Okay, so back to my Momma duties!! I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of my amazing friends, Readers, Bloggers and fellow Authors who have nudged me along the way! I love you all!!
I pace nervously across my bedroom floor, chewing my nails, whispering a silent prayer. “Lord PLEASE, I’m not ready for a baby. I’m only seventeen! My daddy will kill me and Colton is gonna be pissed!”
Colton. How the hell do I tell him I’m pregnant? He made it clear yesterday he was done with our relationship, done with me. After three years, he finally pushed me away and walked out of my life. I don’t understand why, and right now there is just too much to process to even bother. It’s just too much!
“This can’t be happening!” I yell in a fit of rage. The egg timer dings, interrupting my hormonal fit. I still... too scared to approach my pending destiny. Suck it up, Carly, waiting ain’t gonna change the results!
Walking into the bathroom I grab the stick from the sink and glance quickly at the result. I brace myself as my knees buckle, and I slowly slide down the wall. I’m PREGNANT! I crawl to the toilet to expel my morning breakfast. Fear and anxiety creep over my body as I hug the toilet tightly. I’m too young to be a mom. I stand to flush, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand, and I can’t help but giggle to myself. There goes my dreams, right down the toilet along with breakfast ... ironic, huh?
I fight back the jumbled thoughts crawling through my mind and decide I need help. This is too big of a situation to handle on my own. But who do I turn to? My momma is in Florida, she has been out of my life since I was seven, well, besides holidays anyways. Savannah, my older sister, is away at college at the University of Kentucky. Colton doesn’t want me. Daddy. He always knows what to do. He always has the best advice. I’m Daddy’s little girl, his favorite. Daddy is at the mines, as usual, and this isn’t a conversation I need to have with anyone over the phone. So off to the mines I go. Dang I hope I don’t run into Colton there! Stupid, stupid, stupid Carly!!!
I slide on my flip flops, grab my keys, and I’m out the door. It’s a beautiful late spring day. The trees are in full bloom and the air is crisp and fresh. It’s only a twenty minute drive to the mines, but it feels like it takes forever. My brain is running on all gears, thoughts flying everywhere. I crank up the stereo to drown it all out. Flipping through the stations, Better Than Me by Hinder flows from the speakers. Each word strikes at my heart, lashing the wounds of mine and Colton’s break-up deeper.
‘You deserve better than me’, or so Colton said. I don’t even understand how that’s possible, when he’s all I’ve ever known.
Finally, I approach the guard gate and Tony waves me through without question- perks of being the owner’s daughter. I park beside Daddy’s coal-covered Silverado 2500 HD, and make my way to the office. Eww, this place reeks of coal and sulfur. Daddy could have a twenty-four-hour cleaning staff and the office would still be covered in soot and smell. But these mines are his life. I always wonder why he insists in having his office site at the mines. He is the frickin’ owner, shouldn’t he have someone running this hell hole for him, or at least have a CLEAN office in town? Nope, not daddy, these mines are his baby. He runs it on site so he can oversee all of the day to day operations himself. He’d never trust anyone to run it.
Shelly, Daddy’s receptionist, tells me he is in a meeting, so I wait rather impatiently in the lobby. Seventeen and pregnant, yep this spoiled rich kid has really screwed up! Chewing away at my nails, drumming my foot against the floor, Shelly senses my irritation and tries to help.
“Anything I can help ya with Carly? You look a little flustered, and your cheeks are flush.” Her comment stops me in my tracks and I give her a deadpan stare.
“No, I’m fine, Shelly, thanks. I just need to talk to my daddy is all.” I continue my beat against the floor as she finds her way back to her desk. I hear a loud chuckle as Daddy’s office door swings open wide. Out walks Daddy and a tall man in his mine clothes ...hmm, don’t recognize him, and I know most of the miners here. He nods and smiles as he walks past me, carrying a thick gold envelope. I notice his uniform tag reads MSHA on the left pocket. Mine Safety and Health Administration. Of course, Daddy is paying off yet another inspector. Hell, if he didn’t the mines would’ve been closed years ago.
