narrated by: Caitlyn
Thomas had been horribly fussy as an infant, and thankfully can be distracted now. He’s still quite needy and irritable, much like his Dad, but now there are toys to entertain him, and that helps.
He’s very much my pal, he follows me around the house, cries if I leave him downstairs for just a minute to grab something. We have gotten a good routine down, even brought toys into the bathroom so I could shower in some form of peace.
I try to sneak my school work in while he eats his breakfast, but he throws the majority on the ground, and kicks to get out before I’ve gotten far.
He’s lucky he’s so adorable, it really does help when he’s being impossible.
With the news about my Mom’s illness, it is hard for me to concentrate. My grades have dipped from a B average to a C, and I just don’t know how to handle it all. Surprisingly for me, Thomas is the easiest part of the entire equation.
I had to take out a loan to get a laptop, there is no such thing as pen and paper note-taking these days. It was difficult for me to take that plunge, it’s just more I will owe later, but it was necessary. Classes are going fine, I do find Social Services to be highly interesting, I just need to caff up before I head in, and I just feel like I’m past this college experience.
People around me talk about keggers, who they’ve hit on, and being too drunk to even make it back to the dorm. Waking up on some strangers floor, surrounded by plastic red cups is beneath me at this point. Thomas changed it all, as I’m certain if I hadn’t started college pregnant, that I would have enjoyed living it up.
I keep my nose to the books, and try to force everything to at least make an impact on my short term memory. With everything riding on papers and final exams, there is no room for error, and no money to pay for extra semesters.
Usually Thomas stays at my house while a Family Development student watches him, but sometimes her class schedule coincides with mine, and I have to take him to daycare on campus. It’s very academic, and I know it all whooshes over Thomas’ head, but if they want to teach him ABC’s as a one year old, by all means.
With renting a family housing unit, I’ve learned that the handyman is not only lacking in handy skills, but also always tardy, and that is if he comes at all. My brother Luca walked me through how to fix my leaking shower, and now I’m a pro at it. I felt strangely empowered that I was able to master it myself without the assistance of any man.
And while the campus daycare workers liked to make me feel poorly that Thomas was a newly-minted one year old that couldn’t walk, I didn’t let it get to me. I know that kids develop at different paces, like my twin, Aidan learned how to walk when he was eighteen months old, and he’s been walking just fine ever since, so why stress?
Unlike his uncle, Thomas picked up walking much quicker. Sadly, Aidan hasn’t had the opportunity to meet his nephew yet.
He finished his boot camp sometime ago, and did a short stint back home before getting his assignment in the southwest. We talk each week on the phone, and he seemed to be doing fine there on his own, until Mom’s diagnoses. He gets leave for it, and is planning it for when she’s really in bad shape, as he can’t come back twice.
I can’t believe that we are states apart, that he hasn’t met his nephew, and we are discussing the best time to come back for a visit to see our dying absentee Mom. We are twenty years old, we shouldn’t be worried about these things; I’d love to be a mindless, fun-seeking college sorority girl right about now.
Lewis has that fun college-role down, but he’s not a terrible Father. He will stop in and help, and even watch him while I attend class if he doesn’t have his own to attend. But that’s about it for us. I keep hoping that he’ll come around more, or want to move in with us, really make this a family thing. He always says maybe next semester, he has been since we started uni together, and we are sophomores now.
I don’t mean to be a nag when I ask about these things. I just have hopes for us, and Thomas, he deserves the best we can give him. But Lewis just shuts down lately whenever anything about us is mentioned. My Aunt Kenzie has hinted that she felt he had a thing going on with my niece (and best friend) Rachael, which I had originally thought was nonsense.
But apparently Aunt Kenzie knows more about these things than I do, because it appears they both have feelings for each other. I don’t even have time to think about other guys, let alone develop feelings.
During his well-rehearsed speech, I felt like such a buffoon. All this time, I’d thought we were in this together, that maybe we didn’t have hot flames of passion anymore, if we ever did, but that it was normal when there was a baby to raise.
I don’t know how much Thomas can understand, or perhaps he was distressed because I was crying, but he started freaking out. Lewis seemed to feel poorly about it all, kept saying that he’d be there for Thomas, that it wasn’t like that. It’s just me then, I guess. He loves his son; he doesn’t love me.
