SHE'S NO YOU - Ch.6
A/N: This chapter is when the truth starts to unravel… do you think you have figured out what happened? Have a good read!
P.s Loooooong chapter :)
CHAPTER SIX: DON’T LISTEN TO THEM
“How do you know Olivia?”
I had just put the kids to bed and now I was sitting next to a tense Gregory awaiting his answer.
“Well about 2 years ago I sold her sister a house. She was there of course, but I didn’t know she was Finn’s Girlfriend”.
‘It was interesting to know that he could still remember his clients sisters from 2 years ago, especially on a first name basis’ I snickered to myself.
It was a simplistic reply that was used as a deflection. It was obvious he was uncomfortable talking about her, and I was curious to know why. But for right now I was exhausted beyond belief.
“Ohkay” I smiled. It wasn’t worth a fight, it was bad enough that I was dealing with Finn, I didn’t need to add Greg to the mix.
“You seem close to your ex-husband’s family” You could hear the bitterness in his voice, and internally I chucked. He didn’t really have a reason to be mad at me over that, when he’s the one lying right now.
“It was just a simple observation Rae. The man seemed very fond of you, if I must say”.
“We were very close when I was married. I cut all ties with them when I filed for divorce. It was the first time seeing Archie- Finn’s brother in years” I sighed.
“Mhm” he nodded. His hand lightly pressed against my naked thigh.
“Hon, can I stay the night?”
I was not prepared to hear that on a Wednesday night. He never stayed over when we both had work in the morning.
“What about work your work tomorrow” I said stating the obvious.
Gregory lived more towards the CBD, where traffic was lethal at anytime of the day or night. It was easier for him to get to work in the morning because he only lived a block away. It would take him a good two hours extra to drive home and get ready, then head to work for his 8am start.
“I have a later start tomorrow. So I can just leave when you drop the kids off for school” he smiled; grazing his fingers more into my inner thigh.
For some reason the intimate touch felt foreign. His hands were softer then I was use to, not as callous and rough. This was not good.
“Ugh- sure” I encouraged myself to smile.
We got off the couch and headed towards the bedroom hand in hand.
Just as we opened the door to my bedroom and saw the state it was in, I froze. Clothes littered the floor in an unattractive manner. The bed, the same bed where I let Finn take me the night before had disheveled sheets, after not sleeping a wink last night.
“You go have a shower and freshen up and I’ll give this pig-sty a little clean. You don’t really want to be smelling three day old Rae do you?” I tried to joke, I was embarrassed he had to witness this.
“Don’t worry about it to much hon” he laughed, then kissed my forehead. I didn’t watch him walk into my ensuite. I was to busy glaring at my bed. There was no way I was washing those contaminated sheets, no they to be burnt.
Anxiously, I hurried to get the last details added to the final sketch before the meeting in two hours. Chloe had organised for the board at 'Taylor industries’ to come in and confirm the sketchs before signing of on the build. The new multi-million dollar mall has been a top priority for my team and I, for the past year and a half. I was glad that we were finally having the last meeting before I could watch my work come to life.
When it was lunch time; or so my stomach reminded me. I checked mobile messages before leaving the office. I had turned it to silent, not wanting to be disrupted. Which I regretted once I saw the miss call from my children’s school.
Dialing the number on my office phone I waited for an answer.
“Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, Mary speaking, how may I help?”
“Hi my name is Rachel Nelson-Earl, I’m the mother of Ruby and Joshua Nelson. I have a missed call, and I was wondering why”.
“Hi Ms. Nelson. Yes I have a message here for you referring to your son Joshua. It seems that he has had a altercation with another student. He has been stepped down for the rest of the day. We are in need for you to collect him as soon as possible please”.
'Shit’ I thought. Joshua had never been a kid to ever get into any sort of altercation, physical or not. This was completely out of character for him.
Checking the time I noticed I had 30 minutes to til the meeting started, a meeting that could potentially sink my career if I didn’t attend it.
“I’ll have to ring his father to collect him. But someone will be there as soon as possible” I replied. It was the only other solution I could think of. I just hoped Finn wasn’t in a meeting.
“Certainly. I will let his teacher know”.
As soon as I hung up the phone to the school, I dialed Finn’s office number. I was put through to two different receptionist before i was finally directed through to Finn’s office.
“Finn Nelson’s office, Olivia speaking” the nasily voice spoke.
