Gervais is exhausted on his therapy days. He’s going twice a week and he knows it is doing him a lot of good but unravelling everything that happened to him at school and adding in the issue of Curtis and his mom it brutal. He knows now that he was glossing over things first time around and although he did a lot of work on his grief for his mother and let go of the shame and blame of what happened to him at school he hadn’t tackled the lasting effects of what happened other than his anxiety.
Looking after the kids is really helping, hanging with Danny and the twins all helps him feel valued and like a real person again. Having these feelings without them coming from Blue is a big step and he’s proud of his progress.
As the summer moves on the other mothers and nannies get used to the pair and they get included on outings and there is always someone who will hold the baby when he needs to run after Tommy.
Gervais and AB work to shuffle days around so he can have a few days with Robin’s mom. Two women from his mom’s high school class live nearby and are willing to meet with Gervais. Robin’s mom stays at the house. AB and W are more than happy to have a guest for a few days, especially one who pitches in.
They arrange to meet the women for afternoon tea at a hotel. Gervais is crazy nervous, not sure why. He always has conflicting feelings about his mother. That he’s let her down somehow, that he hasn’t honored her memory properly.
“Your mother was the most beautiful girl in our class, you look a lot like her, delicate and blonde with those huge eyes. She didn’t have the best life. Her father was a mean drunk, he was wealthy and got away with whatever damage he dealt out to his wife.” Maisie says.
“They died in a car crash just after graduation, her daddy was drunk. It was a terrible thing shook the town. Her mother, your Grandmother was so young and beautiful the whole town felt guilty that they hadn’t stopped him. Your mother skipped off to college and no one heard from her again.” Christina says.
“She changed her name, colored her hair.” Robin’s mom says.
“What was she like? Did she read or play sports or play in band?” Gervais asks.
“You poor thing you don’t know anything?” Maisie asks with a pained expression.
“I never met her and my dad didn’t talk of her.” Gervais says.
“She played flute in band and was in chorus too, she had a tiny voice but it was pretty. She wasn’t one for sports. Coach knew she was hiding bruises and never pushed her to join in, sent her off to work in the office.” Maisie says.
“She was smart though, third in our class which was a big surprise when the list went up. She never spoke much in class but she could answer any question.” Christina says and Robin’s mom laughs.
“Gervais is smart too. He’s been doing great in college.” Robin’s mom says.
“You really do take after her.” Maisie says shaking her head.
“The pictures I have she had dark hair and it was all falling in her face.” Gervais says.
“We scanned what we have. Here.” Christina hands him a memory stick.
“Thank-you so much. This means the world. It has been so hard to track down anything about her
“With the name change and everything it was difficult, I eventually worked it out and you were 2 of the few who responded when I reached out. I knew it sounded dodgy, especially as many didn’t know she had died.” Robin’s mom says.
“We thought you might be after her money. But we talked about it and thought what if it was our kids all alone in the world at 19.” Christina says.
“I never met your father but I cannot understand why he would put himself in harms way knowing you’d be left alone. It would be different if he had remarried and given you a stepmom. It seems so cold a risk to take.” Maisie says.
“He was compelled to do it. He told me he’d left but it was just a cover story. I was lucky I was 18 when it happened so I didn’t have to go into foster care or anything.” Gervais says.
“And you had no grandparents on his side? No aunts or uncles?” Christina asks.
“I believe Gervais dad was in state care before he joined the military. The way he lived and the way he kept secrets and well Gervais had a terrible time at boarding school and I think his dad went through similar as a boy and so thought it normal.” Robin’s mom says.
“Really?” Gervais asks.
“Yes. I think the grandparents you knew were foster parents not his real parents and that is why I couldn’t trace them to find other family. I’ve been piecing it all together slowly.” Robin’s mom says.
“Well you are breaking the cycle. Look at you a beautiful young man, blossoming in college. We’ll keep in touch and see if we can get some more pictures from our classmates. Your mother was the sort who hid away a lot so I doubt there are many.” Christina says.
“Thanks so much for meeting me.” Gervais says.
“Our pleasure. She’d have been really proud of you. She always wanted a family of her own. It’s a real tragedy she didn’t get to raise you.” Maisie says.
“l wish I’d known her. She never even got to hold me.” Gervais says quietly.
“Are you okay?” Robin’s mom asks as they walk through a park afterwards.
“Not really. It sucks that she had a shit life too. I guess my dad saved her and then lost her. It’s funny, some of the reason Clara has been so hard on Blue is because he looks a little like his dad did at that age, I guess my dad found me a difficult reminder of my mother.” Gervais says.
“It’s no excuse. Not for him or for Clara.” Robin’s mom says.
“You really think he thought my school issues were normal?” Gervais asks.
“In a way. I also think you’re right about him saving your mom and maybe he couldn’t save you because he thought that would be the fastest way to lose you. The way you had such a plain home and the way he lived so simply, hoarding money and not trusting anyone.” Robin’s mom says.
“But with Curtis mom he was Mr Normal. They had days out and he went to school events, graduation. He was this regular dad. Why could he do that for them and not me?” Gervais asks.
