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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20. Chapter Twenty

Guys, I am so sorry. I know I haven't updated in a while and it's literally killing me. I've been editing The Bad Boy's Reputation and moving it over to Wattpad and I've had so much school work and on top of that, I've been sick, like, really sick, almost like every time I get over a cold, another one comes through a week later. It's been like this for a few moths, and that is actually affecting my updating because I have to continuously get up to get a drink or medicine. So, please, be patient with me and just keep commenting. I don't know when the next chapter will be, but I'm hoping it will be soon. 

Natalia's POV

I pushed the shopping cart around the store with Tommy banging his hands around in the front of the cart. While Jason went out with his old football friends, I decided to go shopping for some Christmas things. Besides the Christmas tree we have in the house, we have no other decorations.

We decided this Christmas we will go to Sally's house and on Christmas Eve we will go to my parent's house, that way, we can be there with both families.

"Tommy, look." He turned his head around and laughed. "Do you want that, baby?" He nodded and clapped his hands. "Okay, but if daddy says anything, you made me buy it."

"Talia?" I turned around at the voice, sounding like nails on a chalkboard. A voice I never wanted to hear again.

"Sophia."

"It's been so long. How've you been?" Well, this is awkward.

"Great, and you?"

"I've been good. You know, Nick and I are also doing good. We've been dating for almost four months now."

"That's great, Sophia."

"Is this your baby?"

"It is," I nodded.

"I never met him before. I only saw pictures on Nick's phone. He looks better in person. He's a little brunette."

"Takes after Jason, I guess."

"I didn't think I would run into you, but I wanted to apologize."

"For?" Come on, say it.

"For everything I've said and done in high school. It wasn't fair to you nor Jason. In fact, I don't even know why I did it. But, I'm genuinely sorry."

"Thank you, Sophia. And I accept your apology, but I've got to get home. It's his nap time so he's gonna get cranky. But it was good seeing you." I smiled.

"You too, and, um, Merry Christmas, Talia."

"Thanks, you too." Well... wasn't expecting that. At all.

 

Jason, Tommy and I sat at the kitchen table with Tommy on Jason's lap. The gingerbread house was spread across the table across from me and my cup of coffee.

Tommy's hands reached out to touch the pieces closest to him, but Jason moved his arms down, refraining him from touching anything. He's been in a touching mood lately, where everything he sees, he just has to touch and as you could tell by Macey not staying here with us, she got tired of it.

The tension in the room around us was thick enough to cut it with a knife. Jason recently mentioned to me about getting a job at school; helping out the police. Of course. His internship isn't even supposed to happen until junior year. 

"Talia, did you hear me?" I looked back up to Jason seeing him looking at me. 

"No, what did you say?"

"I asked if you've been taking your medication."

"I slipped a couple days."

"And did you contact the doctor?"

"Mhm." 

"Is it just me, or is our relationship just based off of lies?" Jason, sometimes, well, all the time, can read through me like an open book. He knows when I'm lying when I'm not when I'm bullshitting him and when I'm about to burst into tears. Which, of course, is a good thing, but also a bad thing. I've always just wanted him to leave me be for a couple minutes, without asking me if I've taken my medication if I've eaten, if I've contacted the doctor, my mother, my sister, his cousins, Tommy's doctor. It just gets frustrating sometimes, to the point where I want to rip my hair out and throw it at him. 

"Natalia." 

"What?"

"Are you even listening to me?"

"I am!"

"What did I just say?"

"Uh, you love me?" He shook his head. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? I don't have the answer for everything, alright? My mind still isn't with me, after two weeks."

"That's what the medication is supposed to be for, T. It's supposed to help you get rid of your anxiety."

"Well, it doesn't work, alright? I've tried and tried and tried, and nothing works. Not even the damn medication he's put me on."

"Why didn't you tell me it wasn't working. I would've helped you."

"Because there is no cure for anxiety, Jason! None! The headaches, loss of breath, dizziness, nausea, there is no cure. No medication to help me with that."

"Have you even tried?"

"Have I tried? Are you kidding me? Everywhere you turn in my dorm room there are pills, there are water bottles for the pills. On my calendar, there are tracking marks for the times and days I have to take all of my medication. I've run out of those pills so many times, Jason."

