This Picturesque Life

Every Night We Spent On Weekends With Good Friends

Eric sat on the couch, watching Signs while Ashley slept in her bed. When he had arrived he put her straight to bed, and he was grateful that she didn’t protest in the least. The phone rang, causing Eric to jump then curse himself for being so jumpy. He picked up the cordless phone and hit the answer button without looking at the caller ID.

“Hello?” He asked.

“What the hell Eric?” Olivia’s voice shouted into the phone.

He sighed, “What I can’t pick up the phone?”

“I don’t give a fuck about you picking up the damned phone,” She hissed.

“Then what are you yelling at me for?” He questioned rolling his eyes up at the ceiling.

“When the hell were you going to tell me you picked Ashley up from daycare?”

“They called John in search of me, sorry if I thought that meant you already knew,” He said sarcastically into the mouth piece.

“Of course I didn’t if I did I would have got Tania to pick her up,” She stated icily.

“Well she would have brought Ashley to me anyways. All she kept crying for was me,” He altered the truth slightly.

It was silent on Olivia’s side for a moment or two, “Is she alright?”

“Yeah, I got her to sleep,” Eric sighed.

“Can you watch her for another two hours? I have to cover someone’s shift,” She asked, softly.

“Yeah, o’course,” He coughed, awkwardly.

“Thanks,” She said before dial tone met his ears.

“You’re not welcome,” He huffed to the dead phone before pressing end and dropping the phone beside him on the couch.

He returned to the movie in a worse mood, and cursed under his breath; hating how she could mess with his emotions, even over the phone. He didn’t get that much farther into the movie before Ashley started crying. He turned the movie off and set the channel to Dora before getting up.

She stood in her crib, clasping the bars as she wailed; tears falling from her open eyes. Down her red cheeks, and into her open, drool covered mouth.

“Hey, hey,” He cooed picking her up, “What’s wrong baby?” He asked as he held her close, rubbing her back and bouncing up and down softly.

“Da,” She whimpered clinging onto him for dear life.

“That’s right, daddy’s here. Everything’s alright now,” He assured her, though he himself didn’t believe what he said. Everything wasn’t alright, and it was clear that even Ashley knew things weren’t as they should be.

How am I supposed to comfort her if I’m a broken mess? How can I tell her everything is alright, when I know it’s not? As he got Ashley to calm down, his demons started blackening his mind. Ashley stared up at him through those big eyes, as if to judge whether to believe him or not. He caught sight of her, her mouth open, and her facial expression weary.

It took a lot for him to push the cloud away, but he grinned down at her and forced those thoughts to the back of his mind. He lifted her up above his face, and pressed sloppy kisses to her tear stained cheeks. She giggled loudly, making his smile only grown that more. He spun them around, her hair flying in the air as she happily squealed down at his cheerful face. He laughed loudly as he pulled her back into his chest. She raised her hands to her mouth as she laughed with her father.

“Are you hungry?” He asked her as he felt his stomach rumbled. She nodded quickly, her head falling downwards in a heavy bob, and bouncing back up with ease.

Eric chuckled at her enthusiasm, and messed up her hair quickly as he walked out into the kitchen. He opened the pantry and stared at the many cans and boxes. He frowned slightly at all the choices, and looked down at the little girl who was staring intently up at him.

“What do you want to eat?” He questioned softly.

She turned her gaze to the cupboard quickly before looking back at him shrugging, “No, know,” She mumbled.

He sat her on the table top and rummaged through the boxes, then the freezer. He turned around grimacing as the freezer door closed behind him. He snapped his fingers and pointed at her in realization. “Cheese pizza?”

He watched as she nodded and clapped at him in agreement. He picked up the phone in the kitchen and dialled the number for Pizza Hut; ordering an extra cheesy pizza and then carried Ashley into the living room.

“Dora,” She stated happily as she settled down in his lap. He chuckled resting his chin on her head lightly as the show progressed.

They were into the second episode when there was a knock on the door, Eric removed Ashley from his lap telling her to stay put; before he walked towards the door. He pulled out a crumbled $20 bill from his blue skinny jean’s pocket before opening the door.

“I get paid for visiting, sweet!” The person visitor exclaimed with glee, reaching forward to take the money.

Eric withdrew his hand quickly, “No this is for dinner,” He hadn’t meant to sound rude but by the look on his friends face, it was clear he had been. “Sorry, tough day,” Eric apologized for his behaviour, stuffing the bill back into his pocket.

The ginger in front of him nodded in understanding, “I’ve heard what’s happened; I can’t believe it man,” He stated sympathetically as he placed his hand on his friend’s shoulder.

Eric nodded his head solemnly, “Me either,”

“Can I come in?” The ginger asked a light smile on his face and a ring of laughter in his voice.

“Yeah, o’course,” Eric smiled opening the door wider. “I thought you weren’t coming for another week,” He muttered as he closed the door, watching his friend kick off his shoes.

“Yeah, but what can I say? After so long stuck with you… I’ve grown to like yea,” He laughed.

Eric smirked, “Missed us all didn’t you?”

He watched his friend bow his head and sigh loudly, “Yeah.”

Eric laughed loudly, “Well come on then, watch Dora with Ashley and I; and we’ll even share the pizza,” He stated walking into the living room his friend close behind him. Ashley’s gaze shifted from the TV to them and she gasped, stretching her arms out. Eric nodded telling his friend to go for it, and watched the ginger scoop up the little girl into his arms.

“Untle,” She squealed.

“Hey lil’girl, did you miss your uncle Nick?” He questioned pulling her away from his chest to see her face.

“Yeah, yeah,” She nodded.

“How come she remembers you right away, but not me?” Eric laughed taking her from Nick. Though he said it with a smile, it did hurt him a bit; but it wasn’t as bad as it had been with Kevin.

“Awe you know it’s because Uncle Nick spoils her rotten,” Nick laughed, pulling out a pink teddy bear from the inside of his hoodie.

Ashley squealed loudly reaching forward to grasp the pink bear. She held it close to chest and kissed its forehead, glancing upwards at Eric. “Can you say thank you, Ashley?” Eric prompted the little girl.

She glanced back over at Nick, “Tank you untle,” She mumbled, her words spoken through the pink fuzz on the bear’s head.

“No problem,” Nick smiled ruffling her hair.
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I know, I fail... I'm sorry.
If it makes you feel better I have been so disorientated I didn't even realize that November was ending so soon. So soon that it is now the 1st of December.
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