This is a one-shot based on the song 'Every other weekend' by Reba McEntire. I'm thinking of turning into a full story if everyone wants me to continue it. Please review! This is my first story i've put up for the twilight genre, just trying something new!
"Charlie lets go! We are going to be late!" I yelled up the stairs to my son as he hobbled around the corner, trying to carry way more than any five-year-old should have in his hands.
"Honey you cannot bring all of that with you. You're only there for three days," I sighed taking his backpack from his shoulder. This was becoming a recurring issue with him, he couldn't understand that he had toys at his father's house and he insisted on packing everything he owned.
"Not my gameboy! Please mommy?" He asked, a tantrum on the brink.
I rolled my eyes and nodded before ruffling his hair and telling him to put his shoes on.
I had been having a difficult time with him lately, he was throwing temper tantrums like it was his job and I was honestly ready to pull my hair out. I knew the divorce would effect him the most. A boy not having his dad around is hard and Charlie really looked up to Edward. He blamed me for kicking Edward out for the first two weeks after we separated and refused to speak to me. After awhile he came around but his lashing out had been getting progressively worse lately.
"Ness, are you ready to go baby?" I asked my daughter, Vanessa, who was sitting on her bedroom floor holding her "BB", what she called her blanket. She was going to be four in a few months and she still held onto that thing with a death grip. I just didn't have the heart to get rid of it.
"Do I have to go momma? I want to stay with you," she whispered as if it was a secret.
She was our little angel, and she never gave me a hard time. She was what I called my easy child. She rarely cried, always said please, and spent most of her day laughing and entertaining herself with her dolls. Yet every weekend she was suppose to go to Edward's, she gave me a hard time. It wasn't that she didn't like going there, I know she had a great time while she was there, but she was younger when Edward and I started having problems and she was definitely a mommy's girl.
"It's just for a couple of days Ness. Don't you want to see daddy?"
"Can't he come here?" She pouted and my heart dropped. She still didn't quite understand why mommy and daddy didn't live together.
"No baby, daddy wants you to go to his house. You'll have a great time." I said sitting next to her and brushing the hair out of her eyes. She may have had my dark brown hair but she inherited Edward's unruly style for sure.
"Last time Charlie wouldn't let me watch the movies I wanted to watch," She complained. I tried to hide my laughter at her being upset over such a small thing.
"Well i'll make sure to tell your dad," I said before pulling her up off the floor, "Let's go, we're going to be late and I think daddy is making your favorite dinner, Grilled cheese!"
I tried to sound excited though I was anything but. I liked having a break from the kids every now and then but I missed them when they were gone. I tried to occupy myself with errands and cleaning, but it never worked. By 3:00 saturday afternoon I was feeling miserable. The house was too quiet on these weekends I had to leave the TV on to drown out the silence. I never felt more alone then I did on these days.
I packed the kids into my car after another fifteen minutes of fighting with Charlie over what shoes to wear and why he had to wear a coat. Aren't these arguments suppose to be saved for a teenage Vanessa? I looked back at Charlie sitting in the backseat as I let my mind wander over the past few months. Edward and I had only officially been divorced for two months, even though we signed the papers back in June. Now, the end of november, we had plenty of time to get into the routine with the kids. Every other weekend, unless Edward was on call at the hospital, he had the kids. Friday night to Sunday afternoon. I would meet him halfway at the park, he never came to the house. I would drop them off and pick them up, 5:00pm Fridays, 3:00pm Sundays.
It was hell.
I missed my kids when they were gone. I worried about them, not that Edward was a bad father, but were they missing me?
Were they eating okay or was he giving them McDonalds again? He wanted so bad to be the good guy that he gave them whatever they wanted.
What if they got sick? Well, ok that was ridiculous considering Edward was a Doctor.
"Mom? Are we going to get to see dad on thanksgiving? He's coming to our house right?" Charlie asked, his head staring at his lap. I think he knew the answer to that question.
These were the worst times, when I had to explain again why Edward was not with us, why we would not be together for the holidays, parties, games, traditions. We weren't a family anymore.
"I don't think so buddy. I think he has to work actually. But you'll see him on Christmas!" I encouraged but he never looked up from his hands. He fidgeted in his seat, a nervous habit he picked up from me. The only thing he got from me. I swear it was like looking at a small Edward every day. Somedays it killed me.
This year I had the kids on thanksgiving and Edward got them on Christmas, it landed on one of his saturdays anyways. He had agreed to let me keep them Christmas eve though. It wasn't going to be a very merry Christmas for me this year, my first Christmas without my husband and I wouldn't have my kids either.
I pulled into the small parking lot facing the town park. Kids were running around laughing, parent's sitting watching and talking. The leaves had fallen off the trees by now and I noticed how dead everything looked. No leaves, dirty snow from the first snowfall last week. I remembered when we took Charlie here to teach him how to ride a bike last year. Edward had been promising to teach him for awhile but was always too busy with work. One day he came home early from the hospital, surprising us all, and we all spent the afternoon at the park. It was one of the best days we had as a family in a long time.
I cried myself to sleep for hours that night.
