I’ve known for a while now that Jason and I weren’t going to work out.. When it would all come down onto us, who knew, but I for one didn’t except it so soon. We’ve only been together for 4 years and already things are rocky, but I should’ve known better than to think he had the potential of changing. I knew deep, deep down that he’d always be the same guy, unable to stick with one person and I wasn’t even sure if he was capable of love. Gareth and Gibson bring me so much joy and happiness, but deep down I still wish they never happened, at least not with Jason..
It was a goal of mine the whole time in college before I knew Jason to avoid him, never hearing anything good about him and knowing that he got around the most out of anyone I knew. Why couldn’t I have just resisted that one night by the bonfire? If I didn’t have that liquid courage coursing through me I would’ve been smart enough to say no, to tell him to get away from me and that there was no chance in hell.. Yet, I didn’t. The way he acted that night when we were in his room, he was gentle but fun, rough yet loving; he was a whole different person in bed. I knew why now that every girl wanted to be with him, the way he treated a girl when he was with them in bed made you 100% convinced that he had feelings for you, that you meant something to him, that he cared; a true Romancer.. But, you learned the awful truth only after everything had played out according to his needs.
I couldn’t believe the day had finally come, the day we were done with. Here I thought that I was the last one he’d ever be with, it made me feel amazing that he had chosen me out of every other girl out there, but it all meant nothing now. I sat in the park after I had gotten off work, not ready to go home yet though I knew I would have to since I had a few things waiting for me to pick up still. It’s been about two weeks since I had asked Anya and Julia for advice and since then, Jason and I have been a complete mess. I can’t bare to look at him and he can’t stand me not talking to him.. We had already worked out the hard details of when each of us would get the boy’s, but there was nothing else that needed to be discussed, so I refuse to talk to him anymore. Jason is officially dead to me.
Breaking the news to Lucy made her upset, she cares for me a lot and I know that she considers me a motherly figure, but I won’t abandon her. I’ve talked to her about everything and have told her she’s still welcome to come to my new place with the twins if she ever wants to; I’ve grown fond of Lucy and if she still wants to see me and spend time with me, Jason is going to have to respect that and let her. Gareth and Gibson don’t really understand why I’m not going to be living with Jason and them anymore, and they don’t understand why they need to be separated from at least one of us at a time, but they’ll grow to figure it and hopefully they’ll accept it soon.
I finally raised myself from the park fountain slowly, looking around and still not wanting to go home, but Jason had to go to work soon and I needed to pick up the last of my things and the boys; we agreed that I would get them weekdays and he gets them on the weekends, and seeing how it was only Monday, I’ll take the boys with me to my new apartment in the city tonight. I’ve been on the edge of tears all day and it was nearly impossible to keep from crying at work when my friends at the lab wouldn’t stop asking what’s wrong, but somehow I managed. My pocket buzzed and I pulled out my cell phone, seeing Jason calling me and I hit the ignore button, walking out of the park then to make my way back to the house.
The entire drive home I couldn’t get the sadness I felt out of the pit of my stomach, it had been there for a while now though and I knew it still wouldn’t be gone for an even longer while no matter how much I tried to ignore it. I was stupid to believe that we’d stay together forever, I was stupid to think that he loved me even the slightest bit, and I was stupid to let it go on this long and acting like he was a saint when deep down I knew he wasn’t faithful from the beginning. A car honking behind me snapped me back into reality and I saw that the light was green for me to go and I did, continuing to drive to the house and I could feel my insides beginning to tense up from nerves. All I wanted to do was pick up my stuff and the twins and leave, but I knew Jason wasn’t going to make it that easy for me.
I took a deep breath and got out of the car, walking to the front door and looking in through the large windows to see if anyone was in the foyer and I noticed Lucy sitting on the couch reading a book. I stood there for a moment, watching her and almost savoring seeing her so calm, yet I knew she was doing reading in the foyer because she was waiting for me. I continued to the door and walked into the house, watching Lucy perk up instantly and she dropped her book on the couch to come over to me.
“Are you going now? I wish you didn’t have to leave, I liked having you around,” Lucy said softly and I couldn’t help but smile; she was such a sweet girl.
“I don’t have to leave, I just need to. We’ve been over this, your Dad and I, just.. Want to be friends,” I repeated; we’ve been over this so many times within the past few weeks.
“But, if you just want to be friends then why not just stay for my brothers?” She questioned for the hundredth time.
“Lucy..” I began, but I was cut off by a deeper voice.
“Luce.. Go to your room, please,” Jason told Lucy and she looked to him as he made his way downstairs to join us.
