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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24. Chapter Twenty Four

Natalia's POV

"Come on, baby. Come to mommy," I smiled, holding my arms out in front of me. Tommy took three steps to me, his arms above his head and his little hands connected to Jason's. Ever since that one time Tommy took his steps, he hasn't done it since. It was like they were literally his first steps. And never again will he take his second steps. Taking steps is like riding a bike, your parents can hold on for so long and then, once they see it in you, they let go and you're off on your own.

"Let go, Jason,"

"He'll fall, babe,"

"Let go," he did as he was told, for once in his life and let go of the small hands. Tommy continued walking to me, losing his balance a couple of times, but never fully falling down. In fact, he looked like he was drunk, almost. His feet crossing, his head wobbling and his arms swinging. Kinda like Jason when he gets drunk. Which, he is getting over as this is going on.

My dumbass boyfriend decided to go out last night and get drunk off his mind. Not only drunk, but he decided to call me, his loving girlfriend. His drunken state couldn't drive home, which he was stupid to drive over to the house. So, guess who had to go out and get him? Yes, me. And when I say drunk, I mean like, falling over his own feet, tumbling out of the car, trying to sit in the car seat, talking to a cup, for Christ sake. A cup.

"You did it!" I smiled, clapping my hands, as Tommy rested in between my legs. He grinned his toothless grin and clapped his hands. Tommy is at the age now where he is doing his hand motions, especially the ones most babies learn; bye-bye. He's pointing to objects and babbling, as if he knows what they are. And he's clapping his hands. Sometimes it's clapping his head, but most of the time it's his hands.

And then it comes to the point where his fingers go into his mouth. Teething. Worst times for babies. It's painful, it's uncomfortable and it's horrible for the parents. If you don't have a teething toy... well, you're stuck with using your finger. And as Jason says, it's gross. Having baby saliva all over you and having to feel their gums against your finger and feeling the bumps where the teeth are growing in. It's just a horrible experience.

"I know, baby, you're teeth hurt." I smoothed my hand over his blonde hair, attempting to calm him down from the vicious crying, but that doesn't help. He's in pain. My baby boy is in pain.

"Jase, can you get the teething ring in the freezer?" The teething ring. Our absolute savior. It not only keeps a baby busy and stop them from crying, but it soothes their mouth and numbs it, since it works as an ice pack in a way.

"Here you go, baby," I whispered, putting the cold toy in his hands. He put it in his mouth and went to town. His new thing recently are keys. Everything is about the keys. I think it's the sound they make, the jingling. Of course, he can't use real keys, so Jason yesterday, before he got hammered, went out to Babies R Us to get a set of toy keys for the baby to play with and thankfully, while we're busy or doing homework or something in that nature, he's keeping quiet playing with his keys.

Two nights ago was New Years Eve and I'm proud to say I didn't have one ounce of alcohol on that night. Jason, however, got drunk with Addison and Bria. I honestly don't know how he can go night after night after night getting drunk and still be functioning in the morning. It's like we've been home for three weeks, and in those couple weeks, he's been back to his old ways. Drinking. Smoking. Getting high. Going to parties. Being reckless. But Seventy five percent worse than before.

"So, I contacted a wedding planner and we're meeting with him tomorrow afternoon," I informed, taking a bite of my sandwich.

"I thought we were waiting?"

"We are, but we need to at least plan something out. We have nothing right now. No venue, no dress, no attire. Nothing,"

"Alright."

"Will you be there for it?"

"My wedding? Of course," he laughed.

"No, Jason, tomorrow. Will you be there for the wedding planner tomorrow."

"I will,"

"Jason, I need to know."

"And I said I will be there, damn. What time?"

"One forty five. Will you be there?"

"Yes,"

I stormed into the house with bags flying behind me due to my arms flying around. One forty five. He couldn't do one damn thing.

"I asked you specifically if you will be there. And you told me yes. And I get there, we wait for thirty fucking minutes. And you never showed up. You never texted. Never called." Jason just kept his eyes on the television, not watching the baby on the floor, not caring about the beer bottles on the coffee table. Not caring that his baby has a full diaper.

"Jason!"

"What, Natalia?"

"Would you look at me when I'm talking to you?" He moved his eyes to me, only to move them back to the screen. I rolled my eyes, grabbed the remote off the coffee table and shut the damn thing off.

"What the hell!"

"Where were you?"

"I got caught up!"

"Bullshit! Where. Were. You!?" I lowered my head down so I could get a full look at him. But I pulled back, with pure and utter disgust. "Are you kidding me right now?"

He didn't say anything.

"First, you don't show up to the appointment I specifically told you about. Then, I come home to find my child crawling on the floor with a full dirty diaper and my boyfriend on the couch drinking a beer. And when I get close to him, I could see his red ass eyes and smell the smoke on his clothes."

Once again, no words.

"I've had it, Jason. This just showed me who you really are, and you know what, I don't want it anymore. You tell me you're gonna change and that you love me, and that you'd do anything for your son, but here you are, showing him what a great father you're turning out to be. And I'm done with it. I'm not gonna sit here and watch you turn into your father,"

"Turn into my father?! I'm nothing like him!"

