Attending school as a broken up couple and just friends turned out to be doable for Liam and Leonie, with the occasional awkward moment sprinkled in. Likewise with the get togethers as a group. The hardest part for Liam was to remember that they were no longer together, as to not suddenly accidentally hold her a certain way or even kiss her, like he had for years. Hard was also watching the others who were still together not having to mind that rule with their partners. Looking at Leonie it was clear she was just as uncomfortable.
Liam and Leonie were the two youngest members of the group, thought Liam would not turn 18 until after the move to Del Sol Valley, Leonie a little while after that.
She would still come over to our home, even without the others, they would still hang out. And he still had their framed picture up on the wall, couldn’t seem to bring himself to take it down.
As the day of the move came closer and closer, the clique had a farewell party for Liam at the old teen hangout place, Everett Heights.
They all got together and camped out there all weekend.
Just like they had many times throughout the years.
In a very bittersweet way this marked the end of their childhood, opening a new chapter in everybody’s lives.
Then the moving day came. It was all as exciting as it was scary, we all were crying as we said our final goodbyes to friends and family, as all who somehow could make it had come to see us off.
Liam was the type to find his place in the new school quickly, made new friends, partied, even dated. But it was nothing like what he had with his old friends. They all stayed in touch, texted, called, skyped.
Liam Age 18
When he turned 18, many of his old friends, his new friends and family came out to Del Sol Valley to celebrate with him. I went by in the blink of an eye and all too soon they were all gone again.
Then later that summer he graduated. Our child was now a young adult.
He attended college locally, a great school, but ended up changing his major several times, yet still had a tough time with it, seemed uninspired.
One fateful night at the club out with friends a man approached him about some casting call, giving him his business card. Liam laughed it off at first, but was dared by his new friends to do it.
So he did.
He ended up getting a small supporting role in what turned out to be a big surprise hit movie. Liam wound up stealing the show and was so well received by the female crowd, that a new role, a main role in some teen flick, was tailored to him next. Once more, a big crowd pleaser. More and more engagements rolled in. He left college to pursue acting full time.
All of a sudden everybody knew his name. His agent cleverly turned the dirt the press dug up about Liam and his criminal past into some cool bad boy image of a tall, dark, mysterious young rebel vampire which got him even more admirers.
I would always remember the day I walked into a store and for the first time saw an image of my son on some popular magazine cover at the checkout line. I was never much for magazines, but that one I bought.
Aside from the surprise fame, all the attention, he truly enjoyed acting and was actually good at it. Found his niche after all.
Liam, Age 21
Two years and change passed since his sudden rise to stardom. Now barely 21, he had grown more and more successful and established in his career, was one of the top paid actors, envied by men, drooled over by women of all ages.
And then the invitations from back home rained in. First Finn and Alexa were getting married.
Then Autumn and Lucien got hitched.
Next Nathan married his high school sweetheart Mae.
Followed by Corbin marrying Emily.
Lastly Channing and long time girlfriend Tamika tied the knot.
Everybody but him seemed to have found their special someone.
Liam had moved out on his own a while ago, into some really nice and modern place, had also insisted on buying us, his parents, a generous house. Blaine made decent money too, with his music and I was pretty much ‘retired’ now, Blaine preferred me home with him, we would go on mini vacations and enjoy life together, and as Blaine liked to put it, it was now time for “babygirl to just chill”.
Naturally Liam dated.
A lot, actually.
Sometimes it seemed like he was dating a new girl every season, if not every month.
The ever-changing arm-candy, none of which I particularly cared for as it was obvious that they only dated Liam for ulterior motives, like his money and fame.
He knew it, too, and just went with it.
At first it was an ego boost for him, then he just did it because he could and now just because. I never had the impression that he truly cared for any of them.
Back in San Myshuno
Liam was on his way back to his hotel from a visit with Corbin and the boys. He had an interview a few towns over, and stopped by for one night to meet with them. Not too eager to sit alone in yet another hotel room he took the long way back through a park. He had stopped and just stared at the skyline for a moment.
