A Pig In Shit
Sookie very gently got out of the computer chair, silently stepping over the puppy while cradling the feathered brat so that she could set her on the bed without waking her.
She kissed my cheek on her way to the bathroom while I stared at ‘my’ bird. We’d been home from Miami for 2 days when I finally got her back.
Tippy had done exactly as I suspected… everything she could to make her presence known whenever Sookie and I got close to touching. When I’d bitch at her, she put on her usual ‘sad’ display… to the point that Sookie thought we should take her with us to St. Louis because ‘leaving her so soon would traumatize her’. The damn bird was going to end up being better traveled than if she actually migrated.
Since she was already toilet trained when I got her, she did fine in the hotel room except for acting out her boredom/loneliness on the toilet paper rolls. I’m sure housekeeping thought Sookie and I had some serious fucking dietary issues by the time we left since the two of us went through more than a dozen rolls in 2 and a half days.
And now… She’s only ‘mine’ when she misbehaves… Usually it can all be traced back to the fact that I’m a ‘meanie’.
I was yanked out of my preoccupation with how spoiled ‘our oldest child’ is by the sound of the tub filling…
I’d hoped for over a month now that eventually I would build some kind of tolerance to Sookie. Develop some sort of mental capacity for ignoring temptation.
Negative. She could still shut me down… She could do it without trying.
I may as well be remote operated, entering the bathroom autonomously.
“Are you going to join me?”
“I don’t know. What’s in it for me?”
“A foot rub?” She bit her lip playfully.
“Is that it?” I turned for the door, like I would leave. Ha. I couldn’t think about that tub without getting hard. Oh the tales it could tell…
“If you’re going to walk out on negotiations, then I have no sympathy for you.”
I pretended to be suspicious as I pulled my clothes off and climbed in to the other side of the tub.
Her hand found one of my feet under the bubbles and started to rub, finding the holiest of pressure points as always… my eyes rolling back instantly.
It didn’t matter how Sookie touched me though… as long as she did… “You’re distracting me from being tactical.”
“I don’t think you want to focus.” Not at the moment… I was feeling the foot rub in my lower back… God bless reflexology.
“I don’t think you really want to be rubbing my foot. I guess we’re even.”
Her eyebrow quirked up. “What do you think I’d rather be rubbing?” Hmmm… I wonder.
She snorted. “Liar… fine. C’mere.”
I whined at her, “But I’m comfortable. You come over here.”
I cracked my eyes, watching her scoot over, biting back the urge to laugh as she tried to get to my neck from sitting next to me. “This isn’t going to work. How am I supposed to get to your neck from here?”
I thought she’d never ask…
I quickly reached over, grabbing her hips and maneuvering her onto my lap. I sat forward, pulling a barbell into my mouth. Her hands tightened on my shoulders and she let a hum loose as my fingers slid into her, grabbed right away…
She moaned and whined, riding my hand, making a wake and soaking the floor…
Reaching between us to grab my cock… palming the head, thumbing the sweet spot…
Her other hand sliding up and down… tight, smooth strokes… Everything ached…
She lifted, moving up my legs, finding my mouth with hers before pushing down…
No grinding, no moving, no pumping…
Throbbing, pulsing, squeezing…
Her tongue sliding against mine…
The way she pulled in when she started getting close…
Moving only slightly… resting her forehead against mine and hugging my neck…
Her shudder was a dead giveaway…
She pitched her hips, whimpering and that was all it took to finish us both…
She collapsed into my chest wearing a euphoric smile.
We were still catching our breath when we heard a disgusting noise…
The damn puppy had put his paws on the side of the tub… and started drinking our bathwater. Even Alc’s dog was a cock block…
Our laughing had woken up Tippy who hopped into the sink insisting on her bath as we dried off.
I called her a spoiled brat as I turned the water on, wondering which one of us was trained. Sookie might as well have been reading my mind.
She raised an eyebrow at me. “How long did it take her to train you?”
I chuckled. “Shut up.”
“Just wondering how long it’ll take the baby to wrap you around its little finger too.”
The baby…“By the time the hospital boots us… So what’s left to do?”
“Getting through tonight so that we can wake up and finally get on the plane.”
I smiled at her as I pulled on my pants. “You’re a little anxious for someone who wanted to put it off another year.” Who was I kidding? I’d been counting the hours for days.
She blew a raspberry at me. “I need to touch base with Malcolm about the next couple of days.”
“You’ve already packed our tech?”
“We have all of our documents for the marriage license?”
