Chapter 3: Mommy Says
I stood in the foyer of Matt’s house, watching as movers were carrying in boxes of my things. I didn’t have a whole lot to bring, Matt had insisted that I just bring the essentials since I wouldn’t be needing a bed and furniture; technically I only needed my clothes and a few other items. I had no idea that I had so many random items until I packed all of them earlier this morning.
It felt nice to be so warmly invited into Matt’s home with welcoming arms, but at the same time I was hesitant. I didn’t tell Matt because he would assume that I was questioning our relationship - which I wasn’t. I would never question our relationship, but the last thing I wanted was to take advantage of Matt’s generosity and right now I felt like I was. I was taking advantage of being his girlfriend and I didn’t want that, I wanted to be the girl I was six months ago. The girl who didn’t need to rely on him. I wasn’t after him for the money.
“You’re only here for the money,” a voice said and for a moment I had convinced myself that it was the voice inside my head taunting myself, but I broke out of my thoughts to see Matt’s sister, Amelia standing in the front door.
I pretended that I didn’t hear her dig towards me, his family often dissed me and it had become quite the routine so I decided to kill them with kindness, or just straight up ignore their comments. I faked a smile and motioned towards her baby bump, “Hello, Amelia. How’s the baby? You look glowing.”
She rested her hand on her bump and glared at me, completely disregarding my greeting, “Why are there moving trucks outside? Please tell me that Matt has had another renovation fit and ordered new things.”
I opened my mouth to speak and just as I did, a mover walked in with my pink suitcase and started to carry it upstairs. Obviously the pink suitcase wouldn’t be Matt’s. Unless he actually liked pink and I had no idea.
Amelia’s gaze shifted from the man and landed on me again, “What do you want from him, Allison? You already ruined his family!”
“I... I didn’t, I...” I shook my head slowly, not sure how I could defend myself. It was the truth, I had ruined Matt’s family. I was the reason Thomas’ family had fallen apart and Matt’s family was making sure I was walking around with the weight of that guilt on my shoulders. I managed to compose myself and I took a deep breath, “Matt asked me to move in... It was his choice, not mine.”
“But you obviously jumped at the opportunity, right?” She laughed obnoxiously and took a quick glance around the house as the men walked past her, “Where is my brother? I need to speak to him.”
Amelia, along with the rest of Matt’s family, intimidated me. I felt worthless compared to them and if anyone could turn Matt against me it would be his family. Whenever they were around, even when they weren’t talking about how horrible I was, my heart was constantly thudding in my chest, not knowing what would happen.
As I began to respond to Amelia, my voice came out as a squeak, “He’s gone to pick Thomas up for the weekend.”
“Thomas is coming for the weekend?” Her interest seemed peeked slightly, “Does Alexandra know that you’re living here? I’m sure she doesn’t want you around her son.”
“I don’t know... I’m not sure if Matt told, it’s all very new, Amelia.” I sighed softly. As I ran my fingers through my hair, I frowned slightly, “Please don’t cause any trouble. Thomas is Matt’s son, too.”
“Me?” She snapped, “Oh, honey. All of the trouble that’s caused is because of you and your inability to keep your legs closed you little sl--”
“Hey!” I heard a deep voice interrupt Amelia and at the same time we both looked towards the front door to see Matt standing there, holding Thomas’ hand.
The look on Matt’s face could say more than any amount of words ever could. He look upset, furious even. His brows narrowed downward while his brown eyes peered at Amelia, but his hand didn’t let Thomas’ go for a second. Then he looked at me and his expression softened, a look of sympathy almost. He was well aware of what his family put me through but it wasn’t his fault, we signed up for this. I signed up for this.
Matt finally let go of Thomas’ hand and knelt down to him, “Hey, buddy. Can you bring you backpack to the living room, please? Daddy needs to talk to Aunt Milly.”
Thomas nodded his head and without saying a word he walked to the living room.
As soon as Thomas was out of sight, Matt stood up and snapped his head back to Amelia, “I never want to come home and hear you talking to Allison like that again. Are we clear?”
I was surprised by how rough Matt’s voice was, how deep and angry it sounded. Maybe he had become so fed up with everything he just wasn’t taking it anymore.
“You don’t get to talk to her like that, Amelia! For fuck sakes! She is my girlfriend. Mine. I love her and she deserves respect!” With each time Matt spoke about me, he pointed in my direction and I gulped.
Amelia seemed stunned and slowly I walked over to Matt, taking Matt’s hand, “Matt...” I whispered softly, “Matt, it’s okay.”
