This has been in my head for a while now…I hope you enjoy. Review, please!
I quietly closed my car door behind me, surveying the dark street. It looked the same as always- quiet and peaceful. The streetlamps were on, and dark shadows fell everywhere. I turned towards the house, smiling wryly when I saw that the porch light was on, as always. I turned around and went to the trunk of my car, getting my tattered suitcase out and then shutting the trunk as well, trying to keep as quiet as possible. It was past midnight, so I knew that they were both probably asleep. I should have called ahead to say I'd be here tonight, but I never do and it astounds me that the porch light is always left on, just in case.
It reminds me that no matter our situation, I always have this home and family to come back to.
My feet crunch over dry leaves on the path up to the house, a reminder that I have yard work to do while I'm home. As I approach the door and reach for the key that is always in the front pocket of my jeans, I'm surprised when the door opens slowly, and she's standing there wearing a short blue nightgown with her brown hair mused and her eyes half closed with sleep.
"I heard the car pull up." Bella muttered sleepily, and a smile appeared on her face as I pulled her into a gentle hug. "Welcome home."
"Sorry I woke you." I said as she moved aside and held the door open wider so that I could come in, dragging my suitcase behind you.
She shook her head, crossing her arms over her chest. "No…it's fine." Bella said with a soft smile. "I like when you come home." She admitted, and I couldn't help but feel guilty. Luckily, she quickly moved on. "How long will you be staying this time?"
"Longer than I usually do." I said, smiling crookedly. "A couple of weeks, probably."
Bella nodded, looking towards the stairs. "He'll be excited." She said, looking down at her hands. "He misses you…and asks about you all the time."
I pursed my lips. "You know I miss him too."
"Yeah, I know." She said, and then sighed. "Come on, let's go to bed." With that, she turned and headed up the stairs, one of her small hands gripping the banister. I followed after her, suitcase in hand. When we reached the top of the stairs, I immediately set my suitcase down and opened the door to my son's room, peeking in.
I hadn't seen Liam for two months, and he had already grown so much. I leaned against the doorframe for a moment, and Bella stood next to me, watching him sleep as well. "He's gotten big." I noted softly, and Bella just nodded in agreement. I moved closer to him and brushed his curly auburn hair off of his forehead, stroking gently as I took in the sight of him. Then I leaned down and kissed his forehead gently, knowing that over the next couple of weeks I would have plenty of time with him.
I looked over my shoulder at my sleeping son as I left the room, Bella following behind me. "He has to leave for school tomorrow at eight." Bella informed me as we walked into our bedroom. Well, it was 'our' bedroom technically, but for roughly ten months of the year, it was just Bella's. "Do you want to take him?" She asked, lifting up the covers of the bed and sliding in.
"Of course I do." I said, pulling my shirt over my head. I tossed it in the hamper next to the bathroom door, and then kicked off my jeans and threw them in there as well. I kept my boxers on as I slid into bed, sighing contently at the chance for a good night's sleep. Bella leaned over and pecked me softly on the lips, her hand on my cheek.
"Goodnight. I'm glad you're home." She murmured.
"Me too." I confessed, and she rolled back over onto her side of the bed and shut off her lamp without another word.
I could tell by her even, steady breaths that Bella fell asleep soon after, but I stayed awake and stared up at the ceiling fan, spinning around and around above us.
Looking at Bella and I, you'd never guess that we were married, and had been for almost six years. We had been high school sweethearts- stupid and reckless and immature and thinking that we were in love. Bella had gotten pregnant when we were both twenty, and got married when Bella was four months pregnant, thanks to pressing from all of our parents to 'do the right thing'. It hadn't taken long for the honeymoon phase to wear off, and by the time Bella gave birth to our son, Liam, the two of us were more friends than husband and wife.
Soon after Liam's birth, I made a tough decision. I took a job as a travelling photographer, going from city to city and state to state and country to country for my work, constantly on the move. I was gone for a month or two at a time, and when I came home it was usually only for a week or two, mostly less than that. I felt guilty, having to stay away from my son simply because I didn't want to be with my wife, but I did everything I could to make it up to him.
