Categories > Celebrities > Fall Out Boy > Everybody Wants Somebody

Chapter 11: Coast

by scarsandstories93 0 reviews

Sarah and Patrick deal with the aftermath of hooking up (mostly) sober. Cleaning up house.

Category: Fall Out Boy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Published: 2017-12-28 - 6362 words

“Drink down that gin and kerosene and come spit on bridges with me. Just to keep us warm, light a match to leave me be. Light a match to leave me be. I keep my jealousy close 'cause it's all mine, and if you say this makes you happy, then I'm not the only one lying.

“Keep quiet. Nothing comes as easy as you. Can I lay in your bed all day? I'll be your best-kept secret and your biggest mistake. The hand behind this pen relives a failure every day…”

Sarah knew it was going to be a good morning because she woke up to the smell of bacon and pancakes and not to a splitting headache. She could hear Patrick singing one of her favorite songs in the kitchen. Adjusting to the sunlight peeking through her window, the next sensation demanding her attention was the soreness radiating throughout her legs and torso; she felt the urge to lift the covers and to check over her naked body. Holy shit! Bruises lined her hips and inner thighs, sprinkled over with hickies and other love bites. She closed her eyes and traced over them, reminiscing over the night before; she grinned to herself. Eventually, the added aroma of fresh coffee pulled her from the comfort of her bed, and she threw on a robe before exiting into the hallway.

Platters of fresh pancakes and bacon with two place settings awaited her at the kitchen table, where Patrick was just sitting down with two mugs of coffee.

“Good morning, sleepyhead,” he said with a small grin. Sarah noticed how even in the morning light, with bleached blonde hair strewn about every which way and wearing only a wrinkled undershirt with boxers, he looked too good to be true. She caught herself staring and sat down next to him.

“Good morning to you, too.” She smiled back at him. “Breakfast?”

“Uh, yeah.” He turned towards the microwave, checking the time. “Well, I guess brunch now.”

“Huh, yeah.” Jesus could I be more awkward?

They took turns grabbing pancake stacks and strips of bacon, exchanging small pleasantries between passing the syrup but largely eating in silence. Sarah stuffed herself more and more just to keep her mouth full. She began pulling at the edges of her napkin, anything to occupy her hands as her mind spiraled out of control. Shit shit shit shit what did we just do I was gushing this morning like an idiot he probably regrets fucking me that’s why he made all this food so he could let me down easily goddamn gentleman and for fuck’s sake why I did I tell him that I loved him fuck you, drunk Sarah, fuck you for probably fucking up one of the only good things in my life I am never—holy fucking shit he’s holding my hand. Patrick picked up her hands and held them tenderly in his own as he softly rubbed his thumb over them.

“I want to talk about last night.” Here we go, she thought. “I woke up pretty early this morning, which, you know, is not really something I do, so I had some time to think and,” I knew it was a fucking mistake, “you were right. I don’t need to marry Elisa. I don’t even want to marry Elisa.” He smiled at her. What is he—“When I opened my eyes this morning, the first thing I saw was you, asleep. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you, you looked so beautiful, and I realized that I never wanted to leave that moment. And I needed you to know that I meant what I said to you.” Oh my god. She blushed slightly. “About you, about how you I think you could be the person I’ve been hoping for. And I’d be the biggest fucking fool in this whole universe if I didn’t give us the chance to explore that. Despite all the of this other shit.” He held her hands a little tighter. “I want you. I want us, this. I even want mornings where I wake up to you and I hate mornings.” They laughed. Sarah’s vision began to blur around the edges with happy tears. There was silence for a moment. “So, what do you say?”

“I—I just—I mean, wow.” A smile quickly spread across her face, though a worry appeared behind her eyes. “I’m glad that you don’t feel the need to marry Elisa, but that doesn’t change the fact that you two will still be parents together. That means that she’ll be part of our lives, of my life. And not just her but a baby, too. I chose not to become a mother two months ago, despite wanting to be one, because I wasn’t ready. I’m still not. And I think it’d be really, really hard to see a kid growing up who would’ve been the same age as mine.”


