"Phil!" Keely screamed from the next room.
Phil rolled his eyes. Ever since Keely had reached 6 months of pregnancy, she'd been almost unbearable. But not quite. He doubted Keely would ever be completely unbearable. She was still Keely.
"Phil, I need you in here now!" she cried again.
He put down the plate that he was washing - cleaning had become a priority of his since Keely had passed her halfway mark - and picked up a towel to dry his hands as he walked into the living room. "What is it?"
"Sit down!" Keely said, motioning to the couch. "Some weird soap is on. But forget that. I just had a thought! Okay, so the baby is going to be here in less than two months. And we don't have a room ready yet! Nor do we have toys. How are we going to keep a baby occupied in this house without toys? It'll be impossible!"
Phil smiled as he sat down. "Keely, babies sleep for a majority of time after they're born. I doubt the boy or girl will need toys until they're older."
"But still! Bright colours and toys enhance a child's learning, and the earlier they see the brightness the more they'll learn!" Keely panicked, turning down the volume on the soap.
"Where do you learn this stuff?" Phil asked, turning his gaze from the soap, where two families were screaming at each other, to his wife, who had a worried expression on her face.
Keely's eyes widened. "The Baby Channel. Phil, you can look at me all condescendingly if you like, but I have two excuses. The first one is kind of lame, so I'll tell you that one first. Yeah, I have to be totally prepared. Because I have to bring this baby into this world, and I'm totally freaking out about it! And the second one is still sort of lame, but whatever. You keep me cooped up in this house all day! I have to either watch The Baby Channel or Ricki Lake. And there is only so much marriage counselling I can take."
"You're really that freaked out?" Phil asked, putting a hand on his wife's knee.
Keely nodded. "Yes! Phil, I'm going to be awful at this!"
"Keely, what are you talking about? Of course you're not going to be awful. Keely, you're an amazing person, and you're going to be an amazing mother," Phil reassured her.
She nodded. "I guess. I just... feel like I'm going to fail all the time. Because I've never had a baby before."
Phil had to laugh at this last statement.
"What? What are you laughing at?" Keely cried.
"Keels, of course you've never had a baby before. But I've never been a father before. And the only thing we can possibly do for this baby, is the best we can. And we're going to do that, right?" Phil said, looking her in the eye.
Keely nodded. "Of course."
"So, still freaked out?" Phil asked, grasping Keely's hand.
"Yes!" Keely cried. "But not as much."
Phil got up, going to go and finish the washing up.
"Where are you going?" Keely cried, wanting to stand up to join him, but being unable to. It was hard getting up, and she wasn't going to force the hardship upon herself when she didn't have to.
"To finish washing up..." Phil said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder, in the direction of the kitchen.
Keely shook her head. "No, you're not! We need to get toys!"
"You mean you're actually going to heave yourself out of your seat to go and buy toys?" Phil raised his eyebrows, knowing the answer.
Keely thought about this for a second. "Well fine. Call your mom. And mine. Ask if they have any of our old toys lying in the attic or something. Well, yours might not. Unless they picked some up from the future. Hey, that would be so cool! Our baby would have toys that nobody else will have for years!"
"I'll call and ask," Phil said, choosing to ignore Keely's love for futuristic toys. He knew that she knew that having toys from the future was impossible.
Keely thanked him, and smiled satisfactorily as he left the room.
"Okay, we're here!" Mandy Teslow's voice echoed through the hallway, and she and Barb bustled into the living room, plastic bags in their hands. Keely noticed that Barb had considerably less than her mom, but didn't mention it. The last thing she wanted was to let Mandy in on the Diffy secret after so long of hiding it.
"Yay!" she straightened up, and leaned forward, trying to open one of her mom's plastic bags. Mandy snatched it from her grasp, and frowned at her daughter. "Fine, why don't you show me?"
Mandy smiled, and then pulled a few cuddly toys from her first bag. "Okay, basic beanies. Charming, and a favourite. These were your favourites for years. Your father bought them for you."
Keely tried to remember her father buying her anything, but couldn't. She didn't suppose it mattered. Her dad would have a part in her baby's life, but not a big part.
"I have a few of those too," Barb smiled, pulling some out of her bag. These looked suspiciously new, but again, Keely chose not to mention it.
