crushed by her own weight

*warning: this will be long*
may 2017
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Annie Carver (27 years), Ella Carver (5 years)
(Cesar Gonzales – 31 years)

Each tick of the clock echoed in the room, it was just me and the passing of time, waiting. I’d came here this morning quickly after Ella left on the school bus, I had thought there was plenty of time before Cesar’s lunch break at work. His break started three minutes ago. I already sent him a text to delay, and that I was running late. I didn’t respond when he had text back asking why.

What was there to say? Nothing yet. It was just me alone, my thoughts tormenting me and replaying horrors of my past. I’d never done a monogamous relationship before, it was Cesar’s rule in the beginning. He thought we had gone two years strong this past April. We hadn’t. I cheated to pass English, Science, even Math. Some students had at least one class they were good at, I didn’t have any. And I cheated on Cesar with the bartender.

I swallowed, attempting to push the guilt down. At the end of the day Cesar was good, his parents were church-goers. My dad was an alcoholic, my mom left us. We were the poor family that the good people looked down on, and I was the girl that rich kids mocked. Hallmark made movies about my type of family, so the rich people would feel a good ounce of pity, and feel like they’d done their part in the world.

Sometimes you know the answer to your fear before anyone has time to confirm it.

She had a smile, that meant she brought good news. Little did she know that my idea of good news was negative.

I was stoic as she made her way around the desk, apologizing for the long delay, telling me she had good news. Good news for me would be the cash to pay for rent, and buy Ella an outfit that wasn’t from the thrift store.

I can’t hide my emotions as well as I used to, and she judges me.

I can see it on her face. She’s disappointed that another life has been created to an unloving, undeserving mother.

I don’t hate her for it, I pity this unborn child as much as I pity Ella for being stuck with me.

When I arrive twenty minutes past noon I spot Cesar outside talking with his Mother. He looks excited and I’d guess he’d just sold a car. His Mother doesn’t like me, she’s never been rude, but I can just tell. I don’t have that church-glow to me, I have an illegitimate child, and soon I’ll have another, little did she know.

We exchange pleasantries, because Maria doesn’t have a rude bone in here, and then we are off. Cesar is thrilled, he sold a car for a large profit, and can’t stop waving his arms around in excitement. When we arrive at Shortstack it’s packed with the lunch crowd.

I had to tell Matt about having Ella, and it resulted in lies, and empty promises. I feel nauseous at the idea of telling Cesar, I finish my water right as the waitress sets it down, and she gives me a puzzled look when she walks by to find it empty a moment later.

I wasn’t afraid that he would respond badly as Matt had. I was terrified he’d be happy, maybe not thrilled at first, but eventually, he would be. He would be the kind of Dad to be excited, and buy little teddy bears. I knew he would, because he was great with Ella, and he had bought her a teddy bear when he first met her.

After our food was delivered and the waitress stopped hovering while we inspected our food, I just told him. Simply that I’d been at the doctors, had my blood drawn, and that we were most definitely having a baby.

He was surprised, probably because he uses protection. But he knows as well as me that it’s not fool proof, and he didn’t say anything negative. I didn’t expect him too.

What he did say was that we should get married. He said it like it was the next logical step, like it wasn’t odd or a big commitment or even a big deal.

I sputter that I’m not marriage material, that he doesn’t want to marry me, and he gives me that look.

I know the look, it’s the look that good people get when they watch Hallmark. Poor broken Annie, it says, she’s really screwed up. I hurt his feelings though, turning down the proposition of marriage.

And now I feel bad. I try to explain the differences of good people, and me, but he doesn’t look any better.

He doesn’t talk much after that, and when I drop him off at work, his shoulders are slumped. I just took what could’ve been a joyous day and ruined it. He sold a car, found out he was going to be a father, and quite possibly could have been engaged, and I squashed it. He looks like a boy whose new toy has been destroyed, and it’s all my fault.

