Chapter One: Everybody's Watching You Now
May 12, 2018—1:15 p.m.
"No," I whispered as I sat in seventh period AP American History. "Ah," I cried, clutching my stomach. This could not be happening. Not here and not now. It was early. Too early for me to be going into labor. I still had three weeks before my due date. He needed more time and I needed to focus on this lecture.
We had the AP exam the next week.
"Oooh," I cried again, but this time I managed to draw attention to myself.
"Ms. Swan?" My teacher asked and I bit my lip in anticipation. "You okay back there?"
"Yes, ma'am." I lied. The pain began to dwindle and I focused back on what we were learning. But, ten minutes later, I felt the same pain in my lower abdomen as I did before, but this time it was worse.
How could it get any worse?
"Bella?" My good friend, Angela, asked next to me. "You okay?"
"Yeah," I lied as tears prickled in my eyes. I had just thirty minutes to go before the bell rang for eighth period. I had a study hall eighth period and it would okay to leave then. The pain began to cease again and I just prayed it would wait another ten minutes before it started up again.
"Ouch!" I yelped, eight minutes after the last one started. The contractions were becoming more and more painful and I just couldn't help myself.
"She's probably in labor," Lauren whispered behind me. I wanted to make it through this lecture, but I knew better. I was having contractions and I couldn't stay here any longer. Without asking, I gathered my things. I could feel everyone's eyes trained on me as I left the classroom. I made my way down the hall to the nurse's office. I didn't know where else to go. I mean, was labor something you went to the nurse for? I wasn't sure, but it was my best and only option at this point. When I got to the nurse's office, she had me sit down and went to call my parents.
"Wait," I cried after the contraction stopped. "Call Edward first." I did not want the nurse calling my parents to tell them I was in labor and needed to go to the hospital. I needed to make that call, but I needed to wait until I was checked in at the hospital.
"Please. He's in stats with Barker," I explained. "Please."
"Okay," She sighed reluctantly. I heard her on the phone with Mr. Barker and I started to cry. Not only was the pain unbearable, but also the fact that I was about to have a baby hit me like a truck. I had been preparing for six months since I found out I was pregnant, but now that it was happening…I felt super unprepared.
I didn't want to be this girl anymore. I didn't want to be the girl dumb enough to get pregnant. I didn't want to be having a baby today. I just didn't want to do it anymore and when Edward showed up, it didn't help the situation at all. The father was supposed to be loving and comforting, but he looked as lost as I felt.
"Are you just going to stare at me or are you going to drive me to the hospital?" I cried when he stood in front of me without moving.
"It's time?" He whispered, sounding unsure. I nodded and his eyes filled with tears before he brushed them away and knelt down to check on me. I met his gaze and told him I was okay without saying anything to him.
"Ms. Swan, he can't just leave…" The nurse protested.
"Fuck off." Edward snapped, leaning down and grabbing my book bag. "She's having my kid, I think I'm allowed to take her to the fucking hospital."
"Edward, don't get into trouble." I groaned as he helped me stand up and he just rolled his eyes at me. Of course, he rolled his eyes at me, he was just trying to help me and I was telling him what to do. This had pretty much been my life since finding out I was pregnant, and I couldn't wait for this pregnancy to be over.
He helped me to his old truck and lifted me inside since I was kind of useless. I hated this car, but I was unable to drive at this point in my pregnancy and Edward insisted on driving me to school. He said it was the least he could do for getting me into this situation and I wasn't going to argue with him. Especially since Mom refused to drive me to school once I got too big to fit behind the wheel and I was the only one of my friends to have their own car. Well, Lauren had a car but we hadn't talked since the day I told her I was pregnant and she called me a whore in front of the entire school.
"How are you feeling?" He asked as he started the car and pressed his foot on the gas.
"I'm about to push a human being out of me." I spat. "How do you think I'm feeling?"
"Don't fucking bitch at me." He yelled. "I'm just trying to be nice."
"Yeah, well, quit trying and just drive." I knew I was acting like a bitch. But, I was cranky, scared, and in a lot of pain. I hadn't had a good nights sleep in weeks since I'd gotten so huge and I really was about to push a baby out of me. I was allowed to be a bit bitchy, and he did this to me. He was the one who didn't use a condom or used cheap condoms and knocked me up. If I was going to be mean to anyone, it was going to be him.
