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Song for this chapter – My Father's Eyes by Eric Clapton
So, Gibson is finally old enough for us to hear from his perspective and I plan on using that to my advantage. Lol, without further ado … let's see what Gibson has gone through and see if he is able to find his father, Edward Cullen.
Thanks for dannibags for correcting my errors, and for being awesome. Piesmom for making sure that everything is good before it's début.
My Father's Eyes
"My mother fucking smacked me," I mumbled to myself as I raced from the house. Confused and hurt, I couldn't believe it. The one woman in my life that I respected more than anything in the world, and she fucking smacked me. At first, I was stunned she even did it; my mother wasn't ever the type to strike her child out of anger. However, when I thought about the fact that she smacked my face, it pissed me off to no end. I never tolerated that from anyone and I knew if I hadn't gotten out of that house, I would have done something I would have regretted for the rest of my life. Even though it would have been wrong, I didn't take getting slapped lightly. But, I couldn't and I wouldn't because it was her. I kicked the damn tires of my fucking car trying to cool down and blow off some of the steam that had been blowing out of my ears before I left.
I couldn't really be mad at her, could I? I mean, I called her a slut and implied that she was only interested in bedding a rock star. Shit! I kicked the fucking tire again, but harder. When I saw headlights coming up the drive, I hopped into my car, not wanting to deal with whoever mom called. I knew she would call someone to talk to. Hell, I couldn't blame her. I needed someone to talk to and not take my frustrations and anger out on my tires or her. I knew it wouldn't have ended well if I continued. As I backed out of the driveway, I passed Alice.
I didn't even wave at her, just sped off into the night.
Once I got back to my dorm, I face planted on my bed, not wanting to deal with my life, at that moment. I didn't answer her calls that night nor did I call her the rest of the week. In some ways, I knew I was making her suffer, and that it wasn't right to behave so childishly. Actually, it was the first time since Paul had died that I didn't call and talk to her. It hurt, but I had to stay focused on my school work. Or, that was the excuse I told myself. I was close to graduating and knew that if I even began to deal with finding my biological father and having to deal with making amends with mom, I would allow my studies to slide. Hell, I didn't even know if I was ready to deal with the fucked up shit that was going on in my life.
The following Saturday, I gathered all my dirty clothes and tried to wash them at the laundromat. However, I turned every damn one of my new white socks pink. The girl beside me giggled as I pulled the pink socks from the dryer cursing like a sailor because now I would have to buy more, and I hated to fucking shop.
"You should have separated them from the colors. Red has a tendency to make white things pink in the wash," she stated not even really paying me any attention as she pulled her clothes from the dryer.
"Yeah," I sighed. This was the first time I had done my laundry alone, and didn't know there was a formula to it. That was another thing my mother still did for me over the years; laundry and shopping for clothes.
"Just a word of advice … don't wash them with jeans either. It will make them look dark." She winked and walked out of the laundromat. I watched her leave noticing her nice ass in her shorts. I hoped I got a chance to see her again. Hell, I didn't even catch her name. Too bad I wasn't the type to sleep with the first piece of ass that came around; sure I had been with women and yes more than one. But, usually the girls I was with where girlfriends for a while before I dared do anything with them. And, I never … never did anything without a condom. I wasn't about to make the same mistakes as my parents made; plus I wasn't ready to be a father. Then there was my mother, she would have skinned my ass if I had gotten someone pregnant. Maybe fighting with mom and doing my own laundry would pay off in the long run.
Carly was the last girl I dated, right before Paul died. When she accompanied me to the hospital and learned why he was there, it was over. The next day she broke up with me, not even giving me a chance to explain the situation, but it wasn't my life to talk about to her. In the long run, it worked out because if she couldn't handle seeing outside of the box then I wasn't interested in keeping her around. I didn't need narrow minded people in my life.
Just thinking about Carly and her response to Paul made me really question my frame of mind with my mother. Really, I shouldn't have been that harsh on her after all; somewhere in her mind, I guess she was trying to protect me from things I didn't know about. I hadn't given her the opportunity to talk about my father. I was pretty pissed that she had pictures and information about him, yet she wasn't willing to tell me. But, I still needed to talk to her and figure out what had happened and why he wasn't around.
I never really put much thought into it; my mother obviously didn't sit around bashing him and telling me how I acted just like him. Part of that was because of her own up bring and the fact that her mother probably made her feel terrible about Grandpa Charlie. Talk about someone else I didn't know and that was Grandma Renee.
