narrated by Hadley
Tattling is part of the job title of being a sister. When Julia decided to keep dating Isaac, I made it my personal goal in life to make her life miserable. I told on her at school if she held Isaac’s hand, or went off to make out behind the locker rooms. If she was late to class, I told Mom and Dad, and when she started acting sneaky, I knew she was really up to something. Isaac’s a jerk, and I thought for sure she was becoming an anorexic just to please him and become even thinner. I had my suspicions but what I really needed was solid proof, so I pretended to be sleeping on Saturday morning, and just laid in bed waiting for my opportunity to pounce.
I was smug, my expression full of satisfied pride, just wait til Mom and Dad found out about this! I was gloating, watching her clean up the throw up that had missed the toilet, trying to hide what she was doing.
“He’s not worth it.” I said as she was finishing up. “You are skinny enough, believe me.”
She startled, and when I caught the confusion in her eyes, I knew it was not anorexia, and I wanted to kill Isaac.
I was just about to yell at her for being stupid, and rub it in that I’d always known Isaac was scum, but she lowered her head to start crying, and all those thoughts disappeared.
She was shaking at such an intensity, that her fear started to rub off on me. I told her that I’d go with her when she told Mom and Dad, but she shook her head no at me. “I have to do this on my own.” She’d always been the responsible one between the two of us, and I just couldn’t comprehend that this was actually happening.
“Are you sure? Have you taken a test?”
“Two.” She admitted, and then began sobbing harder.
My mind was flooded with questions, and at the bottom of it all, my hatred for Isaac grew. He lived just down the road, and I wanted nothing more than to run him over with my car. “When?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm, and inner rage hidden from Julia.
She was hiccuping now, and sniffing hard, “Halloween.” Each time she responded to a question, she went into further fits, I decided to leave the questions for later.
Downstairs, we could hear Grandma getting her keys, and instructing Mom that she would be back later. She was running to Northern Moose to drop the guys off some lunch, then get some groceries. She was taking Simon with, and after we heard the car leave, Julia broke from the hug. She wiped her eyes with shaking hands, and took a deep breath. “I’m going to tell Mom now.”
I nodded, this was the best time with everyone else gone. I offered once again to go with her, but she shook her head, and with one last deep breath, she went down the stairs.
I stayed at the top of the steps, not moving a muscle, afraid I’d make the floorboards creek. I could tell that Julia and Mom were in the kitchen, but I could only hear mumbling. I knew when Julia had spit it out though, because Mom gasped, and cried out, “Julia, no!”
Both of them started crying, and I was thinking I could go downstairs then, when Mom told Julia to go upstairs, she had to call Dad home. At that point, I was glad I hadn’t ventured downstairs, I really didn’t want to be down there when she told Dad.
A moment later Julia was trudging up the stairs, she gave me a funny look sitting at the top, then just walked past into our bedroom. I was torn on waiting for Dad to come home and hear what his reaction was, and going to comfort Julia. In the end, I went into our bedroom.
Dad came home with Grandpa, they must have known by Mom’s crying that something was seriously wrong, and they started yelling real quick. It was quickly divided by sides, Dad was adamant that Julia had to give the baby up for adoption, and both Mom and Grandpa were completely against that. They couldn’t imagine having their grandchild being out there, raised by some stranger.
It was loud, and Julia sat still next to me, barely breathing, just listening to them shout. No one was asking her what she wanted to do, and it pissed me off.
Grandpa asked who was the Dad, and Mom admitted she hadn’t asked, and then there was the stomping of doom up the stairs. Even though I’d done nothing wrong, my stomach dropped with dread. Dad threw the door open that it hit my bed and bounced back toward him. “Who’s the boy?”
He was livid, I’d never seen him like this in my entire life, and I’d gotten in a lot of trouble before. Julia muttered Isaac’s name, and I felt that Dad would surely join me in running the puke over. He didn’t say anything else though, just turned and left once he got the name.
Turned out, they were inviting the Gavigan’s over for a talk. Julia shrunk lower in the bed.
“Does he know?” I had to ask, this seemed like a really awful way for his parents to find out.