Except, he didn't really deserve my bitchy attitude. Ever since finding out I was pregnant, Edward had been nothing but kind and attentive. I mean, at first he accused me of lying to him about the baby's father, but he came around within a day of telling him.
Sure, we weren't together but he brought me ice cream at one in the morning and missed school to go to doctor's appointments with him. He was the one trying to convince me that we could keep this kid, but I knew better. I knew we weren't going to be able to really take care of this baby and I was a perfectionist. If I couldn't fully pay attention to him, then I couldn't keep him.
I loved my son enough to know that I wasn't going to be the best mother right now.
I loved my son enough to put him up for adoption.
When Edward pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, I realized I didn't have anything I needed for labor. I hadn't even bothered packing a bag yet because it was still too soon. The doctor warned me that he could come early, but I was too busy with AP exams to worry about packing my overnight bag.
"Edward?" My voice was shaky.
"Yeah?" He asked as he helped me out of the car. I gripped my swollen belly and looked up at him with tears in my eyes.
"I didn't pack a bag," I whispered. "I…it's too early."
"I'm sure your sister will bring you something." He was missing the point. "Don't sweat it."
"It's too early," I repeated. "Three weeks too early. We shouldn't be here yet..."
"He'll be okay."
"How do you know?"
"I don't, but I'm the Dad and you're scared out of your mind and I have to say that."
"What if he's not fine? What if something happens because he's early? What if…"
"Bella!" He laughed. "Stop worrying and get inside so we can get you checked into a room."
"He has to be perfect."
"He is perfect," He smiled and I just started to cry harder. When we got inside, the nurse handed Edward a clipboard with the paperwork we needed to fill out in order for me to be admitted. He was trying so hard to do this for me since it was one of the only things he could do for me, but he wasn't doing a very good job.
I laughed. "Give me the pen," I said, reaching for the pen and clipboard he was holding. My hands were shaking as I filled everything out and I was put into a room only after a few minutes of sitting there.
Once I was in the room, I called my big sister and told her to pack me a bag. When she answered the phone, though, I couldn't hold back my tears. My sister was my best friend in the entire world, and she had been my rock this entire time. We were eight and a half years apart, but she'd always been there for me and this wasn't any different.
"Hey, no more crying." She tried not to laugh. Knowing her, she was almost as scared as I was. "You've been crying for nine months."
"Can you tell Mom and Dad? I can't face them," I begged.
"As much as I would love to help you with this, you gotta do this yourself."
"Please," I begged. My dad had been supportive through the pregnancy, but he wasn't happy about it. And my mom...my mom kept trying to convince herself it wasn't actually happening. I knew they were disappointed in me and I hated that look they gave me whenever I brought up the baby. They were…relieved, to say the least when I decided to put the baby up for adoption.
"Bella, you have to call them. You're a big girl, you can do it."
"Can you please pack a pair of really comfortable pajama's?" I changed the subject. "And…the stuffed elephant that sitting on my chair."
"Why?" She asked and I looked over at Edward who was blissfully unaware of the conversation I was having with my sister. He was looking at his phone and I figured he was probably trying to reach his very unavailable mother. By the annoyed look on his face, he wasn't having any luck.
"Please, just bring it. It's…comforting."
"Okay." She sighed. "And, the baby's hat and blanket are in your top dresser drawer?"
"Yeah." I cried. Even though we were giving this baby to a beautiful couple, I wanted him to be wrapped in something we'd bought him together. It would be the only thing he had from us and we wanted it to be special. Edward looked up at me from his phone and saw that I was crying again, and he walked over to me. He gave me a sad smile, assuring me it was going to be fine, and I said goodbye to Alice.
"Alice is going to bring the hat and blanket."
"Great." He nodded as he looked away.
"I have to call my Mom," I said, pulling away from his grip and finding her name on my phone. The phone call to my parents didn't go quite as well as my call with Alice. Growing up, I had always been more levelheaded than Alice had been. My parents really did love Alice and I equally, but getting pregnant at eighteen was not my proudest moment. And they let me know it. Or, at least, Mom let me know how disappointed she was with me. Mom promised to finish up the work she was doing and that she'd be over shortly.
After all of the phone calls were made, I set my phone on the little nightstand and sunk back into my bed. I wanted to disappear. I wanted this to be over because waiting for it to be over was painful. Knowing that I was going to go through all this pain for my baby to be raised by someone else killed something inside of me. I knew giving him to a good, successful couple was the right thing to do. But, it didn't make it hurt any less.
