Disclaimer : the characters of this story are mine and you are more than welcome to write a prequel, a sequel or whatever you would enjoy to ^^.
Sorry no beta here so if you find anything just let me know.
Have a great time !
Today he had turn 45 and it had been more than fifteen years since he had slept voluntarily on the ground under the glittering sky, just to be ok. Sometimes, like tonight, sleeping on the grass felt more comfortable and safer than on the king size bed with his wonderful wife. The Center really messed up with his mind.
She will understand. She was the best thing that ever happened to him since ice cream and pez, even better. She was a mixed between the kindness and spontaneity of Zoe, the understanding of Nia and the stubbornness of Parker. He still did not comprehend -and he was called a genius- why on earth she had chose him.
He smirked looking at the sky. He could have stayed indoor, the house was big enough for him to sleep anywhere, nobody would care. But tonight, he felt overwhelmed. It had been a long time since he had felt like this. A bit lost, regretful and somehow not really done with his old life. Maybe having Jay, his carbon copy, talking about his new girlfriend and having the time of his life at the beach during summer break, made him a bit jealous. Or maybe not. She had taught him that our path was made for us and not anyone else. Nothing were good or bad, they were memories and the lessons from each experiences were what we were supposed to understand and it were worth it. Well, he wasn't sure about the "worth" part but he knew deep down that, without the Center, he would not have saved so many lives, have two brothers, a wonderful wife and the cutest daughter ever and met so many people. Well...Many didn't cover it. When she had claimed that they should celebrate his birthday with all his friends, she didn't know what she was talking about. Having thousands of people flying from all around America, Europe and even Japan just for his 45th birthday could be overwhelming. Yeah...The time he was in a three by four cell was really gone.
Regretful, he shouldn't be. Not tonight. He had learned that everyone was responsible of their own decisions. It was a hard thing to come over. He had done things -pretended, lied, played- and took decisions that impacted his family and friends all his life, like the Center had done to him. The realisation had let a bad taste in his mouth but not has bad as the day Parker did not want to leave the Center with him. Forgive and let people do what they wanted do to, no one ever taught him. But again, somehow, he was fortunate, she had found him. He was struggling with who he really was. He knew what he was, how to become so many others but he had no idea of who he was. He remembered her smile when she gave him this cup of bad coffee in the middle of a homeless shelter.
"Well, who are you?"
"I don't know" his sheepish voice replied.
And he didn't know. Not that his memory what damaged or something but after such a long time running, struggling, fighting, seeing the Center -the only stable thing in his life- falling had been a blow. Not that he regretted it, of course, that was enjoyable and much wanted but, now? He didn't know exactly when his mind had shifted to a point where nothing was valuable enough to make up with the bad he had done -even involuntarily. Somehow, the Center was a cornerstone in his life. How sad could that be?
She helped him answer this question. A small and powerful question that he had done everything not to ask himself.
Seeing Parker today, smiling, having a good time and laughing was kind of odd after six years. She was still beautiful and arrogant and motherhood suit her well. Maybe he had borne grudges -maybe?- against her, but the memory was not painful anymore. Now, he could see that they were not meant to be. And they better keep an eye on her son and his daughter. The kind of mess they can throw at four years old was already of gigantic proportions. Too bored, too smart and really too cute for their own good.
He smiled genuinely. Who would have though that one day he would be over his first love. Not him. Worse that he could see the same sparkles in her son eyes when he would look at his daughter. "God protects us all", Parker said when he told her. Yeah, it was a bit bizarre but well anyway.
And yes, he didn't feel completely done with his older life but he should be, right? No grudges, no danger, no regrets, so what?
"Having a bad dream?" came a gentle voice.
Wrapped in a white silky dressing gown, she seemed sleepy but beautiful under the full moon.
"Not really...I...sorry if I woke you up".
"Hmm, I see Mister Jarod Russell that you do prefer a cold night on the grass than the nice warm bed with your equally warm wife", she teased.
He chuckled and opened his arm for her. She sat next to him and cuddled against his chest.
"What is it that is bothering you?"
"I got old today."
"Well, we got old every minutes and seconds that is gone. Aren't we?"
She laughed lightly.
"I guess Gracy and Tommy could turn people ten years older in a blink if they are really up to."
"They could do anything together if they are up to." Jarod add.
"We are blessed that she had finally found someone of her age to match her abilities".
Mmm...blessed may not be the word he would have chosen.
"I think Jay had been relegated to the third place on her heart now."
"First is Daddy, then Jay, then uncle Ethan. The other boys at school are ugly and stupid", she quoted her daughter.
"Wow, should I watch it?"
"Better watch little Tommy, he is now at second position. You have a challenger."
"Well...I do feel old now."
She laughed harder.
"So, what is it that is bothering you my dear husband?"
She had a way to wrap hard questions into a smooth and warm voice that didn't allow to beat around the bush.
"I...don't know where I would be without you...and that's an understatement".
She smiled knowingly. They had this conversation so many times before.
"Maybe on a longer road to me, we would never know. And that's the beauty of it all, Jarod. Past can't be change and future does not need me or you or anyone to worry about it. Enjoy the present because it will become the past with or without us caring about it."
He knew that. Better than anyone. He finally smiled at her. He just needed to hear the words, to be reminded that it was ok to just be.
"Than we better make the best of this chilly night, don't you think my wise and hot wife ?"
She laughed and he kissed her hard.
Better enjoy the present before it is gone.
Hope you liked it. Kisses !