~Chapter 20: Anxiety
I texted Lukas to tell him what was going on and he didn't seem to happy about my mother contacting me again. Then again, it didn't mater what he thought, I was going to see her anyway. I texted him and told him that I'd tell him what happened when I was done.
I was meeting her today, during my lunch break so I have a good excuse not to stay long.
We decided on a food spot that wasn't too far from my job in
As I watched the clock slowly inching towards three thirty, a bead of sweat ran down my temple.
I guess I was nervous.
Nervous to meet a woman I hardly know.
This woman who gave birth to me.
This woman who felt designer school and her husband was more important than the one person in the world who would love her no matter what.
It's too soon.
The woman calls my phone and a couple days later we're having lunch.
I gave in too soon.
Why did I do that?
Why did I answer the phone and talk to her?
I guess when it comes to people apart of my past, I grow weak,
because that's how I was before I grew up and stopped being
afraid of my past coming back to haunt me.
Now I was that little Peyton Moyer again. The girl who was helpless and hopeless, depressed, and scared, abused, assaulted, betrayed, violated and angry.
I went out of the doors of Clearwater Publishing House and began
to walk to the meeting place.
I wonder if she'll recognize me. I wonder if I'll recognize her. I'm sure I will. There's no mistaking the unkempt bangs and shaggy hair.
As I arrived to the restaurant, I hesitated before I opened the
The place sent a decent vibe throughout the room. Everyone was talking and going about their business.
I didn't know rather she was here or not.
My eyes roamed around the room for that trademark 'style' she
I walked throughout the place, searching for her. Searching for the woman who's supposed to be my mother.
"Do you need help, miss?" Asked a blonde waitress.
"Just looking for someone." I said.
The waitress walked away as my eyes continued to roam until I
became dizzy. I was beginning to think that this was useless and
pointless. No good could come out of this lunch.
I paused. There it was, the changed voice. The opposite of the rapsy voice Natalie once held. It was different now, and sounded more realistic in person than over the phone.
I turned around and at the table behind me, sat a brunette with
thick, straight hair, laying on her shoulders, and stopping at
her breasts. Her brown eyes were bright and outlined with thick
black eyeliner that was a bit smidged at the corners.
The woman wasn't scrawny, like I remembered, she was actually full and curvy, the equivalent to me.
I blinked at her.
She smiles, her red lips turning up at the corners as her eyebrows slant up in sorrow. "Sit with me."
I continue to stare at her. This was not Natalie. It couldn't be.
Sure underneath, I could see it was her, but this new appearance
"Natalie?" I asked.
She nods. "Yes, baby girl, it's me." Her eyes watered.
Mine didn't. No emotion went through me as I stared into her eyes.
She smiled, a look of joy on her face.
She looked happy, estatic almost.
I wasn't though.
I didn't feel the mother, daughter connection everyone was supposed to feel when they were reunited by the woman that gave birth to them. I felt empty. Like she held nothing and meant nothing in my eyes. And she didn't.
I pulled the chair in front of me out and sat down on it,
cautiously sticking my eyes to hers.
Natalie rested her chin in her hand as her elbow rested on the table as she stared at me. I know she was thinking of how little I was the last time she's seen me.
I didn't want to think of the past. I wanted to get this over with.
"So you called me here. Say what you have to say."
She stared at me, not speaking for a while and it made me feel nervous so I looked away from her.
I wish I was anywhere but here right now.
"You're all grown up."
"Yeah, you missed it."
She sighs. "Peyton, please put away the sarcasm for a second. Just a second."
"Then how do you want me to act? You want me to pretend to be
happy to see you?"
"If you didn't want to see me, why did come?" Her lively brown eyes bore into mine.
"Because I want answers, Natalie."
"I'll answer anything. That's why I'm here."
The same blonde waitress came up to the table. "Can I get you anything?" She asked me.
I shake my head.
"Well, it's the rules to order something when you come here."
"Then water." I snapped.
She walked away.
I didn't want to be rude but I was irritated.
I ran my fingers through my hair and covered my eyes with my hands as my elbows rested on the table.
"Why'd you come back for me when I was ten?" I asked.
"Well, after designer school didn't work out, I thought I was
ready to take you back. I thought I could handle the
"You 'thought'?" I asked as I took my hands from my eyes and laid my arms on the table.
She nodded. "Brian didn't like the idea very much but-"
My brows furrowed as a sick feeling came to my stomach.
"Peyton, I know that I wasn't the best mother. I just always grow
weak when it comes to him."
"And that's your excuse? You grow weak around him? That sounds like a 'you' problem."
Natalie nodded. "I knew that I wasn't stable enough to raise a child but I still loved you and I wanted to see if I could handle it."
"Obviously you couldn't. I was taken from you again and your husband was locked up for what he did. Nothing was stable about the situation or about how you handled it. Technically, you didn't even handle it."
"I know. I was in denial, Peyton."
"When the police came to the house, were you still in denial?"
She waves her hand to gesture 'somewhat'.
I look away from her.
