edge of a knife (part 1)

june 2018
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Isaac Gavigan (18 years), Julia (15 years)

I’ve been pondering the meaning of romance lately, mostly when the house is quiet except for Grandpa’s subtle snoring. As a young girl, it was the media that gave impression of romance and embedded it into my heart. Now though, as I listen to the yearning within my own, I know I just want him to come back to me, to pick me instead. We could get our own place with barely any room to walk, but it wouldn’t matter because we’d barely have the finances to buy furniture. We’d be dead tired from working dead end jobs, and attending our classes, but it’d be a good tired, the kind that makes your soul feel good, and well-spent.

There would be this baby to bring light to our days, and the bittersweet hope that one day it would get easier, but that sometimes working hard for something is what makes it taste all the better.

I click my pen, and open my notebook. I’ve started writing a letter to Isaac, but hadn’t gotten farther than Dear Isaac. I spend my days writing to him in my head, but when I sit here the beginning evades me. “Sometimes I hate you,” it comes out through clenched teeth, but I dare not write that. My shoulders slouch forward, and I sigh, “Mostly I still love you.”

I put my pen on the second line, ink puddling around the tip, as I try and force out the words. “This baby is a part of you, and it breaks my heart that you don’t care.” I write it hastily before the words leave me, and then stare at them. Breaks my heart, I stare at that line, it feels like something a teenager would say. I may be one, but shouldn’t I be rising above that for this situation? I hate myself for still caring, I want to be like Hadley, and be able to steal my heart against those that don’t deserve my affection, but I can’t. Every single time he passes me in the hall with Lauren, it makes my stomach tighten, and my heart race.

I check the clock on the stove, nearly three in the morning. I haven’t seen him walk in front of the house to see Lauren lately, now that school is out, and in utter weakness, I call him. I tell myself that I have to try at least one more time. I have this phone number from Kenzie that is burning a hole in my pocket, this family would want my baby, she says. I can’t just do that though, I need to know about Isaac first, I need to know if the romantic life I envision is possible. I need to try one more time, this baby deserves that.

In the silence of my house, the phone ringing in my ear feels like a bullhorn, loud and exposing. I nearly hang up, when he answers in his gruff voice. My own words catch, and I nearly cry when he says my name questioningly, but not rudely.

“I need to see you,” my voice is shaky and low.

He’s quiet, I can hear his breathing, and then his sigh. It’s the sound he makes when his Mom tells him to take care of his brother Ezra or take out the trash. I push the phone closer to my ear to catch any words he might say, terrified I’ll miss what he says. He sighs heavily, “Alright.”

My stomach leaps within me, and my breath catches, but just as quickly I begin to doubt what he means by it. “Does that mean you will, come over that is, now?”

He’s quiet again, I wonder if he’s listening to his house to hear any signs that his parents or little brother are awake, “Yeah.” And then he hangs up.

Quickly I stand, the top of my belly hits the lip on the table, and stings. I rub it, as I try to think what to do while I wait. He lives just a few houses down, it won’t take him long to arrive. Should I stand outside? Should I wait by the window for him? I decide to step outside, just in case Grandma wakes up to use the restroom.

It’s chilly, and I wish I had a coat to cover up with, I don’t dare retreat to my room for one though. Hadley isn’t a light sleeper, and if she gets suspicious, she’d come down here. I feel sick to think of what Hadley would do if she found Isaac on our porch, and I need this meeting to go without Hadley interfering.

The crickets are playing their melody, and I can hear the low electrical buzz of the neighbors bug zapper across the street. Somewhere in the distance there’s a car that starts, but otherwise it’s just the wind, not even the birds are singing yet. It’s just moments later that I can hear his sneakers crunch on the loose gravel.

Our trash can is down again, Hadley keeps saying that it’s one of her nemesis that’s doing it, but we both know it’s probably Isaac or Lauren. Dad will fix it in the morning without a word, in a vain hope that I haven’t seen it, and I’ll pretend for him that I haven’t.

I see him crossing the street under the light, and I want to slip back inside the house, and take back calling him.

When he steps in front of my house, I swallow hard, he looks the same as he always has, but he’s not mine anymore. He’s with Lauren now, and I’m embarrassed. I imagine that he will tell her about this late night phone call, and then they’ll laugh about me, and make jokes at my expense. Lauren’s sleeping in the house just kitty corner of me, if she were to get up and look outside her bedroom window, she’d see us. Anxiously, I check her house, but no lights are on.

“You’ve gotten fatter.” He says as he walks up the stone path to the house. I bite my lip to keep tears from betraying me. “I’m not being mean. My Mom got big with Ezra then lost it all.” I just stare at him, uncertain what I should say. He inhales sharply a few times as if he has something he wants to say, and I hold my breath, angry at myself for the little pieces of hope I feel inside. “Can I… come up there?”

