Ted was actually tearing up. I couldn’t believe it. They were real tears. Real tears with nothing real behind them. How did he do it? I was almost too shocked to pretend to be sympathetic as he talked about his dead wife that he murdered.
“I’m so sorry to hear that,” I said. I decided to make him squirm. “How did it happen?”
“Oh, it was so tragic. I was out of town with the kids and somehow a fire got started. I told her never to use that old lamp; I knew it had a short in it. But she had it since she was a kid—she was an orphan and it meant a lot to her—and she must have plugged it in and fell asleep.”
“That’s so terrible,” I said feigning sadness. Really? That was the story he was going with? Wow, he was a real piece of work.
“I’m sorry,” Ted said wiping his eyes. “I didn’t mean to get worked up.”
Ted reached out and touched my leg with a sweet smile. “You have a great heart. Thank you.”
He removed his hand and looked back at the paper. “When can you start?”
“I can start as soon as you need me,” I said.
“Well, if you could start tomorrow that would be great,” Ted said. “Would you like to meet the kids? They are upstairs playing in their room.”
“Oh, I’d love to.”
I was going to see my children. After three long years… I could barely stand straight as I followed Ted up the stairs and down the hallway towards their room. I was almost shaking. I wanted to hold my babies in my arms again. I hoped one day they would understand why I did what I did. It was for the best, and it was for the best for them too. I just wanted them to know how sorry I was and how much I loved them.
By the time we got to their room, it was all I could do to hide the tears. But I couldn’t let Ted see me cry. I had to stay in character. It was of the utmost importance. I’d worked so hard and come so far; I couldn’t blow this mission now.
When I saw the kids for the first time, my heart just melted inside of my chest. They were beautiful. Both of the twins had grown so much. They were toddlers. I watched them for a few seconds as they played with their little action figures and made loud noises. They were typical boys.
But the second Ted was in the room I sensed a change.
“Boys, we have a visitor,” Ted said. “I want you to stop playing and meet your new nanny.”
“Hi, guys,” I said.
“This is Nicki and Alex,” Ted added pointing to each one.
The kids looked at me. I could see the fear in their eyes and as I knelt down I could smell that at least one of them had soiled themselves.
“Um, I think somebody had an accident,” I said.
Ted groaned. “That would be Nicki. He is still in pull ups, even though I’ve gone through potty training with him and he knows how to do it. Lately it just seems like he has regressed a bit.”
“It’s ok,” I said. “I can change him. Where do you keep the pullups?”
Ted seemed impressed at my initiative. He got the clean pullups for me and I changed Nicki and put some clean clothes on him.
“Wow, he has already taken to you,” Ted said. “Normally, it takes him awhile to warm up to somebody. I guess you are going to be a big hit around here.”
I forced a smile at him and then smiled at Nicki who smiled back at me. He was so sweet, so loving. But I could tell that he was scared to death of Ted. If I hadn’t been there and Ted had discovered this accident, there is no telling what sort of punishment, he would have thrusted upon my child.
Don’t worry baby. Momma is going to rescue you soon.
When I left the house I agreed to pick up the kids at their preschool the next day at two. I was so excited I could hardly stand to drive away from there. I wanted my babies. I needed my boys to be safe and sound with me. They were terrified of their father. I only hoped it wasn’t too late to undo the damage and bad influence he’d had on them.
As I pulled out of the driveway onto the highway tears were flowing down my face. My heart was broken. I couldn’t even imagine how many diaper changes I’d missed, or bottle feedings, or first words, first steps, first time using the toilet—I’d missed so much.
“I have to get my babies,” I said resting my head on Taylor’s shoulder. When I arrived back at his place I was full on bawling my head off. I couldn’t stand the thought of my kids being subjected to the horrors of that monster. That murderer.