"A phone call would do…"
"An invitation in the mail…"
"Skywriting over her house…"
"Craig, I'm serious…"
"A long piece of string with a cup at both ends…"
"Craig," I warned again, though amused at his random ideas.
"A tape recording in the mail that explodes ten seconds after you read it, even…"
"Shut your mouth and keep your eyes on the road. You know we have do to this."
"Ash, weren't you listening to my ideas? Ever since I watched Inspector Gadget when I was a kid, I'd always wanted to try out one of those explosive tape recordings…"
"Okay, maybe we don't have to see her. But I want to. I just think maybe it might fix things a bit…" He snorted; his eyes steady on the road.
"Yeah, I'm sure that'll help. Marrying the 'son of a bitch' who knocked you up… Who cheated on you… Who she thinks is on the list of the world's worst people, right between Michael Jackson and Courtney Love."
"Now she'll understand that we're finally committed. We're going to be together forever."
"Like she believed that a couple months ago when I-"
"Craig, shut up and keep driving."
"You know this is a bad idea. She's going to take one look at you, notice the incredibly hot guy, aka the spawn of Satan, right next to you, and slam the door in your face. That's how it works with Ellie's mom and Sean. That's how it's always been with us… As long as you're with me, she doesn't want anything to do with you." I frowned, hearing the harsh words, but I knew they were true. Marrying Craig would be seen as some sort of failure to her, as everything else involving Craig had been.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" I nodded, now looking down, fidgeting with a silver bracelet around my wrist.
"You're sure? 'Cause that tape recording offer is still available," He reminded in a failing attempt to cheer me up. It wasn't that I really wanted to go see my mother… It was more of the fact that I thought I owed her… She had a right to know about these kinds of things… She is my mother after all; even though she wants nothing to do with me.
"No… We have to do this… okay? I feel like I owe it to her."
"How do you-"
"Craig," I interrupted, holding a hand up, "If we're going to get married, you have to start agreeing with me without questioning my decisions."
"Because I'm the woman and you're the man. In simpler terms, I'm superior." I stated, grinning. No matter how bad I was feeling, spending time with Craig could always cheer me up. Unless, of course, Craig was the problem. Then talking about Craig behind his back would cheer me up.
"Huh… Now there's something they should teach you in school," He declared, still distracted by the road.
"They should also teach you how to deal with insane parents. Can we just see Joey first?"
"Fly to England just to tell him I'm getting married?"
"I know you are."
"Let's go see how Toby's doing."
"I already called him."
"I haven't talked to Manny in a while…"
"God, would you just shut up already? You're supposed to agree with whatever I say. I'm superior, remember?"
"And that's why I'm superior."
"I believe that you believe you are."
"Shut up," I said, laughing. I lightly hit him on the arm.
"Do you want to get into a car accident? Wait… it'll stall time… Hit me again." I sighed, crossing my arms.
"Ash, you know the minute she sees me we're going to have to run away. She'll probably have Jeff armed with a gun… Start shooting at us…"
"What are we? Hillbillies? Craig, she'll give us a chance, okay?"
"Alright," he said with a sigh. As we approached my mom's house, he slowed down, hesitating when he was about to pull into the driveway.
"Do you think I'm allowed to do that?"
"Yes," I replied, rolling my eyes, "You are allowed to use the driveway."
"What if it sets off some kind of anti-Craig warning? We might get electrocuted."
"I can see the start of the conversation now. 'Mom, I'm marrying the most annoying man in the world who won't leave me alone and whom you've hated since he was fifteen. Oh, and he's extremely paranoid, so don't scare him.'" He snorted, pulling into the driveway.
"I have the right to be paranoid."
"Right…" As he unlocked the doors, both of us exited the car on either side. I began to walk up the front steps of my old house, before realizing Craig was not by my side. Huffing, I turned around, grabbed Craig roughly by the arm and dragged him up the steps to the house. Pressing the faded golden doorbell, I heard the soft thump of someone's footsteps nearing the door.
"Dun, dun, dunnn," Craig whispered in a singsong tone.
The old wooden door opened, and we were faced with a tall, somewhat stout man with graying hair.
"Ashley?" Jeff asked raising his eyebrows. "Craig…" He started, his tone portraying his less than happy attitude towards the younger man.
"Surprise?" He offered weakly.
"Umm… We have something to tell you guys… Is mom home?"
"Yeah…" He turned towards Craig, and then towards me again, "She's not going to be happy about this…"
"It's not… bad news…" I explained, "Can we come in?"
