Seize the Day
We were all sitting at the table, surprisingly we were all getting along for once. Sure, there was some weird glances and comments about Zack and Bailey but they went ignored. Bailey felt a little better since Ma helped her change and freshen up, but you could tell she was holding back on showing any signs of the real pain she was feeling. She said it wasn’t so much her ankle but more her whole body from being jolted along with a steady migraine.
It wasn’t my fault, but it felt like it was.
I was trying to ignore Zack and Bailey’s clear bond, but it would be like trying to ignore an elephant sitting in front of you.
I was mad at first, especially when I went to walk out onto the porch and saw them holding hands. Why couldn’t they just tell me?
Better yet, why didn’t Zack ask me how I felt or for my permission?
Right, cause I’m an ass.
I’m over that now, sure it’s fucked up but I couldn’t imagine someone better for Zack than Bailey and vice versa. I haven’t seen Bailey this happy, especially around Uncle Mike and aunt Jenny, since… ever.
“You know, maybe one day when you can afford a place we’ll have dinner in California with you John.” Aunt Jenny said. There it was, the horrible comment that would ruin dinner.
“We’ll be dead by then.” Uncle Mike said.
I gritted my teeth, if only they knew… Avenged Sevenfold was actually hitting it big… we did a few music videos – we have the most amazing fans. I haven’t been worried about bills for a bit now, and that is such a good feeling.
“I wouldn’t invite you anyways.” I said smoothly. “Pass the gravy, please.”
I could’ve almost sworn I saw Pa smirk, but he hid it almost immediately. It stayed quiet for a little, but yet again Aunt Jen spoke up.
“So, you two grew pretty close…” She said pointing her eyes at Zack and Bailey.
“Leave them alone.” Ma warned. “None of your business.”
“You’re letting your teenage daughter run around with some guy from California that’s just come for a holiday. How old is he? Almost 30? With your teenage daughter, Margaret…”
Bailey immediately stood up, not even showing any pain as she stormed out of the room. Zack went to get up but Pa put his hand on his arm.
“Leave her be, she’s this mad there will be no talking to her.” Pa said.
Zack looked at me and I nodded, Pa was right – Bailey was so mad I’m sure we’ll hear her truck firing up and off she’ll go.
Sure enough I heard Cowboy roar to life and gravel flew as she went down the driveway.
“Tough girl.” Aunt Janet said with a smile. “To drive with an injured foot in a stick shift vehicle.”
“I don’t want either of you to talk the rest of your time here. Everytime you say something out of line towards my kids, and I’ve had it.” Pa warned. He was so calm and said it so evenly that it was terrifying.
The rest of the dinner was awkward, Jenny and Mike had left shortly after, no one really said goodbye. Pa did talk to them outside briefly before they left but no one knows what was said.
He looked angry when he came back in, but he sat in his rocking chair with a cup of coffee as he looked down at the barn.
“I’m only gonna say this once, so you better be listening good. John, you’re my son.”
“I know that.” I said sarcastically.
“Don’t cut me off again.” Pa said sharply. “You’re my son. You’re a good man. I don’t agree with the lifestyle you chose, but it’s working for you. I saw your videos on the music channel… your mom has shown me pictures of your house in California… You’re doing good. I’m proud of you. Now Zachary, I don’t know you but if you’re friends with my son then you’re family to us. You’ve taken good care of Bailey since her accident and I wanna thank you for that, sometimes we just let Bailey do her own thing… she’s a wildflower that has never really needed anyone, but she needs you.”
Zacky’s face turned bright red but he nodded and muttered a small thanks before getting more coffee in his cup.
“You’re gonna wanna put that in a paper cup if you’re gonna go find Bailey.” Ma said motioning towards the cupboard. “And John, maybe you’ll run your aunt, uncle and cousin into town so they can catch their flight.”
“Yes, ma’am.” I said with a nod.
“I wanna stay with Zee.” Lena said running to Zack, they had been inseparable these past few days. “You show me the horses!”
“Maybe we’ll go now.” Zack said picking her up. “But Johnny has to come too, cause they’re his horses.”
“Have to be quick, we have to leave by the hour.” Ma said with a smile.
She squealed and hurriedly put her shoes on before running back to zack grabbing his hand and dragging him out the door.
“I think you’re part of the family now, you’re gonna have to come to all holidays.” I joked as we walked down to the barn.
“It’s not that bad.” He laughed. “I mean I get why you don’t like coming back, but it’s so nice here…”
“A whole bunch of nothing.” I sighed. “They just got internet what, a year or so ago?”
He chuckled before lifting up Lena so she could see over the fence to see the horses, they were out in the field.
“That one is my favorite!” she said pointing to Spirit. “That one is new!”
“His name is Spirit.” Zack said. “That’s your favorite?”
“Yeah. Maybe he’ll come over here!” she did her best to call him over and I’ll be damned if that cursed horse didn’t come over.
The horse came over and brushed his nose against Zack, who was stunned, then let his head down so Lena could pet his head.
“He’s nice.” Lena said. “He seems sad.”
“This is the horse that hurt Bailey.” I said walking up, I pet Spirit for a moment then looked up at the house. Of course everyone was taking pictures of us, I didn’t draw attention to it because I knew Zack hated that stuff. He gets embarrassed easily.
“So, we’re gonna have to talk later about a few things.” I said getting Zack’s attention. “Some things we left out the other night.”
“I know.” He said not turning to look at me.
“We’re leaving tomorrow, so you’ve got some things to think about.”
“Tomorrow?” He asked stunned. “Already?”
“My bond with my family isn’t going to be fixable.” I sighed. “I’m not who they want me to be… it’s nice to visit but no reason for me to stay much longer. Maybe a day or so, but I’d rather tomorrow.”
“Come on, we have to get you back up to your parents.” Zack said taking Lena from the fence where she had been sitting.
“Race you!” she took off before either of us could argue. We fake raced which is also known as we’re lazy and not running up this hill. But we gave it a good show.
“Tell Bays I said byee!” Lena said hugging Ma and Pa. “See you soon!”
She came over to Zack and was very noticeably upset.
“I’ll see you soon then.” He said ruffling her hair.
“you won’t.” She cried. “I want you to be my family too!”
“I am.” He said quietly. “Until you’re old enough that I’m not cool anymore.”
“Never!” She said latching onto his legs, full crying now. He kneeled down infront of her hand hugged her, whispering something in her ear to make her laugh. He was good with kids, hell he was good with my family. They loved him.
“Love you!” she said as I got them all into the truck, I was surprised Pa let me use it but after that talk earlier I felt less like he hated me and more like he just didn’t understand me.
But he’s trying.
I’m trying too.