|Sweet Rose Blackened
Author: KiwiBug94 PM
After a fractured childhood, Malissa was glad to grow up and take hold of her life. She was going to make the calls, and everything was going to be great. But after she met Mitch, everything changed. Her life went from simple and controlled to complicated and chaotic. Can she keep up? Or will the consequences of the choices made catch up to her? And will she finally find true love?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 9 - Words: 27,838 - Reviews: 4 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 06-14-13 - Published: 10-05-12 - id: 3063364
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Malissa dreamed of princes and white horses all through the night. Each prince's face was Mitch's. She couldn't help it; she had never felt this way before, not even for Hugh. Well, other than one of her old childhood friends… But they hadn't seen each other in almost two years! It wasn't like anything was going to happen, or even could happen. She was sure that he didn't feel the same way… But Mitch was real and it was possible!
When Malissa woke, she felt like a new person. Life wasn't just something to get by through… It was now an adventure! And she was very excited to take that adventure, now. She had Mitch: one of the sweetest, kindest guys she knew. How lucky could she be?
When Malissa went downstairs, it was just her mother. Harold had obviously gone to work. "Good morning, birthday girl! I made you chocolate chip pancakes!" Her mother brought out a huge plate of the pancakes, one of Malissa's favorites. "How did you sleep, sweetheart?"
Malissa smiled smugly. She then spouted off about the previous day. Her mother looked happy, though she seemed to be worried. After Malissa had finished reliving the previous day, Malissa was beaming again. Her mother looked happy, but she still had that uneasy look in her eyes.
"What's wrong, mom?"
Myra shrugged. "It's just, you're my little baby. You're grown up, now. You have a nice boyfriend and you have a good job. Soon you'll be going off to college and getting married and having children… It's more than your poor mama can understand, that's all."
Malissa smiled at her mother. "Don't you worry, mom. I'm not going to leave you or anything."
Her mother smiled. "I know." Myra gazed at her daughter reminiscently, before she shook her head dreamily. "Eat. Then you can have your presents."
Malissa nodded as she ate. She ate hastily, fairly excited to see what she was getting for her birthday. When she had finished, she took her plate into the kitchen and cleaned it. Upon returning, Malissa found a small pile of gifts and several cards.
"Uncle Ron and David sent theirs in, as well as Aunt Gina. Gran and Papa dropped theirs off last weekend."
Malissa smiled, flattered. She sat back down and picked up the smallest box. "It's from Uncle David." She opened the neatly wrapped package, a little square box. Inside, there was a pair of peridot stud earring. Malissa beamed. They were beautiful. They sparkled when moved and what Malissa really loved was how they were her birthstone. She put the tiny box aside and grabbed what looked like a garment box. "This is from Aunt Gina." She opened it eagerly.
Inside was an odd assortment of things. Each item was wrapped in a scarf. There was a black one, a white lacey one, and a multi-colored blue one. Wrapped in the black scarf was a nice black leather journal with Malissa's name etched into it. In the white scarf was a card, which Malissa set aside. And wrapped in the blue scarf was a shirt. It was a long sleeved, light blue shirt with white embroidery around the neckline. Malissa grinned.
Under this box was a package the same size. "From Gran and Papa." Inside this package, there were two books about child development, a couple romantic movies, and a picture framed of the entire family from a few months earlier. Malissa grinned. "Gran knows me well."
The last two boxes were from her mother. In the larger box was a pair of dark blue boot cut jeans, a wine red blouse, and a black leather belt with a beaded design. Inside the second box was a pair of black leather boots. They were beautiful.
"Mom, these are gorgeous!" She gave her mother a hug, beaming brightly.
She then turned to the cards. Her grandparents had written out a long, sentimental letter and given a check of $350, for college use. Her two uncles and her aunt gave a combined amount of $200 inside their cards. It was incredible to Malissa.
And then her mother was crying as she handed Malissa her card. "It doesn't say much. I couldn't find the right words to write down. Malissa opened the card, which was very sentimental, as well. But what caught Malissa's eye was the check inside.
"Mom, you realize that this check has an extra zero added on to the number," she said dumbly.
Her mother shook her head. "Harold and I thought that a hundred dollars for every year you have blessed each of our lives would suffice as a good gift. Besides, you have big, healthy plans for this money."
Malissa's throat had gone dry. The check was written to her for three thousand dollars. She looked at her mother, tears in her eyes. "Mom, this is such a big gift."
