Chapter 12: Easier to Build Than Repair
Beck knows, Andre, Cat, god she hopes Cat hasn't mentioned it to her mom. Jade hasn't figured out how to tell her yet.
She was there for her weekend with dad. Usually that meant they'd eat breakfast together and then he'd leave her with the nanny to work on, who knows. The nanny let Jade have full reign, so they'd go to the movies, the park, the toy store, ice cream, the music store, the zoo… Then Jade would go back to the apartment and be forced into a nice outfit, hair fixed just so, and leave in a car with a driver to meet her dad at some fancy restaurant or country club for dinner.
This time he said he wanted to introduce her to a special friend, Anna, at lunch. This meant instead of having fun she had to go with the nanny to get a new dress, her hair curled, and go to lunch with some stranger. Then she was forced into white tights, a light yellow dress, and a ridiculous hat that she immediately pulled off. Jade was eight, she wasn't going to dress like a baby 5 year old.
Jade was dropped off in front of the restaurant. Her dad had to go pick up papers he forgot at the office. The nanny was supposed to walk her in, but she was smacking her gum and declaring she was going to be late for her manicure and surely Jade could go by herself since she was a big girl. So Jade marched in and said reservations for Mr. West, standing on her tippy toes still too short to see over the podium. A laughing server escorted her to the table ignoring Jade's glare.
She had sat down grumpily beside her dad and across from a young bottle blonde. Even Jade knew you weren't supposed to grow your hair so long you could see the roots, jeez.
"Jadelyn, this is Anna," her dad introduced, "Anna, Jadelyn" gesturing to Jade.
He leans over and kisses her cheek, "Hello princess".
Jade frowns at him, this isn't going to be some big show, "I'm thirsty," she whines.
Jack flags over the waiter, "No whining."
"Shirley Temple," Jade says flatly.
"Sorry for her," Jack waves his hand at Jade, looking at Anna.
Anna grins, "It's okay, Jack".
They order, short ribs for Jack, white asparagus salad for Anna, filet for Jade.
"So can we tell her now?" Anna asks eagerly.
"Tell me what?" Jade grumbles, still annoyed her usual Saturday was disrupted and no one would tell her why this chick was here. Anna's beaming, god she hates happy people, and her dad looks apprehensive. Geez, her day can't get much worse. And then it does.
"We're going to get married," Anna hums, moving to hold Jack's hand, "I've hoping that eventually you'll see me as your step mommy".
Jade's face is turning red. Either Anna didn't care or was oblivious.
"I hope we'll get to have a lot of fun planning the wedding and become close friends".
Jade's biting her lip hard, torn between crying and screaming.
"Does, does Mom know?" she manages to get out looking at her dad.
He shakes his head a little, "We wanted to tell you first," he starts.
Jade is already out of her chair. "I can't do this today," she says, tears starting to fall.
"Jadelyn," Jack calls, moving to follow her, turning to look at Anna.
"Go on," she says shooing him after his daughter.
Jack catches up with her outside.
"What's with you taking me to restaurants to give me the worst news of my life?" Jade seethes.
Jack sighs and runs his hand through his hair, "I thought it would be a celebration".
Jade gives him a seriously? look.
He nods sheepishly, "Bad idea, huh?"
She rolls her eyes, "What do you think?"
He reaches for her and she flits out of his grasp.
"Jade," he says softly, letting his hand fall to his side.
"What about Mommy?" Jade whispers. What she really wants to say is what about me, what about us, aren't we supposed to be a family? She always thought maybe they just needed some time, a few days, a week, a few months before they'd realize they should get back together, be together as a family. What will it mean for her, now that she's stuck spending the little bits of time she has with him, with her? It's not like they have time together as it is.
And then just as quickly she's launching herself into his arms, "Daddy, please".
Jack scoops her up, realizing how long her legs are getting.
"We'll figure it out bud," he says holding her tight, "It'll be okay".
Will it ever really be okay again? Jade wonders pressing her face into his shoulder, inhaling that dad scent.
"I," she falters, her hand still clutching a card Jack hadn't spotted until now.
"What's that pumpkin?" he asks, wiping away the few tears she let fall.
"It's dumb," Jade says, her eyes downcast.
"You remember, Cat made me join Girl Scouts with her?" she asks, continuing without waiting for an answer, "Well, they are, we are having a dance".
Jack opens his mouth to respond.
"It's a father daughter dance and I'm sure you'll be busy working. And I wasn't even going to ask, and I don't know why I brought this card," Jade rambles on.
"Just forget about it," she finishes, looking so defeated it breaks his heart.
He takes the card out of her hands and opens it, reads it silently.
"I would love to go with you," he finally says looking up at her.
Jade's eyes widen comically. He almost laughs before realizing how sad it is that this surprises her.
"Really?" she asks.
"Is this a bribe?" she says suspiciously, "Like I'll go only if you come back and behave and are nice to Anna?"
Jack sighs and tugs on a piece of her hair, "This is a, I want to spend more time with you, answer".
It takes him a few seconds to manage the next words, "This is an I love you answer".
Jade launches herself at him again, "I love you too".
When he lets go, she laughs, "My backup was asking Beck to go," Jade says rolling her eyes.
"Whose Beck?" Jack asks, wondering now if Shannon's got a new boyfriend.
"Just a boy," Jade answers shrugging her shoulders.
"A boy? Like your age?" he reaffirms.
Jade nods, "Like all my other friends, Dad".
"Cut the attitude, Jadelyn."
"Can you manage to go back inside? Eat lunch politely?" he asks.
Jade bites her lip, decides not to test him anymore and nods.
She walks back in wondering if he'll really go to the dance, if it was a bribe, if something for work will come up, if Anna will take precedent.
He wondering who this Beck is, if she still thinks boys have cooties, if she's old enough that they are calling boy friends boyfriends, if this Beck is a good kid.
The weekend of the dance comes up quicker than Jade thinks it will. She's got her ear pressed up against the door listening to her mom yell at her dad on the phone.
"You better be here on time, Jack! Don't you dare break that little girl's heart!"
"I'm not projecting my feelings onto her!"
"Of course, I know her better, I'm the one with her everyday while you're gallivanting around with your new girl!"
"Oh, right fiancé" she mocks.
Jade wants to curl up under Cat's bed right about now. Somehow, she thinks this is worse than when they fought in person.
"Yes she's mine"
"You know she loves me best!"
Then there's a pause of silence.
"I didn't mean that," she says softer now.
"You know she loves you too Jack".
"Maybe if you were around more," she insinuates.
"That's on you not me!"
"I don't want to fight," she sighs.
"Yes at 5pm. In an hour. Wear a light blue tie, it'll match her dress".
With that Jade scrambles away from the door and back into her room.
"It's easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult. Choose your words wisely" -Unknown
A/N: Here's a new chapter. :) Also I just posted the first chapter to a new story. It's a Glee story so if any of you like that show too, please check it out. As always, thanks for reading and reviewing!