narrated by: Erin
Living with my sister has brought new dilemmas forward that I never had to deal with when I was with Colin. I don’t think one problem is better or worse than another, just different. For instance, Bethany doesn’t have friends, not girl ones at any rate. I try to include her when mine are around, but it’s always a disaster.
Nadia is more patient than Lorelei, though all of my friends are strong-dominant women. I started inviting Nadia over more when Bethany was home. The house seemed like a better place to make friends than a bar, but Bethany just irritates Nadia to no end. She’s always sprouting out her opinions on things she has no knowledge of, her latest was getting pregnant out of wedlock. My favorite was when she told Nadia that she looked huge already at four months pregnant, and that she’d never put on that much weight, especially for kids.
Nadia told me over lunch preparations that she didn’t want to spend anymore time with my sister, and hoped I wasn’t offended. Of course I wasn’t, Bethany’s only ever been popular amongst guys, and has always been hard for even me to handle. It was always compounded by the fact that my parents gave her anything and everything, from trips overseas to her college education. I went to state school, on my own dime.
I’m glad that none of my friends would ditch me because my sister is a brat. Logan and Kai are best buddies, and I’m hoping that her baby in June is a girl, I’d just love for Mallory to have a friend to play with.
The boys do fine tolerating Mallory for a while, then they are out in the cold to rough house, and shout more loudly, and escape Mallory’s grabby hands.
It pains me somedays, how much Mallory looks like her Dad. He was angry my entire pregnancy, and then lost it in the delivery room when they announced she was a girl. She doesn’t have her Dad’s temper though, Logan does, so it seems their appearances are opposite of their personalities in who they take after. I wonder sometimes, if Logan’s temper comes from Colin neglecting him as an infant.
Bethany insisted we go out for my thirtieth birthday, which I’d planned on ignoring the passing of. I had goals in life, and while I have the kids, and my own house, I don’t have a husband, and that’s a huge piece of the puzzle. It’s lonely, and more work doing it solo. But I agreed to go out, thinking I might just find someone to dance with, and knowing I’d never meet a future husband if I didn’t leave my house other than work.
I got Mallory ready for bed to make it easier on the babysitter, then myself. I was anxious and nearly sick over the plans, though it wasn’t my first time going out since we split, it was my first time at thirty.
Right when we arrived at the Cellar, Bethany instantly pulled away to start prowling the floor. I really believe that she could have any man she desired, and she feels it too. That usually means she rejects quite a few guys, most are good looking, and out of my league.
I never think I can get a gorgeous male model type of guy, but when the green hoodie reject sat by me for a drink, I thought perhaps he was interested. It turned out that he wanted to know what my sister saw in the guy she was dancing with, and if I could get her to dance with him instead. Which in Bethany’s world, means sleep together, and if she was interested in him, that dream might have came true, but she’d already made up her mind, and she never changed it.
Green hoodie and a blond guy started fighting over Bethany, neither paying attention that she’d moved on to some college kid that was editor of the campus paper. It seems twenty-something guys are 110% hormones.
Naturally, the two started fighting physically. Why not? Colin was my first and only boyfriend, I tricked him, he dumped me, and other than an obligatory date with a Pacelli, I’ve been single without a single cat call. So sure, it makes sense that my sister comes to South Port, and has every single guy to pick from.
I just wanted a guy to dance with, Colin didn’t enjoy it, and the last time we did was when I told him I was pregnant with Logan; it didn’t go well, nor did we ever visit FM Rock again. I thought this dancing guy was semi-interested however, so I started dancing towards him, like grooving along with him. Bethany does this all the time, and with a great approval rating.
He shoved me away from him with the palm of his hand, like I was an ugly, homeless dog that reeked, and had forgotten my place in life.
Sometimes I regret telling Colin that I’d planned for Mallory, that I duped him. Because at thirty, it feels like I won’t ever find someone to tolerate me, let alone have a family with, and to think I always wanted five kids. Fat chance.
Naturally, Bethany noticed when I was missing, and came over to the table. I could fall on the dance floor and lay dying and she wouldn’t notice, but I come to a table to sulk and she’s there pronto. She didn’t get why I was moping, and told me I had to put myself out there, just jump in, and guys would accept me.
