“What are you still doing here?” I asked as I approached the vending machine, watching as she smiled.
“I actually thought that you might want to talk to me after all, so I stayed.”
“And why would I want to do that?” I questioned.
“..I’m just here to get a bottle of water,” I replied simply.
“Well, then of course, be my guest,” she answered, moving only slightly out of my way and I got my water like I had wanted. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she kept her smile as she stared at me, watching my every move and I looked to her when she wouldn’t stop.
“Is there something you want to say to me?” I asked, seeing her expression remain the same, beginning to somewhat creep me out a little.
“Have you thought about what I had told you?”
“About going off the record?” I asked and she nodded, “No, not really.. I was a little preoccupied with Isaiah being hurt and in the hospital,” I replied with a little attitude and I stepped away from the vending machine, walking back over to Isaiah’s room and I could hear the detective following me.
“Do you need something?” I asked in slight irritation, stopping before I went back into Isaiah’s room and turning to look at the detective.
“How’s he doing?” She asked about Isaiah and I thought it was a stupid question.
“Really? You just saw him yourself about half an hour ago..”
“I meant your Uncle,” she corrected herself and I hesitated a moment.
“He’s fine.. Still an asshole, but you knew that already,” I answered and the detective humored me with a chuckle.
“The knee still giving him trouble?” She asked next, keeping her innocent looking grin, but I knew what she was trying to do.. Her eyes did a bad job at hiding it.
“Look, I get it.. It’s obvious you read the file, you know what happened, and it’s obvious that you know all about my family and you’re still looking for my Dad, but I don’t know where he is.. I haven’t known for fifteen years, just like everyone else. That’s what this is about, right? Well, I don’t know. Now, please, just leave me alone and let me worry about one thing at a time.. My first priority being the man in this room,” I finished and turned around, grabbing the handle to the door, but I stopped when I heard the detective’s next words.
“I have reason to believe that he’s in town. Pretty close by, actually,” she spoke and I let the handle of the door go, looking back at her over my shoulder.
“What makes you think that?” I asked.
“Well, someone called nine-one-one for Isaiah at approximately ten at night, meaning that the person that called would’ve had to of called right after everything took place last night..”
“So, the one that called is the one that saved Isaiah.. And, what..? You think it was my dad? That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time..”
“It seems to make sense, actually. A father trying to make up for leaving his family behind, his son behind? Trying to think of something for years, anything he could do, without coming straight to you to do it? Like I said before, the kills were vengeful, not the work of a hero, but a father who wanted to protect what his son loved, to make up for everything he did wrong.. Maybe even trying to make right of it all by helping the best way he thinks he can?” She continued, my core beginning to crumble, but I still didn’t want to believe it.
“Am I? Or does it make complete sense?”
“I have no idea.. I have no clue what the hell he’s thinking.. Where he is or what he does.. Or if he’s even alive.. Why the hell are you telling me all of this, anyways?”
“Well, I was hoping I could take you down to the station and show you something. We have a recording of the phone call made to the emergency line and there’s no one else that can confirm nor deny that it was your father, but you can. Your Uncle is completely out of the question and would never agree to such a thing. If we asked Katalina, I can almost guarantee she’d either turn down the offer herself, or call her dad, which would then tell her not to, anyways.. We don’t have a number to call for Camilla and we think that she would consult your Uncle, as well.. So, you’re the only one left that can say yes or no,” she explained and everything she had just said made me angry. She knew about my cousin and my little sister and no doubt that they were both my Uncle’s daughters just by the reasons she had given, but it had also made me angry for a different reason.
I approached her more, speaking softly so only she could hear, “I know what you’re getting at, you want me to help you, but you’re asking me to help identify my dad’s voice so that you can open the case again and put out a search party so you can find him. You’re asking me to be a rat.. That, or eventually, I’ll end up becoming bait for my father so that you can catch him, isn’t that right?” I asked.
“Those are your words, not mine.”
“But it’s exactly what would happen if I recognized the voice and it’s exactly what you would ask of me.. You honestly thought that I’d help you catch my dad? What, do you think that I resent him for what he did? That I’d want justice for what he did to me, to my sister, to my mom? You don’t know anything about me or my family. Murderer or not, I’m not going to help you bring my dad in just so he can rot in jail. He’s not a bad person, he’s just made bad decisions,” I finished and she seemed a little disappointed by how this didn’t go as she planned, “Now.. I’m going to take an example from my Uncle.. Leave me the fuck alone, you goddamn pig,” I ended angrily, turning back around and finally entering Isaiah’s room like I had been wanting to do since I had gotten my water from the vending machine.
I stepped over towards Isaiah, still sleeping soundly in bed and my anger from talking to the detective slowly went away the longer I looked at him. I sat down in the chair next to the bed, uncapping my water and taking a quick sip before placing it down on the floor next to me, taking a slow, deep breath and letting it out heavily. Although I had no desire to say another word to the detective, I couldn’t help but think about what she had said to me. Could my dad really be in town, or was she just blowing smoke? There’s no way, it just couldn’t be possible.. He isn’t that stupid to put himself at such risk even being in the same state as me, let alone the same town.. She had to be lying.