She nodded, and turned her face away from me, “He broke up with me, said it wasn’t his.”
“I slept with him too, if that makes you feel better?”
She chuckled this sad little sound, “Not really.” And then we both did this pathetic laugh together.
The Gavigans arrived quickly. I heard Grandpa call Grandma on her cell, and told her to stay away until this was over, no one wanted Simon to hear any of this. Lucky kid, clueless to the world, and troubles of real life.
It went bad. Dad told them that “their boy had knocked up their girl.” And they denied it.
They didn’t just say that he didn’t, which they wouldn’t even know. But they started calling Julia awful names, and with each word, Julia shrunk lower and lower.
“Their son would never get a girl pregnant.” They were sure of that, and they fought his honor nearly to the death. Dad was trying to remain calm, and talk about what they should do about the situation, but the Gavigans never let him finish a sentence, and they wouldn’t agree that it was even possible for their son to get his girlfriend pregnant.
It went on for a good period of time, and then Grandpa snapped. He stomped into the dining room, and shouted that they had to leave, and they needed to get their no-good son off his porch before he called the police.
I’d never been so proud of Grandpa in all my life. The Gavigans were not impressed by his tone of voice, but he kept shouting over them to leave, each time they tried to speak a word.
“Come on.” I whispered to Julia, “lets get out of here.”
I got up to grab her some clothes, grabbing her favorite jeans off the floor. “Not those jeans, they’re too tight.”
“Oh.” I looked down at the jeans, and what it represented. “You can wear mine, I’ve always been a size bigger than you.” I tossed them at her, “Now hurry, before the Gavigans actually do leave.”
We snuck down the stairs, and I tried to push from my mind the fact that my sister was really pregnant, that her jeans were too tight, and soon, the whole world would know that she was pregnant, that she’d had sex with a boy.
As we were pulling out, I saw Isaac on the porch, and it took every ounce to keep me in the car. I wanted nothing more than to kill him. I’ve disliked people before, but I’ve never felt this much rage inside me, if it weren’t for Julia needing me, I would have liked to kill him.
I hadn’t thought past the moment of getting Julia out of the house, so she didn’t have to hear any more of those awful, untrue things about herself. I had forgotten my purse, and my car was near empty. I couldn’t afford to leave Millwood, nor to really drive around. We had both forgotten our coats, so I settled on parking in front of Hamilton Park, and letting the car run to keep the heater going.
The heater and gas was where my mind was, but Julia’s wasn’t. She was looking out the window, and did a strangled gasp. “I’m going to have one of those? How can I even do this?”
“I don’t know.” Maybe tattling is part of being a sister, but a part of being a big sister is the fact that I should know more, have more experience, and be able to lead my little sister when things are complicated. I couldn’t do any of that in this situation. We sat there, Julia feeling terrified, and myself useless, when I saw Dad’s truck pull up behind us.
I’d never been as happy to see him as I was then. This was out of my league, there wasn’t anything I could do for Julia, and all I wanted was for Mom or Dad to take over. His anger and shock had disappeared; he looked smaller now, crushed.
“I’m sorry Daddy.”
“Me too.” He hugged me tight, then reached in his pocket to grab his keys, “take the truck back, I’ll take care of Julia.”
I started toward his truck, then remembered the gas, “It needs gas.” He felt in his back pocket to be sure he had his wallet, then gave me a nod as he ducked into the tiny car.
Grandma was still gone when I pulled back into our driveway, and I envied Simon with his oblivious nature more than ever before. Everything was a mess, and I couldn’t see how anything was ever going to be good again.
Mom was on the phone trying to schedule a doctors appointment for Julia, and I just went up to my room to attempt some homework, anything to get my mind off of these events. I ended up falling asleep with my face on my books, and woke to hear Julia whispering into her cell phone.
“I need you,” she whispered, I kept still so she wouldn’t know I was awake.
“Please, you know it’s yours. I can’t do this by myself.” I could hear his voice muffled through the phone, he talked too loudly, too confident. Whatever he said, it wasn’t good, Julia spoke hardly above a whisper, “Ok,” then hung up the phone, and started crying.
