Fighting for Life | Teen Ink

Fighting for Life

October 27, 2015
By HannahLynne GOLD, Hutchinson, Kansas
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HannahLynne GOLD, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Favorite Quote:
"You can fall in love at any age, wether it's 80 or 5." -Justin Bieber

Hello. I don’t matter. I’m just another one of the world’s teenagers. A worthless one, at that. My name is Elizabeth and there’s not much about me to tell. I’m a Senior in high school. I have the ugliest green eyes and my hair is stringy and blonde. I’m short, and utterly unattractive. I only have a few pairs of clothes, so of course I don’t have any sense of style. I’m not popular at school. In fact, I don’t even have any friends. Last year I had a best friend, but I pushed her away completely when my grandmother died. I now have no friends. Sure, some people say ‘hi’ in the hallway..but they only feel pity for the short little depressed girl. But I don’t have anyone who walks with me to classes or sits by me at lunch. It’s mostly because nobody cares, but that’s not the only reason. I have issues with being able to keep my friends close. I feel like if they know too much about me they’ll use it against me..
My mother left me when I was only six months old, and nobody really knows why. I don’t have that much family, and I definitely consider myself a loner. My father is a country-wide semi-truck driver, so I tend to be by myself quite often. I grew up with my father. At least until I turned five years old, when he went back to truck driving. At that point, I had to learn to fend for myself. He would be gone for days and weeks at a time. Although he didn’t like it, my Aunt Linda tended to my needs every few days. Most of the time though, it was without my father’s knowledge. He was quite convinced I need to learn how to do things by myself at the youngest age possible.
“Just like me…” He’d add, with a gruff look.
This week, he was in Missouri. So, as usual, I was by myself. I had the music on my Ipod turned up as loud as it could go. It was plugged into my cheap speakers I’d gotten for my birthday from my father. I listened to all sorts of music. My favorite singer is Katy Perry, however. I had papers spread out all over the kitchen table, completely unorganized. It’s end of the year finals time! Yay! My enthusiasm level for school went down in middle school, sure. But high school ruined it completely.
As I was working, the home phone began ringing and the sound cut through my music. I quickly paused Katy Perry mid-verse and rushed to the ringing phone.
“Hello?” I said. We rarely ever get phone calls, so you can see where I’d be confused.
“Hey honey.. How are you?” A sweet female voice said softly.
“Good. How are you Aunt Linda?” I asked.
“Em..As good as I can be. Honey, will you do me a favor?” She whispered. She had a certain tone in her voice I’d never heard before. It started to worry me.
“Well..sure.” I said, my skin tingling.
“Go ahead and sit down. Take a deep breath. I” She said, her voice cracking on the word ‘news.’ All sorts of things were running through my mind. Good, bad, indifferent, but mostly bad. I walked over to the sofa and sat down
“O-okay..I’m sitting..” I stutter.
“It’s about your dad..” She said, suddenly unable to talk.
“Oh god. What happened?” I begged her to speak, to tell me something had happened, but he was fine. Maybe he got fired but he was on his way home.
“Oh honey. He’s gone. He was almost to Missouri, when he hit an ice patch and lost control. The semi flipped several times...they tried so hard to keep him alive. I’m so sorry..” She said.
“W-what?!” I shrieked. Tears streamed down my face as my life finally took it’s last step to crumbling into thousands of tiny, unfixable pieces.
“Baby girl. I know it’s hard. But calm down, okay? I’ll be there in about an hour.” She whispered. I could tell she was trying to hold herself together for me. It wasn’t working.. At this point, neither of us could think of anything else to say, so I just hung up.
I stroked the healing cuts on my wrists, crying and yelling inaudibly. I paced slowly around my house, contemplating my options. I brushed my fingers through my hair, gripping tightly and pulling it as I yelled. My only options were; I could continue on with this s*** hand called life I’d been dealt, or I could fold and end it all.
My stomach churns, and I run to the bathroom to vomit all it’s contents into the toilet. I turn to the sink and splash water on my face and rinse out my mouth. As I wipe my mouth on my sleeve, my reflection glares back at me. A tear streaked, ugly, puffy eyed face stares at me. Rage builds inside of me until I can no longer take it. I turn the tub on and plug the drain. I lock the bathroom door. Everything on our little bathroom shelf falls to the ground as I shove it in front of the door. I cry out as I watch and feel my fist collide with the mirror, shattering it into pieces..just like my life..
In my entire life, I’d been only diagnosed with depression and adhd. We all knew I had adhd because I could never focus on anything. So many things ran through my mind at once it was hard to catch one subject and keep focused on it. It’s as if I have tiny hands, and the words were just too big and slipped right through them. I tend to be able to hide my depression, however.. No one at my school knows anything about my depression. I’m sure many people have seen my cuts, though most of the time I wear long sleeve shirts. I don’t think you could ever imagine how many times death crosses my mind a day.. It’s impossible to count. I have never had an easy life and throughout everything I tend to sink deeper and deeper into my pit of loneliness and self pity. I throw on that fake smile and pretend like I’m fine, though inside, I’m crumbling. I cry myself to sleep at night, often after harming my skin with a razor blade.  
I pull up my sleeves and tightly grip a large, jagged piece of glass. It cuts into the palm of my hand as well as my fingers. I slide into the hot water filling the tub. Water rushes around me as tears stream down my face. The clothes on my body absorb the water and suddenly become very heavy. I trace the glass gently on my wrists before digging it in. I then attack my entire body with it. My arm, legs, stomach, and every other visible part of my body is covered with deep, dripping cuts. I cry and scream as several waves of relief and terror take turns washing through me.
I’m stupid! I have no one here for me. No one even loves me. I’m utterly useless. This is for the best. I know it is. I watch the blood drip out of my cuts. I submerge myself completely in the water, as I watch it turn a dark red. I feel light headed, as I slowly start to slip away. I quickly write, “sorry”  on the shower wall, with the last ounce of energy I have. The blood from the word falls, and it’s the last thing I see before I slip away completely. Now, it’s just darkness.

“...Beth! Elizabeth! Lizzy!!” I hear. It’s distant, and muffled, so I can barely make it out.
“Lizzy please! Wake up! I’m begging you!” I think it’s Aunt Linda, but I’m not 100% sure. I’m stiff and nauseous. I realize I am laying flat on something rolling. Though I can’t open my eyes, I see lights moving past them. I hear people yelling wildly around me. My limbs feel as heavy as rocks, and moving certainly isn’t even an option. I feel the sticky, warm, substance on some sort of cloth that was wrapped around my limbs. I’m guessing the sticky stuff was blood..
I begin getting light headed again, and soon, darkness fills my mind.
Short scenarios and images are flashing by my eyes.
First, my father is in a sunny field of wheat, spinning a little girl in a pink dress around in circles. She’s smiling so big. Wait..that’s me. Suddenly the image vanishes.
Another appears: I’m being shoved against a blue locker in an empty hallway. Two girls stand beside my attacker. The blonde haired girl holding me against the locker spits cruel words in my face. That one disappears..
It’s a dull birthday party, with a homemade cake with fifth candles on it. The little girl has a sad look on her face. It’s my fifth birthday party. I have a pink birthday hat on.  The only people there is Aunt Linda and her three sons..I look so alone.
Another patch of darkness floods my mind. Until a view of my father laying in a bed crying, appears. He’s clutching a picture of a young woman in his arms. She looks happy..he does not..
Now there’s a knock on the door. I open it. It’s my father. He’s holding a black and white puppy. He sets her down and in she scampers to me. I loved her so much. I’d named her Penny.
Then finally, everything’s gone again..
My eyes flutter open. The only thing I see is light, and it’s bright. For a moment, I believe I’m dead..
“She’s awake!” I hear from one side. My hopes of being dead are crushed. I’m in a hospital bed, confused and disoriented. There are nurses everywhere. Most of the cuts on my body are still bleeding and doctors are trying their hardest to stop the bleeding.
“No..” I whisper, groggily. Adrenaline rushes through my body, allowing my stiff limbs to move with force. I begin to kick and thrash as best as I could. Back and forth my body goes, ripping the IV out of my hand. I swing and kick my limbs, pushing, hitting, and kicking people away from me. They grab my arms and legs, pinning me down. I bite and scratch, still trying to move.
“No! I just want to die!! Let me die!!” I shout, tears streaming down my face. I then become aware of a nurse who has acquired a needle with a thick, clear fluid in it. She slowly moves closer. I’m screaming, crying, and thrashing with more force than before. She calls for more people, and the extra help pins me down completely. Defeated, I surrender, holding still. I curse and spit at the terrified young nurse. She sticks me with the needle and injected the liquid into my upper arm. It burns in my veins, and suddenly makes me so tired. My eyes get heavy, and no longer can I hold them open.

