Death-Wish Kids


There was barely fifteen minutes before the class was to start and the woman who ran the front desk pointed the three of us in the direction of the baby gym. It was filled with toys that children could only dream of. From the small trampolines to the medium sized rubber playground, parents helped their children play on and with everything. I sat on the corner of the rubber bench went all the way around the playground and watched as Gerard carted Micah around in just his black socks.

He wasn't the only adult helping a child, but he was the only one in socks who was haphazardly climbing through the child-sized tunnels and slides. He carefully got to the top of the rubber sailboat and held Micah by his hands as the ten month old tried out his coordination skills on the little steps. Every time Micah figured out how to move a bit higher, Gerard cheered and lifted him up another one to speed up the journey to the top.

Holding him like a football in one arm, Gerard clambered through the small tunnel above the steps and ducked his head so he could take Micah down the incredibly undersized slide. I couldn't help but smile as they landed on the rubber mat that was supposed to represent water. Gerard set Micah on his butt and pretended he couldn't swim, making all sorts of noises that had Micah giggling and showing the world the little teeth that had begun sprouting up.

"He's amazing with him," the woman to my right said, surprising me and catching my attention. I looked at her and followed her gaze back over to Gerard and Micah, who were now off the floor and heading towards an empty sea-turtle shell.

I half-smiled and nodded, watching as Gerard helped Micah stand on the shell of the slippery toy. When the little boy slipped, Gerard held him up by his hands and then moved him to the ground so they could both look inside the hollow turtle house. I looked back to the woman when the older boy climbed inside, crossed his legs, and sat Micah on his lap, pointing out something on the rubber wall.

"I'm Alana Mattson," she introduced, crossing her arm over her body so she could shake my hand.

"Cyren Alexander," I replied softly. Like all the other parents waiting for the class to begin, she was much older than me by at least 10 years. She seemed to in her early thirties. Her brown hair was cut to just below her jaw and curly. It managed to be the exact color of her ochre eyes. She wore a simple blouse and a pair of black slacks, like she'd just come from work.

"Is this your first class?" she questioned, glancing back at the playground, "I don't remember seeing you here before. I definitely would've remembered such young and enthusiastic parents." She grinned happily and almost proudly.

I nodded. "Yeah, my son is only ten months, so we weren't able to come before now."

"That one?" She motioned to Gerard and Micah inside the turtle shell.

"Yeah," I answered, "That's Micah."

She nodded continuously. "I figured he was yours," she replied, chuckling, "A young guy like that wouldn't be here with any of us old hags." She looked at the rows of mothers lining the playground watching their children. "He's definitely caught the attention of some of us though." She laughed and nodded to a group off to the left who made it obvious that Gerard was the topic of their conversation.

"That's Gerard," I said, watching as he set Micah outside and then climbed out, getting to his feet and pulling his jeans up before he lifted Micah into his arms and headed our direction, seeing our eyes on him.

"This is going to start soon, isn't it?" he asked as he walked up and stood in front of me, "Micah's getting anxious to get some learning done so we can just play."

Alana laughed and nodded. "Just a couple more minutes," she informed him, "Ms. Taya likes to be prompt."

Gerard looked at her, unsurprised that she spoke up and nodded his head, quickly relaying the message to Micah. I introduced him them.

"Gerard, this is Alana. Alana, Gerard," I said, realizing that I hadn't learned who her child was yet, "and this is Micah."

Gerard held Micah in one arm and shook her hand with the other. "Which one is yours?" he asked, motioning back to the playground that was crawling with kids that spanned from Micah's age to a year and a half old.

Alana pointed just off to the side where a little boy was sitting by himself, tossing the rubber balls that went on the fake beach. "Theodore," she called out, causing the blonde child to turn and look this way, "Come here, Sweetie." She turned to us as he clambered to his feet. "He's almost 18 months," she explained, looking back to make sure he was making his way, "He's not much for playing with other kids right now, but that's normal." She turned and cheered as he came over quickly, putting his weight on the front of his feet and carrying one of the tan balls in his hand.

"Hi, Teddy," she greeted in a bubbly voice, kissing the side of his cheek as she let out a happy groan and pulled him onto her lap.

