Pork chop night, a night that is rarely missed by my family, mainly because Homer claims I make them to perfection. The kids love it too, they say that the slices of meat are tender enough to make it extremely juicy and delicious, there is rarely any fat, and if there is, it's just scooted aside to be thrown away later or given to the cat who seems to enjoy it. No one complains, they eat it with vigor and compliment me on another delicious night of pork chops, along with a scoop of apple sauce that disappears as quickly as the pork chops. It's something I always enjoy making for them; I always prepare them with love and care even on nights like tonight.
Of course tonight I knew things would not go well, I knew it the moment I walked into the supermarket and had to buy a new brand of pork chops that were cheaper due to the financial situation we are in now. Homer decided to change jobs; he wanted his dream job working as a pin monkey at a local bowling alley. He had wanted to do this for years and now that he was out of debt, he was ready to move on. Of course I am still not convinced it's the best job in the world, he could have taken the job part time, that could have helped him with his debt issue but of course I don't think like him.
Don't get me wrong though, I still love him to death, it's just that he goes for things a little too quickly and usually without my consent, this was one of them so of course I was rather surprised when he told me. But he made up for it by taking me on a romantic night on the town a night that was a lot of fun and amazing. Though it did bring about a little surprise inside me when I learned I was late a few weeks later.
I kept it secret from Homer for five months, but how can you keep it a secret for so long when your stomach gets a little bigger every day? Luckily for me, Homer is so caught up in watching movies and working at the bowling alley that he did not notice my change until the baby shower. It's been a week now and so far he doesn't seem very happy about it. He's tried to get more people to visit the bowling alley but without much success and due to this, he hasn't gotten a raise. He knows that sooner or later he's going to have to return to the nuclear plant whether he likes it or not to support us. Living the way we have been now is not going to work out and I know this once I bring the food to the table.
Like I said, these pork chops were cheaper and another brand, not the best kind in the world and once they came out of the oven I realized that they definitely did not have the same quality. For one thing they are fattier and definitely not as tender. The apple sauce remains the same and that's the only thing that really looks edible at the moment. I can tell Homer and the kids are not pleased with me by the looks on their faces as they stare down at the so called pork chops. I can tell Lisa wants to humor me as she picks up her knife and fork as she tries to cut hers up. I can hear the knife rub up against the meat like it is made of rubber and at that moment I realized that things are definitely not working out.
"What the hell is this?" Bart suddenly blurts out as he picks up his pork chop and waves it around like a dog chew toy.
"Bart!" Homer yells angrily back at him for asking such a horrible question before turning to me with an upset look in his eyes.
"I'm sorry, but that's all I could afford tonight," I reply with a sigh while I try my best to cut up my pork chop.
"Did you go to the dog food store or something?" Bart replied again while this time he took a bite hoping that his teeth would cut it up better than the knife.
"Bart! Even though it is crap, you're mother worked hard on this so show a little support. She couldn't help it if she had to get something not as edible what with the baby on the way and it taking up all our monetary expenses," Homer said as he stared at me. I did not like this one bit, sure Bart was being rude, but what Homer just said made my skin itch as if it was only my fault the baby was coming.
"Well if you didn't change jobs suddenly we wouldn't be in this mess!" I reply angrily.
"And if you didn't have a bun in the oven we'd be financially stable!" Homer yelled back as he was finally able to cut a piece of pork chop off.
"Well it wasn't exactly planned now wasn't it?" I ask angrily knowing that I could not stop the change that would happen in a few months.
"Well if you used birth control like all other women we wouldn't be in this mess!" Homer cried back, bits of food flying out of his mouth.
"Well there is also something called protection there Homer!" I say angrily.
Homer stares back at me; I have never seen him this angry before, if he could I bet he would have steam coming out of his ears. And thank God he loved me enough to not strike me, I knew he probably wanted to, his fists were clenched, but I knew he would not harm me in any way. He was only angry with t he change being made, nothing more, I really hope this will blow over in a few weeks. I know I ruined his chance of happiness, but if he thought about it, he did too, he was the one who helped bring the child I am carrying into the world. And some things can't be stopped, when the baby comes, it comes and there really is nothing you can do about it. I know some people would beg to differ, but I am not one of those people, I'd rather not get into that though.
