Hey guys! It feels so weird to be coming back to this story, but it feels so good! I have really been focusing on Mockingbird, and I love writing that story so much, but WRM is my baby, lol, so it feels good. Jack has been in my head lately, so I had to get this outtake out! This takes place a little less than a year before Jack dies. Jack is 28, Edward is 20, and Harper is 3 (I know she was 3 when Jack died, but it is all about birthdays)
I hope you all enjoy!
Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet.
Are you fucking kidding?
Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.
"Shut up!" I yelled into my pillow so I didn't wake anyone. I am an animal lover, I love all animals; cats, dogs, horses, elephants, and even humans because they are animals too, but birds I can't deal with. Why do birds like to chirp at the crack of ass? They are really loud too. Damn it I hate birds. I don't know about anyone else, but I can think of many things that I would rather wake up to instead of bird's high pitched squawks. I put my pillow over my head so I could attempt going back to sleep, but then the alarm went off. I threw the pillow across the room and turned the alarm off. It was six in the morning, but that was how my days always started and I was used to it.
I got dressed in my red jogging pants and black t-shirt, getting ready for my run with a very special lady. I picked up my sneakers and socks to bring them out to the living room. My apartment was a decent size, nothing extravagant, but it wasn't cheap or old looking. My room was at the end of the hallway, and I stopped at the bathroom. I did my business, brushed my teeth, smoothed my hair down, and was off. The next stop was to the guest bedroom where my little brother and little niece were.
Edward was sleeping on his stomach, with his arm slung over the little one. She was awake already, just lying down, so chill like she always is. She was facing Edward and playing with his hair. Of course Edward wouldn't wake up, that kid would sleep through a third world war. She wasn't pulling on it though; she was twirling it in her fingers and bunching it together so it looked like he had a mowhawk. I walked through the door and she noticed me and gave me a smile while still playing with Edward's hair.
"Hey, little girl." I said as I got closer.
She put her finger to her mouth. "Shh…Daddy sleeping." She whispered.
I laughed lightly. "Sorry, kid." I whispered. "Ready to get up and go for a run with your old uncle?" She nodded her head vigorously and I picked her up. Edward started to stir when I moved her out of his arms. He lifted his head and looked over to me.
"What are you doing?" He mumbled and plopped his head back down on the pillow.
"We are going for a run." I said. He just hummed in response. He had a rough night last night. He worked, went home, and my parents gave him a lot of shit for coming home late when he was working overtime to get more money. They had a big fight, and he showed up here last night around midnight with tired eyes and a sleeping little girl in his arms.
"Okay, have fun." He mumbled again and he looked like he would fall asleep again at any second. Harper leaned forward in my arms and I knew what she wanted. I held her so she wouldn't fall as she leaned over to kiss Edward. She kissed his cheek, and one side of his mouth turned up in his sleepy state. "Love you, baby." He said.
"Goodnight, Daddy." She said sweetly. I lifted her back up, and headed out the door with her, ready to start another day of my sometimes crazy, but otherwise great life.
I was just finishing my second round around the park while pushing the stroller. It was a nice day outside, not to hot, not to cold, just a really nice day. "Run faster, Uncle Jack!" I heard Harper yell from the stroller. I laughed and began to run faster. She liked when I ran fast and she got a nice fast ride in the stroller. She was giggling the whole time and she had her arms stretched out to her sides, I could see the skinny things popping out from the sides. "Stop!" She yelled and I stopped dead in my tracks. This was a little game we had when went for a run together, she would tell me randomly to run faster, and then stop, it may not seem that entertaining, but it was to a three year old.
"You going to get your lazy bum out of that stroller and run with me?" I asked her as I walked to the front of her stroller.
