I brought a bag with a change of clothes and a few other things. My mom is already in the family room ready for me to help. Leaving my things on the bed, I make my way downstairs.
There are boxes of decorations on the floor. My mom sits on the couch, wearing a casual outfit of jeans and a v-neck shirt.
"Your grandparents are driving down here, I need to get the guest room ready." She tells me. "You can go ahead and unbox the decorations that go on the table."
I nod listening to what she says. She leaves to go upstairs leaving me to the rest. It doesn't take long for me to finish, standing back to make sure it's perfect.
I leave the balloons for tomorrow like my mom advised.
I decided to help my mom with the spare bedroom. My grandparents live nearly four hours away and they're actually coming. It still doesn't make sense to me that they don't just wait for the actual wedding.
I would understand a small family gathering but I guess my mom wanted to plan this. And because a party isn't enough, we're all having a giant family lunch on Sunday.
I help my mom put the new bedsheets on, the silence making every second seem longer.
"Will you and Thomas start looking for a place soon?" And suddenly I prefer silence.
I keep my head down, my hair covering my face. "We're just getting our own places," I tell her.
My eyes meet hers and I feel small again. She doesn't judge me instead nodding. "Have you talked about getting married at least?"
I bite the inside of my cheek, discreetly sighing. "Mom, we aren't getting back together." I leave out any other details.
My mom would have never let this go. A few weeks ago, she'd tell me to get together with Thomas. Afraid of what people will say when they find out that I'm not with him.
So to my surprise, she drops the conversation. "I'm going to start on dinner." She smiles.
Everything feels so different and forced. I can tell that she's trying to stop being how she used to be. Very controlling and difficult.
I simply nod and walk behind her, shutting the door. I spend the rest of the time in my old room. I worked today and got off at two as usual. The drive was tiring due to the traffic being so bad and I am starting to really feel it.
A nap won't hurt anyone I think to myself.
My head pounds as I get up. My arm fell asleep and it feels like someone hit me with a baseball bat. Wincing, I sit up on the bed to check the time, my eyes widening when I see that it's almost eight. I must have slept through dinner which explains my hunger.
"Bea?" I rub my temples to ease the pain, hearing my mom knocking on the door.
She takes in my disheveled appearance and frowns. "Your grandparents want to see you." She says.
I nod, my throat dry and stomach begging for food. "I'll be there in a minute." I guess I still have a chance to eat.
I take the time to go to the bathroom and fix my hair. I don't have dark circles under my eyes but it feels like I slept through an entire year. Sleeping didn't help at all.
I hear familiar voices as I slowly walk down the stairs.
Several greetings are thrown at me. My dads' parents sit at the table with my aunt Rose and her husband. I smile, the only thing on my mind being food and the terrible headache I currently have.
Thankfully they all talk and catch up while I eat my weight in food. My family is very old-fashioned so it really didn't faze me that my grandfather scolded me for being pregnant. The table fell silent when my mother broke the news.
This is supposed to be Holly's spotlight. I don't have the energy to argue or defend myself.
"I'm going to bed," I call out, already halfway out of the dining room.
No one stops me which makes me sigh in relief. I just want to lay down and rest. I can't forget that I'll have to be around Thomas tomorrow.
His family was invited and of course, he wants to come. I'll need all the rest I can get before dealing with my sister and Thomas. And whoever else decides to tell me that I'm ruining my life.
Everyone is driving me mad with all the rushing around. I push the pancakes drenched in syrup around my plate. I managed to take a shower before everyone woke up so I'm ready for the day.
The party starts in two hours meaning that my sister will be here soon.
Like expected, Holly and Landon arrive early. I watch them greet everyone while I sit at the kitchen island. She walks right past me, telling my mom how much she loves the decorations.
Landon sits beside me, smiling at me. "How have you been?" He asks, giving me a side glance.
"Good," I reply, "You?"
His smile widens, eyes gleaming with happiness. "I'm doing good too. Missed having you around."
I nod, we had somewhat of a bond. Landon is attractive, with his strong jaw structure and light brown eyes. He's kind and includes everyone in whatever I going on. It still confuses me how he's been with my sister for four years.
I will admit that it's cute the way he looks at her.
"Congrats." We both say at the same time. I turn my head to look at him, laughing.
It feels good to laugh in this house. After feeling so out of place for years. We talk for a little bit before he's pulled away by my uncle.
The party has fully started, and for an hour I've been sitting in the same spot outside. My parents' friends, more family, and neighbors have all moved to the backyard.
I tap on the can of Pepsi I've been sipping. Leaning my head back on the swing. I'm pretty far from everyone else, enjoying the music and weather.
The bench swing shifts as someone sits beside me. I don't have to open my eyes to know who it is. The very familiar scent of Thomas' cologne welcoming me.
"You look peaceful." He says and I open my eyes to look at him.
I hate that we can't have a normal conversation anymore. Things have changed and I can't just keep on forgiving him. Not without letting him know that I won't always forgive and forget.
He notices my grim expression, nodding to himself. "I messed up again, I know."
"At least you're aware." I shrug.
Thomas and I were together for over a year and it felt perfect. We've both grown together and I'd love to see him set a great example for our baby.
He leans forward with a sigh. "I'm sorry for all the shit I've put you through Bea. I really do love you and I want the best for you. I'll do whatever it takes to make it all up to you." His eyes meet mine.
I needed this, I need to know that he's not taking advantage of the number of chances I've given him.
"You need to stop letting your emotions do the talking," I tell him. "You tend to do things that sound good in that moment and it ends up blowing up in your face."
"I know," he nods. "I'm working on that."
I smile and hold my pinky out. "Promise that you'll tell me when it's too much. I don't want to feel like I'm pressuring you into being there if you're not ready."
His attention is fully on me, a brow raised. "I'll be there the entire time, there's no way in hell that I'd back out. Not when you do all the hard work and I have to watch you struggle for seven more months."
My smile gets bigger at his words. "You're gonna be such a good dad," I say honestly.
It's a curse that I forgive people so easily. I'm bad at saying no and I fantasize too much about everything being perfect. But if there's anything that I've learned it's that some people do change.
I've seen it happen with my parents. It must take a lot of realization and for something to happen before they do finally wake up.
Thomas is clearly ready to become a father and he's gonna have to do a lot of breaking old habits. I can't change him or the past but I can be there and watch him mature on his own.
The party is definitely not as bad as I thought. My sister and I never even crossed paths and she didn't even glance my way.
I watch with a smile as she laughs at something my aunt said. Landon stares at her with that cheesy smile, and I find myself being happy for her.
I want that type of love. The kind where none of my flaws matter and I'm appreciated for who I am.
Only one person comes to mind, making my heart race.