A week later Addie and I are landing in New Jersey and Nick is picking us up from the airport. "Mama, who is this again?" She hides behind me as she looks up at Nick.
I slowly turn around and bend down to look her in the eyes. "This is your Uncle Nick." A smile comes to my lips. "He's your daddy's brother. You'll meet your daddy soon I promise." She nods still looking scared. "I promise you will love Uncle Nick. He's an amazing person, who already loves you dearly." She clutches onto my hand, as she looks up to Nick. "I promise sweetie. I promise." Nick bends down to our level, and hands her a wrapped present.
"Addison, I got this for you. I hope you like it." She excitedly takes the gift and opens the box to see a Syke stuffed dog from Paw Patrol. She lets out a squeal of excitement as she gives him a hug.
"Thank you!" I can see all her fears disappeared with one little gift. A smile spreads across Nick's face, a smile that I don't think I've ever seen as he hugs Addie back. "I love it." Nick stands up, still holding Addie, as we walk to the car.
I smirk forms across my face as I see the car seat in the backseat. Nick called me last night freaking out, he forgot all about needing a seat for Addie. Once he finally shut up, I told him to just got to the closest Target and what brand to get. He struggles a little with getting her in the seat, but finally gets it.
We quietly drive down the road for a bit before I finally spoke up. "A-are they mad at me? Do they hate me?" My voice was a whisper. I'm not even sure if Nick heard me.
"They don't hate you. T-they were a little taken back." He flips on his turn signal and switches lanes. "Shocked, was more of it. Confused, Hurt. But never mad at you." I look out the window as we drive the roads of New Jersey. "Dad understood the most. I think he had some understanding about how much Joe hurt you. More than the rest of us."
"I called him after Joe went to rehab, after the statement was given to the press. I yelled. A lot. Said some pretty horrible things." I feel myself sink into my seat as I tell Nick. "I told him how Joe treated me. How he-" I stopped myself. I didn't want to go back to that space.
"Mom, well she was more not as understanding. But Dad talked to her, maybe he told her whatever you said to him all those years ago." He makes a turn down a street. "Kev and Dani, they understood. They were a little sad but I talked to them both and they are better now. Frankie, well he's just excited to see you and meet Addie." He squeezed my hand. "They are all excited."
We pulled into Kevin and Dani's house about thirty minutes. My heart felt like it was about to beat out of my chest, but I kept my nervous down for Addie. If she sees me freaking out, she will be the same. I need her to know that this is a great thing. She needs to know these people all love her. More than anything.
Nick gets her out of the car and sets her down, she grabs my hand as we start walking towards the door. "Mama?" She speaks in a whisper as she stops just shy of the door. "Who's all here?"
"Your family sweetheart." I tuck a piece of her hair behind her ear as I gently rub her cheek. "Your Uncle Kevin, Uncle Frankie, Aunt Dani, Grandma and Grandpa Jonas, and your two cousins Alena and Valentina."
"That's a lot of people Mama."
"It'll be fine, I promise. If you get scared or overwhelmed just come get me." She flashes a smile and nods before we start walking towards the door. Without knocking Nick walks through the front door.
Within seconds of walking through the door, a child's laughter floats in the air soon followed by a famous K2 laugh. A smile comes across my face faster than I would like to admit. Nick leads us through the house, into what I can believe is going to have the whole damn Jonas family sitting there and waiting for us.
My eyes scan the room as we enter, almost hoping maybe he changed his mind. Maybe somehow someone got a hold of him and got him to come. Maybe somehow, he finally got my messages. Maybe somehow, he finally, finally, would show up when I need him most.
"Hi everyone!" My voice sounds happier than I actually am. Of course, he isn't here. Why would he be? He ran away once we kind of reconnected. He's still not what I need him to be. "This is Addison, she does like to go by Addie though." I am kneeled down beside her. She gives them all a small wave with one hand as she holds my hand with the other.
Kevin's daughter Alena jumps from his lap and runs over to Addie. "This is your cousin Alena." Before anyone can say anything else, the girls are out of the room and heading towards the backdoor. Everyone besides Paul, Denise, Nick, and myself follow them.
Shit, I know what's happening here now. They want to have "the talk" with me. I've seen the looks on their faces many times. The first time was right about the time Joe and I were together for about six months. It was the longest relationship either of us had been in, they had the sex talk with us...for the first time. They were worried about our images; in case we weren't safe.
That same talk came about five more times within the first year of us being together. I got used to this look.
"Nick, can you please give us a moment." Paul's voice filled the room. "We have a few things to talk about."
Nick shakes his head and grabs my hand. "No thank you dad. I would like to stay with my best friend." I give Nick a smile, as Paul lets out a sigh but seems to give up on the issue. He knows Nick won't leave my side.
"Chelsea." I look at Paul as he speaks. "I can't tell you how happy we are to have you back into our lives. It hasn't been the same around here since you left the family." Denise reaches out for my hand, which I happily take, and she gives me a small squeeze before dropping it.
"I am sorry." Denise's voice is almost a whisper. She is usually the life of the room; her voice is always echoing off the walls. Giving you comfort, and love with every word. "I'm sorry, for not handling everything better all those years ago. I didn't want to see the bad in my son. I protected him, not just in the family but in the media. We made you out to be the issue, that's on us."
