Embracing Fate

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Chapter 9-Willow

After Cole had dropped me off I went about preparing for my day. I laid out the new music folders for this grade; we are learning new songs for this year’s Christmas program. As I went about my business, I had a feeling someone was watching me, I turn around and find Trevor staring at me. He smiled and walked into my classroom.

“Trevor you need to leave right now!” I say calmly but firmly but he just continues to walk in. When he gets closer to me he says,

“So that’s him? That’s Payton’s real Father?” He voice is so full of hatred and I notice he doesn’t say Cole’s name. He reaches his hand up and touches my face and I jolt back from his unwanted touch.

“Please don’t touch me!” Trevor ignores my pleas and still moved some hair that had fallen in my face.

“Just because he’s back doesn’t mean you have to be with him. We could still be together, he doesn’t deserve you, and he won’t treat you like I do. I would never leave you; not like he did. I’m here Willow, I always have been. We can be a real family, you, me and Payton."

"I know I scared you and for that I’m sorry. I’ve never felt this way about anyone; I’ve been in love with you since we met in the study group. I know you need time to figure things out and I will give you that, but I hope you decide that I’m the best choice for you. Just remember he left you Willow, he left you alone and pregnant. That should account for something.” I stood still in my place and processed his words, this was not what I was expecting but yet I’m a little peeved by the last statement.

“I appreciate your apology, it says a lot about a person when they are willing to accept they did something wrong. However, I’m so tired of you acting like Cole had a choice in leaving me. He was already gone and settling into his new life when I found out I was pregnant. If he would have known he would have come back that very second."

"I shouldn’t have to explain this to you but Cole is one of those guys who would put everything else on hold or even give up what best for him to help others. He had a full ride scholarship to the best premed Colleges in the States and I wasn’t going to take that away from him."

"Cole is the most unselfish person I know so I had to give him this. As for needing time, I don’t need it. I know who my choice is, and I know who my heart belongs too. I’m sorry Trevor. I really am.” I peered up at the clock on the wall and saw that my second-grade class would be coming any minute.

I glance back to Trevor who had the face of someone who had been sucker punched. “You really need to go; my Class is going to start.” He nods and walks towards the door but stopped and turned back around.

“I just want you to know that when this thing with him crashes and burns I will be here waiting for you.” I didn’t have time to respond to that since my students started coming in.

“Miss Willow, are you okay?’ I look down and see Jason peering up at me with questioning eyes. “Was Mr. Bane giving you problems? I’ll have words with him if you need me too.”

I can’t help but smile and laugh at Jason being overprotective. I bet that would make Cole happy. The thought of Cole had me wondering if he was like Jason at this age. I have a feeling he was. Jason is one of my favorite students.

I know we aren’t supposed to have favorites but when it comes to this boy I just can’t help it. He is always very kind, and helpful, and he always arrives early to help. Jason was given a special assignment by the Principal because of his kind heart; he is the only second grader to have this assignment. He is the peer tutor for the disabled students. This is usually something given to the upper grades but Jason has gone above and beyond to earn this job.

“No, Jason everything is fine. Why don’t you go find your seat and we can start.”

“Yes, Miss Willow.”

The rest of the morning went by in a blur. Cole came in during lunch to pick up Payton from school. I had to walk them to the office and add his name to her emergency contact and give him permission to pick her up since I didn't have his name on his name listed on her birth certificate. I need to get that fixed.

I walked with them out to his car and hugged Payton. Cole closed her door and wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me into his chest. Normally I would be embarrassed by this display of affection in front of a bunch of Elementary kids and my Co-workers but today I basked in it. He pulled away just enough so our faces met.

“Are you ok?” He questions.

“Yes, why?” He gives me a quizzical look then I remembered the incident this morning. I put that in the back of my mind and focused on my job and my students.

“Oh, that, Yes, I’m okay. He came in and talked to me and it was weird. I don’t have time to talk about it right now but we can tonight. Why don’t you come over for dinner? My Dad will be home though.”

I remembered the first he met my Dad, it didn’t go over well. My Dad has been on a business trip this week. I don’t know how that will go over but I guess any time is as good as any. I felt Cole’s chest rumble as he grunts and it’s obvious he’s remembering too.

“I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but if we are going to be together he needs to be told and he’s not the same guy you met.”

“If this is what you want, I will come to dinner.” He reassures “I won’t lie and say I’m not scared shitless though. The first time I met him didn’t go well, what if he doesn’t like me now. I did abandon his Daughter after getting her pregnant. I know I would kill the guy who would ever to do that to Payton, God forbid.”

“Cole, you didn’t abandon me, and he understands the circumstances, he’s cool,” I assure him. “And let’s hope Payton will never be put in that situation. Let’s hope her teenage years are nicer than ours were. I want you to know that I don’t regret one minute of it though. I’ve got to go. School is done at three see you then. I pull out of his embrace and run towards the school. I hear him shout.

“The only thing I regret is the time I lost with you and Payton!” I turn around and flash him my pearly whites then walk into the school.

Three o clock arrived faster than I expected. Trevor never made another appearance that day, and I prayed it would stay that way. I pray he got the hint and will now leave me alone. Payton’s teacher Miss Susan stopped by my room to gush about Cole and to tell me about Payton’s show and tell this morning. We were both laughing when Cole and Payton walked in.

“Momma, guess what Daddy and I did after school?” She says as she skips to me.

“Um...Let me see...Did you go catch sea turtles? “Payton puts her hands on her hips and stares up at me.

“Really? You know there aren’t any sea turtles in Utah Mom. Daddy took me to my favorite restaurant for lunch and he let me get whatever I wanted and..” She puts her hand over the side of her mouth and quietly said, “He even let me have a sundae with everything.”

“Wow, Daddy does like to spoil you doesn’t he?” I glance up to see Cole with a guilty smirk; it was adorable. Susan speaks up and says she needs to run and reminds Payton to get her reading done and walks out.

“I just need to put these away then we can go.” I gestured toward the music folders strewn around the classroom. Cole and Payton get busy and walk around collecting them and bringing them to me. I shove them in my messenger bag and walk out of the classroom. Today was a good and eventful day, now I just need to get through Dinner with my Dad and Cole.

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