With Time

Just a thought that popped into my head, that I thought I might flesh out. Victorious is not mine

Part I.

She doesn't know who started it first, but they certainly go out with a bang.

The years of connection and adoration and humble bliss combusts across the sky and consumes them. The remnants of their relationship streak across the sky like a shower of cliché glitter and shit.

Well that's how she sees it, a blinding white line, which slowly clouds her vision from the corners. In the end all she can see is red.

His things quickly disappear from their apartment, their silent escape coordinated with her sleeping patterns. She knows that he's not sleeping alone at night. Though Beck Oliver hasn't slept alone since he was fucking sixteen. She hears the edge of a rumour, so now she's haunted by the knowledge, of whom exactly he's sleeping with.

Jade can't handle his quiet resolve and bursts, tearing what's left of the flat apart from the seams, just like the disintegration of her fucking mind. Picture frames crack, their glass pain scattering across the lino like a shower of diamonds (she's sure to walk across it, embedding her crystals in a flush of raw red liquid.) Bare hands rip pillows, nails scoring into them, spilling out the fluffy contents. Finally the air is filled with the acrid, smoky haze of burnt letters, her Zippo burns anything that even whispers affection.

What's left is a chaos of feathers and glittery specks and finally the contents of her stomach as a wall of nausea suddenly hits her.

All she wants to do is cry her fucking eyes out, and she does. She does until her eyes are too numb and raw to make any more salty tears. She wants to rip out that hole thats living in her stomach, so at least another can replace that empty void, another less heart broken space.

She curls in on her self, wanting nothing more than to hibernate for a thousand years, and be woken by a floppy haired prince.

Cat replaces the prince, and the thousand years is reduced to three weeks. Those three weeks though, of periodic bingeing and emptying, unanswered messages or even seeing daylight actually causes Cat's brow to furrow.

To see this virgin expression, after weeks of isolation makes Jade crack into a melancholic smile. It makes her want to giggle, but the laughter doesn't spew out of her; instead she throws up again.

It's Cat who holds back her hair. It's Cat who she hears outside the room whispering to someone on the phone. And it's Cat who is the one who hands her that stupid fucking piece of plastic.

Jade didn't think she'd ever hated the colour pink more than then.

II

She hates herself for it, but she does actually consider an abortion. She's nineteen for fucks sake. She isn't even legal for the drunken conception, so how the hell is she meant to raise a kid?

All she can do in sit in her crappy Volvo (her life is not fucking Twilight) and shake. She tries to calm her self by picking at her fingers and playing the radio, but it's stuck on some local station blaring out mindless chart crap.

Suddenly his voice comes out from nowhere, and it takes her a second to realise that it's just an advert for his new film.

Their magic word floats out from the speakers, and that six lettered plea is all it takes to crack all of her built up bravery and she has a melt down there and then in the car.

She sits in the car for hours, watching women, some just girls, some alone, some not, filter out of the clinic periodically, until the sky suddenly becomes dim and the street lights flicker on.

She gets out at this point and walks, walks as far from the clinic as her legs will permit her. She finds her self eventually in a park, she doesn't recognise any of the surroundings, its just trees and bushes swaying the night's breeze

Eventually she calls Cat, with a simple 'I couldn't. Please come get me'

And she does.

In the car on the way back Jade breaks down for the second time that day, and wails about how screwed she is, how her life is collapsing around her and how all she wants to do is disappear. Cat's frown makes a recurring appearance and all she can do to comfort Jade soothe circles into her shaking back.

When Cat cuts the engine in the driveway, Jade realises that they've aged, quite suddenly, the two of them together, and she's no longer quiet sure where she is in the world.

II

She's only able to keep her secret for so long. Other students just pass off the weight gain as comfort eating, which it partly is. It's at five months, when the university's nurse catches her arm in the hall way and asks the question, she drops out and flees California.

She heads to the east coast, Marie had settled in Boston a year back with a new boyfriend, so she reasoned that New York would be a good place to collapse. The city of blazing lights, which, one day she promised would spell out her name.

She still kept contact with Cat, she felt slightly guilty about leaving her (not too guilty though), but Cat had Robbie and certain activities to occupy her.

