Summary: Buster has turned 18, and to celebrate, Bitzi has written him an email. She starts with your standard coming of age introduction, then she tells Buster the biggest secret of her life, the circumstances of her divorce from his father, Bo. Things may have ended amicably for the young couple, but things were definitely not sunshine and rainbows. One-shot. Can be found on ff.net here.
Subject: Happy 18th Birthday!
It’s so nice to see my baby boy is all grown up now. I knew I’d see this day and be so proud of you, and I think you knew it too. Things haven’t always been easy for us, but you’ve stuck through everything. I’m hoping you take those skills into your adult life and use them well, not that I’m going anywhere any time soon if you need help.
There is something I need to tell you, a story I need to share. You’ve asked questions over the years, and your father and I have always done our best to feed you the story we practiced, but…I’ve always felt guilty for hiding everything from you. I was so young when you were born and when everything happened, so I wanted to keep things hidden so you wouldn’t have to feel the pain I had to feel.
But now that you’re 18, you need to know everything. I’m going to start at the beginning and tell you the 100% true story of how your father and I met.
I was 19 when we first met. I was flying out to my university again after summer break and he was the pilot. Well, he was the pilot in training for the flight, not quite a copilot but getting there thanks to an internship program at the airlines. He was 20 and so charismatic. It was like talking to a movie star, and the uniform only helped things along. We exchanged numbers at the terminal and called each other off and on for the next year.
Then the next year, he was my pilot again, this time an actual copilot. I was impressed, and I decided I wanted to see him more often. My studies were getting intense, so I asked about writing letters and calling. He gave me a postcard with his address, and we wrote each other as often as we could. I think I spent more on stamps than I did on copies in the library. It was that kind of a romance, and I still have some of those letters.
Obviously things escalated and we met up a few times. Romance took hold and things happened. When I found out I was pregnant, I almost panicked. I was so close to finishing my bachelor’s degree that I couldn’t stop, and your father knew that. Bo married me at the courthouse the next time we were in town, and by the time you were born, he’d gotten us both an apartment near my university. I was under his benefits so our health was taken care of, and there you were.
He loved you. This has always been the case and always will be, but the light in his eyes when he saw you always made my heart melt for him. If it weren’t for my studies, I probably would’ve given you a baby brother or sister right then, but I knew I couldn’t. I finished my bachelor’s degree early to stay home with you, then Bo paid for a nanny so I could go back for my master’s. It was a dream come true, and on top of that, Elwood City needed an editor. I accepted the job and we moved here a few months before you turned two.
The years went by quickly. When you were four, I finished my studies and officially held my Master’s degree. It was amazing to finally have it, and I thought things were going well. We had a house and you were at a lovely preschool. The only problem was how much your father was away for his job, but I thought I could accept it. In fact, I knew I could accept it.
What I couldn’t accept was what happened when you were just starting preschool. You were four and amazing, just the perfect little boy, and your father? He started picking fights with me over nothing, arguing with me about how the house smelled and the way the furniture was positioned. You were off on a field trip one day when I came home early from lunch, and there he was complaining about the refrigerator making the same noise it always made, just that he was never around to hear it.
I lost it on him, Buster. I demanded an explanation for all the nonsense, and to my surprise he broke down and told me everything. He’d been having an affair with a woman, a married woman, and he was about to be a father again.
I was floored. I thought he loved me, loved us, but all that distance I was okay with wasn’t okay with him. He just couldn’t handle it, but he swore this was the first time he’d cheated. It’s just that things went a little too well and things happened, and now he was about to have a baby girl.
I kicked him out, but over the next few weeks, I decided we needed to be amicable for your sake. You had no clue what was going on, and you simply thought he was working more, which was almost the truth. He was looking for us a place to live on the side, during those few times when he was home, plus he was keeping an eye on the woman.
The thing is she was married, so the husband thought he was the father. The woman pushed your father away, and I did the same thing. I told him I couldn’t do it anymore if that’s what I might have to deal with again, and he understood.
So we moved into the condo I still have now, but I paid for it myself. He kept the house a little while, then sold it to a friend that ran rental properties. Things worked out, and your father and I worked hard behind the scenes to be as civil as possible around you, despite the fact that I am still resentful about what he did to this day. To his credit, your half-sister is a beautiful young woman, and her family is quite nice. Quite rich too, if you ask me. I think he hit the jackpot with me, but he won the lottery with her. If only she took the prize.
Now that you know, I guess you’d want to know who she is, and it would be important since you’re fairly close in age. Her name is Emily. I believe she’s one of DW’s friends from early on, so you probably met her a few times in passing. She’s a nice young girl, but she’s studying in France now, boarding school I think. She’ll likely return at some point, but she’ll never know the truth.
Promise me, Buster, promise me you’ll never tell her. Her father doesn’t know and neither does she, and that’s how it should be. Bo keeps in contact with her mother for medical purposes, but otherwise it’s a complete secret. I just wanted you to know because you’ve always wondered what happened to our happy life, what happened to my marriage and your father. He did something he regretted, but he lost in the end. He’s never settled down, and I doubt he’s ever found anyone else for more than a night or a few weeks, maybe some passing nights in a city far from home. He’s happy though, and so am I. I want you to be happy too, and if this hasn’t made you happy, I’m sorry. I just know you were always curious, so I hope I’ve answered your questions.
And again, happy birthday Buster. I hope to see you soon.
A/N: I should really make this a prologue to a bigger piece about this, but I decided to leave this as-is for right now. I’ll add it to a list of stories that I need to do more with, and I’m keeping the details here in mind for my head canon. I don’t think I want this to be my head canon for Emily’s background just yet, but it is an interesting thought.
For those of you who look into these things, Emily is the only character I’ve noted that has parents of different species. Her father is a monkey. Also, Emily seems to be the right age to help break up Bitzi and Bo’s marriage. I don’t remember when they got divorced, and I couldn’t look it up when I wrote this because I don’t have internet at home, but I feel like this is a plausible scenario, though it still doesn’t explain why the divorce was so amicable. Bitzi, even in this situation where children were involved, had every right to be LIVID with her ex, livid enough to hold a grudge and turn her son against him, yet she never has. This gives some plausibility to this, but honestly, I think she’d be even more mad.
Either way, this is something I want to dig into further. I’ll keep my readers updated if I decide to do anything more with this. It’s definitely on my short list of “pieces to continue.”