Lucky in Love, page 19
As she slides out the door and shuts it behind her without even saying goodbye, I turn to give Tony a strange look. “That was odd, wasn’t it? What do you think is wrong with her?”
Tony shrugs helplessly. “I don’t know, but I’m sure we will find out soon enough. Don’t worry.”
But I watch where she’s gone, panicking like crazy, just knowing that this isn’t like my friend at all. I hope she’s okay and she comes back soon.
Mom heads out to give us some time alone as a family, which I think we really need. Natasha is clearly still incredibly worried about Tara and she needs John to focus on to take her mind off of it. I’m worried too, to be perfectly honest, but I’m not going to let that show. I just have to assume that all will be good in the end.
“Do you want a hot drink?” I ask her, trying to do anything to make Natasha feel better.
“I don’t know. Yeah, maybe. I’m not too sure.” She shrugs and half smiles.
“Okay, well I will make you one anyway, then you can drink it if you want.”
I leave for the kitchen but spend a couple of moments leaning against the door frame, just watching her. She’s paying with John, engaging as much as she can, but there’s a glazed over look on her face so she isn’t one hundred percent there. She’s with Tara, worrying about what her friend is panicked about.
I wonder if she’s pregnant herself, or if she’s been having troubles in that department, or maybe if she has broken up with her boyfriend and this news has upset her. There is something liked to the babies that’s an issue. I guess we can only wait and find out. Although I have to admit, I do grab my cell phone secretly in the kitchen while the coffee pot boils and I call her just to see, but the call goes straight through to voice mail. She must have it turned off because she really doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
“Was that the door?” Natasha calls through to me. “Do you mind getting it? I’m not in the mood to talk to anyone. Sorry, Tony, I know that’s a bit shit since you’re already doing something…”
But I’m at the door before she even has time to finish that sentence. I will do anything to make her feel better right now. Plus, I need to keep making sure that she is resting and taking care of herself. I’m pretty sure that the reason she ended up in the hospital is because her body is doing so much work creating these babies, and she is over doing it. I intend to take on much more responsibility to make sure she is okay.
I swing the door open and stop still as I see who is on the other side. Not only is it Tara, who has returned much quicker than I imagined she would, she isn’t alone. And the two people with her are not ideal guests.
“What’s going on?” I whisper, trying not to alert Natasha because she’s already under enough stress as it is. “What are you all doing here? Don’t you think this is a bit...”
“We’re her parents,” her mom snaps back, clearly not pushing down her hostility towards me for this. But it isn’t her attitude towards me that bothers me. It’s the way that she treats her daughter.
“I don’t know if you have the right to that title anymore, do you?”
Tara holds her hands up in a gesture to stop us before this gets out of hand. I guess this must be why she left all of a sudden, and why she wants to be peace keeper now, but I don’t know if springing this on Natasha after the emotional day that she has been through is the best plan. I want to want her first.
“What’s going on?” Natasha calls, clearly sensing my mood. “Are you okay, Tony?”
“Er, yes, hold on a moment, I just need to…” I step outside to try and end this now. “Look, this isn’t the best time, okay? I don’t know what you’re here for, but this isn’t a good plan.”
“Listen to me,” Tara hisses. “Please. This isn’t to cause a row or anything, but I think that Natasha needs to spend time with her parents. Her not being in their lives anymore, them not knowing her children… you know that affects her far more than she lets on. With this news, I think that it’s time to get passed that.”
“But you can’t just make that decision for her. It’s up to Natasha…”
“But if I that left up to her, nothing will change. I just want to give this a try. It’s a good idea.”
I cock a disbelieving eyebrow at her. She knows Natasha just as well as I do, so she must understand that this isn’t the best plan. Intervening in family issues is never the best plan.
“What’s going on?” Before I can say anything else, Natasha appears behind me. I close my eyes and brace myself while I wait for her to realize what’s going on here. “Mom?” she gasps. “Dad?”
“Natasha, we think all this silliness has gone on for too long,” her dad pipes up. “It’s time to talk.”
At first, I think that she might cave right away and just let them back in to her life, but I should have had much more faith in her. “Time to talk? Now? Why is now the time to talk? What about when I was pregnant with John and you turned your back on me? You even treated me like shit in the streets, Mom!”
“Please don’t use that language with me.”
“Mom! You don’t get to tell me what to do anymore, how to behave, not a chance in hell.”
“I can tell you not to speak to me in a certain way if I don’t like it. I’m still your mother.”
“I’m not doing this.” Natasha turns back inside. “I’m not talking to you right now. This is not the time or place. I can’t even believe that you would come to me after all this time and just expect everything to be okay.”
Tara runs inside after her speaking rapidly, leaving me outside with her parents. I want to run inside as well to escape this awkwardness, but I really can’t. I have to just stand here, scuffing my feet on the ground, like I’m back to being the teenage boy dating their over protected daughter rather than the father of their grandchild.