“And a printout of the web page listing them. Check.”
“Our bags are packed.”
“Uh… I need to put together the crate so it’ll be ready in the morning. And we should empty the fridge so that we don’t come home to two weeks of nasty.”
She grinned at me. “Rene is coming over to take care of the leftovers for us.” That would explain why she’d been making more food than we needed. She’d figured out a way to take care of him from New York.
“I put your ring in my bag.”
“Yours is packed in mine.”
“Dad and Jason are packing the music room… So… suitcases into the car, dinner and walk the dog?”
Her smile was ear to ear as she nodded.
I was sitting on the porch putting together the puppy’s crate, watching the four legged Herveaux water the lawn, sniff a tree, water the tree, sniff the birdbath, water the birdbath… When my phone started ringing.
“Hey Marnie! What’s up?”
“OHMYGOD!” I’d actually been concerned about how she’d take the news.
I started laughing. “You alright?”
“Fuck yeah, I am! I’m gonna be an aunt!”
I was still laughing. “Congrats!”
“You’re having a bayyyy-beeee!”
“Sookie’s going to be doing most of the work.”
“Not for long! You’re gonna be a great dad! I got home from some last minute shopping and Mom and Dad told me about the baby and that we’re going to be there… I nearly shit myself!” She was really close to going berserk.
“Are you going to be alright?” The puppy was wandering around the side of the house, so I followed him.
“I’m better than alright! Ohmygod! Does Sookie know that you were as tall as her when you were born?” Funny.
I started laughing again. “She saw the pictures you put in Rachael’s scrapbook. When she saw how big I was she joked that we’d adopt.”
She giggled. “Maybe she should start smoking and drinking extra caffeine. They say it causes low birth weight.”
“OhMyGod!… This is just… I’m so excited!”
I suppose I could say that the phone call went well, except for her increasing need for a Valium… or two.
I had to wrestle three sticks away from the puppy. He wasn’t much for returning after I threw them. He’d hide behind something (car, tree, in the bushes) and gnaw on them. I’m sure he was teething, but just as sure the silly mutt wasn’t thinking ahead to shitting the splinters… I’d just gotten Cujo back into the house when my phone rang again.
I answered it laughing. “I’ve got sisters in spades today. I just got off the phone with Marnie.”
Rachael laughed. “I’m freaking out about packing. What kind of stuff do we need?”
“Uh… something nice for the wedding and dinner and something nice for the musical… other than that, whatever you want to sightsee and shop in.”
“What are you packing?”
“I’m getting married in jeans…”
I chuckled at her. “I hate suits. Sookie hates how tense I look in them. She’s letting me wear a dress shirt and vest with jeans.”
“You lucky bitch!” That’s me.
“Well, what is she wearing?”
“I’m not allowed to see it. I’ve been told it’s a blue dress. Knee length.”
“You’re doing like… semi-casual?”
“I guess that would be about right. Sookie packed my bag for me. Other than the dress slacks and shirt I’m wearing to the show and the outfit for the wedding, my suitcase is full of my jeans and camos with t-shirts. She’s packed jeans and dickies for her… Smom is making the announcements on paper made out of jeans.”
She started laughing again. “I fucking love you guys! My least favorite part of the job is the ‘business dress’.” Peas in a pod.
“No shame there. We’re all like that. I’m wholly convinced that clothing has a lot to do with their career choices.” While she was visiting, she had the chance to see Jason leaving the bank in a suit when we went on a store run. She had pretty much the same reaction I did to the information regarding the family’s humble façade.
“So are you ready? Do you have everything done? Are you getting nervous?”
“I feel much better now. I finally got Sookie to go to the doctor this morning.”
“Yeah? Is it just a bug or…?”
“No. It’s much more than a bug. It’s a baby.”
“Sookie’s pregnant? Sookie’s… She’s… A BABY!?”
“She’s due in September.”
One day I’ll think to ask if women are actually saying anything when they release that sudden and deafening ‘squeeeee’. It’s horrible. Nightmarish… and the reason Sookie was going to have to be the one to tell Lafayette. Rachael did it to me twice, getting both ears before she thought to take the phone away from her mouth for her third trip into ultrasonic territory.
“Please tell me that you aren’t going to do that again.”
She laughed. “No promises! I’m going to be an aunt!”
I almost died laughing when I heard someone congratulate her. She’d done that in public! “Where are you?” I went to the kitchen to start making our sandwiches, followed by Cujo.
“Mall. Shopping for what we need… Actually, I’m in line for a burger… What do you want? Boy? Girl?”
