~Chapter 19: Why?
I glared at Jamie as I looked at him. He was dressed in a pair of
black, washed-out jeans and an olive green hoodie. His blond hair
was in a pony tail and he had bags under his eyes like he lost a
bunch of sleep.
Ian appeared to my side and looked to me. "Ready to go?"
I hand him the bag. "Take this to the car. I'll meet you there."
Ian takes the bag. "Is everything okay, Peyton?"
I nod. "Fine." I say in monotone.
Ian hesitates but decidedly leaves us alone.
Jamie watches him and then looks to me. "Pey-"
I punch him hard in his nose and he stumbles back, taken back at my actions.
I back away from him.
I'm aware I caught the attention of a few people in the
restaurant but I keep my eyes on Jamie. Surely he wouldn't try
any shit in here with all these witnesses.
He's holding his nose and his eyes are shut tight.
"Stay away from me."
He takes his hands down and opens his eyes to look at me. There's a thin line of dark red blood coming out of his nose.
He wipes it away with the back of his hand and exhales. "Peyton," He swallows hard. "About that night-"
"What about it?" I snapped.
"I wanted to apologize."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "You want to apologize for grabbing
and almost attack me?"
He wipes more blood away. "I was high that night. And I was angry. My dad was taking all of his shit out on me."
"You told me he wouldn't talk to anyone."
"You can't talk to someone when you're beating the shit out of them."
"That doesn't sound like Daniel. But if that was the case, you deserve it."
He nods. "Which is why I'm not so mad about you giving me a
bloody nose. Nice right hook by the way."
"Are you done?" I asked, irritated by his presence.
He sighs. "I guess I am. I just wanted to let you know, I won't bother you anymore and I'm sorry about that night."
I didn't know if I should believe him. I looked down at my fist, red from the pain of punching him. I look back to him. "If you ever come near me again, I'm going to cut off your cock, and shove it in your mouth."
He stares at me, but doesn't say anything.He just looks
I turned and walked out of the restaurant.
I was shocked that he actually apologized, and actually expected me to forgive him. I didn't expect our 'reunion' would be like that. I thought he was going to try something again. I was thankful he didn't but I won't ever forget what he tried to do.
I walked to Ian's car and got into the passenger side and shut
Ian was staring at me. "Are you okay?" He asked.
I exhaled and nodded. "Um…yeah, everything's peachy. Let's just get back to work."
After work, I went on home and called my dad.
I didn't know who else to call.
I was still getting use to my Element phone. It's the most complicated thing I ever had to learn to use.
When I dialed my dad's number, I waited for him to pick up after I took my work clothes off and got in more comfortable clothes.
"Hi, hon. Something wrong?"
"I just saw Jamie."
"This seafood restaurant I went to."
"Did he do something?"
"I punched him and in return, he apologized."
Dad was silent for a long while.
"I know, dad. Trust me, it doesn't makes sense to me either but
should I trust it or stay cautious?"
"Cautious. Always cautious. I'll buy you some pepper spray."
"It's cool, dad. I can get it."
"Are you sure?"
The house phone rung from the living room.
I sigh. "Alright, dad, I have to go. Someone's calling."
"Okay, Peyton. I love you."
"Love you too." I hung up my phone before going to the house phone and picking it up. "Hello?"
There was a short pause. "Hello?" It was a female's voice.
"Who is this?" I asked.
"Is this Peyton Moyer?"
"Yeah. Who is this?" I asked again.
My eyes widened. I felt a pinch of anxiety and the room felt dizzy as my hand tightend around the phone. "Mom?" I whispered.
I slammed the phone on the reciever and dropped to the floor next to the couch.
In all eleven years of being away from my mother, I never missed her. I never longed for her to call me, or for her to find me, because I truly hated my mother. I have since I was ten years old. I know when a girl is growing up, her mother may do little things to make her angry and she may say she hates her mother but she really doesn't. She's just annoyed with her.
This was an entirely different thing. I hated my mother. I will
never show an ounce of love for her ever again. And she did not
deserve me as her daughter.
The phone rung again.
Why did she have to call? Why did she pretend to care now?
I glared at the phone, waiting for it to stop ringing.
When it did, part of my anxiety left.
I exhaled slowly and leaned my head back against the couch.
She sounded differently. Her voice was slightly deeper, somewhat
mellow as opposed to how she used to sound when I was
I didn't recognize her voice at all. She didn't sound like the woman who gave birth to me. She sounded like a stranger. She is a stranger.
I remember Natalie as the short woman with shoulder length brown,
dead hair with equally dead brown eyes.
