Chapter One: A Mother's Dying Words
"I think it's almost time..." the pale, dying woman murmured, a feat that was hard to accomplish these days for the dying woman.
"Mom, don't talk like that!" Presley pleaded as tears formed in her crystal blue eyes. She rarely did cry, especially in front of her mother, but as she watched the middle-aged woman cling on to life, tubes and wires helping her achieve that, it was hard not to want to break down completely. It had only been the two of them for as long as Presley could remember and the mere thought of losing her... "You're going to be okay! I know you're going to be okay! There has to be something the doctors can do... You'll see, mom..." she cried.
Deep down the teenager knew otherwise, which made it all the more painful. Grace Monroe had been dying of pancreatic cancer for the past three months now and there had been nothing the doctors could have done in order to help her; aside of course from making her as comfortable as possible for the days she had left.
"The cancer is too advanced." the doctor had told Presley when she'd first learned of her mother's condition. "Pancreatic cancer doesn't usually show symptoms early on, which was the case with your mother... Listen, I know this is hard Miss Monroe, but your mother doesn't have a lot of time... I'm truly sorry."
For what had seemed like ages, Presley's life had consisted of watching her mother wither away like a flower in the late months of autumn. She was exhausted and her grades were suffering drastically, but her teachers knew what was going on and Presley's friends were trying their hardest to help out in her time of need.
"No... Honey," Grace spoke, as though every single breath she took was a stab to the stomach. "Hon... there's something I need to tell you... I should have said something years ago... It's about... Hon, I need to tell you about your father." she struggled. Presley edged closer in disbelief.
"My... what? No, mom... It's okay..." Presley attempted as she placed a hand onto her mother's, assuming it was the morphine talking. Presley's father hadn't been a subject of conversation in... ever.
"Listen... Your father... He lives in Connecticut... His name is David Thompson..." she paused, painfully taking a few breaths as she met her daughter's teary eyes. "He's a good man and you'll absolutely love... You... you also have a sister..." Confused and unable to grasp at the fine threads, Presley couldn't find words to say. Finally she decided with one word that had worked so well in the past.
"Mom..." Presley whined.
"Baby, you'll learn to love them... Honey, listen to..." the dying woman smiled, as though recalling memories from once upon a time. "You'll be happy. You'll see, you'll hurt for a little while... but then you'll be happy again... Honey – honey look at me... We'll see each other again someday..." Someday. It just seemed so damn far away...
Presley clung to her mother's cold, frail hand as though she was the one clinging on for dear life... in actuality, she was trying to keep her mother here. She didn't want her to go!
Presley found it strange. Strange that she could barely remember the days following her mother's death. The funeral had gone on as it should have – morbid, sad; people walked up to her every once in a while with their condolences and solemn smiles. Each and every time the dark-haired teenager would reply with the same meaningless phrases: Thank you and I'm fine. She had spent hours on end sitting with social workers and child services, arguing that she was sixteen and that she would be perfectly fine on her own – that she had practically been taking care of herself ever since her mother had gotten sick.
But now, as she sat staring out of a train window, watching the skyscrapers turn into more of a small town feel, she couldn't help but feel completely and utterly drained. Drained of energy, of tears, of emotions... just... drained. She was about to meet her father for the first time and she couldn't bring herself to feel anything at all. She didn't care at all.
It was only when she saw the sign that said 'New Haven, Connecticut' that she realized she didn't know what to say to the man that was but a sperm donor to her. He had left – obviously he didn't want her...
After social workers had worked to find him, Presley had learned that her father – David – lived in Hamden, which was fifteen minutes away from where he was meant to pick her up. Presley wished he hadn't forgotten... then again, maybe it wouldn't be so terrible. She could find a job and live on her own here. She didn't need a father, considering she hadn't needed one for seventeen whole years...
"You look sad," said the old man that had been sitting beside Presley since the beginning of the trip. She was surprised to hear him speak, considering he'd been quietly minding his own business these past three hours – like her. "Are you alright?"
