“Life is a circle.
The end of one journey is the beginning of the next.”
Brindleton Bay Beachside Rental Home
After putting down the last one of their bags, Jamie watched Averie look out the window at the Bay, the Brindleton Bay to be exact, at grey skies, light fog, the constant rain almost hiding the waves crashing into the nearby shores.
“Sorry about the crummy weather. Forecast has it sunny and dry tomorrow though … ” Jamie said apologetic.
Averie turned around, Jamie received that old hot and cold feeling again when looking at her well rounded baby bump now, especially considering that was his son growing inside of her. His SON! His knees felt like pudding again at the thought.
Smiling, Averie shook her head.
“I know you cannot control the weather, Jamie. This is fine. It’s not about pretty views of the ocean. You know why we are doing this.”
“Yup. To figure out if we are bringing our son into a broken relationship or if there is hope. Just wondering if I shouldn’t have insisted on taking you somewhere more exotic than a small rental in Brindleton Bay, which is literally 45 minutes from where we live. Kinda like taking you camping in our backyard.”
“Well, let me remind you of the two reasons we are being frugal about the weekend away. Number one is growing inside of me and costs a lot of money we don’t have, and number two is the fact that we just recently managed to be civil with each other and the closer we are to home, the better, in case things go South. I like Brindleton Bay, it’s all fine, Jamie.”
“Shouldn’t you be siting down?”
“Jamie! I am pregnant, not lethally wounded. I still go to work each day, and can’t sit there. So, how about I cook us some dinner and we’ll go from there?”
“Okay. Dinner by the chef is not something I’d turn down. You used to cook for me all the time when we had just started dating. And I ate it, even if I had just had dinner at my parents’ house. Man, we were so young back then. 16, I think that’s when we made it official, right after prom. Feels like forever ago.”
“I cooked for you BEFORE we were dating. I thought you were the cutest guy ever and I was so nervous and then you came over to my house and I didn’t know what to do, my little brother was always hungry so I thought: food! Before we knew it the whole kitchen was full of food!” Averie giggled.
“And the oven timer was going off again with more food. Cookies. Snickerdoodle, if I remember correctly.” Jamie chuckled.
“Burned mess cookies is more like it, because you had kissed me and I temporarily forgot my own name – and the cookies.” she added.
Both laughed, then a moment of awkward silence happened.
“Avy, be honest with me. How bad is it with us?” Jamie asked sincerely.
“You want the truth?”
“Always. Lay it on me.”
“Okay. I have been thinking about that so much, especially after we finally talked at that dinner and then when we had the gender reveal baby shower thing at your parents’ house. I came to a terrifying, terrible, scary, awful realization.”
“Oh boy. What’s that?”
“I realized that I apparently can turn into a terrible bitch when pregnant. I am just going to blame it on the hormones and leave it at that. Man, I was so bad to you. And to my little brother. And to my dad. Oh man. Afterwards I always felt guilty, wanted to apologize and it just kept getting worse. Vicious circle.”
“Well, I was a douche too. You were right calling me out about blaming you for the pregnancy. I did. Which is a dick move. Sorry about that. I mean it. It always takes two, no exceptions and no excuses.”
“I appreciate that. Really, you saying that means something. Okay, the baby and I are getting hungry. I am going to get started on that dinner.”
“Want help? Pretty unskilled labor here, but I am not above taking instructions. Make them simple though, my skill level is just above successfully boiling water.”
“Oh, I know! I remember college very well. NOBODY could cook, except me. Either that or you all played me like a fiddle and I was just too gullible to notice. All I know is that I was just constantly feeding everyone. Good practice though.” Averie giggled.
They wandered into the kitchen, unpacked some of the paper bags of groceries they had picked up on the way and got to work.
At some point the knife slipped and Averie cut her finger, without thinking Jamie grabbed it, held it under water, then kissed it.
Both stiffened, staring at each other.
“Sorry … old habit” Jamie mumbled.
Averie ran the back of her hand across his face, then turned away from him, he let her, he could tell she was fighting her emotions, her voice was faltering when she said.
“I miss you so much, Jamie. You have been such a big part of my life for so long, this isn’t right. A baby should be a good thing, something that brings us closer, not tears us apart. I don’t understand this. I love this baby, and I know you do too. My parents love our baby, and so do yours. They all will help us, we know they will. I don’t know what we are so afraid of.”
“I don’t know either, and I miss you like crazy, Avy.”
“I don’t want to miss you anymore, Jamie …” Averie turned to him, they stood so close, her voice faded as his face neared hers …
Right into the scene the smoke detector started screeching.
“OH NO! The food!”
Panicked, both tended to the mess happening in the kitchen, once the worst was contained, both laughed hard. The meal was a complete loss and the pans would require a long soak.
“Hey, how about I take you out to eat?” Jamie suggested.
“Better idea … how about we order a pizza and stay in. Just us. Alone.”
“Luigi’s or Fratinelli’s?” Jamie asked, pulling out his cell phone.
While waiting for the pizza, Averie went upstairs to change into her comfy clothes, when she called for Jamie downstairs.
Immediately he came hurrying up the stairs to find her grinning at him.
“Nicely played, Mr. Jamie Cameron, you sly dawg!”
“Look around and tell me if you notice anything.”
“Bit too traditional for my taste, but it’s just a rental …”
“Look closer. Particularly at the ONE bed in here, the ONLY bedroom.”
“Oh … oh damn. I didn’t look at the number of beds when I booked this. Shit! Sorry Avy, I swear that wasn’t intentional. I swear I wasn’t being presumptuous! I’ll take the couch!”
