She sat down on the old porch swing, carefully keeping an eye on the rain. It was coming down harder and harder and she noticed that the drains weren't working as well as they should. Before, he would've come out to de-clog them to prevent the flooding. But now, no matter how hard she tried, they wouldn't unclog and the water would get higher and higher until it reached the third step and she'd have to keep the kids and the dogs inside.
She wrapped the blanket tighter around her, relishing in the soft fabric that it was made out of. Sophia had made it for her when she was 8. The stitching was uneven but it didn't matter. Her daughter had made it and so she loved it. She sighed, looking out at the lawn, watching to drops fall one by one. There was a light on in the backyard two houses over to her right and it sounded as if there was a fight going on between a couple.
"You kissed her? What the hell is wrong with you?" the girl shouted. She couldn't help but feel a twinge of pain when she heard them fighting.
"It didn't mean anything Anna!" the boy shouted back. Over the rain she could hear the cries of her neighbor to her left. She never took the time to get to know the old woman next door but she felt a little sorry for her. She knew that about a month after they had moved into their house that the woman's husband had died of a heart attack. That was one of the few times she attempted to make something, and her cake turned into something that resembled a large flat chocolate chip cookie.
"I don't bake very often and it had actually caught fire in a few places which is why its semi burnt." she had mumbled nervously. To her surprise, the woman, who had tears coming down her face, laughed. She then offered her a sad smile and took the cake.
"Thank you." the woman had said before inviting her in. But, she couldn't stay, Sophia was at home with Lucas and needed to be fed. So, she graciously declined the offer before giving the woman a hug and telling her how sorry she was.
Under the blanket, she fingered her wedding ring, the one that he gave her 13 years ago. It was a unique wedding ring to say the least. He had proposed after Sophia was born with his grandmother's ring. It was hand engraved with a flat square top, a royal blue sapphire placed in the middle, diamonds scattered everywhere on the ring along with floral engraving. It fit perfectly, considering Sophia's birthstone was the sapphire. It was intended to be her wedding ring because money was so tight. They had just had Sophia and both still had school. But, then a large sum of money came their way with his grandfather's passing and her engagement ring was moved to her right hand to make room for the wedding band he gave her. It was one she had picked out years before when they had first begun dating. It was in the Victorian Collection and she fell in love with it. Little did she know that Lucas would end up giving her the intricate band of platinum and diamonds, displayed in a filaree fashion.
She sighed and sat up, her feet hitting the ground with a splash. She looked down and noticed that the ground had already stated flooding. She sighed once more before standing up. She walked the short distance up the 3 stairs and to the door. She grabbed her jacket off of the hook that is next to the door and threw it on, grabbing the sweeper that he had bought for this purpose.
She tossed the blanket onto the swing before tucking her sweats into her rain boots. She walked down the steps, rubber sweeper in hand, and readied herself for the back pain that was sure to come. She started to slide all the water on to the grass, her back already hurting. It'd been raining a lot that month and it'd been taking a toll on her back. She made a clumsy mistake and when she went to sweep water onto the grass, some comes back and soaks her leg. Whenever he did this, he'd come in dry rom head to toe except for his boots.
"Mom, you shouldn't be doing this." Sophia said from the door as she watched her mother's shoulders drop.
"Who else is going to do it?" she asked, pulling her dark brown hair into a bun on top of her head.
"I'll do it. The doctor said the stress is bad-" Sophia was cut off by Brooke waving her hand in the air.
"I know what the doctor said Sophia. It doesn't matter though. Go inside and watch your brothers." She wasn't about her 14 year old do what she had to.
"Mom, come inside. I'll call Uncle Nathan to come over and do it if that's what you want. Just please come in and rest." she was pleading with her mother. This last month had taken her mother on one hellish ride, almost causing her to miscarry.
"Sophia Brooklyn Marie Scott." she said with a tight mouth. "Go inside and do as I say."
With her name said in its entirety, she backed down and nodded. "Just please come in soon 'kay?"
Brooke nodded and went back to sweeping the water. She felt bad for being so stern with Sophia but she didn't care at this point. She needed to do this since he wouldn't. When the door closed behind her she finally stopped, realizing that her attempts weren't working.
"Damn it Luke." she mumbled, rubbing her swollen belly. She hadn't once allowed herself to cry, not once during the whole month. It showed that she was weak and that she was hurt but more importantly it was proof. Proof that he really was gone.
It was hard enough that his baby was in her belly, the baby they tried so desperately for. Their first 3 had come easily. Sophia happened right out of high school. Wyatt happened their last year of college. Finley was the little bundle of joy that was actually planned 6 years ago. When he was 2 they started trying again and after 2 years of nothing they went to see a doctor. She had bled a lot with Finley, making it harder to conceive. Then, 5 wonderful months ago, they had that one night where they had gotten lucky, and their new baby girl had been conceived.
She dropped the sweeper, leaving the mess of a backyard to flood, making her way inside. She discarded her boots and jacket before she opened the door. Once inside, she told her children to get into bed and that she'd be there to say goodnight in a few minutes. They listened, except for Sophia who still sat on the couch. "I don't get why he left." she said to no one inparticular, never taking her eyes off the tv.
"Neither do I." Brooke responded looking over at her daughter. She was the spitting image of her father except for her smile. That she got from her.