“Dad, can I go with Gareth and Gibson to Faline’s? Pleeassee?” Lucy asked excitedly and my expression went surprised, not knowing she was going to put him on the spot like this and I looked to Jason as he reached the bottom of the stairs and walked over to join us.
“No.. Don’t you think Faline wants to get settled into her new place? The boys are a handful as it is, I don’t think she-” He stopped when I cut him off.
“Sure, I don’t mind, I could use an extra pair of hands to help me unpack, huh, Lucy?” I asked her with a smile and she nodded happily towards me, looking back up to Jason then.
“See? She doesn’t care.. I wanna go, can I?” She asked again and I watched as Jason looked to me with a displeased expression. I wasn’t trying to make him angry, but I had to admit, it felt good seeing that annoyed look in his eyes after everything he’s done to me. Lucy obviously wanted to be with me more than him right now, and I knew that made him upset. I gave him a soft smirk, waiting for his answer with Lucy and I could see in his face that he wanted to say no again.
“Fine.. Go pack a bag while I help Faline with her things,” Jason replied and I was surprised by his answer. I watched Lucy excitedly run past Jason and upstairs to go to her room, though I was unhappy that it had led to him helping me with my stuff; I almost wanted to call Lucy back just to stay in the room with us so things didn’t get heated or out of hand.
Nothing good ever came to us when we were alone; ever since the night I had talk to his sisters about him, him and I have been cruel to one another and our fighting seemed to never stop. Once I had finally gotten him to confess everything, though I still felt he left some things out, my hatred almost instantly outweighed what I had thought was love and he’s seen how angry I can be. But, one thing that always bothered me and kept me wondering was when he was going to show me his true side.. I knew he was still keeping something from me, yet, despite how much I wanted to know what it was, I was scared at the same time. I was scared of him. Never have I seen him treat me like how he’d treated all of the girls before me in college, it was as if he’d done a 180 and nothing mattered between us anymore.. I knew now he was trying to hurt me, trying to bring me down like he had done to all of the others; I was curious on when that time would finally come.. But, the look in his eyes now told me I was about to experience a piece of it..
I looked to the last of my things near the door and Jason began to walk towards me, but I walked towards my things, not wanting to look at him anymore already and before I could begin bringing my stuff outside, Jason turned me forcefully to face him and I removed my arm from his grip, “Don’t touch me, you never get to touch me again. Are we clear?” I warned, but he barely backed down.
He drew closer to me and I cowered slightly, taking a step away from him but my back hit the window. I could feel the heat of rage coming off of him and his face was inches from mine now. I averted my eyes from his and shut them, beginning to grow a little frightened by how successful his intimidation technique was. “Let me make something clear to YOU.. The moment we decided to end this and you decided to leave, you gave up the authority you held in this house. You will not pin Lucy against me, she will never be in the middle of this, and your word will never, ever, come first before mine when it comes to her. If I say no, then what’s the answer?” He asked me, though I thought it was rhetorical, so I didn’t respond. “What’s the answer?” I jumped gently in fear from his raised voice and harsher tone.
“No,” I replied in a whisper, trying my best to make sure he knew that I understood him so he would back off a little.
I opened my eyes slowly and he was still standing his ground closer to me than I would like. “I’m glad we understand one another,” Jason said softly, “I’ll take this stuff to your car.. You get the boys ready,” he continued, reaching up to touch my face and I winced as he cupped my cheek into his palm. I watched him smirk out of the corner of my eye, leaning in then and kissing my cheek. My skin crawled and the only thing I could do was shut my eyes again to make this less painful, less uncomfortable. Was he trying to prove that I was powerless when it came to him? I couldn’t do anything, wouldn’t do anything, and he knew it. God, I hate this man. Even at the end of everything, my final few minutes of being in this house for the last time, he made sure that I knew who was in control, who had always been, and who would always remain in control; he had drained me completely. Even through all of this emotional pain and torment he had put me through, I could tell that this was him only making things worse, but with a smile on his face this time now that I was aware of everything he had been hiding. Now that I knew, there was nothing to hide and there was nothing to go back on; I could tell he enjoyed making me feeling like this now.. As if he hasn’t punished me enough already when I’ve done nothing wrong..
Jason’s hand slipped away from my face and he finally backed off, stepping over to my belongings and grabbing it all for me to take to my car. When the front door shut behind him, I couldn’t hold back anymore, feeling a few tears escape my eyes and I covered my mouth to hush my crying. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I was relieved that I could breathe now without Jason in my face, trying my hardest to get my crying out as quick as possible so neither Jason nor the kids knew I wasn’t happy.