"Take a look at yourself, Jason! You're in a t-shirt and boxers with beer bottles coating the table and you're high! I always said the apple didn't fall far from the tree, but I guess I was wrong."

"I haven't touched you wrong, have I? I've never abused you, have I? I've never called you worthless, have I? I've done nothing but love you this whole time!"

"It's your god damn actions! And Jason, I can't put up with it anymore. I can't. I can go on for so long and this... this just made me see who you are. And I don't like it," I grabbed Tommy from the floor and made my way to the stairs. Jason didn't stop me, didn't say anything. Didn't even make an attempt.

"We're gonna go stay with grandma for a little, baby. Aren't you excited?" I asked, trying to keep my best smile up. Breaking down in front of the child would mean I'm weak, and showing him that would trigger his senses that something is wrong.

Packing everything I could for both Tommy and I, and changing the dirty diaper, I was ready to leave. I slid the engagement ring off my finger and place it on the dresser, where all of Jason's valuable things belong. I took the promise ring I had on my finger for so long off and placed it next to the engagement ring.

"He made no attempt to stop me from leaving," I said, laying on Amber's lap on her bed.

"Maybe it's for the best," she said, sliding her hand through my hair. I shook my head and listened to Tommy laugh with Jackson on the floor. I'm so thankful for my two best friends because in this time, I don't need my mother, I need my best friends.

As soon as we got to Amber's and she took in my state, she pulled me in for a hug. She didn't need to say anything. She didn't need to do anything. That hug just made me break down into a million pieces. Jackson, he was amazing. He didn't even ask, he just took Tommy right from me and kept him busy. Playing with him, feeding him, changing him, everything.

"I don't know what I'm gonna do now. This just makes me a single mother who just left her boyfriend."

"Don't think about that now, alright? You let Jackson and I worry about that. You just need to relax," she said. She looked over to Jackson who was handing Tommy off to Nick, who was downstairs watching some show with Amber's step dad.

"I'll be back soon," Jackson announced. He didn't need to tell anyone where he was going. We all knew. At least I knew. And I couldn't be more happy that he was going out.

Jason's POV

"I'm out of the wheelchair now, so, come on," Jackson said, meeting me at the kitchen door.

"You don't think I'm hurt enough?"

"No, I don't think you are. Tell me, where's Talia right now?" I didn't answer. "Exactly. You don't know, because you don't care. You didn't care to show up and you didn't care to make her stay. You watched her leave,"

"I had no choice,"

"Bullshit! You were the one who told me to fight for Amber when she threatened to leave after that whole shit thing with Talia. You told me a relationship is strong when you fight for your girl. Why aren't you fighting for your girl?"

"Because she doesn't want to be fought over," I replied.

"Now, that's a total lie. She's at Amber's house right now, Jason. She's hysterical crying right now. We can't leave her alone for five seconds without having her break out into tremors and then she starts rambling. She's literally shattered because you let her walk out,"

"She chose to,"

"Why do you keep fighting me on this? Have you even considered what you've just done?" I looked down. "You let the one person who literally loved every single part of you, past, present and future, walk away all for what? Because you were high? Because you were drunk? Because you didn't want to move off the couch to fight for her?"

"Because she doesn't love me, Jackson! I'm not the one she loved anymore! And I can't be! I can only be who she wants me to be for so long!"

"She doesn't want you to be anyone else, Jason! She loves you, dammit! She doesn't care who the hell you are! She doesn't want you to change, just like you didn't want her to change when she first started dating you!"

I lowered my head.

"God, look at you. You're a fucking mess, Summers. This, this ain't you. You need to sober up real quick, Jason. Because let me tell you, that girl, the one you made cry, she isn't only my best friend, but she's my damn family. And you know what? I'm not someone who goes against my own family, even if it's for someone who's like my brother. I'm a lot stronger than you now and I'm not afraid to take you on. You want to be a cop? You better sober up." And without another word, he left. Just like that. Out of everything he just said, he's right. Do it for Talia. Do it for Tom. Do it for me.

I walked over to the phone and pressed the first button on the phone. Home phones. How old are we?

"Hello."

"Aunt Sally," I said, my voice drained.

"Jason? Everything okay?"

"No,"

"What happened?"

"It happened again, Aunt Sally."

"What did, baby?"

"I haven't told you the truth,"

"What truth, Jason? You're scaring me,"

Do it for Talia. "I haven't been sober, Aunt Sally."

"How long?"

"A long time. And it just got worse."

"How much worse?"

"Talia walked out on me. Took Tom and left. She came home and I... I was numb. I didn't know what was going on and she... she walked out."

"Are you home?"

"Yes."

"Alright. I'm on my way and then... we'll talk. I want you to go lay down and relax yourself, alright? Just like old times."

"Okay."

"I'll be there soon, Jason. I love you, okay?"

"I love you,"

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