The sad thing about this whole mess was that I kind of already knew, you know how it was when you're young. Even though your parents tell you not to do something you do it anyways, but in a sneaky fashion so that way you don't get caught, yeah that was me. My discovery of the box wasn't exactly a sneak ordeal. It was one night when I was thirteen, Paul and Mom had went out scouting new bands again, and Mom left me at home to my own devices. It was close to Christmas and I was looking for my presents. I knew she often hid them there, and I wanted to see what I was getting. However, imagine my surprise when I get halfway through the pictures and find my mother naked; not a very good thing for a boy. I still shudder at the thoughts. Those were the pictures Mom had spread across her coffee table, minus the nudes, Thank God. Even though I had seen them before, I couldn't ever figure out which one of members of the Midnight Riders was my father. Hell, there was a possibility that it wasn't even one of them. The magazine covers and different articles lead me to believe and assumed Edward Cullen was the one, but I wasn't exactly for sure.
When I was fourteen, Grandpa Charlie and I were out fishing; we were always close. He was someone I could talk to when things were weighing on my mind. I asked if he knew who my father was one weekend. I couldn't help that somewhere in my mind I always wondered if he wanted me. Did he even know I existed? Did he want me, but mom wouldn't allow it? Why wasn't he with my mother?
"Son, I don't know anything about him," he replied.
"Nothing, did they date?" I asked, confused as to why Charlie didn't know.
"She was with Renee, your grandmother, when they were together. I never asked about him really because it didn't really matter per se. I knew I would love you no matter who your father was. And, to be honest, I didn't want to know. One day when you have children, especially a girl, you will understand my position." He chuckled and promised to speak with mom. Maybe he could ask her about him or she would be willing to tell me more about him. The bad thing about asking Grandpa, she never breathed a word about my dad to him or me.
When I was sixteen, I finally broke down one day and asked Paul. It was hard to ask him. I knew he wasn't and I knew that there was a good chance he wouldn't have the answers I was looking for, but I asked.
"Please Gib, ask your mother," he pled. I could see the color of his eyes change into a more sympathetic color, but he wouldn't give me the information I needed.
When Paul died, I was seventeen; my whole world was turned upside down. Between his death, mom's battles to make it from day to day, and Carly's departure, well, those were tough days. Sometimes, I felt like I couldn't go on. Mom doesn't know, but the first year of college, I spoke to a counselor at the student union. I even was prescribed anti-depressants for a while. It seemed like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Julie, my counselor, suggested talking to my Mom about my father, but I never could.
When she had the pictures out, it seemed like the best time to ask and I couldn't resist, and that was my downfall. Well, it really wasn't my downfall. It was implying that my Mom had done unsavory things … now that was the downfall. Now, I didn't know if she would be willing to share the information I yearned to know.
It took me two months to decide it was time to mend the bridges with Mom. I showed up at the label during lunch on Friday, two weeks after the two month mark. I walked passed Jasper's office; it was only two doors down from Mom's. I was on a mission and didn't stop in this time, but would make a point to later in the week. He often found ways for me to help around here doing what I loved. Sure, Paul and Mom taught me how to run about every position here and had me interning here during the summers. But, the one thing I loved the most was being in the studio, laying down tracks. I had performed as an accompanist on several songs for different artists. It was the most exciting thing to do.
Mom always encouraged my love of music and helped me to excel. Lessons when I was younger on any instrument I chose, and I was well taught on both the guitar and the piano. That was something I always seemed to have a knack for, and when the teacher's learned I could play about anything without any notes … well that made me the teacher's pet. I wanted to start a band and see about making it big, but Mom always kept me grounded here in Seattle. I don't know if she was scared of losing me or something else, but what she didn't realize was I was different than anyone else my age.
"Hey Gib," Jasper called, breaking me from my thoughts.
"Hi, man," I replied walking back over to where he was standing beside his office door.
"Your Mom's gone to lunch with an artist," he said winking.
"About ready to land another big one?" I asked.
"I don't know if they will be the big one, but they sure do look promising with the right management and label." He smiled. This was Jasper's main area of expertise. He was one of the men pictured in Mom's photos. Hell, for many years I wondered if he wasn't my father. I mean, it wasn't too much of a stretch.
"Can we talk for a minute?" he asked, pointing toward his office.
"Sure," I replied. Jasper motioned for me to go first and closed the door when he entered.
"Alice is worried about you and asked for me to talk to you," he sighed. "I don't think it's my place to say anything really; that's all on your mother. And know that I'm not one bit happy to have my suspicions confirmed. You are aware that I was the tour manager of the band you father played in during the early eighties?" he questioned.
