tagInterracial LoveRaising Alex Ch. 01

Raising Alex Ch. 01


Jamie thumbed through the pages of her college student newspaper seriously procrastinating from the 10 page final paper she needed to write. It should have been easy, after all, she'd already done all the reading and she loved her child psychology class. She had done well on her other papers and knew what the professor liked, but right now, she couldn't focus to put any of her ideas on paper. There was just too much on her mind. In the past few weeks Jamie had made some of the most drastic changes in her short 22 years.

Getting in to college hadn't been the hard part for Jamie, it was the staying in college part that was tough. Even though she'd gotten a full scholarship to play volleyball at her local university, the other expenses of going to college, food, books, clothes, it all could add up. Even with her work study job in the chemistry lab, she barely had enough to scrape by. Somehow she'd made it work and now here she was, one semester away from graduation. Jamie had decided she wanted to go to medical school which in itself wasn't completely out of left field, it had been in the back of her mind for quite some time, but it was only recently she'd actually put the plan into place. She'd taken an MCAT class in the fall on top of the rest of her course load which included the last few prerequisites for admission and managed to maintain her 3.5 GPA. She'd studied and prepared as best she could in the short amount of time and took the exam after winter break. When her results had come back a little over a month later, she'd been floored, she shrieked so load, her roommate and best friend Lily came rushing in.

Jamie and Lilly couldn't have been more polar opposites. Jamie's mixed heritage, a Brazilian mother and black father, lent her a café au lait complexion and long flowing dark hair. She was tall and lean from playing volleyball all through high school and college and her sparkling dark eyes and full lips added to her exotic look. There was always some guy trying to talk to her, or asking her out but the only relationship she'd ever had, ended badly with her kicking her dead beat soccer playing ex-boyfriend to the curb after finding out he'd slept with half the volleyball, swimming, and cheerleading teams. She'd gone over to surprise him after one of their many fights and found him with his pants around his ankles, balls deep in one of them. Lilly was your typical all American girl next door type, she had chestnut brown hair that she kept shoulder length and always looked like she'd stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister ad. Jamie would have been annoyed by someone like her in high school, after all, she was essentially a jock and a tomboy, her idea of dressed up was a pair of jeans and a clean t-shirt, but Lilly was just too nice to dislike. They'd been roommates through all four years and they were almost inseparable.

Jamie had aced the MCAT exam, that combined with her solid GPA, extra-curriculars, plus all of the volunteer work she'd done, and her....difficult past, which although sometimes painful to recall, made for an excellent personal statement, and she actually had a shot at getting in somewhere. Jamie's mother and father had met when her mother, Adrianna, had come from Brazil to study in America for a year. She'd been young and inexperienced and fallen madly in love with just the type of guy your parents always warned you to stay away from and even after her year abroad was over she couldn't leave him. Justin was a handsome man, he was intelligent and charming, and he could make her laugh. But when he was high, he could make her cry too. At first the drugs had been something they'd done at parties together, a line of coke here and there to make sure they had a good time. But when Adrianna had gotten pregnant with Jamie at 22 she'd quit and she thought he had too. Things were great for a while he actually seemed excited about being a father, but when Jamie was born it put a strain on their relationship. They didn't have much money, they were constantly fighting over bills or Justin helping out around the house. And as the fighting got worse so did Justin's drug addiction. He'd graduated from snorting to coke to shooting heroin. Adrianna noticed the changes in Justin, he would disappear for days on end, and if he was home he was violent or he'd force himself on her.

