Status: Active

Dear God

Chapter 01

Present Day

Flesh is burning you can smell it in the air, ‘cause men like you have Such an easy soul to steal, So stand in line while They ink numbs in your head You’re now a slave Until the end of time here
Nothing stops the madness Tuning, haunting, yeaning, pull the trigger.
You should have known, The price of evil And now it huts to know that you belong here, yeah
Ohhh it’s your fuckin nightmare!

I groaned as the sounds of Avenged Sevenfold pulled me from my slumber, who the hell was calling me at five in the morning? I thought to myself as I reached over and answered the annoying device. Before I could even utter a hello, an automated voice stated.

"Good morning, this is Leann Greenburg calling from KinderCare. I regret to inform you that we will not be opening today and will be closing our doors indefinitely due to unforeseen reasons. I apologize for any inconveniences this may cause you and your family. I will be in the office until noon today with recommendations of other local child care centers. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you"

“What the actual fuck? Now what the hell am I going to do?” I groaned, slamming my head back on my pillow. I had to work today and there wasn’t anyone around able to help me out. I wasn’t sure if my cousin’s wife was available to help since today wasn’t her normal day to babysit for me. I quickly sent her a text asking if she was able to help me out.[r1] Thanking my lucky stars she had a high schooler and was up, she quickly responded that she was able to watch her. I thanked her a million times before locking my phone and rolling over on my small bed, hoping to sleep for another two hours.

What only seemed like moments later the soft sound of foot falls caught my attention. It was clear that I wasn’t the only one awake. I opened my eyes a little and ginned when a matching pair of blue eyes were staring back at me.

“Sissy, your phone has been yelling. You need ups.” My five year old sister Lilly said softly, poking my exposed cheek.

“Aren’t I supposed to wake you up?” I teased, poking her nose causing her to giggle as she nodded her head. I groaned dramatically and sat up and looked around my tiny living room that also doubled as my bedroom. I could see Lilly already had her things together by the door as well as the telltale sign of crumbs, meaning she fed herself. How I slept though all of that is beyond me, but I was proud of her. “Well it looks like you already have your bag together and ate.” I picked her up and placed her in my lap. “Did you pack a change of clothes? You’re going to Allison’s today instead of daycare.”

Lilly shook he head. “Ali said I can come ova in PJs.” She ginned up at me. 4

“Alight, then make sure you have a change of clothes in that bag. I don’t want to pick you up later and see that you’re still in your pajamas.” I said sternly, causing Lilly to sigh dramatically as she slid off my lap and made her way down the hall to the only bedroom in the apartment.
“Tell ya what, I’ll start Frozen for you and you can watch that while I get ready for work. Sound like a deal?”


I shook my head as I tuned the television on and simply pressed play on the DVD remote, seeing as the last movie we watched was Frozen and I never turned off the machine knowing that we would be watching it again. Once the movie was playing, I ventured into the kitchen and quickly cleaned up the small mess Lilly had made before stating the coffee pot. Once I started to smell the alluring aroma, I went the same direction as my sister and stuck my head in her room.

“Hey Lil, I’m going to shower. You know the drill.” I waited until she acknowledged me before grabbing my robe and towel from the small closet by the bathroom. I turned the water on and as it warmed up, I glanced at my reflection. Deciding that my hair could go one more day without being washed, I threw it up in a bun and hopped in the shower. Five minutes later I was drying off and getting dressed for work. I added minimal make up to my look before venturing back to the living room.

I smiled when I heard Lilly singing along to one of the many slightly catchy yet annoying songs in the movie. I envied her, she was five years old and didn't have a care in the world. She knew something was different, she knew our mom was gone, but she wasn't aware how much her life changed and will forever be different.

Our mother passed away a little less than a year ago from the cancer. Cancer that she was diagnosed with when she was pregnant with Lilly, which resulted in my sister being born premature so my mom could start treatments. I had moved back to Iowa as soon as I finished school and was able to get home. I had tried to delay it, but when I heard how bad the cancer actually was, I knew I needed to be there. So I sold my apartment and left one of my favorite places, among other things.

When things took a turn for the worst, we sat down with a lawyer and did what needed to be done on that end. I was made guardian of Lilly and two short, painful weeks later mom passed away. I sold her house and put the money I got for it in a college fund for Lilly. I knew mom would have wanted me to keep the house and raise Lilly in it, but the upkeep was too much for my waitressing job. I did use some of the money from the sale to buy the one bedroom apartment we were currently living in. It wasn’t the best place to live, but it was close to my cousin, work, and child care and it was affordable.

