Status: Active

Dear God

Chapter 04

Hey Care, it’s Matt. I wanted to see if you had some time later this evening to talk? I know we saw each other a few weeks ago and got caught up, but there is so much more we need to talk about.

I stared at my phone like it was a snake about to attack me. Matt’s text sat open on my screen and I didn’t know what to do with it. He wanted to talk….like for real talk. Was I ready for that? We just got back on good terms and I didn’t want to ruin what we rekindled. Suddenly nervous, I called Allison.

“She’s fine! You’ve left her with us before, Caroline.” Allie said as soon as she picked up.

I chuckled. “As far as I’m concerned you can keep the munchkin. I called because I need advice.”

“What’s up?”

I quickly gave her the recap of the conversation I had with Brian earlier in the day as well as the conversation I had with Matt a few weeks ago as well as everything I felt during and after the conversations. She already knew some of the details from before, but she needed to know more.

“Why do you sound scared to talk to him?”

“Because I have a feeling I know how this conversation is going to turn out and I don’t know if I’m ready for all that drama again. Imagine if you and Corey stopped talking to each other for six years after getting engaged. Add to the fact that your relationship never officially”

“Yeah, I can see why you’re hesitant. But Caroline, you guys need to talk. I know you never got over him and I know all that time apart really bothered you even if you didn’t let it show. Get through all the shit you guys but each other through in the last five or six years. It’s going to be messy, but it’s necessary.”

I groaned and threw my head back against the chair. “Why do you have to be right all the time?”

Allison laughed. “Because I’m awesome and all knowing. Now go answer Matt and enjoy the rest of your day toddler free.”

Allison and I said our goodbyes and I went back to getting the apartment clean and getting caught up on some bills. As I was cleaning I couldn’t help to rehearse what I was going to say to Matt if he agreed to talk to me. What was going to be said? How was he going to act towards me?

Later that night I finally gathered the courage to respond to Matt’s text.

I agree. We do need to talk. You available to FaceTime now? I just put Lilly to bed.

I grabbed my laptop and waited to see if he would respond.

Give me ten minutes to get the kids settled in front of a movie and I’ll be good to go. Is your username still the same?

You know me. Incapable of change, so of course it’s the same. Take your time with the kids, I’m not going anywhere.

Boy was that last statement loaded.

Five minutes later my computer rang with FaceTime and I couldn’t help but smile when Matt’s image filled my screen. God he was beautiful

“You’re drooling, Care.” He chuckled.

I blushed and stuck my tongue out at him. “This shouldn’t be new to you Shadows.” I grinned, trying to keep the mood light before the impending doom set it, but Matt was not amused.

Matt balked. “Those other girls didn’t mean anything.”

I rolled my eyes. “So we’re getting right into it then?" I cracked my neck and knuckles and rolled my shoulders, preparing for the fight that I'm sure would ensue. I stared Matt down a little before continuing. "Okay. I call bullshit, if they didn’t mean anything then why did you have not one, but two kids with one of them? Was she better than me? Or maybe it was just a convenience thing?”

"You're really going to bring my kids into this?" Matt’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.

I rolled my eyes. "No, I'm not bringing your kids into this. I'm bringing their mother into this because she seemed to have whatever I lacked to be with you."

"Do you want to know why I chose her? Why I had kids with her and not you?"

I nodded even though everything inside me was screaming NO.

"She was what was expected of me. She's what everyone expected me to be with. She was an easy lay, tall, blond, thin, and beautiful. She was also there You weren't."

Tears burned my eyes as my self-worth took a nose dive. Was he trying to just hurt me or did he really not think I was beautiful?

"Fuck you, Matt." I hissed. "The Matt I knew was never that shallow. To think that I actually felt bad for causing you so much heartbreak. When Brian told me all about what you were like on tour, I cried. I didn't know things got that bad for you."

Matt scoffed. "Of course you didn't. You didn't bother to call me once you left."

"Phones work both ways you know; you never called me either. You didn't even call to check up on my mom. I know you resent Lilly, but my mother treated you like a son and you didn't bother to see how she was doing."
"I didn't know things got that bad with her, Caroline" Matt rolled his eyes. "How was I supposed to know?" He raised his hands up and slammed them down on the desk, glaring at me.