“Not that it matters, but… I’m leaning towards boy. I don’t want a girl if it’s going to look anything like Sookie.”
She laughed. “Why not? You’re a good shot and your best friend is a sniper.”
“Sookie says if it’s a boy she’s getting an asp to beat the girls off of him.”
Giggling. “She’ll need it too! I’ll get her one for a shower gift.”
Sookie caught me giving the puppy a piece of roast beef under the table and laughed. “You’re a bad influence. He’s going to start begging.”
I pointed at my ear. “SORRY. CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
She looked confused for a second before she started giggling. “Who squealed at you?”
“Rachael got me twice.”
She sat down, smiling and ‘dropped’ a bit of lunchmeat on the floor. “So… your whole family knows.”
I nodded. “Marnie called as soon as she heard. She’s already tried on ‘aunt Marnie’. She likes the fit.”
“So now all we have left is…”
She stuck her tongue out at me.
“Can I call your mother?” Sheila might have a stroke over our communiqué considering the way she took the news of her son being married by a ‘beaner cleric’ to the ‘gold digging orphan whore’ carrying his ‘bastard’. Such a lovely woman.
“No, but you can do Lafayette.”
“SORRY. CAN’T HEAR YOU.”
She giggled. “Are you implying that he squeals like a girl?”
“Not really. I’ll say it outright. Lafayette Reynolds squeeeees like a Jonas Brothers fangirl.”
She pulled her phone out and dialed (trying hard to not laugh), setting it on the table to start eating her early dinner.
“Hey sexy. How ya doing?”
“I’m ‘in a meeting’ with a technical consultant.”
“Christmas shopping at Best Buy?”
“You know it. What can I do for you?”
“Guess who’s pregnant.”
He groaned. “E’erbody but you. When you gonna hurry up and make me an auntie?”
“That’s just mean. I know you’re on the shot.” Unamused.
“You mean the shot that doesn’t work so well when you start taking a whole bunch of other meds?”
“Nice try. You’d know that with all the students…”
“I don’t go back with the girls. That’s private. Amy says it’s something most people don’t find out until… well, until they hear their due date. Look it up if you don’t believe your bestie of 10 years.”
“Yes I am.”
And that’s when it happened. The poor dog nearly turned his head upside down when the sound, if you could call it that, filled the room. Sookie did her best to not laugh when I mumbled that if that noise fell into the wrong hands we’d all be deaf.
By the time Sookie hung up, Cujo had left the room. The promise of table scraps wasn’t worth the hearing damage. Even a puppy recognized that.
The first meal we had at after Alc moved out, just the two of us, felt bizarre.
We sat quietly, not uncomfortably, eating an amazing dinner of corned beef and cabbage. We were almost done eating before she looked up at me to start giggling that she felt like she had empty nest syndrome.
Life had been so hectic for long enough that having the house be quiet again felt strange to her.
For that matter, I’d lived alone and detached for much longer than she had and was already missing the energy that the boys seemed to take with them when they left.
There was no mistaking how much we enjoyed the privacy. Dessert by the fireplace that night was testament to that, but I’d be lying if I said the kitchen didn’t seem haunted with emptiness.
It only took us a couple of days before we got ahold of the odd feeling and figured out how to eat as a pair instead of part of the mob we’d gotten used to.
As we sat next to each other eating dinner and discussing the plans for the evening… Suddenly it was hard to not scan the room, wondering where we’d keep the high chair.
Tippy laughed at the sound of the puppy scratching and whining to get out of the hall bathroom… Until I put her in her cage. Jail.
Sookie laughed at her. “Be nice.”
“Be nice or we’ll get a cat.” Sookie meowed at her.
Tippy hissed and turned around on her perch. Avian silent treatment.
Sookie raised her eyebrow at me, pulling my tie to bring me down for a kiss meant solely to annoy Tippy. I took Sookie by the hips and pressed her against me taking a step back towards the bedroom.
‘Ass Oh.’ Tippy’s version of asshole…
We both started laughing at the spoiled brat.
The school was already crawling with activity. It seemed almost as busy out front as it does during football games.
We went straight to the auditorium where Rene and the rest of the AV Club nerds (self professed) were busy making sure everything was all set. Cameras, microphones, snow machines, projectors. They barely looked up from their work to say hello.
Sam and Jason were backstage taking care of the family’s equipment. Sam did more than look up. He dropped a drum to rush over to Sookie and yank her up into a hug. He spun her around. I watched her turn green in spite of her laughing. When he was done, I was next. No spinning, but he did pick me up.
