‹ Prequel: So Close Yet So Far

Meant to be

Back to Reality

"Noooo, I don't want our honey moon to be over," Joey whines as the newly weds pack up their suitcases, "I still wanna make love to you on the beach several more times."
"There are beaches in Oakland," Ramona laughs as she throws the last few items in her suitcase, "We'll go on vacation again soon, maybe in the Mediterranean?"
"Oh that sounds nice," he says smirking evilly, "let's skip the flight home and take the next one to Greece or Italy." She runs up to her husband and jumps him so her legs are wrapped around his waist. "Is that a yes?"
"I wish," dhe says nuzzling his neck. "Responsibility."
"Damn it," he says as her feet make their way back onto the floor.
"Besides, your work might ship you to Europe for research anyway," she says zipping up her suitcase. Joey works for an athletic clothing company in the research division, working mainly on new designs for soccer cleats. "Isn't the Soccer World Cup coming up?"
"Yeah, we'll be busy for that, all the teams want their star player's feet to be well shoed. Will you come with me?"
"Sure babe, I'll get my work emailed to me," she smiles. Ramona wrote an advice column, she got a degree in psychology and journalism. She was a young, hip version of Anne Landers hitting the bay area.
"I'll buy you a shiny new lap top and everything," Joey says in mock mafia voice.
"Blah, my lap top is perfectly fine."
"It's an antique; it's the same one you used throughout college!"
"So many memories," she laughs, "it can send and receive emails, that's all I need it for." Joey just shakes his head, "You may need constant upgrades for design software but I don't."
"But yours is so clunky," he whines.
"I prefer the term durable."
"You're exaggerating."
"Why do you want to buy me a lap top so badly?" she demands as he zips up his suitcase and stands it upright on the floor.
"I dunno," he laughs as they head out the hotel suite door.

* * *

"You better take good care of my daughter," Mike says in his most threatening tone as Stella and Jakob load up the car to go back down state for college.
"I will," he says seriously. "Stop worrying so much."
"Hey I didn't worry enough before and look what you did!"
"Dad!" Stella says annoyed, "We'll be fine!"

He watches as the small car drives away. His daughter was going on with her own life now, he wasn't quite ready for that.
"Jakob's a sweet guy, he'll be nothing but good to her," Cassie says putting her arms around her husband.
"I know," Mike mumbles as he places his lips atop her head, "just don't want her to stop everything now that she's pregnant."
"She's a strong willed young woman, she's more than capable of juggling baby and work."
"But nothing, it's time for you to stop being a mother hen, let her spread her wings and fly," Cassie says laughing.
"Don't call me a mother hen, it insults my manhood," Mike laughs as they head into the house.

* * *

The newlyweds drive down one of the major streets in Oakland, they were headed to Joey's parent's home to pick up his car, which he so nicely leant to his brother. They pull into the driveway and head up to the front door.
"You don't tan," Ramona says staring at her husband, "You're a born punker, pale as baby powder." She pokes his cheek. He pulls her into a childish hug, she bursts out laughing.
"Glad to see the honey moon went well, Billie Joe laughs, catching them in the act as he opens the door.
"Hey Dad," Joey says slightly embarrassed as they step into the house. "Did we miss anything major while we were gone?"
"Yes actually," Billie Joe states as he rocks on his heels, "you're going to be an uncle."
"What?" Ramona shoots.
"Jakob got the Dirnt girl pregnant."
"Ohh," Joey laughs.
"You knew about it?!" Adie says coming into the room.
"No well, we knew they were back together," Joey rambles.
"So how did Mike remove his testies?" Ramona asks laughing.
"He didn't," Billie says shrugging, "he started smoking again."
"Oh," Ramona says seriously.
"Well if I can have my car keys, we need to get going," Joey says awkwardly.
"Oh yeah," Billie says, heading into the kitchen to get the keys.
"You don't want to stay for coffee?"
"Nah, we still have to unpack from the trip and the boxes and shit," Joey rambles. The couple had just purchased a new house, for the past couple of years they lived together in an apartment but decided as a married couple they should move into a real house.

* * *

"You look tired," Jakob says to his now yet again girlfriend. "Let me drive."
"Okay," she sighs as she pulls over. They get out of the car and switch places. Moments after Jakob starts driving he looks over at his long time love to see her sound asleep with her head resting gently against the window. The radio hums sweet tunes at a low volume, he drums his fingers against the steering wheel as he looks at the road ahead. They had already driven two hours, leaving four more.

About an hour later he pulls up to a pit stop. He gets out of the car and fills up the gas tank, he leans back into the car.
"Stella," he says just above a whisper as he gently touches her arm.
"Yeah Jake," she mumbles, not opening her eyes.
"We're at a pit stop, do want anything to eat, or to go to the washroom?" he asks as he grabs his jacket out of the back seat to get his wallet. She rubs her eyes and unbuckles her seat belt.
"Where are we?" she asks as they step out of the car.
"About three hours along, halfway I guess," he says putting his arms around her waist. She leans her head against his shoulder as they continue to walk to the building.
"I feel like shit," she whispers.
"Sorry," Jakob says meekly, she stares at him, "For knocking you up." She just laughs.
"You don't have to be sorry," she mumbles as they go to the separate washrooms. Jakob goes up to the cash and pays for the gas while he waits for his girlfriend.
"You okay?" he asks as she reappears from the washroom.
"I guess," she says as he puts a caring arm around her as the go over to the strip of fast food restaurants.
"Want anything for lunch?"
"Uh Subway, I don't think I can handle anything greasy," she says calmly, she just threw up in the washroom and rather not repeat that.

* * *

"Look! Joey! Look!" Ramona calls happily from the top of the stairs in their new house. She slides down the banister.
"Marking your territory?" he laughs as he wraps his arms around her.
"I thought it would be in order," she says, straightening out her clothing, "we still have to christen this place, every room."
"Oh yeah," Joey says wiggling his eyebrows. "Every surface, we should get started right away then."
"Hmm let's start in the living room," Ramona laughs as her husband's hands makes their way down her body.