"You call me! If not me, my fucking mother. You could have sent me a text, an email a fucking letter. You could have asked Brian or Suzy. They would have told you. Honestly, I'm surprised Brian didn't say anything to you."

“Brian and I weren’t always on talking terms. Plus I don’t think he didn't want to add insult to injury. He tried his hardest to protect not only me but you as well. If I had known that he was in contact with you, I would have beat the shit out of him to get him to let me talk to you." Matt sighed and rubbed a hand down his face. “How much did he tell you earlier?”

"A lot."

Matt stared at me for a minute before responding. “Yes, I slept my way through tour. I was mad at you. If it makes it any better I never did it sober. Even when Mel and I started dating. I had to be either drunk or high when we slept together because if I wasn’t, I always saw you. It’s always been you Caroline, even in my darkest days I still loved you even if I wanted to hate you.”

Despite the warm fuzzy feeling his words caused, just like they always did. I still needed answers and I couldn’t dwell on those feelings. "If you loved me, then why not contact me?" I asked softly.

"Like I said, I was mad at you. You left me. You were supposed to go on tour with me and we were supposed to get married. But you left. It broke me." He looked down at his hands before hurt, hazel eyes met mine. "Why did you leave me, Caroline?"

I wanted to reach through the computer screen and smack him. "I left California, not you Matt. I had to leave, and you know that. My mom needed help with Lilly and I knew that if I didn't go until Lilly was born, if something would have gone wrong my mom wouldn't have told me. You know how she was." I took a deep breath. "I had every intention of going back to you. I was going to join you on tour for a little while, but then mom's cancer got worse and you were already on tour. Right before Lilly was born, I had planned on flying to California to surprise you and bring you back here with me for a few days, so you could meet her and see mom and when I told Zacky plan, he told me about you guys leaving. It hurt that I had to find out about tour from him and not you. I wouldn't have been mad, just sad that I wouldn't have been able to see you off like we had planned." I sighed. "We both screwed up six years ago, Matt. We hurt each other and clearly, we're not over it. What I want to know though is when our relationship stopped meaning something to you. When I stopped meaning something to you."

"Our relationship stopped meaning something to me the second you got on the plane. How could I continue to be with someone who didn't stay for me?"

"Are you asking me this or is you from six years ago asking me?"

"Six years ago me. The one who was a raging, selfish, asshole."

"Knowing now how you felt then, all I have to ask is why not just break up with me? Why string me along for all those years? I waited for you, Matt." Tears slowly made their way down my cheeks as I watched Matt struggle with his answer.

Finally he sighed. "I'd like to say because I always thought we'd get over our shit and be together again and that I didn't want to lose you for good. In reality, I didn't care what you felt. My only goal back then was to hurt you in every way possible because you ripped my heart out when you left."
"Jesus Matt." I sobbed out. my heart breaking all over again. To know he was that mad at me and that it hurt him that much. "Why didn't you ever tell me how you really felt about leaving? Why not talk to me about it?"

"Would you have talked about it? Would you have even entertained the idea of not going home until Lilly was born then coming back to California and leaving your mom alone?"

"You can't possibly be asking me that."

"See! Even now, six years later you're not willing to talk about it with me. Answer the question, Caroline. Would you have even entertained the idea?"

The tears were back and I was shaking my head. "I don't know! I would have tried to come up with a solution to please everyone though. I needed to be here for my mom, especially after Lilly was born." I took a shaky breath, "I want you to put yourself in my shoes and tell me you would have been able to make a choice. What if it was your mom and Amy at risk and I was the one going away for work that you were going to join me on. Would you have still left them?"

"Of course, because my dad would have been there." He shrugged.

"I didn't...don't have that option. My mom only had a few people here to help her and even then that wasn't enough. Have you ever taken care of a premature infant and someone going through chemo and radiation therapy? It sucks the life out of you. Lilly kept me up at nights and during the days I was taking mom to treatments and taking care of both her a Lilly. It wasn't an easy choice for me to make. I wanted to be on tour with you. I wanted to spend all that time together exploring, but life got in the way. We can't all be rock stars and travel the world where we have everything laid out at our feet."

Matt rolled his eyes. "So now you're dragging my career. News flash, Caroline. You were studying to do things with us rock stars. If you would have finished school to be a tour manager, you could have the world at your fingertips too."

