Chapter 4.12 – Left Out

Samantha came to Newcrest for Christmas so she could be there for their father’s wedding. Tyler was thrilled because now he didn’t have to go to Del Sol Valley.  It was Sam’s first time to meet Dr. Fields even though she knew of her.  And either his sister really was a good actress, or she like Dr. Fields a lot.  Tyler felt a small pang of jealousy run through him.  Everyone adored Sam.

Tyler thought Sam was being extra nice to him too.  She was nice-ish to him when he was in Del Sol Valley, but when she wasn’t around those people, she seemed to be even nicer.  She even wanted to take some selfies to show her friends back in Del Sol Valley her ‘hot little brother’.  “Can’t you just say brother?” he asked, “do you have to say ‘little’?”

Sam laughed.  “My bad,” she said,  “My smokin’ hot brother. How’s that?”

“Better, now I need one too, so I can show my friends my famous sister – correction – my smokin’ hot famous sister.”

“Silly, I’m not famous,” she said, “not really.  Maybe someday though.”

Tyler didn’t buy that for a minute. He knew she was trying not to make him feel bad.

Sam said she wasn’t into video games because she didn’t have time between filming, homework and ‘stuff’.  He didn’t know what the stuff was. He was afraid to ask because the way she said it made it sound like he should know what she meant.  At least she happily agreed to watch him play.  She said it might help her acting if she observed his movements.

 Tyler came to a save place in his game and decided to ask his sister a question that was bugging him.  “What do you really think about Dr. Fields?”

“Well, she seems really sweet and Dad likes, or rather loves her,” she said, “he seems really happy so that’s good.  Don’t you like her?”

“Yeah, but its going to be weird having her live here. She’s the principal at my school.”

Sam suddenly got serious.  “You think that’s bad?  I think Mom is going to move in with Ragnar.  He’s like my boss.  They might get married too.  I mean they haven’t said anything, but…”

“I’m sorry Sam, but I don’t really care what she does,” he growled. “She hates me. I don’t care if I ever see her again.”

“Ty! That’s awful. She’s our mother. Of course she doesn’t hate you. Why do you think that?”

“She left me.  I mean, I know it was to go with you, but she never calls me, and when I go there, she barely speaks to me. You’re the only one she really cares about.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way,” she said sounding sad. “I care about you. In fact I missed you really bad at first.  Still do sometimes. I don’t have anybody to tease and tell on.”

Tyler couldn’t help but grin. “Yeah, I really missed that too. Not.

“Okay – more video games – I need to watch your technique! Chop-chop!” said Sam.

Evidently their discussion was over so Tyler turned back around and started where he left off.  Maybe it was better with his sister in another city.  They didn’t irritate each other nearly as much when they only saw each other for short periods.  He never used to get along with her at all. It was kinda nice not fighting.


The wedding was small, but felt large with all of Tyler’s family crammed into their grandparent’s house.  He felt kinda bad for Dr. Fields because she didn’t have anyone there. She had been an only child, raised by her father, who died several years ago. He figured this was her family now.

As he sat there waiting for the ceremony to begin, Tyler looked at his father and wondered again what it would be like having Dr. Fields living with them.  He was afraid it might seem like he was at school 24/7.

But when Dr. Fields slowly walked into the room accompanied by the soft music played by his sister, he was shocked.  She didn’t look anything at all like a principal.  She looked like a princess.  It was weird.

When his dad and Dr. Fields said their “I do’s” he could hear everyone sniffing behind him and his great grandmother squeezed his hand.

Finally, the minister pronounced them man and wife and Tyler threw confetti on them while they tried to kiss.

Then his dad embarrassed him when he dramatically kissed Dr. Fields and everyone clapped.  At least it was over.  Suddenly he had a new problem.  What to call her now that she was his stepmother.  Dr. Fields felt weird but so did Stepmother.  

After the ceremony, there was a reception with all kinds of food, cake and drinks.  His dad and Dr. Fields cut the first piece of one of the cakes. Then they fed it to each other laughing.  He never saw her act silly before.

