Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4.42 - Trouble

Very early one morning Brian and Adelaide got a phone call from her publisher. He offered the couple a free vacation and the plane was leaving in two hours. Brian was the one who answered the phone, and he was more than happy to agree. They hadn't been anywhere in quite a while, and it sounded like a delightful thing to do. He shook Adelaide awake and told her to get ready, that they were leaving. At first she griped about it, but that's only because she was still basically asleep, when she woke all the way she agreed that it sounded fun. The two of them left a note for David, telling him where they went, leaving a number and trusting that he could handle himself while they were gone.

David woke and showered as normal, but when he came downstairs there was no breakfast ready - only a piece of paper on the table. He read it and shrugged. Looking into the kitchen he became wary, he wasn't very practiced at making anything for food. That was something Brian always did, sometimes his mom, but most of the time it was Brian that did the cooking. David went in and opened the fridge, about to pull out the milk for some cereal, when he noticed some left-over pancakes. He let out a thankful sigh, and grabbed a plate full.

After eating he rechecked his homework and made sure it was all done. It was. He had just sat down to watch some television when he heard the bus honk its horn out front. David hesitated for just a minute, thinking of not going in. 'There's nothing else to do, might as well' he said to himself as he was walking out the door.
After the grueling day of school ended, he went to the park to do his homework as he usually did, and then back home. He was barely in the front door when Laquita called.

"Heya. I was wondering what you were doing this afternoon. Some friends and I were going to find somewhere to get together, and was wondering if you wanted to come." She told him.

"Well, where are you going?"

She told him that she didn't really know, they didn't have a place just yet, but someone was working on that. David offered his own house. No one was there but him anyway, and it was just a few friends.

"Wow, you're awesome! Sure, we can do that. I'll make some calls to let them know, and we'll all be there in an hour or so." Laquita said.

David hung up with her and went to the living room, he moved the couch and coffee table out of they way so they could have more room to play video games or do whatever else came up. He sat down and started up the game console, even started playing for a little bit when Laquita came running in, she hadn't knocked. He looked up and smiled at her, then stood and gave her a hug.

The doorbell rang just then and David went to retrieve the pizza he had ordered for them. Right behind the pizza delivery girl, was about five more teenagers, all in their swim wear, coming to his 'party'.
David carried the pizza to the kitchen, and opened the box so friends could grab what they wanted. He and Laquita were the first to get a slice, they both left the crowd to fight over the rest of it. The teen couple sat at the table together to eat and talk. He had found out that this was mainly Laquita's idea, she was just tired of being at home and really needed something to do. She was glad that David had offered up his home for her and their friends, but that made her wonder where his parents were.

"I don't really know, they just said they were going on vacation. They left a number for me to call just in case, but that's it." He admitted.

"Oh, well I hope they have fun." Laquita really liked David's parents, and loved to come over and see them. She was kind of sad that they weren't there.

David broke her train of thought. "What's your favorite animal?"

"What? Oh, I've always loved horses, I am going to get one when I move out on my own. It's been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. That was kind of random. Why do you ask?"

He shrugged. "Just wanted to know, I was thinking of Emma. She was our dog, well Logan's dog, and she left with him and his family. I miss her a bit. Want to go dance?"
Laquita laughed at his sudden change of topic. "Sure sure, let's go."

They both went into the living room, where they found most of the other teens playing games. They danced for about two songs then played games with the others. After they had basically beaten the game, David suggested a dip in the hot tub. Everyone cheered at the thought and ran outside to get in.

Unfortunately, after the fourth body got in, the hot tub broke. The water surrounding them turned green and started to overflow. Laughing and squealing at the same time, each of them climbed out. By now it was about four in the morning, and the kids were getting tired, but refused to give in. They all started in a big game of tag.

That game didn't last long before two of the players, Laquita and another guy fell passed out right there in the grass. David had gone inside and sat on the love seat, where he also dozed off. Mostly all of the teens that had come over, were crashed on the floor somewhere.

David awoke with a start when his cellphone rang. It was his parents, and they were on their way home.

"Yeah, that place was horrible, we're not staying. We're only about an hour away, so we'll be there soon. Sorry if we woke you." They had said.

David told them that it was fine and hung up. He looked around, wondering where everyone was. He hadn't meant to fall asleep. He got up to search and found some people asleep with their heads on the dining room table. He started flinging his arms around and shouting, making sure everyone heard him.

