Athena Mortem Chapter 9: Stress

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“Hey Zeus, do you think you could watch Jj for a bit? I’ve been with him all day and I really need a nap.” I carried my son out to the living room where my boyfriend was sat on the couch. Zeus didn’t even look up from his video game.

“Zeus, can you hear me?” I asked after a few moments.

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“Yea Athena, I heard you. I just got home. I’m exhausted too.” He complained.

“Seriously? You’re not going to help at all? You’re just gonna play video games?” I was getting frustrated. Jj was a few months old and Zeus was barely helping. He was either at school or playing video games. Raising our son was solely on my shoulders at this point.

“I’m sorry I need a few minutes to myself. It’s overwhelming sometimes.”

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I put Jj in his swing, I didn’t want to be holding him while I talked to Zeus. I figured it would get heated.

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“Look, I know you’re tired but I am too. Raising a kid isn’t easy. I’m really stressed out, okay?” Zeus’s temper started to show.

“I know raising a kid isn’t easy, I’ve basically been doing it on my own. When you’re at school, I’m with him. When I’m at work, my grandma or your mom is with him. You never spend time with him. Or me.”

“That’s not true at all. I spend plenty of time with both of you.”

“Sleeping in the same room as us isn’t spending time with us! You only play with Jj when he’s in a good mood, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you change his diaper. What exactly is your role here?”

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“I’m trying to finish school so I can get a decent job. I don’t want to be a high school dropout, like you.” He accused.

“I’m not a dropout, I’m in online school. You know that!” I yelled back. He was being an asshole for no reason.

“When’s the last time you’ve actually done any school work?”

“It’s been a while, I’ll admit. But my son comes first. He’s my priority, and I can’t just drop him and do schoolwork. He needs to be taken care of, and I’m the one who’s here to do it for him.” I was getting very frustrated.

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“Look, I’m doing the best I can, okay?” He told me. Bullshit.

“Playing video games instead of looking after your son is the best you can do?” I balled my fists in anger.

“I need some time to de-stress after school.”

“I never get time to de-stress. I’m always stressed. But you know what, fine. De-stress. I don’t care. I’ll just look after our son on my own. Because it’s obvious that I’m the only one of the two of us who actually gives a shit about him.”

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“Of course I care about our son. I love him. If I didn’t care, I would’ve left.”

“You’re as good as gone!” I yelled. “You don’t do anything!”

“It wasn’t my decision to keep the baby!” He screamed at me. “You are the one who couldn’t go through with an abortion. You decided to raise him. I don’t want any of this. I’m a teenager. I shouldn’t have a baby!”

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“A-are you serious?” I stared at him in disbelief. Sure, it wasn’t an ideal situation, but our son was so incredible. I just couldn’t see how someone wouldn’t want him.

“Yea I’m serious. We had plans, Athena. We were going to go to college. You were gonna be a doctor, I was gonna be a musician. We were going to have an amazing life. But now we’re stuck with a kid. How are we supposed to do anything now?”

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“You don’t have to stay. I love Jj enough for both of us. He doesn’t need a shitty dad like you.” I glared at him.

“Athena.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I don’t want to abandon you. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that I don’t like this situation and you shouldn’t expect me to. I can’t just magically enjoy being a teen father.”

“We have an incredible baby, and if you don’t enjoy that you can go. Life gets hard sometimes, but you don’t just give up. You make it work.”

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“I can’t just do something I don’t want to do.”

“You’re gonna have to, Zeus. That’s life! But if you really don’t want to be a father, you can leave. I don’t need you.” I seethed.

“Fine.” He stormed off, out the front door.

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I sat down on the couch and started to cry. Jj was so amazing, I just don’t see why Zeus didn’t want to be there for him. Sure, it was a lot of work and it wasn’t easy, but Jj’s smiling little face made it all worth it. Zeus was on board before Jj was born, and now everything changed. I just couldn’t understand.

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I just really hoped that after Zeus calmed down, he’d change his mind. He could just be really stressed and over tired. He could just be saying things he didn’t mean.

Everything was a mess.

———-

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After I had calmed down and Zeus came home, we went into our room to talk. I put Jj down for a nap and Zeus and I were going to try and calmly discuss our future.

“Did you really mean what you said?” I asked him.

“Well I mean I didn’t really decide to have the baby. It was your decision.”

“Does that mean you don’t love him?” I felt extremely hurt. He seemed like he was supportive, but now he was throwing everything back in my face.

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“I love him.”

“Then what are you saying?”

“I don’t love you. I don’t love that you put me in this situation. I thought I could do this, but once he came it was just too much. I’m not ready for this responsibility. I can’t handle it. I want to be in his life, but I just can’t do it right now.”

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“I thought you said you’d support me, no matter what.” I tried to keep myself from crying.

“I’m sixteen, Athena. I’m a kid. I thought I could support you but I just can’t. I’m not ready for this.”

“Are you breaking up with me?” I asked softly.

“I’m sorry Athena.” He looked down at the ground.

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“I just can’t see a future with you anymore. Having a baby so young, it just ruined us. It ruined what we had. I’m sorry.”

“Well, if you’re really breaking up with me, then you can say goodbye to your son. He doesn’t need a wishy-washy asshole in his life.” I stormed out of the room.

————-

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I made my way out onto the balcony. I didn’t know what I was going to do from here. Jj and I couldn’t stay here. We needed our own place, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that. Being a teen parent was hard, especially a single teen parent.

I could drop out and get my GED. From there I could get a full-time job to provide for my son and I. It wouldn’t be easy, but I would do it.

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“Hey, are you alright?” Artemis’s friend Hillary came out on the balcony and sat next to me.

“Not really, Zeus just broke up with me. So now it’s just me and Jj.” I sighed and wiped the tears off my face.

“What an asshole. I don’t see how anyone could leave their kid like that. You’re better off without him.”

“Emotionally, maybe. But raising a baby isn’t easy. I barely have the funds to buy what he needs. How am I supposed to move out?”

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“Why do you need to move out?” She asked. Over the years, I’d realized that Hillary was extremely kind. I wasn’t sure why she hung out with my sister and her crew, but it was nice to have a friendly face around.

“I share a room with my now ex. I just want to get away, me and Jj.” I sighed again.

“I’ve been wanting to move out too. Wanna put our money together and become roommates?” She asked.

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“A-are you serious? Why would you want to live with a teen mom and her newborn?” I asked her.

“I live with emotionally distant parents. I want to get out. I think it would be good for both of us. If we put our money together, we could get a decent place.” Hillary offered.

“Okay. Do you have a place picked out?”

“I do, I could get us in there in less than a month. Are you ready?”

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“I’m so ready.” I told her. This was the fresh start that I needed.


A/N: I’m so sorry for the long wait, things in my life have been a little crazy recently. This year has been a roller coaster so far. But I’m in a really good place right now, so hopefully I’m back to updating regularly. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter 🙂

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