‘I want that one!’ Hayden pointed at a lollipop on the candy stand by the counter.
‘Eh, let’s pick out some dresses first.’ Lilly told her daughter.
‘But I want it!’ Hayden persisted. I smiled slightly to myself as I looked around at all the dresses they’d have to choose from.
‘Hayden, find a dress. Your dad spoils you with too much candy, I swear.’ Lilly muttered taking Hayden’s hand and walking by the girls dresses.
‘No harm in that.’ I laughed walking beside her.
‘Sometimes, I think there is some harm in it. She goes nuts, especially when Quinn isn’t home.’ She said looking at a light blue and white flower dress.
‘That’d be cute on her.’ I commented, ‘We’ve been out for hours. I can’t believe you haven’t decided on her dress.’
‘Well, it’s fun!’ She smiled and held the dress up to Hayden, ‘You’re right, let’s get this one.’
‘Finally.’ I said and walked up to the cashier with Lilly and Hayden beside me. Lilly paid for the dress and we left the mall and went home. It took about ten minutes to get there, and we all got out of the car once we did.
‘I really wanted that lollipop Mommy.’ Hayden pouted just as we walked through the front door.
‘Oh my, just have something to eat here.’ Lilly told her more than suggested.
‘Mommy wouldn’t get you your lollipop?’ Quinn asked Hayden picking her up and attacking her with kisses. ‘I’ll get you one later.’
‘Quinn, she’s only 2. She’ll have plenty of time to get a lollipop later on in life. But, I picked out this dress for her!’ Lilly said excitedly as she pulled the dress out of the bag and showed Quinn. I laughed at their parenting moment and took a seat on the couch. Branden and Travis came running into the room.
‘YOU KNOW IT’S ON AT 3 EVERY WEEKDAY!’ Travis screamed being the first one in the room, with Branden practically up his ass. He was obviously talking about Martha Stewart, his goal was to make a bathroom rug.
‘NO, I AM NOT WATCHING THAT SHIT!’ Branden shouted. The rest of the guys walked in after them.
‘Aw, you said a naughty word.’ Hayden gasped at Branden walking up to him and kicking him in the shin. Branden apologized to her while holding his shin and sitting down on the closest part of the couch, the end. After that, he dropped the idea of watching Martha for some reason.
‘The wedding is the 8th of July right?’ Quinn asked me.
‘Yeah.’ I answered, smiling. It was only a few weeks away.
‘I wanna watch spongebob.’ Hayden complained as Travis turned on the TV. Quinn grabbed the remote from his hands when he wasn’t looking and changed it to spongebob.
‘Hey!’ Travis said, then quieted when Quinn smacked him. Sonny walked into the room at the sound of the spongebob theme song.
‘Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!’ He yelled sitting down next to me, ‘I love my sponge.’
‘UNCLE SONNY! Did you know that Spongebob works at the Krusty Krab?!’ Hayden shouted, excited to see her uncle.
‘I had no idea!’ He exclaimed then put his arm around me, ‘I love youuu.’ He pretty much sang.
‘Thank you for the song. I was beginning to think you loved spongebob more. I love you.’ I smiled as Hayden turned up the TV from the TV itself. I noticed Jeph walk in and just look at Lilly and sigh. He’s been doing that a lot. He had dated someone for about 5 months but he broke up with her because “she wasn’t the one.” and he hasn’t dated since. That was almost a year ago.
‘TURN IT DOWN!’ Derek screamed as he grabbed the remote and turned it down to a reasonable volume. Hayden pouted but didn’t move to be sure she wouldn’t miss any spongebob.
‘Honestly, I think Lilly should be with Jeph.’ Sonny whispered into my ear, ‘He treated her better than Quinn ever really did.’
‘I could see that. But I mean, they’re a family now.’ I said looking at him.
‘Yeah, I know.’ He smiled at me and kissed me.
‘EWWW! THAT’S GROSS!’ Hayden squealed causing me to laugh.
‘Hayyydenn, want to go to the park?’ Lilly asked her.
‘No way! YEEEEAAHH!’ Hayden jumped up and down, forgetting what she was just grossed out about. ‘Can we go now? Can we? Can we?’
