My little Roux seemed to grow with every day that passed. Eventually his swaddling blankets grew tight and I knew it was only a matter of time until he would be crawling and getting into all sorts of things. Even though our apartment had been baby proof before I even began to show it still made me a little nervous that he might end up getting hurt some how.
One thing about Roux was that he unusually enjoyed his naps and was such a heavy sleeper that even the hustle and bustle of city life did not disturb him.
He grew so much before my eyes it was sometime hard to believe that he had become a toddler as if it had happened over night. Flipping through the photo albums I saw every milestone as if it were the first time again. Roux’s first time with solid food, a puree of apples.
His first steps as he came toddling toward me, stomping his unsteady feet on the floor.
Though to the public his father’s identity still remained a mystery as speculation still swirled around. In tabloid there were pictures comparing Roux to various costars that I had worked with to see if there were any similarities. But no one suspected or as I suspected would say out right that Roux did bear some resemblance to Blue.
Now that Blue had settled down into Sweetland Manor visiting him was sometimes even easier than that when he was a senator. I had no doubts that his staff knew that something was going on between us since we they saw me coming they would turn and walk in the different direction leaving me to going along my way in the manor without being bothered. If they knew they never said anything nor did they dare speak to anyone in the media about it for it was a well-known fact of the privacy disclosures that were signed even before the interview processes had even begun.
But things were still not right even though Roux was able to see his father on a weekly basis, I still wanted more. Even though Blue tried to spend as much time with Roux as he could and was as hands on as he could be, it still wasn’t enough. I wanted someone to come to park with Roux and I, someone to fall asleep next at night. I didn’t want Roux growing up in the shadows, the hidden result of our relationship, to grow up knowing that his mother was his father’s mistress and that Auntie Purrberry was really his dad’s wife. Watching the other fathers play with their children at the park I made a decision. If Roux’s father’s identy was going to be a secret to the world then so would it be to him.
With a heavy heart I dropped Roux off at Bombay’s place for the weekend and I went over to Blue’s. As I approached his office I didn’t wait as his secretary rung him and went for a break, no I just opened the door and walked right in. Blue peered at me over his reading glasses with his eyebrows raised in surprised and his mouth in a perfect “Q” with his pen hanging out. “Hyp is everything alright? Is Roux ok?” He asked me completely unaware of what was going to happen next as I charged on. “Blue I’m done. You make a choice and you make it right now. It’s a life with Roux and I or it’s a life without us, your decision.”
With a deep breath Blue push put down his pen and pushed back on his chair “Hyp you know how it is.” He began to say but I cut him off, I couldn’t bear to hear any more of his rationalizations when it came to our son and I. “That’s not good enough Blue, Roux and I deserve more than that and you know it. If this is going to be how it is always going to be then I’m done.” I said letting it drop like a stone, its heavy weight bore down upon us in the room and everything was quiet for a few moments as we watched each other in anticipation for the next one’s move. A smile began to play on Blue lips as he replied “You know you’ve said that before Hyp.”
“This time I mean it. I can’t do this anymore.” I said calmly with every syllable that left my mouth felt like a piece of the weight from my shoulders had been lifted and the air in the room suddenly shifted as Blue came to realize that I had meant my words.“But you knew.” Blue said dejectedly looking oh so much like the boy I knew so long ago. “I thought I did but I just can’t anymore Blue.” I admitted while keeping my distance from him as I wanted nothing more than to put my arms around him but I knew in doing so that I would once again slip back to where I was before. He looked up at me with a look of desperation in his face and he said “If there is such a thing as destiny and soul mates you are mine Hyp I love you. Don’t go…I’ll…I’ll leave her, alright?”
When you want something for so long it almost becomes a reality but when I finally had what I wanted, what I had craved I no longer wanted it. Like a little kid wanting a prized toy but upon receiving it would rather play with the box the realization hit me “But I don’t love you, not in the way I thought I did. I was so wrapped up in the idea of the two of together, the romance of it all that I didn’t see how I actually really felt. This whole time I’ve been blinded by a fairytale that really doesn’t exist, not with us.” I said as I left him there feeling broken as I thought I did every night he was not with me.
The next few hours were a blur as I found myself roaring down the 808 toward Sweet Valley in a car that I hadn’t driven in a few years, my hair loose and wild as the day I came to Briocheporte. When I pulled up to my grandmother’s house I was surprised to see my dad’s car that he used when traveling in country in the driveway. It was late so I just let myself in and fell asleep on my old bed the moment I laid down.
