Yay! update! I know it took forever but it took me a while to write this part! so.... on to part 3!
[center]Sixteen and Pregnant
I had just enough money to get a cheap motel room just a couple of miles from the bus station. I pushed open the motel room door and flipped the light on. I stepped inside and looked around and dumped my book bag onto the floor. The room was dingy and smelled weird but it would have to do. I sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed. God, I can’t believe I’m actually here in Roswell, New Mexico. I could be just a few miles from Max and Madison. I picked up my book bag from the floor and found the only picture I had of Madison and propped it up against the lamp on the nightstand. “Mommy is going to do right by you this time, I promise,” I whispered as I wiped the tears from my eyes as I started to remember that night I walked away from Madison. I was so stupid to make the decision I made. If I could go back in time and change my decision, I would.
I’ve been debating with myself over and over if this is the right decision. For a month, it’s been eating away at me. I need to do this. Max needs to know the truth. I’ve been hurting him for way too long. If I don’t tell him, someone else will. I didn’t realize I had been sitting here crying all this time. Madison is practically screaming at the top of her lungs. I heard the door open and shut and a thud from Max’s book bag as it hit the floor. “You do realize that Madison is crying?” he asked me as he rushed over to her.
“I can’t get her to stop crying,” I said. Max picked the baby up in his arms and she slowly started to calm down as Max rocked her.
“Do we have any formula?” he asked heading to the fridge.
“Max, can we talk?” I asked.
“I already know,” he said as he looked down at Madison in his arms.
“Who told you?” I demanded quietly through the tears in my eyes.
“What does it matter who told me? It didn’t come from you. And I kind of figured it out when suddenly you became distant with me. So this last month has been a whole lie?” he asked. I didn’t want to fight with him. I’m already hurting enough as it is.
“I never wanted this,” I admitted softly.
“Never wanted what?” Madison started crying in his arms again.
“I don’t want to do this anymore,” I said softly. Max wouldn’t even look at me. He carried Madison in his arms into the other room and I followed him. Madison laid there crying in the bassinet and Max turned to me with anger in his eyes. I looked down ashamed of myself but I knew it would come down to this. Things weren’t working between me and Max. I had come to realize that I never wanted to be a mom at sixteen.
“So, you’re just going to walk away?” Max asked.
“I can’t do this, Max,” I said softly.
“You weren’t saying that a month ago! I guess I’m not good enough for you now? What is he giving you that I’m not?” he said with anger. Madison’s screams started to get louder and louder.
“I never wanted to hurt you, Max! This isn’t about him! I can’t be a mother to this child!” Max looked up at me like had been stabbed in the heart by my words. He finally went over to Madison and picked her up.
“I’m taking Madison with me,” he said. He grabbed her diaper bag off the couch and swung it around his shoulder.
“Where are you going?” I asked as he started to put Madison in the carrier.
“Why do you care? You just made it clear that you don’t want to be her mother,” he said. He buckled Madison in and carried her out the door. I made my decision and now I have to live with it. I stuffed everything I could in a bag. I called Serena and she said I could stay with her for a while until I figured things out. I folded up the note I wrote to Max and stuffed it in my pocket. I can’t bear to see Max to give it to him personally. I swung my bag onto my shoulder and started to head out the door. I opened the door and found Isabel on the other side.
“Well, well,” she said with hands on her hips.
“Save it,” I said as I tried to step around her but she blocked my path.
“Couldn’t handle the situation, so now you’re going to run? Where are you running to? Back to that scum that you were sleeping around with behind my brother’s back?” I wanted to punch Isabel in the face. I didn’t want to deal with her right now. I took the note out of my pocket and handed it to Isabel.
“Just give this to your brother please,” I said softly.
“Why should I give you the pleasure? You ruined my brother’s life! Do you realize he is hurting and do you even care? You’re a selfish bitch!” I pushed her out of my way. Serena’s car pulled up and honked. “Run! Just run! You’re worthless!” Isabel yelled as we drove off.
