Disclaimer- I really don't own these :( as you can tell I'm no where near as talented as the Mrs Meyers! Hell I don't own the computer that i am writing this on... it's my brothers.
Edwards Point Of View
Good Luck today. Hope you get what you want. :)
I smiled, phone in hand, grinning at the text my girl Vicky had sent me. The grin didn't last long though. I was to wound up. Wednesday. Exam results day! I must admit, I didn't expect to be quite so nervous today. I totally knew that I had done well. What I mean is, I almost knew for certain, but that almost killed me. Between having to hand my exam papers in and having them marked, there was a world of possibilities, that all decide my future. The person marking them could've had a bad day which resulted in a really bad mood which they would then take out on my exam papers. Hell sonic the hedgehog could have changed all my answers. Joke.
"Don't be an idiot" I told myself. It was simple. I had to pass. There was no other choice. Four good A level grades, that was what I needed. Then it was of to university. Up, up and away from this place and a year earlier than all my friends. You've passed... Positive thinking. I tried to dredge up the confidence from somewhere deep inside. Then I felt even more like an idiot and stopped trying. But like Carlise, my dad, constantly said "temptation leans on the doorbell, however opportunity knocks once and once only". And I knew all to well that my A levels were my best opportunity to not just hit the ground but to take off and fly. Carlise was full to the brim of fortune cookie quotes like that.
University was just a means to an end. I mean, yes, I was looking forward to the whole meeting new people, learning new things, being somewhere different and totally independent. But I was looking beyond that points. Once I had a fairly decent job, things would be different- or they would when I have successfully paid of my student loan. But the highlighting point was that my family wouldn't have to dig in there pockets for money.
Three impatient strides took me to the bay window. Pushing aside the grimy-grey doily effect net curtains, I stared up and down my street. The August morning was already bright and sunny. Maybe that was karma- if anyone believed in it that was.Out loud, I didn't.
Where the hell was the postman? Didn't he know that in his satchel he literally held my whole future? Funny how one sheet of paper, a piece of tree, had the ability to change the rest of my life.
I need to pass my exams... I REALLY need to pass...
The words played through my mind like a recurring phrase from a really irritating song. I'd never ever wanted something so badly in my life! maybe because my A levels exam results weremy life. My whole future rested on a slip of paper and a few letters at the beginning of the alphabet- preferably letters from the beginning!
I let the net curtain fall back into place, wiping my dusty hands on my jeans. What was it about the dust on grubby curtains that made them seem almost sticky? I eyed the curtains, when had they last been cleaned? When was the first time they were cleaned? They'd been hanging there since I had helped my mum put them up. What was that? Like nine years ago, or close?
The doorbell rang- as if on a cue. I was at the door before the chime of the bell could end, throwing it open with eager trepidation.
It wasn't the postman.
It was Tanya.
I stared at her in shock. It took a couple of seconds to register the fact that Tanya wasn't alone. I stared down at the contents of the buggy beside her, on my doorstep.
I didn't say a single word. The baby in the buggy was the thing that held all my attention.
"C-can I come in?
"Er... yeah? Of course" I stepped aside. Tanya wheeled the buggy past me into the house. I closed the door behind her, frowning and confused. She stood in the doorway biting the corner of her lip. She watched me expectantly, like an actress waiting for her director to announce her cue. But she knew where the sitting room was, shed been here before.
"Go through" I indicated towards the open door.
Following her, my thoughts flitted like dancing ballerinas. What the hell was she doing here? I hadn't seen her in... it was well over a year at the least. What the hell did she want?
"Are you babysitting?" I pointed to the bundle snuggled in the buggy.
"Yeah, you could say that" Tanya said, looking at all the many family photos we had scattered around the room. Some of me, more of my brother Jasper, most however was off my mum. But there was none of her from the last year of her life. I remember that dad had wanted to take some - he had appointed himself family 'photographer'- but mum wouldn't let him. And after she died, dad had yet to pick up his camera again.
Tanya's eyes flitted from photograph to photograph, studying each one intently before her eyes moved on to the next. To be honest, I didn't see the appealing feeling that Tanya must have with them.
Whilst Tanya was looking at the photos, I used the opportunity to eye her. She looked the same as our last encounter, maybe a tiny bit slimmer but that was all. She was dressed black jeans and a dark blue jacket over a light blue t-shirt. Her light blond hair was shorter than the last time, shorter and much more... spikier. But she was still the stunner she was before, with the biggest blue eyes I'd ever seen framed by the longest eye-lashes. I glanced down at the bundle in the buggy which was staring up in fascination at the light-fitting in the middle of the ceiling.
"What's it's name?"
"Her name is Mallie." Pause. "D'you want to hold her?"
