The writings on the wall ...
I am too distracted to pay any attention to the quiet conversation that is going on around my bed. Forrest and Turmeric are nattering away to each other, and Slate is occupied with Jasmine, who is sat on the floor playing and they are giggling and nattering away to themselves. All their voices have faded to a quiet hum and become just a faint background noise behind my loud thoughts.
My mind has zoned out and I have become oblivious of every thing around me, except for Mace. I find myself staring intensely at Mace, who is sat in his wheelchair staring back at me, almost like he is in a trance. He is dressed in his usual preferred way, only wearing his favourite shorts, that I have seen him wearing a thousand times before. As usual he is not really leaving much of his body to the imagination. This makes me chuckle to myself, thinking about how quickly and how often I have been removing those shorts of late, especially when we were at home.
Seeing that he has my attention, he flashes me one of his sweet smiles and I watch as his eyes and face light up. He doesn't have to tell me that he loves me, I can see it, in his eyes and by the way he is looking at me, it is written all over his face.
A strange sensation washes over me, my stomach flips and I can't help but smile back at him.
I have wandered, if he would suddenly change once the truth about him being Mace Brownie came out. I knew once everything was out in the open that I would finally find out if his feeling for me were true or an act like the rest of our time together under his false identity. His smile and eyes tell me everything I need to know. He does love me, that was definitely no act. I think I already knew deep down that his feelings were real, but I needed to know for sure. The thought of Mace loving me being a part of his act has really scared me ... and I am not really sure why.
These last few months of our relationship, have been really good, especially our sex life. Things have really changed between us since I have taken down my walls and let him in. I had started to take our relationship seriously, I was letting go of Forrest and I even saw a good future in me and Mace. Together we really have been working at it, to make it right, and we were succeeding, until shit happened!! Even with everything going on around us, the drastic change in us has totally flipped my world upside down. I think I actually need him as much as he needs me, because I now have feelings that I can not switch off. I get this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach suddenly, and inside I can feel myself panicking ... I am terrified suddenly by the thought of having to let Mace go, and what we have, I can not bare to even imagine my life without him in it. Just him going to prison is going to be a huge wrench that I really am not looking forward to.
Mace moves my hand away from his mouth and frowns at my fingers, which he is now inspecting. I laugh because I know exactly what is coming. He gets irritated by long finger nails, especially mine. He is always attacking my nails with clippers, nail files or his teeth. I try to pull my hand away but he holds onto it too tightly.
"I know that look Woods! Don't even think about chewing my finger nails!!" he laughs at me as he puts my hand down on the bed, while he keeps a hold of it and mouths the word Brownie quietly. "Oh heck, I'm sorry, I have to get used to calling you Brownie now not Woods!!" he rolls his eyes at me "Have you spoken to Marigold? Does she know what has happened?"
"Yeah, I have told Mari, she has been phoning me everyday to see how we are. She has been really worried about you." he smiles at me "I sorted out her wages, for last month and this - we weren't sure how long you were going to be out for." this confuses me for a moment, it is not the end of the month yet - is it?
"What is the date today Mace?" he tells me it is the 6th. This has me panicking, as I try to sit up, remembering I have been away with the fairy's for weeks. "Hell ... the mortgage ... there is no money in the bill account."
"Don't panic, I have sorted it." he smiles at me. "I transferred enough to cover it and this months payment. I have had to do a few things while you have been out of it ... I've phoned your department at the hospital and told them what has happened, they are keeping in contact with Mango about your progress. I have had to pay the phone bills, credit cards, the gas and electric bills have landed and the house insurance needed renewing ... it has gone up a little since last year, but not too much. I know you like to shop around for the best quotes, but with you being out of it, and me being in here, it was awkward, so I just renewed with the current insurers. Sorry, I had to get Mari to open the post."
"It's fine!! It's a good job you used your brains, other wise we would have been in the shit!" I laugh at him with relief. "Which account did you transfer the money from?"
"My account, it was less hassle. I haven't spent anything since we came to Sugar Valley and with this months money, there was just enough to cover everything except for your credit card, so I paid it off on your debit card. I wasn't too sure what to do about that, pay it off or just make the minimum payment." he looks at me sheepishly "Your salary has gone in, so there was more than enough to cover it. I know what you are like about interest and things hanging so I paid it off ... did I do the right thing?" he asks nervously.