“Can you please put me through to Finn” I said in a rush and slightly paniced. I was not in the mood to talk to this bitch, time was against my side and I wasn’t going to let her waste it.
“And who’s speaking?” Her cheerful demeanor forgotten. No wonder why Finn couldnt get any other pussy, she was the ultimate cock block.
Clearing my throat, I continued speaking. “Its Rae, now can you put me through to f-”.
“Rae? Why would you possibly need to talk to Finn?” Olivia barked- like the true dog she was.
“Olivia I don’t have time for this! I need to talk to Finn about Joshua!”
“I’m sure this is something that can be discussed outside of office hours-”
“- unlike some Ms. Earl, Finn is a busy Man and I can’t possibly interrupt him!”
“Good day Rachel!”
That donkey nose airhead, wannabe-fucking-heiress, man-stealing bitch!
I quickly dialed Finn’s mobile, praying to God he actually turned it on for once. One thing Finn and I had in common was that we hated being disturbed from our work. No mobile, no hassle.
“Finn! You need to put a fucking leash on that crackhead girlfriend of yours! I tri-”
“Calm down Rae!” Finn sighed, I could only imagine him raking his hand through his hair.
“Tell me what’s going on? Slowly. And calmly”.
“I called your office to talk to you but your lovely assistant hung up on me! But that’s not the point, the point is I rang you about Josh”.
“Why? What happened? Is he alright?” Finn rattled off questions.
“He’s fine, but he has been in a fight with another student. He’s been stood down for the rest of the day.. Finn I need you to pick him up, please. I have a meeting in 15 minutes and my career depends on it. I know your busy bu-”.
“Of course I’ll pick him up Rae. You don’t need to explain yourself, he’s my son too. I need to take responsibility for him too. But really, fighting?” I could hear the disbelief in his husky voice.
“I know Finn. I don’t know what’s going on with him? He’s never gotten into a fight before” My voice broke, but I managed to pull myself together. This was not the time to do this, especially whilst on the phone to my ex-husband.
“Rae it will be Ohkay, I’ll pick him up and take the rest of the day off. I’ll get Archie to pick Ruby up for me when she finishes”.
“Ohkay” I breathe. “Thank you”.
“I’ll talk to you tonight”.
For the second time today, I was hung up on. My phone was still pressed snuggly pressed against my ear when Chloe pranced in, smile beaming, and excitement lighting her eyes.
“Are you ready?” She came around the desk to stand beside me. Her eyes flicking over the mountain of blueprints and sketches I had rolled up in a neat pile. “Is this all of them?”.
“Yes, there is a detailed plan of every floor, shop location, public area, toilets and even parking. Name a room and and I am certain it’s here” I smiled at my friend.
“This is why I love you Rae” Chloe beamed. Collecting a stack of scrolls, she took off towards the board room. I had a lot of people’s jobs in my hand in this moment and all I had to do is impress 4 billionaires. Easier said then done, taming one was hard enough.
I saw red the moment I ended the call with Rae. To whom my anger was directed towards was a mystery, because i couldn’t narrow it down to just one person. Multiple people where now on my radar. Including a women only metres away from me.
Grabbing my jacket, wallet and keys I threw the door open in a haste. I didn’t even care about the looks that were directed towards me. Not that my floor was full of people, it was only a handful. But those select people obviously found my fury more interesting then their work at this moment.
“Cancel the rest of the day, direct all my calls to the front desk with a note saying I’m away for the rest of the day and send sorry notes with chocolates to whoever I’m cancelling on” I spoke as I walked. I didn’t even look in Olivia’s direction, my main goal was getting to the elevator as quickly as possible.
“But Finn where are you going? You can’t just cancel ev-”
“Do not tell me what to do Olivia! I am your boss and you are my employee. Start acting like it for Christ sake” I hissed, my voice was raised and no doubt our audience were enjoying the show. By the look Liv’s face was portraying she was livid. Not that I cared.
“Will you at least tell me where your going?” She asked, grabbing my arm just as I reached the elevator.
“I’m going to collect Joshua from school” I said keeping all conversation to a minimum.
Olivia snorted. “Really Finn? Your leaving work for that? It’s only 1 o'clock, why on earth would you be picking him up now for? I bet you Rae is only doing this to trick you into some stupid pla-”
Not being able to take her rant anymore. I closed my palm over her mouth, stopping the bullshit.
