Chapter 3.33

I took to motherhood much easier than anticipated.  Granted, I never expected to raise Harper alone but I don’t think Xander needs to know I was pregnant when I left him either.

Someone takes after her mom in more than just good looks.

Harper is brilliant.  She took to walking nearly as soon as she hit the ground.

“MAMA!  MAMA!”

I realized that I didn’t want to miss a second of this walking, talking extravaganza.

I called Hannah to watch Harper and headed to the big-box resale store out in the boonies.

Everything is marked down to 25%.  You get what you pay for but I didn’t care.  I rushed into the store.

I grabbed the closest video recorder and paid.

Hannah was due any day now with their SECOND daughter.  We couldn’t wait to meet Azalea Kalliope (to be known as Kallie) but Hannah had a bigger surprise for me.

“My aunt just died and left Adam and I $50,000.  We want you to have it, Penny.”

“Uhh…what?”  I was dumbfounded.  “What about Violet and Kallie?  They need college funds?”

“Oh shush, P.  We both know your brother makes more than that each week in book royalties.  Take it.  Upgrade the house.  Go back to college.  Pay a real babysitter and go get laid.  Do something.  It’s your money now whether you like it or not.”

I have no idea how I ended up with such a kick ass sister-in-law.  She’ll never best my missing twin but she comes damn close some days.

Chapter 3.31

Note from SweetPoyzin: Nothing exciting happens in this chapter.  It is just to show off some adorableness.

With his birthday just around the corner, I thought I would spend some time with my little guy.  I reluctantly called a babysitter for Harper and left her alone for the first time.

I must say, Mr. Dylan quite enjoyed getting out of the house for a change.  I did, too.

We headed to the toystore to pick up some birthday goodies.

It also has the added bonus of having an attached park and we spent most of the day on the playground.

More specifically, we spent 5 hours riding the bee.

“All right, bud.  Time to go.”

“NO.  Don’t wanna.”

“Oh, you’ll live.”

While we were out we ran across these guys.  Dylan took to them right away.  Too bad they belong to someone.

Dylan continued to put up a stink about leaving but passed out immediately on the ride home.

I got home just in time to find Harper dirty, hungry, lonely, and sleepy.  Fuck babysitters.  I’m never leaving her again.

Chapter 3.29

Several months after Harper’s birth we were all chugging along as normal.  I headed over to Adam’s house for a much needed adult afternoon.  Nothing super special because my sister-in-law, Hannah was due to give birth any day now.

We had tea and chatted about my need for a bigger house and her need for a smaller belly.

“Why don’t you put in an offer on the house behind ours?  It’s right across the alley.  It would be perfect!”

“When did it go up for sale?!  Also, I have no money so that’s one reason…”

The conversation didn’t get any farther than that.  It was time to meet ADAM’S kid.  I didn’t have time to ponder the idea of my baby brother being a father.  Hannah needed a driver.

That evening Violet June Hanks happily joined our family.

The next morning I went over to check out the house.  Three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a huge backyard.  It was perfect for us.

How could I not love it?  How could I possibly afford it?

I knew what I had to do.  I took Olivia’s paintings to the consignment shop.  It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made but Liv would want her kids to grow up in a house and not a shithole apartment.

I may have tried to make money some other ways too.  I would get those kids a house by any means necessary.

Chapter 3.28

We settled into some semblance of routine before too long.

Pickle was up with the sun and ready for breakfast.

He and I would get some one-on-one time in after Bug headed for the school bus.

He’d get bored before too long and he’d head for greener pastures aka more fun toys.

It was about this time that Harper would start screaming for her own breakfast.

With all the commotion on the itty-bits I was worried poor Bug was feeling forgotten.  She was growing up before my eyes.

I snagged her after dance class one night.

“Hey, I have a gift for you.  Head to the living room while I change this stinky kid.”

