Generation Two — Chapter Five

“You better be cozy by tomorrow folks, this blizzard is going to be a bit of a road block for the next week. Stay safe and warm!”

The TV in the corner of Ande’s small living room was turned down low, but I still could hear the blizzard warnings. I looked outside the window and saw the snow piling up on the ground.

Ande and Dahlia had been so kind to me these past couple of weeks. Ande had opened up her house to let me stay with her. It was so much warmer than the little shack I stayed in.. and there were lights… and food. And an actual bed for me to sleep in instead of a cold sleeping bag.

“Did you like the lights Delilah and I hung up, Remmi? They’re my favorite color!” Earlier today when the snow had taken a break, Ande and I had gone outside and strung green Christmas lights from her roof. Though it wasn’t too close to Christmas, we were way too excited to wait any longer.

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Dahlia nodded as she took a bit more of my hair into her hands. “Ok, Lilah. Here goes nothing!”

I closed my eyes tightly as I heard my hair falling to the ground. Dahlia had needed practice since she was studying to be a cosmetologist and I had volunteered, seeing as I had a baby on the way and long hair would just be a great thing for the baby to grab ahold of.

“Good god, Delilah! You look horrible!” Ande shrieked, applying makeup on my face. I don’t know why I had decided to let these two do this to me, but it felt good to have friends taking care of me.

After about thirty minutes of continuous shrieks from Ande and a few “Girl, you can pull off any hairstyle. I am so jealous.”‘s from Dahlia, I was finally done.

Ande jumped up to go get a mirror to show me. “Oh god,” I winced, leaning over in the chair. The little one was not having as much fun as I was. Ande came back into the room holding the mirror, but stopped in her tracks when she saw my face. “…You okay, Lilac?”

I nodded and grabbed the mirror. What I saw before me was not me.

Ande started laughing and Dahlia peered over my head to see my face before doubling over in laughter herself. I glared at Ande and chucked the mirror at her. “Whoa there, killer! Take it easy! You don’t want seven years of bad luck!”

After things had calmed down, I still had to lean over to keep the pain from making me cringe. Dahlia teased my hair a little more and Ande still looked interested with my face.

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“Ande, wash it off now.” 

I wasn’t happy with her and she could tell. She started over on my face and started applying what I hoped to be was normal makeup. Except this time, I made her sit the mirror in front of me so I could tell.

“Lilah?” Dahlia asked, siting next to me. “Ande and I wanted to see your house. I mean, we think that maybe we could all stay at your house during the blizzard for a change.”

I bit down on my bottom lip and stared at the ground. “Eyes up,” Ande snapped, applying mascara.

“Uh, well, the thing is..”

“Great! Let’s head over there now!”

And with that, I was pushed out the front door to lead my two closest friends to a shack where they wanted to stay.

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I could almost swear that inside the shack was colder than it was outside.

“L-Lilac? This is where you… live?” Ande said with a shiver. I nodded and shoved my hands into my pockets for warmth.

Dahlia peered over Ande’s shoulder and looked around the place as if she was scared something was going to pop out at her. Or maybe she was trying to figure out how I’d even survive here.

“It didn’t get bad until the winter hit. I actually was comfortable during the summer,” I spoke barely above a whisper, not daring to look at my friends horrified faces.

Ande walked over to where my sleeping bag sat, unfolded, and squatted down. “This is where you sleep?” She asked, shivering a little as she spoke. When I nodded, she buried her face in her hands and groaned.

“Why didn’t you tell us? We’re going to make this place a home.”

“But-“

“And no buts, Lilac. I don’t care what you say. This is going to be a home for a baby, for God’s sake. So come on, we’re going shopping.”

The endless day of shopping finally came to an end after about five hours of shopping. We called it a day after the snow started really getting heavy. The heat was now on in my house and we were very grateful for that because the blizzard had trapped all three of us in my sha- house…

We spent the next several days working on the house. It went from looking like a rat hole to a beautiful house that I’d love to call my own. Too bad I don’t know who owns it.

After the final day of decorating, we all sat down in front of my new TV. Dahlia turned on the weather to see if the blizzard was letting up anytime soon.

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“Still cozy and warm” The weatherman asked, laughing at his own joke that he has repeated every day for the past week. “You better be, because this snow isn’t going to let up for another day or two.”

Ande looked over at me with a weary look as I laid my head on the side of the rocking chair. “When is your due date?”

I stared at her for a few minutes before my eyes got too heavy to keep them open. I slowly drifted into a dreamless sleep… except I could hear more voices than what I had heard before I fell asleep.

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“When will she wake up?” A desperate plea. It almost sounded like me when my mother died.. I wanted her to wake up.

“I have told you again and again, I don’t know. She has been asleep for a very long time, we have no way to tell if she will wake up.”

I tried to open my eyes but they seemed to be matted shut. It hurt a little to breathe. For a second, I worried that my baby was hurt. But then that memory seemed to fade… as if I wasn’t even pregnant.

“I just miss her, that’s all…” the worried voice cried out. I could almost hear her choking on tears, but I couldn’t tell who it was.

“We all do,” the other voice replied. “But the most we can do right now is try to talk to her. She seems to show more signs of waking up.”

“Ande? Is she awake?” I heard a girl ask… no, that was Dahlia!

“Delilah… wake up….”

“Please wake up! PLEASE!”

I sat up taking deep breaths, only to find Dahlia sitting on the couch next to me, a cat in her lap.

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“Wow, you slept for a long time.” She said, smiling at me.

“Where’s Ande?” I asked, trying to sit up straight.

“She went to bed. It’s probably around four in the morning, I just couldn’t sleep. Oh! And I hope you don’t mind, but this stray cat wouldn’t stop meowing on your front porch, and I just felt so bad, I mean it’s so cold and-“

I cut her off with a laugh. “I don’t care Remmi.”

She smiled as her gaze went back down to the cat. The cat purred as Dahlia scratched behind it’s ear. I sat and listened to it until my eyes started to close again.

“Oh, Delilah?” Dahlia asked, placing her hand on my arm. “When is your due date? We asked before you fell asleep but you acted like you couldn’t answer.”

“I don’t know… I haven’t- Oh my god!” I sat bolt straight up in my chair, a pain shooting through me.

“Delilah? What’s wrong?! Oh god, please tell me you’re not in labor, please! The blizzard will keep us from getting to the hospital! Oh please… ANDE! GET YOUR BUTT OUT HERE!”

Dahlia took my hand in hers and kept talking to me, but all I could do was stare at her. Her face slowly started disappearing as darkness took over.

I embraced it.

Generation Two — Chapter Four

“So Maria, what is your family doing for Thanksgiving this year? Or are you even going to your family’s house? Cause, if you’re not…”

“I’m actually leaving in a few minutes to help my mom cook the turkey.”

I watched the pair talking. The man was obviously into the woman, “Maria”. She completely blew him off and I found it almost intriguing to see how rejection settled over his face.

“O-Oh… like last year. That’s too bad..” 

I could almost see the smile on Maria’s face. The man looked over at me right as I brought my hands up and looked over to the books on the shelves next to them.

Yeah, that’s how I was spending Thanksgiving. Sitting at the kid’s table in the local library. It really was a treat.

 

The man’s eyes quickly moved back over to Maria as she went into her story about how her brother had stupidly blew up their turkey last year.

I wish I had stories to tell like that about my brother.

Sighing, I stood up and walked past the couple. I pulled my shirt closer to me as the cold hit me once I was outside. I looked up at the cloudy sky and could almost see an feel the warm sunshine that seemed to be here just a few moments ago. A cold gush of wind sent me walking down the street.

“Excuse me, sir? I.. um, I kinda just recently got here and I don’t have a job yet, do you think you could spare me a hot dog? I’m awfully-“

“You beggars are getting old, you hear? Just go compete in the eating competition. Oughta fill you up until you do, you know,” he paused, looking me over. “Get a job, as you say.”

I sighed and walked across the pier to find where the eating competition was being held. The people here aren’t very friendly… then again, since when do I deserve kindness? I deserve what I get.

“Hello young lady! Would you like to compete in the hotdog eating competition?” My stomach growled, obviously answering the man’s question. I gave a simple shrug and stepped behind the table. I knew I wouldn’t win, but a full meal sounded great to me.

 

I remember the day I decided to leave. Although it was months ago,  the day still took up a huge part of my memory. I left without a warning, a goodbye. I just… left. I only packed things I needed and I didn’t have that much anyways.

It’s not like I ran away. I had no reason to run away, until…

Well, until it happened.

I shook my head, hoping to shake the memory out as well. It didn’t work that great until I came across a small diner I had never seen before.

It looked like a dump, but it was better than the small, cold, abandoned house that I claimed as my own. I’ve yet to get caught in that house… I really think the owners gave up on it.

Rain poured down heavily as I ran through the streets, a sick feeling still settling over my stomach. Those hotdogs weren’t settling great…

Water splashed up on my legs from the puddles on the ground. Thunder struck in the distance causing me to look around to see if I was being followed once more.

Once I was a safe distance from town, I slowed down. It was still pouring but I just didn’t have it in me to run anymore. I shoved my hand into my pocket and felt the bag of chips I had just taken from the store.

I knew stealing was wrong… but I don’t have money. I don’t have a house. I don’t have anything. Can’t they understand that and give me a break? I’m hungry… I just need a little food to survive.