Mandy smiled at the toys that Barb had placed on the floor. "My, Phil must have been a very clean child. Presuming they are Phil's? Pim doesn't seem like the beanie type."
"Yes. Phil was very neat as a child," Barb smiled, not completely lying. Phil had been neat. But only because all of his toys hade been computer-based.
"Okay, so next ones?" Keely asked, anxiously. She didn't want to get onto the subject of Phil as a child. That was one step closer to identifying that he had spent his childhood one-hundred years forward in time.
"I have some rattles. You loved these. Rattle, rattle, rattle, all day long!" Mandy laughed. Age hadn't changed her. Although, age hadn't changed any of the women in the room.
Phil wandered into the room, after putting the dishes away, and sat next to Keely on the couch.
"And I have some board books. A bit chewed at the edges, I'm afraid," Barb placed some shiny books on the pile. Keely noticed that they were chewed at the edges, but she supposed that these were strategically placed in order to relax any suspicion. "Wizrd is awful at that."
Keely smiled. Wizrd was the 'family dog' that they had invented when talking about the future became unavoidable.
Keely turned to her husband and grinned. "Aren't these awesome?"
Phil loved the shine in Keely's eyes as she smiled. She was ecstatically happy, and he loved seeing her ecstatically happy. All her worrying about being a good mother had gone to waste. She was going to be an amazing mother.
More toys were piled in the middle of the room, and Keely was overjoyed at the result she got. Why bother buying things when you had a mother and a mother-in-law? They bought enough for everyone.
"I love you guys so much!" Keely cried, as the last plastic bag was emptied. "I never thought you'd have all of this stuff!"
Barb smiled. "We have a lot of stuff that you kids had. I remember I used to carry around a certain something... I probably brought it actually."
Phil's eyes widened. His mother didn't know that the actual box had originally been Keely's. And Keely didn't know that his mother had found the box that had been in the capsule.
"Ahh, here it is," Barb smiled, finding the music box in the pile. It had been put in the mess unnoticed by anyone.
Keely gasped, recognising the creamy coloured box. It looked exactly the same as it had been when she put it in the time capsule. Except more worn. Older. And then it occurred to her it was 100 years older. In fact, there was one still buried in the ground in the school.
"Wow, that's exactly like one that I bought for Keely!" Mandy observed, smiling at the box in Barb's hands.
Keely nodded in awe. She looked at Phil, remembering his reaction when he had found out that she was putting the box into the time capsule. He had been the baby that she had made smile in the future. She didn't know how she felt about that yet. She was happy. Happy to have found out that the box came in handy in the future. But Phil... he had known. But he hadn't told her. Although she supposed that was better.
"Really?" Barb looked confused, and turned to Phil. He nodded, confirming that her suspicions were correct.
"It's perfect," Keely whispered. "Thank you guys so much!"
Mandy smiled, and then got up. "I've got to get back to work. I left a pile of stuff on my desk at work, and I need to get back to sort it out. I'll talk to you later Keely!"
"I'll leave too," Barb smiled, noticing that maybe it was time to leave Phil and Keely alone. She gathered up the plastic bags, and scrunched them up. Then she kissed her son on the cheek, and hugged Keely. "Let us know as soon as there's anything you need."
Keely nodded, and Phil got up to let his mother and mother-in-law out of the house. As Phil left the room, Keely slid off of the couch, and knelt - with unease - on the floor. Then she picked up the familiar music box; the music box that she had never thought she'd see again.
She took a breath before opening the lid, as if her life depended on her opening it. Then she lifted the lid, hearing the familiar tune twinkle inside of it. It confirmed that this was her old music box, and her eyes filled up just hearing it.
When she lifted her head again, she saw Phil standing inside the doorway. "You okay?" he asked.
Keely nodded, closing the lid of the box carefully. "It's amazing Phil. I put that box in the capsule, hoping that I'd make some baby in the future smile. And I did."
"You make that very same baby smile every day. You make that very same baby a very happy person. And you didn't know it," Phil smiled, sitting down next to her.
"That's just it. You knew! I told you about putting that into the capsule, and you smiled - almost secretly. And I never thought anything of it, until... well, now. But I don't even know if I'm mad at you for not telling me," Keely rambled, not making all that much sense at all.