“That’s not the only thing, though.” She took a deep breath. “I know I was drunk when I said it, but I do have feelings for you. I meant all of that. And I believe you when you say that you want this. But I am terrified of us not working out and I—I can’t lose you.” Tears slipped down her cheeks, and Patrick wiped them away.

“I know that’s all scary; I’m scared, too. But if for some reason we didn’t work, you wouldn’t lose me. You couldn’t. We’re too close and we’ve come too far.” Sarah shook her head.

“You don’t know that and you can’t promise that. I’ve heard it before, Patrick. We don’t know how or why we would end. It could be awful and then we’d never speak or hear from each other. I won’t put myself through that again.” They shared a knowing glance, letting Sarah’s words loom over them. Patrick sighed.

“I had time to think and sort everything out for myself. I’m just springing this on you.” He smiled at her as he stood up from the table. “It’s a lot to think about. Just promise me that you will? Think about it, I mean.”

“I will.” She smiled back at him. He nodded in acknowledgement and helped her clear the table.

With the dishes done, Patrick and Sarah retreated to her bedroom. He gathered his clothes from the previous night and changed into them. Even in last night’s suit…wow. She walked him to the door.

“Let me know when you’re ready to talk.” He smiled at her and kissed her cheek, shutting the door behind him.

What. The. Fuck. She held her face in her hands briefly before ruffling through her hair in frustration. What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the actual fuck. Sarah repeated this mantra in her head throughout an extra long, hot shower and getting ready for the day.

She wrapped herself in a robe again and leaned in the doorway of her studio. Her eyes checked over each instrument, remembering little moments of her budding musicianship. Her gaze lingered over the piano bench and the acoustic-electric guitar beside it, where she and Patrick played their first duet. Sarah shook her head and walked down the hall to the living room, collapsing into the couch and taking in the space around her. She saw the mugshot photo sitting on the coffee table and was suddenly reminded that that was the room where they had first gotten drunk together and subsequently had sex. She groaned and got up, almost stomping on her way back to her bedroom.

“I have to get out of here,” she said aloud. She threw on a white v-neck tee, cropped blue jeans, her pair of classic Vans, and a black cardigan, absentmindedly putting on the memento necklace from Patrick and slipping her parents’ ash ring on the chain as she walked out the door.


Sarah made her way to Lake Michigan, not really noticing that it had been her destination until she approached the shoreline. Despite the cool breeze and temperate nature of the early afternoon on a Sunday, she was surprised to find herself alone on the beach. Quickly, she braided her hair to keep it out of her face and slipped her shoes off as she walked toward the water. Small waves lapped at her feet, crashing and pulling out and curling and crashing again. It was the only sound she heard aside from the bustle of the city behind her. She was fiddling with the ring with her parents’ ashes as her thoughts drifted to them.

“Mom,” she spoke. “I don’t know if you’re there.” She paused. “That’s weird to say out loud. Or at all. You’re dead, and I’m pretty sure there isn’t an afterlife but if there was one, I doubt you’d be hanging around or even be close enough to hear me.

“I did what Patricia said you’d hoped I’d do. I didn’t go to Julliard. But I’m making music. Good music. And I have a record deal and a tour coming up. People like what I have to say and what I can do. I wish you could hear it.” Tears came and freely fell.

“Why did you have to go, Mom? Why did you leave me? Dad, why did you? I know we weren’t close when you were alive, and I regret that, but now I’m left with all of these, these feelings and I don’t know what to do with them. Aren’t I supposed to go to you with this? Isn’t this part of what parents are for?” Sarah was nearly sobbing. “It’s been over a year and just now it hit me that I’ll never get to go to you for big things. Or anything, but especially the big things. When I finish my first tour, or release this record.” She twirled the guitar pick holder on the necklace in her fingers, thinking of Patrick. “Or when I fall in love.” She smiled to herself.

“You’d have liked Patrick. Both of you. He’s driven and smart and creative. He’s doting and committed. He’s pretty much perfect.” Her smile faded. “But all that doesn’t change this mess we’re in. It doesn’t change that I could lose him if it doesn’t work out between us. First you two left me; I thought I was fine and then Bill ran out of my life and I was devastated at how we left things. I can’t lose another person but especially not Patrick. I won’t.