The locals don’t like me. That’s why. They think I’m a no-good, filthy, thief.

Kinda what I am, though.

Sunlit Tides wasn’t my kind of place, but it was as far as I could get from my family… they couldn’t know, I wouldn’t let them know. No. They will never find out

The rain started coming down harder. The more it rained, the colder I got. I had to find somewhere to sleep tonight… but where? I pushed myself through more trees and came across a small house just sitting there as if it was calling out for me to stay there. 

 

I don’t know what I expected to find. The door was unlocked so I was just able to walk right in like I… owned the place…

Inside were three rooms. The first held a beat up fridge, a small trashcan, and a fire alarm. …Handy.

There was a bathroom with a run down toilet and bathtub… and then there was a bedroom that held a sleeping bag.

I definitely wasn’t the first to find this place, but it looked untouched… and that sleeping bag looked wonderful. Thoughts of when I was at home came hurtling through my mind which only made me miss it more. I needed a home… I really needed someplace stable to stay instead of roaming the streets… especially with..

I leaned up against the fridge and looked around…. this was someplace to call home…

So I stayed.

The diner was empty. Cold. Lonely. I should have known, it was Thanksgiving after all. Everybody was with their families stuffing their faces with all kinds of food.

Food..

I wish I had food. I leaned up against the counter and sighed. At least it’s warmer in here than it is outside.

“I’ll never find something to eat if I keep at this pace!” I grumbled, slamming my fist down. A sharp pain shot through my finger as I heard a gasp behind me.

I turned around to find two women, both very young. One had black and green hair. Oddly familiar black and green hair… and the other had all sorts of colors in her hair. Green haired girl spoke up first.

“Um, well, hello? May I help you? We weren’t really expecting any- unf!”

The woman standing next to her elbowed her in the ribs and smiled shyly at me.

“Shut up, She’s a customer!”

 

“I’m… uh…”

The multicolored haired woman looked strangely at her friend and rolled her eyes. I raised my eyebrows at her, still deciding on if I should talk or not.

“Ande. Her name is Ande.”

The name struck me like a bullet. It sounded so… familiar. I just can’t remember why. It’s like I can remember… but it’s fuzzy.

“I’m Delilah.” I said.

“Oh, uh, cool name.” Ande said, giving a weak smile.

“Are you guys…open?” I asked, hoping for the answer to be a yes. I was really looking for a place to stay to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Ande looked back at the other woman and slowly looked back at me. “Sure, you can stay here today. Come on, I’ll let you help me cook.”

I followed Ande behind the counter and watched her friend sit down. Something was off.. I felt like I was in a dream.

“So,” Ande started, looking down at my stomach.

“Yeah, I’m awfully young to be pregnant. I know.” Memories flooded back of when I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test… fleeing from the house that same night…

“No judging, dude. I have kids too.”

I was about to ask her how many, considering she looked barely older than I am, when the door swung open. Flurries of snow drifted in with the wind and a petite woman that looked to be a bit younger than me.

“I’M HERE!”

 

Ande let out a girlish laugh and waved from behind the counter. “Dahlia! What are you doing here?!”

Dahlia’s eyes lit up at the sight of Ande.

“How’s your mom, Ande? I’m sure life is just horrible now that my-“

A sullen look came across her face as she backed up a little and slowly looked over at me. Ande gave her a wide eye stare as silence fell over the room. I fidgeted, trying not to portray the awkwardness I felt.

I looked down at the ground and swiped the small lock of hair out of my eyes. Of course I was an outcast.

But… there was something oddly familiar about this “Dahlia” as well. I just couldn’t piece it all together.

“Hello, I’m Dahlia, but you can call me Remmy.”

A small spark flashed through my mind at the name Remmy, but just as fast as it appeared, it was gone again. I smiled at Remmy and told her my name in exchange. She replied just as Ande did with a simple, “Oh, uh, cool name.”

She quickly walked back over to the bar stool in front of Ande and sat down, the other girl sat next to her. I moved from behind the counter and took a seat at the other end of the bar and let my head sink into my hands.

Ande handed a plate of hot wings to short hair with a smile. “Happy thanksgiving Selah.”

So that was her name. I feel so out of the loop.

I should just go.

I heard bits and pieces of the three girls’ conversation as I sat at the end of the bar wishing I could take back so many years of my life. Wondering why things like this happened to me. Why things like this happen at all.

I started to get up to leave when a hand touched my shoulder. I whipped my head around to look at who was there and locked eyes with Ande.

“Woah, Lilac, you ok?”

I smiled a little at the nickname and shrugged. My brain was starting to hurt from trying to piece all of this puzzle together… it just wasn’t working.

“Ande is a pretty name.” I said, trying to be a little social.

“Thanks, it’s short for Andellia.”

Ande must have seen the look in my eyes because she stepped back, drawing her hand to her chest. “Lilah, what’s wrong?”

“I… I… nothing. I’m ok. Thank you for the lovely time, I’m going to head home now.”

“Take it easy, kid.”

I opened the door to the diner and stepped back into the unwelcome cold once again. I hoped that the house would be at least a little warm.

A snowflake floated down into my hand. I looked at it with amazement.. It was so pretty, so… perfect.

“I’m thankful for those girls that showed me that my life isn’t over, that maybe I do have a future with friends. And the perfect little snowflake..” I whispered, smiling to myself.

This Thanksgiving went better than expected.

Generation Two — Chapter Three

Sorry for the lack of a post, my game gave me a ton of trouble with my save file for this family and I had to move on without it.

~

Thanks for the great time, Delilah. I really enjoyed going to prom with a great friend.”

The words Ryder said after we got home from prom really hit home with me.

He thought of me as a great friend. Just a friend.

To Ryder, I was just the girl he had grown up with. A close friend who helped him meet his current girlfriend of three years, Cassidy. The girl who couldn’t talk until she fell out of a tree house and hit her head. The girl who had to replace his girlfriend for prom.

To me, Ryder was a knight in shining armor. I have never been able to get over my girlish crush on him. Every time he looked at me my heart shot out of my chest and right into his hands… and he had no clue.

I scribbled furiously on my notepad as all this ran through my head. Graduation was tomorrow. Prom is in the past, along with any connection I could ever have to being even close to Ryder’s girlfriend. In fact, it’s about  three months in the past. Who the hell knows where my future is headed? Dad still doesn’t talk to me. Nessa and Deidre are happy go lucky. Noah is still keeping to himself.

Life is such a treat, don’t you think?

Not that I have any plans for after graduation. All of my senses tell me to get away from this place, from this town. It’s full of horrible memories, and I’m tired of never being able to wear a smile on my face anymore.

I wasn’t clear on what I was writing. I found myself writing warnings, things not to do once I get out of school. I glanced at what I was  actually writing and automatically dropped my pencil.

Never fall in love.

I don’t recall writing it, but it’s in my handwriting. The e’s are even curved in the silly way I’ve done them since I was a child.

Taking a deep breath, I erased it.

I could still see the faded words after I had tried to erase them several times. Without thinking, I threw my pencil and notebook across the room with a frustrated growl.

Enough of this.

I went upstairs, got in bed, and waited for sleep to take over.

The summer heat made my face go red as I stood outside my best friend’s house. I had seen her earlier at graduation and we made plans to hang out afterwards.

So here I was, knocking on her front door.

I heard a moan from inside and the squeaking of John’s, her dad, chair. Huh. Usually he sent Cassidy to get the door.

With a loud creak, the door opened to show a very drunk John. His eyes lit up at the sight of me.

“Heyyyy Lilah! Cassidy aint heeeeereee… she dun went to seeee RyyyyYYYYderrrr.”

The smell of alcohol poured out from his mouth, I couldn’t help but plug my nose. Or maybe that was because I was trying to contain my anger, she had ditched me again.

“You look so grooooown up noooow… wonder what your daddy would think of meeee riiiight now!” He stammered, grabbing my arm and pulling me inside.

“I, uh, I actually think that I should come back when Cassidy is home.” I muttered, trying to get out of his grasp.

“Come on sweeeeetie, she’ll be home sooooon. You look purrrrty.”

I knew he was drunk but I couldn’t  help but blush. Nobody had ever said that to me. Let alone give me this kind of attention… and I liked it.

He wobbled over to his couch and plopped back down on it. He raised his finger and motioned for me to come over. An unfamiliar feeling settled over me as I did as I was told and sat down on his lap.

And just like that he was kissing me.

My face kept getting warmer as he continued kissing me and moving his hands to more personal places.

The warnings were flying through my head but I ignored them. I liked feeling wanted. Even if it was just because he was drunk, at least I was wanted.

He picked me up and carried me through the door that I was never allowed to go through as a child. He moved his lips to my neck when he laid me on his bed and started unbuttoning my shirt. I glanced at his eyes and immediately felt the fear I should have been feeling before.

His eyes were full of lust.

“John, er, Mr. Henry, please-“

He pulled of my shirt and left me with just my pants and bra on. I tried to cover myself.

“Stop that, darling. You were into it a minute agoooo.. come on, show off for me.”

He jerked my pants off and pulled me up. I yelped and he pinned me against the wall.

This was wrong. This was so wrong. If Cassidy ever found out about this she would never forgive me.

Oh god, Cassidy…

The little moment that I had let my mind wander gave John just what he needed. He had me distracted enough, and he took advantage of it. I was now bare in front of him.

I felt violated, but this was my fault. He was drunk and I hadn’t stopped him.

