Heart of Palms by Holly L. Aasen

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Previously… The guard feared that Cole must have been kidnapped. Little did he know that it was Jack who had successfully removed Cole from the hospital.

Episode 5

Jack successfully slipped Cole out of the hospital and then drove him immediately to the house where Maya and baby Sammy were waiting. He didn’t speak to Cole during the ride and hadn’t said where he was going or anything about Maya.

Cole’s eyes lit up as soon as he saw them and he was overcome with emotion as tears came streaming down his face. He couldn’t speak but his joy was abundantly clear. After all of the hugs and kisses of the reunion, Sammy went down for a nap and Jack sat with them for a serious discussion.

“So now that we’re all together and we all know that we’re in a great deal of danger, it’s time to get some things out on the table. Cole, you know what I’ve discovered about you and Maya, I can only assume you know his secret, is that true?”

Maya’s eyes widened, as she was fearful about what to say. She looked at Cole who nodded as a gesture of approval for her to speak the truth.

“Yes, I know everything,” she said hesitantly.

“So then you know that my son has been deliberately lying to me and everyone else around us for years. He’s clearly played me for a fool and created this charade about his mental state. He isn’t slow – he doesn’t have any problem in his brain. In fact he must be smarter than all of us to get away with this act for so long. I imagine that this sham he’s lived has made his career selling drugs much easier to get away with since everyone thought he was so innocent. That must have been his motive all along. I have only wondered what I did to deserve such an evil son? How did I raise such a monster? And after all…” he was interrupted mid-sentence by an explosive Maya.

“Don’t you dare say such things! He is not evil! You have no idea what he’s been through! Do you remember back when your wife – his mother died and all you could do was drink yourself into a stupor? I heard the stories, you couldn’t care for Cole – you couldn’t care for yourself! You didn’t seek help; you didn’t try to get better. You would have been dead too if he didn’t do something. He saved you. Once his teachers got involved and told you he was likely mentally slower than the rest of the kids and that he may be dependent on you for the rest of his life, that is when you finally stopped thinking about yourself so much and pulled it together to care for him. He recognized that. He saw what a difference it made and how you changed. Once he went down that road, he couldn’t turn around again. He thought he had to continue to stay a child for your sake. He didn’t want to show progress in school or test to his true ability because he was afraid you would go back to that depression. It was wrong but it came out of love and out of the survival instincts of a scared little boy who needed his dad. You must understand that! He’s done all of this because of you and for you!

Jack is stunned at what Maya is saying and remembers back to when Meredith died and how desperately sad he felt. It was true; he didn’t take care of Cole and his needs. He started to cry and then put his arms around Cole to hold him.Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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