I brought Jody into my Uncle’s home, the one I had lied about, the one I had said my whole family owned, but I knew my Uncle Gareth was the only one that lived here all along.. I had wondered why I had brought her here, why I had driven her car blindly to his cabin, of all places, but I knew that I needed help with this.. I knew I couldn’t handle Jody alone anymore and I didn’t want Isaiah to get involved, so who better than the one man I had always known to be good at dealing with finding one’s way out of trouble? I didn’t know what I wanted to do now that we were here at my Uncle’s cabin and I didn’t know what I was going to tell Jody whenever she woke up, but I knew that I needed to think of something fast.
I had always been suspicious of my Uncle.. I had known that he was always involved in a shady business, but I never knew exactly what kind, I just always suspected he did incredibly illegal things in order to get paid in such huge chucks of cash all at once.. Money that I later on found out he used to give my mother behind my father’s back..
When I was a boy, Katalina and I were playing around the house while he would be gone at night and we ended up playing in his room. I eventually came across stacks of cash in a hiding spot he had while playing hide and seek with her and I had asked Kat where he got all of his money, but even she didn’t know, she was just scared that we had come across it and demanded we put it back where I had found it. I had never asked him in all the years I’ve known him how or where he had gotten it, but I thought it was better not to ask because I might not like the answer.. It made me wonder though, why he lived out here in the middle of nowhere in a crap shack like this when I knew he still had tons of that money hidden somewhere.
I heard footsteps approaching the door, hearing it open and I knew my Uncle was standing behind me, “She going to be okay, Doc?” He asked as he stood in the doorway behind me.
“I’m not a doctor yet, but, yeah.. She might be okay..”
“What’s blondie’s name?”
“Jody.. You’ve met her before, I think.. At Thanksgiving last year,” I replied.
“Ahh, that’s right, she showed up after you left.. She’s your girlfriend, right?” He asked next and I shook my head.
“So, that isn’t your baby she’s carryin’?” He said sarcastically as if he already knew the answer and I sighed.
“..It is.. We’re just not together..”
“My nephew is goin’ to be a dad, huh?” I heard him scoff mockingly, “You’re too young for this shit already..” He advised.
“Not going to argue with you on that statement..” I replied.
“Let her rest. Come out here so I can talk to you,” he demanded, hearing him walk away from the doorway and I reluctantly listened, standing from the bed I sat on next to Jody and I followed my Uncle out of the room, shutting the door behind me quietly.
“Sit down,” he instructed, pointing over towards the dining table and I did as he told, walking through the living room and taking a seat within one of the wooden chairs. I sat there in silence, staring at the table top as I heard my Uncle looking for something in the kitchen and soon he walked over to join me, setting down an ashtray with his pack of cigarettes and he sat in the chair across from me. I listened to him light one of the cigarettes and he tossed the lighter on the table, listening to him take a long drag of it and let it out slowly as I still sat there in silence.
“We ever gunna talk about the elephant in the room?” He eventually spoke, but I didn’t answer him, “All right, I’ll start.. I saw what you did back there,” he continued and my eyes looked up, seeing him already looking at me and I grew nervous, “Didn’t know it was you at the time, but I saw it.”
My view then went back down to the table top, “I didn’t do that.. I-I mean, I didn’t know what I was doing.. It just.. It wasn’t me,” I replied.
“Just can’t help ourselves sometimes, right?” He added and I looked back up to him, seeing him giving a slight grin.
“I didn’t want to do that,” I tried to explain myself.
“Could’ve fooled me,” he answered and I scowled softly, “Anyways.. Tell me why you did that, wha’d she do to deserve it?” He asked and his tone seemed as if she was to blame in this without even hearing anything about her.
“She didn’t deserve it.. I already told you, I don’t know why I did it,” I replied and he scoffed.
“Come on, don’t give me that bullshit.. I’m not a fuckin’ cop or a psychiatrist or whatever they are, so just tell me straight..” He insisted, but I didn’t answer him, “You’re really going to give me the silent treatment like some pissed off broad? There’s obviously a reason you came here, you must’ve thought this was some kind of safe place for you to be, especially after what you did, am I right?” He questioned, but I couldn’t argue with what he had said.. He was right and he knew it.
“I’m not goin’ to turn you in, kid.. So, either start talkin’, or you can go into that room, take your little lady with you and get the fuck out of here,” he warned me, “Last chance.”
