The next day Helen and Aiden joined up with Mark and Sara for the drive back to Houston.
"Can we get ice cream?" Gracie asked.
"When we get home honey" Sara replied
"Awww!" the girls whined. Since there wasn't a whole lot or room in their car Helen and Aiden had to be the girls' car seats.
Helen wasn't talking much she had spent most of the ride looking out the window lost in her own thoughts. Chasey tried talking to her big sister, trying to cheer her up but Helen barely responded.
Mark looked in the rearview mirror. What had happened? A week ago his oldest daughter had been so full of life, now her eyes were dull without any of the sparkle, he saw when he first saw her after all that time.
"Helen. Can we talk?"
Helen looked up from the book she was reading. Her dad was standing in the doorway.
"Yeah" she closed the book "Yeah I think we should talk"
"Okay" Mark sat on the edge of his daughter's bed.
"I want to know why you left" Helen said quietly
Mark closed his eyes "I've been expecting that question for nineteen years"
"Why?" Helen repeated
"Well for one thing it was your mother" Mark replied "You know how she was and I wasn't making much money as a wrestler at the time, she was always on my ass saying I was a deadbeat and how she was making all the money so one day. When you were about three weeks old…I just left."
"How come you couldn't have taken me with you?" Helen asked numbly "Do you even know what kind of hell I went through for eighteen years?"
"I know" Mark replied "And for some reason I told myself you were better off without me. Do you know how horrible it is for a father to think that about his daughter?"
"Mom always said I was her bastard daughter. That it was my fault you left us" Helen said quietly "She made me believe I was a curse."
She pulled up her sleeves to reveal two dark scars across her wrists "I tried to kill myself when I was fourteen, Even though I knew you were out there"
Her eyes glazed over with tears. That was one of her darkest secrets not even Aiden knew about her suicide attempt, no one ever knew how bad it was for her, because she kept it hidden so far away in her mind she convinced herself it had never happened.
Mark took Helen's hands in his and just stared at the scars in horror. Had Jodi really messed their daughter up this bad? What kind of mother would ever do this?
"Why didn't you ever try to find me before?" He asked
"Don't you get it?" Helen replied sobbing "She had me terrified! I was always scared to wake up in the morning because I didn't know what she would do to me that day. She would beat me; she made me feel lower than dirt"
Mark was so numb with horror all he could do was sit there.
"We need to get you away" he finally said
Helen looked up "what?"
"You need to get away from all this" Mark said "Come on the road with me"
"You're serious?" Helen asked drying her tears "Go to the WWE with you?"
"Yeah why not?" Mark replied "We can leave tomorrow, Aiden can come too"
Helen raised an eyebrow "So you approve of my boyfriend then?"
Undertaker rolled his eyes "Yes I approve, besides he fears me that's all any father can want from his daughter's boyfriend"
"Bye Helen!" Gracie jumped into Helen's arms and gave her a big hug.
"Bye squirt" Even though they had only met a few days ago Gracie and Helen had bonded and Gracie was always attached to her big sister like a magnet.
"I'll miss you" Gracie said tearfully
"Ooh me too honey" she put Gracie down "But I'll tell you what" she unhooked a little silver cross necklace from around her neck "Why don't you keep this for me. It's my favorite necklace. Take care of it for me huh?"
"Okay" Gracie hugged her again.
"Bye you guys" Helen hugged Chasey and Sara then got into the car with her dad and Aiden.
And as they started to drive Helen looked out the window into the clear blue sky, wondering what her future held for her. She finally found her father but where did it go from here?
And Aiden., she looked in the rearview mirror at him. What was in store for them?
She smiled at him and he smiled back.
'Looks like only time will tell' she thought
To Be Continued