"Get up get up! It's morning, past 6 and my parents are coming home, you guys have to leave now!" He wasn't sure exactly how his parents would react coming home to a house full of teenagers, but he didn't want to find out. He looked around while everyone was coming out of the sleepy stupor. They were messy teenagers. There were pizza crusts lying about, and paper plates. The couch was missing, he had no idea where it was, and there were puddles of water in places. The guest bathroom was filthy and the hot tub was still broken.

"Oh snap. I'm in trouble."
Everyone was gone just in time, and David had run up the stairs and tucked himself into bed. He wasn't ready to face his parents right away, nor the chores that he was sure to be put to doing when they got home.

Brian and Adelaide walked in the front door, they were greeted by a puddle on the floor. Brian looked down and scrunched up his nose in a mixture of disgust and confusion. Then he looked around the house. He was shocked to find the place a complete disaster. Adelaide had seen the mess as well and started to mop up the water on the floor, there were quite a few puddles.

Brian went about fixing up everything else. There were clothes around, David's clothes, and the trashcan outside was knocked over with the garbage all over the place. He cleaned the front bathroom and put the coffee table back where it belonged, but couldn't find the couch anywhere. He turned around just in time to see David run out the front door and get on the bus to school.
After Adelaide and Brian had discussed how to handle the situation with David, Brian made a key lime pie for them to eat. Not to much later, David walked in the door - automatically saying that he was sorry, before he had even seen either of his parents.

Adelaide was just giving Brian a hug when they heard him. "Go easy on him, he's a good kid - most times." Brian smiled.

David walked in the dining room and apologized again. "It was just a few friends, I'm really sorry, I didn't  mean for it to get so out of hand."

Brian told him to sit down and have a piece of pie, he and Adelaide did the same. "Look, I know, sometimes a teen has to step out like that. But come on, really? Where's the couch? Did you have to leave the pizza crusts around?"

Adelaide piped in, "Who dumped the trashcan over outside? Why didn't  you clean anything up? Why is the hot tub green?"

Listening to his parents questions, he realized that he hadn't seen but half of the mess that was left. "I'll go start cleaning up."

His father shook his head, "No, you're mom and I have taken care of it. We shouldn't have, but we did. You will have no video games, and come straight home after school. You'll do your homework here, not at the park. Oh, and no computer either."

That night, when David went to bed, he couldn't help but think that he got off easy. Then again that was the first offense, maybe they were thinking of it that way. Either way he was happy about it. Not like he was going to be doing that again anytime soon anyway, he hadn't had much fun. Teen parties weren't his thing.
A robber decided to visit the Fuller house one night. The family was sound asleep when the alarm went off. Brian jumped out of the bed, followed quickly by Adelaide. David apparently slept through the whole thing.

The cops were on the scene as quick as the swish of an angry cat's tail. Just in the door, the policeman jumped the criminal, who had paused in his surprise at the alarm blaring on the wall. After about a ten minute fight that Brian and Adelaide both watched, the thief kicked the cop on his butt and took off.

Brian was out the door, before anyone else could blink, going after him. He wasn't sure why someone trying to escape would do something so stupid, but the robber had stopped to laugh at his 'victory' right in the front yard. Brian didn't hesitate to attack.
This fight didn't last nearly as long. Brian had the guy on the ground within a minute. He sent the wanna be criminal packing with a message. 'Leave that house alone'. In the aftermath, Brian was actually glad the man had stopped at the bottom of the steps - he wasn't sure he would have caught him otherwise. He wasn't so speedy anymore.

Brian stood and watched the guy run away, he smiled at the thought of him still having that old stuff. He turned to go back inside, but checked the mail first. Adelaide had gotten her most recent book published and it had been in the mailbox waiting for her. This book was entitled "Brennidon", it was about a city lost to chaos, and of course it had a hero who fell in love with a peasant girl. He smiled, happy that his wife was enjoying her writing. She made good money with it too, she had even reached her dream of being a well known author. She had seven novels on the shelves of bookstores and libraries everywhere. He was so proud of her. Brian brought the book inside and added it to their own collection.
The next morning, the family was talking over breakfast. Adelaide had asked David how his girlfriend was doing, and if they had any plans this weekend.

"I dunno mom, I like her a lot - but I don't know if I'd call it love ya know. We don't.."

"OH! I'm glad you've found a girl you can relate to, that's great." Adelaide interrupted. "You be sure to tell  me when you guys get more serious." She had always wondered if he would find a girl right for him, willing to put up with his... quirkiness.

