narrated by: Annie
Something’s gotta give, I think to myself. Ella’s three years old now, and everything still feels messy and lonely. She’s constantly getting into messes, if I leave her alone for just a minute, she hightails it to the toilet to splash in the water.
The best part of my day is nap time. Two hours to myself.
But she never wakes up happy, she’s always crying loudly, in this high pitch scream.
The only thing she really likes to do is dance, and play outside on the toddler slide. But it rains a lot in the spring, and she gets upset when I tell her no.
Before Christmas, Cara yelled at me about Matthew. I was upset with her at the time, but she was right in the end. Matthew doesn’t want anything to do with Ella, and not really with me ether. We hooked up that night, and I haven’t heard from him since. I’ve grown weary of his games, and decided that if anything was going to change, it had to start with me.
So I called Cara up and told her I needed a new look to go with my new attitude. I really needed some adult time, and to do something nice for myself.
We went to Salon Sisters, years ago Grace lived in the same apartment complex as me, and I thought it’d be fun to stop in for a visit.
Grace and Cara made a big deal about how great my new style was, which made me feel great.
I was hopeful that my forced changes were going to be just what I needed, until we were leaving and I saw Emma at the register, standing there, obviously pregnant. Then my stomach dropped, and I forced myself to look away like I hadn’t seen her.
We had to pick up Cara’s daughter Lulu on the way to the diner, and I just had to ask if Emma was having Matthew’s baby. Cara didn’t know, and didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss that in front of Lulu.
I tried talking about it in a whisper, needing to talk about this, but Cara was not interested in the conversation. She said that it wasn’t likely Matthews anyway, what were the odds? I felt that they were pretty strong odds, personally.
Most of Cara’s attention was on Lulu, talking about how she gets to bring the class gerbil home from school next week, and how proud she was of her doing well in school. She’d also reprimand her when she behaved inappropriately.
I sat there, nodding my head when it was appropriate, but mostly thinking two things. First, what if Emma was having Matthew’s baby? My gut just told me it had to be. And second, what five year old, in their right mind, eats like this out in public?
By the time we were done eating, I was ready to go home and deal with my own child. I desperately like her more than other people’s kids, even though she’s always been too much for me to handle. She just freaks out about everything, bath time, rain, staying out of toilets.
But she’s still mine, and I prefer her over others.
The last thing on my list of changes, was getting my own transportation. I’ve been working as a phone fortune teller for a while now, and managed to save a little bit of money to buy an old beater. This meant that I wouldn’t have to take a taxi into South Port anymore, and that would start saving me money right away.
My neighbor Michelle babysits for me while I work the late shift, but isn’t available to help out during the day, since she works too. So I had to hire a babysitter, and I was more nervous about this then I thought I would be. I ended up going with a girl named Charity, who came highly recommended.
Ella seemed to like her well enough.
I ended up going to Juan’s to buy an old Ford Pinto. In the process, the car dealer, Cesar ended up asking for my number, and I gave it. I think that the old Annie would have given it just the same, but this time I did it to specifically move forward. Plus he’s pretty good looking.
He called to go on a date, and I arranged for Charity to come babysit again. The date seemed to be hit or miss, sometimes I thought he was more interested in ordering his next drink than anything I had to say.
Other times he seemed kind of sweet. Embarrassingly I admitted that this was my first time dancing, besides Sadie Hawkins dance in the tenth grade. My Dad never allowed me to do anything outside of school, and I’d only been able to go cause he had landed himself in jail for the weekend, from driving under the influence.
We went on a few more dates, before I invited him to come and meet Ella. Each date got easier and less clumsy, and I was pretty sure he liked me, since he called to arrange all these dates.
I was still nervous when he knocked on the door though. Ella hadn’t even met her Dad, not really. He never sat down or even acknowledged her with a hello. And here was this man, who was not her father, that was coming over to specifically meet her. He wanted to, he had said.
Ella was shy from him. But he seemed to genuinely be interested in her. There isn’t anything much hotter than a guy taking interest in my daughter, I didn’t think it’d feel as great as it did.
He even brought her this odd teddy bear in a jogging suit. I teased that it was a little strange looking, and I think I hurt his feelings a little. Ella seemed to like it, though she used it primarily as a chew toy.
We put Ella to bed that night, and it felt good having someone else in the house to talk to when she was asleep. In the past, I’d lay on the sofa, bored, happy that Ella was asleep, but crazily missing her. I felt nervous to be alone with Cesar though, other than Matthew, it’s all I’ve known for a long time, and Matthew is clearly not a good choice for me.
When I told Cesar about my crazy past and Ella’s Dad, he didn’t seem to judge me, though I’ve always clearly been the other woman. He did make it clear though, that he can’t be in a relationship with me, unless I’m only in one with him.
I didn’t know if I was going to be good at being in a real relationship, but waking up in the morning to him making eggs and bacon for us, was probably the best morning I’ve ever had.
While Annie rolled wants for Matthew at Cara’s house, she only had one want for him this time. She had the want to go on a date, and so Cesar it was, since she met him and liked him at the car lot. While on the date she rolled her one want for Matthew – To marry him. But it rolled away very quickly, and didn’t reappear. Matthew didn’t call at all, and while her first date with Cesar wasn’t amazing, her second date was.
Her big problem with Cesar is that they don’t have the most conversation topics… so I don’t know how well they’d do for long term. We’ll see. But I really hope someone marries Cesar, cause he’s a cutie. His parents own the two car lots, and he manages the cheaper one, and I’ve been wanting someone to marry him forever!
He has chemistry with Eva, and did some flirting with her when she bought her car, but neither had wants, so nothing. He has chemistry with quite a few of my ladies actually.