After calming down the best that I could, I quickly went upstairs and to the boy’s room, wanting to hurry and leave faster. I saw the two playing in their pen, a forced smile running across my lips when Gibson looked over to me, “You guys ready to go to Mommy’s place?” I wondered.
“Yeah, I guess so..” Gibson replied, but nothing came from Gareth.
“Gareth, you ready?” I asked him, but he still didn’t reply; he hasn’t talked to me much since we told them everything that was going on.
I walked over to the playpen and picked up Gibson, fixing his shirt a little and brushing down his hair in back in a soft manner, “I know this is tough and my place is going to be a little smaller and hard to get used to, but it’ll be fun. I’m on the very highest floor and you can see the city lights, it’s very pretty,” I told them both, yet Gareth still didn’t bother to acknowledge me within the room. Gibson was the same as Gareth at first, scared and unsure, but he came around quicker than I thought and he seemed excited about living here and also in the city at times.
I heard the door open behind me and I knew it was Jason, not bothering to turn around and acknowledge him and I continued to pay attention to Gibson. “Car’s all ready, how are my little men doing?” Jason wondered, but I couldn’t tell if he was talking to me or asking them, so I didn’t say anything.
“I don’t wanna go,” Gareth said softly, sighing to myself and watching Jason walk over to him and lift him into his arms.
“Sure you do, it’ll be fine, big guy,” Jason comforted. Normally I would find all of this comforting, too, but now I just find it more heartbreaking that this man in front of me has many faces; though I am glad that none of the kids have ever seen the bad face that I know.
“I wanna stay here,” Gareth continued and we both could tell he was about to start one of his notorious fits, but Jason tried to stop it before it started.
“Remember what I told you a few weeks ago? That you need to watch out for Gibson?” Jason began quietly and I averted my eyes as they talked, holding Gibson closer and gathering a few things around the room for them. I couldn’t look at them, I couldn’t get over the fact that Jason was such a conniving, disgusting person, and yet I had children with him that he treated like precious gifts. It was weird and heartbreaking at the same time to watch him with either of the boys, but, if there was anything left to Jason that I could find comfort in, it was that I knew he was an good father; that’s all I can really ask for now, I guess..
After Jason’s pep talk to Gareth, we left their room and walked towards the stairs, the hairs on the back of my neck standing, I could feel Jason looking at me and I hated it. I looked to the front door and saw Lucy by it, standing there and waiting for us. “All ready to go?” I asked, seeing her look to us and smile.
“Yup, all ready!” She replied happily, “I already put my bag in the car, are we going now?” She wondered and I nodded.
“Yeah, we’re going now. Did you remember everything? You still have school tomorrow, did you bring your school stuff, clothes, toothbrush?” I asked.
“Yes, I have everything,” she answered and I nodded again. I would’ve taken a moment to bask in the house, try to remember more of the good than the bad, but there wasn’t much that I’d miss about this place. I decided against standing there for a moment and looking at everything, the bad memories outweighed the good and I didn’t want to bask in something I wasn’t going to miss.
When we all walked out to the car, I got Gibson ready in his car seat as Jason talked to Lucy, but I couldn’t hear them too clearly; I only assumed he was telling her the basics, like get to bed on time, be sure to brush your teeth, watch out for your brothers.. I never imagined a goodbye like this would be so easy, it was almost as if I was going on vacation with the kids and I’d be back soon, but only the kids would be coming back in the end and I was refreshingly okay with never seeing Jason again though I knew I had to sometimes.. All I wanted now was a calm life, maybe get a raise at my work or even promoted, meet someone who actually cares about me, get married.. But, who knows.
Gareth seemed to warm up to my new place, then again it could just be Lucy making him feel better about being here. Gibson loved the condo, loved the view, love the new scenery; he was excited about all of it. Gareth pouted the whole way here, saying he wanted to go back home, saying that he wanted to see Jason, but Lucy was a huge help in convincing him to give this place a chance; the boys loved Lucy so much, I was thankful that she had wanted to come with or I don’t think I could’ve calmed down Gareth myself, not in the condition I was in.
I made dinner for Lucy and I as she played with the boys in the living room, I was finally able to calm down a little after everything that had happened today and I was glad that the hard part was over with. I made a stew that my mother used to make for me whenever I was feeling down in the dumps, the smell filling the condo and it helped me realized how much I needed this. I couldn’t straighten things out with Jason, I couldn’t let him get away with everything that he’s done to me, and I couldn’t be with him or near him anymore now knowing he could care less about me. This new place is just the thing I needed, it saved me from letting myself rot away in that house and I had to admit that I was a lot happier now than I’ve been in years.
