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Chapter 25 - Taylor

I feel anger boil in my veins like liquid lava boiling under the earth’s thick crust. Sitting across from my mother, I silently seethe. She couldn’t have picked a better time to come and play mother. A warm hand claps mine making me look over to Greg, he is smiling a little sadly. My anger slowly drains from me the longer he looks at me. I squeeze his hand in reassurance that I am not going to lose my shit.

“Okay out with it Ana, I am sure you have better things to do than sit here with me.” I decide to end the slightly awkward silence that has descended over our little group in Zach’s study. We moved here from the kitchen when he saw the anger on my face at seeing my mother. Tiago was leaning against the closed door with Zach tugged into his side. They had Nance watching the boys.

Anastasia looked a little put off with me being blunt; it’s a habit I developed to deal with annoying people. She found it very unItalian of me, and I did it more around her because I knew she hated it. “Well, I know you are upset with me for missing your papa’s and nonno’s funeral. But I had a good excuse to be late. I –” She lapses into silence as I slam my fist on the desk as I rise to my feet and start pacing.

“NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, YOU ARE NOT LATE TO YOUR HUSNBAND’S AND FATHER –INLAW’S FUNERAL!” I roar, resisting the urge to throw something around the room. I clench my hands into fists as she again opens her mouth to defend herself as I pant lightly for breath at my roaring. “No, I do not want to hear your pathetic excuse about model business or whatever it is that you want to say.” I shake my head in disappointment. “As papa’s wife you should have been the first there and the last to leave instead of the other way around. We needed you there mamma! We needed you! Sylvester needed you!”

I grip my hair and tug violently, trying to find a none destructive way to let out my anger. Slowly I bring my hand to my cheek and feel that it’s wet. I am crying, why the hell am I crying? A warm pair of hands cup my cheeks and lift my head up, straight into Greg’s worried face. “Please just sit down again and listen to her okay? Just listen to what she has to say and then she will leave.” I pant as I lick my lips and swallow my painful throat. I thankfully accept a glass of water and gulp down the liquid in one go. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand I let Greg lead me back to my seat, glaring at my mother.

My mother looks a little unnerved but she got herself together quickly as she sat up straight. “My excuse for being late to your papa’s and nonno’s funeral was because I was stuck in traffic as I made my way to the funeral from the airport. I just landed that morning after being delayed for six hours. If I wasn’t delayed I would have landed the day before.” She wrung her hands, something she only did when she was very nervous. “One of Gordo’s older cousins picked me up from the airport and he wasn’t the best driver.” I frown as I remember that all older cousins of Gordo or dad are a great deal older than them. And their driving style is that one of a demented grandpa.

“When I finally arrived most of the funeral was over and I couldn’t find you or Syl. When I did it was in the house at the wake and Gabriella told me you two were sound asleep.” I do remember seeing her standing on the threshold of the room, looking sad and heartbroken with her tearstained face and run out make up. “A—and I—I know th—that I haven’t b-been a—a g—good m—mother t—to y—you o—or S—Syl.” She was hiccupping as she started silently crying.

My body slacked as she finally accepted the fact that she never was a good mother. It hurt, I could see it on her face but there was determination, she was determined to make the most of it now. “I know that I was never the mother you or Syl needed. But I do love you, you and Syl with every fibre of my being. You are my boys, and no matter that you live with Gordo and Meredith. Nothing will change the fact that you are my boys.”

“Maybe....maybe it’s better for you to become an auntie to Syl.” Her head snapped up, eager, still tears eyed. “I know you are my mother, you will always be but to Syl you are a little confusing. To Syl you are not really a mother since he hasn’t seen you a lot. If you want to salvage any type relationship with Syl I think you can become an auntie of some sort.”

She sniffs a little “You think he will accept that?” She dabbed her eyes, trying to clean up the mascara trails on her cheeks. Her nose was a little red and I did feel a little bad for her. I reached out and grasp her hand, squeezing it lightly.

“If you, from now on make it clear to Syl that you are an auntie and not a mother he will come to like you, maybe even love you.” We were interrupted by the door opening and Syl entered.

“Why are you crying?” He questioned in a quiet voice as he climbed on my lap. Mom’s eyes softened before blushing a little as she blows her nose.

“She is just a little upset that you are so scared of her Syl.” I say gently, rubbing his stomach as he squirms a little. “What is it about her that scares you?” He bites his lip as mom slowly retracts her hand from mine. As not to startle Syl, she slowly reaches over to him.

