I know Songbird is well overdue an update but when I finally had time to sit down and write I ended up writing multiple chapters of a new story instead. I will try and have the next chapter of Songbird out by the end of the week.
Sitting down opposite her estranged husband Chelsea held on tightly to the small pink teddy bear in her hand, taking a deep breath she looked up and smiled tightly. "Hello Adam."
"Chelsea," Adam replied, his tone terse and wary.
Busying herself in stirring her coffee Chelsea tried to think of the right way to start, she had been over this moment a million times in her head, but now she was here, sat opposite the man that had brought her so much joy and pain she couldn't seem to find the words.
"Chelsea … I didn't jump on a red eye at 2 minutes notice just so that we could sit here in silence, you obviously brought me here for a reason so-"
"I did," Chelsea agreed, cutting him off.
Adam put his cup down. "Well I'm all ears."
"I don't know where to start, there's so much that has happened in the years since I left and then there's so much that happened before, so much that we never talked about," Chelsea remembered, her throat suddenly too dry as she helped herself to a large gulp of coffee.
"I didn't come here to go over old wounds Chelsea," Adam insisted, getting up ready to leave.
Standing up Chelsea reached out and grabbed his arm, stopping him from leaving. "Adam. Please?"
"You broke my heart Chelsea," Adam whispered, as he gave in and sat back down.
"Not to sound like a 5-year-old but you broke mine first," Chelsea reminded him.
Looking up Adam's eyes were wide with anger. "That gave you no right to do what you did."
"What I did?" Chelsea asked, her voice high-pitched with grief and anger.
"You killed our child," Adam growled, his voice laced with so much venom that the devil himself would have cowered.
Closing her eyes Chelsea didn't even bother to stop the tears from falling. "No I didn't."
"No matter what I did Chelsea, I didn't deserve that, our baby didn't deserve to be … you had no right to get rid of our child like it never mattered, yes it was your body but it was my baby too, I deserved a say in what happened to it," Adam told her, his voice full of years of pent up anger and unshed grief.
"Adam who told you I-"
"Killed our baby?" Adam asked, cutting her off.
Chelsea nodded, her eyes bright with tears. "Yes."
"Does it matter? Knowing won't change anything," Adam sighed, his body almost deflating.
Chelsea licked her lips. "It matters to me."
"It doesn't change what you did," Adam retorted, not yet willing to reveal who had told him Chelsea's deepest, darkest secret.
"It matters to me because it didn't happen, lies and secrets ruined our marriage and they are still between us now, poisoning our memories," Chelsea explained, desperate for Adam to understand.
Adam looked up, his blue eyes almost black. "What didn't happen?"
"I didn't have an abortion Adam, I would never do that to you, to our baby," Chelsea insisted.
"But if you didn't-"
Wringing her hands together nervously Chelsea looked down as she spoke, for fear that she wouldn't be able to continue if she saw the pain in Adam's eyes. "When you kicked me out I was still pregnant. 6 weeks pregnant to be exact."
"I tried to tell you, that night at the GCAC but you were so mad, you looked at me with such hatred I … I couldn't be around that Adam, the person that I left that night wasn't the same person that I fell in love with," Chelsea cried, her voice breaking.
Adam watched as she pulled nervously at her sleeves. "I was only like that because I thought you'd-"
"You should have come to me Adam, instead you believed the lies of someone else and kicked me out without even giving me a chance to explain," Chelsea reminded him, remembering back to one of the darkest periods of her life.
"If you didn't have an abortion then why were you at the hospital?" Adam asked.
Chelsea finally found the courage to look up and face him. "Because I was bleeding. I'd spent 6 hours at the hospital terrified that I was losing our child only to come home to all of my stuff thrown on the porch and a husband so full of anger that I actually didn't recognize him."
"If you didn't have an abortion, if you were pregnant when you left, does that mean-"
"That you're a father?" Chelsea asked, cutting him off mid-sentence.
Adam nodded, knowing that at some point they would have to address what had happened in the past but right now he just needed to know if he was someone's father.
"Yes," Chelsea croaked, her words barely audible over the noise of the coffee shop.
"Oh my God Chelsea. I'm a father? I have a child?" Adam breathed, barely able to control the overwhelming maelstrom of emotions he was currently feeling.
Reaching into her bag Chelsea pulled out her keys, finding a heart shaped key ring she ran her fingers gently over the photographed contained within the silver charm. "No. Children. You have children."
"I was pregnant with twins Adam, that was the news I found out at the hospital, the news that I wanted so desperately to share with you but-"
Reaching out Adam's hand hovered over the top of hers, desperate to hold a part of her but too scared of how she might react so instead he let his hand fall to the table just inches from hers. "Tell me everything about them. Please?"
Turning the key ring over in her hand Chelsea let it rest in her upturned palm. "Amelie Hope Newman was born first, weighing an impressive 7 pounds exactly and from the day she was born she's always been the protector, looking out for her brother."
"A girl and a boy? I have a son and a daughter?" Adam whispered, barely able to believe how much his life had changed in less that an hour.
"Adam James Newman came along a few minutes later. Weighing just a few ounces less than his sister, he didn't cry when he was born but he was perfect, in fact he barely cried at all as a tiny baby, something he soon made up for the minute he turned 3 months old and I tried to move him out of the bassinet and into a crib, he soon made himself known then," Chelsea smiled proudly.
"Adam James?" Adam questioned, touched that even after the way things had ended between them Chelsea had made him a part of their children's lives.
