Chapter 21: Announcements & Tension
The following weekend while Matt had Thomas for a few days, Matt decided that telling Thomas about becoming a big brother would be better than hiding it from him. He probably wouldn’t understand but it would be better than showing up with a baby one day. A part of me hoped that this would somehow make Thomas happy, maybe he would enjoy the idea of having a sibling rather than being an only child.
Instead of telling Thomas alone, we made a gathering out of it and decided to tell everyone we knew together. At the moment only Will, Tristan, and Amber knew. Telling our families would be dreadful and instead of having to dreadful occasions we hosted a “family barbecue” for both families to tell everyone at once, but Thomas would be told first - privately.
Thomas arrived the day before the barbecue, Alexandra had dropped him off while I wasn’t home. I made sure to not be home. The night had went slightly better than the last time he stayed with us but it was still clear that he didn’t like me. At this point my top priority was that he would love his baby brother or sister.
We woke up early to prepare for the barbecue with our families, the thought of having them together gave me anxiety. I spent the morning running around, trying to get everything organized and make sure we had everything.
“Matt! Did you get the hot dog buns yesterday?” I called from the kitchen.
A moment later he popped his head in a smiled lazily at me, “Yeah, they’re already outside. Relax.”
I turned to face him and took a deep breath, “I can’t just relax. Anything could go wrong and... I’ll be the blame.”
Matt shook his head, “Don’t be ridiculous. You wouldn’t be the blame and nothing will go wrong.”
Did he seriously not see how I got blamed for everything that happened badly around here?
I didn’t get a chance to reply before Thomas walked in, looking down at his white shirt that had a large red smear on it, “I gots ketsup on my shirt, daddy.”
Matt turned to look at him, running his fingers through his hair, “I just got you dressed... Why were you playing with the ketchup?”
Thomas looked up at him, tilting his head slightly, “I don’t know.”
“C’mon,” Matt took Thomas’ hand and headed upstairs with him to get him a new shirt. I knew he was already nervous about telling Thomas about the baby, I had no idea what Matt’s plan was to approach the situation but we agreed that telling Thomas separately would be better than him finding out with everyone else.
Matt also decided that he wanted to tell Alexandra personally to try and spare her any hurt from all of this. He knew it would affect her in some kind of way and wanted to be the one to tell her rather than her hearing it from someone else.
I carried more barbecue items to the backyard, setting everything on the table Matt had set up on the deck. The weather was gorgeous and for a split second I imagined having two years from now; Thomas being five running on the beach while his little brother or sister tried to keep up with him. Matt and I would watch from the deck, it seemed picture perfect but I knew better.
Our life was anything but picture perfect and I knew that telling everyone wouldn’t go that easily.
The sound of Thomas’ small, yet quick footsteps rushing onto the deck startled me from my thoughts as he ran passed me and covered his face to ‘hide’ from Matt.
“Allison?” Matt said curiously as he stepped onto the deck, “Have you seen Thomas anywhere?”
I heard Thomas snicker to himself, peeking through his fingers as he stood in the corner of the deck. I shook my head as I glanced around, “No, I haven’t seen him anywhere.”
“That’s weird, because I can smell him,” Matt commented causing me to giggle. I could see Thomas trying to contain his laughter and as Matt neared him he squealed and attempted to run away but was captured into Matt’s grip, “Gotcha!”
“Daddy!” Thomas began laughing uncontrollably, his brown hair falling all over the place. Matt playfully lifted him upside down, causing Thomas’ laughs to grow louder, “Awison hewlp!”
I was stunned that Thomas spoke to me, let alone wanted me to join in on his time with his dad. As I glanced at Matt he smiled and nodded, giving me the okay.
As I hesitantly walked towards them, Thomas extended his arms towards me during his fit of laughter, “Hewlp!”
Smiling, I reached for his torso and pretended to struggle with Matt to pull Thomas into my arms. He latched his arms around my neck tightly, sticking his tongue out at Matt.
“Hey!” Matt whined jokingly, “You left me.”
“Alwison saved me,” He grinned deviously.