Reluctantly, that got me to talk, “She, uhm.. She’s a little unstable,” I replied, not wanting to go anywhere else, especially since I had nowhere to go, anyways, “I met her before the winter.. She seemed nice at first, I liked her a lot, but then she changed.. She showed me a side of her that I wasn’t ready for, a side that I hate and it was too much for me. She took advantage of me, had her way with me, got pregnant.. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve told her to stay away from me, but she won’t. It wasn’t until earlier today that I realized I wanted the baby, but she already said she won’t share custody with me.. It’s either I’m with her, or I’m not.. And if I’m not, I can forget about ever seeing my child,” I explained my situation, looking up to my Uncle and his expression seemed displeased.
“That little lady in there did all that to you?” He asked and I nodded, watching him take another long drag of his cigarette and he let it out slowly, “You should’ve hit her a little harder,” he said with a straight face, something I wanted to believe was a joke, but the look in his eyes told me otherwise. Although my Uncle and I never have seen eye to eye on things and we never really got along, it felt good knowing that he cared enough to get angry about how she’s treated me.
“You really are an idiot though, you know that?” He began again and I sighed, knowing that us getting along was far too much to ask, “You’re pretty book smart, but you’re not a whole lot life smart, are you?” He asked rhetorically.
“It’s not my fault.. I didn’t know she was this kind of person at first..”
“You need to learn how to read people better, that’s your downfall. Take me, for example. What kind of person do you think I am?” He questioned and I froze for a moment.
“I’d rather not..”
“Oh, come on.. Throughout all of these years you’ve known me, you’ve never been curious about anything? ..Suspicious?”
“Should I have had a reason to be?” I asked and he chuckled softly.
“You tell me,” he challenged and I could feel my heart beginning to race a little.
“Well.. I know exactly what kind of person you are, although I have always wondered something..” I admitted.
“Oh, yeah? What’s that?”
“What did you used to do for a living? ..Are you still doing it now?” I asked and I noticed him smirk slightly.
“That big old heart of yours wouldn’t be able to handle it.. After seeing what you did to your girl, and especially after witnessing how you had reacted after, you couldn’t handle knowing,” he belittled me and my anger rose. I hated being belittled, I had gotten enough of it from Jody and I had been putting up with it from my Uncle for far too long.
“..I’m stronger than you think.”
“Don’t make me laugh,” he mocked, “Tell me.. How did you feel before you bashed her over the head?” He wondered and I felt my heart plummet into my stomach, “Did you feel invigorated? Strong?”
“I don’t remember..” I lied, but the truth was I didn’t want to think about it.. I didn’t like how I had felt.
“That’s a load of horse shit, tell me the truth.”
“Why does it matter?”
“Call me curious,” he egged on and I fell silent, “You can’t expect me to help you if you don’t give me some sort of insight as to why all of this happened, do you? I know you enjoyed it, you must’ve. You seemed like you wanted to do it, at least,” he assumed.
“I told you a thousand times already, I didn’t mean to do that.. I hate that it happened, I don’t even know why I did it,” I expressed with frustration.
“I didn’t ask how you feel about it now, I asked how you felt about doing it while you were doing it.. Big difference, kid,” he pointed out, but I still didn’t answer him. I hated feeling that amount of rage and I hated how I wasn’t able to have any control over myself..
“It felt good, didn’t it?” He asked and I watched him put his cigarette out. I didn’t know how to answer him, or maybe I didn’t want to.. He was wrong, though, it didn’t feel good.. At the time that everything was happening, it felt right, like it needed to be done, like it as supposed to happen, but that’s not to say that I liked it.
“Look,” he began again, “I know you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, nor are you the shiniest, but I know you’re smart enough to know what you want in your life and what you don’t, and clearly, she’s a good example of what you don’t want.. How do you expect me to help you when I know nothing about any of this, when all your doing is keeping your mouth shut and refusing to let me help you?”
“And why do you want to help me?” I asked, looking up to him with a grimace and he didn’t seem to like how I was acting.
“Listen, you little shit,” he grew angry, watching him lean on the table more towards me and I swallowed hard from his intimidating stare, “You came to my land, you came to my home, you brought that girl with you and it seemed like it was your plan all along to bring her out in the middle of nowhere to do what you did. You’re the one that got me involved.. Anywhere else, you’d be in fucking jail right now because you would’ve been seen because you were too stupid to come here.. But, you know what? You weren’t as stupid as I thought you’d be, you did come here, and you bashed that girl over the head out of anger, because you felt you needed to, yeah?” He guessed and I eventually nodded in agreement.
“Finally some progress..” He expressed with frustration, “I can tell now that you didn’t like doing it.. But, you still did and you came here because you need my help and I want to help you.. I can’t let my nephew go to jail for something when he thought he was doing the right thing, now can I? You realize that what you did was assault and battery, maybe even attempted murder, right? I made a promise to look after you and make sure your stupid ass doesn’t get into any trouble.. You did good by coming here and you were right to think that I can help you, because I can.. I just need to know what you want to do about that broad lying in my bed, unconscious from you acting out on something you felt you needed to do, so the sooner you start talking, the better.. For both of us,” he warned and for the first time tonight, I felt that I should take down the wall I kept between us and get the help I had came for.
