AUTHOR'S NOTES: So the way this season is shaping up is wicked awesome. I love the twists and the way things are working out-or might not be working out. The drama is really gripping too.
And I like that Melody-Emmett's mother-is starting to warm up to Bay, especially after it was Bay's art that got Emmett arrested.
The story title comes from the NCIS episode 'Rule 51' which simply states: "Sometimes you're wrong."
STORY SUMMARY: Bay and Melody team up to help Emmett before he does something that he may not be able to fix.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH: Sometimes You're Wrong
The last person Bay Kennish expected to see as she headed for her car after school was Melody Bledsoe—also known as Emmett's mother. Having never seen eye to eye with her boyfriend's mom, Bay was more than a little confused by the other woman's presence. "Um… H-Hi," Bay hesitantly said aloud as she signed. "I didn't expect to see you here. Uh… are you looking for Daphne, or…?"
'I was looking for you, actually,' Melody signed back, making sure to be clear with her words even though she had to admit, Bay was fairly proficient at sign language for someone who had only been seriously practicing for a couple months. Seeing that Bay was confused about that, Melody added, 'I was hoping we could talk… over coffee, maybe?' When Bay hesitated, she smiled warmly at her son's girlfriend. "My treat," she said aloud.
"Okay… sure," Bay replied, smiling as well. "Sounds good."
'Don't know about 'sounds'… but coffee always tastes good,' Melody signed before laughing, especially when Bay caught onto the joke and laughed as well.
Once the two ladies had cups of coffee and were sitting at a table outside, Melody signed, 'I'm sorry for how I've treated you, Bay.'
"You don't have to apologize," Bay replied, quickly, again signing as she spoke. When she saw Melody start to interrupt, she cut her off. "No, seriously. I mean you were right about me. I don't understand Emmett. I don't get what it's like for him—being deaf, having your parents split up… And more than that, I know you think I'm a bad influence on Emmett and I'm to blame for his skipping school and getting arrested. He tagged that billboard because of me—because I wanted everyone to see my art and he did it for my birthday present. It was a romantic gesture that totally backfired and… And I am so very sorry for all the trouble I've caused."
Melody waited patiently until Bay finished, periodically sipping her coffee. When the teenager was done, Melody smiled again. 'A couple weeks ago, I would have agreed with you,' she signed in reply. Seeing the dejected look on Bay's face, she went on. 'But I was wrong.'
Bay looked surprised at that and blinked a few times before she said, "Really?"
'Really,' Melody replied, nodding. After a moment, she added, 'You're bright, funny… and you're an artist—like Emmett. And maybe you did influence him in some way and maybe he did the same to you. I don't know for sure.' Waiting until Bay had gotten that, she added, 'Emmett has never been serious about anyone until he met you. You really care about him—enough that you came to me to tell me about his missing school and planning to drop out.'
"Yeah, but now Emmett won't even talk to me," Bay said, dejectedly. "He hates me because of what I did." She played with her coffee cup as she and Melody sat in silence for a while before finally taking a deep breath and asking, "What happened between you and Emmett's dad?" Seeing the way Melody straightened a bit as though she were going on the defensive, Bay backtracked. "I know, I know—it's none of my business, really… But with everything that's happened, I just really want to understand."
Melody leaned back in her chair as she thought about how to respond to the question. And really, it was another look at what she really liked about Bay. The girl was direct and inquisitive and not shy about asking personal questions if she thought it might help her understand better. In truth, when Melody looked at Bay, she was reminded of herself as a teenager. With a warm look, she smiled and signed, 'Believe it or not, I met Cameron during a wild period in high school. He was a partier and he and I would just do every crazy thing we could think of. We were in love, we got married, and everything was great.'
"So what happened?" Bay asked, even though the idea of Melody as an outgoing party girl was a very alien concept.
'Emmett,' Melody replied, simply, as she smiled. 'I became a mom and suddenly life wasn't all about me and what I wanted to do. I had a baby to think about and I grew up.' With a shrug, she added, 'Cameron didn't. And we've spent the past 6 years fighting about what's best for Emmett.'
Another thought was starting to occur to Bay and as she thought about her own family, she asked, "Have you ever told Emmett about that? About when you were his age?"
The look Melody gave Bay clearly said 'Are you kidding?' as she replied, 'Just so he can use it against me? Claim that because I tried to blow the world off, he should be able to?'
"Touché," Bay said, getting the point. But that didn't stop her from pressing her point of view, "But I know how I felt when Regina and my mom have told me about stuff that's happened to them. Right now, Emmett thinks you're trying to control him, or… something. But you're just trying to be a good mom." Tears started up in Bay's eyes and she wiped them away, embarrassed to be crying in front of Melody. "These past few months, I have been getting a real hard look at how hard being a parent is. My parents, Regina… None of it is easy. And I know I've been a hard kid to live with." Taking a breath to regain her composure, she was surprised and comforted when Melody put a hand on her arm. "What I do know," Bay went on, sniffling slightly. "—is that I would rather have my crazy, messed up, responsible family than another family that didn't care what I did or didn't do."
After a moment or two, Bay took another deep breath and spoke simply as she signed. "Emmett needs you. And I don't care if he breaks up with me or if he hates me… because I care about him too much to let him just throw his life away."
Melody took all that in as she thought about what to do about her son. 'So what's your plan?' she asked, curiously.
Bay was caught off-guard by the question, but thinking quickly, she asked, "What's the sign for 'intervention'?"
A/N: I'm planning the next chapter to be up next week after the season finale.