This Picturesque Life

You've No Clue What You Do

The two young adults sat contently on the sofa watching Sleepy Hollow as they ate the remaining slices of pizza; well two were in the fridge for Olivia when she got home, if she wished. Ashley was asleep in her bed, clutching the pink teddy close to her tiny frame. Neither man wished to speak as they both knew the topic would quickly get touchy.

They heard the elevator open out in the hallway and held their breath to see if it was Olivia. When the door didn’t open both let out the stream of carbon dioxide. Nick turned and watched Eric slump forward, resting his forearms on his lap. He wasn’t the same person he’d been when they last saw each other. It was amazing what a couple of weeks could do.

Nick sighed and cleared his throat, watching as his friend continued on being a mindless zombie. “Hey man, tomorrow we should go out or something,” Nick stated lightly, watching as Eric slowly returned to the real world.

“What?” He asked, completely lost.

Nick chuckled lightly, “You me and John should go out to a bar or something tomorrow night,” Nick explained with more details.

“We’re all under 21,” Eric reminded his friend.

“Small details, we should go anyways, we can drink soda pop,” Nick shrugged.

Eric thought about it for a minute before nodding, “Alright man, we’ll go out,”

“Great, we’ll talk times later,” Nick shrugged, before reminding himself to talk to John. “So, um,” Nick sputtered trying to word the sentence.

“Just say it Nick,” Eric sighed.

“Have you talked to her?” Nick asked softly.

“Obviously,” Eric rolled his eyes.

“No, I mean about what happened. Have you talked about everything, like adults?” Nick explained.

Eric took a deep breath before shaking his head, “No I haven’t. Not since that day.”

Nick nodded softly, “Yeah well, you probably need some time to think everything over before you talk. It makes things less rash. And considering Ashley... rash could be very bad.”

Eric bit the inside of his cheek, why couldn’t Nick have been there when it happened? Advice like this could have been such a good thing to have. He’s already done something rash, and he wasn’t going to lie to himself; he really wished he’d never said those words to her. Being in separate houses was good like Nick said, to think. But he officially gave her away to the world, and that hurt more than the initial sting of her cheating.

But if she cheated, do I really want her to be mine? He asked himself. The answer was simple; yes he did want her still. He just needed time. But he feared now, she wouldn’t let him back in; and that was one leading factor that kept him from having this conversation with her.

“Hey man, you alright?” The voice startled him, having forgotten Nick was there. His eyes widened at the closeness of Nick’s face.

“What?” he asked, trying to calm his heart down.

“You totally zone out. I asked you if you’d give me a ride home once Olivia arrived, but you were like; bleh,” Nick explained, impersonating a zombie at the end.

“Sorry, just got lost in my thoughts,” Eric apologized, shaking the remaining ting of depression from his conscious.

“No need to apologize, I completely understand,” Nick shrugged it off sitting back in his original seat. “Just don’t keep everything bottled up, it’s not healthy,” He advised.

Eric paused, he was sure this was Nick’s way of getting him to share everything; but he wasn’t sure he wanted to tell his friends. He knew they’d all tell him to talk to Olivia, maybe even encourage getting back with her; all these he knew, but didn’t want the conversation he needed most to happen.

“What do you want me to say, Nick?” He muttered.

“Well, what’s ever one your mind. I know there’s more to it than just being hurt she cheated. You need to let that out, don’t bottle it up,” Nick informed him.

Eric opened his mouth to tell him off, but quickly closed it. This was his friend and band mate, and he was just trying to help. It wouldn’t be wise to anger all his friends as well. Once more he opened his mouth to speak, but this time keys in the lock made him pause. He hit stop on the remote and turned off the television. He looked at the pizza box and leapt forward to clean it up. As he heard the door close he was in the kitchen throwing scraps into the garbage and the dishes in the sink.

Nick stayed seated where he was, feeling the atmosphere quickly turning awkward. Olivia walked into the living room and gave him a confused expression. “Kitchen,” Was all the ginger said. She nodded and walked into the kitchen watching silently as Eric quickly washed the dirty dishes.

“Thank you,” She mumbled, barely audible. He paused before resuming, nodding his head. “I don’t just mean for the dishes,” She forced a small smile as she watched him. She ignored the aching feeling in her chest.

“She’s my daughter too,” Eric replied, his voice gruff as he fought off the constricting feeling in his throat.

She sighed, she wished more than anything he’d forgive her and come back home. Even if she knew she didn’t cheat, she’d say she did if it meant getting him back. But he was so angry, so hurt; she couldn’t blame him for not wanting her anymore. “If you would like, you could pick her up at 3 everyday and bring her here. Or to your parent’s,” She added the latter bit quickly.

“Okay,” He nodded.

“And would you like to watch her while I’m at rehearsal?” She asked softly, almost afraid he’d say no.

“When is that again?” He questioned, putting the last dish in the drying rack.

“Wednesday, 6 to 10,” Olivia breathed.

“Alright, what time do you get off tomorrow?” Eric asked, pulling the plug of the sink; letting the water drain. He turned to her drying his hands on the dish towel.

“Um, at about five pm, Why?” She asked curiously.

“Nick and I are going out with John tomorrow. Wanted to know if Ashley would be better at my parents of here,” He explained, shrugging.

Olivia was sure her heart sank further. He’s gotten over it, She sighed to herself. To Eric she smiled politely, “No I’ll be home at 5:30 the latest. That gives you guys plenty of time,”

“Kay, well I’ll see you tomorrow then,” He said stiffly, picking up his car keys from the kitchen table.

She watched him get Nick, before slipping on their shoes and jackets.

“Bye,” Nick smiled softly at her before walking out after Eric. The door closed silently.

“Bye,” She whispered before turning to the dishes he hadn’t dried. She picked up the towel and started drying them slowly.

Out in the hallway Eric turned to Nick as they boarded the elevator, “Where am I taking you?” He asked.

“John’s,” Eric sighed but nodded, he didn’t have to go in.

When Olivia opened the fridge looking for something to eat, she saw the pizza. A soft, sad smile graced her lips, as she told herself he did care… somewhat.
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I updated it again, just for you all.
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