Wednesday, 2 May 2007
02:24:29 AM (GMT)
"You ready to go Charlie?" Alex called from somewhere in my living room. He had
called a little bit earlier and said that he was coming to pick me up, but didn't say
where he was taking me. Cheyanne had let him in on her way out to meet Matt at some
lunch thing with his parents.
"Yea, hold on, I'll be out in just a minute!" I called back from my bedroom. Since I
didn't know where we were going, I had decided to be on the safe side. I had put on a
pair of jeans, a deep blue sweater, and my favorite pair of suade slip-on shoes. I
grabbed a hairclip off of my dresser and pulled my hair back into a loose pony tail.
I opened my bedroom door and walked out into the living room. Alex was sitting on my
couch flipping through one of Cheyanne's sport magazines when I walked in, but when I
shut my bedroom door back behind me he put the magazine down and stood.
"You look amazing as usual." He commented as I grabbed my purse off the coffee table
and walked over to him.
"No, I don't. But it was sweet of you to say so. Now, where are we going?" I ask
curiously as I follow him out my door and lock it behind me. He just shakes his head
and puts an arm around my shoulders to guide me to his car.
"We are going shopping." He says and I just sit there for a second in shock. Did he
just say we were going shopping or am I going completely crazy?
"What?" I ask after a few minutes of stunned silence. He chuckles at my bewildered
expression and starts the car.
"I said we're going shopping. I thought you could you something to cheer you up." He
explains as he pulls out into the street.
"But what for?" I ask, still in a little shock.
"Your daughter of course. Unless of course you want to get something else." He
answers and glances over at me as he stops at a red light.
"Okay, there's just one problem with that. To shop you need something called money,
which I seem to be very short of right now." I try to explain without sounding too
pathetic. When I had told my parents about the baby they hadn't been to thrilled and
had stopped sending my monthly rent and bill money. I had a job at the local public
library, but I had only worked on the weekends and sometimes on Friday afternoons.
Now, I worked almost every afternoon after my classes were over to pay my share of
the rent and everything else.
"Not a problem. My mom's a vet and my dad's an attorney. I've got enough money to
burn." He explains with a laugh. Well, that explained why he didn't have a job or a
roomate and had his own car.
"Alright. I can't think of another arguement." I say and turn to look out the
window. I sit there like that for a few minutes, just watching the world pass by.
"Earth to Charlie!" He says as he waves his hands in front of my face a few minutes
"Yeah?" I ask, still kinda out of it. He just shakes his head slightly and chuckles.
"I was saying that I want you to meet someone before I take you home today." He
repeated trying to act annoyed at me, but failed and smiled over at me instead.
"Sorry, I guess I was kinda out of it for a while there." I apologize.
"That's alright. Just try to pay attention from now on." He replies and we both
start laughing. After about ten more minutes of joking around we finally end up at
the closest mall.
"How about this?" I ask as I hold up an adorable sailor dress up after looking
through a couple shelves of baby clothes and accesories.
"You cannot be serious!" He replies, which earns him a good punch in the arm.
"Okay, Mr. Always Right, you have a preference?" I ask curiously and sure enough he
has found a gorgeaus light purple cotton dress with little purple flowers on it.
"You like?" He asks with a grin as he hands it to me.
"Who new you could shop?" I ask, which causes both of us to start laughing all over
again. Somehow whenever I'm with him, we usually end up laughing. An hour later, we
leave the mall both with a bag full of adorable baby outfits.
"So, now where are we going?" I ask as we get into his car and buckle back up.
"My apartment. We'll be there in about ten minutes." He answers and starts the car.
It was then that I realized I had never been to his apartment before. We had either
met somewhere or he would come over to mine and Cheyanne's apartment. I hadn't
thought about it before though, so I was really getting curious by the time we
stopped again, this time outside of an apartment building. He fumbled with the key
for a second once we reached his door and then opened it to reveal a place a lot like
my own, except it was a little bigger and- there were toys laying around? What
"Julie, where are you?" He called from where we were standing in his living room.
Who the heck was Julie? My question was answered a moment later, when a little girl
with deep blue eyes and beautiful auburn hair came running into the room. She only
looked to be about two or three.
"Daddy!"She exclaimed as jumped up into Alex's open arms. I just stood there in
shock. Had I heard right? Had that little girl called Alex Daddy?
"Hey, pumpkin." He said as he kissed her hair as she layed her head on his shoulder.
"Charlie, I'd like you to meet my daughter, Julie." He said turning towards me. I
was utterly speechless. I just stood there, rooted to the ground for what seemed like
Julie wasted no time getting to know me. Once she had freed herself from Alex's
arms she came over to me and hugged me too. I couldn't help but hug her back.
"Julie, this is Charlie." Alex finished after Julie had already hugged me and drug
me over to the couch to watch her play with her blocks. After a couple minutes, Alex
told Julie to stay out of trouble and led me into his kitchen.
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Was the first question that came out of my lips
after we sat down.
"I'm not really sure. I guess I just couldn't think of a way to. Are you angry?" He
asked, concern etched into his voice.