“So what the fuck am I supposed to do? How do I know what the right thing is? I can’t lose him, but how can I not try with someone who could be—you know?” A breeze picked up around her for a moment and died back down. “You were my parents but you never really parented. I always did what you asked or wanted, and I never asked anything in return. But I’m asking now. I need a sign, some way of knowing what should come next.

Sarah closed her eyes, clutching the ring, and found herself whispering, “Please send a sign.”

When she opened her eyes, she didn’t know what she was expecting. She stared out at the open lake, but nothing was different. The same waves crashed at her feet; the same breeze brushed against her skin. Her stomach grumbled, and Sarah trudged through the sand to her shoes, wiping off her feet before slipping them back on. She shot one last longing look at the lake as she went back into the city.

Sarah was shaking her head at herself whilst walking to a café downtown. Seriously? Asking for a sign from your dead parents to solve your relationship problems? Because that makes sense. This isn’t a fucking fairy tale, this isn’t fiction. She darted into the café, ordered a latte and sandwich “for here,” and claimed a small table while she waited.

As she lost herself in her thoughts, eyes blank, she felt a light tap on her shoulder.

“Sarah?” She shot up, surprised; her heart skipped a beat from anxiety. A familiar mop of brown hair, a boyish face. OH MY GOD THE FUCK IS HE DOING HERE?!

“William,” she responded softly, words nearly catching in her throat. He awkwardly pulled her into a short hug. Sarah barely had time to react and hoped he couldn’t feel her heart beating ferociously in her chest.

“It’s been awhile.” He gave a sheepish smile, clutching his to-go cup in his left hand. She noticed his wedding band gleam in the warm glow of the café.

“Yeah, it has. How’ve you been?” She did her best to reciprocate the gesture and invited him to join her at the table.

“Things have been okay,” he answered, accepting her invitation to sit. “I’ve been focusing more on solo work. And Christine and I—”

“Patrick told me.” Bill nodded to himself slowly. They shared an uncomfortable silence for what felt like ages. Sarah couldn’t stand it. “I haven’t heard from you since New York.”

“I know.” Bill sighed, eyes downcast. “I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about that lately. Well, not just about that. About us in general.” He took a short breath. “When Christine and I got back together, I realized I’d been, well that I’d been using you to fill the—the hole that she left. I think what I had felt for you was real, or at least I want to think that, but at the end of the day, I just wanted my family back. So when you told me you were—you know, and that you were going to—,” he sighed, “I lost it. I couldn’t stand the idea of my family being torn apart again.” He looked up at her. “Now I think about it, now that I can look back from this point, I see that you made the right choice and I’d had no right to treat you the way I did. And I’m really, really sorry.”

Sarah was shocked. She was unable to make eye contact or respond. She’d imagined this moment before, in angrier moments, but now that it was here?

“The texts you sent—”

“Were awful. Patrick, uh, actually ended up calling me a little while ago, cleared everything up. I really shouldn’t have believed Elisa. Did you know she’s nuts?” They shared a small chuckle.

“Yeah, yeah she is.”

“So tell me about you. Patrick also mentioned your tour for the fall and I heard the album is finished.” Sarah nodded enthusiastically, guard down.

“Yeah! We head out in the next couple weeks. The album will release in September.” She paused. “I suppose I should thank you. Without things ending the way they did between us, I might have still been stuck on that block, and the album would still be unfinished. Or at least, it would have been finished in a much less exciting way. So, uh, thanks for uh, for breaking my heart, I guess.” She winked at him to put him at ease.

“Well, then, you’re welcome.” He smiled back. “Not that you need me to tell you this, but you were always a great musician and a great person to be around. And I’ve missed you.” He took another deep breath. “I probably have no right to ask this, after everything I did, but can we, like, be friends? For real this time?” Sarah cocked an eyebrow in his direction.

“What does Christine think about that? Doesn’t she hate me?” He laughed.

“Don’t get me wrong, she definitely did while we were dating, but I’ve been sharing a lot of my feelings of guilt with her, and I don’t think she sees you as a threat. She’s actually been encouraging me to reach out to you to apologize, but I was too nervous.”

