Pete takes Patrick on a visit, and Patrick gets a message from an old... 'friend'.
"I don't love you anymore." Rachel repeated. Pete gawped at her.
"You don't...? You... You don't love me anymore?"
Rachel shook her head. Pete stood up and watched as Petey crawled along the floor over to Rachel. Just like he was taking sides.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean what I said. That I don't love you."
"Why? Why can you just stop loving me?"
"I haven't just /stopped/." Rachel replied. "I've been trying to make it work for so long."
"When? When you snapped at me every time I brought you flowers? Or the forty eight hours I spend with you when we had Pete?"
"When we had him?" Rachel laughed sarcastically. "Pete, I do not recall any children coming out of your vagina!"
"Last thing I recall, I was the one doing all the hard work while you just sat there!"
"I held your hand! I cuddled you! I supported you! What else am I supposed to do? I don't have a vagina! I was pretty limited to the help I could give you!"
"Well, well done. Moaning all night must have been a hard job."
"So what are you going to do when you leave?"
"Me and Petey will go back to Australia."
"What? You can't do that!"
Rachel pointed to behind the couch, one small suitcase sat beside a larger one.
"You've packed?!" Pete exclaimed.
"I can't stay here, Pete. I'm miserable."
"And how do you suggest I see my son when he's on the other side of the world?"
"Well, you're the musician. You should be used to missing your family.'
'You are being so unreasonable!" Pete said, loudly. "I don't get used to missing people. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to leave you?"
"Yes, I do. Because it's damn hard leaving you. I loved you, Pete. But there's nothing left here anymore."
"Yes, yes, there is." Pete said, desperately, clutching her arm with one hand and desperately stroking Petey's face and running his hand down to hold his tiny one at the same time. "We love each other, and we have such a beautiful son."
"We have a beautiful son. But we don't love each other." Rachel replied.
"We do! We do. You're just mad at me." Pete said, his voice straining.
"You might love me, Pete. But I don't love you. I can't do it anymore. I've tried, but I can't, and I'm sorry."
"Rachel, you can't leave me. Please, I'll do anything. Anything, you name it, I'll do it. I'll fix my schedule, I'll do anything. Please, don't leave me here. At least let me let you stay in the house." Pete said, his eyes wide as he watched her pull her case with one hand and balance Petey on her hip.
"We're way beyond fixing, Pete." Rachel said, taking one last long look at him before closing the door. Pete stood by the window, his mouth trembling, before bursting into tears for the first time in three years. His tears cascaded down his face as he watched Rachel get into the taxi, then pulled away, leaving him alone again.
That night, Patrick couldn't sleep. He lay awake, staring at the ceiling, feeling his stomach fluttering as he replayed the night over in his head. The conversation, the laughter, the way Addison's eyes sparkled when she laughed. And that kiss... he couldn't get it out of his mind. It felt wonderful to have butterflies in his stomach, and for his head to think of nothing but the last few hours he'd spent in the company of a woman who made him feel like he was 18 again. Who gave him more hope than she realized she did.
But he wasn't 18 anymore. He was 26, and he had kids of his own, as did Addison. As much as he liked her, he had to be careful that in his desire to become happy again, that his actions didn't hurt his children, or confuse them in any way. He also had to make sure he didn't hurt himself again in the process.
But as he thought this, his eyes drifted back to the photo on his bedside table, and once again he was very aware Amanda's side of the bed remained empty.
'But I have to move on, right? I need someone.'
He tried to tell himself over and over that he'd only gone on a date, nothing big. But at the same tie, a voice in his mind was screaming 'nothing big? Nothing big? You were on a date, for Christ's sake! Why else would you kiss her? And stop kidding yourself - you like Addison and you know it. You're just scared.'
He turned on his side and shook his head. Of course he was scared. He had a right to be. He closed his eyes, and tried to live in the moment. Forget his past. It had consumed him for so long.
It was time for him to move on.
On the other side of town, Pete lay in bed too, but he had a different reason for his churning stomach. For the first time in ears, he slept alone in his bed. He had slept alone before, but that had been on his bunk on tour, and he had known that when he returned home, Rachel was waiting for him with open arms.
But now... her arms were folded and if he jumped into them he would keep falling, faster and faster until he did nothing but fall.
Now... everything was wrong. He was alone, again. He would rarely see his own son if Rachel took him to Australia. He couldn't bear not seeing him. Or Rachel. He just couldn't figure out where their relationship had gone wrong. He hadn't really said or done anything out of order. He realized Rachel had changed. She was a mother now. But he was a father, and he wanted his son to grow up with parents who lived together. Or lived in the same country, at least. He loved Rachel more than anything. How could she suddenly stop loving him? What had he done?
He wondered what she was doing right now. And wondered how she could break his heart and walk away, taking everything he loved for with her as she went.
What had he done?
