When you have so many different emotions running through you all at once, that's called an emotional wreck. I was past an emotional wreck. I overstepped that label a week or so ago. My emotions had calmed, but my mind had not.
My son -my baby- was going to have a baby. He had yet to leave his teenage years, and he was going to be a father in seven short months. He was handling it better than Jules was, but I knew he was scared. I would worry if he wasn't.
When you raise children, your duty is to prepare them for the world. I didn't feel like I had fulfilled my duty. I mean, what ever happened to condoms and birth control? Did I not talk to him enough about sex?
I shook my head. I could spend all day blaming myself, when there was no blame to give. Jules was pregnant, I was going to be a grandmother, and also a new mother. Twenty years after my first, I found myself back at the beginning.
Suddenly, Edward stepped out onto the porch, and my thoughts dissipated. His face looked as tired and worn as his dirty clothes did, covered in mud and manure. He took a large sip of his beer and sat down in the rocker next to me. I envied him with that beer. I wanted something to relax me.
We hadn't spoken in depth since his ex-in laws left a week ago. Time had sped up and I worried that it would never slow down again. I spent my days cleaning, grooming horses, milking cows, and gutting stalls. I found anything I could to keep me busy, but when dusk fell, I had nothing to do but think. Plus, avoid my best friend. That alone was a full time job. I didn't have to heart to tell her that both Jules and I were pregnant when she was trying so hard to become pregnant herself.
"Hey," Edward said softly, and my head perked up.
"Hi. How did it go today?"
"Made a great turn out with the cattle. We get our next head in February."
"Good," I replied easily.
We sat in silence, both staring out onto our property. December was fierce and we were only a week into it. The trees were nearly all naked now, the creek was shallow, and the animals had their fur coats. Snow was on its way.
"How are you feeling?" He asked.
Edward turned to me and frowned, then glanced down at my stomach.
"Oh," I breathed. My cheeks heated. "Fine," I said again.
"Aren't you supposed to be sick?"
I giggled. My mysterious man knew a lot about so much, but next to nothing about women. I was glad I was around for the sake of his daughter in that department.
"I was with Seth. Not this time, though. In fact, since I'm not sick, I easily forget that I'm pregnant at all," I admitted truthfully.
Edward snorted. "Oh." He let out a long sigh. I wasn't sure where to even begin discussing anything with him now. I worried that he was so stressed already, adding all of this might throw him into a coma. But we needed to talk about it.
"Jules called today," he said, before I could speak again. My shoulders tightened.
"She wants to transfer to taking online courses in Telluride three times a week."
My heart broke for her. I knew how much being away at college meant to her. "But, she loves school. And she can finish."
"Not with a baby coming in July," he replied. "She can't live in Denver on campus with a newborn."
I frowned. "Well, then she'll barely have one semester left to do online since she has gotten so far ahead."
Edward nodded. "Seth needs to come back, too."
"Yeah," I whispered. "He hates school, but now-"
"Now he has a family to care for."
I flinched slightly. My baby is having a baby. I put my head in my hands. Quiet tears strolled down my cheeks. I sniffed and felt a hand on my shoulder.
I looked up to pretty eyes and a stubbled beard. I forced a smile. "What about us?" I croaked.
Edward removed his hand and shrugged. "Aren't we all sort of in the same boat?" he chuckled.
My frown returned. "No?" I retorted. "We're adults. Our children having children is much different than us having a baby. We will have to help them."
"No, I think they got themselves into it, so they need to figure it out."
I scoffed. "Are they even speaking to each other yet?" Edward averted his eyes and drank more beer. "That's our grandchild."
Edward groaned. "I can't believe any of this."
I nodded absently and looked back out to the ranch.
"Shit happens. I know it won't be easy, but we are all going to be fine." I knew that, but I needed him to as well. His pessimism was infuriating. I noticed Jasper across the field as he stepped out onto his porch. He waved, and we waved back.
"Apparently Jasper's mom taught Garrett how to crochet. He's been working on something for the baby," I said smiling.
Edward only nodded. "Oh, Emmett called. He's coming over tomorrow to help fix the roof on the barn."
My eyes went wide. "Is Rosalie coming?"
"I assume so," Edward replied with a shrug.
"Damn," I mumbled. "I've been avoiding her."
"Yeah. Emmett noticed. Why are you?"
"Because I feel terrible. They're trying so hard for a baby and here I am pregnant without even the slightest thought of trying. In fact, we were even using protection to prevent it."
"Shit happens," he retorted. "Now, there will be two babies around to help cool her baby fever."
I frowned and stood up, tightening my grey scarf around my neck. "Please stop being an ass to me, okay?"
Edward finished his beer and crushed the can between his long fingers. He didn't look at me.
I groaned. "Go be pissed off and depressed about your awful life somewhere else," I spat. I grabbed my mug and left the porch before he could reply.
It always hurt to walk away from him angry, but I had a right to be upset with him. He could wallow in himself without me, because I had too much to do. Sitting and hating life wouldn't get us anywhere. I touched my still flat stomach and suppressed my tears as I stalked towards the barn.
The next day, I was in the barn feeding horses, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my best friend. I was going to tell her that I was pregnant, of course, I just wasn't sure how. And should I tell her about Jules as well? The young woman was adamant about keeping the news on the downlow. She didn't allow us to say a word to Alice until she got the nerve to call and tell her aunt herself. Thankfully she did a few days ago.