“Hey stranger.” a soft, familiar female voice said from behind him.
“Leonie!” Liam turned around, smiling instantly. He would recognize her voice out of a million others.
“Wow, you still recognize me. I am honored.” Leonie smiled.
“Of course I recognize you. How could I not? What are you doing here? I didn’t realize you were in town!” Liam was excited, trying to not let on too much.
“Steven got hitched that’s why I am here.” Leonie explained.
“Sounds like everybody is married now. What about you? Reason to congratulate yet?”
“No. I mean, I am seeing someone but no wedding bells yet.”
“Of course.” Liam’s heart sank, but he called himself an idiot for it. She was beautiful and smart, of course she’d have a boyfriend. It had been years since … since the break-up.
“What about you? Anything serious yet or still trying out the entire list of the hot girls Who is Who?” she smiled, and what normally seemed like an accomplishment and compliment to him, now felt like a fatal flaw.
“Just having some fun, that’s all. I am seeing someone currently too, though.”
“I bet. Still that beautiful redhead with legs for days? I saw you on TV at the last Awards show with her.”
“No, she’s a bottle blonde.” Liam hated this part of the conversation with Leonie. Somehow, it felt like he was cheating. Stupid, really, but it just felt that way.
“Variety, I get it.” she winked at him.
“Hey Leonie, are you ready to go? And what are you looking at, Caspar?!” some Latino guy came over and put his arm around her, looking challenging at Liam.
“Raoul please! Liam – this is Raoul, my boyfriend. Raoul – that’s Liam, a good friend, we went to school together.” her introduction cut him deep. While he understood why she did it, he felt downgraded and denied. But would ‘ex-boyfriend’ really have sounded better?
“Whatever. Come on, mamasita we need to go. Now. And you go stare at some other chick, jefe. This one is mine.” Raoul told Liam while pulling Leonie away from him.
“Bye Liam. Don’t be a stranger.” she called at him over her shoulder. Liam wanted to beat the shit out of that arrogant Raoul, but for Leonie’s sake, he didn’t.
Watching her walk off with him bothered Liam to no end.
‘Mamasita – urgh. What a poser! What the hell does she see in that dude?‘, he thought to himself.
In Del Sol Valley Again
“Liam, darling, do you not love me anymore?” a very blonde, very stylish, very polished and very attractive young woman cooed.
“Huh? Why?” he was trying to relax. The last days had been very busy, he felt drained and he just wanted some peace and quiet before his next batch of engagements in a few hours from now.
“Well, you know your bae loves presents, and you have not given me anything in a long time. Makes me feel like you just don’t love me anymore. Or do you not think I am beautiful enough for a gift?”
“Baby, you know I am busy with work. I can’t just go shopping all the time.”
“But you know how much I love Tiffany’s, and they have this limited edition out now, if I don’t get that one necklace, I swear I will DIE.”
“Fine, my wallet’s over there, just grab one of the cards and treat yourself.”
“You are awesome! I’ll be extra nice to you tonight.”
“Yeah, sure.” Liam just wanted her to leave him alone.She left. With his card.
He closed his eyes, looked at the clock and then went to take a shower and get ready for his scheduled appearances for the day.
During a break in between interviews, his phone rang. A number he did not recognize.
“Mr. Cameron, I am so sorry to bother you, but this is Paul with the Gucci store at Main Street. There is a young lady here attempting you use your credit card for a larger purchase. I just wanted to make sure that was authorized by you.”
“Ummm… Gucci?” he was confused.
“The young lady would like to speak to you. One moment, please.”
“Hey baby, I have been a bad, bad girl. You’re not mad at me, are you?”
“I thought you wanted a necklace.” he was taken aback.
“Oh, I got the necklace, but I just have nothing to wear with it, so I needed a new outfit, for tonight.”
“When you are taking me out. At D’Artagnan’s. The grand re-opening, hello, I mean, we HAVE TO be there. HAVE TO.”
