Sunday’s were the one day I had off of work from the bookstore, so I took the opportunity every Sunday morning to sleep in as long as I could. I looked up at the clock on the wall and it read a little past nine, taking a deep breath in and letting it out heavily as I continued to relax. Every occasional Sunday, however, the owner of the store needed me to come in to receive shipments or let in an electrician to work on broken or worn out lights, I just hoped today wasn’t one of those Sunday’s.
Hannah and I had saved up just enough money to invest in my idea for her to open her own bakery and to put a down-payment on a vacant lot, and within a year the business had begun to finally pick up. There wasn’t a single other place within Lucky Palms that sold homemade sweets and baked goods, so she had no competition, everyone loved what she made. With her bakery running well, and with how much time I had put into working at the bookstore, we made enough money to pay for our wedding. Hannah and I were doing as well as we could, though I wish I could be home more often. I open the store around six in the morning and we don’t close until seven, so by the time I get home every day, all I want to do is eat and sleep. After a while of being good at my job, the owner was open to my idea of closing the store on Sunday’s so people like me who work thirteen hours a day, six days a week, could spend time with their family. But, we still weren’t close to being perfect.
I wish it was pure hard work and dedication that got us to where we are now, but it wasn’t, nor was it luck. It’s been a little over two years since the baby shower and with the hospital bills we had from having a baby, along with a few loans we had taken out to remodel the bakery, buy our new house and a new, safer car, we were up to our hips in debt. With how much we owed, it would be a long time before we could pay everything off and be able to get onto the positive side. This was usually the first thing that came to my mind every day when I woke up. In a way, it fueled me to keep working hard to make sure I could provide for my family, yet at the same time I regret the decisions we’d made in the past. As much as I wanted to marry Hannah, we should’ve spent that money we saved up on our bills to pay them off rather than spend what we had saved on the wedding.. It was all too much, too soon. I laid in my bed, eyes half open and I spaced out through the window, worrying about money on my day off. But, I tried not to think about it anymore, I had more on my mind than I’d care to admit, and today was not the type of day where I had the luxury to dwell on it by myself at work and away from my family.
I had dozed back off for another hour and I was woken up by the sound of a gentle, sweet voice by the door to my bedroom. I was able to hear Hannah through the silence of the morning, whispering, “Go to Daddy, go wake him up..” I couldn’t help but smile. Without turning over to face the door, I shut my eyes again and tried to straighten out my expression, pretending to be asleep as I heard a tiny pair of footsteps running around on the floor and I moved closer to the edge of the bed without being noticed.
I could hear them getting closer and I tried to not let my smile come back, hearing those tiny footsteps a little better now and the sound soon stopped at the side of my bed. I heard gentle pleas and noises coming from in front of me, then feeling tiny hands tapping against my arm and pulling at my hand, then fingers gripped the blanket and began to tug with minuscule force, trying to get my attention.
I began to hear gentle whimpering and the tugs began to get a little harder, deciding that my pretending had reached it’s end and I leaned over the bed, smiling instantly when my sight met my son’s and he smiled excitedly back. His hands went from open palms to closed fists repetitively as a means to tell me to lift him up and I couldn’t deny his plea, reaching down quickly and holding him above me as he giggled.
I gently laid him down next to me on the bed, holding up his arms and I began doing soft raspberries on his stomach and he let out high pitched squeals of laughter while trying to break free from my grip by flailing his arms and legs. I could hear Hannah laughing softly by the door and I pulled away when I knew he had had enough, laughing softly as I looked down at him and I couldn’t describe the feeling I had whenever he looked back at me with eyes that gleamed a soft sapphire. I had been waiting so long to start a family, to have a child, and finally I could be proud enough so say that I had one.
Our son, Oliver Theodor Dubois, was born a little over two years ago and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than him. His eyes reminded me of my father and he had the same hair as Hannah; a deep, dark brown with lighter brown spread throughout randomly, but he looked a lot like me despite the color differences of his eyes and hair.
I looked towards the door where I saw Hannah approaching us, seeing her still in her nightgown and she crawled onto the bed with us with a smile on her face. I laid on my side with my hand around Oliver’s small torso, seeing his eyes going back and forth between Hannah and I. She laid down facing both of us and took Oliver’s hand within her own, bringing it to her lips and kissing the back of his hand a few times before looking to me then and keeping her smile, “Do you want any breakfast?” She asked.
“Yeah, tha’d be great,” I replied, keeping my smile as I looked to her, then back to our son lying between us.
“I’ll feed Oliver and make something, why don’t you shower and get ready for the party?” She suggested and I nodded in agreement.
Hannah rose back up and off the bed, picking up Oliver into her arms and kissing his cheek, “Let’s get you changed and then we can go make food for Daddy,” she told Oliver, walking towards the door and he didn’t take his eyes off me as he looked over Hannah’s shoulder, I smiling back at him as Hannah left the room with Oliver and then shut the door behind her.
I let out a rush of air as I laid back down and took my time getting up to get ready, deciding to relax just a little bit longer. We hadn’t owned the house long, we moved in about a month ago and today we were finally moved in enough to throw a housewarming party and have my family come over to celebrate us finally getting settled in. Bennu and Bahiti were coming, along with Gareth and Nina and their daughter, my niece, Katalina. As much as I wished it was going to be a relaxing day at home so I could spend time with Oliver, I hadn’t seen my family in a few months, it’ll be good to spend some time with them as well.
I finally worked up the strength to get out of bed and I went to the bathroom within our room, starting the shower and stepping in when it was hot enough. I showered for about fifteen minutes, then went to my room again and tried to pick out a casual outfit, something comfortable. I walked out of the room and down the hallway, coming into the large, open living area and I could see Hannah making food and Oliver was in his high chair, eating whatever Hannah had given him.
I walked up to Oliver and he smiled, reaching for me to lift him up and I did, tickling him gently on his side.
“Did he eat everything?” Hannah wondered as she finished cooking, putting plates down on the counter with pancakes, eggs and bacon and I nodded.
“Yeah, just about,” I replied, kissing Oliver’s cheek before passing him off to Hannah.
“I’m going to put him in the playpen and then go change and get ready, will you watch him while you eat?” She asked.
“Yeah, I can do that,” I replied, watching her take him over to the play area and I took my seat at the counter, beginning to eat the meal in front of me. Although I couldn’t see Oliver from where I was, I was constantly keeping my ears open as I ate, listening to him playing and waiting for him to request to be let out like I knew he would soon.