Time ticks passed. It seems to be forever before Natasha comes back to the door and when she does, she isn’t all calm and collected. Whatever Tara said to her inside, it hasn’t done anything to placate her.
“Mom, Dad, I don’t want you here,” she spits out. “You aren’t welcome. I’m sorry, but you’re not. You turned your back on me when I needed you the most and now you don’t get to come back into my life again.”
There’s a thick coldness to the air which makes me feel terrible. For some reason, the anger in Natasha’s voice makes me have the tiniest bit of sympathy for her parents. What if they just made a mistake? But then maybe I am just thinking that because I have lost my father. There are some things you can’t get back…
“Look, Natasha,” the peace keeper, Tara, jumps back in. “Just have a moment, take some time. Listen to them. I went to get your parents to bring them here because I think that this rift has lasted for too long. I know you will end up regretting it if you don’t take this chance to just speak to them now.”
Natasha looks desperately at me and all I can do is nod. I do think she needs this. Now that I’m a little more used to the idea, I can see that Tara is right and they all need this. A lot has happened, there’s a lot of water under the bridge, but that doesn’t mean their relationship has to be over completely. After all, me and Natasha also had some really challenging times and we made it out the other sided. Anything is possible.
“Okay fine.” Natasha shakes her head and folds her arms across her chest. Her body language is the complete opposite to her words. “We can talk about this. If you think it will solve anything.”
She heads inside and I follow closely while sending up a silent prayer that this all works out okay. Actually, it would have been much better if my mom stuck around because she has the sort of personality that can put anyone at ease, especially now that she is much more comfortable with herself.
“What do we do?” I hiss to Tara. “Should we go, or…?” I point towards the stairs.
“No, we need to stick around in case this all goes badly. We also need to get John.”
“Right.” Natasha nods seriously. “So, what do you want to say to me then?”
As her parents remain silent, I nudge Tara gently. “You know, I think they might need you at the table.”
She shakes her head hard. “No way. I’ve already interfered enough. No more for me.”
This seems like the time when she should get in the middle of it, but I guess who am I to judge her choices? I might know Natasha well, but I have never really gotten to know her parents like that. She always kept me away from them as much as she could, for obvious reasons. So, if this is what she thinks is best then so be it.
I fuss John, trying to distract myself from the awkward tension, but it doesn’t go anywhere. This is a fucking pain, we haven’t really been back from the hospital long enough for this.
“Are you having another baby?” her mother finally asks. “Tara says that you have some more news?”
I shoot Tara a shocked look as Natasha cups her stomach, making her answer incredibly obvious before she even speaks. Tara just shrugs helplessly, also answering my question without words.
“Why do you think it’s another baby?” Natasha snaps. “It could be anything.”
“You have a similar paleness to your skin like you had in the beginning last time.”
“Hmm, do I? I’m surprised you even noticed me back then. You were just so busy yelling at me.”
“Please, Natasha, let’s just talk about this properly, shall we?”
“We have had plenty of time to talk about this properly.” She’s pretty much yelling now. “And you didn’t want to. So, why do I have to do everything on your terms, huh? Why now? Yes, I am having another baby. Twins, actually. So, I guess I’m having two more children. I’m sure that’s something you have an opinion on?”
“Twins?” Her mom looks a little faint. “Two more? Out of wed lock?”
Those words are like a nuclear bomb, destroying the whole room. Of course that’s what their issues are. They are the traditional type who I’m sure haven’t liked any of this. Especially when I was in a different country. I’m sure me being locked up for a while, even if I was proven innocent, doesn’t help.
The thing is I do want to marry Natasha, I have wanted to for most of my life, but when we are in the right place for it. Not because her folks want that of us. She will never go for that. Actually, what they are doing by pushing this is shoving her further and further away from the idea.
“Mom, it is none of your business what happens in my private life, so if you have come to lecture me about marriage then you can get out right now. I am not going to sit here and listen to you insult me. Not a chance in hell. After everything that I have been through alone, I sure don’t need you now.”
Mom can keep giving me that look all she wants, it isn’t going to change things. I’m fucking furious that she would come here after all this time and dare to give me this shit. It’s all wrong.
“No, please,” she tries. “That isn’t what I meant, I’m just a bit shocked, that’s all. I didn’t mean it to come out that way. It isn’t… I’m sorry, I know that I need to work on myself. I shouldn’t put my views on you.”
Hmm, that knocks me back a bit. It isn’t like my mother to admit she’s wrong, so this is good. I think. Unless it’s all part of some game of hers and she is eventually going to try and make me do what she wants.
“No, Mother, you shouldn’t. Because this is my life, not yours. I don’t think you have ever known that.”
