Chapter 19.

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I'm so alone without you.

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It's been four years. Four years without Jax, without a word from him, four years as a single parent, four years in Arcata. The farm house that we bought is much bigger without Jax, and the empty room haunts me every time I walk past it. The kids love it out here, and I do my best to move forward, but it's next to impossible.

Abel and Thomas have grown so much, and so as Melody. They all have Jax's eyes, but Melody has my dark hair whereas Thomas and Abel are spitting images of Jax. A constant reminder of their father. Every year for their birthday and Christmas we receive parcels from Jax and cards, and when we first moved here, the kids wouldn't go an hour without asking where their dad was. Now it's almost routine not having him around, and they aren't as vocal about him not being here.

My dad comes down every few months to help me out, and I appreciate it every time. He'll come and spend a few weeks here, letting me vent and giving me some time to breathe. Being a fulltime mother to three, there's almost little to no time to take care of myself, but I guess it's what I signed up for.

"Mama!" I get broken away from my thoughts as I look up to see Melody rushing in, her brothers trailing behind her. I set my tea back on the table and smile over at the kids. "Abel won't stop chasing me with worms!" she squeals as Abel rushes behind her with a hand full of dirt and worms.

I laugh, standing up and picking her up in my arms, teasing her. "Oh my goodness, girl! They're just worms!" She lets out an annoyed cry and I chuckle, tickling her tummy before kissing her cheek. "I hope my garden isn't torn up, mister." I tell Abel and his face goes red.

"Mom! I would ne-"

"He dug up a huge hole!" Thomas rats out his brother and I shake my head, setting Melody down. "I'll show you!" Abel grabs my hand and rushes me out of the large blue farm house, pulling me down the wrap around balcony and over to our large garden.

I laugh as I look over to the small hole Abel dug up, chuckling at Thomas' slight exaggeration. "Mom! I'm sorry!" Abel shouts out, chasing us. I look back to him and playfully glare at him, ruffling his hair before picking a worm from his hand and throwing it at home. "Ew! That almost hit my mouth!"

"Worm fight!" Thomas screams, and Melody lets out a shriek, running to the treehouse to avoid her brothers.

"No worm fights!" I call out to the boys who are throwing chunks of dirt and worms at each other. "How about you guys help me with the garden? All of those veggies have to get picked!" Abel lets out a groan and Thomas collapses onto the grass, moaning.

"My legs are broken, I can't, mom!"

Abel rolls his eyes, "You're such a liar, Thomas!"

I laugh, "That's such a shame. I guess when we go to get ice-cream later, Thomas will have to crawl, or even worse, stay home." And within seconds, Thomas jumps up from the ground and runs to the garden with a basket to pick the vegetables.

Abel looks over at me and chuckles, "You always have to bribe him with ice-cream, don't you?" He says with a smirk before walking over to me and hugging my side. "Everything okay, Ma?" He may only be 10, but he knows me better than anyone else on this planet, and he's the smartest 10-year-old I've ever met.

I look down at him and give him a reassuring smile, pulling him closer into my side. "Yeah, I'll be alright, buddy."

Abel sighs and I raise an eyebrow, confused. "It's about Dad isn't it?"

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