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Category Archives: Avery and Marta

Fiction: Legal Theft– The Truth (812 words)

“Hey, AM.”

Marta looked up from the book she was reading cross legged on her bed to see Arthur—now sixteen years old and taller than both her and her sister, leaning against the doorframe to her room. He looked conflicted, and Marta wondered if he was going to try to pull that Since you’re my real mother can you tell Mom to let me… crap again. “Hey-o Kiddo, what’s up?”

“I wanted to ask you a question. Mom says I shouldn’t ask it, but—I don’t know. I kind of feel like I have to.”  Marta furrowed her eyebrows and considered him.

Technically, yes, he was her son, but Marta had never had that easy understanding of him that Avery did. They were a perfect case study of a genetic connection versus sixteen years of love, care, and direct devotion. That’s why he never got away with any of that real mother crap. They all knew that Avery was his mother, no ifs ands or buts.

“Yeah. Come in. You know you can ask me anything.”  Arthur crossed the room in two long strides, sitting himself down in Marta’s computer chair, spinning it so he faced the bed.  He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, and Marta started to be able to see just how really worried he was. “Kiddo, what’s wrong?”

“I want—um—it’s just,” Arthur took a deep breath. “Mom says that you won’t tell me no matter what, and that I shouldn’t even ask because it will just upset you, but it’s not just that I want to ask, I feel like I need to ask whether you answer me or not I’ll go crazy if I don’t ask.” All the words came spilling out of his mouth in rush, like if he paused he would lose his nerve.

Marta was starting feel anxious now. She knew that this moment was going to come eventually, but the older and older Arthur got, she started to believe that she was going to manage avoid it. “What did you want to ask me, then?”

“I wanted to know,” Arthur smiled weakly at her, “Do you know who my father is?”

Marta smiled wildly, “Of course Kiddo. You do, too. Tall guy, dark hair, sometimes talks in an annoying accent, always looks at your Mom with those sappy eyes that makes us want to gag.”

Arthur shook his head, looking down at his feet. “No, A.M., I know who my Dad is. Obviously, Dad is my Dad, but—who is my father, I mean, my biological father?”

Marta’s smiled faded away now. “I do, Arthur. I’ve never had a doubt about who your biological father is. But—The truth of the matter is, Kiddo, he wanted nothing to do with us. He called me a whore, telling me that I’d probably had sex with so many men I couldn’t be sure it was his, and then offered me four hundred dollars to never talk to him about it again. I didn’t take his money, but I never spoke to him again. And I never spoke about him again until now. If you really feel that you must know, that your life cannot be complete without knowing his name, then I will tell you, and only you, on the condition that you never tell Avery or Bradley, because they are both still Very angry about things that happened around the time you were born, but I’m telling you now—your Mom and Dad are better than that boy I ever could have done raising you, and I’ve always believed it’s not worth wasting time on people who aren’t willing to give their time to you, so…”

Marta had spoken a lot faster than she met to.  Perhaps Arthur’s rushed speaking from earlier was a family trait. He looked a bit stunned. She realized she’d never been so stern with him, and he never saw her properly angry, like she got whenever she thought about that stupid teenage boy who had insulted her character for a mistake that was equal parts both of their fault. It did take two to tango, as the cliché said.

“I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t want anyone in my life who doesn’t want to be in mine. But—I was going through Mom’s year book the other day and I looked at every single face to see if there were traits of mine. I need to know his name so I can stop wondering. I think I deserve that.” Arthur answered.

“It’s a secret you will have to keep from your Mom and Dad.  Until you die or I die, whichever comes first, you understand?” Marta insisted.

“Yes, I promise,” Arthur insisted, leaning a little bit closer.

“Okay,” Marta smiled, “Yeah. Okay. Then I’ll tell you who your biological father is.”

