Chapter 30. Hormones
A few hours after Avery left, I went outside to sit on the swing that was on my front porch. When I made it onto the porch, I stopped dead in my tracks.
There in my driveway was a black Plymouth.
“What?” I hissed. I waddled down to the car and threw the door open. There was the key to the car in the driver’s seat. Underneath the key was a folded piece of paper. “Ugh,” I grunted. I bent down slowly and grabbed the paper and key. The letter was addressed to me in Avery’s handwriting.
I knew that you wouldn’t agree with this, so I left it in your driveway before I left. Take care of the car. You need it more than I do. Don’t argue either. I don’t want you falling from the truck and the babies getting hurt. So, please, drive this vehicle only or at least until they are born.
“Awe,” I cooed. “What an asshole.” I smiled at the key. I pulled my phone out to text him.
Me: Thanks for letting me borrow the car.
Avery: I’m not.
Me: What do you mean?
Avery: I’m giving it to you.
My eyes widened in shock. I dialed his number and put the phone to my ear.
“Hello?” he answered.
“I’m not keeping the car,” I snapped.
“Yeah, you kind of are. I already signed and dated the title. I also took the plates. You have no choice but to put it in your name,” he said.
My jaw dropped. Wow, he knows me so well. “You...” I trailed off. “You’re such an asshole.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. “If you go to get rid of it, though, I’d like to buy it back.”
I rolled my eyes. “Like I would ever do that.”
“Good,” he said. “I wanted to give it to our son anyway.”
“What about our daughter?” I asked.
“She can have any car her little heart desires,” he said.
“What if she wants this one?” I asked.
“I guess they’ll have to fight for it,” he chuckled.
A giggle bursted through my lips. “Avery!”
“What?” he asked. “They will have to learn to fight for what they want.”
I rolled my eyes. “Thank you.”
“Bye,” I smiled and hung up.
The men brought in the last few boxes. I turned to stare at the mess that used to be my living room. My living room wasn’t small by any means, and it was filled with boxes.
“Unbelievable,” I whispered. “I’m going to fucking murder him.”
After I looked through some of it, I pulled my phone out.
“Hi,” Avery said.
He knew why I was calling, and I knew it. “Avery!” I shrieked. “What the fuck is all of this?! The car is one thing, but this?! Do you even know what half of this is?!”
“No, but I’m confident that you could use all of it.”
“You bought fifty boxes of diapers!” I wasn’t even exaggerating. I counted them.
“In my defense, there are two of them,” he said.
A deep laugh that didn’t belong to him but was familiar to me echoed through the phone.
“Is that Howie?” I asked, confused.
“Yeah, it is,” Avery said.
“Oh, tell him I said hi.”
“Stormie said hi,” Avery said.
Howie laughed again. “Hey, Stormie.”
“I’m sending some of it back. We were supposed to buy things evenly, Avery. You bought everything they needed and things that I needed. This is ridiculous. My living room is so full of boxes that I can’t make it from one end to the other! Where did you get the money for all of this shit?” I grabbed a big box and started for the stairs. I kept the phone between my shoulder and cheek.
“I sold weed for a long time,” he said. “I had nothing better to spend it on. Wait until you see some of the onesies I got the babies. They’re funny.”
I sighed.“You’re going to put me into labor. Do you know that? Like how am I going to explain this to my fucking parents?”
“Um, I’m not sure,” he said thoughtfully.
“Do you realize how many boxes I have to carry upstairs?” I grunted. I stopped halfway up the stairs with the box to catch my breath. I grunted again when I picked it up.
“Stormie, you better not be carrying that shit upstairs by yourself,” he snapped.
“You should have thought about that when you bought it!” I yelled. I put the box down and started to drag it to my room.
“That shit is too heavy for you to carry. Put it down, now. Have Mason or your dad do it,” he demanded.
I sighed. “They’re not here.”
“Wait until they get back,” he insisted.
“I don’t know when that is going to be, and if they see this mess, they’re going to wig out.” I headed back downstairs for another box but stopped when I saw my dad standing in the doorway, staring at the living room.
“I’ll come to help you. Just stop,” Avery pleaded.
“Stormie, what the hell is all of this?” Dad asked.
Avery sighed with relief.
“Dad’s here,” I told him.
“Okay,” he said.
“How are the babies?” Peyton asked.
“They’re good,” I said and shrugged. “They move a lot. The doctor thinks that I will pop early, but not too early.”
