But I just have a feeling all the happiness will end soon.
Today was the day Levi and Michael and I got to go home and rest. God gave us a blessing on our way. We arrived in the front door of my with Levi in his Pooh Bear carrier Irene and Scott got us at the baby shower. He was wrapped in his baby blue blanket. His red and white binkie that Donna got him moving in and out of his mouth as he sucked on it. His sleeping form angelic. I sighed in relief to be home and unlocked the door then pushed it open. I missed the cinnamon aroma of the living room and the beige walls. “It’s good to be home.” I muttered to myself as I stepped into the house with Michael right behind.
“Yes, it is.” Michael sighed as he set down Levi’s white diaper bag down on the couch having heard me. I smiled as he let his body fall all over the couch. I set the baby carrier next to him and I sat next to the baby carrier that held the still sleeping Levi. “I still can’t believe we have a son.” Michael said looking into the carrier.
“I know. It’s so surreal. Even in the condition we’re in. Being what we are.” I said. He nodded. “I think we should be a normal family.” I suggested.
“As normal as we can be.” Michael chuckled. I laughed with him and we fell into each others tight embrace.
Months have passed and Michael and I are tired. Levi cries a lot. Especially at night. I haven’t slept much around here anymore. Michael goes to work at the studio and I get to work from home. I type my interviews, interviews are now held over the phone or at my apartment, I e-mail Irene my work and she does the rest. I also have to clean up the apartment, take care of the baby and make dinner for Michael when he gets home. I hate my life sometimes. I finally got my wings and everything, but still have some things I wish I didn’t at times.
It’d been a few days after Levi was born and I’m waiting for God to give me my wings and become an angel just like Michael. “Well, I understand you’ve been waiting a real while for this time, and I’m afraid some of my agreements and requirements will be disappointing to you, Phoenix.” I looked at my Lord confused. “And I understand, but it’s just how it’s going to be for the rest of your life. You either agree or don’t and be like you started two hundred years ago. I just want to let you know that I can’t change anything for you.” God paused. I waited for the conversation to continue. “You will have wings and always have a place here in heaven among the best, but you will still keep some of your old abilities and gifts from being what you are.” I waited patiently. I knew this was too good to be true, but I’ll just have to deal with it like everything else. “You can eat what you want, and that includes blood.” My breathing hitched in my throat. “The temptation won’t be as strong, but it’ll be there. You will have agility, speed, reading minds, super strength, speed and teleportation.” I smiled slightly not really wanting to let go of my more attached gifts. God then stood up from the throne and stepped down towards me.
Those nimble fingers were placed gently on my forehead. Soft satiny skin, peaches and rain scent, bright light. It happened all over again. I was lifted from the ground and hovered in the air. The lights swirled around me. But this time before my feet hit the ground I felt the flesh on my back stretch outward. Something was pushing it’s way out. I waited and looked back. There I saw small black feathers produce from the middle of my shoulder blades. I smiled knowing they were my wings. But why were they black?
Once on the ground I stretched my new wings. A blood red tipped the end of the black long feathers. They were beautiful from what I could see out of the corner of my eye. “And there you are.” God smiled at me and I grinned back. “You are my lamb and I am your Sheppard.” I hugged my Lord tightly before taking Michael’s extended hand and flying back to the apartment in my New York City.
END OF FLASHBACK
I’m at the stove making Michael some soup in this cold weather so that when he gets home he’s nice and warm to hold his six month old son. Just then I hear the front door open and close softly not to wake the deep sleeping Levi in his crib in his blue nursery. “I’m home.” I fell Michael’s hold breath on the back of my neck and his cold hands on my hips. “What’s for dinner?” He asked.
“Some hot chicken noodle soup. Just to warm you up.” I smiled stirring the soup and inhaling the warm comforting aroma. Then I felt Michael’s chilling lips on the back of my neck and it sends a chill run up and down my spine. “You’re cold.” I shivered feeling the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end.
“I know.” He mumbled then left my back side to take off his jacket and take a seat at the table. “Is Levi still asleep?” Michael asked from the dining table.
“Yeah, I just fed him.” I turned off the stove and took off the pot from the burner. I opened the cupboard and took out two soup bowls and poured in the steamy soup in. Steam rose into the air and filled the kitchen with it’s sweet scent. I put the bowls atop of small square plates and made my way to the dining table where Michael sat waiting for me with an excited smile. “Here you go.” I smiled and placed the soup in front of him.
“Thank you, Phoenix.” He used his manners and I giggled at that. He was great, and I loved him with all my heart. He was the most important thing in my life besides Levi.
“You’re very welcome, my love.” I glowed and he chuckled. “Shit! I forgot the spoons.” I remembered. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed two spoons from the drawer and two napkins then ran back to the table hading Michael his spoon and napkin. I sighed and sat back into my chair while he laughed and shook his head.