I glanced around my tiny home and noticed all the toys and evidence of a child living here and smiled. I may not be living in luxury, but we had a roof over our heads and food on the table. There was park in our complex that I took Lilly to whenever I could. We were making do with our lives and so far everything was working out well for us.

"Sissy, I'm firsty" Lilly mumbled, walking into the kitchen where I was preparing my second cup of coffee

"Where's your cup? We've got apple and grape juice, lemonade, or milk."

"Lemon!" She yelled, running down the hallway to her room. I chuckled knowing that she would pick that. She had an obsession with sour things lately and I didn't understand it.

When she came back to me, I filled her cup and handed it to her before picking her up. "All right little one, you ready to go?" Lilly nodded and laid her head on my shoulder, sucking away on her cup.

I gathered her bag as well as my purse on my way out the door. As I was walking to the parking lot, my phone rang. Sighing, I shifted everything I could to grab the device out of my back pocket.

"Hello?" I answered, not even checking to see who I was talking to.

"Hi Care, how are you?"

I smiled at the sound of my cousin’s voice. "I'm good Core, how are you?"

"Happy to be home. You're bringing Lilly over right? Ali's still babysitting for you?"

I blushed. "I can take her to work with me if you want to spend time with Ali and Griff. I know you've been gone for a while and they missed you. You weren't supposed to be home til tomorrow. I made sure I had plans for Lilly."

"Aye, shut up for a second will ya." Corey chuckled. "You're family, you and Nugget are always welcome and will never be a bother. So you better be on your way or you're going to be late. And you better be bringing her tomorrow too. I have to spoil her."

I rolled my eyes and backed out of my parking spot. "Yes dad." Corey's laughter was the last thing I heard before I hung up. I got Lilly situated in her car seat and got into the driver's seat. "What are we listening to today Lil?" I glanced in the review mirror and chuckled when I saw her tapping her finger on her chin.

"HANNAH MONTANA" she yelled. I beamed at the little girl. She didn’t care that the music she listened to was older than she was. She had caught me singing “The Climb” after a particularly hard day at work and she had been hooked.

The two of us sang our hearts out to the classic Disney songs as we drove down the familiar roads to Corey and Allison’s place. If it wasn’t for the two of them, I would have lost my mind when my mom passed away. I knew nothing about raising a child and it showed. Corey insisted that I move in with them for a few months so he and Allison could help me out when it was need, and boy was it needed. Now Allison likes to babysit for me now that their son isn’t a toddler anymore and it really helped me out. Especially when I found myself in a situation like today’s.

When we pulled into the Taylors’ driveway, Corey was out the door and flying down the steps to greet the car. I laughed at his dog like behavior and made sure to tell him so. He stuck his tongue out at me as he got Lilly out of her car seat.

“You’re running late. Go, we’ll set a place for you at dinner.” Corey said, leaning into the window so I could give Lilly a kiss.

“Be good for Core and Ali, okay? Listen to Griff…when Core tells you to.” I winked at my cousin. “I’ll see you guys later. Call me if you need me.”

Corey nodded and waved me off as he walked into the house with a giggling Lilly. I threw a wave in Ali’s direction in the kitchen, before pulling out and making my trek to the diner. The same diner I worked at when I was barely old enough to work. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a large bus parked at the back end and a few more cars than any other Wednesday morning.

I quickly scanned the employee area and noticed that the other opener wasn’t in, which meant there was just Darla, her husband, the cook, and one or two other waitresses in there. Far too little for the current state of the parking lot. I quickly gathered my things before locking the car and making my way inside. One step in the door and I knew today was going to be hell.

“Carrie, there is a table of seven in section two that is yours. You’re also covering the counter. New girl was a no call no show.” Darla huffed at me as she raced around the dining room with plates.

"Let me just clock in and grab my apron and I’m ready. Tell my table I’ll be right there.”

Entering the employee zone, I saw the frazzled looks and sent a reassuring smile to them. “Have no fear, for I am here.” I laughed and smiled when the rest of the staff did too. “Seriously guys, relax. Busy is busy, but take your time but be conscious of your time. Don’t rush, rushing leads to mistakes. Also help each other out when you can.”

I sent them all another smile before stashing my bag in my locker and grabbing my apron. I was tying it as I walked to my section, greeting the regulars who weren’t fazed by the chaos. As I approached the table, I glanced at the special board and reached for my order book, not that I really needed it.