As Jamie grew up she watched her mother beginning to waste away, Justin was sucking the life out of her, with every beating she took. He never hurt Jamie and she knew her mother was trying to keep strong for her, but living in that hell with Justin was slowly killing her. Jamie was 5 and she'd just come home from school early one Friday afternoon. She called out for her mother who was usually in the kitchen fixing a snack for her or down the hall in the bedroom reading. When her mother hadn't answered she searched the apartment for her, she checked for a note that her mother usually left for her if she'd run out to the grocery store or something. Nothing. 'Maybe she thought she'd be back by now, or maybe she was in a hurry and forgot' Jamie thought, not really concerned yet. When it started to get dark and she'd seen no sign of either of her parents Jamie started to get worried It wasn't as if she had anyone to call, her father didn't have any family that he was close to and her mother's family was still in Brazil. Jamie waited and waited, curled up in her bed for someone to come home. Hours turned in to one day and then two. Still no one. The weekend had passed and Jamie didn't know what to do. She'd found food in the refrigerator so she hadn't gone hungry but she'd cried her self to sleep those two nights. Jamie knew she had school to go to but she wanted to be there when someone came home. She stayed in that apartment by herself for 6 days before someone came looking for her. When she hadn't shown up for school the whole week without a word from her parents, they'd gotten suspicious.

Six days after both of her parents had abandoned her, the police came to pick her up and she was turned over to child protective services. She'd begged and pleaded with them, told them that she needed to wait for her parents to come home, but they told her that they weren't coming to get her. No one wanted to tell her where they were or why they weren't coming back. She'd bounced around from foster home to foster home, being abused by one and then acting out at the others because of it until Miss Davis took her in and helped straighten her out. She'd started playing volleyball and was actually quite good and having that one thing to focus on really helped turn her life around. Even after she'd turned 18 and aged out of the system, Miss Davis hadn't kicked her out. At 18, Jamie had found out what really happened to her parents that day. Her mother had received a phone call from the city morgue, there was the body of a man matching Justin's description, dead from an apparent overdose. After Adrianna had gone to identify the body, she looked at what her life had become, she'd cleaned all the money she had out of her savings account and took the next flight back to Sao Paulo, wanting to erase all traces of ever being with Justin, and leaving their daughter behind.

Jamie wiped a stray tear from her cheek, and ran her hands through her long dark hair, determined to forget what she'd felt when she'd read her file. After months of applications and interviews, Jamie had her acceptance letter in hand, but the trouble was, she was moving halfway across the country to follow her dreams and leaving her only family, her foster mother, brother, sister, and best friend Lily, behind. When she'd told them about medical school they were so happy for her, Lilly, known for her dramatics had started to cry, tears of joy she promised. Clark and Campbell, her twin foster brother and sister, and had cried too, but she knew those were sad tears. She'd looked after them since they were born and their foster mother, Miss Davis had taken them in.

Because she'd been late in applying, Jamie wasn't going to start school until the fall of the next year, but she'd decided to move after graduation so she could get settled in a new city, find a place to live and a job to start saving some money. She'd worked all through college saving as much as she could, not caring too much for fancy or expensive clothes or going on Spring Break trips to Miami but it still wasn't enough to afford medical school tuition, not to mention rent, food, clothes, all the things she'd need to make it on her own. So here she was, moving half way across the country, in a matter of weeks and she didn't even have a place to live! With one last sigh, Jamie closed the newspaper, folded it, and placed it in her bag to finish reading on the bus ride back to her apartment. She turned to the blank screen in front of her, '2 weeks 'til graduation' she thought, it was time to get serious and she knew it. Her first task would be to find a place to live and then a job, well......after she finished her paper that is.

Jamie stood at the airport terminal waving goodbye to the only family she knew. The weeks following graduation had flown by and her life was really about to change. She'd found a cute little one bedroom apartment not far from where she'd be going to school, a lot other medical students rented the other units so she had the chance to meet a few people that could help her out when she started school and she knew there weren't going to be any wild frat parties that would disrupt her studying like there had been in the dorms in college. She'd already given a deposit and one months rent when she'd visited the apartment a few weeks before and she had enough money to maybe last 2 months if there weren't any great emergencies or unforeseen events, but she needed to find a job and fast! Getting on to that airplane was harder than she would have ever imagined, but deep down she knew this was the right decision, the path that would lead her to happiness.