“Ugh, ok, yeah, sure whatever. I’ll authorize.”
He hung up.
‘What a golddigger. Doesn’t even try to hide it.‘ he thought.
Once Again in Brindleton Bay Months Later
“Man, I still cannot believe I am friends with a big movie star! Dude, how many Lambos and Ferraris do you own by now?” Channing said in between sips of his beer.
“Screw the cars, how many ‘Secrets Underneath’ models have you nailed so far! Or did you lose count already?” Nathan asked, laughing, Liam just smiled.
“That place you live at … I swear if I weren’t married, I’d ditch and come live with you, man! I am thinking once the kid is born, I just may anyway, at least for a few years.” Corbin told him grinning.
Most of his friends were expecting or already had babies.
Even Lucien and Autumn.
Hopefully that kid would take after its mother.
Everybody but him.
They laughed, drank, danced, the mortals BBQ’ed while Liam looked on. They had met once again at the old Hangout. It felt like home to Liam.
Liam stood there, enjoying the semblance of normality. Nobody treated him special here. He was still play-punched, challenged to drinking games, made fun of, teased and nobody tried to get into his pockets or pants. Just chilling and having honest fun. He had almost forgotten how that felt. He closed his eyes for a moment, relaxing to the sounds of his friends.
“Hello stranger!” he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around.
“Leonie!” they hugged.
“Back in town, huh?” she smiled.
“Yeah, needed some down-to-earth reality check back home. You?” Liam asked.
“Dad had surgery. His heart. Please don’t worry, he is fine.” she giggled, knowing that her father and Liam despised one another.
“Oh, good. I was about to cry my eyes out.” Liam played into her joke.
“Damn, if that is all you got, I wonder how you got so famous, Mr. Big Movie Star. That was pretty weak.” she winked at him.
“Ugh, please, don’t even go there. I just want to be good ol’ lame Liam for a while.”
“Rough life in the fast lane?”
“You can say that again. How about you? How’s Bridgeport? And how is your Latin Lover?” they walked over to a quieter spot to talk.
“Bridgeport is … well, a big city and a lot of hustling, bustling and learning. I am here for an internship at Auditore Financials, figured I might as well combine the required internship with a family visit. And as for Raoul, we broke up. Months ago.”
“Sorry to hear that. Didn’t mean to, you know, pour salt in open wounds.”
“No salt, no wound. He was just not right for me, so I ended it. Dad hated him anyway.”
“Wow, what a surprise. But makes me feel better about myself.”
“Yeah, you know, dads. I bet yours was the same way with your sister.”
“Not even close. Mom was actually the one toughest on Silas… but at the end of the day, they only want to see us happy. As ridiculous, humiliating and annoying as it may be to us kids.”
“Well, one day you will be that way with your daughter. Or son. But I think dads are always most protective of their daughters.” she laughed.
“Never. I will be a cool dad.”
“Speaking of, how are your parents? And please tell them I said hi.”
“They are good, they love it there, but miss everything and everyone here. As do I.”
“I may need to come visit one day out there in the Valley. Have you be my tour guide.”
“Absolutely. And you can always crash at my place. I have room.” Liam instantly began picturing it in his head. That would be amazing.
“At the bachelor pad? I am sure your current supermodel flavor of the day would not like that too much.” she laughed. Again, there was that sting.
“I don’t have a ‘current supermodel’. I date, just like everybody else does.”
“You really have lost touch with reality.” she shook her head, laughing.
They talked some more, about funny moments in their past, about the present and future plans. They had some beer and wine, the time just seemed to fly by, suddenly one by one, the others started saying their goodbyes. Liam wished this could have gone on forever.
“Wow, looks like we’re the last ones standing, Liam.” Leonie said, after even the last couple left.
“Do you need to leave too?” he asked, hoping her answer would be ‘no’.
“Not really. It’s already way late, meaning even at my age I can still look forward to a lecture. Might as well stay until the fire has burned down.”
“Are you cold?”