When dinner was almost ready, I got the kid’s attention, “Alright, boys, time for bed. Lucy, could you grab Gareth for me?” I requested as I walked away from the stove to let the stew simmer. I picked up Gibson and watched as Lucy got Gareth for me like I had asked.
“Wow, you guys are getting so heavy!” Lucy said with a gentle laugh, struggling only a little as she lifted Gareth up and into her arms.
“Yeah, they sure are,” I said with both a smile and a sigh, knowing that they were growing up quickly but I wished they would stay this small and sweet forever. They already looked so much like Jason, inheriting almost everything from him and the only thing that remotely resembled me was Gibson’s green eyes. I wished they had gotten a little more from me now, watching them grow up and resemble Jason more and more was going to be tough to get over.
I changed both of them out of their clothes and Lucy put Gareth to bed for me while I said goodnight to Gibson, “I home you sleep well, my little prince,” I said softly, watching his eyelids getting heavier as I rubbed the top of his hand with my thumb.
“Goodnight, Gareth,” Lucy said softly, yet it didn’t sound like it was going well.
“I don’t wanna go to bed!” He said angrily and I sighed to myself, part of me already knew that he was going to make this difficult for me.
I stepped away from Gibson’s crib when he had laid down to shut his eyes and I walked over to Lucy by Gareth’s crib, “What’s wrong, sweetie?” I asked him, “You know that it’s your bedtime, you need to sleep,” I tried to convince, yet he still had a fussing expression.
“This room is stupid! It’s small! I wanna be in my other room!” He demanded.
“It’ll be okay, you’ll get used to it.. You’re going to be in your old room this weekend,” Lucy tried to comfort him as well.
“I don’t care! I wanna go home! I want Daddy!” He yelled louder now and started to rattle his crib.
“Gareth, that’s enough.. You heard Lucy, you’ll be home with Daddy this weekend, only a few more days here, that’s all..” I added, but it was no use.
“I hate it here! I want Daddy!” He continued, repeating over and over that he wanted Jason and I had had enough.. I knew he wasn’t going to stop and the best thing I could do right now if just ignore his behavior and hope he wears himself out.
I put my hand on Lucy’s shoulder and led her out of the boy’s room, both of us continuing to hear Gareth screaming and rattling his crib as hard as he could. I shut the light off and wished him goodnight even though he couldn’t hear me over his own screaming, but I shut the door anyhow and led Lucy downstairs.
“He’s not always going to be like this, is he?” She wondered.
“No, he’ll get used to it soon enough.. It’ll take time, but he’ll adjust,” I replied with a smirk and Lucy nodded, both of us continuing on our way to the kitchen so we could eat dinner together.
We sat at the table together and as much as I wanted to avoid talking about Jason with her, she couldn’t help but bring it up, “So, do you and Dad just.. Like.. Not love each other or something? I feel like all of this came out of nowhere still,” she began and I sighed, but covered up my frustration as I blew at the stew to cool it down.
“Lucy.. We’ve been over this, we just want to be friends. We want each other to be happy,” I replied softly.
“But you’re not happy together? Why not? I thought you and Dad loved each other.. I mean, that’s why people have kids together, right?”
I hated this conversation, I couldn’t admit to her that Gareth and Gibson were mistakes from a drunk one night stand back in our college days, but I couldn’t not answer her either.. “Your Dad and I do love each other, just not in that way, I suppose.. More as friends.”
“Then why’d you both have Gareth and Gibson together?”
“Can we talk about something else, please? We’ve been over this, Lucy, I don’t want to have to repeat myself for the millionth time,” I replied, slightly frustrated now and I noticed her expression turn somewhat sad, “I’m sorry, I know this is a lot to take in and it’s hard to understand.. It’s just a little tough for me to discuss it,” I continued with a slight smirk, watching her nod in understanding.
There was a silence at the table now, but it wasn’t awkward and it didn’t last long, though the next thing that Lucy thought of to talk about threw me off a little, “Did you know my mom?” She asked and I stopped chewing for a brief second.
“Um.. I’ve only met her a handful of times, I don’t know nearly as much as your Father does.. Why do you ask?”
“No reason.. I remember her a little, but she died when I was super young, you know. The only thing I really remember is that she drank a lot, she had a lot of friends, and she didn’t like my Dad too much,” she replied and I was surprised a little.
“What do you mean?” I wondered and I watched her shrug.
“I don’t know, she was just never happy when he was around. They fought all the time, I knew they didn’t love each other.. Not to be mean, but I was happier around you than my mom, I knew you cared for my Dad. But, now, since you don’t love him like that either, he’s changed a lot. I just want him to love someone and be happy,” she answered and I didn’t quite know what to say. She’s been with Jason her whole life and she’s witnessed his losses, I just never imagined she’d understand him so well.
