Friday, October 23, 2009

We've only just begun: The end. I win.

His mother told me she found my work number in the court papers. She wanted to see her grandchild.

I was floored. I honestly couldn’t ask her any pertinent questions. Mainly, “Where the fuck have YOU been the past year and a half?”

I agreed to take the kid to their house so they could see her. At that point, I was imagining Chris covering up her existence...or something. I thought that I would see what it was all about, see if they were good people, and if they were...they should be in her life. It was the right thing to do.

It was hands down one of the top three most awkward moments of my life. Poor Hannah had no idea what the fuck was going on. They didn’t even remember who I was, but I remembered every little detail about them.

Chris was there, in close proximity again. He sat in a chair across from mine, barely moving or saying a word. I was so deeply embarrassed by my still there raging sexual attraction for him, I rambled. They asked one or two nonchalant questions about the kid, and I went off on a tangent. Yatta yatta yatta. I know they were thinking, “This chick is on speed.”

I think I only made it about two hours. I couldn’t stand it. I made up an excuse and bolted.

The next few times were a little easier. I asked Chris’s mom to meet me, without the kid, to talk some things out. I was irritated and angry that they never once offered me any kind of explanation for their absence. They just stepped in like, “Hi. What’s for dinner? Oh, hey kid!”

We met at the mall and sat in the food court. I wanted a public area where I would be less likely to show my ass and she would, hopefully, be less likely to show hers. I didn’t know how it would go.

Basically, I tanked. I never ended up getting the answers I came for or saying all of the things I wanted. She twisted around what I was trying to nervously get out and made it sound like I was being ridiculous. I felt like the little teenager that was trying to wear her mom's shoes and play with a real live baby. This woman had delt with three other women before me...what the fuck did I think I was doing?

At one point, when she said something about me not contacting them I said something along the lines of this, “Talk to Chris about that. I called him over and over again, for months, and he never had the time.”

“I didn’t know you’d asked him”, she said.

“Oh, yes. I asked him.”

“Well, I’m sure he feels kind of awkward...since you two don’t really know each other. But Hannah shouldn’t have to suffer for a one night stand.”

Bitch say WHAT?

I know my mouth was hanging open. I was appalled, embarrassed, angry, defensive....so many things. Maybe we didn’t know each other well, but it wasn’t a goddamn one night stand. I was having more sex in your house than you were, lady. He met my parents...even if it wasn’t intentional. I met you guys several times and you don’t even fucking remember me. My head nearly exploded.

I stayed calm though. I don’t remember what I said, but I’m sure it was borderline civil.

I rarely spoke to Chris in the months that followed. The kid continued to go over for day visits without me. I was weary of overnighters, but his mother and I were getting along better. She and Chris’s father are truly good people, just misguided and ignorant when it comes to their youngest son.

I took Hannah to their house for Christmas Day present opening. Chris and I exchanged tentative smiles and conversation. We sat next to each other while we put the kid’s toys together. Another one of those moments of feeling loss....

He was never far from my mind now that I was seeing him more often again. I still wanted him and I never once let him see me looking anything less than completely put together. I raged about his lackadaisical involvement out loud to everyone and dreamed about his hands on my body at night. It was mental torture. Had he said “come”, I would have...on the spot. That’s embarrassing to admit, but completely true.

Then the accident happened.

His mom called to tell me that he’d lost control of his motorcycle and wasn’t wearing a helmet.

I was terrified he would die and the kid wouldn’t know her dad. I was terrified he would die period...but I felt like I wasn’t allowed to feel that way. What was he to me other than Hannah’s dad?

I found out he had a girlfriend then. His mom called to give me an update about him waking up. He was confused, she said, and asked for me.

Me? He asked for me?

Yes. Instead of his girlfriend, his mom said. She had to remind him of her.

I was a mental case. What did that mean? I went off into fantasy land and didn’t come around for a very long time. I became obsessed with his recovery process and hearing about this girlfriend I knew nothing of. What did she have that I didn’t? Not his child. She was older. I was younger. Surely I was the better choice?

Along with those feelings, I had others.

He was having trouble with his memory and not thinking clearly. It took him longer to speak a sentence. He was physically banged up too...deep gashes on his head that required surgery.

Once it was established that he wasn’t going to die...I felt a sort of grim satisfaction. His girlfriend wasn’t likely to stay and help him recover (and she didn’t). Who knew what else he’d lost? He was already having trouble with his mind. I had as many cruel and smugly righteous thoughts as I did worries for his health. In a way, I thought of it as his payback for everything I’d been put through...for all of his nonchalance and disregard for our daughter and.....well, my fucking uterus, ok.

I got over that relatively quickly, only lapsing into calling him a retard when I was really angry or frustrated. He’s not, by the way.

A year after the accident, he was still home and still struggling with his recovery. He still moved slowly and felt like he was in a fog sometimes. Whatever that meant...

He seemed lonely and depressed. I felt sorry for him, but after the accident...there was one very noticeable difference.

The way he looked at me.

I could be completely off base, but I could have sworn he was checking me out. His smile, the old look in his eye...they were there. He seemed shy instead of indifferent when we spoke.

I seized that idea and ran with it.

The kid was spending the night there one or two weekends a month. Instead of making his mom meet me, I drove the LONG drive to their house, just so he could see me in one getup or another. I wore going out outfits when I wasn’t going out. Shoes that were...ridiculous. A lot of the time, I was going out...and I let it be known just how much fun I was getting ready to have while he sat at home with his parents.

It was ridiculous and petty. I wanted him not only to want me, but to know that other men were having me...to feel alone and disabled.