“A little. I am also still getting over some nasty summer flu. Antibiotics are the devil!”
“Want my sweater?”
“No, but do you want to dance? I love that song they are playing over there.”
“Don’t know the tune, but sure.”
They danced, slowly, and when she let him pull her closer, Liam closed his eyes and listened to Leonie sing along quietly with the song another young group was playing from the speakers of the dancefloor they had been hogging all night at the very popular teen and young people hangout.
Officially it was named Everett Heights, but everybody only ever refered to it as “the Hangout”. Teens had been gathering here for decades and the next generation was already filling the place, after Liam and his group scattered into the four winds.
The loud rhythmic pounding beats of the dance music from earlier had now changed to quiet, melancholic love songs to ring out the night. Liam moved with Leonie to the calm sounds, listening to her quietly singing along.
‘I love you love you love you
just the way you are
Love you love you love you
the way you are
There’s nothing in this world that I would ever want
than to have you back in my arms.
I want to see you really smile
Do you know it’s been a while
Have you noticed that you’re far away from home
Do you like it where you are
Do they treat you like a star
Do they sing for you the songs you always liked
You’re scared of all the lies
All you want is a sign
Telling you where to go
There’s no other way to turn
The only lesson you learned
is to never forget your way back home’
He didn’t know the song, and it wasn’t the type of music he usually liked, but the entire compilation of sensations – hearing her soft, quiet voice near his ear, the calm music, feeling her in his arms, the melancholy of the words now repeated in her voice making it feel like she was saying them to him rather than just repeating lyrics, the alcohol, the ambience.
Before he knew it they were kissing.
More and more longing, till she took his hand and pulled him with her to some high bushes, the campgrounds, where you could put up a tent and have some privacy from he rest of the action.
They went around some hedges, the night was chilly, there was a cold breeze.
Liam noticed a tent around the next hedges and pulled Leonie over to it, he checked and it was empty. Giggling she followed him inside.
They kissed, they touched each other. He felt so good like he hadn’t in a long time. Was it the alcohol or Leonie doing that to him?
Suddenly she took her top off and wiggled out of her skirt, she didn’t even need to ask him, within seconds they were in a lover’s embrace, making love. It felt like an eternity and at the same time over in the blink of an eye all at once. Afterwards she laid atop him, against his chest, smiling at him.
“I haven’t felt like this in years, Liam, you really still amaze me. Either that, or the combination of antibiotics and alcohol made me really really high.”
They laughed but stopped and shot up straight when the tent zipper was suddenly opened and the owners entered. Yelling and screaming ensued as Liam and Leonie grabbed their clothes and ran, to get dressed behind some bushes, laughing so hard that face, sides and stomachs hurt.
They sat together and watched the beginning of the sunrise together, until he offered to take her home.
“No, I better get an Uber. If my father saw you, he’d have another heart attack right away.” she ordered the car, which arrived way too soon.
“Man, was he waiting around the corner for you or something?” Liam complained. He was not ready to say goodbye yet. Not even close.
“We’ll do this again soon, okay? Do you have plans tomorrow?” she asked hopeful. His heart sank.
“I – I have to fly back this afternoon. Have stuff set up that I cannot miss.” he said, regret was obvious in his words.
“I understand. Well, until we meet again. Bye Liam. Please don’t forget me.” she started crying, he pulled her into his arms and held her.
“I could never, even if I tried.”
She got into the waiting car after the driver already honked at them, and Liam watched them drive off, her face in the rear window fading from his view.
Weeks Later, Del Sol Valley
“Hi, umm, is Liam here?”
“And who is asking?” the blonde asked icily.
“I am Leonie, his – good friend – from Brindleton Bay.”
“Never mind. Is he in?”
“No, he isn’t. I am his fiancée. Can I help you?” her tone suggested that she was not interested in really being helpful.
“Fiancée? Oh, I didn’t realize he got engaged. Umm, congratulations then. When will he be back?”
“Not for a while. Can I give him a message?”