I pulled her Mom’s trunk out of Adam’s basement earlier that day (well, Adam pulled it out of his own basement because I have TONS of time to leave the house).

“Here.  I took this while your mom and I were in college.  You should have it if you want it.”

She seemed unsure at first.

But I think she’ll be ok.

Chapter 3.27

Before too long our tiny apartment became home.

Bug and Pickle made sure there was plenty to welcome Baby Peanut when she got here.

Early one morning in spring I woke up knowing it was time to bring Peanut into the world.  Despite never having birthed a baby something told me she was ready.

I got up and prepared breakfast before Bug went off to school.  Today was going to be as normal as possible regardless of fact that I was going to push a bowling ball out of my vagina in a few short hours.

The thought of what I was going to do was slightly shocking a bit painful to think about.  Dear God…I was going to be a mother.

The kids were oblivious to my peril (probably because there wasn’t any) but I still liked having them close.  Bug ran off to school without a look back  and I was left with Pickle.

We got in some good playtime before my contractions started.

“Are you ready to help with a baby?”

“I da baby.”

Just then I was hit by more than just a tiny contraction.

“Mama Peenee hurt?” The concern in my nephew’s voice hurt almost as much as the contractions.

“No, honey.  The baby just wants out.”

“Bad baby.  No hurt Peenee.”

I called the babysitter and told her to hurry.

I sat down on the couch but knew there wasn’t time for sitting.  I needed to get dressed.  Like hours ago.

I threw on some clothes and tried to be quite so I wouldn’t scare Pickle even more.

That plan failed.  The babysitter was still en route but there wasn’t time to wait.  I yelled across the hall for the neighbor to keep an ear out because I had to go.

I drove myself in spite of being in hard labor.  That’s just how I roll.

After 15 hours of labor Harper Gray Hanks came into the world.  She didn’t have an ounce of her father in her so I saw no need to tack on his name as a reminder.

It wasn’t long after I got home when it become painfully obvious that we were going to need a bigger place…soon.

Chapter 3.25

Note from SweetPoyzin:  Bad things come in threes…sorry again.

With all the shit happening in my life something was bound to break.  It was work.  I got sloppy on the job and  a patient died during a routine surgery.  I was put on leave and that’s when I made a decision.  I called Adam to tell him.

“The kids and I are leaving.”

“WHAT!?  Why!?  Just because someone died on your watch doesn’t mean you will lose your job.”

I sighed.  “I’ve already lost my job, Adam.”

I couldn’t even look him in the eye.  My little brother had stood by my side for years but this blind faith in me was too much.

“Stephen and I were having an affair.”

“YOUR BOSS!?  God damn it, Penelope.  Why can’t you stay out of trouble?”

“DON”T FUCKING JUDGE ME, ADAM!  In the past 3 months I have lost my twin, my marriage, and my job –”

“They were my family, too.”  He said quietly.

At that moment I realized I was not the only one still hurting.  I was just the only one handling it so poorly.

“Fuck.  You’re right.  At any rate I need a fresh start.  The kids and I are moving to Storybrook county…next week.”

“Fair enough.  I’ll pack my things.”

“Adam.  Don’t be ridiculous.  You just bought a house.”

“Yeah, well it looks like I’m selling it now.  We both know you need someone to keep you out of trouble.  And I need to be the fun uncle to these two monsters.  Sugar before bedtime and all that jazz.”

“Well…college?”

“Storybrook County is even closer to University.  I’ll live there while I attend classes.  Boom.  Next excuse?”

“Alright.  Pack your things.  You only have a week.”

And with that we were off to our next big adventure.

Chapter 3.24

Note from SweetPoyzin: My apologies…again.

A few months after the funeral things were finally getting settled.  Adam was gearing up for college in a couple of weeks.  He moved out into his own place to give me space for the kids.

Xander came home one night and had big news.

“Honey!  I’m no longer working the night shift!  We can get started on that baby now!”  He was thrilled.  I had doubts.