She put her finger to her chin and scrunched up her nose. Man, I hope my future kid is as cute as this one. "Yup!" She finally said. She tried to unbuckle herself, but she was having trouble, so I did it. I brought the stroller to my car and put it away. She had her hair in lopsided pig tails—give me a break, I'm a man—and she was wearing pink shorts, black shirt, and her black high-top Converses. Not exactly running shoes, but Edward can't afford more than one pair of sneakers for her. I think I know a good birthday gift for her though…
I grabbed her hand and brought her onto the grass. "Okay, now you know the drill, you have to stretch." I said and got my feet shoulder width apart, and she did the same thing. I started doing the basic stretching moves, and she copied every one of them. I caught a couple of people, mainly girls and older people, pointing and saying how cute we were.
"Okay, I think I'm ready." she said.
"Okay, let's go." I said and went onto the running trail of the park. I brought my arms up in jogging position and she did the same. I jogged to keep pace with her. She was actually moving pretty fast for a little girl as small as her, but I wasn't breaking a sweat. I noticed her breathing heavier. "You want to take a break, short stuff?"
She gulped in a breath and her face was determined. "No, keep going." She was a stubborn little thing, but I don't need her passing out on me, she was doing a lot of running for a little girl. I didn't want to damage her ego though, so I decided to take a different approach.
I started breathing heavy, and going slower. "I think I need to stop, Harper." I said.
She looked over at me. "Really?" She asked.
I gulped in a large amount of air that I didn't necessarily need. "Yeah." Another deep breath. " You run to fast." I stopped and braced my hands on my knees taking deep breaths.
She walked over to me and put her hand on my shoulder. "Are you okay, Uncle Jack?" She asked worriedly. I looked over at her, amazed by her compassion at such a young age. Any other kid would have loved to rub it in someone's face that they beat them, but not Harper apparently. I knew she had to have got that from Edward. I knew everything about her came from Edward though, because she was good through and through. Sure she had her bratty moments, because if she didn't she wouldn't be normal, but they were bearable and any bad moments she had were soon forgotten when she gave you that crooked smile and opened her sweet mouth. She was a special little girl.
I straightened up so she wouldn't worry so much. "I am fine, Harper." I scooped her up in my arms and placed her on my shoulders. She giggled, and I brought my hands up to hold hers on my shoulders so she wouldn't fall. I walked around the park with her like that for a little while. We talked together, I tried to get her to talk about anything really, and she really only talked about Edward, which made sense. She really didn't have much interaction with anyone besides me, my parents, and of course Edward. Edward couldn't afford day care, and my parents refused to help him with the expenses for one. I would have pitched in, but Edward refused to accept anything I gave him besides babysitting every once in a while.
"Hello, Jack!" I heard someone's voice say other than the little girl on my shoulders. I looked up and saw Stacey, a nurse at the hospital, that I had the biggest crush on. Heck, I think I love her. She was short, maybe 5'1 or something; she has dirty blonde hair, and these crazy blue-green eyes. She wasn't fat, but she wasn't skinny either, she was just perfect to me. Oh, and she likes dogs. We have spent a lot of time together, since we work together, and she started off being my temp. We have lunch together every day, and yeah…I am really into this girl.
It all sounds so great, right?
She has a fiancé.
Just my luck, huh? I have dated here and there, but the one girl I actually want is not available, and she is always right in front of me. It was the worst kind of cliché, but sometimes clichés hit it right on the head.
You know, it sucks having to see her everyday and talk with her and fall deeper in my feelings, but I am okay with it on a level. I can wait. I have this philosophy that everything does indeed happen for a reason. If I was meant to be with Stacey; it would happen. I was not going to try and court her or anything. I do have respect for other males. I have never met him before, but she has talked about him. His name is Evan, and he seems like a good guy from the way she describes him, so why should I fault him for being in love with such an amazing girl? I can't, so I will just let life takes its course and wait. I personally think we are perfect for each other, but maybe I am biased.
"Hey, Stacey." I said with a smile.
She looked up past my head at Harper. "Oh, is this your niece you are forever talking about?" She asked, still looking at Harper.