“Jason just told me! Tara’s going to flip her lid!”
Jason laughed at him. “At least she’ll believe you! Fran thinks I’m full of it. Even hit me.”
Could be because he’s a damn goofball. “When does she get here?”
“Tara called her husband to let him know they’re on the way.”
I smiled, giving Sookie a wink before she kissed me and left me to babysit her brother so that she can take care of ‘bi’nuss’.
I took a seat on the couch (officially used as a prop/unofficially a ‘secret’ make-out spot) and waited for the opportunity to fuck with Jason.
The three of us were joking around, just hanging out, when Tara and Fran arrived.
Fran didn’t stop for the kiss Jason tried to give her. She came right to me and sat on my lap.
“Aww. What’s wrong?” Tara joined us, sitting right next to me.
“Jason’s an asshole.”
She and Tara giggled while Jason started to fidget with his offence. “That prick tried to convince me that Sookie is pregnant. Even tried giving me details. It was just mean.”
I stared at Jason for a minute adding to the fun. “You know what? That’s screwed up! It’s not like we’re not planning on any, but give us a FEW months, ASS! Are you trying to jinx us? Jesus, Jason!!!”
His mouth fell open and Sam managed to wipe his face clean. I wanted to kiss him for letting the joke run.
Fran rested her head on my shoulder. “See.”
Jason stammered, “You son of a… I…”
“Oh, you don’t get to be pissed! You know we wanted to tell them!”
Fran and Tara nearly gave themselves whiplash to look at me and call me a ‘lying asshole’ in unison.
I smiled at them and gave them both a squeeze. “All three of you crazy bitches get to be crazy and hormonal at the same time.”
They didn’t say a word. One side of my face was covered with dark red lipstick, the other with gold before they ran towards Sookie as fast as their high heels could carry them. Fran didn’t even stop to apologize to Jason.
Jason called me a prick and decided that Fran’s ‘Tahitian Honey’ wasn’t my color. It washes me out. Clown.
It only took about 3 minutes before a 3-way squeeee echoed down the hall and made its way through the backstage doors.
All of us rolled our eyes and thanked God we hadn’t been in the room when it happened.
When they were done setting up, they joined me on the couch. Sam sat at the other end, but the cartoon took up residence on my lap.
“Who do you have left to tell?”
“Alc probably told Had by now… JB doesn’t know yet… I think he’s it.”
He smiled as he pulled out his phone…
“Jean-Batiste, we have a problem…” Oh, this is going to go well. “…I think we need to plan a little something special for Eric. He’s got a kid.” I pinched his leg. Hard.
There was a shitload of nothing on the other end until he grumbled something I couldn’t decipher.
“She’s fucking beside herself! How do you think she is?” Funny.
More grumbling. I’d have had the decency to fucking use speaker phone. I pinched him again and this time he slapped my face like I’d made a pass at him.
“Like, I don’t know… a few weeks.”
I heard ‘mother fucker’ very clearly followed by a barrage of cursing and ranting that I couldn’t knit into complete sentences.
I reached for the phone, but he slapped my hand away. “Yes! She’s still marrying him!”
I reached for the phone again, beginning a wrestling match while Jason listened to JB’s reply. Then the shit eating look on his face changed…
“God Damn it! You’re no fucking fun!…”
“…Yeah, I know she’s grown, but…”
“…No. I don’t know how many kids I could have running around out there…”
He finally handed the phone to me like he was giving up.
He wasn’t using the same tone with me as he had with Jason. “Hey! Congrats! String him along for a while. He doesn’t have to know that Had called me like an hour ago.” It was really fucking difficult to not smile like a retard.
“Yeah. I understand, but…”
“He thinks I’m assuming that y’all weren’t exclusive when you supposedly got together last year.” Shit. There’s another one that knows.
“I’m going to hang up so you can get your angry face on. Give Cherry a kiss for me.”
“I…” He hung up so I played along and shoved the phone into Jason’s chest and stood up, ejecting him from my lap. “You sack of shit! Now what, funny man?”
I did my best to put on a good show and stomped through the backstage door to go bring Sookie in on the joke. I took a minute in the hall to laugh quietly…
As I rounded the corner I rolled my eyes, hearing Quinn’s voice.
“Damn it! Why d’you gotta be like that?” I couldn’t help but wonder what part of his job he was asking her to do for him now.