I was somewhat worried when I didn’t see Liz in any classes and at lunch. I sat down next to Maria at our usual table. I was just about to say something to Maria when I noticed Tess Harding walking towards us. “I know she isn’t coming over here,” Maria said.
“Be nice,” I told Maria.
“How can I be with this tramp?” Maria replied. Tess came up to the table and sat down right next to me. She batted her eyes and tossed her hair. What is she trying to do? Is she seriously trying to flirt with me? “Can we help you?” Maria asked with disgust.
“You obviously can’t because you can’t even help yourself. Wow, that outfit is so bad, it makes me want to throw up,” Tess said before she turned to me and winked. Really? Maria’s face was starting to get red with anger. Hopefully I won’t have to break up a catfight.
“Just tell us what you want and go away. Hags aren’t allowed at our table,” Maria said, giving Tess the evil eye as she bit into her sandwich.
“Is that the best you’ve got? Anyways, I was wondering if you would like to go out with me, Max; this weekend, maybe?” Really? Is she serious? I was at a loss for words. I didn’t really find anything attractive about Tess. Blonde bimbos aren’t really my type.
“Um, well, I’m kind of busy this weekend,” I replied nicely.
“Really?” she said, looking stunned.
“Yeah! Really! Bye!” Maria said, waving her away.
“Can’t you just drop your plans?” she asked as she started to get up close and personal with me. I got up and moved to the other side of Maria. Maria is just sitting there laughing.
“Obviously, he can’t,” Maria said.
“Who could you possibly have plans with?” I looked up at her and then looked back at Maria. I really didn’t have any plans; I just wanted to get rid of this girl.
“I have plans with Liz,” I said as I bit into my apple. The shock on Tess’ face was priceless. Her mouth literally dropped. Maria started choking on her sandwich.
“Liz? Pregnant Liz? Are you serious?!” Tess said.
“Yeah, that would be her,” I told her. Maria finally caught her breath and took a sip of her Cola.
“Didn’t see that coming; did you?” Maria asked.
“We’re just going to hang out. Sorry, Tess, but you’re really not my type,” I told her as gently as possible. Tess huffed and stomped off back to her table with her little group. Maria turned to me with a smile. She finished off her sandwich and down the rest of her Cola.
“Oh my God, if Liz was here, she would be proud of you,” Maria complimented me.
“She is too clingy. Did you see how she was batting her eyes and tossing her hair?” I asked.
“What a hag. Beware, she doesn’t give up and doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants,” Maria tells me. Maria stuffed her trash in the paper bag she’d brought and crumpled it up into a ball. I looked over at Tess’ table and her group. She looked over and winked at me.
“Clearly noted,” I said.
“I hope Liz is okay,” Maria said softly.
“I haven’t seen her all day,” I said.
“I know. She is having issues with her parents.” The bell sounded, telling students lunch is over. We grabbed our things and started heading back to class.
“I’m worried about her. Hey, I think I’m going to ditch and go check on her.” Maria smiled at me.
“Is there something going on between you and Liz?” she asked. Um…is there?
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Go. Ditch. Check on Liz. Keep me updated,” she said with a smile. I darted out the front door and across the parking lot. I’m good at ditching. I did enough of it back home. I jumped into my Jeep and quickly pulled out. I pulled up in front of the CrashDown Café that Liz’s parents owned. I went up to the window and looked in and saw Liz carrying trays of drinks and wearing a waitress’ uniform. She turned and looked up at me. She was so startled by my presence that she dropped her tray of drinks.
I walked in and bent down to help her. I handed her the tray and she took it from me. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in school?” she asked. I should be asking her the same thing.
“Isn’t that the question I should be asking you? What’s going on?” I asked as I followed her around from table to table.
“Nothing,” she said. That’s bull and I knew it. She looked exhausted and tired. She is trying to ignore me. She continued to take orders so I took the order pad from her and made her face me. She just stood there for a moment and then turned and walked off. I followed her, wanting to know what’s going on. “Stop,” she said when we entered the double doors at the back of the CrashDown.
“Liz, you can talk to me. What’s wrong?” I asked in a worried voice. Suddenly tears started running down her face. I went to her and pulled her into my arms. She sobbed into my shoulder. “You can tell me anything,” I whispered.