And I was hurting.
"Can you hand me my bag?" I asked after I'd been lying in bed for thirty minutes. The contractions were still at about seven minutes apart, but I was dilated four centimeters. I was definitely going to have this baby within the next few hours. There was no turning back.
"You're going to do homework?" Edward smirked. He handed me my backpack and I unzipped the bag and pulled out one of my binders.
"I have exams next week," I shrugged. The baby wasn't supposed to be here until all my AP exams were done.
"You're having a baby."
"Yes, and I still have tests next week, Edward." This was where Edward and I differed the most. He was smart, but he was lazy. How he hadn't managed to get held back was beyond me, and it would be a miracle if he actually graduated with us. I, on the other hand, was driven and wanted to do something with my life. I had dreams of going to Stanford for premed and med school.
Failure wasn't in my vocabulary but that seemed to be Edward's motto.
"I will never understand you," He rolled his eyes at me.
"Just give me my bag!" I snapped as another contraction hit. "Damn it! Ow!"
"Here," He grabbed my hand and sat down on my bed. He let me squeeze his hand and scream until the contraction had passed. Once it was done, I grabbed my APUSH book from my bag since it was my first exam at the start of the week. I wasn't really sure what their policy was on girls having babies, but I planned on being there for my test and acing it.
Just like I'd been planning.
Alice pushed through the doors with her fiancé in tow thirty minutes after calling her. She handed me my bag and I thanked her before slipping into the old pair of sweats she'd packed me. Jasper took Edward down to the gift shop to get me something, but mostly for Alice and I to have a minute alone together before everything started happening.
"How are you, kid?"
"I've been better."
"Now, why did I have to bring you this elephant Edward won you at that stupid carnival in March?"
"Shhhh," I shushed. "I don't want him knowing I have it here."
"Because then he's going to think I have feelings for him."
"And you don't?"
"No, you know that."
"I know you used to not have feelings for him…" She trailed off. "But, then why do you…"
"Please, Alice," I begged. "Not here. And not now."
"Okay," She rolled her eyes. "Have you called…"
"Not yet." I cut her off. "Edward's been with me the entire time and I haven't had a chance."
"I still can't believe he hasn't met them."
"He refuses to. I've offered to set up a meeting a hundred times but he's so against it."
"Does he really think you two can do this?"
"If he's so pissed about the adoption, why'd he agree to it?"
"You know that I basically forced him to agree." I shrugged. "He told me to do what I wanted, but he didn't want anything to do with it unless I chose to keep the baby."
"He'll come around. Once he sees your boy with them…"
"He's not my boy."
"He'll always be your boy." She smiled, reaching for my phone. "Now call those poor parents."
"Okay." I took a deep breath, finding their name on my phone. It rang four times before someone picked up. "Hello?"
"Bella?" Esme asked. "Is everything okay?"
"Yep." I nodded. "I'm actually in labor right now."
"Yeah," I smiled. "I'm about four centimeters along, so if you don't want to come until he gets here…"
"We'll be right over." And before I could even tell her what hospital I was at, she'd hung up the phone. But, I was glad she'd hung up because not even a minute later, Edward came back into the room. He'd bought me a balloon bouquet and a stuffed teddy bear. I told him he didn't need to buy me stuff like that since I knew he didn't really have money, but he insisted on buying me stupid stuff.
He really was good like that.
Another hour passed and I'd only dilated another centimeter. With my contractions getting closer together, my school work was completely forgotten and I just focused on giving birth. Alice was with me the entire time and I felt kind of bad. I knew how much she wanted this for her and Jasper, but he wasn't ready yet. Their wedding was planned for the end of September, so they still obviously had plenty of time. But, Jasper had said before they got engaged he wanted to wait a couple years before having kids.
I wasn't even sure if I ever wanted kids and I'd gotten pregnant without even trying. I could only imagine how much my sister hated me for it. But, she was the most supportive person out of all the people in my life and I was thankful she could put her feelings aside to be there for me.
"Took you long enough," Jasper grumbled when my parents finally walked through the doors. Mom shot him a glaring look before dad took Alice's place in the chair next to my bed.
"How are you doing, sweetheart?"