I only nod.

“Shit,” he says it under his breath as he takes me in up close now. “Do you know what it is?” I shake my head. “Sorry about my folks. It was shady not being honest, I just couldn’t face it, you get it though.”

It doesn’t sound like a genuine apology, and I can feel anger building, but I try to extinguish it. “I didn’t really have that choice, to lie and hide it from my parents.”

“I know,” he rubs his hands nervously, “Sorry, about,” he chuckles awkwardly, “well, all of this.” He motions toward my stomach, and I feel a strange feeling of protectiveness.

“Don’t talk like that, the baby can hear you.” I bring my arms around my stomach like one might cover a child’s eyes from a scary scene in a movie.

He looks up at me surprised, and then laughs again. “Even if it can hear, it doesn’t understand, besides,” his voice changes, and he’s agitated now, his brow furrowing. “Besides, all this was a mistake, you can’t even tell me you think it wasn’t.” He taps his foot, and is watching me, waiting for my response.

The question takes me off guard, no one has asked me how I felt about it, and now that I’ve been asked, I’m not sure how I feel. The correct response would be that it wasn’t good timing, but that human life is never a mistake. Maybe I feel that way too, how many times had I wished I were older, even if it were just a few years, and I was a senior in high school. That would make a world of difference.

“I don’t know,” I finally answer him. His face contorts, and he crosses his arms, just waiting to pounce on whatever I have to say next. It wouldn’t even matter at this point, he’ll be angry regardless. I just want him to understand though, and I try to gather courage to press forward. “I just… I just don’t’ think it works that way. Right or wrong, good or bad.” I stutter, but begin to gain momentum, and desperately want to defend my baby to him as much as I want him to understand. “It’s not great timing, that’s all been wrong, but I can’t say that this baby, this human is a mistake. I just don’t think it works that way. I feel it move, and it feels like I’m a part of this miracle, as much as everything about this is horrible, the baby isn’t. Not really. It’s just circumstance. It’s just me, not being ready.” And in my head I add that it’s just you being the father, but I don’t dare say it.

“So what then, you planing to keep this miracle,” his voice is mocking, and stings like a slap to the face. “Raise it on your own? Cause I ain’t playing no house with you, you can forget that fairy tale. I can’t believe you’ve run with this shit as long as you have anyway, playing the poor knocked up teen part like a freaking movie star. I ain’t sticking around Jules, I’m off to Eastborough in the fall, and you can bet I’m not shackling myself to a sophomore and some ‘miracle’.”

I want to say something rude back to him, but my mind is blank, except for childish things that Simon says, like “na-uh, or you’re glue and I’m rubber“, and I just want to cry because those don’t even make sense for this situation, and I wish like hell I could be in a kid like Simon. “I don’t know what I’m doing yet.”

He gives me a last, hard look, and I think somewhere behind those cold blue eyes, there’s a softness in there for me. But he doesn’t show it, “Fuck it.” He turns on his heel and stomps off. “Fuck you and your man trapping ways Julia!” I can hear him muttering and cursing under his breath as he leaves my front yard, and then it’s just his shoes, slowly fading in the distance.

Inside of me, it felt like everything I ever was or would be, was crumpling in like a ruined piece of paper. It took all my strength to not curl into a ball on the spot. In this moment, all I want is to be anyone, or anything else, or even be nothing at all.

I stumble to one of the porch chairs and fall back into it, it’s cushion is stiff from the chill, and I can feel the cold through my thin pajama pants. I had vainly thought that I’d lost all hope for Isaac, of him being decent, or caring for me and the baby, but I was wrong. There still had been a flame of hope inside me, despite everything, and I just couldn’t let it go, I had to keep trying like some stupid girl that no one liked, but still showed up to play. It really was just me in this, he had avoided everything, and sometimes I really did hate him, or maybe I just hated me.

Notes: Poll on the upper right to share your opinion on what Julia will do, closes Thursday.

You may remember that this was a Freshman/Senior relationship, so this fall Isaac will be at Eastborough, and Julia will be a sophomore in High School. Plans for Isaac right now are at a zero, there’s no room at the dorm that Meg, Oliver, and Isaiah (Isaac’s big brother) are staying at, so I don’t know how much we will see him. (Hopefully not much!).

I decided to split this so that it didn’t get too lengthy, so part 2 will be up on Wednesday/Thursday. I still need to write it up.

Thanks for reading!

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16 thoughts on “edge of a knife (part 1)

  1. Issac is a piece of crap (I wanted to say something else, but I’m holding my tongue). Ugh, I’d totally take him and his family for all the child support possible. Julia reminds me of the main girl in the lifetime movie “Pregnancy Pact” and she ended up raising the baby alone. She seems a bit mature, but then again, she is still so young.