“You got promoted?”

“Well…not so much.  I got…fired.  Penny, I haven’t been 100% honest with you.  That security job I was working?  I was actually a Master Crime Boss.  My dad found out and well, I got arrested.  Remember that trip I took a year or so ago?  Yeah…”

“Penny?”

“Get. Out. Now.” I growled.  I didn’t know I could make that noise but I growled at him.

“I don’t even care that you were a crime boss, Xander.  You lied…for 10 years!  I’ve known you for TEN YEARS!  How long?”

“I worked there for 8 years.”

“FUCK YOU.  You disgust me.”  I had no idea how badly his betrayal hurt.  I honestly didn’t care about his being a crime boss.  He lied…for 8 years.

“How can I fix this, Penny?  Tell me.  I will do anything.”  He was actually heartbroken that he hurt me.  I could feel his sincerity oozing off his body.

“Get out and sign the divorce papers I send you tomorrow.”

“Penny!  Wait, please!”  His begging was almost worse than his lies.

“OUT or I will call the cops on your ass again.”

“I’m so sorry, Peanut.  It looks like it’s just us now.”

Name the Peanut

original

So now that Penny and Xander have babies on the brain I need your help naming the baby!  Please vote for one boy name and one girl name.  The name with the most votes will be bestowed on the peanut in a future post.  You know, once Penny actually gets pregnant)!

Also if you have a better name feel free to write it in the comments!

Chapter 3.11

It’s going to sound cliche but I fell in love with a boy on Love Day.

I was working at the hospital when I got the page that Liv was in Labor and Delivery.  Of course, being a trauma surgeon doesn’t leave much time to sneak away.  She called on Love Day and invited Xander, Adam, and I over to meet the newest Hanks-Hepworth baby.

Could Bug look any more like her daddy?  She was settling in nicely with being a big sister…mostly.

Liv positively glowed with her son in her arms.  Suddenly I realized we were adults and that was super weird.

I could handle being an adult if it meant hanging out with this booger.

Pickle is so mellow.  Bug is a but high maintenance which I’m sure she gets from her Momma.  Pickle just goes with the flow.  Xander wasn’t terribly into snuggling babies.

Bug was a little jealous that Aunt PP was spending so much time with Pickle.

She knows she’s always going to be my homegirl.  You can see it when she looks at me.  I wonder if my own kids will love me that much… I’m not going there.

Xander did more manly things.  He played with the dog and grilled with Mike and Adam.  I have no idea why he refused to play with Pickle.  He’s great with Bug.

Liv and I did girly things.  We took silly photos and played with babies.

“Um…how did you manage to have such cute kids, Liv?  Mike’s genes?  You best be careful or I might steal them one day!”

“Any time you want them you can have them!  Maybe then I’ll get some sleep!  And…it was my genes that made them cute.  Jeez.”

“So…I was thinking I’d ask Penny to marry me tonight.  We’re going to the beach at sunset and I think that’s the place.”

“It’s your business, dude, but I don’t think Penny will go for that kind of deal…I’ve known her since high school and I think that’s a little too sentimental for her.”

“No, no.  She’s changed.  Mellowed, you know.  I think it’s perfect.  Love Day, Sunset, Beach…perfect.”

“Whatever works for you, man.  She’s just my wife’s sister.  That kind of thing Liv would go for…Penny though?  I don’t know, man.  Good luck.  You better head out.  It’s already 4 o’clock.”

Xander and I headed to the beach while Adam took Rory out for dinner and dancing.  Lucky girl that one.

“So, are you going to propose now?”

“Pfft.  Whatever gave you that idea?”

“Oh you know…sunset at the beach on Love Day?  It’s so damn cliche.  It seemed like a proposal set up.”

“I can see how you would think that.  No, I just thought it was a nice thing to do on Love Day.  Christ you think I’d actually want to do something that dumb?  I know you better than that!”