Jack’s parents made all the food so he knew it would be good.  As soon as his parents – he guessed that’s what they were now – took the first bite, everyone else began to grab something and congratulate them.

The twins and Jack followed Sam to the basement to eat and chat her up about her show.  Everyone else went back into the other part of the house to talk.  He sighed.  No one wanted to talk about video games.  After the room cleared out, Tyler sat down by himself to eat when his great-grandfather rolled his wheel chair into the room.

“Hey Ty, why aren’t you downstairs with the other kids?” he asked.

“I don’t need to hear anything more about Sam’s show,” he said and managed not to roll his eyes too much.

He chuckled. “I guess you’ve already heard it all – huh? You should be proud of your sister though.”

“I guess I am,” admitted Tyler.

“Hey, I could use a piece of that cake before your Grandma Sofia starts looking for me,” said Ben. “I had to wait until the room cleared out so I wouldn’t roll over any toes in this damn chair.”

Tyler laughed and moved a chair away from the table so he could roll up.  He grabbed a piece of cake for both of them.  “Here you go,” he said. “One for you and one for me.”

His Grandpa Ben took a bite, closed his eyes and smiled. “Ahhh. This is sooo goood,” he said as he greedily took another bite and spoke around mouthfuls. “So Ty, why the long face? Worried that things are gonna change now that your father is remarried?”

“A little I guess. I mean she IS the principal at my school,” he said.

“Bah. Not buying that BS. Maybe you’re just a little jealous?” He lowered his voice conspiratorially, “I know how it is son. I was the poster child for jealous when I was your age. So much so that I distanced myself from my family when I graduated high school. You know, my mother divorced my father too and remarried. It’s hard. But my stepfather was a good man. I just took my stubborn ass too damn long to realize it.”

“Oh. I didn’t know that. I guess lots of people get divorced.  Maybe I won’t ever get married.  Then I won’t have to get divorced.”

“Oh, I hope not. I didn’t divorce my Sofia. When people get married for the wrong reasons, or fail to put any effort into their marriage, it can end in divorce.  Marriage is hard, but it’s wonderful too. And speaking of stepparents, did you know my stepfather was actually the founder of C&M?  He and I built the first house here in Newcrest.” Ben puffed out his chest proudly.

Tyler was fascinated by his story. “Really? I always thought it was just you,” he said.

“Nope,” he said as he licked his finger and used it to make his point. “It was Leroy Chapman. He was a good man. He helped me get back on my feet after I hit rock bottom. And let me tell you, rock bottom sucks. Then when I proved myself, he gave me ownership in his company and we renamed it C&M. It stands for Chapman & Murdock. Not Connor & Murdock like a lot of folks think nowadays. Although after I’m gone, they might change it. Your Uncle Evan is a talented businessman.”

“I’ll tell them they can’t,” said Tyler, defending his Grandpa Ben’s honor, “it wouldn’t be right.”

Ben laughed.  “You’re a good kid. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Anyway, I told you this so you don’t make the mistake of resenting your stepmother because she takes some of your father’s attention away from you. Embrace her son. Look how happy your father is. I haven’t seen him like that in a long ass time.”

“Why couldn’t Mother have been like Dr. Fields?” asked Tyler. “She hates me and loves Sam.”

“Ahhh. I don’t think so. My mom, dad and my stepfather – they all loved me – even though I probably didn’t deserve it.  I had way too many brothers and sisters, so I was jealous of the attention the younger ones got and took it as Mom didn’t care. So just because she doesn’t show it all the time doesn’t mean your mother hates you.  If not for my mom, I might not have married Sofia. And my dad, he helped me out of a huge mess one time because he cared. But we didn’t have a close relationship, sort of like you and your mom.  I was much closer to my stepfather. Step parents aren’t a bad thing.”

“Benjamin Murdock!” exclaimed Tyler’s great grandmother as she walked up.