Thankfully, today he let me finish breakfast and even clean the dishes before he began seeking attention, wiping off my wet hands on a towel and walking over to the playpen he was in. His expression was desperate and you’d think we’d left him alone for hours by how torn up he was without someone to play with or be by, chuckling softly to myself when I lifted him up and he hugged me tightly as I brought him back over towards the living room. I turned the television on and placed him in my lap, putting on a kids show and he leaned back into me, the show able to grab his attention enough that I could just sit here and relax as I tried not to get too bored with the show. Even though I had woken up only an hour ago, I still felt tired and my head bobbed as my body threatened to fall asleep again, but I was woken up by Oliver every time with him yelling something out or him hitting my leg to get my attention, “Daddy, look, bunny! Bunny!”
“Yeah, Ollie, it’s a bunny,” I replied with a happy tone, giving him reinforcement that he did good at guessing the animal correctly.
Hannah eventually came back from getting ready and by that time, Oliver was already napping in my lap and I had turned on a different show as I laid my hand over him to keep him in place and not fall off the couch. I smiled towards her as she walked over to us and she sat next to me on the couch, looking down at Oliver and brushing her fingers over his cheek. “I’m going to the store to get food and stuff for the party, do you want me to take him or can you watch him?” She asked in a whisper, still looking down at Oliver.
“I’ll watch him.. We can nap together,” I replied back just as quietly.
“Oh, you’re still tired?” She wondered, looking up to me with concern.
“Just a little, I’ll be awake and ready before anyone even gets here though, don’t worry,” I answered, giving her a brief yet reassuring smirk.
“I’m glad you’re home, it’s going to be nice seeing you here for more than just a few hours,” she said with her own smile and I nodded in agreement.
“Believe me, so I am.. I always look forward to Sunday’s,” I reply, seeing her smile wider and she nods.
“Me too,” she said quietly, reaching up to touch my face and she pulled me into a soft kiss, then she leaned over to kiss Oliver’s forehead and stood up to leave, “I’ll be back soon,” she continued and I nodded, watching her walk to the door, grab her purse and leave.
I looked down to Oliver, brushing his hair with my hand and I contemplated how to position myself so I could lie down and nap with him without waking him up. He was such a light sleeper that sometimes even the tiniest of sounds woke him up and I was surprised that he didn’t wake up while Hannah and I were just talking.. I lifted my hands, but stopped, then again, and stopped, trying to figure out the best way to go about this.. I wanted to sleep with him so I was good for the party and if I woke him up, he’d be up for the rest of the day, I only had one chance at this to relax a little more on my much needed day off and I needed to get it right the first time. I finally figured out my approach, sliding my left hand under his back and I pushed it up until his head was in my palm, pulling him up slowly and then sliding my right hand under his bottom, leaning over so he met my chest.
I pulled back slowly and turned slightly, laying down just as steadily until my back met the couch and my head touched the armrest, looking down towards Oliver and he was still asleep, though now laying on my chest instead of in my lap. I let out a relieved sigh, glad that I had pulled it off and that I could get about another hour of much needed sleep, and the one thing that made it better was I could enjoy it with my son.
I was woken up by the sound of Hannah making food in the kitchen, looking down to my chest and seeing Oliver wasn’t there anymore. I sat up quickly and looked behind me towards the kitchen, “Where’s Ollie?” I asked Hannah in a slight panic and she looked over her shoulder towards me.
“In his playpen,” she replied casually.
“Was he asleep when you got here? He wasn’t awake and running around when you got home was he? I’m sorry, I was supposed to watch him,” I answered, seeing her smile and she stepped away from the oven to fully face me.
“Relax, he was fine.. He woke up when I walked through the door with the groceries,” she replied and I let out a sigh of relief.
“Good.. When is everyone supposed to be here?” I asked next.
“About fifteen minutes?” She guessed and I was glad I had a little time to wake up some more before everyone got here. “I told everyone to bring their swimsuits, too, if anyone wanted to swim in the pool,” she continued and I nodded.
“Yeah, good idea.”
“Do you want any help in there?” I asked and she shook her head.
“No, it’s alright.. I’m almost done anyways, just relax a little longer,” she replied with a smile and I nodded, both of us hearing a timer go off and Hannah went to the oven to remove whatever she was cooking. I looked towards the playpen and saw Oliver, occupying himself with the sliding blocks and I smirked softly, turning my attention then to the television and watching the end of some random show while we waited for everyone to arrive.
At one o’clock on the nose, I looked towards the front door and could see Bennu and Bahiti walking up, seeing me through the glass door and they both smiled, letting themselves in and I walked over to greet them. “Hey, you found the place,” I began with a smile.
“Gibson, this house is crazy! It looks so nice from the outside,” Bahiti began, then taking a moment to look around, “The inside is really nice, too,” she added and I nodded in thanks.
“It’s great to see you, Gibson, you bought a very beautiful home,” Bennu said with a smile, coming up to me for a hug and I hugged her in return.
“Thank you, we fell in love with it the moment we saw it,” I replied, “Hannah’s in the kitchen making food, why don’t you help her, Bahiti?” I suggested and she smiled and nodded, walking passed me and towards the kitchen.
I watched as Bennu waited until Bahiti was far enough away before she looked back at me and I watched as she removed a small envelope from her purse and put it into my front left pant pocket before I could even look at it, already knowing then that it was a check and I tried to stop her, “Bennu, you don’t have to do that, really..” I tried to convince her, but she refused to hear my words, batting my hands away and continuing to put the envelope into my pocket, then pulling me in for another hug.
“Consider it a housewarming gift from your father and I,” she said softly as she held me and I sighed.
“Thank you..” I said quietly and she released me from the hug.
“You’re very welcome. Now.. Where’s my grandson?” Bennu asked excitedly and I chuckled, pointing over towards his playpen and she didn’t waste any more time with me, rushing over to him and giving him unconditional love the moment she picked him up.
I watched as Bennu brought Oliver into the kitchen with Hannah and Bahiti and I took that time to adjourn to my room for a quick minute. I shut the door behind me and took out the envelope from my pocket, sighing softly as I opened it and looked at the amount, my eyes widening when I read that she had given us five grand.
“Jesus, Bennu..” I said quietly to myself, opening the top drawer to my dresser and putting it underneath a stack of my folded shirts. I stood there a moment, putting one of my hands into my pocket and the other rubbed the side of my head in annoyance, hating that Bennu could see right through me. ..Actually, did she even know we were in debt..? How could she? Maybe it was just the overabundance of generosity that surprised me, maybe it is just a gift.. Whatever the reason there was behind it, I didn’t care that much the more I thought about it.. This money is one more step closer to being out of debt, and I was thankful for it.
“Where the hell’s Gibson?” I heard the question coming from the living room, knowing my brother had finally gotten here and I rid myself of any remaining negative feelings before leaving my room.
I walked out of my room and went towards the front of the house, seeing Gareth as I walked down the hallway and he looked towards me, seeing him smile and throw his arms up, “There you are, what the hell is all this? This place is huge,” he continued, pulling me into a quick hug.