"No, I'm shocked but not angry. How old is she?" I ask as I look around his kitchen
and realize that the entire place is covered in pictures of her. She was obviously
"Almost three." He answered and then followed my gaze to the many cabinets and the
refrigerator that were covered in pictures of her. And then I realized that we had
walked into his apartment to only a two year old. He wouldn't leave a toddler at home
by herself would he?
"Okay, my next question is going to be: Did you leave her here alone?" I ask and he
"Do you really think I would do that?" He answered my question with a another
question and a chuckle.
"Well, no." I reply. He takes my hand and leads me back through the living and then
down a hallway. We stop in front of another door and he knocks and then opens the
door. The room appears to be an office. A desk, a computer, and a filing cabinet are
the only furniture that occupies it. He leads me into the room and we are greeted by
an older looking women typing on the computer.
"Alex you're back. I was just getting ready to call you. And whose this?" She asks
once she finally looks up from the computer screen and notices my presence in the
"Thanks for watching Julie for me Andrea. And this is Charlie. Charlie this is
Andrea, my neighbor. She babysits Julie for me ocassionally." He introduces us.
Andrea gives me a warm smile.
"It's nice to meet you, Charlie. I'm sorry I can't stay longer, but my daughter is
coming over this evening and my apartment is a disaster." She apologizes and then
stands and walks out the door to the office. We follow her back into the living room
and watch as she tells Julie goodbye and then leaves.
"Alright that answered that question." I say turning back towards Alex with a smile.
He smiles back , but I can tell there's still something he's wanting to tell me. He
takes a deep breath and ushers me back into the kitchen.
"Go ahead and ask." He says after a couple minutes of silence. I'm confused for a
minute and then finally understand what he means.
"You don't have to tell me." I say softly and glance over at him. He just shakes his
head sadly and then looks up at me.
"No, but I want to. Her name was Christine. We met in high school and continued
dating through our senior year. She told me about Julie a few weeks after we
graduated. We were in love so we announced that we were engaged and started planning
a wedding for the end of the summer. We got married and moved into our own place.
Shortly after Julie was born, she was in a car accident. She died a couple days
later." He said softly and I could tell he was trying to hold back tears by keeping
his eyes on the table.
"I'm so sorry Alex." I said softly and then stood up and walked over to him. I
wrapped my arms around him and we just stayed like that for awhile. Suddenly
everything made since. The reason I thought he was a good father was because he WAS a
father. And my guess is that he didn't want to tell me because he thought I would
leave. We were joined a few minutes later by a certain little girl with deep blue
eyes and beautiful brown hair.
"Daddy, why are you crying?" She asked softly as she walked over to us. She didn't
hesitate to reach out and hug both of us. He picked her up and sat her in his lap.
She looked up at me with those adorable eyes and grinned.
"Are you Daddy's friend?" She asks curiously as she leans back against her father. I
nod and bend down so I'm on eye-level with both of them. No easy feat thanks to a
certain daughter of mine. But I do manage and I take her hands in mine.
"Yes, Julie. Hey I know! Why don't we go get some ice cream?" I ask, trying to
lighten the mood a little. She pratically jumps up off of Alex's lap and starts
bouncing up in down.
"Can we? Please?" She asks as she continues to bounce a grin. I can't help but grin
too. I look over at Alex, only to find him smiling at both of us.
"Yeah, come on." Alex answers as he stands up and picks Julie up. He switches her to
the other arm and then puts his free arm around my shoulders and leads us back down
to his car. He places Julie into her carseat, that I had failed to notice before, and
buckled her in.
"Daddy, do you have to go to school tomorrow?" Julie asks hopefully a minute later.
"Yes pumpkin. Why'd ya ask?" He replies and then turns his attention back to the
"I don't want to be baby-sat by Andrea again." She complained. Then I got an idea.
"Julie, how'd you like to stay with me tomorrow while your dad's at school?" I ask,
hoping to spend more time with her.
"Can I?" She asks, hope back in her eyes.
"Yes, as long as it's okay with your dad." I answer and then turn my attention to
"Charlie are you sure she won't be too much trouble?" Alex replies, sounding a
"I'm sure we'll be fine. And besides I need as much practice as I can get." I reply
with a grin as I place my hand on my stomach to prove my point.
"Alright then." Alex finally gives in to my lovely charms. Or maybe to his daughters
bambi eyes. I laugh and lean over and kiss him on the cheek, which causes Julie to
giggle. Fifteen minutes later, we're back in Alex's car on our way back to his
apartment. On the few minute drive back to her house, Julie had somehow fallen
"I'll get her if you'll open the door." Alex says with a chuckle. We miraculously
manage to get her out of the car and into the apartment without waking her up. I flip
the light switch on as we enter another room I hadn't been into. This one had both a
crib and a bed and was painted light blue. I pulled the blanket back and Alex gently
placed her in the bed and kissed her on the forehead. I tucked the blanket back
snuggly around her and also kissed her on the forehead. On our way out of her room, I
flip the switch back off and follow Alex back into his kitchen.