“All I want is my child.. I don’t care what happens to her, but it would be better if she wasn’t around to keep me from them,” I admitted, watching as his expression seemed a little surprised.
“Are you saying what I think your saying?” He asked and I didn’t even know what I meant by my words, though by the look in his eyes, he seemed a little excited.
“I don’t know, I just.. All that I’m saying is that she gave me two options. One, to be with her and the baby, or two, be with neither.. But, the option I want is one without the other and I know that won’t happen.. All this time she’s been stalking me, trying to stay as close to me as possible, but if I choose to not be with her, she’s going to go to every length to stay away from me and keep me from my baby.. I need to find another solution, one that doesn’t involve her..”
“..Like?” He asked curiously.
“That’s what I need you to help me with..”
“Tell me everything you can about her,” he began and I paid attention to his instructions, “I need to know every detail about what happened with her today, even if it doesn’t seem important, say it anyways.. I need to know who her family is, how close they are, anything they know about you.. I need to know who you talk to and who she knows about, everything, you understand?” He asked and I nodded.
“..What are you going to do with all of this information..?” I asked with a somewhat worried tone and he kept a straight face.
“I’ll let you know when I know.. Also, every question that I ask, I need you to answer me honestly, you hear me?”
“Yes..” I agreed.
“Yes, what?” He demanded, hating when he always made me answer him properly.
“Yes, I understand..” I replied and he seemed satisfied.
It didn’t take me long to help catch him up on everything that’s happened between Jody and I.. I had told him the gist of things a little earlier, but since he had asked for more detail, that’s exactly what I gave him.. I told him how our first date went, how she acted, exactly what had happened and what she did to me the very next day, every incident with her brother, Thomas, the time I had gone to her ballet practice and she made a deal with me, and everything we talked about only hours prior to arriving here.. The only thing I had avoided talking about was Isaiah and the fact that we lived together.
“Does anyone know she came here with you? Anyone at all?”
“No, I don’t think so.. She lives in a Sorority house, but no one was home when we had stopped there for her to pack a bag..”
“Get me her cell phone, it’s most likely in her bag,” he instructed and I nodded, getting up out of the chair and searching her bag and he was right. I found her phone and brought it back over to him, letting him take it and he quickly looked through it.
“..What are you looking for?” I asked.
“Anyone who she might’ve called or texted today, letting them know that she was meeting up with you,” he replied and I grew slightly nervous.. I wanted to know what he was planning, but I decided to hold off on asking until this was all over with. I watched as he then handed me her phone back and I put it into my pocket for the time being and he continued on, “Good news is she didn’t call anyone at all today and no one called her, and her texts from today don’t mention or even hint at anything regarding you, but, is there anyone you think she might’ve told that she was meeting up with you today that she wouldn’t have contacted through means of her cell phone?”
“Maybe her brother.. That’s all that I can think of, though.. We’ve been trying to keep her pregnancy as secret as possible, I don’t think anyone knows that I’m the dad besides her brother, Kat, James and Is-” I stopped, knowing that my Uncle had no idea I was seeing a man and I knew he wouldn’t approve of such a thing.
“And..? Who else?” He questioned, knowing that I had to tell him the truth, no matter how much I didn’t want to, but I ended up going with what I had told Jody earlier.
“Isaiah.. My, uhm.. My roommate,” I lied, watching as his expression grew curious.
“Oh, he moved into the townhouse?”
“No, I, uh.. I moved out. I wanted to be closer to the center of town, so I rented a room he had vacant,” I explained and he seemed pleased enough with the answer I gave him to not question it anymore, deciding then to continue explaining where I lived, “It’s actually where she was today.. I live over a coffee shop and there’s a courtyard in the center that I can see from my balcony in the back. I noticed her sitting there in the morning, but at the time, I didn’t know it was her.. It wasn’t until later tonight when I went back out onto the balcony that I noticed she was still there and it finally dawned on me.. She was sitting there all day long.. I went down to the courtyard and that’s where we talked, argued rather, and that’s when I drove her up here..”
“That’s not good..” He mentioned with a sigh and I began to worry.
“How many people were in the courtyard with you?”
“I-I don’t know.. Now that I think about it, I don’t think there was anyone there besides us, as well as the barista’s that work at the shop.. They didn’t seem to really pay any attention to us.. Why does it matter?”
