Everyone returned at noon as promised. By that point Patrick and I managed to disengage ourselves from previous activities, showered and were now playing video games.
“I’ve got winner!” Joe proclaimed when they got back.
“Uncle Patrick! I got to go on the swings!” Alison ran in towards Patrick who paused the game right before she launched herself into his lap.
“Did you, Ali?” He caught her.
“Yup and Mr. Al showed me how to do the monkey bars.”
“Wow. So talented.” Alison beamed at him. “Thank you for all my pictures, Ali.”
“You’re welcome. Lauren helped me.”
“I know. You did a very good job.”
“Krissy, can I color some more?”
“Of course sweetheart. If you’ll run and get Collin’s bear, I’ll get your art stuff out.”
“Ok!” Alison jumped off Patrick’s lap and scampered to the back of the bus. Patrick unpaused the game and he and Lauren continued their game of Mario Kart. Lauren won and Joe took Patrick’s controller.
“Hey, Trick,” Pete started, “you wanna work on Car Crash Hearts in a bit?”
“Sure,” he replied, grabbing some food that the others brought back. The bus began to move.
Krissy set Alison up at the table, Lauren and Joe were battling epically, Evan and Andy were trying to coerce Collin into crawling, and Patrick and Pete disappeared for a second into the bunkroom before reappearing with an acoustic guitar and a tattered notebook,
respectively. They sat on the bench seat along the window.
Patrick said, “This is what I have so far.” He played a chord and sang out of Pete’s notebook, “So long live the car-crash hearts, Cry on the couch all the poets come to life, Fix me in forty-five.” He repeated, then stopped playing and said, “Does that sound ok for the chorus?”
“Ya, it’s awesome,” Pete said enthusiastically. “Do you have anything for the verse yet?”
“Kind of, it isn’t great though.” He played it anyway, singing, “That summer we took threes across the board, But by fall we were a cover story, ‘Now in Stores.’ Make us poster boys for your scene, But we are not making an acceptance speech. I have found the safest place to keep all our old mistakes, Every dot-com’s refreshing for a journal update.”
“Maybe try it like this?” Pete took the guitar and played and sang it with a few
adjustments. They continued trading the guitar, making changes, fixing things. They worked long after Lauren had defeated Joe, who decided to also go sit with Pete and Patrick with his guitar. Andy also wandered over, as they played he tapped his hands to a drum beat in his head. At some point, Pete went to get his bass. By the time an hour and a half had passed, they had all the parts worked out, and when they played all together, even though there were no amps, no real drums, no production, it sounded like a song.
When they had finished they looked around to the rest of us. I was smiling, thoroughly enjoying myself. Alison had crawled into my lap about fifteen minutes before and was watching them with intense curiosity. Collin seemed to be the only one unaffected. In the silence that followed the song, he rocked back and forth on his hands and knees, until, with a squeal, he managed to move himself forward.
Alison, always vigilante, snapped her head in Collin’s direction. “Look, everybody!”
Everybody did, Collin was now scooting around the floor. Krissy and I started picking up things on the floor that could now be a hazard while the boys sat on the floor beckoning to Collin trying to get him to crawl to them. Alison went back to her coloring. When she finished her picture she ran over to Joe and tugged on his sleeve.
“Yes, little?” He asked, grabbing her and tickling her in his lap.
“I wanna play that game that you and Uncle Patrick and Lauren were playing.”
I thought Joe was going to cry. He looked so pleased. He then looked to me and Krissy. “Please can I teach her? Please? Please?”
Alison joined in on his pleading. I looked at Krissy who shrugged then to Patrick who did the same. “Go for it Joe.”
“Yes!” Joe and Alison high-fived. He picked her up and ran over to the television explaining how to turn it on. Then he sat with her in his lap, her hands on the controller, teaching her to navigate through the game.
As they played, I went to pick up Collin who had had enough of the ‘Collin Crawl to Me’ game and was now fussy. “Someone needs a bottle and a nap, huh?”
His head fell to my chest and he quieted almost immediately. I kissed the top of his fuzzy head and went to make him a bottle. While I waited for it to heat, I looked around the room. Krissy was now at the table, coloring in Alison’s coloring book, Pete and Patrick had put away their instruments and Joe’s guitar and had come to join Andy and Evan as they watched Joe and Alison play Mario Kart. They were cheering and offering advice, so I decided to take Collin to the back room hoping he would fall asleep faster if it was quieter when I fed him.
I sat with him on the bed and watched as he drank his bottle, his eyes blinking slower and slower, content. He finished his bottle quickly, and after I burped him, I put him in his crib for a nap. I was walking out of the room when he began to cry. I went back and picked him up. He was instantaneously quiet. I tried to put him back in the crib, but as soon as I let go of him he was crying again.
