I opened my eyes slowly and as soon as I did, regretted it. I rolled over and squinted at the clock. 9:02am. I rolled back over and saw that I was alone.
‘So damn bright.’ I muttered before throwing the blankets off and getting out of bed. I walked out of my room, closing the door behind me, and made my way down the hallway to the kitchen. When I reached the kitchen I saw that Lilly, Quinn, and Bert were there and I smelt the familiar smell of pancakes.
‘PANCAKES!’ I jumped as Hayden came out from behind me after a successful attempt at scaring me. I saw Bert start laughing.
‘That was great. Good one Hayden.’ He put his hand out for a high five.
‘Bird. I don’t know what you’re talking about. That wasn’t me.’ Hayden said, trying to be mature.
‘Here’s some for you.’ Lilly said to Hayden as she set a plate on the table, ‘Oh, hey Livvy.’
‘Hey.’ I mumbled, rubbing my eyes to wake up and sitting on a stool.
‘Crazy night?’ She asked me before setting a plate of pancakes in front of me.
‘No. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I replied, laughing as I mimicked Hayden. ‘Yum.’
‘Uh-huh. You think you and Bert weren’t heard.’ She looked at me with a disgusting look and went back to the stove.
‘Bert.’ I started, then swallowed my mouthful of pancakes. ‘Tell her nothing happened.’
‘We had some crazy sex last night, it was amazing.’ He told her smiling really big.
‘Thought so.’ She mumbled loud enough for me to hear.
‘Oh, fuck it. No one will believe me anyway. Thanks.’ I smiled.
‘So Lilly, can I have more?’ Quinn walked up to her.
‘Nope.’ She laughed pushing him gently.
‘Fine, I have to go anyway.’ Quinn stated putting his plate in the sink like he didn’t want anymore to begin with.
‘Alright.’ She grabbed his shirt and pulled him up to her and kissed him.
‘Places to go, errands to run babe.’ He smirked when she let him go.
‘Ok, I guess you can run your errands, but come back soon.’ She told him.
‘Whatever you say.’ He laughed like she was joking. He turned around to face everyone else and spotted Hayden. ‘Be good for your mother.’ And again, he laughed, because that wasn’t possible.
‘Ok Daddy!’ Hayden said, and ran up to him and gave him a hug.
‘Bert, you’re coming with me.’ He said looking at Bert, who was still eating.
‘What?! Come on!’ Bert protested before getting up and following Quinn out the door.
‘Fuck you Bert!’ I yelled after him, smiling.
‘I love you baby.’ He yelled back.
‘Love you too.’ I said, probably not loud enough. ‘So, now what do we do?’
‘Whatever we want!’ Hayden jumped up on the table holding her fork with pancake still on it.
‘Except that.’ I said taking the fork from her and eating the remaining pancake. ‘Why thank you m’dear.’
‘Hey! MEANIE!’ Hayden yelled at me as Lilly walked up to her and took her off the table.
‘I know. I’m horrible, right?’ I agreed as I put the plates from the table in the sink.
‘Ugh…’ Branden walked into the kitchen and plopped down the stool closest to us.
‘Something wrong?’ I asked him.
‘I kinda miss harassing Travis about Martha.’ He mumbled.
‘He will be back one day Branden, he will.’ Lilly told him as she sat down too.
‘Well, the kitchen is boring.’ I confessed leaning up against the counter and facing them. ‘Quinn and Bert together is probably a bad combo, which means we have time on our hands since they’ll find other things to do.’
‘LET’S SWIM!’ Hayden yelled running throughout the house, ‘SWIM SWIM SWIM!’
‘Well I guess I’m off to the pool.’ I said running to my room and putting on my suit. When I came out of my room, I saw Lilly and Hayden in swimsuits. ‘Alright!’
‘Wow, we’re amazing!’ Bert exclaimed as he flipped through the booklet for In Love And Death.
‘I know, I know.’ I agreed as I turned off our road and onto the main one.