So I gave in. I did nothing when he shoved me to the floor and took off his clothes. I did nothing as he laid on top of me. I did nothing when he pinned my wrists to the floor and spread my legs. I did nothing when he violently took my innocence.

I did nothing but go along with it. And to say the least, I liked it.

I liked it enough to let him go on for what seemed like hours. It wasn’t until I was sure I had blood running down my legs that he passed out next to me.

I wasn’t the same person that I was before. I had changed, and not in a good way.

I laid there for hours. I was too sore to move.

It wasn’t until I heard Cassidy’s car pull into the driveway that I threw a blanket over John and escaped through the window.

If there was one thing I was sure of, it was that Cassidy would never find out that her dad took my virginity.

I just hoped John wouldn’t remember the cruel thing he had done when he woke up.

Generation Two — Chapter Two

The grass made squishing noises under my feet as I made my way across the graveyard.  The familiar feeling of despair rolled over me as I let out a choked sob. My two year old sister tugged on my pants and pointed towards the grave I was looking at.

“Mama?” she squeaked.

I nodded, the memory from two years ago coming into my head.

~

Ryder’s arms were around me as I cried uncontrollably on his shoulder.  Aunt Kalyn rocked my sister in her arms, trying to get her to be quiet as well.  Aunt Della had her arms over the grave. I could tell she was trying to keep control, but I saw streaks of mascara sneak their way down her cheeks. I don’t blame her, she lost her best friend after all.

My father stood silently over Noah. He still hasn’t spoken a word since mom took her last breath at the hospital. I longed to hear-

~

Two year old Nessa slipped her hand from mine and ran over to the grave. She placed a hand over mom’s name and smiled.

“Hi, mommy. I wuv woo!”

I stood silently in the background watching my little sister talk to our deceased mother. Biting a nail, I thought of the same thing I did when I visited mom every day.

The fact that I killed her.

~

Nessa, as my father decided to name the tiny baby mom had delivered, squealed as I tried to catch my breath. I looked at the sunflower, mom’s favorite flower, that we had planted. I bit my lip and buried my head back in Ryder’s shoulder and started crying again.

My heart ached and I couldn’t fill the longing for my mom on my own. I was losing control, I wanted to die. I should be the dead one. Not her.

~

Nessa sat down in the grass next to the grave. Her eyebrows knitted together in confusion as she looked down at the grass.

“It wet.” She pouted, looking up at me like she expected me to fix it.

“It wained,” A small voice squeaked beside me. I looked down at Nessa’s twin sister, Deidre, and waited for her to continue. “Brudder said dat means momma is cwying in heaven because she misses us.”

My lip started to quiver after she finished. I let go of her hand so she could join Nessa and slowly backed away from the grave. I felt a sharp pain stab my leg and looked down to see I had reached a small fence. I sat down on the grass and watched my sisters talk to the mother they never got to meet.

Because of me.

The things they had to talk about was endless. They wanted mom to know every single thing that happens every single day. I didn’t care to let them stay until they wanted to go, it was the least I could do.

The same ritual happened every day. The girls woke up at roughly 4 AM and asked me to take them to see mom. Despite the fact that I had killed mom in a car, people still wanted to ride places with me. When I had gotten my drivers license, they smiled at me as if I wasn’t a convicted killer.

But I knew mom’s blood was on my hands. I saw it there. I could never wash it off.

I hated driving but I didn’t have much of a choice. People would think that I’d freak out in a car, but I used what mom taught me. I’m an ok driver.

“Did mommy visit you last night too, Nessie?” 

“Yes! She sang my favowite song wiff me!” 

“Not fair! Mommy only held me until I fell asweep!”

I raised an eyebrow towards the twins conversation. It was awfully weird for them to talk about mom like that, maybe it was a dream.

A dream… funny, I hate those things.

~

Cars rushed through my head as mom was torn away from me. I screamed out her name, told her not to go. She reached out to grab my hand, I was so close to saving her.

Until a truck rushed right at her and hit her head on. She disappeared, leaving two tiny babies beside me. They were crying, too.

“MOM!” I sat up in my bed, screaming mom’s name over and over again. It was only a dream.

I spotted my mother in my doorway.

“Are you ok, honey?” Mom asked. I moved my hair out of my eyes and shook my head, only causing my hair to fall back where it was in the first place. A few tears fell down my cheeks as I stared down at my bed, speechless.

Mom walked over to my bed and sat across from me. Her hand reached out and wiped my tears away. 

I looked up at mom and smiled. “You know, mom, we have the same beauty mark.”

She laughed and touched the beauty mark under her right eye as she nodded. “You’re my only child to ever inherit my beauty mark.”

~

I’ve been struggling with the dreams I had as a child. They almost showed me what was going to happen, they were… warning me. But I brushed them off. Went on with my life and never thought that the white truck would actually tear my mom away from me. From my dad. From my sisters and brother. From our family.

They still loved me. They still acted like I was their sister, their relative. I didn’t deserve it, though.

Snapping me back into reality, Deidre tapped my leg. I smiled at her and brushed a lock of hair out of her face.

“Ready to go home?” I asked, looking up at the cloudy sky. She nodded  and extended her arms for me to pick her up. I grabbed her and started towards the car. “Come on Nessie!”

Well, back to hell, I guess.

I walked through the door with the twins and looked around. Not a single thing had changed since mom died two years ago. Everything was exactly the same. I was scared to change anything, scared that the memories would fade.

I cleaned the house occasionally. Homework was piling up and I hadn’t cleaned the house in a few weeks, though. Noah usually helped me but he likes to keep to himself a lot more now.

Poor kid, I thought, He lost his mom at such a young age… because of me.

I let Ness and Deidre into their room and tiptoed past dad’s door. He usually spent most of the day sleeping until he had to go to work. I had learned by now to not even try to wake him up. He doesn’t like it when I talk to him, either. I stopped trying to make him love me again about a year ago.

I still take care of him though.My phone beeped in my pocket as I made it to the living room and sank down on the couch. Incoming call..

“Hey Ry,” I smiled, as I answered the phone. Ryder still called me every day to check on me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. Cassidy came over every now and then to help me with homework and watch TV with me. Anything to keep me occupied, really.

“Cassidy still isn’t back from vacation? ” There was a long pause on the other end of the line.

“Lilah? Since Cassidy isn’t back… would you- Uh… well… could you… maybe go to prom with me?”

Did he just ask what I heard? Or am I going crazy? I stared at the wall and listened to his voice ask me over and over again.

“Uh.. Lilah? Did you hear me?”

“Yeah… I heard you. I’d love to go to prom with you. But I gotta go, ok? Talk to you later, bye!”

I threw my phone out of my hands and onto the floor. Ryder just asked me to go to prom with him. I said yes. He’s dating Cassidy.

Oh god, what have I done this time?

 I guess I should apologize for not posting in a long time and for how short this is… I just recently got inspiration to write again. So, I’m very sorry for the delay on this post and if you’re reading this, thank you for sticking with me. 🙂

Generation Two — Chapter One

My arm ached from where the nurses had walked by giving me shots to keep me sane. The tears ran down my cheeks but the smile plastered on my face was a side effect from the medicine.

The waiting room was empty, the streets were deserted. The one nurse at the desk across from me was typing rapidly on a computer, peaking up at me occasionally with a worried look plastered on her face.

I knew that she was waiting for me to emotionally break down again. I knew she had back-up at the push of one button.

I glanced over at the stairs that led to the upstairs part of the hospital. I could hear doctors running around and yelling at each other.

I pulled my legs up to me in the chair and started crying again. These past few weeks at the hospital had been torture. I cringed, thinking of the night we were brought in here. My father rushed to the hospital with a change of clothes for me. I had made it out of the crash with a few minor cuts and bruises. My arm had the possibility of being broke, but the doctor told me to just take it easy.

My mom, on the other hand, had to deliver the baby. Doctors are very worried about it- or, well, her – since she’s a month and a half early. I had not heard from the doctor since I was told that my mother had died and was brought back around three times.

She’s been holding on for a while now, but it seems an unworthy cause. Her friends have been stopping by to see her almost every day. The reassuring hugs and whispers of how my mom will be ok have done nothing but upset me more.

“Come on, mom,” I muttered through my clenched teeth. “You’re stronger than this.”

The nurse shot me another wary look as I stood up and walked to the bottom of the stairs. “Ma’am,” she said a little too loudly. “You can’t go up there.”

Her hands grasped my wrists as I jerked them free and started running up the stairs. I could hear it, the baby was crying, my dad was crying, the doctors were not running as much.

I stopped in front of the room my mother had been in and stared blankly at the wall. Nobody was in there, not even my mom. All the machines were put back where they were before they needed to be used. Tears quickly sprung to my eyes and my only thought was to find mom.

I turned around and ran into two nurses who were walking down the hall. They gasped and looked at me like I was the Grudge and kept walking down the hall. My bare feet were cold against the floor as I walked down the hall, stopping to check in each room for my mom.

I made it to the last room in the hall and crossed my fingers, hoping to see my mom standing up and smiling again. Instead, I was greeted with an unhappy scene. My dad was sitting in the chair next to her bed.  He had his hand over his mouth but no sound was coming out, all he could do was point at his daughter as she was crying in her crib.

My mom had scars covering her face, her breathing was raspy and the doctors left the room when they saw me. All machines that had been keeping her alive were gone.