“You need to settle down!” I almost couldn’t decide if I would stand in the hall and let her handle his dumb ass or if I should spoil his bully routine with my own…
Until I heard a loud crash… like her desk had been shoved into the wall.
What I found when I walked in made me taste blood.
That worthless fuck had Sookie pinned to the wall by her wrists. He was pushing himself into her as she struggled…
I relived every second we spent at Everlee’s Floral & Gift on fast forward…
…Every fucking thing that had been waking me up at night for over a month came back, including my prayers for a chance, an excuse to kill that mother fucker…
Before I realized what I was doing, I had his arm twisted behind him ‘too far’ and his face pressed against the cinder block wall.
“Get your fucking hands off me!” I ignored him. It was more important for me to stop thinking about alibis and disposal.
I leaned my knee into the back of his leg, ignoring his grunting. “Sookie? Are you alright?”
She’d moved out of my line of sight, but I could hear her panting. He’d scared her enough that she still hadn’t answered… Her silenced caused another fear to creep back.
I yelled, knowing that if the squealing from earlier made its way backstage, so would my call for Jason and Sam. Quinn started to squirm as my backup’s footsteps got closer and it took every bit of control I had to not put my fist into his spine. His weakness.
Jason breathed a ‘what the fuck’ when they got to us.
“When I came in, this dickhead had Sookie pinned to the wall.”
I heard one set of footsteps run off… but I couldn’t tell who… or who was left behind.
I had only a split second to realize Jason was standing next to me before my brain caught up to everything else. It seemed like it all happened at once…
A smacking thud… a loud groan… the stench of piss…
Jason had punched Quinn in his side… Kidney shot… a mixture of jealousy and gratitude grabbed me.
I might have smiled at Jason. “Nice… Sookie, what happened?”
She was standing nearby, still breathing heavily. “He was giving me ‘one last chance’ to come to my senses.”
You’ve got to be shitting me! There’s no way he was serious! After all this time? No… That didn’t sit right…
Even Jason, as angry as he was, shot Sookie a skeptical look. “Sook? He’s been making passes all this time?”
“Well, yeah… I mean… it’s no different than he’d ever acted though. His bullying. One minute he’s treating me like shit and the next he’s asking to come over.”
I had almost let Quinn’s arm go so that he could take a swing at me… so I’d have an excuse… any excuse.
At the minimum, Quinn could say that luck was on his side.
As another set of footsteps entered the room, I heard the unmistakable sound of a taser powering up. “Hey there, Federale. You can stand back. If he moves I’ll light him up like a Christmas tree…”
I spared a chuckle as I slowly stepped back for Kenya, saving his arm to release last. I wasn’t but a foot away when Jason kicked Quinn in the ass like he wanted the extra point.
As soon as I cleared his reach, I turned to check on Sookie. Sam was hugging her and shooting daggers at Quinn over her shoulder.
All it took was for me to put my hand on her back and she spun around without warning Sam to attach herself to my chest like a barnacle.
I should have kept my mouth shut, but I couldn’t help myself. “Any questions now, stupid?”
“Fuck you! I almost had her back. This is all your fault.”
Sookie snorted at how wrong he was, but said nothing as Jason took the step to punch him in the throat while Kenya cuffed him. Kenya reached over and slapped Jason’s shoulder while Quinn bent in half, choking.
“Knock it off, Jas! I can’t hit him. Eric can’t hit him. So you don’t get to have any fun either.”
Jason smiled at her. “If you arrest me, will you put me in the same cell as Betsy Wetsy here?”
Quinn’s leg shot out from underneath him in an effort to kick Jason, but when Jason moved Quinn landed flat on his face.
As it turns out, Jason even fought like a cartoon. Once Quinn was down, Jason straddled his back and commenced to ass punching the guy. It was hilarious. Even Sookie giggled into my arm as she watched.
Kenya yelled, “CJ! I don’t need this crap! Get off him now…”
Jason laughed as he let her pull him up. “It was self defense Kenny! You saw it! He tried to kick me… then tried to bite my ankles! He’s vicious!” He ‘accidently’ kicked Quinn’s ribs as Kenya rolled her eyes at him and shoved him over towards us.
Kenya impatiently helped Quinn up and started leading him to the door, but he put the brakes on just a few steps from us.
No sooner than he opened his mouth to try to say something that would probably result in an assault charge against me, he doubled over.
I’d barely seen the reason, but Sam had been the one closest to him and taken Quinn’s gaping mouth as an invitation… He’d punched him directly in his piss-pump and like it was planned ahead of time, Jason kicked the trashcan over to serve as Quinn’s barf bucket.