"Yeah you did the right thing." I smile at him as I run my hand slowly down the side of his face. "What about your card?"
"There was nothing on my credit card." he grins at me
"I think I am going to pass out ... that makes a change!!" we both laugh for a moment. "Maybe the bang on your head has cured your money spending addiction!"
"Well I did promise I would cut it down, and I can't really do a lot of shopping being stuck in this place can I!!" he laughs at me "I need to remind you, just in case it has slipped your mind, our cars are both due to be taxed at the end of this month, Mari is looking out for the letters ... " he pulls a face and he is about to say something but I cut him off, my mind has gone into panic mode again, with him mentioning our cars.
"Shit ... my car ... it is still at the airport. Fudge I only paid for a few weeks ... I thought ..." I stop talking. I can not tell him what I had thought, planned even ... to go back home after he had been arrested to sort my shit out, but things changed. "Oh fudge, I bet they have towed it away by now!" I start to panic and he laughs as he shakes his head.
"No, your car is back at home, safely parked up on the drive next to mine. I spotted the parking ticket when I went into your wallet for your debit card. Compass went and picked it up for us, I gave him the keys and ticket and he sorted it out."
"How did you give Compass the ticket and keys?" I frown at him
"You know what Atlas's mother is like - she panicked when she heard you and Atlas had been shot and she had Compass fly out here. He came in to see you when you was on life support, it upset him a bit." he smiles at me "He had to go back last week, because of work ... the tit only text me a picture of your car back on the drive, and he parked it the wrong way round just to aggravate me" he laughs at me for a moment then his face twists up and I can see he is starting to get upset, his eyes start to well up. He blinks and a tear starts to roll down his face slowly.
"Hey, baby please don't cry or you'll start me off." I say as I rub his arm.
"I am never going home am I!" he starts to choke "I just want to go home when all this is over."
"Mace stop upsetting yourself please." I say as I try to wipe the tears off his face "We will worry about that later, we don't know what is going to happen yet ..."
"Oh they do, they have my whole life already mapped out for me, and it doesn't involve home, Cherry Hill or you. After I come out of prison, they want to keep me in Orange Falls permanently and away from you."
"Rubbish ... I told you I am going to look after you and I will, so stop stressing!!"
"Gran, I love you, I can't do this without you, I need you!!"
"I know you do, and I love you too."
The room suddenly plunges into a horrible deadly silence, the sudden drop in volume actually hurt my ears. I hear Forrest choke which snaps me out of the daze that I have been in ... I can now feel and see all eyes are on me. I don't know how long they have been sat listening to our conversation. I had totally forgotten myself, and especially that Forrest is sat right by me listening and watching.
My hand snatches out from Maces quite abruptly as Slate pulls Mace's chair backwards and away from me, and parks him right next to Turmeric. Slate rolls his eyes at me then sniggers. I turn sheepishly to look at Forrest, who is now sat intensely glaring at me, his eyes are cold and angry. Turmeric is also sitting there looking at me in disbelief, briefly before he turns to Mace who is now really starting to get upset.
I turn away from Forrest, staring up at the ceiling briefly before I close my eyes, trying to shut out Forrest's all too familiar look of disapproval. Way to go Granite!! Tell Mace you love him in front of Forrest. Why the hell did I just say that to Mace so freely and without even thinking about it?
I lie there quietly riding out the silence, wandering if Forrest is going to explode or not. I am hoping he won't while the room is full of people, I expect he will wait until the room is empty and we are alone before he lays into me. Slate breaks the silence by asking Forrest when my Dad and Mace are being discharged from the hospital, and I hear Turmeric trying to comfort Mace who is now really crying. I hate it when Mace cries, especially when I know it is because of me that he is crying, I want to get off the bed and go to him, but I know if I do Forrest probably will definitely blow up. I have to lie there just listening to him and it is killing me!!
I think I only just realize for the first time, the awkward position that I am now in. Horribly sandwiched between Forrest and Mace, and sooner rather than later I will have to choose between them. At one time, before I took down my walls and let Mace in, it would have been quite easy, for me to walk away from Mace without a second thought and go straight back to Forrest. However, it really is not that simple anymore, not that it ever has been really, feelings aside, when I think about it logically, our lives are too intertwined for an instant separation.
I try to take my mind off Mace crying and the predicament that I now find myself in, stuck between the two of them. I start to think about my Dad and chew everything over in my head that Turmeric has finally enlightened me on. I am really struggling to take in the fact that my Dad is in the next room, very much alive and not faded like I have thought he is. I do not think that I will fully take it in until I have seen him with my own two eyes.