“Because then that’s a lead,” he pointed out, “It doesn’t matter if you think they didn’t notice you, they most likely did, and in this situation, you were the last one to be with Jody before she went missing,” he explained, but I quickly grew confused.
“Missing..? What do you mean?” I asked with worry.
“Ollie, what in the fuck do you plan to do with her now that she’s here? You bashed her over the head with a mug, I’m surprised she’s still alive.. Just take in all the possibilities. Whenever she wakes up, assume the worst, assume she remembers that you did it and it wasn’t simply her standing in the wrong place at the wrong time in order for something as distinct as the shape of a mug to fall onto her head..” He advised and I grew nervous all over again. He was right, what if she knows I did it? “And you know what? If she knows you did it, what makes you think she’s going to want to stay here? What makes you think she won’t go to the police and tell them what you did? It gives her more of a reason, too, to make you suffer and it gives her an excuse to keep your baby from you, especially knowing now that you attempted to murder her.. Therefore, now she’s a missing person, because you’re not really going to take her back home so she can just go straight to the police, now will you?” He asked and my hands started to shake. How did he have all of this planned out already? He seemed to know a great deal about this kind of thing and he knew exactly how to avoid it, making me ultimately think that this isn’t the first time he’s been in a situation like this..
“B-But.. What if she doesn’t know it was me?”
“Even still.. Do you really want everything to go back to the way it was?” He asked and I dropped my gaze, still trying to figure out what he meant by all of this, but I was still playing catch up. All of the information he wanted to know made me think we were going to murder her and dump her body somewhere, but even that seemed a little too far-fetched, even for my Uncle..
“Then what exactly are you saying?” I asked, looking back up to him.
“We need to keep her here.. At least until the baby is born..” He advised and my eyes widened, adrenaline running through my veins as well as shock and worry.
“N-No..” I expressed, standing from the chair and slowly stepping away from the table, “No, I can’t just kidnap her and hold her hostage!” I expressed in a panic, “And where the hell do you expect her to have the baby? Here!?”
“Will you keep your fucking voice down?” He expressed angrily, “If she hears a word of any of this, she’s going to make it a whole lot more difficult to keep her here..”
“We’re not keeping her here! We can’t!”
“We have to because we don’t have a choice thanks to your actions, you fucking genius!” He spoke sarcastically with anger, “Even if we acted as if everything were fine, don’t you think she’d want to go home at some point? Do you really want to let her? Do you really want to let her get away with everything that she’s done to you? If everything you told me is true, you can be sure that that girl hasn’t even shown you what kind of hell she can truly bring. Once that baby is born, it’s going to get worse before it gets better and I know you know that.. She’s going to make you want to do things far worse than just hitting her over the head with a mug,” he warned and it was still so hard to even fathom any of this.. “I know this isn’t something you want, but what’s done is done, there’s no going back now, not anymore.. The sooner you get on board with this, the better it’ll be.”
“How the hell can this be good in any sense, let alone better?! Nothing about this is okay!” I continued to panic, beginning to pace around the room as I talked out loud, “I’m not a murderer, I’m not a kidnapper, and I’m definitely not strong enough to do any of this.. I can’t do it!” I brought my hands to my head, gripping my hair and I couldn’t handle any of this anymore.. I can’t keep this from Isaiah, he can read me better than anyone and the moment I see him, it’ll all be over.. He’ll know something’s wrong.. My eyes then caught sight of my Uncle’s clock and I panicked even more, the fact that I wasn’t home when he got home two hours ago will be enough to make him worry and there’s no avoiding it now.. How am I going to explain all of this to him? Should I even try to? What would he think..? I knew he wouldn’t be okay with it, he was too kind of a person to accept me treating someone like this, even Jody.. No one deserves this kind of treatment.. He’d think I was some kind of a monster..
“Ollie..” I heard my Uncle trying to get my attention, hearing him walk over to me and I felt his hand on my shoulder, “You’re thinkin’ too much.. You need to calm down, kid, unless you want another episode like earlier,” he warned, removing my hands from gripping my hair slowly and realizing that that was the last thing I wanted.. “Look, I got a plan.. It still needs some kinks worked out, but.. We could keep her here until the baby is born.. You could deliver it since you have medical training and you don’t have to do anything, I can take care of the rest. I can get rid of her for you nice and easy, no mess, she doesn’t have to feel anything, you don’t have to watch.. You can just deliver your baby and spend as much time with it as you want while I do my part.. I can make it so nothing will happen to you, none of this will come back to you,” he explained, but just the thought of the amount of blood and other bodily fluids I’d need to be in contact with during the process made my head spin and my stomach twist like a tornado.