“Oops. Quick, hide the evidence,” said Grandpa Ben.  Tyler couldn’t help but snicker as he looked at the empty plate sitting in front of the old man. “It was just a small piece, right Ty?”

Tyler quickly nodded his head in agreement as he risked a glance at his Grandma Sofia.

Her hand firmly planted on her hips, she sighed dramatically.  However, Tyler could tell by her expression that she wasn’t really mad.  “I suppose a little piece didn’t hurt,” she said letting them both off the hook. “I came to get you two because Ryan, Taysia and Samantha are leaving. I thought you would want to tell them goodbye before they’re gone.”

“Of course dear,” replied his great-grandfather obediently and rolled his chair out from the table.

Tyler followed the elderly couple out of the kitchen.  He loved his Grandpa Ben. He had made him feel better when he was talking about his own experiences when he was young.  Tyler had hoped to hear more of his stories, but now he had to go say goodbye to his whole family.  His chest already felt heavy and they hadn’t even left yet.

When he walked in, everyone was lining up out the front door, creating a human walkway for the couple to exit and say their final goodbyes.

When his dad saw him come in with his grandparents he walked over to him.  “I’m gonna miss you Ty,” he said, “don’t give Aunt Rea any grief.  We’ll call you once we get there.”

“Okay Dad,” he mumbled doing his best not to cry.

Surprising him, his dad grabbed him and hugged him tight. His new stepmother hugged him as soon as his dad let him go and then his sister did the same.

Satisfied they had hugged everyone, the couple walked out and were greeted by snow along with their family wishing them luck.  His sister, who was hitching a ride to the airport, followed them. As Tyler watched them leave, he felt sad. Was this what Grandpa Ben meant? That he’d felt left out. Was it going to be like this from now on? His dad and Dr. Fields forgetting about him? He knew it was their honeymoon, but it hurt anyway.

He walked back inside to get out of the cold and find Grandpa Ben for more stories when Cassie, Alex and Jack stopped him.  “Ty, it’s snowing!” squealed Cassie, “We’re going to build a snowman!  Come on, get your coat and let’s go.”

“Yes!” said Jack, “Come on Ty, guys against the girls.  I bet we can build the best one!”

“Okay,” agreed Tyler figuring it might be fun.

They put on coats, and gloves and headed outside. Soon, Ty forgot about his family as he focused on making the biggest and best snowman he and Jack could make.

Eventually, building a snowman turned into a snowball war, when Cassie dinged Jack right after they put the finishing touches on their own epic snowman.

“It’s war now!” yelled Jack, so Tyler picked up a handful of snow and chunked it at Cassie while Alex screamed for he to duck.  With him and Jack against Cassie and Alex, the girls didn’t have a chance. They were no match for the two boys who had been practicing basketball all summer.

Finally the girls gave up when their Aunt Taylor called them inside for hot chocolate with marshmallows. It was Jack’s mom’s secret recipe and he already knew it would be super delicious.   The four of them all gathered around the table to drink the yummy chocolate goodness.

“Ty, it’s kinda cool that Dr. Fields is going to be your stepmother now,” said Cassie excitedly, “You’ll never get detention.” Her eyes were sparkling with the mere idea of it.

No Cassie,” said Alex, and looked apologetically at Tyler, “That’s not true. If he gets in trouble he’ll get DOUBLE detention because he’s the principal’s kid and she can’t play favorites. So she’ll have to give him double punishment.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” explained Tyler, “Dr. Fields is nice. She helped me a lot with Math last year and now it’s easier, but if it’s hard, I ask and she helps me at home now.”

“Of course it’s easy, if you get the answers,” said Cassie and rolled her eyes.

“She can’t do that Cassie,” explained Alex, “she’d get in trouble and lose her job if she got found out. That’s cheating!”

“No!” said Tyler, defending his new stepmother once more, “She doesn’t give me the answers. Honest. She just helps me understand how to work the problems.”

“Well, I wouldn’t tell anyone she’s your Stepmom,” said Cassie, “At least we’ll all be going to the high school in the fall, and she won’t be there.”

