Allan gave Quinn 12 more hours since when he got home we were all fast asleep. The plan was after the banquet she'd make a decision.
"I think you should give up the baby." Ethan said sighing heavily. We were sitting in his room talking while mom was at the hairdresser and Allan was getting his suit trimmed.
"What?" Quinn asked disgusted he thought that was even an option.
"He let you guys get raped. That isn't the worst he can do. Keep that baby and you'll be miserable. Every second of the day with no help? You need to think reasonably about this." He says.
"I agree. I mean, you can raise Regina's baby." I said.
"You guys are seriously going to let dad win? Let him just take whatever he wants from us?"
"Think about it. We have nothing left. Nothing worth being abandoned and stranded to a fucking hobble for." Ethan interrupted.
"This baby is worth it. It was worth it yesterday. It'll be worth it tomorrow! What happened to nothing over are kids?"
"What do you want that kid to have? You can't give it anything." I explained.
"I can give it love." She said.
"But love isn't going to help it survive. It won't be able to eat or drink off of love. Love isn't nourishment and honestly you can't love that baby if you don't love yourself." I said.
"I love myself. I do."
"Not enough to think about you in the long run. This baby is destroying your life. You're 15 years old. You don't even know how to balance a checkbook or doing anything serious. You're entire life is interdependent on another, less self-relying soul." Ethan interjected honestly.
"Ethan's right, he could and will do much worse to you and that baby if you don't listen."
"Fine. I'll give up the baby." She frowned. My heart tugged as I watched her sigh heavily letting a single tear fall from her tired, weak eyes.
"Maybe with all this drama behind us, the nightmares will go away." She muttered walking off. I looked down. I too had experienced nightmares thinking about early this week. Just last month I had a boyfriend, a family, a best friend. Everything is falling apart. Falling and crumbling and crashing into oblivion.
"You did the right thing." Ethan says patting my back.
"Doesn't make it hurt any less." I answered honestly pushing back a strand of hair.
"In a few months. She'll be over this. You'll be better and I'll be a father."
"A father to your birth mother's love child? That'd be an odd lifetime movie." I chuckled standing up.
"Yeah, one Cynthia would strip for." He smiled.
"Totally." I mumbled walking away.
"Look, it'll be fine. Don't stress to much. Go get ready for the party." He says walking out of his room.
"I know. It's just hard right now." I admit sighing heavily.
"Trust me I know." He says walking away. I climb up the stairs to my bedroom and lock the door. I pull out my laptop and open it up typing in my only trustee.
The lovely red screen pops up greeting me as it shows me all shows and movies related to the shit I've already watched.
"If there was any love stronger than ours let it never cross my eyes." I said stroking my laptop. I clicked on Bonnie and Clyde and wrapped a stray blanket over myself. The screen flickered to life illuminating my dark room as I plugged in my ear plugs and watched the television eagerly as I watched the action and sickly disturbed romance of the two criminals. I actually could imagine living like that. Refugees? No maybe not that maybe just a beggar. Most likely I'd starve. I'm too proud to admit to needing help. At least that's what Penelope's therapist tells me. Penelope? I wonder how long she plans on faking like she's really taking her meds? A week? Maybe two? I should probably call the neuroscientist. Maybe the Williams.
The night came quicker than expected. Cynthia insisted on doing my hair and makeup even though I was against it. Her small, frail hands swiftly and gracefully attended my hair. Wisps of spray fell over my face as she continued to work away.
"Cynthia? I think I'm pretty enough." I muttered standing from the chair. My dress scrunching up my sides.
"You are always pretty enough, love bug." She smiles holding my hands.
"Are you sure you don't want to come?" I asked again sad that dad had banned her entirely from any social gatherings. He was more than embarrassed of us. He was so utterly disgusted that just looking at us made him sick. Though he tolerated us outside, inside was as if he'd never actually been tolerant.
"Yeah, I'm tired anyways. I'd rather stay home and sleep than party with a bunch of uptight politicians and their kids." She smiled fluffing my hair which was cascading down my back in light curls of brown. I wore a pastel pink dress that was lace on top of a cloth material. I wore baby pink wedges and I failed to carry a purse because I forgot to purchase one.
"Okay, I'll sneak you some shrimp." I smiled walking out the door. I was the only one at the house. Well I assumed I was since no one woke me up to tell me I was late. I cursed myself as the wind touched my bare shoulders, kissing my spine and making my toes curl. I hope it's warmer in the Warner building.
The Warner's were rich people who had one of the hugest influences on who would win what election. They always picked one person to throw that party. So once a year political figures packed their families in a car and drove them to the Warner estate where they kissed ass and lost 74% of their dignity trying to get three extra votes. It was sad, maybe even a bit pathetic that the only way to win anything is by being someone else's bitch.
"Wow, Peyton you look hot." Ryan smiles at me as I walk over to them. They all look good. I guess that's the whole point though.
"Thanks, you all look amazing too." I smiled standing there awkwardly. When you're in a dress you never know what really to do with your body. Stand with your hands to your side? Hold something? I really wish I would have stayed home with Cynthia. It may have just saved my life. The stripper didn't know how good she had it.
"Hey," I saw Asher greet the group. Well I didn't technically see him because he was behind me with his arm around my waist. I smile creeped up attacking my face. My stomach churned. But it wasn't butterfly's or vomit. It was kind of like a shot of happiness.
