Chapter 6: Parents & Their Child
Beep! Beep! Beep! Bee –
Groggily, I pressed the alarm on my phone for the ringing to stop. I clutched my head tightly, wanting for the spinning to stop as my eyes tried to scan the room. After a minute, my wish was granted. Closing my eyes, my brain gave me quick flashes of what had occurred last night.
Going to Liz's; Seeing the Cullens; Them suspecting who Nate is; Alice yelling at me; Edward injured; Me leaving.
The images stopped, and I opened my eyes, pulling on my hair in frustration and anger. I looked to where the window was. It was getting light outside, so it should have been around eight, though I didn't bother to double check.
It wasn't until I started to get up that I realized I had been sleeping on the floor. I tried to remember how I ended up where I was, but no images popped up. My eyes widened as I saw an empty alcohol on the floor, just a few feet away from me. I attempted to recall what had happened again. This time, I saw distorted images of leaving the car, entering the apartment, tucking Nate in, and closing the door of my room. After crying some more, I took a bottle of vodka out of my secret hiding place.
I stood quickly and went directly to the bathroom to take some aspirin. Washing my face with cold water was amazingly refreshing. Drying my face with a small towel, I went to Nate's room to see if he had woken up. Satisfied that he was still in a deep slumber, I went to the living room and sat on the black leather armchair.
How could things have gone so wrong after everything was finally getting settled in and seemed to be going so right?
I couldn't help but let the tears spill. All I wanted was to keep everyone from getting hurt, from discovering the truth. But now, my foundation of my new life is crumbling one by one like the bricks of the Bastille that the French tore down.
"Mwommy?" My head turned, and I saw Nate, half hidden behind the doorway of his room. I quickly wiped the tears.
"Yes, sweetie?" I asked in a croaky voice. I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried to smile.
"Erre wu okay?"
I nodded, opening my arms, and he willingly jumped in them. I hugged him tight against my chest. It's true what my mother had told me when I was younger: When your child hugs you, the stress you'd felt before washes away like you've had a 24-hour massage and spa treatment. I realized that there should be nothing on my mind besides making my child happy, just like what my own parents did for me.
"Want breakfast?" He grinned crookedly at me, nodding his head. I set him on the ground, and we held hands walking towards the kitchen to make his favorite breakfast – French toast.
It was Saturday; so naturally, Nate and I were seated on the couch watching Disney Channel. Healthy foods were set on the coffee table Rose and Emmett had given me. We munched on it as we laughed at Zack teasing Cody from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
My phone began to ring, so I picked it up from the armchair to see that it was Rose. I left the living room to have a private conversation, closing the bedroom door behind me.
"What do you want, Rose?" I asked, not at all surprised by the coldness of my voice.
"I know what you're going to say, Bella, but…"
"Save it! The three of you lied to me…broke your promise to me. Do you know how much that hurts?"
"I know! But, Bella, you've got to under-" Her voice sounded exasperated, but I didn't bother letting her finish her sentence.
"Understand what, Rose? That you're a backstabber? Well, if that's what you meant, then I understand completely."
"Bella, let me finish my-"
"No! Do you understand how I felt? How ambushed I felt? Do you!"
"Bella, LISTEN!" I paused, letting her finish. "We know what we did was wrong, but we felt that it was time you meet them and for them to know. And don't you think Nate has the right to get to know them?" I scoffed, my anger boiling. Not wanting to let Nate hear me scream, I said the only thing that was on my mind before hanging up.
"And you listen to me, Rose. You do NOT get to decide what's best for me or Nate. Nate is my son, and I am an adult, capable of deciding between right and wrong. Do not call, text or come over - any of you. If you do, I don't know what I'll do. So, just leave us alone." With that, I pressed the end button and took my phone apart before throwing all three parts - the phone, the back and the battery - on my bed and returning to Nate.
"Who wush it?" Nate asked, looking up at me.