Alex looked at Jackson. “Well except for you Jack. But you’re so smart you should’ve skipped a grade then you could go with us,” she said.

“I didn’t want to,” said Jack shaking his head. “I was afraid it wouldn’t be easy anymore because I might miss something I’m supposed to know.”

Alex and Cassie started to laugh. “Why would you want to go another year of school if you don’t have to?” asked Cassie through her laughter, “that’s silly!”

Tyler didn’t think that was silly at all. He knew what it was like not to understand when everyone else did. “Jack doesn’t have to skip a grade,” said Tyler in his defense, “He wouldn’t know any of the kids and that’s no fun. Or they might tease him.” Tyler thought about the time he was close to failing and in danger of repeating a grade.  Skipping was just the same. You would get teased. And Jack didn’t deserve it, maybe he did, but not Jackson Gray.

“We’re sorry Jack,” said the twins simultaneously. It freaked out Tyler whenever they did that and they did it all the time. Like they were one person.

“It’s okay,” said Jack, just as his mother walked in to get him.

As everyone got up to leave, he found his Grandpa Ben to say goodbye.  “Thanks for telling me your story Grandpa Ben. Maybe I can come back and you can tell me more.”

“Ben!  What did you tell poor Tyler?” asked Sofia.  His Grandpa just looked up at her grinned like they had a secret and he wasn’t telling.

Go to Chapter 4.13>>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 4.11

40 thoughts on “Chapter 4.12 – Left Out

  1. Okay, first off MY BABY LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL! 😭 Nice to know her doomed parents’ ship at least results in nice AU genes 😂 Glad to see her and Ryan so happy!

    Secondly, BEN 😭 He’s soooo old (and wheelchair bound, poor thing!) but it was nice to see him passing some wisdom on to the youngest generation of Murdicks while he still can!

    I loved seeing Tyler interact with his sisters and cousins. It’s bittersweet to see him with Sam, knowing they see each other so rarely now 😦 But at least they’re getting along well! And I look forward to seeing more of his cousins and getting to know them better too. They all inherited such attractive genes, so watch out, world 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • She was so pretty I couldn’t help but post her picture everywhere! Lol. Someone said she looked like Meghan Markel. She did give off that vibe! ❤️. She and Ryan are both very happy. Now if Tyler can get through the rest of the year without too much grief, it might be smooth sailing for awhile – at least until he discovers the opposite sex!

      Poor Ben. He is old and trying to help his great grandson navigate the bumps ahead. Bless him.

      It is sad Tyler and his sister don’t get to see each other much, but I think he’s right, if they were together all the time, they might fight instead of trying to make the best of it. She’s older and a little wiser too. They are all going to be such good looking adults. Watch out is right! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did Taysia move to become the junior high principal and I missed it? 🤔

    Nice wedding! Ry and Tay look so cute together! It was fun watching Ty and his sister get along! ☺️☺️☺️

    And all the cute cousins hanging out!

    Poor Taysia doesn’t have any friends or relatives! 😢 Well hopefully she’ll make some now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • She was middle school the whole time. It’s been about 2 years since Ryans divorce. He was in middle school then. Tyler just grew up a lot this past year! Lol. So when this year is over he’ll be in high school and his stepmom won’t be there. It’s hard to age them slowly… preteens.

      Ry and Tay are sweet. He’s head over heals. I’m happy for him. The cousins – we’ll see much more of them going forward. We have 4 years of high school! Lol. I hope it doesn’t drag too long…we’ll fast forward through some of it.