"How many were you taking a day? The dosage is only two every day."

"I took the two pills every single day. Advil in between, just like I was told to do. Water and healthy foods every single day. No french fries, no soda, no alcohol. I know the plan, Jason."

"Then why are you fighting me on it? Something has to be going on. Whether it's me, you or something in school, you need to tell me so I can have at least some kind of an idea of what's going on."

"I am fine, Jason."

"Obviously, you're not."

"You ask me this every day. You think Addison would let me off the hook if I wasn't?"

"This isn't about that, Talia. This is about what you're keeping inside of you to make you react this way."

"So, all of a sudden you're a criminal justice major who has to take Psychology and sociology and you automatically know everything that goes on in my life when you're never around?"

"That's what this is about? Me not being around? Talia, we knew this was gonna happen, the distance and everything."

"But would it kill you to answer your phone once in a while!? Or... or even the damn Skype calls. When we both said goodbye for the first time in August, you promised me to always answer when I called, to always text back. And now... you're not."

"I'm busy, Talia. I have things to do at school. I have a major now, not just bullshit classes. I have to focus on this now."

"So it's more important than family?"

"That's not what I said, come on, you know you and Tom are the most important things in my life right now." He shook his head. "No, how did we even get on this topic. Have you contacted the doctor about the pills not working?"

"No, Jason, alright! I haven't! Because I don't want any more pills! I don't want any more doctor visits! I'm healthy, for the first time in years, and I want to embrace it, but I can't without you, Addison and everyone else breathing down my damn neck every five seconds asking me these damn questions!"

"What's really going through your mind?" Great, he finds the chance I'm most vulnerable and takes advantage of it. \

"I have nobody here for me. I'm alone in this battle with myself and my anxiety. I have no friends with me at school. Tyler is with his girlfriend. Addison is with Phoebe planning their wedding in the fall. Amber is in Ohio. Jackson fell off the face of the earth. And you, the one person who I always need, is busy."

"How have you been dealing with your anxiety, Natalia?"

I chuckled, "Ronnie's dragged me to a couple parties. When there isn't a party she doesn't drag me to, I basically pull my hair out and wait until someone notices."

"College isn't doing good for you, is it?" 

I shook my head, "no."

"You've turned to drinking?" I nodded.

"Anything else?" I shook my head. "Okay," he whispered. 

"We should start making the gingerbread house, he's getting antsy."

"Yeah," Jason said, reaching across the table to move the pieces towards him. 

"You know what, why don't you have a little father-son time. I think I'm gonna go out for a little."

"Alright, be safe." I nodded, put my boots on over my sweatpants and practically ran out of the door with no jacket, hair a mess, glasses on and makeup free. 

 

I kneeled down in the snow-covered grass and just stared at the tombstone in front of me. My father's name engraved was all I could see. "Sorry, I couldn't be here earlier, dad. It's been so long since I've come here."

"I got your letter, by the way. The one about me turning eighteen. I cried while I was reading it. I think my tear mark hit yours." I looked down to the grass, picked a few pieces, then looked back up. 

"I always wished I could be that little girl you talked about in your letter. The one that danced around. But, I'm not anymore, dad. I've had to grow up. For mom, Macey, Zac, Jason, and Tommy. But also for myself."

"I don't know if you're seeing what's going on here, dad, but... I need your guidance. I don't know what to do, daddy. I can't get through college without being someone I'm not and going back to my old ways."

"I, um, I wrote you back. Of course, I didn't send it, because well, you would never get it, but I have it with me. So, here goes nothing."

Dear Dad, 

These past years have been nothing but sad and torturous. Mom and Zac have been missing from the family, they are barely around anymore and they leave Macey and Zackary with Jason and I. Or, used to until we went off to college. I have a boyfriend, fiance, actually, if you want to be technical and we have a baby boy, dad. You have a grandson. His name is Thomas, named after Great Grandpa. Thomas Jason-Nathaniel. All the men I've ever known put into one name. 