“My parents gave me an ultimatum. It’s Florida or I can’t live with them anymore. When I told them I wasn’t going to Florida, they told me I could work for a while to get the money I need and then I have to get out. I have a month,” she tells me. She pulled away from me and wiped tears from her eyes. I don’t like seeing her cry like this; I wanted to just hold her and make it all go away, but it’s clear that she didn’t want me close to her at the moment. I stepped back, giving her some space and distance.
“So, you’re going to work yourself to death for one month? How is that going to solve anything?” I asked. She sniffled and looked at me with tear-filled eyes.
“What am I supposed to do? My father doesn’t want me around, my mother just wants me shipped off to Florida so that my aunt can raise my baby. I’m not letting that happen. Kyle can walk out and not have a care in the world, but I can’t.” God, I can’t believe how much strength Liz has in her. I can’t let her live like this.
“Come stay with me,” I said before I even knew what I was saying. She looked up at me with curious filled eyes, not believing what I just said.
“What?” she asked. I sighed. How am I going to explain this one to my mother?
“I’ll talk to my mom. Maybe you could stay with us until things work out,” I said.
“You…you would…do that for me and…my child?” She touched her protruding belly.
“Well, yeah, you’re a friend in need. I’m sure my mother won’t mind,” I said. My mother may not take this well but what choice do I have? She walked over to me and wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me tightly. I wrapped my arms around her and just held her tightly.
“Thank you,” she whispered softly.
When I got home, my mother looked up at me curiously wondering why I wasn’t in school. Madison was on the floor playing with her blocks. She sees me and held her hands out, yelling, ‘Dada Dada’. I went over and scooped her up into my arms.
“Maxwell Evans, why aren’t you in school?” my mother demanded.
“Classes were boring,” I said as I hugged Madison and her tightly.
“Remember our deal?” she asked.
“Yes, I clearly do and I promise this will be the one and only time I ditch. Something came up with a friend and I need to talk to you about something,” I said. I carried Madison into the kitchen where my mom was and put her in her highchair.
“Is it something good or bad?” she asked.
“Well it depends on how you will react to it. See I have this friend and her parents are kicking her out and I…I kind of told her she could stay here until things get settled,” I replied. My mother turned to me and gave me a curious look.
“She?” she asked.
“Yeah, her name is Liz. She is kind of going through some things. And…well, she is pregnant and…” My mother stopped me right there.
“Pregnant? Maxwell Evans,” she admonished softly.
“Hear me out, Mom,” I said. She glared at me and I looked at her with pleading eyes.
“Okay, I will hear you out. Tell me her story and I will go from there,” she says. When I told her everything I knew about Liz, my mother leaned back in her chair, looking at me with those contemplating eyes. I knew she was thinking this over. She sighed and then looked over at Madison. “Max, I would love to meet her. It seems like she means so much to you. Have her come over for dinner and then I will have my decision then. I hope you know what you’re getting into. I just don’t want your heart broken again. I can’t go through that again,” she said.
Madison banged her bottle on the highchair tray. “Dada! Dada! Dada!” she screamed.
“That’s her new word,” my mother said with a smile. I went over and picked up Madison out of her highchair and hugged her tightly. “She loves her daddy. Speaking of Daddy, your father sent this to you.” My mother handed me an envelope that was addressed to me. It had my father’s law office printed at the top. What the hell does he want? I walked out into the living room and sat Madison down on the floor. And I started to tear open the envelope; I pulled out a check and there was an invitation in it.
“Mom, did Isabel get one too?” I asked, showing her the invitation.
“Yes,” she said, looking at the invitation.
“Dad is getting married.” Go figure. He would marry his girlfriend he chose over us.
“Well that is so nice of him,” my mother replied. I folded up the check and stuffed it in my pocket. I took the invite and ripped it to shreds and threw it in the trash. Did he really think I was going to attend? Why bother sending an invite? I went back out into the living room and scooped up Madison. I told my mom I would be right back and I was taking Madison with me. I strapped her in her car seat and headed out.