“Then, friends.” They smiled at each other, and the waiter delivered Sarah’s order.

“Can I tell you something? Ex to ex, or friend to friend I guess?” Sarah nodded. “You and Patrick. Even though what Elisa said happened wasn’t true, I’ve gotta say, you two are really, really good together. Are you seeing anyone?”

“No,” she admitted.

“Is he still with Elisa?”

“No, but—”

“Then for what it’s worth, I think you should go for it.” They exchanged a smile.

“Thanks, Bill.”

“Anytime.” A more comfortable silence came over them. Maybe I didn’t lose him after all.

“So, show me what you’ve been working on!”

“Yeah! I’d love your feedback…”


Bill and Sarah spent the afternoon catching up and diving into Bill’s budding solo career. As the minutes grew into hours, she was grateful for a real, true friend back in her life. She was also relieved that there weren’t any residual romantic feelings left between them. She felt clean.

In her enthusiasm, Sarah hardly noticed the incoming texts on her phone.

Vvvvbbbbbttt. Vvvvbbbbbttt.

She switched on the screen.

Patrick: Hey
Patrick: Are you busy?

Her thumb fidgeted with the edge of her phone, and she started lightly gnawing on her lower lip. Bill noticed the name on the messages.

“You should text him.” She looked up.

“Hm? No, no we’re hanging out. He can wait.”


She stole a quick glance of the screen again.
Patrick: I need to see you. It’s important.

“You really should get that,” Bill said, packing up his laptop. “Besides, it’s getting late and I promised Evie—”

“You’re right, we should both get going.” She smiled at him and gathered her things. They walked out of the café together. “It was really great to see you.”

“Likewise.” He gave her a small smirk.
“So, see you around?”

“You can bet on it.” They shared a friendly hug, and Bill headed off in the general direction of home. Sarah took out her phone, hesitating briefly before typing her reply.

Sarah: Where and when?


In for seven, out for eleven. In seven, out eleven.

Per Patrick’s instructions, Sarah let herself into his house and tried to make herself at home. This proved to be an especially difficult task for her. She’d done the exact same thing countless time before, and yet this time, she had to focus on meditative breathing as she fidgeted on his couch, waiting for him to walk in the door. Seven, eleven. Waiting for him to…what? Rush in and kiss her? Seven, eleven. Waiting for everything to work out? Seven, eleven.

Her phone dinged, sending her heart rate skyrocketing:

Patrick: Bringing takeout, taking longer than I thought.
Patrick: Already ordered your usual.

Damn him, she thought as she thrust herself up to standing. She paced around the living room, losing herself in the small details of her surroundings. How sleek the couch was, how the tranquil tones of the room blended with the modern design into something comfortable and cozy. How easily she found herself wandering from one room to the next, hearing the original wood floors creak under foot. Photos lined the stairs, from ones of Patrick and the old band van to his family to his dog to Pete’s wedding to the wall of Fall Out Boy promotion shots; the pictures took her to his studio.

It was as if she were seeing it all for the first time. Like a wave, the amount of instruments crammed into the space overwhelmed her. Trumpets and a dozen guitars hung on the wall, and a drum kit and piano took up the majority of the floor space. She moved to sit at the piano bench and looked around. The full mixing studio setup, normally strewn with papers with half-written lyrics and compositions, was cleared of clutter. Sarah smiled to herself. So he does know how to clean. She recalled the combination of weeks she sat at that same piano with Patrick at the computer, frustrated with herself that nothing would come out but then catching the look of pride in his eyes when she accidentally discovered a chord progression that worked.

With no where else to go and no updates from Patrick, Sarah stood in front of the one room in the house she’d never set foot in: his bedroom. It wasn’t that she wasn’t allowed in; it was simply a limitation she’d imposed upon herself in the early days of their friendship. Bedrooms meant beds, and beds would lead to sex, and sex would lead to attraction so that was that. Guess that’s gone to hell now. She hesitated a moment, hand hovering above the doorknob, before grasping it and opening the door.