I think what makes me feel the most hurt is the fact that she didn't do anything. I couldn't tell her but she had to know. She had to hear me screaming. She had to notice my change in attitude. The briuises on my face, all over my body. How skinny I was getting, how I stopped talking for months.
I leaned forward and folded my hands on the table in front of me. I looked to her, trying to keep myself composed although I could feel that anything was going to trigger me. "Did you know? The whole time?" I asked her.
Her eyes dropped to the table cloth as the waitress returned with
my water. She sat it down but neither me or Natalie looked to
The waitress walked away and Natalie's eyes returned to mine, but she said nothing.
I nod and sit back. I know her answer. "Lovely."
"Baby girl, I wanted to do something," She reaches over to grab my hand. "Peyton-"
I snatch my hand away and sit it in my lap.
She slumps back.
I stare blankly out the window, trying to understand why she's in Chicago.
My eyes water as I look back to her. "Why are you here?"
"I want to try this again. I've been debating for years rather or not I should do this. Come see you. Or if you'd even let me. But I decided that this is what I want. I want to sit and talk to you, learn about how you've been, how's your job, if you been seeing anyone. I wanted to know it all…..if you'd tell me."
I shake my head. "Why does it matter?"
"I lost eleven years, Peyton."
"And that's your fault. Natalie whatever kind of plan you had for us, it's not going to work. You coming back into my life is not going to work. So please save yourself the embarassment and leave me alone."
She shook her head. "You're my daughter, Peyton."
"And you're my mother who didn't do anything while your husband was fucking me."
"Peyton, damnit, what was I supposed to do? The man is stronger than me."
I pushed the table hard out of anger, knocking a base of flowers over. Water spilled out of the vase and onto the floor. I ignored the stares we were receiving from a couple of strangers. "I don't give a fuck," I said between gritted teeth. "You could have fucking stopped him, Natalie. If a man was hurting my daughter, I'd take a fucking knife to his damn neck because I'd love my daughter enough to kill someone for her, you fucking cunt!"
She stared at me, shocked, speechless. She hasn't known me well
enough to understand how much of a temper I have. I had one since
I was twelve.
I hated to use it on my dad but I had to. I was fine with using it on Natalie.
She just blinked silently at me. She leaned forward and picks the vase up and place the flowers back in before looking to me. "Are you saying I don't love you?"
"You left me with dad when I was three. Apparently designer school was more important. Then you fight to get me back and allow your husband to do whatever to me just to have me taken away again. Then you contact me again….eleven years later. Natalie, that's not love. I like to call it 'bullshit'."
"The first five years, I couldn't. I was in prison because I was
an accessory to the crime."
"And the other six?"
"I already told you, I knew you wouldn't want to see me."
"Well you could have tried. You could have fucking
tried, and showed me you gave a fuck!"
"I do, Peyton. I'm doing this now. Please understand that this is killing me. Having to stay away after what happened was very hard. Very painful."
"Was it? Honestly, for me, life was easier without you."
"We can make this right again, Peyton. You and me."
I cover my face with my hand and laugh silently. "Oh my god." I close my eyes. "Natalie, you need help. You need pills….or a therapist….or something." I opened my eyes and slammed my hand on the table. "You need something to show that I do not belong to you. There is no 'you and me' and I am not…I am not your fucking daughter."
I can tell the words hit home, this look of pity and heartbreak coated her face. I remember that face. I use to see it often when she was with Brian.
"Peyton," her voice broke.
She reached out for me and I snatched my hand away again. "Don't." I say sharply.
She sniffed as a tear slowly fell down her cheek.
"Just stop trying. Don't call me anymore. I won't answer and I don't want to see you, Natalie. I don't want you in my life. I do not love you, and I do not like you. I hate you….I hate you…I fucking hate you." Any love that I thought I ever had for her was now down the drain now that I was talking to her. Now that I was face-to-face with the woman.
I thought that I would have maybe a tiny bit of connection, love….anything for her but I didn't. It was all gone.
"I'm going home now."
She sighed, "Peyton, wait, someone needs to talk to you."
The second she said it, my eyes looked up and I seen him.
My heart start to race as I lock eyes with his furious and
hateful dark brown eyes.
I can feel my chest thumping, out of control, and I feel it beating through my ears.
The room suddenly gets hot, feverish, with every step he took.
I couldn't breathe.
Sweat beaded my forehead and under my arms, all throughout my
body as all the memories came hitting back at me hard. All the
crying, the pain, the weeks of starvation, and no one helping
My eyes watered up as my throat tightened.
As he made his way to the table, I got up really fast, knocking the chair over. I got a bad head rush and it made me dizzy as I fell to the floor.
Some people tried to help me up and tried to talk to me but I
couldn't hear them.
All I could hear was my beating heart, loud and fast drumming through my ears.
And at this point, black spots covered my vision.
This always happened to me and its been years since I had my last anxiety attack.
I tried to regain my vision as two people helped me up and tried to get me to sit down. I fought them so I they'd stop touching me.
My eyes met Brian's again and he was staring at me, his lips in a
straight line and his eyes holding that murderous glare.
I backed away from my mother's table, and hurried out of the restaurant.