"I saw you in the pictures, didn't know what you contributed to the band. Hell, for a couple of years, I wondered if you weren't the bastard."
"Okay, first no cursing in here … and he might have been a bastard at times, but he doesn't even know you exist."
"Look, I don't condone your mother not telling you. I don't like the fact she never told him, but I can understand it to some degree. Gib, your father had a bad habit with drugs. And, I'm assuming here … but I would hazard to guess that she didn't want you exposed to those things. Your mother left the tour in a hurry only to fall off the planet so to speak. They didn't part on the best of terms. And, not to make your father sound like more a douchebag, but he was married, making it even more difficult. So, in some ways, I see her thinking."
"So, let me get this straight … not only was she a groupie, but she was sleeping with a married man."
"Look, kid … we all have our own skeletons and it isn't as bad as you're making it out to be really. Alice told me that your mother cried all night, worried that you thought she was some kind of slut, but I can assure you she wasn't. She wasn't anything like you think. None of the girls in 'Love Bands' were your groupie types or even sluts," he reasoned.
"Jasper, come on … we live in the technological age. I know what groupies are and trust me, They. Are. Sluts." He sighed, rubbing his hand through his hair. I sat back in my seat waiting for Jasper to try and tell me once again that my mother wasn't what I knew for a fact she was. Between the admissions from both of them of her being a 'Love Band' as they both called it and the pictures of her naked only proved my point. Then add into the mix that my father was legally married during said copulation only solidified my thoughts. However, what Jasper didn't know was that I wasn't going to allow this to ruin my relationship with her, but if I ever did meet my father, I needed to be ready to defend her, and I needed all the information I could get.
"I know you're a smart kid, always have been, took after your mother on that one …" he chuckled "… I'm sure you've used the internet to access the information about groupies on the internet. Surely, you don't use Wikipedia as your resource information on papers …" he smirked at me "… However, if you would have read the entire blog and listen to me now, you will have a better idea."
Jasper shifted around his desk and asked if I wanted to go to lunch. Apparently, he was wasting what little of his free time he had trying to set me straight. I agreed to have lunch with him to hopefully learn more about my father in the process.
Once seated and orders placed, Jasper launched into the technical definition of a groupie, and yes, in some ways, my Mother was one. The similarities are that groupies would travel with bands or other celebs. In this new age, some would definitely participate in sexual favors for the benefit of having said they had been with that pop star, rock star, sports star, or other public figure or celebrity. But, not everyone who traveled with the bands or stars fell into these categories. Yes, groupies often times were the surrogate mothers or girlfriends, taking care of things like wardrobe and social life. However, if Jasper was to say now they are more like 'road wives.'
"Alice and your Mom were both part of the 'Love Bands' and I can assure you when it comes to Alice, she hasn't been with anyone besides me …" he said winking "… I'm not one to usually brag about things and I'm not going to give you any more info because you probably look at her as an Aunt or something, but the only person in their little group who wasn't a virgin was Jessica. Trust me, she tried to get with everyone on the tour."
I thought about his words and maybe I had been a little harsh on Mom; it was similar to Paul's situation. Even though he had AIDS, it wasn't like he was gay, and even if he was, it wouldn't have mattered to me, really. What difference did it make what my Mother was or wasn't? Why did it matter if my father was married really? That was their burdens, not mine.
"Your Father … he's not married anymore. From what I can understand, the woman he was married to at the time is married to someone else from the group. Actually, your father has been single for years."
"Do you know where he is?" I asked the million dollar question. The one I had wanted to know for years.
"Yes, and if you're interested, I don't mind sharing that information with you. I will tell your mother about our conversation because she is still my boss and I wouldn't want her to find out and then she fires me." He chuckled. I knew Mom cherished Jasper as a friend and also valued his opinion with artists. So the idea that she would fire him was a little out there for me. I think he knew it too, but didn't want to step on her toes and take liberties that weren't exactly his to take.
We parted ways and I held in my hands the information I needed to find one Edward Cullen, my father. Now, it was a matter of when I would be ready to use the information given to me.
In May, I graduated from the UDub with a degree in Business Management with a minor in Music. I loved music as much if not more than my mother and Paul. So eventually working at the label was in my blood. And, now in more ways than one with Edward Cullen being my father.