Matt glanced at his watch before taking a look at the beach house. His face was filled with thought when he looked back at Thomas and I, “You know, Tommy. Allison and I have something really important to talk to you about.”
Now? I’ve never been so nervous to talk to a two and a half year old in my life.
Thomas was intimidating for his age, much like his grandfather Henry. His reaction was a big deal and I knew that chances of Thomas reacting well we’re slim.
As I put Thomas down on the desk, Matt sat on one of the chairs in front of Thomas who looked at him suspiciously, “Is it bad?”
Matt chuckled lightly and shook his head, “No, buddy. It isn’t bad. Why would think that?”
“You said important.” Thomas pointed out, “Dat’s bad.”
“Not always, Tommy.” Matt took Thomas’ tiny hands in his and took a deep breath, “We actually have a little surprise for you.”
Thomas beamed, seeming suddenly more interested in what Matt was saying, “Supwise?”
“Mhm... You know how Aunt Amelia is going to give you a little cousin soon?” Matt began and Thomas nodded excitedly. He was so excited for Tucker. “Well, Allison and daddy are going to give you a little brother or sister in a few months.”
Thomas paused, raising his eyebrow in confusion, “Why?”
Matt’s mouth gaped open slightly, seeming unsure how to answer Thomas’ question, “Well... We think you would be an amazing big brother.”
Thomas scrunched up his nose and look from me to Matt, “No thanks.”
“No... No thanks?” Matt stuttered, taken off guard, “What do you mean? Don’t you want to be a big brother? You’ll have someone to play with all the time.”
Thomas simply shook his head, “No. Dat’s okay. I don’t need one.”
As Matt stepped back, he scratched the back of his head and looked at me awkwardly. I gave him a look as if to tell him that I had no idea what to say from here.
“Tommy... The thing is, Allison is having baby. We are having a baby,” Matt looked up at me for a moment before looking back at Thomas, “You are going to be a big brother.”
“Send it back,” Thomas answered, pulling his hands away from Matt’s.
“Tommy, it doesn’t work that wa--”
“Papa!” Thomas squealed happily as he looked towards the house.
Matt and I jumped slightly, startled to see Matt’s parent’s standing in the back door of the house. It was clear that they heard that I’m pregnant based on the stunned expression on their faces.
Thomas ran to Henry and jumped eagerly into his arms, “I’m at daddy’s!”
“I can see that,” Henry smiled at Thomas who latched on to his grandfather, “So, what was your dad just telling you?”
Thomas pouted, “Alwison’s having a baby.”
I heard Henry inhale a deep breath, I could only imagine what he had to say to Matt and I when Thomas wasn’t around but luckily Tommy was keeping us from getting yelled at right now which gave us time to prepare.
Henry let Thomas down so he could hug Evelyn, but his eyes fixated on me while sending me a vicious glare. I shifted uncomfortable and Matt cleared his throat to get his father’s attention.
“We’ll talk about this later. The entire family is coming over and--”
“No, we’re going to talk about it now,” Henry insisted.
Amelia and Ian walked through the back door, Ian smiled politely while Amelia forced a very fake one. Her hand rested on her belly, “Hi, Matt” She paused and glanced at me, “Allison.”
“Thanks for coming, sis.” Matt smiled at her.
I managed a small smile even though I knew she forced herself to acknowledge me, “Hi, Amelia.”
Amelia looked at Thomas as she let go of Ian’s hand, “Hey, Tommy. I’ve missed you!”
“Auntie Milly, I’m a big bruder.” Thomas folded his arms over his chest and sighed an annoyed sigh, “But I’m not big yet.”
Amelia’s eyes grew wide and she looked quickly at Matt and I, “What?”
“Ian, would you mind taking Thomas inside for a moment? We need to have a discussion with Matthew and Allison,” Henry asked.
Ian nodded his head, “Of course, Henry. Come on, Thomas. Let’s see if Uncle Will is here yet.”