I get set up some appointments with Kenzie to see if I qualify for any type of aid. I only make $150 doing the Horoscope Hotline, it’s not enough, and my place is too small for another person.

I’m just poor enough, that I qualify for one of the rundown houses in South Port. I still have a piece of the loan to pay, but half of it has been covered by people’s donations to help the poor.

It’s a dump. We lived in Millwood in a decent duplex, by beautiful parks, and now Ella would live in the city. If she didn’t know she was poor before now, she will today.

It takes a few trips in my car, and paying a guy at work fifty bucks to use his truck, to get our stuff moved in. We filled the duplex out alright, but this house is empty with our belongings.

Ella loves the new house, it has three stories, and three bedrooms. Her favorite part is the pile of sand in the backyard, I’m afraid neighborhood cats might’ve defecated it, but I couldn’t find anything when I’d looked.

She likes the park being next door, it’s run down, and always filled with guys shooting hoops. She misses Cesar, I haven’t called him, he hasn’t called me. I don’t know if we are still together or if we broke up, I can’t tell from replaying the conversation. But as more time passes, it feels more like a break up.

The guys take pity on her, a kid without a Dad isn’t abnormal in this side of town. They all shout out greetings to her when they walk by to the court, and they’ll even push her on the merry-go-round too.

I just have to walk through the alley to get to the park to find her. She seems like a favorite among the crowd.

I appreciate the guys, but hate when they try talking to me. I’m not on the market, or maybe I am. I don’t know, but I’m not interested in relationships.

I work the night shift, and still have Charity come to watch Ella. I’d like a better shift, but there aren’t openings in my department. We eat macaroni and cheese quick before I head out for the night.

Ella’s been whining a lot. She hates doing her homework, and when I get in at 2am, Charity always tells me that she put up a fight once again. I was awful at school, and I can’t help but feel bad that Ella is too. It’d be easier if she was gifted, or maybe it’d just be a bigger disappointment. It happens all the time, a great kid has potential, but lacks opportunity.

I only see Ella a few hours each day, and she always has stories to tell me about a little boy named Alex who is grumpy and no one likes. I hope she doesn’t grow up trying to fix men, it’s a sad, lonely road.

During the day it’s just me in the big empty house that I can’t afford to furnish properly. There’s a third bedroom, but I don’t have the money for crib. I traded it all in at the thrift store when Ella needed a bigger bed.

When my doorbell rang I figured it was solicitors, we get them a lot over here. Most are selling insurance or services, but it was Cesar with a bag of groceries. I hadn’t told him I’d moved or to where. It’d all happened so quickly, and I’d jumped on the house before some other poor and needy family could.

He looks beaten down and broken, and I know that I did this. There’s an attempt to have this seem ok to him, so he forces this little lift to the corner of his mouth as he hands me the bag, “Thought you could use these things.”

I take the bag and start walking to the kitchen. I look inside to find bread, a flashlight, coffee. He’s right, I don’t have a flashlight, a good mother would have those things. They’d be prepared for cuts, fevers, and power outages.

I pull the coffee out questioningly, and he blushes a little.

“Coffee has got to be better for the baby than beer.” He sort of shrugs like he doesn’t really care if I drink to my death, but we both know he does, at least I hope so.

“I don’t like the taste.”

“Maybe you could try, just to see again. Taste changes as we get older.”

I just shrug, afraid to look him in the eye, scared to see what I’d find. I move to put the coffee in the fridge, he fumbles with his hands, then settles on crossing them over his chest.

I watch from the corner of my eye as I continue to unpack the contents of the bag. I know he has something specific on his mind, but he keeps skirting it, and I don’t want to press. I’m not sure I’m ready to answer any questions he has, or hear any big speech if he has one.

“I don’t have a coffee maker.” I say simply to break the heavy silence.

He’s taking in my house, looking at the living room, then setting his eyes on my counter covered in bottles. That and my comment sets him off.

“Why can’t you just let me in” he begins in a controlled, pleading outburst. “I’m not like him, you know this!”

