If Only Tonight

Life After The Storm: Chapter Seventy Eight - Last To Know

Life After The Storm:
Chapter Seventy Eight: Last To Know

Sulking, she flopped on her bed. It had been a day since their trip to the cemetery. Mia had never been one to take rejection well, and her mother's special brand of rejection, no matter how many times she had gone through it, always hurt a lot more than she cared to admit. But this time, it was the thought that her mother really didn't want to be a part of her life, that there was no possibility that her mind would change that made Mia's mood more miserable.

I'm sorry, Mellenia; the finality of those words had followed Mia back to the cottage. No amount of sitting by the water, or staring at the stars, could keep them from echoing in the back of her mind.

Having tried to keep up a cheerful facade for Matthew, she was growing tired of herself. She didn't want to bother him, and make the last few days at the cottage a bad memory. She was sure he was on to her...at times she was too easy to read.

"Good morning! I thought you'd be up by now?" Matthew opened the door to her room, giving her a bright smile.

"I am." She said, sitting up. "I saw you sleeping, so I thought I'd wait a while...since there was nothing else to do." Except mull over the fact my mom doesn't want me, she added silently.

Sitting on her bed, beside her, Matthew took her hands in his. He knows, Mia guessed, she had always been terrible at hiding her feelings.

"Still thinking about her?" He asked, gently. Mia said nothing, looking down at the bed.

"I know you are. Last night at the concert in the gardens, you looked a million miles away."

"Sorry..." Mia muttered.

"For what? It's okay. I know you're upset, you're allowed to be."

"How about instead of going out tonight, why don't you call your dad?" He suggested. "Maybe that will make you feel better. You can call him over for dinner to talk, and I can meet him."

Why didn't I think of that? She wondered. If her father came over, then she would be able to ask him what was going on.

"Okay..." She agreed, reaching over to hug him, Matthew kissed her forehead.

"Come on, let's go eat." She told him, as he pulled her off the bed, leading her out of the room.


Taking Mia's laptop to book their return flights to London, Matthew sat in the living room as he heard Mia shuffling in the kitchen, preparing dinner. Her father had happily agreed to come over.

Having kicked him out so that she could get something done, Mia had delegated the task of booking their tickets home to him.

"Felix let you go on a one way ticket?" Matthew asked loudly, from his spot on the couch.

"Yea, as long as I came back before September 5th." She told him, setting plates on the dining table.

"Okay. So I have our seats booked for Saturday, September 1st." He informed her. Since he was still injured, he decided to come with her to London, deciding to keep her company while he checked up on his cousins and friends. All he would have to do was check in with a doctor, and let Real know what he was doing.

"Alright. That's like two days from now." Mia grimaced. "Urgh...that means I have to start packing tomorrow...aww..."

He grinned at her expression.

"We can always come back next summer." He suggested.

"I guess." She sighed. "But that's so far from now."

Putting the laptop on the couch, Matthew walked over to her. Wrapping his arms around her he kissed her neck.

"I know...but next year you'll be bringing your husband along with you...and we can takeover the master bedroom." He suggested, getting the reaction he hoped. Mia smiled shyly, her cheeks turning pink.

"You're so cute." He said, kissing her cheek. "Come on, I'll help you set things up."

Reluctantly letting go of her, Matthew followed Mia in to the kitchen, taking the glasses and pitchers full of juice and water to place on the table. As Mia put the platters of food on the table, they heard someone rap at the door.

As she finished setting the table, Mia took his hand leading him to the door. For once, he was nervous. He had only spoken to her father last year, when Mia was in the hospital...when they had not been going out.

Opening the door, Matthew found the older man looking out to the lake. As he turned to look at them, it was clear who Mia and her brother took after. With a head full of auburn hair, and warm sparkling green eyes, Christopher Brooklyn smiled as he entered the door way.

"Hello sweetheart!" He greeted his daughter, giving her a hug.

"And you must be Matthew." The older man said, turning to him. Christopher patted his shoulder as they shook hands. "Mia's told me so much about you."

"She has?" Matthew asked, taken unaware. Looking over at Mia, he saw her grinning from behind her father.

"Yes." He told the footballer, with a smile. "And I remember talking to you last year...you play for the soccer team Mia works for right?"

"Well...I did. I recently transferred to Real." He was taken aback when the older man remembered their conversation on the phone.

Sitting down at the table, Matthew sat across from Mia, while Christopher sat at the head of the table.

"So, my wife told me some exciting news. You two are getting married?" He asked them, with a grin, putting some pasta on his plate.

Realizing the mistake he had made, Matthew looked up at Mia who was staring back at him. Both of them had the same question written on their faces. What to do now?

"Well, sir-" Matthew started, nervously.

"Don't worry, you can call me Chris."

"Alright...well, Chris; I apologise...I was going to ask you for Mia's hand in marriage..."

"But it was actually a bit of a surprise, Dad." Mia jumped in to save him. Matthew felt little relief; he was still being watched by a pair of wisened and knowledgeable green eyes.

"Really?" Christopher asked, intrigued.

"Yea...she had no idea I was going to propose." Matthew admitted, her father scrutinized him.

Taking a deep breath, Matthew mustered up the courage to talk.

"I really do care about your daughter. I've never met anyone like her. Mia is very special to me."

Christopher smiled at him, as Matthew snuck a peak at Mia. She watching him, her green eyes twinkling, hiding the smile on her lips by taking a sip from her glass.

"You have my blessing...since Mia's already said yes." The older man chuckled.

"Dad!" Matthew saw the look of disdain on her features, snickering at her father's sense of humour.

"Just kidding. You both have my blessing. I'm so happy for you two." The man said, placing a hand on his daughter's.

"So, who cooked this amazing food?" Christopher asked, starting to eat.

