Author's Note: HELLO! Okay, I know you guys are a little mad at me for not updating so frequently, but A LOT has been going on. For starters, My birthday was last month and Hurricane Sandy happened right before Halloween. I live in NYC so I was affected by it. Thankfully, my family is safe and we got through the disaster together. I apologize for my late updates but I promise to try extremely hard to update faster. Thank you for your positive and constructive feedback. It's always welcome. Well, enough with my rambling. Read and hopefully you'll ENJOY!
Chapter Twelve: Forgive Me?
Amy didn't turn around to look at her daughter. Instead, she continued to vigorously scrub some dirty dishes while silently crying. She didn't want Teddy to witness the mental breakdown she was on the verge of having. So to keep her mind occupied, she cleaned. It was one of her best coping mechanisms. Back then, she'd clean the entire house from head to toe once Bob had left for work and the kids were in school. It helped ease her anxiety and gave her a clear state of mind.
'Just relax, Amy. Just relax.'
"Mom? Are you… okay?" Teddy asked once more, standing by the kitchen table. Amy tried to control her breathing but failed miserably. She managed to hide these 'breakdowns' from her kids throughout all of these years but right now, in this very moment… she felt the desperate need to let go.
"I-I'm, fine. Just go back to sleep."
'Dammit, Amy! Pull yourself together!'
"You don't sound like it." Teddy replied. She looked at her fingers as she contemplated her next move. She wasn't use to this, she wasn't use to communicating with her mother. They never discussed their feelings or the horrid situations they faced. There was always some kind of tension or extremely loud fighting. Most of the yelling came from P.J and Teddy, while Amy just stared and cried after.
"Mom, you're shaking. I can see it from here."
Amy stopped what she was doing and tried to get a hold of reality. Flashbacks of what Bob's friend had done to her replayed in her head and she couldn't find an exit. She was inevitably trapped in her past. She hated when this happened, especially if her kids were there. Now that Teddy was standing behind her, questioning her odd behavior, she felt like she had to run. She felt like a scared little girl and she hated that more than anything.
"I'm okay, Teddy. Please, just leave me-"
"No. I can't."
"Because mom… you never left me." Teddy's voice became shaky as her bottom lip began to tremble.
Amy froze then looked down at the already spotless dishes. She slowly turned but kept her gaze to the floor. Teddy felt a pang in her heart at the sight of her mothers face. Her cheeks were blotchy from crying and her eyes were red.
"I would never do that to you." Amy replied. Teddy felt a few of her own tears come along as she walked a bit closer to her mother. Guilt from her past sins began to surface and she didn't attempt to hide it.
"I know that, mom. I know."
The sound of the front door being opened startled the two blondes as Charlie came barging in.
"Momma, why are you crying?" the four year old asked, curiously eyeing Amy, who quickly wiped her tears away.
"I'm fine Char, Momma just had something in her eyes. But I'm all better now, see?" Amy picked her up and showed her that she was okay. Charlie smiled then hugged her mother tightly.
"P.J was being a bad boy again." Charlie honestly announced.
Teddy looked at Amy and Amy looked at her back.
"Really? What did he do?" Amy asked, but before she could get a proper answer from the toddler, Helen walked in with Gabe.
"Mom!" Gabe shouted, crashing into his mother, nearly knocking her and Charlie over.
"My goodness! I'm so happy to see you too, Gabe."
Teddy saw the beautiful smile form on her mother's clear face and decided that she didn't want to ruin it. So she walked out of the kitchen, not wanting to be the cause of her mothers on going pain and descended the stairs to the basement.
P.J softly knocked on his sisters door and waited for an answer. It was now 9:35 PM and the Duncan household was silent. After having a long talk with his Aunt Helen, who convinced him to give Dr. Anderson a chance, he decided to check up on Teddy and make sure she was okay.
"Who's there!" Teddy shouted, hoping it wasn't Charlie who had knocked previously and begged her to play Hide-N-Seek.
"It's me, P.J!" The eighteen year old yelled back. Five seconds later, the door slid open, revealing a very tired Teddy. She was wearing a light pink bathrobe and fuzzy pink slippers. Her hair was sticking out in numerous places and her eyes had black rings under them. P.J took note of her appearance then finally spoke.
"Are you feeling okay?"
Teddy rolled her eyes at his question then walked back to her bed. She laid on top of it and continued to stare up at the ceiling. She concentrated on a patch of chipped paint as P.J walked further in and spoke again.
"So... I'm not getting an answer?"
"I'm fine." Teddy murmured, keeping her gaze on the paint. P.J followed her gaze so he could see was she was seeing, then shook his head.
"So that's what you've been doing all day? Staring at a patch of chipped paint? How productive." he sarcastically said, sitting on the edge of her bed. Teddy closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She then sat up and faced her older brother.
"So? At least I'm not trying to slit my wrists."
The room suddenly became very quiet and Teddy immediately regretted her choice of words.
"P.J, I'm sorry-"
"Is that really what you think about? Do you really want to hurt yourself like that?"
Teddy searched for an answer as she examined her fingers.
"Yes... sometimes. I mean, I always had suicidal thoughts. I just never shared them." She replied. P.J fought back the urge to cry as he looked away.
"Why? Why would you think like that?"
P.J wasn't sure if he truly wanted an answer, but he was sure that he couldn't take the question back.
"Because... I hate my life. It's so screwed up and wrong and I just... I just want to disappear."
"How do you think mom feels?"
Teddy's eyes met P.J's as she spoke.
"Don't you think I know that now? I know I was stupid, okay? I know now that Dad basically brainwashed me and made me hate mom for everything HE caused. It was never her fault. She never asked to get mistreated. I know that now. So please don't sit there and accuse me-"
"I'm not accusing you of anything Teds. Relax. We were both wrong. Terribly wrong. I just can't find a way to make this better..."
"You can. Just talk to her." Helen announced, entering the room seconds later. P.J and Teddy were at first startled but relieved it was her and not Amy.
"It's not that easy." Teddy replied, eyeing the brunette.
"I agree, but it's something you two can work on. Your mother deserves that, don't you think?"
P.J nodded and Teddy sighed.
"How could she possibly forgive us? We put her through hell for three years. There's no way-"
"She loves you two more than she loves anything else in this world. She fought for you guys, even though she couldn't fight for herself. She took those beatings so that you both wouldn't have too. I don't think it'll be hard for her to forgive... Forgetting about what happened seems to be her only struggle. Not only with you guys... but with your father too."
Teddy's gaze dropped to her lap as a wave of guilt and hurt washed over her. She knew her mother was traumatized by everything she went through. They all were, with the exception of Charlie who thankfully experienced none of it. Gabe's mental state was questionable, but she knew about his nightmare's and the "boogeyman" he claimed to see. P.J gently grabbed his sisters hand and held it tight. Teddy looked at his hand then looked up to give him a small smile.
"Do you think she'll let us talk to her? Not now, but when we do decide too... do you think she'll listen?" Teddy asked. Helen could feel tears of joy and relief come along as she smiled then nodded. She knew they had a long way to go, but with the right amount of baby steps, they could begin to heal.
"Without a doubt." Was her only answer before the room became completely silent.
A/N: Too short? Too long? Do you want me to continue or should I stop right there? REVIEW. Oh and BTW, Amy's COMPLETE story and every single thing she faced/endured will be revealed soon... P.J's finally going to speak to Dr. Anderson as well. So stay tuned.