Realizations and truths.
I entered my room and threw my body on the bed with the sensation of a throat burning with chocked tears, however this seemed to be the normal case lately. I really didn't know what to do anymore; Joe's getting out of control, and I'm really getting tired of it, I could tell he feels guilty, but then again, it's not the first time, and every time, he follows with a guilty look, and just make it up somehow.
Every time, I forgive him convincing myself that this is it; he realizes what he has done and it'll never happen again, and obviously this is never the case.
God, when did we become this couple? Joe with a developing drinking issue accompanied with aggressive/abusive acts, and me… the desperate, whiny housewife with zero self-confidence who gains her comfort from the idea of having her husband by her side.
This is definitely not what I signed for when we got married.
What happened? When did the change happen? And how did it happen just in front of our eyes? God, I miss high school, everything was just normal and simple back then.
I found myself getting up, opening the cupboard and reaching for a box in the top shelf before going back to set on the bed opening the box excitedly as memories were pacing and flashing already in my head.
I picked up the first photo album on top and opened it to see the young versions of us during senior year; I remember this, we decided to go on a road trip right before senior year, to go to a concert, we were taking two cars, Nick's truck and Taylor's car. Me and Joe were broken up then, it was something silly that I can't even remember now, but it was Joe's fault, so, it was me, Nick, Miley and Selena in his car while Joe and Justin were with Taylor.
I remember how Joe wanted to make peace and get back together but I was really mad that I wouldn't even look his way, so, at one coffee break when we were taking the road once again, suddenly Nick hit the brakes to the sound of a crash only to realize that Joe has jumped to the back of the truck when he decided enough is enough and that he really wanted to talk.
He went on and on about how stupid is this situation and how we have to let it go and that he was sorry, but he didn't know that I had already forgave him the moment Nick hit the brakes.
This right there is the picture Justin took for us on the road from Taylor's car while we were sitting in the back of Nick's truck working our issues out.
I flipped more pages, ah, my cheerleading era. I was a hell of a cheerleader.
"Come in Soph." I addressed my daughter who was standing by the door with sleepy eyes.
"What are you doing?" she asked sitting across me.
"Just looking over old pictures."
Sophie leaned forward to look and her eyes lit with excitement. "Is that you?" she looked up at me with big eyes.
"Wow, you're pretty." She said examining the pictures of me in my cheerleading outfit, me flipping, Joe and I in his jersey and my outfit after a big win, me, Joe, Justin, Selena and Nick. Me and Selena posing. Me and Miley but she wasn't a cheerleader then, all four of us girls… and so many more.
The thing is, those pictures show me in a happy place, cheerleading was something I loved, and aside from that, I used to dance, and I was so good at that I even had a couple of medals. This was my passion.
"Look, you and daddy kissing." Sophie giggled as I chuckled. She was so into it that she reached out and flipped the page to see pictures of me dancing.
"Mommy, you were dancing." She awed.
"Yes, I used to be a very good dancer."
"Why'd you stop?"
I didn't know how to answer that; it caught me of guard; why did I stop?!
However my daughter didn't seem to be waiting an answer being engulfed in checking the pictures, "I wanna dance as pretty as you." She stated and I smiled. Wow, this is a first.
All the past five years, I have been struggling with Sophie wondering why she doesn't listen to me, or why she doesn't look at me the way I always imagined my daughter would… but, now, it's clear, Sophie never saw from me but the sides I let her see, that being a screaming mother, a whiny wife and a woman that seemed to be looking for closure in surrounding things.
Wow, I don't even set a good example for my daughter to follow or respect.
And now, seeing her looking at the pictures amazed; my pictures, the real me… it's priceless.
How did I not realize this before? How did I not understand that Sophie needs to see me as a role model just as much as I needed her to?
How did I ever let my mind wonder –even just as a floating idea- to the thought of her being the reason I stopped dancing?
God, I'm so stupid, how the hell am I just realizing all of that? I stopped because I thought it can't be done, that it doesn't have place in my life anymore.
"Look, mommy," Sophie said grabbing my attention as she stood up trying to mimic a dance pose from the pictures. "I'm gonna be a good dancer like you."
I chuckled in admiration, "That's amazing, Soph." I clapped as my daughter giggled and I got up, "But how about you left your leg a little bit?" I corrected.
