Copyright© 2017 Rebecca Jane
All Rights Reserved.
Author's Note: I’m truly sorry the chapters have started slowing down. I figured it up that with the two work trips in the last two weeks, that I have travelled just over 5000 miles and worked just over 115 hour… I’m truly surprised I was able to get as much done as I have. I hope the quality of this and the last chapter hasn’t suffered too terribly much. I hope you all enjoy this next installment. ~Rebecca
After Dana had composed herself, Steve suggested they go outside to talk to Sarah’s parents. He also remembered the steaks and the reason he and Bill had initially come inside, so he grabbed the container and they both walked outside to find Bill hugging his wife.
Joan was still crying as they heard her say, “I’m trying so hard, but I feel like I keep hurting her all over again…”
Dana felt extremely guilty at that moment. Maybe if she had more faith that April’s plan would work, and she had already told Sarah the full truth, that things might be going better than they were. As it was, she had only found out the full truth from April shortly after she had passed away. Still holding on to the anger she had felt for so long, was extremely hard to let go of, and she had been afraid of telling Sarah in case April’s plan hadn’t succeeded. If she had gotten her hopes up and her parents never showing had been her main concern. She might not have been fully to blame this whole time, but Sarah and her parent’s pain right now rested entirely on her shoulders, at least some of it. That, she had every intention of rectifying.
Steve announced their presence by saying, “We forgot about these babies still in the fridge.” He was smiling, but everyone there knew it was forced.
Bill half heartedly smiled, “Oh right… Can’t forget those…” Then much more solemnly he looked at Steve and Dana and softly said, “Thank you for trying…” Bill took the steaks and started arranging them on the grill, in an effort to at least not feel helpless at the moment.
Dana moved over and Joan readily grabbed her in a hug and said to Dana, “I’m sorry that you and Steve have been put in this position… If you think it would be best… If it would be better for Sarah… We’ll leave right now…”
Dana softly tried to reassure her, “No… Please don’t leave… I know it’s hard for… well, everyone… I’m sorry I didn’t tell Sarah before you got here… I just didn’t want to get her hopes and then you not show…”
Joan just nodded as she wiped her eyes, “April told us that it was you that had found her that night… When she tried to… Thank you so much for being there for her… not only that but looking out for her all this time… We had never meant for this to have gotten so… fucked…”
At that exclamation Bill looked at his wife and exclaimed, “Joan!!!” He didn’t think of one time that he had ever heard her cuss, at least use the F word…
Joan looked at him and said, “I’m sorry… But that is what it is, had we not been so blinded by that asshole we’d have still been in our daughters life… Had we only listened sooner… I hate him only slightly less than I hate myself for listening to him…”
Still amazed at hearing his wife of almost forty years cuss, not once but twice in a row, he said, “I know… I wish we had stood up to the church sooner… It might have saved the families he wrecked after ours… There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t blame myself too… At least we know now that ‘he’ wont be able to use his pulpit to ruin anymore young lives or families again…”
Steve asked, “I’ve heard about the ‘reverend’,” they could hear the air quotes in his voice, “We haven’t heard what happened though… What did you do?”
Bill sighed, “We quit going to that church shortly after Sarah emancipated herself, we would visit from time to time simply because we had friends there. But we had started seeing just how wrong everything was with what he was preaching after we lost both our children… It was like our eyes were finally opened, but it was too late... Then when April got hospitalized, somehow he heard about it and came to voice his hatred and try to lay blame… April went off but I…” He paused, ashamed of how he reacted in anger.
Joan smiled, “He knocked the hell out of him, or at least we could hope the hell actually got knocked out of him at least… Unfortunately due to the aggravated assault charges, Bill was arrested, and the school forced him to retire. The last thing the district wanted as a teacher with anger issues and wouldn’t listen to us… So I retired as well… We did go back to the church before the restraining order on Bill was served, but we stood up and told the congregation what he had done to our family… Turns out other families started standing up too… Only about a quarter of the people that attended still go, and it looks like unless he is removed, the church is going to have to close…”
Dana just uttered, “Good… Give Sarah time okay, I promise I’ll talk to her tonight… I’ll do my best to get her to understand okay.”
Joan looked like she was about to start to cry again, “I just don’t know what I’m doing to keep making her so upset…”
Dana softly said, “I made her upset this time, by telling you about her storing her…”
Joan interrupted, “Why would that make her upset? It’s not like it’s a big deal, I’ve read that’s pretty common for male to female transitions…” Then a look of surprise crossed her face as a thought crossed her mind, “She’s already found someone and used them hasn’t she?!”
Dana glanced at her husband, and he could see from her expression that she didn’t know what to say. Steve tried to come to her rescue, so he told Joan, “No that’s not it, Sarah hasn’t found someone... That’s not it…”
Perplexed, Joan asked, “Then what could the reason be?”
Steve not knowing what to do looked at Dana and she just softly nodded and softly told him, “Go ahead and tell them…”
Taking a deep breath he rubbed the back of his neck and sighed, “Oh boy… Okay… For heaven’s sake what I’m about to tell you, please don’t let her know we told you until after we talk to her tonight… Please…” They both nodded in agreement, so Steve continued. “I’m not sure how to even start this conversation… I guess I should tell you I was injured in college playing sports.”
Bill asked, “Football?”