"Momma," he said, holding the ball out in the palm of his little hand, "Ball."

She took it from it and hid it behind her back. He watched as she did and then scrambled off of her lap to get it, by trying to climb up on to the bench next to her. When he couldn't reach, he pushed her side to no avail and then gave her a look that stopped me short.

"Me ball," he complaining, holding his hand out to get his toy back, "Momma. Me."

Alana reached back and handed her son the small tan ball. He was about to walk back over to his spot when she wrapped an arm around his waist and turned him around to face Gerard and Micah. "Teddy, say hi to our new friends."

Obviously stubborn, the one and a half year old just looked at us before focusing his gaze on Micah, who looked incredibly young next to the moving, talking, independent little boy. "Baby," he said, turning his head to look at his mom for confirmation as he pointed.

"Yeah, that's Micah," Alana informed him, speaking like she would to any adult, "He's not a baby anymore, he's just littler than you. And this is Cyren and Gerard." She pointed to both of us one at a time and Theodore watched like he was processing and storing this information somewhere inside his budding brain.

All of us, including the women who kept glancing back at Gerard, turned to look as a woman walked out from a back room and greeted all the parents and babies, calling us to the "circle". I stood up and the three of us followed Alana and Teddy over to the lillypad rug. Alana sat cross legged with Teddy on her lap and then patted the spot next to her, calling Gerard and I down.

"I've got him," Gerard said easily when I offered to take Micah off his lap. He smiled and we turned to pay attention to the woman who was leading the class.

"I'm so glad to see all of you again," she said, looking around the circle at the mommies and daddies and the babies in their laps, "Before we start with updates, we have a new bug in our circle today. Go ahead and introduce yourselves." She motioned across the rug to us and I instantly became nervous to speak in front of everyone and the thought crossed my mind that maybe it wasn't such a bright idea to bring Gerard along for the first one. I could already see the assumptions in everyone's eyes.

"My name is Cyren," I announced, meeting a chorus of 'hello Cyren,' before I continued, "And this is Gerard and Micah." Gerard gave a little wave and then helped Micah do the same, causing some of the women to smile back at us.

"What brings you guys here, Cyren?" Ms. Taya questioned, deciding not to let me off the hook.

I looked out at the waiting eyes and partially froze, unsure of how answer. I'd only come because it was my father's suggestion and I knew what would happen if I didn't follow it. All the parents here were older, and even though some of them might've only had one child also, they had more life experience and to some of them, that instantly made them a better parent.

I was slightly releaved when Gerard spoke for me instead, although I hung on every word, wondering what he could possibly say next.

"Well," he started, claiming the attention of the eyes in the room, "Cy and I are here because Micah's already ten months old." He looked around the circle and brazzenly caught the eyes of some of the parents. "Micah is one of the best kids and we want to give him every opportunity that's available, so if that means we come to classes that will teach us how to better teach him, then we're here. Plus," he added, shooting that crooked grin at some of the ladies, "What other chance will I get to run around a rubber playground in my socks? They'd definitely throw me out at the mall."

The room chuckled, including Ms. Taya, and she nodded, happy to accept the answer he gave. I was stunned by the thoughtfulness of his answer and the way he looked down at Micah when he was done, like he meant every word.

When Ms. Taya spoke, I turned my head and looked at him, wondering where that had come from. Without looking at me, he took my fingers in his and the corners of his mouth turned up in a slight smile. I looked away and tried to pay attention to the woman leading the class.

The class made us do incredibly personal things in front of everyone, but Micah enjoyed every moment that he laid on my chest and drooled on my shirt while I quietly told him all my dreams for his future.

It was a mix of bonding and learning activities. I took on most of the personal ones, but Gerard was right there when it came to the games and the learning through play. Ms. Taya told us about motor functions while the babies stacked blocks. Gerards quietly bet Micah that he could build a bigger and better castle faster than the other kids in the class, and then they went to it, using Micah's blocks and managing to sneak a couple away from the little girl on our other side.

Teddy donated his and Gerard helped the two of them outshine the other kids in what he called the "Castle Competition". When they ran out of blocks, Gerard high-fived Teddy and Micah and sat back and waited for the instructor to make her way over.

