"There are Ben’s parents." I whisper to Alex, as we stand awkwardly in the park waiting for Ben’s parents and girlfriend to show up. We were supposed to meet at 10 and it’s not almost 11. Ben’s mom has never been on time for anything in her life. When Ben and I met in college and started dating, she was furious. Ben’s family is very well-known, and my family never stood a chance against them. She never approved of me and constantly tried to split Ben and I apart. It ended up being Ben that split us apart though, I guess she figured I’d give the baby up for adoption, but I couldn’t. And I’m glad that I didn’t. "That must be his girlfriend." I mutter, referring to the skinny redhead walking beside them. Ben is still nowhere in sight. He was supposed to get here at 9:30, to make sure we wouldn’t be alone when his parents got here.
Ben came by this morning to get Charlie so they could get the picnic stuff, and that way he could explain to Charlie what was going on. "Is Ben here yet?" Marsha, Ben’s mom, asks rudely, not bothering to say, ‘hello’ or throw a second glance at Alex. Edgar, Ben’s dad, glances at his wife with a small sad smile on his face before turning his attention on Alex and me.
"My oh my Christina, you look just as beautiful as ever." Edgar smiles at me. Edgar is nothing like his wife thankfully, and we actually became relatively close while Ben and I were together. "And who is this young man?" He asks, motioning to Alex.
Smiling back at him, I reply, "Edgar, this is my fiance Alex." I speak, purposefully leaving Marsha out of the conversation. "Alex, these are Ben’s parents, Marsha and Edgar." I mutter, and point to everyone as I say their names.
Before anyone can say anything else, the small redhead steps forward, so she’s pushing Edgar and Marsha apart, "I’m Lisa. Ben’s girlfriend." She smiles with a strange look in her eyes. "It’s so nice to meet you." She adds, "Where’s the little guy? What’s his name… Chuck?"
"His name’s Charlie, and Ben should be here any minute. He was supposed to be here a long time ago." I mutter impatiently, and Alex grips my hand tightly. I’m not ok with this chick being around Charlie if she can’t even remember his name. "It’s nice to meet you Lisa." I lie, and watch as she looks me up and down and then shifts her gaze to Alex. Don’t even dare bitch.
Batting her eyelashes at him, Lisa asks, "So Alex, what do you do?" She asks with an annoying smile on her face. Is she trying to be seductive or something? She looks like she’s drunk. Before he can answer, I finally see Ben’s car parking in the parking lot across the park, so I pull Alex toward the parking lot with me.
"Look there’s Ben. Let’s go meet him." I add quickly, and the others start following as well. It’s about damn time he got here. "Mom!" I hear right off, and I can tell that there is something wrong. I guess it’s a mother’s instinct, but I can always tell by Charlie’s voice if there is something wrong. I drop Alex’s hand as I walk around Ben’s car to help Charlie out of his car seat before pulling him into my arms. "What’s wrong honey?" I ask, ignoring the look that I’m getting from Ben.
"I want to go home." He whispers, and I can feel his tears staining my shirt, "I want to go home." He sobs again and buries his head into the crook of my neck. I glance up at Ben, and if looks could kill, he would be on the ground right now.
I glance back at Alex, as he steps up behind me and puts his hand on my shoulder. "Charlie, how about you and Alex go ahead and go to the car, while I get your car seat." I whisper in his ear, and he nods as I set him down and Alex instantly takes his hand. I’m glad Charlie is so comfortable with Alex, because I’m in love with Alex, but I couldn’t be with anyone who didn’t love Charlie as much as Alex does.
I wait for Alex and Charlie to get across the parking lot before I turn back to Ben, and I’m sure he can see the rage filling my eyes. "What happened?" I stutter, trying to keep my voice calm enough so that Lisa and Ben’s parents can’t hear everything, even though I’m sure they can because we’re only a few feet away from them.
