I open my eyes. The room is dark, both windows covered by a shade behind the thick dark black out curtains. As I sit up I see the cherry wood foot board. Im covered with a light tan sheet, an off white knitted sheet, and then a heavy tan comforter. I turn to my left where an old black 1960s desk with white trim sit under one of the windows cluttered with decades of accumulation. I scootch over the empty spot where my cousin once was. The smell of coffee pollutes my four year old nose. I hop down off the queen size bed onto the cold wood floor. I scurried over to the area rug so my feet wouldn’t get cold, an off white shaggy rug that when stepped on wrong would fly out from under your feet. I quickly run by the long cherry wood dresser with a beautiful mirror to get to the kitchen and quickly get my breakfast in hopes I didnt miss Bill Nye.
The house has always had an errie feeling to it. My grandma is what you would call a pack rat and my grandpa does his own thing, mostly in the yard, basement or porch. I walk through the dinning room careful not to let my grandma or grandpa catch me running in the house. As I turn to my right to walk into the kitchen I see my grandma in her usual spot, infront of the stove boiling her water for her tea. She stand there in her white moo moo, her wig a bit distressed. My cousin sit across from the little box tv sitting to the far right of the black table for 8 with brown men on horses painted on it, she sit there in her pink jammies, hair in a messy pony tail eating a bowl of golden crisp. The room stayed quiet as I walked in. Aimee too consumed by her early morning cartoons and grandma too distracted by her own mind to hear me walk in. I pour my bowl of fruit loops and milk and walk into the spacious living room. I quickly turn the tv on to channel 31 in hopes of catching my saturday morning shows. I lay down infront of the late 1980s box tv avoiding the couch and two chairs covered by blankets and plastic to protect it from any spills. I open up grandma’s curtains on her big front window to brighten it up a little and let the summer sun shine in and heat up the house chilled by central air all night long.
In comes my grandpa, a short little guy, balding in the middle of his head with a slight gut on his belly. A quiet man, not much for words walks past me into the back hallway towards the bathroom. I finish my bowl of cereal and bring it to the sink for grandma to wash. “Go get your suits on girls, its going to be a nice day and I think grandpa plans on setting the pool up for you two.” Grandma tells us. We both rush to the spare room to find our suits. We hear the bathroom door open and know that grandpa is on his way to the backyard to set up our pool if he hasn’t already. We quickly get dressed and head out to the back patio to find that our pool has already been filled half way with warm water from the faucet courtesy of grandpa, and the remainder is being filled by the hose. “Hop in girls, it shouldn’t be too chilli.” Grandpa tells us. And we both run off the stone patio into the beautiful soft grass and jump into the little blown up pool.
That is how most of my summers were spent. At grandma and grandpa’s with my cousin Aimee in the pool grandpa set up for us. That is until December of my kindergarten year. My grandpa had spent a few months in the hospital, I dont remember much of it other than one specific time we went up to the hospital, my dad and I. This couldn’t have been long before he passed. The room was very dark, blinds drawn. I don’t remember much about my grandpa except the blue blanket over him keeping him warm. Being I was only five my dad tried his best to explain the situation to me and I understood it how any other child would have understood it at at that age. It couldn’t have been too many weeks later before my dad picked me up from day care. I was dressed in my white shirt and blue pants uniform I wore at catholic school where I attended before being dropped off at day care so my parents could finish their jobs. My dad working for his father’s company washing windows down town and my mother also working for a family owned buissiness a tool and dye shop ran by her father. Dad picks me up in his red Plymoth Horizon and drove me over to grandma’s. I walk through the porch into the hall bringing me up to the kitchen where grandma sat. The room still dark and errie. Dad sits me down next to grandma where they both explain to me that grandpa’s battle with pancreatic cancer has ended. Im not quite sure if I didn’t understand exactly what was being told to me or if I just lost my mind for a second but I ran out of the kitchen into the dinning room where across from the table was a stair case up to the second floor no one used other than for storage. I looked up and just kept yelling “Grandpa! Grandpa! Grandpa!” I dont remember much to the end of that night, however one thing I do know is that the whole family dynamic, everything I knew was about to change!