    1. Thanks Starr, I really don’t like Isaac myself. I was hoping that when Julia got the want to call him, that things would go better, but he isn’t friends with her anymore. Kissing on Lauren sort of ruined their relationship, and it just wasn’t good news. I haven’t seen that movie, Lifetime is one station that I don’t watch unless I’m visiting my sister.

  2. Grrr, Isaac is such an ass!

    I don’t know what Julia should do though. A part of me wants her to keep the baby, just so Isaac will have to see her around with it and live with the choice he’s made. And also, I think she already has so much love for this child and that’s a big deal. But then, she’s so young. There are so many opportunities ahead of her and she won’t be able to take full advantage of them if she’s tied down with a child, especially on her own. 😦

    I’ll vote eventually but I still have to think some more. Have you decided or are you still not sure what to do either?

    1. Thanks Carla! I think it would be WAY less messy if she gives the baby up for adoption, less chance of Isaac eventually wanting to participate in baby’s life. I think though, that Isaac wouldn’t be much help anyway, he’s going off to college, and will be a senior when she’s a freshman there. I think her parents would be a great support for her, and hey, having a baby this young, means that when she’s a sophomore in college the baby starts preschool! (Isn’t that crazy!) I have decided what she’s going to do, but Julia story wise doesn’t know yet.

  3. I can’t make up my mind about what I want Julia to do. Just thinking about it makes me want to read my curriculum books instead (and it’s almost 3 am now!), a part of me does want her to keep the baby because I think(know) she can do it and she’ll have help. Likewise a part of me wonders if maybe putting it up for adoption might not be a good option as well, but oddly it seems like more of a short-term solution despite the fact that if she did go ahead with that option it’d be for good… So I guess I actually DO want her to keep the baby in the end, but part of me wonders if maybe having some distance from him/her might be a good thing for her. Of course, it doesn’t quite work that way.

    I think if she does keep it, she’ll come out of this (this thing with Isaac, Lauren etc.) far stronger, wiser and braver, yet I know the road ahead will be pretty steep and difficult and that would be daunting for anyone, but probably terrifying for a 15-year-old.

    And while I think Isaac is being a right k*** (oddly, the Norwegian swear carries more weight than the English one right now), I think it’s going to come back and bite him in the ass at some point. Not because of Julia or what she might do, I just think that in the end, it might be something he’ll end up really regretting (y’know, many many years from now).

    1. Vildea, you really hit the nail on the head! I keep thinking that adoption is a short term answer, but you are right it doesn’t really work that way. And if it’s a short term answer, there’s no reason to believe that even after high school, she’d be in the position to be a Mom then ether. I think she’ll come out of this a lot more mature than she already is, she’s got a very romantic heart (not romance! haha!), and maybe she’ll be a bit more cautious about who she hooks up with. And for parent’s sanity, not until she’s MUCH older!

      I think Isaac will feel bad about this choice at some point in time, but I’m not sure he’d ever want to do anything about it, maybe when he’s settling down (not with a playable, he dont! lol) then maybe he might think twice about what he did. Not fully sure. I think he’s gonna hook up with a lot of girls before that ship comes in though!

  4. I want to kick Isaac in his boys, like seriously! The sad part is that this is a very real situation. Girls don’t realize that terms of affection and words of love sometimes only last in that moment, especially when teen boys are concerned! I think it will be very hard for Julia to raise her baby alone, but at the same time I think it would be hard for her to give the baby up. I really don’t know what she should do. But seriously, is there no way to kick his pixelated butt? >:0

    1. HAHA Jen, I’d like to put him through some pain myself, or just delete his bum butt from my game. I think that Julia was definitely naive to the words of affection that Isaac was shelling out, I hope she’s learned her lesson though. I don’t want to go through this again! It’s been hard trying to decide and see what she should/would do.

  5. Oh wow, poor Julia. It’s not easy to handle something like that “alone”. She has her family, sure, but when the other person involved is just so… off-putting about it, it’s messy. She’s young, too, so her reactions aren’t going to be the most mature. Neither of them are going to be capable of full maturity, so it’s just messier still!

    Have you decided what she’s going to do or are you going to let it up to the poll? I’m kind of undecided. There’s pros and cons on both sides. I think the biggest issue is just how freaking young she is! Sixteen is one thing, but fourteen ( now fifteen)? She’s not even hit the entirety of puberty yet! Yikes.

