“What did you do? Son, just tell me. I can’t bear to see you hurt like this.” I had been silent for over five minutes crying. I hadn’t the heart to tell him. He looked at me with worried glances. I know I’ve hated him since he shipped me off to camp and then thrown me into ROTC, but I still loved him. I couldn’t bear to have him out of my life, now that my mother was. To hell with her anyway!
I couldn’t take it I just started to bawl and cry. “She’s pregnant. She’s fucking pregnant!” I said more to myself. My dad took a few steps back from me, the cold hard fact hitting him like a ton of bricks.
“W-who’s p-pregnant?” He asked, stuttering.
“Rose.” I cried. He just sighed, like he knew it was coming. “I’m so sorry dad.”
I looked up at him, well, it was more as he reached for my chin and pulled my face up to him. “Son, it’s okay.”
I wiped my tears, “Y-your not mad?”
He shook his head, “No. I’m disappointed, but not mad. Hell, I’m gonna be a grandpa.” He smiled, but I could still tell he was hurt. I just shifted my gaze, I felt horrible. “It’s okay, Trav. We can figure this out.” He put his hand on my shoulder.
“How? My life is ruined! I’m fifteen, and by the time this baby comes I’ll be sixteen! My life officially sucks!” I yelled.
“Listen to me, you’re life isn’t over! This, this baby, this will be the best thing that has ever happened to you. You may be young, but your smart, you have heart, and this baby will have the best damn life, and so will you!” He yelled back. “Now, I don’t know why your moving in here, but I will be damned if my grandchild isn’t taken care of. Now call Rose, ask her what she wants to do. If she needs a place she can stay.”
I looked up in shock. Rose and I both had been kicked out of our homes. Mr. Conner also told her if he ever saw me I was more than a dead man, but really that’s here nor there. I wasn’t about to go looking for him, I planned on staying as far away as possible from that man. I looked up, “We both need a place. Mom. . . .” I paused to try and stop the next set of tears, but it was no use. “She kicked me out. She didn’t even say a word. Dad, she. . . she hates me.”
Dad clenched his fists and his teeth. I don’t think I had ever seen him so mad. He looked at the bottle of wine and then back at me. If anything was going to make my father drink, it was my mother. He took slow deep breaths while I walked over to the bottle and corked it open. I might as well drink with him.
I handed dad a glass and took one for myself. We sat down at the table, and for a while we just stared at each other. “Well, bottoms up!” He toasted before taking a sip. I saw a small hint of a smile form in the corner of his mouth. I sat and sipped, I started to stare into space. Dad put his glass down, “Son, it’s done. There’s nothing you, or Rose, or anyone can do. Your gonna have to live with this.” I nodded and chugged down my glass of wine.
“Easy Trav. You don’t want to end up like the rest of the Rain’s.” He sat his glass down and looked at the bottle of wine on the table. I knew he was craving for more. I ended up taking the bottle, but dad placed his hand on mine. “One’s enough for both of us. Go call Rose.” I nodded again. My dad looked at me as I stood, I could tell his heart was breaking for me.
I dialed Rose’s number. “Hey Trav.” She answered in higher spirits than the last time I talked to her. It had to be hormones. The last time I spoke to her she was in tears, crying about everything that was wrong with this situation.
“Hey. So, I told dad. He’s willing to let us stay here.” I told her. I still felt like crap. I didn’t want any of this.
“Thank God. Tell him I am on my way.”
“Alright, see you when you get here babe.” I hung up and turned to face dad. He had a smirk on his face. I looked over at the bottle, there was some missing. “Dad.”
“What?” He smiled even more.
“Alice is gonna kill me. Cork that thing up and put it away, before we both get caught.” I told him.
“Alright.” He then started to mumble something about how I bought it for him. He ended up putting it away.
Dad was a bit surprised to see Rose and how she looked. I was too. I knew her pants were getting tight and her breasts were barely being held into her shirt. “So. . . How far are you?” My dad asked.
“Doctors said I’m about three months.” She answered. She was nervous around him, so was I. My dad turned his head towards me, and the back to her. I knew he wanted to say something. He was calculating the math. I was doomed. “Thanks for letting me stay here Mr. Rain.”
“Please, your carrying my grandchild, call me David or Rain.” He said with a smile. Who was this man? He was. . . nice.
“Thanks Rain. Well, I’m beat, do you mind if I go lie down?” She asked both of us.
“The master bedroom is that way. You can use my bed. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable on those kiddy mattresses.” He then walked her to his room.
