Friday, May 31, 2013

You're A Coward

He's in front of me. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Wanting me to say what he wants to hear. 

His broad shoulders. His brown hair falling over his left eye. His chocolate brown eyes staring at me, willing me to speak. And he's close. So close. He's everywhere. He's all I can see.

"Say something," Jake whispers again. I can see his thinly controlled patience starting to unravel as he waits to hear my response.

"Tell him," my heart and my head say at the same time.

"Jake, you know I care about you," I start.

"Bullshit," he barks, shoving his hands in his pockets. His eyes flash briefly with anger and passion and something else... Before I can pick up on it, it's gone.

"What?!" I quip. I can feel my temperature rising. I know I'm starting to get angry.

Pointing his finger at me, he says, "Maddie, that's a cop out and you know it. I want you to tell me something real. Tell me how you feel about us." He takes another step forward. "About me," he says.

Crossing my arms, I blurt out, "Fine! Want me to tell me how I feel about you! Here goes!" Wow. Real mature sounding, Maddie. "When I knew I was coming back home before graduate school, I hoped I would get to see you. When we started hanging out together, I've been the happiest I have ever been. To wonder for a long time if we have any chemistry and finally finding out we do, it's amazing. If I'm not with you, I find myself thinking about you. When I am with you, you are all I can see."

Rocking back on his heels, he quips, "I just wanted to hear you say it."

"You are so arrogant," I state.

Shrugging his shoulders, Jake says, "I'd like to think of it as extremely self-confident."

His smugness is chaffing me. Does he think this is easy?!

Before I lose my nerve, I say, "But I don't think it will work."

Tilting his head to the side, he looks at me for a beat. Shaking his head, he answers, "Sorry, Maddie. I'm not buying it."

"Look, Jake. There are several reasons why this won't work," I point out.

Mimicking my stance, he crosses his arms and says, "Then let's hear it."

Holdind up my fingers, I start to tick off the reasons why we won't work. "One," I say, "long distance relationships don't work."

Interrupting me, Jake says, "Seriously? People do it all the time. Sorry. That's a bogus reason."

Continuing, I state, "Two, we haven't been together very long. Sure, we kind of knew each other in high school but we don't really know each other."

Jake throws his head back, roaring in laughter. "Maddie, my parents met, fell in love and got married within 3 months. They were married 30 years. Try again."

Ignorning his obvious smug satisfaction, I plow forward, "Three, there's Sam."

At the mention of Sam, Jake loses any trace of laughter and instantly sobers up. "Maddie, I know you care about Sam. And I feel bad that he saw us together. Honestly, I do. But you can't tell me you feel the same way about him that you feel about me. I see the way you look at Sam. And I see the way you look at me."

Reaching out, he places his hand on the base of my neck. My skin is on fire where he is touching me. Every time he touches me, my body reacts of it's own accord. I'm not close enough. I want to be closer. I want to climb into his arms. I want to melt into him. I want to feel my skin pressed against his. Wait! Focus, Maddie!

Lowering his head to look into my eyes, he simply states, "Maddie, you are a coward."

Okay, this really kills the romance vibe.

Feeling a sudden flare of anger, I push him away from me. I say, "I may be a lot of things but I am not a coward."

Spreading his arms wide, he says, "Maddie, you are scared of being with me. Scared of how it makes you feel."

Leaning down towards me, he braces both hands on the counter beside me. "Maddie, I know how I feel about you. And if you are honest, you know you feel the same way about me. We would be good together and you know it."

"Jake," I start.

Shaking his head he says, "Maddie, I want to fight for us. I just never knew I would be fighting you."

Suddenly, Jake reaches out, grabs my hips and pulls me to him. He brings his mouth to mine. He kisses me angrily.

Even though I know he's angry, I can still feel myself responding to him. His taste. His smell. He's everywhere.

As our kiss deepens, it turns sensual. His mouth is caressing mine as if to memorize every detail. Our bodies are pressed together and I can feel every detail of his lean frame. His hands push my hips into his and a soft moan escapes my lips.

Jake lets go of me abruptly and takes a step back. His cheeks are flushed and his lips are swollen. He runs a shaky hand through his hair. He is staring at me like this may be his last time.

Standing there gulping air, I try to slow my heart (and my hormones). I want him back in my arms. I don't want him to stop. Wait. That's not what I want. Is it?

Jake says, "Maddie, I want you. I want all of you. No more excuses."

I open my mouth to speak and Jake puts up his hand to silence me.

He goes on, "But it's up to you. You have to make a choice. Let me know when you do."

And with that, he turns on his heel and walks out of the house, closing the door behind him.

I lean shakily on the island in the kitchen.  