I can now see a lot of things that were staring me in the face, especially concerning my Father. I should have picked up on the signs. When I stood in front of Gravel, his gun pointed inches away from my body, the man trying to stop him from shooting me, was irritating me because he kept saying IDIOT!! I thought then about my Father, that was his favourite insult, but I knew it could not have been my father, because he was faded. I should have turned around and looked at the man who kept calling Gravel an Idiot!! I don't know why I did not recognize his voice then, maybe I was too focused on the gun that Gravel kept gabbing into my stomach.
When I was waking up from the induced coma, I heard his voice and recognized it, he kissed my cheek and he called me Granny, but I thought that I was faded because he was faded. I laugh at myself, and what my mind had made me believe, that I had faded and was waking up in hell where I have always thought he would be. Instead he has been walking this earth for the past 34 years and nobody has even bothered to tell me until now!!
I must have fallen asleep for a short time, because I find myself being woken up quite abruptly by a little girls excited scream and Slate laughing quite loudly. I lie there with my eyes closed, listening to Mace and Forrest bickering, while Turmeric tries to stop them. It sounds like Forrest has got his claws out, he keeps telling Mace to go back to his room because he doesn't want him in here hanging around me. Mace is giving it back as good as he is getting, and I am worried that it is going to turn into a more serious fight.
When I open my eyes and turn my head in the direction of my Neice and Son, who are laughing quite loudly again, the bickering going on between Forrest and Mace stops abruptly. I don't react to it and pretend that I have not heard it. I lie quietly watching Jasmine who is sitting on the empty bed, with Slate and a colouring book and a huge pack of coloured pencils. She starts singing her head off, while she is colouring, like she does not have a care in the world. I wander just how much of what is going on with 'this family' that she actually has been told and understands.
I seriously still can not get my head around the fact that Mace's daughter is actually my Neice and that he was married to my sister. Mace had me crossing a line that I would never have crossed knowingly. Really I should be angry with Mace, but strangely I find I can not be mad with him. If Gravel had not sent him to me, we never would have met or been together.
"Baby ... are you okay?" Mace asks me. He must be wandering why I am intensely frowning at his daughter. I notice he has now stopped crying, but he has really dark circles around his eyes and looks downright miserable, like he could burst into tears again at any moment.
"Yeah .. I am fine." I smile at him
"Do you need anything? Are you hungry or thirsty?"
"No Mace, I'm fine thanks." I smile at him "Not unless you have any pain killers in your handbag."
"No baby, I'm sorry, my handbag is at home in the wardrobe."
"See ... I just knew you had high heels and handbags stashed somewhere!!" we both start laughing at each other.
I see Forrest cutting Mace a really nasty look, probably because he just called me baby, and us talking to each other has started up again. Mace cuts him a look back. Forrest stands up and checks my notes. I watch quietly as he goes over to the medicine cabinet and starts to mess around. He comes over to me flicking a syringe, I presume I am now able to have my next lot of painkillers. Without a word he jabs me painfully in the arm, like he is trying to hurt me on purpose ... probably my punishment for telling Mace I love him and talking to him again. In the past, Forrest has been pathetically spiteful like that.
"Jasmine isn't irritating you is she?" Mace starts to laugh as I look over in Jasmines direction again because she has just let out an almighty scream and is now laughing like mad. "She is a noisy little drama queen!"
"Like I am not already used to noisy drama queens!" we both laugh "No she is fine!! You know I don't mind children, and I'd be screaming if Slate was tickling me like that!!" we both laugh as we turn to watch Slate and Jasmine, who seem to be getting on really well. I can not help but notice that she is a total spit of Mace. "Mace, she is a mini female you! Does she have any of her mother in her?"
"No ... she is all me, we can't really see any of Tami in her at all."
"Do you have a picture of Tamarin?" I ask as I look between Turmeric and Mace.
"Dad has got some pictures next door that he wants to show you." Mace smiles at me. I am amused by Mace calling him Dad.
"What is going to happen to her when you get sent down Mace?" I notice Forrest and Mace exchange an unpleasant look and Turmeric starts to giggle a little. "More to the point ... what is happening with you Mace? What are the police planning to do with you until your trial? I start to panic a little. "Oh berry they are not locking you up when you are discharged are they?"