“No, it’s okay, I believe you. Ooh, headlights, must be our pizza. You deal with that, while I get comfy.”
They had the pizza while watching TV, laughing at some comedy, curled up together.
It got late and Averie decided not to fight the yawning any longer.
“I am turning in. We are tired, our son and I. What about you?”
“I am … yeah. Must be the sea air …”
She just stood there, looking at him, waiting for him to follow.
“I don’t know what to do here, Avy.”
She stretched out her arm, he walked to her, took her hand and followed her up the stairs. Standing near the bed, both just stood there, looking as uncomfortable as they felt.
“Does this feel like the very first time to you as well?” Averie asked.
“Oh man, yes. I don’t even know how to act like a person anymore right now. Do I turn around until you are in bed now or what?” Jamie wondered out aloud.
“I was wondering how to do this too, but honestly, that’s just stupid. We have slept with each other many times, with and without it involving sex. Acting like two virgins is ridiculous, just like acting as if we hadn’t seen all of each other many times before. We’ve been a couple for 7 years, Jamie and we’re about to be parents. I have no idea what the rules are for couples who kinda sorta broke up and then get back together, nor do I really care, so, my suggestion: we’ll just pretend nothing ever happened and try to go back to that point before it all fell apart.”
“Sounds good. Wait – we’re back together?”
“Aren’t we? Were we ever really not? Who knows, who cares? Besides, I thought you said you didn’t want to miss me anymore, that you want things to be as they were … so, let’s make it that way. Somehow. Fake it till we make it. So … left or right side?”
“Lady’s choice! I don’t care, as long as it’s next to you.”
They fell asleep snuggled up to each other.
The next morning Jamie awoke to an empty bed, but when he came down the stairs the place was filled with the delicious scent of breakfast, while Averie was in the process of trying to find room on the tiny table for some of it. He couldn’t help but smile, Averie greeting him with a smile as well.
“Quite the spread, Mademoiselle LeClerq. Man, I could get used to this. Uh – that was supposed to be a compliment, not sound as misogynistic as it probably did.”
“It didn’t, or if it did, I am somehow misogynistic too, as I was thinking the same. I obviously love cooking, or I wouldn’t have made it my career, so sit down and enjoy! Can’t wait till you taste the eggs, I made them with a twist, a la Averie. Sit, sit, sit! I’ll get the rest. Well, whatever I can fit on here. What were they thinking?”
They had breakfast together, cleaned up together, were silly together.
The rest of the day was spend comfortable and lazy getting reacquainted as a couple, snuggled up on the couch, stealing kisses here and there, they went for several walks on the beach together. Memorable moments. His hand always carefully found hers, she held on to his tightly. One time, during the most beautiful sunset, Jamie took her hand then they started dancing together, to music only they could hear, started by Jamie quietly humming the song they danced to at their prom.
The following morning, it was Jamie making breakfast when Averie came downstairs.
“Our last day here. I can’t believe we have to leave tonight. The weekend just flew by, like hours, not days.” Averie said after their good morning kiss, while Jamie was rubbing on her belly to greet his unborn son.
“Yeah, I agree. Really sad. Morning little buddy.”
“It is so sad. Jamie, I don’t want to let this end. I want this. This right here. Breakfast together. Every morning. This feels good. I thought it would feel like a trap, like shackles, just like too much, too fast and too traditional, but it feels right. I can do this permanently. No, I WANT to do this permanently.”
“You know, I was thinking the same, but then realized if I said that out loud it would sound seriously creepy and weird AF, like one of those uber-traditional daddies from the 1950s. But, I do agree.”
“Well, we’re going to have a son in a few months, Jamie, that is about as old-fashioned and traditional as it gets. And honestly, I kept thinking we were too young, but we are 23 years old. We can handle a little family, it’s not really THAT young, not like we were about to be teen parents. Jamie, let’s move in together. Let’s be a REAL couple again. I want to do this, I want you, I want us. I want our little family. I want to laugh at burned meals with you because we were too busy kissing, I want dances on the beach like crazy people.”
“Okay, Avy. I do too. Let’s do it. I am willing to give it my best shot to make it work.” the back of his hand gently caressed her face.
She stepped towards him, touched his face, every little spot as if trying to burn in into her memory for all times, he took her hand, kissed the tips of her fingers.
“I love you, Avy.”
“Jamie … I love you too! So so so so SO much! Hold me. Hold us! Don’t ever let go again!”
They embraced as if they hadn’t seen each other in a long time, in a way, this was like a homecoming of sorts. They kissed. A long, seemingly never-ending kiss … meaningful. Life-altering.
Windenburg Isle Cameron Estate
Two weeks later, Averie was fully moved into the Cameron Estate, into a newly renovated couple’s bedroom for her and Jamie, adjacent to a newly created nursery.
Her parents were old friends of Declan’s, Jamie’s dad, they lived nearby, so even the moving day was filled with laughter, good food and celebration, rather than tears. A good day, all the way around, for everyone. A rite of passage, of sorts, not a goodbye.
The decision for this had been a quick, simple and unanimous one. The Camerons had plenty of room, Declan worked from home most of the time, Rory did some days, so there was always someone there to tend to the baby.
Averie had been Jamie’s girlfriend since high school, she already felt like part of the family anyway.
Then one evening, the Camerons and the LeClerqs were going to meet up at a restaurant in downtown Windenburg for a dinner, when Jamie took Averie aside before they all left for the ferry, and the young couple’s life changed again …
Needless to mention Averie gave a resounding ‘yes’, and would become a new Mrs. Cameron at some point after their son had been born.
TO BE CONTINUED