Phil smiled at her. "Keely, I didn't remember it. It happened, and I remembered, and then we carried on. I forgot. Until today, and my mom brought it out, and I just thought... what a perfect gift to give our baby. What an amazing gift to give our child."
"I love that I made you smile Phil. It's just... too big of a coincidence. There's too many things that have happened, that tie us together. The time machine breaking down in my century; the fact that I needed an algebra tutor; the fact that you were my guardian angel and now this. Someone wanted us together. And we were always going to be, no matter what happened," Keely fingered the engraved patterning around the hinges.
"Fate has it's way, whatever happens. It's worse at that than Pim," Phil smiled, placing his hand on Keely's. "The point is, we're together. Hey, would you have it any other way?"
Keely shook her head. "Of course not! I have the perfect life. All I ever wanted."
"And in the background, is this little music box... playing a happy tune," Phil smiled, and together they lifted the lid of the box, letting the tune wash over them.
Keely sighed as she leant over her daughter's crib. She felt as though she could sit and watch Amanda forever.
Amanda Marie Diffy was born on the 15th of April, at six thirty in the morning. Phil had been the first to hold her, and Keely had taken her moments after. Via and Owen had been named godparents, and Pim had breathed a sigh of relief at that. She wasn't completely sure that she could even handle being an aunt, let alone a godparent.
Keely had brought her home less than three days later, and both she and Phil were loving parenthood. Of course there had been sleepless nights, and early mornings, but neither of them minded. Amanda needed them, and they were going to be the best parents they could be. And, as Keely leant over her child's cot she thought, they were doing pretty darn good.
Phil stood in the doorway watching her. He watched as her blonde hair, that hadn't been washed in a while, hung over the cot. He noticed that she was thinner than she had been before, and vowed to make her eat more regularly. He saw that she loved Amanda more than anything else in the world, and he agreed with her. Phil would die for Amanda.
"You can come in," Keely whispered, trying not to wake her baby.
Phil was surprised she even knew that he was there. She hadn't turned around, yet she seemed sure that he was there. "You sure?"
"She's your baby too," Keely turned to him, and smiled. No matter how thinner she was, or how dirty her hair was, her smile was indifferent. It would never change, Phil knew. The smile would stay with her until she was old and grey.
Phil crept into the room, and stood next to his wife. "She's so beautiful."
"I know," Keely smiled down at her baby. "She has your brown hair."
"But she has your green eyes," Phil said. "In fact, she has a lot of your features. She looks so much like you and your mom."
Keely smiled, and prised her finger from the grasp of her baby's hand. It seemed to comfort Amanda, having someone's finger to hold onto. She needed to sleep holding onto someone's finger.
"You are a great mom," Phil hugged his wife. "All that worrying, about nothing. You're a natural."
Keely lay her head on her husband's shoulder. She remembered never being able to do that. She had been taller than him for a few years. "I don't know about that."
"Keely..." Phil sighed, wrapping his arms around her. "I remember; my earliest memory is being sung to. Wrapped in a blanket. My mom was singing along, to that music box. And without you, I never would've had that. I think you were a mother before your years, Keely. Don't you remember how you were always telling Owen off? And thinking of others? You had qualities of a mother since you were born."
Keely looked up at Phil. "Thanks. I love you."
"I love you too Keels," Phil smiled, and then glanced over at the clock. It was nearing midnight. "We'd better get to bed."
Keely nodded. "I'll go brush my teeth."
Phil watched as she walked out of the door, and then turned back to Amanda. She was born to two people who were so different it was almost impossible to imagine them together. But they loved each other. And they loved her as well.
He watched his daughter sleep for a few more seconds, and then picked up a box on the desk next to her. Then he twisted a knob at the back of it, and slowly opened the lid, letting the notes of the tune wash over him.
Finally he laid it down on the desk next to his daughter, and walked over to their bed. Keely joined him in a few minutes. Slowly they drifted to sleep.
Silence was the only sound in the Diffy household. Except for the wavering tune of a very old music box.
Y'all know how much I love reviews.
I'm going to be writing less chapter stories now, and more oneshots, because I just don't have the time for chapters. I'll finish Revenge, and then write one more. I may consider writing more chapter stories, but they'll be updated occasionally, and not every day like I usually did.
You'll get a oneshot every two weeks though. Promise.