‘Of course you silly girl.’ Lilly smiled putting Hayden’s shoes on her and started walking out the door. I noticed Quinn didn’t go with her.
‘Aren’t you going?’ I asked Quinn.
‘Nah, I’ve got some riffs I need to write out.’ He said and headed toward his room.
‘Ok.’ I mumbled, and looked over at Jeph, who seemed to be waiting for something. I felt bad for him, being in love with Lilly and all. Hayden came running back into the house and walked up to Jeph.
‘Come with, come with!’ She pleaded. Jeph let her pull him outside, but waved bye to everyone before he closed the door. I hoped he would have a good time. He needed some time out, mainly with Lilly. And he loves spending time with Hayden. He hasn’t really said anything about his feelings for her to anyone but me in a long time, and even I haven’t heard much in a while. I guess, except for that, life has been going great. I just hope it stays that way.
Hayden was pulling me by my hand down to the end of the street, where I saw Lilly.
‘Hey.’ I said to her as we caught up, ‘Mind if I tag along?’
‘I don’t mind.’ She smiled and took Hayden’s free hand.
‘How much longer?’ Hayden asked loudly as we crossed the street. The park was in view.
‘A minute or two.’ Lilly said as we walked closer to the park. I wanted to grab Lilly’s hand, but knew I couldn’t. I settled for walking close to her, and a couple minutes passed as we walked up to the park, with Hayden running.
‘Hayden!’ Lilly yelled and ran after her. I just watched her as she ran up to her and picked her up and swung her around in circles. Even from a distance, I could hear Hayden’s laughing screams.
‘PUT! ME! DOWN!’ She screamed in between long bursts of laughter, ‘JEPH! COME ‘ERE! GET MY MOMMY AWAY!’ I walked up to them and Lilly set Hayden down to play on the swings. We walked to a nearby bench and sat down.
‘So…’ I started, not really sure of what to say.
‘Have you been ok?’ Lilly asked me.
‘What do you mean? With what?’ I acted as if there could be nothing wrong, even though there was.
‘Jeph… you know.’ She sighed not getting a straight answer from me.
‘….No, I don’t believe I do.’ I didn’t want to stress her out.
‘I just wanted to know if you were alright. I was worried.’ She told me grinning.
‘I, uhh…mhmm.’ Her smile made my words get caught in my throat.
‘Is there anything that has been bugging you at all?’ She pressed the issue further.
‘N-no, nothing too important, so it doesn’t matter.’ I told her.
‘Uh-huh.’ She didn’t believe me, ‘What is it?’
‘I guess it just sucks knowing I’ll be alone the rest of my life.’ I sighed.
‘You won’t be though.’ She said.
‘Yes I will be. You will always be my only true love, and you’re with Quinn, which means I’ll be alone. I’ll make no effort to replace the space you’ve taken in my heart.’ I confessed.
‘Jeph, anything can happen. I’m only with Quinn for Hayden…’ She told me.
‘What do you mean?’ My mood suddenly brightened at the thought of being with her again. Hayden was swinging a few feet away, and the sun was shining brightly throughout the park.
‘Old habits die hard, you know.’ She sighed.
‘You mean…he’s cheating on you?’ I asked. I couldn’t believe Quinn could do that to Lilly over and over again.
‘He doesn’t know that I know about it.’ She said looking over at Hayden.
‘Who’s the other girl?’ I asked as the wind created a nice breeze, ‘Are you ok?’
‘I don’t know… Seems like they were meant for each other though. He brings her things all the time…’ She mumbled. This had to really be hurting her. ‘I’ll be fine. Eventually.’
‘I hope so.’ I smirked and put my arm around her shoulders and pulled her close for a hug, in a friendly way.
‘Let’s take Hayden to get some ice cream.’ Lilly smiled a smile that I knew was fake. We both stood up and started walking toward Hayden, but before we got to her I pulled Lilly around to face me.
‘Are you sure you’re going to be ok?’ I asked her, trying to reassure myself.
‘I don’t know.’ She told me.
‘Well, if you love him, you need to make it known. You should never let the one you love fall in love with someone else. Tell him you love him, and just do anything it takes. Just don’t let him go.’ I advised her, all the while thinking of my love for her.