“S-Stop.. I-I think.. I think I’m going to be sick..” I replied quietly, staggering to the back door quickly and opening it, walking off of the small back deck and I stumbled into the grass, feeling something coming up and I vomited behind a bush near the house. I couldn’t do this.. No matter how much it made sense, no matter how much it didn’t, I couldn’t do anything my Uncle was suggesting. I wasn’t as strong as I had thought, I couldn’t bring myself to cause anymore harm than I already have.. My body could barely handle all of the emotions I felt and throwing up was the only thing that made me feel even the slightest bit better.
After wiping my mouth, feeling myself going cold and even noticing my skin turning the slightest bit pale through the darkness of the night, all I could think about was Isaiah.. I wanted to call him, but I didn’t have my cell phone with me, and what would I tell him even if I did call him? That I found Jody stalking me from outside of our home? That I had coaxed her into leaving town with me to be alone with her? To bring her to the middle of nowhere so I could attempt to murder her and I needed my Uncle’s help in order to eventually do that, according to his plan? I knew for sure that I couldn’t tell him the truth, but maybe whenever I left here, I would have thought of a good enough excuse to give him on the way home.. But what kept me from thinking of one now? Maybe I could just tell him that I needed to help my Uncle with something, that it was a family emergency.. But, then he’d ask what the emergency was and I knew that was when I would choke up.. He’d wonder why I hadn’t at least left him a note and I couldn’t think of an excuse for that, either..
I walked towards the steps leading up to the deck behind the house, taking a seat and I continued to ponder what the hell I was going to do.. I didn’t want to lie to him, but I couldn’t tell him the whole truth.. Maybe I could just do what I’ve been doing and just leave some parts out..? That’s not outright lying, is it? It’s just.. Withholding certain information.. I needed to do something, though.. I could use my Uncle’s phone to call him, at least just to let him know that I was okay, but I couldn’t do that without him asking a million questions and the moment I would hear the longing in his voice, it would make me break down even more than I already have. I’d much rather be home, lying in bed with him, feeling him holding me as we both drifted off to sleep.. I yearned for it..
After I had regained what little composure I could, I stood from the step that I sat upon, slowly walking up them onto the back deck but before I went inside, I heard my Uncle inside talking to someone. I peaked through the window on the door and it wasn’t Jody he was talking to, but he was on the phone with someone.. I couldn’t make out the exact words he was saying, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about exactly who he was talking to, and about what..
I went for the doorknob, turning it as quietly as I could and I opened the door to come in, now able to hear what he was saying..
“-and I know we haven’t talked in a long time, but I just wanted to let you know that I might need your help with something..” He paused for a moment, assuming he was listening to who was on the other line and I continued to listen without him noticing me, “Look, I know what he did to get you involved and I can’t say that I still don’t hold a grudge, but you owe me..” He continued, looking over his shoulder and he finally noticed me standing there, “I gotta go..” He exclaimed, pulling the phone away from his ear and hanging up on whoever he was talking to.
I shut the door behind me and he acted as if he hadn’t done anything wrong, “Who were you talking to..?” I asked.
“None of your damn business..”
“I think it is my business.. Based on what I overheard..”
“You mean eavesdropped on?”
“..Was it my Dad?” I asked and he chuckled.
“You honestly think your Dad would talk to me? I haven’t heard from him for as long as you have,” he replied, but something told me that that was a lie.
“You can really stand there and tell me you haven’t talked to him when he put me in your care? He doesn’t even care enough to know how I’m doing?”
“Drop it, kid.. You have enough to worry about as it is, no need thinking about something that doesn’t need to be worried about,” he pushed me off the subject, but I didn’t want to let it go.
“I know you’re lying..”
“Do you now? All of a sudden, after I told you that you need to learn to read people better, you think you can read me just like that? Get over yourself and start thinking about the shit you already have in your hands.”
“I grew up with you.. Surprisingly, I did actually pay attention to how you acted. You and Kat are family and you’re the only two I’ve known the longest to be able to say that when I know how you act, I do know..”
“You don’t know shit.. Now drop the damn subject or I won’t help you anymore,” he warned.
“I know that you try to avoid touchy subjects when you’re lying,” I pointed out and I knew he was growing angry, “At least just tell me who you were talking to.. It makes me a little worried seeing you on the phone with someone asking for favors right after I got here..” I expressed and he sighed heavily.
“You wanna know who I was talking to? I was talking to an old friend.. One that used to do jobs with me.. His name’s Ezra,” he confessed and I thought for a moment.. I knew I had heard that name before, but when? ..Where?
My eyes suddenly widened in surprise, recalling my father talking to someone named Ezra the night he had dropped me off at Aunt Nina’s and the night that he.. No, I couldn’t think about it, I wouldn’t let myself..
