“You think he set him up too? He faked Ashton losing them?”
“It would be easy to pull off…”
“Oh my God. I can’t believe you think Haiden is lying! You’re his godmother!”
“I’m not blind, Sage. Even when we were in St. Thomas, he was blowing up your phone. I bet he knew about Ashton before he even heard him on the phone.”
“We talk about him all the time. Maybe he was eavesdropping. How many times have you caught him listening to grown-up conversations when he was supposed to be sleeping? Kids are perceptive; you know that better than anyone.”
“Wow…” I shook my head, dumbfounded. “Now I don’t know what to think.”
“I’m sorry. I love Haiden; you know that. This isn’t easy for me to say to you. He’s just a kid, though, and he’s doing what he feels is best. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve told him that no one is going to take you away from him. He’s making sure no one does.”
I wanted to believe my son, but what if Aspyn was right?
“I think you should hear Ashton out some more. At least give him a chance to give you more details, and then draw your conclusion from there.”
“I can do better than that.” I stood, throwing the carton into the garbage in my kitchen. “Follow me.”
Haiden was outside playing soccer with Brady, and this was the perfect time to find the one person I knew would tell me the truth.
“Haven,” I announced, walking into her bedroom with Aspyn behind me.
“Hey, Mama.” She smiled, looking up from playing with her dolls.
I sat on her bed and patted next to me. Once she was sitting beside me, I grabbed her hands and placed them in my lap. Aspyn was sitting on her reading nook.
“What’s wrong, Mama?”
See … she could read me like a book.
“Baby, I need you to be honest with me. Can you do that?”
I swear she already knew what I was going to ask. Her face paled, tightening her grasp in my hands.
“Haven, look at me.”
She shook her head.
“Why won’t you look at me?”
“Because I’ve been bad.”
“What do you mean you’ve been bad?”
She shrugged, and I grabbed her chin, making her eyes connect with mine. Her gaze was rimmed with fresh tears.
“What’s going on?”
“Mama, please don’t hate me.”
“Baby, I could never hate you.”
“Please don’t hate Haiden.”
“I could never hate either of you. Why would you think that?”
“Because what we did to Ashton.”
I sighed, instantly feeling horrible I didn’t believe him. “So it’s true? What Ashton said at the fair?”
She nodded again, and I wiped away one of her tears.
“I’m so sorry, Mama. Please don’t be mad at me. I didn’t know what Haiden wanted to do at the fair, and he made me. He said Ashton was going to tell you the truth about all the pranks, and I got scared. I didn’t know what to do, so I did what he wanted.”
“And the pranks? You were in on those too?”
“Yeah.” She bowed her head. “I didn’t do them, Haiden did, but I kept you guys busy, so he could.”
I was beyond disappointed with them. “When did it start?”
“The day we met him at his house. It’s why I didn’t have my bathing suit in my unicorn backpack. Haiden needed it to put more boobytraps in both our bags.”
“What did you do to him?”
She flinched. “We put the bleach you use on your hair in his shampoo.”
I gasped. “Is that why Haiden asked me if Ashton had ever had blond hair?”
Ashton’s response quickly arose in my mind as if he was saying it to me right then. “Not by choice.”
“Your brother used me to taunt him. What else did you do?”
“Oh my God! There was more aside from the bleach?”
“Yeah … he put itching powder in his boxers.”
“Where did you get itching powder?”
“Uncle Brady’s house. Haiden says he uses it for his feet sometimes. When they go numb from all the soccer he plays.”
I couldn’t believe what she was disclosing.
How could I have been so blind to not know that my twins were torturing him? And why didn't Ashton tell me.? It’s not like you would have believed him if he did…
“I want to know everything you did to him, young lady.”
She told me about all the pranks, from the batteries, to the gum, to the peeing on his carpet, and the slingshot to his dick that was on purpose. We couldn’t have sex for a week after that one.
“I’m really sorry, Mama. Are we in trouble?”
“What do you think?”
“Why did you guys do that to him? I thought you liked him?”
“I do, Mama! I swear I do!”
“Then how could you go along with it?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t want Haiden to be mad at me if I didn’t.”
Haiden had this authority over Haven, and she always did what he wanted, ever since they were toddlers. Hence, why we ended up in the ER more times than I cared to remember.