No, I'm not. My mother just fucking died and I'm now stuck with a father I've never met and a nameless sister I don't give a rat's ass about. I wouldn't be able to tell who they are in a crowd, damn it! I'm not alright, not one fucking bit!
At least that was what she wanted to say. "It's nothing." was a much simpler answer, and it was the one she gave the old man as she glanced his way. Besides, just those two words wouldn't lead to a complicated conversation about her complicated life; one she just did not want to get into with this complete stranger. "What about you? Where are you heading off to?" she asked, merely to keep her mind off of said complicated life and to be polite.
"I'm going to see my daughter. She just gave birth to my first grandchild last night – a little boy. Simon James Lewis." He sounded so proud that Presley couldn't help but smile slightly. "Do you want to see him?" he added with a large grin that only grandfathers speaking of their grandson could have across their face.
"Sure." Presley said with a light chuckle as a small picture of a baby boy, wrapped in a fluffy pastel blue blanket, was slipped in her palm. The baby looked so innocent – Presley could only wish to feel that way once again... Just for a little while...
"Isn't he the most beautiful thing?" the man continued as Presley handed him the picture. She merely nodded, glancing out of the window at the New England-style homes. She had always loved the small town feel, yet would never have expected to live in such a place. She was a New York City girl; she had been raised in a small apartment in Manhattan, walked the streets of Times Square with her mother, skated through Central Park with her friends... She wasn't a New England girl – not one bit. Small towns were suffocating. Everyone knowing your business? Everyone knowing your name?
"What is your daughter's name?" Presley asked curiously. "If you don't mind me asking." She doubted the old man would – he seemed so eager to talk to somebody. A part of Presley wondered where his wife was... or if he even had one.
"Oh, I certainly don't mind! Her name is Sasha. She just turned twenty-six in May... She was married three years ago to a nice young man from New Haven. He's from a good family and he treats my Sasha right... She grew up without her mom, you see. My wife died when she was only a baby. A young girl shouldn't have to live without her mama, you know?" the old man spoke. Presley rubbed at her cheek, hoping he hadn't seen the tear as it slipped from her eyelid. She did know... all too well.
Before she could say anything however, the train came to a halt and Presley could have sworn her heart did also. Subconsciously she held in her breath, listening as the conductor's voice announced through the speakers that they had arrived in New Haven. It was as though he had announced the beginning of the rest of her life...
It only took a few seconds for the crowd to form as eager people pushed to get off. Down below families were reuniting and businessmen were meeting up with co-workers, already discussing business as they began marching away. A young man was embracing his girlfriend – or perhaps she was his wife – while another looked down lonesomely at a wrinkled map of the small city. She couldn't see a man that resembled who her father could be – then again, if she really stopped to think about it, he could look like anyone. Presley looked identical to her mother, only her eyes were blue, while her mom's had been brown... and Presley's face was a little more heart-shaped...
"It was nice to meet you, kid." the old man said as he held out his hand to shake Presley's. She immediately jumped out of her thoughts, smiling down at him, holding all of her emotions inside as she hesitantly extended her hand, her bitten nails painted black while silver rings could be seen on some of her fingers.
"Yeah... I wish you all the best with your daughter and grandson." Presley replied. The man beamed at her before turning around so as to join the queue making its way towards the exit. Presley sighed, watching as the man strolled off with a spring in his step – the excitement of finally holding that precious boy in his arms was leaking out of his pours...
"You can do this P." she told herself silently before following in the old man's tracks, her lonesome suit case slung onto her right shoulder while her duffel bag was hanging off her left arm. She had never cared much for clothes and other material things. Unless of course you counted the item clasped in her right hand. It was an old skateboard that had seen better days, but she loved it more than any other possession she'd ever owned before.
As she stepped off the train, Presley couldn't help but hold her breath momentarily. This was the moment of truth... In a blink of an eye, everything was going to change and the dark-haired, blue-eyed teen didn't like it. She didn't like it one bit.
Author's note: Hey there, I'm bringing you my latest work! Before you read any further, this will be your average teen soap opera with drama and the whole darn thing. Please rate and review, it would be greatly appreciated!
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