- 8.8K words
Everett comes home from the military with his buddy Nolan. They must adjust to living civilian life once again after ten years in the Army. Everett watched as Nolan's sister grew up into a wonderful and amazing woman and mother to her three-year-old son through pictures and letters. He didn't expect to fall in love with her in the years before seeing her again. Nolan's sister Skylar had to grow up fast when she became pregnant. The worst of it all was that Cooper's father wanted hardly anything to do with him. Watch as these two come close in a tense moment.
“Cooper, honey come on or we’re going to be late. Mommy can’t be late to work,” I say. “Coming mommy. I had trouble with my shoes,” he says. “You all ready to go now?” “Yes let’s go to daycare,” he says. “Okay, little man.” I gather up my purse, phone, and keys and head out the door before shutting and locking it. Making sure the door is locked to put two bedrooms home. I give it a good shake and walk to my car. After strapping Cooper in we back out of the driveway and drive to the daycare that is just a few streets over from the bank where I work as a teller. We live in the small town of Big Timber, Montana. We pull into the parking park and get out of the car to go to Cooper’s side so OI can let him out. We walk hand and hand to the doors of Kiddie Corral daycare. We were met by the owner Leah at the doors. “Well hello there Cooper,” she says. “Hi Miss Leah,” he says running to his friends. “I wish I had his energy,” I say. “Let’s hope he doesn’t lose it when he gets older,” she says. “Okay, he ate breakfast before we left so he shouldn’t be hungry.” “Well we have snacks for just that reason,” she says. “I best be on my way,” I say walking out the door. I get out of my car and head to work. I make it five minutes before my shift. “Cutting it kind of close, little lady,” my best friend Lily says. “Oh hush your face,” I say laughing. We have been friends for so long that we have an amazing friendship. We are still laughing as we go behind the counter. Mondays are normally one of our busier days so we have a decent amount of customers flowing through the building. Of course, we have your fair share of customers that come in an upset over one thing or another. However, it was turning out to be a pretty good day. “Hey, you want to go to lunch at Manny’s?” Lily asks. “Sure let me get my things and let Rachel know we are going to lunch now,” I say. Once outside we go to Lily’s car and head to the cafe over a few streets. “So have you talked to your brother lately?” Lily asks. “Not in a few weeks. I’ve been picking up more shifts so I’ve been busy with work and Cooper. I know his discharge date is coming up soon though,” I say. “So he’ll be home for good then?” Lily asks a little too cheerful. “Lil, I love you, but gross,” I say laughing. She kind of blushes but starts to laugh as well. “You’re a brat. We park in the parking lot and make our way inside Manny’s. We make it to our favorite booth just as Ivy our waitress shows up. “Hey ladies. The usual today?” She asks. “Yes please, " Lily and I say in unison, which makes us all giggle. “You two have been friends for far too long,” Ivy says. She heads off while writing down our order, two cheeseburgers, onion rings, and two chocolate shakes. We have been coming here since middle school so this place has a lot of memories for us. Lily and I make small talk as we wait for our meal. It doesn’t take Manny too long to cook our food before Ivy brought it to us. She places the food in front of us before saying, “Hey have you seen your brother and Everett yet? They came in looking for you,” she says. I feel all the color drain from my face when Lily says, “Breathe Skylar” as she places a hand on my shoulder. It was a name that I hadn’t heard in a few years. A name that was attached to a man that broke my heart without even knowing it. I had kept my distance over the last few years when they would come home on leave. I would make sure that I wasn’t around when he was because it just brought up all the pain of losing him every time he left again. Then it hit me. She had said “THEY” had come in. I grab my purse and fish my phone out. After finding it I noticed three texts, one from a number I didn’t know. But if I’m being honest, I felt who it would be.
Unknown- Hey String bean. Your bro and I are back and our families are having a get-together with a bonfire. Please tell me you’ll come.
Skylar- String bean? Really? After all these years you can’t come up with anything else?
Now we wait. “He text me.” “Who? Everett? Lily asks. “Yes and our families are having a get-together this weekend and you’re going with me,” I say. Lily lays her hand flat out wanting my phone so she could read what was sent. I stay silent not knowing what else to do. “Sky, honey are you okay?” She asks with concern written all over her face. “I’m just not hungry anymore,” I say. Lily stands and says, “Let me get Ivy and we can leave.” She walks up to the front looking for Ivy when my phone chimes again.
Everett- What would you like me to call you then?
Skylar- How about my name?
Everett- I have loads of names that I wish to call you but I shouldn’t.
My stomach does that flip thing it does when it comes to him. After we pay we get to the car and head back to the bank. Once we are parked Lily lays her hand on my arm and asks “Sky, babe, can I ask you something and you not get upset with me?” I face her and say, “Lil you know as my best friend you can always ask me whatever you want.” “Okay this is just from what I have seen and it makes me wonder if you still have feelings for him?” I stay silent and just feel. “Lily, I don’t think that I’ll ever not have feelings for him.” “Maybe we get all dressed up and go out Friday night and just have fun. You’re going to have to see him sooner rather than later you know.” “Maybe you’re right. It might even give me the courage I need to resist him,” I say. I look at my other texts and they are from my mom and my brother Nolan letting me know that the get-together will be Saturday into Saturday night. We head into the bank and I first notice my brother Nolan sitting in a chair facing the doors in the waiting area. “NOLAN,” I yell. I race to hug him. “Hey, little sis. How are you doing? How is my little buddy?” “We are both doing very well thank you for asking. I’m so happy you are home for good now,” I say. After releasing me I come face to face with my first love. Maybe my only love. “It’s nice to see you String bean.” Then he hugs me and I feel his breath on the shell of my ear. Oh no, he smells amazing. Like a manly man. Leather and mint. He whispers in my ear, “I can’t call you that anymore, can I? You look damn good mama. He steps back and all I can do is stare. Gone was that awkward boy. Now stood a man. His shirt stretched over his biceps and pecs. His ashy blonde hair was cut short in the military haircut. Hi, ocean blue eyes that could swallow you up and drown you. “Been too long darlin,” he says. My brother speaks up distracting me. “Hey, are you coming to the get-together on Saturday? And of course, Lily is invited.” “She’s always invited Nolan,” Everett says cracking a smile at my best friend. “Well I don’t want to spoil the fun,” she says. I flip my head to the side and just glare at her. “Lil, come on now,” Nolan says. “Of course, I wouldn’t miss it,” she says. “I’m coming to pick up my nephew before you go to work tomorrow and keeping him all day,” Nolan says as they walked out. All I can do is smile.