I absolutely did not tell her about the face-palm incident. I just told her I’d try, and that satisfied her to get back to the guy waiting across the room.
When we left, she seemed to be favoring one guy, he gave her his number, which is insanity. Most guys ask for numbers, never wanting to give out their own cellphones. I thought for sure that Bethany would be calling him up later that night to meet at his place.
But at two in the morning, when I woke up feeling queazy and hungry from the liquor, it’s a completely different guy that has her on the counter. I’ve told her a million times, do not do that at the house, and if she had to, only in her bedroom. But apparently that is too boring for my vixen sister.
The next weekend was Colin’s visitation. He never takes Mallory overnight, and only rarely Logan; we usually meet up at a park for his time, and then part our separate ways. Now that it’s winter, we had been cramped and struggling to find a warm place to meet, and luck would have it that the Wild Congo would open, an indoor playground.
The kids were instantly in paradise, though Colin was overwhelmed at first and preferred to sit in a booth.
There is even a toddler area, with Mallory’s favorite rideables, so she was thrilled. Everytime we pass the park near our house, she cries to go ride, and now she can even when it’s snowy.
Since we separated, I try to stay out of Colin’s way. I don’t tell him when he’s being a jerk, or a lousy Dad. I don’t know that it was ever my place, being more of a Mom-role, but it’s definitely not now. No matter how much he changes, he still is the same hot-tempered man I first fell in love with; it’s just not as attractive in my thirties with two kids though.
I see another guy with his twin daughters, and I think, that is the kind of afternoon I want, the kind of man. They all seem to be taken though, and prowling for guys at kid playground is bad form.
He did initiate playing with Mallory though, wanted to teach her some rhyme his Mom had taught him. I imagined it was about drinking, marrying for money, and spending above your means, or maybe a side of ‘be a lousy Mother, and forget you ever had kids’. But I kept the comment to myself.
Mallory wasn’t interested at all, more fascinated by Logan, and chewing her hand.
Logan ran off to play with Isla Andersen, a girl from his class. I thought I had years before girls were prying their way into his life.
Logan wasn’t interested in playing with his Dad once Isla arrived, so Colin tried to win him back by jumping in a weird ride. Both Isla and Logan were very impressed, laughing, and cheering; it left me feeling hollow inside, like I didn’t belong with them.
At least I still had Mallory, who had gotten scared from a toy robot. In a few years though I wonder if Colin will have become a fun parent, and I’m just the overworked, under-appreciated one.
Colin was supposed to take Logan, but at the end of the night, weaseled out of it. Said something came up, and I wonder if he’s seeing someone else. Perhaps he just doesn’t like an overtired kid ether.
I was livid, and jealous, which only made me more angry. I told him he had to tell Logan he was bailing, he couldn’t just be the fun guy, and leave it to me to crush our kid’s heart. As soon as I put my foot down, he shut down, completely uninterested, wholly blank. I knew that this would be the only portion of the day he’d remember later on.
We all left at the same time, Colin taking off ahead of us, and telling Logan he’d see him in two weeks. Logan had been confused, and it was up to me to fill him in yet again.
Despite all of that, I missed him, or the idea of him; I can’t tell which. I don’t know if the split was the worst mistake of my grown up life, or the best. I wish the answer would hurry up and reveal itself to me, because I’m sick of not knowing how to feel.
Notes: Colin and Erin, both are still one another’s “One” but they aren’t even friends. Colin did roll the want to teach Mallory a nursery rhyme, and I was impressed with that, but he also threw a fit when Logan beat him at rock, paper, scissors. Temper, temper.
I thought Zeke and the twins looked very peaceful, playing a game together, but Zeke is a total hothead, just mellowed in age. Perhaps Colin will too. Neither roll any type of want for one another though, but man, I thought Erin might get back out there, but that did not happen at all, poor girl.
Bethany slept with four different people, got pregnant by the neighbor (countertop guy), but my game crashed and I didn’t force it to happen again, and now she has her birth control back up. Bullet dodged! All of Erin’s friends hate Bethany, or are in the negative at least. She really grates on girls’ nerves, but men truly love her.
Thanks for reading!
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