This Picturesque Life

Sweet Dreams That Won't Come True

Eric was jostled awake suddenly, he groaned as the bright light of the sun glared down through the window. The loud voice softened a bit upon realizing Eric's hangover, but continued to push and shove him till he rolled over onto his back, glaring up at the ceiling.

"Good you're awake," The voice exclaimed.

Eric very slowly turned his head towards the voice, glaring at his friend who smiled brightly down at him. "You look like shit," John laughed loudly, causing Eric to wince.

"I feel like shit," Eric grumbled sitting up, "Why'd you even wake me up at…" His question trailed off as he searched for the clock "Shit 8? I've only had 5 hours of sleep man," He growled annoyed.

"Dude, you're forgetting Ashley's supposed to visit grandma and grandpa today," John reminded him.

"Shit," Eric cursed jumping out of bed, only to regret it instantly as he stumbled forwards. Easy now, here's two Advil's," John laughed handing his friend the painkillers, and watched the brunette dry swallow them. "Now go shower, brush your teeth; all that jazz. I'll be waiting in the kitchen," John said before leaving Eric alone to his thoughts.

He sighed as he picked out clean clothes and made his way to the shower. The water was scorching hot as he stepped in, resting his forehead against the cool tiles. He desperately wished he could go off and get drunk once more, to chase any memory of yesterday out of his head; but he knew he couldn't. He had a responsibility to Ashley that he couldn't just diminish due to drama between him and Olivia.

He wondered if that's where things turned sour for Olivia and him; not being in a band and always away, but being stuck together because of Ashley. It was a terrible thought to think and he instantly regretted doing so, but he was looking to find answers for why she'd do that to him; to see where he went wrong.

By the time he made his way into the kitchen he had searched many possibilities and didn't like any of them; for they were his entire fault. No one said anything about him wearing his sunglasses in the house as he sat at the table, between John and his father. His mother set a plate of French toast in front of him and he ate in silence.

When he finished John clasped his hand on his friend's shoulder "Come on, let's go pick up Ash," Eric nodded sullenly, standing up and following his friend to his own car. Eric tossed the keys to John over the roof, and waited as his friend started the car and opened the door for him. John turned off the radio as he pulled out of the driveway.

"So, I had a talk with Kevin," He started awkwardly.

"So?" Eric shrugged.

"I gave him a black eye," John sighed, not proud that he beat up his younger brother.

"I wish I had done more than that," Eric muttered staring out the window.

"Olivia's a mess yea know," John added, Eric scoffed. "I mean it; I went to check up on them last night. The girls fell asleep huddled around her," John stated.

"What are you trying to do John?" Eric questioned turning towards his friend, his voice dry and emotionless.

"To let you know you're not the only one who's hurting. Her eyes were as red as yours are," John told him, his voice rising in volume.

"She's only sorry she got caught," Eric growled.

John sighed as they pulled into the apartment's parking lot, "I don't think that's the case man,"

"You didn't see them; they looked too cozy in each other's arms. Then she denied it and got mad when he didn't," Eric seethed.

"Whatever man, let's just get Ashley," John sighed giving up for the time being. Maybe it was too soon for Eric to be thinking rationally anyways.

John opened the apartment door letting him and Eric in. Tania stood by the door way and smiled sadly at her boyfriend.

"Is that Eric?" Olivia cried from the living room causing the boy to cringe.

Tania sighed and walked back into the living room, "No sweetie, John's taking Ashley to Eric's parents'," She lied to her friend.

Eric stalked down the hallway to Ashley's room. The little girl was in her bed playing with her teddy bear when he entered the room; she quickly dropped it and made grabbing motions at him. "Hi baby," He sighed picking her up and holding her close.

"Da," She murmured into his chest. A sad smile took up residence on his lips, as he stared down at his daughter.

John walked into the room and picked up her travel bag, "Anything you want to bring baby girl?" Eric whispered to Ashley as she looked up at him.

"Ber," She stated. Chuckling he picked up the teddy bear and gave it to her before John took her from him. "Da," She whined.

"Sh, Ash he's coming with us," John reassured the little girl. She sniffled glancing up at her 'uncle' "Come on let's go say bye to Mommy," John said walking out of the room, towards the living room.

Eric walked to his bedroom, staring at the top of the dresser with pictures of him and Olivia, and even Ashley. He grabbed the frame with a picture of the three of them; the first picture of their young family. With it in hand he walked back to the door to hear the end of Olivia's goodbye.

"John, will you please convince him to come home?" She asked, her voice trembling in sadness.

"I can try, but he's really hurt Liv," John sighed.

"So is she!" Allison's voice sounded through the tiny apartment.

Eric bit his lip as he heard John sigh once more "Allison, don't go picking sides," He advised. "Eric's beating himself up thinking he did something to force her into another man's arms. He needs time to calm down before he can be reasoned with," John told the girls.

Eric frowned at hearing those words; his friend was on Olivia's side.

"Say bye to Mommy," John cooed, obviously to Ashley.

"Bye," Ashley mumbled.

"Bye baby," Olivia called after them.

John walked back to the front door, which Eric opened and held it for the man carrying his daughter. As soon as they got to the elevator Eric took Ashley from John and held her close once more. She cuddled into his chest, looking up through her brown hair that fell into her face; his eyes connected with her matching eyes and forced a smile. He stepped into the elevator repeating in his mind one simple order 'Think happy thoughts Eric, happy thoughts.'
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You have no idea how bad I feel that it's taken me months to update! First when the internet went down at my dads in August... I was like "I'm going to write 5 chapters in advance before the month is over," but that didn't happen and I was like "Well, I'll continue till I'm at 5 for each story," then when most were at 5 I was hesitent and felt guilty that I'd be updating without my friend Allison being able to read. But I felt so bad about how my readers must be feeling, so I said screw it, Allison would kill me if I'm not updating because of her so Vola!
I'm so, so, so sorry. And I hope there's still faithful readers out there....
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