I pulled up in front of the CrashDokwn and my theory was right; Liz was still there. She was in her waitress’ uniform. She was sitting at one of the tables that sat outside the café; she looked sad and alone. She was fiddling with a straw wrapper that was lying on the table. “Hey,” I said as I came up to her with Madison in my arms.
“Hey,” she said with a smile as she looked up at Madison.
“My mom wants to meet you; she wants you to come over for dinner.” I think that idea perked Liz right up. She looked up at me with a half-smile and shook her head.
“I could eat; God, I could eat a horse right now.” I laughed.
“Did you hear that, Madison? She said she could eat a horse! We can’t let her eat a horse, now can we?” Madison smiled as she sucked on her thumb.
“She is beautiful,” Liz said.
“Does she look like me?” I asked.
“She looks so much like you. She has your eyes.” I looked down at Madison, not seeing what Liz sees. All I see in my daughter is Ava and sometimes it kills me just thinking she looks anything like her.
“You think so?” I asked.
“Yes. I talked to Maria and she told me what happened with Tess.” Oh God, I don’t want to relive that moment. I looked around, hoping she isn’t going to pop out from behind a building or something and try to attack me.
“Yeah, a moment I don’t want to relive. I kind of lied to her and told her we’re going out just to get her off my back.” Liz looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“Really?” I never did get the whole story of her and Tess and why Tess seemed to dislike her. Liz is an amazing person. I don’t know how anyone can’t be friends with her. What did Tess have against her to hat her so much?
“Why does Tess hate you so much?” I asked. I sat Madison down on my knee and started bouncing her up and down. There is something more to this story between her and Tess; I could see it by the look she was giving me. She sighed and looked down and started playing with the straw wrapper again.
“I haven’t told any one this, not even Maria knows. I’ve known Tess since I was in kindergarten. We used to be friends but then that all changed once we got older. In the eighth grade, she turned against me. She would never tell me why but I figured it out for myself. My mother was having an affair with her father.” I knew this was hurting her just to talk about it. I reached over and took her hand in mine and just held it. I rubbed the top of her hand with my thumb.
“Well, well, look what we have here.” I looked over and saw Tess standing there gawking at us.
“Hey, Tess,” was all I could say.
“Whose baby is this?” she asked.
“Mine,” I said. She looked at me, shocked and surprised.
“Yours?” she asked.
“Um, yeah, did I stutter? Mine; this is my daughter Madison.” She stepped back and then looked over at Liz. Liz wouldn’t even look at her. She pulled her hand from mine.
“Well this is news to me. I guess little Miss Liz Parker gets the whole package; the new boy in school and two babies. Wow, Liz, what have you going for you? Couldn’t have Kyle so you had to go to the next best thing? What a slut! How many men have you been with now? Wow. You’re turning out to be just like your mom!” I was about to say something when Liz stood and faced Tess. I’ve never seen so much anger in her eyes. She is finally standing up to Tess.
“If I wasn’t over 6 months pregnant, I would punch you right in the face. I get it. I know what Mom did, but you don’t have to take it out on me. My mom isn’t seeing your dad anymore; get over it! It’s in the past; leave it alone! And you should speak for yourself! I know you and Kyle were hooking up when I was with him. I know he went and slept with me and the next day he was sleeping with you! And don’t think I don’t know about the abortion either!” Wow! Did Liz really go there? Boy, if Maria was here, she would be proud. I stood with Madison in my arms.
“I think you just got served, Tess,” I said as I took Liz’s hand and squeezed it. Tess huffed and stomped off into the CrashDown.
“That felt good,” Liz said with a sigh.
“So, dinner, at my house?” I asked, walking with her.
“My pleasure,” she replied as we walked to the car.
My mother made an amazing dinner; Liz pigged out, of course. It seemed like my mother had taken a liking to Liz. Isabel didn’t join for dinner either; apparently her new boyfriend took her out. Go figure; I will have to update her on the latest events in the Evans’ household when she comes home. After dinner, Liz helped me put Madison to bed; she was amazing with Madison and Madison took to her quickly. I couldn’t believe how good Liz was with Madison. We finally got her to sleep and I put her in her bed. I slowly closed the door and we both headed back downstairs. “I think I ate too much,” Liz said, holding her protruding stomach.
