“Mum!! Mum, get up!!” Urgh, it was early. Way too early and Jasmyn was shaking my shoulder,
“Mum, in case you haven’t forgotten you’re getting married again today and dad’s already at the gazebo downstairs!!” I slowly sat up and saw Jasmyn standing in a stunning purple dress, there were flowers woven in her hair and Dmitri was in her arms in his dungarees, waving at me.
“Momma wake up!! Daddy downstaiws!!” I shooed them out of my room and began getting ready, I’d bought a new dress for this day. Mortimer and I had agreed on just having our kids at the wedding. Dad had gone to a retirement home and was beginning to develop dementia aged just 61. I snuck a peek out of my window and saw Jasmyn trying to settle the Dmitri in the gazebo. Mortimer was fixing up the camera so Zoe and Phoenix could watch from school after their school’s rejected our request to have them home for a few days. Eventually I made my way out to the garden and stood under the arch next to Mortimer, he grinned at me like a little kid. We said our vows and then we went out for dinner still in our wedding clothes.
Once inside the restaurant we were offered champagne but Mortimer turned his down, smiling at me while Jasmyn tapped on her cell phone keys,
“Jasmyn, put that phone down before I take it away! Who are you texting?”
“Hideo, he wants to know what time my plane is landing.”
“You can tell him tomorrow, come on and enjoy yourself! This reservation wasn’t cheap!”
Jasmyn sighed and tucked her phone into her purse then began doing the airplane game with Dmitri who squealed and kicked his chubby legs on the high chair.
We ended up getting home at about 1 in the morning with Jasmyn carrying a sleeping Dmitri and Mortimer carrying me. Jasmyn was packing late into the night and by morning she was passed out on the sofa in her room.
“Jas, get up! You need to have breakfast, and then finishing packing!” She waved a hand at me asking me to get out.
“I’ll get up in a minute!!” 10 minutes later I came into her room and handed her a bowl of cereal while she began packing up more clothes. She nodded at me and began haphazardly throwing in her make up.
“Have you got your passport?”
“Are you sure?” We were at Jasmyn’s departure lounge checking the last minute things. Hideo had arranged to pick her up and she would stay in his house. He’d given us an agenda of all the activities and ensured us that Jasmyn would be perfectly safe while in his care.
“Flight 503 going to Champ Les Sims is boarding now, please make your way to departure lounge 3.” Jasmyn grinned and hugged us goodbye as she ran onto the plane, carrying her overnight bag.
Mother was propped up on some pillows, her gray hair fanned out on the pillows. I’d never though my mother could look weak. But here she is relying on a machine to keep her alive. Mortimer wrapped an arm around my shoulder.
I turned to the doctor,
“Is there any chance she’d make it?”
“If she did she could be potentially brain damaged.”
“Would she be in pain if she makes it?”
“It seems like she would be in pain and possibly reliant on painkillers.”
Dad came behind me,
“Sweetheart, I love her too but it wouldn’t be fair to keep her alive, like the doctor said earlier she has a very slim chance of survival.”
“Pass me the consent forms.”
I signed along the dotted lines and went into mother’s room to say goodbye, I held her hand and closed my eyes. Eventually her breathing settled and her face became a serene mask, dad came in and took mother’s other hand and kissed it. I felt a funny ripple beneath my feet and a hooded skeletal figure appeared in the room, I could swear I’d seen a grey ghost stand before the hooded figure but I blinked and it was gone. Mother’s bed was empty and an urn was placed on the floor.
I found that after the urn appeared on the floor I felt relieved, dad was handed some graveyard leaflets and he was staring at them in his hands. I knew what he was feeling, he was older than her. He felt guilty that she had gone before him.
After mother died, Dad moved in with us and helped with the wedding plans after Mortimer asked for his blessing after taking dad to go see a Llamas football match. Summer and Chase had moved out to Twinbrook after Chase was offered a job there. Jasmyn is already getting excited for her trip to Champs Les Sims, I’ve made sure she has her own tour guide and that he will stay with her throughout her trip and keep her safe. She has spoken to him on the phone a few times and she seems to like him, I’ve spoken to him too, he seems very nice, he’s staying in France and is a painter but does tour guides to up his income, his name is Hideo Saito.
