It's Easier Than It Seems

When I Come Around

Sunday 23rd September 9pm

Billie had surprised both myself and my mother by buying her return tickets to visit us in California. It was her 50th birthday and I had mentioned in passing to Billie that I would like to go over to England to see her so she wasn’t alone. Instead, the next day he handed me confirmation of the plane tickets and told me to tell my mom to pack her suitcase - she was flying first class.

But with everything that had happened yesterday it had completely slipped my mind until my mom had texted me with a simple ‘just landed. See you soon, love you xx’, and wanting to sort out the bombshell Sasha had dropped I was almost disheartened she was going to stay. I didn’t want her week to be ruined by drama, I wanted to give her the best birthday she’s had. But I felt like our minds were elsewhere.

I knew making my mother happy on her birthday would be worth it, but by God, we were very unenthusiastic about her arrival. The part of me that would be with my mom in body and spirit would make sure she had the best 50th birthday in America, even if my mind wasn’t all there.

The stress was starting to make my whole body hurt; I needed to focus on calming myself, if not for me but the baby.

“Shit,” I mumbled under my breath as I looked to my phone; she had texted again with ‘just got in the taxi, see you soon xx’, I hadn’t even prepared the house for her arrival.

Billie looked up from his book, mid-nail-biting and paused. “What?” He questioned softly, his tired eyes catching mine.

I scrunched up my face, picking up my phone to respond to her with a simple ‘okay xx’.

“My mom will be here soon” I mumbled, standing up from my seat and rearranging the cushions on the sofa. I started frantically grabbing any rubbish I could find to throw away.

Billue rubbed his hand along his face and let out a deep sigh. “Oh yeah,” He sighed.

I walked into the kitchen, dropping the rubbish into the trash can when I felt flutters in my stomach, a sensation like butterflies that I had not felt before. After speaking to the midwife she had prepared me for this feeling and I had been eagerly awaiting for it.

I smiled, running my hand along my stomach, I had started to bond with the little jelly bean and feeling it move gave me an overwhelming feeling of love for something I had not yet met; I couldn’t explain it, I just loved it, and couldn’t wait to see their face.

All the worries I had about either not being a good mother or not being prepared were being pushed aside - there was something alive inside of me, and I cared about it so much already.

Although, it was scary to think I was already at the 19-week mark. Two weeks time and we’d have a gender reveal scan, it would also mean we were officially under 20 weeks to go which would still give Billie and I plenty of time to argue about a name.

I looked up, my eyes meeting Billie’s who flashed me a warm smile. I hadn’t realised he had followed me into the kitchen and had been watching me whilst I was fascinated by my stomach. “Can you feel them?” He asked, walking over to me, I nodded in response. He placed his palm over my stomach and looked at me, smiling gently. “Makes it more real doesn’t it? Adie said it was like butterflies to start with.”

In a way, perhaps it was the hormones - that annoyed me. I knew Billie had two kids already from the beginning, it wasn’t a surprise he had experienced this all before, but I wish we could both be experiencing this for the first time, and it wasn’t just a normal rodeo for Billie. It felt a little condescending for some reason.

I sighed heavily and Billie took his hand away. “Are you alright?” He asked, confused as to what he had said.

I nodded, placing dirty dishes into the dishwasher, turning my back to him in doing so. “I know this isn’t what you wanted; to start again,” I replied, quietly - almost a whisper. “Just feels weird when you refer back to Adie, I don’t know why.”

“Don’t talk like that,” Billie quipped. “Please, just…” He let his train of thought go as his mind wandered off. What was he thinking?

“Billie?” I craned my neck to look back at him.

His sullen eyes looked back at mine. “I’m trying my best, I’m sorry.” He bowed his head, perhaps the last twenty-four hours getting to him, I wasn’t sure if he had slept. He ran his hand down his face again and sighed. “This may not be a new experience for me, but I still care, and it’s what I want, this-” he gestured towards me, “-is what I want.”

I smiled softly and walked over to him. “I know you do… I’m sorry, I… I don’t know why that bothered me,” I wasn’t the jealous type, so I wasn’t sure why thinking of Billie’s previous family irked me now. Perhaps it was because I was starting to feel like our little family was finally coming together. “You know, we’re going to be okay, I know it… after everything we have been through, we will be okay,” I reassured, wrapping my arms around Billie’s back, rubbing gently.

I closed my eyes into his chest and took in a deep breath - taking in the scent of his cologne and a faint smell of cigarettes. I felt his arms snake around my body, his fingers gripping into my back.

He tilted his head back to look at me, and I looked up to catch his gaze. “You’re amazing, you know that right?” He whispered, planting a soft kiss on my lips.

I laughed, rolling my eyes. “Come on, we need to sort this house out before my mom arrives.”

Billie and I spent the next half hour tidying the house as much as we could, and prepared the guest room for her, right before we heard a knock at the door - my mom was here already.