Her mother smiled. "You were the greatest gift I ever had. I hope someday you can be blessed with the gift of being a parent, too. This is to help you on your way to your future."
Malissa couldn't help but cry as she hugged her mother. "I can't thank you enough, mom."
Malissa decided to go and deposit her checks while she had the time. She decided to keep a hundred dollars cash that she had received, so that she could use it for gas and other items she needed. She was on top of the world by the time she had gotten home. It was then that she called Mitch.
"Malissa! How are you, beautiful?"
Malissa blushed. "I'm really good. I had a great morning. But I don't have plans today, so I thought we could go out, if you wanted."
Malissa could sense Mitch smiling. "Yeah, that would be amazing! How about we go to lunch and then see a movie?"
Malissa smiled. "That would be great!"
"Alright, cool. So, where do you want me to pick you up?"
Malissa pondered. "Do you know where Cabbage Patch Day Care is?"
"Yeah, I do. Do you want to meet me there, say, at twelve thirty?"
"Yeah! That sounds great! I'll have my mom drop me off, so I'm not leaving my car there."
"Alright, sounds like a plan. I'll see you then!"
"Okay!" And then Mitch hung up.
Malissa really was on top of the world. She was going to spend the day with Mitch! She glanced at the clock, which read 11:05. Malissa sighed. Only an hour and a half until she could see him again! She quickly showered and did her hair. She then decided to wear the complete outfit her mother had just given her. She also wore the new white scarf, which went beautifully with it all. She felt gorgeous.
She was about to go when she remember jewelry. She decided to wear the earrings Mitch had given her. She also used the two hair pins he had given her, which made Malissa simply sparkle. The effect was lovely. Her mother broke out into proud sobs, mumbling about how her baby was all grown up.
They arrived at twelve twenty three, and Malissa was practically dancing with excitement. To Malissa's delight, Mitch was already there, waiting beside his black Ford Mustang. Malissa hugged her mother goodbye and ran to where Mitch was. He greeted her with a radiant smile that was almost as bright as Malissa's.
"You look stunning!"
Malissa blushed. "Thanks. You look quite hansom yourself!"
He smiled at her. "Shall we go?"
Malissa nodded. Mitch smiled as he waved to Malissa's mother, whom was still there. She broke into silent sobs. Mitch then opened the passenger side door for Malissa, who slid in with grace. He closed it and went to the other side, where he flopped down. And then they were off.
At first, both of them were too afraid to talk. Mitch merely drove in the awkward silence. But then Malissa attempted to make small talk. "So, where are we going?"
"I was thinking, perhaps, something Italian. There's this place called El Tramonto Terrazzo. It's really nice there. My grandmother was a native Italian. She said that this place was like a little part of Italy in America."
"Oh that sounds really nice!"
They were quiet again, though after a few minutes, they arrived at the little Italian restaurant. It was a rustic brick building with hanging planters and windows with forest green shutters. There was a shaded patio with black iron tables and chairs with wine red table clothes. Mitch led the way inside to a savory smelling waiting area. There were chairs situated by two large windows draped with lace. A dark haired girl who looked Malissa's age was standing by a podium wearing a simple black dress.
"Hello, my name is Juliette," she said with a heavy accent.
"Hello," Mitch said, smiling. "Just a table for two, please."
"Certainly. Right this way, please." She led them through the restaurant, which was beautifully decorated with murals of what could have easily been an average Italian neighborhood. At every table, fresh flowers were centered. At last, Juliette had them sit in a solitary table away from much of the noise of the other customers. "Your server will be Lorenzo. He shall be with you shortly. Please let us know if you need anything."
Again, Mitch and Malissa were left quite alone and quiet. The only time they talked over the next five minutes was when Lorenzo, a stunning dark haired boy in his twenties, came to take their orders. Malissa was thinking like mad about what to talk about. She did not want to blow this. But Mitch seemed to beat her to the punch.
"So, tell me about your family. Do you have siblings? What's the story?
Malissa felt a little uncomfortable. It was a touchy subject.
"Well, I live with my mom and step dad. I'm the only kid in the house… But it's complicated with everyone else."
Mitch frowned. "How so?"
Malissa shifted in her seat. "My mom and step dad were brought together by tragedy."
Mitch continued to frown. "What happened?" He was missing the fact that Malissa didn't want to talk about it. But now Malissa felt she had no choice.