The sun shining warmly on my face causes me to awaken. I look around groggily, trying to figure out where I am. As I look at my arms, reality sets in and it hits me like a sledgehammer. The events of the past day come flooding back. I have bandages everywhere. I look around at the dull hospital walls. The pain hits me. It seems as though it may be too much for anyone else. But for whatever reason, it doesn’t even bother me and I am able to push it to the back of my mind, causing it to become the least of my worries.
I’m all alone, and the only thing I hear is a machine beeping as to let the nurses know I’ve been stirring. I reach up to push the power button, but realize I can’t. When I look down at my wrists, I realize they’ve been restrained, but one of them is loose. I fumble until the loose one comes off, and then take the other wrist off as well as my feet. I pull out my IV, wincing, and press the red button on the machine. (Red normally means stop, right?) When I look at the machine, it says it is Thursday. But how is that even possible? It was just Monday..had I really slept that long?
I then run into the small bathroom, locking the door behind me. I pull off every single bandage, and stare at my open red wounds. They don’t look as bad as I thought they would. Maybe because it was Thursday, three days since I’d tried so hard to end my life. Tears begin to stream once again. I suddenly realize how weak I feel. Most of the cuts have stitches, but some of them aren’t as deep or severe. I cry out and sink to the floor, giving up once again. I’m laying in a useless heap in the middle of the bathroom when unlocks the door and lets themselves in.
It’s a woman. Not a doctor, not a nurse. Just..a woman?
She’s wearing light blue jeans with a hole in one knee, and a green long sleeve striped shirt with holes hooked around her thumbs. Her hair is black with a touch of grey at the roots. Her eyes are a deep, meaningful green and she only looks to be in her 30’s. She’s utterly gorgeous with a few freckles on each cheek. The lips set perfectly on her face are a light pink and she is very pale and skinny.
“Hi..” She says, not so much as flinching at any of my cuts. She sits criss-crossed right next to me. I make a ridiculous sound trying to say hi back, as that is all I can do through the tears and pain.
         "I've been looking for you, you know;" she says, ignoring my sound; "I even went to your house before your uncle told me you were here."
        "Why?" is all I can manage to say.
        "Your father told me you were struggling with cutting and thought that maybe if I talked to you things would get better."
        "Who are you?" I whisper quietly.
        "I..I'm y-" she's cut off by two men walking in. One is a bigger man, six foot four probably, and the other is short and scrawny.
        "Hi Libby. We're here to take you to a place where you'll get all better. Now, we can do this the easy way or the hard way." the tall man says.
        "It's Lizzy. My name is Lizzy." I say, extremely pissed off.
        "Whatever." He says, obviously annoyed and not caring. "Let's go."
        He reaches for my arm, but I pull away and crawl into the corner. The strange woman is ushered out by a terrified looking nurse.
        "The hard way it is." He grunts, walking swiftly towards me. I cringe into the corner, just wishing I could disappear.
        "Joe, stop. That's enough." The scrawny man says, stepping in front of him. He walks to me and holds out his hand. He looks at me with kind eyes. I hesitantly take his hand, knowing I have no choice. He helps me stand up and walks me out of the room. When I look behind me, down the hallway, I see my aunt holding my uncle's hand with tears in her eyes.
        "Quit your damn crying!" I yell, "You're the one sending me away! How dare you!?"
        I was then out the door before I could say anything else. I had no idea where I was going. Prison? Because I assaulted doctors and nurses? A mental institute? Because I tried to kill myself?
        "Mental health facility.." the scrawny man whispers, either reading my mind or seeing the confused look on my face.
        "Oh..." I mutter quietly as we drive away from what's left of my family, my town, and everything I've ever known

The entire trip, I drift between wakefulness and a light sleep. Every so often I'd look out the window. We'd had to have been in that car for a good two hours. I just laid with my cheek on the cool gray leather seat, tears falling every time I woke up. I tried so hard to remain awake, though the pain pills I’d been given forcefully made me fall asleep repeatedly. I always saw images of my father crashing, flipping his semi and screaming. I saw the terrified look on his face.. It seemed as though I’d never be able to sleep again..
        A while later, they led me into an extremely tall building. The scrawny man had gently woke me up, and handcuffed and shackled me. I told him it was extremely painful because of the cuts.
        "That's your fault.." was the tall man's response. I ignored his asshole like response.
        "I know, honey. It's only for a few minutes." The scrawny man reassured me.
        They led me into the elevator and up to the thirteenth floor. I let out a small cry, not sure where I was or what lie ahead. When we walk out, they lead me down a long hallway, with a small office at the end.
        "Elizabeth Grinning." The tall man says to the woman at the desk.
        "Oh, Joe. Another one?" She says with a flirty giggle. Ew. She thinks he's cute? Wow..some people. Joe laughed and looked at me.
        "Yep. And a feisty one at that." he said. That just plain pissed me off. So, being the little 17 year old b**** I am, I spit in his face. I watched the anger flash on his face. I was almost positive he was going to crush me. The small man yet again came to my rescue, walking in front, and putting a firm hand on Joe's chest. and saying, "Yeah, you go ahead and go to your office. I got this."
        "Whatever dude.." He mumbled, then stalked off. The other guy, my "hero," led me to a room with a doctor's table and a spinny chair, as well as locked cabinets and a counter. He handed me a gown, and undid my handcuffs and shackles. Then he brushed a piece of hair behind my ear and whispered a sincere good luck, before walking out the door.
        I sighed grimly at the thought of having to stay here. Before we had left, they had stopped by my house and let me grab clothes and blankets. Little did they know, when the turned around so I could get changed, I'd slipped a razor blade into my bra. I then shrugged my clothes off, and slipped the razor into a slit under the paper on the doctor's bed. I slipped on the gown and sat on the table to wait.
        Five or six minutes later, a doctor walked in. She looks at all my cuts and bandages them. They never even notice the razor blade. They then give me a new outfit and I put the blade in my sports bra. A kind worker showed me to my room. It was dull, just like everything else I'd seen that day had been. There were two beds, one on either side of the room. There were two shelves, beside each other on the back wall of the room. My stuff had been set on my bed that had been made with my sheets and blankets. I sat on my bed. Across the room sat a little girl, who looked to be eight or nine.
        "Hey, sweety," I say, "What's your name?"
        "My name's Emma. I'm 10" She said with great enthusiasm. She is so cute! Why is she here? She must have seen my cuts or something because she gets this weird look on her face. She pulls up her sleeve, revealing cuts of her own. But she's so young! What has this world come to?
        The blonde haired girl rolls down her sleeve and looks at me curiously with her bright blue eyes.
        "How long have you been here?" I ask, setting my stuff off to the side.
“Almost three weeks." She says to me, hugging her pink teddy bear close to her. She seems so smart. I'm about to ask her why she's done all this, when she whispers "My mommy died and my daddy went to jail for doing bad things to her.."
Well then.
        "My mom..left..or died..something like that. And my dad just died a few days ago." I say, tears threatening my eyes. She looks at me with sad eyes of her own. I can't hold it in anymore. I start crying and bury my face in my pillow. The little girl comes to sit by me. She says nothing, and neither do I. We just sit in silence for a while.

"Dinner time." Says a man who's just walked in.
        "I'm not hungry.." I mutter into my tear-soaked pillow.
        "I'm're kind of required to eat, hun." He says, walking a little closer.
        "I'M NOT EATING!" I shout, only trying to get my point across. He backs away slowly.
        "Okay, alright. I get it. The therapist will be in here in just one moment." He says to me. He looks at Emma.      
        "Come on! You know the rules!" He says cheerfully. She runs to his side and grabs his hand. I somewhat wish I would have gone. He seemed sweet. They start walking to dinner.
        I remembered my razor blade is in my bra because it had lightly poked me. I'm in too much pain to try again, so I can wait. I flip over my mattress, trying to hurry. I cut a slit in it and my heart races as I put the blade in the hole. I flip the mattress back over just moments before a tall, professional looking woman walks in.
      She walks right up to me, glances at her clipboard, and says "Stephanie Marcella, your therapist. Elizabeth, right?"
        She holds out her hand and I slap it away. I don't like this lady. She's too straight forward. I stand up and run out of the open door. There is a long stretch of hallway on either side of me. Though I run right because it is shorter.
        "S***!" I shout as I run through  a set of double doors. I had triggered some sort of alarm. I looked behind me and see a small group of employees rushing after me. The man who'd told me about dinner was within the group. I panicked as my brown hair flowed behind me, my speed never decreased. When I glance in front of me again, another group of employees is running straight for me. I dart into the closest office. It has a lock on the door. Thank God. I successfully locked it and ran to the desk. I look around. No windows.
        "Smart choice, Elizabeth." My conscious tells me. I ignore it. I dig through drawers trying to find something I can use as a weapon. I finally find a pair of scissors to arm myself with. I hold the scissors out in front of me as the door knob clicks and someone walks in.
        "D-don't come n-near me!" I stutter, pointing the scissors at the handsome man standing before me. Great, the guy I'd yelled at not too long ago was standing right in front of me.
        "Honey. Put the scissors down and we can talk this whole thing out." He says, sincerely. The girl beside him offers him a taser, and I screech holding my ground.
        "No," He tells her sternly, "I've got this." I'm crying now, showing my weakness. I angrily wipe away my tears, as if punishing them. I gain my composure and watch the man usher the others away, and shut the door behind them.
        "It's okay to cry, you know..." he whispers, "It's your heart's emergency drain when your faucet's broken." He keeps his distance, but slowly slides down the wall a few feet away. I surrender and sit as well, but the scissors remain loosely in my hand.
        "I'm Xander." He says, looking at me closely.
        "Elizabeth.." I say, "But you can call me Lizzy..or Beth..I really don't mind.." I stopped quickly, realizing that I had been embarrassingly rambling.
        "Can I call you...Zabe?" He asks, c***ing his head slightly. My face turns fifty shades of red and pink, I'm sure. I nod, trying to hide my smiling face in my hair.
        I sigh and put the scissors aside, finally having given up. A few minutes later, he slowly rises to his feet, and I reach for the scissors as panic shoots through me. He loudly clears his throat and I draw my hand back to me. He walks to me and kicks the scissors out of my reach. He sits next to me, and I just lose control. Tears overflow and fall down my face like a dam when the water becomes too much.
        He pulls me gently to him. He smells like Axe. It reminds me of the jacket my father had given me. I'd constantly sprayed it with his favorite scent of Axe. It comforted me and I always slept with it. Xander was wearing a different scent, but it was definitely Axe. I knew that for sure.
        He holds me gently with one hand and runs his fingers through my long hair with his other. He puts his lips on the top of my head..Does he like me? I immediately shake the thought.
He's just doing his job..
        I tell him little things about my life. He listens intently, leaving little comments every so often. As I continue talking, I suddenly drop the walls I'd built around my heart. I just spilled it all. My entire story poured out like a waterfall. I'd never been this open with anyone and it almost scared me.
        I probably looked like hell.. My face all red, tears streaming down my cheeks. My hair was ratty, though Xander's fingers had combed it out a bit. Oh yeah, and I could feel my eyes getting puffy.
        When I get to the part about my father, my throat closes up and I can no longer speak. I just hiccup and cry, making awkward sobbing noises into the supportive man's chest.
        "Shh. Hey. That's enough for now, okay? I think there may be some food left down in the kitchen. Would you like to come with me to check?" He asks. I nod into his chest, trying to calm down and put myself back together. We sit for a few more minutes before he gently moves his arm, releasing me, and stands up. The tears had finally stopped by the time he reached his hand out to help me up.
        When I stood, I looked into Xander's eyes and got lost. His blue eyes were as deep as the ocean. The look in his eyes was meaningful and my heart fluttered. He moved his blonde hair out of his eye and looked at me oddly.
        " ready?" He asks, realizing he's still holding my hand, and letting it go. I see his cheeks turn a light pink before he bites his lip and quickly turns around.
        We went down into the cafeteria and he brought me some food. I told him why I'd ran and that I didn't like that lady. He then promised me to try his hardest to get me a different therapist. He then walks me back into my room, shuts off the light, and walks out. I sit on the edge of my bed for a while, thinking over all the events of the past few hours. I lay down, and as soon as my head hits the pillow, I'm out.