“So you do know who I’m talking about..” He realized and I nodded.
“Yeah.. I do.. I remember being at the bookstore and my Dad was talking to Ezra on the phone.. He’s the one that was watching you and my mom, right..?” I asked.
“Yup..” He answered simply, though I could tell in his expression that he was a little bothered by the subject.
“..Why would you want to talk to him?”
“Because, even despite him going behind my back under my brother’s wing, he’s good at what he does and whenever this shit takes a turn for the worse, I need him to help me.”
“You make it sound like something bad will happen..”
“Well, won’t it? Have you come to terms yet with what needs to be done?” He questioned and I shook my head.
“No.. I never will. You’re asking me to do something that I can’t.”
“You seemed to be fully capable in the driveway earlier,” he practically rubbed in, but I cringed at the thought of it.
“Please, don’t remind me..” I requested and he didn’t continue.
I stepped closer towards him more into the kitchen, my view meeting the floor as I contemplated trying one more time to get information out of him, “Can I just, please, ask you a question and can I ask that you’ll be honest?” I asked, my view coming up and he sighed heavily.
“Look, kid.. I don’t know where your Dad is, I don’t even know if he’s still alive, so just drop the fucking subject, will you?” He stressed.
“Actually, I just.. I really want to know if you truly haven’t talked to my Dad ever since that one night..? Has he really never tried to contact you?” I asked with a sense of longing and I knew my Uncle could tell that it still troubled me.
“You just can’t put this shit behind you, can you?” He asked rhetorically with frustration.
“I won’t.. I’ve been left in the dark all these years.. I think I deserve to know,” I replied, seeing him look to me and he seemed to be trying to read me, but I held my determination as I looked back at him.
“Fine..” He replied and a sense of both excitement as well as worry consumed me and I was eager to hear him continue, “He’s contacted me a handful of times.. Usually only once every few years,” he replied and my heart was lifted in an instant.
“W-What does he talk to you about?” I asked anxiously and I could tell my Uncle was still reluctant to talk about it.
“You,” he replied and I watched as he walked over to the dining table, taking a seat within one of the chairs and I quickly walked over to join him, sitting in one of the chairs as well and I was practically sitting on the edge of my seat.
“What about me?” I asked eagerly.
“He just wants to know what you’re up to, how school is going and what not.. But, since we aren’t that close, there isn’t much I can tell him.”
“Well, tell him that I’m doing good in school and that I’m thinking about starting my residency in August! Tell him that I’m having a baby and that he’s going to be a grandfather, and tell him-”
“Whoa, whoa, kid.. I said that he calls once every couple of years, not every fuckin’ year or once every few months.. I never know when he’s going to call, either.”
“B-But.. Don’t you have his number? Maybe I could just call him myself and-” I stopped, hearing my Uncle laugh as if I had just told a good joke.
“You think it’s just that easy? Whenever he does call, it’s from a different number every single time, or even a number that’s blocked and can’t be traced. Have you forgotten that he’s a wanted man charged with murder?” He questioned and I sighed softly to myself.
“Isn’t there a way that you two could get into contact? What if something bad happened to me? What if I got into a car accident or something and died, would he just never know until the next time he calls? There has to be a way..” I replied, looking back up to my Uncle and I didn’t like the expression he held.
“Sorry, Ollie.. I wish I could give you a better answer, I really do..” He replied and I knew now that he was telling the truth, or maybe he was just that good at lying.
I couldn’t help it.. As much as I hated crying in front of my Uncle of all people, I couldn’t help the tears that formed in my eyes and fell down my cheeks.
“Ahh, Jesus.. See? This is why I wanted to leave shit where it stood..” My Uncle expressed as I dropped my head down onto my arm to hide my tears that I already knew he saw, “You’re too fuckin’ fragile, kid.. Crying doesn’t change anything, so stop doin’ it,” he continued, feeling his hand touch the back of my head and he tried to comfort me the best I knew a man like him was capable of doing.. I was broken. I was the most lost that I could ever be and nothing that I needed was here to help.. Not Isaiah, not my Dad.. The closest thing I had for help was someone that I despised my entire life and I doubted it was going to be good enough. I was happy knowing that my Dad still cared and worried about me, but I’d much rather hear it from him myself than hear it from my Uncle.
“Listen, Ollie.. I know you’re feeling a lot right now and you’re going through a lot that I wish we could avoid, but you gotta buck the fuck up and focus on what’s ahead of you. I know missing your Dad is hard to get passed, but you got a lot of other more important things to worry about right now.. Like that girl in the other room and your kid. Do your best to collect yourself so we can talk more about this, all right?” He encouraged, feeling him remove his hand from my head and I still hid my face in my arm, “Now.. Wipe the tears off your face and take a breath.. Tell me what you told her to get her to come out here with you,” he instructed.