We had a special plot of land for Mother in the local cemetary and we laid flowers over it-Roses, just like her name. Dmitri-the only one of my children with her hair had begun to walk and he wandered off over to the wild rose bushes and said to us,
“Momma! I see gwandma!!” Jasmyn scooped him up and looked to where he was pointing,
“No silly, thats a Rose bush!” She chucked him under the chin and he gave her a dribbly giggle.
Jasmyn is gonna make a great mother and she already has a bunch of boys at school who are keen on her. Unfortunately her France trip clashes with prom but she isn’t that interested in going. She wants to experience some culture then she’ll be studying to be a doctor! I’m happy my girl is putting career before marriage and kids. She says she’s going to have a little three bedroom house built as the mansion we have now is just too big for her!
“Where are you going tonight mum?”
“Your dad’s taking me out to dinner tonight at the new resturant, you can make you and Dmitri some dinner right?” I was just fixing while Jasmyn stood at my door, she nodded once.
“And I mean real food, not any of that takeaway junk!”
“Don’t take that tone with me! Remember, if anybody knocks don’t answer!” I dashed down the stairs, nearly breaking my ankle in my heels.
By the time I got to the restaurant I was 20 minutes late. Mortimer was waiting with a bunch of flowers in his hand, looking at his watch but doing a double take when he saw me.
“You look stunning Scarlett!”
“Tell me something I don’t know.” I winked at him hoping my false eyelash wouldn’t dislodge and blind me, he handed me the red flowers,
“For you,” I smiled and held them in the crook of my arm. We’d been eating a great meal when Mortimer dropped down on one knee,
“Mortimer, get up. Now! Before people see!” My cheeks were beginning to flush, he couldn’t have picked a worse time to do this!
“Scarlett Taylor Tempest, will you marry me? Again.”
“If I say yes will you get up?”
“I’ll consider it.”
“Then yes, just get up!!” My phone rung out distracting me from wondering how far I’d have to stab the fork into his chest before I killed him.
“Is this Scarlett Tempest?”
“Ms. Tempest we need you down at the hospital.”
“Whats wrong? Is it my kids?”
“Please bring your family to the hospital and I’ll explain everything.”
Mortimer looked at me from the table,
“Is everything okay?”
“I need to go to the hospital, can you drive me home to pick up the kids? I’ll go to the hospital with them.”
“Sure, but I’m driving you to the hospital!”
“Whatever.” Mortimer ran inside and paid the bill while I waited in the car. We made it home and I ran inside,
“Jasmyn, get Dmitri! We need to go to the hospital!”
Jasmyn came running down the stairs holding a very groggy Dmitri,
“Hey baby, shh you can go back to sleep!”
Mortimer was staring at the boy in my arms, I realized Mortimer had never seen Dmitri, so I loosened my grip enough to show him Dmitri’s face. He smiled and nodded nervously at Jasmyn,
“Hey, Jasmyn.” Jasmyn returned his nod as she climbed in the back of the car. Mortimer got in the drivers seat while I strapped Dmitri in to his seat.
We got to the hospital and once I told them my name I was met by a grave faced doctor,
“Ms. Tempest?” I nodded,
“Please come with me.”
We all followed the doctor, Dmitri had fallen asleep while being carried by Mortimer while Jasmyn walked alongside Mortimer, sneaking looks at her father every so often. We were led into an almost completely white room with a desk,
“Sit, please,” He gestured to the chairs in front of him. “Ms. Tempest I’m afraid to inform you that 2 hours ago, our paramedic’s recieved a call out to the Dry Lakebed where there had been a collision between a private school bus and your parents car.” I gripped Mortimer’s arm in horror, Phoenix had left on a private school bus 3 hours ago..