"Fuck you! Not that it's any of your business right now, but I did finish school. I was taking online classes and using slow nights at work to work on homework and during the day when Lilly was napping or at daycare, I was online with my professor working out a schedule for me. So don't you dare ridicule me for something that doesn't pertain to me. Also, don't you think I would have taken a touring season off to be with my mom? She was the only family, aside from Corey, I had left. So don't make me feel bad for being with her, especially since I already felt guilty for it."

Matt sat there and stared at me. He kept biting his lip where his lip ring use to be and I quickly picked up on the tell. He was uncomfortable and trying to talk his way out of the situation, but there was no talking his way out of this. He sighed and leaned back in his chair with his hands on the top of his head. “Care.” He said softly.

“No. Don’t “Care” me right now. I’m pissed at you.”


“Matthew.” I nearly hissed.

“I knew you wouldn’t leave your mom and there was no way I was going to be a total dick and ask you to leave her because I knew you’d choose her over me. So, instead of facing you and making matters worse, I turned to alcohol and women.” Matt was getting agitated and while I’ve never been afraid of him, I was bracing for his outburst. “I’m sorry for the way I acted about that situation, Care. I’ve said it several times, I was being a selfish asshole.”

I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to stay mad at him, but it was so long ago and I promised myself that I wasn’t going to live in the past anymore. I was surprised Matt even apologized, but then again it’s who he was raised to be. It was the Matt I knew.

I was about to say so, when a voice on Matt’s end of the call came from a distance. Sighing and rolling his eyes at me with a small grin on his lips. "Carly Marie, what have I said about yelling from the other room?" I smiled when I heard the faint laughter of a little boy followed by the yells of Carly. "Jesse, stop laughing at your sister! Now, Carly if you want something come here and ask for it." Seconds later, a little girl about Lilly's age walked into the room. I covered my mouth when I saw how much like Matt she looked, down to the hazel eyes and the dimples.

"Matt, she's beautiful." I whispered.

Matt grinned proudly and spun around in his chair to pick up Carly and placed her in his lap. He looked down at his daughter, placing a kiss on the top of her head before looking at me. "Carly, can you say hi to my friend Caroline? She's best friends with uncle Brian and Uncle Zacky."

Carly looked at me and smiled. "Uncle Brian has a picture of you!" She squealed. "You're really pretty. Like a princess." She blushed.

I grinned. "You are too cute, Carly. I think you're the princess. Do you know my little sister is your age?"

Her eyes lit up. "Can I say hi?"

"Sorry, sweetheart. She's already in bed. It's a lot later here than it is in California. Maybe next time." I glanced behind the little girl and grinned at Matt. "Maybe if you ask your daddy really nicely, he'll let you have an online play date with Lilly in the future."

Carly gasped and turned to look at her dad. "Please daddy?? I need to meet my new friend." Matt and I laughed. Oh the mind of a child. She hasn't even met Lilly yet and has already decided that she was going to be friends with her.

Matt grinned at me and had a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I'll do you one better, Carls. You be good at mom's and daycare this week and if Jesse is good in school. We'll go visit Lilly and Caroline. That way you can really play with her."

I couldn't stop the grin that spread across my face when Carly cheered and kissed her dad and thanked me before running to the other room yelling at that Jesse needed to be good. Once she was out of ear shot, Matt leaned back in his chair again still grinning at me.

“Is that okay with you?” He at least had the decency to look sheepish as he asked.

I laughed and rolled my eyes. "Just tell me when you're coming so I can clean and request off from work."

“Great! The kids could use a vacation and you and I still have a lot to discuss. Maybe one night when I’m there we could have Corey and Allison watch the kids so we could finish what we started tonight.”

“I’ll talk to them the next time they have Lilly. I need to know when you’re coming though because Corey mentioned going back into the studio with Stone Sour so I don’t know if he’d have time to help Allison.”

Matt began looking up flights as he and I covered some more lighthearted topics, both of us emotionally exhausted to continue the conversation from before Carly interrupted.

Finally I decided that I had enough excitement for today, so I called it a night. Promising Matt that I would talk to Corey as well as ask off from work for their week long visit. I glanced around the living room and noticed how badly it needed to be cleaned. Thankfully everything was already toddler proof, so I didn’t have to do that for when Carly gets here.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I'll clean and get the place ready for company. Ithought to myself as I laid down on the couch and sleep enveloped me.
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