As the rain began to fall harder and the wind picked up they made their way over to Victor’s mother’s grave. “I can’t believe I haven’t been here since she died. I kept meaning to, but…” “Victor, it’s me, you don’t have to explain, I understand; and so does your mother.”
“I hope you’re right. I hope that, wherever she is, she understands that I never meant for things to turn out the way they did. I made so many mistakes.” “Victor.” “I was the oldest. I should have protected her if my father wasn’t going to. I should’ve been the one to protect her from him, but I didn’t.”
“Victor, you were just a child. You didn’t know any better.”
“I knew right from wrong.” Victor shot back stubbornly.
“So did your father, but that didn’t stop him.” Nikki reminded him.
“I knew something was going on, but I didn’t do anything.”
“Don’t! Don’t you go blaming yourself! Your father is the one to blame, not you! He’s the one who tore your mother’s life apart, not you!”
He said nothing as he stared at his mother’s headstone and whispered, “I’m sorry, more than you’ll ever know.”
Wordlessly, they made their way back to the car and from there to the hotel. They had just gotten back in their room when the phone rang.
“Hello?” Victor answered, wondering who it was.
“Victor, where have you been? Haven’t you checked your messages? I’ve been trying to reach you for days!” Dr. Cornwell chastise him, furious at his total disregard of her instructions. “What part of stay in town didn’t you understand?!”
“I had some things I needed to take care of.” He answered tightly, defensively.
“Well you’d better get back here before you land yourself in the hospital! If we have any chance of turning your situation around, you need to get back here now!”
“We’re heading back now.” With that, Victor hung up.
“That was Dr. Cornwell, wasn’t it? What did she say?”
“She’s angry because I didn’t stay in town like she wanted me to.”
“I don’t blame her! Victor, you took a very foolish risk coming here the way you did, against her advice.”
“Nikki, drop it.” His voice held a clear note of warning that she completely ignored.
“No! You took a risk you should never have taken by coming here and she has every right to be angry with you!”
“Fine, you’re right. I shouldn’t have come, satisfied? Let’s just pack and get out of here!” Victor barked as he grabbed their suitcases and started shoving his clothes into his suitcase.
A few hours later, they returned home, where Victoria sat waiting for them.
“Where have you been? What’s going on? Why haven’t I heard from you?” She peppered them with questions as they entered the livingroom.
“Victoria, your father and I have had a very intense few days, so we’d appreciate it if you’d give us some time to unwind before we answer your questions.”
“Fine.” Vicki answered petulantly.
“Did anybody call?” Victor asked absentmindedly.
“Yeah, Dr. Cornwell called,” Vicki told them hesitantly.
“What did she say?” Nikki asked cautiously, fearfully.
“Well, um,” Vicki stuttered, knowing full well what she was about to tell them had the potential to make an already precarious situation much worse!
“She got called out of town at the last minute, apparently she had an emergency with one of her other patients.”
“Great, just great! Why didn’t you just listen to me, why? Everyone was telling you that you needed to stay put! Why couldn’t you just listen to us? Why couldn’t you do that? Everyone who cares about you told you that you should’ve stayed in town. But no, you just had to do this your way! Congratulations, you may have officially done yourself in!” With that, Nikki stormed upstairs without so much as a word.
“Give her time, Dad. She’ll come around,” Victoria whispered as she hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. “I’m glad you’re back. It’s good to have you home. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, my sweetheart,” Victor said with a small smile as he watched Victoria walk upstairs to bed and went to the den to settle in for the night.
Two days later, Victoria decided she’d given her parents enough time to work out whatever problems they were having and it was time for her to get involved. She’d heard about her father’s last minute trip and completely that he never should’ve gone on it in the first place.
“Mom, I know what Dad did was wrong.”
“Not to mention stupid, crazy and reckless,” Nikki added pointedly, bitterly.
“Okay, but don’t you think that you should maybe talk to him?” she asked wisely.
“Why? So he can feed me more lies?” Nikki asked bitterly.
“No, so you can work this out and get through it together. All this fighting isn’t good for anybody, especially the twins!” Vicki reminded her stubbornly.
“Look, just think about it, okay?” Vicki asked hopefully.
“Alright, but I’m not promising you anything.” Nikki replied, still very angry!
As he walked downstairs and took in the expression on her face, Victor cautiously asked Nikki, “You ready for your doctor’s appointment?”
“Yeah, let’s go.”
Thankfully, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads, so they were right on time for the appointment. Things were good until the appointment started.
“Nikki, I’m concerned about your blood pressure, it’s getting very high. It seems to be affecting your pregnancy and the twins. Their blood pressures are high too, not as high as yours, but almost. You need to avoid stress at all costs, and get plenty of bed rest.” Dr. Simpson was now back in town and ready to take over her case.
“Dr. Simpson, I can’t do that, I have too much going on right now! There’s a lot going on you don’t know about. Both my daughter and Victor are dealing with major crises right now and I need to be there for them!” Nikki argued stubbornly.
“Nikki, what difference will all that make if you end up in the hospital?! That’s exactly what’s going to happen if you’re not careful!
You need to get plenty of bed rest and stay away from stress if you want to carry this pregnancy to full term!
You won’t be able to help anyone, including Victoria and Victor if you don’t take care of yourself! Come on, this isn’t anything you haven’t heard before. You know all this, Nikki!
Listen, the bottom line is, if you want to have two healthy, happy babies, you need to stay away from stress and start taking care of yourself! And that means focussing on what you need! Your family will be just fine, you need to do what’s best for you!”
“Alright,” she reluctantly agreed.
“Thank you, doctor,” Victor said as she left the room.
After bringing her home and making sure she didn’t need anything, Victor told Nikki, “I’ll be at work if you need me.”
“Okay, thanks,” Nikki replied, trying to give him a chance to make up for what he’d done.
An hour later, Victor sat behind his desk hard at work. He looked at contracts needing to be signed, proposals needing his approval and various other things needing his attention.
A few hours had passed when Bradley walked back into Newman Enterprises to see Victor. He wasn’t far from his office when he spotted Victoria.
Thankfully, she didn’t see him.