By: Girl Bard
Disclaimer: Please see Part 1.
Additional Disclaimer: The Chinese karaoke bar incidents described are not made up, they are indeed true happenings of my life. Its hard to believe, I know.
Sunday February 18th, 2001
A random dream awakens me and I glance around the strange room, startled for a second. The winter moonlight filters in through the open curtains, casting a bright white light over the hotel room. Theres just cause for me to be confused, our road trip honeymoon has led us from the Cape to Rhode Island, New York City, through upstate New York, the mountains of Vermont, and finally to Maine; which is where we are now.
Graces peaceful breathing is the only sound and as much as I would love to be lulled back to sleep by her quiet presence, I suddenly am restless. Looking up to the popcorn ceiling, I try to bore myself to sleep by making pictures in the shapes and textures, but to no avail.
I sigh in frustration as I get up from the soft bed and stand, stretching my arms over my head. My back pops loudly and I grin, fully knowing the reason for being so stiff.
During our road trip honeymoon week, I havent exactly been keeping up on my routine of running and spending all day on horseback. As much as I have enjoyed our trip, I have to admit to my anxiousness to return home. Ive even missed work, a rarity for me. The past few months Ive almost felt burnt out by my job, something thats upset me quite a lot. Maybe I just needed a quick break to make me realize how much I love what I do.
I hope so.
Thats probably why Im so restless tonight. I know as soon as Gracie awakens and we have breakfast, we will be back on the road to home. I glance at the clock, seeing its only 4:00am. Shed kill me if I got her up to leave now.
I flop down in the hotel chair and consider turning on the TV. Turning to look at my beloved, I resolutely set the remote back down. I cant help but smile at her sleeping form as the moonlight caresses her delicate features and highlights her pale skin and hair. Its giving her almost a translucent look and shes never looked more beautiful.
Tiny particles of dust cling to her long eyelashes and her full lips are parted slightly, pulling the corners of her mouth into a small grin.
I wonder what shes thinking of.
As I stare, an idea pops into my head that leads me to rummage through our luggage in search of my camera. Finding it, I quickly adjust the light meter, grateful that we left the curtains open. The moonlight is more than ample and its showcasing the wonder that is Grace perfectly.
She is curled up around the blankets, one shapely hip and her shoulders bare. She has her left arm tucked under her head and seems to be in a tranquil sleep. Its a modest enough pose that I am certain she will not be embarrassed when I show them to her later.
I circle her and look for the perfect angle, feeling much like a peeping tom but unable to resist her simple beauty. After quickly adjusting the light meter and focusing on my subject, I say quick thanks for Stacey being such a great teacher and begin to snap pictures.
The click of the shutter seems deafening in the quiet night, but luckily my Grace is a sound sleeper and allows me to finish an entire roll of black and white film. I hope the pictures turn out as wonderful as she looks right now.
I put the camera away, this impromptu picture session has taken the edge off and I eagerly crawl back into bed, Grace automatically shifting to accommodate my tall frame. She scoots over to me, resting her hand on my heart and snuggling up to me.
Thinking of the pictures I took tonight, I smile as I imagine showing them to our grandchildren and explaining they were taken on our honeymoon. This thought causes me to shake my head in wonder. A few years ago I never would have even let the notion of grandchildren cross my mind. I never considered the possibility of having a family.
But now Ive already got a family, and all I can think about is our future and how our life will be in five years, ten, and fifty after.
My eyes close and I sigh contentedly in the darkness. I never thought I could have these feelings. But I like them.
Friday May 11, 2001
My fingers cross as I hand in my paper to the professor. He gives me a kindly smile and I rush out into the hall where Kim is waiting.
"Glad its over, huh?" She asks and I smile wearily.
"That was so nerve wracking. What kind of psycho gives us a huge final exam and makes us turn in a 12-page paper on the same day?" I ask, grumbling to Kim.
"Him. Thats why hes called the Psych Nazi, you know like the soup guy from Seinfeld?" She responds drolly.
I giggle. "Hes Jadens favorite character. Im more partial to Elaine." I answer and Kim and I laugh as we head down the hall.
"Did you ever notice how each Seinfeld character represents a part of the brain? The Ego, the Superego, the Id, its all very clever." Kim states and I roll my eyes.
"Well, there you go. Your senior thesis paper topic!" I joke and she looks at me, her hazel eyes twinkling.
"Yeah! Thats a great idea, thanks pal." Kim grins. "And I have over an entire year to finish research for it and everything."
"Come to my house." I offer seriously. "Jaden must have every episode on tape."
