"Are you still angry with me?" Asher asked as I ignored him for the third straight hour. He'd decided to stay at home with me since my father had a business trip and everyone else was wherever they go when I'm at home.
"No, I'm not angry with you." I said sitting on my floor.
"You're lying, are you seriously going to ignore me forever."
"Forever is pretty long." I sighed.
"I don't want to make any permanent decisions right now." I sighed crossing my legs and pulling a book from the floor.
"Okay, well, call me when you know." He said checking his phone and standing from my floor.
"Have fun exploding inside of Hayley." I said as he was about to leave.
"Oh, God! Alright, alright. What do you want to know?" He asked sitting back down.
"What will make you stop all this? You want the truth? Ask what you want." He said sitting beside me on the floor.
"Are you still sleeping with Hayley?" I hesitated. I wasn't embarrassed, he knew how much I hated it.
"Is that all you have to say?"
"Fine, what's up with your dad?"
"Nothing, he dropped out of the picture a while back."
"Why have you been lying to me?"
"I wasn't lying. You were already angry with me before. What's the point of making you more angry. Telling you about Hayley and what I've been doing when I'm not with you." He said. I ran a hand through my hair and sighed.
"If we were dating would you still sleep with Hayley?"
"Are you lying?"
"Do you want to find out?"
"Peyton Elizabeth," he retorts. I groaned and leaned back on my bed. Asher's hand found mine and I felt it rise up. Asher pressed his lips to the top of each finger.
I looked over and pulled my hand from his own slowly rubbing my fingers to my palm.
"Explain to me why, you say you love me but you don't love me enough not to hurt me?" I asked.
"I don't intentionally try to hurt you."
"Yeah, you say that a lot. You say a lot of stuff a lot. But do you know why it doesn't matter? Because everything you tell me is utter and complete bullshit. Bullshit Asher, I can't be without you but it hurts so much more to be with you." I said.
"So I think until you know what you want and I know what I want. We shouldn't make decisions to want each other." I sighed.
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying, that I don't think we should hang out. Like now. I don't think we should see each other or whatever. I think you shouldn't text me andor call me. Just leave me alone."
"Is that what you want?" He asked.
"No, but I don't see how we can work this any other way."
"We could try harder."
"Harder? Asher you think I need to try harder so you can devote yourself to me? I'm not in love with you. I don't need to do anything. You need to get your life together instead of attempting to fix or change mine. Yeah, I have shit going on. But you undermining everything that's happening in my life isn't going to help."
"I'm not undermining anything, I just think that you don't have to lose yourself every time something happens."
"Asher, I don't care. I have something to handle. My sister is pregnant. My mom is dying. My best friend won't talk to me. My dad is disturbed. My grandmother is a hooker."
"That's how you see it."
"That's how it is! It's not some biased assumption I just made up in my fucking head!" I said standing up.
"Yeah, yeah I'm confused but Asher I'm not that confused." I said snidely.
"You see a pregnant girl and I see a girl who was deprived of her innocence and is still trying to make things better." He said standing up to look straight at me.
"You see a dying mom, I see a woman who has lived in a horrible world for too long." He continues.
"You see a best friend who isn't talking to you. I see a pair of people who are equally going through something."
"Asher, no, stop."
"You see a disturbed father, I see a politician."
"Enough! Asher, just stop! You don't know me, you don't know anything about me and what I'm going through. You are just a rich guy with dead parents and a sex addiction. You obviously need to reassess your own life." I said seriously. Asher looked taken back and nodded slowly. It was quiet for a few minutes and Asher was still staring at me. Not hurt, not angry, not annoyed.
"Well, I'm not sure what you were trying to gain from that but tell me if it worked." He said cocking an eyebrow. I swallowed deeply and ran a hand through my hair staring at Asher. He was still so calm. So calm.
"God, Asher! Why aren't you mad at me? Why aren't you angry?" I asked.
"Because if you honestly care if your words hurt me then you cared already. And I only wanted you to care. I only ever wanted you to care." He smiled softly.
