Hi There! Let's just say I need a smile in my day, and posting this will make me smile. For the foreseeable future it will post weekly on Wednesdays. It will be written completely in BPOV, since this is her story to tell, but there may be a few outtakes in EPOV that pop up every now and again. A huge thanks to MaggieMay14 for the beta job, Acinad816 and Risbee for the pre-read and constant encouragement, and to the ladies over on Facebook who convinced me to post this today. I also have a banner made by the lovely Georgia Leonard over on my FB page if you want to check it out. I'm Coldplaywhore Words over in that little world.
I don't own Twilight. I just like to mess with the characters for shits & giggles. For Delta Bella - It's National Sea Monkey Day! For Stephanie - this is for Alice.
I tap away anxiously on my MacBook and see my mother pace around her apartment, which makes me just as nervous. She's talking quietly on her cell phone and keeps darting her eyes towards me, which makes me assume that she is discussing me, but I could be wrong. When she finally stares long enough and then steps out onto her balcony, I know my thoughts are valid. She's clearly saying something I don't want to hear and that is something new for Renee Swan.
Especially considering how often I have heard my mother have sex, it's amazing there is anything she doesn't want to share with me. She's never been particularly bright when it came to things that may make me uncomfortable. She pees with the door open, smokes pot like she needs it to breathe and she openly discusses her sex life with me. None of this bothers me, except for the last one, since she's twenty years my senior and has a more active libido than I do.
Hell, when I got my period when I was 11, my mother proceeded to announce how proud she was during a dinner party with all of her quirky artist friends in attendance. I was utterly mortified, but Renee didn't get why. She just assumed that this was something everyone wanted to hear. I chocked it up to the fact that she doesn't have a verbal filter.
I shut down my laptop and make my way into the kitchen to grab myself a bottle of water, as my anxiety has also made me parched. I've got half of it finished before Renee comes back into the apartment, her cell phone closed and a worrisome look upon her face.
"Nothing." Renee's lies are easy to spot. "What do you think something is wrong?"
"Cause you have the worst poker face ever. Is this difficult for you… living with me again? I know it's a big adjustment, but I promise you as soon as I find a job, I am out of here." I stumble over my words because I'm nervous that Renee is going to tell me I have to move out.
Sure, I'm not exactly excited about the fact that I had to move back into my mother's apartment in TriBeCa, but it could have been worse. I could have decided not to take her up on her offer and I could be living in a mission or selling my body for Pop-Tarts or Starbucks. Of course, if I had to choose between the two I would pick the Pop-Tarts, hands down.
In hindsight, it's kind of amazing how much I took for granted while I was a student. I had student loans or scholarships to cover all of my expenses. I could focus on my studies and party with my friends on the regular. But the moment I graduated, it was like the rug was pulled out from underneath me.
Suddenly, I have to repay these formerly desirable loans and move from Massachusetts back to New York with my mother. Then, I got dumped by my boyfriend Marcus via a text message, when he decided he wanted to go find himself… at Burning Man. I always knew that Marcus wasn't long term material, but we certainly had fun while it lasted. However, I did expect him to at least express some concern when I told him I was moving home. Instead, I got a text message that read 'Burning Man... finding myself... have a nice life.' I never knew a text could be so callous.
When I called Alice to tell her of his decision, she immediately got defensive. "He's been in college for four years, he couldn't find himself then?" Those words hit home for me since, I had been at BU for four years too, and other than my diploma and a YouTube page with 3,000 hits on it, I had nothing to show for it all. To add insult to injury, I was living with my flaky artist mother again and she clearly didn't want me here. I enjoyed the freedom I had at college, and now it feels like I was cramping her style and she was watching me 24/7. I think I had more freedom at 15 when Renee spent weeks locked away in her studio painting nudes of herself, only taking breaks to nibble on Cheetos and smoke up.
"Ok, Renee, there must be something wrong. You are acting shifty."
"Oh spit it out already! I'm a grown woman; surely I can handle whatever you have to say." Please don't kick me out. I don't have a cardboard box at my disposal. Well, not one big enough to live in.
"I forgot, but I invited Garrett and a few other friends over for dinner tonight and well..."
"You want me to make myself scarce?"
"Would you mind?" Renee wraps her fingers around her hair, much like a 1980's valley girl and I notice her nails are painting electric blue. This is one of those moments when I wonder when my mother became less mature than me.
"I'm sure I can go spend the night with Alice, but can I ask one thing?" Renee nods as she takes my empty bottle and recycles it. She believes she is doing something wonderful for the environment, but her efforts would be ten times better if she simply stopped buying individual water bottles and invested in a Brita or something like that. "Does Garrett know how old you are?"
Renee looks completely aghast at my insinuation that she has been anything but truthful to her latest boy-toy. I am relatively certain that he is a few years older than me, so if he found out that Renee was my mother, and not my sister like she has claimed, things could easily go south between them. Renee knows this, too.
"Garrett knows I'm in my thirties, Bella."
"Oh, so he hasn't seen your drivers' license?"
"No one has. I haven't owned a car in five years. What do I need a license for?"
"I have a perfectly valid passport."
"Has he seen that yet?" I ask, a smile forming in the corner of my lips as my mother grows even more frustrated. Sometimes she is like a child about to have a tantrum and I can't help but stoke the fires. "Forget about it, but next time I see him I may just slip and call you Mom."
"You never call me that. Ever since you were ten and realized that Mom wasn't my actual name, you stopped referring me to like that." She was right, but it didn't mean I didn't refer to her like that sometimes; it was mainly in my own head.
"I was mature for my age, what can I say?"
"So... you're at Alice's tonight?"
"Yeah, either that or panhandling for money in Times Square." Renee gives me a sour look, no doubt because she's growing tired of my sarcasm, but I smile happily in return. "Just... don't let anyone touch anything in my room, alright?"
Renee pulls me into an awkward hug and when we split, I walk towards my bedroom, grateful that she didn't ask more of me. I can handle a night out at Alice's, but my only problem is whether or not she will be home. When I call her cell, it instantly goes to voicemail and I begin to beg her to spend the night with me.
"Ali, it's me... my mom is throwing a pseudo orgy tonight with her boy toy and I've been kicked out of the apartment. I'm begging you to let me come over, otherwise I will sit in the hallway and try not to listen to the sounds of bodies slapping against each other and groans of what apparently passes as pleasure to her friends." Okay, so I am stretching the truth slightly, but Alice hates discussing sex in all forms. She loves to have it, but don't ask her to discuss it. Hell, don't even mention the word vagina. She clams up... pun intended.
It's not even five minutes after I hang up that I receive a text message from her telling me that I am evil and insisting that if I am spending the night at her place, then we are going out. I groan loudly as I approach the box currently housing my fancier clothes and begin to rummage through it. There's a few things left from college that I could consider redeemable, so I text her back and agree to meet her at her apartment at eight.
I have 3 hours to make myself mildly attractive, but instead I sit down and flip open my laptop, writing down a few notes that might one day make it into a screenplay.
I am a college graduate.
I am a best friend.
I am single.
I am a daughter (or sister, depending on who you ask)
I am unemployed.
I am stuck.
As an aside, I am also participating as a professor as part of this summer's Smut University, hosted by Project Team Beta. Other authors participating include BellaFlan, Yellowglue, TeamSmella23, SexyLexiCullen and more. Make sure you head on over to their website and sign up!
See you next Wednesday!