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"BLOOM FOR YOU" EPISODE 31"

Bloom For You

Episode 32

Her voice was the same when she spoke again, rushed, angry, and desperate all at once. “Alright, alright. I’ll be there. Tell him I’ll be there.”

With that last decree she hung up the phone, slamming it down on the dock and dropping her hands down on the heavy desk in front of her, using it to completely support her weight. She didn’t turn to me, eyes burning with fire and tongue wagging to tell me off. She stood there silently, head down, eyes closed, shoulders slumped.

I stood up, placing my hands on her tensed arms, rubbing the bare skin, feeling the gooseflesh.

“Who was that, sweetheart?”

She sighed. “My stepmother.”

My hands stilled, shock and confusion taking over me. “What?”

She turned around to face me, her big brown eyes were wet and red around the rims. “Apparently my father had a heart attack.”

I didn’t know what to say. Rosie’s relationship with her father was awful, so awful that it didn’t feel right to offer condolences or platitudes. “And he’s…”

“He’s fine,” she scoffed, her pretty face contorting into something brutal. “But apparently he’s been asking to see me.”

I drew her into me, tucking her face into my neck. “You don’t have to go anywhere, Rosie.” I laid a kiss on her floral scented hair. “You don’t have to go to him.”

Rosie pulled back. “Of course I do, Dex.”

I wanted to deny it, tell her that she didn’t need to do anything she didn’t want to. She could stay here with me, curled up in my arms in the place where we first met forever if she wanted to. No piece of shit fathers, no entitled ex-boyfriends, no expectations. Just us. Me and her. Together. But I knew her, and her I knew her well. As tumultuous as their relationship was and as much as he hurt her, her heart wouldn’t let her deny him this. Especially not when she still needed closure.

Rosie could spout all the nonsense she wanted about forgetting her family and getting her fresh start with me, but I knew she was still hurting. She had to be. As loving as my parents were, I knew without a doubt that nothing fucked kids up more than their parents did.

She needed to do this, to brave the storm and ask her father the tough questions she always wanted answers to. I wasn’t sure if she’d get them. I wasn’t going to hold out hope that her piece of shit father would come through for her in the end, but maybe that was what she needed. Whether the outcome was good or bad, Rosie needed to confront her fears. No matter how things worked out, I would be there with her. Standing by her side, offering her strength and support, always there. Showing her the jagged, fucked up pieces of her were just as important to me as the smooth ones.

“So you’ll go,” I whispered in her ear, my voice resolute. “But I’m going with you.”

It took us a few days to get our affairs in order. I informed all my contacts we weren’t to be contacted for anything less than a life or death emergency, tasked Cam with looking over my place and the studio, and mentally prepared myself for the shit storm I was about to face.

In the days leading up to our departure, Rosie was quiet and distant. Her eyes seemed to be constantly filled with tears she refused to shed and her head was all over the place. I picked up the slack, making all of our travel plans and going with her to inform her building manager she would be gone for a little while.

The guy was a fucking sleaze, the way his leering eyes trailed over my girlfriend made me want to snap him in half, but it made me want to have her out of there altogether even more. As soon as we got back, as soon as this garbage with her family was over, I was inviting her to come live with me. I didn’t care about propriety or timelines. I wanted her in my space. She belonged in my home just as much as she belonged in my goddamned heart.

After a five hour flight from Miami to LAX, Rosie and I herded our bags into a rental car and made the hour long drive up the coast to her family’s Malibu beach house where her father was recuperating.

For everything Rosie had told me about her family, all of their wealth and prestige, it seemed odd that they hadn’t sent a car for her. Especially considering how much she hated driving and how they didn’t know she would be coming with someone. I attempted to convince her to tell her stepmother I would be joining her, but she argued that the woman would try to talk her out of it. I let the subject drop after that.

“Jesus Christ,” I muttered under my breath as we pulled up to the house. Rosie’s childhood home stood large and imposing at the end of a winding pebbled driveway. The mansion was a far cry from the modernized homes I frequented in the Miami art world, it was the epitome of old money.

Tall palm trees lined the pathway up

to the brown-brick home. The mansion stretched out comfortably across the expanse of the estate, elegant archways outlining every window on the ground floor. Warm lighting glowed from the glass panes inside, filling the sunset with a glittering twinkle. It was hard to tell how many rooms the place had, but I assumed it was an absurd amount. And while I couldn’t catch a glimpse of what was around back, I was sure the “backyard” was outfitted with enough amenities to fit a five-star hotel.

I parked the rental next to a Mercedes jeep in the driveway and took a deep breath before shutting off the engine and getting out, making my way around to Rosie’s side of the car. I placed a short peck on her soft lips as she moved out of the car and stood before me. “I know you said your family was rich, but this is ridiculous.” I motioned towards the collection of luxury sports cars littering the driveway.

She laughed humorlessly. “Dad comes from old money.” She reached into the car to grab her purse. “And he likes to show off.”

As much as I admired his style, I was liking her father less and less by the second, and I hadn’t even met the bastard yet.

********

Rosie

The estate hadn’t changed a bit. It was still huge, flashy, and way too much. My father had a hand in every part of the place. From the shape of the hedges to the type of wood that went into making the front door. Growing up I was positive the estate was his real pride and joy. He was more proud of his home than he was of all three of his children combined.

It felt weird, ringing the buzzer instead of letting myself in like always. In a fit of righteous anger I threw my house keys into the ocean on my way out. At the time, it was supposed to be symbolic of my vow to never return. Now, the memory of it made me feel nothing but embarrassment at my own dramatics.
________


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