Two Weeks Later
        I open my eyes as I feel someone shaking me.
        "Good Morning, beautiful." Xander says.
        "It's too early." I say, and roll over.
        "It's breakfast time. Please eat?" He begs. I groan and sit up. He smiles at me and pats my bed.
        "Don't forget to make this" He says, winks, and leaves. I blush and make my bed. I walk out of my room and follow the signs to the cafeteria. Xander had saved me a spot. I go through the line and get breakfast.
        "Hey." He says as I sit down. I smile at him and we eat. A few minutes later, I'm taken by surprise. Xander reaches under the table and takes my hand. My stomach flips, my heart flutters, and I'm sure I'm as red as a firetruck. We intertwine fingers and I'm so shocked, I forget to breath. Next thing I know, I'm gasping for air and Xander's laughing at me.
        "Lizzy, you have a visitor." some lady in white says. Xander let's go of my hand.
        "Have a good time." He says.
        "No.. Please come with me?" I whisper. He nods, standing up and walking with me to the visitors room. Who would visit me here? When we walk in, I realize it's the woman from the hospital. She's wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans again.
        "Hi." She says with tears in her eyes. Why is she crying?
        "Uhm..Hi." I say, confused.
        "How are you, sweety?" she asks.
        Terrible. I'm cut up, not dead, and threatened someone with scissors.
        "Wonderful. Made a new friend. Uhm..this is Xander. I'm sorry..I didn't get your name." I say, embarrassed.
        "Stacy. Nice to meet you, Xander. Do you work here?" She questions.
        "Yes ma'am. I've been working here for two and a half years." He tells her respectfully.
        We sit and the woman starts balling. I hug her, and suddenly start crying myself. Xander holds out his arms and then pulls me close. He lifts up my chin, and wipes away my tears.
"Don't cry. I want you to know something.." He tells me, "When I first laid eyes on you, something clicked. It's been two weeks and I feel like we belong together. It feels like it's been two years."
        Before I know it, his lips are on mine. It's a deep kiss. My eyes widen in shock at first, but I soon melt into the amazing man. Stacy gasps, but ignores us for a minute. When I pull back, we are both gasping for air. After a few seconds, she whispers "I love you so much Elly."
        "What?" I ask the woman, confused.
        "Oh nothing." She says, getting up and running out. I'm so confused. I kiss Xander again, and this time, we are making out. His hands trace my spine and I shiver. There's a knock at the door.
        "Lizzy?" a voice says.
         "I'll be out in a few minutes." I say. I'll tell him we were talking about my feelings or some s***.
        "Okay." The voice says, and I hear him retreat. I'm still looking at the door a few seconds later when Xander turns my head towards him, and once again, we are kissing. He pulls me onto his lap. I'm straddling as he kisses me deeply.  He's such a good kisser. I realize at this moment how much I want this man. He traces his kisses down my jawline and to my neck. I melt into the young man, running my hands through his blonde hair. I'm moaning quietly as he pecks kisses down to my collarbone and back up. When he pulls back, I giggle and look into his bright blue eyes. He turns red and I bury my face in his chest.
        "We should go.." He says, still bright red.
        "Nooooo..." I say, hesitantly. Xander looks at me sternly.
        "Okay fine.." I say. He kisses my forehead and I get up. We walk out and Xander awkwardly walks to the bathroom. I watch him walk the entire way, sighing after he's out of sight.
        "Hey." Says a woman. I screech, looking behind me to see Lauren. "You scared me!" I whisper, making sure no one heard me.
                "Oopsies. Sorry! What were you doing with Xander!?" She asks.
        "Nothing, Lauren. Just talking. Some lady came to see me." I said, blushing. Through the last few days, Lauren and I had become best friends and I requested a room with her.  Lauren and I stand in the hallway and chat for a few minutes until Xander runs up to me. He pulls me into a room and kisses me passionately. I don't think I'll ever get enough of those kisses.
        "Don't hurt yourself, anymore. Okay?" He whispers. I nod, and he does the sweetest thing ever, causing me to tear up. He slowly kissed each cut on my arms.
Do I finally have something to live for?

Two Nights Later:
        It's really late and I hear screaming in the hallway. Xander is the only one working tonight because the second worker called in sick and they couldn't find a replacement. I hear his deep voice yelling at someone, and a girl yelling back. I peek out the door. Some girl is attacking him. He can't pin her by himself, so I run up to him.
        "I'll help!" I say. Throughout my time here, I'd seen plenty restraints.
        "You can't." He says, referring to the rules. He has his arm out as the girl is trying to get at his face.
        "It's either us or me." I say. He manages to push her off of him. Once he stands up she attempts to lunge at him, and he picks her up and gently sets her in the seclusion room, shutting it and walking to me.
        "C'mon you need to get some sleep." He whispers, grabbing my hand and walking me to my room. Right now, I don't have a roommate, because Emma was successfully discharged. I lay on my bed, tears in my eyes. He had angry. I hate seeing him like that.
        He climbs on my bed. He swings his leg over me and kisses me. As I melt into him, things begin to get heated. The night got interesting, and let's just say it wore me out.
        In the morning, he's no longer asleep next to me. I roll over, finally having the entire bed to myself.
        Xander walks in with tears in his eyes.
        "Xander..what?" I ask, "What's wrong?"
        "It broke." He says, with a blank look on his face.
        "What?" I'm not really sure what he means.
        " broke. The condom.." he says, sitting on the edge of my bed. I punch him in the shoulder.
        "Quit f***ing with me." I say. Ugh. Xander and his jokes.
        "I..I'm not. I'm serious.." He says. I cover my mouth with my hand and let out a cry. Is this real? He grabs me swiftly and pulls me to him.
        "I'm so sorry.." He whispers, crying. "I'm so so sorry. This is all my fault...I shouldn't have..really I-I.."
        "No. Stop. It's not your fault. I wanted to." I say. He kisses me and walks out. I watch him tell his boss he's sick. He comes back up to me. "I love you. I'll see you tomorrow." He says quietly. He hugs me, gets his jacket, and leaves.
        I'm alone. I fall to the ground and cry. How could he leave me like that? When I need him most? Did he just break up with me? No wait..he said 'See you tomorrow.' He just needed a break.  I'm a mess. I'm in the hallway crying on the ground. There are three workers around me, a nurse, and Lauren. They take me to the therapist.
        As I lay on her couch and cry, I refuse to talk. This is my fifteenth session, I have her almost every day, and I'm starting to run out of things to count. I've counted red things, blue things, round things, and ceiling tiles.  You name it, I've probably counted. I do have a different therapist since I never liked Stephanie. Good thing I never had to do sessions with her.
        My new therapist is cool. She has thousands of little tiles on the floor and walls and we put a sticky note on which ever I leave off on and it even says the number. The sad thing is, Xander's not there to hold me when I cry, and I still refuse to talk. I just lay there pathetically.
         I don't even know what to do. I love Xander. But I could never take care of a child in here, and I don't even have a house or know where I'm going once I get out of here. I'm so lost..I'm only seventeen. Sure, I'm turning 18 soon, but I never thought I'd be this irresponsible..Ugh..