“No it’s not, Allison.” He looked at me, “It’s not okay for her or anyone to treat you like this.”
Amelia cleared her throat to get Matt’s attention and as he looked in her direction she spoke up, “In my defence, I will never respect a gold digger.”
They began to argue like siblings but worse. It wasn’t a normal sibling bicker, they were having a serious argument and like everything else, it was because of me. Everything was because of me lately. I was even causing Matt to argue with his younger, pregnant sister who he adored so much - just so he could defend me. Naturally, I felt horrible.
I was silent, discomfort filling my body but I reached for Matt’s hand to catch his attention. As his eyes met mine, I gave him a pleading look, “Not today. Please, Matt.”
He frowned at me, but instead of looking at his sister again he kept his eyes on me and squeezed my hand. “Amelia, please leave.”
“Excuse me?” Amelia’s brows furrowed in disbelief at her brothers request, obviously not having heard such a request from him before.
“I asked you to leave,” Matt stated again as he looked at her, “I’m going to spend some time with Allison and my son. So that would require you and your negative ass to get out.”
Matt’s voice was full of irritation, I could tell that Amelia noticed just as much as I had but neither of us had had anything. I wasn’t mad at Matt, I appreciated him standing up for me but I felt guilty that he had to argue with his family because of me. I wasn’t worth the trouble.
“Fine,” Amelia finally gave in after rolling her eyes, “I’ll see you tomorrow then, asshole.”
Matt just nodded his head carelessly, unaffected by Amelia’s attempt to get under his skin, “Mhm. Goodbye, Amelia.”
As she walked out the front door and closed the door, the room fell to silent. Matt and I both stood there in silence, I’m sure Matt wasn’t expecting to come home to his sister yelling profanities at me. It upset him and though I wasn’t the one who started the argument between Amelia, I felt responsible.
“I’m sorry she came by and verbally attacked you, baby. They’re just...” Matt sighed heavily and ran his fingers through his hair, “They’re not getting it. But they will.”
I bit my lip gently as he placed his hands on my waist, pulling me close to him. As he pressed a kiss on my head, I smiled lightly and spoke softly, “It’s okay, Matt. Really. It isn’t your fault... We knew this would be a difficult road.”
I could feel his lips curve into a smile against my hair and he mumbled, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” I pulled away and looked up at him, seeing his brown eyes staring down at me while his lips were curved upwards into a charming smile. Ugh. Those dimples. As I was about to speak again, his lips stopped me.
Matt leaned into me, pressing his soft lips to mine and kissing me deeply. I reciprocated the action and kissed him back, feeling his tongue graze across my lower lip slowly.
I felt my stomach squeeze together as a giddy feeling sprung throughout my body. I remembered the moment I had admitted to Matt that I was in love with him - it wasn’t our finest moment, it was one of my lowest. But at the time I had known that I was one hundred percent in love with Matt, but at the same moment he had broken me into a million pieces. I had been certain that love was the worst feeling in the world and even though Matt reassured me that love was an incredible feeling, I didn’t believe him at the time.
But right now, in this very moment, I knew the feeling that he was talking about. It was breathtaking and real. My heart was constantly pounding in my chest while my stomach was filled with hypothetical butterflies.
This was love and this was the best feeling in the world.
“I just brought the last box upstairs,” A voice interrupted us and we pulled away to see one of the movers standing at the door.
Matt gave him a smile along with a slight nod, “Thank you for all of the help. Have a good day.”
I watched as the last mover left the house and I turned my attention back to Matt, “Thank you for getting the movers to bring my things by. They made the process much faster.”
“Mm... So you’re officially moved in now?” He raised an eyebrow while a devious smirk played on his lips. I gave him a slow, yet hesitant nod, unsure where he was going with this. “You know what that means, right? It means that you’re home.”
I furrowed my eyebrows at him, my lips twitching slightly as I began to smile, “I’m home?”
He nodded his head, “That’s right, baby. You’re home.”
Before I knew it Matt and I were kissing again. Maybe we were still on the high of our relationship, the stage where we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other because we really couldn’t and I didn’t mind. Naturally, we were inseparable and extremely touchy with each other. I felt Matt’s hand squeeze my butt and I burst into a fit of giggles, pulling my face from his.
As I tilted my head away with my eyes closed, Matt moved his lips down my neck and made a playful growling sound as he nibbled on my skin, “Matt...” My eyes fluttered opened and I noticed Thomas in the doorway that connected the foyer to the living room.
Thomas stood with a serious look on his face, his brows furrowed and his forehead was creased in clear frustration but his arms rested against his sides.