“Yeah, here, give him this letter, would you please?”
“You got it.” the blonde was done and slammed the door shut.
Leonie was just left standing there in the hallway, fighting back tears.
“Stupid! Stupid, stupid, stupid!”
On the other side of that door the woman was now looking over her shoulder at a closed door across the room, then at the letter. She shrugged, opened it, read it, crumpled it up and tossed it, then said to herself
“You wish, you little bitch! ‘Oh, I didn’t realize he got engaged.‘ Stupid little backwoods hick girl! Liam hasn’t realized that either, at least not yet, but he will. Soon.” the woman was mocking Leonie’s words, while going through Liam’s phone to find Leonie’s name. She grinned as she hit ‘delete entry’, before dropping the into the toilet bowl.
“This should definitely do the trick, one way or another. Double the safety.”
Minutes later, Liam appeared, in an unbuttoned dress shirt.
“Hey, was there someone at the door while I was in the shower?”
“No. But I had a bit of a mishap, darling. I accidentally grabbed your phone, thinking it was mine, and clumsy me, while fixing up my makeup I dropped it into the toilet. I think it may be ruined. So sorry, I’ll get you a new one immediately!”
“What? Fuck, all my contacts, my entire life is on there!”
“You have a backup, right?” the woman asked with an innocent eye bat, well aware that he didn’t.
“Nope. Even though mom told me again and again to give her the phone so she can create one. Shit!”
“Well, if you had a wife, she could keep things straight for you.”
“Or an assistant. Less needy and probably a lot cheaper, too.”
“Wow, grumpy much? But whatever, since it came up and you won’t say anything, plus I am out of patience; when are we going to get married? I really do not want to end up as some old spinster. Or are you going to have your clingy mommy take care of you till you are old? She should have her hands full with that white trash dad of yours.”
“WHAT THE FUCK?! Did your crazy ass really just insult my parents? First of all, last I checked we weren’t even engaged! Nor are we ever going to be. And you know what? You go and find some other idiot whose bank account and life spirit you can suck dry. I am fucking over you, you bitch. Out!”
“Liam, I am sorry, I am just so very stressed baby…”
“You and stressed? From what? Spending my money? You stress ME out. But I really have had it with you now. Get your shit and get out already. Take all your ‘gifts’ that you bought yourself with my money, and get.”
“Why are you so mean to me?” she cried, a little too theatric to be believable.
“Mean? You haven’t seen mean yet. But the longer you stay, the closer you get to it!”
“But I love you!”
“Ah yeah? So how come we are always doing what you want when you want to do it? How come you never ask me how I am doing? How come it is only ever about you and your feelings, problems, needs. And if you love presents so much, why have I never gotten anything from you? Not even a friggin coffee. Not once.”
“So that’s why you are mad?”
“Oh my god. Look, I am gonna leave now. When I come back, you and your shit is gone or I will personally evict your ass.”
Colorfully cursing at her to himself he grabbed his keys, his drowned and still dripping phone, wallet, jacket and left, slamming the door shut behind himself.
Del Sol Valley – Liam’s Penthouse – A Year Later
Liam laid atop the bed, staring at the ceiling. He needed change. Something had to give. Something was not right. Just how? And what? Luckily on days like this, there was alcohol to help him forget how alone he felt whenever he was not dating, whenever nobody had come to visit and stay over for the night, or a few.
Del Sol Valley was awesome, his life here was amazing, but it was also empty and fake. His parents had moved back to Brindleton Bay many months ago, even though he had begged them to stay. He already had been back to visit them three times, but his schedule was so full all the time, he could never stay as long as he really wanted, sometimes barely a full weekend.
This lifestyle in the limelight came with many pitfalls. So many of his friends envied him, but the truth was, he was sick and tired of it all, feeling lonely with dozens of people around him, having to smile when he felt desperate, but most of all of dating, no matter what he tried, he always ended up with some golddigger type.
The alternative, being always alone, was not very desirable either, especially when he had to go to public appearances, receptions, award shows.
