“Alright Sarah. Thank you again.” I said rubbing my eyes.
“Carson stop saying that alright Baby? I know you love it. I’m happy you love it! I’m happy I am getting to talk to you.” I sniffled again.
“I’m sorry I haven’t call it’s just I have only been here a couple of days and it’s been hectic-”
“I know Carson I was young once. It was a while ago but it was once. I hope you’re having fun! But if anything happens you know you have a home here with us. Don’t worry about what your mom says.” She cut me off. I slid down the outside wall of the house as I stared out into the ocean.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t talked to her in months.”
“You haven’t? Are you kidding me? She calls herself a mother….” Sarah grumbled to herself.
“It’s what I lived with most of my life. I never could see why I couldn’t just live with Dad.” I sighed looking down at my jeans running my fingers over the seam.
“You shouldn’t of had too Carson. You’re only 17, 18 in a couple of days. You don’t deserve to have her do this to you.” I shrugged to myself.
“I don’t know Sarah.” I heard her sigh over the phone.
“I can’t see how someone could do that to their baby. I could never see me doing that to our JJ.”
“Well there is a difference from you and JJ and me and my Mom. You care for your child. My mom, she doesn’t.”
“I care for you Carson. I’ll care for you for the rest of my life. You’re my baby too now. If you need money you call me. I love you Carson. I want you to be happy.”
“I’m happy you married my Dad.” I sniffled again trying not to cry.
“Oh! Speaking of married! Me and your father are going to have a wedding since we eloped the first time! I want you there.”
“Really? You’re going to have a real wedding this time. What about JJ?”
“Well I have to wait till your father comes home so it should a little while. JJ should be coming in the next month. Oh I just can’t wait to have him in the world to hold.”
“I’m happy for you and Dad. Starting a family.” I smiled weakly to myself.
“We aren’t starting a family. We are just making our family just one bigger.” I closed my eyes. “I told you Carson you are my baby. And you are in this family. Don’t forget that.”
“I won’t.” I wiped my eyes again. “I love you Sarah.” I heard a sniffled on the other end of the phone.
“I love you too Carson.” I closed my eyes.
“I should get going. You know I haven’t had lunch yet.” I heard a tissue being pulled from the tissue box in the background.
“Okay Sweetheart. Call if you need anything. I will always answer if you need me.”
“I’ll call. I promise.”
“Alright Lightning. I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Bye.” I hung up the phone and pulled my knees up to my chest. I wrapped my arms around them and put my chin on top of my knees. I watched my cellphone in front of me as I went over the whole conversation in my head. I heard the screen door open and close but I didn’t look up.
“Penny for your thoughts.” Tucker said as he sat himself next to me.
“I’m just thinking.” I sighed turning my head to look at him. He copied my pose.
“About what?” He asked cocking his head to the side.
“About my mom, about my dad, about Sarah, and about myself.” I sighed moving closer to him as he wrapped his arm around me. “I guess I just wonder.” He put his chin on my head.
“Wonder about what?”
“Wonder what it would be like if my mom didn’t raise me this way. What I would be like if my Dad got to see me more than he does. What it would be like if Sarah got to raise me like she wanted to all those years ago.” Tucker pressed his lips to my head.
“Don’t think about it Carson.” I looked up at him. “If you don’t think about you won’t have that sad look on your face.”
“What look?” I asked looking up at him. He moved his hand to my face and rubbed his thumb between my eyebrows.
“Your eyebrows scrunch together. Your lip comes out ever so gently. Your eyes shine making them bluer than the ocean at sunset.” He moved his thumb so it moved over my eyebrow and his hand cupped my cheek. “Your eyelashes are still wet too.” He whispered pulling my face closer to his. I close my eyes trying to keep my tears out of view. “It’s okay to cry.” He ran his thumb along my jaw.
“No it’s not.” I whispered shaking my head.
“It is. Come here.” He pulled my whole body to him. I buried my face in his t-shirt as he moved me into his arms. I didn’t cry. I just held him as he held me. I was safe in his arms. I looked up at him as I sat in his lap him hold me tightly. “Better?” I nodded at him closing my eyes again just breathing in his scent.
“Better.” I smiled gently at him. He leaned down and kissed me gently.
“Good.” He moved sitting up me still in his arms my feet near the ground. I put my feet on the ground and looked up at him with his arms still around my back. “Why don’t you go get lunch and put all your crap, I mean clothes, away.” I smiled at him as he gave me one of those smiles that made his eyes shine.
“And then you can go get ready for our date tonight. Because I can’t wait for it.” I smiled at him as he leaned down to give me a longing kiss.
“Yeah.” I nodded pulling out of his arms picking up my cellphone and pulling the sliding door open. I walked in to see Nic sitting at the table sitting next to a plate with a grill cheese sandwich with chips all around it. She lifted it up and smiled at me when she heard me walk in.
“Hungry?” She asked putting down her food.
“Yeah, thanks.” I took the food and sitting next to her……
I looked at myself in the mirror in my bathroom and sighed. Nic looked at me through the mirror. “You look amazing Carson.” She smiled at me. I looked down at myself. I had on a black sundress with a pair of Nic’s sandals on that she let me use. It’s great being the same size with your best friend. She lets you use anything you need that she has. “It’s been so long since I have seen you with your down.”
“I know. I always have it in a ponytail.” I turned to look at her turning around. “Should I put it up again?” I asked her nervously running my hands through my naturally curly hair.
“Carson stop it. You look amazing.” She smiled at me handing my black and white striped clutch purse. I took a deep breath looking down at myself. “Come on. You look amazing once again.” She smiled pulling my hand out of the room with me following since I am attached to my hand.
“I’m nervous.” I whined at her as I opened the clutch to make sure I have everything.
“Everything is going to be fine Carson. My brother is going to love you.” She smiled at me as we walked down the stairs. I looked up from my shoes to meet eyes with Tucker as he stood at the bottom of the stairs talking to Ben. He looked at me and smiled at me making his eyes light up. I walked next to him as he kissed me.
“You look beautiful.” He whispered smiling at me.
“So do you.” I smiled putting my hand on his blue jeans. He had on a navy blue that made his grey eyes shine more than they already did.
“Come on let’s get going.” I smiled at him as he took my hand as we walked out the back door. We walked down the board walk telling stupid jokes and laughing at how stupid they were. “Where do you want to eat Carson?” I looked as we walked up to all the boardwalk restaurants and food stands.
“I’m not sure. Why don’t you choose this time and I’ll choose next time?” He nodded as we walked into a nice looking pizza restaurant. “I know you like pizza sine we already had it so…” He trailed off. I looked at him.
“I do like pizza.” I smiled as we walked in and the hostess took us to our table. Tucker pulled out my chair for me.
“Of thank you my gentleman.” He smiled sitting across from me.
“Anything for my beautiful lady.” I blushed looking down at my dress. It was down to my fingertips. But was just over my knees while I was sitting down. I looked down at my shoes again my nerves getting to me. “So tell me about yourself Carson.” I looked up at Tucker as he watched me in amusement.