“Well, you have every right. You’re eating for two,” I said while laughing softly.
“Max, thank you for tonight; I, um, I really enjoyed myself. Your mom is very nice and I feel like I shouldn’t invade your life. I don’t want to be a burden to you.” My mother met us in the living room and had dished up her famous cupcakes.
“Okay, so Liz, Max asked me if it was okay for you to stay here for a while,” my mother said as she put her cupcake down on her plate. “And I understand what you’re going through.” Liz put her cupcake down and brushed the crumbs off her shirt and started to stand up. “And you seem like a nice girl. And my son is way too nice t pretty girls. The last pretty girl he brought home broke his heart. There is something about you, Elizabeth; I, like you, see a smart girl, but I see you make the wrong decisions.” My mother looked down at her protruding belly.
“I know I did, Mrs. Evans, and I have to live with that decision,” Liz said as she bit into her cupcake. My mother sighed and I knew what her answer was. I sat down next to Liz and held her hand.
“Well, I think it would be okay for you to stay with us for a while until you figure things out. But there are rules you and my son must follow, is that clear?” Liz shook her head in response. She had a mouth full of cupcake so she really couldn’t say anything. I just laughed as she tried to chew; she looked like a chipmunk. “Good. First of all, you need to eat better than what you’re eating for that baby’s sake, that’s number one. Two, you and my son will not sleep in the same room; do I make myself clear?” She eyed me and I shook my head yes in response.
“Crystal clear; what’s number three?” Liz asked.
“At least try to stay in school; I know it’s going to be hard, but I don’t want you dropping out unless you absolutely have to. Four, when the baby comes, you need to find yourself a steady job and support the baby. I don’t care if it’s part time or just a weekend job; do what you have to do. If I can, I will help too. But you have to do this on your own. I think you’re capable of doing this, but it’s going to take a lot of growing up. And I see how much Max cares about you; he knows what you’re going through.” Liz set down her plate and smiled at the both of us.
“I want to thank the both of you,” she said with a smile.
“Just don’t take it for granted, sweetheart; be nice to my son, he really deserves a nice girl like you,” she said.
“Noted and we’re just friends,” Liz replied. Later that night, I took Liz back to her house so she could grab some things. Isabel came home and I gave her an update; she drove with me to Liz’s house.
“I really like Liz,” Isabel said.
“So does Mom,” I replied.
“And I think you like her as more than just a friend. I can see the way you look at her, Max. It’s more than just a friend. You wouldn’t do this for just anybody on the street; you like this girl,” Isabel said. I laid my head back against the seat, thinking about what she just said. I do care about Liz. I have this closeness with her I never did feel when I was with Ava. Yeah, I loved Ava, but what I am starting to feel for Liz is…different.
“We’re just friends, Isabel,” I finally said.
“In due time I think it will be more than friends. I just hope that no one steps in between and ruins something good for you. Liz is good for you; she makes you smile, Max. And that’s something I haven’t seen in a while. Ever since you have become friends with Liz and Maria, you have changed,” she said.
“Is that for the good or for the bad?” I asked.
“For good,” my sister replied as Liz finally came waddling out with arms full of stuff. I quickly jumped out of the car to help her. We packed everything we could in the back and I helped Liz get up in front. “So how did your parents take it?” Isabel asked.
“I don’t know; they weren’t home. I just left a note. I’m hoping maybe one day they will come around,” she said as she placed her hands on top of her protruding belly.
“I think they will,” I said, laying my hand on top of hers.
When I woke up, I quickly got dressed and called the number that Sean left me when I got off the bus. Maybe I should take his offer up and take a tour of Roswell, New Mexico before I set my next course of action. I know I’m going to need some money; otherwise I’m not going to be able to survive here in Roswell, New Mexico. Sean said his aunt owns some kind of souvenir shop and she needed some help with running it. I had no problems with it; it sounded pretty cool. He said she sells dinky alien stuff to the tourists and helps with the UFO festivals each year. A job is a job; whatever I can do to survive until I can find Max and Madison here in this tourist trap of a town. I grabbed Madison’s picture and headed out the door. I held it in my pocket, hoping and praying that maybe I would run into Max.