‘Ya gotta spend money to make money, princess,’ I hear Daddy’s comment from so many times before. The man was never tight or cheap on the wallet, that’s for sure.
“Princess, what are you doin’ here?” Daddy asks as he wraps me in his arms for a bear hug.
“Just needed to see my old man, maybe catch your infinite wisdom. Got a minute for your favorite gal?” I ask, sweetly. He smiles, a nervously as he ushers me to his office.
“Hold my calls, Shelly,” he hollers back as he closes the door. “Alright Princess, what’s goin’ on? You never come to the mines, so don’t pull this wantin’ to see your daddy bullshit on me,” Daddy says with that stern look on his face. Yep, he read right through me, should’ve known. My face flushes, and anxiety creeps through my chest. If I don’t spit it out now I may never be brave enough. Taking a deep breath I spill my confession.
“Daddy, I’m pregnant.” I look up at him, gauging his expression, but it’s blank. “I just found out this morning and came straight to tell you. I haven’t even told Colton, yet. Hell, he doesn’t even want me anymore, and I just don’t know what to do! What about college? What about law school? I’m only seventeen, I can’t raise a baby! Hell, I never even had a mom growing up! I’ve never changed a diaper, made a bottle, swaddled a baby ... Oh my god they smell, they poop, they pee, they cry all the time!” Yep, I literally flip my shit!
Daddy falls back in his leather chair halfway through my spew of self-loathing. As I finish my confession, I look up to see his face is hard and beet red. I have rendered him speechless. Nice! Way to go Carly! The man who never shuts up has quite possibly just bit off his tongue, and is now mute.
Daddy leans back in his leather chair tossing his feet upon his desk, and begins to rub the tip of his mustache. SHIT! I know that look and it terrifies me. Sighing a loud harrumph he begins his protest. “Carolina Jo Simon, I swear to God if you ain’t just royally screwed the hell up! Life as you know it is over, princess. And be damned sure, I ain’t about to raise no damn kid so you can go traipsin’ off livin’ it up at UK.” He growls at me, his eyes fierce slits, “Hells bells, forget UK, that dream is gone. There is no way you’ll get in on that cheer scholarship now! Not totin’ a damn kid around. Nope, not gonna happen! You better get this figured out little girl. You’re all on your own. And I swear to God when I see that friggin’ son of a bitch Colton, I’m gonna have his balls in a damn vice grip! No damn miner of mine is good enough for my little girl to begin with! I told you he wasn’t good enough for you years ago. Hell, he blew his chance at any real life when he blew out his knee, but now he is a miner Carly Jo. A miner! He ain’t good enough for you, Carly Jo.” Daddy yells in frustration, scrubbing his hands against his face. “I swear you are just like your damn mother. That damned woman would have been the death of me if she hadn’t left, but no, YOU, you will be the death of me. Makin’ me a damn papaw. And did you even think how this is gonna make me look to the public, to the media? I can see it now in the headlines, ‘Coal Giant’s a papaw to a bastard child’!” He adds the air quotes for sarcasm.
I listen to him rant and rave in tears. My heart pounds in my ears as I grow angry at his painful words, bastard child, just like your mother, is he freakin’ kidding me? Should’ve known he couldn’t have any compassion. Damn, John Simon is a true son of a bitch. Always, only thinking of himself and this god forsaken coal pit. I fight back the tears as I stand strong on my own two feet and spew words that I can never take back. Words that should never be said to any father.
“Screw it!” I yell at him, throwing my hands in the air in defeat. “I don’t need you! I don’t need Colton! Nobody will ever have to know about your ‘bastard grandkid’! If the damn mines and your super-sized ego means that damn much to you, and you are willing to lose your family, I’ll walk away, but I’ll never look back! I can’t believe you can cut your own flesh and blood down with such hurtful words! I came to you because you’ve always been there for me, but now you want to push me away because I made a mistake? A mistake that would bring so much love and joy to our lives. You want no part of that?”