He had always loved watching his parents interact and wondered, if he were ever going to be able to find someone to have what they had. Some of his friends were already going through rough patches with their significant others.
Maybe it really was that rare.
San Myshuno – downtown area – nearly two years later
Liam, Age 24
“Hello stranger.” he heard behind him, and already smiled before he even turned around.
“Leonie! You are in town.”
“Actually, I moved back last year.”
“Wow. I had no idea. Wish I had known, I have been back a bunch of times.”
“I texted you, but it came back undeliverable.”
“Yeah, I kinda lost my contacts, all of them. My old phone had an accident.”
“Nope. Let’s exchange numbers right away, okay?”
“Sure. Oops, burr my hands are cold, my phone almost had an accident now too.” she smiled when she almost dropped her phone.
In some reflex he took her hands into his.
She did not fight it, did not even flinch, making him brave. He pulled her hands up to his lips, blew hot air onto them, kissing her finger tips. Why, he could not say. She allowed it.
“Hey, you want to go grab a drink?” he asked, still holding her hands. Anything to keep her around as long as possible.
“Okay, but only for a moment, I can’t for too long.” she said with a strange smile.
They went into a nearby lounge and ordered, talked about this and that. Leonie seemed different. Calmer, quieter, but smiled a lot.
“I hate to do this, but I really have to go now.” she said, smiling apologetically.
“I’ll take you home I have a rental.”
“No need, I don’t live far.”
“Oh, I’ll walk you home then.”
They walked, mostly quietly, until she turned to him in front of one of the apartment buildings.
“Well, this is me.”
“Can I walk you to your door?” he wanted to have every last second with her, and to see where exactly she lived. She looked at him strange, seemed to be considering it, but then said.
“Umm… ok, why not?”
They went in, up the elevator. She stopped in front of a door.
“This is where we’ll part ways. I would ask you inside, but … I … don’t live alone.”
Liam felt punched in the gut, but tried to keep a straight face and forced a smile. Acting for a living had its benefits.
“It was really good seeing you again, Liam. Hope next time won’t be in another couple years from now.”
“No, now that I have your number again and know where you live, you’ll have to beat me away with a stick.” Liam smiled at her.
She laughed, when there were voices on the other side of the door.
“Uh oh, I better go now. Bye Liam, and thanks, I had a great evening.”
Louder voices from the inside followed by banging on the door from the inside and a whiney, loud toddler voice
“I WANT MOMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYY! MOMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!”
The door opened and a young woman came out, a young child in her arms.
“Sorry Leo, I tried to keep him quiet but he heard your voice and got away from me. Oh, hello.” she smiled at Liam.
“No that’s fine. I’ll pay you Saturday, ok?”
“Sure, I am outta here then. Bye all. Bye baby, you rascal!”
“Buhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Who are you?” he asked Liam.
“Baby, why are you not in bed?”
“I had nightmawwe.”
“Ok, let’s tuck you in again. Sorry Liam. I gotta go now.” she smiled apologetic.
“NO NO NO NO NO. He tuck me.” the little boy pointed at Liam.
“No, baby, he has to go home now.”
“I don’t mind. I can tuck him in.” Liam offered, still in shock, trying to not let it show.
“Really?” Leonie seemed to try to read in his eyes for clues about his sincerity.
“Sure. I had to deal with two of those at once at Vivian’s, I can handle one. Here let me have him.” he took him from Leonie.
“So what is your name, young man?” he asked.
“Everett.” Leonie corrected and smiled.
Liam followed Leonie inside and they tucked the boy in together, the baby was out in seconds.
Leonie smiled as she turned out the lights and pulled the door shut carefully behind herself. Liam followed her to the kitchen where they both sat down to talk.
“Why did you not tell me you had a child?”
“I did tell you. I wrote you a letter. Years ago. Actually came to see you, you weren’t home, so I left it with your fiancée.”
“My fiancée? I never got engaged. And I never got any letter from you.”