“You’ll never get that we have a kid and you need to stop swearing out loud that way he doesn’t repeat them theory wrapped around your head, are you?” He asked with a small chuckle.
“No, I will not.” I dipped my spoon into my soup and sipped at it. “This is all so surreal.” I whispered under my breath. And Michael apparently heard.
“I know.” He looked down at his liquid meal with depressed eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked concerned.
“I’m just stressed is all.” He simply shrugged and sipped at his soup.
“Me too.” I nodded as an awkward silence filled around us at the table. Then I decided to make things a little better by bringing up what I was thinking about all day besides the future and what it holds for Levi, Michael and I. “Hey,” I began getting Michael’s eyes and attention fall on me other than the stress we were both feeling. “I’m considering calling you Mikey now.” I smiled slightly. He just giggled.
“Why?’ He asked. “I’m just accepting Michael now.” He whined.
“If I would have known then I wouldn’t have pondered on it all this week every hour of everyday and every minute of every hour.” I defended playfully. “Why don’t you like it now?” I asked curiously and confused.
“Because Michael makes me sound more sophisticated and grown up.” He sat up straighter and squared his shoulders more. I laughed out loud covering my mouth at his frown and dropped face. We just continued to ague playfully until we eventually got through with our meal and Levi awoke.
I followed Michael to Levi’s nursery and leaned on the doorframe watching Michael lift up his child cradling him in his strong arms and shushing him a bit. “Shhh. It’s okay. Daddy’s here.” Michael cooed. We agreed Michael was what I was going to call him. He used his powerful charm that made me weak at the knees and swoon before him in such a way only he could understand and I feel.
I smiled at the amazing, wonderfully stomach churning sight of Michael comforting his fragile little child. It was a perfect sight. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I would see this in my whole life. Living dead or mortal. Either one was very iffy in this sight I am soaking in right now.
Michael bounced up and down cooing to Levi as his cries slowly faded into silence. “God, he’s so beautiful.” Michael whispered more to himself than me. He stared down at the little baby wrapped in blue in his arms. I hesitantly walked to Michael and Levi. I looked down to see great big hazel eyes staring up at Michael’s face. Levi had grown a little and had some more hair than before. I stroked his soft light brown hair and kissed his forehead gently careful not to break him. I looked at Michael and saw tears glistening in his eyes reflecting the dim hall light that glowed in the room. “I love you.” Michael smiled to Levi and kissed his forehead taking him to the living room. His eyes never leaving Levi’s and sat on the couch. I sighed and cleaned up the baby’s room. Stalking up more diapers in the changing stations drawers, fixing the bed and putting away the bottles and nipples in to kitchen. “Phoenix, what are you doing?” Michael called to me.
“Cleaning.” I replied plainly.
“Get your ass over here and take some time off cleaning to spend some quality time with your son and husband.” Michael ordered. I groaned and slumped to the couch.
“You need to spend time with him more than I do. I spend all day with him.” I rubbed my eyes sleepily.
“Are you saying I don’t spend enough time with him?” Michael asked annoyed.
“No, Michael. I’m just saying you should have the time.” I said not trying to start a fight or heated argument between us. I don’t want to keep the baby up.
“Fine. Whatever.” Michael sighed annoyed again. I hit my forehead with the palm of my hand and sat down on the couch softly not making them bounce.
“Michael,” I began.
“No, you’re right. I do need to spend more time with Levi. He’s my only son and I’m at the studio making music and fucking around with the boys.” He admitted sarcastically. “And serving the Lord.” He was trying the guilt trick on me. I growled and stood up from couch heading to the bedroom to get dressed into my pajamas. I came back out in my Star Wars bottoms and a red tank top. “Can you take Levi for a sec? I need to get dressed.” Michael stood up and handed Levi to me.
A few minutes later he came back out in his boxers and a grey t-shirt. “Okay,” He took Levi back and sat on the couch again. After a few more minutes of silence he said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” He kissed my shoulder.
“Me too.” I nodded. He stared at me confused.
“Why are you sorry? You shouldn’t be.” He shook his head at me his brow furrowed to the middle of his forehead.
“Because I pinned it on you. I didn’t mean to.” I shook my head.
“True,” Michael tried to keep a straight face. I laughed and then kissed him for the longest time until I heard Levi gurgle. I broke apart and smiled looking down at Levi watching him drool onto his onesie. I giggled.
I felt Michael’s forehead rest on mine as we watched Levi. We were a happy, small, but happy family there. And we all knew it. Including Levi even if he didn’t know what he was thinking about, he knew.