We sat in silence and headed home shortly after sunset.

“Why don’t we head into the bedroom for a spin?  Or perhaps that’s too cliche for you, Penelope?”

“Shut up and get moving…Sweetie.”

After our fun we snuggled in bed for a bit.

“You know, you could ask me to marry you tomorrow.  At the beach around sunset if you wanted.  It’s just too sticky sweet to do it on Love Day.”

“Ha!  I haven’t even bought you a ring yet.  But yeah, Love Day?  Too cliche.  Let’s turn in.  Love you.”

And we faded off to sleep.

Chapter 3.9

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter contains language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for all readers.  Reader discretion is advised.

The morning of my procedure did not start off well.

I woke up to discover my chameleon, Nelson, had passed away.  I knew it was my fault, too.  I could barely scrape together the cash to feed myself and Adam.  I had to rotate feeding the pets and poor Nelson couldn’t hold out any longer.

After mourning the loss of Nelson I had to face the day.  Adam was already in the kitchen digging into breakfast leftovers.

“Why don’t you let me take you to the hospital today?  I don’t think you should be alone, Penny.”

“No, nope, no.  I’ll be fine.  You go to school.  If I even catch a whiff that you skipped you will be so grounded.”

“Ok, ok fine.  If you need anything you call me ASAP.  I’m not going to band practice after school though.  I’m coming home to check on you.  Well, or I’m going to go hangout with Rory.  If you call I’ll come home.  Otherwise I’m going over to Rory’s.”

Adam went off to school and I didn’t really feel like being alone so I headed off to the local pond.

I sat and meditated.  I needed to quiet my heart and mind to make sure this is what I wanted to do.  I realized that Nelson’s death was really a sign.  I can barely feed myself and my brother.  My lizard died because I couldn’t feed it.  I totally did not need to bring another stomach into this mess.

And let’s be honest…I’m not the most mature young adult on this planet.  I’m in no position to raise a baby right now.

With that it was time to head to the hospital.

Three hours and $4000 later it was over.  I sat down on the bench outside the hospital and I wasn’t sure what to feel.  I was stunned, sad, relieved, and happy all at the same time.  I didn’t want to go home and be alone but I didn’t want to call Adam because he shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.

Suddenly I knew exactly where to go.

“Can I see Katie?”

“Oh, Katie-Did, Aunt Penny messed up.”

I remember hearing somewhere that babies remember the place they come from, whether it is heaven or something else I don’t know.  I don’t even know if they can communicate with it telepathically.  In that moment none of those unanswered questions mattered.

“If you see her in your dreams, Bug, tell her I love her.  Tell her that’s why I did it.  Tell her I’m sorry.  Tell her I would have done anything to change this mess I created.  Tell her name is Piper.”

After pouring my heart out to my niece I sat down in the chair I bought for her in France where this whole mess started.  I fought back tears as I realized what I selfish person I had been.  I’m always coming over here to steal kisses from Bug and harvest food from Liv’s farm but I’ve never given anything back.

I went downstairs and amid protests from Mike I prepared cheesesteaks and apple cobbler for Liv’s family.

Once finished I headed home.

Not long after I got home Adam returned from Rory’s house.

“Are you ok?  How did it go?  How do you feel?”

“It went well.  I’m doing ok.  I think everything will be ok.”

“That’s it?  Really?”

“Yeah, Adam, that’s it.”

“You had a fucking abortion and you’re acting like it’s no big deal!  What’s wrong with you, Penny?!”

“Don’t you presume to know how I am feeling, Adam.  Don’t you dare!  You have no idea what I’m going through.  I know it is a big deal Adam.  8 hours ago there was a potential human in me.  Now there is nothing.  Do you hear me?  Nothing.  I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  Don’t you ever tell me I don’t understand.”

After that we spent the rest of the evening in silence.  Adam went off to his room to study and I was left to wonder how everything got so fucked up.