"Uh… yeah…" He moved aside, allowing Craig and I to enter. As we walked inside, my mom turned around from where she sat on the living room sofa.
"Umm… we have some news…" I started, keeping my gaze down at the floor. My shoes were suddenly the most interesting things in the room.
"Oh really? Enlighten me."
"Well… Craig and I… we're going to get married." I slowly glanced up, waiting for the expression on her face to change. To pride, happiness, something positive? I don't know what I was expecting. She remained silent.
"Ms. Kerwin-" Craig started, but was interrupted as she started to speak.
"What? Did you think I would be proud of you two?"
"Ashley, you're twenty two years old. Just out of college last year. Can you actually tell me you think it's a good idea for you to move this fast? And with him?!"
"And for someone who just had a baby?"
"Mom, you know we-"
"I doubt you'll even-"
"Mom, would you just listen to me?!" I yelled, frustrated that I could not even get one word in without interruption. "Seven years ago when Craig cheated on me? I forgave him. That was seven years ago. And it's not like he did anything to you! He's done nothing but try to get your approval, and you still haven't forgiven him! Last year? I admit we made a mistake, but we handled it responsibly. And I do think I'm going to make it with him. I came here to talk to you. Not some letter in the mail or some five- second phone call. I was hoping we could fix things, but I guess not, seeing as you're still so pigheaded about this when it's not even your problem! These are my decisions, mom. This is my life. I still want you to be a part of it, but…" I trailed off, stared at the floor again.
"Honestly?" I spoke quietly, "I can't see that happening anymore…"
"These are your decisions, huh? You chose to take the guy who cheated on you back? You chose to get into a relationship that failed two other times before? You chose to have sex with him and got yourself knocked up? And now you're choosing to marry him. Does he even have a steady job?"
"Uh… I own a music store…"
"Great. And when that goes out of business?"
"It won't, mom." I stated sharply. "I trust him."
"Maybe so, but I still can't trust your decisions seeing as they're so irresponsible. It's my job to look out for you, but after your daughter screws up so many times, sometimes you just get tired of trying. I can't support your decisions, and I can't accept that you keep doing this to yourself," She said, motioning to Craig. "But, as you've said: this is your life, and these are your decisions. Just don't expect to see me at the wedding. When you screw up again,
don't cry to me about it. You're obviously wise enough to make your own decisions."
"Ms. Kerwin-" Blinking back tears, I grabbed Craig by the arm, pulling him towards the door.
"Let's go, Craig."
"Let's go." I repeated firmly. Reluctantly, he agreed, following me from the house. I let the door shut behind me with a loud slam.
"Ash," He whispered, using his thumb to brush a stray tear from my eyes.
"Craig, she's my mom. My own mother won't be at my wedding." He nodded, wrapping his arms around me.
"Neither will mine."
"I'm sure she'd have wanted to be," I whispered.
"I'm sure your mom does too… Maybe if I pretended to be someone else… Do you think the standard fake glasses, nose, and moustache would fool her?" I smiled slightly, pressed my lips lightly against the warmth of his cheek.
"You can't wear that to my wedding."
"What if I got something like that Michael Jackson skin disease? Maybe she'd be fooled." He shrugged, opening the door for me.
"If you wake up tomorrow and look anything like Michael Jackson, I'm leaving you." I informed him, climbing into the car.
"Ouch." He closed the door and walked around to the other side, settling into the driver's seat. I looked out the window staring at the house I used to call my home. I doubt I was even welcome there anymore after this fight. Which wasn't as bad as the last one, but this time I definitely knew she wouldn't want me to come back, no matter what I did.
"Ash," Craig started, as he pulled out of the driveway. "There's still a chance she might show up…"
"I know." Was my reply, although I was pretty sure neither of us expected her to show up.
"Ash…" Craig started again.
"No matter what happens, I'll always be there for you. And no matter how much shit we go through, we're going to face it together."
"Good." There was a pregnant pause before he spoke again.
"No matter what your mom says… I don't think you've screwed up." It was silent for a moment before he spoke again.
"I believe in us." I smiled.
I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
Then looking upwards
I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.
"Do they collide?"
I ask and you smile.
With my feet on the dash
The world doesn't matter.
When you feel embarrassed then i'll be your pride
When you need directions then i'll be the guide
For all time.
For all time.
Passenger Seat- Death Cab for Cutie
A/n: So, so, so, so, so, so , so, so, SORRY. I've been taking a month to update each chapter... I procrastinate and get distracted with other fics... and school is kicking my ass... Sorry! I'll try to update sooner next time.