Chapter 3.57 – Grandma

Reagan woke up screaming. “Archer!” she yelled over and over.

She bolted upright, sweating and her heart was racing.  She was alone and terrified.

Suddenly, light flooded the room and she squeezed her eyes closed.  Then soft arms surrounded her.  “Sweetheart. It’s okay now…”  said her grandmother, her voice soft and comforting.  She remembered now, she was in Ami’s old bedroom at her grandparent’s home.

“Oh Grandma, I’m so sorry to be such a pain. I feel like a big baby,” she said as her grandmother rocked her back and forth.

“Reagan, It’s okay,” said Sofia softly as Reagan relaxed into her warm embrace.  “Just sit here with me for a minute and breathe. I know you can’t help it.  But maybe, talking about it might help.”

“It’s awful,” said Reagan and her voice cracked but she was determined to get it out anyway. So she swallowed her emotions back and continued. “Someone is always dying in my dream. It used to be exactly what happened with Mother and Daddy – that night. But the dreams have changed. Well, it’s the same but different people. It was Evan and then Archer killing Evan. This time it was me killing Archer. I’ve never been the one before, just an observer.”

“Well, I’m sure it was all related to what happened last night. You did a number on him.”

“Grandma, they wouldn’t stop. Why do they always fight?”

“They both have different ideas of how to help you. And Ryan – he was afraid for you when you didn’t answer the phone. Archer didn’t hurt you? Did he?”

“No. But we fought. I was so tired but afraid to sleep and I wanted to leave. I didn’t mean for him to fall in love with me. I led him on.” She was rambling.

“Sweetheart, he was already in love with you. But you’re different from the confused little girl he fell in love with back in high school. And he wants that version of you, I think, not the strong, independent woman you are becoming.”

Reagan huffed out a laugh. “Sorry, I don’t feel strong or independent. Look at me. I’m a hot mess.”

“Oh but you are Reagan. You just lost sight of her when your mother began to manipulate your love for her into something twisted. Truth is, Ben and your father had a huge fight over their marriage. It’s not that we didn’t like Avery. It’s just, your father was rebounding, and it was clear to us that she’d manipulated him into the marriage. But he was blind, that’s what love does. In the beginning, it makes you blind to the other’s shortcomings. They did seem happy – for a short while anyway.”

Reagan was shocked. She had no idea how her father and mother got together. Now she was curious. “Was he rebounding from Dannie?”

Sofia smiled a knowing smile. “I think their love affair started in high school. They were inseparable for awhile, such great friends, but were never romantic. The timing was wrong.  But they stayed in touch over the years, even after Dannie got married and moved away.

“Actually, he was engaged to a girl he met in college. She was a lovely, sweet girl, but like so many of us, she had her demons. She worked in San Myshuno and traveled a lot after they graduated. Your father’s clinic is in Willow Creek so he bought a house here when the commute began to be too much. Your house in fact. They couldn’t handle the long distance thing and eventually, she broke off the engagement.”

“My poor father. I thought my love life was a wreck. So after his fiancée broke up, that must’ve been when Taylor …”

Sofia sighed. “Yes, I suppose. Opportunity – and both of them were hurting. If Dannie hadn’t been married, they may have gotten together sooner. But Avery pounced. And he bit. I don’t blame him. Your mother was a beautiful and vibrant woman and she was making your father feel good. I think though, she had her sights set on C&M even then.”

“Grandma, have you ever considered being a counselor?” asked Reagan with a tiny laugh.

“No. Your grandfather keeps me too busy,” she laughed too, but the love she had for her husband was apparent, even as she joked about him.

“I bet he does. Evan said Ben was opinionated.”

Sofia grinned. “Ben has had his trials too.” She had a faraway look in her eyes as she continued, “I think we all do. It’s like a right of passage. I’m sorry yours have been so horrendous.”

“Thank you for coming with Grandpa to get me. I’m sure you must be tired.”

“Sweetie, it’s already 10:00 am. I let you sleep in.”

“Do you think Ami would mind if I came back to work right away, maybe part time, before I start full time again? I mentioned it to Evan and he was okay with it.”

“She would be thrilled. You and Evan are a good team. Evan and Ben – not so much. I think Evan let’s Ben overrule his better judgement because it was his company. But things have changed and well, Ben didn’t.”

It made Reagan happy to hear her say good things about Evan. “Evan’s a good man with a good head for business and reading people. When he warned me about Mother, I should’ve listened.” Her good feeling began to falter.