The next few years were basically spent the same way, everyother weekend when I was at my dad’s I’d spend one or both nights at my grandma’s with my cousin Aimee. My dad only had one sister Lea, and she had one daughter Aimee. Aimee was six years older than me, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a little bit skinnier than me but still on the chunky side, a theme on both sides of my family only passed down to the unfortunate ones. Fridays were spent watching T.G.I.F. and coloring, where saturdays were usually playing dress up or office manager with fake cigarettes and phones that no longer worked but had the cord attatched. Week nights when it was my dads turn to have me it would be lots of coloring, The Simpsons, and Fresh Prince, and sometimes 90210. I remember I believe it was a Thursday, Aimee and I were watching 90210, there was a sex scene. I was probably 7. I asked her if during those scenes if they were really “doing it” or if there was something inbetween them. She looks at me and says “They have underware on under the sheets Alyssa.” And from that day on I assumed thats how sex scenes were filmed.
The years went on and as Aimee and I aged we kind of went our seperate ways. With our age difference it only made sence. Her mom was starting to get a little weird and Aimee didnt come to grandma’s as often. I’d still spend an occasional night at grandma’s with her listening to her stay up all hours of the night on the phone with boys. Or on a rarity I’d spend the night at her house. A house much bigger than I was used to, my dad living in a two bedroom apartment. Her house was closer to the beach, a yellow raised ranch with browm shutters. You’d walk into an open space with linoleum to your right was an enterance into the garage, to your left stairs to go down into the finished basement, and right next to those stairs a stair way to go up into the living space. Straight ahead at the top of those stairs was the bathroom and to the left my Aunt and Aimee’s room. I remember thinking how cool her room was. She was in LOVE with the Dallas Cowboys and Troy Aikman so her walls were filled with Dallas posters, and she had one of those cool 1990’s phones that lit up everytime it rang!
I always looked up to her, no matter the state she was in. When she was about sixteen, me tenish we found out her parents were going through a divorce. My grandpas passing and her divorce was why she was starting to get a little weird over the past couple years. But the 90’s were such a good time, the economy was good, everyone was busy working and tending to their family to even notice someone else may be going through something. During this time Aunt Lea slowly started to drift from the family. Aimee choose to live with her dad. This is where her and I really drifted apart. Her father worked at a bowling alley and was rarely home with her. This gave her total access to an empty house. She did more grown up things that I was too young and nieve to notice.
The family dynamic stayed like this for many years up until about my senior year in highschool. Im not exactly sure how we got to talking again Aimee and I, but I would have to assume it was probably some holiday. We probably sat and talked about how even though we had that six years inbetween us that I wasn’t as young as she remembered me. We picked right back up where we left off. By this time she now had her own place quite a drive away but I made sure to take the trip to stay in touch with her and try and get our relationship back to how it was when we were little. I wouldn’t say I neccessarily missed being shoved in grandma’s basement with all the deer heads or being dragged into the bathroom so she could go number two not alone enjoyable but I did miss the connection we had way back then!
During this time in our lives we mostly spent it getting “fucked up” at her place where Id usually spend the night. I’ve never been one for driving under the influence, drunk or high so it was nice that she’d allow me to stay. Some nights I’d have a friend with me where we would make a make shift bed on her living room floor, and other nights we’d just share her bed like when we were kids. We didn’t always do bad things though! We are the typical suburbian kids who go out and do things like smoke a little bit of weed but stay in and watch Sopranos, but we also had a good head on our shoulders too. One time we got all dressed up anf go our photos taken at Wal-Mart to hand out as Christmas gift.
Between work schedules, boyfriends, and school our time together started to fizzle away again. She started dating a guy who for lack of better words really messed up her life. I didnt really enjoy his company and I was busy in my early twenties with a house of my own, a roomate and a boyfriend. I was busy messing up my life in another way, but thats for another time. This led us to not really seeing eachother for roughly two years. She might stop by once every few months to take some of my liquor and get messed up on my dime but that was the most of our incounters during that time.