"Mia made the pasta."

"Ahh...settling in to domesticated life already?" Her father teased her.

The blue eyed footballer watched as Mia shot her father an incredulous look.

"No! I just like cooking." Mia said, taking a bite from her salad.

"What did you do, Matthew?" Christopher asked him, as Mia smirked at him.

"I had the most important job. I was the food taster, making sure everything was of high quality taste." He grinned, making her father chuckle, while Mia snickered.

Relaxing, Matthew started to enjoy himself. Christopher Brooklyn wasn't as stoic as his wife, he noticed. He was friendly, like Mia. Eating a piece garlic bread, he watched as Mia told her father about England, making sure to include Matthew, as they continued with their dinner.


With Matthew offering to put their dishes away, Mia led her father to the deck. The sun was setting and she loved the magnificent view. Turning on the lights outside, she slid the glass door open before following her father on to the deck.

"So, my daughter is getting married." He said, as they looked out across the water.

Mia looked at him; there was a gentle smile on his face, but a little sadness in his eyes.

"I was going to tell you...but before I could I saw Mom a few days ago..." She said, returning to look at the water. A family of ducks floated past in front of them. "I haven't even told Elena, even though I introduced him to her."

"That's all right." She heard him pause. "Does Matthew make you happy?"

"Yes." Mia smiled, without a second thought.

"Good. I wish you both all the happiness in the world." He smiled looking over at her.

As quiet settled between them, she saw the smile slowly fade from her father's face.

"Your mother told me about the cemetery."

She couldn't bring herself to meet his gaze.

"Mia I'm sorry about what happened. Your mother loves you in her own way."

Nodding, Mia stared at the sky, the colours changing as the sun started to set; it didn't help, the hurt from being rejected bubbled up.

Her father sighed heavily beside her.

"Mia, there is something we've been meaning to tell you."

"What?" Mia asked, alert at the tone of his voice.

"I should have told you years ago, or at least before you went off to study in London, but I couldn't." He said, a pained expression on his face.

"Mia...your Mom had a trying childhood."

"Really? But she seems fine."

"Your mother developed a kind of attachment disorder, because she wasn't able to bond with her mother. Your mom's father thinks it's because your grandmother continued to work long hours at a daycare shortly after your mother was born…" Her father explained. Mia looked at him dumbfounded, this was the first time she was hearing this.

"I don't get it. Mom's fine with you, her dad, and Max...but not me?" Mia asked confused.

"I know it's difficult to understand, but Mia, she was fine when you two were born. She took care of both of you, clothed you, fed you, played with you, everything was fine." He told her. "I didn't notice her pull away from you until you were about twelve."

"So she just changed her mind about me?"

"Mia, no, it wasn't like that. It's difficult to explain. Maybe she saw that Max was lagging behind since you were promoted in school twice. For whatever reason she just put all her attention on him."

"Why does she hate me, then?"

"She doesn't hate you, darling. For whatever reason, she's just not able to bond with you. Her therapist said it has to do with her attachment disorder. It's partially why she doesn't really talk to you." Christopher Brooklyn revealed.

"Why didn't you tell me this years ago? I always thought she hated me. All this time I've been trying to get her to approve of me and no one said that she was sick." Mia said, angrily.

"It didn't come to light until after you left for England, when I took her to get treatment for depression. I was going to tell you but I didn't want to burden you further. After Max's death your mother retreated into a shell to cope with the loss. She never really recovered." He told her sadly.

"How is she still teaching then?" Mia wondered, having noticed that her mother functioned fine around others.

"Her doctor said it was a coping mechanism. It helps her hold on to some semblance of normality." Her father answered. "Remember how after Max's death, all she did was plan lessons after her classes."

"Yea..." She recalled the time when her father had taken her after her classes at the university to see her mom. It was past dinner time and the older woman was still sitting at her desk in her class room, busily plotting down her ideas for the next ten days.

"Still, Dad...you should have told me." She said, calming down a little.

"I know. I didn't know how to then." He told her, looking miserable.

"In all fairness...I should have asked you." Mia felt guilty of all the times she never cared to ask about her mother, when talking to her father.

"Mia...we both love you. We want you to be happy." Her father gave her a hug. "We're both so proud of you, and all of your achievements. I don't want you to dwell on the past. You have such a bright future ahead of you."

"And, I can't wait to lead you down the aisle on your wedding day. You'll make such a beautiful bride." Her father beamed at her as he let her go, lightening the mood at once.

She saw Matthew walk towards them, holding a tray of steaming mugs. Her heart, no matter how hurt it was, beat faster.

"Hot chocolate?" Her father exclaimed, as Matthew handed him one. "That's Mia's favourite."

"I know." Matthew answered with a smile, going over to hand her a cup.

Standing beside her, he put an arm around Mia's waist, she looked up at him lovingly. Her father was right, there was no point to dwell on her past. Here was her future, and she didn't want to spend time moping anymore. It was time to let go of the pain, and the hurt...it was time to let her bitterness towards her mother go...

"So did you see any sights?" Her father asked Matthew.

"Yea, Mia took me to Down Town Toronto, and we saw the CN Tower. We went to Wonderland, as well."

"Really? Mia hates rollercoasters." Her father asked, surprised.

"I know...I should show you the pictures we got." Matthew laughed, as Mia shook her head with exasperation. The two men were going to get along just fine, by the looks of it.

"Chris, did you know Mia actually went on the bungee jump thing over there."

"He's a keeper, Mia." Her father told her, laughing at the look on her face, as Matthew told him the other rides she had gone on with him. "Even Elena's never succeeded in getting her on Vortex."

Laughing on the deck, Mia and Matthew enjoyed retelling their trip to Christopher, as the moon started to rise over them.