4 weeks later
I'm in the bathroom throwing up. It's seven AM and I still have two hours to sleep. Xander is holding my hair, and rubbing my back. He is so sweet. I've been puking randomly for the last few days.
He helps me back to bed and I fall asleep.
When I wake up, I still feel nauseous, but Xander wants to take me out for my third and final outing. Xander and I are in the car, and I know we aren't going to Sonic.
"Tomorrow's your 18th birthday." He says, not looking away from the road "You are getting out of here within the week. We have to get a pregnancy test."
We pull into the Wal-Mart parking lot and rush in. He gets me a pack of three pregnancy tests. I go into the women's bathroom and pee on the test. What I find, is scary. I put the test in it's tube and slowly walk out.
"So?" Xander asks. He already knows the answer.
With mixed-emotion tears running down my face, I nod. He pulls me to him and hugs me tight. He squats and puts his hands on my stomach.
"I love you so much little baby. I love your mommy too." He stands and kisses me "And we'll be together forever." He finishes.
We leave, and end up going to Sonic anyways. Not much is said in the car, and I'm fine with that. I think over all of what could happen soon..
When we get back, it's about two twenty. My therapy is at 2:30 and Xander's going with me. I cry as he walks me slowly to the therapy office and we sit down on the couch.
"Well Hello Elizabeth." She says.
"Hi." I say, feeling small.
"Xander." She says, acknowledging him.  He nods at her.
"We have something to tell you." He says.
"We? What's going on?" She asks with a worried look on her face.
"I..I'm pregnant." I say.
"How do you know?" She asks, surprised. I explain the trip to Walmart and then Sonic.
"Who's the dad?" Margaret asks. Will she ever stop with the damn questions?
"Me.." Xander says, grabbing my hand.
"I..Xander, you know you'll be fired, right?" She says, shocked.
"Yes Ma'am..I understand." He says, hanging his head a little.
"I'll get your discharge form filled out, Liz. You too Xander. Liz, pack your stuff." She says, sadly.
"Ok..okay."  I say. We leave and Xander helps me pack my stuff. Lauren walks in.
"Discharge? Already!?" She exclaims.
"I'm..pregnant, Lauren." I say. Her head whips around to Xander.
"XANDER!?" She says, walking towards him swiftly. She pushes him, screaming in his face.
"Lauren. Lauren!! Stop!!" I scream. In comes Cindy and Aislynn pinning Lauren to the ground.
"Elizabeth!! How could you!? Xander! I HATE YOU! I HOPE YOU GET FIRED YOU DUMB F***!" She rambles. I see tears streaming down her face, and my own fall down mine. We are ushered out with all my stuff. Xander's boss walks up to him.
"Fired. Immediately. I need your name tag and taser." his boss says.
"Yes, sir." Xander says, handing him his stuff.
"I want you out of my building as SOON as Elizabeth is discharged. Don't you dare EVER come back here." His boss seethes. Xander nods. Suddenly, Stacy bursts through the door.
"Where's my baby?" She asks, her head swiveling around until she finally sees me. "You're pregnant?" She screeches.
Something clicks...
"M..Mom?!" I stutter..

"Yes! Yes! Stacy Grinning, That's me. I live here, in Seattle." She says. I'm shocked. Why didn't I realize? I even knew my mothers name was Stacy. I guess I had been so caught up in myself I hadn't realized. Tears spill out of my eyes as my mother comes over and embraces me. When she stops, I realize Xander is over by the counter filling out paperwork. My discharge papers, I'm guessing. Xander carries my stuff to my mom's car and gets her address and phone number. He kisses my forehead and tells me he'll be over for dinner.
On the way to house, she rambles on about her life for the last eighteen years. She was locked up, then rehab, her road to recovering. All because of abuse she started cutting. It all made sense in my slow mind.  Twenty minutes later we arrive at her house. It's HUGE!
"How did you get such a big house?" I ask.
"Your dad and I's parents helped us pay for it. Your dad let me have it." She kisses me on the forehead "I'm so glad I've got you back."
"It all makes sense.." I whisper, finally connecting all the missing pieces in my head that had been haunting me for years.
"Let me show you your room." She says. It's purple. The walls, the ceilings, everything. There is a bed, a dresser, and a desk. On the desk is a Macbook and an Iphone.
"Dang mom. Is this all for me?" I ask. I look around and try to imagine me as a little kid, running around, growing up here. But I can't, because those memories never existed.
"Yes. Your grandmother bought it for you." She says.
"Wow. Thank you." I say, hugging her tightly. At 5:30 the doorbell rings. I rush to it and Xander pulls me to him, kissing me passionately. He hands me a dozen roses and I blush.
"Come in." I say, letting him in.
"Dinner's just now ready!" Mom says drying her hands on a cute, pink, towel. We sit at the table where there are three steaming bowls of chili. "Let's eat." She says. While we eat, Xander asks my mom if he can move in.
"Not for long, just until I get another job.." He says, hanging his head. I put my hand on his.
"Yes! Of course! You and Lizzy can move to my room. It's the biggest." She says. She actually seems excited. Xander takes me to his house and asks me to help him pack. It doesn't take long considering he doesn't own much. I start to take a box out to his truck, and he rushes to me and takes it.
"You're pregnant. You can't carry anything." He says. I groan, and sit on his couch. Once we..I mean..he gets everything loaded into his pickup, we head to mom's and she's already switched rooms. We get set up and it's 10:00. This will be the first time we simply just sleep together. Xander lays down, and I kiss my mom goodnight before lying down with him. He pulls me to him and kisses my neck gently. Soon, we fall asleep
        Wow. So many things have happened today. Not only have I found out I'm pregnant, but also I have found my mother who I haven't seen nor do I remember. I was also released from a hospital, my boyfriend fired from his job, and I've moved in with my mother. It's such a long and stressful's all just so confusing. I don't really know how to feel at this point. But, I guess I'll just have to roll with the punches, won't I?

I awake to the sizzling of bacon and roll over gently, trying to put my arm around Xander. He wasn't there, but in his place was a tiny little box. I smile, opening it. There's nothing inside but a note.
"You'll have to find it." It reads
I follow a trail of rose petals and Hershey Kisses into the kitchen.
"Good morning, beautiful. Did you sleep well?" He asks. I yawn, stretch, and nod my head yes. He hugs me and we kiss deeply.
"Breakfast is in the dining room." He tells me, tiredly. We walk into the dining room hand in hand and I realize I'm thirsty as hell. Xander pulls out my chair and lets me sit before sitting himself. Mom is already sitting at the table eating her pancakes. I sit and drink my entire glass of orange juice until something solid hits my teeth. I pull it out of my mouth and see it's the most beautiful ring I've ever seen in my life.
Xander takes the ring from me, wipes it off, and gets down on one knee.
IS HE....
"Elizabeth RyeAnne Grinning, will you be my forever? Be my world? You are my life, the air I breath, the most important thing I have. Can we have this forever? I need you in my life. Ever since I laid eyes on you I knew I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life. I never thought I'd be able to be with you, however look where I am now. I want to be by your side every morning and every night. I want to be there for you and our little baby. You are beautiful, kind, amazing, funny, and I don't know where I'd be without you. Zabe, will you.." He pauses.. "Marry me?"
I look at my mom through tears and realize she's crying too.. I smile and she nods.
"Yes!" I screech, excitedly. He slips the ring on my finger. I jump up and hug him and kiss him. We are still kissing when mom says "Alright children, I've got to go to work. I'll be back at around six! Have fun!!"
We keep kissing as we make it into the bedroom, dropping our robes. We don't bother using a condom because,'s pointless now. But when we are done, we sleep for the rest of the day. Yeah, it was that intense.
When I wake up, it's midnight. Xander is lying next to me. I shake him and ask if he's hungry.
"Sure" He says, groggily. Damn I love that groggy's so f***ing sexy. We drag ourselves to the kitchen and make hot pockets. When we lay back down, I feel nauseous. I run into the bathroom. Xander stands at the doorway until he hears me, and he rushes in, holding my hair (AGAIN) as I throw up. UGH. This pregnancy thing is gonna kill me. Once I'm done, I'm hungry again, but I don't want to eat. So, instead, I sit on the bed in tears.
"Hey little girl." Xander says to my stomach "I love you. How are y-"
"Why is it a little girl?" I interrupt, smiling.
"I don't know. I just feel it." He says. I laugh at him
"I do! I feel like she is a girl. She'll be the most beautiful daddy's girl EVER." He whispers.
"Okay. Whatever." I tease, crawling back up into bed. We cuddle and fall back asleep. I'm not sure how long we slept after that..but I know it was a while.

