If Tia thought her mind was racing before, she was wrong, oh, so very wrong. When Robert asked Tia that question, her mind broke the sound barrier and she swore that people outside her head could have heard it to. That the moment it was like she caught between a rock and a hard place, part of her really wanted to tell her parents what was going on, but the other half wanted to keep Alex’s trust and stay silent on the matter. While Tia isn’t and will never be one of Scarlet’s biggest fans, she had no reason not to believe that she had lied or hadn’t tried her hardest… but then again, her parents had more experience in general and may know a way around Alex’s dad… but what if they didn’t manage to get Alex away, or if Alex was taken out of his dad’s care, but put into the foster care system… there would be no way for Tia to keep an eye on Alex and they was no promise that the place he could end would be better than the place he left.
Tia had heard many horrors of the foster care system… from the foster children themselves and the only reason they met was because her parents made her go to a support group after Harmony’s death and Tia didn’t want Alex ending up in place that was more deadly than his original home. In a year Alex would be eighteen and could move out then, but if his dad went like he is… she didn’t think Alex would be able to make it another year. Tia was torn up and didn’t know what to do.
“Alex is seventeen.” Tia began, she really wasn’t sure where she was going with this, but it was worth a try… also the silence was driving her up the wall.
“I thought he was sixteen.” Lily said
“It’s his birthday today.” Tia explained waving her hand in dismiss “So he’s seventeen now.”
“Oh… we should do something special for him!” Lily’s whole face light up at the thought of doing something… anything for that poor child. “We can take him out to a nice place or what’s his favourite meal? I could make it for him!”
“You didn’t answer the question… Laurentia.” Robert said, placing a hand gently on his wife’s shoulders… to bring her back to the matter at hand.
Laurentia. Tia knew she wasn’t going to get out of answering the question, not when her dad brought out her full name, always in trouble when that happens, you’re also in more trouble if the middle name comes in to play.
“Do you remember when Harmony passed?” Tia asked after taking a deep breath; moving to the perch of the chair closet to the door, alert and ready.
Robert and Lily froze at the question; both didn’t know how Harmony came into the conversation. Sometimes they’d talk about her, but for the most part the part of their life wasn’t mention, because no one knew if the other person was ready or not. Even if it was two years ago, the subject felt so new. Some mornings Lily would wake up and start making breakfast for five, before remembering that there were only four. In the dark hours of the night when everyone was sleeping, Robert would wonder about the brunette and what would she be dreaming about… if she was still with them. Chris would phone his older sister for a ride room… before remembering that she would never pick him up again and he’d never see her green eyes: and Tia, Tia was left alone to her own world, fully aware of what was happening every day and passing hour, she tried to make new records on how long she could go without feeling anything, because it was easier than facing the pain.
“Yes…” Robert slowly replied.
“Of course.” Lily whispered, it wasn’t one just forgot.
“How did you guys get over it?” Tia inquired
“We didn’t and we haven’t.” Robert simply said “That’s not something you get over… I think. The pain of losing a loved child never goes away… you just learn to live with it.”
“I know… I didn’t handle it well… at the start.” Lily admitted guilt clearly coloured her voice… it cause a line of pain to go throw Tia’s soul before she quickly smashed it. Tia never wanted her mum to feel bad… but it was for Alex “But your father, Chris and yourself helped me. I still had you three to care for and it wouldn’t be fair on you to lose your sister… and your mother, but it was heartbreaking and your father is right, you never get over it.”
“Why?” Robert asked; he was trying to figure out how this was related to the question he asked Tia.
“When Alex was four, his younger sister Arianna died rather suddenly.” Tia explained, running a hand through her thick hair “I’m not sure if he wants me to tell you… Alex, he’s a very private person and I know he hates it when people start to pity him, but I think you should know, So, when Anna passed away, his mum went into depression… only she never got out or over it. She ended up taking her life and Alex was the one who found her. His dad moved them here shortly after… but his dad was never the same after the death of his wife and daughter. Alex says he’s sick… I think it’s with depression. You know what depression can be like… he’s not the best dad, but Alex feels that he has to take care of him… he doesn’t want him to end up like his mum.”
“Oh my.” Lily said when Tia finished “That’s horrible… he found his mum… after she did that. No wonder the poor dear is always so jumpy.”
“That poor boy.” Robert full heartily agreed “He’s had a rough life… that’s for sure but you would never tell by looking at him.”
“You’ve got that right.” Tia darkly muttered, thinking of the question that she just avoided answering completely “He really likes out family, which according to Scarlet it a first. Scarlet told me that it takes Alex a bit to warm up to anyone so quickly.”
“Well… it sounds like he’s never interacted with a loving and stable house before.” Lily said as she wiped the tears from her eyes and checks. “Oh… my heart aches for that poor boy.”
“I know darling… I know.” Robert sighed, gathering his wife into his arms “We’ll figure out something out… I know we will.”
Tia soon realized that she had been dismissed and left the room as quickly and quietly as she could, wondering what her dad meant by his last comment and pondering if avoiding directly answering the question was a good thing or a bad thing.