As Ian and Thomas disappeared into the house Matt pinched the bridge of his nose knowing what was going to come out of this, “Look, there’s nothing to talk about. Allison and I are having a baby. We don’t need a lecture, you should be happy. You’re going to have a grandchi--”
“Happy? You expect us to be happy?” Henry raised his voice, his eyes were fuming which startled me. I knew they would be upset but I never expected this. “You are going to be stuck with this little whore! She planned this, Matthew. I’m telling you.”
My mouth gaped slightly and Matt hushed them, “Can you please quiet down? Thomas is inside and he’ll hear you.”
“This is disgusting, Matt. You can’t see the she’s manipulating you!” Amelia argued.
I heard Evelyn sigh softly, “Matthew, sweetheart. I think what they’re trying to say is--”
“I’m sorry, but no.” I interrupted her, shaking my head, “I’m not just standing here and allowing you all to talk about me like this. You’re all stuck in this insane illusion that I manipulated Matt and trapped him, but you have no idea how our relationship even started.”
“Watch your mouth, little girl!” Henry snapped at me.
I was done getting treated this way. Like I pushed Matt into a relationship that he didn’t want, like I made him do this. I was getting the blame for everything and I was tired of it.
Matt had made the first moves in our relationship. He had driven me home from the movies with his hand moving up my thigh the entire time, a very sexual action. He even invited me to his office on a weekend where we shared our first kiss - that he instigated - but somehow I was the only one getting blamed for enforcing this relationship. It was far from fair and I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Your son made the first move on me. He instigated the relationship and yes, I fell in love with him and agreed.” I admitted, I didn’t look at Matt as I continued, “I even attempted to break up with him at one point but he refused to let me leave him and insisted that he break up with Alexandra.”
“Allison...” Matt’s voice cut me off.
“Wait, I’m not done.” I looked back at his family and proceeded, “You need to open your eyes and stop being in denial that I’m not the only on in this relationship. You can’t blame one person in a relationship, so stop attacking me and think about the possibility that maybe your son came on to me first. I’m not denying that I went for it, which is still wrong, but I’m not the only one who should be blamed.”
Everyone stayed silent, Amelia glanced towards her parents as though she were looking for their opinion on the matter but they didn’t say anything. It had become very awkward just standing here in front of them after getting angry and having a huge rant. If anyone would speak I would feel much more comfortable rather than standing under their terrifying gazes.
The sliding doors opened and I looked over as Tristan stepped out onto the patio, “Yikes. I sense tension.”
I shot him a glare, I couldn’t handle his playful jokes right now. I was completely not up for all of this anymore. I just wanted this day to be over.
“Everyone else should be here any minute,” Matt said suddenly, “Please be civil today.”
His family continued their silence and his parents walked inside while Amelia turned towards the Tristan with her hand on her belly.
“Holy fuck, Amelia. You’re huge.” Tristan’s words flowed out of his mouth so effortlessly and I could see the offense on Amelia’s face.
“I’m pregnant, you asshole.” Amelia then glanced towards me, “We’re never going to get rid of you, are we?”
Tristan wrapped an arm around my shoulders and before I could say anything he spoke up, “Watch your mouth, Amelia. Every time you open it bullshit comes out.”
“Mind your own damn business, Tristan. Why are you always around my family anyway?” Amelia snapped.
Tristan smirked and leaned down to my ear, whispering low in a single song tone, ”Hormones.”
I couldn’t help but smile, it was amazing that of all people Tristan would be the one to make be smile when I’ve never felt so low. In the past few months Tristan and I have come so far, I couldn’t imagine ever disliking him.
Within an hour everyone had shown up and we had both of or families together. It was strange considering they’re extremely different. I was waiting for Matt’s father to spill the beans on the pregnancy, expressing his anger but he seemed to keep his thoughts to himself so we could announce it ourselves. At this point we were really only announcing it to my family which could technically be done in private.
Instead we were now forced into an over the top ‘family’ barbecue making awkward conversations with people who didn’t approve of us.
“You have a nice place here, Matt.” My dad said as he looked around, “It’s like a bachelor pad.”
Matt furrowed his eyebrows and chuckled dryly, “I assure you it is nothing like a bachelor pad. Perhaps Allison will give you a tour later.”