“I can’t answer. What does your therapist say?” Robin’s mom asks.
“The same they can’t speak for my dad with only my side. I’ll tell them your theory though about him being in the system. That makes a lot of sense to me. I guess he took his chance to play happy families and enjoyed it. I always hope that it was Curtis mom who refused to include me and not dad keeping me out.” Gervais says.
“Do you want to ask her?” Robin’s mom asks.
“Yes. I really do but I figure she’ll be mad at me and after my money.” Gervais says.
“Lets get you on a more stable footing before throwing those things at you. She might lie anyway and claim it was all your dad to make her look good or it might have been him hiding you away.” Robin’s mom says.
“I know and I’m probably better off not knowing. I have you and Cheryl and Clara, three moms all on my side. All of you would have rescued me if you could have.” Gervais says.
“Of course we would. I still want to do something about that school of yours. I spoke to Spence’s mom about it and asked what they had done to complain. They hadn’t but they warn all their friends against it. That any more boys could be going through what you did sickens me. They need to be shut down.” Robin’s mom says.
“I don’t know if I’m strong enough to go to the police.” Gervais says.
“Do you have pictures of your injuries? Hospital reports? Did they do rape kits on you? I don’t understand why the hospital didn’t report it.” Robin’s mom says.
“No rape kit and school lied about how each thing happened, took me to different hospitals.” Gervais says.
“Okay. That gives me more to go on. You’re okay with me doing something? I’m not sure what yet.” Robin’s mom asks.
“I am. And I’m okay if you need to use my name.” Gervais says.
“I’ve been thinking about this a long time. I don’t think I can live with myself if I don’t do something. I’ll let you know what happens.” Robin’s mom says.
“Thanks. I’ve been working through everything. I am getting stronger and have a lot better perspective now.” Gervais says.
The next couple of days they sightsee and shop together. They meet with Maisie and Christina again and they pass on more pictures for Gervais who feels quite overwhelmed by all the kindness he has been shown.
“Wow you really do look like her.” Robin’s mom says that evening when they look at the pictures.
It’s one of his mom in her elementary school Christmas play and she is a little wide eyed blonde angel the absolute image of Gervais.
“Wow.” Gervais says.
“That’s your mom?” AB asks in passing.
“Yeah. Don’t I look just like her?” Gervais says.
“You sure do. She was a real cutie.” AB says and Gervais grins.
“She was. I still don’t know too much about her. Seems like I got my shyness from her as well as my hair.” Gervais smiles.
“But you know she always wanted you. We knew from your lawyer but now we know she planned to be a mom from a much younger age. You were a very much wanted baby for her.” Robin’s mom says and Gervais feels peace wash over him. He takes the baby from AB and pinches their chubby cheeks as they gurgle at him.
“I guess I get that from her too. Wanting kids of my own.” Gervais grins.
“You’ll be a terrific dad when the time comes. Selfishly I hope its not too long away as your kids will be like cousins to these two.” AB says.
“That would be great. I can’t wait for us to all have a family holiday at Spence’s place. Kids running wild, clambakes, all of it.” Gervais grins.
“And AB says you deal with the s side of parenting without fuss. Diaper blow outs don’t phase you and you can handle a tantrum from Tommy, not that he seems to have many. He’s a happy little thing.” Robin’s mom says.
“He’s a great kid. AB has done a great job with him.” Gervais says handing the baby back.
“Gervais is great. Keeps them occupied and is totally on board with our food and discipline. We’ll really miss him when he goes back to school.” AB says.
“I’ll miss you guys. I’ve had a really lovely summer. You guys are so easy to work for. Danny is often still waiting at 8 or 9 for someone to come home and take over and they rarely pay his extra hours and still expect 2 nights babysitting. You guys have been a dream.” Gervais says.
“That is terrible. I hope you don’t feel taken for granted, I know you do more than your hours and honestly we’ve needed you. You’ve let me have quality time with the kids separately and my goodness the options we have in the freezer.” AB grins.
“I thought I had woken up in a health farm.” W says coming in.
“Yeah its all veggie but easy for you to cook some chicken or fish to go with it. Tommy loves it.” Gervais says.
“I had that squash thing when I got in late the other night and it was delicious. You’ve made a great positive impact on our family this summer. I was worried I admit when I heard about Jesse and I was worried that you would be in a dark place but you’ve been sunshine.” W says.
Robin’s mom grins proudly. Gervais has been working really hard here on himself and with the kids. He’s truly transformed himself in a short time.
Gervais and Danny continue to hang out once Robin’s mom leaves. Gervais is kind of sad that they didn’t have a romance but is happy too to have a friend.
“You’ll keep in touch when you start school?” Gervais asks.
“For sure. I’m excited to get some time to myself and get studying.” Danny says.
“I wish you were at school with me. I’m pretty nervous at starting a new place.” Gervais admits.
“You’ll be fine. You’re so pretty you’ll always attract people and you’re not half as shy as you pretend you are. All the nannies adore you and so do the kids.” Danny grins.
“It’s been great just being Gervais the manny.” Gervais grins.