My dad wouldn’t look at me and deep down I knew he blamed me for this. For not pulling over in the rain, for causing this to happen. I gulped and leaned over my mom, taking in the grief overwhelming me.

The scars were horrid and instead of them being on my face, where they belong, they were on hers. Her flawless, perfect face. The one I always envied.

Her hair was cut. The nurses had fixed it earlier because of all the blood in it. When the window shattered, it cut not only her face, but her hair too.

I reached out to run my finger over her lips as a tear- my tear- fell onto her face. I quickly wiped it away.

“Mom,” I choked out. No response, more shallow breaths. “Mom, please. Don’t leave us! I’m so sorry, I’m so… so, sorry…”

I sat up and looked around the room Delilah was standing next to a crib and Gabe was staring at me with no emotion on his face. I heard a baby crying and Delilah had smears of mascara running down her face.

All of my emotions were mixed. I couldn’t tell how I felt.

I looked at Gabe and gave a smile, hoping to see his bright one in return. Instead, he stared as if he couldn’t even see me.

I must be dreaming, I said out loud. Only, nothing came out of my mouth. My lips moved, but I couldn’t hear my voice.

I clasped my hands over my mouth and felt the scars on my face, trying to remember what happened. The more I thought about it, the more my head started to hurt.

Dad still wasn’t saying anything as he stared at my mom’s lifeless body as she took small breaths. I leaned down to kiss my mom on the forehead, trying not to get mascara all over her face. As my lips touched her skin, she jumped a little.

I jerked back, expecting to see her smiling up at me, all happy and ok again. Instead, I bumped into the table beside me and only saw a dab of mascara on my mom’s white face.

The noise the table made when I hit it caused the baby to start crying. I leaned over the crib and ran my fingers over her tiny face, trying to calm her down.

“She’s beautiful, dad.” I whispered, trying to get him to talk.

I lifted the sheets, half expecting to not see half of my body or something. Everything felt different and I already found it weird that I couldn’t talk.

Delilah was leaning over the crib and staring at the baby, tears still streaming down her face.

That’s when it hit me.

I remembered being pregnant, I remembered something about teaching Delilah how to drive… no, that wasn’t it, was it?

One thing was for sure: The baby in the crib was mine and she was delivered very early. That’s when I noticed that I was not at home, I was in the hospital.

Why wasn’t Gabe helping me up? I can’t feel my legs.

The doctor was back in the room and he immediately was at my mom’s side, checking for a pulse. The jerk must have been her heart giving up for about the fourth time.

I was holding my breath, but I couldn’t let any air out. I slowly backed across the room and ran into a nurse who ran to the doctor’s side. I looked over at my dad who was sitting in his chair, staring at the doctor’s back.

Do something, make her come back. The words were flying through my head but I couldn’t put them in order to scream them at the doctor.

I closed my eyes hoping I would wake up from this nightmare.

Lifting the small baby out of her crib, I stared at her and took notice of every little detail on her face. She looked like me. My first baby with Gabe that looked like me.

She smiled at me as I ran my thumb over her cheek. She must have felt it but I didn’t feel a thing. I laughed and froze when I didn’t hear the sound of my laugh fill the room.

Something weird is definitely going on.

My body started to feel more and more transparent with each second. I held my last baby close to me as I began to accept that I was probably dreaming and that my whole life was just a dream. I’ll probably wake up and still be a kid or something.

I hadn’t heard the sobs of Delilah and Gabe until now. I tried to block it out, but the sounds surrounded me. No escape… this was torture.

I shut my eyes and tried to find some peace. Even just a tiny bit. That’s when the slightest chuckle caught my attention. I wasn’t alone, someone else could see me.

I lowered the baby back into her crib and took one last look at her precious face. She was sleeping, her tiny tummy barely rising with each breath. Oh, she was definitely tiny. I can’t believe she’s so healthy for such an early delivery.

I want to cry. Reach out and touch her face and actually feel the tingle in my fingertips. I want to hold her and rock her to sleep at night. I want to watch her get older and help her whenever she falls down. I want to hear her first words and watch her get on the bus for her first day of school.

I want to hold her when she cries because her boyfriend did her wrong. I want to teach her how to drive, incidentally, and not end up in the hospital.

I looked over at Delilah and couldn’t believe that this actually happened. I finally gathered the courage and turned around. My eyes made direct contact with his and he smiled.

“Hi daddy,” I squeaked.

“Got yourself into a bit of a mess, huh?” He asked, adjusting his weight to his left foot. “I know you are confused right now. I mean, I’ve been gone for years and here I am talking to you. Is anything making sense to you right now?”

I shook my head and looked down at the floor. I could almost feel the tears pooling in my eyes, but it was only my mind. I couldn’t even produce one tear.

“It’s your time, dear. You’ve lived your legacy. The doctor’s can’t bring you back.”

He reached his hand out to me and gave a reassuring smile.

“Just take my hand and we can go.”

I glanced around the room at my family one more time before warily looking back at my dad.

“There’s no choice, Nessie. I’m sorry. We’ll watch over them, they’ll be ok.”

I heard Delilah scream and tried to cover my ears. Before I knew it, I was shoving my hand in my dad’s just to end this.

Everything blurred and light started to shine around our hands. My dad’s smile never left his face..

The doctors gave us their sympathy. The baby was still sleeping. My dad was still staring into space.

I was alone. Nobody understood. They took mom away and left us in the room.

I watched her take her last breath.

I took my mom’s life.

Nothing is going to change that.

Nothing can bring her back.

~<3~

Generation One — Chapter Thirteen; Remember me

-Delilah’s POV-

“Delilah, I know you just got that laptop for your birthday, but you’re fifteen. Get up and be active!”

I kept my gaze locked on the computer in front of me as my mom grabbed the leftover pieces of cake from the party that was thrown earlier today. She waddled over to the sink to wash the dishes as I rolled my eyes at her back.

I let my eyes wander up from her back to see her swollen pregnant belly and rested my head on one of my hands. To be honest, I don’t understand why my parents are having another baby. In my eyes, they’re like fifty years old and a baby would just add to those wrinkles

It’s not like my mom had 103 kids already. With different men. And took pride in it.

I stood up and grabbed my brand new laptop. My mom wanted me to be active? I’d be active walking up the stairs to my room where I would sit my butt down in my desk chair and use my laptop some more.

Of course, this new laptop came with new rules:

No chatting with strangers.

Don’t take “You’ve won a brand new simpad/laptop/tickets to freaking hawaii, dude!” seriously.

Don’t stay on the internet past 10:30 on school nights. The usual stuff.

I carefully sat my laptop down on my desk and made my way towards the small TV that still sat in the same corner in my room. Ryder was playing the same old video games he always does and Cassidy, his girlfriend, leaned up against the chair watching him. I laid on the floor next to them and sighed as Cassidy shifted to look at me.

I kept my eyes trained on the TV’s screen as Ryder furiously hit the buttons on the worn out controller. I had been watching him play the same game for years now, and Casiddy had never shown interest. To be honest, she didn’t show interest until Ryder joined the football team in our freshman year.

Ryder took notice in Cassidy’s interest and immediately started falling prey to her little trap. I guess that’s how all relationships go, I wouldn’t know.

Lilah, what’s up?” Cassidy whispered through her teeth while giving me that look that tells you that you better talk or she’d do something to make you talk.

I let my eyes wander to meet hers and smiled.

Cassidy, how can you not know what’s up? You know that I’ve liked Ryder since grade school and you just up and stole him and act like everything is fine and dandy.

“Nothing.” I said, sitting up. Cassidy raised one eyebrow as I headed over to my desk and sat in the chair, booting my laptop up. I typed my password in and blocked the sounds of the video game out. I needed time to think.

The second my computers screen lit up, I saw the notification box in the bottom right hand corner of my laptop letting me know who was online. My eyes lit up when I saw that poison_ivy was online. I immediately opened a chat with him to say hi.

Yeah, so I kinda broke the rule of not chatting with strangers.

I jumped when I felt a hand touch my shoulder and hit the power button on my laptop. I swung around only to see Cassidy staring down at me. She looked over at my computer and sighed before Ryder came over and pinned her to the wall, kissing her. So this is what Taylor Swift feels like.

Cassidy blossomed into a beautiful fifteen year old. I was still quite awkward. I had my own sense of style, my hair was very long and always a mess, I had glasses, and I was basically flat chested.

Watching my two best friends do this right in front of me did something to me. I got fed up. I stood up and moved around them and headed down the stairs. It seems these days that love is just flying everywhere. Flying everywhere except to me.

I made it halfway down the stairs when I heard my dad playing his guitar and singing. I sat down and smiled. I loved hearing my dad play and sing. I have his voice and his skills on the guitar, but like I would ever use those. Nobody knows I can sing or play besides him. From the looks of it, he was singing to my unborn sibling.

My mom was practically glowing as she watched my dad with love filling her eyes.

Ugh.

Mom’s stomach looked a great deal small for being seven months along in her pregnancy. I adjusted my glasses and spotted Noah across the room watching our parents as close as I was. He saw that I saw him and motioned for me to come over. I tiptoed behind mom and made my way to the backyard where Noah and I always met when he wanted to talk.

He was sitting on the see-saw with his head back, watching the stars probably. This kid always has his head in the clouds. I have never seen another boy his age like him. His imagination is wild.