Kim chuckles. "Speaking of your house, are we still on for tonight?"
I link my arm in hers. "You bet. Now that we have Psych Nazis class over with, lets grab lunch. Im starving."
Pulling my car into the driveway, I lock the doors and bolt upstairs. My last exam of the semester, and I had to run to the store to get snacks and stuff for dinner tonight.
As I throw open the door and set the bags on the counter, I catch a whiff of our wonderfully-smelling kitchen. Hmm..pizza.
A quick peek in the oven confirms that Jaden has put several large homemade ones in the oven.
"Spots?" I call, thrilled to the max that I dont have to quickly whip up lasagna before everyone gets here.
"In the bedroom." She answers and after I say a loving hello to the excited dogs I head toward her voice.
I find her lying, naked as a jaybird, on the bed. I can feel my face instantly flush and the only thing I can manage is a very uncool "Erugh."
Jaden laughs, her voice low and rumbling. "Come here."
My eyes close and I swallow loudly. "Okay." I answer and practically fly into her arms.
Her skin is milky smooth and soft under my fingers. I know I always describe her as beautiful, but that really doesnt depict how she really is. Jaden is simply breathtaking, and it never ceases to amaze me just how incredible she is.
"Hi." She whispers, taking my lips in her own. "Happy final exam day."
"Hi yourself." I respond in-between kisses. "Thank you for making dinner."
She rolls me underneath her, looking down on me, a feral look on her face. "All I could think about at work today was making you come, and I figured making dinner myself would expedite that."
My eyes widen in surprise as I feel my clothes quickly being removed. "Well, who am I to stop you?" I ask, already weak in my desire for her.
I am rewarded with a low chuckle and she kisses me once again. "I love you." She growls in my ear before kissing me thoroughly.
My hands tangle in her impossibly long hair as I return her kiss. She tastes of peppermint and chocolate, and I close my eyes with pleasure.
As she tenderly kisses her way down my neck and latches on to a nipple my breathing becomes labored from the sensations she is causing. "Goddess, I love you. And I love when you do that." I manage to tell her.
Jaden looks up at me and smiles slyly, her eyes twinkling. "Good thing I married you then, huh?" Her attention immediately returns to my breasts and I make no move to stop her.
But the knock on the door does.
She looks up at me, frustration evident on her face. "Are they early?"
Sighing, my head drops to the pillow. "I guess so."
She reluctantly rises to her feet. "I really hate our friends." She mutters as she pulls on a pair of snug jeans and a black sweater.
"Me too." I add as I look for my clothes. Where in the heck did she put them? Spots smiles sympathetically at me as she heads to open the door.
I hear Kims jubilant voice as I make my way to the living room. Even though we just saw each other a few hours ago, I cant help but smile at her exuberant face. Weve become almost inseparable these past few months.
"Junior year is over!" She says, cheering as she sets the bag she brought onto the counter.
I hug her giddily and then move to hug the always-quiet Stacey. "I cant believe were seniors!"
"I know." Stacey responds, smiling. It looks feigned and I cant help but think something is wrong. I quirk my eyebrows at Kim who shrugs sadly before changing the subject.
"Where are we going tonight?" She asks and Jaden smiles evilly. She and Kim cant ever stop teasing and goofing on each other. I know they truly like each other, but just enjoy their banter.
"I thought wed go out after dinner for drinks at this really cool Chinese place." Jaden remarks innocently.
I close my eyes and stifle a giggle. She wants to take them to The China for karaoke. Kim will die when she realizes where were going, she cant sing to save her life.
"Cool." Stacey responds, evidently understanding that Jadens up to something. Kim eyes the two of them suspiciously and rolls her eyes.
"I brought beer and stuff." She says, taking it out of the bag and putting it in the fridge. "When are Joe and Di getting here?"
Looking at my watch, I see that they should be here in fifteen minutes. "The same time you were supposed to get here." I tell her pointedly.
"Yeah, the store wasnt crowded for a Friday so we were early. Why, did I invade on your sickening lesbian life-partner lovemaking or something?" Kim jokes and I glare at her, crossing my arms over my chest.
"Yes." I growl and her hazel eyes go wide.
"No shit? Seriously?" She says, her mouth forming a perfect O. Her reaction quickly turns to laughter and she starts giggling like crazy.
"Jerk." I respond, smiling to let her know Im only teasing her. Stacey looks mortified and Jaden just smiles.
"I mean, we can watch TV or something if you want to go finish." Kim says seriously and I chuckle.
