“Happy birthday, baby.”
I felt kisses being pressed against my face and neck. I groaned slightly, rubbing at my eyes before I forced them open, only to come face to face with a smiling Preston. I blinked my eyes and rubbed them a few times to rid of the blurriness. He was leaning over the top of me with a cheeky look on his face, shirtless with his upper body on display. I smiled softly at him, rolling onto my back so that I was facing him.
“Mm...thank you,” I hummed, reaching my hand up to brush my hand over his cheek, “though...did you really have to wake me up early just to say that?”
Preston chuckled. He laid his hand over the top of mine, the one that was on his cheek, and gave it a gentle squeeze, “well, I got to get ready for school, so yea. I wanted to wish you a happy birthday before I left. That, and I just wanted to check in one you.”
“I’m fine, Preston, don’t worry,” I smiled reassuringly at him. Preston hummed at that and leaned down to kiss my cheek.
“You sure? Haven’t been experiencing any symptoms?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I haven’t experienced any type of symptoms.”
“Mmm, okay. But let me know if you ever start feeling weird or anything,” Preston placed another kiss to my cheek, and then my forehead. I smiled and nodded, “oh, and another reason why I woke you up. Your mom made you your favourite pancakes for breakfast, so you better get up before I decide to eat them all.”
I scoffed at him, smacking his chest lightly, “you better not eat all the pancakes!”
“Oh, yea? Then get your sweet little ass out of bed,” He smirked. I rolled my eyes and moved to smack him again, but he was jumping out of bed before I had the chance to. He was wearing nothing but the black boxer briefs that he wore to bed, making me bite my lip as I watched his muscles flex from his movements. He walked over to the dresser to grab some clothes, and I watched with a heavy sigh, moving to sit up on the bed.
Okay, I may have lied about the no symptoms thing, but I didn’t want to worry him. Not yet anyway. It’s been a little over two weeks since our little mess up, and while I wasn’t feeling anything unusual, I was supposed to have started my cycle on Monday, and it was now Friday. I’ve never been late, so that was concerning.
But I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, and I didn’t want to tell Preston until I knew for sure.
I got up out of bed. Preston slid on a t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants before he wandered out of the bedroom, and I followed. Instantly the smell of pancakes assaulted my nose, and I couldn’t help but groan. Ugh, just thinking about mom’s blueberry pancakes was making my mouth water.
We reached the kitchen. My mom stood over by the stove in her pyjamas, flipping pancakes in a skillet. There was already a plate stacked with pancakes next to her, and I was eager to grab myself a plate and get eating. Jackson looked up from where he was sitting at the table with a newspaper in his hand when he noticed Preston and I walking in, and he lowered his reading glasses.
“Good morning kiddos! Oh, and Happy birthday, Adrien!” Jackson greeted with a smile. I returned the smile as Preston wandered over to my mom, eyeing the pancakes she was currently flipping.
“Thank you,” I replied with a laugh. I turned my gaze to Preston as he discreetly reached over to grab a pancake off the plate, only to be slapped on the hand and glared at by my mom. Preston flinched and instantly pulled his hand away, an innocent smile dancing on his lips. I laughed at his reaction, Jackson snorting with a roll of his eyes.
“No touching until I’m done, Preston! Adrien gets first dibs,” Mom scolded. Preston pouted at her.
“I didn’t do anything!”
“Don’t lie to me, mister. I watched you try to sneak one.”
Preston pouted some more. I watched amused by their interaction, and while my mom went back to cooking the rest of the pancakes, she waved Preston off, telling him to set the table. He stuck his tongue out at her before he went to the cupboards, making my mom grab the washcloth next to her and slapped him on the butt with it. He gasped and whipped around to face my mom with a comical stare, making her giggle and smirk at him. I rolled my eyes at his childish behaviour, shaking my head with a smile. While he grabbed the plates, glasses, and utensils from the cupboards, I decided to go to the fridge and grab all the toppings; maple syrup, whipped cream, berries, etc. I also grabbed orange juice. I set them in the middle of the table, and Preston set the plates down at each chair, with forks and knives.