“Ciao Sylvester, I am Anastasia Thompson.” Syl’s eyes widen at hearing her name, he knows that his real mother’s name is Anastasia. “I am pleased to see you are doing so well Sylvester.” The room is quiet as Syl’s bottom lip starts quivering and his eyes turned moist.

“Mamma? Are you my mamma?” His voice quivers as tears stream sown his pinched face. “Don’t you love me?! Don’t you want me?!” He wails as Ana nods her head, starling everybody with his outburst.

Mom gathered him in her arms and started rocking him, much like she did with me when I was younger. “I love you so much Sylvester that I am willing to let you stay with your papa Gordo and mamma Meredith.” She tried to shush him. “They love you so much Sylvester, that it would be very mean of me to take you away from them. To take you away from all your friends, from your school, from your life here. I love you so much Syl that I rather have live with Meredith and Gordo, then have you unhappily live with me.”

“I would have to leave everybody behind?” He sniffles, looking up to her in question. When she nods her head, he looks a little frightened. “Including Lo, Greg and Taylor?” Another nod from mom. “I don’t wanna.” Syl even shakes his head to prove his point.

“I know that Syl.” Mom lifted his tear stained face to look at her. “That’s why you are staying with your mamma Meredith and papa Gordo.” She gently brushes away some tears, smiling slightly. “And I will come round for your birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving. And Maybe when you’re older you can stay with me for the summer holiday back home in Italy?”

There was no real answer as Syl yawns and promptly falls asleep, in her arms. “I better bring him up to bed.” Zach opens the door for her and leads her to the bedroom.

I let out a deep sigh, rubbing my hands over my face. “Are you okay Tay?” I look up in Greg’s slightly smug face. “Aren’t you glad you got that off your chest? If you didn’t, I am sure it would just fester inside you, poisoning every thought of Ana.”

Greg grunts a little as I fully lean against him with my weight. Still he wraps his skinny, scared arms around me. Trapping me against his body. “I told you that I will take care of you Tay. I swear, I will.” He murmurs softly as he kissed the rop of my head, playing with the hair at the nape of my neck.

Mom decided to keep Syl home, she took him home and spoke with Gordo and Meredith. Lo was a little worried but brightened when Greg said he would take him to see him after school. Greg was very touchy feely the day after, probably subconsiously picking up on my distress.

We returned home with Lo in tow and I was surprised with the absence of Ana. Meredith shook her head as I raised an eyebrow in silent question. “I am sure Syl is happy to see you Logan.” She said as she bend down to his height. “Do you want to help me bring Syl his soup?” Lo energetically nodded his head as he quickly toed of his shoes and hung his coat on the coathook.

I peeked into Syl’s room and couldn’t help but smile as Lo was very animatedly talking as he spoke about the schoolday. Even Meredith smiled as she made her way down the stairs.

“I guess your mom left huh?” We both had flopped down on my bed. I shrugged, it wasn’t anything new to me. I huff out a breath as Greg rolls ontop of me, placing his head under my chin. My hands found themselves onto Greg’s back, stroking up and down his spine.

We spend our remaining time until dinner time just lying there, basking in each others heat. A knock on the open door had me slowly open my eyes. Meredith’s eyes soften as she looked at us. “Dinner is ready.” I nod my head turning to see Greg just waking up. He blushed a little before trying to tame his unruly hair.

Lo and Syl joined us at the top of the stairs, both look happy. Sitting at the dinner table with everybody smiling and chatting, had me feel a little sorry for Ana. From what I remember whenever she took me to her parents house, they were very distant. They wouldn’t have dinner like this with everybody talking at the same time and laughing.

Lo made a little scene when Tiago showed up to pick them both up. Lo wanted to stay with Syl, they were playing with Syl’s new soldiertoys. Yet, one stern glance from Tiago Lo left to go get his backpack, jacket and shoes.

“I will see you tomorrow?” Greg’s hand squeezed mine making me look at him. He surprised us all when he kissed me onthe lips. Wide eyed I looked at him as he ducked out the door blushing up to his ears. He left without giving me an oppertunity to answer.

“You will come by tomorrow right?” I looked down to Lo as he tugged on my pants leg. “You will come by to bring to school right?” He looks so close to tears that I can’t help but ruffle his hair.

“I will.” I state making him smile before scowling as he attempts to flat his hair. Tiago gives us a smile as he waves from the open car door. He honks once as everybody is seated and he reverses out our drive. I watch them until their taillights disappear from view.

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