"Chill out mom, don't get all excited. I said I WOULDN'T call it love, I don't know how long we'll last you know? I'm only in high school." He tried changing the topic, he didn't want to talk about his personal life with her. "I bet that robber won't come back here again after what you did to him dad!"

Brian looked up and nodded. "I hope not kid."

"I hope he got caught and is thrown in jail!" Adelaide said. "Hasn't anyone heard of an honest living anymore? What's the world coming to?"

Brian shook his head, "Honey, there have been robbers in the world forever you know. Some people just can't help it. Some of them even have a regular job. Stealing is something they just do for fun."

Brian and Adelaide figured it was high time they visited the missing part of their family, they wanted to see the girls and the house they were living in now. It had been nearly a month since Logan and Velina left with the babies. The silence in the house was being endured better and better, but the ache in the heart was still there for both grand parents.

"Hey Velina!" Adelaide said, when they stepped out of the car.

"Oh it's good to see you guys, I'm glad you came today, we didn't have any plans. The girls and I just got back from the grocery store. Come on in." Velina told them.

Brian was happy to see that Logan was home too, while Adelaide played with Layla and Velina put Olivia in the girls' room, he stood and talked to his son.

"I hope work is going good, and you're staying safe." He said

"Work is great as usual. I still love it there. Of course, I always sit in wait for the time to come home now, since I have all my girls here. It pains to be away from them so much. There's been a lot of overtime, we are shorthanded."

Adelaide put Layla down, and followed Velina into the nursery. She bent to pick up Olivia and snuggle her. Adelaide told both girls how much she missed them, and wanted them back at the house. That life was completely different without them. She knew they didn't really get what she was saying, but still. It felt good to talk to them anyway.

Velina left the room and went to offer a tour to both Brian and Adelaide. "Sure, we'd love one." They both said in reply.

Main floor
Upper floor
"It's basic furniture, but we'll upgrade as we go along of course, get more decorations to fill in, and more personal items to make it more homelike. Right now it's just a house. Emma sleeps upstairs, that's the room we'll be in when the girls grow up a bit more. Right now though, the dog is really the only one who uses the upper floor. We sleep in the room downstairs, next to the girls." Velina was saying as they walked through the house.
When the tour ended, they came back to the den and sat to talk. Velina told them about her work, and what the girls were up to. She said they were both starting to learn to walk and talk already, but she didn't think she was ready for that. She and Logan both wanted them to stay little forever.

"Yes, I thought the same thing about Logan and David too, when I met the family I didn't want anything to change. Logan you were just adorable. Then we had David, and I wanted him to stay an infant. Everything was perfect. It still is of course, but a lot has changed. That comes with being a parent I guess." Adelaide said. "I'm so happy to have grand babies, but I find myself thinking the same things as when my kids were toddlers. 'Don't grow'." She chuckled.

The conversation continued, they caught up on everything they had missed in the last month. Velina had gotten a promotion, and lost much of the weight she had put on during her pregnancy. Logan was still highly respected at work, but spent more time there due to the overtime demand. He seemed to get home later and later every day, and the girls missed him. Logan would always be sure to spend the first hour doing nothing but playing with them before he did anything else though.

Too soon, Brian and Adelaide bid the children farewell, placing them in their cribs before leaving. They went home to have a slice of pie before their own son got home.

Adelaide laughed. "Don't you think it's kind of funny to have a teenage son and two grand babies? How did we manage that one?"

Brian chuckled too, "I'm not sure, it is interesting for sure." Then he sighed. "I fear we are getting old my love, and there's no stopping it. Pretty soon David will be an adult and have to get his own job, I wonder if he'll want to stay here, or find a new house, when he comes into his own."

They both fell into silence as they thought about what the future might hold for them.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

4.41 - Empty Nest

Logan snuggled Layla thinking about how quickly her birthday came up. It seemed like only last week the babies were brought home from the hospital, though it had been a full year. He knew that kids growing up, and it being hard to bear, was part of parenting and was dealing with it as much as he could. He wanted to hold onto their infancy for as long as possible, but the girls were getting too big to be confined so much, they wanted freedom, room to crawl, new toys to play with and learn from.

Everyone was outside watching Adelaide golf when the party guests arrived. They instantly came out back searching for the hosts. Velina walked up to greet them, as did Logan. Adelaide went upstairs to get the girls. It was their birthday after all, they should be part of it.

