Chapter 30 : Coming home
December 16th, Wednesday.
I’m at my brother David’s house, or Valerie’s house, he decided to move in with her because he got a good job offer here in New York.
“Wrong, that never happened,” David said.
“Yeah, keep lying to yourself as if it’s true.”
“It is true.” We start to laugh then things go silent.
“We should spend Christmas with mom and dad to rehash things.” I scoff.
“You must’ve gone crazy, maybe you’re not my favourite brother.”
“Come on Rowan, it’ll be fun.”
“I wonder what Owen’s doing? It’s been a long time since I’ve talked to him.” I say scrolling through my phone.
“Rowan, they’ve changed, they’re not like they used to be anymore.” I looked at David.
“David, the last time we talked was when they kicked me out for being pregnant.”
“That was six years ago, Rowan I know it’s hard but-”
“No, you don’t know, you don’t know anything. All my life I had to work like a dog just to get mom and dad‘s approval, I worked so hard and stressed myself out over every little thing that I started to lose my hair, unlike you. You were the quarterback, the cool guy, everyone liked you, you were mom and dad’s favourite, I wasn’t. When mom and dad didn’t want me anymore they threw me out like garbage, so don’t you dare sit there and tell me that they’ve changed.”
“Ok, you’re right, I don’t know what it was like for you, and I know that mom is overbearing and controlling and sometimes cruel, and dad can be overprotective, but there’s some part of me that just wants to be a happy family again.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, we were never happy,” I say then take my things and leave.
“I can not believe that he said that to me,” I said, pacing the nursery with Erin in my arms. Erin makes some incoherent noises while playing with my dangly earrings.
“I just don’t understand what’s going through his head.”
“Right! He’s insane.”
“Thank you, I’m glad someone said it.”
*baby noises* I sigh.
“You’re right, he has been there for me for a long time, and I liked him about you and Isaac and Miles, I should at least give him this, and my therapist told me to get out of my comfort zone.
*baby noises* I look at Erin for a second.
“Maybe your dad was right, you are smart.”
December 23, Wednesday
Rowan, Lovey, Erin and I are going to Rowen’s parent’s house for Christmas, when she asked to go I was surprised. After all, she’s not their biggest fan.
I zip up my suitcase that’s resting on the bed, before picking it up and putting it down.
“Oh Isaac,” Rowan says with furrowed eyebrows.
“I think you forgot something.”
“Oh really,” I say looking around and mentally checking off my list.
“Yeah, your cane,” I looked at her with a blank stare.
“Those jokes are getting old.”
“Like you?” Roen started to laugh.
“You know what, I walked into that. Ever since Rowan has been going to therapy I feel like I’m seeing the old her, the girl that would always make fun of me or crack jokes, it makes me happy to see her come back.
Isaac pulls into my parent’s driveway, I look up at the porch and it reminds me of-
I shook my head a little, I’m supposed to be thinking about the positive, not the negative. I got out of the car and took Love out of her car seat and Isaac did the same with Erin, we walked up the porch stairs and Isaac looked at me.
“You may do the honours.”
“But I don’t know what to.” I winned.
“I’ll do it then,” Lovey said, ringing the doorbell. I held in my breath hoping, wishing and praying that it won’t be my mom that opens the door. And God hasn’t forsaken me, because the one who opened the door with my brother Owen.
“Oh, hey Row,” Owen said with a smile. I let out a big sigh.
“Hey,” I said, hugging him. The last time I saw him was when I used to live with David, he used to come by a lot to check on me. but after I moved we just got too busy.
Turns out no one was at the house yet, my mom was running some errands and my dad and Kai were out getting the tree. Valerie’s here and she seemed so excited to meet my parents, I could never tell her how terrible they are and snuff out her sparkle.
“Rowen, could you show me around your neighbourhood? your brother said he was too busy.” Valerie asked.
“Um, ok I.” I said hesitantly.”
“Ok, let’s go,” Val said, dragging me by the arm out the door.
So many memories were swirling through my head when walking in town, I was scared but I realized that it was just in my head, there was nothing to be afraid of, if anything things looked smaller.
We came back laughing and talking, I opened the front door to see my dad. He was tall and menacing as ever, but he had tiny white hairs routing from the sides of his clean fade, he smiled and I could see his crow feet on the outer corners of his eyes.
He gave me a warm smile, but I felt weird. The last time he smiled at me like that was 6 years ago. He came over and hugged me, very tightly almost as I would disappear into thin air
“I missed you.”
“I did too.” He let go and looked at me again then noticed Valerie.
“Oh hi, sorry.”
“Oh, it’s ok.” Valerie shook my dad’s hand and they started to talk. I just stared at him, still feeling awkward. Did he forget about the last time we talked? It was the top question on my mind.
Whatever, I’ll talk to him later… Or not
I have better things to be thinking about other than what’s going on in my Dad’s head. As I’m walking to the kitchen to get some water, I see her.
Despite being almost 49, she was still quite beautiful. Her hair was loose and coiled cascaded down her back and reaching her hips, she was plump and curvy, and she looked warm and inviting as always. She looked over at me and my heart dropped. My head went blank.
She looked surprised at first then her face turned blank, she started to walk towards me closer and closer, my heart was beating faster and faster, then she took the oil from beside me and went back to cooking like I wasn’t even there.
I just stood there, and slowly tears were starting to fall down my face. I didn’t wipe them off, I didn’t say anything, I just silently cried for a moment. Unlike my dad, I know what’s going through her head. She hates me, she thinks of me like the cockroach under her shoe, and guess what, I hate her too.
I walked out of the kitchen wiping my tears away before anyone saw me as this and I bumped into a girl.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Oh it’s ok,” The girl I bumped into was pretty, she had dark skin more specifically Sepia a reddish-brown colour, she had long eyelashes cat-eyed glasses, and had a straight two-toned bob, she was round and curvy, and the jeans she’s wearing makes her hips and thighs look perfect.
“You must be Rowan, I’m Ella, it’s nice to meet you.”
“You too, I say confused.”
“Oh, I don’t think your brother told you but I’m your brother Owen’s girlfriend.
“Oh, well that makes way more sense.” We both laughed. From the corner of my eye I see someone coming down the stairs, I look up and I see kai.
“Hey,” Kai said with a smile.