I pressed my hands against Matt’s chest and gently pushed him away, giving Thomas a small smile, “Hey, Tommy.”
Thomas just stared at me, his expression unchanging before he looked at Matt and completely ignored me, “I’m hungry.”
“Hungry. Yes,” Matt said as he scratched the back of his head, I knew that he had wanted to have a good weekend with Thomas while he had him and having takeout wasn’t his idea of ‘special,’ so I had taken it into my own hands to cook while he was gone to pick up Thomas. “What do you want, buddy?”
“Actually, Matt... I made some Mac and Cheese while you were gone, we just have to re-warm it,” I smiled softly, “If that’s okay?”
During the course of the past six months I had taken cooking classes, Matt and I had together, actually. He claimed that he was a bonding experience but I knew better. He just wanted me to know how to cook without hurting my feelings but I wasn’t offended, we had a lot of fun together in the cooking classes even though Matt was already a fantastic cook. Now I could cook pretty decently too.
Matt leaned in and pressed a kiss to my cheek, “That’s great, thank you.” He walked towards Thomas and messed up his hair, “Come on, little man. Allison made us Mac and Cheese.”
We began to walk towards the kitchen and I heard Thomas mumble, “I don’t want Mac and Cheese, daddy.”
Matt then glanced over at me, then back at Thomas with a hesitant look on his face but before he could say anything I spoke up, “I can make you something else, Tommy. How about... Spaghetti?”
Thomas loves spaghetti. I remembered this quite vividly. For a while he would want this almost every day, but to my surprise Thomas shook his head, “I don’t want spaghetti...”
Thomas’ voice was soft and quiet, he wouldn’t look at neither Matt or me, instead he kept his gaze on the floor. His lips puckered out into an unsatisfied pout while he played with his fingers.
I watched as Matt sighed heavily, running his fingers through his hair and shaking his head. He knelt in front of Thomas and finally managed to get Thomas to look at him. Matt rested his hands on Thomas’ shoulders, “Tommy, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Thomas said almost instantaneously while his voice kept the same soft tone.
“Buddy, you need to talk to me, okay?” Matt looked over his shoulder at me and paused before a moment before looking back at Thomas, “Is it Allison?”
Thomas suddenly fell silent and looked down again. At that moment we knew our answer and a piece of my heart broken knowing that I was the reason Thomas was unhappy to be here with his dad.
Matt leaned his head back for a moment and I could see that he had his eyes closed, probably out of frustration but once he opened them again he looked at Thomas again, “Why did that change? You love Allison, remember? She used to take you to the park and she watched the Wiggles with you... Allison is really nice to you.”
“But, mommy says...” Thomas’ voice cracked and then he stopped, decided to no longer continue but Matt wasn’t having it.
“What did mommy say? Did she say something about Allison?” Thomas nodded his head and Matt pushed for answers, “What did mommy say about Allison?”
I stood by the doorway observing Matt talking with his son, keeping my hands clasped together uncomfortably.
Thomas’ head lifted slowly and he looked at me, growing before he looked at Matt, “Mommy says that Allison is the reason you don’t live with us anymore.”
Even a two and a half year old hated me, this was my life now. But of all the people who hated me, Thomas hurt the most. I adored that little boy more than I thought was possible to even love such a small person. A child that wasn’t even mine.
I swallowed a lump that was in my throat and looked away, feeling my heart grow heavy at Thomas’ words. My fear had happened - Thomas hated me, he blamed me.
“Thomas,” Matt said in a softer tone than before. I heard him sigh and then he shook his head, “Listen, buddy. That isn’t true. Allison isn’t the reason daddy doesn’t live with mommy anymore because...” He paused, seeming to struggle at finding the right words to explain to his little boy. It was a difficult situation, I sympathized for him and wished there was something more that I could do. “Mommy and Daddy lived together because we were married. Do you know what that means?”
Thomas furrowed his eyebrows before shrugging his shoulders, “Like love, right?”
“Uh... Yeah, I suppose.” Matt cleared his throat, “I’m always going to love your mommy, but instead of being married mommy and daddy are going to be friends now. Friends don’t live together after they’ve loved each other like your mommy and I have.”
I stared blankly at Matt and Thomas, nervous for the reaction. Matt’s speech was very well stated, but Thomas wasn’t even three years old, this was all so confusing for him. All he would see me as was the woman who took his dad away from his mom.
Thomas look at Matt, giving him a little nod but still not seeming completely happy, “Okay...”
I noticed Matt lick his lower lip in thought before pulling Thomas into a tight embrace, “I love you, Tommy. I want you to be happy, okay? Daddy and Allison are going to have a lot of fun with you this weekend.”