Things haven't been te best for me these past couple years. I've gotten bullied by the same people. They used to call me fat, so I went into starvation mode and got put on medication to help me gain weight. I was omitted in the hospital a couple times during that period of having the strong meds because I wanted to gain so much weight, instead of taking one every other day, I would take two every day and it caused my heart to speed up. 

I had to stop playing soccer a couple months after you died because of my knee, again. You told me to listen the first time and not play again, but I didn't and now I can never play soccer or any other sports without getting another surgery. Although, if Tommy wants to play soccer, I'll always teach him, like you taught me how to. 

Jason and I, well, we've been fighting. Things haven't been the same since Tommy came around. Life's been stressful, hard and just... difficult. Don't get me wrong, he treats me like I'm the only girl in the world, but our life isn't easy now. There's always that thought of him leaving me for someone prettier, even though he always tells me there's no one else other than me. 

Uncle Cile is doing good. He has a new job now, working at the bank. He finally put his college to use. He's got himself a fiance now, Serena is her name, and they, well, she has a daughter, Leah, but Uncle Cile is raising her as his own. They're living in the same house, but his friend, Larry, fixed it up and made it look nice. It's no longer the run down, gross, weed smelling house. It's a safe environment for a child to live and grow up in. 

And as for me, your little girl, the girl you called Princess, I'm... not doing good. I'm on several medications for anxiety, sleeping and weight gaining. Plus Advil for headaches. I don't have many friends at the moment. Amber is away in Ohio, Jason is at school, Jackson fell off the face of the earth and well Nick, Nick and I never got along. 

You know, I can still feel your presence around me whenever I go into the house. It's nice to be able to know you're sitting there with me and holding my hand through the moments I've had in that house. Your clothes in mom's second closet at the bottom of the stairs still smell like you. She hasn't washed them since you died. 

What you said about mom, and how I shouldn't be mad at her. For a while, I was, until the letter came through and I forgave her for everything she did and said. Because deep down, I do know she's a wonderful mother and I know she's trying her best to be there for all of us. Besides all of that, life has been fairly good. College isn't what I thought it would be. I've turned to drinking and my pills aren't helping, but they take the pain away. So, if you have any guidance, now would be a good time to give it.

And that's about it. That's everything in the past couple years. You really haven't missed much.

Merry Christmas, Daddy, I love and miss you so much. See you in a couple of weeks. And maybe, I'll bring Tommy so you can meet him. 

I love you, always, 

Your Daughter, T

The sky opened up with rain, as I looked up. Tears. His tears. My father's tears. He's hurting. "Me too, dad, me too." Thunder struck off in the distance, not the usual sign of winter, but in this case, it's normal. "You're mad, I know, but that doesn't mean it changes anything."

"Talia, would you get in the car before you get sick!?" I turned around quickly before standing up. 

"What are you doing here? How did you find me?"

"It's obvious where you're going, T," Jason replied. I nodded and walked my way over to the car, leaving the letter I wrote to my dad on his grave, taped to the bottom where I know it's safe. 

"Come on, let's go home." He said, getting in his truck. I got in my car, started it up and blasted the heat. His tears. He's angry with me. Is that his sign? Or is that him being his typical father self?

I looked out the window and smiled at the sight in front of me. No more rain, no more thunder. A bright big rainbow arched the gray sky, clouds occasionally hovered over it, but not too long. And at that moment, I know the sign my father gave me. 

A/N

Guys, I am so so so sorry this took me so long to write. I don't know what was going on with me, but I stopped writing for some unknown reason. Recently, I've been stressed about school. I don't know if that's it, but I am so sorry. Just know, over these next few weeks, updating will be probably, hopefully, every day, if not, twice a day. 

Also, The Bad Boy's Reputation is now on Wattpad with pictures, so feel free to check that out. All you have to do on Wattpad is literally search The Bad Boy's Reputation and it should come up like a couple down. It's not the same picture as the one on here, however, the description is the same, so check that out if you want. 

Alright, again, I am so sorry for not updating and so sorry for withholding the chapter from you guys, but it's finally here and finished:)) Please, comment. I haven't been getting any comments on this book and it's kind of making me nervous... let me know if you guys aren't liking the book, because if you're not, I can and will change it. So please, let me know. :(

Sincerely, 

MrsHemmings01

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