14 weeks along
"C'mon Zabe! It's one! We have the appointment at two!" Xander yells. I smile into my blankets, groggily standing up. I get dressed and we head to the doctor. When we get there, Xander checks us in and we sit and wait.
"Elizabeth Grinning?" a kind-eyed nurse says. I stand up and we walk back. She has me but on a gown, and starts typing words into a machine. She squirts a cool gel onto my stomach, and giggles when I gasp. She starts to rub the little doohickey around on my stomach. After a few minutes, she starts to speak.
"Yep. It's a happy healthy baby!" The doctor says. She takes pictures and stats.
"Oh my.." She says a minute later. Her face lights up. "Are you guys ready for some big news?" she asks.
"N-No." Xander stutters.
"You guys are having TWINS!!!" She says. Xander looks at me. His face first shows shock and then pure glee. We hug each other and kiss. We are having twins!! NOT ONE BABY! BUT TWO!!
"Oooh we have to pick out names!!" He cheeses.
Xander is probably one of the most handsome men I've ever met. He is 6'2'' with brown hair and blue eyes. He is the cutest, young man I've ever met. He's got the most gorgeous body I've ever seen..He's so skinny!! Yet his muscles pop and he's pretty dang fit. His voice is deep and adorable as f***. He's 19 and is such a supportive man. I never expected to have a guy like this, let alone live past 18.
Me however, I'm 5'2'' with blonde hair and green eyes. I'm not much, but I'm skinny and Xander has made me realize I'm not that bad looking. I have a thin face, and I have a small but decent sized chest. I'm not fat, but I don't think I'm too skinny either..
Later on, after we go home, we have mom sitting at the kitchen table. The grin on her face is huge, and I first hand her the pictures. I guess she doesn't even see both of them, though I know she's going to be excited.
"Mrs. Grinning, you kn-" Xander is cut off.
"Call me mom!!" Stacy says, obviously nervous about this news.
"Erm..okay..Mom.. You know Zabe is pregnant, and boy do we have news." Xander starts off for me, just like we planned. Good. Let's get this over with.
"We're having twins!" I screech, not able to wait any longer. She jumps up and hugs me. We sit and talk about names for hours.
Well, here goes. My life has taken an incredible turn. Not sure how I feel about it. My life has been uplifted and I thank God everyday for it. I'm so glad I didn't succeed with the suicide, or else I'd never have met Xander. And boy was he worth it. Everything about him was perfect.
        He knew how to make me laugh in my darkest times. He was the sweetest thing I'd ever encountered. I really loved him. I'd never had a boyfriend before, so I hadn't much experience, but I'm pretty sure I knew what love was when it came to him. He is not only gorgeous, but makes me feel like I am as well. He never brings me down, and I don't think we've ever gotten in a huge fight. I feel like I can go to him with anything, good or bad. Anytime anything is wrong, he knows. He simply just knows. We always solve things, and he's always there for me. Him and my mom get along great, which is also an added plus. Sure, he doesn't have a job right now (thanks to little old me,) but he's trying so hard to get a job. I've even told him that there's no need for that. Right now we are financially okay, with the money my mother and I had inherited from my grandfather. But he's convinced that he needs a job in order to support the babies and I.
        My mother is different. She holds herself high, yet sometimes you can see the sorrow in her face. It's easy to read her. She likes to make jokes and she definitely loves to cook. Not only that but she's great at it. She always wears long sleeves, and I've been trying to get her to wear short sleeves. In fact, the other day she wore a short sleeve shirt and I cried I was so happy. She was happy to, but she kept holding her arms close to her sides or crossing her arms against her chest. Also, she wouldn't go out anywhere, so I literally had to drag her to the car. After a while, she got used to it, and completely forgot that any of her scars were showing.
        All in all, my life seems to be looking okay..

One month later

Before I got pregnant I weighed 123 pounds and now I weigh 150! Holy crap I look so big!! Right now we are at the doctor again. I'm so excited because today, we find out genders!! AHHH!! I am currently 24 weeks pregnant, and we had just not had a chance to get in for another appointment.
In the waiting room we have come up with four baby names. It's written on a sticky note.
Xander Lee & Elizabeth RyeAnne
Lizzy Raine
Avalanna Xay (Zay)
Jacob Lee
Xane (Zayne) Riley
"Elizabeth Grinning?" A woman in white asks.
"Yes!!" I say, a little too loud. I grab Xanders hand and waddle to the office room
25 minutes later
"Alright..let's see what we have here..It looks like we have a boy...and.." She pauses. Xander squeezes my hand, tears in his eyes.
"A girl!! Congratulations guys!!" She says. I can't believe it! I'm so excited! I look at Xander.
"I told you so! I knew she was in there! She's going to be the perfect daddy's girl!" He shouts, barely able to contain himself.
The drive home was insane. As I sat in the passenger seat, Xander rambled on about certain things for the babies’ rooms. There was laughing and crying, screeching and giggling. THe entire car was filled with excitement.
"Okay, Mom. What genders do you want?" I say, sitting on the couch next to her.
"I want two boys. Or two girls. Or a boy and a girl. I don't know honey! I'll love them no matter what, I promise!" She says, extremely excited."Alright guys, this song goes out to the Bride and her father for their first dance!" The Dj says

Xander's father walks over and takes my hand, putting one arm around my waist and the other in my hand.
"So you love my son, huh?" Troy asks. I nod, blushing at the thought of the man I truly love.
"And you're sure he's the one?" He whispers. He raises one eyebrow, causing me to giggle.
"Well, when he saved my life, and got me out of that prison..Yes." I say. He smiles.
"Oh, and I’m carrying his babies, so definitely." I cheese.
He laughs a deep throaty laugh as we continue dancing. I try to remember how my dad had taught me to slow dance when I was young. Xander's father twirls me and kisses me on the cheek while the song slowly comes to an end.
"Alrighty can we get a round of applause for these two?" The Dj shouts. The crowd erupts as the Dj begins to speak again.
"We have one more song for the bride and groom's first dance!!"
"Be alright" By Justin Bieber comes on and I gasp. I waddle-run to Xander as he smiles.
"This" I shriek. "I'd never told you this was my favorite song!!"
"The day we went on our first outing, this song played, and you told me you loved it. You cranked it and I watched you turn from a sad girl to a completely different girl. I watched your eyes light up and you smiled and danced. I hadn't ever seen you smile like that before. It was the moment I knew I was truly and deeply in love with you." He says, dancing slowly with you.
I cant help but bury my face in his neck. He holds me close, ignoring the yelling and clapping from various relatives off to the side of the dance floor. He's smiling when I pull back. I kiss him and he laughs against my lips.
The crowd erupts even louder than before. I Feel famous. I look out at the dozens of relatives.
"I love you." Xander whispers, kissing me again as the music stops. People clap as Xander runs over to his groomsmen, patting them on the back. He looked like a teenager when he was around his friends...and I think I like it.

6 months pregnant:
"It's BEAUTIFUL!" Mom shrieks, tears in her eyes. I look down at the dress. I've tears in my eyes too. The dress is beautiful. It's tight on my swollen pregnant belly. But it's traditional..mostly.  It's a white dress with a train that trails many feet behind me. It has a red sash that trails all the way down my back and down the train. It has thin straps and has a rose on one shoulder. It is the most beautiful dress I've ever seen.
Xander walks in and mother rushes over and covers his eyes with her hand.
"What on Earth!?" He screeches with a smile on his face.
"Now Xander. You know it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding! Especially on your wedding day!" She says smiling a toothy smile at me.
"Ugh, okay. How is she?" He says, eyes still covered.
"I'm fine!" I shout from the other side of the room.
"Did you see her?" Mother questions, still focused on one thing
Her and he one track mind...
“No..I mean..yes..No..I don't think so!!" He says, confused.
"Good." She says, taking her other hand and shoving him out.
"I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUU" He shouts, being drown out by the door slamming in his blind face.
"I luv u 2!" I text him
"How r maii bbys?" He texts back.
"Fine. HRY?" I text.
"I'm fine. This suit is tight and sum guy named Dallas is here looking 4 u." He texts me
Oh f***..
Chapter yep: Show must go on
"Nononononononononono..." I whisper..
"Tell him 2 leave." I text.
"Immediately." I send.
"Y?" He sends back.
"XANDER, NOW!" I text.
"K O.o" He says back. I look at mom with a painful look.
"Dallas is here." I whisper, tears threatening to spill over.
"Oh honey.." She says pulling me to her.
"How did he find out?" I whisper.
"I don't k-"
"SHHH!" I interrupt her. I heard yelling in the hallway. Mom runs out, and I slip out of my dress, wearing only my under garments. I peek out.
"DALLAS! She doesn't want you here! I don't know why and I could care less! Get the f*** out of here!" Xander shouts getting up in Dallas's face.
"I wanna see girl..before she..she marries some DICK..who's gonna treat her like..s***." Dallas mumbles.
He's drunk. I can smell the alcohol from here. I sob quietly, covering my mouth and slinking back into the room. But not before he sees me..I got to lock the door but before I get to it, Dallas drunkenly kicks the door out, slamming it behind him and locking it. I waddle to the corner, sliding down painfully and putting my face in the corner, shielding my pregnant belly. I scream for Xander as the stumbling drunk trips over things trying to get to me. We are in a room with one door. It’s in a church because we are getting married today..
Or we're supposed to be..
"Xander!! Please?!" I shout. I screech as Dallas reaches me, slapping my face.
"Shaddup! You're mine!" Dallas yells.
"ZABE HOLD ON BABY GIRL. I'M COMING!" Xander shouts, banging and throwing himself at the door. Dallas falls, landing on me.
"GET OFF!" I shout, using all my strength to push him away. A sharp pain shoots through me as he punches me in the stomach, causing me to yelp. He pulls me up, holding my hands above my head with his hands. I turn my face away, tears streaming. He pulls my face to his, kissing me. I throw my head forward, smacking into his. He drops me just as I give up, going weak in the knees. He drops my hands, causing me to fall to my knees. I put my face in my hands..Why me? How did he find out where I was!? "GOD DAMN-IT!" I shout, kicking and pushing at the bloodied man still going after me. The door bursts open as I shield my pregnant belly from the crazy man.
Xander dashes up and takes the man off me, pushing him to the ground and attacking his face with fierce punches. My mom runs to me as I attempt to stand. Xander drags the bloodied man farther away from me, pinning him. Mom picks me up as I hysterically cry. She takes me out the door seconds before cops walk in with guns pointed out. A few minutes later, cops drag Dallas out of the room in handcuffs. Xander trails behind him. I rush to him weakly, collapsing in his arms. He slowly slides down the wall, holding back tears.
I can't speak. I want to thank him. I want to tell him I love him. I want to tell him that, yet again, he saved my life. I point at my stomach. He lifts up my tanktop, revealing a darkening bruise.
"OH MY GOD!!!" He seethes, anger flashing on his face. "He did that?!"  I nod, tears soaking his suit.
"Honey, we need to get you to a doctor." Mom says. I conjure up all of my strength, take a deep breath, and then whisper "No. I'm fine. The show MUST go on."

