You can't come in, you gotta go home. You can't come in, now leave me alone.
"Alright, alright. I know this was a few years ago now but I got a good one here for ya." The presenter drawled, milking up his attention. "Okay, so what did the man on the beach say to Michael Jackson?"
He waited for an answer while Patrick exhaled in pity.
"Tell me, I'm dying to know." He muttered to the TV.
"Get out of my sun!" The presenter laughed.
"Oh ha ha ha!" Patrick forced a fake laugh out and growled at the TV.
"Jesus Christ." He muttered, switching the TV over with his elbow. He found the pedophile jokes even more disgusting now he had his own kids.
He listened to the news drone on about a shooting in New York, and some celebrities business that had happened practically just down the valley from his house.
"Ow." He said, bending over the sink as a shooting pain erupted across his stomach and ripped through his spine.
"Fuck." He said, drying his hands and walking, with difficulty upstairs. He quickly checked on Danielle and Josh in their separate rooms, and made his way to his own. He stopped halfway as another pain exploded through his lower abdomen.
"Fuuuuck." He moaned, clutching his stomach and making his way over, then llying on his bed, burying his face in his pillow. They came and went every few minutes, and he tried desperately to fall asleep, his face screwed up and his teeth clenched as he tried to ignore the pain consuming his lower body. He prayed Danielle or Josh wouldn't wake up, because the pains were so bad he could hardly shift onto his other side.
"Patrick? You in?" Pete asked, thumping on the door a few days later. It had been a few days since he'd seen Patrick or the others, he'd been too busy trying to look after Petey and not get thrown out of his home for breathing too loudly. The front door opened hastily to reveal an extremely tired looking Patrick with his finger to his lips.
"Shut up. I just got Josh to sleep, he had a screaming fit." He said wearily, leaving the door open for Pete to follow him into the kitchen.
"What's up?" He asked Pete as he leant against the kitchen counter.
"Uh, well. I just came to see how you're doing."
"I'm good. What's that?" Patrick asked, pointing to a paper Pete had folded under his arm. Pete shifted and brought it out from under his arm, unfolding it and opening it out.
"Well, I just thought I would... I thought... you might wanna take a look at this."
"What is it?" Patrick asked, gesturing for him to come over.
"Well, um, I was reading the birth announcements, right? 'Cause I wanted to make sure my mom hadn't put one in for me, you know what she's like. And... instead I... found this."
Pete laid the paper on the counter and Patrick craned his neck to read it.
Christina Johns and Daniel Shepherd are delighted to announce the birth of their son, William Harry, who was born on August 2nd, 4:56AM, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, in London, England. We would like to thank our families here and everyone overseas for their thoughts and well wishes.
"Oh, my God." Patrick said slowly, reading and re-reading the notice.
"I'm sorry, man." Pete said, as their eyes met.
"Fuck." Patrick whispered.
Patrick's cheeks flushed red again as he sat down and avoided Pete's eyes.
"You know when the kids were born... like right before? And Christina was calling me and I didn't."
"Didn't pick up the damn phone, yeah." Pete laughed.
"Yeah, well, you know when I had those stomach pains and you guys said they were sympathy pains?"
Pete nodded for him to go on.
"I had them again last week. On Tuesday, which was August the 2nd." Patrick admitted.
"Yeah. Jesus, I'm such a fucking idiot. What am I? A woman?"
"No, no you're not!" Pete said, sitting down opposite him. "You just care way too much."
"I'm sorry about telling you, I just didn't want you to find out anywhere else, if you get what I mean."
Patrick nodded and shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, there's no reason it should bother me."
"Uh, hello? Patrick, now your kids half a half brother. That should bother you. They'll never meet him!"
"So? They'll never meet Christina, either."
"What, you're seriously telling me that you're not going to let them see Christina when they're older?"
"I never said that. It's just for their safety. You never know what she could do." Patrick said. "Anyway, they have each other, they don't need their half brother to make their life 'complete'."
"Well, do you not think that when they're older they're going to want to meet the mother they never had? Along with their half brother?"
"Pete, I don't want to get into this now. Seriously."
"Okay." Pete said slowly. "But..."
"Pete! Seriously, drop it!" Patrick said, raising his voice as he spun around. "I could care less about Christina and her baby. The only thing that matters is my babies."