‘Wait, so, what are we doing anyway?’ He asked me, putting the booklet back in its’ case and setting it down.
‘It’s a surprise for Lilly. I need to get a ring.’ I told him.
‘Aw, I thought you were taking me out.’ He sighed. ‘Why am I here?’
‘I don’t know. To help?’ I asked myself and him.
‘You want me,’ He pointed at himself, ‘To help you,’ He pointed at me, ‘Find a ring for Lilly? This is not going to be successful. Why a ring?’ He asked, clueless.
‘Bert, you are an idiot.’ I laughed turning up the radio.
‘Ohhhh!’ He said loudly after a minute, then turned down the radio. ‘Is it going to be a birthday present?!’
‘Just be quiet now Bert. You are making yourself look stupid, we’re almost there.’ I said pulling into the mall parking lot.
‘Ring, ring, ring…’ Bert mumbled, thinking. ‘Why do women wear rings?’ He thought aloud, quietly. ‘OH! You’re going to ask her to marry you! Duh!’
‘Wow, took you long enough.’ I laughed pulling into an open parking spot and shutting off the car.
‘Well sorry, I don’t normally--oh forget it.’ Bert waved his hand through the air. ‘I can’t believe you’re gonna get married bro! I thought it would never happen. I guess we can’t be gay lovers now.’
‘That’s if she says yes. And, we can’t.’ I got out of the car and started walking into the mall. Bert was a bit slower and had to jog to catch up with me.
‘I guess Livvy’s my only hope now.’ He said when he was caught up. We walked into the crowded mall and headed for the escalator. On our way there I noticed many people whispering and pointing at us. It took us at least a half an hour to get to the jewellery store, due to Bert stopping in every store we walked past. When we walked into the jewellery store, a man walked up to us and asked us if we needed help, but I didn’t want the guys’ help.
‘Dude, why didn’t you have him help you?’ Bert asked me.
‘Well, I wouldn’t have brought you if I wanted that guys’ help, now would I?’ I somewhat asked him.
‘I guess not. Hey, what about this one?’ He asked me pointing to a ring with a big diamond in the middle.
‘Nah, I was thinking something smaller, with like three diamonds that are different colors.’ I told him looking at all the rings in the store. I swear we stared at all the jewellery for over an hour.
‘Dude, I have been really bored, and I ended up buying this.’ Bert shoved a set of rings in my face, one had diamonds going all around the band, and the other was just plain silver. ‘They’re for Livvy and I, they’re promise rings I guess.’
‘Awesome dude.’ I gave him a thumbs up and continued looking.
‘Are you sure you don’t need any help?’ The man asked me again.
‘I guess I’m looking for a ring with three different colored diamonds on it.’ I told the guy.
‘I think we have what you are looking for, hold on.’ The guy said and walked into the back of the store. He came back out shortly after with a black box. He pulled out a pair of rings, one silver, and the other had three diamonds, a light blue one in the middle, a light purple to the left, and an even lighter blue to the right. It was all on a silver band.
‘Is that a set or something?’ I asked.
‘Yes, they are wedding rings.’ The guy told me.
‘Ok, I guess I’ll take those then.’
‘FINALLY!’ Bert exclaimed out loud.
‘That will be $1489 and 87 cents, would you like a bill payment for this?’ The guy, whose name tag said was Keith, asked. I didn’t answer, instead I handed him one thousand five hundred dollars. He gave me my change and put the rings in separate boxes, and put them into a bag. ‘Thank you, please come again.’
‘That took you FOREVER.’ Bert said as we walked out of the store and toward the escalators.
‘So!’ I laughed as we went down the escalators, and out of the mall.
‘I swear, if she says no!’ Bert started, talking about Lilly turning down my proposal. ‘That was like, four hours of my life!’
‘Shut up man.’ I said getting into the car.
‘We’re going home now, right?’ He asked, also hopping in. I started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.
