Lindsay Monroe paced back and forth across her living room. How could this have happened? Four years ago, when he had left, she thought she could get her life back on track. But now that he was back, she didn't know what she was going to do. As she was stopped in front of the fireplace, she looked down at a pair of big blue eyes, ones that reminded her of him. The owner of the eyes, the tiny child standing at her feet, was the one constant reminder of him that she had in her life. But now that he was making a grand reappearance, she knew that there would be much more to come.
"Why are you so sad, mommy?" came the small voice of her four year old daughter Bailey.
She picked the little girl up and pondered how exactly she was going to explain this to a child; how would this little girl understand all the pain and turmoil that was brought upon her when he had left, and now that he was returning, all the frustration that was returning? She let out a sigh, and, sitting on the couch with the girl on her lap, attempted to put it in layman's terms.
"Mommy's not sad sweetie, she's just…confused."
"Well why are you confused?"
She smiled at her daughter's innocence, her inquisitiveness. She was so much like her father, a thought that both amazed and terrified Lindsay. Looking into those blue eyes that were without a doubt swimming with curiosity, she wondered what exactly could be going through his mind. It had, in fact, been some time since they had seen each other. She knew she would most likely break down at the sight of him. Those blue eyes, so deep and full of wonder, and yet, so mysterious. That look he always gave her that told her she was his, like he was staking his claim. The way he could make her melt at just a single touch. Those countless memories they shared together. She knew she would crumble at his feet and break down like she had when she had found out he was never coming back.
Or, so she thought.
Now, she was torn between two decisions. Stay with this safe and happy life she had created with her beautiful daughter and have no problems, or face him, and risk having that all destroyed. She was going to have to choose, and she was going to have to choose fast, because he knew where she was. He had, after all, worked in the same crime lab and shared the same apartment. Hell, they'd shared the same bed, up until that night. But she was certain that after a while, he'd come looking for her, and when he did, she had no idea what she was going to do. So for now, she settled on the task at hand: lying to her daughter, an innocent casualty in all of this. She hated lying to this little girl; she meant the world to her, and she hated having to blatantly lie to her face when the truth of the matter was, the child wouldn't understand what was going on in the first place.
"Mommy just…she just has a lot going on at work right now sweetie. It's nothing to be worried about, I'm just fine. Now, why don't you go get your pajamas on and we'll watch that movie like I promised."
"Okay!" Bailey exclaimed excitedly. Just like that, she was turned away from the subject of her mother's discomfort. "Can we have popcorn and everything?" She had that look on her face, the same one he used to give her when he really wanted her to give in to something. The look that, no matter how hard she tried, she could never refuse. If there was one thing she wished the child hadn't inherited, it was that look. It worked every time.
"Of course we can kiddo, but first, into those pj's."
And before Lindsay could utter another word, the little girl was running down the hall to her bedroom, rummaging through her bedroom for her favorite pair of "The Flash" pajamas.
As she put the bag of popcorn in the microwave, she began to wonder. Was this going to be their last night of peace? Would him coming back ruin everything she had tried to build up over the past four years? No. She wouldn't let that happen. She had sacrificed too much, and she wasn't about to tear her little girl's life apart.
The microwave went off at the same time Bailey appeared, clad in full Flash attire, right down to her slippers. Lindsay emptied the popcorn out into a bowl and walked it over to the little girl, who was standing in front of their collection of DVDs, pondering which one she wanted to watch. With one eyebrow quirked and her arms folded, she glanced over at her mother who was now kneeling down next to her.
"Which one do you think we should watch, mommy?"
"Well, I don't know sweetie, which one do you want to watch tonight?"
"Hmm…What about the one where the Flash helps that kid who steals the computers?" She had an unsure look on her face. Bailey and Lindsay had watched the entire collection of The Flash at least a dozen times, but she was still amazed by every episode, like it was one she had never seen before.
Laughing quietly, Lindsay replied, "Bay, we've seen all of them, why don't we watch something else? How about Finding Nemo tonight?"
"Okay!" She replied, as if it was no problem at all. She jumped into her mom's arms as they cuddled together on the couch under Bailey's Disney Princess blanket. It amazed Lindsay just how surprising her daughter's interests were. She played with Barbies as much as she liked to toss around a baseball. But she was truly a blessing, and as the movie started, and the little girl fell asleep in her arms, Lindsay thanked God for every day she spent with her daughter. She stared down into that precious little face and, brushing her blonde hair our of her eyes, wondered what she would have done had she have never been created. She would have been left in her big, empty apartment alone, with nothing but the memories she would much rather forget. And now, it was all coming back to her.
Oh well, she thought to herself. I'll have time to deal with it. For now, I'll just enjoy what little peace I have left.
That time was coming sooner than she expected.
As the movie was coming to a close, with Nemo finally being reunited with his father, her cell phone vibrated on the table next to her. Trying not to disturb the sleeping child cradled against her chest, she carefully picked it up and started at the screen.
Her heart began to race as she read the name in front of her.
New Text Message from Danny Messer.
It was as if the world was at a stand still. She began jumping to outrageous conclusions as she pondered what her next move should be. What was she supposed to do now? Pick up and leave? No. She wouldn't run scared. She knew she had to face this. She wouldn't run away like a frightened child. No. She couldn't. She had to face him head on. As terrified as she was, she had to do this. Sure, it had been four years since they had last seen each other, and yes, she had no idea what she was going to say to him, but she knew she had to see him and confront him about what had happened. And then it hit her.
He had no idea that he had a daughter.
Staring at the child sleeping in her arms, the tears began to fall from her eyes.
What was she going to do?