He walks to the couch and slumps down, he looks like my Dad when he found my Mother’s note. I hate my father, I swore as a child he drove my Mother away, but I know it was her in the end. She was awful, and here I was being the same. After not seeing her for more than twenty years, I still grew up to be my mother.

“I want to be good.” I whisper, “I’m just.. not. I do stupid things all the time, and even though I fight being like my parents, I swear it’s all I see when I look in the mirror. I’d love to share the responsibility of screwing up Ella and this new baby, but I can’t handle the thought of bringing you into my misery. I just can’t be more than what I am.” I slump my shoulders, these were the things I hid in my soul, things I knew to be true of myself, but didn’t want anyone else to see.

He startles me by standing up, but he doesn’t move towards me. “We don’t have to get married Annie. I would, but we can just do it your way if you want, for now.”

“It’s not fair.” I mumble, looking at my scuffed kitchen floor, “Ella deserves a Dad who loves her and anticipated her arrival. It’s not right that she got him, and this,” my hand hovered at my waist a moment before I dropped it quickly, “this one has you.”

He quickly filled the space between us, and wrapped his arms on me, his face contorted in a desperate plea. “I love her, Annie, like my own daughter. Screw Matt, please let us try, let me be like a father to Ella too.”

There’s this empty space in my heart, a place where these are the magic words that I desperately hope are true. Cause at the end of the day, I know that my best isn’t good enough for Ella. But with Cesar, maybe it could be.

Notes: Miss Annie got herself a risky woohoo (despite Cesar having bc), this happened quite a while ago, back when Miriam got pregnant! Remember when I was redoing my terrain, I kept popping into households, and kept coming out with pregnancies, well this was one of them. It wasn’t Annie’s turn in the rotation and I wanted time to decide what Annie would do and want in this situation.

Annie is due in January 2018. Cesar rolled the engagement want immediately, but Annie doesn’t rush to do society-driven things, and isn’t quite ready to jump into matrimony. If she decides to she will be decently well-off. Cesar’s dad owns Juan’s Dealership which consists of two auto lots, a nice one (which Juan runs himself), and a more economical one (which Cesar runs).

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16 thoughts on “crushed by her own weight

    1. Thanks Starr, I’m rooting for Cesar in this too, Annie is a commitment phobe, anytime she hooks up with someone she gets that fear. She has two fears of marriage currently, the bartender, and Cesar, and she’s afraid Matt will die. She hasn’t seen him in over two years though, which is good! I’d rather Matt just drop off, but Annie probably still has a hope that Ella will know her real father, and is probably hoping he doesn’t drop off before Ell would have that chance.

  1. I’m with Starr and Cesar. Annie definitely needs to get over the past, other wise she’ll never be able to move on with her life.

    I actually really like their new house. Sure it’s not the prettiest place, or I’n the best neighborhood, but I like it. It’s got a ton of character. 🙂

    Great update. 🙂

    1. Thanks Coolkat, I love their new house too! I actually enjoyed it being so empty, it made sense that she wouldn’t have a lot, not even clutter from her past since she lost everything when she joined the military, and then got discharged.

      I’d like to see Annie at least roll away her fears of marriage, it would be a nice sign to me that she isn’t afraid of it so much.

  2. I hope Annie does let Cesar in and let him help her care for the kids. Ella could use a stable father in her life and Cesar seems like he loves both her and Annie a lot. He could possibly help Annie turn her life around if she’ll let him.

    1. Thanks Shana! I do think Annie would let Cesar stick around, just not with wedding rings, not til her fears roll away at the very least. I’m not about to traumatize her! I bet it’d be enough to tank her completely, and that wouldn’t be a good wedding day for Cesar ether. Cesar adores Ella, and vice versa, Annie couldn’t ask for a better step-dad I don’t think.

  3. Classic self-fulfilling prophecy. She thinks she doesn’t deserve a good man and a good life, so she shuts out a good one before she can be rejected.