 

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Fiction: Familial Fears (289 words)

In the back of my mind, I always thought that Arthur would come to hate me.  I knew that with Avery and Bradley as his parents, he would never lack for anything, and that I would be there for him if he ever needed me—but I thought for sure that at some point or another, he would hate me, at least for a little while.  Maybe because I gave him to Avery.  Maybe because I still wouldn’t tell him who his biological father was. Whatever the reason, I prepared myself for something major to come my way.

It never did.  I was the cool Aunt.  I was the attempted trump vote when Avery and Bradley wouldn’t let him do something.  Once, I was the absolute worst wen watching him for the week and I wouldn’t let him sleep over at a friend’s house on a Thursday night.  And I was told in no uncertain terms that I had no right to tell him to wait until marriage to have sex.  (I did however buy him a shit ton of condoms, and although he’ll never admit it, I think he appreciated the gesture.  I’m not so sure that Avery did, though.)

I was his Aunt Marta, but he always called me A.M., which he joked stood for Another Mother, but we all knew that Avery was really his mother.  From the moment he was born.  Really, from the moment it crossed her mind to adopt the boy in the first place, she took to the roll with gusto.  But I was still family, and he always loved me as much as I love him.  Thanks to my sister, he was so much better than I could have ever hoped.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2015 in Avery and Marta, Uncategorized

 

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Fiction: Family Dynamics (414 words) [The Family Way]

The two men sat in the living room, feet up on the coffee table, arms crossed over their chests, enjoying the entertainment of watching the two most important women in their lives go back and forth like a tennis match.  Those women were called “identical” twins, but no one would confuse them for the other now.

The woman that Arthur called Mom still wore her hair long and curly.  She had on a blouse and slacks and her sensible work heels.  She had the little extra weight around the middle that came with being the biological mother of three and the emotional mother of four.  She seemed to be standing a little taller than her sister, and it wasn’t just because of the heels.

Arthur’s mother, the woman he called A.M. or Aunt Marta, was a bit different.  Her hair was short these days, just starting to outgrow her last spur of the moment pixie cut.  The tips were dyed a dark blue because she’d been on vacation, which also explained the jeans with holes in the knees and the bikini top.  She hadn’t had a kid in fifteen years, and no one guess by looking at her that she’d given birth at all.  And yet, somehow, she looked more exhausted than Mom, fresh home from a ten hour shift. Maybe it was because she knew she was about to lose.

“Okay, you know what? Do what you want, Avery.  Whatever floats your boat.”  A.M. threw her hands in the air. Mom had won.  That didn’t shock anyone.  But, it was faster than anyone expected.  Which meant that Dad owed Arthur twenty bucks.  That was a good outcome in his opinion.

A.M. and Mom seemed to remember they had an audience as money changed hands on the couch. “Did you bet against me, Brad?”  Mom accused Dad.

“No. Of course not.  I just bet that Marta would hold out a bit longer.”  Dad said carefully, watching as Arthur slipped the bill into his pocket.

“So, no one bet on me winning?” A.M. whined a little.

“Well, Mar, they know us.  They knew who was going to win.” Mom grinned.

A.M. let out a slow breath through her teeth.  “You know what, I’m going to bed.  I don’t want to be part of this family anymore.”

“We love you, A.M.” Arthur called after her retreating form.

“I’m taking your bedroom,” A.M. called back, and the Wilsons left in the living room couldn’t help but laugh.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2015 in Avery and Marta

 

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Fiction: Wake ups at 2 AM [A Family Way] (185 words)

“No, no, no,” Avery groaned, rolling into her pillows.  “He’s laughing.  It’s two in the morning and our thirteen month old is laughing in his room.”

“Would you rather he be screaming?” Bradley groaned, pulling a pillow over his head.

“Yeah. Kind of,” Avery sighed, “A screaming baby can be calmed, soothed, and put back to sleep.  A laughing baby will only be encouraged by the presence of others and I may as well be awake for the rest of the day,” Avery reasoned.

