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I went about as usual. I woke up every morning and made breakfast for the family. I saw the girls off to school before cleaning up then I would head to the garden to harvest the plants before the gardener I hired to arrive and water and weed them as there was not enough time in my day to do all of those tasks by myself. Then I would spend an hour or so practicing my yoga techniques.

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After my yoga session, I would continue working out in our gym, go swimming or work on another painting. Then I would prepare lunch and wait for the girls to return home from school where we would eat together and I would help them with their homework before they would all go off and do their own thing.

Zachary would come home by that time and they would each spend time with him. He and I avoided spending any time with each other that wasn’t necessary. The reason why I kept myself so busy was so that I could try to forget what I had learned about what he did to me. I still signed the divorce papers so in a matter of a few months we would no longer be man and wife and he could finally be free to legitimately sleep with Adalynn. I’m sure that’s where he was the other night when I saw him walking into the house at 4 am with this goofy look on his face. Staff party running late my foot! Those parties always finish before midnight. I know because I went to countless staff parties with him over the years. He must think I’m some kind of fool!

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I still haven’t confronted him and I don’t think I ever will. I have a plan formulating where he will get his. It’s just a matter of time before I get my satisfaction off of his misery. But I will be patient. Let him think I’ve given him his way and that I’m still ignorant to his dirty deeds. He won’t even see it coming and to me that’s the best part!

1431

Winning back Zachary had been my goal from since I returned home but since that was now a lost cause I needed to refocus my priorities to where it was most needed and most important and that was to my girls. I needed to take more of an active interest in their lives in order to be a good mother to them.

But it was very difficult sometimes.

Like that night I caught Isabel trying to sneak in at 2 am on a school night!

She snuck out to go to some party at a dance club with her hooligan friends again! At least she didn’t carry along her sisters this time. No need for her to corrupt my two other girls. I don’t know what her problem is. Doesn’t she understand how dangerous it is for a teen girl to go out to these adult bars late at night? Is she trying to give us a heart attack?!

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Of course, she’ll claim she’ll never do it again and then we’ll ground her for a month or so but then as soon as her grounding is over she goes on and does the same thing all over again. She just doesn’t take us seriously. She doesn’t take anything seriously! Not even school work. She’s such a bright girl too if only she would apply herself then she could bring home an A every now and then instead C minuses and D pluses.

At least I never have to worry about my two other girls. Johanna makes good grades but Ivy is really the star academic, always straight A’s and never any complaints from her teachers. The only problem I have with Ivy is those awful clothes she insists on wearing all the time. I keep making suggestions but she never takes them so I decided that I would have to take control of the situation.

“Girls, how about if the three of us go out tomorrow morning?” I said to her and Johanna. “Tomorrow’s Saturday and I’ve always wanted to go to the new café downtown.” I carefully left out the part about going shopping afterwards because I knew Ivy would refuse if she suspected that was the purpose of the trip.

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“That sounds great Mum!” Johanna exclaimed a little too excitedly. I told her about my plans before and she was already on board.

“What about Izzy?” Ivy asked. “Why can’t she come too?”

“She’s still grounded, remember? She’ll stay home with your Dad while we spend some quality time together.”

“But…tomorrow’s the Blicblock online tournament. It starts from 6 am until 2 in the afternoon and…”

What kind of teenager gives up lattes and shopping for a computer game? “Oh come on darling, you can always play your little game some other Saturday. I’ve wanted to do something like this with you girls for a long time. You know how much I missed out on during your childhood. Please don’t pass on it for a game.”

“Um…well…alright Mum. I’ll go.”

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She didn’t seem happy about having to give up her dumb little tournament but at least she was coming along. Good thing Isabel got herself grounded. The last time I tried to talk to Ivy about getting a makeover Isabel jumped to defend her and complained about Johanna and me trying to pressure her. Without her around, I knew Johanna and I would be able to convince Ivy to see things our way.

“Ugh…Mum…seriously?” Ivy groaned when she realised she had been duped into coming to the mall. “Why are we here? I thought we were just going for coffee and scones!”

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“Don’t be so dramatic. I’m not taking you to a torture chamber. I only want to buy you new clothes.” I assured her.

“But Mum…”

I ignored her whining as we entered the store. We browsed for a bit before I noticed a few outfits that I thought would look great on her.