“You just want to be held. No napping in the crib for you then?” He cooed up at me. I sighed and smiled. “Fine.”
I walked him back and forth in the room, soon his eyes were closed and his breathing evened out. He was asleep. I put him in the crib, again he started to fuss, not crying but he wiggled and squeaked in his sleep. I picked him up again so he wouldn’t wake himself up. There were worst things than holding a sleeping baby. Carrying Collin, I went back into the bunkroom, pulling out my laptop bag from where it was under Evan’s bunk. Then I sat back down on the bed, leaning up against the headboard. I managed to get my computer out, my headphones in, and a movie cued up to play without waking Collin.
Fifteen minutes later, Krissy came looking for me. “Adorable.”
I paused my movie and looked up at her with a smile. “Isn’t he the cutest?”
“And why are you holding him? He’s obviously asleep. I was just coming to make sure everything was ok?”
“He was fussy every time I put him in the crib. He just wanted to be held.”
“You spoil him,” she was grinning.
“Only a little bit.”
“So,” Krissy sat down. “Tell me things.”
“Well you and Patrick…I mean I found you in bed together this morning. I’m assuming that you two worked things out?”
I could feel my face turn red as I nodded.
“Why are you blushing?” When I didn’t answer, she continued, louder, “What happened?!”
I hushed her. “Sleeping baby, remember.”
“Oh.” quieter she said, “I want details. Spill, Laur.”
“Nothing,” I said defensively. “We’re just together is all.”
“Like just together,” she asked, “or together together?” Again I didn’t answer. In an excited whisper she asked, “Did you sleep with him?”
I couldn’t help it. I grinned and looked up at her.
“SLUT!” She yelled with a smile on her face. Realizing she had shouted she looked down at the baby, who had screwed up his face at the sound, but had remained asleep. To me she said, “I mean that in the best way.”
I laughed, “Of course.”
“Was it any good?”
“Now you’re prying.” I meant it, but I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
“It was.” Krissy clapped her hands. “Oh, yay! This is great.”
I laughed. “It doesn’t really apply to you.”
“But it makes you happy. And Patrick is great. Especially compared to Mark. He-“
“We’re not talking about him,” I said cutting her off. Even the mention of his name made my stomach clench.
Krissy was looking at me with concern. “Ok.” Then she brightened. “It is great though. You seemed so happy this morning when we got back.”
“I am happy.” The smile came back to my face.
“And that’s the best thing.” She kissed my temple. “I’ll let you get back to your movie.”
I blew her a kiss as she left the room, shutting the door behind her. I started up my movie again. I must have been really engrossed in it because it wasn’t until the bed shifted beside me a half an hour later that I noticed someone else was in the room. Lips kissed my
cheek as I took the headphones out and turned to see Patrick sitting next to me. I smiled.
“You know that baby’s asleep right?” He asked softly, a smirk on his face.
“Really?” I looked down at Collin, mock disbelief on my face. “Amazing.”
“It is, isn’t it?” His tone was serious now, his chin coming to rest on my shoulder so he could look down at Collin. “Ridiculously amazing.”
I turned my head and beamed at him. “So cute.”
His attention was still on the baby. “Ya, he is.”
“No. Well, yes, but I was mostly talking about you.”
He looked up at me. I leaned forward and kissed him lightly. He smiled. I looked back down at the baby who had been sleeping like a rock for the last half an hour. He was getting heavy. “I think he’ll probably sleep in his crib now.”
I moved to the edge of the bed, stood up and put Collin in among his blankets. He didn’t stir this time, just stretched a little. I stood there for a moment to make sure he wouldn’t cry again. I felt Patrick’s arm slide around my waist. I let my head drop to his shoulder. “You’re good at this.”
He kissed the top of my head. After a few more seconds he asked, “What were you watching?”
I looked back toward the bed where an image was frozen on my screen. I bounced on the bed back to my spot. “Only the best movie ever.”
“Which is?” Patrick sat back down too.
“I love Pulp Fiction.”
“Wanna watch it with me?” He nodded, I continued, “We have to use headphones though, because you know who is sleeping.”
He nodded again. I handed him an earbud and leaned up against him, balancing the computer on our legs and pressed play. A few moments later he chuckled and kissed my temple. I looked up at him. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing.” He was still grinning. “It’s just that a girl like you is impossible to find.”
A/N:I know. vom. so cute. can't. handle. ok now that that's out of the way, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I promise I'm still writing this. it's just going really really REALLY slowly right now. Love, Corri P.S. also I wish you would read and review my other story =) Go Ahead and Burn It Down. I have lots of that written, just waiting to be posted. just so you know.