As he pulled away, Thomas glanced in my direction before taking Matt’s hand and pulling him towards the table, “Can I have Mac and Cheese now, please?”
I realized that Thomas was taking the separation between Alexandra and I difficult, as expected. I didn’t expect a two and a half year old to be so understanding and vocal about it, but he was. He even looked at Allison like she destroyed every part of his world and I knew that he hadn’t come up with that idea on his own. Alexandra had been making small attempts here and there to mess with mine and Allison’s relationship but this was taking it too far. Allison could potentionally be Thomas’ step mother one day and Alexandra was already scheming to turning him against her.
For Alexandra to expose such an innocent mind to hatred disgusted me. Thomas is so young, he should know nothing but affection and good things towards other people. She was infecting my little boy with toxic emotions and it was infuriating me.
Thomas had been extremely clingy after dinner, he followed me everywhere and kept glancing towards Allison to make sure she wouldn’t come near me. He didn’t speak to Allison only when he was spoke to, and even then it was barely three words each time.
We sat on the couch watching a movie of Thomas’ choice, The Big Friendly Giant, or something like that. Thomas had made sure sit right between Allison and I which I was completely okay with, all I wanted was to spend time with my boy this weekend but while he was fixated on the television, I had my arm stretched over the back of the couch and was moving my fingers through Allison’s hair. Her beautiful blonde hair.
I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. She had been so good throughout this entire process, even though everyone was being extremely negative and harsh to her, but she was so strong even though I knew it was hard for her.
As I ran my fingers through her blonde locks, I could see a smile playing on her lips. She looked over at me and I winked at her, urging to lean over and kiss her but managing to keep myself settled in place.
“Daddy, are you watching the movie?” Thomas asked suddenly as he looked up at me, noting my distraction.
I cleared my throat and nodded quickly, “Yeah, of course. It’s a really good movie.”
I gave Thomas smile and he leaned against me, “Daddy?”
“Does Allison live here?” I noticed him look towards Allison and I closed my eyes. I wasn’t expecting another complicated discussion to come so quickly after the last one. The kid is two and a half, I assumed they weren’t supposed to be so intelligent at that age.
“Hey, Tommy?” I let out a deep sigh, “You ask a lot of questions, buddy.”
With a soft chuckle, I messed up his hair which caused him to laugh but he quickly turned back to the point of his question, “Does that mean you and Allison are married?”
“Thomas, where are you getting these ideas?” I asked him.
His brows furrowed in confusion, “From you.”
“From me? What did I d--”
“Matt...” I heard Allison say and I looked across the couch at her, she was biting her lip to hide a smile. She motioned towards Thomas, “He’s right. You did mention that in your little speech earlier, I think he may have mistaken it.”
I placed a hand over my mouth and groaned, I was clearly terrible at handling these things on my own. I couldn’t imagine how complicated these things would be when Thomas got older. He already acted like he was at least six sometimes.
Slowly, I ran my fingers through my hair. Before speaking this time I decided to think about my words very carefully, “No, buddy. Allison and I aren’t married... Allison and I are living together because... We’re uh... We’re really good friends.”
“You’re not mommy’s friend anymore?” He looked heartbroken at my words and I quickly shook my head.
“I didn’t say that. Mommy and I are still friends, but Allison is my special friend,” I looked at Allison and mouthed the word ‘help.’
Allison looked panicked at my plea and she looked from me to Thomas a few times before setting her gaze completely on Thomas, “Hey, Thomas?” She said softly, causing Thomas’ gaze to shift in her direction. She turned completely to face him and gave him a little smile, taking his hands in hers, “Do you want to know a secret that only the big people know?”
Thomas stayed silent for a moment before finally cracking, “A big secret?” As Allison nodded her head, Thomas agreed, “Okay.”
“Love can be very complicated for adults... You know how you love your mommy and daddy?” Thomas nodded in response to Allison then she continued, “Well, your mommy and daddy loved each other very much one day, and they still do. But sometimes in life people change their feelings... You know how you changed your mind about blue being your favorite color and now you like red?”
Thomas nodded his head quickly, seeming to understand a little of what Allison was saying.
“Adults changed their minds too. Just like kids do...” Allison paused for a moment, “So instead of being married and living together, your mommy and daddy changed their mind and decided they wanted to be friends instead.”
She looked over at me with her eyebrows raised, as though she wanted approval on if she was handling this okay. I gave her a smile, impressed by her careful wording. I should be the one explaining this to Thomas but I screw up my words so bad, I panicked for Allison’s help.