"Umm…sorry to interrupt, but I just want to say that I'm actually happy to have a new baby brother or sister coming into our lives," Lisa suddenly calls out with a shy and quiet voice. Her face is the look of worry, almost like something bad would happen between Homer and I and that she is stopping whatever it is from happening.
"I am too, I think it would be fun, I could teach him to be badass like me," Bart says. I knew he was helping Lisa in this argument.
"How do you even know it's a boy?" Lisa asks.
"Because like I said the other day, boy girl, boy girl," Bare replies.
"And what's if it's not a boy?" Lisa asks.
"Then I'll teach her to be badass, I would have taught you, but well…I was busy learning the ropes still," Bart replied in a cool tone, I could see Lisa rolling her eyes. Of course Homer was still not ready to give up the argument.
"Oh really, you two would like that huh? You would like all the crying in the middle of the night? How about cleaning up after the baby with its dirty diaper and then have it barf all over you? And I bet you would like getting crappy pork chop meals every week, along with some meatloaf substitute on Wednesdays and imitation gruel on Thursdays? Why I bet you would love to have secondhand stuff for Christmas because we can't afford all the nice things thanks to this so called bundle of joy," Homer said angrily back at Bart and Lisa who were of course taken aback by his outburst. I would not blame them, speaking out to the kids like this is not a proper way of being a father and I of course did not approve.
"Gee Dad were you like this before I was born?" Bart said angrily.
"I don't remember!" Homer said with a huff.
"Well if you remember it or not, I don't like how your tone of voice right now Homer, just because you are not doing well with the bowling alley does not mean you should take it out on me or the kids. We have feelings too you know and you have to accept that sometimes things change be they for the better or worse," I say as sternly as I can. I am actually a bit shaken up by this now and I can actually feel the baby kicking as if it knows something is going on.
Homer stares at me for a minute, like he is going to say something back; I know he wants to, I can feel it all the way on my side of the table. But he remains silent; instead he gets up and takes his plate into the kitchen. I hear him drop it into the sink before he stomps his way up the stairs before returning with his shoes on and his keys in his hand. He doesn't have to tell me where he's going, I know exactly where he plans to go, but of course he decides to bring the last word out.
"I'm going to Moe's now, I'll be back when I feel like it," he replies before slamming the door behind him.
I hear the car screeching out of the driveway as he heads off to Moe's, I know he will not return until at least after two. I am now alone with the kids, who are both staring at the closed door with wide eyes on their faces. What Homer did was unacceptable and hurtful. I was worried now; would he even care for this new baby that would be born soon? Would he always be this angry from now on? What was even worse was the thought of what might happen if he came home after drinking.
"Mom are you okay?" Lisa asks me. I didn't even realize that I was now shaking, either from what has just happened or the thought of Homer coming home in a drunken rage. Either way, both are not good. But I remain calm for the children and try not to show them my worries
"Yes, sweetheart, I'm fine. Since you're father has left us for the evening, you both may bring your dinner in the living room," I reply before letting out a sigh.
Both Bart and Lisa smile happily and pick up their plates to bring to the living room. I have no idea if they will actually finish the meal, but I'm okay with that, it's not the best thing I've made that's for sure.
"So what do you think we should call our new brother or sister?" I hear Lisa say as they walk away.
"If it's a boy I think we should call him some really cool action star name like Sylvester and if it's a girl I say Angelina," I hear Bart reply.
I hear Lisa say something back, but now that they are behind a wall, I am unable to hear her. And now I am left alone in the dining room with my meal, at the moment though I have no thoughts of finishing it. My stomach is churning too much to want to and I am starting to feel the regret of having a new member of the household living with us. But I know I must carry on, with or without Homer. I just need to stay strong first, but I know that's hard to do. I feel the tears fall down my face as I begin to wonder if there will be any luck in the future for this new family member.