I smiled, standing in the doorway. I loved watching my little brother. He was growing up too fast and I knew my sibling on the way would grow up quite fast as well. I remember when mom told dad she wanted another baby.

Well, you can’t say she told him.

Aunt Amber marched up to him and told him to get into the baby making mood. The look on his face was priceless.

Now that’s a story to tell the grand kids someday.

I walked over to the see-saw and ran my fingers through Noah’s hair as he snapped back to reality. He had a worried look on his face and motioned for me to sit on the other end of the see-saw.

“So you’re fifteen now.” he started, not making eye contact.

I nodded and raised an eyebrow as I sank to the ground from weighing more than Noah.

“Mom and dad are having another baby. Soon. By the time this baby is three, you will be graduating highschool and moving out. How on earth will I manage this child on my own?!”

I laughed, a true genuine laugh. My brother always freaked out over the smallest things.

I assured Noah that I wouldn’t move out exactly when I’m eighteen. I was in no hurry to get away from anyone, and I definitely had the most loving parents around. Why would I want to leave free food, a warm house in the winter, a cool house in the summer? I’d be crazy.

After sitting outside for a while, I could hear Cassidy and Ryder calling my name. I honestly didn’t want to deal with them. They were probably just looking for me to make out in front of me again.

“Lilah? Are you crying?” Noah whispered, staring at me. I felt a cold chill run down my cheek and shook my head. I looked up as the next raindrop hit my face and pointed up.

“Gah! My simpad is in my pocket! I can’t get it wet! Laters, Li!”

I watched Noah run inside and could only smile. Always worried about that darn simpad of his. I slowly followed him inside. When I opened the door to the kitchen, I could no longer hear my dad playing his guitar. So far, so good…

I crept into the living room and tiptoed over to the stairs to see if I could hear-

“DELILAH! There you are. Come, you have a message from your booooooyfriend!” I groaned, Cassidy got into my laptop again.

She dragged me up to my room and opened my laptop up, making me sit at my desk and read her chat with poison_ivy. I winced as I read everything she had told him about me.

My cheeks turned bright red as I read through his replies. He never said anything bad about me, but I know he probably will in the future.

There goes my reputation online.

“You know, your room is kinda childish.” My best friend piped up from beside me. I glanced up at her with tears pooling in my eyes. It’s not that Cassidy said anything bad to poison_ivy, but Cassidy never knows when to shut up. She was looking around my room, a look that was unreadable spread across her face.

“Thanks, Cas. Like I have the time to redecorate.”

I slammed the laptop shut and made my way back outside into the rain.

Maybe the rain is better than I thought.

I woke up and glanced around my room. Memories from my childhood flooded through my mind. Cassidy says my room is childish, I think it feels like home.

I quickly showered and made sure to avoid my laptop. I headed downstairs and stopped short when I heard my mom singing in the kitchen. She was singing a song I didn’t recognize.

 My best friend gave me the best advice, he said each day’s a gift and not a given right

I made my way to the couch in the living room and sat down. My wet hair was wrapped in a towel and I smelled like soap.

If today was your last day, tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?

The sunshine was bright and the house was silent. Probably because dad and Noah were still sleeping.

Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you have?

I could hear Batman moving around in his bed. He was probably having another bad dream.

Every second counts because there’s no second try.

I stood up and walked into the kitchen, cutting my mom short on her last verse. She smiled at me and walked- no, wobbled – over to me to give me a hug.

“Hey Lilah! I’ve decided that me and you are going to go out this evening to teach you how to drive. Should be fun, huh?”

I smiled up at my mom who was practically beaming. I guess some people would say she’s glowing from her pregnancy or whatever. I guess she spent most of her life looking like this, then. I smiled, thinking of all the kids before me who got one great mom.

I sat in the driver seat of our car and looked over at my mom who was obviously having troubles getting her seatbelt over her baby bump. I winced, thinking of what it must be like to be pregnant all the time. My poor mom.

“Ok,” she smiled, “buckle up and remember to drive slow. I don’t care who pressures you.” I nodded and gripped the steering wheel. This isn’t the first time I’ve drove a car, but it doesn’t make this any less nerve wracking.

“Mom?” I asked, glancing over at her. “Why isn’t dad teaching me? Shouldn’t you be at home since you’re, you know, pregnant?”

She laughed and patter her belly as if the swelling was just from eating too much.

“I only get to teach you how to drive once, Lilah. I want to spend as much time with you as I can before you’re all grown up.”

As I drove around town several times as mom gave me helpful tips, we talked about what I want in life.

“Mom? Do you want me to take on the challenge like Aunt Della did with Ande?”

She looked down at her hands in her lap and thought for a few minutes. “Delilah, I never started the challenge thinking that I would actually make it through it or pass it on to my daughter,”

A car behind me honked and flew around me, making me jump a little.

“I started the challenge because I wanted to show kids the love I never got from my mom. You got the love from your mom that I didn’t, so you have no reason to want to start the challenge. Follow your heart. Always.”

I smiled at my mom’s response, knowing that I get the choice on what to do with my life. I turned a sharp corner right as rain started pouring. Mom looked around warily.

I bit my lip and slowed down a lot more, wondering what to do.

“Mom? Should I turn around and go home?”

“Pull over.”

I started pulling over to the side of the road. I looked out at the rain in disgust. Rain always knows how to ruin everything.

I knew this road wasn’t the safest, and it started to worry me. The rain started getting heavier and my mom kept breathing faster. I looked over at her and could tell she was getting nervous as well.

“Mom, it’s just rain, I can handle it.” I whispered as I started to pull out again, heading in the direction of home.

“N-no, Delilah! Don’t!” Mom yelled, causing me to drive a little faster. Anything to get home.

I stopped at a stop sign and looked over at my mom who was now holding her hands over her face, trying to calm her breathing down. I looked both ways and pressed my foot down on the gas. I was determined to-

A flash of white was all I saw as my mom screamed out, seeing it at the same time as me.

The car flew to the left.  My arm got stuck under something. My mom’s scream no longer existed, but it was ringing around in my head as my vision went black and my face lost all feeling.

~</3~

Generation One — Chapter Twelve

“Mom! HELP ME!”

I stood in the doorway and watched Delilah lay on her bed, tossing and turning. She had been screaming for the past hour while she was asleep. I figured that it was bad dreams, maybe even visions. I’m not sure, all I know is that I’ve tried my best to be there for her and comfort her.

Ever since she fell out of the treehouse and hit her head, she’s been ordered to not move around. Anything that she didn’t have to do, she wasn’t supposed to do. This is only the second time that she has had a dream where she screamed for help. She won’t tell me what she sees, but I know it bothers her.

The first dream was while she was in the hospital. She’s been home for a few weeks now and it shocked me that she was having another one. I figured the first one was from the medicine.

I laid my head on the door frame and stared at my baby girl who was struggling and calling for help. I tried waking her up, but it was useless.

Suddenly, she sat up gasping for air and searching the room for me. Just as she did at the hospital.

When she found me, she sighed in relief. I let out a sigh of relief myself and tried to smile at her.

“Are you ok, honey?” I asked. She moved her hair out of her eyes and shook her head, only causing her hair to fall back where it was in the first place. A few tears fell down her tiny cheeks as she stared down at her bed, speechless.

I walked over to her bed and sat across from her. She looked so tiny and helpless, I couldn’t help but reach out and wipe her tears away. I almost started shedding a few tears myself seeing how grown up she was. It wouldn’t be no time before she would be a teenager and she was still working on the simplest of words to say.

I knew from when she’d talk to me that the kids at school were starting to talk to her more now that she can respond to them. There was one girl in particular that Delilah had taken a liking to and had started hanging out with recently. I know that I have to let my baby girl grow up, but it was hitting me like a bus that she wasn’t so much of my baby girl anymore.

As soon as the tear fest was done, Delilah looked up at me and smiled. “You know, mom, we have the same beauty mark.”

I giggled and touched the beauty mark under my right eye and nodded. “You’re my only child to ever inherit my beauty mark.”

I glanced over at the clock sitting on her dresser and groaned. The school bus would be here any minute to pick ‘Lilah up. I hated watching her leave, knowing I can’t be there to help her through the day.

‘Lilah noticed what time it was and walked over to her dresser smiling. She loved going to school, especially now that she knew Cassidy and Ryder. I stood next to her and ran my fingers through her hair. I held my finger up in the air and counted down in my head for her radio to start playing.

Delilah has her radio set to turn on to her favorite station each morning as she gets ready for school. She giggled as she realized what I was doing.

“Three… two…”

“One!” we shouted together as the radio turned on and a song immediately started playing.

We sang along to all of our favorite songs as ‘Lilah decided what she wanted to wear to school. I sat on her bed and watched her hurry around her room to get ready, casually peaking outside of her window every two minutes to see if the bus was here yet.

When the bus finally pulled up, she gave me a hug and ran down the stairs. The bus hadn’t even fully stopped yet when ‘Lilah made it to the sidewalk. Cassidy hugged her and they both disappeared on the bus giggling. I smiled, watching from Lilah’s window in her room.

I remember what it feels like to be excited to be with your best friend. It makes everything all the better.

My phone hadn’t been ringing much lately. All of my best friends were so busy with their new lives. I checked my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed anything and shoved it back in my pocket as I had no use for it.

