Chapter seven- Poppy’s POV
Christmas flew by quickly, and the New Year came quickly. They say a new year was for new starts and resolutions, so I was going to try. The papers had been sent to my parents so that I could get past everything that happened. The end of last year hadn’t gone well for me, apart from meeting these guys, and I wanted to forget it. I wanted to forget my mom and dad, and all of the nights I’d cried myself to sleep because I knew they wouldn’t take it well. I was determined to let everything go and start over.
But it wasn’t that easy.
On Tuesday morning I stirred awake, squinting to focus my eyesight and stretching out my arms, groaning when I noticed that they were sore from the awkward way I’d slept. I had picked up my pillow and intended to shove it over my face to block out any light and fall back asleep when I heard voices coming from the kitchen, and it sounded like it was quite a heated discussion. I tilted my head to the side as I listened in. Because my brain was still all foggy from my sleep it took me a while to tune in to what they were saying, but when I finally heard my eyes snapped open and I sat up pin straight as I heard a set of familiar voices. Voices that I had planned to stay away from.
“What are you doing here?” I asked them as I marched out of my room, heading straight to where they were standing by the door. They backed up a little as I stood closer to them, looking my ‘father’ straight in the eye.
“We woke up this morning to find adoption consent forms on our doorstep. Why do you think we’re here?” He spat at me. I rolled my eyes at the fact that they’d even showed up here, let alone thought that I’d change my mind about this.
“And you’re here why…?” I asked lazily, leaning against the wooden doorframe and pretending to examine my nails. You would have thought that I would have flipped out or something, but I was honestly so tired of this and I couldn’t figure out why they kept trying. I’d made it clear that this is where I wanted to stay, and that these were the people I’d chosen to be my new family, and yet they were relentless in their attempts to get me to go back.
“We have no interest in letting these… women” He gave a side glance to Callie and Arizona, and I could tell the judgemental thoughts that were running though his head “adopt you.”
“And why’s that?” I enquired.
“Well, for one, it’s two women married! Unnatural!” He started and I looked over to Callie and Arizona with an apologetic look for his words. “And they’re raising a child to believe that it’s completely normal, and I will not let them convince you too! Not by a long shot!” He raised his voice. The people next door to us would probably be wondering what the hell was going on by now, and I was planning on keeping this quiet.
I stood there in complete and utter disbelief. He could insult me, but I would not let him judge and insult the people that I had grown to love. “What? What? You think that they’re the reason I believe it’s okay? Really? Because as I recall, I met them after you beat me and kicked me out because I had a girlfriend. I’m pretty sure I believed it was okay before then, David.” I recited incredulously. I addressed him by his first name because I was done with this whole ‘mother’ and ‘father’ thing. If they couldn’t even love her child despite their beliefs hen they didn’t deserve to be my parents.
“I am your father and you will address me so!” He commanded. I took a step back because I couldn’t stand to be near him. Callie and Arizona had stayed quiet for the whole time and I was worried about what they must be thinking.
“And why should I do that? If I’m not the daughter you raised, then I guess you’re not the parents that raised me.” My voice shook as I said the next part.
It all happened so quickly. As soon as the words left my mouth he took no time to hesitate in swinging his arms back, bringing it forward to collide with my left eye. My hands immediately lifted up to my face as I stumbled back a few steps from the impact, and the stinging pain above my eyebrow told me that one of his dodgy rings he wore had cut into my skin. My vison had gone partially blurry but it was clear to see Callie stepping in front of me to face my dad, while Arizona rushed forward to comfort me. It hurt like hell, but the rage I felt inside numbed it a little.
“Back off.” Callie snapped, holding out her arm to stop them from coming any closer. Sarah was pulling at David’s arm to stop him going any closer. She was the one who always stood in silence at the back while David did the talking, and was normally the one to calm him down.
“David… Please… We’re not going to get her back like this…” She pleaded with him. However I walked forward again beside Arizona’s protests and faced them, a look of hatred on my face.
“No, Sarah. You’re not going to get me back like this. Not when you’re judgemental, unaccepting, unable to love your daughter. No way. And I’ll have you know” I said, holding my arm out to indicate to the two women standing behind me “that these people are better parents than you ever were. All you cared about were my grades and my health. If I came home from school crying, you’d tell me to suck it up. If I got even one question wrong on a test, you would get mad at me and force an extra hour of revision, pretty much cutting off my social life.” I hissed at them. I could feel something running down the side of my face and I knew it was blood, but I ignored it and went on. “I don’t know what you think is going to happen. You gave me an ultimatum, and I chose to be who I was.
