Published by Jonathan Garcia at Shakespir
Copyright 2015 Jonathan Garcia
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I want to dedicate this novel to those valient mothers and fathers, who have done their sacrafices to ensure their kids have a great future, and that they have all they need to succeed in life.
It was a humid Tuesday morning when Marcus’s wife Nicole was buried. He arrived at the lawyer’s office at 4 o clock in the afternoon that Tuesday evening to read his wife’s will. The lawyer came in and took out the will hand written by his deceased wife and said “Take a seat Marcus this will take more time that what we had discussed.” Marcus puts up a blunt face and sat down gently while still looking at the lawyer. “First of all I’ll start by giving you my most sincere condolences for Nicole’s death. She was an exceptional woman.” “Indeed she was.” Said Marcus with sorrow in his voice. “Nevertheless I’ll like to say that when it comes to your wife’s belongings you have nothing to worry about. I have already taken care of the paper work.” “If you have, I’m not quite sure why I am still here.” Replied Marcus. “There are bigger problems I’m afraid, this is why I asked you to take a seat. I got word from the Child Services Agency (CSA), they want to take the children into custody.” “I’m not sure I follow?” “Apparently they have information about your financial situation and based on a new law passed by congress they say that you are not capable of with standing a family of four and they want to take the children into custody.” “They must have been given wrong information, I get a monthly check from my published material, it’s not much but it is enough for me to take care of them.” Silenced filled the room for a few seconds, Marcus couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. For years he and Nicole have been able to sustain their life style and their incredibly pricey mansion in the State of North Dakota. Money was never an issue for them since Nicole came form a wealthy family and she always had money available, but as far as his economic situation went they always struggled. “Your career as a writer is a finished and your house still owes mortgage. They sent me copies of all of those papers.” “How did they get this information?” “I asked the same thing and they said it was confidential. Marcus, Nicole didn’t leave anything for you in the will, so you basically have nothing. The only thing she left was this letter and it’s addressed to you.” “Surely there must be something more you can do to help me Neil” “Well the money she left is protected, so you can’t really manage the money. The account is frozen until the kids are old enough to manage the money for themselves. But it does say here that she did pay for the mortgage and the house is completely paid off.” Neil handed over a white envelope that contained a letter written by Nicole for Marcus. Marcus stared at the envelope and started to cry, wondering if he had the courage to open it. “Nicole and I had an agreement once. We both vowed to leave everything to our children if anything were to happen to either of us; I was such an insecure person back then. I didn’t think she would actually go through with it.” “And why did you guys come to those terms?” “It happened after I thought she was cheating on me. I had seen her talking to this guy a few times; I got so jealouse I confronted them about it. It turned out that the guy was her boss, whom I have never met. I was making good money, my novels were selling and I had some really good offers. I rather the kids had everything if something happened so that she wouldn’t spend it with any other man. She promised she would do it, to prove that she was faithful during our marriage.” “ I really have nothing to say there. But you have about two months to sort out your unemplyement situation, or the CSA will take action against you. Maybe if you sell the hous..” Marcus cuts him off and says “I’m not going to sell that house. It was a gift from my grandfather, before he passed away and it will be what I leave behind to my children when I pass. That house and those children are all I really have. I’ll do what I can just buy me some time with the CSA while I find a solution to this problem; please I am asking you as a friend.” “I’ll see what I can do, and I’ll let you know.” “Thank you!” They both stand and shake hands and Marcus walks out of the office.
