East Coast Life
1,785 words; about a 9 minute read
Location: Jaqobis Residence
Timeline: 01 APR 23, 1430
Isabel turned onto the block that she lived on with her husband, her son, and soon to be child. She came to a stop pulling to the side not wanting to stop the fun that was clearly ensuing in the driveway between father and son. She smiled as she watched from a distance slowly becoming lost in the recollections of her life over since Rico had come along.
Issy, as she preferred to be called by those she loved, had started life as an underprivileged kid barely getting by with her mother and older sister in a terrible neighborhood in Los Angeles. She did well in school though and having lost her father to a serious illness she can vaguely remember the suffering he went through she aimed high wanting to become a registered nurse to get her family out of the terrible sections of LA.
Her sister had met an Englishman and become pregnant giving birth to her nephew Rico. Isa had bonded tightly with the little boy his mother not being the best and wrapped into some behaviors that were disagreeable to both Isa and her mother eventually leading to her departure from the home with Issy taking charge of young Rico until the death of her sister from a fatal car accident.
Issy had petitioned to take custody of Rico as his official guardian, however, they insisted they must make every effort to reach the father of the child who lived in the UK. When Arran discovered that he had a child he returned to the United States with the plans to bring the young boy back to his home country.
The relationship was tense between Arran and Issy as the girl looked through every avenue to save the ability to be the mother to the boy she considered her own. Finally, realizing the best option for her was a compromise, the two decided that Issy would go to the UK with them. Putting her life and her studies on hold to move to London to be with them. What sparked was an unintentional and close relationship between them.
After about a year it was determined that they would return to the United States and Arran was accepted into LAPD Police Academy. Issy returned to nursing school and graduated working at one of the local hospitals and the three began to form a family. As life continued along they grew closer and eventually married. Things were fantastic for the family and glad to have Issy’s mother back in proximity and Arran adjusting to American life.
Life in Los Angeles was okay but politics and the situation around the city made living in a good area difficult financially and living in a more affordable area to either be a strain on traveling for work or more dangerous than they’d like. When the opportunity to move to a new area with a department looking for transfers and accepting Arran’s time in service as a lateral transfer they jumped at it.
North Carolina, their new home, in the outer banks closer to the beautiful beaches and the sea life that Issy found she loved. Sure LA was on the coast but she never enjoyed those sections of town and had seen the beach more in the time they’d lived here than all of the time spent in LA. Though most of life was going well and Arran and Issy were expecting their first child together her mother had become sick and was now in a nursing home about forty-five minutes from home. Where Issy had driven at least once per week to visit on her time off… more recently alone as the woman continued to deteriorate and no longer recognized either Rico or Arran.
Life was good and even if it would always be hard for one reason or another she had her son, she had her husband, she had her new baby, and she had a wonderful home that she had learned to love and adjusted to the East Coast life.
Finally she had placed the vehicle back in drive and pulled into the end of the driveway leaving the car at the end to not bother the two who were going at each other with the hose and brushes and soap more than they were focused on the car they were supposed to be washing.
She got out of the car bringing her small bag with her from the passenger seat and her phone from the cup holder. She looked at them and giggled.
“Miss me?” she asked as the two finally noticed her arrival at the shut of her door and turned toward her.
Arran looked away from his son as he checked the time, but left his hand on the garden hose so as not to relinquish such a 'destructive' weapon to the seven year old. He smiled, paying half attention to Rico - a mistake of course - and feeling the cool hard impact of a bucketful of soapy water hit the middle of his back.
Turnining, thumb controlling the output strength of the hose, he lightly drenched what little dry patches remained of Rico's t-shirt and then lifted the hose higher to rain down clean cool water on the little boy.
Rico shrieked with delight and ducked behind the car to grab his sponge from the second bucket, and, just as his aunt approached them both, he landed a perfect hit mid-centre on Arran's chest.
"Oof!" exhaled Rico's father, pretending to fall backwards under the impact of such a heinous weapon. His gaze caught Issy's arrival about the same time, and Arran grinned as she addressed them. "Always," he said, with genuine affection, and, turning the controlled shower of the hose towards Rico's bare feet, he stepped closer to gift Issy a gentle kiss on her lips, and then a secondary one for her broad belly.
"Missed you and love you, now and forever," Arran said. "We were thinking BBQ for dinner," he offered, avoiding asking how her visit had been what with Rico being present.
"Like the kind we will buy someplace or the kind you should have started hours ago? Or like... a burger on the grill?" she said, grinning after the kisses for her and their baby.
"Buy someplace," Arran returned swiftly, with a grin that followed. "And don't have to clean up after. I was thinking out by the beach - and walk it off with our bare toes in the ocean. Seeing as we're both already soaking wet, and you... y'know, being all dry and such."
Rico watched from the other side of the car, waiting impatiently for his mom's answer.
"When do you ever clean up anyway?" she asked, with a shake of the head. She was kidding of course he was actually not terrible around the house. "I suppose we can make that work... I could use some stretching after being cooped up all day."
Arran beamed a grin and teased back. "I just didn't want you to have to worry about me doing it," he said. "But seriously I just thought we could all use a big open space. But I can go grab some if you just wanna chill out in the garden," he added, trying to gauge Issy's mood from the cues she was giving out. His hand rested lightly on her belly as Arran asked. "What do you want to do, Is?"
"Dinner out sounds great and I just want to hang out with my boys," she said, finally. She looked up at him her facial expression changing. It was a silent message that today's visit had not been a good visit.
"Cool," said Arran, keeping it light while Rico was still present. "Hey," he noted, resting a paternal hand on his son's shoulder as he continued, "how 'bout you go get some clean dry clothes on lil dude and then we'll go grab some BBQ!"
The promise of eating out was enough motivation to get Rico moving, leaving Arran a moment to quiz his wife on That Look.
"Tough visit?" He asked, inviting Issy to offload as he moved in closer to give her a warm sideways hug followed by a gentle belly rub in acknowledgment of the silent other person present.
Issy leaned in against him letting him wrap himself around her and finding great comfort at the touch of her abdomen. She looked up at him for a moment tears begging to form in her eyes before she looked back down her head resting against him again she closed her eyes as the tears started to actually roll down her cheeks. That was all the answer she could manage for the moment.
"Aw, Iz," Arran whispered softly, his face close to hers and strong arms now both wrapped about her. "C'mere..." He moved in closer, needing to be the rock to her internal storm. "I got you," he said. "I've always got you k." He let those tears fall for a moment, understanding the need for a release of emotions, then reached out a gentle thumb to wipe them from beneath her eyes.
"I know it's hard," he said, voice calm and quiet. Part of him really just wishing his mother in law would pass, and let Issy mourn. "But you're doing amazing." His palm found her belly and stayed there, communing with their unborn child at the same time as attempting to comfort his wife.
"It sucks to be happy and sad at the same time," Arran pointed out. "And I know that. Whatever you want, whatever you need, I'm here for you."
Issy still had trouble finding words as the lump formed at the back of her throat she looked up at him and nodded her understanding then returned her head to its position against him. After a few more moments she pulled away and wiped at her eyes.
"You need to change and I need to recover..." she told him. "I don't want him to see me like this."
"Fair point," Arran said, his hand still at her shoulder as he refused to completely let Issy go. "I'll go check on Rico and get us both changed. You take as long as you need. And," his voice shifted to 'stern but concerned' while his face maintained a soft smile. "Let me know if you need me, or tell me when you're ready k."
He didn't want to overly coddle his wife, (well he did, but he knew Issy didn't want that right now) sp that underlying love and concern was also very real right now.
"Of course," she told him, "just later," she squeezed his hand.