"Yes it is." I picked her up off of my shoulders, and brought her around so I was holding her in my arms. She put her head on my shoulder and was hiding her face. "Harper, why don't you say hi? This is my friend Stacey."
"Hi." She said but was holding onto my neck.
"Hey Harper, you are very pretty, your Uncle told me a lot about you!" She said, and moved the leash she had in her hand to the other side since her German Sheperd was walking around her.
"Thank you, you're pretty too." Harper said shyly.
Stacey smiled fondly at her and then looked up at me again. "So you took today off too?" She asked.
"Uh…yeah. I know I usually work on Sundays, but I need a break." I said.
"Well good! You need one, you work more than anyone I know."
I laughed, I personally thought Edward worked harder than me, but I didn't really want to get into that. "So what is your dog's name again?" I asked motioning to the dog that was now sitting at her feet.
"Oh, this is Cornelius."
I tried to hold in my laugh, but it kind of came out as a snort. "I thought your dog's name was Lucky?"
She laughed. "It is! That is my other dog though; I just got this guy yesterday."
And now she has two dogs, could she be more perfect? "So you thought naming him Cornelius would be fitting for a strong German Sheperd?"
"Hey, don't judge, Cornelius is very sensitive." She said, obviously joking, and I laughed.
"He's a great dog." I said as I looked down at the dog.
"Yeah, I think so. So I actually really have to go, but it was nice seeing you, Jack." She said and then put a hand on Harper's back. "I hope to see you again soon, cutie." She said.
"Bye, bye." Harper said, and I said goodbye to her too, and she walked away with Cornelius. I sighed loudly, wishing our exchange lasted more than just minutes. "She was nice." Harper said.
"Yeah, she is." I stood there for a second; trying to remind myself of the philosophy I was living by. Everything happens for a reason, Jack, just let things play out, I told myself. I needed something to get things off of my mind, and I was reminded of something that I needed to get done today. "So you ready to go see your Dad?" I asked Harper, and her face lit up and she nodded her head.
We walked in the door, and Harper immediately went to run to the guest bedroom. I got there right behind her, and I saw that Edward was still sleeping. Man, I felt bad waking him up, but I needed to do this so I can get it off my chest and maybe spend the rest of the day with my little brother and niece with no worries. "Edward." I called as I walked into the room. Harper tried to climb onto the bed, but she was too short, so I picked her up and put her on it. She crawled over to Edward and started rubbing his back.
"Wake up, Daddy." She said and Edward started to get up. He rolled over on his back and looked over at Harper. He smiled and pulled her down on his chest and she giggled. She snuggled up to his chest as he rubbed her back. Edward looked up at me.
"What's up?" He said.
"Nothing, we just went for a run didn't we, little thing?" I asked Harper.
"Yup!" She said excitedly, but didn't even bother picking up her head from his chest.
"But you are back on Daddy duty, little brother. I have to go out."
He yawned. "Where are you going?"
"Just some stuff for work." I lied, but I know if I told him where I was going, he would protest instantly.
"Alright, well you don't mind if we inhabit your apartment while you are gone right?" He asked.
"Well actually I do mind. I don't want you two in this house anymore, you both stink." I said.
Edward gasped in mock insult. "Did you hear that, baby? Uncle Jack thinks we stink!" He said.
"Me and Daddy don't stink!" She said with a smile. Even at a young age, she already understood mine and Edward's sense of humor. She knew I was obviously joking, and it was great she was playing along.
"Yes you do." I said like a stubborn child and stuck out my tongue. It got me a giggle, so I was happy. "I'm just kidding, but it hurts that you would have to ask, Edward." I said only half serious.
"Well I am not just going to take over your apartment and life."
"Oh shut up you big baby." I said joking around, but Harper didn't pick up on that one, and she went into instant Daddy-protection-mode.
"My Daddy is not a baby!" She said and gave me a very dirty look.
Edward kissed her head. "He was only joking, baby."
"Yeah, chill little one, but I really have to go."
