Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

Episode 8

 

Jill Malik P.O.V

 

A couple hours later I found myself sitting next to Flynn, driving to the picnic destination. God, how did I end up here? In the back Amari was singing wheels on the bus for the nth time now. I think I might go crazy if we will not arrive soon.

 

“We’re here!” Flynn announced as he pull up into a parking spot. He turned around and looked at Amari. “Look Princess, Aunt Ximmy is there!” Amari immediately looked outside and squealed. “Aunty Ximmy!” She fumbled with the seatbelt and tried to unbuckle it. “Daddy! Help me!”

 

Flynn stiffened and looked wideyed at his daughter. I didn’t realize why he was shocked, until I replayed what she said in my head. Oh shit !

 

I covered my face hiding my embarrassment, this is all my fault. I should have never had called him that. Without saying a word he stepped out of the car and walked to the back seat to unbuckle Amari. As soon as Flynn unbuckled her she jumped out of the car and ran towards Ximena. She grew so attached to Flynn’s family since they pamper her and treat her like a princess.

 

I stepped out of the car and walked over towards Flynn. “Yeah, I think you should get over that word.” I said as I nudged him bringing him back to reality.

 

“Hell yeah! Why did you even call me that in the first place?” He looked at me intently waiting for me to answer. I turned my face to the other side so the heat that was rushing to my face would not show. I just shrugged instead. “We were young, things like that happen.”

 

“Calling me daddy?” he snorted. “Yeah right.”

 

I rolled my eyes and walked away. “Don’t tell me you didn’t like it.”

 

I heard him snicker behind me and judging by his footsteps he was following me. “At one point I did, but now…not really.”

 

His family spotted us walking towards them and a wide smile appeared on Rodrigo’s face. “Jill!” He greeted excitedly. “Didn’t expect to see you here.”

 

“Took me hours of convincing.” I heard Flynn mutter next to me. “Hey mom, hey dad…Geez old man that’s a lot of roses you got there.”

 

I look at Flynn’s parents and from the looks of it they were still madly in love with each other. His father looked at us and grinned. “Today is the anniversary when your mom and I met. Of course it asked for a celebration.”

 

I let out a sigh as I watched them. They were so cute. The kind of couple goals everyone wants, but not everyone can get. Growing old with the person you love, how many of us don’t want that? I turned around and looked at Amari who was taking selfies on Ximena’s phone. I walked over to them.

 

“Are you having fun with Aunt Ximmy, princess?” I asked as I sat down next to Ximena on the grass. Amari nodded her head, but other than that she completely ignored me. She was too focused on her face on the screen.

 

“She’s going to be a social media influencer later. I can just feel it.” Ximena chuckled as she brushed a strand of hair out of Amari’s face. “Look at her, she knows exactly what her good angle is. Smart girl.”

 

“Oh hell no!” Flynn butted in as he waved his hand in dismissal. “She’s gonna be a CEO like daddy right princess?”

Rodrigo who stood next to Flynn choked on his soda. He coughed a couple of times before he sputtered out; “Daddy?!”

 

I rolled my eyes and muttered; “Very mature.”

 

“The last time he didn’t even wanted to hear that word. I’m just shocked!” Rodrigo laughed and patted Flynn on his back. “You are what we call daddy material.”

 

Flynn gritted his teeth and slapped Rodrigo’s hand away. “Shut up will you? How’s it like to be married?”

 

Rodrigo shrugged. “Nothing’s changed. Only that I get to see her every second of the day. Aren’t you bored of me yet babe?”

 

“Oh I am veryyy bored.” Ximena answered sarcastically. “Can you believe it? He doesn’t even want to spice it up with some handcuffs.”

 

My eyes widened and I choked on air. “There are kids here!”

 

Flynn chuckled and shook his head. “You guys are crazy. I’ll go back to mom and dad, they brought a lot of food there.”

 

“Can you leave the old man alone? He’s trying to earn mom’s forgiveness.” Ximena said as she braided Amari’s hair.

 

“What did he do again?” Flynn asked.

 

“He forgot Poker’s birthday.”

 

I laughed as I remembered that Poker was their dog. Flynn laughed too and said; “Mom is always so extra.”

 

“She has always been like that. Anyways can you bring some snacks over here. I’m starving.” Ximena said as she look up at Flynn and Rodrigo. “Please?”

 

They both shook their heads and muttered something along the lines of ‘being lazy’ and ‘such a princess’ before they walked to the picnic table where all the food was.

 

When they were out of earshot Ximena patted the seat next to her and motioned me to sit. “How is with you and my brother?”

 

I gulped, but decided to gave her my honest answer. “You know what he did Ximmy—,”

 

“Oh I do and I hate him so much for it! I don’t know why he can be so selfish and reckless sometimes.”

 

“But—,” I said my voice cracking, “I forgave him, but it’s going to take a while to trust him again.”

 

Ximena smiled faintly at me. “I’m so happy that you forgave him. He was a wreck you know. After you left.” She paused to take a deep breath. “It was heartbreaking to see him like that, but I also knew how you felt after you saw those pictures. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve felt it.”

 

“What are you trying to tell me?” I asked quietly. “That I should just go back to him and forget what happened? It’s not that easy Ximmy. He hurt me badly.”

 

“I don’t ask you to do that, Jill. No pressure at all. I just want to say that he truly loves you. The past was a mistake. A stupid dumb mistake. What I’m trying to say is that one day I hope you can give him a chance again.” Ximena smiled in the distance as if she could already see Flynn and I being together. “And… I want to have more Amari’s. Damn, I grew so attached to her.”

I laughed at the last part. “Why don’t you and Rodrigo make one?”

 

Ximena stared at me in horror. “What?! Popping a human out of my…?! Nope, nope, nope. Not ready yet for that!”

 

This time I laughed out loud. “Geez Ximmy, you make it seem like it’s that bad.”

 

She looked confused at me. “It isn’t?”

 

“Well actually it is.” I answered truthfully.

 

“See that’s what I mean. But Rodrigo wants a whole soccer team.” She rolled her eyes as she said that. “The more, the merrier he said.”

 

“What did you tell him?”

 

“I asked him if I looked like a make-a-baby machine to him.” She answered sarcastically and laughed. Then she looked around and leaned into me and whispered, “But honestly I always wanted to have a house full of children.”

 

……….

 

It was already late at night when we drove back home. The ride home was quiet, because Amari was sleeping in my hands. She looked so tired after a whole afternoon of playing and singing with her aunt, uncle, and grandparents.

 

When we arrived home Flynn opened the door for me and took Amari from me. He carried her inside and tucked her in as I was standing in the doorway watching them.

 

So peaceful. So perfect even though it wasn’t.

 

After he turned the air conditioning on he walked back outside and closed the door behind him. “Thank you.” I said as I walked him out. “For bringing us to your family picnic.”

 

He smiled and kissed the knuckles of my hand. “Anything for my Princess and Pudding.”

 

My heart squeezed when he said that. “Flynn I’m—,

 

“It’s okay.” He whispered softly, letting go of my hand. “It’s okay. I will take things slowly, but I promise that I’ll get my family back.” He walked back to his car and turned around flashing me a bright smile.

 

“No matter what!”

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