When my mom finished cooking the pancakes, we sat down. She brought the plate over and set it in the middle of the table. She smiled and pressed a kiss to my forehead, “Happy birthday, sweetheart.”
“Thank you, mom,” I smiled at her. She beamed and pinched my cheek, before moving to sit down in her chair next to Jackson, while Preston sat beside me. I was the first to put my own small stack of pancakes onto my plate, then, everyone else dug in. I drizzled ice-cream and syrup onto my pancakes with added blueberries on the top, and then, I took a bite out of the delicious food.
Breakfast was amazing. The pancakes were so good, I ate until I couldn’t anymore. My mom seriously made the best food, but they tasted extra good because she made it specifically for my birthday. I couldn’t believe that I was eighteen - time seemed to have just flown by and now, I was legally an adult. I certainly didn’t feel like one yet, but still. It was surreal.
Everything was happening so fast. In just three months, I would be graduating high-school with all of my friends. The ones who have been with me throughout my entire teenagehood. I couldn’t wait but at the same time, it was melancholic.
Once we finished our breakfast, I helped my mom clear the table while Preston went upstairs to get dressed for school, and Jackson went to get ready for work. My mom made it an occasion to let me stay home from school on my birthday. Plus, it was going to be eventful because my mom and I planned to do some baking, and decorate for my birthday party that was happening later on today.
“Ugh, I’m going to miss you today, you know that? I’ll be all lonely walking to school by myself,” Preston whined when he stepped back into the kitchen, his arms coming around my waist from behind. I rolled my eyes with a smile, his cologne and warmth intoxicating me as just as I finished putting the dishes into the dishwasher.
“It’s only one day. You have friends at school to keep you occupied. Plus, you’ll be carpooling with Phoebe and Joseph on the way back home,” I chuckled, turning around to face him. Preston scoffed at that.
“Yea but like...that’s six hours of me being Adrien-less. I can barely handle an hour,” He sulked.
“You’ll be fine,” I mused and patted Preston’s chest. I reached up on my tippy toes to place a kiss onto Preston’s lips. He huffed when I pulled back and stuck his tongue out at me.
“Ugh, fine. I’ll see you after school, birthday boy,” Preston kissed my cheek. I smiled at him. I watched as he said a quick goodbye to my mom before he made his way to the mudroom, where he grabbed his bag and put on his coat and shoes, and then he was out the door.
“Okay! I’m going to get dressed and quickly head to the store to grab some ingredients so that we can get to baking your cake and such. You’ll be okay being alone for a bit?” Mom turned to me with a smile as she washed her hands, and dried them with a towel.
I smiled crookedly, “yes, I’ll be okay, mom. You don’t need to ask me every time you leave me home alone.”
“You may be eighteen now but I still worry!” She scolded, reaching up to pinch my cheek, “I can’t believe my baby is an adult now! Time flies way too fast. I remember when I was pregnant with you. I may have been young, but you were such a blessing, you know that?”
I laughed softly, “I love you, mom. I appreciate everything you do for me.”
“I love you too, sweetheart,” Mom kissed my cheek and pulled me into a tight hug. I hugged her back, relaxing as she rubbed her hand up and down my back, and then let go.
“Okay! I’m going to get dressed. I’ll be back soon!” She said. Then, I watched as she headed out of the kitchen, and made her way upstairs to the bedroom. I decided to get ready as well, so I quickly headed to the bathroom to wash up and brush my teeth, and after that, I headed upstairs to get changed.
I put on a light amount of makeup, a vintage cropped t-shirt, followed by high-waisted ripped jeans and a knit cardigan. By the time I finished getting ready my mom had already left for the store. I double-checked by looking out the bedroom window because now that she was gone, and that I was by myself, I could easily take a pregnancy test without her and anyone else knowing. I had bought a box during lunch at school the other day, and I kept it hidden in my backpack so that no one, especially Preston, could find them.