“Well, now you know. That’s Everett, my son.”
“Is the father in the picture?”
“You really did not get that letter, did you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Let me put it to you that way, I named him Everett, after the place where he was conceived during a wonderful night a summer 3 years ago. A true love child, and the apple of my eye.”
“Ok. Wait. Are you saying …”
“I am. That’s your son, Liam. But don’t worry, I don’t want anything.” she smiled warmly.
“Why … did you never try to tell me again. Or my parents. Or Corbin. Or Vivian. They would have known how to get in touch with me.”
“For all I knew I did tell you. And for all I knew, you had made your choice.”
“Leonie, I have to ask, and I am not implying anything, just want to know: what about Raoul? Could he be the father? The little boy is a mortal.”
“Valid question, but no. Everett is yours. Look Liam, this is not your game. The pregnancy was my own damn fault. I knew better than to sleep with you while on antibiotics. I knew that antibiotics render birth control pills useless, just didn’t think about it then. But it happened, and it changed my life. Everything changed for me, all my plans out the window. My parents kicked me out, then cut me off, I transferred to San Myshuno Uni but could only foot the tuition for so long. So I dropped out in my last semester and am working now. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I want nothing from you. If you want to be in his life, fantastic. If not, I understand. I don’t want you to feel like I tried to trap you or something. You have your dream and that one is actually happening for you. You deserve it. I purposely did not put you on the birth certificate, so no rumors would come up.” she got up and walked to the window when he replied.
“Leonie, I WANT to be a part of this. I just had no idea. I am in shock. My parents need to know. He’s their grandson. And you need to go back to university, I’ll pay for that. And child support. And …” she turned around, evidently fighting with her emotions. He stood now as well.
“Liam, no. This is my life now, my choice. We are fine. If you want to see him, you are welcome. Of course your parents are too. But I don’t want this to go further than that. You need enjoy your life. You need to be free.”
“Free? I don’t want to be free. He is my son. I want him. And you. We’ll get married and…” he started to hold her, when she interrupted him.
“No, Liam. No. I don’t want a marriage out of pity or because you feel obligated. I still love you, I never stopped, but it’s been a long time. We both have changed. If you really want to be there for him, come see him. We’ll explain to him who you are. I’d be happy to add you to his birth certificate, after a paternity test of course, I owe you that much. But anything other than that needs time. If you can be patient, if you really want this, let’s take it one day at a time and see where the road takes us. Oh, but Liam? I missed you so.”
“Oh my look at you” I cooed, opening my arms for the little boy to run into, which he readily did. Blaine knelt down next to me, to snuggle the toddler next, who smiled big at both of us.
“I like your hair.” he told Blaine, clumsily patting it.
“Yours too. You look like a princess.” he pointed at me.
“Who has drawn on you?” he asked now, looking at Blaine’s tattoos.
“I did. And now it won’t come off anymore.”
“You’re silly. I like you. Can you read?”
“Depending on who you ask. Yes, usually I can.”
“Read my book.”
“Ok buddy, what are we reading? Ah, farm animals. All righty. So how does the cow make?”
“RATTACKTACKTACKTACK!” the boy said, playing with a wheel on the book’s cover with a spinning arrow pointing to the different animals and would make a sound when pushed.
I laughed, Blaine smirked and said drily
“I meant before it was being turned into hamburger patties, but that’ll work. How about a pig?”
“Oink oink, meowwww.”
“Ah, ok, so no bacon today then. Just bi-lingual swine.” he smiled and listened patiently to the toddler babbling, looked up at me, winked, then back at the boy.
I looked up at my son and Leonie, standing in the kitchen. The way they looked at each other I knew it was only a matter of time now that they would be back together. I remembered those looks, where you know what you want, but are afraid to go for it. In so many ways their story was so much like Blaine and mine.
History always seemed to find a way to repeat itself.
I diverted my attention back at Blaine and his teachings. Everett was all over his grandpa.
(Editorial note: Here is the full song that’s playing and which Leonie is singing along to)