Chapter 22: Kiddy Pool Conversations

I silently climbed out of the front seat of Isaac’s car, not waiting for him to open the door for me, or even giving him the chance to.

He met me around the front of the car, and took my arm carefully. “Andy, are you mad at me?” He asked softly, avoiding my gaze.

“What? No!” I cried, and reached up to touch his cheek with my fingers. “I’m definitely not mad at you… I just… it’s going to take me a bit of time to get used to the idea of having someone do things for me. And I’m still struggling with… the money issue. I’m so used to not having any… and I don’t feel right taking yours…”

“But if we get married… do you want us to set up separate bank accounts?”

“No… I… I don’t know…” I sighed, exasperated at myself. “It’s just that you’ve worked so hard for your money, and I… it doesn’t seem right that I step in and take it… It makes me feel like a gold digger.” I admitted.

He smiled at that comment and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into a hug. “I love you, Andy. I want to share everything with you… including money. What’s the point of having it if you can’t share it with the one you love?”

I was suddenly very touched by this comment. “I love you too, Isaac…. I’ll get used to all this, I promise.” I smiled assuredly.

We were interrupted by the sound of Lily laughing from the back yard. I took Isaac’s hand tightly in mine and walked with him toward the back yard.

We found Lily sitting in a brand new kiddy pool and playing with a large inflatable zebra.

I smiled seeing her so contented. I hadn’t realized I had missed her until that moment.

I then noticed that my mother was nearby in a lawn chair, reading the paper.

“Mom!” I scolded, causing her to jump. “You’ve got to watch her every second she’s in the water! She could drown!”

“I’m right here,” My mother rolled her eyes. “Nothing is going to happen in five inches of water.”

“A lot could happen in five inches of water!” I cried.

“Hello, Isaac.” My mother ignored this comment as I rushed to Lily who smiled broadly upon seeing me. “Is she this anal retentive when she’s with you?”

Isaac laughed. “Sometimes.”

I glared at them both and tightly hugged Lily. “Oh!” I cried, feeling the water soak through my t-shirt. “I’m soaked… I guess I need to change…” I murmured.

I glanced at my mother to make another snide comment about her watching Lily for a few minutes while I change, but Isaac spoke up. “I’ll watch her, if you want.” He crossed to the pool and sank to his knees on the grass. “Hey silly Lily!”

“Ikey!” She giggled and held out her new toy to show him.

I smiled. “Thank you… I won’t be long.” I jogged up toward the house, but heard over my shoulder as Isaac accepted the offer of a cup of coffee that my mother was making.

I changed in record time, and wandered out to the kitchen with a sigh.

“Tea?” My mother offered, already holding out a mug to me.

“Thanks.” I agreed, taking the hot mug from her.

“What’s going on? Did you and Isaac have a fight?” My mother asked.

“What?” I asked in alarm, “We didn’t fight… we just… had a little… disagreement.” I chose my words carefully.

“Over what?”

I sighed. “Money. You see, he bought us a house to live in after we get married.”

“And you don’t like it?”

“No! I love it… it’s just…. Its huge! Its in Willow’s Glen…”

“Wow!” My mother gasped. “Those are million dollar homes!”

“I know,” I sighed, “It’s too much money. He doesn’t see the problem with it, and insists that he share his bank account when we get married… I just don’t feel right about that…. You know?”

My mother sighed. “Andy, the man is head over heels in love with you. I mean, look at him, he’s out there sitting in the kiddy-pool with your daughter.”

I glanced out the kitchen window to see that sure enough Isaac was sitting next to the pool, with his pant legs rolled up to the knees and his feet in the water so he could play with Lily. This image put a smile on my lips.

“I love him too, it’s just…. There’s this part of me that can’t understand why he loves me so much… I’ve made some mistakes, and I don’t want to screw this up. I hate taking his money when I’m already taking his brother’s. And what if I screw this up too? He’s too perfect for me; I don’t deserve him. What if he realizes that one day?”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself!” My mother chastised. “He’s clearly in love with you, and willing to share his life with you. You’ve got to overlook the small and trivial things like money and move on with your lives.”

I nodded slowly. “I’m still going to have to think about it…”

“I don’t know what there is to think about. If you let this money issue get between you, it’ll be over…” My mother muttered under her breath.

I wished I hadn’t heard that. I sighed. “Mom, thanks for the pool and the new bathing suit for Lily. She really likes it, I can tell.”

My mother grinned. “Well, I should be able to spoil my grand-baby a little.”

The screen door opened and Isaac ducked inside, carrying Lily who was bundled tightly in a beach blanket. “She says she’s all done swimming.” He grinned.

“All done, mommy!” Lily cheered.