“Your son was on the bus, he was fine, in fact the bus was fine and I believe all the students have arrived at the school. But your parent’s car was pretty badly damaged. Your father is okay, with only minor cuts, but your mother’s head was hit pretty hard. She’s in a coma. And unfortunately, we’ve been scanning her for signs that she could heal, but given her age we don’t think she will make it. Usually we ask the husband to make a decision but your father said your mother would’ve prefered you to make the decision.”
“Whether or not to turn off your mother’s life support.” He slid a consent form over the table towards me.
“You’re not pregnant anymore?”
“No, its a boy. Dmitri.”
“Mortimer stop the pleasantries, what do you have to say?”
He looked down at his hands,
“I’m sorry, I’m an idiot. I never realized how much much you meant to me.”
“You think that makes up for it??”
“No. But you know it was never me! I was always drunk. I’ve been going to therapy and meetings,”
“Why am I here?”
“I wanted to ask you for another chance.”
“Why should I give you one?!”
“Because we never gave each other a chance before, we were forced together. We barely know each other.”
“You want to start again?”
“Think about it like this, we save our families a lot of money in divorce fees, our kids don’t have the stigma of divorced parents and we both earn more money with our combined salaries.”
“..Mortimer I don’t know.”
“Look, I’m not saying lets get married again all I’m saying is we take it slowly. Maybe we could go on dates?”
I stood up, my chair almost hitting the floor,
“I cannot believe you honestly think I would trust you again! Why would I want to be with you again??” I saw Mortimer clench his fist under the table and scoffed,
“You haven’t changed at all. You’re fighting the urge to hit me right now aren’t you!” Mortimer’s jaw was now also clenched, he knew I was testing him.
“I have issues, I’m not denying that. But when I lost you, I lost everything. My job, my kids, my wife.”
“.. Your punchbag.”
He stood up and grabbed my wrists,
“You don’t think I regret anything? I’m an idiot. I mean it when I say it Scarlett. Please don’t leave me.”
Mortimer looked down at his hands, like shackles on my wrists, and dropped them. Looking ashamed. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a bouquet of flowers.
“I remember you always wanted to see a magician.” I sighed, Mortimer was trying so hard.
“We’ll meet once a week. You’re taking me to magician next week after work.” He looked up at me grinning, looking exactly like Phoenix.
“Are you serious? Thank you Scarlett!” He pulled me into a massive bear hug and I pushed against him,
“Can’t. Breathe.” He dropped me almost immediately, still grinning.
“Mortimer, I’ve gotta get home. Jasmyn will worry.”
“Want me to drive you?”
“One step at a time Mortimer. I don’t want to get the kid’s hopes up.”
When I got home I found Zoe, Phoenix and Dmitri all asleep. Jasmyn was in the study, waiting for me, she looked up from the screen when I came in.
“Hey honey, were the kids okay?”
“Yeah, hey mum?”
“You know how you wanted me to experience different cultures?”
“No, but go on, I wanna hear this!”
“In a few weeks there’s this guided tour of Champs Les Sims, its a 3 night stay. I’d really love to go!”
“How much is it?”
“I’m sure I can speak to your father and see if he could help.”
“How did tonight go?”
“We’ve agreed to start seeing each other on a weekly basis. If he steps out of line one time its over for good.”
“You’re nice to give him a second chance.”
“Sweetheart please don’t give your dad a hard time. He’s trying at least!”
“I know. I just don’t want him to hurt any of us again.”
“I wouldn’t dream of letting him!”
((Author’s Note: Chapter 13 will be a post dedicated to the organisation, and the women who inspired me to make the story of Scarlett and Mortimer -Mollie))
Eventually all my kids had aged up, I held a private party for them, just me the kids, Summer, Chase, Mother, dad and Summer and Chase’s kids. The Goths were unable to attend as they were in court with Mortimer, who was trying to sue for slander against the headline I released about the abuse. I had one of my dads lawyers fighting for me. Anyway, the party went well, Jasmyn became even more beautiful, and had taken to wearing outrageous heels.