Whoa. It was simple and understated: a king-sized bed topped with silk sheets and a thick duvet, chaise lounge at the foot of the wooden mid-century modern bed frame perfectly centered in front of a French double-door closet, matching dresser on the adjacent wall, Japanese wall paneling separating the main space from something else. The spotlessness of the space surprised her. As she wandered in, fingers softly grazing the bed, she noticed a notebook on one of the nightstands. Sarah curiously looked inside; what appeared to be lyrics lined the pages, sloppily written like it was dark and Patrick had been tired. She smiled to herself. I should start doing that.

As she stepped further into the room, she peered behind the panel towards the back. Behind it was a cozy lounge area adorned with a beanbag love seat and wooden desk that also matched the rest of the furniture in the room. The desk itself was more Patrick in her mind, with papers furiously scribbled on haphazardly out on the desk’s surface. Crumpled sheets lazily tossed and missing the wastebasket littered the floor. More lyrics? Sarah picked up one of the sheets of paper, noticing the date marked on each one in the same place. No…letters? She sat at the desk and started reading, realizing that they weren’t letters but personal diary entries.

12/31/2009-Ringing in the new year alone. It’s been a couple months since the band went on a break after our last tour, and it’s taken that time to start to feel normal again. Last year I wrote that I wanted to get better, to be healthy again. And I accomplished that. Or, am accomplishing it. One day at a time. But this year? This year I want to finally start that solo album. There’s too much music in me not to, I’m seeing it everywhere, and goddamn it I just need to do it. Elisa is out at some fucking party. We fought about the album, among other things. We’re always fighting, and we haven’t had sex in months. When will it end? Do I give a shit? Is she even worth it?

Sarah rubbed her eyes after the last sentence and looked at another nearby entry. I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be doing this…But he said to make myself at home…Fuck it. She picked up a couple of papers.

4/27/2010-I feel more accomplished than I have in, well, not since before Folie. Have a couple songs done for the new record. I’m doing it all myself, well mostly. The lyrics and music are mine. I’m throwing myself into fifteen-hour days and it’s the best I’ve felt in a long time. Pete, Joe, and Andy have all called for my birthday. Having them over for dinner next week. I miss them. Elisa left me yesterday. She said she’d been with someone else and didn’t want to “be the third wheel” between me and my work. Happy fucking birthday to me. Is it impossible to have both a woman I love and work that I’m passionate about?

8/19/2010-Wrote what I think will be the single for the album. About Chicago and how much I love this city. Having a hard time pulling myself away from working tirelessly on this. Figuring out how to sleep alone again has been harder than anticipated. No sooner do I get used to this single thing and I meet a girl. Well, I ran into a girl. She was the daughter of one of my mom’s old friends. And I almost hate to admit it because of the age difference, but she was…oof. It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen a girl for the first time, let alone an attractive one, and she had no idea who I was. Or, if she did, she did a remarkable job of keeping cool. It’s refreshing. Weird part though. When she ran out of the house, crying, I felt the urge to run after her. I wanted to see if she was okay. Where did that come from? I don’t even know her, only what her mom did. I don’t even know her fucking name. Note to self: talk to Mom later. Gotta find her.

She hurriedly searched among the scattered mess for a mention of her name.

8/25/2010-Been helping Sarah with her music. Right. That’s her name, Sarah. After she ditched my mom’s, I was wandering around downtown, going to my local haunts, and there she was, working at my favorite record store. Like it was meant to be. I couldn’t keep myself in check around her. Had to flirt with her. And then I found out my mom told her who I was, not that it mattered because she already knew about my band. Normally that would be a deal-breaker. But this girl, this girl is a musician. And she likes our music for the substance. She likes me for my talent, not my celebrity. It has been far too long since I’ve met someone like that. And she’s gorgeous and interesting and incredibly talented and driven…and I offered myself as her mentor after we hooked up. I refuse to regret that night, even though I lied and told her that I thought we should put it behind us. That’s the last thing I want to do. She could be it for me…but I won’t jeopardize the chance to be close to her by remaining romantically involved. She was seemingly eager to dismiss our night together and become friends. I should do that, too. Forget about that night, and work on being her friend and colleague. I’d rather have her like this than not at all. I can be okay with that. I have to be okay with that.

How didn’t I see this? As she frantically looked again for something, anything else with her name on it, she failed to notice Patrick leaning in the doorway, watching her pour over the inner workings of his mind. He couldn’t help but smile.