‘Yep.’ I answered as I turned down our road. Soon after, we were in the driveway. We were getting out of the car when Lilly, Livvy, and Hayden ran around the front of the house, obviously not noticing us. They were all in bathing suits with squirt guns in hand. Lilly pointed the squirt gun at me a pulled the trigger.
‘Aw, that’s not nice. You’ll regret that.’ I smirked as I took the boxes out of the bag and put them in my pocket.
‘Oh yeah, Hayden! Get him!’ She yelled as Hayden came running up to her and pelted me with water. It was on now. I ran up to Lilly and took her gun. I pointed it at Hayden and got her soaked.
‘VICTORY!’ I yelled.
‘NO!’ Hayden yelled back squirting me with her squirt gun. ‘I win!’
‘This time, little one.’ I told her giving her a hug, which got my shirt wet. I stood back up and faced Lilly. She walked closer to me and wrapped her arms around me.
‘You missed me?’ I asked her.
‘You bet I did.’ She looked up at me smiling.
‘Not surprising.’ I returned the smile.
‘So, what took you two so long?’ I heard Livvy ask Bert.
‘Ask him,’ He pointed to me, ‘He’s the one who took too long looking.’
‘Hey man, you had to go in every single store we walked by, don’t blame me!’ I protested.
‘So you went to the mall?’ Lilly asked.
‘Check out some hot chicks?’ Livvy asked looking at Bert and I.
‘If you count these as hot chicks, then yes.’ Bert told her showing her the rings he got, ‘The guy at the place said they were promise rings. I thought you might like them.’
‘Aw.’ Livvy smiled and gave Bert a kiss. ‘I love you Bert.’
‘I love you too babe.’ Bert said and gave Livvy her ring and put his on. ‘You don’t have to wear it all the time or anything like that, you could wear it on a necklace or something too.’
‘Mhm. I’m thinking that’d be more me.’ She agreed.
‘Yeah, yeah, that’s why I got this too.’ He pulled out a silver chain for her to put on. Livvy looked back at Bert.
‘Gee, you know me too well. Why’d you do this? Is there a catch?’ She joked.
‘Nope. I just wanted to.’ Bert said and brought Livvy inside. I turned back to Lilly.
‘Hayden, why don’t you go inside and watch some cartoons?’ Quinn bent down to talk to her.
‘Why?!’ She complained.
‘Because Mommy and Daddy want some alone time. Go bug Uncle Branden or something.’ He laughed as her face lit up.
‘Ok!’ She bolted inside, and actually shut the door behind her. ‘UNCLE BRANDEN!!’ I laughed as I heard her voice coming from the house, then looked back at Quinn.
‘Walk with me?’ He suggested as his eyes flicked from the road back to me.
‘Sure.’ I smiled, wondering what he had up his sleeve. He took my hand in his as we walked to the end of the driveway, then turned on the sidewalk. It was bright and sunny outside, no clouds in the sky, meaning no chance for rain. It was quiet for a couple minutes, like we didn’t know what to say.
‘So…’ Quinn started. ‘I’m guessing you’re wondering what took me so long?’
‘Kind of, yes.’ I told him.
‘Well, I don’t know if I should tell you.’ He grinned, looking at me.
‘Fine.’ I pouted looking back at him.
‘You’ll find out soon enough. Unless you’re really that curious.’ He sort of asked me.
‘Hm, let’s talk about something else, then I won’t be so curious.’ I laughed.
‘Like what?’ He wondered as we came up to an intersection and crossed the street.
‘You know, walking with you like this reminds me of when it rained that one night, you know?’ I asked thinking about when he tackled me down, and the bet.
‘It’s rained many nights, but you’re lucky I know what you’re talking about. You seem to remember a lot involving me and the rain.’ He told me.
‘Well, you and I seem to always be walking together in the rain, and how could I forget how sexy you looked. Those nights are not easily forgotten.’
‘I look like that all the time.’ He rubbed his hands down his chest. ‘Right?’
‘Of course you do.’ I said pushing him down on some random persons’ grass and laying on him.
