"Lizzie, do we have to leave right before Christmas?" Rose asked, watching Lizzie place the last of her contents into the pink suitcase.
"Yeah," Lizzie replied. "You'll have a nice Christmas with your dad tomorrow, and I'll drop off some presents and cookies later in the evening."
"I'm going to miss you." Lizzie sighed and didn't take her eyes off of Rose's suitcase, for she feared that if she met the little girl's gaze, tears would spill out of her eyes. She had to appear strong.
"I'll miss you, too, kiddo. It's been fun having you here."
"You'll be a good Mommy someday."
Lizzie laughed. "I don't think I'll ever be anyone's Mom. I'm starting to get a little old for that," Lizzie joked, rubbing her back and groaning as if she were an old lady. Rose giggled.
Scott appeared in the doorway, then. "All packed?" Lizzie asked him. He nodded. "All-righty then. Anyone wanna help me cook dinner?"
"I do!" Rose announced, jumping off the bed.
"What about you, Scott?"
"No thanks," Scott replied. Lizzie grabbed his wrist and pulled him out into the hallway.
"Scott, I know you and I haven't always gotten along very well, but can't we just enjoy the last of our time together?" Scott said nothing. He just stared at her with those bizarrely blue eyes, his face blank and expressionless. Lizzie added, "Tonight means a lot to your sister, you know." The breath that Scott must have been holding went out in one big rush, and he nodded.
"Put a smile on your face and we'll meet you in the kitchen." A fake smile spread across Scott's face and Lizzie sighed. She opened her mouth to protest, but decided to leave it alone. She shook her head and went back into the guest room to collect Rose.
Soon they were all stationed in the kitchen with the radio blaring Christmas carols. Scott was absolutely wonderful, not protesting when Lizzie asked him to chop tomatoes for the salad (he hated cooking in general, but chopping was the worst), and singing along loudly with "Jingle Bells," one of Rose's personal favorites.
The oven timer went off and Lizzie dove for her oven mitts. "Hey!" she exclaimed excitedly.
"What?" Rose asked, jumping down off of the chair she had been standing on in order to reach the counter. Lizzie held up the frozen pizza in response.
"Not burnt?!" Scott asked, his face mirroring Lizzie and Rose's own disbelief.
"Not burnt!" Lizzie said back. The girls squealed and jumped up and down. Scott simply chuckled.
After dinner, Rose was put in bed and Scott was sprawled out on the couch watching TV. Seeing Lizzie approaching, he moved his legs over enough for her to sit down.
"You're a pretty good actor, kid," Lizzie commented after a long, uncomfortable silence. "I'll keep my eye open for you in Hollywood someday."
"Can I tell you a secret?" Scott asked, completely ignoring Lizzie. She sighed and ran her hand through her long blonde locks.
"Sure. What is it?"
"I don't really want to go home tomorrow. I'm going to miss you," he said quietly. Lizzie hesitated, then wrapped her arms around him in a warm embrace.
"I'll miss you, too," she said back, her voice cracking with emotion.
"Dad's going to be different. Mom's gone, Dad's disabled, and Dad and I'll probably argue a lot, like always. What do I do if that happens? I don't want Rose to be sad."
"You can always call me."
"I like the person I am here better than the one I am at home. Know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean. But it's okay. We'll see each other lots. I promise."
"Pinky swear." The two linked pinkies and watched TV together late into the night. Scott eventually fell asleep on top of Lizzie, and she accepted the fact that she would be spending the night here. These kids had changed her so much. How would she be able to go on and be happy without them? She eventually fell into a light sleep that was plagued with thoughts of Gordo, Scott, and Rose all alone in their big house...and her alone in her little townhouse.
Months had gone by, and not one word had been heard from Gordo. The snow was melting, and Lizzie's wardrobe was slowly changing from sweaters and scarves to tank tops and ripped denim shorts.
Lizzie was pretty much fed up with her ex boyfriend. He hadn't answered her calls, and was somehow never home when she tried to visit. How could he force the kids at her, let her get to know and love them, and then just completely yank them away from her on Christmas day?
Lying on her couch one day, remembering her last night with the kids, Lizzie pulled out her cell phone and dialed Gordo one final time.
"What is it, Lizzie?" Gordo's voice rang through the line. Finally he had the decency to answer. She was surprised he hadn't blocked her number.
"What the hell, Gordo?!" Lizzie exclaimed, tears streaming down her face from an emotional overload. "I'm sitting here going crazy! Where are you guys? Why haven't you answered my calls before now? You're never home, and-!"
"Calm down, McGuire! We moved; I'm just trying to get the kids settled here."
"You moved? To where?!"
"Los Angeles." Lizzie's heart plummeted down into her stomach.
"What?" she hissed, clutching the phone tightly with both hands.
"You heard me."
"How could you not tell me?"
"How could you be so terrible? You can't just take the kids away from me like this!" She released her death grip on the phone, put it on speaker, and tried to work the stiffness out of her still-white knuckles.
"They're not your kids, Lizzie. I can do whatever I want with them."
"But...don't they miss me like I miss them?"
"They haven't said anything, no."
Lizzie shook that off quickly and asked, "Why on Earth did you decide to move all of a sudden?"
"We needed a change of scenery. The kids are happier here. Isn't that what you want for them?" Lizzie hung up the phone, not knowing what she wanted, not knowing what was running through her head. She curled up on the couch and began to cry again, hating herself for ever meeting Gordo, for ever dating him, for ever doing him the favor of watching his kids. She would be a much happier person right now if Gordo had just never been apart of her life in the first place.
Meanwhile, in California, a frustrated Gordo ran his hands through his messy hair and cursed himself under his breath. How could he break the poor girl's heart like this? How could he go so low as to move the kids just because...well, just because he had finally figured out what Lizzie meant to him.
He had gone and fallen in love with her again, and figured that the best way to get over her was to completely eliminate her from the picture. He wouldn't get hurt that way, he'd thought. But now, because of him, both of them were hurt.
And there was probably no way to fix there relationship.
Gordo cursed again, this time louder. What had he done?
A/N: Okay, so after thinking about this story and reading bquirk1993's messages, I realized that I wouldn't be able to do any of my homework until this was done. I'm SO sorry it took so long to get this up. Ya know, crap happens (AKA: school). I'll update more frequently, I promise. This story's almost over now. :/
I NEED A BETA READER. It'll help catch any mistakes that I don't find while proof reading, and it'll also motivate me to update my stories more often. If you're interested, just let me know! :) I won't be mean to my beta readers, I promise. ^_^