Arriving home, he stored the white envelope inside a rusty drawer; where he kept his old outlines and forgotten ideas. His writing career went down quickly after he invested all the money he had in a novel that didn’t sell and a movie that was never made. Assuming he got ripped off he didn’t pay mind to it and proceeded to place the novel in another publishing company, but shortly after he got sued for copyright and loss all he had. That night while sitting in the dining table his oldest son Roswell walked up to him with a weary facial expression and sat down in a chair next to him. Roswell looked at his father worried and curious to know what the lawyer had to say, but he was also troubled by something else and didn’t know how to bring it up. Seeing as his son sat there quiet, Marcus had no option, but to ask what was wrong. “I was just wondering, what did Mr. Roberts tell you?” “Ross, I didn’t want to worry you guys with this, but since you’re fifteen I guess you’re old enough to understand the situation we’re in.” “Is it serious?” “Yes, the CSA wants to take you and your sisters into custody, because according to information they have, I don’t generate enough income to sustain a family of four.” Said Marcus in a low and trembling voice. Roswell looked back at him trying to speak but no words would come out of his mouth. Instead he got up and ran up to his room, Marcus tried to stop him but he pushed him out of the way. Marcus sat down and laid his head on the table. If Roswell didn’t take the news about the CSA lightly he couldn’t imagine how he would react when he found out that Marcus was not his real father, and he didn’t want to think how that would destroy his daughters Cadence and Melanie; who love their brother to death. Cadence is only 13 years old and Melanie is 7. For Marcus no one would understand them like he did. Left alone care for them the way that only he could, he didn’t care that Roswell didn’t have the same blood coursing through his veins; for Marcs he was stil his son. Marcus closed his eyes for a breif second, but with all that had happened; he fell asleep.
The next morning his daughter Cadence came and woke him “Daddy, daddy” She tapped on his shoulder. “Yeah! Im up, I’m up.” “You have a call, and Melanie and I are ready for you to drive us to school. Roswell left with his friend Charlie, he didn’t want to wake you.” “Alright, I’ll be ready to take you and your sister to school in a few minutes. Let me answer the phone, throw some watter in my face and we can head out. Make sure you girls have everything you need before we leave” She nodded her head and ran up the stairs. Marcus walked to the kitchen sink and splashed some water in his face and then brushed his hair back while picking up the phone. “Hello?” “Marcus, it’s Brighton Cross. We talked a few years ago about one of your novels.” “Yeah, I remember you; you worked for Citaqua Publishing.” “Yes sir. I wanted to inform you about a novel contest the company is entering in the month of October. We are looking for writer’s to submit their work so we can pick a winner to enter their book in to the contest. I know that the first time you submited work to our editors you work was declined, but we both know that you did a great job with that novel and it wasn’t fair that it got turned down. And I would love it if you would give it another chance.” “Well, I entered the novel in another publishing company and they ripped me off. I got sued for copyright; I ended up lossing most of my earnings. And right now I don’t really have the time to sit and write a story; I can’t.” “What do you mean?” “Listen my wife just passed away and I havent been writing since I found out about her disease. My writing ability is basically gone. I could give it a shot, but I’m on a writer’s block; you wouldn’t get much from me.” “Oh… I’m sorry to hear about your lost Marcus. But my offer still stands. If you change your mind give me a call, I still have the same office number as last time. There’s big money here, the company is willing to pay big time for the rights to the winning novel.” “Well thanks.” “You’re welcome.You have a good day.” “You too. Bye.” Marcus hung up the phone and grabbed his keys as he called out for his daughters to come drown. This was a big opportunity for him and a temporary solution to his problem, but he has been off the writing game for a long time and he doubts that he could write a solid story to enter to the contest. In his mind if they turned down the first novel he submited, what as going to be different now, what could he possibly write about to ensure that his novel would win that contest.