I remember Natalie as a woman with unkempt clothes who guzzled down coffee like it was cough medicine. She always smelled like coffee and strong perfume.
Just thinking about the two smells together made my stomach turn.
The door opened and Justin walked in, when he saw me on the floor, his eyebrows furrowed. "What's going on?"
"Natalie just called. My fucking mother just called me."
Justin's jaw dropped.
"My reaction exactly."
"Why would she be calling you?"
"Good question. I don't know why."
"Damn," Justin locks the door. "Takes eleven years for her to come looking for you. Now that's the definition of 'good mothering'."
I got up from the floor. "If the phone rings and it's her, hang
"I got it. I got it." He nods and sits down on the couch. "How was work?"
"It was okay. I saw Jamie, Daniel's son."
"I punched him in his nose and he apologized."
"Wait…wait. You punched him in his nose and he
"He claimed he was angry and high and he didn't mean it. I think it's bullshit but whatever. I'm not going to worry about it. I just thought it would turn into this whole big fight."
"Well at least you got a hit in."
I nod. "I'm going to go lay down. Too much shit happened today."
I turn and go to my room.
I laid in my bed and closed my eyes.
The thing I hated most was that this tiny, fucked-up part of me wanted to talk to her. I wanted to ask her about when I was ten. I wanted to ask her why didn't she stop Brian from doing all those things to me? Why didn't she save me when I cried out for her name every night?
And why the fuck would she call me eleven years later?
Why was she even in Chicago and how did she find me?
I rolled my eyes. I don't want to call her. It'll bring back
nothing but pain. It took me years to get over the fact that my
mother didn't love me. And when I do get over it, she wants to
waltz her way back in like nothing happened.
I guess that's why she was calling. I didn't really know.
"Peyton!" Justin called.
I sat up and got out of bed, I opened the door, made my way to the living room and stared at Justin who was holding the phone in his hand.
"What did I just tell you?" I whispered.
"She started crying over the phone. You know I can't take that
"I don't give a fuck."
"Peyton, take the damn phone. It's been eleven years."
"Hang up so there can be eleven more years."
Justin walked over and smacked the phone into my hand.
I took it and started hitting him with it.
He covered his face and grabbed me so I'd stop. He forced the
phone to my ear against my will. "She's here, Natalie." He said
into the phone.
I kicked him in the balls as hard as I can and Justin dropped to his knees.
"Peyton?" Her voice asked. She still had the stranger's voice. So
I didn't imagine it the first time I heard her a few minutes
She kept me still.
"Peyon, babe, hon, are you there?"
"How did you get my number, Natalie?"
Justin held onto his balls through his pants and glared at me as he attempted to get up.
I held up my middle finger to him and turned to go back into my
I slammed the door shut.
I sit onto my bed and keep the phone to my ear.
Natalie is silent. I feel the room going cold. "You're going to call me and not talk?" I asked.
"I prefer to talk to you face-to-face."
"Is that a yes?"
"No. Why are you calling me? Why? Eleven years and out of nowhere, you call and everything is normal? Are you delusional or…?"
"Pey-ton," She says my name sharply, like a bite. "I have to talk
to you. We need to discuss everything."
"I rather forget everything if you don't mind, Natalie. No hard feelings on you being the worst mother in the world." Sarcasm coated my tone.
She said nothing. I didn't expect her to. She fucked me over. Why would I ever want to look her in her eyes again?
"Pey-ton, I am begging you."
"You don't sound that desperate." In fact she sounds normal, plus the odd deeper tone of her voice.
"I am. I know you're still close with your dad so if you do plan to come see me, do not tell him."
"I won't make promises."
"Then come meet me and tell him. It doesn't matter. I just really
need to see you."
"Because I need to see your face."
"And waiting eleven years later?"
"I really rather discuss this over lunch, Peyton. I need to see your face. Please." She begged me.
I closed my eyes.
I was stupid.
I was very stupid.
One, I'm taliking to this stranger.
And two, I want to go see her.
See those dead eyes, and brown, raggedy, unkempt hair and baggy clothes. I wanted to smell that strong stench of perfume mixed with coffee. I wanted to see her in that hideous clunky brown sweater she used to wear all the time.
I HATED HER.
I HATED EVERYTHING ABOUT HER.
BUT SOME DEEP PART OF ME IS EMOTIONALLY PROGRAMMED TO LOVE HER.
I HATE TO LOVE HER.
She had me. Her begging had me.
"Just one lunch, Peyton. please?"
"One. One, Natalie. Tuesday at Getty's restaurant." I knew I was going to regret it. I knew I was going to be sorry. I hated the woman with a passion. But part of me was as desperate to see her as she was to see me. Why?