"Gran, it has all been sorted out in theory." Forrest smiles at Slate for a moment "Can you take Jasmine next door for a while, to see your Granddad, we need to talk to your Dad about a few things." he then turns to glare at Mace. "You may as well go with them Mace!" he snaps at Mace who sits shaking his head and laughing sarcastically.
"No way!! I am staying here!! It is my life that you are trying to tear to pieces, you are the one who needs to but out of it and go next door, not me!!" Mace snaps at Forrest.
Mace stares at me then, there is an awkward silence in the room again. I can't help but wander just what has been going on between Forrest and Mace while I have been out of it. Slate smiles at me sympathetically as he helps Jasmine to pack up her colouring book and pencils and they head off out of the room. It amuses me that they walk out of the room holding hands. I expect that Slate is loving all this new family that he has gained, a Grandfather, a new Father, Forrest, a whole bunch of Uncles, a Cousin and I do not even know what family Shale, Silt and Thyme have yet. For me I don't think it has still really sunk in properly yet that I suddenly have gained four more brothers, and especially not that my old best mate Turmeric is one of them.
As soon as Slate and Jasmine are out of the room Forrest starts to talk to me.
"Mace has not been formally charged yet, they will be arresting and charging him when he is discharged from the hospital. Your Dad is a Chief Constable, and so high up in the force that they are happy to leave Mace in his care, one of the reasons why your Dad has stayed in the hospital, when he could have been discharged a week ago." my eyes widen, then I remember Forrest has already told me that the Chief Constable of the North East has Mace's back, so everything falls into place. "Elderberry has talked Mace through everything, he knows what is coming to him. The murder of his cousin, which they are reducing to Man Slaughter due to it being self defense. Fraud for the illegal use of the fake identity and drug running for Gravel. What time Mace actually gets will depend on Gravel and how fair he plays in court."
I stare at Mace for a moment and he pulls a face at me, I know as well as he does Gravel does not know how to play fair, so Mace probably has no hope!
"As soon as he is arrested he will be taken straight to court and your Dad and Elderberry are going to apply for bail. They are both prepared to put their necks on the line for him, they are hoping that your Dad's position in the force should be enough to sway the court." he smiles at me for a moment "Me and Mace have been doing some talking while you have been out of it, and we have come to an understanding ... haven't we Mace." I look between the two of them and while Forrest is smiling, Mace is scowling.
"And the understanding is?" I frown at Forrest
"Well obviously, we are married so you are coming back home to me. You and Mace are over and finished!! He knows he has got to forget about you, move on and clear out of your life completely!!"
Mace sits there shaking his head while he pulls faces ... I know he would never agree with that, and he will not go down quietly or without a fight!! I lie there looking between them, Forrest looks smug, Mace like he is about to start crying again. Knowing Forrest of old, I can quite imagine, that Forrest has told Mace what is happening without even discussing it with him!!
I am very miffed by Forrest saying what he did, so cold and blatantly, especially in front of Mace, who I can see is now starting to get upset again. Forrest is here already, trying to control me and my life, making my choices and decisions for me, when we have not even discussed anyone's future, not mine, his or Mace's. I don't have a chance to react to what he has said because he carry's on talking again.
"So, if Mace gets bail ... Mace and your Dad will be going to live at Turmeric's place until the trial." I think straight away that Forrest is planning to separate me and Mace.
"You are having a laugh right ... have you seen how small T's place is!!"
"How would you even know where T lives?" Forrest frowns at me.
"T phoned me, just before Gravel lost the plot. He asked me to go round to see him. He lives in one of those pokey bedsit flats on sixth street. If you remember, I used to have a friend who lived in one of those pokey holes!!" I start to laugh "Where are you planning to put Mace exactly ... on the balcony, because you can't swing a cat in that place let alone a wheelchair, so how the hell do you plan on four people living there and what is happening with Slate?"
"It will be just your Dad and Mace who will be living at T's place. T and Jasmine will be living at Bays and Slate is moving into ours with Bay."