Chelsea nodded. "But everyone calls him AJ. And Amelie they call her Mimi."
"Mimi?" Adam questioned.
"When AJ was little he couldn't say Amelie, he used to say Mimi instead and it just kind of stuck," Chelsea explained.
Taking the key ring out of her hand Adam found himself falling in love with a picture, he hadn't even met his children yet but he already knew beyond a shadow of doubt that he would lay down his life for them.
"Why now?" Adam asked, not knowing what else to say.
"For over 4 years I've lived with the guilt of keeping them from you, and the knowledge that I've been denying them a father but I always managed to convince myself that it was for the best, that if we came back to Genoa City it would poison their lives just like it did everyone else. But now-"
Adam watched as Chelsea seemed to be fighting an internal battle between her heart and her head, her eyes full of conflicting emotions as she considered her next words very carefully. "But now what?"
"Everything's different now. Amelie … my little Mimi is sick and I can't do this on my own Adam, I need you and the twins well … they need their father," Chelsea cried, her heart breaking as she thought of what her little-girl was going through and the devastating effects Amelie's illness was having on her brother.
"Sick? How sick?" Adam asked, his heart breaking for a child he had not yet met.
Chelsea took another gulp of her now lukewarm coffee. "Just over 6 months ago she was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma, it's aggressive and it had already taken over my little-girl's body before we even knew it existed. Mimi she's been so tough though, she's had 4 major surgeries, round after round of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant and finally the last scan showed that she's cancer free, that all of the pain and tears have been worth it."
"Cancer free, that's good right, that means she's going to be alright?" Adam asked, his voice cracking at how unfair it was that someone so small and innocent had to deal with something as ugly as cancer.
"The type of cancer she has is ruthless Adam, even though it's gone her specialists say that without further treatment there's more than a 90% chance that it will come back and that when it does there is no treatment," Chelsea informed him, taking a series of deep breaths to keep herself from sobbing.
Lifting the key ring up so that it was just inches from his face Adam took in the smiling image if his daughter, her eyes the same crystal blue as his but everything else was all Chelsea from the curve of her nose to her perfect smile, and he knew that with everything he had he was going to fight to keep the cancer from invading his little girls body again. "Then we'll just have to make sure it doesn't come back."
"This isn't like anything else you've ever faced Adam, it's not a corrupt business man or a fire starting ex, it's not an investment portfolio or a vengeful father, this is an aggressive monster; Neuroblastoma doesn't care if your last name is Newman, it doesn't care who your father is or how many millions you've got in the bank, it doesn't care-"
Giving into his earlier fear Adam reached out and grabbed hold of her hand. "I know that Chels, but Amelie is our daughter; mine and yours and I know without even meeting her that if she's got even a tenth of her parents determination then she's going to be in that 10 per cent."
"You said without further treatment it will come back. What treatment? Amelie is she getting that treatment?" Adam asked, needing to know everything about this invisible evil that was attacking his daughter so that he could fight it with her.
Shaking her head Chelsea once again let her tears fall. "No."
"Why not?" Adam asked, his voice free of accusation and full of only concern.
"Because all of the other treatment has drained me, I've used all of my savings, sold my apartment and the insurance won't cover anymore because it's all experimental, even though the specialists say it's her only hope ... I can't do it for her … my little-girl will die because I can't afford the only thing that could save her," Chelsea wept, her helplessness at the situation obvious.
Adam was silent for a moment as he contemplated her words. "That's why you came to me isn't it? For money?"
"Partly. Yes. And also because I can't do this on my own. Amelie has spent nearly all of the last 6 months in the hospital and I need to be with her, which means that AJ has had to spend days and weeks away from the only family he has ever known, our children need you Adam and not just financially … I try … every waking moment I spend trying to be enough for them but I'm not. I'm not enough for my children," Chelsea admitted.
Motioning to the waiter to bring them over some more coffees Adam knew that he was just buying time but he also knew that he needed to get his head around everything he had just heard. "So what happens now?"
"That's up to you," Chelsea said, adding sachet after sachet of sugar to her coffee.
"Amelie and AJ," Adam began, liking the way the names sounded. "What do they know about me? About why I'm not in their lives?"
Screwing one of the empty sachets up into a ball Chelsea rolled it between her fingers. "They're too little to really understand that there is something missing."
"And when I turn up what will we tell them?" Adam asked.
"The truth," Chelsea breathed.
Picking up the key ring again Adam nodded. "You knew when you walked into this coffee house that I would never be able to walk away from my children, that's not who I am and even though I've only known that they even existed for less than an hour I already love them with everything that I am, so we'll get through this Chels … and whatever it costs, whatever we have to do we'll get our little girl through this and the rest, well hopefully that we can work out as we go along just like every other parent has to."
"Adam you have no idea how much that means to me, to know that I don't have to walk this road alone anymore," Chelsea cried, taking his hand in hers and squeezing it.
"Where are they?" Adam asked.
Taking the key ring off of him Chelsea smiled at the image of her children. "They're with a sitter just a few minutes down the road, there's a motel … I know it's not ideal Mimi her immune system is non existent but … we have no money for anything more."
"I want you to take me to them," Adam insisted. "Every minute that we spend here going over things we can't change is yet another minute of their lives that I'll never get back."
"Ok," Chelsea agreed.
Standing up Adam waited for her to lead the way as he followed her out of the coffee shop and down the road, a road that would lead to a new chapter in his life, a chapter in which he was the father of 3-year-old twins that he had yet to meet but had already taken over his heart.