Adelaide was so happy that Logan and Velina had decided to stay so she could be with the twins everyday. She knew that she really didn't have the parental rights to make life decisions, such as where they live, but was glad to have a tiny bit of influence anyway. As she carried little Olivia down the stairs, she nearly cried thinking about how big she and her sister were getting.
Everyone gathered around for the cake and to watch the girls grow. Olivia went first - as she was a minute and a half older than Layla. Their grandma held both babies for presentation. Adelaide had asked if she could, so the parents could have their hands free for clapping and cheering their babies on. They were happy to let Adelaide hold the girls for their party.

The party guests consisted of Carla, Jennifer, Lauren and Lauren's brother Douglas. Logan and Velina wanted to keep it casual, but made sure to invite a few people. No one Velina knew would be interested in coming, but Logan invited Lauren who had also brought her brother along. David had invited Laquita, but she was too busy to come, and of course Brian had invited Jennifer and Carla.

Lauren had been having a hard time adjusting to the fact that her best friend, and secret love, was married. Now he had two children with the woman. She had come to the party because she was invited and she would do anything for Logan, but it hurt her heart to see what she could have had.

Cheering, whooping and hollering brought the girls into their next age of toddler hood.

Olivia mostly favored Logan, she had his hair and eyes, also it appeared, his nose. Many features carried over from her father. Velina dressed her in a yellow and orange outfit she had purchased on one of her many baby shopping sprees.
Layla inherited her mother's hair color, and eye color. Layla had her mother's nose as well as the other features. She was put in a red outfit,though Velina would find an outfit to better match Layla's pretty eyes as soon as possible.

Everyone sat down for cake, including the twins. With only eleven guests and two cakes, there was much leftover. Jennifer stayed to help clean up the mess for a few minutes after Lauren and Douglas had gone home. Before leaving she congratulated the girls on their birthday, even though they didn't quite understand yet.

Logan could see how tired the girls were getting and suggested to Velina that they take them to bed. She nodded and picked up Olivia while Logan got Layla. The four of them went up the stairs to their bedroom. Velina pulled out a book to read to Olivia.

"Want me to read Livvy? Of course you do, okay here we go. You just relax and mommy will read you to sleep."

Logan snuggled Layla before setting her in the crib. Instantly, the toddler pulled herself onto her feet using the railings on the crib. She looked up at Logan with the most pitiful pout he had ever seen. Naturally he gave in to her and picked her back up for some more snuggling.
The two girls already knew how to work both of their parents. How to get them to do their bidding, even without knowing how to talk.
While Logan was at work, Velina asked David to babysit for a few hours while she went out to the store. They needed some more snacks for the girls and Velina needed a few things for herself as well. David was more than happy to watch the little ones while she was away. He picked Layla up from her crib and attacked her with his 'claw' until she squealed with giggles. He did the same for Olivia after her sister was put on the floor to explore.

The three of them played for three hours before Logan came home and found them saying that it was time for dinner.

"Velina called me, she said sorry she was running late." Logan told David.

"No probs. We were just having fun." He picked up Layla again and carried her down to her highchair, while Logan carried Olivia.

Logan fed both of the girls their dinner, Layla was done first and cried to be let out of the chair. Of course, Logan obliged her and picked her up instantly. He gave her a cuddle before setting her on the floor to find some toys. Right about then, Olivia finished her own dinner, but she didn't cry. She rarely cried, a complete opposite of Layla. Logan picked up Livvy and brought her to the potty chair in the front bathroom where they had their first potty training lesson.

Logan figured he was getting the hang of this parenting thing. It all seemed pretty simple when everyone was on a schedule. He wondered how long this smoothness of a routine would continue. Probably only until the girls started walking. He made a mental note to teach them that last, maybe that would keep them young for longer. Something else crept into his mind then, they really did need more space. He and Velina had talked about it, she said she was fine either way -whether they moved or stayed, that she wanted him to make the decision. He had, but he was having a hard time telling his mother and father.
Finally one day, a few months after the girls' birthday, he worked up enough courage to inform Adelaide and his dad of what they were going to do.

"Mom, I know you love having us and the girls living here with you, but they are getting bigger. We are all going to need more room. What if Velina wants another child? Try for a boy maybe? I've found a house, actually right in town. The opposite side of the park than you are here. It's a four bedroom. Really nice. I've put the deposit down and we'll be moving in in a few days." He spilled it all at once before she had a chance to try and change his mind.