I was now thirty-four weeks pregnant. Avery had been in school for a month. It was the middle of July.
“How are you?” she asked.
“Good,” I said. I took a bite off my kit-kat bar.
“No, I mean, really?” she asked.
I sighed. “I can’t sleep. I’m not sure if it’s them or because...” I trailed off. My throat tightened. “I miss him. I miss him so damn bad.”
“God, just go see him,” she said. “So, what? He made mistakes. He’s also made some really good choices. He’s taking care of the babies. He’s obviously totally fucking in love with you. And it’s clear that he thinks very little of Susie. Susie isn’t even as pretty as you, and the bitch fucking hates it.”
I sighed. “I’m fat,” I shrugged. “I’m seventeen and carrying twins. I can’t see my feet. My head hurts all the time. I can’t stand to see myself naked long enough to be willing to have sex. Who the fuck would want me?”
Peyton rolled her eyes. “That’s hormones.”
I sniffled. “I want to call him.”
“Then call him,” she insisted.
“It’s the hormones,” I mocked. I wiped the tears away with the back of my hand. “God, I suck at being pregnant. I can’t even put their crib together.”
A car door slammed.
We both got up and walked over to the window.
“Oh, look who it is,” Peyton grinned widely.
“Why is he–” I narrowed my eyes at Peyton. “You.” I pointed the finger at her.
“I told him you couldn’t put the cribs together, and your dad was too busy. I told him Mason had been an asshole and that you didn’t want to call and bother him because he’s at school. That’s all I told him, I swear,” Peyton said. “See ya.” She waved. She threw the door open, and Avery was there. “I’m leaving,” she told him.
“Um, okay,” he said. “Bye.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and rolled my eyes.
He pursed his lips. “You look happy.”
He had no idea how happy I was to see him, and he wasn’t going to.
“I didn’t want to bother you,” I said.
“It’s no bother,” he said.
I grimaced. “How are things in Waco?”
He rolled his eyes. “Save that question until fall, and I’ll let you know,” he said. “I found a job, but not much other than that.”
I sat down on the edge of my bed.
He sat down on the floor and looked at the instructions. He started separating the parts as he read through it.
“I’m really sorry,” I said. For everything.
He chuckled. “It’s fine, Storm. It’s just a couple of cribs. No big deal.”
No, it’s not. I sniffled as tears fell down my cheeks.
He looked up at me, confused. “W-what? Are you crying?”
“No,” I choked. I jumped to my feet and headed for the door.
He wrapped an arm around my waist to stop me.
I turned to face him. There was no hiding my tear-stained cheeks and puffy eyes.
“What’s wrong?” he asked worriedly.
“It’s just hormones. I’m fine,” I insisted.
“Something is bothering you. What is it?”
“I’m just sorry for everything. I’m sorry that you got me pregnant. I’m sorry that you gave up your car. I’m sorry you had to spend all of this money on stupid baby stuff that I can’t even put together because I’m stupid!” I yelled. I turned for the door.
He grabbed me and spun me around. He pulled me into him. He wrapped his arms around my waist.
I clutched onto his shirt and sobbed against his chest.
“Shh,” he hushed me. “Relax. It’s okay, Storm. You’re not stupid. I told you to call me if you needed anything. Even if you just need to talk,” he murmured. He pulled back and grabbed my face between his hands. “Take a deep breath.”
I took a deep breath as he told me to and let it go.
“I wanted to buy the stuff,” he said. “I meant what I said. I had a lot of money and nothing to spend it on but them. And I told you that I would give you money if you needed it. Stop carrying all the weight by yourself.”
I sniffled and nodded.
“Okay, now let’s put these together,” he murmured. He kissed my cheek and went back to the crib.
There was a light knock on my door.
“Come in,” I said. I put my book down.
Mason came into my room and stopped. “Oh, damn. Got the cribs together?”
“Avery did it,” I said.
Mason looked at me, stunned. “He came all the way here to do that?”
“He was here a couple of weeks ago,” I said. “What do you want?”
Mason pursed his lips. “There is a pizza downstairs if you’re hungry.”
“Okay,” I said.
“I would have put those together. I just didn’t have time right away,” Mason said.
“It’s fine,” I said.
“How did you get the money to buy all of this?” Mason looked around my room.
“Avery bought all of it,” I said.
“Seriously?” Mason asked.
“Yes,” I snapped. “Is there something wrong with that?”
Mason bowed his head and closed the door. “Stormie, we need to talk.”
“About what?” I asked.
“Avery,” he said.