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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25. Chapter Twenty Five

For this chapter, listen to the song Wouldn't Change A Thing by Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas.

Jason's POV

"This is pointless," I said, walking into the double doors.

"Should've thought of that before you called me two weeks ago. Now, I'm sitting in for this session and then after that, I can't come back in. Which means you have to make the attempt to come every week, got it?" Aunt Sally said.

"Yes."

"And I've checked the box off to let me know when you arrive and when you leave. Jason, I'm not kidding this time. This is a serious deal. A Nineteen year old shouldn't be going through this, ever."

"I know," I sulked into the large room. About twenty people sat around, drinking coffee and having a doughnut. So that's what they think this group is? Having a tea party?

"Look at all these bums."

"Jason, stop. I know you don't like this and neither do I. But I don't want to see my nephew in pain and in the hospital for something he or I could've prevented. So, you know what? Don't do it for you, do it for me, for Thomas. Do it for Talia, the girl you love."

"She gave me back the ring. She doesn't love me,"

"Yeah? How do you know that? Do you know how many times your mother walked out on your father, leaving his engagement ring behind? Definitely more than once. And way more than twice,"

"Alright, everyone, we're going to get started so if you could all take your seats, please," a woman smiled, walking to the circle of chairs with her high heels on and her bag on her arm. What a preppy princess.

"So, we have a new member today. Jason, would you like to introduce yourself to our group?"

"Um. I'm Jason. Um, I'm Nineteen. And yeah,"

"And why are you here today?"

"Because I need to be, I don't know,"

The woman looked over to Aunt Sally before shaking her head. "Alright, so, how was everyone's week? I know there's a bunch of stories to tell. Jason, why don't we start with you?"

"What's this anyway?"

"This, Jason, is group therapy almost. We all sit around here and we tell what has happened or went on in our lives that made us make bad decisions in our life that may have hurt us, burned us or scared us. This, Jason, this is your safe haven almost. We do not judge, we do not laugh at you and we do not talk about your stories after they're told."

"So, what do you want me to talk about?"

"Anything you'd like. Let's start with... why you're here. Maybe to give us a little background information about what decisions you've made in your life and what happened to make you do what you've been doing."

I looked over to Aunt Sally only to see her nodding her head for me to continue and share. "My girlfriend left me," I blurted. Awe's went around the circle after the words slipped. What a bunch of saps.

"And why did she leave you?"

"Because I'm... I don't know. I guess I like to get high and I like to drink and have fun. But she doesn't like it when I do it. We have a kid, and I guess it's because she doesn't want me to show him what type of Dad I am." I looked back to aunt Sally, who was just watching me. My guess, she was shocked with the words that came out of my mouth. But so was I.

"And when did you first turn to these type of things?"

"After my mom died last year was when it really started to go downhill."

"And why did it go downhill from there?"

"I... you know what, this is bullshit. I can't do this," I stood up, kicked my chair back and walked to the back of the room. I could hear Aunt Sally's heels against the floor, trying to catch up to me.

"Jason-"

"I don't want to hear it, Aunt Sally! I'm not gonna sit there and vent my heart out to some strangers about my life. About my screwed up life and my fucked up self, alright? I'm not gonna sit in there and talk about my mom or about Talia and how she left me, because it's pointless! The one girl I loved, I really loved, walked out on me because I'm pathetic! And I'm not gonna talk about it!

"I'm not gonna sit in that damn group and talk about how my own kid won't see his father anymore, or how he won't even remember who I am, because I'm a fucking screw up! I mean, has anyone ever thought about me in this?! What do I want to do?! What do I want for my kid?! No!

"I'm not gonna sit there and talk about how my mom died and took me with her, because it's useless! It's useless to talk about that because the sobriety I had all those years ago, left when she died! I'm not gonna talk about how my mom was my light and my hero and she died, because you know what? Heroes aren't supposed to die!"

"Jason," she whispered.

"I'm not doing it," I whispered.

"How about we go home?" I nodded.

"Home," I said.

"Home, Jason. Back to Hoboken, just like old times,"

Natalia's POV

Balancing. Balancing equations. Balancing checks. Balancing on one foot. Balancing life. They seem so easy, yet, there's always one part that's hard. The balancing part. Equations are easy especially if you know what you're doing. Writing a check is easy, just scribble your name and the amount. Hopping on one foot, easy, everyone can do it. And life, life has its perks and it has his complications. But throw the word balancing in there... it becomes a whole different task. You wobble, you fall, you ache and you get frustrated. Where's the good in that?