“Allison is right, Thomas. Your mommy and I are still really good friends...” I reached for Thomas and pulled him onto my lap, “I need to tell you something really important. Okay?” When Thomas gave me a slight nod, I continued, “I really care about Allison but that doesn’t mean that you and your mommy are no longer going to be a part of my life. I promise. You will always be my first priority.”
His brows furrowed in confusion, “Priority?”
I chuckled softly and shook my head, “It means that you’re my first choice. Always. So you never have to worry about being forgotten, okay?”
The room fell silent for a short amount of time before Thomas slid off of my lap and folded his arms over his chest, letting out an agitated huff of breath. As he stomped his foot on the floor, he pouted at me, “I don’t want you with Allison. I want you with mommy!”
I had been taken off guard by his sudden outburst, never having experienced Thomas reacting like this before. It was clear that my attempt at a speech didn’t work, possibly because I was terrible at it, but it was also a lot for a two and a half year old to understand - even one as smart as Thomas.
As I reached forward towards him, Thomas looked at Allison with a frown on his face, “I don’t like you no more.”
“Thomas...” I heard Allison’s soft voice respond in a sad tone but instead of bothering to stick around, Thomas used his short little legs to run behind the couch so he didn’t have to look at us.
I sighed heavily and spoke loudly for him to hear me, “You’re acting like a child, Thomas.”
“I’m a big boy!” I heard him scream back.
I shook my head even though Thomas couldn’t see me now, “Big boys don’t have tantrums like this. Come here.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, “Thomas Reid, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. Come here. Now.”
There was silence for a moment and I could feel the frustration building inside of me. Never in my two and a half years of being a father have I been so disappointed in my son, never have he disrespected me or anyone as much as he was doing right now. I was taken off guard and as his parent I was in the position to put my foot down and lay down the rules.
Finally, Thomas slowly walked out from behind the couch with his arms angrily folded over his chest. He didn’t say anything, but I could see that he was upset. I’ve never gotten mad at him before, that was Alexandra’s job, not mine.
“Thomas, I want you to apologize to Allison. What you said to her was really wrong and mean...” I leaned forward, resting my elbows on my knees to level better with him. “I don’t want you to talk to anyone like that. You’re supposed to have manners. What did mommy and daddy teach you about when you’re talking you people?”
Thomas looked down and mumbled so his voice was barely audible, “Don’t say mean words...”
“Exactly.” I looked over at Allison who had stayed very quiet through this and she was looking down at her lap while fiddling with her fingers
As my gaze shifted back to Thomas, I motioned towards Allison with my head, “Go over to Allison and apologize.”
Thomas let out a soft huff of breath, seeming hesitant at my instructions. I motioned with my head again and he gave in, walking over to Allison’s side of the couch. “Sorry, Allison...”
Allison had always been so kind and gentle. So when she looked at Thomas and smiled instantly, I hadn’t been surprised. Of course he is only two and a half, so she understood that he was dealing with a lot.
“It’s okay, Thomas. You’re still my favorite little boy.” She bit her lip gently and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear, “I love you and I would never come between you and your daddy.”
Thomas surprisingly gave Allison a small smile, but the words that followed made up for any of the false hope I had been feeling, “Will you let daddy come home now?”
His words stumped both myself and Allison, before Allison could attempt to answer him I stood from the couch and cleared my throat, “Okay, buddy. That’s enough for one night. You need a bath and then we have to get you ready for bed.”
This discussion with Thomas clearly wasn’t going anywhere, I wasn’t sure there was anything more I could say to him at this point. All I could really do was hope that he would eventually get used to the situation, but even after six months he was still expecting me to go home.
Mentioning bath time seemed to distract Thomas and he started laughing eagerly, “Can I have bubbles?”
“Of course! What’s a bath without bubbles?” I grinned at him and motioned towards the doorway, “Come on, bud.”
As Thomas ran out of the living room quickly, I looked back at Allison and gave her a small smile, “I’m sorry about that, baby... We’ll talk about all of this later, okay?”
“Matt, you don’t have to apologize. He’s a little boy. He’s struggling with this concept...” She assured me and her words caused my heart to tighten.
That’s what she is. A perfect woman who is extremely understanding and no matter how difficult a situation gets she remains by my side. She’s my rock, at this point I have no idea what I would do without her. Allison had become my everything. The one I confided in, leaned on, and was determined to protect emotionally and physically. She was, to me, an angel on Earth, and she deserved so much better than the things being thrown at her from both her family and mine. If I had any control over the situation at all, I was going to make sure she would never hurt or feel alone again.
She would always have me.