Wicked Love

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Chapter Five

*I'm the queen of my own little world.*

I wake three times during the night. The first time, Belle has climbed on top of me and hugged me in her sleep. The weight of her was killing my ribsz so I rolled her off me, hugged her to my side and drifted back to sleep. The second time I woke up to Belle starfished on the bed, her little legs pushing me towards the end of the bed whenever she moved. She may be a tiny three year old, but when she spreads out, she takes up the whole damn bed.

I finally fell asleep after moving her arms and legs over and getting comfortable.

I woke up the third time and Belle was nowhere in sight.

I shoot up and look around the room. I hear soft breathing and look over the edge of the bed to see Belle on the floor by the side of the bed.

Aw, poor girl must've rolled right off the bed in the middle of the night. I slide off the bed and bend down, picking her up and cradling her in my arms. After a few more seconds, I gently place her on the bed and cover her up again. She can sleep in since it's the weekend but I don't let her sleep past eleven.

I lay back dow and take my phone off the charger on the nightstand. It's 9:08 and I see that I have a few messages from Tori.

Tori: Your guy friend came asking for you yesterday at the Cafe.

That one was sent at 7:32. The next ones were all sent at 7:40.

Tori: He was asking why you weren't there and when I told him you called in sick, he asked when your next shift was going to be.

Tori: I don't know if you wanted me to or not.

Tori: But I told him you'd be working again in Monday and that you had weekends off.

I groaned. Ignoring Julian is going to be harder than I thought. I was planning on just telling him to leave me alone and ignoring him in school.

Tori: Anyway, how's your head? Are you feeling better?

Me: Yeah, I'm fine. I just needed a nap.

Tori's reply was instantaneous.

Tori: Okay, good. Why don't you and Belle come to the Cafe later for lunch or something? You're probably goin' to the playground later anyway. Keep me company during my shift.

Me: Yeah, we'll stop by around two and stay for an hour or two, then I'm gonna let Belle play a little while before we go to the store. I've gotta get food. Belle's sleeping but I'll let her get up soon.

Tori: Okay, let Bellie sleep. Come over whenever and I'll let you have free food.

Me: Alright. We'll be there.

Tori: Kay, thanks.

Tori: We still on for tonight?

I was going to drop Belle off at Julie's house for a sleepover with Clary while I spent the night at Tori's. I usually take Belle with us and we make pillow forts, ice cream sundaes, and watch and horror movies, but Julie said that Clary was going to be over this weekend for Belle and texted to see if she could come over. I told her she could, then made plans with Tori.

We don't hang out a lot, just every other weekend when my dad is so drunk off his ass that he sleeps through the weekend we're working the same shifts together.

Me: Yeah. See ya later.

Tori: See ya.

I didn't hear dad walking around downstairs yet, so I don't have to make him breakfast yet.

If I'm not up to make him breakfast in the morning, he doesn't wake me up, he just eats all the cereal and then I have to go and buy more. I set my alarm on my phone and the clock on my nightstand for eleven-thirty to get back up and get Belle ready.

I plugged my phone back in and set it back on the nightstand, then put my arm around Belle's waist, burying my face in her hair and drifting back to sleep.

********************

The incessant beeping of the alarms wakes me back up. I ignore it and decide to lay there until I feel Belle trying to crawl over me, trying to reach my phone and clock. "It's okay, baby. I got it," I tell her, reaching over and pressing the top of the clock, then swiping the dismiss button on my phone.

Belle lays down on top of me with her hands up to her chest. It's normally how she sleeps unless she's cuddling something, or me. It's one of the cutest things she does. I wrap my arms around her, ignoring the discomfort of my stomach.

"Guess what," I say to Belle.

"What?" She replies sleepily.

"We're going to go to the Cafe today and keep Tori company," I tell her and her head pops up from my chest, resting her chin on it instead, looking up at me. "Then we're going to the playground," She smiles. "Then we're going to go to the store to get some groceries and you and Clary are going to have a sleepover at Julie's tonight."

Belle's smile widens and she exclaims, "Really!"

"Yeah," I reply, nodding my head up and down.

"Yay!" She practically yells.

"Shh. We have to eat, take a shower, and get dressed we're leaving at two, okay?"

"Okay."

"Let's go get some breakfast."

Belle walks in front of me down the stairs and when we reach the kitchen, I plop her on the island counter in the middle of the room.

We don't have a big kitchen and the color scheme is just black and white. The fridge is by the opening of the kitchen, right when you walk in.