These past two weeks, I've been balancing a lot of things. Balancing motherhood, a social life, college and especially living like a gypsy. Balancing my living status. It hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been hard. The hardest part? Balancing without Jason. Which is where this leads me. On my way to Hoboken with Tommy and Jackson in the car. Balancing the car. Balancing my life. Balancing my love to my baby's father.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Jackson asked, turning his head to me. He was totally against the idea of me doing this, and so was myself. But when it comes down to your head and your heart, your heart is the one that's right. And my heart told me to do this. My head told me to stay away. But without Jason, my heart is balancing the blood it needs to pump. My heart isn't pumping normally without him.

No, I'm not sure if I want to do this or not, Jackson. I'm afraid to do this. I'm afraid this is just gonna repeat in a couple years time. "Yes, I'm sure,"

Sally texted me an hour ago saying her and Jason have just gotten home from an errand they had to run and she told me she needed to see me. And it was urgent. I know she's trying to get me to Jason, and that's what I'm planning on doing. I remember I once told Jason I didn't want a Kourtney and Scott relationship, where Kourtney walks out and they break up multiple times, but that's what I got. Everything I didn't want. I got a life I never thought I would have. A boyfriend who doesn't know what he wants. A boyfriend who's unstable. I got a guy who isn't ready to settle down, and may never be. And lastly, a son. But would I change anything about this life? Absolutely not.

"Are you sure he's here?" Jackson asked, as I got Tommy out of the car.

"That's what she told me," I replied, holding onto Tommy's hand as we walked in together. He's been walking a lot more now, in these past few weeks. Mostly, he's holding onto things, like now. But he's doing a lot better. Stairs, however, they aren't his thing just yet. Not going up and not going down.

"Talia, thank you for coming," Sally said, as I made my way up the cobblestone driveway.

"Mhm," the words I wanted to say didn't come out of my mouth, they're just jumbled up inside of me, just like when I first met Jason. The only thing that came out of my mouth were harsh words and lies. Anything but the truth. Until my mom told him.

Jason sat on the couch with his elbows on his knees and his head lowered, his fingers locked behind his head, as if he was in shame. "He hadn't smoked anything or got high in two weeks, so he's feeling a little... low," Sally informed, putting a glass of water on the coffee table.

"Has he been staying here?"

"All day everyday. In all honesty, I'm afraid to let him out of my sight. You were his motivation to do things and well, let's just say he hasn't done much of anything. But we did go out today. We tried some group therapy. But he stormed out."

"Group therapy?" Jackson asked.

"He didn't like it; venting to strangers, I mean. So, he vented his heart out to me in the parking lot. And then we ended up here. He hasn't moved from that position since we got home and I'm a little worried that he... I don't know."

"And this is where I come in?" She nodded. "I'll give it a shot, but I can't promise anything."

"He thinks you don't love him anymore," she informed.

"What? No, that's not true. I left for Tommy's sake. For him to get a little space from me demanding things. I didn't like seeing him the way he was that day. I didn't think he would end up like this,"

"No one did, honey. But, I think you're the only one who can fix this."

"Jason," I whispered, sitting on the coffee table. His head shot up from his position. His always brown eyes, looked dull, almost... dead. The bags under his eyes could be seen from a mile away and the paleness of his skin made him look sickly. My baby.

"How was your day today?"

No answer.

"I want you to listen to me, okay? Can you do that?"

He nodded. At least there's a little signal. "Jason, I don't want you to think I don't love you, because I do. I love you with everything I have. Me walking out was supposed to be a wake up call for you. It was supposed to set you free from having me watching you and telling you what to do. I didn't think it would lead you to think I don't love you anymore."

He didn't answer, he only stared into my eyes, waiting for any source of emotion to come through me. "I brought Tommy with me, do you wanna see him? I think he wants to see you." Jackson brought Tommy over to where we were and sat him on Jason's lap.

"Hi," Jason smiled slightly, looking down at the baby. Tommy smiled and looked up at Jason.

"Jason, I'm so sorry about everything. What I did to you... I never should've done it. I regret every single moment and every single word I said to you that day. Please, forgive me."

"The amount of chances you give me, I think I could spare you one," he said, his voice coarse.

I smiled widely and sat next to him. "Jase?"

"Mhm?"

"You smell," he laughed and leaned into the couch.

"Honestly, I wouldn't change anything, Jason. Not my past, not yours. Not this moment. Nothing,"

He just laughed each time Tommy punched him in the jaw, making me smile with each noise and giggle he made. "Are you hitting daddy?" I asked.

"Dada," Jason and I stopped, not moving. Not breathing.

"Was that-"

"It was," I said, fresh tears coating my eyes.

"He just said his first word."

"He just... said his first word,"

"Oh my god, Jason! He said his first word!" I jumped up, letting the tears fall. Happy tears. Happy tears.

"You said your first word, baby." Jason said, kissing Tommy's cheek.

"Dada," my baby boy is growing up. No, both my boys are growing up.

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