5.2: Solution

Jocelyne raised an eyebrow curiously as she crossed into the study, peering over her brother’s shoulder at the softly glowing monitor. She hadn’t expected to find Lucas using the computer – especially if he wasn’t using it to watch a Youtube video or play around with his sound editing software.

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“Luc?” She said at last, making her presence known. “Are you… reading?!” Jocelyne asked with a laugh.

“I know, I know.” Her brother replied, smiling. “Shocking, right?” Lucas closed the browser window quickly and rose to his feet. “But if you need the computer, it’s all yours. I’m done for now.”

10-24-16_8-24-23-pm

“Thanks.” The girl smiled. Jocelyne took a step toward the desk, but hesitated. “So… what were you looking at?” She asked, her curiosity getting the better of her.

Lucas sighed. “It’s stupid.”

“Try me.”

Her brother bit his lip for a moment. “Well… do you remember what Papa was saying at dinner the other night?”

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Jocelyne nodded, her lips curling into an amused smile. Royalties had begun coming in from sales of the band’s latest album, and things were going much better than Lucas had been expecting. He still had nothing even close to his father’s wealth, but Lucas had suddenly found himself with much more money than he knew what to do with.

When Tobi learned of this, he began doing what he did best – worrying too much. “That’s a lot of money, Lucas. I think maybe it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll do with all of that if something were to… happen.

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Jocelyne had rolled her eyes. She and Lucas had just turned twenty-one years old. Surely that was much too early to start thinking about that sort of thing… Wasn’t it?

“I’m not ACTUALLY gonna write a will yet or anything.” Lucas assured her, his voice calling his sister back to the present. “But I’ve been looking into it a little.” He shrugged. “Just in case.”

“Oh?” Jocelyne laughed. “And have you decided what you’re gonna leave me?” She teased.

10-24-16_8-35-08-pm

Her brother nodded, returning her smile. “All my old horror DVDs.” Lucas said jokingly. “That blue t-shirt you keep trying to steal from my laundry…”

“Hey, it makes a good pajama top!” She insisted with a smile.

Lucas ignored her comment. “I think that’s pretty much it… Oh!” His eyes lit up. “And my kids too.”

“What?!” Jocelyne’s surprise was evident on her face. “You’re joking.”

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For a moment, her brother’s face turned serious. “Why would I be joking?” Jocelyne could tell that Lucas was being sincere. “You’re the most responsible, mature person I know, Joce. I’d never trust anyone else with my kids.”

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Jocelyne felt oddly touched. She smiled gently at him for a moment. “Well thank you. And I promise I’d take good care of them. But… is there something you aren’t telling us?” Her playful demeanor suddenly returned. “All those one-night-stands finally catching up with you? ‘Cause, y’know, Clara and I have a bet going on how many mini-Lucs there are running around out there…”

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Her brother rolled his eyes. “Oh my God, shut up.” For a moment, he looked almost embarrassed. “I just mean, like… for like… the future and stuff.” Lucas shrugged as he spoke. “Just in case.”

Jocelyne smiled warmly at her brother. “You are SO turning into Papa.”

10-24-16_8-42-32-pm 10-24-16_8-45-24-pm 10-24-16_8-52-03-pm 10-24-16_8-52-36-pm

——————————————-

I can’t believe it.

I can’t believe that I’d forgotten.

I can’t believe he was serious.

I can’t believe he never changed his mind after everything that had happened between us.

10-24-16_7-00-02-pm

But I remember it now, looking back. He’d told me more than nine years ago that he was going to name me as guardian in his will.

And I’d promised that I’d do it. And that I’d take good care of his children.

I can’t break that promise now, can I?

I just don’t know how I’m gonna do it. And I’m running out of time to figure it out.

10-24-16_7-00-33-pm

At first, I actually considered saying no. I mean, it’s not like it would have been an issue. Luc named Clara and Florian as backup guardians in the event that I am “unable or unwilling to act as guardian”.

I’m able. I know I am. But willing? Maybe if the situation were different. But this makes things so complicated. For all of us.

Clara and Florian told me it was okay. “We can do this, Jocelyne,” they said. I know they meant it. And believe me, I was so tempted to take them up on it…

But I couldn’t.

10-24-16_7-46-07-pm

This is what Luc wanted. And Hazel too…  They picked me. And after everything we went through, the least I can do is honor their wishes… right?

So that just leaves one more question… One that’s much harder than you’d think.

Technically I’m allowed to be Zayne’s guardian from anywhere in the world. There’s nothing saying I have to physically be there. He could live with my parents or Mark while I just make the big decisions from back home in Willow Creek.

But that doesn’t feel right. That’s not what being a guardian’s supposed to be about, is it? And I’m sure that’s not what Luc had in mind for Zayne. I know it isn’t.

10-24-16_7-01-06-pm

Still, I’m back in Willow Creek for now. I had to come home to my girls while we figure this out… But I’m heading back to Germany in a few weeks to visit Zayne again.

I’m just not sure how much longer I can keep this up – this bouncing back and forth between continents. It’s not fair to me or to my nephew. Or to my girls either.