I sighed as I made my way to Noah’s room. Spending time with Noah was pretty much how every day of my life went now. I’d wake ‘Lilah up for school, say goodbye to Gabe, eat breakfast, and then wake Noah up. The little booger still favored being alone rather than with his mom, but we’re working on it.

I can always bring a smile to Noah’s face by pulling out his favorite book: Clifford.

When he catches sight of me holding that book, his little face lights up and he rushes over to me to read it.

I used to read it to him while he sat in my lap, but now he’s old enough to even help me read parts of it. Every time I pull the book out and my little boy is helping me read it, I find myself frowning. Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because my kids are growing up and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

As I finished reading Clifford for about the fifth time, Noah looked up at me with his big eyes that were just like his fathers. I smiled and ran my fingers through his short, thick curly hair.

“Mommy, I want to be a big bwotha.”

After Noah finished struggling with his “r”‘s, I stared down at him in shock. He tugged at my arm, insisting that he was being “sewious” and meant it. By the time large tears started welling up in his eyes, I was about to assure him that he would be one day, but I saw that not fair to Gabe.

He was about to go all out in the fit when Ryder and Delilah stomped through the front door with Cassidy not far behind them. I could tell that with each day bringing summer  and the end of middle school closer, the kids were getting restless. Each day, they walked in with a bigger frown pressed on their faces.

Cassidy bounced up the stairs to Delilah’s room seeing as she had finished her homework in study hall, whereas Ryder and Delilah trudged right to the kitchen table to do theirs.

“Delilah? Are Ryder and Cassidy spending the night again?” I asked, hearing their backpacks hitting the floor next to them.

I waited for a few moments while putting Clifford the book away before Delilah answered with a yes. Recently, Ryder and Cassidy have been spending the night almost every night. Granted, Ryder didn’t sleep in the same room as the girls, but I could tell that Delilah really was happy.

The sad look in her eyes that she had when she couldn’t talk was no longer there. She no longer had to mouth words to fictional characters on her tv screen.

Each night went about the same. The kids would come home, do homework, and spend the rest of the night playing video games and hanging out in Delilah’s room.

On rare occasions, Ryder would stay home with his parents and we’d just have Delilah and Cassidy on our hands. I was honestly starting to feel like Gabe and I had three kids, not two.

Delilah was ok with that, she loved the idea of having a sister. Cassidy was quite fond of the idea herself. Every now and then she’ll saunter up to me with her hands behind her back and simply lay it on the line that she’d love if I would adopt her. I took this as something that came natural with her being my daughter’s best friend until I learned about her family history.

Her father, John, was struggling in work. He had to keep Cassidy fed and taken care of. The social workers have paid him several visits, though recently he’s been doing pretty good on his own.

When Cassidy was born, her mother left her with John and disappeared off the face of the earth. John was devastated. Not only for the fact that he had lost his soulmate, but for the fact that Cassidy wouldn’t have a mother in her life.

So there you have it. I basically became the motherly role model for Cassidy and a mentor and friend to John. Cassidy seems happy and I know that John loves his little girl, I don’t doubt that they’ll make it out fine.

As for Delilah and Cassidy? They remind me a lot of Della and myself. They like to have fun and in tons of ways. Delilah pays no attention to the whole bed rest ordeal anymore. I catch the girls running through the house doing things all the time. Sometimes I’ll find them playing video games or singing along to their favorite songs, but something that they do all the time that bothers me to no end?

Sliding down the rail on our staircase.

I can’t help that I’m a mother and let my instincts kick in and tell them to not do it. All I can see when I see those kids sliding down the rail is a broken bone and time spent in a hospital.

I guess you could say that Delilah has finally found that one friend that can always make her smile, always cheer her up, and always be there for her.

Cassidy seems to be what Delilah always wanted. Someone she can share secrets with. Someone she can do everything with. Someone who really means something to her.

They do make a cute pair. I can’t wait to see how their lives play out for them. High school is right around the corner for them and I’m sure both of them will be shining stars.

I’d be lying if I told you that spending every day with these two didn’t make me miss my friends a hell of a lot more.

Vibrations knocked me off my feet and further into the ditch that I was trying to climb out of. Once the vibrating stopped and I was able to make it up the slopes a bit, I saw my friends reaching down to help me up. Their hands seemed to be right in reach, right where I could grab them. But… every time I tried to reach for them, they would start to disappear more and more. The vibrations would return and send me plumitting further and further down in the ditch. The ground started to shake as if the whole world was being-

I sat up, breathing heavy and searching all of the walls for a clock. Anything to tell me what time it was.

I checked my surroundings and found out that I had fallen asleep on the couch. It was bright outside, the birds were singing. I was about to let my eyes slip closed again when someone started pounding their fist on my front door repeatedly.

I jumped up and looked around frantically, trying to figure out what the heck was even going on. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check the time.

7:45 A.M.

The time wasn’t what caught my attention first. No, the flashing message across my screen did.

30 missed calls.

“What the hell?” I whispered, heading over to the door and peaking outside.

“Surprise!” My friends yelled, throwing themselves at me the second the door was opened.

“G-guys?” I asked, looking each of my friends over as I tried to figure out if I was still dreaming or not. “Is this real life?”

“Or is this just fantasy, caught in a landslideeee… no escape from reality!”

“Amber, shut the hell up!” Kalyn and Della screeched at the same time as our red headed friend started singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

I scratched my head and stared at my friends. “We came for a day to be with you. We were hoping that we could spend it out by the pool?”

I laughed and stepped out of the way, letting my friends in so they could change into their bathing suits.

“Of course, you all know I can’t deny a day by the pool with my girls!”

Della giggled and stepped passed me with Amber and Kalyn following close behind. I practically skipped to my room to grab my bathing suit. Noah was standing at my door by the time I was done changing with a big smile on his face.

“Hey little man, I love your smile!” I squatted down to be at eye level with Noah and smiled.

“I love you smile moaw!” He giggled, squishing my cheeks between his two hands. I laughed and swooped him up into my arms to take him outside. As I stepped onto the grass outside the back door, I couldn’t help myself as I let out a girly squeal as each of my friends joined me.

Several hours flew by in what seemed like minutes and before I knew it, I was gathered around the fire pit with my friends. I stabbed a marshmallow with my stick and held it out towards the fire and fell into a giggle fit as Amber’s marshmallow dripped down into the fire, taking her smile with it.

Noah was fast asleep in his room while Gabe and John were out on the town. Delilah and Cassidy, along with Ryder, were inside watching a movie. I pushed my hair behind my ears and smiled at each of my friends before starting to speak.

“Do you guys remember when we used to hang out twenty four seven? Just us and our kids, but it was usually just us because we had teenagers to watch the younger ones for us. I miss those days… sometimes I find myself thinking back on my challenge and I do miss it. I miss all of it. Now here we all are married and with more kids than we can handle!”

My friends shared a smile before returning their looks to me. They held the stare as I popped a marshmallow into my mouth.

“What?!” I asked. I ended up laughing because I made absolutely no sense as the marshmallow melted and made my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth. My friends laughed along with me.

“It’s just.. are you and Gabe going to have anymore kids?” Kalyn spat out as she stared at me anxiously. I swallowed my marshmallow and looked at each of my friends guiltily.

“I want another baby so bad… but Gabe doesn’t really give off the vibe that he wants another one.”

Amber started laughing as she leaned closer towards me. “Honey, you couldn’t have made your guilty face for nothing. Come on, spill the beans!”

I stared down at the fire for a few minutes before I opened my lips and whispered what I felt so guilty and ashamed over.

“Well, Gabe thinks that I’m on the pill..”

~<3~

Generation One — Chapter Eleven

The worries of the world flew off my shoulders and onto the easel as I cleared my mind of all the troubles that had been wearing down on me and causing a few new wrinkles on my face.

Gabe’s parents love you, Nessa.

Gabe’s love is all that matters, Nessa.

The Hutchens have always been lovable people, Nessa.

Gabe’s parents used to love me. Back when I was ten. Gabe’s love was all that mattered. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want his parents to love me. The Hutchens were lovable people… once again, when I was ten.

Nothing to worry about, not one thing.

My thoughts were interrupted by Noah’s care-free laugh coming from outside at the pool. I could hear Delilah diving into the pool and splashing her brother who must be sitting around the pool.

I let the image of my children having fun take over my brain and stepped away from my painting to take a look at it so far.  It was nowhere near done, nor was it looking like anything pretty, but who cares? To me, it was a masterpiece in progress.

The sound of the front door opening is what scared me enough to hide in the kitchen until I heard Gabe calling my name. He stood with one of his arms behind his back and smiled at me.

“Gabe, I’m so scared your parents aren’t going to like me.” I sighed, staring down at the ground, fighting tears.

“Nonsense, beautiful. They loved you once, they will love you now. Sure, it’s been around 25 years, but they will still love you.” He smiled once more and something about it told me to trust him. I didn’t marry a liar, and I didn’t plan on being married to one in the future.

I took my glasses off and wiped my eyes, careful to avoid making my makeup run, and put them back on. I knew I had nothing to worry about, but there was always that little flicker of doubt when you’re worried about something.

I stole a glance down at the dress that I had picked out to be reunited with Gabe’s parents and let out a regretful groan.

“Gabe, your mother was never one for dresses and all the fancy stuff! She’s going to hate this!”

“Nonsense. You look great..” I playfully pushed my hair behind my ears and leaned to the side to find out what exactly Gabe was hiding behind his back. I expected it to be a bill, maybe even a letter from one of my friends.