"Well, good morning, mister." Addison said, sidling up to Patrick as he waved at Danielle and Josh as they scampered off with Riley. They had gotten to the stage where they were bored of Patrick fussing around them, telling him he could drop them off outside the door if he wanted.
"You aren't teenagers. You can't avoid me. Yet. I'll be cool, I promise." He'd told them.
"Hey, miss. How're you?"
"I'm good." Addison smiled. "I'm very, very good. I had an amazing time last night."
"So did I."
"So... I was thinking we could do it again, sometime?" Addison asked.
"Uh, sure. Next Saturday?"
"Sounds good." Addison replied. She stayed close to Patrick but whispered.
"I know the kiss last night was a little hasty..."
"Oh. Listen, I'm sorry, I just..." Patrick started, his heart sinking.
"Oh, no, don't get me wrong! I liked it. I really, really liked it. I just don't think we should let the kids see us doing that..."
"I agree." Patrick said, relieved she wasn't letting him down.
"Great." Addison said, she herself was relieved. She looked at her watch.
"I've got to go - I'm late. I'll see you at 12." She said with a smile, pecking him on the cheek, before leaving him, his heart somersaulting as he stared after her.
Patrick sat reading his paper, enjoying his stress free morning while he had no chores to do or errands to run. Turning the page of the paper, he wasn't surprised to see a picture of Pete. What he was surprised at was the fact that his ring finger was circled, missing his wedding ring. As usual when the paparazzi managed to corner him, he was scowling and trying to cover his face. Patrick stared as he read the headline.
PETE WENTZ ENGAGEMENT CALLED OFF, BANNED FROM SEEING SON.
"Fuck." Patrick said, scanning the article. Still, he remembered not to take everything he read seriously. People stopped at nothing to acquire readers.
He needed to find out for himself.
"Pete?" Patrick knocked on the door several times and looked through his letterbox. There was no reply. He hadn't realized he hadn't seen Pete for over three weeks until he read the paper. Feeling guilty, he rapped on the window.
Instead, he faintly saw a figure lying on the couch, the flickering lights from the TV lighting up the room before fading and appearing again. Patrick knocked gingerly on the window. The figure sat up, quickly, and rose.
"Pete?" Patrick called. He returned back to the front door and waited until Pete's figure could be made out from the frosted glass of the widow. It approached nearer and Pete opened the door a fraction.
"I don't wanna talk right now."
"Pete, are the papers true?"
Irritated, Pete looked at the ground before catching Patrick's eye.
"Yeah. They're gone."
"Where?" Patrick asked. Pete wrenched the door open angrily.
"I don't know! Queensland? New South Wales? All I know is they've left me alone and they're not coming back!"
"What?" Patrick asked in disbelief. Was Pete joking?
But looking at Pete's appearance he could see nothing funny. He had dark circles etched along the bottom of his eyes, along with bags that were a telltale sign of insomnia. He was unshaven and the stubble caused him to look older than his 31 years.
"Oh, Pete." Patrick sighed. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah, well, don't be. 'Cause apparently it's my fault. As usual, there's no one else to blame but Pete."
"Then she just told me she didn't love me anymore." Pete said, solemnly, sitting opposite Patrick at the kitchen table. Patrick sat watching him, unable to think of anything that could console his best friend.
"It'll be okay, though, right? I mean, she'll come back soon. Won't she?" Pete asked Patrick, who knew too well that Pete was trying to lure himself into a sense of false hope. He only wished it would work on him, too.
"I don't know." Patrick shrugged, sadly.
"She can't stay away for long. She's just trying to make me nervous." Pete said, nodding along to his own words.
"I can't cope without her, Patrick." Pete said, shaking his head as his mouth trembled.
"I know." Patrick said, quietly.
"How could she do it?"
Patrick kept quiet. He was sure anything he said now would go in one ear and out the other.
"She's everything to me. And I thought I was everything to her. Apparently not." He sighed. "I've got to find a way to stop her leaving."
"Pete, you can't stop her. If she's made up her mind, there's no way of changing it. Remember how stubborn she is?"
"See? That's another thing." Pete exclaimed. "Now, whenever I talk about Rachel, it's going to be 'was' instead of 'is'. And 'used to be'. I can't take this."
"I'll find a way."
The next few weeks brought Addison and Patrick closer together, spending time at the weekends together along with mornings dropping the kids off. Every date Patrick took her on left him with the same feeling in his stomach - a mixture between nerves and excitement, and he couldn't bring himself to pick what he felt more. Every time he said goodbye left him wanting to wrench Addison's front door open and just kiss her.
But he couldn't.
So instead, he would turn away and walk towards the elevator, spending the duration of his drive home glancing at himself in the mirror and grinning. He was looking better than he had before. He was sleeping better at night - and his better moods caused Danielle and Josh to behave, half in fear of their father's happy mood to turn.
All in all, Patrick felt the familiar, tell-tale signs that he was falling in love.
/No, I'm not.
Then why are you still thinking of her?
You are. You're thinking of her right now.