All that they had to go off of when assuming it was my dad was the way they found the body of Thomas and the fact that Isaiah was involved, which then involved me.. Instead of just hitting him once in the head and being done with it, Thomas must’ve got a much worse punishment than I imagined for them to label the kill as ‘vengeful’.. But, it being my dad? No chance in hell. Thomas was an asshole, only meat heads with no brains would follow around someone like him while the rest of us that had our wits knew to try our best to stay out of his way, to avoid getting bullied, to avoid provoking him, because once you did, you’d never get passed the rest of your college days without him hassling you. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone from the college that hated Thomas as much as me took him and his idiot friends out.. Either way, whoever it was, I was in their debt.
I continued to look at Isaiah, reaching up to take his hand within my own and now that I had a moment to think, I had remembered that he had lied to the detective about knowing what who saved him looked like.. I completely forgot to ask him about it after the detective had left, but, I guess it didn’t matter that much now.. He hadn’t brought it up after the detective had left, either, so it must not’ve been something he felt that I needed to know. Maybe, eventually, I’ll get around to asking him about it.
None of this mattered anymore. All I wanted to do was move forward, help him recover, get rid of Jody and- Wait.. Shit.. I had completely forgotten about the police needing to question her about everything that happened. I needed to get to her before they did, but I didn’t want to leave Isaiah. I promised him I’d never leave like that again, out of the blue, without letting him know where I was going or if he could reach me, but this was important. I couldn’t let her tell the police where she was, I couldn’t risk her telling them about her and I when I had already lied to the detective about our relationship, or lack of one, and I couldn’t let her get caught.. She couldn’t get away with this that easily.. Even if they found out she was a part of this and went to jail, she’d still be able to come back, she’d still be able to haunt Isaiah and I, Jody and I’s child, my entire life in general, and I couldn’t stand for that. I quickly stood up, looking around the room and trying to find a pen and paper, but there wasn’t anything that I could write with. I then noticed the call button, deciding that telling a nurse where I was going would be my best option and I pressed the button.
Within a few seconds, a nurse had come in, one that I had recognized from always checking on Isaiah and I knew she would be perfect to leave a message with, “Everything okay?” She wondered and I smiled quickly.
“Uh, yeah.. Is that detective still out there?” I asked in a hurry.
“No, she left. Do you want me to call her and-”
“No, no.. Just curious.. Uh, listen.. I really need to leave and deal with something, but can you do me a huge, huge favor?” I asked and she smiled.
“Could you check on him maybe every half hour, or every hour? He’ll worry if he wakes up and I’m not here,” I requested and she nodded with a smile, “And, uh, when he wakes up, just tell him that I went to my Uncle’s to get my things, but I’ll be back a little later, okay?” I asked next and she nodded again with a smile.
“Sure, I can tell him. I actually just finished my rounds, so I could just sit in here with him,” she replied and I was so thankful.
“Thank you, thank you so much,” I replied, looking to Isaiah and I bent down to kiss the side of his face as quickly yet as softly as I could, then pulling away and I went to the door in a rush, “Thanks again!” I told the nurse before shutting the door behind me and I made my way towards the elevators so I could leave the hospital.
When I had gotten outside, I looked around for a cab, usually seeing some parked outside waiting for fairs, but when I was looking around, I noticed a car parked in the lot not too far from me, seeing Detective Winchester sitting within it and I quickly looked away, acting as if I hadn’t noticed her, but I knew she noticed me.
“You gotta be kidding me..” I voiced softly to myself, slowing down my pace and acting as if I wasn’t in a hurry.
Instead of taking a cab, I noticed the underground train station off in the distance, knowing that that was my best shot of losing her and making absolute sure that I wasn’t followed. I walked over towards the stairs, going down quickly and I hopped on a train that was going the same direction I needed to. I got off the train after riding it for about twenty minutes, getting off at a stop I knew was near where I had parked Jody’s car, which I then took the rest of the way to my Uncle’s cabin.
It was around six in the evening by the time I had reached the cabin and I pulled into the driveway, but I noticed my parking spot for Jody’s car was taken by my Uncle.. He must’ve came over to find out about what the detective wanted from me, but he could’ve just called me, so why was he here? After I parked and approached the cabin, I couldn’t help but let my anger return, knowing that Jody was just beyond the door and I didn’t know what I was going to do.. But, one thing I did know was that I wasn’t going to keep up this lie any longer, I wasn’t going to act like I didn’t know what she had done, what she wanted to do, whatever else she had planned for Isaiah if she knew that her plan for him failed.. I was done with it.
I walked into the cabin and noticed my Uncle sitting at the small dining table and Jody was within the kitchen, “Hey, you’re back,” she said happily, “Your Uncle dropped by, he said this is his cabin, so to thank him for letting us stay here, I asked him if he wanted to stay for dinner,” she continued, but her expression then went a little confused, “Where are the groceries?” She asked. She seemed a little too upbeat for what had happened, but she must not know, they must’ve not called her yet and told her the news.. I made it in time.. Perfect.
“Have a cigarette outside,” I demanded of my Uncle and he nodded, reading my eyes and he didn’t need to be told twice.
“Will do, nephew,” he replied, watching him stand to his feet and he stepped out the back door and left Jody and I alone.
“..What’s the matter?” She wondered, her expression growing worried.
“Where’s your phone?” I asked and she pointed towards her phone.
“Uh, over there on the counter. It was dead so I’m charging it.. Did you try calling me?” She wondered and without answering her, I walked straight up to it and I took it apart, tossing the battery down the sink and turning the garbage disposal on, then throwing the rest of her phone in after, “Hey! What the hell is your problem!?” She yelled angrily.