Taking a small breath, she looks out the door at her two granddaughters and a smile breaks out across her face. "I was upset at first. When Nicholas told us. After stepping back and looking at the whole picture, I get it. As a mother, I understand. We weren't being a healthy environment for you or your daughter. For that I am sorry."
I could feel the tears streaming across my face, as I jump up and wrap Denise in a hug. "Thank you. So much." I squeeze her as tight as I can, letting her know how much her words truly mean to me. Then I take my seat back beside Nick, as he gives me an ‘I told you so' look.
"We do ask one thing of you, other than letting us be in Addie's life that is." Paul gives me a smile, that doesn't quite meet his eyes. I know whatever they actually wanted to talk about is coming out of his mouth next. "We ask if you and Joe co-parent, whenever he returns but nothing more than that."
Nick let's out a laugh and I smack him in his chest to shut him up. "That will be no problem. I only have interest in Joe being in Addie's life."
"We just worry about you two spending more time together and-"
"Paul, I am going to stop you right there. I say this with the upmost respect. But even if I really wanted to try again with Joe and be a family that would be between Joseph and myself. But I can assure you that Joe, once again, running away from an issue assures me that I do not want to be with Joe."
The day is spent with Addie and Alena running around the backyard, screaming and hollering, and having the time of their lives. The rest of the family couldn't get enough of Addie. They were all head over heels in love with her. She has fallen, I believe, more in love with them.
Which, would be the reason that I am trying to fall asleep in Kevin and Dani's guest room while Addie and Alena are sleeping down the hall in Alena's room. And I am tossing and turning in this king size bed. Tossing the covers off I slip out of bed, out of the room and down to the kitchen.
I curse myself; I don't know where anything is in the damn kitchen. Why did I think it would simple for me to get a simple glass of milk? After opening the fifth cabinet I finally come across some glasses. Trying to stay as quite as I can I pour myself a glass of milk and sit on at the kitchen island.
"Can't sleep Chels?" Kevin's voice fills the air as I jump and knock the glass of milk over. "I didn't mean to scare you." He chuckles as he grabs a towel and cleans up the mess. "Still get some milk when you have a hard time sleeping, I see."
"I haven't really changed much in the last six years Kev. Just grew up some and became a mother." I give him a small shrug. "That's all."
"You make it seem like it's nothing." He takes the seat beside me. "I've watched Dani turn into this even more amazing, loving, caring person by becoming a mother. That's not saying it hasn't been hard on her, and she has me to help." He lays his hand on top of mine. "You...you had to do it by yourself. And you did an amazing job. She is..." He trails off with a small laugh. "the very best of both of you."
"Thank you." I let out a sigh. "It wasn't easy. But every minute was worth it, she is worth it. I'm sorry for keeping her away from you all for six years."
He shakes his head before answering.
"Don't apologize even for a second. I'm sad I missed six years of my niece's life. But as a father I understand why you did this. You kept your daughter safe, by any means. I would have done the same."
"You have no idea what that means to me. I was so scared of all this. I thought you all would hate me. That you would just be so upset with me." I look over the wall. "You guys were my second family. You were the big brother I never had. The person who always looked out for me."
"You are the sister I never truly wanted." Kevin's laugh fills the room. "But I wouldn't trade for the world. And now, you're stuck with us all. I don't think you will be able to keep Alena and Addie away from each other for a long period of time either."
"I don't want to. But she will have to share her with Jake, Jaime's little boy. He's about nine months younger than Addie. They are suck to each other's sides normally."
"How is Jaime?"
We continue catching up with each other for probably longer than we should stay up. Before we both knew it, it was three in the morning. Saying our good nights, we finally go to bed.
It feels like no later than I fell asleep, Addie is jumping on the bed with Alena in toe. "Mama wake up!"
"Yeah wake up!"
"I'm up girls. I am up." I sit up in bed as the sit on either side of me. "How do you both have so much energy all the time?" I tickle each girl a little on their sides. "You both seem really happy this morning."
"I just like being here Mama." Without another word, they jump off the bed and run out of the room.
I meet Kev, Dani and the girls in the living room. Addie was curled up next to Dani looking at her little cousin Valentina with pure love in her eyes.
"Mama, can I have a little sister?"
My eyes went wide with shock, and my mouth dropped open. Before I quickly shake off the shock of her question. "Maybe someday sweetie. Maybe someday" She lets out a huff at my answer before turning her back Valentina. "I'm sure your little cousin can hold you over until that day comes."
"You can see little Valentina here anytime you want." Dani gives Addie a small kiss on the top of her head. "I mean it." She looks at me with a smile. "I've missed you, I've been stuck with all these Jonas' boys by myself."
"Are you sure I didn't cause you more trouble with them? I mean Joe and I would always pull Nick into something we shouldn't have and then poor Kev would have to come and save us all."
"I've missed it more than you could ever know. Besides, I think we are passed our crazy days." Looking around at the three beautiful girls around the room, and I know we are way passed all those days.
"I've missed you too Dani."