‘Thought so.’ He agreed as I felt his pocket vibrate. He sighed as he struggled to pull it out, and answered it. ‘Hello?’ I laid my head on his chest to wait for him to finish his phone call.
‘Quinn, its me.’
‘What do you want?’
‘Isn’t that obvious.’
‘I thought I told you I didn’t want to see you anymore.’
‘Yeah, but you said we could do something too, just one more time.’ I realized that it was Alison, and that really started to piss me off.
‘I don’t recall, look, I’m busy right now. Just leave me alone, ok?’
‘Why? I thought you said you loved me Quinn?’
‘Loved. Past tense. We were never going to be anything. I have a family Alison.’
‘You told me that your family doesn’t matter to you. You fucking said that, and you better not deny it.’
‘Fuck, Alison. Shut the fuck up.’ He hung up on her. I got off of him and stood up.
‘So, we didn’t matter then?’ I asked looking down at him. He got up off the ground.
‘You believe her? Of course you mattered.’ Quinn said.
‘But, did you ever say that to her?’ I asked him again.
‘One time.’ He mumbled. ‘It was just to get her off my back.’
I turned away from him and started walking back home. Even if he didn’t mean it, he still said it, and that does hurt. I didn’t know what to say to him, so I just kept on walking.
‘LILLY!’ Quinn shouted running after me. ‘Don’t walk away. You can’t walk away from every problem you run into.’
‘I’m not walking away from a problem, I’m just going home. Why would you even say that? You could of told her, yeah you have a family and you want them in your life, not tell her that we don’t matter to you. That fucking hurts Quinn.’ I told him while turning to face him.
‘It’s Alison, Lilly. You’re going to fucking blow things out of proportion? She doesn’t matter to me, you and Hayden do!’ He tried convincing me.
‘You know, she might not matter, but the fact that you said it is what hurts me.’
‘You want a family right Lilly?’ He asked me, like everything that was said before that didn’t matter.
‘Yeah I do, but I don’t want her calling and saying shit like that.’ I sighed.
‘Just hold on a minute.’ He said. ‘You really shouldn’t take what she says to heart.’
‘I don’t, not really. Why did you answer her call? Why didn’t you just hang up on her in the first place?’ I asked him.
‘I didn’t take the time to look at the caller id. You’re not letting me say what I want to say.’ He told me.
‘Well, say what it is you want.’ I said looking him in his eyes.
‘You shouldn’t worry about Alison because she’s not the one I just went and bought a wedding ring for.’ He explained in one breath.
‘What?’ I asked.
‘Despite everything I’ve done to you. And I don’t even know why you still love me. I was wondering…’ He got down on one knee. ‘Would you marry me?’
‘You know what Quinn,’ I began, ‘Yes I will.’
‘Don’t sound too thrilled.’ He smiled as he slid the ring on my finger.
‘Wasn’t trying to.’ I smiled at him, forgetting everything that happened earlier. ‘I was hoping this would happen some day.’
‘Well today’s that day.’ He said. ‘You know, this isn’t very romantic Lilly. What the hell?’
‘You’re the one who was suppose to plan the romantic stuff.’ I laughed and kissed him on the cheek.
‘Oh come on, please just let it rain.’ Quinn pleaded with the sky as he pulled me into his arms. ‘You’re no fun Lilly.’
‘Oh that’s real nice.’ I joked and passionately kissed him on his lips.
‘You should be more excited. You’re going to be an Allman, that’s an honour.’ He kissed me back.
‘Really?’ I asked moving behind him and jumping up on his back, ‘Let’s go home.’
‘I’m not carrying you all the way there uh-uh.’ He grabbed me underneath my legs as I wraps my arms around his neck.
‘Aw, you know you will, because you love me right?’ I asked.
‘Isn’t asking you to marry me enough for one day?’ He whined and started walking in the direction we came from.
‘If you say so.’ I laughed as we headed home.
‘I wish it would’ve rained.’ He sighed, then began laughing.
‘Me too, but then I probably wouldn’t of been able to keep my hands off you.’ I said.