I shut the switch off when her phone was surely destroyed and I grabbed her shoulders, slamming her against the fridge and she let out a cry in slight pain and tried to struggle out of my grip, “You’re hurting me, Oliver!”
“I know,” I replied harshly and for the first time, I saw her face turning into a genuine worry, maybe even fear, “So, you knew this whole time.. You knew all along that I was still seeing him, didn’t you?” I assumed, watching her face then lose some of that fear and she grew angry like I was.
“Of course. You just don’t get it, do you? I don’t like sharing you, Oliver, I never did, but.. Now that it’s obviously been taken care of, you don’t have to go behind my back anymore.. And, I forgive you, so we can put all of this behind us now,” she replied and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.. This was it, she had finally taken the last step off the deep end.
But, to her surprise, I smirked slightly, “I’m glad that the police still haven’t called you, it would’ve taken all of the fun out of telling you myself,” I said softly, still holding her tighter than she liked and her expression went worried yet again.
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Your little plan with your brother? Using him to get rid of Isaiah? ..Well, it backfired, to say the least,” I answered, my smirk growing into a smile and her eyes widened, “He’s dead. You got him killed,” I continued and she was speechless for a quick moment.
“Oh yeah, dead as fucking roadkill.. And the best part is that I’m not even exaggerating.. Someone really took their time and made sure that that fucker was dead,” I continued, watching her eyes water as she refused to break eye contact with me.
“You’re lying!” She yelled, trying to jerk her shoulders out of my grip, but she still couldn’t get away from me.
“This is probably where I’d say that I wish I was, but no.. I’m not. Isaiah’s going to be fine. You didn’t accomplish anything, except, well.. Getting your brother killed. I guess there is a plus side to all of this,” I taunted, “You did all of this to yourself.. And you can think about that for however long you have left,” I continued.
“What do you m-” She was about to ask, but she looked towards the back door when my uncle came back inside, assuming he had finished his cigarette.
“Sounds like a pretty heated argument,” my uncle mentioned, shutting the door behind him.
“Do you have any handcuffs?” I asked him, seeing his eyes turn intrigued and he chuckled softly.
“Zip ties work best,” he replied, “I’ll get some.”
“Wha.. What the hell is this?!” Jody asked frantically, finally breaking out of my grip, quickly going over towards my uncle and she gripped his arm, him looking back at her questionably in slight anger and surprise, “Please, you need to help me! He’s going to do something terrible to me, I know it!” She begged and my uncle looked at me.
“My God, is that true, Oliver? Were you really going to do something terrible to this poor girl?” He mocked and I smirked, watching as he gripped her wrist and twisted her around in a split second, holding her with his right arm and a hand over her mouth. Jody struggled a moment, trying to speak through his hand but her words were muffled.
My Uncle then forced her to look at me, him looking at me, as well, “Look at him.. You see how he’s looking at you? I think he’s bored of trying to keep you happy,” he tauntingly whispered into her ear, “You better hope you never go into labor, because after that baby’s born, I don’t think you’ll even be around long enough to name it,” he told her, knowing full well that it was impossible to avoid, knowing that her remaining days of torment were going to come to an end very, very soon. I watched as my uncle then dragged her into the bedroom, hearing her attempting to yell behind the hand over her mouth, her legs kicking and struggling, but he managed to keep a strong hold of her.
I stood within the kitchen, taking a moment to myself and taking a few deep breaths. So this was it.. It was finally happening.. I still didn’t know the whole plan yet, but things were finally in motion and this marked the beginning to her end. No more looking over my shoulder and being afraid of who might be there, no more worrying about leaving Isaiah in the dark or lying, no more problems..
“Heeeelp!” Jody screamed from the bedroom, hearing her struggling and knowing that my uncle was most likely securing her to the bed, “Someone help meee!”
“You’re out in the middle of nowhere, sweetheart.. Scream all you want,” I heard my uncle say, but Jody still continued.
“Jesus Christ,” my uncle then said with frustration and I heard a drawer open and shut loudly, then hearing nothing from Jody and I grew worried.. Did he kill her? He can’t kill her when she’s still carrying my child! Is he mad?!
I quickly went to the bedroom, seeing my uncle walking out and I looked passed him towards Jody, “What did you do!?”
“Relax, I just got some chloroform and it knocked her out,” he replied and I grew less worried, but then slightly confused.
“Wait.. You have chloroform..?” I asked and he laughed softly.
“Don’t let it concern you too much,” he advised and walked passed me towards the kitchen, deciding I didn’t really want to know any more on why he had it, anyways..
“So, I take it your done with trying to put up with this any longer. I was getting curious, too.. Did she ever change, like you were hoping?” He asked and I turned to face him, seeing a grin on his lips and I knew all he wanted to hear from me was ‘you were right all along’.
“No.. Just the opposite, actually,” I reluctantly admitted.
“What’d she do that made you change your mind so suddenly?” He wondered and I hesitated a moment.
“She went after something precious to me..” I said softly, turning my attention away from him.
“Well, that’s definitely one way to get on a Dubois’ shit list..” He replied and I didn’t disagree with him, “So.. You wanna tell me why a detective called me today?” He more demanded than asked and I swallowed hard.