She wore mostly white and looked like she was about to head to an adult gym to work out. She'd been walking around the room cheering on each little kid as they stacked, but when she got to our "castle", she stopped and tried to give Gerard a serious look.

"The point was for the kids to learn to do it themselves," she said, crossing her arms over her chest and looking down at us.

"It was all Teddy and Micah," he replied, putting on a face that suggested he had no idea what she was talking about, "They're some talented kids, so I'm slightly offended that you would think they wouldn't have the skills to build something this fantastic, Ms. Taya. You must've seen genius babies before."

He ran his hand over his hair and tried to hide his smirk as some of the parents chuckled and others gave him disapproving looks. Gerard turned to Teddy and motioned towards the tower. "Want to demolish it?" he asked, quickly pulling Micah onto his lap so that he could help.

The three boys knocked down the castle of colored bricks and cheered as they hit the lillypad themed carpet. Theodore high fived Gerard and then Micah, who Gerard helped. Alana watched like I did as they organized them by colors and she caught my eye and smiled brightly as Ms. Taya called out that the last section of class had begun and we were welcome to the snacks that had been brought out just minutes ago.

Gerard suddenly froze, causing Teddy to do the same, and then he said to both the little boys, "Charge!" and scooped them both up before rushing to the group of parents who were making a line.

He almost gave me a hard attack when he slipped on the rubbed floor since he was still in his socks, but Alana chuckled and got to her feet, obviously less of a nervous parent than I was.

"He's definitely something else," she said as I got up and stood next to her. She crossed her arms over her chest and we watched as Gerard held each boy in the crooks of his elbows and tried to hold two plates with one hand. When he realized that holding two boys and two plates was too difficult, he settled on just one plate and pointed at things, waiting for Teddy's say so.

Alana hummed and then turned away, causing me to do the same. "I need to find me a guy like that," she said to me, meaning it as a compliment, "If Teddy's father had been one-third as enthused as Gerard, maybe he'd still be around to see Teddy excel."

I frowned, realizing what had caused Alana to be here alone. "He left?" I asked, knowing exactly how it felt to have your son's father take a limited interest in the child you created together.

Alana nodded. "Teddy was just a couple months old," she said, "He decided that the 'dad-thing' wasn't for him and left for his parents' place, deciding that staying in the state would make him seem too eager to be a part of his child's life."

I nodded, completely understanding. I didn't speak up because it didn't seem like something she would've said in front of Gerard, so when Teddy came racing over with Gerard and Micah just seconds behind, I smiled and looked excited about the cookie the little boy was waving at us.

"Momma, cookie!" he exclaimed, taking a bite out of the soft treat that was made especially for toddlers.

Gerard sauntered up behind him and shrugged, looking Alana in the eyes. "It was among all the fruit and vegetables and crap so I figured it must be some sort of healthy baby cookie," he said nonchalantly, allowing me to pull my lug of a son out of his arms for only the fourth time of the night.

"It's fine," Alana said easily, "He's had real cookies before and I could hardly get them away from him after his cousins introduced them, but these ones seem a lot less addicting for some reason."

Gerard picked Micah's up from the purple plate he was still holding and scrutinized it. He broke it in half and gave the smaller piece to Micah, who instantly stuck it in his mouth. After smelling it, Gerard followed Micah and Teddy's lead and slowly took a bite. After just seconds the look on his face explained why Teddy didn't latch onto these as much.

He quickly swallowed his bite and dropped his piece back onto the paper plate. "Ugh, god, that's terrible," he complained, "No, Micah, no, don't eat that." He hastily grabbed the healthy treat from Micah's fingers and even scooped a bit out of his mouth before replacing it with one of those soft yogurt bars. Micah didn't even notice the difference.

Teddy quickly swallowed the last bite of his cookie and Gerard brought the plate down to his level so he could pick what he wanted next.

"Incoming," Alana murmured, causing both of us to look at her. Gerard stood up straight and glanced back to see what she was talking about. Micah munched on the yogurt bar as three women walked over to us with children in their arms.

Gerard stepped back and stood at my side, close to Micah. He popped one of the gummies in his mouth and offered the ladies a closed lipped, lopsided smile.