Tonight is not a good night for me. I've never felt so angry in all my life before, and I can't believe the family has sunk low enough for Marge to serve us imitation pork chops. Pork Chops are the greatest thing in the world, there should be a law against serving it that way, it's just disgusting and vile and not tasty at all. And it's all thanks to that bun in the oven. This is just great, it's another mouth to feed and another kid that will hassle me night and day about wanting something. I guess ten more years is out of the question. Now it's back to eighteen years of dealing with kid crap from diapers, to college. My goodness, three kids and college, I guess I am not meant to have a happy retirement until I'm ninety-nine, if I live to be that long.
I can't believe this has happened, it sucks so much! All I wanted was to have a happy life working in a bowling alley, something better than that slave job at the nuclear plant. But now I apparently have to go back now that I scared off all the customers at the bowling alley. It's just not fare, why did Marge have to go and have this kid. I didn't want another one, two are definitely enough, that's all I can handle. Now it's time for me to relive the diaper years which includes changing them and getting barf all over your face. Oh man I can't wait for that! Not!
I let out a heavy sigh, I've been thinking so much that I've barely noticed that I am at my destination until I park my car. Did I run any red lights? Oh well, all I know is, my friends are in the bar and they can help me through this. They can tell me that I'm right and that what is going on really is a mistake. Then we will laugh about it until two am before I stumble home. Of course I will probably sleep on the couch, but who would want to when their wife is in your bed with a bulging belly and the whole time you lay against her you feel the child moving inside of her. No thanks, I don't that anymore tonight.
I finally enter the bar; Moe is there waiting for me, along with Barney, Lenny, Carl, and a few other barflies whose names I always forget. They all turn to me and mutter a hello before looking back down at the beer they are drinking.
"Hey Homah, I see you're here a little early tonight," Moe says as he starts filling up a mug with beer.
"Yeah I got into an argument with Marge, so I came here to calm down," I reply as I take my seat next to Barney who seems to now be in a state of drunken stupor. Not fully aware of where he is and why he is there, usually it takes him longer, probably at least until eleven, but I guess everyone is early today.
"Oh martial trouble huh? Whatja do ruin her favorite dress?" asked Carl.
"No," I reply before taking a big swig of beer.
"Did you call her ugly?" Lenny asked.
"No, of course not!" I reply. I would never say such a thing like that to Marge; she is too beautiful to ever be ugly.
"Didja forget to pick one of the kids up from school?" Moe asked.
"It's summer, so definitely not. No guys, it's the new baby, and because of this so called bundle of joy I can't work at the bowling alley any more. My lifelong dream is over," I reply before taking another swig of beer.
I wait for a response from the guys, but neither of them say anything; instead they all stare at me like I am a life form from another world, even Barney before he covers his eyes again and lets out a loud burp.
"Aww is the little baby not getting his wowwypop?" Moe finally says after the long awkward moments of silence.
"Well not until it turns two, don't want it to choke now do we," I reply a bit sarcastically.
Moe growls at me and takes the mug of beer out of my hand, he doesn't bother to refill it, he just stands there and stares at me with anger in his eyes. Lenny and Carl do the same before Moe sets the mug back down without refilling it. "Homah, you think this is my dream job?"
"…Yeah," I say a little worriedly.
"Well guess what, it ain't. I could actually be working at a bar down in Key West selling Mai Tai's to beautiful women but I'm not, ya know why?" Moe asked.
"Because Mai Tai's are Hawaiian?" I ask.
"No you dumbass, it's because a friggen hurricane ruined my chances, and do you see me complaining about it. Hell no!" Moe said. "It's like the old saying says, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Sure your ruined your life with another kid, but you'll find your own way around that to make yourself happy, ya get what I'm saying?"
"Yeah sort of," I reply. Truthfully it made no sense to me and I really don't think Moe understood what was going on between me and and everyone else. I loved the bowling alley, it was laid back and easy, I was happier and life was perfect. But now that I have another mouth to feed, I won't be able to enjoy it without Marge nagging me about money issues. It just wasn't fair.