“Glad you like it, watch the swearing, too, will you?” I asked and he chuckled.
“Your parental suggestions still fall on deaf ears, little bro,” he replied, patting me on the shoulder and I rolled my eyes.
I looked past Gareth and saw Nina holding Kat, smiling as I walked over to them, “Hey, Nina,” I said warmly and she smiled.
“Hi, Gibson.. You’re new place is really nice,” she complimented.
“Thanks,” I replied, looking to Katalina and my expression went excited, “There’s my beautiful niece,” I said happily and Nina gave her to me, tossing her in the air and she laughed. I pulled her into my arms and kissed her cheek, then looked to her with adoration, “Are you going to go swimming today in the pool?” I asked and she smiled.
“Yeah, yeah!” She replied excitedly and I chuckled.
“Hey, come on.. I want to talk to you still,” Gareth said, coming up to me and taking Kat from my arms and handing her back off to Nina, “Give us a minute,” Gareth said towards Nina and she nodded, walking away from us and towards the kitchen with everyone else. I didn’t like that he had taken her from me, I adored his daughter and her and Oliver got along extremely well already, I wanted just a few more minutes to talk to her, but I guess that was too much to ask from Gareth.
“You can’t give me one minute to talk to my niece?” I asked with little patience and he scoffed.
“There’s time for that later, got anywhere we can talk in this huge place?” He wondered somewhat mockingly and I sighed heavily, nodding and motioning with my head for him to follow me and I walked down the hallway with him so we could talk more privately in the study.
We got to the study and Gareth began instantly, “Hey, so, again, same question as before.. What the hell is all this?” He asked with a serious tone and I looked to him.
“What are you talking about exactly?” I asked in return.
“This place, Gibs, how the hell did you afford this house? Last time I talked to you, you and Hannah weren’t doing that well in the financial department.. Then the next thing I know, you buy a house..?” He questioned as if I was stupid, sitting on a couch within the room and I sat on the opposite one.
“We’re doing better now, don’t worry about it. It’s not any of your business anyways,” I replied shortly and he chuckled with attitude.
“So, when you weren’t doing well, you made it my business by venting to me about it and still not taking the fucking money I offered to you years ago, and now that you’re supposedly doing well, you’re an ass about it as if you don’t want to talk about it and you expect it not to be my business anymore?” He replied sarcastically and I looked to him, “You’re the one that let me in on what was going on.. Stop acting like you’re okay, I can see right through you better than anyone,” he continued to insist and I looked away from him.
“Gareth, I don’t mind talking about it, but it’s not that.. I just don’t want to do it now. I haven’t seen you all in a while, and this is the one day I get to stay home with my family, I’d like to spend it with them rather than dwelling on shit that bothers me every day regardless,” I replied and he sighed.
“Just.. I want to know why you won’t take the damn money. If you guys aren’t doing okay then I’d be happy to help out, you kno-”
“Well, I don’t need your help,” I cut him off and he gave me a stern expression, “I don’t need you taking care of my family for me, it’s why both Hannah and I have jobs,” I continued.
“I’m not trying to take care of you, I’m looking out for you. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes, you know?” He replied, “Why the hell haven’t you taken the money, too, if you’re in such deep shit? You seem to have no problem taking money that Bennu gives you,” he continued and I looked to him in surprise.
I furrowed my brow, “First of all, I never said we were in deep shit, and second, Bennu didn’t give us any money,” I lied, though I was mostly just trying to avoid answering his question and I heard him chuckle sarcastically to my response.
“Bullshit.. You threw a housewarming party, what the fuck do parents and other people give you for moving in? Money,” he replied, answering his own question for me.
“They give you new things like a microwave or, I don’t know, a goddamn toaster..”
“And sometimes money, which if I know Bennu well enough, which I do, that’s exactly what she gave you.. So, how much did she give you? I could probably double it if you want..?” He asked and I kept my stern expression.
“Now that, is none of your business, and I don’t want your money,” I replied.
“See? I knew she did..”
“Fine, she did, now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to spend time with my son by the pool on my one day that I have off from work,” I reply, beginning to walk away from the couch.
“Gibs, come on, don’t be like that.. Just talk to me,” Gareth said as he watched me walk away, but I continued out of the study and left him there.
I began walking down the hallway and saw Bennu and Bahiti approaching me, having Oliver and Katalina in their arms and they stopped me, “Where’s the bathroom in this place? We wanna change into our bathing suits,” Bahiti wondered and I looked behind me.
“First door on your right, Oliver’s room is the second door if you want to go in there and find his suit in his dresser,” I replied and they nodded in return, walking passed me and following my directions.
I continued towards the living room where I saw Hannah walking out of the kitchen, “Where are you off to?” I asked.
“Changing into my bathing suit, too, I haven’t swam with Ollie in a while and I’d like to on a nice day like this, you should swim with us, too,” she replied with a smile.
“Do me a favor and wear something not that revealing,” I requested and she gave me a bored expression.
“Gibson, don’t start this again.. I only have one bathing suit, anyways.. What else am I going to wear..?” She tried to contest but I stopped her.
“I don’t know.. But you know how my brother can be, I just don’t want him to have any more reason to gawk at you.. He does it enough already right in front of my face,” I continued.
“Doesn’t matter what she wears, bro, she looks good wearing anything,” Gareth answered before Hannah, hitting my back playfully yet it was harder than it needed to be, watching him walk passed us but he looked back at me and gave me a serious glare behind Hannah, in whom which didn’t mind the compliment, getting into my head and I grew a little angry as he walked towards the kitchen and out the back towards the pool.
“See? He knows it pisses me off, yet he still does it,” I continue with an angered tone and Hannah looked to me with a blank expression.
“I don’t care about how he looks at me, I care about spending time with my son and the ones I love.. Stop worrying about things that don’t matter and come out back by the pool with the rest of us,” she replied, not giving me a chance to say anything else as she walked past me and towards our bedroom. I wanted to follow her, I wanted to say so much more, but it would only result in an argument and I didn’t want to fight when everyone just arrived, taking a deep breath and walking towards the back of the house to go outside.
I walked out to the back and saw Gareth sitting under the shade in a lounge chair, sighing softly to myself when realizing those were the only seats we had put out here and I wanted to sit, but not by him. I guess it wasn’t that bad, though I didn’t know what to say to him when I got there, and I wasn’t going to apologize for what I had said and he overheard. He knew it was the truth, and he didn’t give a shit. He never did, or would. But, I knew that it still bothered me and it was hard to talk to him when I was angry. I suppose I didn’t have any other choice though, and there was no use at trying to avoid him when at my own house. I finally continued walking around the pool and towards the lounge area and I could feel his eyes on me as I passed him, choosing to sit on the chair next to his and complete silence fell over both of us, my gaze falling to the water.
