Closed All Alone and A-Lowly

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie was trying to listen to Ryan, but the look Eric gave her broke her heart. She nodded to him slightly as he told her he had to go, sighing softly as he left. She swallowed, having to fight her own instinct to go after him. She knew he would be okay, she needed to deal with Ryan right now. "Okay." She said, after a beat. "We need to talk openly." She looked at him. "That means I'm going to tell you how things are, no sugarcoating. I can't comfort you, I'm not your wife or girlfriend anymore. All I can do is give you advice about your kids, okay?" She asked him. "Two ground rules. One, I know Eric broke your nose, but you're not going to say a single bad word about him. And two, I want an answer to this question before we start." She took a deep breath. "Would you have come here if it wasn't for this? It's been weeks since I gave you my adress. We... were supposed to talk about our kids, Eric and Connor. If you want my help and my advice, I want to have this conversation with you as well. Not right now, but I need something from you as well." She said firmly.
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan couldn't help a small wince when Eric left so abruptly. He had already ruined the lives of his first children, how was he ever supposed to be responsible for the younger ones? The thought flashed through his mind that he could leave Penny and Holden with their grandparents and just go, right now. They would be better off, in the end. But Melanie started talking and he had to listen, eyes downcast the whole time she spoke. He should have known better than to expect it, but he had come for comfort. The Melanie of 20 years ago would have comforted him, and he realised all over again that the woman sitting across the table was a stranger to him. He winced at her question, struggling to bring his eyes up to meet hers. "I wouldn't... I wasn't even thinking anything bad about Eric." He said quickly, surprised that it was true. "It just... happened. It's okay. He's okay." He swallowed, eyes sinking down to the table as he continued. "I... wanted to come." He lied. "I was... afraid. They... I know they hate me. They're right to hate me, I just... didn't know what to say yet. And then... Heather died, and everything's been..." He covered his face with his hands, taking a shaky breath. "I almost forgot I even had your address. I had to... to plan the funeral, to tell the kids, to..." He shook his head, wiping his eyes and resuming his blank stare at the table. "I've been... busy."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie sighed softly when Ryan spoke. She hated that she didn't know if she could believe him or not. But she put her own feelings in a very small box and put it far away, those were for later. "When did it happen?" She asked quietly. "And what do you want my help with, specifically?"
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan was relieved that Melanie didn't berate him further, taking a shaky breath as he tried to get his words together. "Three weeks ago. It was a work accident." He said quietly. "I just... I don't know what to do with the kids. I don't know how to be there for them. They won't talk to me properly, she was... always the one who was good with them. I feel like they wish it had been me instead of her." He added, voice dropping almost inaudible before he cleared his throat and continued, hands wrapped around the warmth of his mug for comfort. "Penny's... crying constantly. She barely sleeps, I'm worried she's heading for a total breakdown and I don't know... how to help her. And Holden's just... he's so angry. He's been breaking things, getting into fights, sneaking out. They both need help, but I'm not... I don't know where to start..."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie nodded as Ryan said what had happened, then he went on to talk about the kids. She listened, painfully aware of how similar this was to her own situation fifteen years ago. "I'm sorry for your loss." She said quietly. "But the first thing you're going to have to do is put your own feelings aside. You can be sad, confused, angry, and scared in your own time. Your kids need you to be there for them. It's not about saying the right thing or doing something that will magically fix it." She took a deep breath. "It's getting up every morning to make their breakfast, the way they like it. It's being the only one who listens to your son when he explains why he shoved a kid on the playground so hard he was bleeding from his head. It's holding your kid as they cry themselves to sleep. It's taking things one step at a time, always aware that you're the only steady, unchanging thing left in their lives." She paused, swallowing. It surprised her how much this was affecting her. "But I know one thing for sure, Ryan. They're not wishing it was you instead. No kid is going to wish their parents dead." She looks at him. "I don't even think Eric would wish that for you in his worst anger. I'm sure your kids love you, and they need you more than ever right now." She hesitated before saying her next words. "You can't bail."
