Alive Again

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Chapter 57

One year later...

Aaron woke up to a completely quiet house for the first time in months and smiled. No squealing, yelling, running or his name being called over and over. Ok, he liked that, but once in a while quiet was a good thing. Joel and Alex had Breena for the weekend and his mom had the triplets so he could work on the new swing set he was building for the kids. He was almost done and really wanted it finished for the summer. Winter had been brutal that year and spring was cold. April was supposed to be warmer, but only by a little. May better get warmer or he was going to have four very cranky children.

He got up and changed into his work clothes and a hoodie and went down to the kitchen where he thanked god that he had remembered to set the timer on the coffeemaker and poured a large cup and sipped it as he made some eggs and toast. He sat at the table and thought out his game plan as Thor sat at his side waiting for a crust of bread covered in jelly to be handed over. Aaron had noticed that Thor had slowed down some the last few months and the Vet had given him some meds for the arthritis that was starting to affect him. Once Aaron granted his wish of some crust, Thor went out the doggy door to lay in the sun.

Aaron was just putting his dishes in the sink when the doorbell rang. He groaned inwardly, praying it wasn’t the new neighbor, Pamela, that had moved in down the street and had been flirting nonstop with him, coming over to talk. He really wanted to get started in the backyard and was wracking his brain on excuses to get rid of her as he walked to the door.

He unlocked the door and opened it and stopped dead in his tracks, frozen by the sight.

“Hi Aaron,” she whispered with a small smile.

Lorelai…” he whispered back. He couldn’t say anything else because he had so many emotions churning through him; anger, frustration, sadness, hatred, happiness, love and lust.

They just stood there for several minutes and looked at each other before Lorelai finally asked if she could come in.

Aaron apologized and stepped aside to let her come in and closed the door behind her.

“You look really good Aaron…” Lorelai started.

As hard as it was, Aaron stayed in shape and worked out several times a week so he was in prime condition for his job. He usually had to get up even earlier to do it, but since he was the only parent in his children’s lives, he felt he owed it to them to be as healthy as he could be.

Aaron looked at his long lost wife and noticed the change in her. She had lost all the baby weight and was very toned, probably weighing less than when they first got together. Her hair was longer than before and she looked just as beautiful as the day he met her.

“What are you doing here Lorelai?” He asked none to politely.

Lorelai flinched a little at his tone, “I deserve that…”

“You think? You walked out on your children and me!! You just fucking leave Lorelai, and we don’t hear from you in over a year!! What the fuck do you want me to say? Welcome home?!” Aaron yelled.

“I had to Aaron. I was messed up…”

“Where the fuck have you been?” he demanded.

“I just went up to Northglenn…” She softly said.

“How did you survive? Who were you with?” He asked, desperately afraid of the answer.

“I was living in a pay by the week hotel, a decent one. I know you know that I took a thousand dollars from savings, and that kept me afloat until I got a job,” Lorelai explained.

“What kind of job did you get? How did you pay the bills?” He spat.

“I worked as a substitute teacher in that school district. I paid the rent that way...I wasn’t with anyone the time I was gone…”

“Then what the hell were you doing when you abandoned your family?”

Lorelai flinched again, “ I was getting healthy...Are the kids here?”

“No the kids aren’t here! Why did you need to ‘get healthy’? You could have worked out here!” Aaron yelled and started pacing the room.

“Where are the kids? Can I see them?” Lorelai asked, ignoring the question.

“Oh you don’t get to dictate this conversation! You will answer all the questions that I have, your family has and your best friends have! You left all of them without a second glance!! You didn’t come to any of us for help!! You just fucking left us!!” He roared, breathing heavily, “You just left me…”

Lorelai felt the tears form in her eyes and knew she needed to let him get all his emotions out, “I’m sorry Aaron, so sorry. That is all I can say. I was messed up…”

“How? How were you messed up?”

“I knew I was slipping, I could feel it and did some research. I found a therapist up north to talk to. She diagnosed me with Postpartum Depression, Aaron. I was terrified that I was going to hurt one of the kids or myself. I was falling into a dark hole and didn’t know what to do. Having the triplets really did a number on me and with everything that happened with Max came back and my thoughts were my enemy.”

“Why didn’t you come to me?! I have always had your back and I would have with this! I would have moved heaven and earth to help you!! I loved you!!” He cried.