I grab the cereal box Fruit Loops down off the top of the fridge and get two bowls and spoons.

After I fill Belle's bowl, I grab the milk out of the fridge and pour it into her bowl. She sits on the counter and shovels spoonfuls into her mouth while I grab the eggs out of the fridge and prepare to make dad his breakfast so he isn't yelling later, but knowing him he'll find a reason to yell or hit me.

Fifteen minutes later, I put his omelette on a plate and set it on the counter. I filled my bowl up with Fruit Loops and milk and took Belle's now empty bowl and put it in the sink to wash later. I hoisted Belle onto my hip, careful not to jostle my bowl, then I got a spoon and walked back upstairs. Belle plays with her toys for on the floor while I eat and scroll through Instagram on my phone.

I don't post much, just an occasional picture of Belle doing something cute or us taking Snapchat selfie's together. When I finish eating, I set my bowl down on the nightstand and lay back on the pillows and play Color Change on my phone for a little while then start watching Victorious on Netflix until it's one. "Come on, Belle. Let's go shower," I say getting up from the bed.

I decided to leave Belle's curly hair down today after we got out of the shower around one-thirty. I picked out our clothes then let her go back to playing with her toys.

I brushed my hair and braided it into two pigtails. I grabbed a purple jcket that Tori bought for Belle when she turned two, out of the closet. Belle hasn't grown much since two, so it still fits her.

After putting Belle's coat on her, we quietly walk downstairs and out the front door. As we walked to the Cafe it started to drizzle so I pulled Belle's hood over her head and picked her up, hugging her to me, letting her rest her head on my shoulder.

********

"Hey," I hear from Tori as I walk through the Cafe doors. She's waiting an old couple in booth three.

Irabella lifts her head from my neck and starts wiggling, trying to get down from my arms, startling me. "I thought you fell asleep, baby," I say to her.

She giggles and keeps wiggling from my arms, not answering me. I let her down and she immediately runs to Tori.

"No, baby," I said, trying to get to her before she reaches Tori, but it's too late. She's already clinging to Tori's waist and making grabby hands, trying to get Tori to pick her up.

I reach Tori and pluck Belle from off the ground. "Sorry," I mouth to Tori then turn around and face the elderly couple in the booth. "I'm so sorry, she just likes to see Tori."

"That's alright," The elderly woman said. "She is adorable."

"Thank you," I replied. "I'll let you get back to ordering. Again, sorry."

"It's no trouble, dear," The elderly man says.

I offer them a smile before carting Belle over to the counter and plopping her on the stool before sitting down on the one next to her.

"You gotta stay over here when we're taking orders, okay? Some people don't like it when they get interrupted," I tell her.

"But I want to see Tori. Now," She said, crossing her arms.

"Well, wait for her to finish, and then you'll get to see her," I tell her, my brow furrowing. "What's the matter, baby? Are you still tired?" I ask when she lays her head on her arms that are folded on the counter.

She shakes her head yes and I lay my head down on one arm, using the other to rub her back. "Let's order some food and a milkshake, yeah?" I ask her.

She tilts her head from the counter and nods.

I get up from my seat and open the divider to walk behind the counter and lean up over the window to the kitchen.

"Hey, Javier," I say smiling at the cook. "When you have time, can you make a strawberry pancake for Belle and a chocolate milkshake, please?"

"Yeah, I'll bring it out soon," He replies.

"Thank you."

"No problem."

Close to ten minutes later Tori finishes waiting her section and comes up behind Belle and hugs her. "Hi, Bellie!"

Belle wriggles in her chair until she's up on her knees and making grabby hands at Tori who swoops her up and spins her around, causing her to giggle-shriek.

When she's done, Tori sets her back in the chair just in time for Javier to bring out her pancake and shake. "Thank you," I said as I take the plate and start to cut it up for her. Once I've finished, I reach over the counter, fighting against the wince that threatens to come out from the pain in my ribs, and grab the strawberry syrup and pour it onto her pancakes, making a big dipper the way she likes.

I slide the plate back over and watch as she shovels food into her mouth without ceremony. I chuckle and look at Tori. "Hey, how's the rush?" I asked eyeing all the people in here.

"Not that bad, went quicker than last weekend. Thanks for coming," She said.

"No problem, we're going to the playground after this anyway. When do you get off today, maybe you can come with us."

"Four, and I can't. Theo has a basketball game at five-thirty."

"Okay, tell him I said good luck."