She went into her room and changed out of her wet clothing and into another pair of sweat pants, ones that used to be his. She put on an oversized t-shirt, the one she's worn during every one of her pregnancies. She walked into the bathroom she once shared with him and splashed her face with water from the faucet. The water is freezing, just like the weather outside, the pipes not having time to warm up. She reached for the hand towel she always kept next to her sink to dry her face, but instead she found an empty spot. She opened her eyes to find that it isn't there. Just like his toothbrush isn't there or his shaver. More proof that he is really gone.
When she finished in the bathroom she walked into her sons' room that is decked out in everything basketball. "Momma?" Finley asked as she tucked him in.
"Yes Fin?" She placed a kiss on his head, as she sat down on the edge of her bed.
"When's Daddy gonna come home?" She hated him for doing this to her. For leaving her to answer all these questions while he was off with that blonde whore of a friend. To leave with out saying goodbye, leaving her to come up with an excuse as to why he didn't come home from work.
"Soon baby. I promise." She hated how she had to lie to her kids. Make promises she wasn't sure she could keep.
"He's with Aunt Peyton isn't he?" Wyatt asked over from his bed. Wyatt had seen them. He was the one who came to her wondering why Dad had kissed a woman his mother told him to consider an Aunt. He didn't know what to call her anymore, and judging by the look on his mother's face, she didn't want any of them to call her 'Aunt' anymore.
"He's just helping Peyton for a little while." She didn't know why she was lying to Wyatt. He was 10, he knew what was happening. But, because of her love for that excuse of a man, she kept lying to him and almost had him convinced that it wasn't his father that was kissing her former best friend. She offered Wyatt a small smile, but it didn't soothe him. He was a Mama's boy and she loved him everyday for it. She hated how he was becoming protective over her against his father though. She walked over and gave Wyatt a kiss on the forehead as well.
"Night boys." she said, turning off their light before she closed their door.
"Why'd they do it?" She was hit with the question as soon as she entered the living room.
"Excuse me?" she asked her daughter.
"Why did Dad leave you and us for her?" she asked in disgust. Sophia had always been very close with him and Peyton which was probably making it hardest on her. Two of the people she thought so highly of, had broken their family and hurt her mom and little sister. They didn't care about anyone except them and their own selfish needs.
"I don't know Soph." Brooke responded, sitting down slowly on the couch.
"You tried so hard for a baby and then he just leaves?!" Brooke can't help but think that Sophia is starting to resent Lucas the way he had resented Dan. He never wanted to become him, yet he did. He thought it was better than Dan though, because he was still going to see his kids and be in their lives. He didn't think about the hatred that his children felt for him though. Well, the hatred that Sophia and Wyatt felt towards him.
The phone wrung and without missing a beat, Brooke grabbed the phone. "Hello?" She knew it'd be him, he always called around this time.
"Can I talk to Soph?" he asked sheepishly, not expecting her to answer.
"Your daughter started kicking up a storm today. Oh, and the backyard is flooded, again. Just thought you should know." Brooke responded, rubbing salt into the wounds. She refused to let Lucas touch her when he had come over the few times that month. She handed Sophia the phone. "It's your father."
"What do you want?" she asked him, annoyed that he was calling.
"What do I want? Is that any way to talk to your dad?" he asked, surprised at her tone.
"You are not my dad." she told him coldly. The words were like venom and made him cringe on the other end of the phone line. "You lost that right when you cheated on Mom with her. You lost the right to call me your daughter when my mom, your wife, ended up in the hospital because of you and her, putting my baby sister, your daughter, at risk of dying. You remember her right? The baby you and Mom tried to have for four years? But, I guess you'd have to remember Mom in order to remember the baby huh?"
"Sophia, it's-" He tried to explain but his daughter is too much like her mother.
"Complicated? That's bullshit and you know it. It's not complicated at all Dad. You simply couldn't keep it in your pants. Or excuse me, do you want me to use the lie you've been feeding Mom? 'You just fell out of love with her?' Funny how you fall out of love with Mom and land in Peyton." She responded snidely.
"Sophia Brooklyn Marie Scott!" He was angry now but some how she didn't care.
"So, how's the whore?" she asked and he could tell she was smirking the Famous Scott smirk. She didn't wait for an answer, instead she hung up. She set the phone down and noticed that her mom had slipped out of the room. She goes into the room that was once occupied by both her parents to hear her mom crying in the bathroom.
"Mom?" she asked skeptically. Her mother never cried.
But there she was, on the floor in the bathroom, her head in her hands, Lucas' towel laying on her lap. She was sobbing, hard, and it didn't look like she was going to stop.
It had finally hit her that he was gone and he wasn't coming back. He didn't care any more. He didn't love her or what they once shared. He didn't care about the kids they shared, not a single one. If he did, he wouldn't have left now, when they finally got their wish. Instead he was with her, the one he had always loved. The one he always cared about. The one who always got the promises he kept. The one that would without a doubt get his grandmother's ring that had come to be hers.
She finally removed her hands from her face, only to bring his towel up to her face. It still smelled like him. Still smelled like her husband, the father of her children, the man she loved. Only that wasn't who he was anymore. He wasn't the man she married. He was a coward, and scum, and the man she would with out a doubt, always love.