The next morning, Theresa kept herself in her old room watching Jane draw in her coloring book. EJ preferred to spend a day with Miguel since he hadn’t seen his uncle in so long, so they went out to the arcade.
“Mommy, look what I drew.” Jane exclaimed as she ran up to her. Theresa smiled as she saw her daughter’s rendition of their family. She fought back tears at the sight of something so beautiful.
“Honey, it’s absolutely beautiful. I love you so much.” Theresa replied as she pulled Jane up to sit on her lap. She gave her daughter a tight hug and kissed her temple as she kept her close to her. No one was going to take Jane away from her. Her pride and joy.
“Mommy, who was that man we saw at the church?”
“Oh, Janie. He was an old friend of mommy’s.” She didn’t have the heart to tell her that Ethan was her father. She was just a baby when everything happened. She wouldn’t understand.
“Did he make you upset, Mommy?”
“He did, but I try not to think about it anymore. He can’t upset me anymore. He won’t upset me. If you see him, I want you to be nice to him, okay?” Theresa said to her little girl, tucking Jane’s long dark hair behind her ear. She gave her baby girl a tight hug when she heard the door knock. “Come in.”
Theresa smiled as she saw Luis’s head poke in. She didn’t have a lot of friends, but at least she had her older brother supporting her, even when she made mistakes. She looked up at him so much. She remembered how he gave up his entire life to help the family once Martin disappeared.
“How are my baby sister and niece?” He replied as he stepped into her room and gave his sister and his niece a kiss on the temple.
“We’re fine, Luis. Look at what Jane drew from me.” Theresa smiled as she showed the drawing to her brother.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous. Janie, you’re going to be a fantastic artist like your mommy.” Luis replied as he ruffled his niece’s hair. “Squirt, Tía Paloma just finished making some chocolate chip cookies. If you ask nicely, she might give you a cookie or two.” He winked before Jane jumped off Theresa’s lap and ran out of the room.
Luis took a seat on the foot of the bed and watched his little sister look out the window with that hidden sadness in her eyes. “You okay?”
“Yeah. I’m okay. Just thinking about when we’re going to go back home. There are too many bad memories, and I can’t relive them.”
“Theresa, I wish you would stay. You have family here. Friends…”
“What friends, Luis?” Theresa snapped as she turned her head to look at him with a slight irritation in her eyes. “When I was lost my daughter, everyone blamed me despite the fact that Gwen stabbed me and kidnapped her. Everyone said that it was my fault when Alistair raped me. Pardon me if I don’t find that rather friendly.”
“Theresa, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I know I was one of those people. I promised I would protect you, and I failed.”
“It’s okay. It’s all in the past anyway.” Theresa gave him a brief smile before looking back out at the window. “I saw Ethan last night. Twice actually.”
“What did he want?” Luis asked as he struggled to contain his anger. Every time he saw Ethan, he just wanted to rip him apart for hurting his sister. He knew that Ethan was truly in love with Theresa, but all he did was hurt her. When Theresa left Harmony, he just wanted to tear him limb from limb.
“He wanted us to put the past behind us and be friends.” Theresa scoffed. “It was just so stupid how he asked that, like I can just forget about the things he said to me, the things he did.”
“Theresa, I want to ask you an honest question.” Luis replied as he walked over to the window she looked out of. “Do you still love him?”
“As much as I hate to admit it, I do still love him. A part of me will always love him, but that’s not enough. Maybe in some perverse way he loves me, but the things he did just were so cruel that I can’t forgive that. I know there’s that saying ‘You hurt the ones you love’, but he destroyed me.” Theresa frowned as she fought back tears that threatened to fall.
“You’ve become a stronger person from this. You’re a great mom with two beautiful children. You’re a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit. You will find someone who will love you and adore the way you should be.” Luis replied as he went over to Theresa to give her a hug. Suddenly both their heads rose as they heard the sound of the doorbell.
“I wonder who that could be. Only two other people know I’m here.” Theresa tensed at the possibility that someone may come for her. She didn’t want to lose her freedom or her children.