It took me a few minutes to fully calm down, sniffling my runny nose after my tears had stopped and I wiped my face dry with the sleeve of my shirt, “She, uhm.. She wanted to talk more somewhere else, somewhere more private, and I wanted to get her away from my home, as far away as I could and the first place I thought of was here.. I told her it was a family owned cabin, not your house.. I told her we would have the place to ourselves and we could stay there as long as she wanted.. I don’t know why I told her that.. Maybe I was just trying to get her alone in order to be able to do what I did, I-I don’t know..” I replied.
“Well.. I’ll tell you what.. I’ll let you borrow my place,” he offered and I looked to him in slight confusion, “I’ll be gone before she wakes up. If she doesn’t remember what happened and she thinks it wasn’t you who knocked her out, then just try to keep her here, keep her happy.. I know it’ll be difficult, but you need to try. Make her think that you want this, it’ll all turn out a lot better if you can keep it up, just until the baby is born.. But, if she remembers that it was you, or if she even suspects it was, I need you to call me and I’ll come back to help you. It’s going to be difficult to keep her here, but you need to, do you understand?” He asked and I fell silent. Why was he still talking as if killing her was an option?
“I don’t want her dead.. I just want my child, I want a normal life, one where I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder or feeling her breathing down my neck.. I can’t do what your asking,” I replied.
“Ollie, the only way that you’ll get all of those things is if she isn’t here anymore.. I told you that girls like her never change, they only get worse. Her giving you an ultimatum isn’t fair, her keeping your child from you isn’t fair.. How long has she been in control of you? How much longer are you going to let her keep that control? If you don’t want to be with her, but you want to be with someone else, what makes you think that she’ll spare them from all of this chaos? You won’t be the only target anymore, do you understand?” He questioned and it made me worry even more, my Uncle unaware that I was already with someone that I loved and the fact that Jody has already threatened him.. It only convinced me more that maybe he was right about all of this.. I needed to do what he said in order to keep Isaiah safe from all of this.
“Okay..” I finally agreed.
“Okay, what?” He asked.
“I’ll try to keep her here.. And I’ll call you if anything happens.. However,” I challenged and he didn’t say anything so he could hear me out, “She seemed genuine earlier, like she actually meant the apology she gave me.. She said she wanted to put our differences aside for the sake of the baby, and although she gave me the ultimatum, I’d still like to take this time in trying to convince her to not keep me from them.. I want to give her the chance to be a decent person and prove to me that she’s changed before you take matters into your own hands, all right?” I stated, hearing him scoff mockingly towards me.
“She’s just going to walk all over you and wrap you around her little finger.. I don’t want you to be fooled by the deceitful jackal that I can tell she is.. It blows my fucking mind that you even want to give her this chance after everything she’s done to you,” he said with aggravation.
“It’s my problem.. It’s my call. I’m asking you for help, not to completely take over the reigns. Nothing happens to her unless I say so,” I made myself clear once again and I watched as a grin formed on his lips.
“All right, tough guy, you win.. I’m going to grab a few of my things before I leave, I suggest you get some rest.. You’ve had a long day,” he suggested and I nodded.
“I will..” I replied watching as he stood from the table and I heard him go into the other room to gather a few of his things.
I listened as he went through a few drawers and grabbed some clothes, still sitting at the table as I waited for him to leave. I heard him then heading for the door and I looked behind me, seeing him holding a bag of his own and I stopped him before he left, “Uncle Gareth..” I said softly, seeing him stop and he looked to me before he walked out the door, “Thank you for helping me.. For everything.”
“Don’t mention it, kid. Keep me informed on what’s going on, and you better fucking call me if shit gets too out of hand. I want you to think about everything I’ve told you, too, while I’m gone.. Get used to the idea of things possibly going south, understand?”
“..I do.. And I will.”
“And clean the mug you hit her with, make sure there’s no blood on it,” he advised.
“I will..” I answered, seeing him nod and he opened the door, leaving his home in my care and once the door shut behind him, I faced the table again and I sat there by myself in silence.
As I sat there alone, hearing my Uncle’s car start from outside and hearing it pulling away, I knew that I was alone again. I tried to do as he asked, to think about what could be ahead of us if things went sour, but what extent could it possibly go to..? If I was forced to keep her here, how would she react whenever her water broke and I would refuse to take her to the hospital? Would I even be able to refuse it? What would happen after the baby was born..? If we went through with what my Uncle had said, how would I be able to bring a baby home to Isaiah without him asking questions? With as much medical training I had, reading books and attending school, I still didn’t have the hands-on experience.. I didn’t know how to deliver a baby.. No matter how many videos I’d watch or things I could read, it just wasn’t the same as actually being there and doing it myself.. I didn’t think I was strong enough to do something like that.