He drove his daughters to school and went back to see Neil one more time to tell him about the letter. He didn’t want to believe that Roswell wasn’t his son and he was determined to take a DNA test to prove that Nicole was wrong. Upon arriving to the lawfirm he saw a familiar car parked outside. The car belonged to Ramona; Nicoles mother. Curious to why she had come to visit the lawfirm, Marcus entered the building looking for her, until he found her coming out of Neil’s office. “Ramona.” “Marcus, what are you doing here?” “I can ask you the same thing. Did you know about Nicole’s affair with Peter?” He confronted Ramona because he knew that if anyone would had known about the affair it would be her. She never liked Marcus, she always refered to him as a back-washed writer with no define future and that he had married her daughter just for money. But Ramona didn’t hesitate and comfirmed that she did know about the afair and that the times they met up it was planned by her. Marcus was furious, but she had told him that she felt guilty about the whole situation, and after Neil called her and told her about the decision the CSA was taking she came to start the paperwork so that the children would go into her custody rather than being taken into a foster home. “I never thought this could happen, I was naïve then. I know you love those kids Marcus, and I’m really sorry for what happened between Nicole and Peter; I didn’t think it would go so far.” She explained that all of this happened before they got married because she hoped that Nicole would put her attention to a guy more of their social circle, but after seeing her daughter in the altar ready to be wed, she regreted everything she had done to separate them; because she know they loved each other. “I want us to start over again, if not for us then for the kids. I don’t want them to grow up without their father in their life. It was hard for me to raise Nicole on my own, and I wouldn’t want someone else raising those kids if it’s not you.” Her words left Marcus puzzled, with no words to say. He hugged her and cried, because after so many years she finally understood that he loved her daughter.
A few days later Marcus went to drop off the children at their grandmother’s house for the weekend while he went on a few job inerviews. The first interview didn’t last long. Upon arrival he was informed that the possition was already filled and this brought him back to square one. But he didn’t lose hope, maybe the next three interviews would land him a job opportunity. Mean while his son Roswell planned on sneaking out to meet up with his friend Charlie who was a few years older and practically lived on his own since his parents were always out of town. Charlie has been a shoulder to cry on for Roswell, and ever since his mother passed away he has found closure in their friendship. Marcus hasn’t been able to pay attention to his son’s needs because of the CSA situation, and since Cadence and Melanie don’t know anything about the problems with the agency he planned on not saying anything while there is still time. Around 8:45pm, Roswell jumpped out through a window and clibbed down a fence making it to the drive-through where Charlie waited for him. “Thanks for meeting me here. My dad left us here for the weekend and I can’t really talk to my grandmother about how I feel.” “I’m your friend, I’ll be here for you always bro.” They walk along the drive way out to the side walk where Charlie had parked his car. They both get in and start to talk. 15 minutes into the conversation Roswell starts to cry and tells Charlie how he can’t cope with his mother’s passing. “I wasn’t ready for this. My mom and I had a good relationship, she know everything about me. She was like you are to me now, I’m really happy I met you Charlie.” Charlie smiled and patted Roswell on the shoulder and got closed and kissed him in the lips. Roswell looked at him confused and pushed him off. “What are you doing?” “I’m showing you how I feel about you.” Roswell stared at him and explained that he wasn’t homosexual, he was just going through a lot at the momment. “You’re a good guy Charlie, but I’m not what you expected.” “I’m sorry, I don’t want this to ruin our friendship.” “And it won’t. I am just very emotional right now and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.” Charlie nodded his head as Roswell opened the door to the car and stopped “You are a good guy Charlie. And I don’t want you to think that I’m indiscrimitating you but I’m reallu confused right now and I need some time alone.” “I understand. Call me later?” “I’ll call you.” He closes the door and walks along the side walk. Roswell didn’t know how to feel about what just happened between him and Charlie, he was unsure between whether he liked it or not. He climbed back in through the window and went to talk to his sister Cadence who was in her room using her laptop. He knocked on the door and came in. ‘Hey what’s up Ross?” “Can I talk to you about something?” “Sure, what’s wrong?” “Promise you won’t tell dad.” “I promise.” He told her about the CSA, she was shocked and almost panicked. She couldn’t understand why her father would keep something so serious from them. Then he told her about Charlie but he wasn’t entirely upfront with her about it, he started the topic by saying “How do you know you are attracted to boys?” To which she replied “I’m not really aure I can answer that. It’s just something that I feel.” He said nothing else and walked out of the room while she asked him “Why do you ask?” He stopped at the door and looked back at her “Charlie kissed me, and I think I might have liked it, but I’m not sure. I’m so confused about everything that’s going on.” She got up and walked towards him and held him in a hug. “Whatever you feel, whatever you preffer you will always be my older brother. I won’t judge you, but you should try to open up to dad about all of this.” “How? Dad is never home, and when he is, he is too busy trying to forget about mom he barely pays any attention to us.” “Ross if what you told me about the CSA is true you have to understand that dad is dealing with more than just the loss of mom. He has to figure out how to keep us with him. I know that he barely has time for us, but at least he is here. Look at Charlie, his parents are never home and even my friend Mandy, she started doing drugs because her mom and her dad are addicts. We could have been worse, but we are still together and we have to be understanding to what dad is going through. We have to worry about Melanie, and make sure she doesn’t catch any bad habits. If dad is out looking for a job so he can keep being our dad, let show him that we are mature enough to understand our situation.” “I’ll try, when dad comes to pick us up on Sunday I’ll try to open up to him.”