"Okay! Okay, sorry." Pete said, holding his hands up. "I guess I can't do anything right around here." He said, turning around. He wasn't in the mood to be yelled at anymore. He'd spent the past few days being screamed at and slapped away by Rachel, he didn't need his best friend to act as though his words were better left unsaid.
"Oh, Pete, don't walk out. Don't ever walk out on a fight or an argument." Patrick said, pulling him back. Pete weakened and turned around.
"Why?" He asked, as he followed Patrick into his living room.
"Because what if that was the last conversation we had? That wouldn't exactly be the perfect goodbye. What if the last thing I'd done with Amanda was have a huge fight?" Patrick asked. Pete didn't understand whether the question was rhetorical or meant to be answered, so he replied with a mumble of 'sorry'.
"So how's things at home?"
Pete groaned and rubbed at his the back of neck slowly, wondering where to start.
"They're pretty much worse than awful." He replied, his voice low and solemn.
"So nothing's better?"
Pete shook his head in response.
"No. Rachel's just... she won't let me come near her. She sleeps with her back to me, well, the times she allows me to sleep in the bed. And if I go to kiss her or even touch her... she backs away. And she cries, and if I ask her if I've done anything wrong she ignores me."
"Is she letting you touch Pete?" Patrick asked.
"No." Pete said.
"Man, that blows." Patrick said, aware that he was stating the obvious but, he couldn't think of anything else to say. Imagining you weren't even allowed to touch your own child without being made to feel guilty made his insides burn with sympathy for Pete, who was chewing at his lip, his eyes blank and tired.
"Okay, she has baby blues. Fair enough. But how am I supposed to help her if she won't let me near her or the baby?" Pete asked, this time Patrick didn't know if it was rhetorical, or whether he was just voicing his own thoughts.
Patrick made an indecipherable sort of unassured noise, and scratched his head.
"That doesn't sound like baby blues." Patrick said.
"No. I mean, I had the baby blues. Crying, feeling anxious, the whole thing." Patrick said. "And before you ask, yes, men get it." He added, as Pete opened his mouth.
"Oh." Pete said. "What did you do? Trade baby blues for wide eyed browns?"
Patrick rolled his eyes and pretended not to hear the joke as he continued.
"Sounds like Rachel has postpartum depression."
"Oh, God." Pete said, dropping his head. "Great. It's enough she has a fiance who has severe depression but to have it yourself?"
Patrick looked at him, confused.
"I was seeing it from Rachel's view." Pete said.
"Right. Pete, maybe... if Rachel isn't letting you near her, you should see a Doctor."
"If I need to see a Doctor about anything, it's about how celibate I've been for the past ten months!" Pete replied. He replayed it and understood how selfish he sounded.
"You're right. But maybe I should wait a while? You know, see if it clears up?"
"If you want to live to see your marriage, then by all means, do whatever you think is right. Just make sure you solve the problem before it gets too much, and one of you leaves."
"I will." Pete said defiantly. He made up his mind. He would save his relationship before it destroyed them both.
That night Pete stood watching himself in the mirror in his bathroom. He was sweating and his heart was racing. He was going to confront Rachel but he was terrified that everything would end right there and then.
He walked down the stairs slowly and leant over the banister to see Rachel sitting in the living room.
"Honey?" He asked, knowing there was no point using affectionate names but still chanced using it anyway.
"What?" Rachel replied, dully.
"I, uh... I think we should talk." Pete said, apprehensively as he approached her. He sat down on the coffee table in front of her as she snapped her 'First Time Parenting & What to Expect' book closed and folded her arms.
"What about? It better be quick because the baby needs his feed."
"Um, okay." Pete said. "Look... I think we need help."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I just feel like you don't need me anymore. Like, it's you and Pete and... then there's me." He said, explaining with hand movements where he felt his position was.
Rachel stayed quiet, looking at her hands and sighing as though he were a nuisance.
"See?!" Pete exclaimed, standing up. "You could care less that I feel like this."
"Don't be so stupid." Rachel said.
"You don't look me in the eye anymore!" He said, defensively. "You don't touch me anymore. If I come near you, you back away. If I touch you... you flinch. Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is to see the woman you love distance herself from you? No, you don't."
