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Chapter 8

  • Chapter Eight
  • Stealing a side glance at Tom and watching his face gain a deeper shade of red as his ire increased, she wondered the same thing. How she wished she knew.
  • “Maybe because you call him Mr. Tanner instead of daddy,” she chastised gently.
  • His brows furrowed and his lips took a harsh line. Like every time she stared into her son’s little face, she was hit with a sense of familiarity, but as always, she could never put her finger on it.
  • “Because he’s not my daddy. You don’t remember, but I do—”
  • “Tasha,” Tom interrupted harshly only for DJ to scream over his next words—“That’s not her name!”
  • Tasha caressed his cheek, holding him tighter against her when she felt his little body shake. “Hey kiddo, what’s the matter?”
  • He glared at Tom and Tom glared back. What the hell was going on?
  • “Do you want us to have that talk again?” Tom hissed through clenched teeth.
  • Stunned, Tasha stared at him. Did he just threaten my son?
  • DJ flinched as if he’d been hit then quickly wrapped his arms tightly around her neck as he vigorously shook his head. She had to tug lightly on his arm to loosen the hold.
  • “Good,” he nodded smugly. He smoothed back his dark blond hair before reaching for his jacket and briefcase from the chair. “I’m off to work. Tasha, you need to learn how to home school him.”
  • “What? Why? He loves going to school, probably the only kid who does! Is this some sort of punishment for challenging you?” she exclaimed, barely containing her anger.
  • He shrugged nonchalantly. “Take it however you want to, I don’t care. He’s not going back. His IQ is attracting too much-unwanted attention.” With that, he sauntered out of the kitchen the front door echoing his departure.
  • Tasha soothingly rubbed DJ’s back. “Don’t listen to him honey. You’re going to school and you are going to have fun learning all those new things—well learning them again.”
  • She heard him sniff against her neck. It broke her heart knowing whatever threat was in Tom’s last words to him made him so scared he cried. Why couldn’t they just get along? What was so different this year than the other four?
  • These were the moments when she cursed that stupid accident that caused her amnesia.
  • DJ wiggled in her arms. “You can put me down now. I wanna go to my room and learn my triangles.”
  • Tasha smiled. Only her son would do fifth-grade algebra for fun. But it saddened her how dejected he sounded. She carried him to the staircase and placed him down on the bottom step.
  • “Alright but I don’t know how long you’ll be able to work on your triangles. You’re leaving for school in half an hour.”
  • He frowned, his brows drawing them together. “But Mr. Tanner said—”
  • She waved his concern away. “You’re going because your mommy said so and I’m the boss of you.”
  • His lips parted in the brightest smile that reached his brown eyes making them sparkle. Again, so very familiar.
  • “Thanks, momma!” he cheered wrapping his arms around her neck and hugging her tight. She was glad the accident didn’t take this away from her. This feeling of love and accomplishment every time she made him smile. “I promise I won’t ask too many questions. I’ll help everyone else instead. Did you know there is a way of teaching math to active five-year-olds? I don’t know why Miss Blakely hasn’t found that out yet. She’s been teaching for a decade.”
  • Tasha rolled her lips in her mouth to hide her amusement. He says a decade when other kids would either hold up their ten fingers and say ‘this many’ or just say ten. Yup, she was proud of being the mother of a genius.
  • “Good thing you looked it up. Now you can help her.”
  • He nodded seriously. “You’re right momma. As always. I’ll go get ready for school.” He turned around and ran up the stairs.
  • Tasha watched him until he disappeared. Then she sat down and let the worry consume her like it always did. Waking up from a coma with amnesia to find out she had a husband and a son had been scary. Realizing that said husband and son couldn’t stand each other was scarier. Especially when DJ insisted Tom wasn’t his father and Tom didn’t bother to correct him despite always assuring her that he was DJ’s father. He was exhausted of trying to explain to him how a white man could biologically have a black son. But what scared her the most, was finding out her son had tested in the highs of a hundred and fifty-five and now they had to hide him because… she paused at that.
  • Why did they have to hide that?
  • She wasn’t embarrassed about her son’s high IQ. She was proud of that fact. But Tom wasn’t, which was bizarre! The man had close to ten diplomas hanging on his wall attesting to how he valued knowledge—ow. That’s right, DJ’s IQ was higher than his. So that’s why he had to stay a secret? The father didn’t want to be outshined by the son. Was he truly embarrassed that DJ was smarter than him? She snorted. Of all the conceited things!
  • Well, it was about time she put that man straight on a few things. He might have been her guide those months she was learning to get back into the swing of things, but it was time she made her presence felt. She’d managed to be a mother again with no memory and everything else had come back to her naturally and she was finally content with making new memories. But to say the truth, she was beginning to wonder why and how she got into that car crash and everything that led to it.
  • “Tom, today you’re going to give me the answers to all my questions. You’re not going to dismiss me today.” She marched back to the kitchen, grabbed a rag and went down on her knees to clean the breakfast mess.