Chapter 6: Spoiled

“Well, what do you think?” Isaac asked me. We were sitting together on a park bench with Lily’s stroller parked between us.

I watched him feed a spoonful of ice cream to Lily while still managing to balance his own cone in his free hand.

“I think you’re spoiling my daughter.” I teased, taking a small bite of my own ice cream.

He laughed. “Can’t I spoil you both?”

“Well, you may have to do a little more than buy me an ice cream for that.” I teased. “Here, let me feed her for a bit.” I took the spoon from his hand.

He moved forward and his lips touched mine. I closed my eyes and relaxed, leaning toward him. My arms moved around his neck loosely, and I stopped breathing to distill the feeling of his warm lips on mine.

His lips gradually left mine and my breath spilled out in a few short gasps.

“Okay, now you’re spoiling me.” I replied, with my eyes still closed.

He laughed and rested his forehead against mine.

I bit my lower lip.

Isaac was amazingly sweet, and kind. He got along so well with Lily. And to top it all off he was a fantastic kisser. I was very quickly falling in love with him.

His hand fell softly on my thigh, patting my leg assuredly.

“More!” Lily shouted.

I laughed and broke from Isaac’s embrace carefully, leaning forward to scoop some ice cream from Lily’s little cup and placing it in her mouth.

“You know,” Isaac continued. “My family is having a big barbeque thing on Saturday… would you like to go? I mean, it would be pretty boring, but if you’re there… it wouldn’t be so…” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “You could bring Lily, she could play with Taylor’s kid… You know, he’s almost the same age…”

My heart suddenly felt like it was in my throat. Hearing him use the phrase “Taylor’s kid” made me feel suddenly sick.

“I…” I paused to try to think of something intelligent or at least coherent to say. “You know I love your family… but… I’m not sure…”

He sighed, and removed his hand from my knee. “This is about Taylor isn’t it?”

Still feeding Lily, I didn’t have to look at him to know he was hurt.

I pursed my lips tightly feeling like the worst person in the whole world.

“It’s just…” I began, but he stopped me.

“You and Taylor haven’t been together in years. Not since before he and Natalie got together…. Do you still have feelings for him?”

“No,” I replied honestly. In fact, the more time I spent with Isaac, the less I thought about Taylor.

“Then I don’t see what the big deal is…” He said, looking away at some children playing on a nearby swing set.

I reached for the napkins between us, and stole a glimpse at him. He was looking straight ahead with a stoney expression on his face, one I had never seen before. His eyes were darker than usual.

“It’s… it’s a little more complicated than that.” I replied.

“Complicated how?”

I fumbled through the diaper bag and produced a baby wipe and proceeded to wipe Lily’s sticky face and hands.

“When Taylor and Natalie… first got together…”

His eyes grew wide in shock. “You and he were still….” He stopped himself and shook his head. “God, I can’t believe he never told me. I mean, that guy couldn’t keep a secret to save his life and he…” He stopped himself. “I had no idea!”

“It’s nothing…” I replied quickly.

“How long has it been since…”

“Almost three years.” I replied, hoping he wouldn’t do the math.

He nodded slowly, and appeared to be mulling things over.

“Isaac,” I reached out and gently touched his thigh—a little higher than I had meant to. “I’d like to go on Saturday… if… if maybe you could talk to Taylor and ask him… to keep his distance?”

He smiled crookedly. “I think I could manage that one.”

“Mommy!” Lily caught my attention. She was pointing at something, but I wasn’t sure what.

“Sweetie, what is it? What do you want?” I asked.

She continued to point frantically, unable to find the words.

“I know what she wants.” Isaac grinned and quickly unbuckled her from her stroller.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Finish your ice cream,” He winked at me, and lifted Lily from her stroller.

Lily giggled already as he carried her quickly across the park.

I remembered my half eaten ice cream cone in my hand, and quickly tried to wipe up the mess with my other hand. I stood and pushed the empty stroller toward the busy play ground, where I found Isaac pushing Lily on a swing. She was shrieking with giggles and happily kicking her feet.

I watched him from a distance; he was laughing with her and eagerly pushing her, being careful not to push her too high.

Leaving the stroller at a safe distance on the edge of the sandpit, I stood next to Isaac with a smile.

“Listen, Isaac… You don’t have to worry, okay? I don’t have any feelings for Taylor at all.”

He smiled and with one arm slowly circling my waste, he smiled and gently kissed my forehead. “I know.”

>>