Interlude: Help

A small smile came to Jocelyne’s lips as her eyes travelled over the crisp white page in front of her. She’d been so busy taking care of the kids and getting settled in her new job at one of the restaurants downtown that she’d barely had time to breathe lately, let alone read.


It was nice to be able to get lost in a story again – it offered her a fleeting moment of normalcy and happiness that she so desperately needed.

But of course, it could not last.

“Can we watch somethin’ diff’rent, Oma?” She heard Zayne ask his grandmother. “Me ‘n Bruce see’d this show a million-jillion times.”


Before Colette could reply, Jocelyne closed her book and crossed to the couch to join her mother and nephew. “Honey, if you’re bored, why don’t you go outside and play in the snow with the girls?” She offered gently.

Colette nodded in agreement. “They’re making snowmen and having a snowball fight… I bet you’d have a lot of fun.”


“Onkel Gu – er, Auggy’s out there too.” Jocelyne was still getting used to using the name Zayne was more familiar with. “I bet he’d love to spend some time with you.”

The little boy appeared thoughtful for a moment at the mention of his uncle’s name. “How long is Onkel Auggy stayin’ with us anyways?”


Jocelyne and her mother exchanged a brief look. Gus had arrived at their doorstep two nights ago with nothing but a duffel bag full of clothes. “Noah and I are taking a break.” He’d said. “Can I stay here for a while?” He’d been sleeping in the cabin out back ever since, and had not given much more of an explanation.

“Just for a little while.” Jocelyne assured her nephew. “He’ll be back home with Noah soon.” All she could do was pray she was right. “That’s why it might be nice to spend time with him while you can.”


Zayne nodded. “Yeah.” He agreed. “And I like playin’ with Onkel Auggy. It’s just…” The little boy bit his lip. “Opa’s out there too, right?” His voice was barely above a whisper.

Colette’s brow furrowed in concern. “He is. And Opa really loves playing with you too, you know that.”

“I know, Oma.” Zayne’s voice was small. “But… I’m just kinda ‘fraid he’s drinkin’ his special juice again.”


Jocelyne felt her heart sink at his words. Oh God… “Special juice?”

He nodded. “He drinks it when he’s sad. I asked him ‘bout it one time. Opa told me it’s just for grownups. He said it makes him not so sad anymore. But I think it makes him more sad… And dif’rent. I don’t like it. It’s scary.”


“Oh, Sweetie. Opa’s just fine.” Jocelyne forced a smile. “He’s not sad. He’s having a really good day today. He’s really happy. And I know he’ll be even happier if you go out and play with him.”

Beside her, her mother’s face had paled. Colette still said nothing.

Promise, Tante Joce?”


“I promise.”

At last, Colette opened her mouth to speak. “C-come on, honey. Let’s get you bundled up.”

“’Kay, Oma!”

Jesus… Jocelyne held her face in her hands as Colette and Zayne left the room. It’s getting worse.


She knew her father was still struggling with his drinking. She knew he was relying on it too much. She knew he needed to cut back. But she hadn’t realized that the kids had started picking up on it. Oh God, do the girls know too? Jocelyne panicked.

She could hear her mother coming back inside after bringing Zayne to join Gus, Tobi, and the triplets. Colette had barely made it back over the threshold before her daughter’s cries filled the air.

“What the hell, maman?!”


Colette’s eyes widened. “Jocelyne, w-what –”

“How much longer are you gonna let Papa do this?!” Jocelyne threw her hands up in frustration.

“I… I don’t know what you’re –”

“Yes you do! You heard what Zayne said…” Jocelyne shook her head in disgust. “Christ, if he’s getting worried, God only knows what the girls must be thinking too…”

“I’m not sure what you expect me to do, Jocelyne!” Colette cried. “You’ve seen how your Papa is. He yells. He gets defensive. He won’t listen to me… or his parents.”


“Yeah, and apparently not his own grandson either.” Jocelyne replied bitterly. “We’ve let this slide for way too long. He needs help, maman.”

“Believe me, I know.” Her mother’s voice was pained. “You should hear the things he says at night, Jocelyne… it’s horrible. He still has nightmares, even after all this time. It’s like he sees things, or hears things…” Colette shook her head. “Part of me died that day we lost your Bruder. But this… This is something even worse.”


“Exactly! And trying to drink away his problems clearly isn’t helping!” Jocelyne felt like she was going to cry. “It’s been six months. He needs to talk to someone about this.”

“Yeah, try telling him that.” Colette shook her head. “He won’t listen. He just keeps saying he’s fine.” She sighed. “And we all know that’s a lie.”

Jocelyne hesitated for a moment. Dare I bring it up? The young woman took a deep breath. “Remember… When you and Papa were having a hard time?” She asked softly. “Back when we were kids? You guys worked through it – with help. You went to counseling.”


For a moment, Colette’s entire body stiffened. “I remember.” She said softly.

“Well… you convinced him to do it back then. Can’t you convince him again?!” Jocelyne shrugged helplessly.

Her mother shook her head. “It’s not that easy, Jocelyne. That was different. Your father was afraid I’d leave him. Our marriage was on the line…”


“Yeah, well this time it’s more than his marriage that’s at risk! He can’t keep drinking all his problems away. He needs a better way to cope! This is killing him, maman! And you know it!”

“What the hell do you expect me to do then?!” Jocelyne could not remember the last time she’d heard her mother so angry. “Drag him to therapy?! Threaten to divorce him if he doesn’t go?!”

“If that’s what you have to do, then yes!”