“Don’t give me that bullshit, if it involves me or my family, it’s my business, too, especially if fucking cops are calling me,” he pointed out and I guess he was right, he was the only one that could help me with this and telling him every detail of what was going on helped both of us. I leaned back against the sofa and I began telling him everything that had happened from when I got home earlier today up until I had arrived here at the cabin.. I told him about Isaiah, about what had happened to him, what happened to Thomas and his friends and how Jody was behind it, what happened with the detective, and why I came back to the cabin.. Everything.
My uncle had just finished his fifth cigarette by the time I was done explaining it all, “So, that’s what was precious to you,” he said with a rather uncomfortable scowl on his face.
“Yeah.. I didn’t tell you before because I knew you’d be against it..”
“Well, yeah.. I mean, who the hell doesn’t like good pussy?”
“I’m not saying that.. I like both, it’s just.. I prefer him, that’s all.. I love him..”
“Whatever, say what you’d like. It’s not like I’m the one doing it with a guy, so I don’t give a shit,” he worded in a tone that I didn’t quite appreciate, but at least he wasn’t outraged or threw a huge fit about it.. He was actually taking this a lot better than I thought he would.
“I don’t know.. Being understanding, I guess.. And of course, helping me with all of this.. I owe you..”
“Pah, you don’t owe me anything, kid. I’m the one who owes your dad. I’m in this until you don’t need me anymore, so don’t worry about it,” he encouraged and I nodded softly.
“And you’re sure that that detective bitch didn’t follow you?”
“I’m sure.. I told you, if I took a cab, she would’ve followed me, but I took the underground train, she has no way of knowing when or where I got off.. I didn’t see her anywhere before I got into Jody’s car and I was constantly checking my rear view mirror,” I replied and he nodded.
“Well, that’s a great thing. It was smart of you not to take that bait, too.. Could’ve done a lot more damage to this family than we needed,” he somewhat complimented and I was happy that I made the right decision, “Still, though.. Might give them a lawsuit anyways just to keep away from us that much more. She still talked to you after I deliberately told her not to.”
“I don’t want to.. I’m so done with all of this.. I can’t wait for all of this to be over and I can just live a normal fucking life,” I stressed and he nodded.
“All right, if that’s what you want,” he understood, “But, if you see her anywhere from now on, and I mean anywhere, knowing she’s watching you, you tell me and I’m bringing her down whether you want to or not.”
For a long moment, silence engulfed the room, both of us surely having a lot on our minds now and possibly being too much to even begin where to start talking to one another, but I thought the silence was almost needed. I thought about what the detective had said earlier, the way Isaiah looked at me before he lied to her about what the person that saved him looked like, everything, really. At the time, the detective’s words were completely unfathomable, there was no doubt in my mind that my dad wasn’t responsible for saving Isaiah, but now that I had a long moment to think about it, as well as hearing my own words coming from my own mouth with explaining to my uncle what had happened, it made more and more sense.. It made me want to ask my uncle whether or not my dad would even try to do something like that, but I didn’t even know where to begin to ask him..
“You look like you want to ask me something,” my uncle spoke and I looked up to him, surprised that he had literally read my mind.
“No..” I replied, but then I had second thoughts, “Well.. Yeah, I kind of do..”
“You don’t think.. I mean, do you think that my dad could’ve been the one that saved him? You obviously knew him better than anyone else..”
“You want an honest answer?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Then, yeah.. I do think he could’ve done that, but, that still isn’t saying it was or wasn’t for sure, so don’t go pissing your pants with joy or anything,” he replied, but I couldn’t help but feel a little happy, anyhow, knowing my uncle had the same suspicion,”And I didn’t know him as well as you think, not his good side, at least.. That’s all on you, boy. So, really.. I should be the one asking you if you think it was him,” he continued and I thought for a long moment. With everything that I had just thought, myself, and even with the help of my own gut feeling, I smirked softly as I looked to him..
“Yeah.. I think I do, too,” I replied, seeing him smirk as well and he nodded confidently towards my answer.
“What do you want to do now?” He asked.
“We wait,” I replied, “Wait until she goes into labor..”
“I get my baby.. And then, honestly.. I really don’t care what happens next,” I said with a shrug, watching him nod.
“Well, won’t be much longer.”
“Yeah, hopefully.. Do you mind waiting here? You don’t have to stay where you’re staying anymore now that she knows about you,” I pointed out.
“Sure, I’ll keep an eye on her. You going back to the hospital?”
“Yeah.. I’ll be back in a few days, but call me if her water breaks before then..”
“Will do,” he replied and I took out Jody’s keys from my pocket, but my uncle stopped me, “Hey,” he caught my attention, “Gimme those.. Take my car, it’s safer,” he instructed and I nodded, tossing him Jody’s keys as he tossed me his own and I left, making the two hour trip back home to be with Isaiah. These long, grueling trips back and forth were taking their toll on me, already exhausted by just today’s events alone, but it still wasn’t over yet and I needed to power through it.
I got back to the hospital a little before nine at night, making it just in time to see Isaiah before visiting hours were over and I made my way inside and back to Isaiah’s room. I hoped if he was awake, he wasn’t mad that I had left and wasn’t there for him.. I hoped the nurse that I had given the message to told him where I was going and that I’d be back, too.. I’d hate for him to second guess being with me since I kept disappearing on him, especially after everything we talked about together throughout today. My biggest fear was losing him.. I couldn’t lose him after going through so much for him, to make sure that nothing stood between us. I’ve been fighting too hard for this all to be just a waste of time.