"The usual marketing." He nodded and turned his attention back to the TV while I ruffled his hair lovingly. He always did remind me of Edward. Both of their eyes had emerald except Nate had some brown that he had gotten from me. Though Nate's hair color was similar to mine, he had a hint of red that was only visible when the sun's rays hit it.
"Mwom, you're mwessing up mwy hair stwyle." My hand immediately stopped, and I looked at him apologetically.
"Old habits die hard?" He looked at me quizzically, and I just shook my head, telling him that it's nothing.
After a few more minutes of watching kids' shows, I got up and told Nate that I would be in my room. I tried to clear my mind as I entered my hideout and turned on my laptop. Staring at a blank document screen was like staring at a white ceiling.
Damn this writer's block, I thought. I let my head drop to the keyboard and closed my eyes, letting out a breath of frustration. This week just keeps getting better and better.
Having poured out the last of my creative juice left in me after two agonizing hours, I was done with a chapter - a single chapter. Oh why can't a sparkling vampire just fall in love with me and turn me into an immortal so then maybe, just maybe, I could have some inspiration? I sighed, sarcastically. Just as I started to relax, my phone rang. I looked at the caller id to see that it wasn't anyone I knew.
"Hello?" I asked the other line.
"Bella?" a feminine voice asked back. She was somewhat familiar, though I couldn't place who it was.
"Yes, this is she."
My heart literally skipped a beat at her reply. "It's…Esme."
"Oh…hi," I said lamely, not knowing what else to come up with. My mind was too preoccupied to figure out how she had gotten a hold of my number without my permission and knowing.
"Liz gave me your number when I asked for it." Well that certainly answered my question.
"I see." There was a brief silence before I heard her whisper.
"We…can we please talk, face to face?" My heart skipped a beat again, only this time it was added with a twisted knot in my stomach. "Please, Bella." She begged.
"I…I'm sorry. I'm really busy-"
"It won't take long at all; an hour will do," she insisted, interrupting me desperately. I thought about it for a minute. It was against my better judgment, but I agreed, nonetheless. I owe her that much, at least.
"You could bring Nate with you," she added. I agreed again, telling her the directions to the café where she should meet. She thanked me and bid me good day.
What was wrong with me! I promised myself that the Cullens will not take part in my life anymore, yet here I was making plans to meet Esme. I sighed, frustrated at my stupidity. Lately, I've been sighing so much that I've lost count how many times I do it a day, not that I could blame myself.
I walked out of my room to see Nate had awoken from the nap he had taken while I wrote. He glanced at me when he heard my footsteps. Leaning against my doorway, I said, "Nate, we're going to the usual café, Cerise Amour, so turn the TV off and be in the bathroom, ready for a shower, in fifteen minutes." He nodded. "Do you need help getting your clothes off, or are you big enough to do it yourself?" I asked, after a few seconds.
Shaking his head, he said in a deep voice, "No, mwommy. I'm a man. Man don't nweed help with anyfwing." I chuckled. He turned the electronics off and rushed inside his bedroom. As I went to the bathroom to prepare his bath, I could hear some shuffling inside his room.
"Mwommy!" Nate yelled after a minute. I turned the warm water off as the tub became full. Just as I turned around, I saw Nate struggling with getting his shirt off his head. I laughed before helping him get the shirt off his head and helping him into the tub.
"Mwommy, dere's going to bwee a dwaddy and me day," he started. "Itch mandworary to go."
"Really? Then, I guess we'll just have to ask your uncle to go with you," I replied as I scrubbed his body.
"Mwommy, do you twink dwaddy would come wit me if he wasn't in heaven?" I bit my lower lip and answered him without meeting his gaze.
"Of course he would." Shampoo-ing his head, I heard him hum the melody I would always play for him.
Ducking his head and closing his eyes as the water was poured on him, he asked, "Would e pway soccer wid me like Dan's dad?"
"Of course he would. But, doesn't Uncle Em already play with you?" He looked at me with sad eyes.
"Yesh, but e's not daddy."
"But you know…"
He interrupted me and said, "I know…itch dat I wished e wash here…witch us." Though his chestnut bangs were covering his eyes, I could still sense the sadness that overwhelmed him.