‘You’re right, I should really tell him that I guess.’ She said.
‘Lilly…?’ I asked.
‘Huh?’ She looked at me with tears in her eyes.
‘Why are you crying?’ I wondered aloud, wiping a tear off her cheek as we stood on the edge of the playground.
‘I’m ok.’ She smiled and continued walking with Hayden.
After Hayden had finished screaming about ice cream we started walking there. We got there in about five minutes and ordered our ice creams, and Jeph insisted on paying. Hayden, of course, made a big mess with her melting ice cream that she couldn’t stop from running down the cone. Jeph had also insisted on letting her have a cone instead of a bowl. I cleaned her up after we were done, and we headed for home. The walk back was nice, and not as hot as when we left. She skipped all the way to the driveway, with us walking close behind her. When we got there we went inside. Instantly, I saw the girl that Hayden described to me. She must have been the girl Quinn was sleeping with. He was sitting next to her and jumped up when we walked in.
‘Uh, Lilly! I didn’t expect you home so soon.’ He said quickly.
‘Well, we only went to the park Quinn.’ I told him a little annoyed.
‘Yeah, right. This,’ He indicated the girl on the couch, ‘is Alison.’
‘Your girlfriend right? The girl you’ve been cheating on me with.’ I asked with no emotion in my voice.
‘…I guess, you could say that. How did you find out?’ Quinn looked ashamed.
‘Hayden saw you, you idiot.’ I sighed, ‘You know, you promised you’d never do this again.’
‘I know, and I am sorry, but I don’t think we’re ever really going to work out. I don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated.’ He told me.
‘I agree, have fun fucking what’s her name.’ I said and began walking into the kitchen with Jeph and Hayden.
‘I’m still going to be a father to Hayden.’ Quinn said turning around to face me as I entered the kitchen.
‘I know that Quinn. She’s your kid too. I wouldn’t make her never see her father because I hated him.’ I told him looking at him.
‘Ok, well.’ Quinn looked upset, and I guessed he realized what he had screwed up…again. ‘Friends?’
‘I don’t know Quinn. After all that we’ve been through, it’d be hard for me to be friends with you.’ I sighed thinking about some of the past things we’ve done.
‘That’s alright I suppose, just, let me know when you’re ready.’ He said. He didn’t seem all that upset anymore about much of this. I guess it was just time to move on. I am completely over him now, I have to be, he keeps on doing this to me. We were pretty much falling apart over the last year anyway, right? I looked at him just staring at me expecting me to say something, but I really had nothing to say back, so I walked into the kitchen. Livvy was sitting at the kitchen table by herself, I sat down next to her after looking behind me to see that Hayden was ok with Quinn, and she was.
‘Hey.’ I said to her.
‘Hey.’ She said back, looking up from the table at me, ‘What’s up?’
‘Eh, nothing really. Quinn and I aren’t together anymore though.’ I sighed looking toward the wall. Quinn and Alison came into the kitchen.
‘So I see.’ Livvy commented after observing Quinn and Alison as they took seats at the island.
‘Yeah… Where’s Hayden?’ I asked Quinn.
‘In the other room playing with some toys.’ Quinn answered glancing at us.
‘Ok. Anyway, how are things going for the wedding?’ I asked turning toward Livvy.
‘Great!’ She smiled, ‘I would hope, it is in a few weeks.’
‘Well, that’s good. I’m super happy for you and Sonny.’ I told her thinking about what it’d be like to actually be planning and getting married. I just sighed and started looking for something to eat.
‘Thanks. So, what to do?’ Livvy asked me while watching me open and close cupboards.
‘Do you think you and Sonny are going to move to Cali after the wedding?’ I wondered.
‘I’m not sure. Sonny’s mentioned the possibility of it a couple times, but I don’t know.’ She told me.
‘I see. You guys should get a place here. You know.’ I said finally grabbing an apple.
‘Yeah, I want to. I take it you plan on staying here?’ She asked.
‘I don’t know. I haven’t really thought much about it…’ I sighed thinking about what I wanted with Quinn and I before. That’s pretty much ruined now. We stood there in silence for a bit until we heard Sonny yelling.