It was nothing of the sort.

The surprise on my face was priceless, I’m sure, when he swooped a bouquet of red roses out from behind his back and held them out to me.

I took the flowers and headed into the kitchen to grab a vase when I heard a car pull up out front. My hands started to get sweatier as I filled the vase with water and tried to keep the lump out of my throat.

It stayed silent outside for a few moments before I heard Gabe’s father, Todd.

“‘Lilah! Look at how big you’ve gotten! And Noah, my goodness, you look just like your father!”

I set the flowers on the kitchen table and listened to Noah squeal with delight. He was working on learning how to say “grandpa” correctly, so Samoya, Gabe’s mother, was giggling as he yelled, “Gwampa! Gwampa!”

I slowly walked over to the kitchen window to peak outside and see what was going on. Delilah was telling Todd something through sign language and Samoya was smothering Gabe in a hug.

I smiled at the scene and thought back to a week ago when Gabe told me that his parents were driving all the way from Sunset Valley to see us.

My reaction wasn’t the most cheerful reply you would want when telling your significant other that your parents are coming to visit.

“What do you mean your parents want to come visit?! Didn’t you just take the kids to visit them while I was with friends?!”


“Vanessa, that was when Noah was one. That was two years ago.”

Had it really been two years now? Thinking back, I’ve been so wrapped up in making sure that Delilah was situated with her lifestyle and that Noah was learning how to be a big boy that I hadn’t paid any attention.

“O-Oh… Well, I guess it’s fine that they come. We have nothing planned… but what if they don’t like me? It’s been years since I’ve seen them..”

Gabe kissed my forehead and assured me all would be fine as he went to check on Delilah. I would say that she was being quiet, but she’s been quiet her whole life. That’d be an understatement, actually.

Delilah was fast asleep on her bed when we walked into her room. As I was looking at her, I realized, it doesn’t matter if I’m scared that my in laws won’t like me.

All that matters is that Delilah and Noah will be able to see their grandparents. I was ok with everything at that moment.

I felt… peaceful.

Looking out the window now, I felt peaceful again. I scurried out of the kitchen and into the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror. I practiced my smile and made sure my teeth were clean. I made sure that my hair wasn’t sticking up funny or that my glasses weren’t smudged.

Sighing, I smoothed my dress down and headed outside. By the time I made it up to Todd and Samoya, Samoya was cuddling Noah like she hadn’t ever seen him before.

I smiled as he giggled and gave her a peck on the cheek.

After a few moments, I found myself more comfortable and was able to joke around with Todd just like I did back when dad was alive. He hasn’t changed a bit, but I never did notice that Gabe looked exactly like his dad.

Gabe resembled Todd in every feature. I was almost in awe looking at him. I could tell he was avoiding the subject of my dad and I felt bad for him.

I can’t even imagine what it feels like to lose your best friend to death… I can’t imagine how Della would feel if she lost me, either. The thought was unbearable.

My thoughts were interrupted by Samoya handing me Noah as she headed inside with Delilah. At this moment in time, I was quite sure that Delilah’s grandmother was her best friend.

It was only a few moments after I wrapped up my conversation with Todd that I headed inside. I walked behind Samoya and Delilah as I headed upstairs to put Noah in his swing so he’d take a nap. I was almost all the way up the stairs when what I heard stopped me.

“You know, Lilah, when I was your age, I looked just like you. Blonde hair, big eyes, almost the exact same nose… Yep. I looked just like you. I was a bit more plump, but you don’t want to look like that so I guess that’s a good thing that you’re not just like me.”

Samoya’s laugh reminded me of my dad’s. It was that same cheerful, happy laugh that I adored while I was growing up. I smiled, thinking of all the times that that laugh had calmed me down as a child.

Samoya looked up and caught me smiling. She giggled as if she was just as young as me. “Nessa, we should go do something after you put Noah down for his nap.”

I agreed and thirty minutes later we were just driving across town. When we reached a spot next to a lake I had never seen, we pulled over and decided to just sit and talk.

“So, how’s life?” Samoya asked as she sat down and crossed her legs. I sighed and looked over at her while pondering on what to say next.

“Oh, you know. Same old same old. Noah is getting older and I kinda want another baby.. but I doubt Gabe wants another child. I don’t know, I mean-”

I was interrupted by my cell phone ringing. I shot a sorry look to Samoya and answered it without checking ID.

“Hey Ness, it’s Kalyn. I’m uh.. at your house. You should come home.” Kalyn was screaming at me to come home and I heard Noah crying in the background. I winced and assured her I’d be home soon and stood up. Samoya stood up and laughed.

“It’s ok, I know how friends are.”

As soon as I got home, Kalyn attacked me from behind and gave me a hug. When the attack was over, I noticed her son, Ryder, standing shyly beside her. I gave him a hug and introduced myself as Aunt Nessa and told him were Delilah was. Kalyn and I followed him as he ran to the backyard and watched our kids play on the seesaw.

The next several hours were spent on catching up, drinking wine, and laughing. Samoya and Todd were already fast asleep in one of our guest rooms around ten that night.

Delilah and Ryder had become very close throughout the day that they had spent together. The majority of the day was spent outside. Not once had Ryder complained that Delilah couldn’t talk.

I was heading outside to tell the kids that they needed to come in for the night when I heard Ryder scream from the treehouse. I darted outside just in time to see Delilah topple off the side of the rails and fall quickly towards the ground.

As I watched my daughters body fall to the ground and lay there lifelessly, I screamed and ran towards her with tears already pouring down my face.

I knew I wouldn’t hear her cry or scream since she was mute, but she shocked me once more.

Her eyes closed and her mouth hung open, a slight amount of blood dripping from it. She let one ear splitting scream ring out.

Once her scream ended, she muttered one simple word:

“mommy”

~<3~

Generation One — Chapter Ten

It had been years now since we found out that Delilah had been condemned to a life of silence– years that had seemed to pass by quickly, filled with not only her frustration, tears, and anger, but with also with mine. The only thing that seemed to brighten the circumstances a bit was that simple sentence the doctor had uttered;

“There’s a good chance that she might be able to talk one day, Mrs. Hutchen.”

Might was the keyword in this whole situation.

For now, though, she remains mute. Not a single word has ever been vocalized. I suppose the good thing is that she seems to have accepted this lifestyle. She seems happy, I guess. And if she’s happy, then I suppose I should try to be too. Of course, its always easier said than done. I’m always seem to find myself ending up in tears.

Since learning of Delilah’s impairment, we’ve seemed to grow closer as a family. I realize that it’s not my fault, nor is it hers. Despite her inability to talk, our newest addition to the family has definitely made up for all the words Delilah has left unsaid.

Noah is quite the talker. That boy talks nonstop– much more than most of any of my older children ever had. He and his sister are the brilliant lights of my world and keep me going each and every day.

Another thing about Noah? He looks so much like his father. So many of my children had come out looking exactly like me. It was nice for some change.

Each day that I watch Delilah skip through the front door, I long to ask her how her day went; what she learned today, if there’s any cute little boys in her class that have caught her eye, what she had for lunch.

Sometimes, my brain doesn’t process the fact that she can’t verbalize a response, and I end up asking anyways.

She just stops dead in her tracks and stares at me, her deep blue eyes widened with shock. She then proceeded to scurry up to her room.

Real smooth, Nessa.

Gabe and I have brought her to multiple specialists, and my own carelessness only adds to the fire that has been fueled by the hatred she has for me because of all those visits to the doctor that she doesn’t like. Trust me, she’s made it quite clear in her little notes that she is not too fond of him, or even doctors in general for that matter.

She’s making a little bit of progress. She’s just now beginning to learn sign language. In addition to that, our little writer is often writing us short stories to express what ever she needs to.

I honestly don’t know what really is going on in that mind of hers.

She never complains. She does what she’s told without any reluctance. She’s such an amazing little helper when it comes to taking care of her little brother.

Noah, of course, was more of a handful than his big sis. While Delilah was content sitting in front of the television, Noah takes much more to please. Whereas ‘Lilah liked her morning started early and spent with me, Noah preferred sleeping until the afternoon and enjoyed being all by himself.

He occasionally let me hold him without throwing a fit, being reasonably happy. I take his calmness as an oppurtunity to strengthen the bond between us. I don’t doubt that he’s obviously not a momma’s boy, and he’s not even close to his father either, for that matter. He just likes to simply be left alone and I’ve come to accept that. Hey, we all need some alone time, right? He just required… a little more than others.

Delilah’s been attending school for a few years now. Though her grades are excellent, she has never brought anyone home or even mentioned a friend in any of her notes or stories. I couldn’t help but worry that, while her brother’s loneliness was optional, she didn’t have a choice. Though, I guess she isn’t completely lonely in this world. If you ask her who her best friend is, she’ll let out a soundless giggle and sign the name of her partner in crime:

Batman.

The second Delilah was old enough to move out of the nursery and get a “big girl’s room”, the first thing I found her doing was dragging that dog’s bed down the hallway and to her new bedroom. I didn’t stop her, and to this day Batman sleeps in that room every single night.

A mother would normally push her kids to socialize with others her age, but I chose to leave Delilah alone.

She seemed remotely content, but when you truly looked deep into those those blue eye’s, you’d realize how much heartbreaking sadness they held.

