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19| sign the papers


“Damn it, Gretchen! Just sign the damn papers!” I snap losing my tolerance for her. Her eyes widen “Don't speak to me like that Drew, I'm your wife!”

I scoff “On paper you are but not in life. . . look Gretchen please just sign the divorce papers.”

She crosses her arms over her bosom and glares at me. “I'm not signing them Drew. I want you to give us another opportunity. I still love you and, and even though you're not in love with me anymore I could get you to fall for me again. Please. For Gracie.”

I laugh humorously “Don't. Just don't Gretchen. Don't you dare use my daughter to try and get me to give you another chance because I'm not? I don't love you anymore, my heart belongs to another and I want to be with her. I want to let the whole damn world know she's mine but I can't. Not until you sign these papers.”

Gretchen's hazel eyes flash with fire “What do you want to replace me and ‘our’ daughter?!”

“I will never replace Gracie. Nev—” I pause, stopping myself before I say Neveah's name. “besides my love absolutely adores Gracie and the same for Gracie. Our daughter is happier than ever now. She and my love do what you are supposed to do with her. They go shopping, they have a girls' day, they... They do everything a mother and daughter is supposed to do.” a soft smile makes its way on my face. “Gracie is finally getting the attention she always wanted and craved for you to give her.”

Tears fill Gretchen's eyes and I continue “Gretch, both you and I know you never wanted to get married or have kids. That's why you resented Gracie so much when she was first born, it is why you resented me, that's why you were never around. It's why you cheated so much. You didn't and don't want a family. So please just sign the papers. Let Gracie and I move on. I'll never ever stop you from seeing Gracie because you are her mother. But let her be happy.”

Tears are streaming down Gretchen's face and sobs escape her mouth. “I'm sorry.” she cries out before turning and running out.

I sigh, bringing my hand up to my face I squeeze my nose closing my eyes. A headache appearing.

The bell to the shop rings signaling someone entered. I open my eyes and see Faye. “You look stressed.” she comments moving forward “does it have something to do with that woman that ran out crying?”

“It's none of your business Faye,” I mutter. She moves forward “I can help.”

I frown. “Help? With what?”

She giggles and before I know it she's on her knees on the floor, hands moving toward my jeans. I grip her wrists, “What the fuck do you think you are doing?”

She looks up at me, red lips parted, desire in her eyes. “Helping you release some tension, honey.”

The bell rings again and I shoot my gaze from her and up, my eyes widening when I see Neveah. I release Faye from my grip and move toward her. “It is not—”

“I know Drew.”

I sigh in relief and pull her into my arms, placing my forehead on hers. I look into her beautiful green eyes that always seem to change from a light green to dark green.

“Really Drew honey, you are turning me down for this kid?”

Pulling away from Neveah I turn to face Faye. “Gather what stiff that's yours and get the hell out of here. I tried being nice Faye, I've given you chance after chance because you're an amazing tattoo artist but I will not have you disrespecting my woman or my daughter for that matter!” I fume out. She was lucky I let her stay after Neveah told me how she acted toward my little girl.

“But- but Drew—”

“No buts, by the time I get back you better be gone.”

Wrapping an arm around Neveah's waist I head toward the door. “and lock up behind you if you want your last paycheck.”



Tears continue to stream down my cheeks as I think about everything, he told me. Deep down I know everything, every-single-thing he said was the truth. I never wanted kids or marriage. Especially at the young age of nineteen. We both were young when I got pregnant. But Drew... He was excited when we found out I was pregnant. He'd always wanted to have a house full of children with the woman he loved.

And even though we both knew we wanted different things we still got together at the age of sixteen and fell madly in love but I always knew it wouldn't last forever. We were too different. We wanted different things.

Now, look at us.

I know divorce is the best thing for us... But I know when I sign those papers I've officially lost him... and Gracie.

The way he spoke about his love made me realize he's already moved on in his heart... That I'm the only thing stopping him from officially moving on, being happy.

Sighing I make up my mind.

I'm going to sign the papers and let him and our daughter be happy but first— first I need to meet the woman who has taken my place in both my husband and daughter's heart.

I need to know this woman is trustworthy. That she cares as deeply about them as they do her.

And I need to speak to my daughter and let her know I love her, I'm just not mother material.


I ring the bell before stepping back and waiting. Not a moment later and the door opens. “Oh, my! Gretchen, I haven't seen you in forever. Not since your wedding.” Jade Harveston says grinning widely at me. Jade is Draya, Drew's sister's adoptive mother. “Yeah, it's been a while.” I give a small smile. “Is Gracie here?”

Jade nods “Yes, she's in the living room watching Finding Dory with Draya.”

“Okay, you think you can get her for me? I need to speak with her.”

“Oh, of course. Come in you and her can talk in the kitchen.”

I follow Jade inside. “Is she staying the night or...?”

“No, Drew and his girlfriend will be picking her up in an hour.”

Drew and his girlfriend?

Jade pauses and turns to face me. “I'm so sorry I didn't mean—”

“It's fine Jade, I know Drew is seeing someone else. Do you think it'd be okay if I stayed here and waited on them to arrive? I need to speak with them as well.”

Jade stares at me for a moment before saying “Sure. Just don't start anything with Drew's girlfriend Gretchen, because she is a sweet girl. Draya and Gracie adore her.”

I fight to not roll my eyes “Don't worry I won't.”

Nodding she turns back around and heads in the living room I follow quietly behind my mind rolling with thoughts.

I smile when I see Gracie giggling as she watches tv. It had been a few days since I last saw her.

“Gracie, ”

She turns and looks at me. I bend down and open my arms expecting her to run to me only she stands and stares at me “What are you doing here momma?”

I blink back the tears that fill my vision and start to speak when I realize “What the hell happened to your long gorgeous hair?!”

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