After a few minutes he walked out, and he was not pleased. “THREE MONTHS!” He yelled as quietly as he could. “Travis! You kept this a secret for THREE MONTHS!”
“More like a month. She just found out.” I gulped. He was still not pleased with me.
“It was that night. . . That night you snuck in here, the night you stayed out so late and partied?” I nodded. “Shit, Travis! You lied to me! Where were you that night?”
I gulped. “I. . . uh. I was at her place while Mr. Conner was working. He caught us and chased me out of the house. I didn’t know where to go. Mike installed a high tech alarm system after the robbery and I. . . I just couldn’t risk it.”
Dad started to take in some deep breaths, he was regretting putting that bottle of wine away. “Travis, if you ever pull a stunt like that again, I will personally throw you out. You are lucky Mr. Conner let you go. If it had been me in his position, trust me, there’s no telling what you would have ended up looking like.” I nodded. “Now, go unpack while I make us some dinner.”
After that day, Rose and I were practically inseparable. I loved rubbing her belly while we made out. She was just happy that I was still with her, most guys would have ran for the hills. I may not like the situation, but my parents taught me responsibility, and I wanted to be responsible for my actions. I got her pregnant, I wasn’t about to run.
Dad, of course, didn’t always like walking in on us when we were making out. He would clear his throat and look down at us. I, of course, would tend to make a smart ass remark to him before going back to kissing Rose. “It’s not like we can get into any more trouble.” I told him.
He would stare down at me. “No, but you two need to learn some distance. This isn’t an open invitation to screw around just because you are living together.”
We would eventually stop kissing and just cuddle while we watched a movie with dad.
Of course not everything was great about Rose being pregnant. For one thing her back was always killing her. She would take her pain out on me. “TRAVIS!” She’d scream. “I need a back rub, NOW!” If it wasn’t a back rub she was asking for, it was a foot rub. That’s if she was in a good mood. When she was really hurting and I was close by she would smack me. “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” She’d scream and then hit me till I bruised. Dad, he would watch and laugh, I think he thought it was great that I was getting wailed on for knocking my girlfriend up.
Dad was a great help. Neither Rose nor I know how to cook. Dad, however, is an amazing cook. He doesn’t quite know where he gets it from, but he sure does love to cook. Rose was always craving some weird food, dad would get up, drop what he was doing, and make her whatever she wanted. She never went without a good meal in her belly, he made sure of that.
Rose and I made sure we read all the baby books we could find. Besides our passion for the law and speeches, we loved to read. I once came home with a book full of names and etymology. I thought it would be fun, she rolled her eyes.
“We don’t even know the sex of the baby Trav.”
“So? We can pick names for either sex.” I told her. We had been arguing about finding out the sex of the baby. I wanted it to be a surprise, she wanted to know so we could redecorate the room where the baby was going to sleep. “Come on, it’ll be fun.”
“Fine.” She sighed.
Her favorite book was about the pregnancy itself. That is, until she read about the birth and they showed pictures. “Eeewww. I am so NOT doing that!” She once said aloud while I was reading my own book.
I looked over at the page and gagged. “That’s disgusting.” I told her. Then she smacked me in the head with the book.
“You son-of-a-bitch! It’s all your damn fault. Now, look what I have to do!” She stormed away, but not before she got one final blow with the book. I sat there and rubbed my head. Damn hormones!
About halfway through the pregnancy we received a visitor. I looked out the window to check who it was, I freaked and ran into my bed and crawled on my bed. My dad looked out and saw Tony Conner. “Who’s that?” He asked me from the living room. Rose looked out as well.
“That would be my father.” I heard Rose answer.
“I can’t die. I won’t die.” I kept repeating to myself on my bed, scared. I was horrified as to why Tony Conner was at my house.
Dad walked outside. I heard the door close and I peaked out of my hiding and went to the window and looked out. I could barely hear what they said. I had come up to the window just as dad greeted Tony and finished asking him a question. “I’m looking for Travis.” He told dad.
“I suggest you leave.” Dad told him back. “Now, I don’t know what you want with my son, but I am not letting you see him.”
“Do you know who I am? Do you know what HE did? Now let me see him!” Mr. Conner shouted back. I gulped in the window.
“I know who you are, and I know exactly what our children did, but I am still not going to allow you to see him. I plan on seeing his eighteenth birthday. So, please if you will, get off my property.”
“I am not leaving! He knocked up my daughter and he’s gonna pay!” He pushed my dad back against the wall. My dad pushed him away.