I didn’t like this silence, and knowing the girls, they’ll take a little longer with changing since they had Oliver and Kat to change as well, guessing that either Nina or Hannah would be the first to come out. I tried to think about other things, trying to keep my mind occupied through this grueling silence, but it was harder than I thought when I knew he was looking at me. “So.. How are you and Nina doing?” I wondered, though I knew it was a pointless question to ask.
“..Fine.. Whatever,” he replied blandly, hearing him letting out a heavy sigh. After his reply, I grew even more discouraged at where this conversation was going, now hoping that someone, anyone, would come outside soon so I had someone else to watch or talk to.
“What about Kat?” I asked next.
“What, do you need new glasses? You saw her.. She’s fine, too,” he continued his blandness.
“I’m sorry,” I began sarcastically, “I barely got the time to ask her anything before she was ripped from my hands..”
“Oookay, bro,” he replied with annoyance and I sighed softly.
I decided not to say anything after that, it was clear he didn’t want to talk just as much as I didn’t, so I decided not to waste any more words on him in trying to fake both of our underlining vexation. This was already turning out to be not such a great day and somehow I had the feeling it was only going to get worse.. I couldn’t quite decipher why, but I always had this off feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me worry, once a bad day starts, it doesn’t stop for me. Had my family not come over, Hannah wouldn’t be making me worried about what she’s going to wear in front of Gareth, I wouldn’t be a little angry with her at how much she doesn’t care that I don’t want her to flaunt herself like she sometimes tends to do in the presence of company, and I wouldn’t be mad at Gareth for disrespecting me by constantly eye-fucking my wife. I’d just be at home, without any of them but Hannah and Oliver, and soon I remembered why I hated family parties. However, Bennu and Bahiti were the only exceptions, so I suppose Gareth is the only factor that I didn’t care much for.
Everyone had eventually came outside, Bennu getting into the water right away with Oliver and I was glad that I had other people to occupy my mind with rather than sitting in the awkwardly annoying silence I had with my brother. Oliver seemed to be having a lot of fun with Bennu, which made me a lot happier, then I looked over by Nina and Bahiti, seeing them talking by the edge of the pool and Kat was crawling around behind them. Hannah walked past Gareth and I and I noticed she didn’t look towards me, sitting on the far seat and beginning to put sunblock on her arms and legs. I sighed as I faced the pool again and continued to watch Bennu and Oliver, though I saw out of my peripherals Gareth sitting up and stretching, then laying forward over his legs.
I knew it, I knew he was staring at Hannah and of course he didn’t care that he was doing it right in front of me. Around the time when he had first met her, I noticed he tended to look at her occasionally, but it’s been more and more obvious over the years and I still hated it every time it happened. “Do you mind?” I said quietly, though with anger.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he replied casually.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about,” I answered, still anger in my undertone and he chuckled.
“Stop freaking out, I’m looking at Kat,” he spat back, though it made me angrier knowing he was lying.
When Hannah was done putting sunblock on, I looked to her as she rose from her seat and walked towards the poolside closer to where Oliver and Bennu were swimming, looking at her body as she stood there, yet I wished that I was the only one admiring it. Gareth sat up and I knew he was still looking at her, still angering me since he hasn’t taken his eyes off of her the moment she came outside. I wished she hadn’t worn that suit, even if it was her only one.. What surprised me slightly though was she didn’t so much as flaunt herself, but more so acted as if we weren’t even there and she acted normal, noticing that she wasn’t blatantly seeking the attention made me feel a little better, but I still wasn’t comfortable with this whole situation when I knew Gareth was watching her more than I was watching him, and I was watching him like a hawk.
I tried to shake off my worries as I watched her sit on the edge of the pool and I looked to Bennu who was helping Oliver swim towards Hannah. “Mommy!” Oliver called out as he paddled his hands and feet, trying to swim to her with the help of Bennu and I smirked softly, beginning to relax a little as I watched my family playing together.
“Come on, Ollie, come to Momma! Swim, swim!” Hannah encouraged and my slight smirk grew into a smile as he tried harder for her to get to her quicker. Although I was still a little angry and a little on the agitated side, seeing Oliver smile was something that warmed my heart to the point where nothing else could reach.
I looked down at the ground when I noticed Katalina crawling towards Gareth and I, “What the hell are you doing? You know how to walk, you’re going to scrape up your knees if you crawl too long on this stuff.. Get up and come over here,” he scolded her lightly.
“B-But.. Turtle!” She replied in contest, though she stood to her feet like he had told her to and went to him.
“I know, you’re pretending to be a turtle, but don’t do it on this.. You do that shit in the grass or on carpet,” he replied to her, picking her up off the ground and placing her on his right knee. I was a little surprised.. Though I hated how he used curse words around the toddlers, his logic and teachings weren’t wrong and I didn’t disagree with him on how he scolded her, yet I just wish he worded it differently or else she’s going to have the same foul mouth that he does when she grows up, and that’s no way for my beautiful little niece to be taught how to speak at such a young age..
“Didn’t I ask to cut back on the swearing?” I said softly and he scoffed angrily at me.
“Didn’t you also tell me to mind my own fucking business? Now mind your own.. Oliver can’t even hear me from over here, anyways,” he replied sternly and I didn’t reply, sighing softly as I continued to mind my business, though it was hard to with him right next to me.
I looked over to them out of the corner of my eye and I could hear Gareth whispering to Kat, “See Mommy over there?” He questioned and she nodded, “Remember what I taught you at the beach the other day?” He questioned and she nodded again with an accompanied giggle that she couldn’t contain, “Go on, I’ll watch you.. Make Daddy proud,” he continued and I was curious as to what he was up to, nothing good, I’m sure.. Gareth placed Kat back onto the ground and we both watched patiently as she walked passed Hannah towards Nina and Bahiti.
When Kat reached Nina, I wasn’t expecting her to put all of her tiny toddler strength against Nina’s leg and we watched as Kat pushed Nina and she lost her footing, Nina letting out a gentle cry before falling into the pool and Gareth busted out laughing. My expression went surprised and I wanted to laugh, though the fact that I didn’t approve of what he told her to do kept me from doing so. “Gareth, that’s an awful thing to teach her,” I said in a disapproving tone and he ignored me, continuing to laugh and Kat looked back at him, smiling when she saw her father’s joy out of what she had just done.
“Good job, baby girl!” He called out to her, continuing to laugh and she laughed with him.
Nina soon popped up from under the water and she didn’t look too happy, “Gareth! I know you taught her that!” She said angrily, but he still continued to laugh.