"No, I mean er... no thank you." The words were out of my mouth in a jumbled panicked mess. Was Tanya barking mad or what? No way on earth did I want to hold a baby and plus she still hadn't said what she was doing here,. Not that I wasn't pleased to see her again. It'd just had been a long time, that was all. Tanya had dropped out of school over a year and a half ago and I hadn't heard or seen of her since. As far as I knew, no one in this town had.
And now she was in my house.
As if she was reading my mind, Tanya said "I went away to live with my auntie. I'm back for the day visiting a friend, and as I was just passing by, I thought I'd come and visit you. I'm going away today actually"
"Back to your aunt's" I assumed.
"No. Up north. I'm staying with friends for a while."
"Can I get you something? A drink?" I said after the awkward pause.
"Er... some water? Some water would be good."
I headed for the kitchen and filled up a glass from the tap. "There you are." I handed it to her once I got back in the room.
The glass shook slightly in her hands, while she was guiding it to her lips. Tanya took three or four small sips then put it down on the coffee table. She then retrieved a box from her jacket pocket and took out a cigarette, pushing it between her thin lips. "D'you mind if I smoke?" she asked, the flame from her lighter already nearing the end of the cigarette.
"Er.. I don't, but my dad and Jasper will. Especially Jasper. He's an anti-cigarette fascist and they'll be back real soon."
"How soon?" Tanya asked sharply.
"Half an hour or so" I shrugged. Why the urgent tone to her voice? For a second there she almost looked... sickly panicky.
"Oh, OK. Well, the smell will be gone by then
." Tanya said, lighting up anyway.
Damn it. To the you the truth, I wasn't keen on cigarettes either. Tanya drew on the 'cancer stick' like she was trying to suck all the nicotine in it down her throat. She closed her eyes, briefly, then a rush of swirling grey vapour shot out through her nostrils. Minging. The smell was already circling the room. I sighed inwardly. Jasper was going to do his left nut. Tanya opened her eyes to look at me, but she didn't say a sound. She inhaled from the cigarette again like it was her life line and her only source of air giving to her.
"I didn't know you smokes" I said.
"I started almost a year ago. It's one of the few pleasures that I have left." Said Tanya.
We regarded each other. The silence stretched between us like a taut elastic. Oh God. What was I supposed to say now?
"So... How are you? What've you been up to?" It wasn't much but it was all I could think off.
"I've been looking after Mallie." Tanya replied.
"I mean, apart from that?" I persisted a little more. A slight smile curved up on one corner of Tanya's mouth. She shrugged but didn't reply. She turned her head to carry on looking around the room.
The baby made some sort of gurgling sound. Some noise to break the scratchy quiet. Thank fuck for that.
"What about you?" Tanya asked, removing the baby from the buggy and holding it on the left side of her body as the cigarette moved to the right side of her lips. " What've you been up to?" Her eyes weren't on me though. She was looking in to the face of that thing in her arms. The thing gurgled louder, trying to wriggle closer to her. "What are your plans now you have done your A levels, Edward?"
For the first time since she had arrived, she looked directly at me and didn't immediantly difuse or turn away from our meeting stares. And the look in her eyes were startling. Her face hadn't changed that much since the last time I'd seen her, but her eyes had. They seemed...older somehow. Sadder. I shook my head. There went my imagination, running off in all directions again. Tanya had aged exactly by the same amount of time that I had.
"I'm waiting for my exam results." I said "They're supposed to arrive today."
"How do you think you have done?"
Crossing my fingers, I held them up. "I worked my ass off, but If you tell anyone... I'll hunt you down!"
"God forbid that anyone should find out you actually... revised. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." smiled Tanya.
"If I have passed, I'm off to uni to do history."
"And after that?"
"Journalism. I want to be a reporter. I want to write about stuff that everyone actually wants to read."
"You want to work for one of those gossip magazines?" Tanya queried.
"Hell no! Not a celebrity reporter. How boring would that be, interviewing talentless airheads who are famous for doing crap all? No, thank you," I said, warming to my theme. "I want to cover proper news. War and politics... stuff like that."
"Ah, sounds more like the Edward I know." Said Tanya." Why?"
The question took me by surprise. "Pardon?"
"Why does reporting on the kind of stuff appeal to you so much?"
I shrugged "I like the truth, I guess. Someone needs to make sure the the truths gets told."
"And that someone is you?"
How pompous must I have sounded? Embarrassed, I smiled "Didn't you know? Edward Masen is only my earth name. On my planet, I'm known as Ed-world, fighting for truth, justice and free computer games for all."
Tanya just shook her head, her lips twitching. "I'm beginning to remember why I used to like you so much."
Used to? "Past tense?"
She glanced down at the baby in her arms. "I've had other things on my mind since we broke up, Edward"
"Like Mallie for one."
"Whose kid is she? Cousin?"
Just at that moment , the baby started to grizzle. Hell! It sounded like the thing was winding up for a long, loud cry.
"Her nappy needs changing," said Tanya. "Hold her for a second. I need to get rid of my fag."