"Like hell is that happening!! I don't mind Slate and Bay living with me, but there is absolutely no way, that you are putting Mace in T's shoe box!!" I snap at him "Shale Rock has to be a decrepit old man by now, how is he getting himself and Mace up and down three flights of stairs ... you do realize flat 3 is on the top floor and there is no lift." I snap sarcastically "Wait ... is that a way to stop Mace escaping off into the sunset in that wheelchair of his, sticking him in a top floor flat with stairs he can not get up and down! Do you plan to keep him like a princess locked up in a tower, away from me? I'll tell you what, buy him a four poster bed while you are at it, he has always wanted a princess bed. You can tie him to the bed posts, then he definitely isn't escaping is he!!" I snap sarcastically. Only Mace laughs
"Oh you don't change do you Gran!" Forrest laughs "You are still the joker I see!!"
"No I don't change, and neither do you it seems!!" I snap at Forrest. "You don't have to think, talk or make all my choices and decisions for me anymore!! I am perfectly capable of doing it for myself!! Mace is my boyfriend and my responsibility so I will decide what happens to him and where we live - not you!!" I snap as he pulls a face at me. "Don't think I don't see what you are already doing ... being spiteful and trying to split us up and keep me and Mace apart!!" I am starting to get angry "You would even go as far as separating him from his daughter, who he hasn't seen, not by choice, for five years!! Don't you think they have been apart for long enough because of Gravel!! Now you are trying to do the same thing to him!!" I tut then turn to look at Mace. "Did you agree to all this Mace?"
"No!! Like I said they, and especially Forrest, has my life all mapped out for me and I don't get a say in it! Not even where my own daughter is concern ... HE has taken over!!" he snaps angrily and Forrest cuts his eyes at him.
"Well you can stick it Leafy!! I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life, sticking Mace in a pokey flat, just to keep us apart, when you have a four bed roomed house where there is plenty of space for Mace and Jasmine. I notice you have decided that is where I will be living, so that is where Mace will be. T can stay where he is, Mace and Jasmine will be living where I am living."
"Do you seriously think me, you and Mace living under the same roof is going to work? It is not happening!!" he snaps "You are not going to like the fact either, that your Dad has to be where Mace is, so that means he would have to live with us too!!"
"It is going to have to work!! If I have to put up with Dad then I am sure you can put up with Mace."
"It is ridiculous!! The quicker they lock him up and throw away the key, the better!! Hopefully he won't get bale then there is no need for this discussion." he laughs sarcastically "You two are over anyway, so why would you even want him living with us?"
I just stare at him he is now making me really angry. How can he be so insensitive, especially with Mace sitting in the room?! For twenty years I have been my own person and controlled my own life. I have been back for five minutes and he is already trying to take over my life and mind, making my decisions for me. What gives him the right to split me and Mace up and put us back together, without even discussing it with me first.
"Who said me and Mace are over? You made that decision not me!!" I snap at him. "This is seriously not the right time to be breaking up our relationship, especially when there is actually nothing wrong with it ... and don't you think that when and if it ever happens, it is mine and Mace's decision to make."
"There shouldn't be a decision to make for you ... we are married remember!!"
"Like that really means jack shit!! We haven't been in our marriage or any kind of relationship for over twenty years, us still being married is a joke. You thinking we can just pick it back up from where we left it is an even bigger joke!! You can't keep throwing our marriage at me because you may as well tear up that marriage certificate because it isn't worth the paper it is written on!!"
"Ohhh, Granite is back!! I see you have your awkward and argumentative nit picking head on!!" he laughs sarcastically "Maybe we should talk about this when you are in a better mood!!"
"There is nothing wrong with my mood ... well there wasn't until you started riling me up!!" I snap at him.
"How have I riled you?"
"You - deciding me and Mace are over, without even asking me. Well we are not over!!" he frowns at me "You do see what has happened to him right, that wheelchair is not for show, you have listened to everything he has been through because of that so called brother of mine, as well as having a prison sentence to face, that he does not really deserve!! The type of person that Mace is, he is really going to struggle to just cope and come to terms with losing the use of his legs, without even thinking about all the other shit that he has coming to him!! He is very active, he spends half of his life jogging, working out and dancing, besides being a raving nymphomaniac ... being paralyzed from the waist down now is going to totally crush his world!! He is going to need all the emotional support he can get, and me dumping him on top of everything is the last thing that he needs and I am not that cruel!! He loves me, I am the one he needs most right now and I am not turning my back on him like the heartless monster that you are expecting me to be!! I am going to look after him for as long as he needs me, and I'm sorry if you don't like that, but it is something that I have to do!!"
Forrest laughs sarcastically and he has this 'I couldn't give a shit' expression on his face, like he is not interested in what I am saying, which riles me just a little bit more. So I decide to stick him with something that I was going to keep to myself to spare his feelings, but if he doesn't give a toss, then why should I.
