Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chapter Sixty-four

With only a week before he'd go on tour, Richie dedicated every day to his children. He made special efforts to take them to school, pick them up and drive them anywhere they wanted. Often that made it a little difficult. He'd drive to the school to pick them up at 3pm but usually one of them had an after school club, so by the time he was home to drop the first two off, he only had 30 minutes before he had to drive back to pick up the last one. He didn't mind, it was time spent together.

He picked up Ava from cheer-leading after bringing Noah and Caleb home. Just like he had done with Noah the day before, they made a detour to Ava's favorite food place. This time she picked Starbucks and they both got a drink for the way home.

While driving, Ava talked non-stop. He loved listening to Ava. She talked about what her friends had done and often he still had to think which name went with which face. Ava had so many friends, it was hard to keep track off but she sounded so happy while talking and that was all that really mattered to him. His children being happy.

At home Sarah was preparing dinner, another thing he loved. Two years ago nobody was home to make dinner for him. He loved that Sarah wanted to do that for all of them. He didn't thank her often enough. As Ava went upstairs, Richie walked into the kitchen. Daniel was sitting in his bouncer seat, looking up at everything around him. Richie stepped up behind his wife, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck.

"Thanks for making dinner."
Sarah turned around in his arms and reached up to kiss his lips. "It's your favorite."
"Thought I smelled it. Thanks."

He let her go and crouched down next to Daniel so Sarah could continue to cook without letting anything burn.

"How's Danny been?"
"Just fine. He's been bouncing there. Makes him laugh."

Softly he made the chair bounce, Sarah was right, it made Daniel laugh out loud. It was cute to see how Daniel had figured out how to make the chair bounce and rock. He wished he could capture every second of Daniel's life but knew that wasn't possible. With his phone's camera he continued to make Daniel laugh to get the cutest picture.

The next day Richie remembered a promise he and Sarah had made in the summer. It was time to finally live up to that promise. With Daniel in mind, he thought of the possibilities. He knew Sarah wouldn't mind because her sons wanted it so much.

After driving everyone to school, he started his search which turned out very successful in the end.

Afterwards, he walked back in the house with two pet carrier boxes.

Sarah looked up when he walked into the living room, she frowned. "What did you get?"
"What we promised Noah and Caleb when we were at your cousin's ranch."
Confused, Sarah frowned even more. "What did we promise them?"
"Cats." He carefully put the carriers down on the floor. "I got everything we need for them. Noah and Caleb will be so happy."
"Serious?" Sarah got up and put Daniel in his play pen.
"Yeah." He opened the first box but the cat was too shy to get out so he opened the other box. "Apparently they were found at an abandoned house together."
Sarah got down on the floor next to him, looking into the boxes. "So which one is for who?"
"Not sure, the people just wanted to keep these two together so that's why I got them."

After a little while the cats slowly got out of their boxes and started looking around.

Leaving them to explore the house, Richie got up to take his son from the playpen. He'd have to drive to school again in a little while so now was the time to spend with Daniel. His baby boy was growing a lot. At three and a half months old, he was doing everything a baby was supposed to do except reacting when they called him.

Daniel didn't care if his name was called by anyone, he didn't look in the direction of the sound. Nights were getting longer as Daniel didn't wake up anymore in the middle of the night. He easily slept a solid 7 hours a night. Which Richie loved but Sarah loved even more. No night time feedings anymore.

Before leaving, Richie gave Daniel one of the toys that he could hold on his own and got up again. He gave Sarah a kiss and made sure no cats were hiding by the door before he left.

Noah and Caleb's reactions were perfect but not how Richie had expected them to find out. He thought the cats would be roaming around the house. Instead, one of them was sleeping on the carpet with Daniel, the other was sleeping on the couch.

"I don't want you to go." Sarah said a few days later when they woke up on the day Richie had to leave for Washington.
"I know." He answered and hugged his wife. "It's only five weeks."
"Five weeks is long." Sarah pointed out.
He didn't know how to disagree to that and kissed his wife instead.
"I'll be all alone with Daniel."
"Mom will still help you out."
"Not the same." Sarah moved closer into his arms.
"We'll talk every day. Time differences aren't that much yet and we can video chat. One of the concerts will probably will be streamed so you and Daniel can watch me."
Sarah nodded, it wasn't the same that way but that would have to do.

Since they had been together, Richie hadn't had to leave for such a long time at once. For the last few months of the previous tour, Sarah was able to accompany him. During his solo tour he was only gone for two weeks but now he would be gone for over a month. They'd never been apart that long.

It was Friday morning, the last day of school before the weekend. The concert wasn't until Sunday but there were still rehearsals too.

Richie had thought Friday would be the easiest day to leave. Ava would go to her mom's after school anyway. That way he thought it was easier for Ava.

The opposite proved right. It had been years since Ava didn't want to let him go on tour and it surprised him this time. It hurt him that he didn't know what caused this change so suddenly. He didn't understand what was making it so difficult to say goodbye. His daughter was a big girl now. 15 year-olds weren't supposed to cry anymore.

It was easier to say goodbye to Caleb and Noah, it was different with them. Daniel didn't seem to mind much at all. He was too young to understand it all.


  1. Is there something wrong with Daniel's hearing? He should at least be looking in the direction of the person calling him. Poor Ava. Watching her dad leave for another long tour is really bothering her. Richie needs to find out why.

  2. Uh oh...has anyone bother checking to see if Daniel startles at a loud, sudden sound? I'm not liking that at all. :(

    And what's up with Ava?