It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Charlotte, happy birthday to yyyooooouuu!"
All the kids sang loud and off key – as kids tend to do at birthday parties when they're hopped up on sugar. I would have to make a mental note that when it would be time for Alex's birthday to make sure to do a better job of hiding the piñata candy.
Charlotte was grinning from ear to ear as she waited a couple seconds before blowing out the candles on her cake. Which I would have to remember to thank Hank and Celia for making; it was absolutely amazing, I almost didn't want to have to cut into it.
But then the kids would start a riot and it would be world war three so I began cutting and handing out small slices of cake. I was proud to see that my mom hadn't even opened the bottle of Riesling yet. I think it was great that she was able to make it through a family gathering without having a single glass of wine.
Once all the kids, adults included, had their mouths full of delicious chocolate cake I decided to cut myself a slice and sit down with Rosalie and Alice.
"So Rose, how is the apartment hunting going? Have you found any good ones? I mean if not, you could always look into getting a roommate to split the rent." Alice said as she took another small bite of her already small sliver of cake. I swear that woman acted as though if she had a regular slice of cake she would immediately swell up like a balloon and triple in dress sizes.
"I am still looking at different apartments, there's one apartment building in particular I'm considering. It's a bit out of my price range, but I think I can make it work." Alice and I shared a knowing look and just rolled our eyes. See, Rosalie comes from money, on her mother's side, and when her mother passed away she left Rosalie a good chunk of the money in a trust fund. When her, Alice, and I all became sisters we learned just how big that chunk was; let's just say that with that amount of money she could feed a bunch of hungry starving people in third-world countries.
"Don't think I don't see you two rolling your eyes over there, "Alice and me busted out laughing. We loved giving Rosalie a hard time; she's really laid back when you get to know her. But she does tend to come off as cold and entitled when you first meet her. ", because I do, and I will have you know that I try to make that money last as long as possible." That was another thing that you didn't expect Rosalie to do – she was very good with handling money, and didn't want to take any handouts from her dad or grandparents.
When it came time to open the presents the kids' reaction was mixed – some wanted to hit the piñata, some wanted to play pin the tail on the donkey, and others to open presents. Of course we were going to do all of that, and I was going to let Garrett decide which we would do first, but he was nowhere to be seen. I found it annoying that he had been gone for the past couple days, and he just comes back from his business trip yesterday and he wasn't out here celebrating his daughter's birthday with the rest of the family.
I got up to throw away my paper plate and saw Garrett pacing back and forth in the kitchen talking on his cell phone. This wouldn't have concerned me – the man had his phone permanently to his ear it seemed like lately – but as I got closer to the trash can I could hear some of the conversation and it couldn't have been work related.
"I've told you over and over not to call me on this phone…yes I can still come and visit…no I don't think anyone will know different…yes will be sure to let her know…"
Who was he talking to? It was definitely not someone from work. I had met some of his coworkers at different office gatherings, and he didn't act like he was acting right now.
I quickly looked away from Garrett when he hung up the phone and raised his head in my direction. I wasn't sure if I had been found out, but I didn't want to stick around and chance it. I hurriedly sat back down with Rosalie and Alice and got lost in conversation. Garrett was walking over towards me, but was cut off by a group of kids led by Charlotte; she asked me if we could open her presents now and proceeded to give me her 'puppy dog' pout – the girl was lucky it was her birthday otherwise it wouldn't have worked so easily for me. Charlotte cheered and ran back to the picnic table and waited patiently while her numerous presents were stacked in front of her.
"Where should I start first mommy? There's so many presents to choose from." This caused all of the party guests to all talk at once whose present she should open first, and of course she picked out the present that looked to be the biggest first. It was wrapped in tie-dye colored wrapping paper. I instructed her to read who the card was from out loud so that I could write down the name of who gave her the gift so that she could write a thank you note later.
Charlotte laid the card aside and tore the paper to shreds to reveal something I was definitely going to regret her getting – a powder pink child-sized acoustic guitar. "It says it's from Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper – thank you Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper!" Charlotte said.
"Yes, thank you Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper." I deadpanned. My sarcasm wasn't lost on my sister and her husband, and I think I even detected a bit of remorse from Jasper. It wasn't that I didn't want my daughter to learn to play an instrument; it was the fact that she would be constantly playing it and driving both me and Garrett insane with her incessant playing. "Just wait, I'll make sure to get that kid-sized drum set Alex wants for his birthday." Alice teased at my expense. I knew she was kidding, but something told me that Alice would actually follow through with her threat.
As more and more presents were opened I had a good list started of who sent what that there was a sudden loud commotion coming from the kids, and when I looked up from my pad of paper I saw why. Garrett – with the help of Hank and Charlie – came carrying out pieces of what looked to be an entire play set. Now, this wasn't your average swing set, this swing set had a slide, an observation tower, and two swings with a trapeze bar that would go between the swings. I only knew the last part because I saw a display set at the local toy store a few weeks ago. Both Garrett and I agreed that we wouldn't buy the kids a new play set seeing as how the one he currently had had been plenty.
I wasn't sure if I should be angry with him or not, because I loved the reaction I saw Alex and Charlotte have with the sight of the swing set. But the fact that we had both previously agreed not to buy a new swing set made me very angry – I would have to make sure to let him know just how angry I was. I was angry because I knew how much that particular swing set was; it was four-hundred dollars.
"Thank you mommy, this is the best present I got!" Though I was plenty angry with Garrett about his constant need to spoil our children, I was happy to see Charlotte so excited. Alex was so excited that he was jumping around and squealing for Garrett, Jasper and my dad to finish putting the swing set together so that he could swing on it. Charlotte heard this and made it known to her little brother that she was first since it was her birthday, but Alex wasn't having it he wanted to swing and he pointed out that there were two swings.