“What?! You’re wearing a bathing suit, what’s the big deal?” He replied through his laughter and she didn’t merit him with a response, climbing out of the pool with a sour look on her face. I was sure that she wasn’t mad at the fact that she had gotten wet, but by how Gareth was pretty much teaching Kat how to be a bully and his asshole personality was already rubbing off on her.. She was only two, what was she going to be like when she was seven? Thirteen? Our age? I worried a little for her, but it wasn’t my place to be her parent or to tell Gareth how to raise his child. I’d like to think that he’ll find out the hard way down the roads a ways when she hits puberty and he won’t be able to stand her because she’s just like him.
Eventually, Oliver and Hannah were able to convince me to come swimming with them, going inside to change into my bathing suit and Gareth came inside to change as well when Katalina had convinced him to come and swim, too. We all spent a lot of time in the sun and in the water, enjoying one another’s company as the family day that I was beginning to hate was starting to get a little better now to my surprise. Hannah didn’t seem too irritated with me anymore and she let me hold her as she played with Oliver and I made faces behind her to make him laugh.
After the sun began to sink behind the large, desert orange mountains, one by one we vacated the pool to relax and dry off until Hannah and I were the only ones left swimming. I held her close to me and I could feel the slight guilt I felt from earlier coming back, “I’m sorry for before.. It’s just that you know how I get around him when he’s around you. I don’t like it,” I said softly so only she could hear my words.
“I know.. But you just have to try and not let it bother you.. We can’t invite everyone but Gareth, that would look terrible to everyone else. They’d all think there’s something going on between you two, or worse, the three of us, when there isn’t..” She replied and I soon nodded in agreement.
“You’re right, it’s just.. Very hard to ignore,” I replied and she sighed softly as she looked to me.
“Look, I can’t control what he looks at and I can’t change how I look, and even if I could, I wouldn’t, because it’s what got you to notice me,” she replied sweetly and I smiled.
“Well.. I guess I can understand that. ..You do look super hot in this bathing suit, too, I don’t know what was wrong with me when I told you not to wear it,” I answered and she giggled softly.
“If no one else was here, I wouldn’t be wearing it,” she hinted flirtatiously and I let out an intriguing ‘mmm’ with a soft chuckle following it, pulling her into a long kiss before soon helping her out of the pool and joining the rest of my family in the lounge area to dry off before heading back inside.
After everyone was dried off and ready to come back inside, we all changed back into our regular clothes and sat in the living room together, deciding that a movie was a good idea for everyone. I sat by Hannah with Oliver in her lap, Bennu on the other side of the couch and Bahiti and Katalina were on the love seat together. I could hear Nina and Gareth talking in the kitchen behind us, though I couldn’t make out any of the words they were saying while the movie was playing.
Gareth soon came into the room and Bennu grabbed his attention, requesting him to sit by her since she hadn’t spent as much time with him as she had with Hannah, Oliver and I, though I wasn’t pleased when he didn’t contest and he happily sat down between Hannah and Bennu. Nina then came into the room as well and went to Kat, taking her from Bahiti and announcing that she was heading home because she was tired and wanted Kat to get to bed on time. Everyone said goodbye to her and Kat and they left, though I was curious as to why Gareth was staying. Maybe he wanted to spend a little more time here with all of us and would get a ride home with Bennu and Bahiti, but him wanting to spend time with his family seemed a little too genuine for Gareth’s taste. I wanted to know what he was really up to and why he was staying.
About half way through the movie, my cell phone began to ring and my heart dropped, seeing Hannah look to me instantly and I sighed, getting up from the couch and walking away from the living room as I pulled out my phone to see that the owner of the bookstore was calling me, “Shit..” I said under my breath angrily, answering the phone as I walked towards my bedroom for privacy. “Hello?”
“Gibson, good.. Am I interrupting anything? I hope not.. Listen, I need you to come in for an hour or so, there’s a shipment of books coming in that I specifically ordered for a buyer who’s picking them up tomorrow morning when you open the store. This guy is holding them for me but he can only deliver them tonight and I need those books and that buyer to be happy. Do you think you could go to the store and get the books from him?” He asked and I sighed heavily.. As much as I appreciated the man letting me have Sunday’s off, there hasn’t been many Sunday’s where I didn’t go into work for at least an hour because of some bullshit he wanted me to do because he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it himself.
“Why can’t you, sir?”
“I’m out of town at the moment and I won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon.. I need you to get those books tonight, hold them, then sell them to the buyer first thing in the morning.. I need this sale, Gibson, I’ll give you overtime for however long you’re there waiting for him. Can you do it?” He asked, his tone sounding somewhat pleading. I wanted to say no, I truly did, but when I had heard him offer me overtime, it was hard to resist when we needed the money.. “Gibson?” He asked and I sighed heavily once more.
“..Yeah, I’ll come in..” I replied with a defeated attitude, already knowing that Hannah was going to be furious.
“Great! Thank you. You’ve saved my ass a few times now, I owe you. I know you’ll do everything right, Mr. Perfectionist, that’s why I can always count on you. Thanks again!” He replied, hanging up before I could answer him and I put my phone away in my pocket.
I turned to face the door and leave the room so I could tell Hannah I was leaving, but I stopped when I noticed her already in the room and she slowly shut the door, “Going somewhere?” She asked, though I know she already knew the answer.
“Hannah, I need to go to the store, it’s only for a short time, maybe an hour or so,” I tried to reason with her before this blew up into an argument, which is what I wanted to avoid at all costs, but who knew with us.. She and I were so opinionated that sometimes we tend to say mean things just to take jabs at one another the more we didn’t understand each other’s logic behind the reasons.
“An hour or so? Why do you even need to go at all? I swear, sometimes I feel like that damn bookstore is more important to you than we are,” she replied angrily and those words hit me hard.
“Do you even hear yourself? I work my ass off so we can have money to pay for debt that we got ourselves into, forgive me for wanting to take care of my family,” I said sarcastically and I knew it only made her more angry, but I continued, “He’s giving me overtime, and you know we need to money. I do this only for you and Oliver, nothing else. Not my own pleasure and not to get away from you guys.. Do you really think that I like being there? I admit that I used to love working there, I used to go there even when I didn’t have work, but when I met you, and especially after we had Oliver, I’ve hated this job from those moments on. There isn’t a day that passes that I hate myself for working so much that I barely see you two, but I do it for you two,” I tried to make her see my reasoning behind it, but she still seemed incredibly angry.
I stepped closer to her and she avoided looking at me, watching her turn around to leave the room but I grabbed her arm and kept her from leaving, “Hannah, please don’t be mad at me for this.. I’ll make it up to you,” I tried to compromise, but she pulled her arm out of my grip.