"We were just talking…" Ben mumbles, and starts to twiddle his thumbs nervously. He’d always had that habit when he lied. He looks up and notices the hard look on my face so he continues, "Fine. I might have told him that I want him to live with me. I’m sure he’ll tell you what happened anyway. He kind of thinks that I was implying that he wouldn’t get to see you, which I wasn’t, but he just freaked out about it."
Rolling my eyes, and putting my hands on my hips, I straighten my shoulders so I can look straight into Ben’s eyes. There was a point in our relationship where one look into his eyes would have me losing my grip on everything, but now, the look in his eyes makes me even more furious. How dare he tell Charlie that he wants custody? He lied to me and said he wouldn’t try to take Charlie away from me.
"Why the hell would you do that? You went behind my back to tell Charlie about this? How could you?" I ask, with tears burning in my eyes from rage. I watch as Ben’s gaze shifts to his mom for a moment before it all clicks in my head. "You have got to be kidding me. You say you’ve grown up, but you’re just the same as you were when we got together. You listen to every little thing your mommy says. Did she pick Lisa out for you? Let me guess, Lisa’s family is rich, and she’s probably perfect in your mom’s eyes, huh?" I laugh at him, trying to hide the hysterical tears threatening to spill.
Ben’s mom had been the one thing that always made us fight. She had no reason not to like me, except that my background isn’t good enough for her. "Before you see Charlie again, I want a court order stating who has custody because you will not take my son from me." I hiss at him, and turn to walk back to my car but instead I come face to face with Marsha.
"You’re just mad that I never approved of you. Maybe now you see why. Lisa is going places, so is Ben. Look at where you are. You’re going to be stuck here for the rest of your life and we can prove to any judge that you are not fit to support Charlie." She growls at me, and I take a step back from her.
"Don’t threaten me. There’s no way Ben will get custody. He hasn’t done anything for the last five years, and we’ve been fine for all of that time. I was going places, but I gave up my dreams for my son. Something that Ben could never do." I shout back at her.
"I’d guess that you only survived because of your parents. You never could’ve done any of this alone." Marsha speaks with venom dripping from her tone. Ignoring her ignorant comment, I push past her so I can get to the other side of the parking lot. I crawl in the passenger seat quickly, and look at Alex hoping that he won’t want me to say anything, and thankfully, he turns away to back out of the parking space without asking any questions. It’s not that I don’t want him to know I just can’t talk about it right now.
Running my hand through my hair, I slam the back door shut on my car. So much for a happy family picnic. "Ben, what can I do?" Lisa asks, and I notice that she’s now standing right next to me. I close my eyes and shake my head in response as I feel her hand slip into mine before I pull away.
"I can’t do this right now." I whisper, and turn to walk around my car and get in. "I’ll call you later, ok?" I mutter at her and ignore the hurt look on her face. I glance over where my mom is standing by herself and I see my dad standing a ways off in the distance. "I’m sorry." I whisper, before ducking into the car.
Before I can slam the door, I hear, "Benjamin, wait." And I groan at the icy tone of my mother’s voice. "You’re not going to go talk to that girl are you? Just go talk to your lawyer and get custody. She said she wants the court order, so give it to her."
"Dammit mom, just stay the fuck out of this!" I shout a her, and step out of the car again, so I know she can hear me. "You’ve been here for less than 24 hours, and I’m already fighting with Christina, and she won’t let me talk to my son! This is none of your business!" I yell, and slam my hand into the side of the car. "And, you don’t know anything about Christina because you never gave her a chance! She’s a great mom, and she’s supported herself and Charlie for the last five years on her own. Her parents have never met Charlie, and have never given her a dime." I mumble, and watch my mother as she debates over what she wants to say. "Just stay out of this, ok? I wanted you to meet your grandson, that’s it. If you don’t want to meet him then maybe you should just go back to Boston." I finish and slip back into my car before slamming the door and speeding out of the parking lot.
It’s Just Too Late - Chapter 14Trouble in paradise.
By Kylee Marie