It took Jamie about a week to get settled into her new apartment, Lilly had chipped in and helped her cover the cost of having her furniture shipped so she wouldn't have to buy all new things. She'd unpacked and rearranged putting little touches here and there to make the place her own. Early one Saturday morning after waking up she plopped on the couch, sat cross legged with her bowl of Cap'n Crunch, and flipped on the TV like had been her routine, Lilly would come in shortly after from her morning run and drop a newspaper on the coffee table for her. 'Looks like I'll have to go out and get my own paper this morning' Jamie thought, a sadness washing over her. She was going stir crazy in her apartment with nothing to do and no one to talk to. Clark and Campbell called almost every night and she talked or texted Lilly just as often. She'd been to every restaurant and bookstore within walking distance and hadn't been able to find a job yet. Today she planned to stop by the medical school employment office and see if she could find anything there, although she wasn't quite a student yet, she hoped they would make an exception.

Jamie entered the office door and scanned the list of wanted ads posted on the bulletin board, most of them were quite a few months old and she guessed those positions had already been filled. A short woman with gray streaked brown hair, called out to her, "Excuse me Miss, I'm the secretary here at the student employment office, can I help you with something".

"Oh yeah, sorry, Hi, I'm Jamie Watson, I'm not actually a student here right now, I won't be starting until next fall, but I really need to find a job and thought maybe someone here might be able to help."

"Nice to meet you Jamie, well we usually like to reserve most of these positions here on campus for students, but sometimes we get faculty and staff and some other outside places that want to advertise their job listings with us. I can let you take a look through that and see if there is anything you might be interested in."

"Thanks a lot, I really appreciate that" Jamie replied as the women handed her a thick stack of 1 page job announcements. "The newest ones are on the top".

Jamie took a seat in the corner and scanned through the first few ads. Some were for places that were too far from where she lived to be able to get there, others were things she had no experience in at all. Finally half way through the stack she found an announcement that read, "Part-time Sitter needed desperately for infant boy". There was a number attached that she quickly jotted down, they were desperate for a sitter and she was desperate for a job. 'I can do this' she thought, she had practically raised Clark and Campbell since they were babies, one baby boy couldn't be half as much trouble as those two. She thanked the secretary for her help and left the office.

Later that afternoon, Jamie dialed the number and it rang and rang until a woman picked up. "Hello?"

"Uh...Hi, my name is Jamie Watson, and I was wondering if you were still looking for a sitter for your baby. I got your number from the employment office at the medical school."

"Oh, yes! Thank God! Listen we're kind of desperate here, we haven't been getting much sleep and I need to get back to work as soon as possible. Do you have any experience with infants?"

Jamie went on to tell the woman about Clark and Campbell and her experience taking care of the twins. She was no stranger to dirty diapers and crying babies and Jamie loved children. She wanted to be a pediatrician when all was said and done.

"Why don't you stop by the house tomorrow, how about 12 noon? The baby, Alex, is usually down for a nap around then so we should have a chance to talk. We can go over the details then."

Jamie didn't know what to say but she thanked the woman profusely, glad to have finally lined up a job for herself, she jotted down directions and cell phone numbers and planned to show up the next day.

The house wasn't a far walk from her apartment and she enjoyed the mid-day stroll before the sun got too hot. She was dressed casually but nice in a pair of khaki capris, a light, flowing top, with a pair of comfortable but cute gladiator sandals on her feet. When she rang the doorbell she wasn't quite sure who she was expecting to answer it but Mitchell Kerr was most definitely not it. He looked young maybe only a year or two older than she, definitely younger than she was expecting judging by the voice of the woman she'd spoken to. Despite the two days worth of stubble on his face and dark circles under his eyes, he had to be the most gorgeous man Jamie had ever laid eyes on. He was about a head taller than Jamie's 5'10 frame which put him in the 6'4 range and his wide muscular chest was the first thing Jamie took note of under his thin white undershirt. She saw a sizable beige stain on the front that she assumed was spit up and couldn't help the slow smile that spread on her face. He had dark, curly hair that looked like it needed a cut but it made his handsome face with his gorgeous blue eyes look just a bit boyish. Jamie was openly staring and she hadn't quite noticed that he was talking to her until he cleared his throat.

"Oh...uh, sorry," Jamie said, her cheeks coloring. Oh God, how embarrasing...his wife is one lucky, lucky woman, she thought. "I'm Jamie....the babysitter, I spoke with your wife on the phone yesterday."