“Hey, it takes two to tango! Plus, do you even know where your daughter is? Or how she’s doing? Or how very pregnant she is? No! You kicked her out on the street! You! I at least have the decency to allow her and my son to live here, so that they can bring our grandchild into this world safely. Now leave before I call the cops! I know the sheriff, and I bet he would love to get his hand on you.”
My dad was talking about Mike, my step-father. He was also implementing that he knew exactly who Tony Conner was, the great muscle who did the mob’s dirty work. He took care of those that the mob needed disposed of. Tony looked over at me in the window and I bolted. I heard a car door slam and the front door open. Dad, walked in relieved.
During the pregnancy, and as Rose grew to an enormous size (don’t tell her I said that) everyone was getting excited. Boy did I love it when my little baby kicked her as we made out at night. Dad, never knew that I snuck into his room after the lights went off. I would sleep with Rose and hold her close and rub her belly.
Dad, loved Rose. He also, really, loved the baby. I often would find him talking to Rose’s belly and laughing. Rose just stood there and allowed him to coo over her belly. I always laughed at him. He looked so funny and ridiculous. I think he was enjoying this more than anyone.
Alice, though she was still really upset at me, did come and visit on the weekends. She was always helping out with Rose. Rose and her started to become good friends, it was scary. I always asked about mom. Turns out she had a baby girl named Susan. I was happy that I had another sister, but I was also sad that mom had thrown me out of her life. “Relax Trav, she’ll come around.” Alice once said to me. “I mean, what grandmother hates their grandchild? Really? Just relax, you’ll see.”
“I hope so. I miss her. . . and Mike.” I said looking around. I didn’t want dad to hear that I missed my step-father. He’d understand about mom, but I don’t think he would about Mike.
Just shortly before she was due Rose and I were looking through baby names with dad, when he stood up. “I’m in the mood for some cheesesteak sandwiches.”
Rose’s head lifted up so fast, I thought she would giver herself whiplash. “Food? Where?”
My dad chuckled. “I figured you’d be hungry. How many do you want Rose?”
“Two. . . no, wait, three. . . no, four.. . I dunno.”
“How bout I just make a whole bunch and whatever you don’t eat, Trav and I can.” She nodded excitedly before going back to her book.
School was the hardest for both of us. Rose was always being scrutinized for getting herself knocked up. Everyone knew exactly who the father was, so that left me with stares all day long. My teachers were more surprised when they heard that I was the father. I was the best student in the school, I had the highest grades, and I worked harder than most students did in class as well as outside of class. I felt bad for Rose. She had to endure most of the teasing and the snickering. We rode the bus together and I was always holding her hand.
The day finally came. We were at school, and we had just finished lunch. I was in History taking a huge exam when the teacher came up to my desk and bent to my level. “Travis, I want you to slowly put your pencil down, and slowly walk out of class and head to the nurses station.” I looked at him wide eyed. “Miss Conner just went into labor.”
My heart was pounding and my hands started to sweat. “Did you hear me. Walk slowly. I don’t want to alarm the rest of the class okay.” I nodded, half listening. I stood and walked out of the class, and as soon as the door closed I ran straight to the office where the nurses station was. I got there just as Rose pushed out my little son. The paramedics were still on their way. Luckily, our nurse had once been a paramedic and had delivered a few babies in his lifetime. He noticed that she was ready to push and he walked her through it. Rose was handed our son and when the paramedics got to the school the three of us were carted off to the hospital. I called dad on the ride and told him the good news.
Dad picked us up from the hospital and drove us home. Rose held Parker the entire trip home. Rose held my hand and I just stared out to nothing. I was now a father, a father to a small helpless boy. I looked in the rearview mirror at my dad, who must have saw me cause he gave me a small smile. I was shaking all over, this was now my life.
To say my dad was the happiest grandfather in the world would be an understatement. OMG! He never let that boy down. As soon as Rose would put him in his crib, my dad would sneak in and pick him up. It drove me CRAZY! Thanks to my father, Parker never wanted to sleep, he wanted to be held! I could have shot him those first couple of weeks, seriously!
It only got worse when he took out his camera. My dad never missed a moment. He snapped pictures like crazy. After he took, what seemed like a hundred pictures of me feeding Parker, I finally snapped. “DAD! Would you stop taking so many damn pictures!?! Your blinding us with that stupid flash! Geesh, your worse than the paparazzi that follow mom!”
“Just one more, please?” He begged. I glared at him and walked back into my room, locking the door so that he couldn’t hound Parker or me. I know it probably hurt his feelings, but sometimes it’s just too much.