I stepped into his room and didn’t see the nurse keeping him company, but instead, I saw Isaiah standing by the window and he turned to see who had come into his room. He smiled when he saw me and I was happy that he wasn’t mad that I had left.
“Hey, there you are. The nurse told me you left and I didn’t think you were going to make it back in time,” he began and I smiled in return as I walked over to him.
“Of course I’d make it, I wouldn’t miss having more time with you,” I replied, “I’m happy to see you walking around already,” I continued and he scoffed.
“I got broken ribs, Oliver, not broken legs,” he teased and I chuckled softly.
“What did you go to your Uncle’s for?”
“Just to get a few things.. And to bring him something to eat because I told him I would when I left earlier,” I made up and he nodded in understanding, “Sorry, I should’ve brought you something, too.. The food here is awful,” I said with remorse.
“Oh, it’s all right, don’t worry about it. I had some, uh.. Soup broth? I don’t know, at least I think it was,” he answered and I chuckled.
“Well, I’ll bring you breakfast tomorrow first thing in the morning,” I offered, seeing his expression turn appreciative.
“So, you went to get a few things? ..Does that mean you’re coming home?” He asked hopefully and I kept my smile.
“Yeah.. I’m going to stay in town while you’re here and until you can come home. Then I’ll probably go back to my uncle’s to get the rest of my clothes and stuff.. Maybe go back a couple times to make sure he’ll be okay without me.. I should be home for good within a week or so,” I replied and he seemed unconditionally happy by the news.
“Good, good.. I’m glad that I have something to look forward to when I get out of here,” he replied warmly.
I watched as he then looked back out the window, seemingly a little troubled and I grew concerned, “What’s the matter?”
“Well, Jody’s due soon, isn’t she? What’s happening with all of that? If you haven’t been in contact with her for a while, what’s going to happen after the baby’s born? You’re going to need to talk to her about it eventually, right?” He wondered, looking back to me with worry in his eyes.
“I, uh.. I’m not sure.. I don’t really want to talk about her, anyways..” I suggested, seeing his expression go somewhat reluctant.
“Sorry,” he said with remorse, and even though I didn’t want him to apologize, I didn’t tell him not to.. I simply kept silent, “Well, either way, I think we should talk about the guest bedroom,” he suggested and I raised a brow in curiosity.
“What about it?”
“Well.. Why not turn it into a nursery? I mean.. If you end up having custody or not, there’s nothing keeping us from making it into one, anyways, right?” He asked somewhat hopefully, assuming he was talking about a future with us, but I still couldn’t be entirely sure.
“Uhm.. Yeah.. Maybe..”
“I’m sorry, I keep feeling like I’m saying the wrong thing,” he replied with more remorse.
“No, it’s not that.. I just.. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, you know? What if I never get custody? What if I never get a chance to bring my kid home? There’s no point in changing that room into a nursery if I can’t..” I replied, even though I very well knew that I was going to get my child one way or another, I was just trying to avoid talking about this..
“Well.. What about us? Even if you can’t bring your kid home that you have with Jody, can’t we change that room into that anyways for whenever we want to do that?” He questioned and I looked to him.
“I thought you were just high on your pain killers when you had first brought that up,” I pointed out and he chuckled softly.
“Yeah.. I remember what I said and I’m sorry about that. I guess I just thought we were at a certain point in our lives, you know?” He replied and his tone held a certain longing in it and now I felt horrible.. I wanted this to go well, being with him while he was at the hospital, but I didn’t want to talk about things like this.. Not now, at least.. I didn’t want to talk about anything depressing and I didn’t want to talk about something I wasn’t ready for, noticing right away that I was making him upset and it already seemed to be turning into something negative when our future was meant to only be positive together, so why did I have a feeling this was going to turn into a fight?
“Stop saying you’re sorry, I’m the one that isn’t ready.. At least I don’t think I am.. It’s just.. Kids, you know? I haven’t even had the chance to get time with mine yet and you want to talk about more already..” I expressed, though once those words came out of my mouth, they sounded so challenging and I regretted them, “I-I mean, I want kids with you, but I’m just.. I-”
“Oliver, it’s okay,” he replied, “I’m the one that’s rushing you. I remember when I was a little loopy that I told you I was jealous. Well, that’s true, but maybe it’s just making me cloud my judgement and I don’t mean to pressure you. I just thought it might be something a little uplifting to talk about, that’s all,” he continued and I sighed softly. I saw this conversation about more children as a fear, whereas he saw it as a dream, something to be excited about..
I looked up to his eyes, “I want a life with you, I want everything with you, it’s just.. I need to get passed this before I can look forward, you know? I don’t mean to put it off and I don’t want you to think I’m not serious about you, but I can only handle one thing at a time.. I want you to get better, I want all of this custody bullshit out of the way, and I just want our lives to calm down a bit before something like that.. I’m.. I don’t know.. A little overwhelmed and nervous..”
