Decisions We Make
I shook my head back and forth, gazing at the sun, a smile on my face. Natalie was next to me, smirking every time I would sigh peacefully.
“Someone's in a good mood” she said smiling, squeezing my hand. “Can you blame me? Alexis and Charlie actually figured their shit out. I thought were was no way in hell Charlie would forgive her,” I exclaimed, trying to make sense of what just happened.
Natalie laughed and shook her head. “Beck, why would you think that?” she asked, arching her eyebrows at me.
“Alexis made a mistake and I didn't think she was going to swallow her pride and admit that. I'm proud of her for letting her own pride go,” I replied, looking directly at her. She smiled and leaned her head on my shoulder as we walked.
“Good answer” she said. I looked at the few people around us, shocked that the boardwalk was still open. It was pretty chilly next to the water as I snuggled closer to Natalie.
We walked past a few small shops, Natalie pulling me into one that had souvenirs. She grabbed a few things and placed them on me; some glasses, some hats, a scarf, and randomly a sombrero.
“Seriously? A sombrero? That just made my day” I chuckled, leaning down to put a shell necklace on her.
I picked up a pair of red heart shaped sunglasses and had to beg her to put them on for me. She looked so cute in them that I couldn’t resist taking a picture, which resulted in Natalie chasing me down and forcing me to delete it.
We left the shop and walked over to a pretzel stand, which Natalie wasn’t that big a fan of. “You don’t like pretzels?” I asked, appalled to hear such a thing.
She frowned. “All that salt and dough. I’m not crazy about them” she replied, sitting on my lap as I ripped the pretzel in half.
“You’re missing out. Pretzels are the shit,” I said, biting into a piece. “More like they are shit” she shot back, smirking at me. I glared at her playfully and tickled her sides until she hoped off of my lap.
“Beck!” she whined. I laughed a bit but slowly allowed her back into my arms. She leaned against me as I dug my toes in the sand; enjoying the warmth she was giving me.
“You know, I think you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. No lie. I mean, I had Lee, Mark, Hope, Jessie, and Melody but I still felt lonely. I don’t know how to describe it but I’m glad you decided to move to Baltimore with your dad” I said softly, leaning my chin on her head.
I didn’t have to look at her to know she was smiling. I ripped my pretzel in half again and continued to eat it as we watched the waves.
“My parents divorced because my dad was never really around. I hope that doesn’t happen with Elizabeth. I can see she loves him and Kylie loves him as well, but he needs to learn how to separate work from life.”
“My mom meet someone else, you know. After being divorced from him for almost ten years, she met another guy. His name is Pierce and he’s really sweet. She’s pregnant with a boy and she gives birth next month, that’s kind of the reason why I want to see her. I want to make sure-”
“That she’ll still love you as much as her son?” I continued. She nodded and I put down my pretzel, wrapping my arms around her. “She’s your mom, Natalie. No matter what happens, she always will be. Just like your father will always be your father. There’s no changing that. Even though she’s going to have another baby, she’s not going to love you any less” I replied, rubbing my hand up and down her stomach.
“Thank you Beck. Why are you rubbing my stomach?” she asked, putting her hands on my waist. “For some odd reason, I'm imagining you pregnant,” I replied. “Please stop,” she said, looking up at me.
I laughed and moved my hands. “Fine! Don’t have my children. I can find others who would love to!” I yelled. She gasped and quickly covered my mouth.
“Stop, you’re going to make a scene,” she scolded. I smiled under her palm as she sent me a look before pulling her hand away.
“I love you, Red,” I said, wrapping my arms around her waist. “I love you too but can we wait for this children talk?” she sighed.
I giggled softly, putting my cheek on her head. “We’ve got time Red. We’ve got all the time in the world."
Gloria stomped through the hall quickly, a stern look on her face as she shook her head. Dylan was running behind the girl, trying to calm her down and panicking a bit when Gloria growled in anger.
“Babe, stop. I know you’re pissed about this. Trust me, I am too but this is Charlie’s choice” he said, trying to reason with the angered girl.
“Fuck Charlie. We’re going to make this real simple. Alexis fucked up and ignored her for three years. Melody is in love with her!”
“She thinks she’s in love with her,” Dylan corrected.
“I don’t give a damn, Dylan! Charlie said it herself. She wants Melody” Gloria said, running up the steps with her boyfriend on her heels.
