After we left Ihop, we dropped off food for Christian and the bouquet of flowers for Ivy. Then we went home to place the remainder of flowers all over the house. By then it was 7 am and once we hit the bed, we both were out. I cuddled into Chris and drifted off.
I woke up at 11am because it was my day with Christian and I wasn’t going to miss lunch with him, no matter how tired I was.
After bringing Christian Zaxby’s for lunch today, I drove to Walmart. I picked up the whole Avenger’s bedroom set, putting it in my basket. We both loved action movies like that. Looking around I suddenly gasped.
Is that Kingdom Hearts 3? Christian was 7 years old. Regardless of how advanced he was I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist.
I reached for it.
“So are you a Gamer Girl as well?” There’s that familiar voice. Gee, I had a stalker now.
“A little bit... for my baby.” I wanted him to believe I was taken. The last time I let my guard down terrible things had happened to me.
“Your son, Christian, right?” He asked interrupting me from my thoughts. He was definitely stalking.
“Yes.” We stood in a bit of uncomfortable silence. I wasn’t exactly ready for this encounter so soon after he’d made Christian and my life much more comfortable. I couldn’t exactly see him as all bad now.
Well he was kinda on my creep list right now... He gently grasped both of my hands, catching me off guard.
“I personally wanted to sincerely apologize for the way I behaved these past two days, Renee. My behavior was completely unacceptable and I am so, so sorry for acting the way I did. I shouldn’t have approached you or anyone like that. I was way out of line.” He sighed, looking down at out joined hands. “I want to say that I am not usually such a judgmental racist asshole, but I’d be lying. I’m not interested in starting our official introduction with dishonesty.”
I blinked. Surprised. An apology from a billionaire?
“I’d also like to formally introduce myself. My name is Lamar Maxwell. I’m an architect designer and I own Maxwell’s Architecture Firm.”
“Wow, I never would’ve guessed... an architect. I thought you were some spoon fed billionaire.”
“No, I make pretty good money but I come from humble beginnings, believe me.
Now I was interested.
“Well, I know you already know who I am and what I do at this point. Sooooo, I would like to apologize for -”
“Please don’t remind me. I know I deserved it.” He chuckled, smile lighting up the whole store.
He’s fucking gorgeous smiling...
I realized I was starring when he smirked at me.
I found myself grinning back at him, so what? He was very attractive. I was a woman and I damn sure wasn’t blind. “I accept your apology Lamar Maxwell. It’s nice to officially meet you.”
My genuine smile caught him off guard. I figured that he was analyzing my genuine smile but my unwelcoming body language. It was screaming, don’t fucking touch me. I was big on personal space.
“Who hurt you?” He demanded.
“What? Um nobody?” I began to panic. I turned around to rush out of the store, leaving everything I had planned to buy in the cart beside him.
Who hurt you? Who hurt you? Who hurt you?
The question echoed in my head as I hurried home fighting tears that filled my eyes. I thought about Christian’s father. The fucking bastard that I’d spent a year in a very toxic relationship with, who didn’t take no for an answer and raped me.
I made it home around 4pm. I picked Christian up from school.
I made us a salad and we sat down in the living room to watch cartoons.
He wasn’t going back to school until his paperwork was transferred to Empire.
A few hours late and good tub soak and I was okay.
Damn I knew he was bold and direct but I didn’t expect him to be that freaking straight-forward. I kept thinking about everything the whole drive home. I couldn’t believe I had ran away from him like that, I wasn’t no damn bitch.
I thought I was over the situation with Christian’s father but it hit me like a ton of bricks all over again. I realized now I had been lying to myself all along and I would have to be honest with myself before anything else. That rapist bastard had a hold on me. And that was a weakness I had to expunge.
Our Thanksgiving was amazing. We spent it with Christopher & Ivy but as usual we got sad around this time. I always thought about the last thanksgiving I had spent with my dad. I missed him so much. The urge to call him, to hear his voice was so strong but it wasn’t safe. I couldn’t risk him.
Christopher, however, had married fresh out of college to his off and on high school sweetheart. He had came home early for thanksgiving after telling his wife that he was working late to surprise her. He found her in bed with another man, who was the actual father of her two children. It was a clean divorce, they were renting a house at the time. Even though he’d had a shitty job he’d managed to support them all. He left with nothing but the clothes on his back that night, he let her keep the car and since the rent was already paid up for the year she would be okay. Now he had his own house, a boatload of cars, and his own business. She missed out.
I was pregnant and staying in a homeless shelter when I met Christopher. He was doing volunteer work at the shelter I was staying in. He offered many of the able-bodied people there, including me, jobs at his business. He helped us with living arrangements and transportation. For those in my situation- he helped us form new identities and paid for our self-defense classes. He soon became my best friend, even staying with me in the hospital 18 hours while I gave birth. Christopher had even offered to sign the birth certificate, but I knew I would be taking advantage of his kindness. In a way to thank him, I named Christian after him.
I’d met Ivy when I first moved into this neighborhood. She was the only person that actually welcomed me and Christopher to the neighborhood, and we’d became close friends.
I smiled. Things had definitely worked out for us in the long run. I had no reason to be sad, worried, or upset anymore.
I was safe. My life was my own.