Bill walks into the kitchen, stopping for a minute as he takes a sniff and looks around. He then looks on surprised as he sees Chase at the stove.
“My son is a cook?” He questions out loud as Chase glances back at him, smiling before focusing back to the food.
“I’m no gourmet chef, but I know how to cook a couple things dad – like breakfast,” he answers as Bill takes a seat at the table.
“I’m impressed.” Chase rolls his eyes as he flips the bacon over. “So Cindy said you woke up last night with a nightmare.” Chase glances back as he lets out a sigh.
“And of course mommy would continue to be overly concerned with me and tell you that, huh?” Bill just shrugs his shoulders. “Look, I told her the truth. I’ve had a couple nightmares, but I’m fine. I’m dealing with them slowly, finding ways to get back to sleep quickly. Give me a bit more time and you won’t hear about it.” Bill sat there impressed as it didn’t sound like the same young man who avoided stuff like this always. However, he understood the change based on their conversation the night before.
“I trust you. Hence why I’m calmed her worries, but assured her I’d ask incase.” Chase smiles as he focuses back to breakfast.
“So what’s your plan today?” Bill glances around, not having thought it through as they weren’t supposed to have been in North Carolina at this time. However, it was welcome right now.
“I was going to stop by and say hi to Dale and Marie as we haven’t seen them in awhile, and then probably go see Jeff and Rick as you can’t stop by without saying hi or else they both kick our asses. I know there are a couple others that Cindy wants to see, and I have some more – so we’re basically making our rounds today and then heading out tonight. Why?” Chase really didn’t have a real reason for asking, except curiosity.
“I was just curious, that’s all.” Chase keeps himself focused on the breakfast as he watches the ladies both enter the kitchen, giving them a quick smile.
“You raised the boy right, Cindy,” Alyssa comments as she gives Chase a quick kiss before walking over to the cupboard and getting some glasses out.
“I didn’t teach him how to cook breakfast,” Cindy says as she sits down at the table.
“That was Ryan’s doing, actually, after annoyance on his part in how I’d never help out,” Chase states, catching everybody off-guard. “His lessons have paid off – just ask Alyssa.”
“You can trust his cooking,” Alyssa assures them. “He hasn’t poisoned me yet.”
The group went through breakfast easily – and without issue as yes, Chase’s cooking was good. Everybody then got ready for the day as Alyssa headed to the shop to check in with the guys, while Bill & Cindy kicked off their trip around town. Chase had thought about going with Alyssa, but had another idea instead.
Once they had left, he makes the short walk across Dale’s property to Dale’s house, walking up the steps and knocking on the door.
“Hey Chase,” he hears as Dale opens the door with a smile. He moves back, easily allowing Chase to enter without a problem. It was common for Chase to come over and visit often.
“Is Marie around by chance?” Chase asks as Dale looks on confused. It was normally him that Chase would look for, or else Robby for some crazy fun in the backyard with him and Alyssa.
“She’s actually out on a couple errands right now because we forgot to grab some things.” Chase lets out a sigh at that busted his plan. He knew he had to keep making headway on his emotions, and talking about certain aspects of what his mind was thinking as he could. He had made the decision to tackle the idea of blame and figured Marie would be the perfect person, considering she blamed herself for months as it started with her family. “What’s up Chase?”
“I was hoping I could talk to her about something, actually.” Dale found himself even more caught off-guard, wondering if it had to do with what happened or his daughter. Perhaps even a bit of worry drifted into the picture.
“Everything is okay, right? I mean, there’s nothing that I need to worr-”
“It’s fine, Dale – trust me. If something was going on with Alyssa, myself or somebody else, I’d tell you straight up. You know I don’t keep secrets like that, right?” Dale shakes his head yes, feeling relief inside. While he knew Chase wouldn’t keep secrets, the spoken relief felt better. “I’m trying to work through everything that happened by talking to different people that I feel it relates to and can speak up to about. I’ve talked to Tony, Regan, my parents, Alyssa. I just felt this would best be discussed with Marie.”
“What exactly do you mean? Perhaps I could help you out…” Chase thought about it, and understood how Dale could perhaps offer some perspective. He remembered how Dale blamed himself for months over what happened to him, and how that played a role in things down the road.
“I appreciate the offer, but this is something I’d rather save and talk to Marie about, actually. I mean, it just feels right.” Dale wanted to push the issue, knowing how Chase held things in and knowing the re-cautions that produced. However, he wanted to give him respect – just in case Chase needed to turn to him later on.
“That’s fine as I understand. Listen, just know if you do want to talk about something, you just have to let me know and I can hear you out – as always.” Chase shakes his head, accepting. That thought hadn’t waved from his mind, ever. “By the way, how is my daughter handling things, if you can elaborate?”
“She’s starting to talk to people, Dale. I’ve talked with her a bit, but I know she’s talked to a couple people actually. Just last night she had a long conversation with my mom.” Dale shook his head, having seen the car pull up last night.
“I thought I saw Bill and Cindy….” Chase smiles.
“Yeah, mom was worried about me and my emotions so they made a surprise trip to see how I was doing. Actually, I’m thankful they did as I had a good conversation with my dad about some things, and then had one with my mom after Alyssa and her talked. To be honest, Dale, I think my mom helped her more than anything as she got a lot out on the table.” Dale was surprised as he didn’t know of Alyssa and Cindy being close, and remembered Cindy’s initial reservations about Alyssa and Chase together. However, he could see how Alyssa may find Cindy as someone to confide in.
“Your mother may be tough as nails at times, but she has this really sweet caring side and I think that’s what Alyssa reached out for there. I’m glad that she was able to help her, though.”
“So am I. Listen, I’m going to get going as I’ve got some places to be today. When Marie gets in, let her know I stopped by.” Dale shakes his head, accepting.
“Will do. Remember – door is always open.” Chase smiles as he gives a wave, heading out as Dale leans back against the door way.
“Dad, is everything okay?” Dale hears, and glances towards Elsa. He shakes his head yes as he watches her eyes focus on him. “It’s just I heard Chase wanted to talk to mom about something, and then you guys mentioned Alyssa and…..You’re not lying, are you?” Dale shakes his head no.
“I can assure you that nothing is going to happen and they’re okay,” Dale starts as he looks her in the eyes. “However, with what they went through, it was very traumatic and it brings up a lot of emotions. They’ve got some things that are bothering them right now – from the pain, to the fear, to everything that comes with it. When you’re going through that, it helps to talk to someone. That’s why Chase wanted to see Marie, and that’s why he was mentioning how Alyssa has been taking steps, including a conversation with Cindy.” Elsa shakes her head, accepting, as she looks out the doorway with her dad.
“I just want my sister back that I grew up loving. I don’t want things to change….” Dale puts an arm on her shoulder.
“Alyssa hasn’t changed one bit in regards to the relationship you have, or how she is, sweetheart. She’s just a little more aware of things, and having to change her daily routine a little. Don’t worry – she’ll still annoy you as much as ever.” Elsa rolls her eyes as she looks at her dad.
“And I can annoy her, too?” Dale shakes his head yes.
“You can give her the same crap as always that she’d shoot you for, but just know to balance it with everything, okay?” Elsa shakes her head yes as she wraps her arm around Dale. “I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you too, kiddo.”