“I know you are, and so am I. I’ve never had a kid before, either, Oliver, so we’re in the same boat. Even if you bring your kid home from Jody, get shared custody or whatever, I’ll be just as lost as you are as far as raising a child, so I don’t want you to think you’re alone when saying you have no experience, because I don’t, either. But, we can do it together and what better way to get ready for something like that than to talk about it? That’s all I’m saying,” he answered with a warm smirk on his lips and I eventually felt a little less pressure from his words. He was never one to show nervousness, but him admitting to it made it the tiniest bit better for me, too. However, it was still something I wasn’t ready to talk about and I wished we could just drop the subject.. At least until I can take him home and we can talk about this under our own roof, not under the hospital’s.
“Look, Oliver.. I love you more than anything and this isn’t just some passing thought I had out of the blue. I think that I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready for something like that and I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.. But, I can’t help but feel like every time I say that I love you, or say that I’m serious about you or tell you that I want a future with you, I don’t think you believe me.. Why is that? I want to talk about kids with you, so how much more obvious can I be that I’m serious about you?” He asked and I grew a little frustrated, stepping away from him and I needed to pace or do something to wrap my head around all of this and why the hell we were even talking about it when I thought I made myself clear that I wasn’t ready for it to happen, let alone even discuss it.
I talked as I paced, “I do believe you, I really do.. I.. I mean, you don’t have to prove it.. I know you do and I feel the exact same.. It’s just.. Kids? We’re not even married, we don’t know what’s happening with my baby with Jody, we don’t have the space for more than one, you have your job and I have school almost every day after the summer is over.. No, I’ll be starting my residency and that’s going to take up more time than my schooling.. Things are just so hectic already and we don’t have the time.. There’s a lot of things to think about first, it’s just.. Not smart..” I admitted and there was a silence within the room that lasted longer than I would’ve liked, eventually coming to a stop in the middle of the room and trying not to look at him, knowing that he wouldn’t be pleased by my words.
“Then marry me,” he suggested and I shut my eyes in frustration.. Was that the only part that he heard with everything I had said?
“That’s now the second time today that you’ve said that..” I said under my breath, looking back to him and knowing he had heard me.
“And that’s the second time you haven’t wanted to agree to it,” he countered and I couldn’t help but feel like he was just pummeling me with choices and important decisions that I wasn’t ready for.
“I didn’t say yes or no..”
“But not saying yes is a pretty big no to me,” he continued to rebuttal. I felt pressured when we were talking about kids, but now with marriage on top of it, my shoulders felt heavy and I knew he didn’t know what I was already dealing with with Jody, but without telling him, he’d never be able to understand just how pressured I really did feel with trying to deal with so many things all at once. My cup of leniency was filling up fast and it was only a matter of time before it couldn’t hold any more.
“Well, I guess I have my answer,” Isaiah began eventually when I hadn’t responded and I hated what this was turning into, “It’s passed visiting hours, you should probably go,” he suggested and my heart fall into the pit of my stomach as I watched him step over carefully to his bed and sit on the edge of it, his back towards me. I knew he was upset with me, really upset, but I didn’t know how to fix this. However, I tried to attempt at making things better between us, anyways, even if I had no idea what to say or where to begin.
“It’s okay, really. It was stupid of me to bring up when I was at the peak of my pain killers and it was stupid to bring up now. I should’ve known I’d get the same answer.. I just thought that since you had said earlier that you liked the sound of husband, I didn’t think it would be such a huge deal, but, clearly I was wrong. I’ll just talk to you tomorrow morning,” he replied and my brows furrowed in worry, but I noticed that he didn’t look at me, making it a point to look away from me more so that he couldn’t even see me in his peripherals. He was trying his hardest to avoid me and it was my fault that he felt like this..
“..Isaiah, I didn’t mean to upset you, I really want to do that, but-”
“It’s fine, Oliver. We’ll just talk about whenever you’re ready, like we always do,” he continued, still not looking at me and I knew he didn’t mean his statement to point against me, but it sure as hell felt like it was. Why did he say that as if I was being selfish? Was it really this selfish of me to not want to talk about a certain subject yet? I stared at the back of his head for a long moment, wishing he would face me, but when he refused to do so, I simply stepped away from his bed and made my way towards the door without kissing him goodnight or even saying ‘goodbye’.. I didn’t feel like anymore words needed to be spoken, because the more I felt like I wanted to explain myself, the less he’d want to talk about it and I’d most likely just upset him more.
When I reached the door to his room, ready to walk out, I gripped the handle, yet I stopped myself from leaving. I didn’t want to end the night like this, everything would be so awkward and half-assed the next few days until one of us apologized, but I was so confused on which one of us should be the one to take that step in mending whatever the hell was happening right now. I wasn’t ready for something so solid, something so.. Permanent.. I also needed to understand that children with Isaiah wasn’t going to be even remotely close to having a child with Jody.. I don’t know what I was so worried about, but just from not saying yes to his now second proposal, I made him second guess being with me and that was the last thing that I wanted. I wanted to tell him exactly how I felt and I wanted so desperately for him to understand and to stop pressuring me, but how could I say that in a way that wouldn’t make him more upset?