"Bye, Uncle Jack!" Harper said sweetly, and I blew her a kiss before I left.
I didn't even bother knocking and just opened the front door. She came running from the living room with at first a pissed off look, and then her face softened when she saw me. "Oh, Edward it is just Jack." She said to my Dad who was walking in after her with the same expression.
"Who did you think I was?" Although I think I knew.
"Your brother. I have had it up to here with that one." My Mom said while bringing her hand above her head. That is what I am here for, I am sick of them picking on Edward.
"Why are you guys giving him such a hard time?" I asked. They were both standing in front of me, and I never really stood up to them that much. The only times I ever do is for Edward though, it was hard being his brother sometimes. Not because he is an annoying little shit, because he wasn't. I love my brother a whole lot, and the hardest thing is seeing how my parents treat him compared to how they treat me. I don't really get why they do that. Sure I am a lot older than Edward, but that doesn't mean shit. Edward is definitely a better person; a stronger person I think, but unfortunately that is because of the way my parents treat him. I wish there was a way I can change that, God knows I have tried time and time again, like I am right now.
"Why are we giving him a hard time?" My Dad asked rhetorically. "He is irresponsible that's why."
"That is a crock of shit." I said bluntly, and they both looked at me in shock from my swearing.
"Excuse me?" My Dad asked.
"You heard me. You guys need a serious reality check if you don't see just how responsible Edward is."
"He got a girl pregnant at 17, Jack, I don't think that is very responsible." My Mom said and crossed her arms in front of her like a child. I don't even know these people anymore.
"Sure that was irresponsible I guess, but don't you see the gift this family got out of that?" I asked desperately. I wanted my parents and Edward to just get along. Edward really only has me and Harper right now, and I want him to have more people on his side no matter what, I just can't believe I have to try and convince his own parents to treat him like their son that they love for once.
"Well, we don't have to raise Harper." My Dad said. This is really getting old, no matter how much I try; they are both to stubborn for their own good.
"No you don't because she is already being raised by her father and her father alone."
"Oh so why were we stuck babysitting until 10:30 last night?"
"He was working overtime!"
My Dad scoffed. "Yeah, overtime. More like partying."
Now I was even more pissed. "You obviously don't know your own son."
"We know our son, Jack." My Mom said.
"No you don't! You know, I am really sick and tired of the way you guys have been treating him. Why are you doing this to him?" I figured just coming out and asking could get me somewhere at least.
They both looked like they didn't know what to say until my Mom finally said something. "I…he is irresponsible."
I laughed humorlessly. "It is because he is not me isn't it?" I knew this was the reason, and it made me feel horrible, but it really wasn't my fault. I can't control my parents' actions, but I wish I could for Edward's sake.
"Well…you are a good man, honey, very successful." My Mom said.
"I am also eight years older than him, Mom! He has barely had time to live or do anything for himself! But he is doing something extraordinary right now. Not every 17 year old male would be willing to be a single parent, and I think he is doing a very good job of it considering the circumstances."
"It shouldn't have happened in the first place." My Dad said. "Do you know what people think of us now?"
"Who the fuck cares." I said. "And last night, wasn't Harper sleeping? Is that really such a big deal to you guys?"
"Well…yes." My Mom said. "But she cried asking for Edward before she fell asleep."
"That is because she loves him! That little girl loves him because he is an amazing father to her, why can't you guys see that!" This was like pulling teeth here. They were being impossible, and I sometimes wonder why I even try.
"You wouldn't understand." Mom said.
"You know what? I don't think I would either." I said, and I turned to head for the door.
"Oh Jack! Don't leave, honey, stay for a little while."
I stopped and turned towards them. "No."
"Jack, don't disrespect your mother like that." My Dad said and tried to get his stern face on. Oh, I wanted him to hit me so bad, and then it will give me an excuse to hit him back twice as hard for the times he has smacked Edward around.
