This Picturesque Life

I Never Want To Let You Go

“Night, night Dada,” Ashley mumbled lightly as Eric hovered over her crib. He watched with a soft smile upon his face as her eyes dropped closed.

“Night baby girl,” He whispered, leaning down and kissing her soft forehead. As he pulled back he carefully caressed her face, feeling his heart swell at the amount of love it held for her. Disturbing his peacefully loving mood, the front door opened and he sighed loudly as he straightened up and left the room; making sure to leave the door open a tiny bit. He padded down the hallway, his socked feet making no noise, as he entered the kitchen.

Olivia was seated at the table, her head in her hands as the microwave hummed softly. He paused as he stared at her, wishing he could just hold her and kiss it all better; but he didn’t trust that feeling inside of him anymore. He had listened to his friends last night, though they didn’t think he did. He heard what they said, that Kevin and Olivia weren’t together, and probably wouldn’t ever be together. But he was still so mad, mostly at himself, for he did leave her alone for far too long, and she didn’t deserve that. She deserved someone who cared for her all the time, someone who wouldn’t need to be asked to look after Ashley on Wednesdays. And though it hurt him, he felt that maybe Kevin was the man for that position. He just didn’t have to like it.

The microwave went off, jostling both of the young adults from their thoughts. Olivia sat up straight and caught sight of Eric just standing there, staring at her. It unnerved her, but she told herself he just got in he wasn’t staring for any special reason. She stood and took the two small steps to the microwave, fighting every urge in her body to look back at him.

Both of them were just too damned proud for their own good. Eric didn’t want to admit that he had jumped to conclusions, definitely not with his latest conclusion being that he was no good for her. The fact that she’s only 21 and has had to be a mother for two years was proof enough that he was no good. She didn’t get to go to college just spend the money she earned at a clothing store on diapers, baby sitters and a lot of late nights alone. And Olivia didn’t want him to know how badly she was hurting, she knew his friends had told him, because they were her friends too and they cared about them both. But she assumed that the reason he didn’t come running back to make sure she was okay, was because he just didn’t care. She figured he truly believed Kevin’s lies, and that he thought she deserved to be in such pain. She couldn’t argue with him if his mind wasn’t open to the truth.

She cleared her throat as she pressed the button to open the microwave door, and glanced over her shoulder casually, “How was she?” She whispered softly, hoping to keep their conversation on their daughter.

“She’s alright, I picked her up early, took her to the zoo,” He mumbled, deciding it was best she hear that from him now rather than from Ashley in the morning and become pissed.

She smiled weakly, “She must have loved that,” She returned her attention to the hot plate holding the leftovers he left out for her.

“Yeah, she particularly liked the ‘kitties’,” Eric laughed remembering how Ashley had called the giant orange and black striped cats kitties.

“Kitties?” Olivia questioned glancing over her shoulder as she cut the meat on her plate. Her heart jumped into her throat as she saw the smile that graced his features.

“The tigers don’t be surprised if she asks for one,” He chuckled.

She smiled weakly her heart breaking at how happy he was at that moment, ‘Was he moving on already?’ She thought. Her thoughts were interrupted by a sharp pain in her finger. “Shit,” She cursed as she turned back to look at her now bleeding finger.

He quickly was at her side, running her finger under the cold water. He grabbed a paper napkin and wrapped it tightly around her finger before pulling away to grab the box of Dora Band-Aids that was on the ledge above the sink. As he wrapped the colourful bandage around her finger Olivia watched him; with a great deal of longing.

“Eric,” She mumbled, causing him to look up at her, his hazel eyes connecting with her green eyes; the same eyes that had taunted her every time she looked at their daughter. He straightened up, their eyes still locked on each others, “Yeah?”

She cleared her throat finding words to say, as his name just slipped out. “Um can you pick Ashley up from daycare tomorrow? I’ll be home by the time you get here, just I’d be late getting there,” She whispered.

“Uh, sure…” He nodded, flicking his hair out of his face.

“Maybe you could even stay for dinner so we can talk afterwards,” She suggested.

Eric sighed loudly and diverted his focus to the floor, “I’m sorry but I have plans.”

“Oh,” Her mouth fell open slightly but she quickly shrugged it off, well pretended to as she waved her hand, “Don’t, don’t worry about it then, we can talk about it later…” ‘Or never at all…’ She added in her thoughts.

Eric cleared his throat before nodding, “Yeah, some other time…” The two stood awkwardly for a moment before Eric rolled onto the ball of his feet nervously, “Well I should be um, going now…”

“Oh yeah, um, thanks again…” She said quickly.

“You don’t have to thank me, she’s my daughter too,” Eric said slowly.

Her eyes widened realizing how that came out, “No, um, I meant for the um, bandage,” She sputtered quickly.

He chuckled lightly, “No worries,” And with that he walked out of the apartment, not another word of goodbye. Olivia turned back to her food, her heart feeling heavy; but to make herself feel better she assured herself, she had at least tried.
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