Hi, Hey, Hello!
‘Oh hey, there you are, I thought you’d gone out or something.’ Lizzy said as she appeared in the doorway and looked at where Ryan was sat cross legged in the middle of the floor, clutching a large Mickey Mouse plush toy to his chest with his head buried in between the ears. He turned to look at her to reveal red rimmed, shiny eyes causing her to startle and straighten up.
‘Hey, what’s wrong?’ She asked, taking a small step into the room.
‘You finished the nursery.’ He commented wetly, dragging his eyes away from her and to the corner where a freshly built crib resided.
‘Oh yeah, Dylan and I got it done a couple of days ago.’
‘Thanks, we thought so too…’ She was interrupted.
‘It’s just a bit weird seeing it all like this. You know, like, done, with a crib and soft toys and all.’
‘I mean, yeah it is a bit…’ She stammered.
‘It’s not really ours though is it? It should be, but it isn’t.’ He finished harshly.
‘Well not technically.’
What do you mean not technically?!’ He cut in loudly. ‘It’s definitely not. You’re not pregnant, this whole thing isn’t for our kid!’
‘I know that but…’
‘But what??’ Lizzy sagged at his outburst and took a deep, calming breath. ‘But it’s okay because it looks nothing like it should. The walls are a nice, calming, inoffensive shade of purple when they should be mint green. The crib is white instead of black. The curtains have a lovely swirl pattern on them instead of just being a solid colour, which obviously they should be by the way. I’m currently holding a Mickey Mouse toy which makes literally no sense to me because I’m fairly sure we’ve always preferred the Ducks. Nothing about this room is the way it should be Elizabeth. Nothing!’ Lizzy flinched at the way he spat out her name and watched him as he shakily gulped in deep breaths.
‘We are a Duck family couple. The Maxwells however are a Mouse family one.’ Lizzy tried gently.
‘I was just going to our room to get something and got drawn in because the door was fully closed for the first time…ever. I mean the room is beautiful, curtains aside. But it’s not right. It doesn’t feel right.’ He said weakly as an uncomfortable silence blanketed the room.
‘I didn’t know you’d thought about it that much.’ Lizzy said softly after a few minutes.
‘To be honest nor did I. But then I saw the finished product and realised that maybe I had, because this isn’t what I wanted it to look like. It just felt like losing all over again.’ He sighed and Lizzy finally dropped onto the floor opposite him, mirroring his position.
‘Same colour walls, black crib, sky blue curtains, because you’re right the swirl pattern is ridiculous, and I dunno part of me always wanted an Ariel sitting on a rock silhouette decal on a wall and a corner dedicated to giant fluffy Ducks that we would enjoy more than the baby at first.’ She stated with a soft smile as her mouth curled around the words.
‘I didn’t know you’d thought about it that much.’
‘I hadn’t until I had to actually decorate one.’ She barked out a laugh.
‘Did it not hurt though?’ He asked as he rested his chin on top of Mickey’s head.
‘Of course it did babe. A small part of me continually aches right now. The scab gets picked at every time I listen to Dylan or Tom talk about something baby related with excitement dancing in their eyes. Going crib shopping with them was maybe one of the worse things I’ve done for a while. I keep seeing mothers with their babies and feel a massive pang of jealousy and it hurts all over again. And maybe this niece thing will be the worst thing for us, but maybe it will be the best.’ She shrugged and propped her elbows on her knees.
‘Are we making a big mistake by deciding against kids completely?’ He mumbled. Lizzy paused before she spoke.
‘At this present moment in time, no I don’t think so. You’re about to head back to the studio again and then there’s the inevitable tour. I’m gonna start working again, which means we’re both going to be super busy soon. It is ridiculous to bring a kid of our own into that.’
‘I know you’re right, but that doesn’t make the fact that I’m cuddling Mickey Mouse any easier. The Maxwells have some explaining to do.’ He smiled gently.
‘Tom tried to spin it as something to do with consistency for the baby.’ She flicked one of the ears and it propped itself up on Ryan’s cheek.
‘I love him but, Tom is an idiot. This feels a little bit like betrayal.’
‘It’s a stuffed toy babe and no one told you to hug it.’
‘But his friend is also in the room. There’s two of them.’ His head nodded in the direction of the corner where Minnie sat, folded over on herself.
‘You mean his wife?’ She laughed.
‘They weren’t always married.’
‘What is your point there? We aren’t married either. We’re very alike, the Mouses and us.’
‘Blasphemy.’ He pushed the toy off his lap and gestured for Lizzy to move to settle in between his now open legs. She spun around and settled her back comfortably against his chest, linking one of her hands with his over her stomach as his other hand supported him, splayed on the plush carpeted floor.
‘I’ll go buy some Ducks tomorrow, the baby can decide for herself and you can stop pouting.’ She squeezed his hand once.
‘Acceptable compromise. You should figure out that decal as well, would be cool.’
‘I mean it’s our house, consistency is great I agree, but it’s still gotta have a bit of us in there, defacing the walls in very us.’ They shared a laugh that trailed off into a more comfortable silence.
‘Sorry no mint green walls.’ She whispered after a few minutes.
‘Probably for the best.’
‘Mmmhmmm, why is that?’
‘I love your blue eye it’s very striking, was one of the first things I noticed about you, but when I think of the colour of your eyes it’s the mint green in your left one I think of. I dunno I guess I just thought mint green would be calming or comforting for a baby. Remind them of their mum or something.’
‘Babe.’ Lizzy looked up at him with soft eyes and her voice barely above a cracked whisper.
‘I know.’ He whispered back and dropped a kiss to her forehead before they settled in silence in the middle of the nursery as the sun cast a faint grey swirl pattern around them and Mickey on the carpet.
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