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan couldn't bring himself to look at Melanie as she spoke, struggling to even listen. He had done this to her, he had put her in the position where she needed to know all this, and now he was back, making her life worse. Just like he was making his kids' worse. He didn't know their favourite breakfasts, he didn't know how to get Holden to talk to him when he was acting out. He didn't think Penny would want him to hug her when things went bad. He was just considering more seriously the possibility of just... leaving when Melanie spoke again, reading his mind. "I won't. I wouldn't think of it." He lied quickly. "I just... don't know what to do. My kids don't... trust me like that, I'm not... that kind of parent to them. I don't know their favourite foods, Holden won't talk to me, neither will Penny... They don't want me around."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie wasn't sure if she believed Ryan, but she quickly dismissed her doubts. He wouldn't leave his kids to be practically orphans. Melanie sighed when he said his kids didn't trust him like that, that he wasn't that kind of parent. A small part of her was glad he hadn't turned into dad of the year all of a sudden. "Well, you have all the time in the world to become that dad." She said with a small shrug. "You're going to have to." She paused. "Of course, your children want you around. If they act out, it's not because they don't like you or don't want you. It's because their mother just died." She looked at him seriously. "You're going to have to put your self-pity aside, Ryan. Yes, your kids are going to yell at you, curse at you and ignore you. They're not just going to adore you unconditionally. You have to accept that and not hold it against them."
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan winced, keeping his eyes on the table still as Melanie spoke. "I don't expect them to adore me." He said quickly. "I just don't know how to help them. I don't know how to... be the mum, do all that... emotional stuff." He paused. "Maybe I could... bring them around. They could... spend some time with the boys, spend some time with... you..."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie felt her temper flare up and she had to pause and take a deep breath before speaking. "Ryan, dad's do the emotional stuff too. Good dads, at least." She said sharply. "Your kids meeting the boys is something we can discuss some other time, not anytime soon. And I'm not going to parent your kids for you." She said with a frown. "Advice is all you're getting."
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan knew he had pushed it too far as soon as he saw Melanie's reaction, tensing quickly and shaking his head. "I just... meant it might be nice to visit..." He croaked, trying to quickly change tack. "To meet the boys, and be... somewhere that feels more like a home. It's... hard, being at our house... it's full of memories and reminders, they're suffering..."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie was reminded of her marriage, and not in a good way. The way Ryan could complain and make himself the victim was not something she had missed. She shook her head. "Not yet." She said firmly. "Eric needs to be okay with it, and we both know that's going to take a while." She frowned. "And as long as it takes for them, that is how long you're going to wait. I'm not budging on this Ryan. You have to do this, they're your kids, not mine. I already did the parenting for ours."
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
The more Melanie spoke, the more certain Ryan became that he had managed to ruin this. "No, yes, of course, I would never..." He trailed off, trying to find another thread to leap to in the conversation. "I just... I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I... I'm a widower, my kids are... it's... it's just all a lot." He said quietly. "It's terrifying. My whole life is... is ruined, I don't know what to do..."
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie sighed, she was starting to lose her patience. "I told you at the start of this conversation that I'm not here to comfort you." She said, not caring that it felt cold of her to say. "I know it's a lot and it's overwhelming, but all I can do is give you parenting advice. I'm your ex-wife, I'm not the person who should be comforting you." She told him with a sigh. She was trying to think of more advice to give him about his kids, when she heard the distinctive sound of someone apparating into the living room, and she cursed. "Sh*t, that's probably Connor. He was working." She told Ryan, suddenly annoyed at him for doing this all during Christmas Break. "Stay here, don't make a sound." She said, getting up and quickly slipping out of the kitchen. "Connor?" She called.
 