Theo is Tori's twelve year old brother. He's come in with their parents a few times.

She nods, then notices someone calling for a waiter. As she goes to take the womans order, I notice more people coming in, filling up the rest of the booths. When Tori comes back looking a little panicked I asked her where Jana and Charlier were. They work with us and I though they worked weekends but I haven't seen either of them.

"Jana took today off because she's getting a supervised visit with her son, and Charlie is actually sick or at least sounded sick over the phone when he called here," She explained.

I go around the counter and grab an apron, a spare notepad, and a pen. "I'll take some orders," I tell Tori, then turn to Belle and take my phone out of my back pocket. "Watch Paw Patrol and finish eating."

She nods and I stand the phone up on it's kickstand so she doesn't have to hold it. I kiss her cheek then wait the first table I see that hasn't been waited yet.

By the time it's four and Tori is off, the rush has died down to a few people and Irabella has finished her food. I drank what was left of her milkshake because I know she won't drink the rest of it. I take Belle to the restroom before we leave so she doesn't end up having to go on the way to the store.

"I'll pick you up from your house later?" Tori asked when we come out of the bathroom and I start to put Belle's jacket on her.

"Yeah, but come after ten and just text me when you're there. I'll come out."

Dad is bound be passed out or out of the house by ten.

"Okay," She said looking at me curiously.

The playground has mostly dried from the rain and I push Belle in the baby swing for a little while and play tag with her before I take her to the store. By the time we get back to the house, it's past seven-thirty and Julie said that Clary would be there at seven. I drop the bags of groceries on the porch and decide to walk Belle over to Julie's now and I'll bring her clothes bag before I leave with Tori.

After I drop Belle off, thanking Julie and saying hi to Clary, I bring the groceries in and quietly set them on the counter. I haven't seen dad yet but his car is in the driveway so he's probably sleeping.

My thoughts are interrupted when I hear heavy footsteps coming down the stairs.

My hands start shaking as I start to take the groceries out of the bag faster so I can get to my room faster. When he reaches the kitchen, he grabs a beer from the fridge and pops the cap off. He staires at me as I unbag the food.

"The fuck have you been all day?"

Oh, so you were awake long enough to notice? I wanted to ask, but know smart mouthing will only get me beat.

"Getting food. Where do you think the groceries came from?"

So much for not smart mouthing. I'm basically asking for a beating, but I just hate how I'm always so scared of him.

"Don't get smart with me, cunt. I will break your face," He threatens, pointing at me. "It doesn't take that long to get groceries."

"Yeah, I let Irabella play at the park before we got the groceries," I tell him, almost done putting the food away.

"Make me dinner, bitch. Since you didn't make me breakfast or lunch. You're lucky I don't beat you," He mumbles the last part under his breath as he grabs two more beers from the fridge and walks into the living room, plopping down in his chair and turning the Tv on.

I made him a fucking omelette! That's not breakfast?

At least he didn't ask where Belle was. He probably thinks she's in our room like she usually is.

By the time I finished making his Chicken Alfredo, it was past nine. I gave him his plate, then rushed upstairs before he could beat or criticize me to make overnight bags for me and Belle.

I wait another hour to leave, hoping he's passed out on the couch by now, but when I go back downstairs with our bags he's still in front of the Tv, wide awake. I turn around and head back to our room, closing the door, then opening the window. I throw our bags on the ground outside first before I drop out the window.

I give Belle a kiss when she gets her bag and she tells me she loves me before running off to play with Clary. I get a message from Tori, telling me she's here and I jog to her car.

"Hey, girl!" She exclaimes as I get in the passenger seat.

"Hey," I said, buckling my seatbelt.

"You ready to rot your teeth with candy and junk food?" She asks as she drives away.

"So ready," I answer.

When we get to her apartment we pick out a bunch of movies to watch on Netflix and set up a shit-ton of candy bowls on the table in front of the couch. After watching a few romance movies, we turn some music on and dance around for a little bit until we hear a yell from below us, telling us to turn it off. We're halfway another romance movie when I say, "Thanks for doing this. Things have been really shitty and I needed a night like this."

"What do you mean things have been shitty?"

"Just stuff from school," I answered nonchalantly, evading her question.

"Well, you know I'm always here. I may be six years older than you but that doesn't matter and I'm always here if you need to talk."

"I know and I appreciate it," I said softly.

We talk some more for a little while, stuff our faces with food, and eventually I fall asleep on the air mattress around three to the sound of Tori snoring softly on the couch.













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