Thursday, winter 2010.
She could have been doing drugs. She could have been pregnant before finishing high school. She could have been flirting with other girls… She could have been involved in so many situations a mother wishes her children never go through. But none of those little disasters were taking place. What was it then? Just the truth. And it couldn’t have been worse.
I arranged to celebrate the twin boys teenager birthday by the pool. It could have been a cheerful barbecue with Tomas uncoordinated jumping in the pool to much of Maximiliano’s fears. It could have been a lively barbecue with Maximiliano charming the guests with his chitchat. But the relaxing atmosphere I wanted for their party couldn’t have come true thanks to Antonia. She insisted in keeping an ironic look in her face all day long. None of us were really comfortable, except maybe for Leighton. He was so overwhelmed by happiness having finally achieved his main goal of raising all our children to teenagers that he couldn’t see much of what was going on.
Even being tired of arguing, I called Antonia inside for a serious conversation. She should have been happy: her best friend, Kyle, was always around and was more than welcome at our place; I’d payed the year fee for the 28 Hour Wellness Gym so she could exercise herself at the most odd hours; I loved her; Leighton loved her.
But she wasn’t happy. She had been asking Leighton dubious questions.
She had disrespect our house rules several times. She was either ignoring or mocking on her siblings.
What in the world was the reason for such a change in her manners? I should have suspected. I was naive not to predict this would happen. But I believed my secret was safe. Jamie and Geoffrey, who knew about the wholes story and were frequently visitors, were already deceased. Kaylynn was still a child when Sam moved out and I believe Iliana never shared with her the dirty details. Yes, there was Kaylynn older brother, Parker. He sure remembered Sam’s moving in and out terms. But since Antonia and him were never close, I deduced I didn’t have to worry. For quite some time I was afraid of Tori. She and Leighton used to be best friends until I came along. I knew she was jealous of my marriage, but when for both mine and Leighton’s surprise she got engaged to Sam… well, she wouldn’t risk upsetting her lover revealing our secret.
Now I know I was blind. I feared the town’s gossip, forgetting I was already old news. The greatest danger was within our own family – and I denied the obvious. Why would Sam broke his vow? He loved the girls – or so he said it. He couldn’t, but he did crack. Look to what his weakness has done to us! He was responsable for ruining Maximiliano and Tomas birthday party. He was responsible for ruining my perfect family dream. He was responsible for ruining my relationship with Antonia.
She confessed she pressured Sam. After accidentally finding his birth certificate, she needed answers. First, she tried to get them from Leighton. He foiled her with ashamed – and false – excuses. So she confronted Sam. He also tried to deny it, saying he had just recently discovered the mistake in the document, while organizing the papers for his wedding with Tori. He said he was planning to rectify it and that was the reason why the document was laying over a counter. He needed to go to the town hall and get a corrected version of it to avoid needing to delay his wedding plans. But Antonia wasn’t convinced. She left his house but kept calling asking questions, insisting, bothering… until he finally admitted it.
It all happened in front of the cinema, she told me with angry tears in her eyes: she was leaving from a late session and met Sam by the door. He was himself leaving from his band’s rehearsal. So Antonia brought the topic up again… they ended fighting in the middle of the sidewalk. Yes, this was the last time she was caught after curfew: the officer brought her home and gave Sam a scolding. The day after… she cut her hair and made a tattoo. The female elf drawing she had now on her own arms was, in her own words, her new mom. One with a light heart nature and uncapable of lying or betray. The mom she needed and on whom she would mirror herself, not the one she unfortunately had got in her life. I have never been more hurt and humiliated in my whole life, dear diary…