“Don’t beat yourself up honey,” said Sofia and hesitated for a second before continuing.  “Soooo – I hope you don’t mind – I called Dr. Brown this morning and made an appointment for you for this afternoon.  I told her what happened and she happily made time. You have about 2 hours before we need to leave so you have time grab something to eat first.”

Reagan shouldn’t have been surprised but she was.  “Whoa. Okay – well, you’re probably right, I should see her.  This morning and last night have been awful.  Thanks for everything, including the family history.”

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

Reagan’s grandmother insisted on going with her to San Myshuno to see Dr. Brown.  She promised she only wanted to be there so she would have a friendly face if she needed it afterwards.  Reagan was beginning to figure out why Ben was afraid of her.

Forty-five minutes later, Reagan walked out of Dr. Brown’s office, prescription in hand.

When she got in the car with her Grandmother, she showed her the prescription and a tear escaped.  “Dr. Brown said this doesn’t mean I’m crazy.  But that’s not what it feels like.”

“I know is scares you Reagan, and makes you question your sanity.  Let’s go get coffee before we go home. I want to share another story with you, and maybe it will help.”

They pulled into a coffee shop along the way, where they were pretty sure they wouldn’t run into anyone they knew.  Once seated and coffees in hand Sofia began.  “Looks like it’s the day for family history,” she said. She blew on the hot beverage and took a drink before beginning her story.

“When Ben and I first got ‘reacquainted’ your father was about 2 years old, and I was dating a very controlling man.  He never hit me, but he controlled me in other ways.  He knew Ben and hated him. He was extremely jealous.  When we moved to Willow Creek, I got the job at C&M and I began to fall in love with your grandfather.”

Sofia laughed softly. “Who am I kidding, I have loved Ben since I was fourteen, and a geeky teenager.  All he saw was his best friend’s little sister.  But this time, we fell hard for each other. But we were both afraid of what was happening and tried to deny it.”

“What happened to the man you were dating?” asked Reagan, totally absorbed in her grandmother’s love story.

Sofia’s expression became dark for a minute. “I started lying to him because I was afraid to be honest. He didn’t know I worked with Ben and would have insisted I quit if he found out. I loved my job with Ben and Leroy …” She paused and smiled again as she thought back.  “God I miss him and Kaitlin so much.  They were amazing.  Anyway, Ben and I were fighting our attraction. He was afraid because of Grace and Cole, and I was afraid of Jesse.”

“But you guys eventually worked it out.  What does this have to do with me?” asked Reagan curiously.

“I’m getting there. Jesse eventually found out I was working for Ben, and he lost it.  He accused me of sleeping with Ben.  I wasn’t …”  she stopped again and grinned, her eyebrow raised.  “Not that I didn’t want to.”

“Grandma!” exclaimed Reagan a little embarrassed.

Sofia laughed.  “Ben was, still is, a very attractive man. Anyway, this is the worst part. Jesse didn’t let me go,” she took a breath and spoke her next words softly, “He was so angry, he forced himself on me and told me that was what a real man was like.”

“Oh Grandma, I’m sorry, you didn’t have to tell me that.” Reagan wondered how her grandmother could be so strong and normal after something so horrible happened to her.

“I won’t lie,” said Sofia softly, “It was the lowest point in my life. I went into therapy and was on anxiety meds for a short period of time.  And Ben, and his family, they rallied around me. That’s when we finally admitted how we felt about each other. He was my rock through it all. And his family, they helped me heal.”

Reagan felt tears welling in her eyes and picked up her cup to distract her.  She had no idea.

“Don’t cry for me Reagan.  What you suffered is just as horrid, probably even worse.  You were betrayed by the very person that should have given their own life to protect yours – and then Archer took advantage of your vulnerability to try to win your heart.  Do I think Archer is the same as Jesse?  I’ll let you be the judge. But he did hide you away and tried to isolate you, same as Jesse tried to do.  Ben always let’s me be me.

“What Archer didn’t count on is that you aren’t really a shrinking violet. You come from a line of strong women.  Kaitlin, Grace and Grace’s grandmother, Lillie May. They were strong loving women and survived adversity.  I had the pleasure to know Lillie May and Kaitlin.  They were great role models.”

Reagan watched Sofia, captivated by her story, temporarily forgetting her own troubles.

