I’m really just spamming you guys at this point. Oops.
Originally this chapter was longer, but I decided to arrange things differently so it came out shorter.
My lips stretched into, according to Edmund’s reaction, a strained and not very happy smile. Well good, it corresponds to how I feel inside!
“You and Xavier are very lucky, I am very envious.” I forced out as Joel’s tiny hands tugged at my shirt.
“I’m not surprised. Twins must be handful.” Edmund chuckled.
Yes! Yes indeed! Twins are a handful! I knew it meant having twice as much trouble, but Maxwell had been okay as a baby. How foolish of me to assume Joel and Veronica would be the same.
“Oh my god they are! I’ve never seen two babies cry this much.” I said as Evan played happily with Veronica. “But as you can see he’s having the time of his life. I feel like crap every single day. I haven’t had a straight five hours of sleep in weeks.” I grumbled as Joel started to squirm.
“I’m used to having barely any sleep.” Evan said with a small shrug.
“How is it that you two get the quietest baby in the universe and we get the noisiests?” I asked. Edmund smiled sympathetically.
“Mommy’s just saying that cause you puked on her this morning!” Evan said, lifting Veronica up into the air. My gaze narrowed and drifted to my boyfriend who remained oblivious to my glare. He was quite possibly the only person who I couldn’t break down with it.
“When is Xavier coming home again?” I asked, eager to complain a little more. I mean those two babies are sometimes the cutest little things alive, but other times I wonder if I could just leave them in their cribs for a day and come back to them being happy and bubbly and NOT CRYING.
“Anytime now. Oh he wanted me to check up on how Maxwell was doing too. He had a feeling you’d be stopping by today.” Edmund said.
Well of course he did. “Maxwell?” I caught sight of Maxwell playing in the backyard. I would’ve preferred if he wasn’t outside considering it was getting dark and it was still damp from today’s rain, but I was honestly too tired to start arguing with him to get back inside. That kid and the outdoors sometimes. We had to throw his little tuxedo out, I can’t believe how badly he tore it up just playing around in the bushes.
“Yeah. How is he holding up? With having two new siblings? He probably has some difficulty sleeping as well.”
“He’s taking it pretty well. He’s a good boy, he hasn’t complained at all, and he wanted to hold them once as well.” I admitted, smiling at the thought.
But that was the only instance I could think of. The twins were now several weeks old, and the only thing I could think of that put a smile Maxwell’s face during those weeks was that event.
“That’s good. I’ll just be right back you two. Nikita’s about ready to fall asleep.” Edmund said, before heading upstairs to put his daughter to sleep.
I frowned, staring at the ground, as I started to wonder if Maxwell really was okay. He hadn’t shown any sign otherwise but…
“What’s on your mind?” Evan asked.
How much time had I spent with Maxwell since I gave birth to the twins? I can’t remember.
What kind of horrible mother can’t remember?
“I’m going to go tell Maxwell to come back inside.” I told Evan and he nodded.
But when I stepped outside, where the rain had begun to pour down again, I was met with an empty somber yard.
It didn’t matter how much I looked around, or if I called out for him, Maxwell was nowhere to be seen. Fear gripped my heart and I rushed inside to ask Evan and Edmund to help me search.
But by the time Xavier came back home, Maxwell was still nowhere to be found.
I ambushed Xavier before he’d even completely made it in inside, clinging to his shirt because he was now my last hope before I had to start considering getting the police involved.
“Xavier! Maxwell’s gone! I can’t find him! He was there and then he wasn’t!” I said, panic making me tighten my hold on his shirt.
“I had a feeling something had happened.” Xavier muttered. “Okay, calm down Erin, we’ll find him don’t worry.” He said, plucking my hands off.
Xavier concentrated and cast a location spell to reveal where Maxwell had run off to.
I clung to Evan, hating myself as I waited to know where my boy had gone.
Oh Maxwell, I’m so sorry.
Several moments earlier…
I never hear “What is it like? Seeing ghosts?”.
Only “Is there one here right now? Haha” “I don’t have imaginary friends anymore, it’s for babies.” “Did you see your dad’s ghost? He’s dead isn’t he?” “Poor you”
I glanced behind me, the rain hitting my nose and dripping down my cheeks, and I gave the ghost behind me a small smile, but he didn’t return it. He didn’t do anything. He just floated and sometimes he followed me…sometimes he disappeared.
I glanced inside my uncles’ house, watching as mom and Evan talked to Edmund.
“See what I mean mister?” I said to the ghost, catching a few raindrops in my hand. “This is what it means being a big brother. You have more free time! You can be more independent!” I exclaimed with fake enthusiasm.