I see Edward's small volvo in the corner of the lot, his usual spot and pull up next to it. I joked once to my brother, Emmett, that I felt like a drug dealer every other weekend. We parked in the corner of the lot in the same spot every time, exchanging kids and toys and looks. But we never talked, we spoke as little as possible and communicated as much as possible through nods and fake smiles. It was brutal, it made my heart race hours before just thinking about it.
He is leaning against his car by the time I open my door and I see Charlie has already bolted from the car, running in Edward's direction, making Edward smile. I feel another heart string snap in my chest. I smile in his direction, but it's fake and he knows it. He gives me the same half smile before engulfing Charlie in his arms.
"Hey Charlie Brown." He laughs, picking Charlie from the ground and adjusting him on his hip. He isn't so easy to pick up anymore and I swear he gets taller everyday.
"Dadddd" Charlie whines. He hates when Edward calls him that, or so he says. I think he actually likes it. "Look what I brought!" he yells waving his game boy in Edward's face.
I grab Vanessa's things out of the trunk as Charlie tells Edward about his new game he got and they chat Mario Brothers. I have no idea what they are talking about but it warms my heart to see him so happy to see Edward. I grab Nessie's hand and walk her over to Edward who instantly looks like his puppy just died. I can see how hard it is for him that Nessie doesn't run to him like Charlie does.
"Hi baby girl." He says softly. "I missed you!" He leans down to her level and tucks a piece of hair behind her ear. She ducks her head before saying hello and I squeeze her hand.
"Here is her bag, Charlie has all of his things in that suitcase he calls a backpack." I joke trying to make things light. I don't know why it bothers me to see Edward hurt, like he didn't hurt me plenty. But it does. So I joke. And if thinks could get more uncomfortable they do.
Edward looks put off by my sudden comedic relief before giving me an awkward laugh and half smile. He shoves his hands through his hair, essentially making me melt a little more inside before taking the bag from my hands. I always loved when he did that.
"Thanks." He says before opening up the door for Charlie. I bend down to hug Nessie and whisper for her to be good.
"You ready to go baby?" Edward asks and she nods walking towards him as he boosts her up into the car. She still sits in a small booster, which she complains about daily. I have been well informed that she is NOT a baby.
"You guys be good for daddy, okay? I love you." I say before kissing their heads and closing the door behind me. Nessie turns to look out the window at the kids playing and I feel horrible for making her go with Edward even though I know she is fine once they leave.
He is shifting back and forth on his feet and its making me nervous.
"I uh… I heard about the Bakery, Bella. That's really great." He mumbles nervously and I cant believe how hard it is for us to talk now. He was my best friend for almost 20 years. He was my everything.
"Thank you. It's really coming along." I say politely like I would to an acquaintance. A friendly customer. A Stranger.
I opened up a bakery a few weeks back and although it was a slow start we were really getting a lot of business lately. My partner, Angela, and I loved cooking in general and although I went to school to be a teacher it was always my dream to own my own bakery. After I stopped putting all my energy into saving a marriage that couldn't be saved, I threw myself into work instead. Three months of searching for the perfect location and waiting for my bank loans to be approved I was the proud co-owner of Bella Dolce: Italian pastries.
Ben, Angela's husband worked with Edward at the hospital. He must have told him about our success at the bakery. Edward and I never talked about work.
"So, yea. Um, i'll see you sunday then?" He asks like he does every time, as if things have changed.
"Sunday." I nod and walk around to me car. I don't say what I want to say. I don't tell him how much I hate this.
I hate that we are strangers.
I hate that we aren't a family anymore.
I hate that I still need him.
I hate that I still love him.
"Shit!" I whisper under my breath as the fire alarm goes off again. I grab a towel off the counter waving it in the air like a mad man trying to end the annoying sound. Charlie is sitting with his hands over his ears, a dirty look on his face.
"Sorry, buddy." I say when the alarm stops. "Go get your sister will you? Tell her dinner is ready."
He rolls his eyes trying to hide the smile on his face as he jumps off the bar stool. My own kid is laughing at me. I can't stop the smile that spreads across my own face though, of course he's laughing. I just burnt a damn grilled cheese and his mother is a cooking genius.
I try my best to scrap the burnt off of the bread before giving up and throwing it on a plate and setting it on the table. My small table barely fits all of us but it was the best I could find for my small condo. After I moved out of the house I bought the condo I was living in now temporarily. I told myself I didn't need anymore room, it was just me and the kids weren't here often. Really, I wasn't ready to buy anything bigger. That would mean there was no chance of Bella and I getting back together and I wasn't ready to face that fact yet.
Ness sits at the table, her BB sitting neatly in her lap and chugs down her juice. She looks at her sandwich but doesn't look very pleased.
"What's wrong baby? I thought grilled cheese was your favorite? I even got the orange cheese." I laughed. She was too funny, she wouldn't touch white american cheese even though it was the same thing.
"Thats not the way mom makes it dad." Charlie whispers from his seat and I can see he has ripped his crust off.
My heart breaks at his words. I try so hard to make things somewhat normal for them but I always come up short it seems.