Colette held her face in her hands. She said nothing for a few moments. “I can’t do that to him.” She said at last, her voice much calmer than it was before. “I can’t.”

Jocelyne regretted her words instantly. “I know you can’t.” She said gently. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that, I just… Someone has to do something. We’ve lost so much already… We can’t lose Papa too.”

Her mother just sighed. “I know.”

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25 thoughts on “Interlude: Help

  1. I don’t understand why Collette is enabling Tobi. What is he telling her that makes her not want to confront him? I suppose she sees his deep pain more than anyone and is must be horrible. Jocelyn is right though, they are going to have to stage an intervention before he gets too far gone and something else really bad happens. This family needs to heal big time and if another horrible thing happens because of his drinking, not sure how they would recover. So much guilt.

    As for Gus, my guess is he is just taking a break to get his head straight before he makes a life long commitment with Noah and probably forcing Noah to take a step back as well and not make a decision based on fear of being alone. You haven’t hinted about anyone else, so maybe just some space? Not sure on this one.

    They all look like they are having fun in the snow. Wish we really had seasons in TS4.


    1. Well, I think the thing is that she HAS confronted him (as has the rest of the family) but he just won’t budge at all. Joce is suggesting some kind of more extreme action (like a divorce ultimatum) and that’s where she’s drawing the line right now, because she knows how deep in depression he is and even the threat of divorce would probably push him even deeper down that hole. And Colette doesn’t want to do that.

      It’s almost like how things were with Mari back in gen 2 — if someone doesn’t want help, what can you do? Especially when they are an adult? It’s a very difficult situation.

      As for Gus, we’ll be hearing more from him in an upcoming chapter. For now though, yes, he thought they both needed some space so he headed back home.

      And I wish we had seasons too! 😦


  2. I think the ultimatum should be, the juice or your family. Someone needs to help him realize that he still has family around to love and to cherish. If the accident was any sort of lesson, it’s that life is short. I hope they can get him to come around.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true — he needs to realize that life is short, and that he still has this family around him who love him and care about him. He doesn’t have to go through this pain alone and drown his sorrows. But I think that’s how he’s feeling right now :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Colette, it’s hard to deal with a person with that has drinking problems, and it sure don’t help the fact that he is a pile o muscles! And I guess Colette is afraid this might get ugly realy fast, and that taking him to help will make the problem ”oficial” and she is afraid, because now, he is impredicable, and no one wnat’s to hear or say something to their parents…it’s ironicy how taking away his pain he make other’s in pain, on well, that’s alchool in a nutshell…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Damn it, Tobi… When you drink so much that your grandson notices how it affects, IT’S A PROBLEM.

    I wish he would listen to his family and talk to them. He shouldn’t have to bear the horror alone. He still has a family! Life shouldn’t be spent drowning your sorrows.

    Now, if only I could yell AND hug him through the screen…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awwww, look at how much fun the kids are having outside.

    On a serious note, Tobi really needs help right away! Even his grandson recognizes it since he mentioned “special juice”! If he keeps drinking, he might end up like Homer Simpson from The Simpsons and lots of problems will arise. One day, he might be driving and he might cause a fatal accident. Lettie, don’t be a chicken and urge your hubby to quit. He should definitely go to rehab before it’s too late. I wish I could tell him straight that his alcohol addiction is seriously impact himself and his family. Imagine all the drinking buddies he made. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Tobi really does need help. Though his real problem isn’t the alcohol. He’s not actually physically addicted to it, he just uses it as a coping mechanism (which is very unhealthy!). So I think rather than rehab (since he’s not actually addicted at this point) he needs grief counseling/therapy to teach him healthy ways to grieve.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh believe me, she is trying (And in an upcoming chapter we will get a glimpse of that). Perhaps an ultimatum is in order if he can’t get things together though :-/ Right now he’s refusing to admit that he needs to stop drinking and get some legit therapy for his grief. And unfortunately if he doesn’t WANT help, it’s hard to force him to get it :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s time for an Intervention. Maybe even with a specialist there? And if that doesn’t work an ultimatum might be the last Option. SOMETHING needs to be done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, he’s totally not listening to anyone and is probably hurting himself so much right now by trying to drink away his sorrows… you’re right — something must be done!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It doesn’t surprise me that Tobi would resort to drinking to drown the image on his sons burnt body. I actually get why he’s doing it. Ultimatums, I think, don’t work. This is something Tobi needs to deal with in his own way. Grief affects people differently. If anyone can help him at this point of time then it would be his mom. I think she would be the only one to really understand why he is drinking, considering her own past actions. I think she needs to talk about that wild time in her life with Tobi, be honest and frank but also understanding with him.
    I’m enjoying having Auggy home presently and I love his long hair!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you have a great point — Mari is probably the only one who understands what Tobi is going through, and has experienced first hand why getting help is so important 🙂

      I’m glad you like Auggy’s long hair! I love it too 😀


  8. Tobi, ALCOHOL IS NOT GOING TO HELP! IT WILL KILL YOU! OR BREAK YOU! Or both. Look what it did to your mother.

    Actually, I think Mari should be the one to talk to him. She’s the only one who knows where he’s coming from.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Somehow i missed this chapter o.O it was really great though. Really sad to see that the kids are picking up that something is wrong with Tobi. It really makes me miss his child and teen years when everything was so much easier for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alcoholism is really really hard to handle. Addiction itself is. It can take so so long, and even then relapse is just a second away. It hurts everyone, and it ruins relationships. Tragedy makes it worse. I’ve seen quite a few alcohol dependent people in these short eighteen years. It’s ugly. :/
    Tobi isn’t bad… he’s just lost 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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