"Loudmouths, I can hear you all the way down the hall." Dianas voice quips as she lets herself in. "Ill take the two of them down to the car so you and Grace can get it on." She says to Jaden, whose face flushes.
"Alright, no more talk of my failed attempt to seduce Grace before you all got here, okay? Jesus Christ!" Jaden exclaims, causing us all to laugh.
"Fine, whens dinner? Kasey #2 is starving." Diana remarks, her hand on her huge belly. Shes due on June 14th, only a month away. She thinks shell go a week or so early because shes enormous and shes already started having those small contractions that signify the onset of labor. I cant wait to see the baby!
"Now." Jaden says as she takes the pizzas out of the oven. We all sit around the kitchen island and I start pouring drinks for everyone except Di. Shes obviously our designated driver for tonight.
After were all seated, I raise my glass to make a toast.
"To the end of school! And girls night out!" I exclaim, clinking everyones glasses.
"And to friends who prevent me from pleasuring my wife." Jaden adds, resulting in hysterical laughter from us all.
You should have seen Kims face when she realized where we were. As soon as she saw the karaoke stage and all the weirdos singing, her reaction went from horror to disbelief to hilarity.
I link my arm in hers and follow Di to the closest table available to the stage. Kims already slightly drunk, having consumed more alcohol during dinner than any of us. I know something is bothering both her and Stacey, but they seem determined to have a good time tonight.
"Joe is going to be so bummed he didnt come." Diana mentions as Jaden looks over the song list.
"I know, it wont be the same without him. Hes my singing buddy!" Jaden mentions glumly. "Why didnt he come with you? Is he babysitting Kasey?"
Di shakes her head. "No, shes with my sister. He said he wasnt man enough to balance out all of our estrogen." She smiles, continuing. "I knew he wanted to come, but he wouldnt admit it."
"Is he at home?" Jaden asks, taking out her cell phone. Di smiles and nods her head as Jaden dials.
"Joe, its me. Were at The China and no one will sing with me." Jaden complains and I roll my eyes at Di.
"Youre what?" My beloved exclaims in disbelief. She cups her hand over the phone. "Youre not going to believe what hes doing." She says before ordering him to get here now.
Hanging up the phone, she tucks it away in her bag. "He and Harry were playing PlayStation."
Kim snorts. "Dweebs."
Diana sighs. "Are they coming or not?"
Jaden nods. "Yeah. And Im going to make Harry sing with me." She grins, and I lean over to give her a kiss. Shes so cute sometimes.
"Awww, look at that." Di teases in a singsong voice. "Theyre married for three months and still cant keep their hands off each other."
"Tell me about it. Theyre the make-out queens." Kim remarks dourly.
"Youre just jealous." Jaden remarks and Kim smiles at her evilly.
"Wouldnt you like to think so?" She quips and Jaden takes the bait, already preparing a retort.
"Enough!" I tell the two of them, placing a sign-up sheet in their hands. "Battle it out on the karaoke stage."
Jaden grins, that sexy expression that makes me melt. "With pleasure." She begins leafing through the extensive song list.
"Do I really have to sing?" Kim complains before looking through her own list.
"Im not singing." Stacey mentions.
"Me either." Di adds. "I never do. I prefer to sit and pass judgment on others rather than try anything myself." She smiles as we laugh at her.
"You singing Grace?" Kim questions and I shrug.
"I dont know, Im not very good." I respond.
"Not true." Jaden says. "Come on, Gracie. Sing something for me." She looks at me, her blue eyes round and pleading.
She knows I cant resist that face.
"Oh, alright." I give in and she gleefully hands me a song list.
From the stage, I can see Grace shaking with laughter so violently that she almost spills her drink.
Meanwhile, I continue to try to keep up with Joe to the words of "The Devil Went Down to Georiga."
Im puzzled, not really knowing what Gracie finds so funny. The reason Joe and I keep messing up is because its a really fast song. And its only natural that we would mime the fiddle playing in-between verses because thats what the song is about.
Our turn finally ends and we cheer for ourselves along with the rest of the crowd. I have to hold onto his arm just to get off the stage. Weve all had a little too much to drink tonight, but its all in good fun. My favorite part so far was when Kim sang, "Im Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred and I one-upped her by reenacting that Rod Stewart "If you want my body, come on baby let me know" song. Ha.
"Wonderful job, Spots." Grace tells me as I sit down. She gives me a sloppy kiss on the cheek and I grin. Shes funny.