“Top drawer,” he said as he walked up next to Sarah. She practically jumped.

“Jesus!” She yelped. She laughed nervously a moment later, fingers in the handle for the top drawer and suddenly tentative about continuing to read his private thoughts. “I didn’t—”

“No it’s okay, I left them out.” He peered over her shoulder at the top page on the desk. “You’re about caught up. I haven’t written in awhile. Between Elisa and working I didn’t really have the time until recently. And I didn’t write until what’s in, you know—”

“The top drawer,” Sarah finished for him. They smiled at each other, and she pulled out the drawer to reveal a single envelope inside, her name etched in Patrick’s chicken scratch. She walked over to the loveseat and let the plush of it pull her in. Patrick turned like he was going to walk out. “No,” she said, gesturing to her side. “You can sit with me.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah,” she answered, nodding. He carefully situated himself on the loveseat next to her, settling in with their legs lightly touching. Sarah unconsciously shifted closer to him as she opened the envelope.

Dear Sarah,

First, congratulations on your first album! You’ve come a long way since we met last year, and I am so incredibly proud of the work we’ve done. Of what you’ve done. Of you.
So much shit has happened in your life that I am left in awe of the wonderful, intelligent, creative, beautiful woman you are. No one should have had this many struggles and obstacles, especially not at eighteen, but here you are, existing and surpassing with grace beyond your years.

I’ll be giving you this letter on our date tonight. Yes, it’s a date, in case you were wondering. For the first time in…well in as long as I can remember, I have butterflies. I don’t know how to tell you all of this and I’m bad with words on the spot, and I want to make sure that I finally tell you everything. Here it goes…

I made a huge mistake when I said we should put the night of drunken sex behind us. I thought I wanted you then, and I’m even more sure that I want you now. I shouldn’t have resigned myself to just being your “musical partner in crime”; I should have been yours, period. But I was afraid that by putting myself out there, you’d reject me and I’d never get to have you in my life at all.

When I was with Elisa and you were with Bill and we weren’t talking, I was miserable. I lived for talking to you about music, or about anything. I hated how much time Elisa bullied me into spending away from you. I hate having gone back to her.

This is the big one… When you found out you were pregnant, I was envious. I wanted that to be us, maybe not right then but in the future, though at the time I didn’t want to admit it to even myself. And it was super shitty how Bill handled everything that came next, but honestly? I was glad that you two broke up. To me, it meant that we were one step closer to finding our way to each other. To this moment.

So, here it is, everything I’ve ever wanted to say to you, everything I’ve needed you to know but couldn’t manage to say: I love you.


As Sarah looked up from the letter, tears blurred her vision and slipped out of the corners of her eyes. Her mind was blank. She tried to speak, but the words kept catching in her throat.

“The plan was to take you back here after celebrating at the club and show you the letter, but—” Sarah managed a nod in understanding, smiling at him. Patrick sighed a little and tentatively took her hand in his. “You don’t have to talk about it right now if you don’t want to, I know I’ve been keeping it to myself and it’s a lot to process. But we should at least eat while the food is still hot.” He smiled at her, standing up and pulling her to standing. “Come on.”

As he pulled her to him, hands still connected, Sarah stayed put as Patrick tried to guide her out of the room. She lightly tugged him back to her, a small smile peeking at the corners of her mouth. He approached her slowly; their eyes communicated more than they could ever say.

They were kissing in an instant, sweet and slow at first but all at once passionate and intimate. Patrick’s hands fell to her waist, gripping softly as Sarah’s arms wound their way around his neck. Oh fuck… They kissed like kissing was breathing and they had been drowning and just came up for air. Sarah was delighted by how plump and smooth Patrick’s lips were, losing herself in the way they seamlessly fit with her lips. I could get used to a whole lot more of this.

The kisses noticeably felt more eager, more heated, but Patrick pulled back ever so slightly, ending the kiss and resting his forehead against hers. Their breathing, harder than before, evened as their eyes remained closed, taking in the moment. He wrapped her in a close hug, holding her to him as tight as he could without hurting her. Sarah never felt so warm and comforted by someone’s touch and the surrounding silence. For the first time in ages, her mind was peacefully blank.