"Hey there guys, thanks for being patient with us, we're a bit short staffed today. My name is Carrie and I'll be serving you today. Can I get ya'll started with some coffee?" No one answered me and as I was getting ready to ask again, a song I haven’t listened to in over five years was being sung at me. Something that I haven’t had done to me in just as long of a time. Instantly I knew who it was and felt tears spring to my eyes. “Oh my god, I haven’t had that done to me in years!” I exclaimed looking at the group of men in front of me.

“So we’re still the only ones to do it?” Jimmy asked in excitement that was pure Jimmy. He was bouncing so much in his seat he was practically bouncing out of it.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked at the same time.

Zacky smiled up at me. “So this is where you work, huh?” He smirked at me with a raised eyebrow. “We’ve missed you, Care.”

God I haven’t been called that in a long time as well. Zacky and Brian, as well as their wives, would come out to visit me from time to time, but it was always nice seeing them. Especially when it was the whole group, even if Matt wouldn’t even look at me. Everyone quickly jumped up and gave me a hug…all but Matt.

“Matt, don’t be an ass.” Brian nearly hissed. “Say hi to her.”

I held my breath as Matt turned and looked up at me with those hazel eyes of his that I’ve always loved. “Hello, Caroline. How are you?” I tried my hardest to suppress the shiver rising in me as I heard his voice directed at me for the first time in what seemed like forever.

“I’m good, Matt. Thanks.” I took a deep breath. “Alright guys, drinks? I need to check on my other tables.” I informed them, scanning the dinning area. I quickly wrote down their orders and went to turn them in. The second I was out of their line of sight, I leaned against the closest, stable surface and took a few deep breaths to steady myself.

“Carrie, are you okay?” The cook asked as he plated dishes.

I nodded. “Yeah, Mike. I just saw some people that I haven’t seen since before my mom passed away. I didn’t leave things in a good way when I left.”

“Maybe them showing up here is a sign.” He smiled. I shook my head. Mike was always about his signs and things happening for a reason. “Your drinks are filled, Car. Don’t let them get to you. Just go be your normal, loving self.”

I smiled. “Thanks Mike. I can always count on you to talk me off whatever ledge I seem to find myself teetering on.” I sent him a wink before grabbing the tray of drinks for all my tables. I made sure to save the Avenged guys last because I knew they were going to try and talk my ear off and honestly I was okay with that. I’ve missed my talks with them.

As I approached the table, I noticed the looks everyone had on their faces. Brian and Zacky looked guilty, Johnny and Jimmy looked hurt, and Matt looked….emotionless. I decided not to mention anything and treat them as I would any other table. I quickly handed out the drinks before getting started on their food orders. “Alright, you guys ready to order?”

I was met with enthusiastic nods that had me laughing as they all threw their orders at me at once. The table went quiet as we all stared at Matt. “Matt.” I said softer than I wanted to.
He sighed and I tried to not let it affect me. “I’ll take the same as Brian” He said. I knew he hadn’t heard what Brian had order because if he did he wouldn’t have agreed to it. “Are you sure?” I raised an eyebrow in question.

“Yep.” Was the only response I got from him before he handed me his menu. I glanced at the rest of the table and they all had different looks that I didn’t care for at the moment. I went to check on the rest of my tables before dropping off Avenged’s order. I could only keep myself so busy before I found myself standing at their table again.

“So Care, anything new going on?” Brian asked, as he lounged back in his seat.

I shook my head. He already knew what was going on but was the only one brave enough to start a conversation with me. And I couldn’t blame them. It’s not like I tried my hardest to get into contact with them after the first few weeks of me being gone.

“Lilly is growing too fast for me to keep up with.” I admitted. “Suzy and Mac came down to visit last month.”

“Is Lilly your daughter?” Johnny asked hesitantly.

I couldn't stop the laugh that bubbled up. “No, she’s my sister.” I smiled, ignoring the scoff that came from the other end of the table. “Listen guys,” I said softly, shifting where I stood. “I have no excuses for not staying in touch with all of you. I am so sorry. I just thought that after the way things went down that it was better for me to keep my distance. It wasn’t easy though.” I bit the inside of my cheek as I waited for someone to say something, but before they could Darla was calling me away. "Duty calls, guys. Your food will be out shortly. I really am sorry.” I said softly before helping the table who needed my attention.

Things got really crazy so I wasn’t able to chat with the guys much more aside from what my job required. I waved to the guys as they left and noticed Matt stayed back and was leaning on the wall outside. I decided that this was the perfect time to go talk to him. I told my co-workers that I was going on my fifteen minute break. When I got outside, I could smell cigarette smoke.