My dad nodded his head and watched as Matt was grilling food on the barbecue. I could tell that Matt wasn’t fond of my dad and I couldn’t really blame him at all. My dad wasn’t a very likable person and he had a terrible first impression with Matt.
My mom was talking to Matt’s mother while my brother was talking with Matt’s siblings and father. Thomas was walking back and forth the patio, loving the attention he was getting.
“Matt, he is the cutest thing I have ever seen,” My mom gushed as Thomas stood by Evelyn, smiling big at my mom.
Matt smiled proudly, “Thank you, Joanne. He’s one of a kind, aren’t you, Tommy?”
Thomas grinned and nodded his head.
Matt closed the barbecue and put his arm around my waist, kissing my cheek gently. My dad glanced at us as he sipped his soda, “I hope you don’t mind me asking but how are things going with Thomas adjusting with this huge change?”
Ryan suddenly stepped away from the conversation he was having and look at our dad, “That’s a little personal, don’t you think?”
“I’m just concerned, Ryan. The little boy is going through a huge change,” My dad pointed out.
I could see a large smile appearing on Henry’s face, “You see, that’s what I’ve been telling them. I always knew you were a smart man.”
One terrible thing my dad and Matt’s had in common - they hated me.
To my surprise it was Amelia who spoke up, “Perhaps discussing it in front of him isn’t the smartest idea.”
“I agree. Leave the adult conversations to the adults,” Will nodded, giving me a small smile.
I could feel Matt’s arm tighten around my waist and when I looked up at him he was staring at Will, a cold stare and I instantly knew that he was feeling intimidated by him again. Even after Will helped him with Thomas’ case, he still didn’t like the fact that Will was, as Matt said; ‘too friendly’ to me. However, I would prefer him be friendly than rude like the rest of his family.
Thomas look at Matt attempted to whisper but spoke louder than he should have, “Daddy, you gonna tell dem about the baby?”
“Baby?” My mom looked over st me so quickly that I’m surprised she didn’t get whip lash, “What baby? Allison, are you...”
My mouth gaped slightly and I looked up at Matt who seemed just as taken aback as I was. He the looked down at me and shrugged his shoulders, “Might as well.”
This wasn’t how we planned on telling everyone but the secret was out now and it wasn’t like we could really surprise them again in twenty minutes.
“Yeah, mom. I am...” I nodded my head slowly, “Matt and I are having a baby.”
My mom stood from her chair, making her way over to me with watery eyes that I did the expect to see today or any day for that matter. “Honey, that is wonderful,” She gushed as she pulled me into a tight embrace, “I’m going to be a grandma!”
My lips curved upwards into a genuine smile, relieved that my mom was so happy. I hugged her back tightly and glanced towards my dad who had continued to drink his soda while looking at me.
Ryan walked over as my mom pulled away, “Congratulations, Tinkerbell. I’m happy for you. Both of you.”
“Thank you,” I gave Ryan a hug , still hoping that deep down my dad would congratulate me or something but he stayed silent and seemed careless to the fact that his daughter was having a baby. His first grandchild.
Pushing my pride aside, I pulled away from Matt and did the one thing I promised myself that I would never do. I thrived for my father’s attention, for some kind of acknowledgement.
“Dad?” I said softly, catching his attention and having him look at me with a raised brow, “I’m having a baby.”
I felt an uncomfortable lump setting in my throat, hating feeling so vulnerable in front of Matt and his family but this was a moment that I had expected my dad to actually break down and finally notice me. All these years I didn’t even know if my of father would be willing to walk me down the aisle at my wedding whenever the day came.
Everyone around us became silent, waiting for my dad to speak and I could feel my hope slowly dwindling but my dad’s words was the final kick in the shin.
“Why would I care if you’re pregnant, Allison?” His voice was harsh but steady and he didn’t continue, he was actually waiting for me to respond to him.
“I... I just...” I paused, feeling extremely uncomfortable and shot down by my own dad. How could I respond, “I thought you would be happy. Dad, I--”
He let out a dry laugh and rolled his eyes, “Enough with that. I’m not your dad. I never have been and I never will be.”