It felt wrong to have heard her conversation, so I got out of bed to give her some privacy. I was going to find some dinner, but found that Mom and Dad were sitting in the living room and talking. So I sat down on the steps, hoping they might go to bed sooner than later.
“Why are you fighting with me?” Mom’s voice broke, she kept pushing her hair out of her face, revealing the puffiness under her eyes. They both looked just as lost and broken as I felt on the inside, and it scared me. I’d never seen my parents not know how to solve a problem.
“I’m not fighting with you, Leah,” Dad’s shoulders dropped, “Don’t you see, I’m fighting for our baby girl. I want her to have her dreams, and the chance at the life she always wanted. Keeping this baby would change everything. It would ruin her, for Pete sake, she’s only fourteen. Fourteen, Leah!”
“I know. But we can help her out,” she was grasping for hope, trying to find a solution. I could feel her desperation from here. “I can take care of the baby while she’s in school, I already stay home as it is other than volunteering in Simon’s class. It really wouldn’t trouble for me to watch the baby. As a family, we can do this, and Julia can still work toward being a Journalist, none of that has to change.”
“Everything’s changed, Leah. Nothing will ever be the same, nothing.”
I decide I’d rather go to bed hungry, then hear more of their hopeless conversation. Julia was in bed when I came back in the room; she was facing the wall with the comforter up to her neck. I don’t say anything, knowing she couldn’t possibly be asleep already, but letting her believe she tricked me.
Sometime later I wake up with the room still dark, the sky outside just beginning to have light behind the forest. Julia had tripped on some clothes as she tried to sneak out the room in the dark. I can hear Grandma downstairs in the kitchen filling the coffee pot with water. Once Julia is downstairs, I can hear Grandma offer Julia some hot cocoa, and a slice of pie. I can tell that she feels bad, Grandma never eats pie before three in the afternoon.
Grandma tells her that she loves her, and that she’ll make it through this. I don’t know what Dad told Julia in the car, but this is the first time I’ve heard someone else say something encouraging to her. After Grandpa kicked out the Gavigans, and Grandma making her cocoa, it makes me love my Grandparents even more than before.
The next morning, Julia wakes me up telling me to get dressed, that Mom got her an appointment with Dr. Morgan. My stomach is grumbling, and I could really use a shower, but I get dressed to go with her. Mom only raises an eyebrow as I get in the car with them.
We get right in, which is good, because the waiting room is full of pregnant ladies, and newborns, and magazines filled with happy couples that are expecting. Everything about this is wrong, and I can tell Julia feels it too.
Dr. Morgan is nice though, she doesn’t judge Julia for being a knocked up freshman. She does an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy, I think she wanted her to feel more connected to the baby. I don’t know if that worked, but it was wild to see that there is a baby inside my sister.
Her due date is July, around the fourth of July, and there is only one baby. Which none of us had even feared their being two, but there is a collective sigh of relief with that news. Mom took over the appointment from there, with questions about diet, and options. Mom and Morgan are friends, though they don’t see each other as often anymore, so after the appointment is over, she has a private meeting with her in the office.
We are heading back to the car, leaving Mom to find us when she finishes, when Julia pauses by the nursery window.
“I’m going to have one of those. Can you believe it?”
“No.” I shake my head, I’ve known for a full twenty-four hours now, and I still can’t believe it. Just yesterday morning, I thought my sister was an anorexic, and that she was going to be grounded, and that seems like a lifetime ago. “I can’t believe I’m going to be an aunt at seventeen.”
“Or me being a Mom at fifteen.” She swallows, “I can’t be a Mom at fifteen, I can’t.”
Notes: I sat down to write this update, and Shinedown’s awesome song, “45” is what came to my mind. Not a perfect match, but heck, I love this group.
Now for Julia! This story is far from over, we will be touching base with this family frequently through other households. I feel sad for Julia, of all the girls to have this happen. She is due in July. When I saw Isaac on the porch, just yawning away, man, I would have let Hadley kill him! He is by far my least favorite sim, ever!
Thanks for reading!