I smiled. “Okay, honey. Let’s put you into some dry clothes okay? Then you can watch the teletubies before dinner. Does that sound okay?”

She nodded.

I reached to take her, but instead she clung to Isaac. “No! Want Ikey!”

He laughed. “Come on, I’ll help.” He smiled, following me toward the bedroom.


After my mother had gone to bed and I had laid Lily down for the night, Isaac and I sat up to watch television for at least another hour. I curled up at his side to watch the program, but before long, I found myself sound asleep on his shoulder.

He was so warm and comforting, I didn’t want to let any distance between us.

Before I knew it, his hand moved across my knee and softly shook me awake. “Andy, it’s late.” He whispered. “You should go to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

My eyes few open at that. “You’re leaving?” I demanded in alarm.

He smiled. “I have a band meeting tomorrow… and after last night—and this morning—I think we both could use a good night’s sleep.”

“No, stay.” I pleaded, “Just stay for a few more hours.”

He bent and softly kissed my nose. “You’re exhausted, you need some sleep.”

“So stay the night.” I urged.

“Where would I sleep?” He chuckled softly, lightly stroking my hair.

“In my room.” I admitted.

“Would we get any sleep then?” He asked coyly.

“I’ll be on my best behavior if you are.” I promised, moving back toward the warmth of his body. “I love you…” I murmured against his chest. I figured he wouldn’t be able to resist that plea.

“But your mother is here… and Lily…”

“We won’t be doing anything…” I urged. “I’ll be good.”

He sighed softly, his cheek rested against my hair. “I’ve got to leave really early to make it back to Bixby in time.”

“That’s okay… You think we’ll be able to sleep in with Lily around?”

He chuckled. “Alright. I’ll stay. But we’ve got to get some sleep if I stay.” I could feel him smiling.

“Of course.” I pulled away, but softly kissed his lips. “Give me just a minute to get ready, okay?”

“Sure.” He nodded.

I sprang from the sofa with surprising energy and dashed into my room. I selected my cutest pair of pajamas- a pair of pink and brown striped cotton pajama bottoms and a pink spaghetti strap and hurried off to pull a brush through my hair and brush my teeth.

When I was finished in the bathroom, I noticed that the lights in the living room were off and so was the television.

Isaac was standing in my bedroom in his boxers, placing his neatly folded clothes on top of my dresser. “Which side of the bed do you usually prefer to sleep on? Or does it matter?” He asked.

“The side that is closest to you.” I smiled, turning off the light and plunging the room into darkness.

He chuckled. “Alright.” He pulled back the blankets in one swift motion and I climbed into bed next to him, instantly sliding across the bed to be near him. He was still incredibly warm, and it felt amazingly right to be next to him, touching him and smelling him… I sighed comfortably, willing myself to behave.

“Jeeze, you’re freezing,” He chuckled, pulling me close and pulling the blankets around us both. I rested my cheek against his shoulder, and traced invisible patterns along his stomach with my index finger.


“Mmm-hmm?” He asked, briskly rubbing my arms. I was already beginning to warm up under his touch.

“I’ve been thinking about the whole house thing…”

“Yeah?” He asked softly.

“And I’ve decided that… well, if it makes you happy, it makes me happy. If you want to spend a million dollars on a house or a hundred dollars on a house, I’ll be happy as long as you are.” I muttered and softly kissed his shoulder.

His arms tightened around me, and he kissed my lips gently. “God, Andy, you have no idea how happy you’ve made me.”

“I have one stipulation though…” I continued.

“Anything.” He pulled me closer to him.

“Can we get married in September? I know that’s only a couple of months away, and I don’t really care if its this September or the one ten years from now… I’ve just…. Always wanted a pretty September wedding in the fall, you know?”

He kissed the top of my head. “Of course. Andy, if it makes you happy, it makes me happy.”

I laughed softly. “It sounds silly, doesn’t it?”

“No, no! It’s not silly!” He protested, drawing me closer. “I think it’s perfect. A fall wedding would be lovely.”

By this time I could feel sleep starting to pull me towards it, and nestled further into the warmth of his body. He sighed contentedly, and the motion sent shivers down my spine.

“Andy, there’s one more thing.” He whispered softly, knowing I was inching closer and closer to sleep.

“What’s that?” I mumbled, my heavy eyelids keeping me from looking up to him again.

“I kind of promised Lily I would take her to the zoo tomorrow.” He chuckled. “She looked so cute with that inflatable zebra, I thought she might like to see a real one…”

I laughed softly, feeling suddenly less tired. “She’ll love that. She loves animals.”

He chuckled, moving me even closer to him. “And what about you?”

“I love you.” I murmured and slowly drifted into sleep.