"Oh, well how does mommy make it?" I say, my voice cracking slightly.
"You have to cut it in triangles. She doesn't like the crust either. Sometimes mom puts a smiley face on it with ketchup." That's disgusting I think to myself but don't say anything. Ketchup? Why would you put ketchup on grilled cheese. More importantly, why do I not know that my daughter likes ketchup on her grilled cheese.
"Well, we can do that! I have ketchup here somewhere." I mumble to myself. Did Bella always put ketchup on their sandwiches? How had I not noticed that?
I fix her cheese sandwich into four triangles with a ketchup smiley face on each one and the smile is instant. Nessie happily digs into her dinner and I'm glad I can please her so easily. With Charlie, things are easy. He's my boy and we bond over sports and cars and video games. Nessie likes dolls, and I love my daughter, but I don't do dolls. She takes awhile to warm up to me and although she does in the end, it's like starting all over again the following weekend i have them.
After dinner and baths we curl up for movies on the couch. That seems to be our new routine, dinner and movies friday night. The park on Saturday. Its Nessie's turn to pick a movie much to Charlie's dismay. My heart swells at Nessie's pajamas, the are bright pink with hearts and 'daddy's girl' written on her shirt. I know Bella packed them on purpose and It makes me miss her. Half way through the movie they are both out like a light, Charlie snoring on the floor and Nessie asleep against my side. I pull her into my lap and just sit there staring at the T.V.
I'm miserable. I've been miserable since the day Bella kicked me out. Why did I ever let this happen?
Having to see Bella every time I picked up the kids was torture. She was beautiful, more so every time I see her and I know no woman will ever make my heart race like she does. I want so badly to tell her that, to tell her I miss her. That I still love her.
But I don't say anything. That wouldn't be fair to her.
She's over me, over us. I had failed her and our family. You only get so many chances and I had cashed in on all of mine.
I try to convince myself that we did the right thing. We were fighting constantly and it was hurting our kids, not just our marriage. There was a point where we both knew we couldn't fix things any more and it was better to end things before we ended up enemies. It was harder to convince myself that things were for the best every time I see her, though.
Because truth of the matter was I wasn't thinking about the arguments today, or the hurt, or the divorce.
I was thinking about the first day I ever saw her, first time I kissed her. I was thinking about our wedding day and every time we had made love. How she blushed under my touch and how I used to make her smile.
Things had been easy, perfect. When did it get so bad?
I run my hands through my hair before lifting Nessie up into my arms and putting her to bed. I decide to let Charlie sleep in the living room considering he'll be up in six hours with the cartoons on anyways. I tuck him into the sleeping bag he is sprawled out on and kiss him on the forehead. I hope he knows how much I love him. Somedays I worry my kids don't know just how much they mean to me.
Saturday flies by into Sunday and once again I'm parked in the corner of the Forks Community Park waiting for Bella to pull in. I'm early, I know this without even looking at the clock because she is never late. When she pulls up aside me I empty out my backset, the toys and clothes and Nessie's BB as my kids run to Bella like their lifeline. She hugs and kisses them, laughing as Nessie tells her about my grilled cheese. I groan internally that my daughter is making me look like an amateur until I realize she is telling her how I put four smile faces on. Apparently Bella only puts one big one.
Edward 1, Bella 0.
I try to smile at this but I can't. Bella is wearing my favorite shirt of hers and her hair is in a messy bun, no doubt she has been at work. She's stunning. I think she gets lonely without the kids. I know I would if I had the chance to be home. Fact is I volunteer for endless shifts when I can so I don't have to go back to my empty condo.
"How were they?" She asks shyly taking the blanket from me as I place the rest of their things in the trunk.
"They were fine, you know that." I smile. We had raised some amazing kids. She had raised some amazing kids.
When I go to give Bella Nessie's barbie I drop it on the ground accidentally. I bend over to grab it, but Bella is already thinking the same thing and our hands end up grabbing each other. We look at each other awkwardly for a minute before she pulls away. For a second, I revel in touching her again. I imagine we are a family again. That I didn't royally fuck up me life.
I want so badly to tell her everything i'm thinking. It's screaming in my mind, my ears are roaring. But I don't say anything, theres too many questions and little ears around for me to say anything.
I miss you. I miss everything we had together. I love you. I'm sorry.
"Charlie has a soccer game on Wednesday if you aren't working." She says to fill in the silence.
"I'll do my best to make it." I say and she nods before taking the barbie and putting it in the trunk and slamming it shut.
She turns to walk away and for a second I contemplate what I can say to make her stay for another minute. Anything. Just to talk to her. I miss that more than anything.
"Bella!" I yell a bit too loudly and she turns confused. "I … they had a late lunch so they may not be very hungry for dinner." I blurt out and instantly feel stupid.
"Alright." She smiles before opening her door. "Bye Edward." She whispers.
"Bye." I say to myself as she pulls away from her parking spot. I wave to the kids as she drives away, every piece of heart I have in that small honda civic.
So what did you think? I've written a few other chapters for these characters and I'm thinking of turning it into a full story if I get enough interest!