“I couldn’t admit that I had failed you or our kids! I felt bad enough as it was and I was terrified that if I hurt myself one of the kids would find me. Or you would find me and never forgive me…” She admitted as she wiped her eyes, “And I couldn’t handle the thought of hurting one of our kids and you never forgiving me.”

Aaron was floored by her revelation of considering hurting herself or their kids.

“But that still doesn’t explain why you didn’t come to me? Or your parents? or JJ and Alex? Any of us would have helped you!”

“I don’t know! I just felt that I needed to completely break away to get myself right!” She cried, “I didn’t want any of you to think less of me or think I was weak.”

“You would rather that we hate you?”

“Somehow hate would be easier to accept than you never being able to forgive me…” Lorelai admitted.

Aaron had no idea what to say, he was just so mixed up with his thoughts and feelings. He had to process all of this and had no idea what to think or how to feel.

“Where does this leave us Aaron?” she tentatively asked.

Aaron’s eyes went wide and he stood up, “Are you serious? Are you fucking serious right now?! You disappear for 13 months with no word to anyone, and leave me to raise our kids BY MYSELF! And you have the gaul to ask me where we are in our relationship?!”

She nodded, “I need to know what I need to do to make this right.”

He laughed, “You have some nerve! Just so you know, I have contacted a lawyer about getting a divorce. I wasn’t going to keep going like this, living in this limbo. It’s not fair to anyone, especially me!”

“You have?”

“Did you honestly expect me to wait around for some unknown period of time and pine away from you? Just raise our children and not live life?!” He asked, shocked.

“Well I hoped that you still loved me and I came back to see if we could make this work. I love you Aaron,” She sincerely told him.

“What about our kids?”

“I love them too. They are my flesh and blood and would do anything for them!” Lorelai told him with conviction.

“You loved them so much that you left them without a mother! Do you know how much you missed? Bre turned 3, the triplets turned one and are walking and talking! You have no idea their personality and how close Finn and Aisling are and how Ronan is the most independent child I have ever seen! Breena is potty trained and it literally took one weekend to get her there! She is so smart! Your sister had another baby last weekend. JJ and Alex had another baby, a boy this time and he is about eight weeks old and so cute! You want me to believe that you loved them and would do anything for them? PLEASE!” Aaron scoffed.

“I would do anything! I missed out on so much to make sure that I could see them grow up!” She countered.

Aaron rolled his eyes, “Whatever Lorelai. I have things to do. You can let yourself out. Leave me the address of where you are staying so I can tell my lawyer.”

Lorelai looked at him and saw the pain and anger still etched on his face and knew this was going to take longer than she thought to get back in their life. Her Therapist warned her that this was most likely the case, but she held out hope that he wouldn’t be so angry and accept her back into their life. Aaron was a man who felt deeply, be it anger or love.

Lorelai took a piece of paper from her purse with her contact information on it and handed it to him, “I got a new cell phone number… Can I call you some time to set up a time to see the kids?”

Aaron knew he couldn’t keep the kids from her forever, but was going to make her earn it and to make sure she was going to stick around. He wasn’t going to let her hurt his kids again.

“Do you know that Breena walked around calling for you for days? Finn and Aisling didn’t sleep through the night for weeks. Ronan wouldn’t leave your mom’s arms when she would come to help me with the kids until I found a good daycare. He clung to her like she was the last person on earth. On more than one occasion she had to stay and help with bedtime. Each of the kids had to sleep with something of yours so they could smell you…” Aaron spat and his voice caught at the end with a sob. He took a minute before he continued, “So you don’t get to start demanding time with them until I know if you are going to leave them again!”

He looked at her with disdain, “I have work. Let yourself out.”

He turned and walked into the kitchen and out the back door to the half finished swing set and took several breaths to calm himself before he picked up any power tools.

Lorelai knew this was going to be a hard process and deserved the anger that he felt towards her. She talked with Megan, her therapist, about how to accept responsibility for her actions and to work on bettering her relationships. She had a lot of relationships to mend and strengthen. She walked over the wall of pictures they had started and took out her phone and took a few pictures of the amazing photos he had added. She was shocked at how much they had all grown and felt a deep pain in her chest from everything she had missed. She would talk about that with Megan on Monday.

Lorelai took out her keys and moved to the front door. She opened the door just as someone was coming in and jumped as she ran into her father.

“Lorelai?!” He gasped.

“Daddy!” She gasped.

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