He's right. Damn him. He's always right. No more indecision. I have to choose.

And here is another ginormous piece of the puzzle. This answers some questions from the very first encounter with these two but I still feel there is more stuff "in between". 

The "in-between" is the good stuff! (Just think about a sandwich. The "in-between" stuff makes it a sandwich. Without it, it's just bread. And who eats just two slices of plain bread, nobody.) 

So I'm gonna work on that...

For those of you new to 'Jake and Maddie', you can discover their story here. With more here, here, here, here, here and here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Say Something

Sitting in my spot on our old, worn green chenille couch with my favorite orange velour blanket, I look up from my book to glance out the window. The sun it starting to set. 

Taking in the oranges, reds and pinks, I let my mind wonder for a bit. Two weeks. It's been two weeks since I have seen Sam. It feels like something's missing.

And Jake. 

Two weeks isn't a long time in the history of time. But why does it feel like an eternity? 

Because I miss him. And if I'm being honest, I miss him a lot.

I turn away from the window and look back down at my book. I have been trying to read the first chapter for over an hour.

Sighing, I toss my book on the coffee table and snuggle further under the covers.

"You have been staring at that same page for over an hour", a voice tells me from the hallway.

Glancing up, I see my mom walk in to the living room. She's dressed in her blue scrubs and she's putting her hair in a knot.

Looking at my mom, I can't help but notice how much we are alike. We have the same wavy, brown hair and green eyes. However, my eyes always seem to be cautious, whereas mom's are always full of mischief.

Plopping down on the couch beside me, she says, "A penny for your thoughts?"

I answer, "I'm not sure I know where to begin."

Mom quickly answers, "Well, if I had to bet, I'd say it has to do with Sam and Jake."

Shaking my head, I say, "How did you know?"

She smiles her knowing smile and replies, "Oh honey. A mama just knows." She playfully pokes me in the ribs and says, "Spill it."

Sighing, I say, "Let's see. There are two guys who I care about and I am not sure what to do about it."

Laughing, mom states, "That is the lamest explanation about being torn between with two guys that I have ever heard."

I jokingly say, "Don't you have someplace to be."

Mom smiles and says, "Maddie, you have always been so cautious and so orderly. Every since you were little. I know you like for everything to make sense and be nice and neat." She reaches up to tuck a wayward strand of hair behind my ear. 

She continues, "The thing about love, Maddie, is that you cannot wrap it up in a nice, neat package with a big, red bow. Love is messy. Love spills over the edges and gets everywhere and into everything. And that's okay! That's part of the magic."

"So...", I say.

Shaking her head, mom says, " are a smart woman, Maddie. You already know the answer to your question. But this time, you have to listen to your heart, not your head."

"You are going to make someone a great mom one day," I quip.

Standing up to leave, mom says, "Yes, I will. And she will be the luckiest daughter ever." Leaning down to give me a kiss on the head, she says, "Enjoy your evening. I'm headed to the hospital for a twelve hour shift. See you later." 

Listening to the front door close, I snuggle further down into the covers. Maybe I should bake something. I always feel better if I bake something.

There's a knock at the door. As I pad into the foyer to answer the door, I wonder what mom forgot.

Opening the door, I see that it's not mom at all. It's Jake.

His hands brace the doorway. His hair is longer, falling into his eyes. He raises his head to look at me with those chocolate brown eyes. His gaze wonders up my frame and lands on my face. My face heats up and my skin is on fire just from his scrutiny. Suddenly, I wish I didn't have on my grey tank and my Sponge Bob pajama pants.

"Maddie, the way I see it, is we need to clear the air," Jake states.

"Jake, what are you doing here?" I manage to say.

He starts walking towards me. I have no choice but to walk backwards down the hallway. He continues, "It's been two weeks. Two long and horrible weeks. We haven't seen each other and I wonder why that is." Jake starts gesturing wildly. "I ask myself, 'Jake, why is Maddie avoiding you? Is it because she hates your guts? Can't stand the mere sight of you?'

Jake is getting closer now. We are about two feet apart when I find myself up against the island in the kitchen. He is closing the distance fast. I know I need to find the words quickly or all rational thinking will go out the window.

Jake says, "No, that can't be right because I know she enjoys being with me. I make her smile. I make her laugh. I know her body responds to mine." With that, he runs his finger up my arm making my breath hitch.

Jake smirks as if to prove his point.

"Jake," I whisper.

He continues as if I haven't spoken. Jake states, "I want to be with you, Maddie. I want to hang out and watch old movies. I want to work together fixing up the old lodge. I want to make you laugh. I want to comfort you when you are upset. I want to support you in your decisions. I want you in my bed every night. I want you, Maddie. I know it. I have known it for a long time."

