My heart began racing as he moved to my neck, kissing it gently.
Pat’s hands were just going under the folds of my shirt when Jude began crying. The noise made us both jump apart from each other, faces bright red, “I better go take care of him,” I mumbled, trying to fix my hair as I walked away. Jude looked at me, face matching the color of his red curls since he was crying, “I suppose you are hungry?”
“Alrighty,” I said as I lifted him from his crib. I walked into the kitchen and sat Jude in his high chair, then strolling to the pantry and pulled out a can of baby food, “I honestly do not know how you can eat this crap,” I stated, nose bristling from the scent. Once a spoon and cop of the nasty stuff was put in front of Jude he immediately began gobbling. I sat in a chair watching him, until my eyes got caught on Pat, whom still looked in shock from what we did, “Pat, do you want something to eat?”
He looked at me for a second before finally smiling, “Sure,” Pat stood up and sat in the seat across from me, who got up to try and find something. I grumbled to myself, knowing there was barely anything here since I couldn’t go to the store.
Suddenly, I heard Jude’s hiccupy laugh bloom, the melody being one of the sweetest sounds I’ve heard, “What’s so funny Jude?” I tore my eyes from the nearly empty closet to see Jude laughing and pointing at Pat, who had a glob of baby food in his hair. The sight made me have to join in Jude’s laughter as Pat just sat there with a straight face, “This stuff smells awful,” He grabbed a napkin to wipe the goop off. I laughed, “And yet he eats it.”
And thus began the best week of my entire life.
* * *
Everything that happened that week, Pat was always by my side. He contained enough patience to teach me how to ride the motorcycle, turning out to love it. We also played the piano at the local church, Pat also teaching Jude. He even played “Hey Jude”; Jude loved it. And one of the sweetest sights was watching the two of them sitting on the piano bench, with Pat playing something with Jude copying his fingers.
Then another night was peaceful. It was raining as usual and I was working on a sketch for a neighbor of mine as Pat played with Jude. I stopped my work to watch them, both laughing at each other, “Kids like you, don’t they?” I finally asked.
Pat shrugged, “I guess so.”
“Going to have your own?”
“With Janel? Oh God no. The world doesn’t need any more Janel’s.”
I looked down at the sketch of mine, “That’s a shame, seeing how great of a father you’d be.”
It was silent after my words except for Jude still giggling, unbeknownst to the tense environment. Pat soon sighed and murmured, “I never said I didn’t want any. Just not with Janel,” and with those words he looked at me with such seriousness, enough to make me blush, knowing what he meant; I can read between the lines.
I will admit though, I had my neighbors watch Jude to give Pat and I some alone time…and all can guess what happened in that time.
The one night I recall my heart fluttering unbelievably fast afterwards when something came to my mind, “Pat?”
“Hm?” He mumbled, most likely falling asleep. I pressed further anyway, “How could you?”
“Hm?” He repeated. I moved so I was leaning on my elbow, looking straight at Pat, “How could you have liked me that long?
His eyes were shut yet I watched his mouth curl into a smile, “The correct word would be love. ‘How could I have loved you that long’.”
I rolled my eyes though he couldn’t see, “Whatever the feeling. How?
He shrugged, “I did,”
I expected him to add more, but there was silence, “I mean, think about it Pat, I’m a flipping mess.” I began putting myself down.
Pat suddenly shot up and grabbed my arms, staring me dead in the eye, “You are perfect.”
I was speechless. Shocked firstly by the sudden close proximity between the two of us; second his words were shocking, “R-really?”
“Yes Bree,” His words were sincere as he cupped my face in his hands, “From the minute I met you, I found you amazing in every way. You’re funny, sweet, kind, beautiful, and I’ve loved you through all of the problems in my way.”
I still didn’t seem to believe him, “So you’ve loved me?”
“For all these 13 or so years? This entire time?” I continued.
He rolled his eyes, “I thought we’ve already established this,” He smirked, dimples flashing again.
I took a deep breath and gave a nervous laugh, “Well what a coincidence,”
Pat cocked his head in curiousity, a sign for me to continue, “I’ve found you pretty darn perfect as well.”
My blush was probably now noticeable even in the dark of night, “Yes.”
He stared at me for a bit only to laugh, “Well then things work out, don’t they?”
I didn’t laugh with him; didn’t he remember the lives we ran away from? I shook my head, “No Pat. Things don’t work out. We have lives back home,” I took hold of his hand and held it up to his face, gold glowing, “You’re engaged,” I showed him my own hand, diamond twinkling, “I’m married. Things don’t work out.”
Pat sighed, saddened, “Yeah, I think I was jumping the gun a bit. I just…I’m never going to be happy with Janel. This one week has been the greatest of my life.”
I smiled, “Same here,” I knew what I had to say, “I think it’s time you came home from visiting your cousin, for now at least, until you sort things out with Janel.”
There was sadness in Pat’s eyes, but he understood, “I’ll start packing tomorrow.”
I nodded, “I’ll help you out,” then, heart sinking, I laid back down and turned over to my side, not wanting to look Pat in the eyes.
He must have felt the same because he wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me close, his breath warming my neck. And as his breathing slowed with sleep, I began crying in silence.