He turned around and ran a hand through his hair before turning back, dropping his hands to his side.
"I realize the whole mom thing is hard. I do. I understand you had a hard pregnancy. And God knows I know you had a hard birth. But... I'm trying to help, not piss you off!"
After receiving no reply, he sighed and sat down, defeated.
"We're getting married. We're meant to be able to talk to each other. And you're just pushing me away and... I can't watch it. I don't want to be a little part of your life. We're a family."
Rachel still stayed silent and Pete buried his head in his hands.
"I think we need to see a Doctor. I think you have postpartum depression." He said slowly.
"Don't be ridiculous. Don't you dare accuse my son of making me depressed."
"He's my son too! And I'm not accusing him or you of anything! It's the whole first time mom stress that brings it on, Rachel. I'm not trying to make you feel bad."
"I think you're being selfish, Pete. You're jealous of the fact that our son needs a lot of looking after. And now you're playing the victim by pouting and scowling."
"I am not! And if he's our son, as you so put it, why won't you let me touch him?"
"Oh, grow up, Pete! He's right there to touch! If you want to pick him up, then fucking pick him up! You've just been letting me do all the hard work while you go off round to Patrick's because his kids can talk!"
"That's not what I'm doing! I go around there because he listens to me, and you push me out saying you don't need my help! If you just let me help, then I'll..."
The baby monitor on the coffee table suddenly screeched, and Pete's head snapped around to look at it. Within a few seconds, Rachel threw her hands up in the air.
"Oh, don't rush, Pete, I'll go!" She yelled, and started up the stairs.
"You didn't even give me a chance!" Pete argued, running up behind her. "Let me do it!"
"Do you have breasts?" She asked, rounding on him. He took a step back and held his hands up.
"No, no. I was just..." He spoke into silence as she closed the door on him. He leant his back against it and sighed.
"Trying to help." He whispered.
When Rachel came out of the room, she came downstairs and made to walk past Pete, but he took hold of her arm gently and spun her round to look at him.
"Look, I don't know what your problem is, Jenny, but you really need to listen to what I'm..." He stopped abruptly, his eyes fixated on hers. It was then he realized she was looking him in the eye. That was all he concentrated on, rather than what he'd just said.
"Did you just call me Jenny?"
"No..." Pete said, desperately.
"You did! You little fucker!" Rachel screamed. "How dare you compare me to her!"
"If I did, it's only because you're being just as fucking bitchy as her!" Pete yelled back. Rachel picked up a plate off the dinner table, and Pete shielded himself with a box of cereal as she flung it at him, though at last minute she changed direction and threw it above his head instead. It smashed off the wall and hundreds of pieces burst into the air, one catching Pete above his eyebrow.
"Don't you dare tell me I'm anything like her. I don't know if you noticed, Pete, but I love you! She never did! I can't believe you!"
"If you love me then let me fucking pick up my son!" Pete said, brushing his forehead. It really stung for a piece of china.
"When you're acting like a spoilt brat? You got another thing coming, boy!" She shouted. "Get out!"
Pete stood up straight, dropping the box on the ground, where it spilt, mixing with the pieces of china.
"Until you're sensible enough to be a father, you can get out! And until you can accept how irrational you're being, our engagement is as good as /off!/"
Pete stood watching her. He'd never seen her this angry, and the worst thing was that she didn't know it was all because of depression. She was blaming him. That hurt him more than being pushed out.
"Fine." He said, stepping over the china and cereal. "But until you realize how much I love you..." he broke off, unable to look her in the eyes.
"Get out!" She yelled, pulling her engagement ring off and throwing it at him. It caught him on the side of his head and hurt just as much as the plate. It was literally like she was throwing their love away.
He grabbed his jacket from the banister, and pulled his own engagement ring off his finger, before turning to give her one last look as she watched him, before slamming the door behind him.
"Pete, twice in one day? What's wrong? Why are you bleeding?" Patrick asked, opening the door to reveal on one side, a very tired and angry Pete, while inside a very excited Danielle and Josh who were running around the house. Patrick was out of breath, and it was obvious when Pete looked behind Patrick that he'd been chasing Danielle and Josh around, because they were in their pajamas and extremely hyper.
"Can I stay with you?"