For Your Own Good
Rayna was heading down the hallway towards the bedroom when she passed Maddie’s room, stopping when she noticed her 14-year-old pacing back and forth worriedly, phone to her ear, and tears streaming down her face. Naturally, she was concerned so she knocked on the open door and went in. “Maddie—honey? Hey, sweet girl, what’s wrong?” she asked.
Maddie stopped pacing and looked at her. “He’s not answering,” she said, biting her quivering lip as she lowered the phone, her hand shaking as she stared at it.
“What? Who’s not answering, honey?” Rayna asked, confused.
“Deacon,” Maddie answered, dialing her phone again and bringing it back up to her ear. “I’ve been trying to call him for an hour ever since that storm warning on the TV earlier and he won’t—he’s not picking up,” she said, her voice strained and worried…and a little bit fearful.
Rayna sighed. “Honey, what are you talking about?” she asked. “Why are you getting so worked up? I’m sure Deacon’s just busy and can’t answer. He’s probably down at the Bluebird with Avery, you know? I’m sure he’ll call you back later,” she said, reassuringly.
Maddie shook her head. “No, he’s not,” she said matter-of-factly. “He’s up at the cabin. He left yesterday after that whole thing with Dad happened after my open mic performance,” she said. “I called him last night and he just said that he had to get away for a while. That he probably wasn’t the best influence on me anyhow. What did you say to him Mom?” she asked, tears in her voice.
Rayna exhaled slowly, considering how to answer. Finally, she sighed and nodded. “I told both Deacon and your father that I didn’t feel that either one of them should be around you right now...at least not until they get their acts together and get over themselves. That fight yesterday—it was completely uncalled for and I’m sorry sweetheart, but I refuse to subject either you or your sister to that kind of behavior. It’s unhealthy,” she said, stating her position on the subject.
Maddie’s mouth dropped open in disbelief. “You told him to stay away?” she asked. “How could you? Why would you do that?!” she demanded, angry tears streaming down her face.
Rayna swallowed hard, and then put her hands on her hips. “Because I’m your Mama, that’s why,” she answered. “It’s my job to protect you, whether you necessarily like it or not. I’m sorry you’re upset honey, but—“
“Sorry? You’re sorry?” Maddie interjected. “Like you’re sorry for lying to me my whole life about who my real father is? Deacon’s already missed out on 13 years of my life, because of you. How much more of my life are you going to steal from us?!” she asked, hostility in her voice.
Rayna’s eyes widened. “Excuse me? What did you just say to me? I don’t appreciate your tone or your attitude, young lady,” she said.
Maddie ignored her and threw up her arms. “Now what’s gonna happen? What if this ruins everything? What if he decides he doesn’t want anything to do with me now—if getting to know me is more trouble than it’s worth, you know? What’s going to happen now?” she asked quietly, her voice breaking on a sob as she turned away and cried.
The anger dissipated as Rayna’s heart broke while she stood there and watched her little girl cover her face with her hands and sob, her backed turned to her but her pain still so very apparent. She cursed herself for not thinking about what her actions might mean for Maddie or the hurt that they might or would cause…then and now.