“Hmm,” Bradley groaned, “Yeah, I guess so.”  He sighed, pulled the pillow off his head, and swung his legs off the edge of the bed. “I got him. Go back to sleep.”

Avery sat up, “Are you sure?  It’s technically my turn.  You had Tuesday’s nightmare.”

Bradley made a vague gesture behind his back as he pulled a T-shirt on over his head. “I’m awake now.  Sleep, A. Sleep.”  He stumbled slightly as he made his way out of the bedroom.

Avery watched him go, and snuggled deeper into her pillow.  “He is the perfect man,” she whispered to no one.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in Avery and Marta

 

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Fiction: Baby Number Two (268 words)

Marta was having flashbacks.  She and Avery had sat on this couch before, watching Bradley stack all of their worldly possessions by the door in a half-dressed and half panicked state.

There were only two major differences.  First of all, last time it was Marta who sat here looking like she had a watermelon shoved under her shirt instead of Avery. Secondly, their hand been a little boy gleefully running around Bradley, pulling items out of haphazard pile and putting them back into their proper places—only to have Bradley pick them up all over again.

“You know, this is a lot funnier the second time around,” Marta commented idly.

“You know, this is a lot funnier when you’re not the one in labor,” Avery countered, placing a hand on her stomach with a wince.

“Fair enough,” Marta agreed, “But you have to admit the addition of Arthur does add something to the mix.”

Avery smiled as Arthur laughed and carried away a bag that appeared to be filled with Oranges and Asparagus and shoved it haphazardly back into the fridge.  “Yeah, he does.”

They watched in amusement as Bradley scooped up Arthur and put him in the middle of the pile near the door.  Arthur giggled and started to crawl out, but Avery put a hand to her stomach and let out a slow whistle through her teeth.

“Time to go?” Marta asked carefully.

“Time to go,” Avery replied, and they both got off the couch, Marta to collect the boy and Avery to collect her husband.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Avery and Marta

 

Fiction: Family Way — Letter Home (271 words)

Dear Avery,

Well, this is it.  I’m sending you this email to celebrate (complain?) that it is officially the longest you and I have ever been apart.  Well, mostly I’m sending you this email because you aren’t answering your damn phone—but I guess since you have a three year old and husband at home I’ll cut you some slack.  But, if you aren’t answering your phone when your only sister calls, and you aren’t dealing with Arthur or Bradley, I want you know I am very offended and I expect a full apology.

So yeah, this is it.  Eight days and four hours apart.  Strange, isn’t it—to think of that?  I miss you more than I thought I would—and at the same time less.  I know that makes no sense, but really you should be used to that from me by now.  Walking contradiction and all that.  But, I am glad I came here.  I’ve only been working for five days, and this internship has already taught me more than I could have ever hoped to learn.  Can you imagine where I’ll be when I finish all twelve weeks?  I’ll be unstoppable, A, and isn’t that just a terrifying thought.  Quake in your boots.  Go on, quake.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I love you, and please pass my love on to Bradley and especially Arthur.  Let them know that I miss them too.  But also tell them to enjoy the relative stillness—because when I come home I plan on causing all kinds of havoc.

Oh yeah. One more thing.  When your sister calls—Answer Your Damned Phone.

All my love,

Marta.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Avery and Marta

 

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Fiction: Family Way–A Wedding (967 words)

“Okay. So. Bad news. Arthur definitely lost the ring, and he may have swallowed it.”

Marta was standing carefully away from me—as if she was afraid that I was going to lunge at her.  But instead, I just closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I was so desperate to not become a Bridezilla, and I had told them not to give Arthur the ring yet, but getting angry wouldn’t change anything right? Right.

I opened my eyes and tried to smile.  “Is he hurt? I’m assuming he’s not choking on the ring because I assume you would have led with that, correct?”

Marta made a face at me, seeming to forget that today was ‘My Day’ and I would be well within my rights to hit her repeatedly with ring bearer’s pillow. “Yes—if your child was choking to death on your wedding ring I would have led with that.”