Levi is now a year old and the boys have gathered around along with Donna and Donald and Scott and Irene. We decorated the apartment in dinosaurs and black streamers. Above the door hung a ‘Happy Birthday’ chain of letters each in various colors. The cake was a small ice cream cake from Dairy Queen saying ‘Happy 1st Birthday Levi!’ in green icing. In the corner of the dining room I placed a table that was now piled with gifts wrapped in all kinds of wrapping paper. Ray brought Christa, Frank brought Jamia and Gerard brought Lyn-Z and Bandit (his new born). The boys and the girls were in the living room with Donald chatting away while Donna and I slaved away in the kitchen over the stove. We put together a few Donna’s famous dished along with mine. I heard Levi’s squeals of joy along with a rumble of laughter. I giggled to myself quietly and returned to back to the soup simmering on the stove. I removed it from the hot burner to the middle of the stove for it to cool down. It was the last dish for now and I sighed heavily with relief and wiped at my forehead with the back of my hand. “Ya done?” I heard Michael breathe on the back of my neck and hug me from behind. His muscular arms around me. I could feel his biceps tighten against my shoulders.
“Yeah,” I breathed and I felt his nose press to the back of my neck and feel his soft lips peck at my sensitive skin on my neck. All hairs stood up and I shivered. “Where’s Levi?” I asked remembering why we were having this important gathering.
“With Gerard and Lady B.” His hot breath tickled me and I giggled absent mindedly. “Now, let’s get to them.” Michael took my hand in his and lead me to the living room where I found everyone listening to Donald tell stories about his boys in youth. “Okay, Dad, enough with the stories we’ve heard a million times before.” Michael nodded.
“Oh, come on Michael. I’m just lightening the mood here.” Donald grinned. I chuckled and he ended the story short. “There, are ya happy?” Donald asked his younger son as he placed a gently hand on Michael’s shoulder.
“Yes, thank you.” Michael smiled and wrapped his arm around my shoulders leaning back relaxing a bit.
One hour later we were all gathered round the table singing Happy Birthday to the smiling Levi sat in his little high chair his cake in front of him with one candle lit making a soft glow about his face as he leaned in to make a wish and blow it out. After the flame was blown out and smoke rose from the small candle. Levi’s smile was bright and big as everyone clapped around him of his accomplishment. I smiled and started to cut the cake. “Michael, can you get the ice cream?” I asked. He nodded and jogged to the kitchen returning with the chocolate ice cream and an ice cream scooping spoon.
“Here,” He sat the ice cream in front of me expecting me to scoop it out too. I looked at him and he laughed. “I’m just kidding.” He giggled as he popped off the lid of the ice cream and took the scooper firmly in his grip as he dug into the soft light brown frozen treat, and served it to everyone. I giggled to myself and shook my head all the while still serving everyone.
After cake was presents. Levi loved the dinosaur collection Bob got him, he enjoyed his new Nintendo DSI from Ray and Christa, Frank and Jamia got him some custom Converse he is now wearing to bed, and Gerard and Lyn-Z got him an I-Pod full of music. Alternative and rock of course.
Everyone poured out from my tiny apartment right after Levi fell asleep on Donald’s lap. Michael carried him to his bed in his newly designed room of Star Wars sheets and action figures, light green walls, band posters, glow-in-the-dark stars, comics, a big marble collection I keep stepping on, Hot Wheels, DVDs, and lots of electronics. Michael made sure to take off Levi’s new Chucks and plastic crown before he placed the sheets over him.
“Bye, Phoenix.” Donald hugged me.
“Good bye.” I kissed his cheek as him and Donna exited my apartment.
“Good bye, Michael.” Donna called into the apartment after his son only getting a muffled shout in return she rolled her eyes and I laughed. “Take care now.” Donna left finally and I closed the door behind them locking it up and going to my bedroom where I found Michael tangled into the sheets already. Face down.
I sighed heavily while letting my body fall onto the bed next to Michael’s. “I am so tired.” I heard Michael muffle into the pillow.
“You and I both.” I closed my eyes and felt shuffling next to me. “I can’t it’s already been a year.” I open my eyes to see Michael’s face hovering above mine.
“Yeah, he’s growing up so fast. Before you know it he’ll be out with his friends and dating.” Michael giggled. I frowned thinking about the future and seeing Levi grow old. “But he’ll stop and remain forever. Always.” Michael stated.
“I forgot about that.” I closed my eyes and rubbed my forehead. “When do you think he’ll stop aging?” I asked. My eyes still closed but my hand stopping.
“Around twenty, twenty-five.” I felt Michael shrug. I nodded and fell into a blissful sleep satisfied with my life so far. But I just have a feeling all the happiness will end soon. Like there is something lurking around the corner waiting for me to turn and strike.