Ode to my Family, Chapter 1
It was exactly 6 years ago today that I, a heavily pregnant Bella Swan, walked out on my boyfriend, Edward Cullen.
It had started off as a harmless summer fling, something I could forget about as soon as college started up again. But that wasn't what he wanted. Just over a year later, I was struggling to heave my suitcase down the sidewalk, alone.
Our relationship had been anything but perfect. One night stands shouldn't last that long, there was no base, no foundation that we both shared. Edward made all our decisions, and I, up until that evening, had been terrified to say otherwise.
But to me now, this date held another significance. One much more important, for today was my son, Antony's, sixth birthday.
Ever since that night, six years ago-when my waters had broken as I was lugging my few belongings down a deserted street- this tiny, miniature me has been the center of my universe. I was delighted with the fact he looked nothing like his father.
I sat across our tiny kitchen table from him now, watching as he tried to shove pancake after pancake into his mouth. His desperate attempt to wolf down his breakfast at lightening speed was not fairing so well. Antony knew the rules; no opening presents until after breakfast.
"Mommy, I'm finished now." He tried to say, but the sheer amount of pancake mush in his mouth caused it to be nothing more than an incoherent mumble.
"Anty, baby. What has mommy told you, don't talk with food in your mouth, its not a pretty sight." I told him as I slowly rose from the table taking his plate and placing it in the washing up bowl.
"Presents!" He exclaimed, running into our even smaller sitting room where his few birthday presents lay in a stack on the floor.
I really hope he likes them, most of what he had asked for was rather expensive, I had been living on 1 meal a day for almost two months in order to afford them. Even with this, I had only managed to scrape together enough money for 3 of the presents,Antony had asked for. I hated being the typical, single teenage mom. Living off the crappy wage that came with working as a full time shelf stacker at Wal-mart. There were only so many job available these days to a college drop out. Crappy hours and minimum wage were my only options. And I took them, because there was nothing else.
The wonderful so if ripping wrapping paper brought me from my guilty thoughts.
"Mommy, you got me the Ben Action figure!" He said as he cradled the small plastic case, before setting it on his lap and reaching for the next present.
"A Ben 10 Kevin Cruiser! Thanks mom." He said with the hugest smile on his adorable face.
Before I had time to blink the next present was open.
"A ultimate omnitrix! This is soo cool, Tyler's gonna be really jealous mom! That means that I know what this one is." Antony said as he pulled his last, and biggest present towards him. I bit my lip, hard. I knew what he thought it was, and it wasn't that at all. It was time like this that I felt a failure as a mother.
A disappointed sigh followed the sound of paper tearing. It wasn't the fancy, colorful box of the branded toy he had been hoping for. It was instead, a plain storage box with a fragile sticker on it.
"Aren't you gonna open it sweetie?" I said, I lump forming in the back of my throat. Why was I such a terrible mother, I couldn't even afford to give my son a proper birthday.
"What is it momma?" Antony asked me as he tipped the many white pieces of wood onto the carpet.
"Well, this is something very special, it was mommy's when she was a little girl. And she finally got Charlie to send it too her. I'm sorry its not what you wanted, mommy couldn't afford to buy you anymore toys sweetie. But I promise, if you ask really nicely, Santa will bring it for you." I could feel tears welling up in my eyes as I gazed lovingly at the only thing keeping me alive.
"Its okay mommy." He said with puppy dog eyes and his adorable smile. "Next year you can have my pocket money to help buy presents as well."
That was it, the tears I had been holding back came colliding down my face as I sunk slowly to the floor. As I shook with rage at myself I feel a small pair of arms wrap themselves around me.
"Please don't cry mommy, its gonna be alright. Maybe Santa could help you." He whispered as he stroked my hair.
I remember when I would do this to my mother sometimes. I needed to be stronger, for Antony. He had nobody else. No one. I was all this child had got as far as a parent/guardian went. I couldn't let him see me like this, I shouldn't. Stop crying Bella I told myself Stop it right now.
I obliged, but it took me a while.
Once I had recovered, I pulled Antony onto my lap.
"Well baby. This chair isn't gonna build itself. You wanna help?" I smiled at him, trying to wipe away all traces of tears from my face.
"Yeah!" He exclaimed running over to the box. "But you gotta do the heavy stuff."
I just stared at him for a second, glad he was still innocent enough not to know how else that sentence could be interpreted.
Two hours, a box of screws and 4 ice-pops later, the chair was finally assembled. Antony scrambled onto it.
"What do we do with it now mommy?" He asked me as he sat on his knees, the chair rocking forwards and backwards at an alarming speed.
"Well, now we put it in your room, and go get some lunch. Okay? " I said with a small smile on my face.
"Yay. Can we go to McDonald's, please?" Antony looked up at me, his eyes glistening with excitement.
We were broke, there was no denying that, but it was his birthday, and I could just get another job.
"Sure kiddo." I smiled as a ruffled his chocolate brown hair. "You wanna to the movies as well?"
His huge grin seemed to swallow his tiny face. "Yes, please mommy! I'll go get my shoes on." He ran to his room, making race car noises like only a small boy could.
I too went to get some shoes, and my bag. To say neither of them were anything fancy would be a vast understatement. But I didn't care, I'd rather spend money on my son than myself, what was wrong with that?
Our trip to the cinema seemed to last much longer than it actually was. I had never been one for kids films or fast-food, but it was Antony's birthday, and he wouldn't have wanted to watch a 'grown up film'.
After walking there and back, Antony was dead on his feet when we arrived home, his insisted he wasn't sleepy. But I knew better than to believe that. After his bath, we sat curled up on the sofa, drinking coca and watching Finding Nemo, until Antony's eyelids could stay open no longer. And he finally drifted off to sleep.
I managed to carry him to his bed without waking him. Today had been a treat for him, and for me also; but I could not deny it, if it weren't for me, it could have been so much better.
Once my baby was safely in his bed, I grabbed the pile of bills that I kept in the kitchen, and sat on the sofa, trying to work out how much longer I would be able to stay with my current position in life.
I had only 2 options. Go to each of my parents, and ask them for help. Fat chance of either of them helping me. I had been practically disowned when I told them I was pregnant, and that was obviously before I had walked out on the child's father.
The other option was one I really did not want to resort to. It would involve finding Edward, and after 6 years, I still wasn't ready for that conversation. I dont think I ever would be, no matter how much I prepared for it.