    Man, I didn’t realize Ella is a child already. Where does the time go?

    1. Thanks Laurel, this is the first time I’ve played her household as a child, the last update she was 3. I was super excited to age her up to child, she looks like Annie but also looks like Matt’s twin boys too. I’m hopeful that the next few months of pregnancy will help Annie get over some of her fears, and start having some hopes for the future, better than the ones she has now anyway.

  4. Awww, I’m wishing lots of luck to these guys. Cesar is a good man, and if she lets herself, they could make a nice life together. I hope she can convince herself that she deserves to be happy too.

    1. Thanks Laura, I think Cesar would be a good match for her too, it wasn’t a pairing that I saw happening nor sticking out. Then the pregnancy, and I knew that Cesar, for how much he loves Ella, wouldn’t just walk away from his own child. I hope Annie doesn’t screw it up, she gets some wild public wants. I was trying to fulfill her wants to get some new ones this round, and she did photo booth woohoo with Cesar six times, and it kept rerolling. She has quite the appetite! And she does roll the wants for higher numbers as well from time to time, I guess Cesar isn’t always available?

      Thanks about their new place, I really like it too. Plenty of room for more stuff and a third bedroom for a nursery. The front room/living room area has an odd layout, which makes it more interesting/challenging to decorate, and authentic too, cause a lot of older houses are just kind of goofy in their design.

  5. Oh wow, another baby. I didn’t see that one comming!
    I really hope she starts seeing that she deserves some happiness in her life as well! Cesar really is a great guy, especially for her, and he love little Ella, what more can she ask for?
    I really hope she lets herself be happy!
    I like her new place, even though she has no money at the moment to decorate it. It looks spacious, and there’s potential 🙂 Ella seemed to have settled in very well.

    1. Thanks Tanja! I don’t know what else Annie would want, it is true that Cesar loves her and Ella, which is more than Matt or the bartender ever even wanted to do. Ella didn’t bat an eye at moving, she brought a kid home from the bus, Emory (pnpc) who happens to live near her by a block, so I guess she’s really jumping right in to her new hood. And the new home is spacious, three bedrooms, three floors. Annie’s bedroom is “attic” style on the third though, but has tons of space too.

  6. I really hope Annie lets Cesar in. He’s clearly a good guy. Not that I think she should rush and marry the guy but she should definitely give him a chance to be the father he wants to be. Annie is so down on herself and maybe being with someone like Cesar, who can love and appreciate her (and Ella!) is just what she needs. I mean, the whole “no relationships” thing hasn’t really worked out for her. Perhaps it’s time to turn over a new leaf and try something new.

    1. I’d like Annie to get rid of her fears of marriage, then I could see her maybe being open to having Cesar live with her. I’m sort of hopeful that it happens before she delivers. It’d be nice to have another adult to help with everything. But it could be interesting if she keeps those fears too I suppose. There is no doubt that Cesar is a good guy, I didn’t intend for these two to hook up, nor get knocked up, but he seems like a good thing for her. I just hope she doesn’t ruin it, she rolls those multiple partner pretty regular as well, and she is one that ACR likes to have some fun with.

      Which reminds me! Ella loves Cesar! She doesn’t care at all that her Mom is dating/kissing him, and Zeke was in this same situation when Kenzie started dating Tyler, and he hated his mother and Tyler every time they did any PDA. He was one fuming kid, and Ella doesn’t care at all. I always thought it was the situation built into the game, but maybe certain kids don’t care? Those are my only two kids that I’ve had this type of situation with. Did your Nick care when his parents were kissing others or was he too young?

      Thanks Carla!

  7. Wow, Annie seems to be the type who’s more comfortable being self-destructive than anything else. What a shame. I agree with the self-fulfilling aspect too.

    I wish she could allow love to enter her life and not be consumed by her own misery. If she does, here’s hoping she become monogamous. Cesar would be devastated if he ever finds out. This was great reading, Maisie.

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