"Oh, I've been better." I tried laughing. She didn't even crack a smile. "Hi, mom."
"Hi," Was all she said. Dad took this a lot harder than Mom, but he was a lot softer towards the situation. He tried to be supportive, even though he couldn't always show it. I knew he loved me, no matter what situation I'd gotten myself into.
"How are you doing?" Dad asked, trying to ease the tension.
"Obviously." Mom rolled her eyes, standing up and walking over to Alice. Dad gave me a wink, reminding me to just ignore her. I knew Dad loved Mom more than anything, but he always knew how much a pain in the ass she was. If it weren't for Dad, I don't think Mom would have gotten through my pregnancy.
"Hello, Edward." Mom rolled her eyes when she finally acknowledged Edward, who was cowering in the corner. Now, even though Dad was kind and supportive, he hated Edward's guts. I wasn't sure if it was because he'd gotten me pregnant or that he wasn't Emmett, but he really didn't like Edward. I felt bad for Edward. Sure, he'd been careless in that bathroom, but so was I.
It took two people to make a baby and I was just as responsible.
But, Edward didn't have a lot of money or drive. Emmett came from a very wealthy family and was planning on attending Ohio State to play football. Edward and Emmett were complete opposites, so my parents didn't quite understand how I'd gotten pregnant with Edward's son.
And, I sometimes wondered that too. Edward and I had definitely come a long way since November, but we were nowhere near where Emmett and I were. Emmett was on the varsity football team as a freshman and I'd managed to be a varsity cheerleader sophomore year. We were that couple and I loved him. But…things happened that shouldn't have happened and here we were. Emmett was long gone and I was having Edward's baby.
None of it really made any sense.
"Dad, be nice," I whispered after he'd turned his attention back to me.
"Why do you have this?" Mom asked as she whipped the elephant out of my bag. I wasn't planning on displaying it at the hospital, but knowing it was there was oddly comforting. I couldn't explain it.
"Mother!" I screeched, as I turned red from embarrassment. I turned and saw Edward standing there with a very confused look on his face. He didn't even know I'd kept the stupid thing, let alone brought it to the hospital with me.
"Isabella, it's just a question." She rolled her eyes.
"Put it back!"
"You can leave it out," Edward whispered.
"Honestly, Bella. Have some self-control." Mom said as she put the elephant on the bedside table. I looked at Dad who just shrugged. Even he couldn't figure Mom out sometimes.
After another hour, my family had left to get something to eat. Alice insisted on staying with me, but Edward offered to stay until they got back. She reluctantly left with Jasper, and Edward took back his seat by my bed. He looked at me and gave me his signature, goofy grin.
"How're you doing, Swan?"
"You know, just having a baby, Masen." I laughed. Referring to each other by our last names was something we'd done as kids...before we drifted apart. After middle school, we'd started to run in different crowds. After turning thirteen he started making me feel uncomfortable when we were around each other.
Plus, he'd turned into kind of a dick as we got older and after months of letting him treat me poorly, I decided enough was enough. We stopped being friends and we hadn't spoken in years leading up to this point.
He looked thoughtful. "We really don't…" He was cut off by a knock on the door. I hollered come in and Esme and Carlisle made their way inside. I felt Edward's body tense up as he looked at the door and watched them walk into the room. I knew what he was going to say. He was going to tell me we didn't have to give our son up for adoption. He'd been saying it for months now. He stood up abruptly and scratched his head, unsure of what to do.
"I'm going to get you more ice," Edward ran off, leaving me alone with the adoptive parents.
"He's just…adjusting." I made an excuse for him like I did every time they asked about him. they'd been wanting to meet the father since before I'd chosen them as the right people to take my...our son home. But Edward refused to have anything to do with them so I was always left to lie about where he was and why he couldn't talk to them. Or even meet them.
"How are you doing, darling?" Carlisle asked, grabbing my hand.
"I've been better."
"When did the contractions start?" Esme asked. "And how far along are you?"
"It's been kind of slow," I told them. "But steady."
As I told Carlisle and Esme about how my labor was progressing, I started thinking back to before this even happened. I started thinking back to the end of junior year when Emmett was still my boyfriend and when my life was as close to picture perfect as it could be.
I tried not to get emotional about it, but I couldn't help myself. I took a deep breath and turned away from the two parents, who were adults and ready to take care of a child, and felt tears streaming down my cheeks.