"Well, before my step dad came into the picture, I guess you could say we were a proper family. I had a dad and brothers and sisters. I had two older brothers and two older sisters. I was the baby. When I was four, I was staying at my Aunt Gina's, who was a stay at home mom. My mom worked and my dad worked until the end of school, for then he would pick up my brothers and sisters. He had picked them up from school and was on his way home when a drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned our car. It killed my father, my brother Luke, and my sister Sarah on impact. My brother Travis died on the trip to the hospital. And my sister Guinevere, or Ginny as we called her, made it three months in a coma. She then just… died. She was the youngest of the crash victims. She was only six.
"My mom was so torn up from losing almost her entire family… She had lost Ginny, Luke and Sarah, who were nine, and Travis, who was eleven. My mom was sick for a long time, so I just lived with my aunt until she was able to be a parent again. Then my mom started going to this group counseling thing for parents who had lost people in their families. When I was six, she had become friends with Harold and they started spending a lot of time together. They made each other happy.
"Harold had lost three children. His wife had killed them. She was very abusive. In the end, she shot three of them. Two girls, one boy. There was Brynn, who was three, Kevin, who was seven, and Krista, who was eleven. He had a son and daughter that were older. When it happened, Michael was thirteen and Martina was fifteen. Now they both have just… not bothered to keep in touch. Michael blamed Harold for everything. He said that Harold should have divorced the mother as soon as she had started hurting them. He lived with me and my mom for eighteen months. Martina went to live with her cousin when Harold met my mom. She just decided not to ever come back. Michael went to live with them after living with us. Both are married with kids, now. They send a letter for Christmas every other year."
Malissa felt numb by all of this. She didn't like thinking about when her family died. She didn't remember the day of the crash. She just remembered her mom crying and throwing up from being so distraught. She remembered when Ginny died, which was the hardest part, because mom got so ill and depressed.
"I'm sorry," Mitch said, rather dryly.
"It's nothing," mumbled Malissa.
They were quiet for a few minutes before Malissa was able to find solid ground. "What movie are we going to see later?"
"Well, there's this theater that is playing old movies, and in one of them they are playing Sleepless in Seattle, which is supposed to be a classic."
"Oh, it's wonderful! My mother used to watch it with me when I was little. That sounds wonderful."
Over the next half hour, the two talked about work as they ate. It was very restricted conversation, but it was because both were extremely nervous. Even still, it was a good conversation and they were enjoying themselves immensely. As soon as they finished, they paid the bill and left for the movie. They enjoyed this, too, but neither seemed to be doing what they truly wanted. They were happy to be there together, but doing what they were was not the best, it seemed.
Ultimately, Mitch dropped Malissa off at her house half past five. They made arrangements to call later that night and schedule another date.
Even though the first date was rather restricted, Malissa was thrilled. She didn't think it had gone too badly. They had spent most of the afternoon together and talked easily, once they had broken the ice. Malissa felt that she might be with 'the one'. The thought excited her.
It was only five-thirty when Malissa got home, but she didn't feel like just staying home. She thought of a number of things she could do, but decided that she wanted to go to work. She wouldn't be there long, but the extra money would be lovely. It took her only fifteen minutes to get ready, so she was able to arrive at work at six.
It was already starting to die down in the center. Many parents were picking up their children at the time so Malissa was probably staying to do paperwork and such. Morgan and the other girls were happy to see her there, though surprised. Malissa took over the front for Morgan, who was trying to deal with a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Malissa had been there for no more than five minutes before a situation arose. It came in the form of Mrs. Stanton, who looked thoroughly alarmed. She saw Malissa, and gave a little squeak. "Malissa, dear, I need your help, darling. I need to get to the hospital but I don't know of anyone to watch my children. I need you to watch them for me. I just went into labor and my husband is in Denver. I'll call for my parents to come get the children, but they're close to an hour from here."
Malissa felt like she had just been hit with a textbook, but chose to go to Morgan rather than try and sort this on her own. Mrs. Stanton looked angry that Malissa was making her wait, but Malissa could care less.
"Morgan, I need your help." And Malissa launched into the story quickly, asking Morgan's opinion.
"You should go with her, take her and the kids. We can't keep them here and she shouldn't be driving on her own. She's in labor. She could easily crash."
Malissa nodded faintly, then returned to Mrs. Stanton, who was doubled over and groaning Malissa spoke fast. "I'm afraid we can't keep the children here, but I will take you and your kids to the hospital and I'll stay there until someone else can care for them. Is that alright, Mrs. Stanton?"
Mrs. Stanton grimaced in pain. "Oh, fine, fine, just get me there now, these babies won't wait!"
