with the upper classes, huh?” replied Cole teasing her. “Why don’t you go get Ryan and say goodbye. We need to get going.”

When she left to do as instructed, Cole looked at his mom, “Well, maybe she will forget about seeing Avery when school starts and I won’t have to worry.”

“Maybe. But you know, Reagan’s like a dog with a bone sometimes, she doesn’t often forget,” warned Sofia.

“Thanks Mom!” said Cole rolling his eyes.

A few minutes later the twins ran up. “Bye Taylor!” they yelled together.

******************************************************************************

It was the first day of school and you would have thought it was Christmas because the twins were super excited. Reagan hadn’t mentioned wanting to see her mother since the morning that they moved. She had been busy talking to her new ‘friend’ on FaceTime and was ready to start school to make more new friends.

They only lived two blocks away from their new school, so they begged to walk and Cole finally agreed. He secretly followed them to be sure they got there.  Miss Sarah said she would follow along on the days that Cole had to be at work early.

They took off happily discussing the new school and friends they would make.  It made Cole smile.  Phil tried to follow so Miss Sarah had to call him back.

Cole walked back into the house after the twins were safely in the school building. He suddenly felt very lonely. He needed to get to the clinic, but it was a slow day since it was the first day of school, so he didn’t need to hurry.

He sat down with a cup of coffee to think. He decided to wait to talk to anyone about Reagan unless she brought up seeing Avery again. Hopefully she had simply been anxious about moving out of her childhood home.

Cole got up, put his cup in the dishwasher and got ready for work.  He wanted to be home when the kids got home so he planned to leave early, at least today. Sarah would be there for them after that.

******************************************************************************

Cole managed to make it home just before the kids. They were super excited and talked non-stop about the day’s activities. Evidently they were suffering no ill effects from having a mom that was incarcerated. At least not yet. He prayed it would stay that way.

After they ate and did homework, they played for awhile.  Finally,  he rounded them up for bed. He knew as they got older they wouldn’t want him tucking them in anymore, but until they told him to stop, he was going to.

First he went to Ryan’s room and he was sitting up in his bed.  “Dad,” he said, “do you think Reagan’s new friend is going to be my friend too?”

“Of course. Reagan loves you the best, and if someone wasn’t your friend, then she wouldn’t be theirs.”

“I hope so,” he said then climbed into bed and turned over, “Night Dad,” he added, seemingly satisfied with Cole’s assurances.

“Good night Ryan,” said Cole and kissed his son before heading into his sister’s room.

She was waiting for him, much the same as Ryan was so he sat down next to her.  “Hey Reagan. Ryan says you made a new friend today.”

Reagan grinned up at him. “No silly,” she said, “She’s not new. I met her at the park a couple of weeks ago. Remember?”

“Oh yes…Taylor? She’s a she not a he?” asked Cole.

Reagan laughed. “Yep Daddy. You weren’t listening.”

“Oh, my bad. So, you two aren’t excluding Ryan are you?”

“No. He acted like he didn’t want to hang out with us girls.”

“Hmmm. Well, be careful not to hurt his feelings. He might be a little jealous of your new friend.”

“Okay Daddy. We will invite him to play.”

Cole hugged her tight before tucking her in. “Okay, love you sweetie. Goodnight.”

Cole turned off the light in Reagan’s bedroom.  He went to sit out on the tiny balcony off the Master Bedroom and enjoy the cool evening breeze.  Phil followed him out and sat down next to him.  “Well, at least you were faithful,” he said to the old dog and scratched his ears.

As he watched the people jogging or the few cars coming and going, he felt more alone than he had in a long time. Watching his children grow up and begin to find themselves, and not have anyone to share it with was difficult. But at least they seemed to be doing well. In the excitement of getting back to school, Reagan had never once mentioned her mother again, much to Cole’s relief.  He would take it.

******************************************************************************

The following week, before school, Ryan and Reagan asked if Taylor could come home with them. Cole was happy to see them making friends. “Sure,” he said, “as long as it’s okay with her parents.”

“Yippie!” squealed Reagan and throw her arms around him. “Thank you Daddy!”

Cole laughed, it was good to Reagan so happy for a change. “I well let Miss Sarah know to expect a friend to come home this afternoon.”

*********************************************************************************

That afternoon when Cole got home, he saw his kids playing outside with a little blonde headed girl. He figured she must be Taylor.  He went over to say hi to the kids and their playmate and Reagan quickly hugged him.

“Hi Daddy!” she said, as the little girl  on the other swing began to slow herself down.  “This is Taylor!”

Cole turned to say hi.  She looked familiar, even though he didn’t think he had had seen her before. “Hi Taylor! What’s your last name?” he asked, hoping a last name might jog his memory. Maybe she had been with her parents in the clinic.

The blue-eyed little girl looked up at him, “Hi Mr. Murdock. It’s Perkins. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for letting me come over.”

Cole was shocked. She had to be Dannie’s daughter. That’s why she looks familiar, he thought. But, why is she here and why didn’t Dannie tell me? “Is your mother’s name Dannie?” he asked to be certain.

“Yes sir!” she said grinning, and that grin tugged at something in his subconscious. Maybe because it was her mother’s grin.

“Does your mom know you are here?” he asked still looking at her intently.

“I don’t know,” she said suddenly frowning. “My Gramma does. She said it was okay.”

Reagan got out the swing and stood next to Taylor. “Daddy, do you know her mommy?” she asked looking at her friend.