I quickly diffused the situation and suggested that they both go and play with their friends they invited and play with some of Charlotte's gifts she received. Alice came over and asked me if this was the swing set that I had told her about, and added that she thought that Garrett and I decided to wait awhile before buying the swing set. I just shook my head – which was enough confirmation Alice needed. I looked around for Rosalie and saw her on the phone talking hurriedly and it must've been good news because she hurried over towards us all smiles.
"I just got the best news ever! That was the people of the apartment building I was telling you about – Optima Chicago Center – well they called to let me know they had an apartment available for me and they even agreed to negotiate the rent down to a more reasonable price for me." Good for Rosalie, she had been talking nonstop about how she really wanted to move into this apartment building; apparently the amenities they offered were too good to pass up. "They also told me that I could move in whenever I was ready. Do you think you two would mind helping me move? Plus I can give you the official tour and maybe I can finally get you to work out with me Bella." Rosalie added for my benefit. I shrugged my shoulders and gave a noncommittal response. I wasn't really in shape, but I wasn't exactly out of shape either. Both Alice and I agreed to help her move some of her things from the hotel she was staying at to the apartment. I was very grateful when I learned that she was having her things moved from her place in Rochester to the apartment and even hired two guys from the apartment she met to help her move things into her room.
"Good, when we finishing helping you move the small stuff we have some eye candy to watch move the heavy stuff." Alice said with a grin. I couldn't help but grin right along with her – especially when Rosalie added that the two guys she met had told her they were personal trainers and worked out a lot in the gym. "Even better, they'll be all hot and sweaty…"Alice trailed off. I rolled my eyes when I noticed she started to drool and have a glazed look in her eye. ", what were we talking about again?" Alice asked when she came back down from her personal thoughts. I would never understand how my sister could be so boy crazy and she was married to a very good looking guy.
After about almost three hours the old swing set was taken apart, the kids were starting to go home, the new swing set was up and being used, and Charlotte's presents were strewn out all over the picnic table – some open and some still the plastic they came in. I couldn't hide the cringe I made when I heard what toy Charlotte was playing with. I knew she was happy with it, but I wanted to take out the batteries and hide them from her. Whoever the idiot was that made the Furby, needed to be locked in a room full of those creepy gremlins. I had one back when they came out in the 90's and it scared the crap out of me. I still remember when I was younger and got fed up with trying to get the Furby to work, I left the room and it went to 'sleep' and I swear, to this day even, that I heard the damned thing wake up and start talking and singing. No one was in the room with it – the lights were even off in the room.
My dad, Sue, Leah, and Seth had to leave and go back to Forks – something to do about how Sue wasn't comfortable letting Jacob and Paul babysit the diner, and also Leah had cheerleading practice, and Seth had some sort of party he didn't want to miss out on. We said out goodbyes and they were off. Soon after them my mom and Phil left, but not before I saw her take the unopened bottle of Riesling with her in her purse. This made me laugh so hard that I nearly couldn't breathe.
Only two kids were still left waiting on their parents to come and I decided to find Garrett and politely ask him why he went behind my back about the swing set. He was in his office when I heard him on the phone once again. The conversation was about the same as the last time I overheard his phone call. When he was finished I walked in and asked who he was talking to on the phone. I wanted to scream at him that he was lying about it being someone for work, and when he announced that he would be gone this coming weekend because he needed to do research for a client I wanted to call him out on it – but I decided to pick my battles, and I wanted to argue about the swing set.
"So, do you want to tell me why you decided to go behind my back and buy the swing set we both agreed we would wait and buy a different day? I mean honestly Garrett, are you stupid or something? I know you make enough money to 'spoil the kids', but come on that swing set is four-hundred dollars!" Ok, I was unloading on him, and letting my feelings about the phone conversations I overheard affect me, but I needed him to know how I felt right now. "I know how much it cost Bella – I bought the damned thing – and I just wanted to make Charlotte happy on her birthday, plus you're always telling me how you want to get the kids to go outside and play more, this way they can do that and be in the safety of their backyard.
Ok, how in the hell did this get turned around to me being the bad guy?
It was getting late and I heard Alice thanking someone for allowing their child to come to the party and then Alice hollering that the last kid had gone home from the party I was relieved. I've been going since about 8:00 this morning and it was almost 6:00 in the evening on a Saturday in September and the Sun was slowly starting to set; I just wanted to go to sleep at this point and skip dinner.
"I'm angry because we both agreed that we would wait to buy the swing set, and you go and buy the damned thing anyway! Garrett, I'm tired of you always saying one thing but doing another!"
"Oh, you really want to go down that road with me Bella? I'm tired of you always nagging me – so what if I bought the swing set, the kids love it and they're going to have a blast. I make enough money that if I want to buy something 'frivolous' I can. I don't always have to check with you to make sure it's ok…I've had enough, I'll be back in time for dinner don't worry." With that Garrett was gone and out of the house. I wasn't sure where he was going, but I knew that both of us needed time to cool off. I knew that I had been a bit hard on him about the swing set – but I was not apologizing for telling him how I felt about him going behind my back.
I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. Lately this was a reoccurring thing – I would either be in tears or near tears after a fight with Garrett. I managed to keep the waterworks at bay and went to go see how Laurent was coming with dinner. I watched Alex play with one of his toys he got from his room while Charlotte was still playing with her Furby.
I loved my kids, and I knew that Garrett did too – we were just going through a rough patch right now. We would be ok.
What did you think? Let me know in the reviews and I will see you all next Wednesday! I will say that chapter 5 will be a bit steamier (Because we finally see a reappearance of Adonis! We even finally learn his name!) ;)
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