I must admit, I too fell in love with my little guy. Parker was just the happiest baby in the world. I was the one that put him to bed every night. Dad wouldn’t allow Rose or I in the same bedroom now that she wasn’t pregnant. I didn’t dare sneak out anymore to her room. If Parker woke and I wasn’t around and dad found out, I was sure I’d be a dead man.
And Parker ALWAYS woke up in the middle of the night. It drove me insane. “Please! Go to bed Park!” I begged my three month old one night. I was exhausted since I had to wake early for a huge midterm. I was at my wits end. I could hear my dad laughing by the door and when I went to open, he just smiled. “He won’t sleep!” I cried.
My dad laughed. “Babies tend to do that.”
“Can you help, please. I have a freaking test in the morning.”
Dad walked in and picked up Parker, and instantly the cries stopped and Parker was fast asleep. “There, there.” He would coo to Parker. I just glared at my son. This was so not fair! Why didn’t he sleep when I held him?
Dad looked over at me and saw my frustrations. “It takes practice.” He whispered and then handing me Parker. “You’ll figure him out soon enough.” He then tousled my hair like he use to when I was a little kid.
Shortly after that night, I figured out how to handle Parker so that he too would fall asleep in my arms. I started to sing a song that my mother would sing to Ally and I after we moved in with Uncle Mike.
“Any type of love it will be shown / Like every single tree reach for the sky / If you’re gonna to fall / I’ll let you know / That I will pick you up / Like you for I / I felt this thing
I can’t replace / Where everyone was working for this goal / Where all the children left without a trace / Only to come back as pure as gold / To recite this so /hey yo here I am / And here we go /Life’s waiting to begin…” (The Adventure (Angel and Airwaves Song) by Blink 182)
It worked every time. He was out within seconds of my song.
The only problem I had was that Rose never seemed to want to hold her son. After five months, she had barely touched him. She would feed him and change him, but as soon as she was done she placed him back into his crib. It didn’t go unnoticed either by my father, but he stayed quiet and only sighed. Alice loved Parker so much she gave him her stuff bear that dad bought her in Egypt.
As the sixth month came closing in, I woke one morning to more screaming. I slowly rose from my bed, half asleep, half naked, and tired out of my mind. I looked down on my son, “Parker, it’s too early.” I whined. That’s when I noticed it. Right under my son was a small white envelope. “What’s this Park? Are you secretly a spy and keeping secrets from me?” I joked as I tickled him. He laughed his little cute laugh as I took the envelope out from under him.
I grabbed my glasses from my bed side and went to read the letter. The envelope didn’t have anything written on it, inside was a letter.
You are to young to know what’s going on, but someday, your father will tell you that I was a horrible mother. That I left when it got tough. That I never loved you. I do, though. I just can’t do this now. Not when my life is really only beginning. I want my life to matter. I know it matters to you, but I want it to matter to other people. I have big dreams and high hopes. I want to go out into the world and make something of my life. This is why I am doing what I am doing. I wish that I had you when I was older, I would have been a better mother. You just can’t expect a sixteen year old to know what to do with a baby. Your dad and I made one simple lapse in judgment, why should we pay? I hope you understand, and someday forgive me. I love you.
I can’t do this. Promise me you’ll take care of him. Promise me you’ll raise him to be who we were meant to be. Raise him right, keep him safe, and whatever you do, don’t allow my dad to see him. I will always hold you dear to my heart. You will always be my first love. Maybe, someday, we will cross paths. I hope so, but if not this is goodbye. I love you.
What about my dreams! What about my future! THAT BITCH! I crumpled up the letter in my hand and looked at Parker. He was sweet, innocent, and she had the balls to leave him. BITCH! I threw the paper across the room and screamed, making Parker cry. I stormed out of the room and continued to rant with my foul mouth. Dad was outside and was working on his crops. I stormed out to the back where he was.
“That fuckin bitch!” I yelled again for the hundredth time while I walked towards my father. He looked up and raised a brow. “That stupid fuckin bitch.”
“Okay, what’s up?” He stood brushing the dirt off his hands.
“She left! She fuckin took off last night! She left a note and just ran cause she wanted her fuckin life back!” I shouted at him. He sighed and just shook his head. “What about my life!?! What about my dreams!?!”
He sighed again. “Those are gone now son. You have that little boy in there that needs you to take care of him. Your life is now on hold for him. I’m sorry.”
I wanted to hurt someone, Rose in particular. I wanted to strangle my dad, and yell ITS NOT FAIR! Instead I just let a tear ran down my cheek before heading back inside to care for my son, who was still crying. UGH!