I got him out of the tub, dried him off, and wrapped him in the towel. I looked at him while I held both his shoulders. "Even if daddy isn't here, he still loves you; you do know that, right?" He nodded. I embraced him as tight as I could.
After dressing him and leaving him inside his room to get myself ready, I felt a wave of sadness take over me as the water flowed over my naked body. I was hate myself, knowing that I was inflicting pain on my own son, but there was no turning back after all these years. A decision had already been made, and was determined to stick to it.
"You know kids need both of their parents," Rosalie explained to me sincerely. I coldly stared at her. "It's true, Bella; no matter how much you might hate to hear it."
"Bella, your kid is gonna need a daddy to talk manly stuff about and play sports with. Heck, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to tell him how kids are made when he's a teenager."
She shrugged. "What? It's true." I rolled my eyes.
"If that ever happens, then I'm sure I can ask Em for that." She arched a perfect eyebrow.
"Oh, really? It'll be a wonder if he can explain it without explicit details." She got me there. "Point is he's going to need you and his father. All kids need their parents. I heard from a co-worker of mine that boys who have no fathers tend to be rebels. If not, they become a mama's boy, and I'm sure you don't want either."
"Seriously, Rose, please stop," I said, my voice almost cracking.
She stared into my eyes, her humor gone. "All joking aside, he needs a father. Maybe you don't want him to be part of your life anymore, but, sooner or later, your kid's going to wonder why he doesn't have two parents like the other children. What excuse will you give then?"
Naturally, Rosalie was right. After only a week of going to school, Nate asked where his father was. Of course, I lied. I told him that his dad had passed away, gone to heaven, so he wasn't going to come back. But, since Karma really had it in for me, he managed to find out where I was. Hitting my head on the tiled wall, I wondered what I was going to do. I couldn't keep hiding forever.
Forty-five minutes later, Nate and I left our comfortable apartment to meet Esme. As I drove, my stomach turned, twisted, and flipped upside down. Hopefully, this time, nothing would go wrong. Though, knowing my luck, there was a good chance something might.
We reached the parking lot of the café, and I braced myself mentally. This was truly nerve-wracking for me, but I knew that I had to be calm about it. After all, it was only a meeting to discuss...
Wait! What exactly were we going to talk about? Could it be… I glanced at Nate who was excited about finally coming to the café after weeks of not visiting it. I took his hand gently and walked in, using the back door.
"Bella! Mon ami!" Bridgette called to me from the kitchen. She walked towards me and we hug, kissing each other on the cheeks just like the French do. "And 'eetle Nate!" She pinched both of his cheeks before kissing his forehead. "Fenally, 'ou 'ave come! I was gezzing worried 'out 'ou."
I smiled politely. "I know. But things have been busy. I'm actually here meeting a friend, so…"
"Ah, of 'ourse! 'Ou is very popular 'ere , espezially with ze guyz." She winked at me before we chuckled.
Bridgette just recently came to America from Paris. She was introduced to me by Jason, another worker from the café. She is having a hard time with English, but she works hard. Being a pretty brunette, she gets lots of admirers. The manager doesn't mind as long as they pay and don't disturb the other customers.
"No, no, I'm not."
"'Es 'ou erre! 'Ou very pretty!"
"Thank you; that's very kind of you to say."
"Bridgette, vener ici!" We turned our heads to see Jason chopping some vegetables. "Ah, Bella!"
"I would greet you myself, but, as you can see, we are busy."
"It's alright, I understand."
"'Ell, Bella, must get back ze work. À bientôt!" She patted my cheek and went to aid Jason. Nate and I continued walking, but I soon stopped in my tracks. Esme was seated near the window, over-looking the traffic jam that is the trademark of Manhattan.
Here goes nothing.
So, did you like it? Hate it? So-and-so? Well, let me know how you feel by reviewing ;)
I'll tell you now that the next update will be on the first week of December. Why?
I've decided on doing NaNoWriMo & my finals are this month so I'll be uber duper busy.
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Till next time! xx