"No, look, like this." I said as I did the position and I was surprised by how easy I took the pose; I thought I'd be rusty after all these years!
Sophie copied me and did it right this time, "Excellent, baby." I cheered as I hugged her and she squealed happily.
"Yay. Maybe you can teach me."
Once again, my daughter opened my eyes; could it be still fine? Is it not too late? For everything? Can I still make a good mother? Can I dance again?
I sipped on my coffee and put the mug down drumming my fingers on the table as I looked at Selena, who was playing with her fingers.
We have been sitting here for about half an hour; she told me she needed to talk to me and that it's important, but all I got from her so far is 'I don't know where to begin' , 'you're gonna hate me' and 'maybe this is a bad idea'.
"Miley…" she said and drifted off again.
"Selena, for God's sake just spit it out."' I snapped.
"You're gonna hate me."
"I won't we've already been there, what could be worse?"
"Well, this time around I care." She said looking down.
I sighed softening, "Well, I promise you it's gonna be fine."
She took a deep breath and extended her arms on the table, "Alright, here it is… I, I did something," she said looking me in the eyes, "But, I want you to know first that this was all for the wrong reasons, and I was actually hating on you for no obvious reason…"
"What happened?" I frowned worriedly.
"You know how you got a message about Liam cheating and all?"
"Yes…" I said already seeing where this is heading…
"I know who did that."
"Yes, and I also know who's sending you and Nick messages now."
"Wait, how do you know that?"
"I'll tell you…" she took another deep breath and started her story, "Well, I was just mad at you, I blamed you for everything and anything since you appeared in our lives. I was so… envious of you." She paused, and I could see this is hard for her, "I wanted to hurt you all the time and I always found my reasons, this time I was convincing myself I was getting back at you for Nick… you know with the whole baby thing. So, long story short, I made friends with a guy who works for Liam, and I also knew he has had a crush on you since forever, he of course thought Liam doesn't deserve you and wanted him out of the way, I told him stuff about you, like how you loath cheating, so he worked on getting Liam caught. I was so focused and so bitter to notice how crazy he actually is… or that I actually don't wanna hurt you anymore." She stopped taking in a shaky breath and gulped the tears that she prevented from falling.
She continued, "He somehow managed to get Liam with this girl and sent you the message, and this was supposed to be it, but when… when all the mess took place, and when you started getting your feet back to the ground with Nick, he called me again and said that this isn't it, he wanted to break you off too, but I told him off, I had already realized that this wasn't fun, this wasn't what I wanted to happen, I was just driven with the old urge of hating you, Miley, you have to believe me, I really don't know how I con-"
"Selena!" I cut her panic off, "Continue please."
She sighed and nodded, "Okay, so, um, yeah, I said no, but he has already told me that his plan is to turn you and Nick against each other by sending you anonymous messages. I told him to drop it because this is not going to work."
Selena stopped talking and sat there in front of me examining my reaction with a guilty face, I stayed silent, I didn't have anything to say, this was all scary. I have a guy breaking off my relationships? What is this? A stalker?
"Who is this guy, Selena?" I asked her calmly.
"His name is Jack, he works in the finance department, I can come with you if you want to file a restraining order against him or something." Selena answered with way too much enthusiasm; actually I don't know how I feel about her right now, I was mad for sure, but, surprisingly, not at Selena, it's not like I expected anything of her anyway. Weeks ago, we couldn't stand each other, so, it's not like a stab in the back, actually, if anything, I'm glad she told me the truth.
"Miley?" Selena asked obviously with fear, I looked up at her, "You're mad, aren't you?" Apparently, I stayed silent for a while, "Oh God, of course you are, I totally understand, but, I really a sorry, Miley, please hear me out, okay? So, I-"
"Selena!" I rolled my eyes, God, can this girl babble! "I'm not mad, okay? I'm just… processing this."
She looked at me with big eyes, "You're not?"
"No, it's not like we were ever the best of friends." I said a little bitterer than I intended as she looked down, "Well, I mean until recently."
She looked up again with a grateful smile; Selena is really in a weak place right now, I can see it, and I'm not going to take that for granted. "So, what does that mean?" She bit her lower lip.
"We're good, Sel." I said with a smile.
She smiled brighter, "Thank you, Miley, I really am sorry, and I don't wanna go back to when we weren't, um, good." She said, "Wow, I can't believe I just said that."