Zoe and Phoenix became very intelligent children. I was faced with an unusual request from Zoe, she wanted to go to Art School while Phoenix wanted to stay home. I was unsure because as a twin myself I feel that they wouldn’t be comfortable apart but I decided to give it a try, I can always bring her home.
Dmitri inherited my hair and my father’s eyes in fact, unlike his siblings he has nothing of Mortimer in him. And given the circumstances Dmitri was conceived in I am thankful that he has no Mortimer genes.
The day after the kid’s birthdays I took Jasmyn and Zoe into the study asking Phoenix to keep an eye on Dmitri and sat them down. I sat opposite them and took a breath.
“Girls, this decision has been thought over and over ever since both of you were old enough to judge. Zoe, my artistic little angel and Jasmyn, my first born.” Jasmyn raised an eyebrow,
“So Zoe’s an artistic angel, and I’m just your first born?”
“Jasmyn, since you are the first born, you’re the new leader. Unless you would like Zoe to lead?” Zoe looked up in horror,
“She’ll be heir!! I don’t want it!” I laughed at Zoe,
“That was your aunt Summer’s reaction too! Now, Zoe your grandfather has secured you a place at LaFromage Art School.”
“Really?? Oh wow!! I’m gonna go thank him now!” Zoe ran out of the room to phone Gunther will Jasmyn still hadn’t spoken.
“So, heiress, any questions?”
“Am I betrothed?”
“Very funny Jasmyn.”
“I was being serious.”
“Oh, well in that case, no you aren’t. It didn’t work out for me very well did it?”
“Jas, whats up?”
“Dad’s been emailing me,”
“What does he want sweetie?”
“He wants you to meet up with him. He wants to apologize.”
“Jasmyn, I need to phone your father, go keep an eye on Dmitri please.”
She nodded and left the room, with trembling fingers I phoned Mortimer’s cell
“Mortimer, if you wish to speak to me I’d prefer you do it through our divorce lawyer rather than our child.”
“You wouldn’t have contacted me otherwise. Besides I really want to speak to you. Not a woman who has 4 failed marriages under her belt.”
“You’ll have a failed marriage soon as well.”
“Thats why I want to meet up. I’m sorry. I’m an idiot. I never meant it”
“Sorry doesn’t make it up for me. Sorry doesn’t make me believe you didn’t mean it.”
“I know. Sorry is completely and utterly inadequate for what I did but please just meet up with me. We were good before I became a douchebag.”
“Fine. We’re meeting at my mother’s bistro, tonight 6pm. If you are even 5 minutes late I will remove your access rights.”
“But, I don’t get off work till 7!”
“I know. Now work out what you’re going to say.”
When I clicked my phone off I felt a tear slide down my cheek. I had fallen in love with Mortimer before all the abuse, I thought by now my feelings would have changed, but hearing his desperation had almost broken my heart. No. I can’t go back to that. I won’t. But I need to meet up with him, the divorce lawyer made it clear that when one of us needed to talk to the other regarding the divorce we had to both agree. I jumped in the shower and went to do my makeup when I screamed,
“PHOENIX EDWARD TEMPEST GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE!!” Phoenix strolled in smirking to himself,
“Whats up mum?”
“Look at my hair!!! You think this is funny?? You’ve only just aged up and already you’ve pulled a ridiculous amount of pranks! I threatened you with military school just 3 hours ago, did I not? Well, now, you’re going!!”
“No buts, I’m sick to death of your pranks! I’m calling the school tonight. I’m sorry Phoenix but you know I’m very well respected when it comes to interior decorating, I’m well known for it! I cannot have hair this color!”
“Fine. We both know I’ll get sent home by the end of the year!” Phoenix stormed out of the room while I went back to the shower and attempted to wash the dye out. Luckily for me it came out after one wash. I was ready by 6pm, I gave myself a last checkover in Phoenix’s room.. Damn, I looked like a million simoleons!
At 10 to 6 I was driving to the bistro and I saw Mortimer waiting there for me, dark hair covering his eyes and a scar on his arm where his tattoo was. I slumped back into my seat. I couldn’t do this. Could I?