“Enough! Enough for once Olivia! My son needs me, and not you or anyone else is going to stop me getting to him. Im his father first and foremost. So next time when Rae rings do not hang up on her. Do you understand me?” She nodded, my hand still firmly clasped over her sticky lips.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, you have work to get back too and I have a son I have to see. And maybe you should go see your sister after work for a bit. I need some alone time with my children”.
I didn’t wait for her reply. Stepping into the elevator I immediately pressed the ground floor button. And just like in the movies the elevator doors closed that two seconds, too slow.
Joshua had remained quite when I spoke to the principle in his office.
Mr. Horne was a rapacious man. When he needed money, I was his life line. When the music program needs to upgrade out of season instruments they come to me. In order to keep his bulging budget, he needed to keep me happy.
Joshua had gotten away with barely a slap on the hand and a day off school. Nothing was going on his permanent file, and after much hesitation on Mr. Horne’s behalf the name of the other student was given to me. I knew his parents, they had been an acquaintance of my company for some time, due to my shares in theirs. The matter will get sorted, quietly.
We had been home for the past 20 minutes and still Joshua had barely looked my way, only nodding and shaking his head when I spoke. This sort of behavior was unusual for my 8 year old boy. He was never one to fight, or act up. Unless it was against his sister. But after being fly tackled by a pigtail wearing 6 year old, you would get mad too.
The silence finally got the best of me, when I found myself sitting across from Joshua.
“What happened?” My tone demanding, but I felt desperate.
“He pushed me, so I hit him”.
Joshua would have to be kidding if he thought he was getting away with an answer like that.
Raising an eyebrow. “You expect me to take that for an answer son”.
“I don’t know” he shrugged.
“Why did he push you?”
“Oh come on Joshua just tell me!”
My son slammed his hand down on the couch and stood abruptly. His face was glowing red, tears threatened to spill. Something was wrong.
“You want to know why dad! It’s because he was talking about you and mom and I told him to get a life. He pushed me and I just hit him… I don’t know why” he cried. “I just couldn’t help myself”.
“Son” I stood, walking towards Josh and sat him back on the couch, with me right next to him. “What did he say about your mother and I? You know you can tell me right?”
Nodding, Joshua pulled his knees up against his chest. “He was saying that mom wasn’t good enough. That- that’s why you left us”.
My heart shattered. I knew kids could be cruel these days, but this was nothing that I would of expected.
I didn’t know how I was going to explain myself to Joshua. How do you tell your son that it wasn’t me to walk away, but it was her? You don’t.
“Josh.. Josh look at me please” cupping his chin I turned his face towards me. “Your mother was never 'not good enough’ for me. She is the most lovely and courageous women I know. We didn’t break up because I got sick of her son”.
“Then why did you break up?”
“We just grew apart, but I will always love your mother”.
“Then why are you mean to her dad? Why does she still cry at night?”
It was my turn to start tearing up. I couldn’t beleive I was having an adult conversation with my 8 year old son. My heart hurt more the longer he spoke.
I never knew he could hear Rae and I’s conversations. He heard me when i stupidly degraded his mother, everytime i opened my mouth. Did that mean Ruby could hear too?
I felt like a monster, but i was hurt. Rae had broken me to the point where hate started seeping in, leaving me with fragments of my old self that I reserved for my kids.
“I’m sorry Joshua. I should never of talked to your mother like that. Please promise me you wont ever speak to your mother like that”.
“I wouldn’t. I actually love her” he declared.
“Josh. Don’t talk to me like that! You are not your mother so I don’t have to explain anything to you, alright? We are getting off topic and I want to talk about you hitting another student Joshua”.
“Colton said that his dad got to touch mom” Joshua softly spoke. My heart skipped a beat with his words, then plummeted to the pit of my stomach.
If I wasn’t sitting my knees would’ve already buckled by now. He was talking about Mr. Davis and Rae. How many other men has she fucked while being with Gregory, or better yet me.
“He said a few years ago his dad saw mom coming out of the bathroom of this big fancy ball… And touched her. The- then he said. He said his friends laughed when Mr. Davis said mom was fighting him. What does he mean dad?”
I tried to remember the last ball he had attended with Rae. It had to of been at least 3 years ago. I remember vaguely the lacey number she wore. The neckline plunged deeper then usual, teasing my eyes, and many men around him.
After thinking about it, I do remember how she had been the perfect plus one. Floating around from person to person, saying her hellos. Between dancing and chatting she was spreading her happiness.
Well until half way through, when she insisted they went home early. Her mood sombre, but she insisted she was due for her menstrual cycle.