“I’m not going to change. It’s not a choice, an option. You said I wasn’t the daughter you loved, so I don’t understand how that’s going to change if I come back to you. So why do you even try? Because I love these people. I’ve known them all of two months and they’ve treated me better than you ever did. This is my family now. This is where I live. Grace is who I love. Fight it, take us to court, but you’ll lose. I can promise you that right now. So, as far as I know they didn’t invite you in, so this is trespassing. Get out.” I barely whispered. All of my strength right now was going into not crying. My voice and hands were shaking and my voice broke. I had spent the last two months convincing myself that I wouldn’t get upset by them, but there I was.
“But, Poppy-“Sarah tried to say but Arizona cut her off.
“She said, get out. Before we call the cops.” She hissed in a deadly tone. Now that scared me. She pretty much shoved them out of the door before slamming it in their faces, making the walls of the place shake with the force of it. They both quickly hurried to hug me tightly as I stood there in shock. After a few seconds I relaxed and melted into their hugs, the tears I’d been trying to hold back finally spilling over. I hated that I was crying over them. I wasn’t even sad, because the fact that they didn’t think of me as their daughter wasn’t news to me. I think I was just overwhelmed/relieved/disappointed, as I said before. I hadn’t exactly expected this to happen, let alone to end up with David having punched me.
“I’m sorry…” I trailed off as we moved over to the couch, as standing and hugging was quite awkward with three people.
“What on earth are you sorry for?” Arizona asked incredulously, pulling my hair back from over my eyes to examine my injury. “Can you get the first aid kit?” She asked Callie who nodded and got up, heading over to the kitchen cabinet.
“You probably just wanted it to be easy, and now all of this has happened and he said all of those things to you and…” I told her quietly and she pulled me in again for another hug.
“You silly girl, we didn’t expect it to go easily. You warned us. And as for the insults? We’re used to them. Every day, from random people who think they have the right to judge us. It’s easy to brush off by now.” She assured me, kissing my forehead. I closed my eyes and leaned back into the couch, relaxing after everything that had happened.
“Where’s Sof?” I asked, looking around to see if there was any sign of my favourite hyper four year old.
“Our friend Meredith who works at the hospital too has two kids. Her daughter, Zola and Sofia get on really well so they called this morning to see if Sof would be interested in going swimming today. Of course she agreed.”
“I’m glad.” I sighed. “I don’t know what I would have done if she’d seen and heard all of that.”
“We would have handled it.” Callie told me, as she returned with the first aid kit. She set to work on my face, cleaning the cut, which stung a little. “There are a lot of things we’ve had to explain to Sof, and she handled them all quite well. She’s quite mature for her age.”
“I noticed.” I agreed. “She just seems to understand things more than you’d expect her.”
“So, we’re both off today. Anything particular you’d like to do?” Arizona asked as Callie finished up, packing everything away.
“Not really. Can we just stay in, maybe watch a movie?”
That night once Sofia returned home from her day out it was easy to forget what had happened today. She had initially had a lot of questions about how I hurt myself, but we brushed it off by saying I’d just fallen. She shook it off quickly and continued playing with her Play-dough at the kitchen counter, making what she said was an Olaf.
“So, we were thinking about getting a house.” Callie revealed as we sat around the counter after Sof had gone to bed.
“Oh my God, really?” I asked in surprise.
“Yeah.” Arizona replied. “We love this place, but it’s getting kind of small and plus, I’m sure Sof would love to have a back yard, with a swing set and everything.”
“I think it’s a great idea! Sof would definitely love a swing set, I reckon she’d never be off of it.” I agreed, thinking about how hard it would be to convince her to come inside after a day of playing outside.
“I’m happy you think so, because we’re going house hunting on Saturday.” Callie laughed and I joined in with her.
“Well, it’s half ten so I’m certainly tired.” Arizona sighed, standing up from where she sat. “I’ll see you both tomorrow!” She exclaimed, kissing Callie and hugging me.
“I’m gonna hit the sack too.” I decided, following her through. “And guys?” I said to get both their attention.
“I did mean what I said today. You know, to them. I do love you guys, and you’re better parents than they ever were.” I revealed, cringing internally at how mushy I sounded.
“We love you too.” Callie said, walking over to hug me, Arizona joining her.
“Night guys. I’ll see you in the morning.” I yawned after they drew back.
“See you tomorrow! Love you!”