Michelle is gone for a while and I’m guessing that Grayson hasn’t managed to calm down yet. I’m so angry that he had the audacity to show up here drunk and point fingers, like we are to blame for all of this.
If he’s going to blame anyone, he should be blaming his dad. He’s the one that cheated and instigated the whole thing, knowing that he was already engaged to someone else.
My mother was innocent and whether or not Michael actually loved her is still a mystery, but what he said doesn’t justify his actions. He still chose to leave. He could have fought harder. He could have told her about Linda long before they started getting serious.
Mum is falling in and out of consciousness and I’m thankful that Rory is here to calm my nerves.
“I’m never speaking to Grayson again after that,” I declare, filling the deathly silence.
“Drink turns you into someone you’re not Skye,” Rory responds, angling his body slightly towards mine. “He needs time.”
“I need time too! But you don’t see me barging down people’s doors.”
I lower my head into the palm of my hands, sighing heavily. I still can’t believe that this is happening.
“Skye, I’m on your side here. He had no right to say what he said… but everybody handles anger in different ways and this is obviously his way.”
“Well, he needs to find another way to express himself if that’s how he’s going to behave.”
There’s a loud beep from outside and I quickly rush to the window, peeking through the blinds. A black range rover sits on our sidewalk, belonging to Michael Swain.
I feel my heart drop.
He’s here. He’s outside my house.
I desperately want to go out there and yell at him some more, demand answers.
I can just make out Michael’s tall frame as he gets out of the car and discusses something with Michelle, before helping Grayson into the front seat. That small part of me hopes that he’ll knock on the door or enter unannounced.
He must have questions of his own.
But when the engine roars and he pulls off the side of the curb. I decide that it’s better this way. We don’t need the extra drama.
Michelle returns, glancing at me sadly. “Grayson is going to be okay,” she says, even though I never asked how he was doing to start with.
I’m more interested in finding out what was said outside. “What did Michael say to you?”
“He wanted to know if he could swing by tomorrow to see your mother.”
My face screws into a scowl and I already have my answer. “I don’t want him here. Neither of us do. He’s said quite enough.”
Look at the damage he’s caused us in one day. Maybe it’s best to carry on as normal and pretend today never happened.
I’ll imagine that my dad’s identity is still undiscovered or that he’s halfway across the world. This is a much better explanation, than having Michael Swain as my dad.
I open my eyes to the sun rays beaming in through my mother’s bedroom window. She’s sleeping beside me and I watch her for a moment. Right now, she looks peaceful, as if yesterday never happened. But I know better. I know that when she wakes up, reality will come crashing down and I’ve got to be ready for when that happens.
I jump in the shower and dry my hair quickly, before going to check on mum again. She’s still sleeping when I return to the room and I leave her to get some rest, before heading downstairs.
How can we move on from this news? Especially after my mother was subjected to the worst kind of confrontation.
I watch the water boil over in the kettle and it reminds me of how I felt yesterday, when I was ready to explode into a fit of rage.
Michael is nothing like that man my mother described. Never did I think that someone like him could be related to someone like me. And despite being extremely angry and confused about a lot of the details, if he is my dad, shouldn’t I be a little bit relieved to finally know who he is? Shouldn’t I be eager to hear more of what he has to say?
His reactions towards my mother were full of honesty, like he didn’t quite understand the full extent of the situation himself. And as we were leaving Michael and Linda were exchanging words in private. He seemed angry with her. I never liked that woman. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out she kept information from her husband to avoid losing him.
The kettle tings and I jump at the small sound. I pour the hot water into a cup and stir the tea bag around, letting the thoughts take over.
Come on Skye. You don’t need him. He’s not worth the energy. Aren’t you tired of the explanations? He probably wants nothing to do with you either. Forget about him. He’s going to forget about you.
But then if he did want to forget, why was he asking Michelle if he could come and see my mother today? If he knew about those payments, why would he have reason to deny sending them? If he really knew about us and wanted to keep us away at all costs, wouldn’t he have reacted differently when we saw him at the dinner table?
He certainly wouldn’t have chased us down the street. He seemed innocent, as much as I don’t want to admit it.
I’m just sitting down at the table, when the door knocks. I get up to answer it and let Michelle in.
She shakes off her coat and says, “How’s your mum holding up?”
“I’m not sure yet. She’s sleeping at the moment. But you can go and sit with her if you want. She’ll probably wake soon and you seem to know what to do to calm her down.”
Michelle smiles tightly. “How are you doing Skye?”
Awful – like my entire world is ending. “I’ll be okay,” I say through clenched teeth.
She shuffles on her feet, like she has something more to say. I wait for it. “Skye, I know that this has nothing to do with me, but when I spoke to Michael yesterday, I could see that he was extremely upset. And I am not making excuses for him, by all means,” she adds, speaking with use of large hand movements.
“I’m just thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to give him a chance to explain himself. It might also be the closure that your mum needs. You should have seen him Skye, he was desperate to get answers.”
I hadn’t thought of it that way before. However, I don’t know if my mum is ready to see him again. It could be too much too soon and that’s what I’m worried about.
“Michelle, I get that you’re trying to look at the bigger picture here… but some things can’t always be resolved simply by having a conversation. You didn’t see what my mother was like when she saw Michael again. Honestly, it was painful to watch. I don’t want her to feel any sort of pressure or—”
“Michael has been in touch?” mum’s voice trails from the stairs, stopping me mid sentence.
We both turn to look at her with panicked expressions. Damn. I didn’t want her to know about Michael and his eagerness to meet with her. But it’s pointless trying to cover that up now. She probably heard most of our conversation from upstairs anyway.
“He asked to see you last night,” I fill her in, watching her reaction carefully. She doesn’t look too overwhelmed but that still doesn’t mean she’s equipped to handle it.
“Don’t worry though mum, you don’t have to do anything. I’ve already told Michelle that we’re not interested in hearing what he has to say.”
“Why did you tell her that?” she responds, puzzled.
“Well, I thought that’s what you would have wanted.”
She blinks. “I can make my own decisions Skye.” I let my head fall. “I couldn’t handle having that conversation yesterday because everything happened so fast and I needed time to think. But now that I’ve slept on it, I know what I want to do.”
Michelle grabs her phone from the bag. “Michael gave me his number and asked me to ring him if you changed your mind about meeting up. Would you like me to phone to arrange something?”
My fists begin to tremble. “Alright. But, will you stay with me Michelle? I don’t think I can face him on my own.”
“Of course I’ll stay.”
I can hardly contain my anger. I can’t be around to see this. “You might be prepared to hear him out, but I’m not.”
“Skye, I get that you’re angry. But I feel like there’s more to this,” mum says from behind me. “We deserve an explanation. Maybe you should stick around.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t be here – not when he’s in the same room. I just can’t.”
As soon as the door shuts and I’m outside, I head straight to the one place I know I can forget my troubles.