“No.. I want to talk about this now, I want to get it out of the way,” I expressed towards the door, pulling my hand from gripping the handle and I walked back over towards the bed passed the curtain so he could see me, watching as turned his head to look over at me, “I don’t have a clue on where to even begin raising a child, I don’t have any idea how to be a good husband and I’m still learning on how to be a good boyfriend, which I think I’m always doing a terrible job no matter how many times you tell me you love me or how happy you are. I don’t ever know what I’m doing right, or wrong, and whenever I think I’m doing things at least a little right, they end up being wrong or just completely stupid and honestly, I don’t even know what to do anymore. Having this baby with Jody is making me crazy, seeing you in the hospital is making me scared and worried and now this entire conversation about marriage and kids is making me terrified.. Completely terrified. I’m scared that I won’t be a good dad, that I won’t be a good husband or even a decent person in general, so how can I even think at this point in my life that I’m ready for what you’re asking? For more than what I can barely handle already?” I asked and I could tell in his expression that he was a little angry, but I couldn’t tell if it was anger towards me, or himself.
“Look, Isaiah.. I’m just trying to figure out what you want from me.. What the hell do you want me to say? I’ve already told you that I’m not ready, but you continue to pressure me into these things and I really don’t like it. I can’t handle it.. I don’t want to be proposed to, twice, in a damn hospital.. I don’t want to talk about Jody.. I don’t want to talk about kids.. I don’t want to talk about the future, not now, at least, especially when it isn’t definite, and I don’t want to talk about changing the guest bedroom into a nursery.. Not yet. Okay?” I asked, trying to make sure he understood and by the look in his eyes, I could tell I had officially hurt him..
“Wow.. You make me sound so manipulative.. Is that really the kind of person you think I am?” He asked softly as he stared at me and I felt bad for how I portrayed my words, “What do I want from you..? I’m not using you, Oliver, I’m in love with you, there’s a pretty big difference. Forgive me if I want to talk about a future with you that I’m looking forward to, but by the sound of it, it seems that I’m the only one in this relationship that is.. I remember telling you that you having a baby with Jody made me a little jealous and it kind of made me want to take the next step with you so there wasn’t any need for me to be jealous anymore.. That was selfish of me and I apologize, but you know what? I’m scared, too. You’re not the only one that hasn’t been a father before, I don’t have any idea what to do in that department, either, and I’m a little nervous about being married, too, but I know that being married to anyone else wouldn’t make me the happiest I could be.. I’d only be the happiest with you.. But, there’s one thing I don’t understand,” he stopped briefly and my heart was racing.. Why did I feel like this was only going to get worse?
“What did you mean by how this ‘isn’t definite’? ..Do you not plan on being with me for as long as I want to be with you? Is that why you won’t marry me?” He asked with sadness in his eyes and even if I didn’t intend this, I could tell I had already broken his heart.
“N-No.. It’s not that..”
“Oliver, if there’s any doubt in your mind about us, then I want to know exactly what it is so I can put all of those doubts in their place and so that you can forget about them.. If you’re not serious about this, then what’s the point of going any further?” He wondered and I was beginning to think he was trying to imply the one thing that I didn’t want to happen..
“No! I am serious about this, I’m serious about you, it’s just everything else is what I’m not sure about.. Why can’t you understand that I want all of these things with you, just not right now? Why do we have to discuss it right now? I’m not ready, I told you that..” I stressed.
“Do you think that things won’t work out between us? It sounds like you’re already preparing for it to go bad.. Hell, you won’t even humor me about any of this stuff.. I guess I’m just wondering why you won’t even talk about it with me, but it seems like you’re not even sure about our future together, so I guess I get it now..”
“Stop twisting my words.. Maybe I didn’t want to humor you because I wasn’t ready, I’m not committed to any of that stuff yet, so I didn’t want to give you false hope.. Isn’t that better than lying to you?” I asked, but I noticed his expression had turned more angered after my response.. Shit.. Now what did I say wrong?
“Is that why you keep avoiding the subject of marrying me? You’re not committed? You keep telling me that you want all of that stuff with me, I just can’t wrap my head around why you won’t talk about it with me, then.. Would you just regret everything if you had said ‘yes’ to me?” He asked and I didn’t know how to answer him.. I would regret it if I said yes to him now, just because I wasn’t ready, but I’d be more than happy to say yes when I was ready, however, I felt that even if I explained myself to a point where he’d understood completely on why I wasn’t, there’s no doubt he’d get more upset than he already was.. And, if I said I wouldn’t regret it now, I’d be lying to him and myself.. Either way, that question is setting me up for disaster.
“Why are we even fighting over this? I just want you to get better so we can go home and-”
“At least have the decency to answer the question. I asked if you would regret it, Oliver.. So, would you?” He cut me off and he refused to let the subject go. I guess there was no more avoiding it.
“..Only because I’m not ready at this exact moment in time.. Yeah, I would,” I told the truth, seeing him stare at me for a long moment before looking somewhere else.
“Okay,” he replied simply and I didn’t now how to understand his answer.
“..Okay, what?” I asked.
“Just.. Okay..” He answered again and I was so confused.
“Isaiah, I don’t know what that means.. One minute I think we’re fine, the next I think you want to leave me, now I’m just-”
“It just means okay and that I get it! Take it however you want,” he expressed with frustration and I knew he’d get upset by my answer, but I didn’t expect him to get this angry, “Do me a favor, though,” he requested and I stepped up closer to the foot of his bed.
“Yeah, anything,” I replied.
“Go home.. I don’t want you to come back to the hospital for the remainder of my time here. I think you need to take some time to yourself, just to think about everything, and I mean everything.. And I think we should just be alone for a little while. I need some time to think, too, so..” He implied and I couldn’t tell if he was only telling me to go home or if he was telling me we should take a break.. A real break.
