Later that night, I tucked Lemon into bed and read her a story. Then I kissed her sweet little face and told her goodnight. I was so thankful that she was safe and sound. Once I was sure she was fast asleep, I whirled around and faced Johnny who had come in and changed into his pajamas.
“I can’t believe you! How stupid can you be?” I put my hands on my hips and scolded him like a child. “What are you talking about?” He looked confused. “The whole thing with your mother! You know exactly what I’m talking about!” He rubbed his faced tiredly. “Oh, I can hardly contain my excitement, Val. I can’t wait for you to tell me how I screwed up this time.” He responded in sarcasm. “You are such a mama’s boy! What kind of evil thing does she have to do next to make you finally realize she’s a horrible person?” I asked incredulously. “She’s already drugged your wife, made you quit a job that you loved, and kidnapped your daughter! But you just keep giving her chance after chance!” Why couldn’t he get it through his thick skull?
“She didn’t kidnap her! Was she careless and made a mistake? Yes! That’s all that it was!” He argued. “Even now you’re still defending her!” I frowned and shook my head at him. “You know what, Johnny? I’ve had enough! I’m going to sleep in another room tonight!” I announced as I quickly strode to the door. “Then I’m going to my mom’s in the morning…with or without you. I know it’s not ideal but we can make it work.” I crossed my arms and dared him to fight me on it. “Oh yeah! Because that’s a great idea, Val. Let’s all go pile up in the bed with her and this strange guy she’s moved into her house!” He did have a point but I wasn’t going to tell him that.
He took a step closer and wagged his finger in my face. “If you go, you’re going alone…Lemon can stay here with me. I’m tired of you trying to force us all apart! We’ve been through enough already!” I don’t think I’d ever seen him so upset before. “You can’t keep her from me! I’m her mother!” I stood in the hallway, unsure of my next move. “I would never do that to you, Val, but you’re the one that’s trying to run off because things got hard.” His handsome face was distorted with anger. “When and if you’re ready to be part of this family again, you’re always welcome to come back.” He told me then he slammed the door in my face.