Alex went to check on the boys and then into Steph's room. walking in the dimly lit room she saw Steph laying on her bed starting at the ceiling crying. Her slim shoulders shaking, trying not to let the whole house know her heart was breaking.
"Honey, it will be okay." walking to her speaking softly. "he didn't yell and he didn't throw you out of the house." she lovely moved her hair off her forehead. "He'll be home before you know it and you'll be back talking on your phone and going on sleep overs."
Stephanie looked at Alex, then she abruptly sat up and threw her arms around her neck.
"He hates me! I just know it ..." she cried harder "...I let him down!" She continued to sob onto Alex's shoulder. Alex held her close, rubbing her back. Trying to choose her words carefully Alex moved her back and looked deep into her eyes.
"He doesn't hate you Steph..." she said as she reached and wiped a stray tear from her face. "...he was so worried about you." she saw a look of disbelief come to her eyes.
"Honey..."she tried to convince her. "...you didn't let him down, more like you scared him to death."
"Scared? Him?" she said not sure she fully understood what Alex had said. "My dad scared?"
Alex nodded. "Here you are all the way across the ocean, going into a city like New York, and he wasn't here to go with you." She wasn't sure if Stephanie understood the consequences of what she had done.
"Anything could have happened to you Steph. "Anything...do you understand?" Finally it seemed to sink in all the things that might have gone wrong.
she got her to lay back down and she held her hand. "One thing I want you always to remember. Anytime you get scared or even mad about your mom or school or anything. I want you to come to me. You know you and I are a lot alike." she got up and pulled the covers up and tucked her in.
"You might be an only child..." she smiled down at her. Memories flooded in her mind of her childhood. "...but you will always be your daddy's baby girl." She laughed softly. "No matter if your going off to college or even when you get married... in your fathers eyes... you will always be that tiny baby girl they laid in his arms in the hospital."
The memories bringing a tear to her eyes as she spoke. Shivering a little she brought her mind back to the present.
"Now get some sleep....." she headed to the door, stopping she turned back to look at the young girl. "....your week will be over before you know it."
Stephanie jumped out of bed, rushing over she threw her arms around Alex's waist
"Thank You!" Stephanie whispered softly. Alex hugged her back.
"Okay now, get in bed and get some sleep. You have school tomorrow." Alex put her back in bed and walked out of the room. closing the door softly she leaned back on it and sighed.
Over the next two days she and Steph had gotten closer. Not being able to talk on the phone didn't stop her from trying to talk Alex's ears off. They both found they shared a love for books. Steph, like Alex could read a book in a few days.
The closer it came to time for Jon to come home, the more she replayed her talk with Steph the night she was put on restrictions. Alex had decided with the next call from Jon, she was going to discuss her thoughts.