Their stomachs grumbled almost simultaneously, eliciting chuckles.

“Food?” Sarah asked, still smiling as she opened her eyes to look up at Patrick.

“Yeah,” he said, and he kissed her forehead. They walked downstairs hand in hand.

As they sat at the table, a spread of Sarah’s favorite Chinese food greeted her. The thought of food satisfied her for a moment, and she gleefully filled her plate and gobbled a few bites. She stared lovingly at the man in front of her, smiling. But then she remembered why she ended up at Patrick’s in the first place.

“So, about last night,” she started. “Have you—?”

“Yeah,” Patrick sighed.

“How’d it go?”

“About as expected. I told her I didn’t want to get married. That upset her. She demanded to know why. I told her I didn’t love her anymore. That upset her even more. She refused to believe that. She asked if it had anything to do with you. I told her it wasn’t any of her business. Then we fought. She was furious and hung up.” Tears threatened to break and slip from his eyes.

“Are you okay?” Sarah went to him and rubbed his back, leaning into him.

“Mostly, I think.” He wiped a tear away. “I know it’s best in the long run.” He squeezed her hand when it came around his shoulder. “But this parenting thing isn’t going to be easy. She’s going to fight me every step of the way and I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that.” Sarah nodded as Patrick stared blankly at his plate, pushing orange chicken around lightly.

“Well, for what it’s worth,” Sarah said, “I think you’re doing the best you can right now. Things are still early. There are clearly a lot of emotions and feelings going around. There’s time for sorting themselves out.” She smiled at him. “And, what I said before, about parenting?” He looked at her, a slight fear in his eyes as he prepared for the worst. “I think—”

Vvvvbbbbtttt vvvvbbbbtttt vvvvbbbbtttt. Patrick’s phone rattled against the table. Sarah caught a glimpse of Elisa’s name on the display as Patrick muted the call.

“Shouldn’t you get that?”

“She can wa—”

Vvvvbbbbtttt vvvvbbbbtttt— Silenced again. Sarah sighed.

“I really think you should call—”

“Just because she’s fucking pregnant doesn’t mean she can run my life!”

“Hey!” She grabbed and squeezed his hands between hers. “Look. You know I don’t like her. She’s one of my least,” Patrick raised an eyebrow at her. “Okay she’s my least favorite person. But how I feel doesn’t change that she’s having your kid. And she’s probably scared about becoming a mom and having to give a shit about someone more than herself.”

“I am, too,” Patrick said, taken aback. “I hadn’t really thought about that before.”

“Exactly. And maybe this is her reaching out, trying to start over with you. To forge this new relationship with you!” Patrick sputtered in laughter.

“When it snows in he—”

Ding. “Holy shit,” he said as he stared at the screen.

“What?” Sarah peered over; VOICEMAIL – ELISA. “What’s weird about that?”

“She always calls until I pick up. Because she’s a crazy bitch.”

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“Crazy bitches don’t leave voicemail!” Sarah swallowed a chuckle.

“You have to play it!”

“When will you tell me about what you were saying earlier?”

“I think I’m showing you right now.” She smiled at him. “Listen to the fucking message.” He smiled back, sharing a knowing glance.

“On speaker.” He clicked through his phone and pressed play. Seven, eleven. Elisa’s eerily calm, composed voice oozed through the phone speaker.

“Hey, it’s me. I’ll—I’ll make this quick… I’m sorry… I’m not having your baby. I made it up. I—I saw that I was losing you, and I felt this, this need to keep you and it was the only thing I could think of to have you and get you away from…her. But...look you two should be together. I see that now, and I... Anyway. I’ll let you go… Goodbye, Patrick.”

Silence fell over Patrick and Sarah as they stared at each other, wide-eyed.
“Thank fuck!” They both yelled. All at once, tears of relief streamed down their faces as they smashed their lips together in a celebratory kiss.

“It’s gonna get better, it’s gonna work out. Give it a minute, it’s gonna turn around ‘cause it’s gonna get better, better. It’s gonna get better, better. So just coast with me. So just coast, coast. So just coast, coast with me…”
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