None of the interviews proved to be helpful for Marcus. His options were worn out and he didn’t know what else to do. He talked to Neil and he gave him the option to get married, but Marcus declined that option the minute he heard it. He hasn’t fully recovered from Nicole’s death and he didn’t want to start a new relationship, especially if he wasn’t in love. He couldn’t do that to his children, he didn’t want to do it. But the offer for the novel still stood. He thought about it long and hard, and decided that he will call Brighton as soon as he came up with something. He went to Ramona’s house to get the children and on his way he took notes on what he could write about and maybe he could go over those old outlines he had in his desk. As he pulled up to the drive through he saw Ramona outside. She walked up to the car as he got out and told him it was time they talked to the kids about what was going on because she had seen Roswell climbing out the window on Friday after he had dropped them off. They went inside the house and sat in the living room with the kids present. Here Marcus and Ramona explained what was happening to the children but Roswell and Cadence had already talked about it with Melanie and they kids told them that they knew about everything. Marcus was angry that Roswell had went over his orders and told his sisters’s about the situation but he soon realized that there was more he had to disscuss with them; especially with Roswell. After driving back home Marcus tells Roswell to wait for him at the study while he went to the basement and got a few boxes; where he kept some of his writing. When he came up to the study he found Roswell sitting down reading the letter Neil had given Marcus. ‘Tell me this isn’t true. Tell me this is a lie, tell me it’s part of your writing, please!!!” “Marcus dropped the box and ran up to him and held him tight in a hug “No matter what that letter says you are my son.” ‘Why didn’t you tell me? Why dad! Why!” “Because I didn’t know how!” Marcus screamed. “I didn’t know how to tell you, I didn’t want to believe it.” He cried. “You are my son, you are my blood no matter what anyone says. I’ve been trying to do all I can to see that we can prove you are mine, but I didn’t know how to tell you.” Marcus kneeled down on the floor wiping the tears from his face as Roswell stared at him with tears in his eyes. “I’ve been trying to do all I can to keep us together. I’ve been everywhere I could possibly go and I had no luck in finding a job. I don’t want to lose you guys, you are all I have left. After your mom died I’ve been working so hard to keep this family together, I’ve done so much to ensure that you guys are safe, I’ve pretended everything is okay because I don’t want you or your sisters to worry about anything. I’ve carried the burden all on my own.” Roswell hugs Marcus and they both cry together “I love you dad, and I understand why you did it. But we are a family and there’s no reason for you to distance yourself from us to try and solve this problem on your own. We lost mom too, and I’ve been so lonely and confused I even though I had feelings for Charlie. I need you to be here for me and for Cadence and Melanie.” Marcus held him tightly and promised that as long as he lives he would always count on them to be able to handle the problems their family face together. Melanie and Cadence joined them soon after and they sat and talked about everything.
Two months later Ramona took the kids to a press conference where Marcus was giving a speech about his new novel. There he was standing along side Brighton and the director of Citaqua Publishing answering questions about the novel. When he saw them come into the room he asked for them to come on stage and take a bow, because after all the problems he faced, he managed to write a novel dedicated to his family. After all they went through he regain his abilty to write again. He wrote a novel to remind himself that the love he has for his children will last forever.