Connor Holland

🌼aussie🌼trying🌼sensitive🌼 florist
 
Messages
1,154
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
Sexual Orientation
Gay
Wand
Curly 10 1/2 Inch Whippy Alder Wand with Fairy Wing Core
Age
6/2038 (18)
Connor knew most people wouldn't enjoy the kind of work he did, but there was an easy satisfaction in it. Nothing to think about, nothing to worry about, just moving things with his muscles and helping his co-workers. It was good, honest work, and part of Connor that was terrified of the future couldn't help considering that it would be nice to stay at Vibez forever. His arms were aching slightly after a long shift, having unloaded what felt like hundreds of boxes of shoes from their most recent delivery, and he was looking forward to a shower.

Ever since getting his apparation license, Connor had been delighting in using it as much as he could. He considered apparating directly to the bathroom so he could dive right in the shower, but he quickly dismissed the idea. It would be all too easy to walk in on someone. Instead he apparated into the hallway, toeing off his shoes as he called out to whoever was home. "I'M BACK FROM WORK! GONNA TAKE A SHOWER!"
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan was struggling to figure out how to pull this conversation to his advantage, when a noise from outside completely broke his focus, doubly so when Melanie spoke. "Oh..." He croaked, hands tightening around his rapidly cooling mug as he watched Melanie leave, realising with a jolt that he had just head his son speak a full sentence for the first time. Connor was here, Connor who had apparently become a wonderful overachiever under Melanie's care, and who was probably going to hate him just as much as Eric did. Perhaps this had been a bad idea.
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Natalia sighed, it was clear Connor wasn't listening. "Connor, wait!" She called, moving to the hallway where she could hear him shouting. "Honey, one second, I need to talk to you." She told him, wondering what she would say. Should she be honest? Probably, she knew Eric would tell Connor the moment he came home, and she didn't know what Connor would do if she had hidden it from him. She just hoped he would react a little better than Eric had.
 

Connor Holland

🌼aussie🌼trying🌼sensitive🌼 florist
 
Messages
1,154
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
Sexual Orientation
Gay
Wand
Curly 10 1/2 Inch Whippy Alder Wand with Fairy Wing Core
Age
6/2038 (18)
Connor looked over as his mum emerged into the hallway, the smile draining from his face immediately. Something was wrong, he could tell from her face, and whatever it was, he wasn't sure he wanted to know. "What's wrong?" He asked quickly, dropping his work bag, all thoughts of a shower forgotten. "Is everyone okay?"
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie nodded, but there was some hesitation. "Eric's... upset." She finally said. "But physically he's okay." She sighed. "There's no easy way to say this, honey. Sorry." She paused one more moment before dropping the bomb. "Your dad... showed up today. He's currently in the kitchen."
 

Connor Holland

🌼aussie🌼trying🌼sensitive🌼 florist
 
Messages
1,154
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
Sexual Orientation
Gay
Wand
Curly 10 1/2 Inch Whippy Alder Wand with Fairy Wing Core
Age
6/2038 (18)
The relief that rushed through Connor at hearing his brother was okay was quickly overwhelmed by a new feeling, one Connor couldn't begin to name. His throat tightened and heart clenched as he stared through his mother, struggling desperately to find words. "He's... Dad? How - why - how is he... here?" Connor took a step towards the kitchen before he had even really realised it, numbly blinking back the beginnings of tears. "Dad's here?"
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie gently touched Connor's arm, both to comfort him and to stop him from rushing into the kitchen. "Yes, darling." She said softly. "He's here because of an emergency, his wife... died, he's asking for my help." Melanie's face twisted for a moment, not sure what elase to reveal. She didn't want to crush Connor's hopes, but she also didn't want to pretend he had come here for his sake. "I was just... giving him some advice, you don't have to see him right now if it's too much."
 