“Well, he loves you. He loves Gareth and Gibson, too.. Even though I’m gone and we don’t love one another like that, just know that he’ll never stop loving you guys,” I reply and I watch her smirk and nod in agreement.
After our meal, Lucy grabbed the bowls before I could and she went to the sink, washing them for me, “Luce, you don’t have to do that.. Let me,” I said.
“It’s okay, it’s not like I’ve never done it before, but I’ve never done it here. I don’t mind helping you,” she replied and continued washing them and I smiled.
“Well, thank you for all of your help today.. With the dishes, the boys, helping me with my things. It’s a lot of help,” I answered, appreciating everything she’s done with me today.
“You’re welcome,” she replied, finishing up the dishes as I put away the leftovers of the stew, “Can I watch TV before bed?” She asked next and I looked to her.
“Yeah, of course. Let’s go watch something,” I replied and she smiled, running excitedly over to the television.
We watched Kid Zone for a while, talking and laughing back and forth as we watched one of Lucy’s favorite shows that had came on. The longer we were at my place, the more comfortable I felt and I could tell I was slowly starting to forget about Jason. All I wanted to do was start new, forget him and move on. But, I soon realized the more I purposely tried to forget him instead of just letting it happen on it’s own, bad thoughts ran through my mind again and I thought about earlier when he had pinned me against the wall and threatened me. My bottom lip quivered a little at the threat of getting emotional, but I took a few deep breathes and focused on the show with Lucy once again.
I heard a buzzing noise, then a ringtone I didn’t recognize coming from the couch. I was surprised when Lucy stood to her feet and pulled put a cell phone from her pocket, “Where did you get that?” I asked, worried she may have found it and kept it or even stole it, but then again, I couldn’t see her doing something like that.
“Dad bought it for me last week, it’s him calling, too,” she replied and I raised a brow, not thinking once that he’d ever get her a phone, especially at her young age. “Hey, Dad,” she answered, and although I wanted to give her privacy with Jason, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation and guessing what he was saying to her judging by her replies. “I’m good, just watching TV with Faline,” there was a short silence, “Yeah, did you wanna talk to her?” She asked next and I froze up, hoping that he didn’t, “Oh, okay,” she replied, not handing me the phone and I let out a sigh of relief.
She walked over to the hallway and continued, “They were okay when they first got here and I played with them. Gareth got really fussy when being put to bed, though. He didn’t seem tired and he wanted you..”
“No, he’s asleep now I think, I haven’t heard him upstairs..”
“Yeah, it’s two stories, Faline’s room and the boys’ room is upstairs. There’s even a jacuzzi outside on the balcony, it’s awesome! I wish I brought my bathing suit!” She continued and I smiled, enjoying her enthusiasm in being here, though a little irritated that it seemed like Jason wanted to know what the place was like; if he wanted to know, he can come here himself and see, or he can mind his own business.
“Well, my show is on and I was going to watch it and then go to bed..”
“No, that’s okay, I’ll take the bus home tomorrow..”
“I know, Dad, I won’t..”
“Okay.. I love you, too, goodnight,” she finished on the phone and hung up, walking back over to me and sitting on the couch again to finish her show before bed.
When Lucy’s show was over, I turned the TV off and she wined a little, “Oh stop, you knew it was bed time,” I said with a motherly smirk. I stood up and she joined me, “So, you can sleep here on the couch, I have plenty of pillows and blankets, or you can sleep in my room in the bed with me, doesn’t matter,” I gave her some options and she thought for a moment.
“I’ll just sleep with you, if that’s okay,” she replied.
“Of course.. My room is the opposite of the boys’ and there’s a bathroom in my room, too, you can get ready in there or there’s a bathroom by the front door,” I gave her more options and she nodded, going to her bag and going upstairs to change and get ready for bed.
I soon followed behind Lucy after shutting all the lights off downstairs and she was ready and in bed in a flash. I enjoyed seeing her wear the pajamas I had gotten her for her birthday last year, smiling as I watched her tuck herself in, “All set?”
“Yeah,” she replied with a smile and I changed out of my work clothes finally and joined her in my bed, climbing under the covers with her and turning the light off.
“Goodnight, Luce..” I said softly, but she turned towards me and forced a smile.
“I want my Dad to be happy, but I want you to be happy, too.. I’m sorry I didn’t say that earlier, but I guess I get it now,” she replied and I smiled warmly.
“It’s okay, Luce, I know. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be truly happy in no time at all.. Goodnight,” I answered, seeing her smile and nod.