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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26. Chapter Twenty Six

Jason's POV

Coming back to school from spending six weeks with my family is the worst thing I've ever done. I don't get to see Talia anymore, Tom or any of my family and I especially don't get to make up with Jackson.

I've come to realize holding something against Jackson when he did so much for not only myself but Talia is the best thing for me to do, especially because he's my best friend, and Tom's god father. And doing that to my son and my girlfriend wouldn't be a good move. It would be a dick move.

After Talia and I, sorta made up, I had to stay with Aunt Sally in Hoboken for the rest of the time off from school. No smoking. No nothing. Only eating, drinking water, working out and contact with Talia. The one thing Aunt Sally is great at is, well, for one, motherhood. She's a great mom to every single person. My friends, Talia, her kids and their friends. But she's also great with sobering people up.

"Jason, how was your break?" Matt asked, meeting me at the door of the house.

"It was great, my boy said his first word, what about you?"

"Just hung around with my friends and played some football with my brothers. Kaitlyn came over a couple times to see my family," he replied. Kaitlyn and Matt, the unofficial official couple. They do couple things; hold hands, make out, play around, go on dates, but are they dating? They have no names for each other. Talia and I have called them the Unofficial Official couple since probably we first met them in the beginning year.

Matt and Kaitlyn are probably my two best friends at this school and they're the only ones who understand me and know about my life. And probably the only ones who accept the fact that I have a kid and in the process of, well, marriage.

"So, I guess the kid is growing up good, yeah?" Matt asked, sitting on my bed.

I put a pile of shirts in the top drawer of my dresser and nodded, "yeah, he's getting so big. Seems like when we left he was still a newborn and now, well, he's almost one. It's crazy, man."

"What's it like, fatherhood, I mean."

"Honestly, it's difficult because you have to worry about what your next move is gonna be. If you're making the right choice because now, it doesn't matter if it's good or bad for you, it matters if it's good or bad for the baby. But at the same time, it's great, you know? Being able to have a child you created smiling up at you, holding your hand and just... laughing with you. And hearing him talking and saying his first words. There's so much thrill to it it's hard to remember the difficulties."

"And how about a teen dad, man? That must've been hard to go through, especially through high school."

"You have no idea. It was definitely a struggle, especially because I was on the football team, captain, actually. And there were some players who liked to talk back about my life and my girlfriend and how she was pregnant and well, let's just say there were lots of fights on the team. And in school. You know, people liked to gossip and talk. And people liked to talk about me in the school because I was well-known."

"And how about your family? How did they react?"

"Little curious, are you Matt?"

"I just wanna know, you know? Understand you a little more."

"Well, my family they were... shocked, I guess. A little scared for me and Talia. My aunt pretty much screamed at us but um, after awhile they got over it and started accepting the fact that I was going to become a dad. And after he was born, they were happy because they saw how much I changed, more responsible, I guess."

"And what about Natalia? How was she feeling through all of it?"

"What every other teen would feel like. She was confused at first and for the first couple days she was going through denial saying it's not possible. We went through so many fights about keeping it or... you know, getting rid of it. She had her whole life ahead of her and having a kid would ruin that dream she had."

"And did it?"

"In some way, yeah, but I feel like she made it work. When she first started school she was having a lot of... attachment issues. Definitely withdrawals from Tom, but I think she got over it. She went through a time where she would change her mind about going to school, or want to take online classes, sometimes not go to college at all because she wanted her kid to know she is, which is understandable but after we talked it out she finally committed to NYU and she goes home every weekend to see the baby."

"I just don't understand how you do it, man. Leaving your kid behind at home while you're here. I wouldn't be able to do that."

"It's a struggle, I'll tell you that. But we knew it would be hard when we found out she was pregnant. But, I mean, yeah, it's terrible leaving Tom behind so sit with my cousin, but at the same time, we're happy that he's getting to see an example of parents who want the best for him and themselves."

"Oh, no, definitely. You're setting a great example. I just don't know how you do it."

"Me either, man."

"Well, I'm gonna go get something to eat at the cafe. You wanna come?"

"Yeah,"

"Yo, summers, someone's here for you," Justin said, putting his arms on the wall in front of my door.

"Who?"

"Some crying chick and she ain't your girl." He replied.

I groaned, "I'll meet up with you later, Matt."

"Have fun," he smiled.

Walking down the stairs, the amount of families standing in the living is insane. The laughter, chatter and sniffling. The mothers who don't know how to let their son go off on their own were the only ones crying. Every time they drop this kid off, this mom is crying. Get over it already, geez!

"Jason,"

I turned around, "Amber? Why are you here?"

She threw her arms around my waist and put her head in my chest. "I tried to call Talia but she isn't answering. And I had no one else to go to."

"What's going on? Is everything okay?"

"It's Jackson,"

"What about him?"

"He made his mind up, Jason. He... is going back in. And he isn't taking no for an answer."

"Okay, come upstairs with me," I whispered, leading her to the stairs.

"Can you call Talia?"

"I'm gonna try to do the best I can. Talia is on her way to school."

I sat on my bed and Amber came next. She laid her head in my chest while I wrapped my arm around her waist, holding her close to me. That's the best thing about our relationship. She comes to me with every problem she has. First it's Talia, then it's me. I guess Amber and I have always been close, but never close where we're sitting on my bed with her crying in my shoulder, but at the end of the day, you know what they say, you date a girl, you date her best friend. And in this case, I'm dating Talia and Amber.

"So, talk to me, what happened?"

"So, we're just laying in bed and he just comes out and says, 'I'm going back in,' and I was like, 'Jay, you're not fully repaired from your injury yet,' so, he comes back and he's jumping all over me like, 'I talked to my doctor already, A and he told me I'm fully capable of going back in as long as I feel up to it,' and that started a fight because I don't want him to go back in, you know?"

"I think, yeah,"

"And now... I don't know what to do." She covered her face with her hands.

I put my hands on top of hers and pulled them away from her tear stained face. "I think you need to let him be and let him do what he wants. I've known Jack for my whole life and when he wants to do something, he does it, no matter what or who gets in his way. I think this is something he really wants to do and you should let him. Just think of all the things he's supported you on."

She groaned and put her whole face deep into my chest, "why did I get myself involved in this?"

"You love him, Am, that's why. You didn't see it before, but now you do and the feeling of him being away from you makes you like this. Talia goes through it all the time, especially when she first went off to college. I mean, we lived together and we're engaged and we have a kid, and the feeling of her and I being away from each other for so long makes her emotional and I think that's what you're going through right now."

"So, what should I do?"

"You have to let him go."

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