Arthur was a little over two and half.  All of our initial worries about who was going to play what role faded into nothing as we fell into naturally.   All three of us loved Arthur, and we all tried to work together to make life the best for him that we could, but Bradley and I were the parents, we had final say. Marta was great with helping out when we got busy, or when someone got sick, and even agreeing to stay in the little apartment and help pay rent with us even though she’d managed to snag a pretty sweet little job that meant she could have run off.  Although she was his birth mother, and his “aunt” and loved him whole heartedly, she’d started calling him Bradley and my child almost as soon as we got home from the hospital, even though none of us were shy about the fact that Marta was the one who’d given birth.  It just worked.

Now, Marta and I had turned twenty-one a couple of months ago, and Bradley said that was long enough for us to wait and revealed that he’d been slowly secretly planning our wedding for the last year and half.  Once we convinced his mother to let us not have the traditional catholic wedding, the ball got rolling.  Tomorrow, when the social services offices opened, we were going to go as a married couple to fill out the paperwork to adopt Arthur Martin Andersson.  We’d change his last name later.

It was true that I’d never really expected to raise a family with my sister like this, but I can’t imagine I ever thought we wouldn’t end up like this.

“No, he’s not choking.  But he’s gone tight lipped—I think he knows he did something wrong—and he’s not speaking to anyone.”  Marta sighed, going to rub at her eyes before remembering that she had more eye make up on than she was used it.

I sat down very carefully, with assistance from Bradley’s Mam as to not wrinkle the dress, and sighed up at Marta. “Send him in.”

Marta returned moments later with a little boy in a suit, his lips curled in on themselves to make a very small thin line. He definitely knew he’d done something wrong, and while I was a little annoyed that my wedding band was unaccounted for, I didn’t want him to spend all day in a bad mood.  I patted my lap, and he dropped Marta’s hand, running forward to crawl up into my lap.  He rested his head against the front of my shoulder.  “I’m sorry, Mommy.”

“What did you do, Art?  Why are you sorry?”

“I looked at the light on the wings, and I dropped them.” He held up his hand flat, like he’d been practicing carrying his pillow all week, but then shifted his hand back and forth, rocking his imaginary pillow.

“Oh,” Marta and I sighed at the same time, realizing what had happened.

“What is it, girls?” Mrs. Wilson asked.

“Arthur Andersson, you are a magpie, obsessed with shiny things.”  Marta scolded playfully.

I gave Arthur a little hug to let him know he still wasn’t really in trouble as I looked up to Bradley’s mom. “He was moving the pillow back and forth so that the light bounced off the bands.  They were probably making little light patches on the wall that he was playing with.”

“Bradley used to do that,” Mrs. Wilson smiled, reaching out to stroke Arthur’s hair, “We got him a prism for his fourth birthday, and he played with for a good five hours.”

“Yeah.  I was pretty sure I knew who taught him that,” I laughed.  “Arthur love,” I pulled him back away from chest a little so I could look him in the eye, “I promise you are not in trouble, and Mommy and Auntie Marta aren’t mad, but can you take Auntie Marta to exactly where you dropped the rings, and showed her where you were standing. And maybe if you are very careful of your suit and help her look for the rings, then you can come back here and we can share a peppermint patty before we go get married.  Does that sound good?”

Arthur’s face broke into a huge grin.  The peppermint patty was a bold-faced bribe for him to behave for the rest of the day, but what worked, worked.  “Well, find them, Mommy,” He assured me, before sliding off my lap and taking Marta’s hand with more force than you’d expect from a kid so small and trying to pull her towards the door.  “Come on, Auntie Marta.  Peppermint Patty.”

I smiled up at Mrs. Wilson as she helped me back to my feet. “That, he didn’t get from Bradley,” she teased, making a face.

“No,” I smiled even wider, “No, that she got from Marta. And me.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Avery and Marta

 

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