Everything was a blur after finding Nani shot through the heart. The police asked questions I couldn't answer, nor could I tell them how I knew where to find her. Debbie and Sean were there getting footage for their late night news. I refused both requests for interviews.
I paid the sitter then checked on Toby. He was peacefully unaware of what was going on in his life. I took a quick shower and changed my clothes that were still covered in Nani's blood. Picking up my phone to make funeral arrangements, I felt dead inside. Although I had no great love for Nani, she had been the mother of my son.
Once everything had been arranged, I busied myself with household chores and just being there for Toby. The night of the memorial services, I sat on the floor reading to him. Perhaps when he thinks back, he will remember the fun he had with me instead of the sadness that would follow.
People showed up in droves to the services. B was there with Silver. I avoided him as much as possible during the evening.
I was just reaching under the kitchen bar to have a drink when I noticed smooth, long legs stop right next to me. I knew those legs. Chloe?
Indeed, Chloe had shown up. She offered condolences to me and Toby. I watched her during the night as I received words of encouragement from everyone.
She approached me with Toby on her hip. She wanted to know what I was going to do with him when I worked. I told her I had been thinking daycare. She was adamant that daycare was not good for Toby right now. She offered to sit with him in the evenings after her shift so I could take on cases or put time in at the department.
I was surprised that she would offer. And at the moment, I wasn't sure my heart could handle being that close to her again.
Once Toby was asleep and the last guest was gone, she pressed me again to let her help. I gave in but decided to try and keep my heart at a distance. I knew it would be tough to do. When she leaned in to hug me, I was surrounded by her soft scent. Distance, Drake.
The next afternoon, Chloe showed up and took Toby outside to play. I put on my coat and took one last look at Nani's picture. I decided to move it to the shelves. I would keep it for Toby to remember her by. Her tombstone would be done by the end of the week.
Funny thing about life, it stops for no one or nothing. Toby continued to get bigger and he was learning new words everyday. He was so smart and not scared of anything.
I became relentless in my search for answers. I learned through Kels that Roarke's gang had been involved with Nani's death.
More research showed that the hit had come from elsewhere. Silver, perhaps? But Twallan had been tied in somehow. And until I figured it out, I would be cautious about what I said or did until then.
Chloe became a big part of our household. I began to look forward to our evenings together. It was great to see this other side of Chloe. I never knew she was so into her shows. Why do I find that cute?
One evening I was following a lead on the throw-a-way gun that was used on Nani. Ace claimed that she might have seen it just after moving into my old apartment. But that it disappeared right after. I couldn't trust her so I decided to have a look for myself.
I brought my tools and made quick work of the door. I did a quick skim of the room and found that Ace had changed very little since she had moved in. I noticed she had thrown my old lamp in the trash so I picked it up and put it under my arm.
As I cased the rest of the place, I noticed the stereo had been moved. After sliding it to the left, I noticed a small cubbie, just big enough to hide a gun. Someone had hidden Nani's murder weapon here?! Or had the weapon belonged to Nani all along? Due to a little mix up with Ace when she came home earlier than expected....
... I had some explaining to do. The police did show up but I was never formally charged. This new bit of gossip caused another dip in my case load.
I decided to seek legal action against that person.
Apparently, Lacey can say whatever it is that she wants to. I firmly believe I lost that case only because she is a Five Star Celebrity!
I tried not to let it bother me. I had other things going on in my life.
Toby was learning to walk. And he was a whiz with that block set I had bought him.
I imagine that Chloe might be falling a little in love with the guy, too. She has taken to spending her free time with us, even though I haven't had any new cases.
I have had a few ... episodes? I don't know what they are really. Usually its after a long night of tracing down cold clues to Nani's death or trying to dig up information on Twallan.
I imagine I can see her ... Nani. She is either doing normal things or staring right at me. I usually close my eyes then count to five. I don't know. Maybe I am losing my mind. But I have kept up with Twallan's updates. Despite changing my number and getting a new email address, I still get them. I file them all away on a jump drive I keep locked in my room. The only time I mention them is now, when I write my blog.
Early ran off with Henna. Henna's ex-partner, Pheobe, was so ashamed that she took their children that were still living at home and moved as well.
Bina gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Elliot. Two days after coming home from the hospital, she reportedly told L she was running to the store. She has yet to return.
Tommy Wilde and Duffy Teen had an "oopsie" which led to them getting married in short order.
Ladybug and Beau are over the moon about their little bundle of joy, Nathaniel.
With their only child in High School, B was loathe to share the news of her pregnancy with Silver. How I wished that it wasn't his.
A lot of simmies are hooking up. Alecia Simself has snagged the attention of Brydon Tomson.
And his little brother, Collin, was seen putting the moves on Bella Bachelor. And her older brother, Michael, and his wife, Horsey, are now expecting as well.
Dina welcomed home their newest member to the Crazy household, Cliff.
Paisley is obviously smitten by the dapper Elmer Simself. I hope he doesn't follow in his father's footsteps. So much is changing.
Even my little boy. Today is his birthday! Where does the time go?
Chloe offered to come over early and help set up. I have almost come to expect her to be there.
We had several people show up. My buddy Mark and his wife and a few of Chloe's co-workers as well.
I don't think I have ever felt as much pride as I did in that moment when Toby and I leaned down together and blew out his candles. This was my boy. And nothing was going to change that. I decided I had to put the guilt I felt at Nani's death and my inability to prevent it, away. Start living life and enjoying what I had.
Long ago, I had picked a special flower outside the graveyard. It has never wilted and I am told that it holds special powers. It's probably not the kind of present Toby was expecting at that moment, but one day he will come to appreciate it.
After the party, Chloe and I cleaned up. I found Toby sleeping on the sofa so I carried him upstairs and laid him in his new bed in the spare room. Out of sentiment, I wandered back into his nursery. This is where Chloe found me.
I can't say it was unexpected. But to be pursued instead of the pursuer? To be in the position of accepting or refusing the happiness of another? Its shocking when you are in that moment.
Somehow, I felt like I was getting a second chance at life. Like this is what it had been meant to be like from the beginning. This time around, though, I wasn't going to do anything to mess it up.