I laugh as Xander's father kisses my hand, taking my arm. We walk down the aisle, and I wait until I catch Xander's eye. He looks at me and his jaw drops. Tears sparkle lightly in his wondrous green eyes. His hand flies to his mouth as I get closer.
Xander's father lifts my veil and stops in front of the pastor and Xander. He kisses my cheek and hands me off. Xander smiles at me as the priest speaks all the routine things of a wedding.
A few minutes later:
"Do you, Xander Lee Royalson take Elizabeth Ryeanne Grinning to be  your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do!" Xander says, without hesitation. I look at his glee-filled face as the priest continues and I just can't help but let a few tears fall.
"And do you, Elizabeth Ryeanne Grinning take Xander Lee Royalson to be your lawfully wedded husband?" He asks.
"I do!" I say through tears.
There was a pause as a smile formed on the priest's face, causing Xander and I to smile.
"I know pronounce you Husband and Wife! Xander, you may kiss the bride!" The priest shouts.
Relief washed over the entire room, and I felt it in waves. Xander kisses me like none other. He then puts my arms around his neck and picks me up, my dress flowing behind us as he lifts me up, presenting the newest additions to his family, the two children and I.
He shows off his "Prizes" as he walks down the aisle and I put one hand on my pregnant belly. He carries me down the church steps as people throw rice at us. He puts me in our decorated, rented limo. It's funny because I barely fit in the limo with the dress and my belly taking up so much room. We wave at everyone as we head to the reception.
"We're finally married.." I whisper, planting a small kiss on Xander's lips.
Not long after we arrived at the most elegant hotel in town, people started flooding in. I kissed everyone on the cheek, shaking hands with the people I didn't recognize.
When mom walks in tears fill my eyes. I walk over to her and take her hand. We go to the bathroom and I sit on the fancy waiting couch, tears falling out of my eyes.
"Elizabeth Ryanne Royalson!! Those do NOT look like happy tears to me!!" She says, standing in front of me with her hands on her hips.
Elizabeth Royalson...
I love the sound of that.. It flows as if it's natural. I'm no longer Ms. Grinning. I'm now, Mrs. Royalson.
"They aren't Ma. None of this feels right." I whisper, wiping tears away.
"Are you having second thoughts about Xander ALREADY??" She exclaims.
"Oh no!! it's not that! I just..I wanted MY dad to walk me down the aisle when I got married.." I whispered, imagining the childhood wedding every little girl dreams off. Mom sits next to me with a sad look on her face.
"I understand, my beautiful girl. But he's always with you no matter what and he did walk down the aisle with you because he's always going to be in your heart. He is up there with God and they both have tears in their eyes as they sit and watch their little girl grow into a young woman. Your father wanted to be here, and we both know that." Mom says, comforting me.
I stroke the scars from the day he died..
"And this!!! This right here has stopped since daddy's little girl found her true love! He's happy for you. And as you go out there and dance with Xander's dad, sure he'll be jealous. But he will know you're happy. Now c’mon lets fix your makeup and get back out there. We don't need a runaway bride!" She tells me.
I smile a fake smile as she wipes the smeared make up off of my face. I rest my hand on my belly and take a deep breath. Mom opens the door and I walk out, a new woman, a new bride, and soon to be, a new mother.

6 months 5 days pregnant.
It's been five days since the wedding and mother has taken the next seven days off of work. She will be going a few towns over to stay at my grandmothers. We'll have seven days all to ourselves.
We walk mother out as she reminds us where everything is and continues to ramble on. I giggle, pointing to her car and waving.
"Ugh. Okay guys, have fun..and clean up after yourselves!!" Mom says. Xander puts his arm around my waist as we stand on the porch, watching mom leave. We wave and go inside. When we get inside, Xander looks at me confused.
“Now what?” He says, c***ing his head adorably. I look around and shrug. He kisses me and takes my hand, leading me to the bedroom. He sits me down, but doesn’t do what you’d think he was going to. He digs around in box after box until he finds a large one. In it is hundreds of little dvds. I smile at him.
“Movie night, huh?” I say, yawning. Wow. It’s only eight am. I didn’t think it was that early. Oh well. Xander nods, points at the box, and tells me to pick some.
I start off by picking Cabin In The Woods and the Paranormal activity series. Those are my favorite scary movies that exist to this day. Then I pick 13 Going On 30, 27 Dresses, The Notebook, and The Last Song. These happen to be my favorite chick flicks. I get a bit of an annoyed look from Xander, and I smile big at him. Xander reaches in and sifts through the movies, finally picking a bunch of action movies.
I boredly look at him. A sigh escapes from my mouth and I get up and walk into the living room. Xander groans and throws the movies on top of the others. He gives up and simply takes the entire box of movies into the living room. He puts the box down on the side table, sliding the built in bed out of the couch. I lay on the bed and Xander aligns all of the moxies in nice little rows.
“What do you want to watch, woman?” He asks, eyeing our choices carefully.
“I dunno. Can we watch the one mom rented yesterday first?” I say, looking intently at Xander.
“Sure. Where is it?” He asked, throwing our movies back in the box.
“It should already be in. Just press the on button.” I say. He does as I say and “Frozen” appears on the tv. Xander lies down, being the big spoon and holding me close with one hand on my huge pregnant belly.
This week was the best week ever. So far anyways. There was tons of movie watching, cuddling, food, and..other things. I just can’t believe today is our last day.
I awaken to no one by my side. I groan, using the backboard to help me up. I shuffle to the kitchen finding Xander putting breakfast on the table. We sit and eat in silence. Once we are done, I get up, but Xander asks me to talk to him about something. I slowly sit back down, nervous as hell.
Don’t be scared. All I want to know is who that man was at our wedding.” He says, obviously seeing the nervous look on my face.
“Oh..” I whisper, flashing back to the horrible years with him.
“Please tell me?” Xander whispers. He takes my hand under the table, like that first time at the hospital.
“Well..” I started, “When I was a Freshman in highschool, he was a senior. He was the “Coolest” guy at school. Every girl had a crush on him.. Come time for homecoming,  I was expecting to go with my friends as usual, until I got a note in my locker asking me to come to his locker after school. I was excited, but also confused. I wasn’t much. Why had he chosen me? Anyways..I met him there and with balloons and a big banner, he asked me to the dance. I said yes, of course. I mean, what was not to like? That’s the thing. There was nothing to like.”
“What do you mean?” He says as I pause. Tears fall from my eyes and he squeezes my hand.
“We went, and it was okay. I only hung out with him, and tried to be cool. So it was pretty boring, but he held my hand and didn’t let go. He kissed me randomly and we danced to all the slow songs. He also showed me off to all his friends. I probably blushed eight thousand times that night. When it was finally over, he asked if I wanted to go to the after party with him. I was surprised, but of course, I said yes. This ‘after party’ turned out to be this big bonfire with tons of alcohol. I only drank one beer, Xander! One! But I was tipsy as s***! I’m almost positive they spiked it. Anyways. He took me to a car, saying we were leaving, but his friend came. He wanted me to sit in the back with him, so I did. His friend drove. Dallas put his hand on my leg, and I thought nothing of it until he started moving his hand up. I pushed his hand away and he got mad. The car stopped and he pushed me down in the seat. I tried to fight back, Xander. I really really did. But he didn’t stop.” I say.
“Oh honey..” He whispers, tears in his eyes. He was so sensitive.
“When I got home, I called my aunt and told her the whole story. It was almost three in the morning, and at first she was mad that I woke her up. But when I told her the story, she rushed over. I showed her the bruises and cuts and she called the police. Ever since then he’s been pissed because he went to jail. He must’ve gotten out because know. He showed up at the wedding.” I say, hysterically. The images won’t stop flashing in my mind.
My body starts shaking and Xander takes me to the couch. I pull my knees as close to my chest as possible. Rocking back and forth, my body starts shivering more, but I’m sweating. I was having a panic attack.. Xander put his hand on my back and rubbed slowly.
“Sh. Baby shh.. It’s okay.” He pulls my head to his chest and strokes my hair, helping me calm down.
“Breath honey..just breath..” He whispers..