"I knew this was coming." Adelaide looked at her feet, then very dramatically put the back of her hand to her forehead and sighed. "I guess I can't stop you. I'll miss you for sure, just make sure you leave your address so we can find you okay?" She had to get away from him, she was going to cry and didn't want to. Logan was leaving home and taking his wife and babies with him. It was a sad thing. She was expecting it, but that still didn't make it easier. Just a few days too. She would make sure to spend as much time with the girls as possible.

Just as she was about to turn and leave, Logan chuckled. "You could if you wanted to, if you tried hard, but I know you won't because you know it's better for the girls. They're going to be an age where they want their own rooms eventually. We just don't have that kind of room here."

Those few days flew by fast and before anyone knew it, moving day had arrived. The girls were sitting in the living room floor playing with Velina, and even Emma, while Logan was at work. When he got home they were all leaving. The house they had purchased came with most of the furniture they would need. They only had to buy a few cribs for the girls to sleep in, to replace the twin beds that were there originally.

Velina had been sitting on the floor with the playing toddlers most of the morning. Even Emma joined in the fun. While she sat there she talked to the girls, telling them all about moving, and that it would be different but that they would get used to it. When Emma came around, Velina was happy to tell her that they were taking her to the new place too.

Out the front window, Velina saw Logan coming across the street, so she pulled out her phone to call a taxi.
Logan came in and asked if they were ready. Velina told him that they were, everything they needed was at the house already. Adelaide had packed them a food basket, all fresh foods from the garden, fruits, vegetables and even some seeds - just in case Velina wanted to start her own garden. Tears flooded her eyes as she handed the basket over and helped them pack other things. Brian helped move things as well, most of the day that's what he had been doing.

Everyone said goodbye to one another, even David came out of his book to tell them to treat his little cousins greatly. He had come to love those twins as much as anyone could. It was late by the time they gave out all the kisses and hugs, when they stepped outside it was near dark.
For the next few days, Brian and Adelaide fought the quiet of the house. It was completely different here without the rest of the family. Adelaide missed them more than anything. She threw herself into her writing, since she was so close to fulfilling her life's dream, she figured she'd hit it hard to get there the rest of the way and get her mind of the little ones.

Brian spent most of his time on the small driving range in their backyard. Thankfully there was nothing in the direction that he was hitting the balls. No houses, just a small pond. For a brief moment he thought of the fish in the pond and how they were probably startled every time a ball hit the water.

Brian visited Logan one day at work, because he had seen Logan's carpool arrive. Though it had only been a week, Brian felt it had been forever since he had seen his boy.

"How are you Logan, how's Velina and how are the girls?" Brian ran it all into one question, though it should have been three.

Logan smiled. "What are you doing here dad? We're fine, we're settling into the house well, it's very nice. I can't wait for you to see it. Maybe you could come by in a couple days?"

"Yes yes. We'd love to, your mom and I. I don't know about David, he spends a lot of his free time in his room, or with his girlfriend. Hey look! I put some of the girls' pictures in my wallet. Look at them, aren't they cute? I just want to pinch their cheeks. I miss them you know. Addy does too, she's done nothing but write her books since you left. She's trying to keep herself busy I think." Brian realised that he was really babbling.

Logan looked at the pictures, some of which he remembered taking. "Yes, those are great pictures, I'm glad you have some in your wallet. Mom will be okay, she'll get used to it soon enough."

That night Brian, Adelaide and David had Autumn salad, fresh from the garden, for dinner. Adelaide was done first.

"I'm going to go upstairs and finish rearranging our room. We've put our stuff back in the master bedroom. Now we have an empty room too. I wonder what we'll do with it. I hope you liked the salad. David, I know you haven't done your homework yet, do it before bed."

Brian laughed. "I'm sure he will, the salad was great honey, thank you for making it. Thanks for growing it too." She smiled at his words before walking away.
The two guys finished up their meal together and Brian cleared away the dishes. David went and got his homework, then sat back down to work on it. Only a few minutes in he was rolling his eyes. "Gah, I don't want to do this right now." He complained to himself.

Brian came out of the kitchen, having finished loading up the dishwasher. "Good night David, just get it done, you'll feel better about it."
Brian walked in the master bedroom and was automatically greeted by his wife. Adelaide stepped up and kissed him as soon as he appeared in the doorway. While her arms were around him she reached behind him and closed the door.

"I've missed your touch you know, we haven't had any fun in a while, it's almost like we're the ones who had babies." She suggested.

Brian smiled, "You're right, maybe we should remedy that."

To be continued...