Sofia continued. “Lillie May knew Ben was in love with me before he did.  She gave us her blessings.  When Grace died, Lillie May had lost everything, except your father – her great grandson and only living relative.  Ben made sure she saw him often.  She loved that little boy so much.  I have a picture of us I’ll find and give to you. Look at it when you feel the walls closing in and think about how much that woman lost, but how she persevered and was happy. Dang, now I’m getting emotional.”

Reagan was tearing up too hearing things about her father’s family she didn’t know. “Thanks for telling me, but you left someone out. You. I want to be you when I grow up.”

“Thank you,” said Sofia sweetly, “But you don’t need to be me.  You need to be you sweetheart. The best you that you can possibly be. You were well on the way and you just got derailed is all. Now you have a small crutch to help you get back on the right track. You’ll know when you don’t need it anymore.”

Reagan eyed her grandmother. “I hope so.  Thank you for telling me about you and Grandpa. I didn’t know any of this. It’s fascinating. We need to hang out more.  I want to know about my great grandparents, about their life, about you and grandpa’s courtship.  Even my own father.”

“You can stay with us as long as you want.  You know that. Come on. Let’s drop by C&M and let Ami know you’re ready to get back to work.”

“Between you and Dr. Brown, I’m feeling much better,” said Reagan with a smile, “I feel fortunate that Archer is okay though.  I know he only wanted to help me.”

“Control Reagan,” warned Sofia gently, “Don’t forget that part.”

“I know. I think I wanted to be controlled, so I didn’t have to make any decisions. I know the ones I did make were the ones he told me to make. But he did help me. I needed to hide away for awhile.”  She didn’t know why she felt the need to defend him. Or was she defending her bad choices?

“Letting you crash at his place is not the same as luring you into his arms, or worse, his bed.”

“That was my fault,” said Reagan hanging her head in shame.

“Was it?” challenged Sofia.

“I said I wanted him to kiss me,” admitted Reagan.

“And why did you say that?”

“Because, I did?”

“Of course you did, because he put himself on display for you.”

“Maaaybe,” said Reagan.

“Maybe?” parroted Sofia with a raised eyebrow.

“Okay – he looked yummy,” said Reagan and shrugged.

Sofia laughed heartily. “He does at that,” replied Sofia stilling grinning, effectively lightening the mood.

“Grandma!” exclaimed Reagan.

“Hey, you said it.  I’m old, not dead!  Just don’t tell Ben.”

Reagan laughed along with her grandmother. It felt so good. She hadn’t really laughed in a long time.  Maybes the pills would be okay – for a few weeks.

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

When Reagan walked into the office that first day back, Evan had been right, it had only been weird that first time when she had come to talk to him. This time it had felt like home and she was ready to get back to work again.

Ami and Evan had greeted her with hugs. She didn’t expect one from Evan and was pleasantly surprised. The familiarity of his arms around her and the smell of his cologne made her heart skip a beat. She took a deep breath and pretended it didn’t phase her at all to be in his arms. She could do this.

The week went fast and she realized she didn’t think about her mother at all when she was engrossed in work. Evan was a little distracting, but when they were working, it was like before. He had always been able to switch from business Evan to personal Evan. And now he was all business.

By the end of the first week, it was like she never left. She realized she wasn’t terribly far behind. It was weird because it seemed like a year had passed since ‘her mother’, but in reality, life went on and it only been 5 weeks.

Today was just another busy work day, until the phone rang. It was Archer. She hadn’t spoken to him since she left his apartment more than a week ago, and she immediately tensed up.  “Archer?” she said when she answered.

“Hi Reagan. Please don’t hang up.”

“What do you want?” she asked, her words clipped. She wasn’t sure she was ready to talk to him.

“I wanted to check on you and see how you were doing. I can’t stop worrying about you. I just needed to hear your voice and make sure you were okay.”

“I’m fine.”

“I’m glad,” he said and sighed softly. “Reagan, I’m sorry. My behavior that night was uncalled for. I shouldn’t have pushed back when Ryan came, and just let you leave.”

“Yes, you should have. How’s your head?” she needed to know, then she’d hang up.

“Almost back to normal. It reminds me of what an asshole I was.”

“I’m not going to disagree. I need to get back to work.”

“Can I come by and take you to lunch at least? I really would like to see you.”

“No,” she said too quickly. She looked up and Evan was standing there. He looked uneasy.

“When can I see you then? Next week? I promise, I won’t pressure you.”

“I don’t know. I can’t right now.”  Evan looked like he wanted to grab the phone out of her hand, but he didn’t. He just waited.

“I’ll call next week.”

“Bye Archer,” she said and disconnected the call.