“Try on this top and this skirt. It will look great on your complexion.”

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“I don’t want to. This is lame, Mum.”

“You know what’s lame, your clothes. That’s what’s lame.”

“What’s wrong with my clothes? I look good. They’re comfortable…”

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“Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to make a lasting impression? It’s no wonder you don’t have any friends at school dear.”

“I have friends.”

“Those online loser buddies of yours?” Johanna jumped in. “Ivy you are so pretty but you hide your natural beauty when you should make it shine. All you need to do is to lose that stupid hat and those ugly boots. Your jeans are fine. A nice tank top with some strappy sandals or wedges and maybe if you let your hair down you’ll look amazing. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about. All the guys at school will start to notice you and then maybe you can get your own friends instead of leeching off of me and Izzy at school.”

“Do I look that bad?”

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“You don’t look bad, dear.” I added. “But you don’t look your best. And as we’re talking about changes, you need to stop with those childish hobbies of yours.”

“They’re not childish!”

“Yes, they are. What high schooler do you know runs around the neighbourhood digging in the dirt for fossils and gems? Or plays games for hours talking to strangers and collecting postcards? You’re the reason why you’re so socially awkward Ivy and you need to stop. You’re a Sloane!”

She became really quiet probably because she felt embarrassed. The truth hurt but it was necessary. I needed to do what was best for her.

“Your great grandmother Bree was a rocket scientist and an astronaut. She built that rocket ship in our backyard all on her own. She was a genius and an intellectual but she still took pride in her appearance. She was not glamorous but she still had a little style. She didn’t waste her time on frivolous things and dress like some mountain child. You’re such a neat freak like me, and yet you have no problem digging in the dirt. This is not acceptable to me. You’ll never become anything if you continue being the way you are.”

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I saw the tears in her eyes and realised I went too far. I hurt her feelings. I didn’t want to but I needed to make my point. She ended up running off and took a cab home. We didn’t get to buy anything for her so my objective for that day failed. Johanna was concerned that I was too hard on her but she of all people should understand why I said what I said. She was the one complaining about Ivy embarrassing her around her friends.

I was trying to help both of them!

When I returned home I overheard her and Isabel talking as they were doing their homework. She told Isabel how I tried to bully her into buying new clothes. Bully her? That wasn’t what happened!

Anyway, Isabel comforted her and cracked a few jokes to cheer her up before assuring her that she didn’t need to change the things she liked because she would always have a best friend in her. It was then I realised that I was never going to succeed in my plans for Ivy since she had Isabel’s support.

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I would have to get used to seeing her look hideous I suppose.

At least I had one daughter who was getting it right. Johanna has become the most popular girl in school even finding her way to the top of her clique. My youngest is destined for great things. I know I won’t have to worry about her succeeding in life because she’s a go-getter just like me. I look at the way her friends follow her around and seek out her advice and I’ll admit that I get slightly jealous of her.

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When I was her age I was popular at school but I still had a small number of friends compared to her and I don’t think any of them showed me the same level of respect that they show her. Whenever her group comes over they all run straight to the hot tub and then end up in her bedroom trying on outfits.

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She’ll put on some hideous outfit and they would still rush to compliment her on her bold style choices. She and I often laugh about how gullible some of her friends are. She could wear anything and they would think it was trendy and cool and that was because she kept them all in line. They knew she was the boss of their group and they all did their best to keep her happy and entertained.

I’m so proud of her!

1445

Zachary has been more quiet than usual. After the incident with Ivy, I expected him to come and lecture me about the things I said to her at the store but he didn’t. I knew he knew about it because I overheard Isabel telling him what happened, and then he rushed to console her but still said nothing to me. It was very odd. Zachary has always been a protective father who rushed to their defence. So why didn’t he this time?

Honestly, he truly has been acting strangely lately. He doesn’t eat with us anymore and chooses to dine in his bedroom. He always looks tired or fatigued. Maybe even worried? I also noticed he gained a little weight too. There must be trouble in paradise. I guess Adalynn is getting impatient waiting for the divorce to be finalised so that’s what has him looking depressed and cranky.

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Good.

I hope she’s the reason why he’s stressed out!

I hope she breaks his heart like he broke mine!

I hope he gains more weight and starts to look old and ugly and fat! And then he’ll get what’s coming to him from me! I already put things in place so it’s just a matter of waiting for when it does!

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