10-24-16_7-20-31-pm

So what am I gonna do?

I know I could bring Zayne to Willow Creek with me. That seems like the simplest solution, doesn’t it?

But simple for who?

Definitely not Zayne.

All he has left now is our family. And they’re all back in Windenburg. The poor kid has already lost his parents. How can I take him away from the rest of his family too?

That just leaves one other option…

10-24-16_7-02-02-pm

I never thought I’d ever end up doing this. But I just feel like it’s what has to happen.

I haven’t said a word to the girls yet… But I brought it up to Elliot a few days ago. And he definitely didn’t like it. I don’t really think I can blame him, either.

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But I just want him to understand why. I don’t want to take the girls away from him. I know that’s not fair. I know he doesn’t deserve that.

But I want to do the right thing. And I just know this is it.

I can’t make this decision without him, of course. And I never would. He promised we could talk about it more. He seems willing to listen, at least. But would he be willing to follow me halfway across the world for a little boy he’s never met?

10-24-16_7-03-23-pm

We have to work this out soon, one way or another. And no matter what happens, I know it won’t be easy…

But then, I guess nothing ever is.

10-24-16_7-05-22-pm

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46 Responses to 5.2: Solution

  1. Trip says:

    Go across the world to live in Windenburg again because that’s where future husband Mark is-

    Insert joke about US election here

    I mean…what a difficult decision!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. kaffepigen says:

    Aww i really feel for all of them ❤ This is such a hard time for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Because the girls were born in “America” to one American-born parent does that mean they are “American” citizens who could go back to America when they’re older ?

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I am not sure whether they can have dual citizenship or not. That’s a good question!

      Like

      • Limey says:

        Haha, if you’re born in America to one American parent, you’re basically American. I have dual-citizenship with France because my mother is French and I was born in America, but America doesn’t really acknowledge it- unless you’re a boy, from what I understand, because boys get enrolled in the draft and they can’t be in two countries draft systems!
        That’s how I understand it, anyway, with my limited scope.

        Like

      • Jes2G says:

        I don’t know for sure either, but I think they could seeing as how Joce is not naturalized. It probably depends on the country. I know in France and Portugal they have pretty simple dual citizenship rules.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marialein says:

    It is really hard for Joce to make this step but again it is not Joce who gets the ass card. (Are you saying this in English too? In German it is Arschkarte.) Again I feel sorry for Elliot. He is the poor man who does everything for the woman he thought who loved him and his kids. He has family too not just Jocelyn. However of course Joce is right. Zayne needs his whole family to get through it and I guess they need a little sunshine too 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I’ve never heard that saying but it’s interesting hahaha And yeah, poor Elliot as usual haha but this really is what’s best for Zayne…

      Like

  5. shamanarza says:

    I disagree with Joce on her evaluation of the willing vs able question. She’s beyond willing – she feels obligated to do so because of history. But able?
    You want to uproot four lives, ditch two jobs, a language, a whole network of the girls’ family because you’re guilty. Resentment will show. It always does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      She means able in terms of physical ability to do it. Lots of sacrifices will be made, yes. But she’s doing what’s best for Zayne and with the current circumstances it’s less disruptive to the girls to move them than it would be to Zayne to move him. But poor Elliot! Haha

      Like

      • shamanarza says:

        Living with basically a stranger and three cousins that you probably can’t talk to very well is the best choice? Talk about isolating! I feel Bruce is going to be a big character in Zane’s life.

        Also I feel silly for criticizing the life choices of literary characters. It’s like yelling “don’t go into the basement!” at the screen in a horror movie 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          Living in Windenburg will be the best choice. And Joce and the triplets are moving into the Rosebrook house so he is gonna be surrounded by grandparents and great-grandparents who love him and speak his language, but also a mother-like figure (Jocelyne) to help take care of him. I don’t think it’s a bad choice at all 🙂 Taking him to the US would be.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. fairlyvocal says:

    Poor Joce! I actually never considered that Elliot might follow her to Windenburg. I always thought there would be an epic custody battle. I’m sad that her brother dying is what’s bringing Joce back to her family, though. And I’m happy that she didn’t bring Zayne to America. At heart, Joce is really a selfless and beautiful person that made some mistakes. I hope she’ll be able to forgive herself for them someday.

    Oh god, I hope Toby doesn’t say anything stupid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Tobi is suffering way too much to say anything stupid right now haha

      And yeah, no epic custody battle. Joce wouldn’t do that to Elliot, and she also wouldn’t take the girls to Germany without him. So now she has to wait and hope that he will come around!

      You are right. Joce is a wonderful person at heart 🙂

      Like

    • kaffepigen says:

      I think that about Joce as well – that she’s selfless and just made some mistakes and bad choices. But we all do that at times and that is how we learn.