Cole caught his breath. He looked between the girls again to be sure he wasn’t imagining it. That was what was tugging at him. She reminded him of his own daughter. They could be sisters. If what he thought was true, it was no wonder Dannie didn’t want him to meet Taylor. He felt sick. And then, anger took over.

“Daddy?” prompted Reagan when he didn’t answer.

“Uh, yes sweetie. We are actually old friends. Taylor, when is your birthday?” he had to be sure even though it seemed an inappropriate question.

“March 15th, Mr. Murdock,” replied Taylor.

“March 15th?” Cole felt sick. Dannie said May, he remembered because he did the math. She lied.  “Okay sweetie. You guys go on and play,” said Cole.

He turned around and walked inside so he would be out of earshot of the kids and Sarah, who was keeping an eye on them.

When he got inside, he called Dannie with shaking hands.

“Cole? Hi,” she said sounding curious.

He took a calming breath and tried to keep his voice even. “Dannie. Did you know your daughter is here at my house?”

She inhaled sharply. “Oh…No, I – I didn’t. I knew mom let her go to a friends house. But she didn’t say it was your kids. I hope she isn’t causing trouble.”

“No, not at all. She and the twins are having fun together. I thought you might want to come on over. We can have dinner together before you take her home, since you haven’t moved yet.”

“Cole, that’s not necessary. I’ll just have mom come get her. I was on a roll with my book and…”

“No Dannie,” he said stopping her, “I would like to see you anyway, and the kids will enjoy it.” He had a hard time keeping the anger out of his voice.

“Okay. I guess. Should I bring something?”

Cole closed his eyes before answering to calm himself.  “Just yourself,” he said and disconnected the call.

Go to Chapter 2.81>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 2.79

48 thoughts on “Chapter 2.80 – New Friend

  1. Pingback: Chapter 2.79 – The Trial Part 2 | New Beginnings

  2. Oh shittttttttttt 😱 I was afraid of this 😬 Dannie, Dannie, Dannie… I love my girl but like… gah. This is gonna be a rough conversation ahead… :-/ Be gentle, Cole! She’s your soulmate, okay? 😭 Just a little lie… no big deal… right? 😬

    By the way, in other news, the start of this chapter was so sad 😦 It’s heartbreaking to see the kiddos try to make sense of things, and Cole having to answer the tough questions and be strong for them 😭 He’s a great dad though. They’re lucky to have him!

    And, uh, maybe Taylor is too…!

    Liked by 3 people

    • That conversation with Dannie is not going to be pretty no doubt. Cole is not happy. We shall see if she is a soulmate! Maybe just the opposite at this point.

      They had therapy and it helped, but I think getting back to school and growing up, they have a lot more questions and poor Cole has to try to answer them. And now, we might be throwing another sibling into the mix.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :joy:

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, Cole needs to take a chill pill. I still feel it’s Dannie’s decision and it was probably the best for all involved at the time. Had she come out with the truth – if that is really what we are all thinking – it would have wreaked havoc then. She’s a good woman, smart, kind and instilled that on her daughter. He better stay in line or he needs a spankin’! Taylor is very cute though.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hot Dang! I guess Cole has more kids then he thought he had? This is going to make things messy! Cole has to deal with a divorce, twins, AND a secret daughter that he didn’t know about!

    I wonder how things will go from now own, I mean, Cole isn’t the type to just..abandon his daugther, so he might fight with Dannie in the court over Taylor.Ooorrrr they may decide to live under the same roof, in a very…interresting family dynamics.

    Poor kids! It’s not easy to tell then his mother is in jail because she tried to kill his aunt ,and, she most likely doesn’t like then.

    I wonder what Cole is going to do with Dannie once she gest there, I mean, he isn’t going to confront her in front of the kids, is he?I think she had a good reason to hide his daughter from him.

    The tabloids are going to LOVE this turn of events. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! You described everything perfectly! 😱. And definitely this is fodder for the tabloids! Lol….it’s a good thing he isn’t on their radar anymore!

      Cole will most definitely want to have a relationship with Taylor. He isn’t thinking clearly right now. He acted on impulse calling her to come over but he needs to confront her and figure things out.

      I wonder if her reasons for keeping Taylor a secret are going to fly with him? Hmmm…more after Christmas and it will be the last chapter of Cole’s gen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Danni’s the one Cole has always trusted no matter what. I have a feeling Cole is going to have a hard time forgiving Danni and she will have to gain his trust back. That brown stuff is going to hit the fan and splatter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dun dun duuuuun…

    How did I miss this chapter? The holidays are upon me!

    So…omg…Taylor is the TWIN of Reagan! Definitely Cole’s daughter. But Dannie! Why hide her from him? These women. 🤬😡

    I still think he can do better. Or maybe he just needs to be on his own. Grrr…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Chapter 2.81 – Explanations | New Beginnings

  8. Poor kids… it really breaks my heart to see them like this, trying to wrsp their little heads around what’s happened… let’s hope this will not scar them for life!
    And dang… here we go. Things are about to get really messy!! 😒

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, yes. The joys of discovering you had a daughter without knowledge. The secret’s out, I’d say 😂
    Danniiiiiieeee! How could you not tell Cole? I understand as long as you were married but after that… I guess it is like she said when they were talking about secrets. She didn’t want to hurt him after he had experienced so much heartbreak during the trial. She treasures him too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehehe! Yes someone’s not happy. We make choices to protect those we care about that come back to hurt bite us. I can see how hard it must’ve been for her to make that decision, although it was wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

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