Episode 1158: Give Me Just One Night“Are you sure this is how you want to spend your Halloween?” Adria asked, adding mouse ears atop her hair and straightening her polka dot dress, it’s a-line shape nicely accommodating for someone who gave birth only just over a month earlier.
“It’s not my kind of holiday,” the theater’s C.F.O gestured to his standard immaculate attire. “I was happy to sit it out even when I was a kid. I’ll get enough sensory overload from my very big very loud family honoring our ancestors. It’s a beautiful thing but a little quiet time on the eve of all that sounds ideal.”
“Pretty doubtful it’ll be quiet here tonight,” Adria pointed out.
“Nonsense. Whose capable arms quieted the little bruiser every single time he went off like a fire alarm?”
“You did seem to have a gift for that, still you’re my employee, I shouldn’t have put you in a position where you feel obligated to babysit for Russell.”
“Are you truly concerned with making me feel obligated or are you feeling those pangs mothers feel when they’re going to be apart from their child for the first time so you’re looking for an excuse to stay home? If there is one person you can feel comfortable trusting Russell’s care to it would be me.”
“You’re super modest.”
“As always. Also it’s the truth. You can trust me with him, you know that. You know he’ll be more than fine with me. You, your husband and your daughter should enjoy a night out at whatever a Halloween Harvest is. Before you take one more step towards backing out on this and staying tied to your newborn, I’d like to add that as someone with roughly a million siblings it was always a big deal to me whenever I had one-on-one time with my parents. Don’t disappoint your daughter, I’ve got Russ.”
“Jesse?” Caroline asked, pretty certain it was her friend on the ladder even though the night grew rapidly darker, he was dressed as a scarecrow and she hadn’t seen him in a long time. Between the brain melt that school and figuring out her future was proving to be and pretty much being the one raising her nine year old sister, Caroline had zero space for a social life as the recent end to her long term relationship would attest.
“Caro! It’s great to see you, don’t go anywhere, okay? I’ll be down in a sec.” Jesse adjusted the string of lights so the pumpkin shaped bulbs sprang back to bright orange life. He backed down the ladder and they greeted each other with a hug.
“Sorry I’ve been such a horribly friend lately,” Caroline volunteered. “I know you’ve tried to get in touch but I’m just swamped, it would be cool if my parents finally stepped up and actually parented… Well, I wouldn’t be a fun friend right now anyway, the only time I hang out is stuff like this with my sis and even she’s disappointed in me that it’s happening less and less. So if it’s any consolation you’re not the only one I’ve snubbed, I mean, I don’t even have a boyfriend anymore because of it, so I totally understand if you want to wipe your hands of me, too. I should have at least known you were working here.”
Jesse waved off her apology. “You have a lot on your plate, especially senior year, anyone who doesn’t understand that, well, that’s his loss. Work and school have kept me really busy, too. I get it. This Halloween Harvest thing, it’s my mom’s idea and she roped my dad and I’s landscaping skills and more so our manual labor into it. It’s been non-stop, but I guess it was worth it. Hey, um, I’m, I’m sorry. The breakup must have been hard, you were together for along time.”
“Thanks,” Caroline glanced away for a moment to check that her sister was still making her eleventy millionth attempt to bob for an apple, and two, to try and put her confused feelings about the break up into words. “We were together a long time but rarely in the same place at the same time since high school, so losing that relationship, it’s been difficult and it hasn’t, weird, I know.”