I couldn’t think about it anymore.. Not tonight, at least.. I figured I should get some rest, maybe shut my eyes for a little while, but how could I sleep? I glanced over at my Uncle’s clock on the wall again and it read just passed midnight.. I couldn’t help but wonder what Isaiah was doing, wondering if I should perhaps call him using Jody’s phone now that my Uncle was gone and I couldn’t use his, but that was stupid.. I shouldn’t use hers, especially to call him with.. He’d only ask more questions, why I was using someone else’s phone and he’d ask who’s it was, but I couldn’t tell him. I felt so lost.. I couldn’t do anything I wanted to. I could only do the things I needed to do and that wasn’t to call Isaiah, but to focus all of myself on Jody.. I got myself into this mess, it’s all my fault and I’m the only one that can get myself out of this shithole..
I finally stood from the table after sulking to myself for another ten minutes or so, making my way over to my Uncle’s bedroom door and I opened it slowly and quietly, seeing Jody still unconscious lying on his bed and I wondered if the bandage he had put over her wound on her head was still bleeding or if it had stopped.. I wanted to look, yet I couldn’t.. But, maybe I should check tomorrow, just in case.. I could replace her bandage after the blood had dried and I could tend to her wound then.. I stared at her, hearing her breathing steadily, sleeping like a princess waiting to be awoken from the kiss of a prince, but.. I was no prince.. I was the villain.. I was the one that caused this.
I shut the door quietly and climbed into bed with her, lying down slowly and I brought my hand to her growing belly, caressing it softly as I began to try and think about better things.. I wondered what gender the baby was, trying to decipher if it was a girl, I might need to teach her about art or science, or even like Kat, dancing.. Maybe even need to buy her Barbie’s and pony figurines.. But, if it was a boy, I contemplated showing him things like sports, like rugby or hockey, and maybe what action figures I would buy him in the future.. Either way, I didn’t care.. I’d be happy with whatever gender the baby was, all that I knew was that this whole experience made me want them more and I’d go to every extent that I could just to make them happy.. I knew that earlier in the day, when I was arguing with Kat, that I didn’t care, I could’ve cared less, but Kat’s speech, as well as everything Jody has put me through, had made me want them to have the best of anything.. Of everything.. And I’d stop at nothing to provide it and be a part of it.
I lifted my hand from Jody’s growing belly, bringing it up to her face and I touched the skin of her soft cheek, “Jody..?” I tried to wake her, pulling her face a little towards me, but no response.. She was still out cold.. I figured as much, but it was still worth a try.. I didn’t know how much longer she’d be out, she could have a concussion for all I knew, but I had no way of telling for sure. I briefly contemplated taking her to the hospital, mostly only for the sake of the baby, but my Uncle’s words repeated in my head over and over every time I thought it..
“Keep her here.. Keep her here..”
But.. Would she even wake up..? What if I had put her into a coma?
No.. I couldn’t think like that.. I needed to sleep.. I shut my eyes, my hand remaining upon Jody and I slid it down to her belly once more, trying to hold my child more than hold her and I felt at ease for the moment, still trying to keep positive despite the situation I was in.. I think I could possibly manage sneaking away tomorrow, even if she was awake or not.. I needed to.. I could tell her that I need to go into the nearest town to get some supplies or groceries, then I’d take that time to go home to Isaiah.. The nearest grocery store, if you could even call it that, was about an hour away from the cabin.. It wasn’t as if she knew the area either, so no matter how much time I would take, she’d never know the difference.. I’ll see if she wakes up tomorrow morning, and if she does, I’ll try to spend the day with her, then I’ll make an excuse to leave and I’ll go see him.. Without my phone, I was lost.. I’d be much better with it, I could then at least still talk to Isaiah and tell him how I was doing without making him worry..
I’ll stick with my original plan, I’ll tell him that I had family issues and that my Uncle needs my help, so I’ll need to come back here, in the end.. I just hope that he doesn’t see through me, I’ll hope that he’ll be understanding like he always is and I’ll hope that I can come back to uphold to the plan that my Uncle and I have for Jody.. But, still.. What the hell was the plan for all of this..? I was still unable to grasp it.. I almost wanted to be more like my Uncle.. A strong, unwavered man that could take this kind of stuff with a grain of salt and nothing more, getting passed the bitter taste at first, but something like this, I felt, would always stick to my tongue.. No matter how much I wanted to get used to it.. How did he do it? ..How was I going to be able to do it?
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