      Taysia inherited a big ass family! She was such a loaner before she met Ryan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, well-crafted, and poignant chapter. Great job on the pictures. My personal fav was the sharing of the cake. I think that there is going to be some future drama in your statement: Sam suddenly got serious. “You think that’s bad? I think Mom is going to move in with Ragnar. He’s like my boss. They might get married too. I mean they haven’t said anything, but…” I wonder how Ragnar would be as a step dad….
    It was great that Sam and Tyler got along so well together. In this case absence can make the heart grow fonder. Unfortunately for Tyler and his mom, “Out of sight, out of mind”. Thanks for the glimpse of the twins, Jack, and Ben in his wheelchair.
    It seems like yesterday That Ben was a kid and he was homeless with his mom desperately fleeing and hiding from his dad. Time brought healing and prosperity to him. Leroy was a saint and I am glad Ben finally got to appreciate his stepdads fine qualities. Hopefully Tyler leans that lesson early. A big patience test never hurts with the right attitude.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I have to say picking a favorite was hard for me but I tend to agree, the Tyler and Ben part was my favorite too. Ben did heal over time and wound up with a loving family. Leroy was indeed a saint. I hope Tyler remembers and internalizes his words.

      And as for his mother … yeah … she’s pretty much exactly as you said – out of sight out of mind with Tyler. And if she and Ragnar wind up married or living together … it could cause problems. Remains to be seen.

      Glad you enjoyed the chapter! I did too. 😊


  4. It was nice to see the kids again. It occurred to me if Tyler’s very close friendship with Jack indicates his future romantic preferences. It could actually be interesting and definitely not easy for him on top of everything else he needs to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we are now finally focusing on the kids. 😏. And do you mean Tyler’s preference? Not sure why it would. Hmmm. Boys tend to hang out with other boys and it wouldn’t be unusual for Jack and Tyler to be close since they are cousins. Jack looks up to Tyler. Tyler always has his back. Wait. Were you talking about Jack’s romantic preference? Hmmmm….. if he’s fixated on Tyler that would be a mess. But I don’t think he is. It’s just a bit of hero worship.


      • Yes, I meant Tyler. I was merely contemplating interesting options from reader’s perspective, that’s all. And no, I didn’t mean he has a crush on Jack or vice versa. I was only thinking that Tyler’s struggle with his sexuality could add more drama to his already complicated life. Just an idea that randomly jumped into my mind when he defended his cousin.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Aww. This chapter was sweet! I’m glad to know that Ben is still around and rolling (quite literally shs). He surely would know what’s like to feel unloved in the Family. He could give some good advice to Ty.

    I find hi dynamic with Sam interresting. It’s like they have a good relationship, but they know not to push too much, or they might find themselfs in the same position as before their parents divorced, AKA Always fighting. Althought, now they’re both older, and clearly more mature then the pass, so they *could* try to spend more time together, IDK, see if they still bicker while left alone. I mean, for a hot second during their talk I thought Sam would barge in defendind her mama lol.

    Ah, so Bel is taking this coursce of action, eh…?Marrying some I assume crazy rich guy who’s also a diretor and could benefict her dautgher’s future. Really smart, but I don’t mean that in a good way. Hopefully now that she has another husband, she’ll fully forget about Ryan and just focus on manipulating this poor dude lol.

    The snow fight was adorable, and I still love the twins dynamics. They’re both so entertaining!

    I hope Ty keeps in touch with his sister. One thing is interacting with Family members you aren’t much found when living with your parents, another thing is when you are growed up. Ryan surely isn’t going to stick around and force Ty to talk with his sister and mother, so he’ll have to figure out if he *does* want to do that,at least in my opinion

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ben could tell some stories! I hope they have a chance to spend some more time together. 😥
      I think what you said about time with family now while they are ‘forced’ to do it vs time together later. They may go their separate ways … who can say at this point. But I do think Samantha has matured a lot. She had to grow up fast and knew not to cause friction. Honestly I think Bel cares about Tyler, but outta sight – outta mind. She is much more invested in her daughter and her daughters future. She certainly has managed to sink her claws into Ragnar.