“You’re smoking again?” I asked, wrapping my arms around my waist.

“Only occasionally” He shrugged. “Why does it matter if I smoke or not?”

I sighed. The coldness in his voice hurt more than it should have after all this time. “Matt, I didn’t come out here to fight with you. I came out here to see how you were doing and maybe apologize, but I see you’re still the asshole you were five years ago. Enjoy your cigarette and have a safe return home.” I let out a shaky breath. “It was nice seeing you Matt.” I glanced back at Matt before pulling the door open and going back in. I ignored the looks from my coworkers and jumped right back into the rotation of tables.

The rest of my shift went by pretty quick thanks to the buzz that Avenged Sevenfold was seen here. We may be a little town, but these people loved their music. The constant flood of people asking about the band didn’t help me in trying not to think about the interaction with Matt. It was getting annoying and my patience was so running thin that I nearly sprinted to clock out. I said my goodbyes to everyone on my way out the door.

On the drive to Corey’s house, I thought of ways to get out of dinner because right now sitting down and talking about how tour went for him and the guys of Slipknot sounded about as entertaining as sitting in the dentist office. Normally I’d be all over the tour stories, but the fact that they toured with Avenged Sevenfold and there was a ninety-nine percent possibility that Corey was the reason for them showing up at the diner today, I wasn’t into hearing about it right now.

When I got out of the car at Corey’s, Allison met me at the door. “How was work?” She asked with a genuine smile.

“It was okay, but I’m going to go stab your husband now.” I smiled at her as I gently and jokingly pushed her out of the way. “Did he tell you what he did?”

“Noooo.” She drew out. “Should I be afraid?”

I laughed. Allison and I were like sisters, we have been since she started dating Corey almost twenty years ago. “Not really. He may have told a certain ex of mine and his group of friends where I worked.”

Allison shook her head. “I thought he was joking when he said he was going to do that.”

“Uh oh, Nugget. Sounds like your sissy is here and doesn’t sound too happy.” I heard Corey stage whisper to the little girl. “What’s wrong Caroline, not have a good day at work?”

I put my hands on my hips. “Did you think that was a good idea? Did you think it was going to end well? What the hell were you thinking?” I huffed.

“Come on Care, it was the perfect opportunity for you two to reunite. You guys need to get over this shit. It’s been five years. He’s just as miserable as you are.”

“I am not miserable.” I scoffed. “Plus he looked really thrilled to see me.” I rolled my eyes. “Core, I love you, but that was a low blow. You knew I wouldn’t have been able to get away from him. I bet you had Griff leak that they were there too to make it busy so I couldn’t even pawn their table off on someone else.”

This time, Corey had the curtesy to look guilty. I chuckled at him, not able to really be upset with me. “Corey, stay out of my love life please.” I kissed his cheek and took Lilly out of his arms. “Now, I know we were supposed to stay for dinner, but I had the shock of the year today and I’m just going to go home and snuggle with Lilly and watch movies.” I looked at my cousin and his wife. “I love you guys, thanks so much for watching Lilly today.”

“Come over for dinner tomorrow. I’ll be sure to keep my knucklehead of a husband in check. We haven’t had dinner together in a while and I miss it.” Allison said, giving me a hug and kissing Lilly’s cheek. We stayed for a few more minutes talking to Corey and Allison before making our way home.

Later that night, Lilly was finally in bed and I took advantage of the alone time. Catching up on cleaning and TV shows that I couldn’t watch with a toddler always needing my attention. had just changed into my pajamas when there was a knock at the door. Confused and cautious, I grabbed an old softball bat and looked out the peep hole. When I saw who was standing there, I dropped the bat and cursed when it made a loud bang. I quickly kicked it out of the way while running a hand through my hair and down my shirt. I groaned when I realized what I was wearing, but there was no one I could go get dressed. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door.

"Matt….” I breathed.

I wanted to roll my eyes at the breathy tone my voice took the second I made eye contact with him. I wanted to scream when I felt my heart jump as I took in his appearance. He was bigger than he was when I last saw him and he was pretty buff back then too. His hair was the longest I’ve ever seen it, but it was still covered by his signature bandana and backwards baseball cap.

“Hi Care-Bear” He smiled.

Taking a deep breath, I stepped aside and motioned wordlessly for him to come in. He gave me a slight smirk causing one of his dimples to pop out and I nearly swooned. Oh my god, get a hold of yourself Caroline! I turned to my new guest and took in the sight of the large man taking of the small space of my living room. The same living room that looked like a bomb had gone off in it not even an hour ago.