Along with Cat's calls she had the company of her swelling stomach. As the months passed she watched the curl of flesh on the doctors screen, grow inside her into something more recognisable, less alien looking and more resembling a human being. A tiny human being.

It was that image that she posted to Marie, and it was that image that prompted her to appear on Jade's doorstep and do all a mother could do. Try her damn best to comfort and protect her daughter.

II

She first feels that grating pain at 7pm the day before. She's in the middle of watching reruns of Greys (she knows that channel doesn't broadcast any of his ads) when the first one comes. She feigns it off as her kid just deciding to move its attack to her back.

She hardly sleeps, as wave after wave of periodic pain courses though her, and with a grating sigh, she dials Marie's number in the morning and simply says 'its happening'

Her waters break in the cab (Marie says she'll get on the next flight) much to both hers and the drivers delight. She curses loudly and tells him categorically that 'there will be no Alley Travolta thing occurring here today.'

She's shovelled into some examination room, and then after some poking, the waiting room. It's there that she recognizes the familiar face under the fluorescents. The same dreads, the same goofy grin. The same quizzical look at her when she'd done something wrong. She sees the face he pulls when his eyes look her up and down, taking in the nine months of damage. She watches him cross the crowded room to her side and she watches his mouth try and form a coherent sentence. All he manages is 'Beck'.

Apparently André's girlfriend is getting some sort of surgery. He assures her its not facial reconstruction but it's to clear her sinuses, or some other crap. Jade really doesn't give a shit, an opinion delivered though gritted teeth, though is inwardly relived that she now has a hand to hold.

After hours of waiting suddenly, everything happens in a flurry. Her time comes fast; apparently some asshole misjudged a centimetre or two. At first she denies and denies it, 'I'm fine idiot', begging them to wait for Marie. Her cries for her mom transgress into cry for Andre not to leave.

He would then later tell Marie in a low tone, that in the end, it had been his name she'd cried out.

Angelica Marie West is born on the 14th of February, at midday exactly, and weighs exactly seven pounds. In a twist of irony, she is also born on exactly the same day as her father.

II

She chooses the name in the afterglow, when the sun is setting, and the echo of the pain has transformed itself into a strangely restless drowsiness.

She feels like something off CSI, a mauled corpse that's been torn up from the inside (she counts seven stitches.)

She doesn't have one of those moments where she instantly knows her child's name. For hours, just the word 'she' bounces round her mind.

I have a little girl. We have a little girl.

Jade couldn't help but breath a sigh of relief, when one of those surgical masks exclaims 'it's a girl'. If it had been a boy she would have been resigned to a fate of staring at his face for the rest of her life. That thought sticks in her mind, and she hates herself to her core for even beginning to think it.

The sun warms her daughters face with a peachy glow, glancing off her round cheeks and unopened eyes. Even then, at a few hours old, so much of him is echoed in her mouth, face and hair; her little lip biting and restless tossing. Jade curses her docile genes for letting him be the dominant one. Though she'd be lying if she said she wished there was no trace of him at all.

Jade decides, that her teen pregnancy child (if you call 19 adolescent) is a cliché. In no way would she name her anything double barrelled or misspelled. The word 'angelic' floats into her mind, as she lies there contently watching her, and she settles on Angelica.

Marie is her middle name, as she feels she owes it to her mom for at least not drinking or smoking around the two of them, and getting all hyped up about 'Jelly' with toys she can't afford and gabble about being either 'grammy or g-mama'.

She wondered where he was. Out there celebrating his own birthday, no doubt in amongst a shower of heart themed confectionary and a pretty girl on his arm (she knows exactly which pretty girl). She wondered if he even knew, even had a tiny tinge that told him something had changed in the world. That there were now two voices crying out his name, one of them not knowing he was the one she was crying for, not knowing she shared his genes.

She stayed up long into the night, sitting there in her small vacant room, the scratchy hospital sheets wrapped around her. She lay there completely absorbed by the tiny face across from her. She watched her daughter's scrunched up face, her tiny mouth quivering with the beginnings of a cry, and reached out a hand to clutch her daughter's tiny one.

Jade felt a wave of calm. If she could just pause time at this exact moment, then maybe, just maybe, they'd be okay.