“How many mommies have tried to poach you?” Danny asks.
“I don’t know a dozen? That birthday for Claus was crazy I think every mom showed up just to try with us both.” Gervais grins.
“They are crazy. I’d have been tempted too if it wasn’t for the hassle of moving. Still I’ll not need to find a job, I can babysit for crazy rates and it’ll always be cash.” Danny grins.
“That’s true. Awesome. Just leave some weekends free to visit.” Gervais grins.
“I can’t wait to meet Blue and your other friends.” Danny says.
“What’s your type?” Gervais asks suddenly wanting to know.
“Muscles. Lots and lots of muscles. I don’t care about hair or height or d size. I want an all American jock with brains and money.” Danny says.
“I know that guy.” Gervais says.
“Seriously. Damn I’m going to the wrong school.” Danny laughs.
“How dominant are you?” Gervais asks.
“That’s a bit personal.” Danny grins.
“Sorry. Forget I asked, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to dangle someone in your face who is long distance and potentially unavailable, I think he’s been seeing someone.” Gervais says.
“But he’s a potential for a snog when I visit.” Danny grins.
“You and your English accent. Oh god if you boss him around in that voice he’ll be jelly on the floor for you. Can you not change schools? I want all my friends to be happy.” Gervais grins.
“What about you? You’ve had a celibate summer. Not so much as eyed anyone up.” Danny says.
“I needed to detox from men. I have done some really bad things to people and behaved awfully. I’m not ready to date yet.” Gervais says.
“Nah, you’re a lovely chap. I can’t imagine you f someone over.” Danny says sincerely surprised by Gervais revelation.
“Oh believe me I was awful. Truly awful. I’ll not make those mistakes again.” Gervais says.
“Well you’re 20 next week you’ve loads of time to find someone and get it right.” Danny says.
“Will you be able to get the night off for my birthday?” Gervais asks.
“For sure.” Danny grins.
Tommy wakes Gervais on his birthday carrying a cake AB has made into the pool house while singing happy birthday with W, AB and the baby behind him. Gervais had been pre warned so is wearing pjs for once.
“Happy birthday Vase.” Tommy shouts and thrusts the cake at him.
“Thanks buddy. Wow did you make this?” Gervais asks.
“Mommy helped me.” Tommy says with a grin. His speech is much better but his nickname for Gervais has stuck.
W hands over a bag of gifts and they all sit on the bed as Gervais unwraps them. He’s struggling to hold back the tears. He’s never had more than an envelope from his father in the past. They have brought him a game he was after, a new headset and some clothes. Tommy has made him a card and he hugs the boy tightly to say thank-you.
Later Danny brings the twins over and they have also made a card each for Gervais and he just can’t stop smiling. He’s a total ball of happy emotions.
They have lunch as a big group. AB has ordered in to save Gervais from cooking.
“These arrived for you.” AB says after answering the door. It is a beautiful flower arrangement and Gervais knows they are from Blue without looking at the card.
“Wow so beautiful.” Gervais grins.
“Pretty flowers.” Tommy gasps.
“Next year I promise we’ll celebrate together. Love you always. Blue.” The card reads and for the millionth time that day Gervais tears up.
“So what’s next for you Danny?” W asks letting Gervais have a moment.
“My school doesn’t start for a few weeks yet. I’m looking for somewhere to live as I’ve decided I don’t want to share a room, we don’t do that at home. So I’m looking after these monkeys and doing the settling in sessions with the next victim.” Danny grins.
“If you can do a couple of evenings babysitting you can take over Gervais room. The new nanny has decided to live out as she’s got a new boyfriend.” W says.
“That would be amazing. W has just sprung this on me but I’d actually say if you’d do the Sunday morning that Gervais has done the room is yours. Anything further we’d pay you for.” AB says and W grins.
“Agreed, a lie in with my wife is priceless.” W laughs.
“Are you for real? The pool house? And I could use the pool? What about laundry?” Danny asks.
“Of course you can swim, do laundry and use the kitchen. There’s a microwave and toaster in the pool house and a fridge. The kids won’t bother you as they can’t go out back alone.” AB says.
“There’s a TV and everything too. These guys think it needs renovating but its really nice. You know, you’ve seen it.” Gervais says.
“I’d love to look after your munchkins on a Sunday morning and you get first pick of evenings too. Plus if you’re late and I’m home the nanny can get away, she’ll appreciate that I can tell you.” Danny says.
“As long as he can have a weekend or 2 off to visit me. You can send the kids to their grandparents.” Gervais grins cheekily.
“I’m sure we can work something out. It would put our mind at rest to have someone we trust in the house when we’re travelling too.” W says.
That night Danny and Gervais hit the town they skip their planned dinner still full from lunch and just go for a walk and then to a club and dance the night away. Danny comes back with Gervais after rather than risk waking his household.
“I can’t believe I get to live here. Its swwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.” Danny whistles.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got here. W and AB are great and the kids are fairly easy. It’s a good deal.” Gervais says.
“For sure. Saves me a packet too.” Danny says.
The pair cuddle for a while, nothing more, no desire for more and sleep soundly.