“When? When are you going to have time to do that? You know, this doesn’t only upset me, it upsets Oliver, too. You and I aren’t the only ones who look forward to Sunday’s.. He gets excited all during the week that whenever Sunday comes, Daddy’s going to be home to play with him, and he’ll even be home to put him to bed and wish him goodnight.. He’s not a baby anymore, Gibson, he remembers things a lot better now and things stick with him. Do you want his first memory of you to be one where you’re never there?” She asked, her voice cracking a little and I knew she was getting more upset to the point where she wanted to cry, though her strong demeanor kicked in and she refused to do so in front of me.
“Hannah, you know I don’t want that, but-”
“But you’re going anyways..” She answered for me and I didn’t have anything else to say. She was right, I was still going to go, I needed to, I just wish she was willing to see my point of view before sweeping me under the rug, “Well, don’t be late for work,” she added sadly, turning around and leaving the room before I could say anything else or stop her. Even though I knew I was doing the right thing by going so I could make more money, I couldn’t help but wonder if I actually was doing the right thing by leaving them. I was hardly ever home, she was right, but for as much time I got to spend with Oliver today, I didn’t think anything of him wanting me to put him to bed or telling him goodnight. Was he really going to remember me as the Dad that was never there? Or would he eventually realize I wasn’t there physically, but in all other aspects, I was? If I quit my job to be home more often, we wouldn’t make enough money only on Hannah’s income and we’d go bankrupt in no time, but that option was completely out of the question.. Honestly, I’d rather keep my job, our house, her business and my family and never see them than live on the streets, struggling even more to get by and but seeing them all the time. I couldn’t do that to myself, I’d feel like a failure. I had too much pride to admit defeat, and I was even more determined now to go and do my job so we could keep everything and eventually pay off the debt that had now become the reason for most of our arguments. In the underlining of it all, that’s what it came down to every time.
I walked out of the bedroom after arguing with Gibson, anger and angst consuming me as I walked towards the living room. I didn’t know what to do when I got there, my face cried ‘help me’ but I had to get rid of that demeanor before I walked in there and faced his family. I couldn’t let Oliver see me, and I knew that the moment he’d look at me, I’d start crying and wouldn’t know what to do. I couldn’t go back in the living room and act like everything was okay either, because whenever Gibson came out of the room and was going to leave, I’d cry then, too, and I’d be in the same situation. At this point, it’s safe to say that if anyone looks at me, I won’t be able to hold it back anymore. I tried to focus, keeping my eyes straight forward and taking a deep breath, trying to calm myself down before I entered the living room with Gibson’s family.
I held my breath as I walked through the living room, trying to keep my eyes off of everyone. It worked for the most part, but when I noticed a head turn towards me out of my peripherals, I subconsciously looked up and Gareth was looking at me, his expression going from bored to slightly concerned when he noticed sadness in my eyes. I turned my head away and continued towards the kitchen, reaching the counters against the wall and I put my hands down on top of them, taking a few deep breaths as I felt my eyes begin to water.
I heard the movie end while I stood there after a few long minutes, hearing the television being turned off as well, “Hannah, sweety, are you alright?” I heard Bennu ask from the sofa and I cleared my throat quietly, trying my best to calm down and I hoped that my voice wouldn’t crack when I answered her.
“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks,” I replied, and although my voice didn’t crack, how I said it came off as the exact opposite of what I was hoping for.
After a few more minutes of standing there, I finally had stopped crying, but the moment I heard Gibson coming out of the bedroom and into the living room, my tears began again and I walked over to the opening of the kitchen to the sun room. “Hey.. Sorry, but I have to go to work for about an hour.. You guys are welcome to stay if you want, I’ll be back soon, but if you leave, thanks for coming and I hope we can do this again really soon,” Gibson said to the room and I tried to wipe my cheek to get rid of a few falling tears as I then listened to everyone say goodbye to him. I could feel his eyes on me, standing there in my own aura of silence as it seemed to take so long for him to leave, but in reality was only a few seconds. The moment I heard his footsteps again and the sound the front door being opened and closed filled my ears, I realized I wasn’t okay enough to even face his family and I began to panic a little, knowing I’d be unable to say goodbye to them all while I was crying and I most definitely didn’t want to discuss what happened between Gibson and I like I knew Bennu and Bahiti would ask..
I walked out the back towards the pool, I needed to get some air and the nights here in Lucky Palms had become my favorite ever since I moved here. I often came out here on a nightly bases, but of course Gibson would be sound asleep when it’s only about nine at night, tired from working all day. I admired him for working so hard, but it isn’t fair that I barely ever see him, and neither does Oliver, which worries me more. I understand that he’s working hard to pay off the debt that we’d managed to fall into, but I’d rather work to pay off this debt for fifty years slowly than be working to pay it off in only a few like Gibson insists on doing. “The sooner it’s gone, the better,” he sometimes says and as much as I agree with it, I still have my doubts since it’s done nothing but keep us apart. My bakery wasn’t open that long during the day, only because I can’t be away from Oliver as long as Gibson can and I’m a better babysitter than anyone we interviewed to watch Oliver, so I take him with me to work. I open around eleven and I close it around three or five, depending how busy I am on any certain day and depending on if Oliver is in the mood to stay or go home. I made sacrifices to earn less money to spend more time with my family, so why couldn’t he?
I soon heard the back door open behind me and I looked over my shoulder when I heard Oliver, “Mommaaaa,” he whined with a tired tone.
I was a little surprised when I saw Gareth holding Oliver, “Hey.. Uhm, I got rid of Bennu and Bahiti for you, they said they had fun today.. I figured I’d stay and wait for Gibson to get back, if you’re okay with it?” He said quietly and I nodded softly, reaching for Oliver and Gareth handed him to me. “I could put him to bed if you want, give you some alone time out here if you need it.. Or, whatever you need,” he suggested with the same concern he had showed me when I had first walked into the living room earlier. I kissed Oliver’s cheek for a few long seconds then looked to Gareth, nodding softly.
“Sure, thanks..” I replied with a small smirk, looking to Oliver then, “Your Uncle Gareth is gunna put you to bed, okay? I love you, Ollie,” I said warmly, kissing his cheek once more.
“Love you,” he replied with a tired, soft voice, handing him back to Gareth and I watched as Oliver’s eyelids grew heavy and he rested his head on Gareth’s shoulder as they went back inside.
I walked around to the other side of the pool, heading under the lounge area and taking a seat on one of the chairs, removing my high heels and setting them aside. I began rubbing my feet, working out any kinks I may have and trying to relax a little more now that I had some time to myself. I didn’t want to think about Gibson anymore, because no matter how hard I tried to make him see that this job isn’t worth being away from his family and barely spending time with his child, he still insisted that the money was more important.. Almost as if we’d hate him or think less of him if he took a few more hours off of work a week and made less money. I sighed softly, standing up and walking to the edge of the water, sitting down slowly and slipping my warm feet from the hot ground into the cool, still water of the pool. This helped me relax a lot more and I was able to soon find a slight sense of peace, my mind empty now and all I did was sit there in the silence of the night, wondering when all of this would be over and we could go back to living our lives like a normal, stable and healthy family.