Steve answered, “No, while I played football in high school some, I couldn’t cut it for college… I thought it would be bad ass to join a intramural rugby league… It was my second year when I took a really hard blow… well down there… I never thought anything was wrong, once the swelling and soreness went away everything worked just fine…. Well until we started trying to have kids…”
Joan gasped, “You mean you aren’t the girls Dad?!”
Smirking at how she phrased the question, her responded, “Oh I am definitely their Dad… I guess you could say that Sarah is their… Father?!” Looking at Dana as he scrunched up his face and asked her, “Did that sound as weird to you as it felt to say for me?!”
Dana couldn’t help giggle at her husband, but nodded. Then she noticed the looks of surprise on the older couples face. Then Joan looked and pointed to Dana’s belly and raised her eyebrows. Dana smiled and told her, “Yes this one too, this was actually the last try for us… Due to the cost she couldn’t afford to store much… She was only able store five samples, and one of them didn’t take…”
Joan slowly stepped closer to Dana and started to reach out her hand before she paused and asked, “May I?” Dana just nodded, so Joan gently placed her hand on Dana’s swollen belly. Dana immediately felt the baby shift to Joan’s touch, which from the smile on Joan’s face it was obvious that she had felt it too. Joan just softly said, “Oh wow!”
Dana tried to reassure the older couple, “I promise I will talk to Sarah when you both go back to your RV… Right now I don’t know if she would really listen to me since she is still uncomfortable with you both…”
Bill had left the grill and had let Steve take over, he had put his arm around his wife and staring at the woman who was carrying their grandchild. He told her appreciatively, “Thank you so much for this… For everything…”
After a few moments of Joan feeling the baby moving Steve spoke up, “Not to change the subject, or that I’m quite the expert as you are Bill, but I think these are done…”
Bill stepped over and checked, then they started pulling the steaks and setting them on the plate. “Guess we need to go let Sarah and the girls know supper is ready as soon as the stuff in the oven are done.”
As both couples started inside the house so the ladies could check on the oven, they heard a guitar playing and a lovely alto voice singing the first verse of “Puff the Magic Dragon”. Both Joan and Bill looked at Dana questioningly.
Dana spoke up, “Looks like Larissa talked her into playing, both of them love to listen and sing along with Sarah. Steve, here take the steaks and lets go check on the oven, while they go and listen to Sarah as she finishes up the song. Just tell the girls to clean up for supper.”
As they both walked into the living room, they saw their daughter sitting on the ottoman with both girls sitting on the floor staring at her. Sarah’s eyes were closed as she was singing, Ally was sitting there rocking and humming to the rhythm, while Larissa was actually singing along. Joan and Ben just sat and watched in awe.
As Sarah starting singing the last verse, her voice started to crack as she sung the line “Dragons live forever, not so little boys.” As she continued the verse about Jackie Paper abandoning Puff, the pain in her face was evident, as tears started to flow down her cheek.
Joan started to move towards Sarah, all she wanted to do was to console her daughter, but Bill stopped her while shaking his head. Instead the both watched the scene unfold in front of them. Larissa just creeped closer to Sarah as she was finishing the song, being careful not to interrupt her. As Sarah finished the song she looked down and took the guitar she had been playing and leaned over to put it into its stand. No sooner did she let go of the guitar Larissa immediately grabbed her in a hug. Sarah closed her eyes and hugged the small blonde child for all she was worth.
Sarah softly said, “Why do you always want me to sing that song, you know it makes me cry.”
Larissa just pulled back far enough so she could look Sarah in the eyes and said, “I know… When you cry I can hug you to make you feel better…” She then gave the sweetest smile she could to Sarah.
Sarah then pulled Larissa in for another hug and told her, “Sweetie, your hugs always make me feel better.”
Joan felt her eyes starting to moisten at the tenderness of the moment watching Sarah and the small girl, Ally stood up and got into the hug as well. It was then that Sarah looked up and saw her parents standing there watching them. She immediately pulled back and started to wipe the tears off her face, then asked, “So how long have you two been there?”
Bill replied, “We came in about half way through the song, Sarah that was amazing…”
Sarah gave a half-hearted smile, “Thanks… So what do you guys need?”
Joan trying to be nonchalant now that she knew that those were their granddaughters, said, “Dana and Steve said dinner was just about ready and for the girls to clean up.”
Both girls hopped up and squealed as they bolted to go wash their hands, leaving Sarah alone with her parents. Both Joan and Ben watched the girls take off running, and were unaware that Sarah was staring at them. When they returned to look back at their daughter they immediately realized the look of anger on her face.
Sarah had been caught off guard when she realized her parents had been listening to her sing, and then the moment she had with the girls. The looks they had given them didn’t immediately set off any warnings. When the girls took off though she noticed how her parents were staring adoringly at the girls and how their gaze followed them out of the room. Immediately she knew why… In a very flat tone she stated, “They told you…”
Caught off guard, her parents started stumbling over their words. They had promised they wouldn’t tell her they knew, but they couldn’t help how their expressions had given them away. Joan tried to say, “Told us what?”
Sarah said with much more force, “Do not play stupid with me. They told you about the girls, I know it! I could read it in your faces that you know!” She glared at them a few moments, daring them to say something. Neither of them dared to speak, afraid of upsetting her any worse. Finally she spoke again, “Just don’t start getting too comfortable with that bit of news…”
Joan said, barely audible, “What do you mean?”
Again in a flat emotionless tone, Sarah stated, “It just means that I haven’t decided yet if you two will be staying here much longer…”
To be continued.
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