I know I was staring at Sam. Even as he picked up the trashcan to get it away from Sookie…
The quiet guy. Super friendly. More ‘go-with-the-flow’ than the rest of the family… He smiled with a shrug. “They can’t mark their territory once you neuter them.”
We were still chuckling as Jason followed him out so that he could find a mop to clean up ‘his mess’… leaving me and Sookie.
“Why didn’t you say something?”
She looked up at me apologetically. “It really wasn’t anything new. I’d just gotten used to it… Hell, it’s been going on for 15 years.”
“How did this start?”
She tightened her grip around me. “He asked me if I was serious about marrying you. When I told him yes, he asked what I saw in an asshole like you. He called you cold and controlling and I went off. I gave him a comparative list of all the things I love about you/hate about him… That’s when he lost it and called me a nasty bitch and said I deserve to be at the end of your leash… Asked me how soon you’d knock me up so that you’d be able to make me quit my job and keep me at home.” That was rich coming from the weasel that just pinned her to the wall.
I snorted. “Did you tell him I’m already working on it?”
She giggled. “No. I made it worse. I told him that you didn’t need a leash because I already heel nicely and we prefer handcuffs anyway.”
I couldn’t help laughing. “You didn’t.”
She nodded and laid her head on my shoulder. “He didn’t like it when I told him that if I wanted to be with an abusive moron, I’d still be with Bill and I’m pretty sure you heard the rest.”
“Are you alright?”
“I am now. I… kinda had a nasty flashback or two. Knocked the wind out of my sails for a minute.” At least I’m not the only one.
“I did too.”
Her arms tightened around me. “What made you come back here anyway?”
She laughed as I explained that JB was flipping Jason’s joke around on him… “We do have a problem though. He knows.”
“Yeah. I was waiting for that… He uh… saw my cell bill while he was visiting. I’m sure he noticed that your number wasn’t on the October cycle at all.”
“We should come clean in New York.”
She looked up at me and laughed. “You know what’s going to happen.”
I nodded. “They all have a puzzle piece or two whether they realize it or not. We’ll tell them and they’ll all say ‘and?’.”
Since Selah’s temper tantrum over losing her classroom and quitting, Sookie had been guilt tripped into being the chorus teacher as well as the litany of other responsibilities she’d taken on. Schedules were shifted so that she lost part of her lunch and her free 4th period so that she could handle the pre-K through 8th grade classes and lost one more morning and an afternoon to being the chorus teacher for the high school levels. It was another item on the list of bullshit that Quinn passed over to her instead of doing his job of finding a replacement.
And another reason she’d been exhausted.
Alc and I were bored while watching a house for a suspect in Bossier City not too long ago and did the math. If the county actually paid her for all the jobs she did individually, she’d make 6 figures… 6 periods per day, plus the 7th period on Tuesday and zero bell on Thursday, 50-60 students per period, 8 hours of planning and grading per week (plus two more for the diet planning for the athletes), 6 hours per week coaching, 10 hours per week on COP activities… She was working 2 1/2 full time jobs…
That would need to stop.
It may very well be our first fight.
But she would need to slow down.
As it got closer to show time, I stayed with Sookie as she called the shots backstage.
She was tightening candy cane suspenders on a ‘cheer elf’ when a white haired man in a seersucker suit came over to watch her work quietly. Matlock or Colonel Sanders…
“Lil Sookie, a minute?”
She smiled and kissed his cheek. “Mr. Humphries, I don’t think you’ve met my fiancé. This is Eric Northman.”
As he shook my hand and we shared ‘pleased-to-meet-yous’, I had to do a mental search. Mr. Humphries? Mr. Humphries: cancer patient with yard needs… gotcha.
She closed the door to her classroom behind us with a grin. She clearly knew something I didn’t.
Mr. Humphries looked a tad morose as he cleared his throat. “Sookie, I’ve already heard. I can’t let him come back…”
“I’ll save you the trouble.”
“Now, now… hold on there. You haven’t heard my offer.”
“I don’t need to. I accept with conditions.” I was pretty lost.
The old man’s face lit up. “I already told you that the board would agree to nearly anything you ask for. Let’s hear it.”
“I keep my classes. The board needs to gently force Mr. Bartlett to retire so that I can hire a proper counselor. WiFi in the school. I’ll donate the computers myself. I need a green light on 2 new coaches. I want Andy to be approved for a raise and tenure as my assistant principal. He’s due. I need a qualified chorus teacher and I want a student teacher. I’ll be needing to lighten my load and be available to run to the baby room for feedings. I’m due at the end of the summer, but I’ll take as little time off as I can.”