Not true. I'm not thinking of her, and even if I was - it would be because you're telling me I'm thinking of her when I'm not.
You love her!
So answer me this; why is your stomach flipping?
'Cause... I'm nervous.
Why are you nervous?
Why are you so interfering?
I'm just doing my job. So why do you dream of her at night?
Because your mind replays what happened that day. And it replays how much you thought of her.
Listen to me - love is... love is thinking of them every single time you're not together. Love is when you fantasize about what you would do with them if they were there with you. Love is...
I don't fantasize!
You do so. Yours are just different. Anyone else would fantasize about making love to them, or kissing them. You... you fantasize about what your life would be like if you were with her.
You know - you think about it all. Marriage, kids, the house in the suburbs. You wanted it before, you still want it.
So... you're thinking about it with Addison. Otherwise you wouldn't be standing in front of your closet wondering what jacket she would prefer to see you in tonight.
Okay. so what if I think that stuff?
Oh, come on, Patrick! She doesn't even know your profession. She doesn't know the story behind the fact your kid's mom isn't around. She doesn't know why you were single when you met.
Because it never came up!
So tell her. She's told you practically everything about her. So it's your turn. Tell her you're the singer/guitarist in one of the biggest bands in America. Tell her you had to fight the biggest battle to be with your kids right now. And tell her why Amanda's not here.
Because she doesn't need to know about Amanda.
So why haven't you and Addison made love, yet?
Shut up! That's none of your business.
I'm your mind, of course it's my business. You feel guilty.
About Addison. You think Amanda can see you and she's disappointed you're not keeping your promise.
You've been on, what? Like, nine dates with this woman and you haven't made love? She's your girlfriend now.
Sure. And you know what couples, do, right?
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
Patrick put his hands over his ears and muttered the words too.
But he knew his mind was right. He did feel guilty.
He had to tell Addison everything, before it ruined what was starting./
"Pete, this is stupid. Where are we?" Patrick moaned. Pete had taken him somewhere he had refused to name, telling Patrick he would see when he arrived.
"Just watch your step." Pete said, keeping his hands firmly on Patrick's shoulders as he guided him. Patrick couldn't see, due to Pete's insistence of wearing a bandana around his eyes.
"If you're taking me to another stripper, I swear to God..."
"You don't believe in God, so you can't swear on him. Now shut up." Pete hissed, hauling Patrick up some steps. Patrick was aware he was now in a building. It was musty and somehow felt unfamiliar to him.
"Are you taking me to be beaten up or something?"
"Be quiet." He heard Pete knock on a door after speaking.
"Shut /up/." Pete mumbled. He felt Pete straighten up a little and speak.
"Hi, uh... this is my friend I was telling you about. He's a little skeptical about this sort of thing, so I had to blindfold him." Pete laughed. A woman's laugh joined him and Patrick shook his head.
"Where am I? Can I take this off?"
"Oh, yeah. Sorry." Pete unwrapped the bandana and Patrick found himself in a small room, with a simple round table under a light in front of him.
"Take a seat. Patrick, isn't it?" A woman appeared beside him and smiled at him. She had auburn hair and bespectacled eyes that had traces of a sparkle that had faded. Her smile was friendly, but it didn't make Patrick feel any more comfortable.
"Jesus, you're better than I thought!" Pete said with a laugh.
"That's why they call me the best." She laughed back.
"Okay, would someone tell me where I am? And how you know my name?" Patrick asked, irritated, looking up at them from his seat.
"I'm Liz." The woman said, taking the seat opposite him while Pete stayed standing.
"Liz is a physic medium." Pete told him, folding his arms and watching Patrick.
"Oh, /what?/" Patrick sighed, not meaning to sound rude. "Pete..."
"Just try it. I think it'll do you good." Pete said, quickly, flashing him a warning look. "Liz is the best in LA."
"And what exactly do you do?"
"I give messages to loved ones from ones who've passed away." Liz told him, it was slightly obvious she was either hurt or offended at Patrick's bluntness.
"And how do I know you're not a faux?" Patrick said, straightforwardly. Practically every other woman in LA was convinced she could talk to the dead - this was nothing new.
"Just trust her." Pete told him.
"Give me your hand." Liz said, gently.
"Do it!" Pete hissed.
Patrick rolled his eyes and held his hand out.
Liz closed her eyes and Patrick kept rolling his as she stayed silent. He jumped slightly when she spoke in a voice so unlike your own. Almost like...
"It's okay to miss me, but it's important to be happy."
She opened her eyes to find Patrick's own looking at her, his eyebrows raised.
"Is that it? Can you not tell me anything I could actually believe?"
"Patrick!" Pete mumbled, embarrassed.
"Who's the person you're supposedly getting this from?" He asked.
Liz closed her eyes again and became silent.
Patrick froze slightly, but shook his head.
"Pete could have told you that. Tell me something else."
"I didn't..." Pete started, but Liz spoke over him.
"Keep watching the stars."