Mitch looked at the young woman incredulously, "Wh....Whaatt! My WIFE?!....I'm sorry you must have the wrong address, I'm not married and the only woman in this house right now is my mother, who is upstairs putting my son down for a nap! I don't know anything about any babysitter."

Jamie was shocked and a little confused so she showed him the piece of paper on which she'd written the address and phone number. She'd double checked with the woman on the phone to make sure she'd written it down correctly. Mitch was starting to put the pieces together, his mother had asked this woman to come, without his knowledge, to take care of his own kid.

"Listen I'm sorry, I don't know why my mother called you here, or whatever is going on but we're handling this just fine so while I appreciate you stopping by, we won't be needing you".

Jamie was just about to get the door closed in her face when the woman she'd spoken to, who she now realized was not his wife but his mother spoke first.

"Well you won't be able to handle this all on your own when I leave at the end of the week, Mitchell. Look at you, you're a mess, you need a shower , a change of clothes, and some sleep and you need to go back to work before you lose the job you worked so hard to get in the first place. Listen, as much as I would love to stay here and help you, I have classes to teach, and you know your father can't survive much longer on his own." she said.

Jamie could here Mitch grumbling at his mother's words, 'mother knows best', she thought with a silent giggle. Just then the woman nudged him out of the way of the front door he was blocking and invited Jamie inside.

"Hi there, I apologize, Jamie, you'll have to excuse my son. He's a little overwhelmed right now and the lack of sleep is making him cranky." she said, pinching him on the side. "I'm Madeline Kerr, and this here young man is my son, Mitchell. He's usually much more of a gentleman, I know I taught him better than he is currently behaving. Little Alex is upstairs. As I said on the phone he is a little over three months old and I've been here helping my son for the last few weeks. We both need to go back to work and I'd like to find someone to take care of him during the day. I'd prefer not to send him to day care. Although if his mother were here that would have been best" Madeline said, her expression turning sour.

Jamie and Madeline spoke for about an hour, they discussed Alex's typical schedule, and she was given a tour of the house. They stopped in the kitchen for drinks, when Jamie said, "If you don't mind me asking, where is Alex's mother?"

As Madeline was about to answer, Mitch who'd been trudging behind them silently, finally spoke up, "Actually I do mind, it's really none of your business."

Jeez this guy sure had a temper, cutting him some slack for not getting any sleep could only get him so far, but he was definitely working her nerves, Jamie thought. She was glad he wouldn't be around for the most part while she was taking care of Alex. Madeline told Mitch to run up and check on the baby and he was happy to get away from the two women.

When Mitch was out of earshot, Madeline replied, "I know I keep apologizing for him, but this has been incredibly hard on him. You see, he'd just moved here at the beginning of the summer to start working as an architect in an up and coming firm. It's been his dream for a while and he was so, so happy when he landed the job, not only about the new prospects, but happy to be getting away from California, where he used to live and his father and I live now. He'd been through a pretty rough patch, gosh he'll kill me for telling you all this, but I felt you should know."

Madeline sighed deeply and continued "Liz was his high school sweetheart, they'd even managed to make it through going to college in different states. They were living together and everything, I really don't know the details but one day she just packed up and left him. About a month later he took the job here, intent on starting over. 6 or so months after that, he finds Alex on his doorstep with a note from her. How she'd known she was pregnant, but wasn't ready to be a wife and mother, how keeping their son would have been a constant reminder of Mitch and she didn't want that, she wanted to get on with her life. That first week, we tried everything to contact her, she wasn't returning any phone calls and he had no idea where she was. Well....we still don't. We got a paternity test, so Alex is definitely his, and Mitch loves that kid, he just doesn't have a clue what he's doing. I've given him the accelerated course on parenting but he can't do this by himself. He's still hurting from Liz, I think he was actually making progress, getting over it, but the fact that she was pregnant and didn't tell him, and then just dumped their baby on his door step, it just doesn't sit well."

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byQueenConsort© 16 comments/ 47292 views/ 46 favorites

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