Sean pulled up in front of the motel on a dirt bike. He took his helmet off and motioned for me to hop on. “Where did you get this?” I asked, hopping on.
“A friend let me borrow it. I’m heading over to my aunt’s so you can meet her.” Awesome. I held on tight to Sean as we sped off. God, I’m hoping everything will work out in the end and my life will take a whole new direction. The closer I get to my daughter, the happier I will be. And whatever it takes to get to her, I will do it.
We pulled up in front of his aunt’s house and I hopped off the bike. I quickly fixed my hair, knowing it was going to be a flyaway mess. I quickly checked my pockets to make sure that my picture of Madison was still there.
We didn’t even have to knock on the front door because it opened and a young girl about my age stood there with her arms crossed, glaring at Sean. “Well, well, if it isn’t my no-good cousin.” She turned and looked at me and then looked back at Sean. “Who did you pull into your little trap now?” she asked.
“This is Ava, a friend of mine. Why do you have to be so mean to me, Maria; we’re family?” he said as he tried to enter. But she blocked his way.
“Mom! Do you want to let my criminal of a cousin?” she yelled. Criminal?
“Maria, let him in; he is family!” her mother yelled from the kitchen. Maria let us in and eyed me from head to toe. She slammed the door shut and followed us into the living room.
“Don’t get too comfy; you’re not staying here with your girlfriend,” Maria said as she went into the kitchen.
“We’re just friends. I met him on the bus. Sean offered to give me a tour of Roswell,” I said.
Maria’s mother came out of the kitchen with glasses of ice cold Coca-Cola for all of us. “Hi, I’m Amy. Don’t mind my rude daughter. So what is your name again?” she asked.
“Ava,” I said, shaking her hand.
“What a pretty name,” she said.
“Thanks,” I said, sipping on the cold soda.
“So what brings you to Roswell?” Amy asked.
“I’m looking for my daughter.” That must have caught Maria’s attention.
“Yeah, she lives with her father. I haven’t seen her since she was, like, a month old.” I stuck my hand in the pocket of my jeans and squeezed the picture of Madison. The picture gives me hope that I will be able to fix everything and be the mother I’m supposed to be.
“Wow, that’s so nice. I hope you find her,” Amy replied.
“Yeah, me too,” I said, sipping on my soda. I looked over and Maria was still eyeing me up and down. It was like she was trying to see through me to find some kind of information. It was making me nervous. I quickly sat down, trying to make it not so obvious that Maria’s stares were nerve-racking.
“You said your name was Ava?” Maria asked.
“Yeah,” I replied.
“Cool name. Mom, do I have to sit here and play family?” she asked.
“Go,” Amy said, waving her off. ‘Thank you!’ she said under her breath and headed towards the stairs. I wonder what her problem was. Sean, me and his aunt talked for a while and she told me I could have the job at her shop if I wanted it. Of course I said yes and she said I could start tomorrow morning by doing some inventory work for her. Amy asked Sean where he was staying and he said he was staying with a friend. We said our goodbyes and I hopped back on his motor bike. We pulled up in front of the motel and I hopped off the bike.
“Thanks for helping me,” I said.
“Not a problem. I can’t resist helping a pretty girl. Look, why don’t you come and stay with me at my friend’s house? It would be better than staying at this rat hole. We can get something to eat while I give you a tour…” I smiled; he is being way too nice to someone he barely knows.
“Okay,” I said, hopping back on the bike. He revved it up and we sped off. I held onto him tightly as we sped down the highway. Sean seemed like a great guy. How can he be a criminal? I closed my eyes and let the wind rush through my hair. This is the first time I felt free in my whole entire life. I’m hoping my life will be different now and I’m hoping Madison and Max will be in it and I can get the second chance I deserve.