Malissa's eyes widened… Twins? But she couldn't linger. "Go wait in your van and I'll have someone help put your kids inside."
Mrs. Stanton obeyed and Malissa went to Morgan again. She helped gather up the nine little children and helped to load them into a large van. After all were secured, Malissa got into the van and drove as fast as she could to the nearest hospital. It was a hard feat, for Mrs. Stanton was groaning with pain, and the kids were fussy and loud. Malissa was relieved when she finally arrived at the hospital. But now she had a difficult feat: getting all the children inside.
The oldest two girls were about seven, so Malissa had them grab the hands of four of the younger children. Then the other two children grabbed hands too and were eager to follow. Malissa herself held the baby and helped Mrs. Stanton inside. It was hard, making sure that the children were keeping up, but soon they were all inside. A nurse was soon at Mrs. Stanton's side and taking care of her. It was now Malissa alone with the nine kids.
Malissa led them to a row of seats in the waiting lobby and sat them all there. She was entirely unprepared for this and had no idea what to do with the children, let alone their names and Malissa knew that she would be in a disaster area if she didn't figure it out. She thought in a panic, hoping for a brainwave when one of the oldest girls flopped down beside her.
"You're name's Malissa, right?"
The girl smiled. "Good! My name is Maddy. My twin's name is Sarah. We're seven."
Malissa felt a little relieved. "Hi, Maddy. So, are you excited for another edition to your family?"
Mandy shrugged. "I just wish Dad was here. After me and Sarah were born, he was only there for when Reed was born."
"Which one is Reed?"
Mandy pointed to a boy who looked about five. He, unlike all of his sisters, had a reddish brown hair color. All of his sisters and his younger brother were all either dirty blonde or light brown haired. "So what's the baby's name?"
"He's Andy. You don't know our names yet, do you?" Malissa shook her head. "Well, you know me and Sarah. Then there's Lisa. She is six. And you know Reed, he's five. Holly is four." She pointed to a dirty blonde little girl whose straight hair was long. She had bright brown eyes. "Jessica and Mia are both three." She pointed to identical girls with dirty blonde curly hair and brown eyes. They had marker on their hands and arms. "And the littlest girl is Amelia, but we sometimes call her Amy. She's two." She pointed to a little girl with a more golden blonde head of hair, than anything, with bright blue eyes like Holly's.
"You've got quite the family, Maddy."
"Yupp. Mommy doesn't know what she wants to name the new babies. She's got a boy and a girl. She's going to find names from someone that works here. She wasn't wanting any more babies after Andy, but a few months ago she found out she was pregnant, and with twins. So now she is going to make sure she can't have babies anymore after this."
Malissa nodded. She was watching as the four youngest girls were playing together. Reed was watching them, though his eyes looked glazed over. Maddy went back to her twin and they started talking softly. Perhaps this would be easier than she thought!
Two hours went by before an elderly couple arrived. Maddy had run to them and hugged them, so Malissa assumed them to be Mrs. Stanton's parents. They greeted the children enthusiastically. Malissa was getting ready to leave when she realized she didn't have a car with her. She was thinking of who to call when a nurse came out to the waiting area.
"Is there a Malissa out here?"
Malissa turned to the short, blonde nurse. "I'm Malissa."
The nurse smiled. "Mrs. Stanton wishes to see you."
Malissa followed the little nurse, confused. They went through several doors until they reached a small room. Mrs. Stanton was laying on one of the hospital beds, looking thoroughly exhausted. She saw Malissa and smiled. "Hello, there, Malissa. How are my babies out there?"
Malissa nodded. "Your parents just got here, they're with them."
"How are the babies, Mrs. Stanton?"
"Please, call me Georgia!" She looked slightly harassed, but took a deep breath and relaxed. "They are fine. The boy came first. Five pounds exactly, and sixteen inches long. Then the girl came. Four pounds, fourteen ounces, fifteen inches long."
"Wow, they must be tiny."
Georgia grinned. "That's what you get with twins when they are a few weeks early."
"Do you have any ideas for names?"
Georgia looked at Malissa as if she had never quite seen her before. "I had something in mind." She looked at the nurse and nodded. She bustled off to somewhere Malissa did not know.
Malissa stood there waiting, slightly baffled by the mystery in Georgia's statement. Then the little nurse had returned with two baby incubators. Inside each was a tiny infant, each sleeping. The nurse pulled the incubators to the side of Georgia, who was looking at the babies fondly. "They are so small, but they are perfect."