My little girl wasn’t happy. It showed whenever she walked, her shoulders always slightly hunched, or when I hear her cry nearly every night. Her sniffling, her noiseless wails, her eyes red and puffy and her cheeks tear stained.

Sometimes she would let me hold her in my arms as she silently sobbed.

It only made me hate myself more. I hated myself for not being able to simply giver her a voice; to wrap it up in a box, put a bow on top, and place it in her hands. I wanted to hear her sweet voice for once. I wanted to hear her say “Mommy” or “I love you” with her mouth, not just through her hands.

Being the mother of a child who has a disability can really effect your outlook on life.

It’s a rough way of learning to appreciate the simple everyday things and occurrences. You learn not to take anything for granted.

But… no words could even describe the way my heart broke as I watched my baby girl trudge up the staircase to her bedroom, which was the only time she seemed to be at least a little bit happy. We had moved an older TV that had been gathering dust in there to keep her occupied, but Gabe and I both know that she really wants actual friends that will talk to her and that she can talk back to to, instead of just watching and listening to the characters inside of the screen. I always seemed to catch her mouthing a response to the character and then acting as if though the character was speaking back to her whenever they spoke their next line.

All I want to do is reach out to her; to help her. But there’s simply nothing more that I can try to do. Each day that her voice refuses to come to her, my hope that it will ever come back dies a little bit more. But as her mother, I can never let that hope die completely.

So in the meantime, I try to have her socialize with Noah.

Sometimes I manage to get him out of his room and drag him into Delilah’s. He despises leaving his room, and she’s fully aware of this. But whenever she sees him, her face always lights up.

Somehow, even if Delilah ends up never talking in her lifetime, I’m convinced everything will be okay in the end.

I know my two children are always going to be there for each other.

~<3~

SPECIAL thanks to Anna (BATMAN) for re-writing this for me. She did a really good job taking what I had and making it much…much more better. So thank you, dear. 🙂

Generation One — Chapter Nine

“Delilah, say mommy.”  I said, trying to sound confident. It was seven AM and we were outside working. Delilah has started her new routine of waking up the second Gabe’s alarm goes off. Being that his alarm isn’t even enough to wake me up, it shocks me that she wakes up. I’m on the other side of the bed, she’s upstairs. Maybe my hearing isn’t doing so great.

Delilah’s blue eyes, which were the same color as mine, bore up at me as I planted another seed deep into the ground. She shrugged her shoulders as if I had asked her a question and diverted her attention back to her favorite toy. I wiped the dirt off my fingers and reached for another seed as I bit my bottom lip.

Batman, the puppy who I had no clue what his name was until Gabe told me, laid on the ground and watched me with fascination. For some reason, Gabe was fascinated with batman now and loved reading batman comics to Delilah. The second she laid eyes on the picture of batman, she was pointing at the dog. We knew what she meant.

Getting frustrated, I crawled over to Delilah on eye level with her. “Lilah, I swear, I’m taking you to the doctor this weekend. It’s too early for you to hate me enough to not talk to me. Save that for your teenage years, baby.”

The hours flew by, the house sounding too quiet with Gabe at work. The sound of Curious George flickered in the background as I slowly stirred dinner in the old, rusted pot that I used all throughout my challenge. Each time I cooked dinner, it was in this pot. As I waited for dinner to finish cooking, I let my mind wander over all the kids I’ve had. It was hard to believe that not even that long ago, I was stepping foot out of my mother’s house about to start on my own kind of journey.

Now, here I am, married and growing old with the one I found love with. I have a beautiful daughter with my husband. I couldn’t ask to be more blessed.

As soon as dinner was done and Gabe and Delilah retired to the living room, I settled to finishing the dishes. I piled the dinner plates up and swiped the phone off the counter, dialing the doctors number. The office was just about to close, but the nurse put me on hold. I kept the phone pressed to my ear while I scrubbed all the dishes until my hands started to get sore.

The doctor scheduled an appointment to see Delilah Saturday and told me that they would probably run a few tests. I stared down at my hands and instantly regretted scrubbing the dishes so hard. I’m sure blisters were bound to appear by tomorrow.

By the time I got off the phone with the doctor, I was dialing Della. I listened to her cry about Ande and everything that’s been going on and tried to comfort her. As soon as we were off the phone, I was headed upstairs to see if Gabe had put Delilah down for the night.

As it turns out, I was the only one still awake.

Tiptoeing down the stairs, I turned the lamp on in the living room and sat at my drawing table. I wasn’t very tired and didn’t plan on sleeping any time soon. I grabbed one of the pencils and started with just drawing lines on the paper. I let my imagination run wild and traced what I had in mind. I missed painting, so I decided to head out tomorrow to see if I could find a cheap easel.

I could hear the clock ticking on the wall all through the night. I really didn’t like the house being so quiet.

By the time I was finished drawing, I noticed the sun scaling the side of our house. As quietly as I could, I slid the door open and slipped outside. The cool grass felt nice on my bare feet as I made my way over to the end of our yard. I hadn’t had any sleep, so I made sure to stay away from the very edge of our yard so I wouldn’t fall asleep and fall off the cliff down to the beach.

The thought made me scoot back a few feet more before sitting down. I ran my fingers through my hair and admired the sunrise that I had seen many times throughout my life. Watching the sun rise always made my day and left my mood happy for the rest of the day.

It wasn’t much longer after that when I headed inside to see if Lilah was awake. She stood up the second she saw me walk through the door and waved with her winning smile. I giggled and waved back, walking over to her crib. I picked her up and kissed her cheek.

“Good morning, Liiiiiilah. Can you say your name? Try with me. Say ‘Lie’ and we can work from there!”

Delilah looked up at me with a sad expression as I pulled her shirt over her. She tapped her lips and shook her head. So many emotions flew through me as she did this. I tried to smile and finished dressing her.

“Gabe, I just don’t understand. Why won’t she talk to me?” I cried, curling up in Gabe’s arms. I had spent all week trying to get Delilah to talk with the same response from her each time. She tapped her lips and shook her head at me. I couldn’t figure out what it meant, but she hasn’t talked once and she’s far too old to not be talking.

“Sweetheart, I don’t know anymore. You’re taking her to the doctor tomorrow, right?” I nodded, letting more tears fall down my face and stared at the wall. I wondered where I went wrong with Lilah, I wondered if she hated me, I wondered if I hurt her when I gave birth to her. No matter what, I’m sure that if anything is wrong, it’s my fault.

Gabe wiped the tears from my face and kissed me. I instantly stopped crying and held onto him so he wouldn’t break the kiss off early. After a short while, he pulled away and kissed my hair, whispering, “Why don’t we go test out the dart board upstairs?”

I followed him upstairs and took my place behind the board, wondering if I would completely miss and dent the wall.

I missed the target, but it wasn’t that bad. I stepped back to let Gabe take his turn and smiled at him.

“What do you think of having more kids?” I asked Gabe as he aimed where he was going to throw his dart. He raised an eyebrow and choked a little as he responded, each word coming out slowly. “You..want more kids?” I crossed my arms and leaned against the wall, listening to hear if Delilah was still asleep.

“Yes, I do want more kids. And don’t you dare crack a joke about how I’ve had 102 already.” He let a smile play across his lips as he turned to look at me, still holding the dart.

I don’t know, Ness. Delilah is enough on our hands… is it time for another?” The sound that came out of me wasn’t human, to be honest. I cocked my head to the side and tried to keep a straight face. “Gabe, dear, I was already pregnant again before my children turned two while I was doing my challenge. Don’t ask me if it’s time for another.”

I could tell that he was very reluctant, thinking this through. I rubbed my hands on my pants to get rid of the sweat. No matter how times I swallowed, the lump in my throat wouldn’t go away. I knew his answer was going to be no, and this was the moment where I wanted to slide down the wall and let my world crash.

“Gabe, I think it’s time for another.” He shook his head as he turned back to the dartboard and began to throw the dart. I let the next words slip out without permission and watched his dart completely miss the board as his reaction. “I’m pregnant.”

After a long night of silence, I had come to accept that I would love this baby even if Gabe didn’t. He was delighted the first time I got pregnant so I was completely baffled as to why he wouldn’t be happy about this one.

All of these thoughts about something being wrong with me was running through my head as I held Delilah’s hand and walked into the doctor’s office. I signed in and was immediately put into the small room with a bunch of toys for kids while we waited on the doctor. I allowed Delilah to play with blocks to keep her busy and let my mind wander aimlessly back to what I would do if Gabe disowned this baby. He wouldn’t… would he?

The doctor came in a few moments later as I was sending a text to Amber telling her the news and how Gabe reacted. She shook my hand and asked if she could steal Delilah away to see her for a moment. I nodded and crossed my legs, wondering what she had to see Delilah for that couldn’t be in front of me.

It wasn’t very long before the two came back and Mrs. Dante set Lilah back down at the black table. She smiled as Delilah started playing with a block and sat down in the chair next to me.

“Mrs. Wood, I know why Delilah won’t talk.”

I was instantly snapped out of my thoughts and looked over at the doctor expectantly.

“Really? Was it my fault? Have I hurt her? Oh, please tell me what’s wrong!”

Mrs. Dante’s face scrunched up as she searched for the words. I knew I was going to get some kind of bad news. Oh, I probably did hurt her! I knew it was my fault! But the words that left the doctors mouth were not words I thought I would hear. Not anything of the sort.

“Vanessa, your daughter is mute.”

~<3~