The very next day, we told the entire family. They were all so happy and I realized that Edward knew already. I cornered him before he left and asked him about it. He just shrugged and told me that he and Alice always go to each other for advice or help. So she told him when she found out and asked him how she should tell me.
Now we're sitting on the couch with Lafayette. It's snowing outside, but we're making the best of it. We're throwing around a tennis ball and he keeps fetching it, even when it goes behind a chair or under some furniture.
"Can we go see my dad today?" I look down at her in surprise. I knew she wanted to see him, but I didn't know it would be so soon.
"I suppose so," I say slowly after looking at the clock and realizing that it's not even two.
We bundle up and put Lafayette in his little pen. He's not used to the house yet so we want him in there when we aren't home. Plus, he still enjoys chewing things and Alice doesn't want to come home to a pair of chewed up shoes.
Driving to the jail is awkward and I don't know what to say. Do I go in with her? Or let her do this on her own? I feel like I should go in. I feel like I need to protect her from him. I have been, as best I could, but this seems different.
"Ready?" I ask Alice when I park the car. She looks up at the large building and nods her head. We make our way inside and talk to a man at a desk. He makes us fill out a couple papers. I don't pay enough attention to him to remember the reason why.
Alice requests to see him in a room, instead of through some glass. That's when the man goes and gets Charlie Swan. I haven't seen Bella's father since the wedding, but he hasn't changed in the short time. He agrees to let Alice see her father in a room. I look at him, feeling concerned.
"He'll be restrained and there will be officers outside the door monitoring things," Charlie assures me and I nod. We're finally led into a small room with no windows. It has a table with a chair on each side, but neither of us takes a seat. I wrap my arm around Alice and whisper reassuring things in her ear. The door opens and a man is escorted inside. When he's put in the chair and the officers leave I get a good look at him.
Joe Brandon stares at me and I try not to feel so shocked. He looks like Alice. His dark hair and eyes are just like hers. He hasn't shaved in awhile, but he looks pretty clean. Hell, he looks normal. I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe I thought he would look as crazy as he is.
"Who are you?" he asks. He doesn't sound crazy either, just tired and sad.
"Jasper Whitlock," I say. Alice finally turns around and faces her father and he stares at her in shock.
"Ali," he says. I thought he'd be angry, but he doesn't seem angry.
"Don't Ali me," Alice says. However, she does seem angry.
"What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you. You have been torturing me for the past few years, so I figured I might as well get this meeting over with."
"So whatever you have to say, just do it."
"It's not like that anymore." Joe is quiet and Alice slams her hand on the table.
"What do you mean 'it's not like that anymore'? You abused me when I was a child! You threatened me when I was grown up! And you say 'it's not like that'?"
"I was wrong a few years back. I shouldn't have done those things."
"Excuse you?" Alice seems shocked. There's not much that surprises her, so even I am surprised.
"I shouldn't have done and said those things. I was blinded."
"Blinded by what?"
"By hate, anger, mistrust… drugs and alcohol didn't help much either." Alice glares at him and I don't say anything. It's not my place to interfere here.
"That doesn't change what you did, though."
"I know that now."
"What makes this time any different?"
"I'm clean. I've stopped drinking and getting high and have been able to reflect back on my life."
"So it took getting thrown in jail to get clean and realize you were wrong?"
"No, it took hearing Chief Swan tell me that you never wanted to see me to realize my mistakes. Instead of going after you and being vengeful, I should've been seeking your forgiveness."
"Well I don't forgive you."
"I didn't think you would." Alice and Joe stare at each other. Then, she sits in the chair across from him.
"You know you're an asshole, right?" Alice asks.
"And I will never forgive you."
"But maybe-" Alice starts before looking back at me. I nod my head, showing my support for her. "Maybe, we could start talking."
"I could visit you sometimes." I'm proud that Alice is being strong right now.
"That would make me very happy, Alice," Joe says.
"Yes, well. That doesn't mean I want you in my life when you get out. It means I'm still undecided about that. How am I supposed to know that you won't go back to your old ways?"
"I'm not going to."
"Uh-huh. Well, we'll see." Alice and Joe stare at each other and don't say anything else. I'm surprised that this has gone the way it has. I was expecting him to be screaming about killing her.
"So how's your life been?" Joe finally asks. It's one of those filler questions that people ask when there's an awkward silence.
"I got married December first," Alice says. I put my hand on her shoulder and give it a light squeeze. I wonder if she'll tell him about the baby. I kind of hope she won't.
"To this fella?" Joe looks at me and I try not to glare at him. 'Fella' was what Bella called Lafayette last night; I am not a dog.
"He seems good. He'll take care of you."
"I'll always take care of her," I say and Joe nods.
"The two of you gonna have kids?" Alice tenses up and Joe laughs and says, "Hey, if you don't want to tell me, fine."
"We have a puppy," I say.
"Puppies are good."
The visit with Alice's father went better than anyone expected. We told them all about it after and they were all very surprised. Alice is going to go again soon and Cynthia wants to go with her. Seb seems unsure if he should go or not. I don't blame him.
Alice and I are walking Lafayette down the sidewalk and talking about his newest discovery. Bras.
"He chewed it all up, Jazz!" Alice exclaims. I laugh and she punches me in the arm. "It's not funny."
"It kind of is. Of all things for him to chew up, he chooses your bra."
"Well, I liked that bra."
"Oh, Ali, you can get a new bra."
"I know." We start walking home and as soon as we reach the apartment Alice's cell phone rings. I take Lafayette inside and she follows slowly behind. She sounds excited and she keeps saying 'uh-huh'. I wonder what is going on.
"Rose had the baby," Alice says. I stare at her. We knew Rose went into the hospital last night, but I guess it still hasn't hit me. I wonder if it'll be like this for our own baby.
"It's a boy. They're naming him John Samuel." Alice is grinning from ear to ear and I feel excited as well. It really is an amazing thing.
This was just a short little chapter, but I wanted to get the confrontation done. So what did you guys think? Thanks for reading.