But he never changed. He stayed home, he didn’t seem to be progressing, and he didn’t seem to be taking any more interest in my antics. I stopped.

But don’t think that I was some desperate psycho baby’s mama, fawning all over him and blowing up his phone, crying on his doorstep. All of those issues...stayed internal. I never made a scene; I never professed any kind of feelings for or to him at all (except the original irritation with his lack of parenting).

I haven’t seen him out of sweat pants or jogging shorts in two years. I asked him if he’d like to go to dinner with me twice...to get him out of the house and to see if I could finally have the conversation I never had with him. To just ask him...why? He agreed then backed out due to not feeling well.

My best friend went with me to pick up the kid once and observed his odd behavior with me. She thinks he’s embarrassed about his issues and doesn’t want me to see him this way. Who really knows?

He avoids me most days now. Stays upstairs. He and the kid have gotten a little closer. I can tell on those days when I don’t call ahead and he’s still in the living room...she cares about him and he looks like he cares about her. They hug each other and kiss each other and she squeals and laughs with him. I know that doesn’t sound like much to you, but for her it’s massive. She’s lived in a house with three women and she’s always been wary of men. She doesn’t let them close to her and she isn’t easily persuaded.

I go over there with yesterday’s makeup on and pj pants now, my hair in a messy bun and with a carefree attitude. More often than not I have his mom meet me somewhere. He still gives me those looks from time to time that make my face burn and my heart skip a beat. I still have this place inside me that compels me to care about him, to still want him sometimes. But I don’t let it make me crazy anymore. I ignore it and I go on about my business.

I’m no longer that 18 year old girl that went after trouble and got it. I’m a 24 year old woman. And now I’m the trouble.


Oh...and so is she:

23 comments:

Just Me said...

And she is absolutely adorable. Even with all the crap you've gone through, she is one lucky girl to have you as her mom. And you are one lucky mom to have her.

Eric said...

Hah, your daughter is a cutie like her momma. ;)

Organic Meatbag said...

Awwwwww....we finally see your cute little princess! She is adorable...hopefully she isn't as much of a troublemaker as her Momma...hahahaha

Jennifer said...

All day long, I've been refreshing your page every hour in hopes you'd posted the last segment after the whole "and then his mother called" cliffhanger yesterday.

I was enthralled by this story... Nice work. Thanks for sharing with us. You're daughter's a cutie.

The Peach Tart said...

Thanks for giving us the end after yesterday. Your daughter is soooo cute and I bet she's gonna be a pistol just like her Mama.

rubbish said...

Your Daughter looks lovely.
Not sure what to think about this guy now. Part of me is thinking Karma the other part is thinking he's your Daughters Dad so at least she has got to know him.
It's been a riveting read though and superbly written.
All the best.

Hunter said...

I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing your story.

erin said...

There's something just plain sad about Hannah's dad. Something generally sad...the three kids, the age difference between you two (my ex and I are nine years apart, so I definitely have been there), the attraction and then the tragedy. His parents seem to always be covering for him? Was he a sad child? I wonder.

Hannah is adorable, did I ever tell you that Hannah is my baby sister's name? She's 11.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Lovely little girl, I hope she'll make you proud.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

You win, indeed. Very nicely done. You're a really talented storyteller, do you know that?

Secretia said...

You have a beautiful daughter. And you write a great story!

Secretia

loveandbooze said...

Aww! Good ending. Still a sad story. I can't beleive he STILL isn't recovered. I mean, it's been 5 years!!!

corticoWhat said...

Head injuries are a bitch and helmets work.

You may be 24 chronologically but you are experienced beyond your years.

NWO said...

That photo says it all. That IS the story!

And you once again prove you are a great story teller.

Enjoy the moments!

Judearoo said...

What a cracking story! Good that youre making sure the wee one has her Dad in her life, even if he IS a prize eejet.

And you're right, you end up with that gorgeous little person in your life - definite WIN!:)

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I loved this story so much. It seems like you ended up with the better end of a pretty raw deal. Your daughter's gorgeous.

mysterg said...

When you see an adorable face like that staring back at you, I'm betting there are no regrets!

ladytruth said...

Her name fits her like a glove. Your a good person; taking Hannah to go see her dad even after everything he put you through. You've come a long way. Congratulations

Hannah Miet said...

I had so many reactions to this story, but now I'm kind of dumbfounded by Hannah's adorableness....

You are an unbelievably strong for getting through all that. You are also awesome. I have a hunch that Hannah will grow up to be quite strong and don't-take-shit-from-no one-awesome as well.

Watch the fuck out, world.

Cool as Folk said...

Simply amazing ending for these last few posts. You kept me on the edge of my seat for long enough, sheesh! Your daughter is outrageously adorable.

BrightenedBoy said...

Your daughter is so cute. It's interesting how you've matured and your outlook has changed. I'd be interested to see what you were like at eighteen, what kind of person you were.

You should post pictures!

mylittlebecky said...

i loved this story. i'm glad you wrote it and shared it. thanks.

also? aaaaaaw to the cuteness and the pose is hilarious :)

Maryx said...

A year and a half?!
I'm sorry but in my books she has NO right to ask to see her grandchild. That kid has only one grandmother and that's YOUR mother.

And I can't believe they couldn't even remember you?! And believes it was a one night stand?! WTF?! Goes to show I guess.

Amazing story sweetie. So open. So caring. So young. Scary though, as I said, what we did and said and felt when we were younger. Embarrassing really. Well not all of it at least.

You have an absolutely breath-takingly beautiful little girl. And you have to remember that she is a gift to you. She came into your life and you both needed each other.

Take Care sweetie! (And post more pics of her. She seems awesome!)