I chuckled, "Yeah, this is all weird, kinda boring. I mean, you used to make a really good enemy and competition."
She laughed, "Thanks, I'm flattered. You did too."
"Now, this is weird." We laughed again, and I cleared my throat, "So, can you reach this guy?"
"Yes, I guess I can, the thing is he changed his number, but I think I can find him."
"Cool, let's tell Nick about this and figure out how to deal with this guy." I said, "I can't believe I have a stalker!" I chuckled nervously, this is crazy, but it's not gonna be anything bad, right? I mean, we're just gonna talk to the guy and everything will be fine, right?
"I just don't think it's the right time."
"Really? When is the right time then? You know, according to your calendar."
"I'm just saying that there are more important things to focus on right now."
"Like what, Joseph dear?"
"Like us, our family, our relationship." I argued softly trying to prove my point to my wife who seemed to be on the edge right now and ever since we started this conversation/fight, she takes whatever I say as an attack and reply harder and harsher.
She laughed sarcastically at me, "Oh, wow, I'm sorry, who are you and what did you do to my husband?"
"What the hell is this supposed to mean?" she was starting to get on my nerves; what's wrong with her today? She's never like that!
I came home with the goal of starting day one of fixing my family, I brought flowers for Demi, and I brought toys for the kids, in a long time I was actually thinking about them and how I wanted them to be happy, not just me.
I told Demi that we needed to talk; she said she wanted to talk too, and she looked excited. I told her to go first –and now I wish I didn't- only for her to tell me that she wants to go back to dancing, she wants to start training first just to get in the mood again, and then revive an old dream that is opening a studio; and that is great, it really is, it's just that, I think our family needs some mending at the meantime, we have been falling for a while and we need some quality time to focus on fixing this, I even had a long vacation in mind, but Demi, didn't seem to agree when I told her my thoughts, which brings us to the current point,
"God, Joe, since when do you give a shit about our relationship?" she wasn't yelling, she was just so… irritating!
"Oh, seriously? Because I'm the one who always says 'relax honey, we're okay, nothing is wrong, nah, I'm just the same, I can never change'." She said making an impression of me.
"Alright, I said that, but that was long time ago. Now, now I realize we need to spend more tie together, talk together, you know like the old days." I said calmly with a smile cupping her face.
She slapped my hands away and took a step back, "No, honey, relax, we're just fine."
"No, we're not." I got angry again, "God, Demi, to hell with you and me, think about the kids."
"No!" she snapped, "No, you don't get to use this against me. No, not me, Joseph!"
"Yes, I do. You're not thinking of them, are you?"
"Shut the fuck up!" she hissed, "You know nothing. Out of all people, all people, Joe, you don't get to use the kids against me."
"What's that supposed to mean, huh? I don't love my kids, enough?"
"You don't even know your kids, Joe!" she screamed and followed it with an unbelieving laugh.
"What the fuck? Of course I do!"
"Alright, tell me Sophie's favorite color? Favorite cartoon? What was Ryan's first word? When is the last time he got sick?"
I stood there speechless, God, I knew all of those, but somehow, they just slipped from my mind.
"See?" she shook her head and threw her arms in the air.
"Alright, this just proves my point; we need to fix this family, Demi."
"See, the thing is, I asked you on and on and told you so many times that we need to do something, and you didn't bother, and with time I just learned to cope with this situation." She said, "The kids are fine, and the family is good the way it is."
"Are you saying the kids don't need me more?"
"You limited your presence in the first place."
"So what? I'm just a money machine here? A bank? I work to get you money to spend and that's it?"
"If that's what you say. Joe, this is no one's doing but your own. So, just get over it, and enough with this lame conversation. I was just telling you what will happen, I will start dancing again."
Ouch, why is she so heartless? What happened to her?
"God, I can't believe you're being so selfish!"
She looked at me with wide eyes, "Me? I'm being selfish? I'm the one being selfish?" she raised her voice gradually to the screaming level, "For what? For wanting to chase my dream? My old dream, my original one. For wanting to find myself again? Selfish for what, Joe? What are you then if I'm the selfish one? Look at yourself, you spent those past years having fun, living your on life, you partied, you went on trips, you flirted with other women, you got drunk and you hit me, and you know what, I sucked all that in and shut my mouth, I said to myself you just needed relief, that this was all too soon for you, and that you'll get to your senses and realize your responsibilities one day."