"And if I have to be honest, I need him just as much as he needs me!! Twenty years is a long time for us to be separated, I think we have both changed and you obviously don't know me anymore, not like he does. Mace has been my rock and kept me grounded and away from my demons for the last five years, he is my best friend and the person that I am closest too, so I need him right now!! All the stuff I have had done to me, everything that I have been through, all this new family and Dad ... I have enough of my own shit to deal with, without removing Mace and adding our relationship break up to the list. Mace is staying with me, whether you like it or not!!" I snap at him because of the faces that he is pulling "I still can't believe you was planning to split Mace and Jasmine up, just because it suited you better!! He needs to spend time with his daughter before he goes to prison, besides I want to get to know my Neice, while I have the chance, seeing as she is the only thing that I have left of my sister."
"You will have plenty of time to get to know Jasmine, if he gets his way. Mace wants her to live with you while he is inside." Forrest says a little narkily. I smile at Mace who smiles back at me. "Don't think I am happy about it because I am not ... Mace wants Jasmine to stay with you, probably because he can see a way to keep his claws stuck into you ..." Suddenly Forrest has turned into a prize selfish bitch, and I don't like it!!
"Grow up Forrest, and you say I am childish!!" Mace snaps at him, jumping in before I get the chance. "Don't think I want her anywhere near you either, when you obviously don't like her just because she is my daughter, she is just an innocent child, what has she ever done to you .. nothing!!" Mace looks at me and points at Forrest angrily "HE has told me he would much rather I handed her over to social services and put her into care, rather than you have her Gran!" he snaps at me before he turns back to Forrest. I am pretty shocked by that! "Dad will rip your damn head off if he ever finds out you have even suggested putting Jasmine into care!!" he almost rares at Forrest "Jasmine staying with Gran is the most practical thing to do with her. I have no other family left now besides the Rock side. Dad is too old to be taking on a child at his age, Silt, Shale and Thyme have large families of their own, they don't need to be burdened with another child. T has no intention or inclination of taking on a child, he wouldn't even look after his own kid so I'll be damned if I trust him with mine!!"
"Seriously T?!" I stare at Turmeric wide eyed "YOU have a child?!"
"Yeah." he mumbles quietly "It's a long story, I'll tell you later."
"Granite is the only one that can take Jasmine." Mace snaps at Forrest "He is one of only a few people that I can trust to take care of her and I thought he wouldn't mind looking after my daughter, who is his Niece, seeing as he has always wanted children and we were talking about adopting a couple of kids when we returned home after the kidney transplant anyway."
"You what!?" Forrest snaps as he glares at Mace then me.
"Gran, I really don't want Jasmine to go into care, she should be with her family!!" Mace mumbles quietly ignoring Forrest "If Gravel plays fair and I just get a few years, I want you to foster her until I come out, but, I could be looking at between 15 and 20 years if it all goes wrong." he looks down for a moment and I can tell he is getting upset. This makes me choke, the thought of Mace being locked up for that long is unbearable. "If that does happen, I want you to adopt her. She will be an adult before I get out and I want her to be settled, she has had enough upheaval in her life already." he starts to get upset
"Okay, I can do that, don't worry, I will look after her for you." I smile at Mace. "I would never let her go into care!"
"Like I said ... anyway to keep a hold on you!" Forrest snaps
"Shut up Leafy, do you know how pathetic you sound!!"
"You looking after a child - this is going to be very interesting to watch!! You can't even look after yourself properly!!" he laughs sarcastically
"Just proving the point again, that you really do not know me anymore!! What the hell do you think I have been doing for the past twenty years ... and I've done a damn better job of it without you constantly on my back, that's for sure!!" I am now almost shouting because Forrest is making me really angry.
"Wow!! Guys!!" Turmeric buts in
"Mace you can forget their stupid plans, until you get sent down, you and Jasmine will be living with me."
"No, I am not having this ..." Forrest snaps suddenly "I am not having HIM living in our house with us!!"
"Fine ... your choice! And here was me thinking Mace would be the childish one causing all the trouble, but it's you!!" I laugh sarcastically. "You obviously haven't listened to a damn thing that I have said, as usual!! If that is how you want it, if Mace can not stay there then neither can I. Not that I have actually said I was going to stay at your house!! I am not leaving Mace when he needs me, so I will have to find somewhere else for us to live. Mango and Bay have both said me and Mace can crash at theirs. I will accept Mango's hospitality until I can find a house in town that we can rent."