"How did you know where to-Corey told you didn't he?" I asked with a defeated sigh. Matt simply nodded but didn't say anything, he just stared right back at me. "What are you doing here, Matt?" I finally asked.

"I wanted to talk to see you. I've missed you Car." He answered softly.

I shook my head, crossing my arms. "Uh no, you're not allowed to miss me. You're the one that left for tour when I mentioned I was coming out here. You waited until I left before leaving yourself. Hell, you didn't even call or text me! I had no idea where you were or that you even left! At least Zee was nice enough to tell me that you went on tour early. At least he apologized for not getting to say goodbye. He actually kept me in the loop. I spoke to him more than I did you, Matt.” The flood gates opened and everything I wanted to say to the man standing in front of me in the past five years finally came spewing out.

“I know that at the time I had no reason to be upset for you being on tour, and I wasn’t, but Matt you ignored me! I called you, sent text messages, everything I could think of. Just because I had to leave California didn’t mean that I stopped loving you or thinking about you. Did you even think about me while you were out there? Did you ever wonder how I was doing? How my mom was doing? Did you ever feel guilty for not telling me about tour?” I blinked back tear. “We were going to get married! We talked about it before all the shit with my mom went down. But you were too damn selfish to wait for me! I would have waited for you!" More tears burned my eyes. Years of anger bubbled up and it took a lot of self control to keep it from spilling over and starting a screaming match between us.

Matt growled and took a step towards me. I wasn't afraid of him, he never gave me a reason to fear him. "You think I don't remember that little piece of information? Hell, that's all I thought about when you were gone...when I was on tour. I wanted to call you and apologize for just leaving but my ego was wounded. I wanted you with me, not here taking care of a baby that wasn't even yours." He waved his hands around, clearly upset.

"Watch what your next words are Sanders." I growled. "That's my sister you're talking about."

Matt held his hands up in surrender. "I know that. Speaking of, how is your mom doing?" He looked around the living space again and I knew he spotted all of Lilly's things when he walked in "Is she still teaching?"

My throats burned. "You don't know?" I whispered. "Brian didn't tell you?" Brian's step mom and my mom were best friends and I had asked Suzy to let Brian know what had happened. I assumed he would have told Matt because I had received flowers from Brian and Michelle as well as from Zacky and April.

"Tell me what?" His head cocked in confusion.

"Mom died six months ago and I'm Lilly's legal guardian." I took a shaky breath as Matt closed the distance between us. He placed his hands on either side of my face, his thumbs stroking my now tear stained cheeks. He looked helpless and heartbroken. It was clear he wasn't totally sure how to react. My mom had loved him but he resented her for taking me away from him. He never said anything, but I knew that's how I would have felt if the situation were reversed.

"God, Caroline..." he breathed. "I'm so fucking sorry I didn't know. That I wasn't there. Fuck." He pulled me into his chest and wrapped one arm tight around my waist as he held me to him. I was shocked at first, being in his arms, but then the dam I've had in place for the past six months broke. My silent tears turned to heart wrenching sobs that were muffled by Matt's shirt. "Let it out, baby. I've got you."

His words made my heart skip a beat and for me to sob harder. This was all I wanted six months ago. To be in Matt's arms while he held me together...literally. I went as far as dialing his number but then chickened out before I could actually place the call. I needed him then and I quickly realized that I need him now. "I needed you and you weren't there." I sobbed half angry, half heartbroken. "I needed to be strong for Lilly, but I couldn't do it. I needed your strength. I needed you, Matt." I punched his chest as I repeated "I needed you"

Matt was my rock when we were friends and especially when we were dating. He was there for me to voice all my fears when we first found out about mom’s cancer. He let me cry on him as he just held me. He was the one I always went to when I needed to vent about anything.

"You didn't need me, Caroline. You made it through without me. You continue to stay strong for Lilly. Brian told me about everything you've done and sacrificed for her and I wouldn't expect anything less of you. That's who you are, that's one of the many reasons I fell in love with you." He kissed the top of my head and continued to rub my back as my sobs quieted down and eventually stopped. I slowly pulled away from Matt but he stopped me by once again grabbing my face. "Was that the first time you mourned her loss?" He asked quietly.

I nodded, not sure if I was able to speak just yet. Matt went to say something but a scream from down the hallway beat him to it and suddenly I was knocked out of my self-pity and back to my responsibilities.

"Carrie!" Lilly's frightened voice filled the small apartment. "Carrie!!"

