A Different Kind of Reputation

With thirty minutes and school work separating Talia and Jason apart from each other, they have to figure out ways to be the best they can be for their baby. From being the school bad boy back in high school, to being the football star daddy in college, Jason has to figure out ways to fit back in with the crowd and keep his reputation as a father. From being the school nerd to the scholar mommy, Natalia has to figure out ways to let loose and have fun while keeping her reputation as a mother. Find out what goes on in this crazy life of Jason and Natalia in the second book, A Different Kind of Reputation.

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50. Chapter FIfty

In this chapter, you're going to hear a lot about what Jackson thinks and about his relationship with Amber and how it's working for them with the long distance. There won't be a POV for Jackson, but he will be telling Talia about it, so get ready for that. This is a Jackson-based chapter, which means it could be long or short, depending on how my mind wants to work with me today. I hope you all enjoy this because I know a lot of you love Jackson and have been wishing for Jackson to come back and now that he is, why not give him his own chapter, right? For all of you, that is. Comment what you like most about Jackson, maybe some of your comments will appear in the next couple chapters.... 

Natalia's POV

Everyone keeps telling me change is good but is it really? Is it really good or does it feel good until every sinks in and you realize things are different? And then the change gets to be so much that you start changing and then before you know it, you're looking at yourself in the mirror, but you don't even see yourself, you see some other girl staring back at you, a girl you don't even recognize, a girl you don't want to be. Change can make you lose your friends, your love and yourself. 

"You have that thinking face," I looked to the doorframe of my dorm and smiled at the body standing there. "So, this is what college looks like, eh? Looks better in person." 

"That's because you only saw it over skype, and that was just the background." I smiled, standing up. I hugged Jackson tightly and took in the smell of his cologne I missed so much. Jackson has never used a different cologne and the smell just comes so familiarly to me. Especially since he keeps a bottle in our bathroom at home so we can have Tommy memorize his smell. 

"What are you doing?" Jackson asked, looking at the paragraph on my computer screen, the computer Jason bought me so I could skype him, which didn't come to much use for him since we rarely talked. 

"Writing a paper on change," I replied, closing my computer. He sat on my bed and dropped his head. "You okay?"

"Do you think Amber and I will work out?" He asked. 

"I... What do you mean?" I asked. 

"I mean, I'm away, Talia and she's in Ohio at school. We don't talk at all and when we do, it always gets cut short because I always get called. Do you think she's getting tired of it? Do you think this will work out if we continue to do this long distance thing with a baby?" 

"I think it will, yeah. Don't you see all those videos of the boyfriends and the fathers coming home from war to see their family after a while? That's gonna be you, Jack. I think if Amber really loves you, she'll get over the fact she'll raise the baby by herself for a little."

"It's just hard, you know? I've never loved someone like I love her and having to leave her here pregnant with no source of help with it kills me. I'm afraid that she's gonna get tired of having to talk over the phone and I'm afraid she's gonna leave me because of the anxiety she gets whenever I get called."

"Jackson, I know Amber and I know she wouldn't leave you. Amber was hurt when she was younger, badly. She never had a good father figure until she was twelve. Her dad left her and her mom before Amber was even born, and Mikey's dad turned out to be a horrible man. She's only known pain and she handled the pain differently, she slept with guys and she became someone she never should've became. The only thing she's known is leaving and I know for a fact she wouldn't leave you because she wouldn't want her baby to end up like she did. Hurt and broken from all the dad's that left her and her mom behind."

"See, you know more than I do and that's a problem in our relationship. You know everything about her and I only know minor details. I don't know her family history, where she lived, who she dated. I don't know any of that stuff."

"That's because she doesn't want you to know. She doesn't want you to see the girl she was. She doesn't want you to see a desperate girl."

"Could you tell me about her past? So I know who she is?" 

"Jackson, that's not my story to tell," I replied, shaking my head. 

"Please, Talia. I love her so much. She doesn't tell me about herself at all, even in the year we've been dating. She never opens up to me and it's starting to piss me off because I don't know who she even is. I only know she's Amber York from Brooklyn."

I sighed, "Amber was born in a halfway Amber's father, Cole, was the captain of the football team and he left her because he had a lot going for him but he didn't have the best life either. Lilian got kicked out of her house and went to stay with Cole until she had her baby and after that... well, she got kicked out of the house. For years, Amber lived on the streets with her mom. Her mom had only enough money for one person, so she fed Amber anything, any formula, any meal she could. Lilian was found on the street a couple months later, they moved into a women's shelter but Amber's mom hated it. She ended up going from house to house with Amber and she was unhealthy, skinny and just... not well." 

"Lilian met, um, a bad guy in the Bronx, where she lived for a while. He was nice to her and protected her, but he was rude to other people. He got into fights and just disrespected other women and other people, anyone who came near Lilian. But, together, they had Mikey when Amber was five. When Mikey was just three months old, they broke up and Lilian left to live on the streets again. She moved from the projects, into a nice town with her friend and her husband and their daughter. Amber and the little girl shared the same room and went to the same school. They were practically sisters.

"Two years after living with her friend, they moved out again to an apartment near her friend and worked at a restaurant and was making great money. In fact, her friend and Lilian worked at the same restaurant because her friend needed a side job since she fell pregnant again. Turns out, a man came into the restaurant wearing a suit and fell in love with Lilian and Amber."

"Mr. York," Jackson said. I nodded. "And the little girl? She's you, right?" 

"The little girl is me, yes. I know everything about her because I experienced everything with her." 

"She was homeless?"

"Jack, she didn't want to tell you because she didn't want to end up like her mom did. She didn't want to end up living on the streets with barely any money and no family. She didn't want you to see her differently because of her past. She hates her past and she hates to talk about it. But now, she's happy as she could ever be and she has money to support her. Her dad has money, her mom has money." Jackson looked down to his lap and took a deep breath. 

"I love her, T."

"She loves you too, Jackson. She loves you so much." He nodded and hugged me, then left the room with no other words. But I knew exactly what he was about to do. 

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