I’d woken up on an old scratchy sofa with a pounding headache.
“Finally, you’re awake. I didn’t hit you that hard Sariel.” Charles had said. Right from the start he hadn’t tried to hide the fact that he’d actually knocked me out.
He had worn the same face as usual when I’d sat up. Suddenly cautious of approaching him I’d hugged my legs.
“Where are we?”
“Not in Twinbrook that’s for sure.”
Almost on instinct I had reached for my phone which was usually in my pocket. My cellphone had been my life. I didn’t need to remember addresses or phone numbers, everything was in there.
But it hadn’t been in my pocket. And Charles had laughed at my reaction.
“Sariel, Sariel! Your dad has caused enough trouble, no? You were already thinking about leaving me so I brought you far far away. I destroyed your phone so your family couldn’t distract us again. And I even took care of the plane ticket your father had dared to put in your pocket before he left. So don’t worry, it’s just you and me. Aren’t you happy?”
“Happy? Happy!? You knocked me out and destroyed my one chance of seeing my dad again!” I yelled at him. It was true. I’d never stuck around to find out where dad had decided to move. I didn’t know the town, I didn’t know the address, I didn’t know his phone number! I had no way to contact my father. But I’d remembered my facebook account and my email. There was a little bit of hope that I could contact him through that.
“I’m going back to Twinbrook! You’re an obsessive freak. I should’ve listened to my dad!” I’d shot at him. I had been beyond furious.
“Well you can’t! First off, you need to buy a plane ticket and you don’t have that kind of money! Second off, whether you like it or not, I brought you here, in this new house so we could build a family together!”
“A family? What the hell are you thinking? As if I’d want to do that with you now!”
“Well it’s a bit late for that!”
“What? What are you talking about Charles?”
I was pregnant, and Charles had realized it before me. My period was late, but I had dismissed it as a random fluctuation. I was continuously vomiting in the morning, but I had blamed it on the leftover food we had been forced to eat before we moved.
After he told me the news, it sort of went downhill for me.
The house was small and very cheap. Charles had used the last of the money he had to buy it. It was practically an apartment. It only had three rooms. An everything room,
And a bathroom.
I’d stayed with Charles because there really was nowhere else for me to go. I’d confirmed that I wasn’t in Twinbrook anymore. No, this town was called Legacy Island II, one that was very far away from Twinbrook.
Charles didn’t abuse me. He really did think we were going to build a family together. He’d gotten rid of my cellphone, ripped my father’s plane ticket, deleted my facebook and email account.
He was so convinced of his little fantasy family that every time I argued with him, and told him that we couldn’t raise a child, he would always say it was normal. Parents fought.
On more than one occasion I considered getting an abortion. But Charles wouldn’t have let me, and even if I’d somehow gotten away with it, who knows how Charles would’ve reacted.
Charles wasn’t evil. He had been actually really sweet on more than one occasion. If he hadn’t kidnapped me, if he didn’t have an obsession problem, if I had continued to love him I would’ve been happy.
But this house was my prison. And he was the prison guard.
The pregnancy was harsh.
The first few months were intense on my body. I vomited almost every day, some days I felt really tired and I had trouble focusing on much of anything, other days I felt energized and frustrated. I would fight against Charles always with the same purpose. And he would always dismiss it as hormones. At some point he’d started saying everything would be great between us once I’d given birth.
After two months I finally got used to my lifestyle…or more I dealt with it.
Both Charles and I had jobs. We postponed my telling my boss I was pregnant so I could get more money. I was more than okay with working during the beggining of my pregnancy, not only was I just a cashier, but I hadn’t wanted to depend on Charles for money. I’d stopped fighting with Charles as often because I’d found a solution for myself. I’d collect enough money to buy that plane ticket to Twinbrook. I’d foolishly thought I’d manage to gather enough money before I gave birth.
Speaking of births, I remember hoping I was going to have a boy. At the time I was imagining my son becoming my bodyguard or something. But once again, I’m getting sidetracked.
During my second trimester something happened. Charles and I had a fight.
It was a totally normal fight. It didn’t differ at all from what we usually had, but something in Charles snapped. The ‘conversation’ had started with him saying he loved me.
“Well I don’t Charles! I don’t! I don’t want to be here! I don’t want to have to work while I’m pregnant!”
“I don’t want to be here with YOU! I want to be with my dad! I want to see my brother! I want to see my brother’s child! I want to feel like an aunt!”
“I hate this house! I want my dog! I don’t want to pay bills! I want my house back! I want my room back! I want to see my grandpa! Hell I want to see Caroline!”
“I don’t want to be with you, I hate you! I wish I’d never met you! You took me away from everything I loved!”
“FINE THEN! If that’s how you feel, I don’t see why I should even stay around you any longer!” He’d yelled back.
I’d stopped yelling, glaring at him in confusion. He’d never said that before.
“I’m sick of your bickering! You’re obviously not going to change! I was ready to raise a family with you, but whatever! And it’s fine because I have somewhere else I can go to!” He’d spat in my face.
I stood as silent as a rock as he’d stormed into the bedroom, stuffed his clothes in a suitcase and left.
He never came back.
I should have been happy. I was finally rid of him.
But seconds later I let myself down on the floor and cried.
That’s when I realized I was alone.
I had asked – and gotten – a maternity leave from my boss. With the small income I had been able to live the last months of my pregnancy in peace. As long as my spending was only centered on food and living necessities.
I had tried to ignore what was going to happen after I gave birth. The bills that would pile up. The babysitting I would need to provide my child. All things I have to deal with now.
I had concentrated on my unborn child. Telling it never to date. Relationships aren’t meant to last. Caroline never had a boyfriend more than a few weeks. You constantly fight in a relationship, and if you happen to find the right person, like my dad did, it still won’t work. In the end my mom ended up dying. Going into a relationship isn’t worth it. I still believe that.
The contractions hit me one week before my due date. Luckily the hospital was close and I was able to give a healthy delivery.
All of which brings me to two weeks later, here at this table, staring at the bills, wondering what could have been.
There’s a link for Legacy Island II in the crédits, if ever you’re interested.
The move cost me Rosahelminthe! I had everyone’s grave except Rosahelminthe’s! That makes me rather sad. I won’t see the ghost of Rosahelminthe any more, and I can tell you it was rather useful having her around the house. But I have everybody else though (as in: Laura, Tarnowak, Roland, Millie, Clarice and Angel)
This town is weird. So far I’ve had a paparazzi die on my lawn, and then some old guy walked by with his ass on fire like there was nothing to it.