She nods slowly. I don’t know how much of this she is taking in and accepting, but it does seem to be a step in the right direction. She’s not shutting me down and spouting a lot of nonsense at me.
“I don’t believe in relations before marriage, you know that, so I guess I have been disappointed, but I also want to get to know my grandchild, and the others on the way. I want us to be a family again.”
“Even though you don’t agree with all of my life choices? Because I don’t want any negativity in my life. I have been through struggles. Things that you were not around for so you can’t even begin to understand. I am in a good place now and I don’t want that changed because you’re coming back in to my life. I mean, I have got this far without you, I can keep on going if that’s what it takes. That’s fine with me.”
I can see in Mom’s face that she knows how serious I am. I really do mean this. Much as it sucks, I have come to terms with life without them, I know that I can easily survive.
“We don’t want to be without you anymore, Natasha. Watching you go through all those things – and we did watch, we did want to be there for you – was horrible. But you have a truly great strength. When Tony was locked away and the press were hounding you, you did well. We were so proud of you.”
I get a little choked up, but I try not to let that show too much. I don’t want them to know that I might be cracking just a tiny bit. They don’t deserve that quite yet. “Not proud enough to reach out though.”
Dad hangs his head low. He is silent, like he is a lot of the time, allowing my mother to do the talking for him but I have a feeling that he has a lot of regrets over what has happened with our family. I do feel bad for him, a little bit, but there are also plenty of times when he could have spoken out.
“You also sold a story, didn’t you?” I continue, the rage and hurt of that moment flooding me once more. “You made comments about me, calling me terrible things. You said that you disowned me, didn’t you? That you couldn’t agree with anything that I have been doing. So, you didn’t have that much sympathy.”
“It wasn’t like that,” Mom insists. “It was a comment made in the heat of the moment to the wrong person. I didn’t know that woman worked for the media, I thought that she cared about me.”
“How naïve do you have to be to believe that, Mom? I’m not stupid, you know.”
“I know. But I was. I was very stupid, and I’m sorry. I would never do something like that to purposely hurt you. I wouldn’t. I wanted to reach out to you after that, but I didn’t think you would want to see me.”
“No, I wouldn’t. I didn’t. I was so damn hurt. It was dreadful.”
“I know,” she whispers. “It must have been horrible. I wish that I could take it back somehow.”
She can’t. She will never be able to, that has gone now, so I guess there isn’t much point in arguing about it. Yes, my feelings were hurt, but I have had so many nice things happen to me since then that I just can’t be bothered to keep it up. This isn’t so much me forgiving everything that has happened, just letting it go because I have so much else to worry about. Going around in endless circles is a waste of time.
“Dad, do you have anything to say about this?” I decide to confront him. To get him to speak.
“I’m just sorry for all of it,” he says quietly, surprising me actually. “I didn’t want any of this. I just want us all to be a proper family again. I don’t like all of this separation. It isn’t right. You’re our daughter, John is our grand child, I don’t want us all to be miles apart emotionally over this.”
“I don’t want that either.” I toss my hands in the air in frustration. “I never wanted that.”
“So, let’s take this chance today to repair things. Today could be a step in the right direction.”
This is what Tara wanted, this is why she started all of this today. My pregnancy with John broke our relationship and I think that she wants the twins to repair us. It would be better than nothing, I suppose. If this works, I will have to be eternally grateful to my friend for making the right move for me… again, just like she always does. She always seems to know what’s best. I should start listening
“Okay then fine.” I cave because it’s the right thing to do. “Let’s start again today. See how this will work…”
* * *
“Wow,” I gasp as I close the door behind Tara and my parents. “That was something else, wasn’t it?”
“Certainly unexpected.” Tony nods and wipes mock sweat from his forehead. “But how do you feel about it all now? Are you glad that it happened and you have your parents back?”
“Hey, I don’t know if I am going to fully let them back in yet. I’m not totally convinced that they can stick to their word and keep their opinions to themselves. But I’m willing to give them a try to just see.”
Tony pulls me to him and crashes his lips to mine, allowing the tingles to spread all across my mouth. “I think that is a very good plan. Have your heart open, but keep your head screwed on as well.”
“Exactly.” I feel happy and settled with my decision. This is right. “I can give them a chance.”
“Well, they said that they are going to come and see John more, so that’s a good start. And at least he’s young enough now for it not to be too damaging if they don’t follow through on that.”
“And if they don’t, he will still have your mother, us, and Tara, just like it’s always been”.
Thank goodness that’s what was worrying Tara and not something more serious. I got myself all freaked out and worried that it was something to do with me or the babies… but she just wanted to do something nice. It could have back fired, and to be fair it almost did, but it turned out alright in the end.
“You know, your parents did get me thinking…” Tony starts, immediately worrying me.
“Uh oh. What do you mean by that? What did they make you think about?”