After about ten minutes to myself outside, I saw Gareth walking back through the house, walking to the back where I was and he came outside, seeing him searching for something and I had guessed it was me by how his searching came to end when he looked towards me, “Do you want any company..?” He asked from across the pool, thinking to myself for a moment.. Although I didn’t think I’d be very entertaining because of how I felt about what happened tonight, I didn’t want to turn him down when all I wanted to be was not alone like I always was every day of the week. I thought today would be different, but even though Gibson said he’d be back in an hour, I knew his boss would give him something else to do, and I couldn’t even guess when he would actually be home..
“Sure, why not..” I replied casually, watching as he then came around the pool like I had and he walked behind me towards the lounge area.
I leaned back and looked behind me, seeing Gareth sitting on the same chair that I had, “Do you want to talk about it?” He asked softly and I shrugged.
“There’s not much to talk about, you know how he can be when it comes to work,” I replied, seeing Gareth nod with remorse.
“You’re right about that.. It sucks that he chooses to be away from you guys so much, it must get lonely around here a lot,” he continued and I watched as he began untying his shoes and taking them off, along with his socks as well and he tossed everything aside.
“Yeah, it really does.. I just care about what this is all doing to Oliver, or will do to him if Gibson continues working such ridiculous hours.. I feel like Oliver barely even knows him,” I replied, watching as Gareth then rolled up his pants to just under his knees and he rose from the chair, walking up to the edge of the pool and sitting down next to me.
“How are you dealing with all of this?” He wondered, dipping his feet in the pool with me and I looked to the water.
“I’m dealing with it as best as I can.. With an absent husband and a child I feel like I’m raising alone, there isn’t much else I’ve been thinking about lately..” I replied with a sense of longing. I didn’t want to appear weak or sad in front of Gareth, or act like I need any sort of saving from the situation I was in, though it was nice to talk about it with someone other than Gibson.. I enjoyed not arguing about all of this for once with someone who was willing to listen.
“I’m sorry.. For how much he used to talk about having a family, I’d never expect him to be so absent all the time when he finally has one..” He answered again with remorse, yet there was an underlining layer of disappointment in his tone.
“It’s okay.. It’s not your fault this is happening. He’s just.. A very driven person and it’s hard to make him see the downside to what he believes is an upside. He looks at extra work as a blessing or something, but he doesn’t see what it’s doing to Oliver.. Or me for that matter,” I retorted, my words trailing off a little as I reached the end of my response.
“Well.. If it counts for anything, I like spending time with you..” Gareth replied, smirking softly to myself at his attempt to cheer me up and he continued, “I don’t know why he’s so okay with just leaving you home alone all the time.. It’s like he doesn’t even care how it makes you feel, just so long as he gets to work on time,” Gareth said with more disappointment and I began to get a little irritated, hearing him pretty much taking the words out of my mouth and I sighed heavily.
“How did you do it all those years living with him? I mean, you guys are twins.. You’ve been together since birth up until a couple years ago, how did you used to talk to him when he was fighting with you?” I wondered, trying to figure out if there was something else that drove him to feel this way and I needed Gareth to help me understand him better. I knew him as well as a wife should, but people act differently around certain other people.. I only assumed Gareth still knew him better than I ever would, and I was curious to know if he had always been this stubborn and constantly seeking approval or to feel accomplished by his own choice in actions, regardless of my opinion against or for his logic..
“He’s always been a straight A student and adamant about doing good at any job he got, he was always looking to be the best.. And I never won any fight against him. Ever. Even if I got the last word in on an argument about the fight, it never ended until he was ready for it to.. He’s really hard to persuade, and he’s even worse at seeing the reasons behind why someone is angry with him if he thinks they’re wrong,” he replied. I sighed softly to myself, looking up at the stars as I thought about Gareth’s words. I knew his words to be true, yet I suppose I just wish they weren’t.. Now hearing it from someone else besides thinking it myself, I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold out like this, knowing now that my words were going completely unheard by Gibson and he was more so doing this for himself, if anything..
“You know..” He began softly, looking down from the stars and I watched as he kicked his feet slowly through the water, “He told me about your guys’ money problems..”
“He did?” I asked with surprise, watching Gareth nod and I grew angrier with Gibson that he had told his brother the trouble that we were in. I was hoping to keep it between the two of us..
“Yeah.. I’ve been trying to help you guys out for years actually, but you know Gibson.. Too damn prideful to borrow or even take a generous gift like that, no matter how many different ways I phrase it for him.. My line of work makes me a shit ton of money, and it’s only about one job every couple of months.. If you really need help, I’m happy to do it, I figure it’s better to talk to you about this than Gibson since he’s refused to let me help him every time I’ve offered,” Gareth continued and I was in slight shock. Never once had Gibson mentioned Gareth offering him money to help us out and I was a little angry that he never even thought to talk to me about it. I admit, I didn’t feel good about borrowing money, let alone taking some without feeling I need to pay it back, but that’s what we were doing when we took out those loans, so why was Gareth’s generous offer of giving us the money to pay off those loans turned down?
“I.. Don’t think I ever knew what you did for a living.. What is it?” I wondered and he gave me a smooth grin.
“If I told you I’d have to kill ya,” he replied with a chuckle and I laughed softly at his joke.
“I.. I don’t really know what to say.. I want to thank you for how kind that offer is, but I don’t know if I can accept it either.. Not without talking to him first,” I replied.
“He didn’t talk to you about my offer ever,” he answered, making a good point and I grew slightly conflicted..
“If I took it and used it towards the debt, he’d definitely notice and want to know where the money was coming from..” I replied, wanting to take his generous offer that Gibson had apparently been turning down for years, but it still didn’t feel right..
“What if whenever you bring in money from the bakery, you can take a small chunk of the money I give you and just add it in, maybe a few hundred at a time or whatever? I’m sure he wouldn’t notice if you just tell him you’ve been getting more business..?” He suggested, and to me, it didn’t seem like that bad of an idea anymore.
“But, well.. How would you get the money to me? Gibson would get suspicious if you came over when he wasn’t home,” I replied.
“I’ll come visit you at the bakery.. I’m home all the time, it’ll give me a reason to get out of the house and see my nephew more, too, instead of just sitting on my ass all day,” he answered with a chuckle and I smiled, “Plus, seeing you more is a whole other reason in itself for me to want to drop by,” he answered with a charming grin and I could feel my cheeks getting warm. I was glad it was late at night so he couldn’t see me blushing.