      The twins are so much fun. And the snowball fight was so cute to watch! Those four are becoming close friends. Which is nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awwww this conversation between Tyler and his sister was super sweet! I’m glad they seem to be on better terms now… I guess they both missed each other.
    And the twins are both gorgeous! They look so much like Reagan it’s insane! I’m sure they’ll break many hearts when they grow up 😉
    And congratulations to Ryan and Dr Fields! She indeed looked like a princess!
    And we got some Ben in this chapter too! I was so happy to see him again!
    I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of our teens now (I suppose you’ll focus on them now, right?)! This was awesome! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol. Yes! We are finally moving on to the teens! I never intended for Ryan’s romance with Taysia to be so long and intense….but he took over and I didn’t have any choice. The twins do look a lot like their mother. And are super cute together. Dr. Fields was indeed a princess. So pretty. Tyler and his sister have matured and don’t see each other very much. So it’s probably easier for them to be around each other. We’ll see if that remains the case.

      And Ben! ❤️ I still adore Ben. He went through a lot and hopefully Tyler will listen and take something away from his advice.


  7. Pingback: Chapter 4.13 – ‘Ragnar the Rotten’ | New Beginnings

  8. Oops. I wasn’t supposed to post that yet. I don’t know how to delete it. lol.

    Yaaay, I’m finally catching up! The wedding was absolutely great and I’m glad everyone is happy! Ben is still looking handsome! BTW, I’m starting to lose track on who’s who? Who again is that red-headed gentleman with the black button-up and teal tie? He was sitting behind Cole and Dannie at the wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah. That is Connie’s husband. You wouldn’t recognize him because he’s only been seen once at the beginning of the chapter when I showed everyone’s pictures.

      But a Ben! He is a handsome man still. He was always working out. Probably why he didn’t get a slouchy dad bod. When I compare his picture now, to his and Sofia’s wedding picture on the wall, he was such a baby then! So young. 😱❤️


  9. So sorry for being so behind Audrey. January kicked my behind hardcore and I’m still stressing haha!
    Anyway, that was a sweet wedding and a nice chat with Ben. He’s always ready to dish out wisdom. 😉 Here’s hoping that Tyler will take his advice to heart and turn out better than his dad and granddad… ah, but who am I kidding? He’s a Murdick. He’ll probably make a million dumbass mistakes before the generation is done. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s sweet how the siblings bond over the problems their parents cause them xD
    Both are good kids.
    How old is Ty? Smh he still acts very young, more like a 8yr old than a teen. A late bloomer 😄 Actually the twins and Jack too.

    And I love how much support the grandparents (in this case, even great-grandparents! 😱) always give the kids. I think this is always my favourite parts 😀
    It was the same with Sofia and Reagan, I loved that.


  11. I’m glad Tyler and Sam got to spend some time together. It was nice to see them bonding. I think if Maribel marries Ragnar, there will be big problems ahead. I’ve always been kind of afraid, he was really interested in Sam because he’s some kind of perv. Yuck.

    Anyway, the wedding was beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No doubt Ragnar is a bit of a perv. Hopefully he won’t make a move on poor Sam! That would be bad. Sam has decided Tyler’s not so bad anymore! Maybe distance helps. Not sure. But their lives are certainly a lot different.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Aw this is sweet and so needed. I caught your comment to Kymber and now I’m freaking out for Sam.
    Also d’aww Tyler you sweetheart. Isn’t it amazing how being different makes you empathetic and compassionate. I hope Tyler learns to love who he is. He’s exhibiting some self-esteem issues there. Poor thing. Being neurodivergent is hard. Hopefully he sees that there are a lot of positives. Like being empathetic and hyperfocused. Can’t wait to see his other super powers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Everyone: “What a nice wedding, how beautiful to see the entire family again!”
    Me: “Man that will be a lot of work when re-namling C&M to Chapman & Murdock”
    It WAS a lot of fun though to see the family reunited and the kids all grown up (well, halfway grown up) and interacting. The beautiful bride! And of course, Sophia and Ben 😭 My heart! I was kind of wondering if they’re still alive but hoped that you wouldn’t let them go without a notice. I’m glad they seem to be well apart from not being allowed to eat a sufficient amount of cake 😂 I love when the Murdock men pass advice on to their descendants!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Chapter 4.11 – Compromises | New Beginnings

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