Mr. Humphries’s smile only grew as Sookie rattled away her list. “Athletic director?”
“I’ll make sure one of the new coaches is up to the task.”
He nodded and shoved his hand towards her. “I’ll make sure of it. Now hurry up and shake my hand before you reconsider.”
She giggled as she shook his hand. “No changing my mind to it. My old man is too protective to let me keep on the way it’s been.”
He let a laugh and thanked me as he shook my hand before he hobbled out of the room as quickly as he could… Like he was still worried she’d have second thoughts.
She smiled at me, waiting for my reaction.
I put my hand to my chest, making a joke out of it by breathing heavily, and staggering back… finally sprawling out on the floor.
She knelt next to me, giggling and put her fist into my chest. “You revived yet?”
“No. I might need mouth to mouth.”
“I’m holding it hostage until I find out why you’re having a heart attack.”
“Mr. Humphries is on the school board?”
“Yes sir. Now what’s the issue?”
“You just cut your work load in half and I didn’t have to get any dirty looks asking you to do it.”
“You thought I’d keep this shit up with a baby to raise?”
“I worried that you might want to. You’re a stubborn ass.”
“What were you going to try?”
“Guilt. Evidence. Bargaining. Your father if necessary.”
She nodded thoughtfully. “You’re a stubborn ass too.”
“Hence my concern about fighting… Where’s that mouth to mouth I asked for?”
She leaned over, smirking until her lips were almost on mine. “I’m not sure I’m qualified. I should get an EMT.” Funny.
I reached up and pulled her down when she started to get up. “I never, never, NEVER want mouth to mouth from your brother!”
She laughed. “I bet I could find a doctor. Will that do?”
I smiled at her. “Uh… sure. Go get her.”
She slapped my cheek and called me a pervert since ‘Frannie’s married now’… then she finally kissed me.
A pig in shit.
The saying I’d heard more than a couple of times was ‘happy as a pig in shit’.
Yesterday morning… I had plenty of reasons to wake up with a smile on my face.
Beautiful amazing woman who loves me.
Huge, fun, invested family.
A job I loved more often than not, a partner that I trust and love like a brother and a boss that is bat-shit-crazy-fun and knows his shit to go along with it.
By the time I wake up tomorrow though…
I’ll be smiling like the lucky mother fucker I am.
Still have the beautiful amazing woman who loves me, and is having my baby.
Still have the huge, fun, invested family; all of them excitedly looking forward to our wedding and baby.
Still have the job I loved more often than not, a partner that I trust and love like a brother and a boss that is bat-shit-crazy-fun and knows his shit to go along with it, minus the worries of Sookie doing too much during the pregnancy.
And did I mention… the baby?
I was retarded.
Happy as a pig in shit.
The Christmas program was set to start at 7, but by 6:30 most of the family had joined me in the front rows of the auditorium. Rene even sat with us for a while, using the nearby camera as an excuse.
Had’s first stop was my lap to congratulate me, then Kenya who hadn’t found out about the pregnancy until after the Quinn debacle. She took an aisle seat so that she could watch with us and still serve in an ‘official capacity’. Just in case the candy canes and the snowflakes decided to have a Red vs. Blue conflict. The crowd was nothing more than an excuse to not be running radar out on the highway. Understandable.
Interestingly, her sister joined us. Keisha sat with her little one, Dixon, on her lap next to Corbett. Her little girl, Crystal was in Carm’s class.
It might have been my imagination, but I’m pretty sure some of the other attendees noticed that Dixon reached for Corbett. I know I did.
The auditorium that sat 3, 500 plus, was pushing fire code by the time the lights were dimmed.
The older students had done their program last week by way of performing the Nutcracker for the younger students (parents invited of course).
It was safe to say that nearly the whole town had bought a ticket for this show. All proceeds paid for the students Christmas parties on Friday… God forbid my school could have been so well organized…
No one balked at the $2 charge and Tara mentioned that she had been given more than $400 to spoil her students. When I was little, we were lucky to have a mom bring in dried out cupcakes (except for when Smom took care of it)… What’s more, Christmas was banned from Jack and Carm’s old school in New Orleans for the sake of being PC. Last year their ‘Winter’ program had been ‘toy’ themed… Alcide and I laughed our asses off afterward. Jack waltzed right up to his music teacher and asked her if she’d ever actually listened to the words in Bicycle by Queen. He told her in all seriousness, ‘it isn’t really about a bike, and the fourth graders shouldn’t have been singing about it.”