"Next up, Grace!" Yo-Yo the dj calls out. Grace springs up from the table, dizzy and I reach out an arm to steady her.
"This ones for you, Spots." She slurs in my ear as she rushes to the stage.
She looks so cute up there, kind of nervous but too drunk to care. The music starts and I cock my head, knowing it sounds familiar.
Suddenly, the movement of Harry and Joe banging their fists on the table and guffawing makes me realize what song shes decided to sing.
"Wild Thing" by Tone Loc.
I close my eyes, suddenly stone cold sober and; briefly, embarrassed for her. To her credit, she does a commendable job, but the sight of my little blonde sweetheart singing that song just makes me laugh.
Our entire table is cracking up, hell; the entire bar is cracking up. Gracie is trying to do some kind of sexy dance, but its really not working.
Joe looks like hes going to puke hes laughing so hard. Diana is massaging her temples, one hand on her bulging belly and a little frown on her face. Weird. Kim is just staring at Grace, her mouth hanging open with surprise, and Stacey, Harry, and myself are just about peeing our pants.
When the song finishes, our entire table stands up and gives her an ovation. She sure as hell deserves it. Gracie wobbles back to our table, grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
"Now you know how silly you and Joe look." She tells me pointedly, and immediately the entire table begins to laugh at me.
"Jaden and Harold, come up!" Yo-Yo beckons and I see this as my chance to redeem myself.
"Ha!" I counter, pulling Harry out of his chair. "Watch this!" Harry, who normally would have protested making an ass of himself, willingly comes along; placated from the effects of the alcohol.
I hand him the mike and he grins when he sees the song title come up on the little screen. "You start." He points at me and I begin.
"Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you."
"No you cant." Harry argues, in a surprisingly nice baritone voice. I can tell hes really getting into it and we start getting into it.
The crowd loves us! We are the best karaoke singers in the world.
I look to Grace, excited to see the loving look on her face directed at me and instead see both her and Kim waving their arms at us. Joe is helping Di away from the table on unsteady feet and she looks really pissed.
Harry nudges for me to continue the song, but my muddled mind is still trying to process what is happening at our table.
Gracie is making some kind of weird motions to her belly and rocking a baby and Kim is just yelling at us.
"Hey, I cant hear you guys." I say into the mike and Grace practically snarls at me. She marches up to the stage and grabs the mike out of my hand.
"Diana is in labor! Come on, we have to go!" She shouts into the mike, resulting in the entire crowd cheering.
"Were having a baby!" Harry shouts and the three of us rush off the stage. By the time we grab our coats and bags, we see my Explorer out in front of the bar.
As fast as our wobbly legs will carry us we jump in the car, squished by the additions of Joe and Harry.
"Are you okay?" I ask Di who looks really pissed and in a lot of pain.
"Yeah, Im great. I love having my water break in a Chinese karaoke bar where everyone I am with is drunk off their asses so I have to drive myself to the hospital." She retorts as she peels out of the lot.
"Does anyone else feel sober enough to drive?" Grace asks meekly and gets no response.
I check the time on my dashboard clock and see its almost 1:30am. That means that weve all been drinking steadily for almost five hours.
"Why dont I call an ambulance Di." I offer and she shakes her head.
"Dont worry about it, Im fine. Were not that far, only an hour or so from the birthing center and I wont deliver that soon." She smiles briefly. "I just cant believe this is happening so fast. I started having longer and closer together contractions throughout the night, but they felt nothing like when I had Kasey."
"What does it feel like?" Gracie asks, her voice still a bit slurred.
"Like a full-body orgasm without the good part." She answers.
"Like every muscle in your body is tensing at the same time." Stacey offers from the far back seat.
"How do you know?" Harold asks drunkenly.
"Do you think its a boy or girl?" Kim asks quickly.
"Boy." Diana says.
"Whats his name?"
Diana smiles. "Jay."
"Why Jay?" Kim continues.
"For Jaden, shes like our best friend." Joe says drunkenly. "Shes honest and brave and trustworthy. Like the person Id want my son to be."
"Shut up." I tell Joe, reaching into the front seat to punch his arm. "Seriously, why Jay?"
"He is serious." Diana responds quietly, and I sit back in my seat. I dont really know what to say.
"Thats a great name." Grace offers, and I feel her small hand curl around my arm. She rests her head on my shoulder and I instinctively kiss her soft hair.
I close my eyes, a smile forming on my lips as my Explorer races down the highway with the important job of bringing us safely to the hospital.
To meet Jay.
I think I like that.
Part 3: To be continued ..
Return to the Academy
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