After those two years of making my own mistakes and learning from them, she was also starting to drift away, slowly but surly from her boyfriend. I was now with another guy, working a good job with my mom and had a baby on the way. I was twenty-three. I had sold my house and moved into an apartment back on the other side of town closer to my mom, with my boyfriend. I remember it like it was yesterday. Jon my boyfriend at the time and I had just pulled into our parking spot at the apartment about to unload the groceries we had just purchased when my phone rang. It was Aimee, being it had been a while sence I had talked to her I had him unload the groceries while I answered her call. I had no idea that the converstaion that was about to take place would affect me the way it did.
Aimee- “Alyssa are you pregnant?”
Aimee- “Well are you keeping it?” “Becsuse if you do it will be the dumbest decision of your life! You are only 23 and you will regret this!”
I remeber my heart sinking! I walked through the open parking lot on a cold fall day with a constant drizzle of rain. I passed all the cars into a wooded area behind the parking lot. I walked down a little hill in hopes no one would find me. I found a broken off tree branch big enough to support me, and I just sat there pondering what just went on. Why she was so rude, why she was so disapointed in me, and why would she say the things she did to me.
Months went by. It was now time for my little girls baby shower before she arrived. My mom and step mom who threw the shower for me sent out an invite to Aimee. But she never R.S.V.P.ed or showed. I didn’t show it, but I was really hurt by this. I know we’ve grown apart over the years but how could she feel this way towards me and not be there to support this little angel who was going to be born?
Time went on with out her until one day when my daughter was about two I got a call from her. She appologized for the nasty things she had said and wanted to get together to see me and meet my daughter. Now if you know me Im a pretty forgiving person but if you disrespect me so many times or hurt me enough times I will just cut you out of my life, no questions considered and no looking back. This time i was forgiving and met up with her. Once again we started getting closer again. She had moved to the same town as me in an apartment that had a pool so summer days were spent there just hanging out. I remeber one time after a day of swimming we went back to her place and she wanted to get my daughter dressed so I let her. My daughter just in a diaper turned the corner to walk into the kitchen and all I saw was one of her booty cheeks hanging out. Aimee and I laughed and laughed until we cried! We had so much fun, even holidays were now starting to be celebrated at her place! She made perogies basically as amazing as grandma’s, and thanksgiving was ALWAYS the best! My dad would pick me up, that whole evening would be a bunch of drunks horsing around. My daughter would be with her father and his family the end portion of thanksgiving being that we were no longer on good terms. So because I had a driver and I was cleared of my motherly duties for a while i was able to loosen up, and those nights really made some of my best memories.
My dad and Aimee have more similarities and me and my Aunt Lea have more in common. Lea and I are the quiet home bodies who prefer to sit down and read a book. Dad and Aimee are more of the partiers and rebellions. I couldn’t tell you how many times my dad has had to save her from driving drunk and blowing out all her tires or damaging her car from drinking and driving and running into things. Even though I was against drinking and driving they still made for a good night. One Christmas Eve we went to my step moms sister’s. I was pissed at my daughter’s father, he took her with him to his family. I took a tramadol and two shots of Captain hundred proof before heading two streets over to my step moms sister’s house. Other than Thanksgiving this is probably one of my fondest memeories with Aimee. When i got there I just continued to drink. Aimee and dad egging me on as always, they have video and it’s dad recording and Aimee singing LMFAO “Sexy and I know it” with me, I talk about the velvetta I always keep in my cupboard and how Aimee is going to drive home while I run home with the American flag. I was hammered to say the least! But it was GREAT! Aimee drove me and my car to my place where Dad and Lisa met us to drive her home, but first helping get into my apartment saftly.
Christmas morning was a blast to say the least! I woke up in my own vomit and my daughter’s father asleep on the couch with her because he couldn’t stomach the smell of our room. Knowing I had to be to my moms in just an hour I tried my hardest to get ready, but I needed his help. I remeber leaning over the couch and dry heaving all over him. I made it to mom’s about five houses down from my apartment complex. I got through the first two hours but all of a sudden I got a piercing pain and later that Christmas was spent in an emergency room. God the memeories! They probably sound so horrible but as I sit here writting this I’m silently giggling. As much as I can hate Aimee, I can love her just as much! She would always find a way to redeem herself. Meeting at my house with Dad and Lisa drinking whatever booze we had and in return making a memerable night for all of us!
