Between the Raindrops

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Chapter 35 | Truths Revealed

The next morning I go into the bathroom to freshen myself up. After my shower, I wipe the fog from the mirror and notice the slight redness where my dad slapped me the night before.

Shane helped my mom and I get my father inside and onto the couch in the living room. Once Shane knew my dad wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon, he finally left to head home.

It’s Wednesday morning, and my mom allowed me to stay home from school today. I told her I didn’t need to, but she insisted after everything that happened last night. I told Shane, Angie and Jax that I wouldn’t be in today, and they all told me they would see me later.

Shane knows why I’m staying home today, so he’ll probably come straight here after school.

After I finish getting dressed, I go and sit at my computer desk to think. I hear a soft knock at my bedroom door.

“Come in.” I mumble.

The door slowly opens, and when I turn around in my chair, I’m surprised to see my dad standing in the doorway.

I immediately turn back around and face my desk.

“Addie, can you please come downstairs so we can talk?” He asks, but I don’t answer.

“Well, I’ll be down there whenever you’re ready.” He says, before shutting my bedroom door and going back downstairs.

I immediately feel tears beginning to form, but I blink them away.

After taking a few minutes to build up enough courage to talk to him, I go downstairs.

When I enter the kitchen, I notice only my dad sitting at the dining room table. He has a cup of coffee in between his hands and his head is hung low.

“Where’s mom?” I suddenly ask, causing his head to snap up as he looks over at me.

“She went to drop Jacob off at school. She’ll be back soon.” He replies, looking back down into his cup of coffee.

I walk over and pour myself a cup, adding cream and sugar. Once the coffee tastes up to my standards, I turn to walk into the living room.

“Addie, are we going to talk?”

“I’d prefer to talk when mom is here with us.” I reply, and I know that I hurt his feelings. Truthfully, I didn’t trust him at this moment, and I wasn’t sure what would happen if I said the wrong thing again.

My dad has never, in the history that is my life, laid his hands on Jacob or me. He’s never laid his hands on anyone, that I know of. So, to actually see and feel his hand slap me across my face last night, changed how I will forever look him.

My dad didn’t say anything else, so I walk over to the couch and turn the TV on. Once I find a show, I sit quietly and sip on my coffee.

A short while later, mom walks through the front door. She looks at me, and immediately walks over to sit beside me.

“How are you?” She asks, genuinely concerned.

“I’ll be fine.” I nod, drinking the last bit of coffee from my cup.

“Are you two ready to talk now?” We both hear my dad ask from the dining room. Apparently, he hasn’t moved once since earlier.

My mom looks at me, and I nod. We both get up from the couch and walk into the dining room to sit at the table. My mom sits at the head of the table, and I sit beside her. Dad is near the end of the table, not bothering to move closer to us.

“First, let me just say, how truly sorry I am for the way I acted last night. It was embarrassing and it was completely uncalled for.” My dad begins, and I almost want to roll my eyes.

“You got that right.” I mumble.

“Addilyn-” He begins with a firm voice, but then it softens. “I’m sorry for laying a hand on you. I never should have done that, I have no idea what came over me. You have to believe that I would never want to imagine hurting any of my children. I love you so much, and I’m just so terribly sorry.” I can see his eyes beginning to water, and it almost shocks me.

In all of the years of my life, I have never once witnessed my dad cry or shed a tear. He didn’t even cry when Jacob was born, though I know he wanted to. He puts on this tough exterior, and tries to hide his emotions even when he doesn’t need to.

Gee, at least now I know where I get it from.

“Jon, I don’t know what possessed you to go to Al’s and get hammered last night-” My mom begins, “And I certainly don’t know what in God’s name you were thinking when you laid a hand on our daughter, but I can assure you, that it will never happen again. Do you understand me Jon? Never again.” My mom says with such finality in her voice, it almost scares me.

My dad nods in agreement and looks back down into his half-empty cup of coffee.

“Good. Now, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but you both better start talking and I mean it.” She demands, and I look to my dad to start first.

“Linds, it was just one relapse. I promise I will go to a meeting tomorrow and I will start over. I won’t step foot into another bar.” My dad says, trying to make it seem as though the reason for him drinking last night was just a relapse and not because he wanted to drown his guilt about what happened with Angie’s dad.