I wasn't staying with Bella as an obligation to her, hell, Bella could take care of herself just fine and she had told me on several occasions that she didn't need me. I stayed with her because of Liam, and because although I couldn't be around often, I loved him and wanted to provide for him. I made enough money through my job that Bella didn't have to work and still live comfortably. I was proud of that fact, earning enough money for my wife and son to be content. I might not be around much, but I'll always take care of both of them.
I woke up the next morning when someone started jumping on the bed, shouting loudly. I groaned and rolled over, pulling my pillow over my head to try and block out some of the excessive noise. But the jumping continued, and I eventually sat up, rubbing my eyes sleepily. "Daddy!" The bouncing ball of energy that was my five year old son leaped into my arms, making me laugh.
"Hey!" I said happily, hugging Liam tightly as he continued to wriggle around in my arms. "How's my guy? Have you been watching over everything for me?"
"Yep!" Liam exclaimed, looking up at me with his big brown eyes. "Where were you this time, and what did you bring me?"
I laughed, playfully pinching his cheek. "Is that all you want from me?" I asked, feigning like I was deeply hurt. Really, I understood that he was just anxious.
Liam shook his head, hugging me again and nuzzling his forehead against my shoulder. "No, daddy. I like when you come home."
"Good." I said. "I like being home with you, too." Liam smiled up at me, and I ruffled his curly hair. "And I was in a country called Liberia, which is in Africa. There are a lot of little kids there, just like you, but some of them don't have parents like you do." I explained. "I missed you a lot." I said, which was true. Seeing all of those poor, malnourished children, most of them orphans, had made me miss my own son like crazy. Even more than I usually did.
"It's okay, daddy. I have mommy, even when you're gone." Liam said sweetly, making my heart pang in my chest. I knew that I wouldn't be able to stay away from him much longer, especially since he was growing up so fast and I was missing out on so much in his life. But I couldn't just quit my job, and I had a lot of assignments to finish up before I could even consider stop traveling out of the counter. "So, what did you bring me?" Liam asked me again, and I rolled my eyes at him.
"Come on." I said, rolling out of bed and scooping him into my arms. I sat down on the floor and he settled in my lap, leaning back against my chest. I shifted slightly and unzipped one of the many pockets on my suitcase, pulling out the soccer jersey I had bought for him. "I know you like soccer." I said, suddenly feeling a little awkward as I handed it to Liam. "And…I saw this."
Liam didn't pick up on my awkwardness; he just grinned and hugged it to his chest. "Thanks." He said softly, tilting his head and looking up at me. "I like it."
"Good." I said softly, my voice almost cracking as I looked at him. Turning my head so he wouldn't see the tears in my eyes, I glanced over at the clock on my nightstand. "You should go get ready for school. I'm going to drop you off this morning and pick you up this afternoon."
He leaped up off my lap, still grinning. "Okay! I'll wear this." Liam said, waving around the jersey as he ran out of the room.
I sat on the floor for a moment, lost in thought, before I finally came to my senses and stood up to get ready. By the time I was ready to go, Liam was waiting at the front door, his backpack and paper bag lunch in his hands. Bella kissed both of us on the foreheads, ushering us out the door five minutes behind schedule.
The car ride was mostly silent on my part, because Liam chattered on and on about kindergarten and his friends and every other detail of his life. I listened closely, wishing I hadn't missed out on all of those things. I dropped him off in front of the school, watching as he ran up to some of his friends and headed inside the building. He turned around to wave to me, and I waved back, my heart thudding in my chest.
I got back to the house and Bella was sitting on the porch swing out front. I slowly walked up to Bella, and she glanced up at me as I approached.
"We need to talk about some things."
I hope you liked it! Please review and I'll continue soon.
Xoxo- Melodyella aka Mellie