Connor Holland

🌼aussie🌼trying🌼sensitive🌼 florist
 
Messages
1,154
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
Sexual Orientation
Gay
Wand
Curly 10 1/2 Inch Whippy Alder Wand with Fairy Wing Core
Age
6/2038 (18)
Connor felt his eyes boggle slightly as his mum explained the situation. "His... wife..." Connor had to bite back long-forgotten feelings, feelings that had plagued his life for a long time - the desperate need to please everyone around him, to do everything he was told perfectly, to help and grovel and struggle just so he would be wanted. So nobody would leave him. Like his dad had. His dad had gone away, left Connor, found a new home, maybe even a new family. But he was back, and that years-suppressed instinct roared in him again, telling him that if he was good this time, if he did things right, maybe... maybe his dad wouldn't leave. He stared through Mum for a long moment before collecting himself, blinking back the tears that still threatened. "I'm... I need to see him..." He croaked.
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
Melanie took a deep breath. "I know, baby." She said softly. "It's painful, it's awkward. But I'm trying to help him right now, but he'll be on his way again soon." She hesitated, not sure what to say. "I... this isn't your only chance, I think we're keeping in touch, somewhat." She said, though she grimaced a bit as she said it. "But you can, if you want." She said softly, reaching down to take his hand. "It's okay if you need a moment first. Eric... was rather shocked. He was the one who opened the door."
 

Connor Holland

🌼aussie🌼trying🌼sensitive🌼 florist
 
Messages
1,154
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Interested in Somebody
Sexual Orientation
Gay
Wand
Curly 10 1/2 Inch Whippy Alder Wand with Fairy Wing Core
Age
6/2038 (18)
Connor knew his mum was talking, knew it was probably important, but the words flowed right past him like they were nothing. His dad was here. He stepped past Mum like he was in a dream and walked into the kitchen, stomach twisting at the knowledge of what he was going to find there. There. Standing at the table, looking just like the photos Connor had seen of when he and Eric were babies. Hearing it from Mum hadn't quite felt real, not in the same way as this, looking at his father for the first time in fifteen years. "Dad..." Connor choked, hardly realising he was moving until his feet had propelled him halfway across the room. He flung his arms around his dad and hugged him tight, no longer trying to hold the tears back as he pressed his face into the man's shoulder. The though that this was a stranger barely entered his mind - this was his dad, and he had finally come home.
 

Ryan Marshall

cowardly | manipulative deadbeat dad
 
Messages
37
OOC First Name
Rowan
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Widow
Sexual Orientation
Straight
Age
10/2011 (44)
Ryan gripped his cold mug hard enough for his knuckles to whiten as he waited for Melanie and Connor to talk, wondering whether he was in for another punch. He didn't know if he could handle two broken noses in the same day. Connor had barely been talking when he left, he knew the boy had become a strong student, an overachiever, but his actual personality... Ryan had no idea what to expect. He hoped Connor wouldn't want to see him, but as he heard footsteps approaching he knew that hope had been in vain. Ryan rose to his feet as Connor entered the room, studying the boy's face nervously. His shocked expression was harder to read than Eric's bald-faced anger, and he didn't know what to do with it. He flinched as Connor started to approach, but before he had taken more than a step back the boy was on him, and he was hugging him, alarmingly strong arms holding him tight in place. And Connor was crying. He wrapped his arms around the boy almost automatically, hugging him back far looser than Connnor's own embrace, silently relieved that Connor hadn't been the one to punch him. He was fairly sure he would be in much worse condition were that the case. "...Hi, kiddo..." Ryan said quietly, hoping this hug would be over soon.
 

Melanie Holland

James' sister | Estranged | Fun | Chaotic
 
Messages
62
OOC First Name
Daphne
Blood Status
Mixed Blood
Relationship Status
Engaged
Sexual Orientation
Bi (Eva)
Age
5/2011 (43)
As Connor moved past her, Melanie had the wild urge to pull him back, to stop him from seeing his dad. Somehow, this felt more dangerous than letting Eric see him. Not that she had had any choice in that. She followed Connor into the kitchen and winced at the sight in front of her. Connor's reaction to Ryan worried her more than Eric's had. She felt the urge to cry, covering her mouth with her hand. She silently willed Ryan to let Connor hug him as long as he needed, but could tell by his body language he was uncomfortable. "Honey..." She said after a moment.
 

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