The drive was short, but painful. Why did she even leave? The domestic life wasn’t for her. It probably never would be. When Eddie’s daughter grabbed her hand….she could feel the tears welling in her eyes. But thankfully, she was already taking her suitcase out of the car. “I paid on the app,” She mumbled, not wanting to look at the driver.
She wiped the tears with the back of her hand. Growing up, she had always asked her father to play dolls with her. It never failed, when he would bring her home the newest and most fashionable doll, she would bound up to him and ask him to play with her. But he was always doing interviews, cooking shows or seminars. So, to get into his world, she cooked.
With Hannah, it was different. The girl was excitable and her fathers took such great care of her. Those cries as the taxi pulled away were probably worse for her than seeing Tom’s face. Because, at one point, she was that little girl. But her dad wasn’t an Eddie, or a Rory.
“Faye?” The voice she hadn’t heard in years, broke her from her thoughts. She turned around and tried to smile at Carson, despite her tear stained cheeks.
“Oh, babe. Come on in. What happened?” He held his hand out to grab the luggage.
“Don’t call me babe,” She said sharply. “I’m not here for you to pick up my pieces, throw your arm around me and make everything better. And I will not come in.” She was kicking herself for not telling the driver to stay, but he was a leech anyhow. “I just need to ask you one question and when you texted me after the show was over, I knew I had to know. Just answer me a single question and I’ll be out of your life forever.
Eddie wrapped his arms around his little brother. It felt awkward. It was usually Tom comforting him even when they were kids. “She’ll be back” even as he said the words he wondered. Would she back? Was he doing Tom any favors by telling him that. Everything he had seen of Faye said once she made up her mind she didn’t back down. Was this the end of a relationship that had been through so many trials already? He hoped not. He could tell that Tom loved her. He didn’t see the appeal himself but he wasn’t his brother. There must be something in Faye that had Tom so enraptured.
“I’m sorry” Tom mumbled into his shoulder “I should have known it was too soon for her. That she wasn’t ready for what we call normal. She’s never known what a family is supposed to be like. All she’s ever known was her Dad.” A bitter laugh escaped him “we all know the Ferrari image is more important than anything else to him. Maybe I’m asking too much of her to give up that ideal that image.” He seemed to be talking to himself more than anything else.
Eddie let him talk. It would be good for him to put words to his thoughts and feelings if nothing else. He slowly guided Tom up to the house where it blissfully quiet. The image of Rory playing dolls with Hannah brought a brief smile to Eddie’s lips. It was hard to imagine his husband playing dolls with anyone but he seldom was able to tell Hannah no to anything she wanted.
Tom looked around as if dazed. “You must think I’m a real idiot for falling for someone like Faye don’t you?” he asked his brother.
“I think there’s something you see in Faye that no one else does” Eddie replied after a moment of thought.
“Maybe I just imagined it was there” Tom said slumping onto the couch. “I don’t know anymore. Maybe….” he let his words fade as he dropped his head into his hands “I just don’t know.”
“Maybe you should call her” Eddie suggested. All he he got from Tom was a disheartened shrug. He looked up when Rory slipped from Hannah’s room.
“She’s asleep” he said softly. Looking at Tom he asked “how is he?”
Shaking his head “not good.”
Carson looked at her dumbfounded. “I…don’t understand.”
“You never understand, that’s the problem,” Faye replied with a sigh. “You must have seen that episode of Sim Star Chef when Tom and I talked about you.”
“Ah yes, the infamous pizza making episode. I get texts every here and there because of that,” Carson commented.
“Good for you, you freaking idiot!” Faye exclaimed. “I don’t care about that. I just want to know why it is that you didn’t fight for me. What is so bad about me, that you didn’t bother fighting my dad? Why….?” She felt her resolve dropping. It seemed so much easier in her head. If Carson told her what was wrong with her, then maybe she could go away for some time and change. Come back, Tom would be with someone else, but it wouldn’t matter. She would be a better person and he’d be happy.
Carson frowned. “It’s not you, Faye. It isn’t ever about you. What people don’t realize is that a relationship with you is a relationship with your dad and you know how he is. Come on, wipe those tears.”
“But…what is it about me, that makes you not want to try to fight my dad? I’m not worth it?” She could feel the tears biting at her eyes again. This time, when she left, it wasn’t because of her dad. In fact, she wasn’t used to doing the leaving. Someone was always leaving her. This time she left because she was afraid of disappointing Tom. It was suddenly dawning on her.
“I…I was young and stupid. I thought your dad was super powerful and would ruin my life. I just…I made the biggest mistake of my life. But, that guy…Tom was it? The blonde one. If half of what I saw on that show was real, he’s a keeper. He fought for you like I was too afraid to do.”
“I made the biggest mistake of my life too,” Faye replied. “I’m an idiot. I just…I didn’t think about him!” She whirled around to leave. “I’ve got to go, Carson.”
“Faye, wait!” He called after her. “Can I give you a ride?”
She shook her head. “Nah, telling me that losing me was the biggest mistake of your life doesn’t put you in the clear. But you said one thing right. Tom is good for me. I just have to make sure that my fears don’t stop me. I can walk. New me,” She replied with a shrug. “Don’t call me. I don’t like this whole resurfacing after my fame has escalated.” She waved him off, grabbing her suitcase.