I rummaged through my schoolbag that sat on the floor, finding the box of pregnancy tests, and took the two tests out of the box. Then, I quickly made my way downstairs into the bathroom, locking the door behind me. I unwrapped the tests from their wrappers, and with a shaky breath, I took them.
After I took both of the tests, I anxiously waited for the results. I had them sitting on the bathroom counter as I paced back and forth, and chewed on my fingernails anxiously. My heart was pounding hard against my chest. I silently prayed that those tests were negative. God, I wouldn’t know what I’d do if those tests came back positive.
My phone timer went off, and I stopped pacing. I grabbed the tests off the counter and turned them over, and the moment I turned both tests over, I nearly crumbled to the floor in relief when I saw that they both came back negative. it was like all of the anxiety that had piled on me the last couple weeks faded away. Thank freaking god!
“Oh, thank god,” I breathed to myself. I took a minute to compose myself before I wrapped and tossed both tests into the trash bin, and made my way out of the bathroom. Now, I could at least celebrate my birthday without constantly worrying about it anymore.
My mom came back from the store roughly twenty minutes later. She brought her bag of goodies into the kitchen, and then we washed our hands and got to work pulling out the necessary bowls and utensils needed to bake my cake, as well as the ingredients. We preheated the oven before we got to make the cake batter. While my mom whisked flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl, while I started to beat butter in a separate bowl with a stand mixer, followed by the eggs, vanilla.
Then, my mom slowly sifted the dry ingredients and mixed in buttermilk in with the wet ones, mixing in between with the stand mixer. After that, we lined the two 9-inch cake pans with butter and parchment paper, poured the cake batter into each pan, and slid it into the oven to bake for about 25 minutes.
“While the cake bakes, I have a surprise for you!” My mom beamed as she slid off the oven mitts, setting them back down onto the counter. I was rinsing off the bowls and spoons when I looked over and tilted my head with a curious smile.
“Of course! Stay here while I go get it,” She pointed at me. I watched as she hurried out of the kitchen and disappeared upstairs. A few seconds later, my mom made her back down to the kitchen, this time, with a large wrapped present in her arms, with a large envelope on top. My eyes widened slightly as she set the present onto the table, and handed me the envelope with a bright smile.
“Holy crap, mom, what did you get?”
“You’ll have to open it to see! But first, this came in the mail for you this morning,” She laughed, waving the envelope at me. I took the envelope from her in curiosity, unfolding the top and pulling out what was in it. Then, my eyes widened when I saw an acceptance letter from Faith University, the art school I applied to, along with a banner and a booklet with the title; Faith University Of The Arts.
I quickly read over the letter, excitement blooming in my chest as I snapped my gaze up to my mom with a wide smile, “I got in! I actually got in!”
“Oh, congratulations, sweetie!” My mom cheered and pulled me into a hug. I hugged her back tightly before pulling back with a beaming smile on my face and looked back down at the letter in my hands. It was so exciting and so surreal holding an acceptance letter in your hands. I didn’t think I would get in despite my art teacher Ms. Sawyer and my friends telling me otherwise. But they were right - I got in and I was so happy, words couldn’t contain how happy I was.
I put the letter down onto the table and started tearing open the gift my mom got me. I removed the gift wrap and opened up the box, gasping at all the art supplies that were tucked into the box. My mom got me literally everything; from paints to brushes to watercolour pencils, art pencils, a miniature easel, and a couple of new sketchbooks. I knew they were from that expensive art store I drove by once because I had told my mom in the past how I wanted some new art supplies.
God, could this day get any better?
“Thank you so much, mom. I really appreciate it. I love you,” I said to her, and pulled her into once again, another tight hug. Mom laughed and hugged me back, pressing a couple of kisses to my forehead with a beaming smile.
“I love you too, so much!”