‘That’s a good thing.’ He reminded me. ‘Wanna shower when we get home?’
‘Sure.’ I smiled.
I was sitting on the couch as Branden ran from the hallway into the kitchen screaming like a girl. Soon after, Hayden ran past growling like a lion.
‘Ohh my!’ Branden shrieked. I heard the front door open and saw Lilly and Quinn walk in.
‘Hey you two.’ I smiled as Bert came and sat down next to me.
‘Hey, we’re off to the shower.’ Quinn said as he headed to the bathroom with Lilly following after him.
‘Alright. No more information needed.’ I mumbled, laughing slightly. Bert reached across me for the remote control. I quickly snatched it before he could get to it.
‘Hey, that’s no fair.’ He whined.
‘I got to it first.’ I laughed sticking my tongue out at him. He moved toward me and started to tickle me, ‘Stop! No!’ I protested, but he didn’t give up until I handed over the remote.
‘Thank you babe.’ He smirked switching the TV on.
‘You cheated.’ I poked him in the chest.
‘Ouch, and no I just used some powers to win.’ He smiled again flipping through the channels.
‘Uh-huh,’ I muttered, ‘Wha-’
‘Hey, hey.’ Hayden interrupted, running up to me.
‘What? What?’ I asked just as enthusiastic as she. But before she said anything, Lilly and Quinn wandered out of the bathroom and she went running up to them. Lilly picked her up instantly and Quinn gave her a kiss on her forehead. They made me wonder what it’d be like to have a family with Bert. Quinn walked to the couch and sat down next to Bert.
‘Well, how did it go?’ Bert asked him.
‘Great man, great.’ Quinn replied. I was really confused. Lilly and Hayden came over to us and sat on the other side of me.
‘What’s going on?’ I asked her.
‘Quinn and I had an argument, then he asked me to marry him.’ She told me with a big smile on her face.
‘Really? Is it really going to work with him?’ I asked her looking over and pointing at Quinn.
‘Yeah, I hope so. I want to be a family.’ She said looking at Hayden.
‘Aren’t you worried at all?’ I wondered thinking about all the times he’s cheated on her.
‘About what?’ She asked.
‘You know, him ahem. Well, you know.’ I assumed she understood what I meant.
‘If you mean the cheating, yeah I’m worried, but I don’t really think about all that. I just want what’s best for Hayden, and I want to be with him. I love him.’ She said whispering the word “cheating”.
‘I just don’t want you to get hurt, even though he’s one of my best friends and so are you, I’d rather not see you get hurt again.’ I told her slightly smiling.
‘Don’t worry.’ She reassured me and stood up to sit by Quinn. He instantly cuddled up with her and kissed her. I somewhat envied them. I wouldn’t mind being like that with Bert, but I guess I have to give it some time. I looked out the window and saw the sun setting. Lilly and Quinn stood up to bring Hayden to bed, and went downstairs. I looked over at Bert and smiled before walking into the kitchen.
‘Hey Branden.’ I said sitting down across from him.
‘Little tired.’ I replied looking at the clock that read 9:32pm. Surprisingly early for the long day.
‘Cool.’ He said looking at the newspaper in front of him, ‘Huh, suppose to rain tomorrow.’
‘You’re no fun, goodnight.’ I gave him a half hug before leaving the room. ‘Goodnight Bert!’
‘Oh, wait up babe, I’ve got a surprise for you.’ Bert called running up behind me.
‘You always have surprises, when do you run out?’ I laughed walking into our bedroom.
‘Never.’ He smirked pushing me onto the bed. I noticed there were a bunch of candles lit all over the room. ‘Here’s your surprise.’ I laid down and watched him turn on some music and start dancing. I knew what was going to happen.
‘Bert, save yourself the work and come here.’ I told him.
‘I want to strip for you, well wanted to.’ He smirked laying on the bed next to me.
‘Well I’d rather have you here.’
‘Alright, alright.’ He smiled and began taking off my clothes.