Today, Xander is apparently taking me somewhere. I hop in his truck, and we off we go. We drive for about thirty minutes before he pulls over and pulls out a bandana. He puts it over my eyes and laughs, starting the car and driving off again.
“Is this really necessary?” I ask, giggles escaping from between my lips.
“Yes, yes it is. Just trust me.” He says.
We drive for about five more minutes. He helps me out of the car and carries me up a few steps, onto a porch or something I’m guessing. He then walks me forward.
“Ready?” He asks.
“I’m so ready.” I say, almost jumping up and down in excitement. He takes off my blindfold, and puts his arms around my waist. I gasp at the chandelier, the big kitchen with an island, the spiral stairs. I run (more like waddle) around the house, looking at everything like a kid in a candy shop. Though, the worst part, is he wouldn’t let me go upstairs yet. The whole place was so perfect.
“Is it..ours?” I asked, anxiously.
“Of course it is, and it has a room for both babies, and then several more rooms just in case.” He says, winking at me. He then takes my hand and takes me up to the master bedroom. It’s gorgeous! It has a huge red bed with side tables by it. The walls are white, grey and black. It’s beautiful and I can’t even talk. The only thing I say is “I love you” repeatedly to Xander. We then go outside, and the moving truck pulls up slowly. Workers are bringing things in and Xander and I are navigating certain things into certain places.
Once the last workers leave, Xander takes my hand once more and leads me upstairs. We head down the long hallway and enter a room.
“This is our little girl’s room, okay? Now, we have to paint it.” He says. He then takes a can of paint and a paint brush, and we begin painting the room the exact purple color I had told Xander someday I’d want in our children’s room. We paint quietly, and I realize it’s too quiet. I go dig in a box and find my ipod and speakers, and plug it in. Of course, Katy Perry comes on, and Xander rolls his eyes at me. We paint and paint, and joke around. We dance silly and sing loudly. It’s so much fun. After that’s done, we paint the other room.
The boy’s room is a deep blue, and the girl’s room is a beautiful violet. Once the paint is dry, Xander brings in a box. He cuts it open with a pocket knife, and out spills a bunch of wooden pieces. They are purple. It’s a crib! We spend hours putting it together, and epically failing at the same time. We put pieces in the wrong place, we use the wrong screws, it just seems like a disaster. I will say, once we finished putting both of the cribs together, I am relieved.
That night we lay in our new bed cuddling close, our blankets wrapped tightly around us. I roll over and look at Xander.
“You know, my life wouldn’t be the same without you. I don’t know where I’d be, or if I’d even be alive if you hadn’t talked to me that day in the hospital. I love you so much. And I want to thank you for...all this” I say, motioning with my hands to the entire room.
“Of course baby girl. Zabe, what you don’t realize is you deserve all of this and more. I know you may not believe me, but the day I laid eyes on you I knew I wanted to help you and figure out everything about you. I wanted to have a life with you. Now listen. I’m tired. Aren’t you? Let’s just go to sleep. We can talk more in the morning.” He whispers
And that we did. We fell asleep immediately.

*The next day*

Today, Xander and I’s families are coming out for a baby shower. I’m almost seven months pregnant, and I’m huge. I am literally unable to see my feet. I’ve gained so much weight! We had just gotten all of the decorations set up, and we are now laying on our new couch. Cookies and candies are spread out on the coffee table and on various tables throughout the dining hall and our living room. Streamers were hanging from the ceiling and a big “Baby shower!” banner is hanging right above the stairs, so that anyone walking in can immediately see that.
Xander’s hand is laying on my stomach, and the babies are moving around gently. Suddenly, one of them kicks and Xander quickly pulls his hand back, turns red, and giggles like a little girl. He’s so excited for these babies. He’s been trying so hard to prove it, cooking breakfast, lunches, and dinners. He’d been working a job at the local mental hospital for the past two weeks. It was somewhat hard having him gone from six in the morning until two or three in the afternoon, but I was doing alright. He always called me on every break and during lunch. He’s honestly everything I could ask for and more.
At about 2:45, the first guest arrives. Xander’s grandparents walk in. They have several presents in their hands, and I show them where to put them. As time goes by, more and more people show up, and our gift table begins to overflow. Most people are from Xander’s family and his friends, but my mother’s side of the family shows up as well. I think I heard this about a million times; “Oh my goodness! I haven’t seen you since you were this big!” and they would make a little motion as to how tall I was.There were congratulations and all sorts of hugs and cheek kisses.
We played many games and ate tons of junk food. After a while, Xander decided it was time to open presents.The first was from his grandmother, and it was only a card.
“Go outside” is all it read. I was confused. But Xander and I walked outside and there was a moving truck. The movers cheered and begun to bring boys and girls furniture into the house. The took things into the appropriate room and we placed the furniture to our best liking. It was such beautiful furniture. There were two dressers, two toy boxes, two changing stations, and two high chairs. We thanked them greatly.
After their gift, we sat back down in the living room and opened all the rest of the presents. We were given all sorts of things, from clothes and shoes to toys and breast feeding pumps (which we got three of.) After presents were opened, (an hour and a half later) we all said our ‘thank you’s’ and ‘goodbye’s’ and walked everyone outside. When everyone was gone, Mom, Xander and I all took things upstairs and separated them into girl’s and boy’s piles. We then put them in the correct rooms and in the correct places. Once we were done, we hugged mom, and she went ahead and left. Xander and I then exhaustedly collapsed on our bed, and hugged each other close until we finally fell asleep. What a day.

Seven Months Pregnant
“Ohhhh…” I say. A sharp pain had awoken me. Am I having contractions? I feel the wetness under me immediately.
“Xander. Xander wake up. My water broke!” I shout. Xander instantly wakes up and throws on pants, grabbing the keys and running out to start the car. He then rushes back inside and picks me up, gently laying me in the backseat. He holds my hand and drives with his other, telling me to breath.
When we arrive at the hospital, he supports most of my weight on his shoulder as he walks me inside.
“Someone help! Her water broke!” He shouts, nervously. A nurse runs over with a wheelchair. She helps me sit and wheels me back into the delivery room.
Xander takes my hand and I grip it tight, practically crushing his bones.
“Okay. There’s no time to waste. It’s too early for them to be born. But we have no choice but to go ahead and push. Okay? Ready? One, two, three, PUSH!” Says the doctor.
I push as hard as I can,  sweat dripping from my forehead. Xander is beside me crying, whispering sweet things to me. I push once more, and I feel pressure relieved in my abdomen.
“Alright, we have a boy!” The doctor says quickly, “Daddy, are you going to cut the umbilical cords?”
Xander looks at me with wide eyes, and I nod. He rushes over and cuts it, crying even harder. He watches the little baby as the doctor hands the baby off to a nurse, and then focuses his attention back on me.
“Alrighty. We still have one more in there somewhere.” He whispers, winking at me. “You ready to push again?”
I groan, not wanting to. He counts to three again, and I push. Nothing happens. I push again, and again, and again, until finally I start to feel her coming out. I push as hard as I can, one, and then two more times, until out comes the little sweety.
“And we’ve got a girl! Dad c’mon.” He whispers. Xander cuts the cord, crying. I then realize neither of my tiny babies are crying.
“Doc..Shouldn’t they be crying? Shouldn’t they be making noises? Isn’t that the first thing they do when they’re born? What’s happening? ARE MY BABIES OKAY?!” I yell, nervous and bawling.
The doctor walks over to the babies, and spanks each of them on the bottom. Our little boy cries out, and a wave of relief washes through me. Xander squeezes my hand tightly. Then my baby girl is spanked, but she doesn’t cry. My heart skips a beat, and Xander and I both hold our breaths. Oh please let her cry..He uses a sucky thing to get the water out of her throat, and she cries, much quieter than our little boy. I sigh, crying immensely.
Our babies are okay..
Six hours later
They had taken our babies to ICU, because they were born so early. I’ve been crying on and off since they took them. I still hadn’t even gotten to hold them. I pushed the nurse call button, repeatedly. I must’ve pushed it a hundred times before a nurse came in.
“Yes ma’am?” The kind nurse asks.
“I WANT TO SEE MY BABIES!” I shout, “How are they?”
“Okay. They are doing alright. I’ll see what I can do.” She whispers.
“Baby girl, calm down.” Xander says.
We had come up with names. Our little boy was born 6 pounds 3 ounces, and we named him Jacob Lee. Our little girl was born 5 pounds 9 ounces, and her name was Infinity Xay. A few minutes later, a doctor brings us Jacob, but not Infinity.
“Oh my baby! You’re so small.. I love you so much.” I exclaim. Xander puts his hand on the top of the baby’s head and kisses his forehead. We are both crying, as mom walks in. She rushes to my side.
“Oh he’s so gorgeous. Where’s my baby girl?” She whispers.
“Where’s Infinity?” I shout, as a nurse walks in. A doctor follows close behind her. He’s holding a tiny little bundle. I hand Jacob over to Xander. The nurse looks me in the eyes sadly.
“I’m sorry doesn’t look like she is going to make it.” The nurse says. I reach my arms out and she hands me the little baby.
She’s hardly breathing. She’s struggling to breath and I sob gently. Her face is purple, and I can hardly stand to look at my beautiful little baby girl when she looks like this. They tell me her heart is beating once or twice a minute. The little baby is so cold. I unwrap her and tuck her in my hospital gown. THe doctors keep telling me there’s no hope. They say trying to put her on life support would just prolong her death. My question is, will I ever get to hold my baby again?
As I pat her bottom gently and tightly cover her with my gown and blanket, color starts returning to her face. She suddenly gasps for air and begins kicking and coughing. A ping of hope runs through my body as I let out a small gasp.
I yell for the nurse  and she runs in and checked the baby over. She then takes the baby and rushes her out of the room. Xander stops crying and kisses me. Later, the doctor comes in and tells me they put her on life support and that the warmth of my skin had kick started her heart.
It’s a miracle..