Each of the grades, pre-K though 8th preformed one song as a class… with the extra help of the cheerleaders for some songs or some of the more coordinated athletes doing step-work dressed as Santas…
Then there were the more theatrical interludes… The music was provided by Hunter, Jason, Jack and Sam.
A girl named Desiree sang Santa Baby while Carm and some of his classmates crossed the stage with her ‘wish list’. Carm pedaled the light blue convertible across the stage and Keisha’s little girl twirled across the stage in a mink stole (it was close enough to a sable).
A girl named Bethany sang Mele Kalikimaka while some of the 2nd and 3rd graders hula danced with her…
And Stella sang Winter Wonderland dancing with snowman dancing partners.
Then the grand finale was right on par for Sookie…
She’d only taken the stage to MC until the very end when she picked up her violin… As the lower grades filled the aisles to throw fake snow (some of them by the handful) the older four grades used flashlights with colored gels to do a light show… to Wizards Of Winter. I’d seen the beer commercial and the subsequent youtube videos of overzealous ‘exterior illuminations enthusiasts’…
This was better.
Jack had been working his little ass off. Running through his track no less than 3 times every time they came to the house… He was a blur of drumsticks behind the set and his ‘band mates’ grinned at him like idiots instead of paying any mind to the audience. It was the first song he’d learned. The other songs were played and remembered in essence. This one was memorized. And he spanked it. Less than two months of lessons… Carm still played bass at the house to feel included and probably be supportive of his brother in a subconscious way, but he called music ‘Jack’s thing’. He couldn’t have been more right.
The standing ovation at the end proved it… for more than 10 minutes… and the applause got louder when Hunter and Jas each took one of his hands and lifted the sweaty little phenom up over the drum set to take a shy bow.
It didn’t just seem like it took forever to leave… it did.
An hour of hugging and high fiving and a quick visit from Mr. Humphries to ask if Sookie would rather be the music teacher than a history teacher…
We finally got home just after 10:00.
Sookie went to the back to get Cujo so that she could take him out and I opted to build a fire and situate our chair while Tippy cussed at me about being in ‘jail’.
I was setting her loose when Sookie came back in with the puppy, laughing. “I broke down and gave him a rope. I don’t think he needs sticks in his diet.”
“For what Alc paid for that designer mutt, I hope he grows out of being so dumb.”
“Kunming Wolf Dogs aren’t designer, are they? I know they’re rare…”
“I looked it up… Two grand for a dog is a bit much. I don’t care how protective they are. A chow/shepherd mix would rip Amelia’s arm off if she touched it’s kid… They’re cheap and you can find them anywhere.”
She laughed as she snuggled into my lap with a beer for me and a tea for her. “Don’t balk… you might want to mimic his measures eventually.” Good point.
“I’ll start shopping for a female to breed with him with when we get home.”
“You have a while before you need to worry about it.”
“Nope. I need a hobby. I’ll be a puppy pimp. We’ll keep the most vicious and sell the docile ones. After a couple of generations, we’ll have an army of wolves to defend her.”
“She has to leave the property sometime.”
“Nope. We’ll home school. She’ll never leave and I’ll buy Bill’s property so I don’t have to worry about little neighbor boys. We’ll name her Rapunzel.”
“You planning on building a turret?”
I smiled at her. “Maybe.”
“It could be a boy.”
“Doubt it. I might have used up all of my luck finding you.”
“Awww. Leave it to you to make pessimism sweet… Since this baby wasn’t planned, we didn’t get our order in for a homely one. We’ll have to remember that for next time.”
“You know I’m only half kidding, right?”
She giggled, kissing the side of my neck. “I know how to fix your little problem.”
“Alright then. Let’s hear it.”
“You’re thinking too far out. You’re hung up on training bras and first kisses… You should be thinking about first steps and the first time that the word ‘daddy’ is directed at you.”
That helped. Not that I had a real problem.
She giggled at me again. “There’s your retarded happy smile.”
“Good. Because I’m retarded happy.”
She set her drink down, situating herself to lay against me with her legs laid along mine. “Beside’s you’re worrying for nothing. I’m going to be snarling and biting at all the Hannahs and Taryns and Michelles and Mackenzies… I used up all my luck finding you.”
I chuckled, kissing the top of her head. “I’m telling you… We should hit Vegas.”
She pulled my hands around her waist. “Naw. We shouldn’t push it.”