"She's adorable." I comment as we sit down on the couch a few minutes later with two
mugs of hot cocoa.
"Yeah, she is. So, I take it you like her?" He asks with a grin and I lay my head on
his shoulder and soon drifted off into my own dreamworld.
I awoke the next morning to find myself tucked into a bed that I didn't recognize.
It took me a few seconds for me to figure out that I was probably in Alex's bed. I
sat up and slowly woke up enough to stand up. I was guided down the unfamilar hall by
the wonderful aroma of pancakes and a little girl's giggles. I stood in the doorway
of the kitchen and watched the two of them for a couple minutes in silence. Julie was
enthusiastcally eating a plate for of pancakes, while Alex was attempting to keep her
as less sticky as possible with little luck. He finally gives up and takes the bite
of food she's offering him with a grin.
"Morning sweetheart." He greets me when he finally notices my presence in the room.
I smile at the two of them and sit down in the chair between them.
"Want some?" Julie asks as she holds up a forkful of her breakfast. Knowing that if
I eat in the morning I'll probably spend the afternoon in the bathroom and also
knowing that if I don't at least take a little bite I'll look rude, I grin and take
the bit of pancake off the fork. Julie giggles and goes back to eating her breakfast.
These are really good!
"Did you make these?" I ask, turning my attention back to Alex who was watching us
both with a smile.
"Told you I like to cook." Was his reply before he goes back to trying to keep as
much syrup as possible on the plate instead of on the table. When Julie finally gets
done and sits back in her chair, a smile of contentment on her small little face, I
offer to give her a bath while Alex cleans up in the kitchen. I carry the sticky
little girl into the bathroom and sit her down on the closed toilet seat while I run
the bath water. As I reach over to turn the water off, I notice a bottle of bubble
bath and get an idea.
"Hey Julie, how'd you like a bubble bath?" I ask and she immediately begins bouncing
up and down on the toilet seat. I take this as a yes and pour a little bit of the
liquid in with the water. The bath ready, I turn towards Julie and begin undressing
her. Once her clothes are off I lift her up and place her in the bubble filled tub
and watch as she splashes around. I pick up a handful of bubbles and teach her how to
make them blow out of her hands. A couple minutes and a bathroom of bubbles later, I
grab a towel out of a closet and wrap her up in it before carrying her back into the
kitchen. Alex is standing in front of the sink washing dishes but turns when we enter
"She's squeaky clean." I announce proudly. Alex kisses me on the cheek and Julie on
the forehead, laughing the entire time. I proceed to carry her into her room and look
through the drawers and the small closet until I find some clothes to put on her. I
end up dressing her in
a cute little purple jumper and putting a pair of purple tennis shoes on her. I
looked around the room once more and come up with a piece of ribbon that matches her
shoes and jumper. I pull her hair up into a little pony tail and tie a bow in it with
the ribbon. I set her down on the ground and she's goes running back into the
kitchen, nearly colliding with Alex. He laughs and picks her up and twirls her
"You guys ready to go?" He asks both of us as I walk over to them. I nod and we go
back out to Alex's car and get in. He backs out into the road and we're on our way to
my apartment. Once we get there, he walks us up to my apartment. He kisses me on the
cheek and Julie on the forehead again.
"Have fun you two. I'll be back around three." He tells me after Julie runs off to
explore the place.
"No problem. And Alex?" I ask and take a step towards him.
"Yeah?" He replies as I take another step closer.
"Julie's gone, you can quit with the cheek kissing thing." I practically whisper in
his ear. I'm so close to him now I can here his deep breaths and his heart beating
"As you wish." He whispers back and then leans down a little and our lips meet,
softly at first but then deeper. We break apart to breathe and then he kisses me one
more time, this time quicker, and with one last glance in my direction he starts out
the door and down the hallway. I take a deep breath and then go to find Julie. I
found her a couple minutes later, bouncing on my bed.
"Whatcha doing Julie?" I ask with a laugh as I catch her in mid-air and tickle her.
Looking at her facial features I realized that the resemblance to Alex was definitely
there. I carry her back out into the kitchen and sit her down at my kitchen table and
get us some milk and the cookies that Alex had been so nice to make.
"Are you going to be a mommy?" Julie asks all of a sudden and I nearly choked on my
cookie. I think for a few minutes before answering her.
"Yea, I am. Did your Daddy tell you?" I ask, wondering if she had figured it out on
her own or if Alex had explained it to her. She waited until after she had finished
drinking her milk before she answered.
"Yea. I asked him why you were round and he said you were goin' to be a mommy." She
explained and then finished off her cookie. I nod thoughtfully and then pick her up
again and take ger to my bathroom and wash the chocolate and milk off of her face and
hands. When she yawned and stretched as I was drying her off, I glanced at the clock
and realized that it was time for her nap.
"Are you ready for your nap?" I ask and she answers with a nod and another yawn. I
pick her up again and carry her into my bedroom and settle her in. I decide to lay
down with her fo awhile and settle myself next to her tiny sleeping form. I drifted
off to sleep a couple minutes later.