“Oh please, Gloria! If she really wanted Melody, do you think she would be where she is right now?” he shot back.
“She won’t be for long,” she sang, running towards the door. Dylan grabbed her waist, twisting her to face him.
“We can’t get involved! I like Melody. She got Charlie out of her funk and she tried to open her up. If she had a little bit longer here, then maybe she would have broken through Charlie’s icy exterior but she didn’t. Do you know why? Because no other girl can beside the one she’s with right now. Alexis was the first person that actually gave a damn about what Charlie wanted and saw who she really is and damn it, that means a lot to me! Yes, Alexis screwed her over. Yes, I wanted Charlie to go after another girl. Yes, I think Alexis will hurt Charlie again but all in all, it’s her decision."
Gloria stared hard at her boyfriend, willing him to break but his spirit wouldn't waver. She sighed and put her head on his shoulder.
“If Charlie gets hurt again, I’m slapping you” she said, angrily. Dylan laughed, gently rubbing her back.
“We can’t protect her forever, you know? At some point, she was going to make her own decisions” he said, walking her back downstairs.
“I just really wish Melody was here,” she groaned.
“Melody had her chance. She said what she needed to say and now, I think it’s only fair that Alexis be given the same right." Gloria rolled her eyes but leaned up to kiss him.
“When did you get so smart?” she asked. “When I started going out with you,” he replied, running his hands over her waist. “Mm. Your grandparents will be home soon” she sighed, enjoying the way his body felt against hers.
“All the more reason to make this quick” he said huskily, kissing around her neck. Gloria smiled before grabbing his wrist and pulling him into his bedroom.
Alexis sat on the edge of Charlie’s body as she watched her pull on a shirt, wondering when the girl got so shapely. She remembered a different version of Charlie. A small, meek girl who could barely speak for herself. A girl who would follow her around and do whatever she said.
It was only now, thinking about her past, did she remember how awful she treated her. How could she be in love with her after all the things she had done to Charlie? How could she still have feelings for her after the way she ignored her for three years?
Charlie glanced over her shoulder at a crestfallen Alexis and frowned. “What’s wrong?” she asked, crouching down in front of the girl. Alexis shook her head, trying to hold back tears.
“I was horrible to you” she replied, her voice cracking when Charlie ran her hand over her cheek. She leaned into her touch and gasped as Charlie kissed her.
“I know,” she whispered, looking up at her before pulling away again. “Then why? Why do you love me? Why did you feel the way you felt about me when we were fourteen?” she asked, not understanding what Charlie was saying to her.
“Because even though you bossed me around, assumed I would do whatever you said, and often teased me; you gave a damn about what I thought. If I was pissed, you left me alone. If I was sad, you made me laugh. When I was sick, you took care of me. When I was lonely, you would come over. It was as if you tried to act shitty to me to block the fact the you actually cared about me. You didn’t realize you liked me, you didn’t even want to like me, but you couldn’t help the fact that you did,” she said, smiling softly at her.
Alexis’s jaw dropped and she quickly looked away. “I know you felt the same. I always knew. That’s why when I kissed you, you kissed me back. You wanted me to and I could see you wanted me,” she said, sitting down on the bed next to her.
Alexis tried to turn away again but Charlie grabbed her and made her look at her. “I want to tell you the truth. I’m terrified of loving you again, honestly I never stopped. I don’t want to give you my heart for fear that you’ll break it again. I met this girl, someone who I think I could be with but I can’t until I find some way to get over you. So, I need to know this now and please don’t lie to me. Can you see us going anywhere in the future? Can you really be with me wholeheartedly?” she asked firmly, looking directly at Alexis.
They sat there for seconds but to the both of them, it felt like hours, months, and years were slipping away. Years that they could have been together. Years that wouldn’t have them separated from each other. Years that they would never get back.
Alexis bit her lower lip as Charlie practically pleaded with her eyes to make her decision and let her continue with her life.
“Please Alexis. You have to tell me now and you have to tell me honestly. It’s either you and I or nothing at all,” she asked again, hoping she would realize how important this decision would be.
Alexis wanted to tear away from her piercing stare. She wanted to run away from this beach house in Ocean City and never look back. She wanted to forget that Danielle Charles ever existed and forget everything that happened between them.
But she couldn’t.
