Chapter 13 - Coming To Terms

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Chapter 13
Coming to Terms

A/N - Thank you so much to the new fans and votes I've gotten in the past week! You are all amazing. And a big thank you to Kammi (Enchanted Lullabies) for making the banner on the side for me (:

“Who was that?” my mother asked, raising a thin brow and crossing her arms over her chest.

I took in her tired and wrinkled appearance. There were bags beginning to form beneath her eyes, leaving permanent indents into the tops of her cheeks. A part of me wanted to bring her in and give her a hug.

“No one,” I whispered softly.

Suddenly her faced turned more serious than before. “Why do you have such a hard time speaking to me, Willow? I’m your mother. I mean…I know that I left you then. I know I said I would come back. But you don’t know what it was like for me…the things that happened…I didn’t need you to see that,” she trailed off quietly. Her eyes started to tear up slightly and she quickly padded over to the tissue box on the end table next to the worn out couch.

I followed behind her and leaned against the entryway of the living room, taking her in. She dabbed lightly underneath her eyes, her mascara leaving raccoon shapes beneath the circles. I wasn’t sure what to do or what to say. Where did I even start?

“I never stopped thinking about you,” she said, her voice cracking as she wiped at more traitor tears falling beneath her lashes. “You’re all I thought about. But I needed…I needed to get out of here. You don’t know how horrible your dad had gotten. We couldn’t even be in the same room anymore and I couldn’t handle it. The arguing…the fighting…it was all too much to endure. Sweetie, I promise, I never stopped loving you. You’re my daughter,” she finished, the sobs wrenching from her throat. “I’m so sorry.”

Right now would have been as good of a time as any to finally come clean with what happened between “Jack” and I in the years she had been gone. I could just pull up my sleeves or pull down the hood from around my neck and she would know. I wouldn’t even have to utter a word because the bruises spoke for themselves. The scars said the words I couldn’t manage to let escape. But I just couldn’t seem to let it all out. She was breaking down on her own; she had her own issues she was dealing with. I couldn’t just let all of my problems out and add more weight to her already heavily weighted shoulders.

“Why didn’t you come back?” I whispered, my eyes closed like this was all a dream.

This moment was one I had dreamed of since that day she left me. So many scenarios played like nonstop films in my mind, playing out the words she would say and how she would react to seeing me again, like a perfectly played out script. I imagined what she would say when I showed her the scars and bruises, how “Jack” would react when she let him have it, and if she would just embrace me for hours and tell me how sorry she was for making me go through such a thing.

Right now, I couldn’t believe this conversation was actually happening.

“I got into some trouble, Willow,” she started nervously.

“What kind of trouble?” I asked, my voice rising a bit more as the urgency to know crept up in my heart.

“Alcoholic troubles,” she muttered, her eyes dropping to the floor for a moment. When she regained another breath, they raised back up to meet mine. “I wasn’t doing well, sweetie. I didn’t know what happened to me. I mean, I enjoyed a drink or two when I was with your father, but I was never fully intoxicated like I was back then. The drinking brought me…brought me…” she choked up for a moment, trying to find the right words.

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