“Hey, mom!” I exclaimed as I opened the front door for her. I pulled her into a tight hug before welcoming her into the home. “Happy birthday English time!”

“Hello! Thank you!” She exclaimed, eyes wide open. “Sorry! I’ve had like ten cups of coffee and anti-travel sickness pills so I am super awake! How warm is it outside considering the time?!”

I giggled, I had never seen my mom like this, but it was nice to see her smile, especially all that had happened this year. It was still hard thinking about my father; it felt like a million years ago since we lost him, but at the same time, it felt like I was still in that hospital waiting to see how he was.

“So, is everything okay?” She asked, looking between Billie and myself, we smiled and nodded unanimously but didn’t give her an answer. “Right, and hows the baby?”

I walked into the living room and pulled a photo album out of the sideboard. “The baby is definitely a baby,” I teased, flicking to the 2nd page to show her the latest ultrasound scan. “We should hopefully know if it’s a boy or girl in a fortnight.”

“Are you hoping for a girl, Billie?” My mom asked Billie, knowing the other option would be an army of mini Billie’s walking around with unkempt hair and green eyes.

Billie shrugged, his hands sliding into the front pockets of his jeans. “I don’t mind what it is, as long as it doesn’t have like, six arms or something creepy,” He didn't sound very enthusiastic, and suddenly looked like he could fall asleep standing up.

I jabbed Billie in the side with my elbow which was met with an ‘ow’, half intending to wake him up, the other to hurt for the squid baby comment. “The baby won’t have six arms, anyway, it might swim faster if it did,” I joked, smiling at Billie who pulled a fake smile in response.

“And everything else… is okay? You guys seem a bit off,” She questioned again. “Trouble in paradise?”

Billie exhaled loudly. “Everything is fine!” Billie snapped through gritted teeth, turning around and walking up the stairs. Both my mother and I were silenced in shock. I felt almost overprotective of my mother, furrowing my brow at his lack of respect.

Was it because he was tired? Was it because my mother wouldn’t accept we were okay as we were terrible liars? Either way, it wasn’t acceptable behaviour.

“Billie?” I called out for him but he left in a huff. I looked to my mother sheepishly. “Sorry, he’s going through… a lot, and he’s super tired, but that’s not a good excuse for that.” I wasn’t prepared to tell her the truth about why Billie might have been upset. Bringing up Sasha would just open up a can of worms.

“It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” She reassured, rubbing my arm. “Are you okay?” She added, looking deeply into my eyes with concern.

I rolled my eyes, how many times was she going to ask? I guess she only cared, and I wasn’t going to snap at someone who cared about me. “Yeah, I’m fine,” I smiled, looking down and rubbing my stomach. “We’re fine, other than the all-day sickness and whatnot, and I did feel it move earlier!”

She grinned from ear to ear; a proud grandparent indeed. “I can’t wait to meet them.”

“Neither can I.”


With Billie hiding away in our bedroom, I stayed downstairs with my mother to both make her feel welcome and to give Billie space.

Since she was hyped up from the flight over I offered to make her a hot chocolate to help make her sleepy, but she told me how it wouldn’t help and that she could just stay up watching crappy TV. I smiled, letting her have free roam in the house and access to whatever she wanted. Hopefully, she wouldn’t feel too tired in the morning as I wanted to take her to San Francisco for a day out, as before I moved overseas she had never stepped onto American soil, which made any place I took her to a new experience.

I showed her to the guest room and helped her unpack the bags; she was staying the whole week. We’d have to try and fit in our issues around her whilst she was here - hopefully, Billie wouldn’t be this difficult every day.

After I had showed her all the amenities she may need for the week I made a b-line for my bed. Being pregnant was tiring. If it wasn’t the morning sickness it was fatigue, if it wasn’t that it was a permanent case of indigestion.

Naps and Pepto Bismol are my best friend.

I opened the bedroom door slowly, creeping in just incase Billie was asleep. When I stepped in I saw Billie lying on the bed fully clothed, awake and on his laptop - the room was pitch black, though.

Without making conversation with him I laid out my pyjamas and got changed in the ensuite rather than in front of him. When I walked out ready for bed, Billie didn’t even move his head away from his screen.

I sighed and got under the covers, rolling over to face away from him. “That was rude,” I whispered, closing my eyes.

I heard Billie mumble something so I rolled back over to face him. “What was that?” I arched my brow, our faces slightly illuminated by Billie’s laptop.

“Nothing,” He quietly said, looking to me; his brow was furrowed.

I narrowed my eyes, annoyed by his attitude and then sat up in bed. “What did you say?” I repeated.

“I said nothing!” He bellowed. “What is with you guys?!” He continued in a loud manner.

I jumped, placing my hand on my heart. I don’t remember the last time he shouted, let alone at me. I knew he was stressed about Sasha but there was no need to take it out on me or my mother.

I think he sensed my fear - my wide eyes and bottom lip quivering was a giveaway, but instead of apologising he threw his laptop down and stormed out of the room, perhaps out of stubbornness since he didn’t want to admit he was wrong, so like a child, he left.