Tanya thrust-ed the baby at me and was already turning so I had no choice but to take it. She headed out of the room and made her way to the kitchen. Getting rid of the cigarette was no academic. The whole room stunk. I held the baby at arm's length, pulling back my head like a turtle to put at least a foot between myself and the thing. There was the sound of running water from the tap, the the bang of the bin lid snapping shut. My hearing was switched up to the max as I waited for the second, I could pass this thing in my hands back.
Tanya re-entered the room. With a practised hand, she opened up the out sized green bag hanging on the frame of the buggy and removed a pale orange plastic baby mat decorated with multi-coloured hearts. She lay it down on the floor, smoothing out the wrinkles. Next came disposable nappy, a small blue plastic bag and some baby wipes. With a rueful smile, Tanya took the baby from my unresisting hands. My sigh of relief was unintentionally audible. But Damn! I didn't want t do that again anytime soon. I watched as Tanya knelt down on the carpet to lay the baby on the changing mat. Whilst I opened the windows, she started talking a heap load of crap.
Words like: "I'm going to change you now. Oh yes I am!"
And it was getting worse. Stricken, I watched as Tanya undid the yellow all-in-one baby grow, and gently extracting the baby's legs from the outfit. She wasn't seriously going to change the baby hear, was she? Oh yes she was! Gross! I wanted to stop her but what could I say? I watched in shock as Tanya unfastened the nappy.
It was filled with overflowing poo. Stick, nasty, uber smelly baby crap. I was amazed I managed to hold down my breakfast. But I did back up and backed off double fast. I couldn't have moved faster if the nappy had suddenly grown legs and started playing tag with me around the room.
"You should watch this," Tanya said. "You might learn something."
"It's quite straightforward," She continued. "You life up her legs slightly by her ankles till her booty is of the nappy, then wipe her off until she is all nice and clean." Tanya dropped the wipes into the soiled nappy. "Then you whip out the old nappy and place nice clean one under her. After that you just fasten it like this, making sure it's not to tight and not to loose. See? It's so simple even you could do it."
"Why would I want to?" I asked. I mean duh!
After placing the dirty nappy in the orange bag and tying a knot in it at the top, Tanya refastened the baby-grow before holding Mallie to her and rocking it gently. The baby's impossibly long eyelashes fluttered again its cheeks as it eyes closed. Tanya handed me the nappy bag. I recoiled in horror.
"Could you put it in your bin, please?" She smiled.
"Er... the kitchen is in the same place. Help yourself."
"Can you hold Mallie then?"
Oh god. Poo or a baby? A Baby or a poo?
I took the nappy bag out of Tanya's hand, holding it at arms length like it was a ticking bomb. I started carrying it gingerly but decided that the speed would be better. Much better. So, I sprinted to the kitchen dropped it in the pedal bin, then scrubbed my hands in the sink. I headed back to the sitting room, Tanya's laughter ringing in my ears. Tanya looked at me and smiled, her eyes crinkling with amusement. I didn't quite see what was so funny, but Tanya's toothy smile brought back a rush of memories. Memories of things I hadn't exactly forgotten but ones I buried deep in my head. I sat down, more puzzled than ever. What was Tanya doing here? Just passing by didn't quite ring the truth to me.
"Shush. Shes falling asleep," Tanya whispered. She placed the baby in its buggy, she was so gentle that thing didn't even stir once. Tanya straightened up, biting on the side of her lip. I remained seated. Abruptly, as if deciding something at the spur of the moment, she dug into her over sized baby bag and withdrew a folded sheet of beige paper.
"Read this," She said thrusting the paper at me.
I hesitated. "What is it?"
Frowning, I took it from her and unfolded it. It was a birth certificate of Mallies. The mothers place filled with Tanya and the fathers... blank.
I stared at her. "You.. youre the babys mother?"
Tanya nodded slowly. "Edward, I ... I don't know how to say this without..well, without just saying it."
She didnt have to say anything. The Birth paper explained so mush and said so little. Tanya had a kid. She was a mum. I had trouble taking it in. Tanya was my age. And she had a baby?
"Edward, I need to tell you something.."
Tanya wasn't even eighteen yet. How could she have been stupid enough to have a kid at our age? Hadn't see ever heard of the pill? Kids were for people in their late thirties who had a mortgages and steady jobs and serious savings in the back. Kids were for those sad people who didn't have anything else to do with their lives.
"Edward, are you listening?"
"Huh?" I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Tanya was a mum.
Tanya took a deep breath, closely followed by another. "Edward, you are the dad. Mallie is our Daughter"
How was it? you can tell me lol. So should I carry on ?
I was thinking of maybe for any one who reviews( you don't have to but it would be nice) that I could send you a Jasper's POV. I kinda have an idea of his story... like a side one for this one. It will explain things more maybe.. but WILL be much SHORTER.
Tell me what you think and thanks for reading:)