He stares at me blankly, shrugging his shoulders, as he continues rolling his mustache between his finger and thumb.
“Forget it, I don’t care ... I’m done. I don’t want any part of you or these damn mines!” Anger has consumed me. Before he can heave his rebuttal, I stomp out of his office and through the front door. I hurry to my car and speed out of the parking lot without turning back. My daddy is ashamed of me. Me, his princess, his little girl. I screwed up. But I went to him because I thought he could tell me how to handle the situation. But, he is humiliated by this mistake I could bring into our family. Worried his good name may be smeared, he doesn’t want me or my baby. Well, I’m not going to be around to be that constant reminder of shame to him. He’ll never tell anyone that I’m pregnant, so nobody needs to know. Not even Colton.
I drive straight home through reddened eyes and put my plan into action. Racing up the stairs I grab a suitcase from the hall closet and start packing. Just as I pass by my desk I catch a glimpse of a picture frame. The photo is of my daddy, me and Colton at my graduation, taken just a few weeks ago. My two favorite guys, the loves of my life. How did I lose both of them in just a matter of hours? I toss the photo in my suitcase and zip it up.
I fall back lifelessly on my bed, and fight back the burning that stings my eyes. I’m too strong to be this emotional. I curl into my pillow, hugging it tight to my face, and allow the tears to break free, staining my cheeks, dampening my pillow. I can’t believe I’m even considering this. Once I leave there is no turning back, but Daddy doesn’t want us. Us? Weird...I just found out that I’m pregnant, and suddenly I’m-us.
Burying my irrational thought back deep in my mind, I pull myself from my bed and stomp into Daddy’s office to grab his stash of petty cash. I have a few thousand dollars in my checking account, but Daddy always keeps plenty of extra money in the house. Hell, he’ll never miss any of it. Gotta make sure I have enough to live on until I can find a job, wherever I’m going.
I carry my bags down the stairs, taking a deep breath, trying to catch my bearings. Stay strong Carly, you can do this, I coax myself. I can’t believe this is the path my life is taking. Just a few weeks ago, I graduated high school and had some pretty amazing plans for the road ahead of me. I would be spending my final summer here in this small town, country living, coalfield before heading off to Lexington, Kentucky to live in my new found freedom as an adult, free from my daddy’s controlling ways. Now, a curve ball gets tossed at this meek little cheerleader, and I can’t swing a bat so I strike out! Defeated.
I gather my bags and open the front door stepping out onto the porch. I take one last look around at my surroundings. The front porch swing where I used to sit on daddy’s lap, stealing sips of his coffee when I was just a little girl. The driveway where I skinned my knee learning to ride my bicycle without training wheels. The oak tree where Colton and I took my senior prom pictures.
Turning to look inside, I see the fireplace where the Christmas stockings used to hang and lights twinkling from the huge Douglas fir that homed the several presents Daddy would stuff under the tree for me and Savannah. A tear slides down my cheek as I realize by stepping off this porch, I’m stepping away from the only life I have ever known. Stepping away from Daddy, away from Colton, and away from home. But, I take that the step and make my way to my car, tossing the bags in the trunk.
I slide in the driver seat and start the engine. Big Girl’s Don’t Cry by Fergie blasts through the speakers. I find strength in the lyrics and suck back every ounce of negative emotion that is gnawing at my heart. With a deep inhale, I take one last look at home before backing out of the driveway. Shifting the car in gear I drive away, towards my future, my new life, and away from Williamstown, Kentucky, hoping to never look back.
Covered in Coal
Lies Beneath the Surface
Mend the Seams
Top of Form
Depths of Darkness-https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24901973-depths-of-darkness?ac=1