I am staring at Jake. My heart is hammering in my chest so loudly I am sure he can hear it. I keep staring into those brown eyes. He's standing close to me, so close. I can feel his breathe on my face. It's hard to think. It's hard to form coherent thoughts.

Jake reaches out towards me, then withdraws his hand. He clenches his hands into fists at his sides as if to keep from touching me.

"Say something," Jake whispers. 

I'm baaackkkk! This is another fiction piece with Maddie and Jake. New to this series? Check out this first excerpt with the two of them here, with more here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nap-time Is For Suckers

Last week, I laid Baby L (2) down upstairs in his crib for nap-time as I usually do after lunch. (Let's all give it up for nap-time! Woot woot!)

J (4) and I head outside to assemble his new big wheel courtesy of Nina (aka Nana, aka Tino, aka Wino, aka My Mom).

After working on it for a lifetime (which in actuality was 10 minutes), we headed inside looking for a hammer.

Upon entering the house, we found ourselves face-to-face with Baby L standing in the kitchen. He was just grinning at me and saying, "Mama! Mama!" He was so proud of himself.

Initial reaction: HEART ATTACK! This baby not only climbed out of his crib, but he climbed down the stairs by himself. He could have broken his neck! This must be what a heart attack feels like.

Second reaction: Hilarious. This crazy little guy climbed out of his crib, down the stairs and here he stands grinning at me like the Cheshire Cat. His hair is a mess, he is pantless and he is smiling that sweet baby smile. I can't make this up.

Final reaction: Sad. I know what this means. This means that we have to take the crib down today because it is no longer safe. Baby L will now be sleeping in a big boy bed. This ALSO means that the likelihood of him taking another nap is slim to nil. 

RIP nap-time.

Scooping up Baby L, I quickly (okay not that quickly because you have to catch them then try to keep them from squirming) put pants on him and sunscreen. We finally all head outside to play. 

If this kid won't nap, then I am going to WEAR HIM OUT.

Still in a state of shock, I text Hubby to let him know what has transpired here today. He texts me back to let me know that he is also shocked and will take the crib down once he gets home.

After playing outside for almost two hours (oh yes I did), we head inside so I can start making dinner.

While the kids are playing with their monster trucks and watching Wild Kratts, I decide this is an excellent time to partake of an adult beverage with the day I have had.

After working on dinner and keeping an eye on the kids, Hubby arrives home. He comes in from the garage, says hello to the kids, then turns to me.

Now Hubby is a wise, wise man. He takes in my harried demeanor and the beer in my hand. He simply gives me a hug and says, "Any more of those?"

So after a speedy dinner, Hubby heads upstairs to dismantle the crib. He takes it apart and lays the crib mattress on the floor. 

Viola! New baby bed! (At least until he gets the hang on sleeping on a mattress. This way, if he rolls out, he only has a 4 inch drop. No big whoop!)

After bath time, everyone gets their jammies on, brushes their teeth and heads to bed, with Baby L going first.

We read a story. I lay in there with him for a few minutes and he passes out. Baby L sleeps all through the night!

*Insert Roger Rabbit and running man here.*

Day 2: No nap. Passes out quickly at bedtime. Sleeps thorough the night.

*Feels like fitting into my old college jeans or I just won the lottery.*

Day 3: Super, super, super, to the infinity crabby. Try to get him to lay down because I can see he is exhausted.

I realize this may take a while so I prep J. I have him go to the bathroom. Give him his iPod, turn on the TV and tell him to STAY IN MOMMY'S ROOM while I put Baby L down. J agrees.

After reading a story to Baby L, I lay down beside him. It takes two threats of "I'm leaving the room!" before he finally settles down.

Baby L wants me to lay on my side, facing him, while running my fingers through his hair. (What's this deal?! Why all the stipulations, Baby L?)

He is almost asleep. J busts in with some random question. I mumble some response through gritted teeth and tell him to get back in my room.

Baby L sits up and is now wide-awake. So we begin the dance again.

Once he is asleep, I wait a few more minutes, then I make my move. I slowly get up and I am almost in a standing position when Baby L's eyes fly open! He starts screaming and crying like someone punched him.

And... the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Drama goes to Baby L in "Nap-time Is For Suckers"!


Forget it! I don't have another 40 minutes to go through this again. We'll just try at bed-time.

Bedtime rolls around. I think you all know what went down. More of the same.

This time though Baby L does pass out early.

I think I am home free but now he wakes up twice in the middle of the night by coming into our bedroom crying and screaming, "Mama! Mama!"

This pattern is now his routine.

*Another sigh.*

THIS is why God made coffee AND wine.