"I do care."
"And so do I. So if you want to be apart for a while then I will obey your wishes." He said walking out the door. I didn't say anything. Because if I had said anything I would have told him to stay. Because that's all I wanted from anyone. I wanted people to stay.
I know you won't understand. You won't understand why I chose a fetus over my family. But honestly are we really a family? This baby inside of me is my family. I love the baby and the baby loves me. That's family. It's this weird kind of love. But do you remember when those girls were making fun of me and I tried drown myself? You saved me. You rode in the ambulance with me? That's what love feels like. Like you care so deeply about someone that you put their needs before your own. I've saved enough money to stay on the road awhile. I only told you because you are the only one that ever cared about me. You are the only person that has ever told me, has ever shown me what love is and feels like. I love you so much and nothing will change that.
I reread the letter two more times. Making sure everything was forever molded to my brain. I didn't cry. I didn't even realize but I couldn't cry anymore. I was too weak. Too weak to cry. Too hurt to feel. Too sad to smile or make any facial expressions. The letter imprinted itself in my body and wrapped itself around my heart. The shriveled up organ was hanging by a thread and moving back and forth in my body like a grandfather clock ticking.
I sighed and walked to my phone and dialed the number on the piece of paper I had hidden so cleverly in a box of tampons. I sat in my closet and listened to the ringing of the phone.
"Hello?" The male voice answered.
"Hey, u-um, it's Peyton." I muttered softly twirling my hair.
"Peyton! Oh, babe, it's Peyton, yeah she's on the phone." The voice spoke.
"Hi Peyton!" Another voice shrieked.
"Pey-en?" A younger voice asked.
"Hey, yeah." I said
"Um, what's up, is it time for your visit already? I didn't plan anything but I'll come get you." Noel, my birth father, said.
"No, it's not time I was just wondering if I could come stay at the house?" I asked.
"Tell her yes!" Noel's wife, Charlotte, said excitedly.
"Do you need a ride?" Noel asked.
"Please? Unless your busy."
"No, anything for my daughter." He says. I hang up and sigh throwing myself against the wall. I wondered how long it would take for me to fall asleep tonight. I hadn't been getting much for the last few weeks and memories of Boris and Matthew only made the nightmares a hundred times more prominent.
The Cane's were always nice to me. Even when I refused to see them. Noel and his new wife had a son, Jasper. Jasper was 5 and was my biggest fan. When we had first met he'd cried for three days because I was at home and not with him. I sometimes felt incredibly bad about it.
"So what's up Peyton?" Noel asked as we drove to his home on the other side of town.
"Same old, same old." I replied.
"Oh? Um, how's your siblings?"
"They're gone. Ethan left and Quinn left too." I sighed.
"Oh, um should I even try anymore?"
"I met a guy." I aid licking my lips.
"You still do that?" Noel asked smiling slightly.
"What? Talk about guys?"
"No, oh-er, lick your lips. Your mom did that. She didn't believe in Chapstick." He chuckled.
"I'm forgetful. Never remember to pick it up." I answered flatly. My fingers moved over the palm of my other hand. My eyes closed slightly as I yawned.
"So, who's this guy?" Noel asks looking over at me as we get on the freeway.
"He's like my boyfriend, but we aren't dating and we only argue." I explained thinking.
"So he's you're brother." I mentally threw up in my mouth.
"Yeah, sure, except I'm not sexually attracted to my brothers." I informed disgusted.
"Well, I can't really help you out much. I've never argued until I was good and married." He chuckled. I knew I was the cause of nine out of ten of his arguments. Having a secret kid isn't really a great way to start a marriage.
"I just don't know why he affects me so much. I mean I know he doesn't do it intentionally, but- I don't know." I sighed heavily.
"Bad people, have good intentions. Good people have bad intentions." Noel shrugged.
"How does that work? How can bad people want to do good things and good people bad?" I asked leaning back in the car.