"Don't disrespect my brother then." I said and opened the front door. "I will come over when you call me to ask if me and Edward will come over. I am done."
I opened the door to my apartment and was once again greeted by a very angry looking face. Edward came stalking towards me and put his hands on my shoulders to push me out into the hallway. He shut the door quietly and turned back to me and shoved me. "Can you please stop getting in my fucking business?" He said loudly.
"I think you need to calm down, dude." I said and put my hands on his shoulders, but I wasn't going to push him.
"Why did you go to them, Jack?" He asked and he looked like he may start to cry, and I knew that the stress was really weighing him down.
"How did you know…"
"Dad called me of course and asked me why I wasn't man enough to go over there and fight my own battles." He ran his hand through his hair.
"Look, I'm sorry Edward…"
"Do you know what that's like?" He asked, but looking at the floor. "No matter how hard I try I can't get them to just fucking accept me."
I walked closer to him. "I wish I did know what it was like, Edward. I wish I could take your place, but I can't. I went to Mom and Dad today to try and talk some sense into them. I didn't want to start more trouble between you and them."
His shoulders slumped and he rubbed his hands over his face. He took a deep breath. "I know." He finally looked up at me. "I know, I'm sorry for flipping out and pushing you and shit."
"Well you are pretty weak so…" In a true Edward fashion, he lifted both his hands to flip me off. I laughed and pulled him in for a manly hug. I slapped his back a couple of times and he hit mine too. "Things will get better, Edward. Just give them time."
"Uncle Jack, you eat a lot of pizza." Harper said as Edward was cleaning off her greasy face. I ordered some pizzas for the three of us to have. Edward was going to stay here again tonight, so we were just having dinner.
"I like pizza." I said and Edward continued wiping her hands and face with a smile on his.
"Me too, but I can only have one until my tummy is full."
"Well my tummy is bigger than yours, so I eat a lot more."
"Oh." She said and shrugged her shoulders. And as usual Edward and I laughed because every little thing she does is too cute. Edward picked her up off the chair, and held her in his arms.
"You want me to read you a story, honey?" He asked.
She shook her head. "Nope, I read one myself." He smiled, kissed her cheek, and put her back on the ground. She ran out of the kitchen and into the living room. I could see her sitting on the couch with her book in her lap from where I was sitting. Edward sat back down and took another piece of pizza.
"So you got a special lady in your life?" I asked Edward randomly just to start conversation.
"Uh yeah." He said, and I really wasn't expecting him to have a girlfriend, so I was really interested. "She is almost three feet tall; she has eyes just like mine, and hair like mine, only a little darker. Beautiful, beautiful girl. Oh, and she calls me Daddy."
I slapped him in the head. He laughed. "You know what I meant."
"I know, and that is the truth. Harper is the only girl in my life right now."
"Any possibilities?" I really wanted my brother to get a girlfriend. He really hasn't had any, and I think he would deserve one and Harper deserves a mother. But I would have to approve of course. I don't need girls that are going to hurt my brother be with him, he has had enough hurt in his life.
"No, not at all." He said and took another bite of pizza. "What about you? Still got the hots for that Stacey chick?"
I smiled at her name. "Yeah, but she is still taken." I said wistfully.
"Why don't you tell her how you feel?" He asked.
I shrugged. "I don't know, I don't want to make things awkward between us. You know everything…"
"Happens for a reason…I know." He finished for me. "But don't you think you should at least try to tweak fate a little bit?"
I shook my head. "I have all the time in the world to wait, Edward."
"You're nuts." He said. "I think you should just at least tell her how you feel."
I shrugged. "Eh...maybe one day in the near future."
"Ah! Daddy! Uncle Jack!" We heard Harper yell. Both of our chairs screeched against the hardwood floor, and we were out. Edward was ahead of me even though I was closer to where she was.
"What is it?" Edward asked in a panic, and Harper jumped right in his arms.
"Kill it! Kill the big bad bug, Daddy!" She blubbered into his shoulder. I saw Edward instantly relax at her words. I could practically hear his heart beating against his chest.