Malissa smiled at Georgia. They were small, and Malissa thought that is must be horrible, having to worry about the two newborns. It made Malissa glad that she was not going to have children for a long time. She knew she wouldn't be able to cope if anything went wrong.
Georgia looked at Malissa fondly. "You were very kind to me today. You did what most people wouldn't have done. And I am very grateful. I do not forget about those who are kind to me." Malissa stared at Georgia. "Therefore, I decided to name my babies after you. And," she looked at the little nurse, "after this splendidly sweet nurse." Malissa continued to stare, unable to find words.
"My little girl is going to be Malissa Yvonne Annette, and my boy is going to be Benson William."
"Georgia, I don't know what to say."
Georgia smiled. "Don't worry about it, sweetheart."
Malissa was able to hold each baby briefly before they were wheeled away to their nursery. Malissa then sat with Georgia as she fell in and out of sleep. Malissa waited there for half an hour before she received a phone call. It was Mitch.
"Hi there, sweetheart, what are you doing?"
"I'm at the hospital. A lady whose kids I watch at work went into labor so I was watching her kids during the labor. Why? What's up?"
Mitch didn't reply immediately. "I was just wondering what you were doing." He paused. "I wondered if you wanted to hang out a little more tonight, even if it's just an hour or two."
"Sure! Sounds fun. Could you pick me up at the hospital? My car is still at work."
"That sounds good. I happen to be nearby. I'll meet you outside by the Emergency Room entrance, alright?"
"Yeah! I'll be down in a jiffy."
As she spoke, Georgia's mother came into the room. She was a sturdy woman in her early seventies. "Hello, Malissa dear. If there's somewhere to be, you can go. Thank you for helping my Georgia."
Malissa felt uncomfortable again, but smiled. "It's been no problem, ma'am." She smiled, and then she went quietly out of the room. She walked down the halls, past nurses and doctors, and soon reached the waiting room. She said goodbye to Georgia's kids, and then went to the Emergency Room entrance. Parked nearby, she could see Mitch's car. She didn't hesitate, and walked quickly.
Mitch met her half way, smiling. "Hi there, beautiful. How are you doing?"
Malissa smiled, feeling drained. "I'm doing fine, just feeling a little run down, that's all."
Concern flickered in the expression on Mitch's face. "Well, then, we should take it easy tonight, huh?"
Malissa smiled. "Probably."
Mitch and Malissa looked into each other's eyes for a minute, and then Malissa flushed, looking away. Mitch distracted his own embarrassment by going over to the passenger's side, opening the door for Malissa. Once again, she slid in gracefully.
Before she knew it, Mitch and Malissa were sitting in the parking lot that looked out on a man-made lake with a path lined with flowery shrubs. Mitch made his way to open the door for Malissa. She slid out sluggishly, for she was tired. Even still, she was waking up to the romantic site that Mitch had brought her to.
"Shall we walk?" Mitch looked quite hansom in the dim lighting as he held out his hand, requesting hers. Her heart swooped in her chest again. She gingerly took his. It was surprisingly soft and warm compared to Malissa's. She tried with all her might not to move a muscle, afraid that Mitch would let go.
They set off around the lake, walking slowly and quite close together. It all seemed to be going slow motion, and yet, before she knew it, they had walked around the lake several times, talking about everything and nothing. Malissa's heart had been racing the whole time, causing a loud beating to go about in her head. Excitement had been coursing through her veins, but she used all of her will to restrain herself from acting silly.
After their fourth lap around the lake, Mitch drove Malissa to work to get her car. She promised to call the next day at some time to arrange another date. Then, quite reluctantly, Malissa drove home.
Her mother had waited up for Malissa, looking quite tired herself. She was in her black and white pajamas, sipping on tea.
"Hi, Malissa dear. You're back late."
Malissa glanced at the clock. It read 11:47. Malissa stared at it for a minute, unable to quite understand that she had been out so late, having work so early the next morning. "I didn't realize how late it was." She then launched into the story about the first date with Mitch, then having gone to work, only to be dragged off to the hospital with Mrs. Stanton, and then how Mitch picked her up and they walked around the lake.
"I guess I was too tired to realize it was even that late. I probably should get up to bed."
"Probably. I'm about to go up, as soon as I finish my tea."
But Malissa wasn't really listening. Her brain was fogging over from being so tired. "Good night, mom."
In a swirl of this fog, Malissa somehow managed to get ready for bed, check her Myspace messages, and then fall to sleep.