Actually, being a big brother sucks.
It made me pretty happy at first to see Veronica and Joel at the hospital. They looked really tiny and cute! And then mom and Evan brought them home and put them into their sparkly new cribs, and then they started to cry and cry and cry and they weren’t so cute anymore.
I didn’t get angry though, I mean I know babies cry and it’s normal, it’s just because they’re hungry and stuff. But whenever I would get up to ask if I could help, they would just tell me to go back to sleep. I’m not big enough to help.
Oh and random note, our new ‘house’ actually turned out to be something called a ‘condo’. It’s still pretty cool and bigger than the apartment, so much that I have my own room! But, I dunno, I was kind of hoping for a house like uncle Xavier’s. You know. With a backyard and stuff.
So yeah big brother not fun. The only time I managed to spend time with my new baby brother and sister is the one time when my mom said I could hold them if I wanted. They were heavy and Joel kept pulling at my scarf and putting his hands in my mouth.
But apart from that, I’m not really welcome in the nursery, especially since I came in and woke the twins up by accident. So I spend most of my time at home in my room. It’s really big so I don’t mind.
But it gets a little lonely.
But I mean I understand. Mom and Evan don’t have time to play with me! But it’s in these moments that I miss dad the most. He’d be there on the bed with me, telling me corny jokes and hiding under my bed faking he was a monster.
I think I’m expected to see Evan as my dad. I don’t though. He’s just a really cool guy who loves my mom. And sometimes gets into fights with her. But it’s nothing bad.
But the kids at school keep asking if he’s my new dad and Emily keeps saying he is. But I don’t want him to replace my dad! I know he’s gone, but not really! I still remember him so he can’t really be all gone.
I looked up into the empty eyes of the ghost that sometimes liked to follow me. I’d found him roaming around uncle Xavier and Edmund’s house and I think when he noticed I could see him, he decided to float around me. He tried following me home one day, but I think he can leave this house because he disappeared.
“Okay, so maybe being a big brother isn’t that cool. I guess parents can only take care of one kid at a time right? Probably why most families only have two kids. So if mom hadn’t had twins things would be different right?” I asked, looking up at the ghost and expecting him to reply. His gaze remained unmoved. “Yeah probably not…”
But then the ghost surprised me by pointing towards the house, near…the basement? (but my uncles don’t have a basement) Excited at the idea of maybe being able to interact with him, I quickly followed where he pointed, but I could only see inside, where mom was still talking with my uncle. Her eyes merely glanced at me, my clothes drenched by rainwater, my shoes soaked by mud, my mood soiled with the realization I just wasn’t that important to mom anymore. Not when she had Veronica and Joel to take care of and not when she was busy with their dad.
“You’re right.” I said. “At this point I’m probably more in the way than anything else.”
I stuck my hands in my pockets and wandered the yard, jumping in the puddles that were forming to hear the slish slosh.
“I bet you…” I said, leaning on the side of one of the pillars that covered their driveway. “If I left right now mom wouldn’t notice. Or she would but she’d be happy about it because she wouldn’t have to worry about me anymore.” I continued, glancing inside the house, but I couldn’t see them, which meant they couldn’t see me either.
The ghost simply stared at me, back to his usual no interaction.
“You know what?” I suddenly asked, the water starting to seep under my clothes as I pushed myself off the pillar. “Follow me!”
With a confident stride, I started marching off, only checking once or twice to see if I was being followed, only to be sad when no one did. Eventually my march was halted by the river close by my uncles house.
“Wow look at how huge that cliff is…that would be a long fall right mister?”
The ghost didn’t respond, looking behind him instead.
I sunk to the ground, soaking my pants even more.
I feel so lonely.
No one even noticed I’d left.
And mister ghost never answers. Dad would’ve. He would’ve played with me, told me crazy stories, dad was always there for me.
Now no one is.
I pulled at the wet grass, green stains appearing on my fingers. “Who cares anyways.” I grumbled. “Whatever if they’re happier without me.”
I really didn’t care that no one had noticed. I really didn’t care that I felt alone.
I sniffled, rubbing away the raindrops falling from my eyes.
I stiffened, and looked around frantically, trying to search for the origin of the voice. And then I saw her.
She ran over and dropped to her knees, pulling me into a hug which I gratefully accepted.
“Maxwell, what happened?”
“I…” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “I wanted to see how far the ghost would go.”
“…the ghost?” Mom let out a small sigh and hugged me tighter. “Just please don’t ever do that again ok? You scared me. You really scared me.”
“Okay mom.” I said, clinging to her.
She did notice.