It seemed as I grew with my age my mentality seemed to too, I had finally met a man worth having in my life who loved my daughter and I and was understanding of all my baggage. I found the courage to kick out and leave my daughter’s father and move into a good spot in my life for mid twentys. Aimee on the other hand continued to live her life full of long nights. I honestly didnt know if she would ever grow up. But that all changed the day I found out she was pregnant with her first baby! A girl! I never thought this day would come! I was so excited for her! I knew what having a child was like and how great of a blessing it was! It had been a VERY long time sence her and I had talked so I reached out to her via Facebook. I messaged her congratulating her and letting her know that I know she works crazy hours at a local hospital and being I was a stay at home mom I would be here for her and watch her daughter whenever she wanted. Her message back was a simple thank you. I didn’t think too hard about her response because being a first time mom specially with a life like hers is terrifying.
The months went on and I was never invited to her baby shower. And then I got the news from my step mom that Aimee had had her daughter. Now I wasn’t as hurt about finding out the baby was born from a family member because the last thing you want to do when laid up in a hospital bed with a crying new born is texting all your friends and family. But I was hurt not being invited to the baby shower. I asked around the family as to what was going on with her and why I hadn’t heard from her sence finding out she was pregnant. I found out through the grape vine that my grandmother had told Aimee that I said Aimee should never have a baby. Now if you know my past of miscarriages or know me as a person, you would know I would never have said this. What I infact said was I never thought this day would come! I never thought she would have a baby. That didn’t mean I was upset by it! I was extremely happy for her, and I knew she could, or would rather make a turn around in her life, for this little life that she was now responsible for. Babies change people, and 90% of the time for the better!
I was mad my words got miscommunicated, and well my grandpa on my moms side may have had high hopes for me, hearing my mouth at a young age saying “She is going to be something someday!” All because I was suppossed to thank him for my birthday gift, a new bike and I replied with “I dont have that word!” But I know all this mouth has done is got me in trouble! So I tried to stay as calm as possible when I opened up my Facebook messanger to message Aimee letting her know that my words got all messed up. I told her what I actually said to grandma and that I would have never talked down about her that way.
I dont remember the exact words exchanged that night. All I remember was I let her get the best of me. I lashed out and said some pretty rotten things. But thats how I get. When someone pokes the bear I put it all out on the table. I acknowledge that when upset I say things that hurt people, so a few days later after I calmed down i sent her an appology for my actions. Her response “Just leave me alone.” So I did!
Another two years went by where we didn’t speak. I would ask family how her and her daughter were and I’d ask to see pictures, she would ask how my daughter and I were. Until one late evening I was sitting around waiting for my daughter to get home from her father’s and my text went off. I looked down to a number I didnt recognize. “Hi Alyssa, its Aimee I wanted to make Amends with you.” the message read. But now my daughter was walking through the door. I sent her a text asking if she could call me as soon as I got my daughter down to bed. I never got a response back, so like the other times I just continued on with life with out her.
I’m now thirty, my daughter is six and my youngest is one. Aimee’s daughter is about to be two. My step mom tells me Aimee invited my whole family to her daughter’s second birthday party at a local restaurant. She claimes Aimee wants to meet my youngest. I dont care, Im still very upset by her, but I put all my feelings aside because I want to meet her daughter. I suck it up get the girls ready, grab my boyfriend and head out for what Ive prepaired myself to be an awkward event.
To my surprise it wasn’t that bad. Aimee seemed happy and was very nice to all of us. Her daughter is adorable! And very sweet! We stayed for dinner, cake, and gifts. As we leave we promise to stay in touch. It has been two months sence the party and I have reached out to her twice with no repsonse back. I am not so sure as to what makes Aimee so different. Usually if I shut you out its for life. But for some reason I always break down and bring her back in no matter how many times she has hurt me. I dont think this will ever change. Its sad but I think this will just be a continuous cycle in our relationship!