"Where is it, Harper?" I asked, looking at the couch and the floor in front of her, but saw nothing.
She lifted her head and pointed. "Over there! On the coffee table! Get it, Uncle Jack!" She said, and I laughed, Edward wasn't laughing though, he had a tight grip on her.
Sure enough, there was a little ant crawling on the coffee table. "Well we don't want to kill it." I said. I put my finger in front of the ant, and it crawled on. I brought my finger up to her and showed her. "See? He doesn't hurt anyone. I will bring him outside." I told her. She nodded her head and I opened the window and flicked it out. Ants land on their feet right?
I walked back over to them and she reached for me. I took her from Edward's arms, and she kissed me on the cheek. "Thank you, Uncle Jack. You are the bestest!" She started to squirm to get down, and went back to her book. Edward was still standing in his place looking at Harper with a relieved, but scared look on his face.
I walked over to him. "You alright, dude?" I asked, and he nodded his head.
"You don't look it." I said.
He took a deep breath. "It just scares me sometimes when I realize how much my life relies on hers."
"It's called being a father." I was going to say that everyone feels it when they have a kid, but unfortunately that is not true. I don't think my father has those feelings for Edward and it kills me a little inside to know that. I just don't want Edward to be alone in this world. I think it is impossible to not love this kid, and it is sad that his own parents can't see that.
"It is a crazy feeling. I mean just hearing her scream like that I thought my heart was going to stop beating. I mean, what would I ever do if I lost her?"
"You won't lose her." I said, but he was still in his train of thought and continued on.
"I would die. Fuck…I would die." He was breathing heavier again and I put my hands on his shoulders to ground him and get him to calm down.
"You are not going to lose her, Edward. Stop thinking like that or you are only going to drive yourself crazy. I promise you that no matter what happens, you will have that little girl. I know our parents are douches to you, but all of that doesn't matter because you have her. So instead of being afraid of it, embrace it."
He nodded his head. "I do embrace it."
"Then you will be fine."
"You know Jack, I think you should go get yourself a kid." He said and I laughed.
"Oh sure, I will go buy one right now." I said. I turned and picked up Harper.
"Hey! I was reading that!" I held her like a football and she started giggling.
"I'll take this one!" I said and Edward laughed.
"Uh…I don't think so."
"What are you guys talking about?" Harper asked as she was hanging from my arm. I picked her up so she was hoisted up on my hip.
"Uncle Jack wants to take you away from me!" Edward said, and Harper screamed and reached over to Edward. He took her in his arms right away.
"No way, Uncle Jack!"
We all laughed. Yeah, I know no matter what happens these two will always have each other at least. I will continue to try and mend my brother and my parents relationship just so they can establish that bod together. My life has been made more full because of them, and I want people to see that. Sure I am in love with an unavailable girl, I am 28 with no kids, not married, kind of boring really. But I do have these two, and as long as they are there with me till the day I die, I think I will be just fine. I will be happy.
I hope you all liked it! Not too much drama, but I wanted to give you all a little glimpse into what went through Jack's mind. I also wanted you to see how he was with Harper, Edward, and even his parents. Oh, and a little glimpse into Edward and Harper's relationship early on and Edward's struggles with his parents. Wow, that is a lot of stuff I wanted to show lol, I hope I did alright!
I have really been working on my other story, Mockingbird, if any of you who aren't reading it want to check it out! I must warn you that it is a lot angstier than WRM, but I got a lot of good reviews! And things are really picking up on that one.
Also, me and my good friend Alexa (FFn: AlexaET; Twitter: AlexaUrce) are teaming up for a project! She wrote an amazing story called The Beauty of His Eyes, which you should all check out if you haven't already! Our penname is MonyAlexa, and we are currently working on our new story so be sure to look out for that!
Right now I don't know if I have any more outtakes planned, but you never know when inspiration will strike!
Review Please :]