I moved my hand across my waist and turned my gaze away from him, smiling softly and I heard him let out a soft laugh, “What? Don’t act like me saying that is at all a surprise to you,” he teased slightly and I could see him lean closer from the corner of my eye.
I laughed softly as well, “It’s just surprising to hear it out loud. Usually you just tip-toe around it, but that was pretty blunt of you,” I replied with a slightly impressed tone.
“Shit, you must be used to it by now.. Despite how much you try to fight it, I always have a way of making you smile, don’t I?” He questioned and I laughed softly once more.
“And why do you even try?” I asked, curious as to why he bothered trying in the first place and also why he’s kept up his infatuation with me for this long already.
“Is that a serious question..?” He implied, his tone turning serious and my smile began to fade slightly.
I turned my attention towards Gareth when he leaned closer and slid over towards me more, his knee touching mine and I could feel my heart beating hastily. I was frozen in place as he looked at me, seeing his gaze fall to my lips and back up to my eyes, “If I were to guess, money isn’t the only issue you two are having behind closed doors,” he said quietly, “I can fix everything for you, if you’d let me..” I was ashamed to admit it, but by how I dropped my gaze from his, it was a clear sign that he was right. Despite the everyday kisses Gibson and I shared, our life in the bedroom had dwindled since Oliver was born and on top of him not fulfilling our son’s needs as a father, he hasn’t been fulfilling my needs as a husband nearly as much as I wanted him to either. In only two years, I was baffled when I realized just how far apart we’ve grown from one another in such a short amount of time..
“Look at me,” he requested softly, hesitating a moment before slowly turning my head and my eyes met his. I then watched as Gareth leaned towards me more, slowly closing the gap between us, but he stopped when our noses touched, “I came ninety percent of the way, are you gunna come the last ten?” He questioned lustfully and my heart raced even faster. Without bothering myself with the ‘what if’s’ or ‘why not’s’, I leaned in slowly and shut my eyes, meeting his lips with my own and we finally kissed for the first time. Our ongoing, pent-up sexual tension for one another had finally come to an end.
Was something like this meant to happen? Were we meant to go down this road? I believed in fate and destiny, and I was convinced that Gibson was and is who I was meant to find, though now, seeing what he’s become, I felt like I might’ve made a mistake on jumping into all of this with him. Was I thinking straight when I made all of those decisions to be so serious with him? I was grateful that I had met him and got Oliver out of it, I’d be a complete wreck without my little boy, but the price I was paying now for the decision I made to stay with Gibson was getting harder and harder on me each day. If we had never had Oliver, would I have stayed with him after we moved in together? Did things only work because we felt obligated to make it work for Oliver?
It didn’t take long for us to realize that a simple kiss just wasn’t enough, feeling him leaning into me more and I followed his lead, letting him lay me down on the ground. I reached behind his head and my fingers ran through his long blonde hair, pulling him into me more and the kiss only got better as we both relaxed and soon our tongues came in to play, the kiss then growing rougher with lust. I haven’t been kissed this good in a long time and the sheer amount of love I felt coming from him compelled me to hope this would never stop. I missed this feeling, the feeling of being needed, wanted, sought after, fought for.. It made me feel like myself again, yet, something was eating at me in the back of my mind, the feeling of guilt beginning to crack the surface and I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into until it was too late, something I’ve been doing a lot in the past few years.
I felt Gareth’s hand that was behind my back begin to move slowly down my side, feeling him sliding it back up over my stomach and he soon slid it high enough to grip my right breast in his hand, messaging it gently and it was then that I snapped back into reality. I took my hand out of his hair and it met his shoulder, pushing at him suddenly and Gareth pulled away from me quickly and held his hand up and away from me, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.. Got a little ahead of myself,” he spoke first, responding the best he could by the reaction I had given him and he put his hand on my hip instead, leaning down to continue to kiss me, but I kept my hand on his shoulder and kept him from continuing.
“No..” I said in a whisper, “No, I can’t do this.. We shouldn’t be-”
“What? Shouldn’t be acting on how we feel about each other?” He cut me off, trying to save whatever he had thought he had ruined, but it was me that ruined everything. Oh my God.. What the hell was wrong with me?
“Yes, exactly that,” I agreed strongly with his rhetorical question, pushing him gently off of me more and I sat up.
Gareth kept his hand on my hip and he made it difficult for me to stand up, “Wait, wait, wait..” He tried to stop me, but I couldn’t be out here anymore, I needed to get away from him before anything else happened between us that I knew I’d regret later, not wanting to add adultery to my long list of fuck-up’s.
“No, Gareth.. I-I can’t, this is wrong.. So, so wrong..” I replied, trying to stand once more but his hand remained on my hip and he slid closer than I thought he could.
“You do realize I’ve been waiting for that ever since I first met you, and I know you have, too, right? Who’s to say it wasn’t supposed to happen like this?” He questioned.
“My marriage license, the ring I wear, the bed I share, the child I have, you’re child, your girlfriend.. Pick one!?” I answered his question frantically, grabbing his wrist and pushing his hand off of my hip and removing my feet from the pool quickly, standing up by myself yet Gareth followed right after me.
“Wait Hannah! Just calm down for a second..” He said as he stood, stopping myself from walking away and I turned to face him.
“I’m married, Gareth! To your brother no less! This was all just a bi-”
“Don’t call it a mistake.” He cut me off, his tone serious and I could tell he was already hurt by the words he didn’t let me say.
“..I-I’m sorry, Gareth.. But that cannot happen again..” I said firmly.
“I’m sorry..” I said in a whisper.
I turned around and left my shoes behind, along with a man that seemed to good to be true and I began walking away from him quickly, “Hannah, wait! ..Please..” He tried to stop me, but I tried to ignore him as I continued walking around the pool to go back inside. I wanted to forget tonight, I wanted to black it out and act like it never happened, but it was too late for that now. All I could think about was him when I knew it to be wrong. I should be with my son, I should be with my husband, but instead I was with someone that I realized I cared for almost just as much as them and I grew so confused and distraught. I brought my hand up to my mouth and tried to hide the pain I felt behind my now quiet sobbing from not only walking away, but also knowing I did the one thing that I had tried so hard to avoid. Why did I let it happen in the first place? What was going to become of Gareth and I now? ..Of Gibson and I? So far every decision I’ve made in the past two years has always made me wonder if I was doing the right thing, but what was the case for this situation..? I couldn’t help but wonder now if I had made a mistake by choosing Gibson, or if the mistake was choosing Gareth over him when it was too late to go back now.
Downloaded: Gibson and Hannah’s House
Oliver “Ollie” Theodor Dubois
- Light Sleeper
- Color: Spiceberry
- Music: Beach Party
- Food: Sushi
Katalina “Kat” Rose Dubois
- Color: Grey
- Music: Indie
- Food: Fish and Chips