"Good class today," the first said to Alana, "Teddy did really well with the coordination games."

"Yeah, he's getting really great at that," she replied, sounding proud of her son, "He hardly even wobbles when he cruises. He can follow me around a room without falling down once. How's Miranda doing?" She motioned to the little girl in a little pink dress and white tights and shoes.

"She's getting there," she replied, petting her daughter's dark ringlets, "Hates wearing shoes though. Refuses to even try when she's wearing them. I have to carry her everywhere."

Alana nodded before introducing them to us. "This is Deanna and her daughter Miranda," she said about the first woman, "Callie and Marcus, and Eva and Bridget. Ladies, this is Gerard, Cyren, and Micah." She reached down and pulled Teddy into her arms as the ladies further introduced themselves to us.

"You were quite the hit today," Callie said to Gerard, offering him a smile, "Definitely changed it up a bit."

Gerard shrugged and held the plate across Alana and I so that Teddy could reach. "Just trying to have some fun with Micah and Teddy," he replied, meeting the women's eyes, "They're so young that it's easy to get away with a lot with them. If they were any older they'd tell me to get lost." He grinned and pulled the plate back over to him once Teddy had taken something. He popped a few more gummies into his mouth and then Micah's, causing the little boy to frown and try to figure out exactly what he was eating.

"That's so true," the third woman said, shaking her head, "My oldest, Ben, is nine and his new thing is that his father and I are embarrassing. He went from being my sweet boy to wanting us to drop him off and get out of dodge. Personally, it makes me feel incredibly old."

"Speaking of old," the first woman said, shifting her daughter in her arms, "You both look incredibly young to be parents. If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?"

"Mm," Gerard hummed, quickly swallowing his food so he could answer before I could. He raised his eyebrows at me and licked his lips before he wiped the smirk off of his face. "I'm twenty," he answered honestly, messily rubbing his hair, "Cy is seventeen and Micah is ten months." He pointedly watched the reactions of the women.

They were obviously stunned, not only by how young I was, but by the age difference between Gerard and I. They all believed he was the father, which meant that he was nineteen or twenty when Micah was concieved and I was sixteen or seventeen or any combination of the four.

"Wow, so young," Deanna stated, looking us over with curious eyes. There was something more, but I didn't try to place it as she summed us up, "Micah's going to have two bestfriends as parents."

Gerard nodded and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "Well, we believe in starting young," he said pointedly, "If you get too old people will start to think you're his grandparent."

"Better than thinking you're their sibling in some regards, don't you think?" she replied, obviously trying to get her opinion across to us.

Gerard pressed his lips together as I bit my lip and glanced away from the situation. "You know what," he said, becoming slightly more serious, "No, I don't think so. When Micah is thirty and starting his family, his parents are going to be there to see it and not dead, so that's a definite plus."

Gerard bumped his shoulder with mine when Ms. Taya called an end to the class. When he swallowed, he cleared his throat and offered a charming smile to the older women who were obviously not smitten with him.

"If you'll excuse us, we should be going," he said, handing the plate over to Teddy, "We've got homework and chores to do." He grinned at Alana as he we both turned away. "See you next week," he said to her, patting Teddy's shoulder as we passed, "Can't wait to do this all over again."

I carried Micah over as Gerard hurried to get his shoes from where he left them by the rubber playground. He slipped them back on and quickly tied the laces.

"Alright," he concluded as he hopped back over, "Lets get out of here." He slipped his arms through the sleeves of his jacket and grinned at me that crooked smile that he'd been flashing the ladies all night when he realized he had them in his corner.
♠ ♠ ♠
I loved writing this chapter. You have no idea. :)

If you guys could comment, I would love it. I'm going to start another chapter right now, so if I read a few tonight, I might stay up to finish it, despite I haven't done my homework that's due tomorrow. I even set an alarm to get up early to do it, so if I stay up late and get up early, I really would love some comments. :D

Also! On the last chapter I forgot to tell you about my new original! :O
It also has kids in it, so if you love Micah, you'll love these guys. :3

Identical Strangers.

Comments pleeeeeeease. Then go look at IS!!