I quickly wiped my eyes as I walked down the hallway as quickly as I could before she really started freaking out. "I'm here Lilly. I'm here. What's wrong?" I cooed, sitting next to her toddler bed. She had tears streaming down her face. She launched herself at me and buried her face in my neck, sniffling. "What's wrong, little one? Did you have a bad dream?"

"You left. You went with mommy and left me" she sobbed. My heart broke at her words and I could feel my tears coming back. This little girl has been through so much at such a young age.

"I'm not going anywhere baby girl. I'll always be there with you." I whispered, kissing the top of her head, hugging her tight to me. "I'm here."

I began humming one of Lilly's favorite songs in hopes it that it would calm her down as she continues to cry softly. "Can you sing it tonight?" She asked softly, playing with my necklace.
"Only if you close your eyes and try to go back to sleep, okay? I'm not going anywhere." She nodded and snuggled closer to me.

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes before I started to sing, not really thinking about the song Lilly dubbed as her lullaby.

A lonely road across another cold state line. Miles away from those I love, hope is hard to find. As I recall all the--

A sound by the door had me glancing over my shoulder and blushing when I spotted Matt standing there, a small smile on his face and his phone in his hand. With a tilt of my head, I invited him in, not sure how he would react to being near Lilly for the first time. He slowly walked into the room and sat next to me on the floor where I was leaning against Lilly's dresser. I sent him a small smile before glancing at the little girl in my arms.

"Lilly, you awake?" I asked her.

"Yes. You stopped singing." She pouted adorably.

I chuckled. "I know I did. That's because I wanted someone to help me." I glanced at Matt and without hesitation he picked up where I left off. Lilly gasped and shot up glancing in Matt's direction.

"He sounds just like the song." She exclaimed, looking at me with wide eyes.

I couldn't help the laugh that bubbled up. "That's because it is him. I know him, we met when I lived in California. His name is Matt, can you say hi?"

Lilly blushed. "Hi Matt"

"Hi there Lilly, it's nice to meet you." He shook her tiny hand and smiled. "Would you like for me to finish the song?"

Lilly nodded. "Sissy has to help though" she pointed a finger at him before sticking her thumb in her mouth causing me to sigh. I thought we were finally over the thumb sucking, but clearly I was wrong. I wasn't going to fight the issue tonight.

"I wouldn't have it any other way." He winked, causing me to blush.

"But if you want us to sing to you Lil, you have to get back into your bed." I told the girl. Without a word she got off my lap and crawled into her bed, pulling the quilt our mom had made her up to her shoulders. Once she was settled she stared at Matt and I expectedly.

"You want to start Care?" Matt asked, shifting closer to me.

I shook my head. "No way, it's your song and I'm not going to embarrass myself in front of you by singing it." I paused. "Plus your voice is amazing in that song" I whispered.
Matt rolled his eyes and got comfortable. "Alright Lilly-pad, one acoustic “Dear God” coming up." Matt started singing softly and I was blown away just like I had been many times before. I knew he had an amazing voice, I've seen him and the band perform several times when I was living in California.

I just simply forgot how much I love hearing Matt sing live. I lost myself in his voice and the emotion behind the song. The meaning behind it wasn't lost on me and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get emotional when I heard it the first time. It made me think of all the time Matt and I lost when I moved here. I had pictured what our lives would have been like if we would have gotten married the summer I graduated like we planned. Would we be sitting in our own child's room singing them to sleep together? Would we even have kids? So many what ifs plagued my mind.

"Caroline." Matt whispered, touching my arm. I glanced down at his arm, trying to ignore the tingling it caused, and back up to his face. He smiled softly at me. "She's asleep." He nodded in Lilly's direction.

With a nod I pulled myself off the floor and placed a kiss on Lilly's forehead before walking out of the room. I closed the door quietly and leaned against the wall, taking a deep breath. My head was a mess and I knew it was only going to get worse when I walked into the living room. Pushing off the wall I straightened my bun and went to face my ex-fiancé. When I entered the room he was sitting on the couch messing with his phone.

"You want a beer?" I asked, grabbing one for myself opening and taking a large gulp of it.

"You don't mind me hanging out more?" Matt asked sheepishly.

"Well I assumed we were going to finish our conversation" I shrugged. I knew I threw a lot at him when he walked into my apartment and it wasn’t fair to him for me to unload like that without giving him the chance to do the same.

“So.” I said taking a long pull of my beer. “The floor is yours.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Ugh Matt with kids is my favorite thing to write.