    1. Thanks Mao, you are right that it is messy, and what Julia really wants is a “happily-ever-after” to the best of this situation, with Isaac. She’d like him to really love her, and want to be with her, and that just is not happening. He’s not even wanting to stay with Lauren now, lots of romance wants going on from him. He might not be such a jerk in fifteen years, but right now he’s got the sole Millwood subscription to that club.

      I have only *just* decided what she’s going to do, I’d already photographed/written the next piece, and photographed the delivery. The poll is just to see everyone’s opinions, but isn’t what I used to decide what she would do. It is crazy, and sad that she is just so young, can’t even drive a car yet and is in this situation.

  6. That Issac is a piece of work! Whew, writing a character like that probably makes you want to slap him somehow. It’s a shame that a sweet girl like Julia will always be tied to this jerk. Although, from the looks of it, he may not be around for very much and his family doesn’t seem to want that either. it seems that she’ll always be the airbag for this guy. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a terrible yo-yo relationship.

    Any decision sounds excruciatingly heartbreaking.

    1. Thanks Fabi! I do not enjoy writing Isaac, some “villains” I do really enjoy writing, but he isn’t one of them. It’s not only a shame that Julia will have him in her past for such a significant part, but also that I ever allowed the Gavigans to have him! Gee, I remember thinking, oh this is sweet, a little brother for Isaiah, they can be buddies, and marry one of my sweet girls. This is *not* what I had planned. I’m hoping that when he goes to college, he just leaves Julia alone, when she finally joins college rank, he’ll be a senior there, so hopefully they can dodge each other there too. Probably not going to be that easy though I imagine, when is it?

  7. I sill think your Isaac and my Niels will be best buddies if they meet one day! I can see them sitting their over a drink, bragging about how many girls they’ve had, and how though they are that they’re still living the free life when they have kids running around, who they don’t look after… They really are asses!

    Anyway, poor Julia. Just like my Tina, I think your Julia is better of without Isaac, but then again Tina desided to keep her baby, and never thought about giving her up. She was 18 though when she got pregnant, things would have been very different when she got pregnant at 14.

    I was very undecided about what Julia should do with the baby, just like everybody else it seems. I’ve waited very long to vote, but eventually voted that she should keep the baby. I know it’s going to be hard on her, and that at times she’d wish she didn’t keep the baby, but I think she would regret it much more when she gave the baby up for adoption. And I think she would have a more difficult time when she give it up.

    1. Hey Tanja, want a new character for your hood… named Isaac! LOL You can send him away on a train too, follow in the steps of Niels! I definitely don’t want to play him at all, I think he’ll live in a dorm all alone, he doesn’t require an update being not a playable, and the regular dorm is all occupied. Such a shame! 😉

      Thank you for voting! It’s been nice to see what everyone else thinks, but also that it wasn’t an easy decision just to vote! I’ve had a hard time with this one, much harder than I originally thought, which was simply, duh, give the baby up… but once this story got rolling, it just wasn’t that simple. I agree that giving it up would be difficult, as well as keeping it. No easy answer or choice to live with. Thanks Tanja!

  8. Ugh! I hate Issac, or at least I want to. But the sad thing is he’s a teen boy. Normally when things like this happen, they don’t have much to worry about. They don’t have to be pregnant. They don’t have to give birth. They don’t have to deal with the glares and the whispered nasties about them behind their backs. And in the end, they don’t have to deal with the fact of either raising or putting the baby up for adoption. Yeah, Julia can take him to court and get child support, if she keeps the baby. But end the end everything is on her. Issac gets to live pretty with no worries. And this is how so many teen males are. Look at Viggo and Cameron. He acted like a huge bung hole for how long? lol

    End the end it’s up to Julia what she’s going to do. What she feels is best. And I think this final talk with him will help her. She can get rid of her idea of a fantasy life and the ideal guy. I really want her to keep the baby. Because I really believe that with her family, this child will have a good life. But it’s up to her. And I hope she picks whats best for her and the baby in the end. And that she doesn’t act out of hast or emotions. Which is a hard thing to do, and even harder when your 14.

    1. Asha, I dislike Isaac too, you are right though about him being a teen boy. Even if he did care, there’s only so many ways that it will affect his life, and none are as much as it affects the mother. I am glad though that it comes down to Julia to decide, because if Isaac wanted to have an opinion, it would make things messier. Like with Annie, there was no way the Cesar wouldn’t have an opinion about his twin babies, that guy is gaga for his kids. Which Julia doesn’t have to worry about it. If she puts the baby up for adoption, then Isaac won’t care, or try to fight for custody, she gets her way. So at least there is a little perk there. And her age is such a hard thing, I really wanted to just delete the pregnancy, if she had been any younger I would have to be honest. But she was in high school, and was seeing Isaac, so it was always a possibility. Here’s hoping the baby is cute! I’m so worried it will look like Isaac.

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