      Like

  7. Jenna222888 says:

    Love this story!
    However I don’t ship marklyne anymore.
    The best thing for joce to do is let Clara look after zayne as it is the most fair option for everyone.
    Cause joce will always be reminded of how upset she was with Luc and Elliot needs to be around his kids.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! You’re definitely not alone in no longer shipping Marklyne haha

      I think Clara and Florian are more than willing to take in Zayne, but Joce is determined to fulfill her brother’s wishes. Hopefully it will not mean taking The girls from Elliot. I think that’s what Joce is trying to avoid right now 🙂

      Thanks again for reading my story. It means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like her thinking here. And I’m glad she’s not making a rush decision. I’m glad she’s including Elliott in the process.

    I’m glad for this blog for a momentary escape.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. CitizenErased14 says:

    Definitely! it’s hard to say what’s “right” definitively in this circumstance. But Joce is definitely going to do what she thinks is best 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. peacesign101 says:

    Wow, poor Joce. I’m starting to think you hate her xD (Just kidding) But she has some really tough decisions, I hope in the end everything turns out just fine. Especially for poor Zayne.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Spottydog714 says:

    I don’t understand. Is she going to move the girls back to Germany? And Elliot too?

    Like

  12. sonniejj says:

    This just keeps on breaking my heart. There’s not a single person I don’t feel sorry for in this situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Jes2G says:

    Heh, this sucks. Y’all work it out and let me know what you decide lol. I do not want to break up the little [broken] family. Although, if Elliot decides not to uproot his life for a woman who doesn’t love him AND broke his heart twice who happens to be the mother of his children, I wouldn’t blame him. That is a VERY tall order for the sake of the children. Though, I’m happy to see Joce seeking him out in this decision because it definitely affects him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah she definitely would not do this without Elliot’s blessing. Though like you said, quite a tall order for him! I feel bad for him, yet again. Haha

      Liked by 2 people

  14. audreyfld says:

    How sad for Elliot. I wonder if he will follow. Maybe not at first. But yes, I agree with Trip, she needs to move back to Windenburg where her future husband is. :). It’s really the only place where Zayne won’t feel as uprooted and isolated. Her girls will be fine because they still have their parents and all of Jocelyns extended family to make then feel loved and welcome. He is going to need new stability to be able to adjust to,his new reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Exactly, this is what’s gonna be best for Zayne in the long run, and the impact on him moving to the US would be greater than the girls moving to Germany!

      Poor Elliot. I hope he follows too. We’ll see!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. raerei says:

    Hmmm. Yeah – the comments are right there is not right answer here, just tough answers. And whichever happens something will be painful. but do try to make the decision? For Zayne? He’s all homeless and in limbo now…the faster you can settle this the better. Don’t rush…but don’t creep.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. theplumbob says:

    Ah the throwback to when Luc and Joce got along </3

    Poor Elliot. Seems like such an ultimatum. Sure, she says she wants his imput, but what will she do if he refuses to move? I'm inclined to agree with Shamanarza, just because Joce was named the guardian doesn't mean that that's the objective best choice. It would be better for all involved if Zayne could stay with Clara and Florian – he probably knows them better too. Not saying that he'll suffer with Joce if she moves back to Windenburg, but there are equally good options for guardians that are already in Windenburg who will not need to uproot other people's lives to take care of him. She is doing this out of guilt, and Elliot shouldn't need to suffer for this – she's already hurt him enough.

    I also can't really say I agree with posters saying Joce is selfless. Choosing to have a child with somebody from a different continent who you know you don't love is the opposite of selfless. Her taking in Zayne is just an attempt to clear her conscience. But sometimes, the thing that's truly needed is not trying to be the saviour, even though it might be harder. You know, not the hero Arkham deserves, but the hero Arkham needs 🙂

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I think you do make good points here. But like you said, Joce is very much doing this out of guilt and a feeling of obligation. Though I think that choosing to take care of Zayne is not a selfish thing. She will have to make a lot of sacrifices to make it work.

      Like

      • theplumbob says:

        I didn’t say it was selfish, just that it was primarily guilt driven and not necessarily best for others (i.e. Elliot and potentially her daughters, though it won’t be too much of a problem for the girls) while there would be alternatives that would be equally good for Zayne but better for others. The only thing I called was selfish was her having kids with Elliot even though she already knew her heart wasn’t in it.

        Like

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          Okay, I see what you were saying now. I was reading and replying to comments quickly so I probably didn’t read as carefully as I could have!

          Yes, being with Clara and Florian would definitely be just as good, and not have the negative effect on Elliot. That is true!

          Like

  17. SpurklyNinja says:

    Wow, this can’t go in very many good directions. Moving Zayne to America doesn’t seem to be the right call, but then what of her children? Elliot? Zayne having to live with complete strangers? There’s no real obvious choice on what to do here.

    But, I am very proud of Joce’s maturity in trying to find out the best solution for everyone.

    Also, </3 from the beginning of this chapter. 😥

    Liked by 1 person

  18. theceltygirly says:

    Alright, this is where I’ll stop XD
    I’m excited to see what’s in store for the little scamps. There’s six of them for me to get attached to next. I wonder who my favorite will be 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow, Elliot is the unsang hero of this story. Joce put him through a lot of trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

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