“No, I’m not doing that.. I just think we need some time to ourselves to think about everything that we want and don’t want, then on Monday, when I can come home, we’ll talk about it all then.. Is that all right with you?” He wondered, looking up at me and I could see how serious he was. I didn’t want to do anything like that.. I knew I wanted to be with him, there was nothing more for me to think about, but what if by Monday he came to the conclusion that he didn’t want to waste his time on me anymore? What if by Monday, I told him ‘yes’ and he would tell me ‘no’..? But, I didn’t think I had much of a choice, I just had to leave it up fate at this point and hope that he’d still want me after the weekend when he was able to come home.
“Yeah.. That’s fine,” I eventually agreed, wanting so badly to make him happy and if this was what he wanted, then I’ll do it.
“All right, I’ll see you Monday, then..” He answered, my heart tingling in my chest and already the nerves about not seeing him over a short weekend made me nervous and scared, especially when he had given us both such a hard decision to make.. Never had I thought we’d be asking ourselves ‘do I truly want to be with this person?’ without coming straight out and saying ‘yes’ immediately, but if I did that, he might think I’m still not taking this seriously, even when I have been this whole time. I wanted to show him that I was listening, that I cared about him needing time, but once I thought about that, I realized he hadn’t done the same for me, the very two things I wanted him to do the entire time I was explaining myself.. He wasn’t listening, he didn’t understand that I needed time, all that he heard were the terrible things I’ve said and it seemed as if he completely blocked out all the good.
I stepped around the foot of his bed to where he was sitting, putting my hands gently to the either side of his face and I pulled his head up quickly so I could kiss him without him denying me. I felt his hands reach up, grabbing my wrists to remove my hands from his face, but I fought back and refused to let him go. I was angry with him, I was mad that he wanted time to think this over when he wasn’t willing to do the same for me when I had asked for it, but it still wasn’t enough for me to abandon him and if things got worse between us, I wanted this last chance to feel him and for him to feel me, to see how much passion and love I had for him with just one simple kiss. I eventually felt his grip on my wrists lessen, feeling him push gently back into my lips and as soon as I felt he wanted more, I pulled away, looking at him for a moment before pulling myself away from him completely and I walked out of his room without another word.
As I made my way out of the hospital, all I could do was hope that he’d eventually see things from my angle. He was a very understanding person, but why did he refuse to let this go? I wasn’t opposed to having a conversation about what was going to happen later on, much later on, in the future between us, but now was just not the time. I understood that he was jealous, I truly did, because I have something so important to him with someone the complete opposite of him and it must drive him crazy sometimes.. He wants what someone else has with me and maybe he just can’t stand that I share something as serious as a child with someone else, so he wants a baby, too.. Maybe that’s why he insists that I take some time to myself and think it over, because I had said ‘no’ to something he so desperately wants with me. Maybe he doesn’t want time to himself to think if he still wants to be with me, but he wants me to have time to myself to rethink my answer.. He told me to go home, maybe that has something to do with it, too.. I could just be looking too much into it, but then again, was it really that bad of a thing to do that when it came to fixing my relationship?
I checked the front of the hospital when I walked out, not seeing the detective in a car waiting for me like last time and I was glad that I could drive home calm instead of being paranoid and needing to take the train. I hopped in my uncle’s car and went home, going upstairs above the coffee shop to our place and I stood in the hallway for a moment, looking around and not liking how silent it was. I tried to imagine things differently as I stood there, already beginning to somewhat like the idea of coming home to a noisy place with Isaiah chasing around kids with messy mouths from eating and struggling to get them cleaned and dressed..
I smirked softly for a brief moment, picturing a tot crawling down the stairs backwards in diapers and as I glanced over towards the living room, it was easy to picture a movie night, all cozy on the couch with forts made out of pillows and blankets with popcorn scattered about, no doubt some pieces stepped on and spread out on the floor from someone tipping the bowl over. But, still, I couldn’t decide if I was ready for something that hectic.. Or should it really be thought of instead as something to be enjoyed and looked forward to? Embraced, even, like Isaiah did?
I went upstairs and before I stepped into our bedroom, I stopped and looked down the hallway towards the guest bedroom, deciding to take another look at it, just for the sake of humoring Isaiah like he had wanted me to. I walked down the hallway and opened the door, flipping on the lights and the last time I remember being in here was when we had first moved in and thrown some furniture in here to make it an actual room, though it could definitely use some improving.. There was no wall art, an empty dresser, lamps with light bulbs that had only been turned on less than a handful of times, a clean and untouched bed.. It was so boring.. Except for one thing..
I stepped towards the dresser, seeing a picture of Isaiah and I sitting on top of it and I examined it a little further, remembering that he had taken this picture of us after all of our stuff was unpacked and we were officially moved in together.. I had no idea he had taken the time to get it printed and framed.. He looks so happy. I smiled as I looked at it, remembering the day vividly and my cheeks even grew warm as I remembered that our first time together was just minutes after this picture had been taken.. This one single photo held so many memories, I even somewhat felt like he had planted it here for me to find whenever we’d have this argument about children, like he was almost expecting it to happen.. Damn him.. Even when he’s not around to put his persuasion into words, he still finds ways of being persuasive, I’ll give him that..
| Next Chapter |