Unless… Something happened between Mr. Davis and Rae. Something sinister, and degrading.
That son of a bitch!
“Joshua. Promise me you won’t tell your mother. I want to be the one to speak to her about this. And I will tonight, Ohkay?”
Nodding, Joshua leaned into me as my arm draped across his shoulders. My son was hurt and it was all my fault. I didn’t help Rae, but I didn’t know. If something happened during that ball without my knowledge I don’t think i could forgive myself. I pray that the kid was feeding Josh bullshit, but somewhere in the back of my mind I felt like something did happen.
The door softly opened to reveal my beautiful daughter and brother, walking through the entrance still unnoticed to Josh and I’s presence. Until Ruby looked up and make eye contact with me.
“Daddy!” The click of her polished leather shoes echoed the foyer.
“Hi princess, did you have fun at school?”
“I did! I did! We learnt our 4 times tables today daddy. They so easy, but Mike said that I was just a smarty pants. I told him that my daddy always said I should have my nose within a book, then a boy on a hook” she declared proudly.
My glorious daughter reminded me so much of her mother. The light in her eyes shone brightly, just like Rae’s.
“Well done baby girl. Did you have fun with Uncle Archie?” I asked. Looking towards Archie I smiled, mouthing 'thank you’. I had phoned him the moment I jumped in the car to pick up Josh. He, of course agreed. Our work was close to Ruby’s school, plus Archie had informed me that Ben is quite able to pick up Sophie daycare.
“Yes we organised a play date for Mommy and Uncle Archie. He said he wants mommy, Joshua and I to come see them. It’s going to be fun!”
Archie and Rae must have rekindled their relationship after we interrupted her dinner. With Gregory.
“That sounds great sweetheart. How about you and Josh go to your rooms for a second whilst I talk to Archie, ohkay”.
“Ohkay daddy! Come on Josh, I can show you what I did today in art class with Crissy” she pulled on her brother arm in a haste. Finally, when they went to their rooms I turned to my Brother.
“What happened with Josh?” he asked, moving towards the love seat next to me.
“He got into a fight with John Davis’ son today. He punch him when Colton started to talk about Rae and I’s relationship”.
Sighing, I ran my hand through my thick hair. I knew I could trust my brother with my life, so I knew what I was about to tell him will be kept confidential.
“What about your relationship?” Quizativley he moved forward.
“Apparently she wasn’t good enough for me so I left. But that’s not all…”
“How could a kid say something like that! How would he know what was going on with your family? Hang on there’s more?”
I told him everything that Josh had just told me, down to what I remembered about the night. I could see the empathy in Archie’s eyes. The more I talked, the more my throat constricted. The words left a bitter taste in my mouth, if only I had been there. I could of done something.
“Finn you don’t know for sure if anything happened that night. John could of been telling a bullshit story to a punch of people. Don’t beat yourself up about it”.
“Archie, you don’t understand. After that night Rae started to become slightly distant, I didn’t notice it until she left though. She didn’t seem like herself, but originally I thought it was because of the kids. Then 6 months later, she fucking left me with divorce papers”.
“What if this was the reason. She couldn’t bare to look at me after I let my work associate molest her!”
“You didn’t know!”
“I should of asked her what was wrong. I should of followed her or something. I can’t stop thinking what if…”
“Talk to her. Finn, you need to go around and talk to her. What time are you meant to drop Joshua and Ruby back off?”
“7..” I breathed.
“Its now 4pm, go talk to her now. I’ll stay here with the kids and if your not back by 6.30pm then I’ll drop them of there. That gives you 2 and a half hours to work out what the fuck happened, Ohkay?”
Nodding like a scolded child I got up of the couch.
“Are you sure?” I asked. I was unsure about leaving the kids with him, but I needed to talk to Rae immediately. I couldn’t wait til i dropped Ruby and Joshua off tonight.
“Of course Finn. I’m your brother, I’ll do anything for you”.
I pulled Archie in for a hug, then ran out the door. I hope Rae is ready for me.
As quickly as I could I drove to Rae’s house. When I arrived, I threw the gear into parked and hurried to her front door. After knocking I waited very patiently for a very confused but equally beautiful Rae to open the door.
“Finn?.. What are you doing here? Where are the kids?”
“We need to talk Rae. Josh and Ruby are fine, they are with Archie” I said.
The truth will be revived tonight. What really happened the night she walked away… No more waiting.
I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone! Sorry if I did!!