When You Fall Asleep Tonight (Sequel To My Understandings)
I sighed and stared at the clear, open yard in front of me. I blew my breath onto the glass to accumulate fog and wrote HELP on it.
“Cheer up, there’s always next year.” Austin said from the bed.
“But, it’s not the same, Austin. Lynzie, David, you and I would always go up to Colorado for Christmas.” I say with a pout while secretly rubbing my stomach. As upset as I was about not getting any snow, I was anxious about giving Austin his present. What if he doesn’t want it? Will I have to give it up? Take it away completely?
“What about when we broke up?” he asked. I could hear the springs groan under his weight.
“We still went, even though I was more like a third wheel. I still spent Christmas with love ones. Not stuck in L.A while my band lives it up somewhere else, where it’s snowing.” I wipe away the fog that I made and press my forehead on the window, staring at the huge lawn before me. “I wish Mitch was here.” I mumble.
“I know.” The room falls silent. As a tear falls, I blow my air onto the window and drew a heart, with a line going through it.
“I’m starting to think it wasn’t a good idea to stay home. I basically live at your place.” I say with another content sigh. I hear the springs groan again and I could feel his presence behind me.
“Well, if you get dress, like I said an hour ago, we can go to Shayley's place for the surprise.” He wraps his arms around me and placed a kiss on the side of my head.
“Fine.” I walk into the closet and rip the black dress off the hanger before stalking off to get dressed. Austin was suited in a dress shirt and skinny jeans.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Read as I’ll ever be.” I walked towards my dresser to grab my nose ring when I looked in the mirror. The gold microphone ring stared back at me with mockery.
“Babe, what’s wrong?” I sighed and let yet another tear fall.
“This marks ten years since he passed Austin. And I just, miss him.” I say while crying. Although part of the reason was the hormones, the second was Daniel. The first guy I ever fell in love with. This would’ve marked the day ten years ago where we first told each other ‘I love you’ and he gave me the ring, only to go home hours later and was hit head on by another car.
He died on impact.
“Can you tell me what happened?” he asked. I shook my head while crying.
“Maybe one day, today really isn’t the day.” He rubbed my shoulder before leaving. I wiped my eyes and took out my gift for Austin from the drawer.
The car ride was silent and all I could think about was why didn’t I see Daniel during my brief death session at the hospital. I saw my dad, my cousin, even Austin’s mom. but why not the one person who means everything to me?
By the time we arrived at Shayley's, it didn’t even feel like Christmas, it felt like a funeral.
I got out the car first, clutching the present ever so tightly and walked up his brick stairs. I knew Shayley had a son and girlfriend, both of which are so nice, so I left the presents under Shayley's tree.
We walked inside the house and no one was home. While I was puzzled and confused as hell, Austin dragged me by the hand out towards the back yard. We stopped short at the backdoor where Austin covered my eyes with his hands. They smell like mint and tea.
“Austin,” I began. “Where are we-”
“Surprise.” He whispers in my ear. When he removes his hands I cover my mouth to keep from crying. Shayley's backyard has been converted into a winter wonderland. Everyone was standing around cheering and clapping. Snow covered every inch of his yard. The grass, the trampoline, the stairs we’re standing on, the porch swing, his fence, everything.
Shayley emerged from the side of the house and engulfed me in a hug.
“Merry Christmas Ellie.” I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. I hugged Shayley and Austin before walking onto the snow.
“Ellie!” my band came rushing at me. I cried while hugging them back. I saw my brother and Lynzie, Alan and Aaron, Jolie and Kenadee, even Kellin, Katelynne and their kids.
The scene brimmed my heart to the core and I’m pretty sure the fetus felt it too.
“How did you do this?” I asked while tackling the already made snowman in a hug.
“Austin told us how you guys didn’t have enough money to go up north to Colorado.” Kellin began.
“So, Aaron’s cousin here knew guy,” Alan said rubbing Aaron’s stomach.
“Who knew a guy,” said Jolie.
“Who knew a guy,” Max said.
“Who knew a guy who worked during the making of that Twilight movie Eclipse and got his hands on some fake snow.” Ryan said while taking a coal off the snowman and popping it in his mouth. I stared at him.
“What? It’s gum.”
“And since Austin knew how bummed out you were gonna be,” Shayley said.
“I called everyone up to plan this a week ago.” He said with a smile on his face. I started to cry again and pulled him in a hug.
“I love you.” I whispered.
“I love you too.” Not even a month ago was the first time I told Austin I loved him. And it still sends shivers in my body for him to say, although he says it on a daily basis.
“We have a surprise for you too.” David said. I ran and hugged my brother.
“We went by, Daniel's grave today.” Lynzie began. My face dropped.
“And since we know it’s been ten years,”
“We did something special for the both of you.” Lynzie took our her phone and went to her photo stream. In their laid ten photos. His grave was covered in snow with a single red rose covered in ‘frost’ lying on top. But what caught my eye was the smaller plague in front of his grave. I zoomed in to read what it said and gasped;
“Recount the night that I first met your mother.And on the drive back to my house, I told you that I loved you. And after all this time I'm still into you”-Sorry Not Sorry.
“I know the song is only a draft, but. It felt appropriate. Merry Christmas Ellie.” I hugged them and gave them a kiss on the hair.
“Thank you. You guys don’t know how much this means to me.”
“Well, can you do us a favor?” David asked.
“Anything.” I say. They’ve done so much for me.
“I want you to talk to mom. as a Christmas present for us. It doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow, or heck, even this year. But promise you’ll do it.” I cringe at the thought of seeing my mother. We used to be so close. But when I found out she was cheating, things got out of hand. She voluntarily let me get raped and hit me. That’s something I could never forget.
But she’s my mother, my only parent I have left.
I stared at the ring one last time before knocking on the door. I heard the familiar bark of Chandler and her little paw print feet rushing to the door.
The door opened and I pulled her in a hug and cried onto her shoulder. It was kinda hard considering I have a five month bum sticking out, she couldn’t hug back even if she wanted to. She didn’t hug at first, but I felt her arms slowly raise and wrap around my shoulder.
“I’m sorry.” I cried.“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry mom.”
I was listening to Day One by Lights when writing this when it hit me. If Lights is playing Ellie, who will be Lights when Ellie meets Beau?
So when Ellie meets Beau and “Lights” imagine Lights as Ellie and yourself as Lights. That way in the end, I win and you’re happy. Cause all that matters is that you’re happy, and let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want to be Beau’s husband while carrying their child? I know I would. Jk. But, it makes things easy.
There's a sequel! Don't worry!!!