Danielle Charles existed and what was between them existed. Alexis knew that she couldn’t run from it anymore. She knew that she couldn’t be a coward and hid behind Beck for the rest of her life, hoping that this girl, the girl with the piercing green eyes would never find her.
She had to decide. She had to make a choice. She had to give Charlie some peace of mind so that she could continue on with her life.
Alexis's cell phone rang in her pocket as Charlie mumbled profanity under her breath before letting her go. She reached into her back pocket, pulling out her phone.
“Alexis, come on. We’re outside. It’s time to go.”
“Alright, Beck, I’ll be down in a minute.”
Alexis calmly hung up her phone and put it back in her pocket, she stood up, pulling her sweater back on and grabbed her things. Charlie stared up at the ceiling, not wanting to watch Alexis disappear from her eyes again.
“Charlie, look at me.”
“No, just go. I don’t want to watch you leave.”
“I promise you won’t be disappointed. Please."
Charlie felt Alexis straddle her lap but kept her eyes shut. “Open your eyes,” she whispered in her ear.
Charlie looked at her and almost got the wind knocked out of her. Alexis was smiling, but not like she usually did. She was smiling as if she didn’t have a care in the world.
“I want you Charlie. I’ve always wanted you,” she said proudly. Charlie’s face spread into a grin as she captured the girl’s lips against hers. Maybe things between them wouldn’t work. Maybe she had made the wrong choice and maybe they would regret ever getting together at all.
But goddamn it, they were going to try their best at it, no matter what happened next.
“Can you bring me some water?”
“Are you gonna throw up again?”
“Maybe. Can you just please bring me some water?”
Lee paused the game he was playing and quickly got up from the couch he was sitting on. Jessie was lying on the bed, rubbing her stomach and looking rather pale.
“I swear, if she looks any worse, she’s going to the hospital,” Mrs. Wong said, frowning at the poor girl. Jessie chuckled softly but quickly grimaced, clutching her stomach.
“I’m fine, Mrs. Wong. Just a few pains here and there,” she said, weakly. Lee sadly looked at his girlfriend and dashed downstairs to get her some water.
Mr. Wong looked over at his son and sighed. ”Is she still sick?” he asked in Chinese.
Lee nodded and pulled a glass out of the cabinet. ”Mom says if she gets worse, she’s taking her to the hospital," he replied, filing the cup with cold water.
"The girl should see a doctor. Has she been seeing anyone?" he asked. ”Not that I know of. Jessie has been silent about the baby. Only her friends know," he replied.
Mr. Wong scoffed and put down his book. ”That’s going to change. She needs an OBGYN and a good one at that. Tomorrow, we will go to the doctor’s office to make sure her and the baby are in good health."
Lee nodded, walking back upstairs with the water in his hand. He gave it to Jessie as she whispered a, “thank you” before sipping from it. Lee walked in his bathroom and grabbed a washcloth.
He ran cool water over it before handing it to Jessie, gently placing it on her forehead. She sighed in gratitude as he smiled down at her.
“Are you better now?” he asked. She nodded her head but her hand still held her stomach.
Lee frowned at this but didn’t mention it. “Tomorrow, we're going to go see a doctor with my dad” he said. Jessie shook her head.
“There’s no need. I’m fine,” she remarked quickly. “No, Jessie. You’re not. You’re pregnant and you need to see a doctor. You shouldn’t be sick like this and I want to make sure you’re okay,” he said, putting his hand on her stomach, gently rubbing it.
“Do you think I should tell Chase that I’m going to go see a doctor?” she asked, her eyes getting low as she tried to fight sleep.
“No. He doesn’t need to know. Just try and get some sleep, okay?”
Jessie was fast asleep before he completed his sentence and Lee smiled at her. He leaned down and kissed her cheek before walking back over to his couch to continue the game.
“Is she asleep?” Mrs. Wong asked. Lee nodded before facing his mother.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Lee? This is a big responsibility, you know. The child is not yours” she added.
“I know but Jessie can’t go through this alone” he said sternly. Mrs. Wong sighed at her son and felt a tug at her pants. She looked down at the smiling face of Lance as she gently scooped him up into her arms.
“Your brother is getting so big. I hope you don’t grow up as fast as he did,” she teased, tickling his stomach. Lance laughed and moved closer towards his mother as they closed the door to Lee and Jessie’s room.