I spent the next few days skipping my studies, and going to bed whenever Thomas did, be it a nap or bedtime at seven. I didn’t want him to stay with me if he didn’t love me, but the timing is just too much for me to cope with currently. Rejected by my Mom, and now Lewis. My parents were never the picture of happily married, but I at least had years with that lifestyle before their divorce, at least they tried.
I have my Dad. He allows me to spend weekends with him, and also comes out here to help with Thomas. He even allows me to vent my emotional stuff, even though most of it is about his ex-wife. I’ve always been closest with Dad, I think I’m his favorite, though he’d never admit that, but I am his only biological daughter, and I do get my way much more than my brothers.
We are both broken-hearted that Mom is dying, he let go of any hurt feelings towards her long ago. Which is easy to do, since she’s been a ghost to all of us for years.
I cringe whenever I remember the night that I’d run away to be with her, foolishly, I had wanted her to go back to Dad and for him to break up with Cynthia. Now that Dad is back with Cynthia and on the way for a wedding, I feel happy for him. Cynthia makes him happier, and Mom clearly never wanted anything to do with her family.
I don’t know how someone can be dead inside to the extent that kids don’t matter to them. As frustrating as Thomas can be, he warms my entire center just seeing him. He is absolutely the love of my life.
Aidan is calling off his friendship with Lewis, he declared angrily over the phone. He was never impressed that we dated, seeing that Lewis was his best friend, and I made things awkward for him. As loyal as me and Aidan are to one another and family, I imagine that in time they will resume their friendship. It doesn’t matter much now with Aidan states away; it isn’t like Lewis is hankering to hang out with him. I hope in time that we can all find a friendly ground, when the hurt abides, but it is hard to see such a destination right now.
Near the end of the month Rachael knocked on my door. I hadn’t seen or heard from her since the break-up, not even Lewis. He had made excuses that his class schedule was rough, but the term just started and I know he’s just avoiding me. He must think I’ll blow up on him, or cause a scene, and maybe I would. I’m not entirely certain how I would or should act the first time I see him after breaking up, but I wish we’d get it over with, it’s like a looming final exam with no date set.
The sight of Rachael through my peephole though made me sick with anxiety. She was family, and my best friend. Without her I have no friends, it was her and Lewis that I grew up with all through grade school and beyond. But the idea of her kissing Lewis made me enraged, and equally deflated from betrayal.
She tried to apologize, to let it all go. But I don’t know how to do that, not right now.
When she moved to pick up Thomas and snuggle with him, I wanted to shove her out of my house and face first into the snow. How dare she think she could be my son’s step mom, it’s not like they were getting married. She was just a girlfriend, and Thomas was only her cousin, nothing more. I barely see my Mom, how often do people really need to see their cousins?
Maybe in the future, I can be more generous and forgiving towards her, but right now the wounds are too much to handle. I can barely breath when I think of them together, like a literal knife has stabbed me, the pain is intolerable. I do want Lewis to come around again, but I can’t handle girlfriends, not yet, and I don’t think Thomas should have to ether.
This second semester of my sophomore year is not off to a good start, and I have a bad feeling that it will only get worse. I wish that Aidan were stationed locally, so that I at least had his friendly face to look upon.
Notes: Title from “Love of my Life” by Carly Simon.
I don’t have a finished daycare for Thomas. It is based off my university’s daycare that I used to walk by, and was always so collegiate, but filled with tiny tots, super cute.
So Caitlyn and Lewis broke up, he was romantic towards Rachael at the freaking hospital while Lewis was being born, and his one (ACR) has been Rachael and likewise for just as long. He’s rolled the want to marry Rachael, but I’m not on board with that craziness… but it just showed that he was really over Caitlyn. Rachael has no such want to marry Lewis, but she is broken up with Elias now, poor guy. I was rather attached to those two, and I hadn’t even expected their relationship. Sadly, Caitlyn’s one is still Lewis, and she was still rolling romantic wants for him up until he broke up with her.
Caitlyn isn’t wrong to think that she is her Dad’s favorite, she really is. He rolls the most wants for her, and her dog, and calls her up when he doesn’t really call anybody else but his sister, Kenzie. He doesn’t have any relationship with Cara (his step daughter), so she’s his only girl.
Thanks for reading!