“Are you okay Reagan?” asked Evan.

“Yes!” she snapped at him and immediately felt bad. “Crap, I’m sorry Evan. I got this, okay?” She realized her hands were shaking so she balled her hands into fists and put them in her lap.

“Reagan, I still care about you,” he said keeping his voice low. “It’s hard to stand by and watch you trying to pretend everything is okay.”

“I’m not pretending.” Lie. No lies. “Okay, maybe I am a little,” she admitted. “But really, I have to do this on my own.” Her hands suddenly relaxed and felt her shoulders drop back into place.

One corner of Evan’s mouth inched upward before he pulled it back. Did he just grin at her?  “Got it,” he said, then turned around and went back to his desk.

After he left Reagan smiled to herself. He cares, she thought, maybe we will both be okay – eventually. Two broken birds trying to learn to fly again.  Maybe we can help each other.

Go to Chapter 3.58>>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 3.56

45 thoughts on “Chapter 3.57 – Grandma

  1. It was so nice hearing from Sofia again, and seeing her share some words of wisdom with Reagan. Especially the story of her own bad experience with a controlling man…

    I hope Reagan takes those words to heart. She needs to start recognizing what Archer has become, and learn how to safely distance herself from him…

    Also needs to jump back into Evan’s arms 😈 But I get it, healing first! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was definitely a healing and eye opening chapter for Reagan. I hope she takes it all to heart and does put more distance between them. Sofia was the perfect one to reach her.

      She and Evan have to go a little slow if they make it back. He still hasn’t told her everything. But I wonder if he ever will. Especially about Archer. 🤷‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww, what a sweet chapter. Sofia to the rescue, again. It’s good that she told Reagan about the past, sometimes it’s what one needs to know to face the current demons. Also agree with the ladies about Archer. Definitely yummy. 😉

    P.S. that cafe looks familiar. I could swear I have seen it before .. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grandma Sophia to the rescue! It’s good she has her grandparents to fall back on especially since she can’t go to her dad (since Dannie is still mad at her.)

    Archer! Well I knew he’d try again. No pressure? Riiiiiiight. I believe you. 🙄 I Hope Reagan sticks to her guns. Unfortunately she has guilt for hurting him and probably will see him again. He gives me stomach pains when I see him now. And to think I used to be on his ship! Heaven forbid! 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Well, Evan is inching closer but by bit. I think that’s smart. They both ha e been through trauma. Maybe they need to process more until they fall back into each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Sofia and Ben. Best grandparents evah!

      Archer. Ugh. He’s not going away yet. I hope with Sofia’s words and therapy and just doing positive things at work will give her the confidence to not see him again.

      Evan and Reagan are inching back – slowly. But there are still some powerful secrets he’s carrying around.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sofia is so wise. I’m glad she was able to share past family experiences with Reagan; it’s just what she needed. I’m kind of excited that Reagan and Evan might find their way back together. Okay, not kind of…. I’M REALLY EXCITED! LOL 😀 ❤ I like how you described them as broken birds learning to fly again. Beautifully put.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sofia! We haven’t seen enough of you lately! But oh, what a return.

    Archer…I think it’s over, nothing’s gonna happen between you guys.

    I support Reagan and Evan getting back together and healing and flying off into the sunset together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sofia came back with a vengeance! Her granddaughter needed her and she rose to the occasion. Couldn’t let a Ben outdo her! Archer needs to give it up. But men like that don’t like to lose. 😱. I hope they can get themselves in a good enough place to try again. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Chapter 3.56 – Grandpa | New Beginnings

  7. Awwww!This was all so goo!Like a breath of fresh air.

    I mean, let’s be honest, Reagan made some kind of progress on Archer’s house, but, things were still pretty much a continuous freak show. I feel like right *now* Reagan is starting to get back at her feet, and fight her demons with courage. You go girl!

    It gave me such nostagil to hear about the past with Sofia. Ah, and she didn’t even get started on the billion bad dates Cole went throught before he met he ended up with Dannie!Locker rat mystery and all.

    But I’m glad she shared things with Reagan. It helps her get some perspective and see that things *do* get better, it takes times, but after a traumatic experience you can be back as new, living a good happy life!

    Glad she’s starting to look like her old self.

    I hope Archer doesn’t try and manipulate Reagan again. I wonder if he actually regreted what he did, or he knew he had to say that for Reagan to accept any contact with him. Also hope that she finally tells him that they’re *done for* and if he continues to press her, and try to manipulate her, then, boy, I guess Reagan changed from one ”villan” to another in this whole process!

