After checking the kids, I went downstairs to the kitchen where I called Taylor and told him what happened.
“Why am I not surprised?” Taylor asked amused.
“I hope he makes some nice, new friends in prison and that they like to snuggle,” I joked.
“He’d have it coming if they did. So, you are staying there all night? I figured that as well. Want me to come over and keep you company?”
“I would love that, but you know we can’t risk it.”
“I know. It was just some wishful thinking.”
“I was thinking about telling the kids.”
There was a silence on the line. I wasn’t sure Taylor agreed with my plan.
“Ok… what are you going to tell them?”
I sighed. “I know they won’t understand if I just explain it to them. But I was just going to tell them that I am their mother and that I’ll be taking them home very soon.”
Tears formed in my eyes. Every time I thought about the time I’d lost with my boys as their mother, my heart just broke into twenty pieces. I felt shattered. Even after everything I’d been through, my life felt like it was just broken beyond repair. I was trying to stay strong and keep it together, but sometimes it was overwhelming. God, I hated Ted. I was going to make him pay one way or another.
“Right,” Taylor said. “But don’t you think it might be jumping the gun a little bit? What if the kids talk? I still haven’t heard back about the forensics. It might take a while. I think you should wait.”
I valued Taylor’s opinion. He was the smartest man I knew, but this was something I just had to do. It was in my heart.
“I know,” I said.
We chatted a few more minutes. I sat down and read a book until I finally fell asleep.
The next morning, I woke up early. I got the kids up for school and got them dressed and ready to go. It was during breakfast that I decided to tell them.
“Boys,” I said.
I knelt down between them and put a hand on each one of their shoulders. “Listen. I need to tell you something very important. I love you so much. I don’t know how to say this… but you have to believe me when I tell you that I am your momma. I know you don’t remember me and you have no reason to believe me, but it is true.”
I kissed them both on the forehead. The tears were flowing down my face and both boys could tell that something serious was going on.
Nicki tried and failed to say the word “momma”. His brother imitated him. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard.
I smiled and kissed them again. “That’s right, boys. It’s momma. And soon, I will take you to your new home where you will be loved and treasured. You won’t ever have to see that mean man ever again. I won’t let him ever hurt you or make you feel like you don’t matter ever again.”
I held them both close to me for several seconds. I thought they understood. It was important that they knew how much I loved them.
After breakfast I took them to school, and then I withdrew the money from Ted’s account for his bail. I then went to the jail and paid it.
“Wow, it feels great to breathe the air of freedom again,” Ted said in his usual jovial voice.
“The kids are at school. I’ll pick them up later,” I said.
“Great. Thanks so much, once again. You are awesome.”
“Thanks,” I said.
I drove home with revenge on my mind. I wanted to strangle the bastard myself. I hated him so much that I was even entertaining thoughts of murdering him and wondering if there was a way for me to get away with it.
The instant the thought hit my mind it terrified me. I wasn’t him. What was I thinking? No. I was no murderer. The revenge that I unleashed on Ted was going to be swift, real, justice. I had no way of proving that Ted had tried to kill me, especially after all these years. I could barely prove that I was Leia Daniels (dental records would be the only way).
No. I just had to bide my time a little while longer. But I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would be his downfall.
I was going to take him down.
When I got home I was astounded to see a beautiful breakfast spread prepared for me waiting on the table. There was a stack of pancakes (my favorite) with butter and syrup, and a big bowl of mixed fruit coated with sugar for extra sweetness. Plus, a piping hot pot of strong, black, coffee. Jane knew exactly what I liked. My butler didn’t usually come in until about eleven, so I knew that it was she who had prepared this fabulous feast for me.