Edward Cullen was a great artist and musician as deemed by Rolling Stone back in the day. During the last three months, I tried to find out everything I could about him. In 1985, he essentially disappeared from the spotlight ending his solo career. He also only had one song during his career that reached number one … 'Gypsy Woman.' According to the internet, during his time with Midnight Riders, they had one album that hit number one, which landed them on the cover of the Rolling Stone, but nothing more about them after he went solo. It seems that he had a small string of one hit wonders; one while solo and one with the group.
I repaired the relationship I had with my mother, apologizing for my unsavory behavior. Mom was very forthcoming with information about him. I even learned that she had seen him in 1985, and saw him once again at a wedding. That was the last time he was in Seattle, but she didn't know where he was now. It was pretty apparent that Jasper hadn't spoken with my Mother about his whereabouts, and how he came into this information. I didn't let on that I knew anything at first, but when Jasper finally spoke with her, giving her the same info he had me, she knew that he was in the area permanently.
For the last three weeks of school, I stood outside of the Fairmont on Fifth Ave every couple of days watching the lounge area as much as I could from where I was located. For some reason, I could never make myself enter the doors of the hotel, so I stood and watched.
I finally confided in Mom, that I was planning on meeting Edward. At first she begged me not to, but when I explained that all my life I left like something inside of me was missing because I never had him, she caved. I didn't need her permission, which she knew, but I also needed her to know. I needed her to understand my way of thinking.
It was Tuesday night when I finally took the plunge and walked through the doors of the hotel. I didn't stop at the desk, but headed straight for the lounge. Once I was inside, I held my head down, not ready to acknowledge the piano or the music coming from that direction. I didn't even sit at the bar; instead I chose a seat in the dark corner of the lounge. I wasn't sure if I would speak to him tonight, but I needed time to work out my nervousness.
After a couple of hours listening to the piano music, I looked up when the man behind the piano stepped to the bar and then outside. He was tall and lean, older than the picture Mom had, but still the same. He had on a sports jacket that didn't show off the tattoos I knew he had from all his pictures. His hair stood at its end looking like he had battled with his hair all night instead of playing the piano. When he exited the bar, I figured that I had lost my chance to speak with him. I stepped to the restroom and decided to have a drink at the bar before I left.
I walked toward the bar with my head down not really paying attention to my surroundings.
"Scotch on the rocks," I asked the bartender when I finally saddled up to the bar.
I heard the rustling of clothes and a new batch of nervousness settled into the pit of my stomach. I couldn't look directly; however, I cut my eyes to the side to catch the side profile of my Father.
"Can I see some ID?" the bartender asked. I reached into my wallet and pulled out my driver's license, showing the bartender that I was old enough to be served a drink. He nodded and proceeded to fix my drink, sitting it in front of me. I sipped on my drink and tried to come up with a way to introduce myself to the man beside me. I knew I wasn't going to spring the 'Hello Dad' card yet, but I needed to initiate a conversation with him.
"Is the piano player here tonight?" I asked as the bartender wiped down the bar. He jerked his head in the direction of my father. I looked over at him and was caught in the same color green that I saw every morning. There were things about him that looked something like me. My hair wasn't the same shade as his being colored like a penny, with slight grey littering his sideburns. However, we both had the same sharp jaw line and nose. If I was to guess from the way he sat on his stool I would guess we were close to the same height, but I wouldn't know until I stood next to him. As I sit there sizing him up, I barely registered the words coming from his mouth.
"I play the piano here. Is there something you would like to hear?" he asked.
I didn't know what song to chose or even if I wanted a song. I was still stuck in my own thoughts of how similar we were. I even noted the differences and assumed that those came from my mother. I shook my head and tried to think of something, I minored in music surely I could come up with something off the top of my head to tell him.
Turing my scotch up and drinking the remaining amount, I cleared my thoughts. He turned back to his papers and effectively shut me out again. I knew I was running out of time. It wouldn't be much longer before he left for the evening. I inhaled deeply and blew it out of my nose, trying to settle the nerves that still plagued my body. I could feel when his eyes landed on me again. It was like we already had some kind of connection, it was rather nerve racking.
"Hey man, are you okay?" he asked. Putting on a brave face and gulped down the lump in my throat.
"Uhm, are you Edward Cullen?" I asked, worrying my lower lip with my teeth. This apparently was a habit of my mother's that I had picked up along the way.
"Yeah," he replied with a confused expression on his face.
A/N: For those who guessed Gib, congratulations! Now will Gib admit he is Edward's child right away or will he hesitate? Any speculations? This story seems to be moving along, next chapter we hear from Edward and the bar scene to see if Gib tells him. And, we are getting closer to the reunion of Bella and Edward, so hold on because it's going to be a bumpy ride at first.