"I'm not sure, I've been on the earth for a little while and I never really understood why anything was the way it was. I never understood why your mom and I had sex and gave you up. I don't know why I had Jasper. Not that I regret it. I have no regrets."
"I wish I had no regrets." I muttered sadly. We pulled into the Cane's driveway and an excited five year old almost tackled me to the floor.
"Ow. Hey Jaz." I smiled picking up the small child.
"Pey-yen! I have a new book we can read!" Jasper smiled wiggling out of my grip and pulling me into the house. I smiled at Charlotte and followed behind the young boy to his bedroom. His wall was plastered with pictures and posters. His room was clean and his bed was made. Honestly, I couldn't even pull this off.
"Alright, alright. Where's the book, small one?" I asked Jasper plopping down on his bed.
"In my closet, mommy said you'd come read it to me when you came and so I wished and I wished and you came!" Jasper smiled excitedly hopping around his room.
Charlotte wasn't my biggest fan. I wasn't oblivious to her glares or her continued scoffs at the mention of my name. But honestly nobody cared. Charlotte needed to grow the hell up. Before I nicely knocked her down from her high horse.
"How's your mom?" Charlotte asked me at the dinner table.
"She's dying." I shrugged swallowing my Chicken Parmesan.
"Oh! That's horrible! How's your father taking it?" She asked her face colored with fake concern.
"He's sleeping with his colleague." I enclosed drinking some water.
"Oh, and your siblings? How are-"
"Enough Charlotte." Noel said harshly.
"I was just asking." She mumbled under her breath.
"Jasper? Peyton has a boyfriend." Noel smiled at his son.
"Really?!" Jasper shrieked at me.
"No, no, no. He's just a friend. A male friend who isn't in any way romantically involved with me." I said quickly pinning this conversation up.
"Have you kissed him?" Jasper asked.
"Once, but that was it." I said sighing as Noel and Jasper leapt into fits of teasing sounds.
"You've got to bring him to dinner." Jasper smiles.
"No, he's not a parent person." I lied licking my lips.
"Please!? Please Pey?! Pey!?" Jasper begs staring me down.
"Fine! Two weeks from now is spring break. So next week, next week he'll be here." I promised sighing loudly.
"Yay!" Noel and Jasper cheered in unison making the whole house smile.
Jasper begged to sleep with me tonight. He was afraid I'd leave in the middle of the night. He was nuzzling his nose into the crook of my neck and wrapping his arms around my shoulders. I never slept with anyone in my bed. Not even Andy has slept alongside me when he stayed over. But I make exceptions here and there.
"Pey? Are you awake?" Jasper whispered to me as he shook me lightly.
"No." I responded shutting my eyes.
"Yeah, you are. I can hear you." He chuckles quietly.
"Fine I'm awake you booger." I smiled in the dark at the little boy. He had light brown hair that sometimes cover his eyes when wet. When dry they were huge curls.
"Do you love your other family more than this family?" He asks. I didn't love my other family and I didn't love this one either. I loved Jasper and I loved Quinn. Other than that my family was me and two little kids.
"I love you, Jasper. I want you to know that." I said softly brushing his hair back.
"I do know that. But, mommy doesn't love you. She doesn't. But dad does. And I do."
"Mommy is broken. She can't love anybody except herself. She's to greedy." He mumbled.
"Yes, but you're not greedy. You just don't know how to love. I can teach you." Jasper whispered to me. I chuckled amused.
"Okay, teach me how to love." I commanded laying more comfortably on the bed. Jasper held my hand and kissed my cheek.
"Love is when you want someone to have your favorite candy because it makes you happy to see them enjoying it." Jasper said snuggling close to me.
"Is that so?" I asked the sleepy child.
"Love is waiting everyday for your sister to come home because she's your favorite person." The small boy mumbled breathing more soundly as he fell asleep.
"Love is knowing you care about someone who cares nothing about you." He slurred silently one last time. My heart broke in many different pieces. I couldn't love yet this little boy could love the world and still have some left over. What I'd give to be young and be able to love once more.
Character ask! Comment your questions or idk how else could we communicate.