“Billie!” I shouted, knowing I couldn’t catch up to him if I tried as I heard the front door slam shut. “For God’s sake,” I muttered under my breath, to myself. I thought we had our shit together by now.

An hour ago we were cuddled up in the kitchen, he seemed fine, we seemed fine. I guess he really didn’t want to talk about his problems in front of my mother, after all it was a reminder of what he had done wrong.

I texted Billie to see where he was going, but expectedly I was ignored. I called him, but he didn’t answer that either.

I heard a light knock on my bedroom door followed by my moms head appearing around the side. “I feel like my presence may have annoyed him?” The sadness in her voice cutting through me; I felt so guilty.

I shook my head. “No, it’s not you,” I sighed, patting the bed next to me. “We had some shit news yesterday.”

There was no point in hiding it from my mother... not with Billie’s outburst, I had to give an explanation now. “The last girl Billie was with… well, she’s saying she’s with child,” I grimaced.

“With Billie’s kid?” My mom asked; I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or not.

“No, the next-door neighbours,” I rolled my eyes, getting a light tap over the head from my mom. “Yes, of course with Billie’s, our life can’t be normal, can it? Something has to come along to fuck everything up.”

“Not for you pair, I mean, how long has it been now? It’s just been one whirlwind after another,” She questioned, making a good point. Since I had met Billie nothing had been easy.

“Since I met him? Mom, don’t even ask that it’s not even been that long but it feels like years,” In truth, it had felt like a lifetime, but in reality not long. It made me feel a bit queasy knowing what we had done in such little time.

“How long?” She repeated, trying to get me to answer. She was persistent.

“Like nine, maybe ten months?” I grimaced, scratching the back of my neck. I lived with him, I was 19 weeks pregnant… in the space of ten months. This is not exactly what I had in mind when I moved to New York - less than a year ago, not that my new life was terrible; I was extremely grateful for everything in my life, but I didn’t think I’d be here of all places.

“I can’t believe you’ve been gone for that long,” She smiled sadly, wrapping her arms around me. “But I’m glad you went, look at the life you are living now.”

If I concentrated on the good, it outweighed the bad - tenfold.

“Before this baby is born, though, you need to decide if this man is the right man to raise your baby around - does he do this often?” My mother continued - her words cutting through me. She was definitely comparing Billie to my father.

I shook my head. “No, not really,” I sighed, bowing my head. Portugal. His reaction to New York. Telling me he didn’t want to see me ever again. Wanting an abortion. Saying we were ‘complicated’. Sasha.

I closed my eyes, wrinkling my nose.

He wasn’t like my father.

“So what are you going to do about this ex?” My mom asked, stirring me from my thoughts.

Deep down I didn’t know the answer. I thought of a million things I could do to Sasha - none were legal, though. I doubt I’d get away with first-degree murder, no matter how much real crime TV I watched.

I looked up at her, shrugging in response. “No idea, maybe a DNA test? He has to be careful in case she goes to the press and spreads the story around.”

With the guys in the studio trying to wrap up their new untitled album, anything bad against Billie could affect the whole band, painting them in a bad light, and turning fans against them… it could ruin them. We couldn’t let it happen.

I could imagine the gossip magazine headlines:

Billie demands ABORTION!

Super sweet Sasha used and kicked out onto the STREETS!

My mom stood up from my bed, walking over to my door. “You should probably speak to her - mother to mother,” Is all she left me with as she walked out, leaving me alone to my worries.

I hated that she was right.

I sighed deeply, running my hand over my stomach.

“I can’t believe your daddy stormed out, what a grumpy man! But there’s no need to worry little one,” I reassured my unborn child with a whisper, trying to comfort myself at the same time.

I felt flutters in my stomach again, perhaps the baby was agreeing with me. I looked down and smiled.

No need to worry, at all.
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Hey again. Look at me regularly updating! I’m not sure where this sudden rush of motivation came from, but I like it and I'm not complaining!

I haven’t written anything in six years and it’s all come at once, so apologies this may seem short but it’s because it was originally going to be one chapter, but it was so long I thought it may be easier to read split into two - which does mean the next chapter is pretty much done, I just want to refine it a bit more. Sorry, this part is so dialogue-heavy, originally when it was one chapter it wasn't as bad, but splitting it means this is super heavy with speech. Hopefully, you still enjoy!

I’ve got a plan set out that this story will end on chapter 22, although admittedly I don’t want to finish it. This story has been apart of my life for a good 15 years - it all started on, before our stories moved over to Mibba. That feels like a lifetime ago now, and I think I am clinging onto my youth by continuing this story, haha!

Also, thank you very much for reading, I absolutely love the fact that someone out there is still reading this, and hopefully enjoying it! I was writing for myself as I didn’t believe anyone would still be interested, but genuinely happy that some of you are still here after all this time, so thank YOU!!