"What the hell is going on here Granite?!" Forrest snaps
"You and your suffocating controlling that's what is going on!! Taking total control of the situation, to get what you want, without even asking me what I want or need!! You have decided that me and Mace are over and that I am coming back to you and that is all you see ... sod everything and everybody else!! You have a steam roller smashing up mine and Mace's life already and we haven't even discussed it properly!! You have just presumed I am coming back to you ... What about if I don't want to come back to you?"
"You do ... I know you do!! You said so when you woke up."
"Yeah, you hit me with it when I was spaced out and coming out of a coma and not capable of thinking straight!! Don't you be so sure you know how I think anymore ... I am far from the pathetic needy person that you married!! I have changed, I grew up and have learned to stand on my own two feet. I can look after myself as well as make my own choices and decisions. I don't need you to carry me anymore and I definitely won't let you totally control and dictate my life like you used to!! I am done jumping through your hoops!!" I snap at him "This might be all cut and dried and easy for you, but it sure as hell is not easy for me. You are expecting me to slam the door shut on my current life and walk straight back into my old life like it is that easy!!" I snap at him "You seem to forget, me and you have been apart for twenty years and while you have sat in the same place wallowing, I haven't. I have moved on with my life, especially the last five years when I have been with Mace. We have been in a relationship, and even though it has been dysfunctional at times, we still have built a home and life together in Cherry Hill. We share a house, a bed, friends, holidays, we even have joint bank accounts and matching cars! We share everything and had a future together ahead of us, before this shit happened. I have a career, a home and life in Cherry Hill which I was actually quite happy with, and even though I have never admitted it before now, this past five years is the most settled and content that I have ever been in my life and Mace is a big part of that whether you like it or not!! I can't just switch it all off instantly, I can't just drop it all and walk away from it like it doesn't exist and it doesn't mean anything!!"
"That is all crap!! He is all fake and your life together has all been crap and fake. Atlas and T have told me about the relationship you two have ... even your sex life is a joke."
"And our sex life wasn't!!" I snap at him and I hear Mace sniggering because he knows what I am getting at. "Atlas and T know nothing, not any more!! They might have seen our relationship in the past when we were rocky, which was all my fault because I was pathetically still holding onto you, but they haven't been around while I have been letting you go and me and Mace have been getting our act together. They know nothing about our relationship anymore, which has drastically changed for the better in their absence. I had no intention of ever coming back to this town, you or my old life, the only reason I am back here now is because of Slate needing my kidney." I snap at him "So what if Mace was using a fake name, but there is nothing fake about Mace's feelings, or mine for that matter, and our sex life now is better than good as it happens!!"
"Not anymore it won't be! He is paralyzed and incapable now remember." Forrest laughs sarcastically.
"What the hell is wrong with you?! Did you SERIOUSLY just say that and laugh??!!" I stare at Forrest wide eyed and in shock. "Screw you Leafy!! Since when did you become such a cold and twisted heartless bitch?" I snap at him
"Is it any wander after everything you have done to me!!" he snaps "And now you are putting that sniveling drama queen's feelings before mine!"
"That is cheap and you know it!!" I snap at him "Just get lost Forrest and but out of my life, and don't come back until you can behave like a grown up!! Technically I am still with Mace, he is my boyfriend!! I left you twenty years ago, and that is exactly how it is staying, until I say otherwise!!"
Forrest just stares at me in disbelief before he storms angrily out of the room. I glance at Mace and he is sat there with the same look of disbelief written on his face. He is pinching his own arm, which always makes me laugh. He always pinches himself to make sure he is awake and not dreaming.
"What the hell Gran? Did that seriously just happen?" Turmeric frowns at me "Have you and Mace really got your act together?"
"Yeah ... these days me and Mace are good!!" I laugh at the expression on his face
"Me and Atlas have really been worrying about Mace, especially now he is paralyzed. We expected you to just dump him like a tonne of bricks and destroy him, once you found out, Forrest still loves you and has been waiting for you to return." he laughs
"You don't need to worry about Mace, me dumping him is not happening!!"
"You putting Mace before Forrest ... I never saw that coming!!"
"No ... neither did I!" Mace mumbles
Song = Writing's On The Wall ~ Sam Smith