Episode 985: I'm With YouWith their toasted sandwiches in hand, Xavier and Justine walked away from the food truck and settled at a picnic table in the park furthest from any foot traffic.
She’d long known he had a thing about large gatherings, it just wasn’t until more recently that she’d fully understood why he’d wanted to keep such a low profile.
“This is a bit weird, huh?” He noted. “We’ve never done this, just the two of us, eating together.”
Justine nodded. “I want to clear the air and I thought it would be better to do that without Quentin and the kids.”
This time Xavier nodded. “I get that. Quent told me that Sebastian let you in on who I am. He said you were okay with it, but I understand if now that you’ve had some time to think it over, you want me to step back. I should have been upfront, you deserved to know who you were trusting with your kids. At the very least after you were told, I should have initiated this lunch, not put the onus on you to push me away. I should have volunteered to go and I’ll make it clear to Tansy that you’re not to blame, this is my fault, I-”
“Xavier,” Justine interrupted. It was strange calling him that after all this time of knowing him by another name. But a name didn’t really mean anything, did it? He was still the person she knew. “I wanted to meet with you one on one so my intentions are clear, so you don’t think I’m just bowing to pressure from Tansy and Quent when I say that as far as I’m concerned, you’re family, a brother of sorts to my husband, and an uncle to my kids, you are one of us, no matter how annoying we may be.”
His face relaxed. He smiled. “Thank you, it means more than you could know. And I really am sorry for not telling you everything a long time ago, but I promise that life is behind me.”
Justine patted his hand. “If at some point you find yourself struggling to keep it behind you, that’s what we’re here for, too, that’s what family is for. My circumstances growing up were very different from yours, so I can’t say I understand what you went through, but I understand not having a whole lot of support and how good it feels once you know for sure that someone has your back. I didn’t have that until Quent and my kids. That support is everything, I would never take that way from you. And honestly, the way things are with Bas, I’m probably in the market for a brother of sorts, too.”