"Hey," Everyone muttered nodding and complimenting Asher. From what I could see his suit was black. Black and oddly warm. Like it was heated up.
"Hey, you." He whispered in my ear. I looked up slightly acknowledging him.
"Hi." I muttered softly. I can imagine he heard the stress in my voice because he pulled me away from the group and down a few hallways out to the backyard. There was a walkway. A path of sorts. It was crowded with flowers and on each side was a mini waterfall.
"So, what's the final decision?" He asks letting me go.
"I don't know. I think, I hope she says no." I muttered sighing.
"And if she says yes? If she lets them take the baby?"
"I don't know. It's the right thing to do. But what's right seems oddly wrong if you ask me."
"This isn't about the abortion? What is this about then?"
"We are orphans Ash, we were given up for whatever reason that may be. If we don't need to give up our child we won't." I explained. I felt like I was always explaining something to Asher. Always making him see what it was like living my life.
"Well, I think you should think about this from everyone's perspective. I mean isn't Cynthia a drug addict? Allan hasn't been living a life of luxury." Asher explained shoving his hands in his pockets.
"What about Penelope? What's her perspective?"
"She's crazy. She'll do whatever Allan says so he'll stay because she believes that nobody could ever truly love the mentally unstable."
"But she's right. I mean, it's a lot to handle."
"I don't know, I might be in love with you and you're a bit unstable. Mentally and at the moment physically." He smirks at me.
"Maybe you're the mentally unstable one. I haven't heard anyone complaining about my mental stability in the past. Seth sure wasn't complaining." I tease.
"Yet Seth broke up with you because you were too intense." He hummed walking ahead of me.
"Touché." I nodded sitting on a bench. Asher stood in front of me pacing back and forth.
"How's everything with Cynthia?" He asks.
"Fine, I can only imagine how much it hurts to know your son doesn't even want you around."
"Hmm, how's she been? I mean, sobriety wise?" He asked
"I assume she's sober, I have been rather busy. Can't watch her all the time." I muttered guilt dripping in my words.
Asher sat beside me playing with his fingers and staring at the waterfalls. I actually have never been to this part of the Warner's house. I never had any reason. I would stay with my family and smile and wave. I honestly didn't understand why I was so apprehensive towards Asher. He was the only thing that made my life seem like less of a depressing movie and more like the beginning of a fairytale.
"So, spring break is coming up soon." He muttered pulling me from my thoughts.
"Oh, yeah, yeah. God such an unnecessary break. I never do anything." I replied. I had a list of hates that I couldn't handle. I hated spring. The bugs, the rain, the people.
"Well, my family is going to our lake house down in Arizona. I was just wondering if you'd want to come? I totally understand if this oversteps any, you know, boundaries." He said scratching the back of his neck.
"Um, yeah, I hate lakes but I'd love to come." I smiled happily. Asher seemed shocked I had accepted.
"Really? Are you serious?" He asks a smile creeping on his lips.
"Yeah, I mean it's not like I'm doing anything better. Plus, your family is pretty cool." I shrugged.
"Awesome, that's um, great."
I walked into the house. It was dark and as always, quiet. For a home that had 5 people actively living inside it was like a ghost town. Asher had driven me home in my car and had taken it with him promising to get me tomorrow. I didn't mind. I trusted Asher.
I recall my family always telling me that trust is a hell bound sport. No one ever really won when trust was in play. I slid my shoes off and walked up stairs. I turned on the shower humming as the hot water entrapped me. I rubbed off the makeup and washed my hair. I couldn't do this everyday. I couldn't wash off my mask everyday. I shrugged on an old teeshirt I'd taken from Andy's house years ago. It bewildered me how Andy had easily dumped 11 years of a fully functioning friendship.
"Hey, Ms. Richardson?" I asked.
"Peyton? Is everything alright?" She asked yawning.
"Yeah, I was just wondering if you know what's been up with Andy these few weeks?"
"Yeah, I am too."
"No I mean, Andy has been at your house every weekend these few weeks. He's only home on Thursdays and Fridays."
"I haven't seen Andy in weeks. Not other than school. He's been isolating himself." I said standing up.
"Oh my, I'll talk to him right now. Hold on." She says. I hear the stairs creak under her feet and then a knock.
"Andrew Elliot Richardson! If you don't come out right now and explain to me what the hell is going on this instant!" She shouts.
"Mom, what the fuck?"
"Don't take that tone with me, you've been lying. Peyton says she hasn't talked to you in weeks. Where have you been going?"
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Those nights where you aren't home? Where are you?" She interrogates.
"Mom, I'm with Priscilla, okay? Happy?" He asks shouting.
"Why didn't you just tell me?" She asks.
"Because it isn't your damned business. Now get out! It's 2 am!" He shouts angrily. Mrs. Richardson apologizes and I assure her everything will be fine. I assure her I'll be fine.
At what point is being fine, just fine a hate crime against yourself. I wish I was fine. I wish I was just fine.
I want to apologize personally for my ignorance to people's triggers. I would never intentionally trigger someone. I love all of you, and you all have made this book quite popular. I have read through all my chapters and have put warnings on those that may trigger. There are a lot of upsetting parts but I promise I will tell you.