Fortunately, my mom knows my dad a lot better than that. She knows there’s something more he isn’t saying.

“No, I don’t accept that. You’ve been sober for three years, Jon. You’ve only relapsed once before and that was a week after your first week sober. Since then you haven’t even looked at a bottle, so I know there’s something more going on. For instance, why was Addie out late last night with Shane, and why were you threatening them both? Why did you hit our daughter and why did you go to Al’s in the first place?” My mom begins bombarding both of us with questions. She wants answers, and I know we won’t be leaving this table until she gets what she wants.

“Mom... It’s about William Sage.” I finally say, and my dad snaps his eyes directly to me. He discreetly tries to shake his head no, but I ignore him.

“William? What does he have to do with any of this?” My mom looks honestly confused, and I know right off the bat, that this is going to be a very long day.

“Do you remember the end of my trial? What Jared’s lawyer said about dad?” I ask, and she slowly nods while bringing her eyes over to dad. He immediately looks down at his cup again.

“Well, we sort of confronted him and Officer Bernard yesterday after school.”

“Who’s we?” My mom asks.

“Shane, Angie and I.” I answer. “We went to the police station, to talk to Officer Bernard, but dad was already there.”

My mom looks over at dad again, and sends him a glare. “You told me you were working late Jon. Why did you lie to me?”

“I just needed to see how Bernard was doing after the trial. He’s an old friend of mine.” Dad shrugs, trying to make it seem like no big deal.

“Okay, then why couldn’t you just tell me that?” Mom raises an eyebrow, and dad sighs.

“Because, he was trying to make sure nobody found out that what Jared’s lawyer said was true.” I suddenly say, causing both my mom and dad’s eyes to bulge out of their heads.

“What? No... that can’t be right. Your dad would never-” My mom begins, but I cut her off.

“That’s what I thought too until Shane told me he overheard dad and Officer Bernard talking about keeping us quiet and about how Officer Bernard can’t lose his job because of his wife and kids.” I don’t know what’s come over me, but everything starts falling out of my mouth and I have no control to stop it.

“That’s why Shane was with me last night. We met up to talk about it and ran into dad on our way back from the park.”

“Jon, you better pray for your sake, that what Shane overheard wasn’t correct. Right?” My mom looks to my dad, who has his eyes directly on me. I feel small under his strong gaze, and while I know I needed to tell the truth, I still feel a little guilty for outing my dad’s secret. He doesn’t look mad, he looks hurt.

Suddenly, both my mom and dad start going at each other verbally.

“Jon, tell me it isn’t true!”

“How can you even think that it would be true?”

“Our daughter wouldn’t just make this up for no reason!”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“Then why can’t you just tell us what happened, and the truth!”

“BOTH OF YOU STOP!” I shout, and both my mom and dad look over at me in shock.

“Dad, explain everything that happened that day, every detail.” I demand. “Don’t leave anything out.”

“Alright.” He replies calmly. “I will.”

We all sit down in our seats, and prepare for the worst.

| Jonathan’s POV |

I sit at our dining room table, ready to relive the most horrible day of my life.

“About six months before the accident, I found something out.” I state, and Lindsey looks a little nervous.

“I learned from my own best friend, that he had slept with my wife.” I notice my daughter’s eyes widen. Lindsey’s eyes widen as well.

“Jon, I-” She begins, but I cut her off.

“No, you don’t need to try to defend yourself. He told me it only happened once and that it didn’t mean anything, but obviously I couldn’t just let that slide. So, I kept asking him about it, every day. I knew eventually he would crack, and I just needed to hear him say that he had feelings for you. He was my best friend, Linds, I couldn’t just let it go.” I explain.

“W-Why didn’t you come to me? Why didn’t you say anything if you knew?” Lindsey asks.

“You never said a word. You acted as if everything was okay, so of course I couldn’t come to you about it. I knew you would just lie.” I scoff, trying to act as though it still didn’t bother me after all these years.

“We both made a pact that it would never happened again, and that it meant nothing to either of us. We were both filled with regret, and guilt. We didn’t want to ruin our marriages, or our families, over something that meant nothing.” Lindsey begins to cry, and I see Addie with tears in her eyes as well.