I sighed and poured more grain into the buckets at my feet. When Emmett's truck pulled up to the barn, I lost my breath. I stumbled a bit as I picked up the heavy buckets until Alice appeared and took them from my hands.
"Uh-uh," she scorned. "No heavy lifting."
"Alice!" I hissed. She narrowed her eyes at me.
"You can fill the water troughs," she suggested.
I sighed and chose not to fight with her. Edward's voice could be heard as he laughed with Emmett. I took a deep breath and walked through the breezeway just as Rose stepped down out of the large truck. I nearly flinched in surprise at her appearance.
"Did your Avon prescription run out?" I teased as she came towards me. Her face was pale without makeup. She had her short blonde hair in a disarray, partially pinned back, and her clothes didn't match.
"Black jeans, and yellow sweater with a lime green coat? Are you ill, Rose?"
Her eyes looked to mine and I instantly regretted my joking. They were still crystal blue, but filled with sorrow. She looked back down and I peered around her to see Emmett waving a hand at me frantically, as if he was yelling at me to shut my mouth. I frowned and looked back to Rose.
"What's up, babe?" I asked softly.
"Got anything to drink?" She asked. I nodded and turned, walking back towards the tackle room.
"Hot chocolate," I said, handing her my mug. She took a sip and sighed. "Come on. Let's take a walk," I suggested. She nodded slowly, and followed me out the back of the barn.
We walked in silence until we made it to the creek, not far from the barn. The water was icy and flowing slowly. I zipped up my coat and turned to see our husband's on the roof of the barn with Jasper. Rose stared at the running water off the bank.
"This cold weather makes me miss L.A."
I snorted. My nose was bright red, and my hands were stiff. The weather was fierce.
"Years later, I'm just now beginning to adjust," I replied. Rose nodded. I swallowed hard.
"Talk to me," I urged.
"I went to the doctor," she began slowly. Her voice cracked, and I could guess what was coming next. I braced myself for the devastation, but knew it wouldn't help.
"Yeah?" I whispered. I heard her swallow more hot chocolate, as if it was going to clear her throat instead of thicken it even more.
And suddenly my heart broke into a million pieces. A hand went straight to my chest as I secretly tried to find my own breath. I had no idea what to say, so I turned and grabbed her instead, clutching her to me. Rosalie cried. I cried.
She wasn't going to get children. She wouldn't experience the wonders of pregnancy and pushing a new life into this world. I pictured her and Emmett sitting alone in their old age, childless. I swiped my tears and pushed those thoughts far away from me. I cursed Edward under my breath for rubbing off on me.
"It's going to be all right," I soothed. I stroked her hair. "There are other ways. Surrogate, adoption-"
"No," she said sternly, causing me to frown. Rose pulled away and wiped her face with her sleeve. "That's what Em said, but no. I don't want someone else's baby."
I furrowed my brow. "It wouldn't be," I countered. "You would raise it and-"
"No," she said again.
I was about to go on, but seeing the hard look on her face, I decided not to. The wound was too fresh. I could only pray that in time, she would change her mind. Although, I wasn't sure if I could either if I were her. Then, a hand flew to my growing stomach absently. Another stray tear escaped my eye.
"The doctor is sure?" I asked.
Rose nodded. "All three doctors are sure."
"But can't endometriosis go away?"
"In time, it can, but with my age? It is was now or never."
"I'm sorry, Rosie," I whispered.
She smiled lightly, drank more from my mug, and let out a deep breath. I looked back to the barn when hammering interrupted my thinking.
"How have you been?" She asked, her voice more normal now. "I've been calling."
I bowed my head in shame and almost started crying again for selfishly ignoring her, but I couldn't tell her. Not now, so I was glad that I hadn't returned her calls.
"Yeah," I said, nonchalantly waving a hand in the air. "I'm sorry. There was so much to catch up on once everybody left after the holiday."
Rose nodded. "How are the kids?"
I snorted. "Stubborn." Rose laughed and wrapped an arm around my shoulder. We started walking back to the barn.
"At least I have all of you to keep me occupied," she said.
I forced a smile and wrapped an arm around her waist.
Just before we walked into the barn, Garrett came running out of it towards us with a broad smile on his face.
He stopped in front of me. "I finished," he beamed, holding his hand out. I looked down and nearly choked on my own spit.
"I wanted to crochet a blanket, or a hat, but mom reminded me that the babies will be born in the summer, so she suggested mittens. You know, so they don't scratch themselves."
I stared down at the light pink mittens. I couldn't speak. Garrett shifted his weight and slowly dropped his hands.
Rosalie stepped away from me. Her face was laced with horror, confusion, and anger.
"Babies?" She scoffed.
"Uh-oh," Garrett groaned.
Rose shook her head from side to side, over and over, as she continued to step away from me. I extended a hand to try and stop her.
"Rosalie," I choked.
Her breathing sped up and she turned to run, racing back to Emmett's truck and jumping inside. The engine roared to life and she pulled away, the tires spitting out gravel furiously.
I barely heard Garrett apologizing frantically over the sound of my heart pounding in my ears. Then, I heard Edward. I looked up to see him peering over the roof, down at me.
"What happened?" He asked confused. Taking in my expression, I saw his face change to one of recognition. My head was spinning, and I didn't even get to blink again before everything went black.
Crazy, yeah? I bet a few of you are not happy with Edward? Poor Rosie, right?!
Big thanks to my beta for this story, Angela LuvsFanfic!
And to all of you readers :)