    (Just kidding, I know in his mind he is doing good, but the way he acts is still very nasty!)

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    • Awww. I’m so happy you are rooting for Reagan. She starting to get herself back.

      Nostalgia for sure. And poor Cole and his million bad dates! For sure! Poor guy.

      It had to help Reagan to see how happy Sofia is now after what she went through. That things will get better.

      Let’s hope he stays away. I’m not sure if he did or not. Probably. But he may have thought she would see him fighting for her? Who knows how his mind works. But yes, he had to say that or she would never have spoken to him. We shall see if he stops or she doesn’t let him back in. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so happy that Reagan is taking back control in her life. She needs that. And may I say that there is such a clear difference between how Evan and Archer are treating her. Archer still sees her as that confused little girl she once was, while Evan shows her the care and respect she deserves.
    But I’m still weary as I believe Archer hasn’t said his last word yet! :/
    I loved that little walk down memory lane ❤ And I'm so glad Reagan has such people in her life to help her find herself again. Sofia is the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I’m happy she is beginning to get there. I hope she doesn’t go backwards and starts to let people in. The right people anyway. Those that don’t want to use her.

      Archer and Evan do treat her vastly different. It’s a shame her mother had to mess things up between her and Evan. I know a lot of young people don’t listen when their elders tell,them things, but I think Reagan was in a good place to let her message sink in.

      Sadly, you may be right, Archer isn’t going to lick his wounds for long.

      That walk down memory lane had me sad. Lillie May! ❤️❤️❤️. Reagan is lucky to have such good people in her life for sure. Sofia is awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Chapter 3.58 – Normal | New Beginnings

  10. Now I am seeing that Murdock backbone…..glad she is doing better. I am glad she more or less told Archer to shove off, and I am hoping she sticks to her guns. Otherwise…Grandpa Ben might be making a phone call. I would love to be a fly in that room when that conversation is happening. I am glad Evan is keeping his distance somewhat, and they aren’t just jumping back into things. There are secrets that will have to be revealed too, before any real relationship can happen. However for now, I will just savor the calm before the next storm…cause I am sure you got one or two up your sleeve before this Gen is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The calm before the storm. Now why would you think there will be another storm? 😇😇😇

      Ha! I do hope Reagan doesn’t cave to Archer’s continual phone calls. And begging. She tends to get soft hearted and forget what happened.

      Evan and she can’t have a relationship unless he comes clean. Those secrets will eat him up otherwise.

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  11. Finally found the time to read this, ha, ha. 😀 It’s hard being back at school!
    I think the talk with Sofia was exactly what Reagan needed. Finally, she has people around her who help her go down a more healthy path. And yeah – take a hike, Archer. Nobody wants your controlling butt around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes. Being back is good and bad! After the summer break. Thanks for taking time! ❤️
      Yes! It was a good day spent with Sofia. Someone that truly has Reagans best interest at heart. And can help her. I hope that’s the last of Archer. I hope he got the message.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Rea is slowly doing much better. Sofia is such a nice grandma. It’s sad they’re not involved more into their grandchildren’s life, they aren’t even far away.
    I got to disagree with one thing with Sofia tho, as much as Archer might have teased Rea, it was her decision to jump the bait. But she didn’t lead him on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reagan is beginning to heal and see things through a different lens. I wish they would have been more involved but better late than never.

      It was up to Reagan to say no, but she was very vulnerable and needed someone and he made sure it was him. Once they had sex, she felt she was leading him on.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow. Rea has learned so much in this short time, and I’m sure the pills are helping, too. Telling Archer no, even if it’s only on the phone? That’s impressive. After all, she was defending him in each and every way before in the talk with Sofia.
    How dare you mention Kaitlin and Lillie May? I’m in tears! This entire talk… My heart is so broken, but at the same time so full. Sofia made it through everything and that alone is amazing. As readers, and humans, we tend to forget the struggles of the generations before and focus on ours. Now she can help Rea. Also, plus point for Evan just standing there uncomfortably but not pressuring Rea to hang up on Archer. The contrast between them is even more apparent in direct comparison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kaitlin and Lilly May! My heart! 💔. And yes, Reagan is starting to heal and take up for herself a bit more. Sorry about the tears…. I loved their chats and Sofia being able to let her know that what she’s going through will on,y make her stronger on the other side. Evan was a champ, giving her space and not pressuring her unlike Archer.

      Like

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