"Yeah you're not getting it," Moe replied grumpily as he took my mug of beer away from me.
"Well what the hell am I supposed to do? Be glad that this child is ruining my life? Should I live a miserable life just to make everyone else happy. I want to be happy too you know," I reply as I try to reach for my mug.
"Homah, act your age, not your shoe size. Be glad you have a healthy family with a baby on the way. Be happy you have a wonderful home and good food with a loving wife. Hell be happy with what you have in general. What if the kids have a disease or something or Marge left you for another man? Those things can be a whole lot worse than just a baby coming trust me," Moe replied.
"And think about it Homer, you're more successful than any of us because you have those things," said Carl.
"You think so huh?" I ask.
"Oh yeah, none of us are married and have kids, we are just lonely bachelors who have never found true love like you. We envy you for that actually since we've never had the chance for anyone else to fall in love with us. I would be so thrilled to see another kid in the family even if I was poor. Besides, money isn't everything you know," Lenny said.
"Yeah, they love you, I bet you would be a whole lot miserable if you didn't have them by your side," Moe said.
I sat there listening to Moe and the guys words and now I finally began to realize how important my family really is. Sure this new baby was messing things up, but you know at least I still had everything I needed to bring this baby into the world. Sure I would be unhappy, but now that I think about it. Marge needs to be happy too. She works her butt off keeping us together and then I treat her like dirt by complaining about everything. Moe is right, she could be cheating on me with someone who is better looking and has a better job than me. But no she chooses to stay by my side and support me, yet I don't support her. I would never cheat on her, I can't even think about that without feeling terrible. She needs my support, I know I can't do it with anything fancy thanks to our money issues but I know I can at least help her through this pregnancy whether I like it or not. The baby is coming and we can't stop it, we just got to go with the flow, make lemonade like Moe just said. It sucks yes but I need to accept it and hope for the best, that the baby is healthy and so is Marge.
"I guess I should go home and set things straight," I reply sheepishly.
"Yeah you better, don't make me kick you out of this place and have Lenny drag you back home," Moe says while Lenny only nods stupidly before realizing what Moe just said.
"You think a guy like me can drag a guy like him?" Lenny asks.
"With enough adrenaline sure," Moe says.
"Dragging me won't be necessary," I reply. And without a second thought, I leave my bar stool and head out the door in search of the woman I love.
After that argument with Homer, I'm not feeling well and have decided to go to bed early. I've been laying in bed for an hour now, thinking about what Homer said and worrying about how things will end up. Will he want to separate from me or will he learn to accept it? I have no idea, all I know is that after thinking things over, I've been crying, my cheeks are red and my pillow is damp from crying on it. I really don't know what to do. Yes the child was a surprise and I now feel its my fault, I haven't been taking the pills for a few months now. I should have, it would save me from the aggravation and sadness I am under.
I continue to lie there and sob quietly when I suddenly hear Homer's car pull into the driveway. I am a little surprised by this, I wasn't expecting him home until at least two thirty. Maybe he already had enough and wants to yell at me some more. I know I should probably fake sleeping, he would probably leave me alone until morning and sleep on the couch until then. I pull my head under the covers and listen as he shuts the car door and makes his way in the house and climbs up the stares to our room. He opens the door but he doesn't say anything. There is a long moment of silence before I finally hear shuffling by our closet before things become silent again. What is he doing? Does he have a gun? I shake a little at the thought and hold my breath hoping things would be okay, I'm too afraid to look.
"Marge?" He calls out to me, softly, in a voice that sounds concerned.
I take a minute to respond before finally pulling back the blanket. "What is it Homer?" I try to ask in a gruff tone, but I know from the crying I've been doing it does not help.
He is silent for a long time as he stares back at me with sad looking eyes. I can tell he regretted what he said earlier, he must have thought things over. "I'm sorry..." he finally says.
I sit up in bed and turn on the light to see him more clearly. He has put his pajamas on and he looks a bit upset and ready to sleep on the couch like he has done countless times before when we've had a bad argument. But this time I can tell he has thought things through really hard and it looks like he is about to cry. Without another word I accept his apology and pat the side he sleeps on with a smile on my face.