The next morning I awoke to the smell of pancakes in the air just like when I was younger and Grandpa Punch was still alive. In the kitchen I found what appeared to be Dad trying to teaching Grandma the fine art of breakfast making. “Hello dear, I heard you come in last night. Your father is visiting for the weekend while Aquatini is on vacation with some girlfriends. Right now he is trying to teach me how to cook a proper breakfast as you know I never had to cook with your grandfather and Aquatini around” Grandma said as she greet me before asking “Oh where’s Roux?”
“Roux is at Bombay’s for the weekend, I um had some business I had to take care and I wasn’t sure how long it would take.” I said skirting around the truth as they piled pancakes on a plate for me. Over breakfast we made small talk about Roux and how he was doing, Bombay’s boyfriend, Azure and Scarlett’s recent announcement of how they were expecting.
After breakfast was over and every plate scrubbed my father challenged me to a game of in the backyard. I knew it was to talk to me as his fathering fifth sense must have picked up on his daughter’s distress. As we picked up the wooden pegs and put them in their places he asked me “So what’s going on Hyp?”
“I don’t know just what to do anymore. I think Fade is gone for good and I ended it with Blue.” I said letting the words tumble out of my mouth before I realized the error I made. My father caught his breath as he heard Blue’s name “That is Razzleberry’s father? Blue Hawaiian, our Nation's Leader and your friend's husband?” He asked me incredulously with surprise written all over his face. For the first time outside of our group of four I confirmed Roux’s father’s identity. “Yes, he is and it's more complicated then you could probably ever know.” I replied stiffly as I threw my peg, with a sigh he asked “Well, you’ve gotten yourself into a fine mess but what are you going to do to get out of it?”
“I don’t know I hadn’t thought that far. I went to Blue’s to give him one last ultimatum, when he finally agreed it was like a switch went off in me and I left him. And now that I’ve realized what a mistake I’ve been making all along I don’t know how to fix it. I want to go and find Fade but its been so long since I’ve seen or heard from him, what if he doesn’t want me anymore? What if he has found someone else?” I asked my father quietly hoping that magically he would have the answer to my problems.
“You shouldn’t waste time on the what-ifs. Your mother and I wasted enough time on them ourselves and only had such a short time together after we finally put them aside. Life is to short and precious Hypnotiq to waste away filling it full of regret and doubt. If you want Fade go and find him and tell him so otherwise it’s time to move on from him.” My father explained oh so simply as he made the winning point ending our short game.
And he was right if I wanted to be with Fade I would at least have to try. After he went in to see if Grandma needed help or anything from the store I whipped out my cell phone and called the only person that I would know that had tabs on just about anyone that was remotely in the media at all, my eye in the sky so to say. “Bomb? Where am I? I’m in at Gran’s…No that’s not important right now I need you to find out where Fade is…”
After saying goodbye to my father and grandmother I was on the road again to a small town in the south of Sweetland called Black Tea Hollows. I had been there many years before but could barely remember the layout of it. As it turned out the house that Fade was living in was on the outskirts of town deep almost in the swamps. The air was so heavy with humidity and the scent of those swamps that I kept the windows up the whole time driving there. My heart leaped into my throat as I spotted the graveled off road that lead to the house.
The air was thicker and more humid than I had remembered as I stepped out of the car; a dense fog was beginning to roll in from the swamps while the wildlife sung with all its glory. The house was one of those large bayou mansions to the right of it there was a group of people seated under a large willow tree drinking lemonade. As I approached them they got quiet quickly and I was recognized all them as well known musicians but only knew one of them, Bondi Kei Parfait. When he saw me his eyes widened in what could only be recognition, shock and surprise. “Heeeyyy Bondi… Is Fade around?” I asked nervously the last time I had seen Bondi was before Fade and I had fallen out and as Fade’s best friend I was nervous that Bondi wouldn’t be too happy to see me showing up where Fade had been hiding out since he left Briocheporte.
“He's uhhh...He's in the house.” Bondi said as he motioned toward to the house still wide eyed. “Uh ok thanks.” I said awkwardly glancing quickly at the foreboding large house before I began to walk over to it. When I got to the door I hesitated for a moment and glanced back to the group of people under the willow tree that had resumed their conversations. I wondered if they would notice me as I ran by back to my car. As I grappled with the decision of if it was really better to know or not the door opened suddenly and there stood a very pregnant Fleur, who immediately got the same wide eyed look on her face that Bondi had, had. In a breathless voice she said “Oh my Berry it’s you, you’re here… really here.”