Two weeks later, my babies were finally able to go home. They are happy and healthy, ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes,two ears, everything is good! When we get home, Xander takes Infinity, and she immediately stops crying. She absolutely loves her daddy. She’s such a daddy’s girl. Unfortunately, the babies are too small to sleep by themselves, as their cries would not wake us up. Every hour I wake and feed the little ones. Xander stirs every time I’m up or one of the babies cries. I put two blankets on either side of the babies,and lay on the floor with Xander.
Today, Xander’s family and my mother and grandparents are coming out to see us. They haven’t gotten a chance to meet the babies yet, and I’m not sure I’m quite ready to let my three week old babies be held by other people yet..But Xander reassured me over and over again that it’d be fine and if I felt uncomfortable at any point in time, we could take a break.
As people showed up, my anxiety level rose quickly. Everyone wanted to hold my babies and I didn’t want them out of my sight. I let them pass the baby around, holding Xander’s hand as tight as I possibly could.  After about an hour, I looked at Xander and he knew exactly what I was thinking.
“Alright guys. Mom needs a break. She’s getting somewhat nervous, considering only a few people have held the children so far.” He says, taking the babies gently in his arms and handing them to me. He walks me to the master bedroom upstairs, and sits with me. I breastfeed them both, waiting for my anxiety level to lower a bit.
“Hey Xander?” I whisper.
“Yes beautiful?” He responds.
“Can you go find my mom and tell her to come here?” I say, just wanting her at the moment. He nods and leaves the room. I hum a lullaby to the babies, glancing back and forth from my beautiful baby Infinity and my handsome boy Jake. When Xander comes back, he has a confused look on his face.
“Have you seen her today?” He asked. As I thought about it, I realized I hadn’t. I shook my head and reached for my cell phone. I call my mother’s home phone. She doesn’t answer. I then dial her cell phone. She didn’t answer that, which is extremely different. She’s never not answered her phone. She always answers it! I look at Xander and he takes the babies from me. He puts them in their carseats and we rush to our company.
“Look, everyone. I apologize for cutting it short, but Zabe’s mother is not answering her phone which is very unusual. So if everyone could go ahead and head out, that’d be great.” Xander shouted over the noise.
There were groans from several sides of the room, and people shuffled out. Xander and I were last and I locked the door behind us. We rushed into the car and drove away from the house.
When we arrived at my mother’s house and walked in, it seemed way too quiet. The door is normally locked when she’s gone, so it being unlocked was odd. That must just mean that she’s home. Also, she always has music on or something when she’s home alone. But right now, it was completely silent. Xander sits down on the couch and puts the two car seats in front of him and rocks them back in forth. Jake had fallen asleep in the car, but of course Infinity refused to. She was so stubborn sometimes. I called out for my mother but got no response.
When I walked into the kitchen, my heart stopped. Lying there in a heap was my mother. She wasn’t moving.
“XANDER!!” I shout, already starting to cry. I knelt down and felt for a pulse. She had one. Xander rushed in, and then called an ambulance.
I sat by her side and talked to her, willing her to respond, begging her to be okay. The paramedics burst in and told us to move. They got her on the bed and rolled her into the ambulance. I sat inside with her and Xander promised to meet us at the hospital.
When we arrive at the hospital, they rush my mother back and tell us to wait in the waiting room. We sit quietly, tears falling silently from my eyes. Infinity had finally fallen asleep, and Jake had remained asleep. My hand was in Xanders, and he was half asleep.
About and hour and a half later, a doctor walks out, and Xander stands quickly to shake his hand.
“What’s the news?” He asks quietly.
“Well, it’s not good. The cancer has spread to unretrievable parts of the brain. The tumor is now too big to remove. It’s too risky and she wouldn’t survive the surgery, especially in the condition she is in. We have her on life support, but I’m afraid there’s almost no hope.. She is basically brain dead.” He says, looking at us with sorrow.
“C-Cancer!?” I shout, falling to my knees.
“Yes. She has had brain cancer for several years, though Chemo has been helping. Has she not told you?” the doctor questions. Xander shakes his head and sits on the ground next to me. He pulls me into his chest and cries. I sob and my body violently shakes, as I begin to hiccup.
“I’m so sorry, guys. Now, she’s in room 328 when you’re ready to see her.” He says before walking off with his head down.
We lay helplessly in a heap for several minutes before he calls his sister to take the the babies. When she gets there, he hands her the sleeping babies in their carseats, and takes my hand. We walk down to room 328. My mother is an utter wreck. Her hair is a mess, and her face is pale. She has a breathing tube in her throat. She isn’t moving, and her eyes are closed. We walk up to her and I can’t breath myself. I bury my face in Xander’s chest and he strokes my hair.
We sit in the hospital room for a few hours. Every so often a nurse will come in and check her stats, but will say little to nothing at all. Eventually, in comes the tall doctor we’d first spoken too.
“I’m afraid your mother is only getting worse.” He says after pulling us into the hallway and away from the other relatives sitting in with my mother.”
“So, what do you suggest?” Xander asks, knowing I am unable to speak.
“The only thing to do is to pull the plug. I’m afraid right now we are only prolonging the inevitable.” He says, unable to look me in the eyes. My knees buckle and Xander holds me up. The doctor nods and walks away, giving us time. Xander lets me slide down and sit on the ground.
“Honey. It’s our only choice.” He whispers.
“Why didn’t she tell me!?” I shout. He shrugs his shoulders slowly.
“I don’t know. Maybe she thought it was getting better. I’m not sure.”
“THIS ISN’T FAIR!” I shout. Xander tries to pull me to him, but I just push him away. He groans and again pulls me to him tightly, until I’m unable to escape.
“It’s for the best.” He whispers quietly..I nod, and walk back into the room. We tell everyone that it’s best if they just say their goodbyes and go home and rest. I sit by my mother and take her hand in mine.
“Momma. I want you to know I’m not mad at you for not telling me. Sure, I wish you would have, but it wasn’t my choice. I love you, mom. I want to thank you for everything you’ve ever done. Even though you weren’t there to watch me grow up, just know I love you, and I’m not mad at you. You have done so much. You’re grandchildren will grow up hearing of the most amazing grandparent they could ever have. Sure, they’ll wish they could’ve met you, but I promise it’ll be alright. Mom we’re going to let you go now, okay? Feel free to go. Don’t hold on for us. We can do this. You’ve done all you can, and now God needs you. Tell dad I said I love him..” I say.
I look at the doctor and nod. He pulls the plug to all of the machines. I watch my mothers chest rise and fall at much a slower rate than before. It slows more and more, until it no longer rises. I hide my face in Xander’s chest, and scream. I feel lost. I don’t know what to do..My heart and chest feel like they are going to explode. I guess that’s it..she’s gone..

A few days later, when we are cleaning out mother’s house, in order to sell it, I find a box. In it is three envelopes, a necklace, a billfold, and a picture of my mother and a man. The first envelope says “Infinity.” The second one says “Jakey Boy.” But the third, says “My Beautiful Daughter.” I tear open the thick envelope. It’s an extremely long letter.
Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing I’m no longer here. Three years ago I was diagnosed with brain cancer. This last year they’ve told me  it was getting better. I’m guessing however, that it hadn’t. I love you so much. I want you to know that, okay? I am so sorry I didn’t tell you. The doctors were telling me that I was going to be okay and that it was going away. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to tell you. Then I suddenly started feeling worse, and the doctors told me it was beginning to spread. I know I should’ve told you. But you already had so much on your plate. I felt as though it would be too much. Honey, I hope you’re not mad at me for not telling you. You really are so important to me.
When you were born, I was the happiest person ever. Or so I portrayed. I did have a reason of leaving, although it ended up not being a choice. I didn’t want you to end up like me. Honey, I wanted you to be a beautiful baby girl who grew up good. I didn’t know how to raise a child, especially considering all I ever wanted was to die. Baby girl, I didn’t end up leaving you by choice. I tried to kill myself, and they took me away. Just like you. But since I was an adult, they put me in a real institute. It was scary. There were actual crazy people there. I knew I wasn’t crazy. They acted..different. I was so upset when I got out. I was in there for four years. When they finally realized I wasn’t actually crazy, they let me out. It was confusing. I went to our old house. No one was there. In fact, the house was completely abandoned. No one was there at all. I searched for you baby girl. I searched for your dad. One day, several years later, he came up here to Tennessee with his big semi truck and stopped at the truck stop I worked at. I recognized him almost immediately. I hugged him, and he hugged me. We’d decided it was best if we stayed apart. He told me where you were and all, but advised I stayed away. I don’t know why. Then finally he told me about your cutting and I had to do something. Well by that point you know what happened. It was too late.
Now you’re almost eighteen, you’re married, and you’ve got two beautiful babies that you need to do everything in your power to raise correctly. Honey, I don’t expect you to be perfect, but promise me you won’t leave them. If you make any promise at all just promise that. Baby girl, I know you’re crying. Please stop. Don’t worry about me. You have an amazing life ahead of you. All I ask is you make sure that those little babies remember their grandma. I know this is all coming down quickly, but it’ll be okay. Just smile through those tears like always, but let Xander help you like he has. Tell Xander I said thank you for everything he’s ever done. He kept my baby girl alive and okay for so long. Now, go do what you have to do. Don’t forget me, but please, don’t dwell on all this. I love you, okay?
Now, when the babies can read well enough, give them these letters. The billfold is for Jake. It was your father’s a long time ago.The necklace is for Infinity. It was your great great great grandmothers. l love you all. Make sure they know that. Now. Be good, and smile for me.
Sincerely, Mom.
I burrow my face in Xander’s chest once again. She’s gone. A huge chapter in my life is over. Even though it felt like it had just started. I guess it’s time to finally realize; sometimes in life, things only come for a certain amount of time. My mother was put in my life for the short period for a reason. She was there to guide us through. I loved her so much, but now my guardian angel must return to her home. This may seem like the end, but I know for us, it’s just the beginning.

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