Homer slowly makes his way to the bed and before long he is sitting beside me, tears finally falling down his face, he must know I love him enough just to accept his apology and let him sleep with me tonight.
"I talked to the guys at the bar, and they made me realize how amazing you really are. And this shouldn't be something to be upset over, this should be something to celebrate. I know it's ruining my chances at my dream job, but I love you more and I want you to be happy," he says with tears streaming down his face. What he says moves me enough to cry as well.
"Does that mean you are going back to the plant?" I ask.
"I'm gonna try, I don't know if I will be lucky enough or not, but I will try," Homer says as he wipes the tears out of his eyes.
"That's all I'm asking for," I reply with a sigh as I reach over and give him a kiss on the cheek.
Homer smiles back at me and holds my hand while he looks down at the baby bump. Ever since Homer knew about it, I seem to be getting bigger everyday, it's almost like she tried to hide from him until he found out, or maybe I am just now noticing. Either way I realize that in two months time, it will enter the world and be part of the Simpson clan. I look back up at Homer and there is a smile on his face while a tear rolls down his cheek. I think he is beginning to accept the change.
"Can I feel?" he asks.
"Of course Homie," I reply.
Homer lets go of my hand and puts his hand on my stomach to feel the baby. She's not kicking at the moment, but it doesn't matter to Homer, he has a huge smile on his face as he knows he is going to be a new father one more time, at least I hope so any way. Finally I put my hand on his and together we massage my stomach, soothing the baby after the long, hard day.
Finally Homer leans forward and kisses my forehead before hugging me tightly, bu not too tightly, he does not want to hurt the baby. For such a big man, he can sure be gentle sometimes, and I am very glad to have him by my side even though he does act like a baby himself. But he is better than most men, I give him credit for that. He has a strong heart and is very loyal to me and the kids. I now know he will be a good father to this new addition and I couldn't be any more prouder.
"So have you thought of a name for it?" He asked.
"Not really," I say nervously. "I was hoping you would help me."
"Of course," Homer says and thinks about it for a long moment. "How about Princess Peach if its a girl."
I let out a small laugh before before I cuff him lightly in the shoulder. "That just won't do," I reply trying my hardest not to laugh more than I have to.
"How about Louie if its a guy?" Homer asks.
"You said no the first time, because of Screwy Louie," I say.
"Oh yeah," He says with a silly grin before continues to think.
"We still have a few months you know," I reply.
Homer smiles before digging himself deeper into the covers. "Then let's cuddle."
Without a second thought, I join him deeper into the covers and embrace him and show how much I love him even through the hardest times.
A/N: And there's part three of Hope and Expectations. Truthfully I don't think it met my expectations, I was actually gonna do a whole thing with Bart and Lisa, but it was so boring I just couldn't do it. So this one came out and well its a bit better but, yeah I think I can do better. Still I wanted to get this done, been holding it off for far too long and I hate making people wait and Chnprod has been very excited to read this one. But still let me know what you think.
Now two important things I need to tell you, well the first one is more of a question than anything else. I've actually enjoyed writing these, so much so that I keep thinking up more little snippet stories including ones about the kids being older and how Marge and Homer feel about being empty nesters, and Homer and Marge getting old and hell even little snippets from before Love Thy Neighbor where Homer thinks about his family before he passes on and even the morning after he leaves them. So I am curious to know if you guys are interested in me doing more of these, please let me know, if not I will just call this complete and be done with it.
Second, I've been a little frustrated with my writing and other little things I shouldn't be frustrated about, but I am any way, probably because I am a girl. So because of that I am taking a break, only about a week, that's all I can take really. So I won't be writing for a week, hell I won't even be online much since I think its a good idea to just abstain from everything for this little vacation. So since I am doing this I will not be writing which means you will probably not see an update for The Way We Never Should Have Been, (man that title needs to be shortened) until two or three weeks from now. I am sorry but I feel better that way. In the meantime just be patient and review this chapter. I will be back as soon as I can.