I don’t want to destroy the image Addilyn has of her mother, but I also can’t lie to her anymore. I can’t lie to anyone, anymore. The truth needs to come out, no matter how dark or twisted it may be.

“Regardless, it happened, and I was heartbroken.” I start explaining again. “So, that Thursday afternoon, Will and I were at the job site.” I can feel tears beginning to form again, and this time, I don’t stop them from flowing.

| Flashback |

“Hey, Jon, you catch the game last night? Talk about a loss!” Will laughs while walking beside me. Another hot day out on the job. I use my arm to wipe the sweat from my forehead as I turn to Will.

“Yeah, I saw.”

“Come on man, are we ever going to get past this? I told you, it meant nothing.” Will begins, just as we step onto the machine.

“Will, don’t. I can’t listen to it anymore.” I sigh, as I press the button on the machine, lifting Will and I up into the air next to a tree. Once we’re up high enough to reach the roof of the tall building, I let go of the button. I asked him about it a lot over the last few weeks, but I got tired of hearing him say, “Let’s just forget about it, please?“. Now, I don’t care to hear anything about it, even if it’s the truth I should hear.

“We see each other every day at work, you’re my best friend. We need to talk this through.” He tries again, and I can feel my temper and blood pressure starting to rise. Images of him and my wife together in bed, start to worm their way into my head.

“Just shut up and hand me those tools, Will.” I say, so he grabs the toolbox and hands it over to me.

“I don’t want our friendship to suffer because of this.” He says and something inside of me snaps.

“Oh really? Well you should’ve thought about that before you slept with my wife.” I raise my eyebrows at him, waiting for some kind of response.

“Jon... it was a mistake. We both saw each other at Al’s one night. She said she had been waiting for you to show up. I asked where Addie was, and she said Addie was over at our house with Angie. They were having a sleepover so Jen was at home with the girls.” Will begins to explain everything, and I find myself getting angrier by the second.

“Will, I’m telling you to stop, before I really snap.” I try my best to remain calm, but the thought of his hands all over my wife makes me sick to my stomach.

“No man, I need to say this. You need to know how sorry I am.” He pleads. “When you didn’t show at Al’s, I offered to buy Lindsey a drink. She accepted and we just started talking. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, we were both drunk and in the back closet of Al’s. We didn’t even finish, right in the middle we both pulled away and immediately felt regret. Lindsey started crying and saying how horrible she was, and I couldn’t deal with what happened, so I just left.” He explains sincerely, and with every word the urge to want to hit him grew bigger and bigger.

“It was a complete mistake, and I’ve wished I could take it back every day since. You have no idea how horrible I feel.” Will sighs, and I turn to face him after screwing in the last bolt on the roof.

“Do you know how horrible I feel? The love of my life and my best friend? There’s absolutely no justification in that. None.” I feel my hands shaking. I know it won’t be long before I lunge at him. I know we need to get off this machine.

“Come on Jon, I didn’t get mad at you when I found out you had dated Jen.” Will says, and I almost want to laugh.

“Are you kidding me? That was back in high school, you moron! You hadn’t even started dating Jen yet. Hell, you didn’t even know who she was! I’m the one who introduced the two of you, after Jen and I broke up.” I yell, finally releasing all of my pent up anger.

“Yeah, but you still didn’t tell me you two dated after I started seeing her. I found out during a game of truth or dare!” He yells back.

This is becoming ridiculous.

“Me not telling you about my two measly months with Jen in 11th grade is in no way the same thing as you actually almost sleeping with my wife!” I scream, and I’m glad our other co-workers can’t hear us from up here.

“I’m trying to apologize here, but you won’t let me! Stop being immature and just let me say my peace!” Will yells and that is it. I lost it.

I lift my arm and drawl back my fist. I swing, and my fist connects with Will’s jaw, causing him to stumble backwards. Before I have time to realize that we’re up on a machine in mid-air, it’s been too late.

I instantly reach out for Will as he begins to fall off the machine, but I’m not fast enough. It happens in the blink of an eye. A mere second and my best friend has hit the cement ground below. I know for sure he’s dead.

I just killed my best friend.

I killed him. He’s dead. William is dead.

What have I done?

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