"No, let me finish!" she screamed sternly, "It's fine, I'm not talking about those past years, I've talked about them enough already, but now, you've actually gone to the point where you just want me to be your slave, just a stay home mom, a zombie wife, you want me to just stay and gift my whole life to you, that just the thought of me doing something for myself, scared the shit outta you, and you suddenly became this family guy, an innocent husband who just wants to fix his family, all of a sudden."
"What nonsense are you fucking talking about, woman?" I screamed back, "I really just wanted to work things out, but if this is how you see me then to hell with it and this family as a whole."
"Excellent technique, now you expect me to fall on my knees and beg you not to give up on us, huh? I've had enough of it, Joseph; I'm not falling for this shit, anymore."
"You've really gone crazy, haven't you?"
"I – you know what, I can't do this anymore, I'm outta here." She said and stormed off slamming the front door and leaving me in the middle of the hall just standing with an open mouth and a pulsing vein in my forehead.
What the hell is going on? What happened? She was just… my regular Demi, and all of a sudden she's this know-it-all, selfish person, did I ever say I don't want her to dance, sing, paint, strip-tease for all I care? I just said we need to sort our priorities, this family is falling apart.
God, who put those ideas in her head? I bet it's Selena, she's the one with those envious, evil thoughts.
And oh God, every damn fight she just has to use the drinking thing against me, like she doesn't make any mistakes? This is unbelievable, she has really gone crazy.
And to think I came home with the intention of making it up for her and fix everything, God, how stupid is it from me?
This isn't going to work by any means.
I followed her steps out the door slamming it as well, good thing the kids are at her parents'. I got in the car and drove off from the driveway pressing the gas hardly.
I drove and drove until I found myself parking, and without hesitation, I got out of the car and took big steps to the door and rang the doorbell.
The door opened revealing the blond as I pushed her out of the way and stepped in closing the door behind me, "I just got in a big fight with Demi, you wouldn't believe that, Tay. She's gone mad, and she's not thinking about anything but herself."
"No, no, you don't understand, it's like she doesn't even care anymore, or she's brainwashed or something, I'm telling you, this thing just became impossible."
"Calm down, Joe."
"No, I won't calm down, you know I wanted to focus on this marriage and make everything better and all, and what did she say? Basically that I don't have that right, and that my own kids don't need me. God this is insane."
"Why don't you just calm down, she's just-"
"No, Taylor," I shook my head, "Don't defend her." I sighed and held her arms, "Tay, I know we agreed on forgetting what happened, but, I really need you right now, and what happened today, I think is a sign, don't you see? This is meant to be. I wanted to fix the marriage as the law of the right and wrong says, but see what happened? It blew in my face. What if we should give it a chance?"
"Joe! Are you crazy?"
"I know what you wanna say. But, I really don't know how this thing could be fixed, Tay, you weren't there, it was ugly, really ugly. Please, Taylor, don't say anything now, just let me be here, I need you." I said and took her in my arms resting my chin on her shoulder as I closed my eyes, God, this is comforting. I pushed myself back just enough to look in her surprised blue orbs, "I really need you, Taylor." I whispered leaning forward towards her lips.
She pushed me, "Joe!"
And right then, I saw a figure appearing behind Taylor and my wife came into the view making me feel as if a bucket full of ice just fell all over my head.
"So much for fixing a family, Joe." She said with a raised eyebrow and her hands crossed over her chest.
"Demi, I-" Taylor tried but Demi shook her head,
"Whatever." She said as she pushed us of the way and stormed out of the door for the second time.
This is screwed.
Hi there, it's been two years I know, and it's almost hilarious for me to come back writing again. I don't know if there will be anyone still around actually, but anyway, I felt an urge to read over my left stories here and another urge to continue them, now, that's not a promise, but I hope I actually do.
If you're still here, and I hope you are, please read and review this, it would mean so much, and oh, so much happened, they're all married in real life and Jo Bros reunion and albums, share your opinions on those things.
I really enjoyed writing the Joe POV here and to make Demi finally realize she's losing herself, oh, and we know Selena's secret now, I hope this was a good comeback for the story, so let me know if it is :)