At one point, our stomachs began rumbling, so we ordered pizza. It wasn’t the most healthy dinner, but we had been snacking all day on junk food, so we decided we might as well give up the day for lost and order something quick to eat.
Eventually, Owen fell asleep in the middle of a movie. That’s when Jessica and I both glance at the clock, stunned to see that it’s already eight-thirty at night.
“Shit,” Jessica says, shocked. “When the hell did it get so late?”
“I have no idea,” I confess. “Those movies were surprisingly enjoyable. I haven’t watched cartoons since I was a teenager.”
“You’d be surprised at how good some children’s movies can be,” Jessica says with a laugh. “Owen and I watch movies together all the time, and he isn’t the only one with a few favorites.”
I laugh softly and stretch, pausing the movie. I don’t want to admit to some relief, because this particular movie was sad, and Jessica’s sniffling beside me hasn’t helped. If we watched any longer, I was going to cry over a fucking kid’s movie, and I didn’t want to do that.
“I’ll have to make some room for these,” I say, glancing at the stack of movies we had picked him from the shops. “Do you think we went overboard?”
“I’m more impressed that we managed to find so many movies that Owen and I didn’t already have,” Jessica says, eyeing the stack as well. “I must have been seriously behind in my collection.” She gives me a small smile. “Now he has some movies at both places, and I’m sure we can swap them if we need them.”
“Yes,” I say, trying for casual. “Maybe next time he comes over, he can bring that Disney movie he didn’t finish watching the other day?”
Jessica giggles, seeing right through me, and I flush, clearing my throat. I will never, in a million years, admit that I’m the one that wants to see the end of that particular movie. It was really annoying to have to pause in the middle because Owen needed to go to bed, and I wasn’t about to stay any longer than I needed to once Owen was asleep.
“I’ll make sure to send it around,” she says, amused.
We both look down at Owen. He’s curled up between us, his head against Jessica’s thigh and his feet sprawled across my lap.
“I don’t want to wake him,” Jessica sighs. “He’ll be an absolute nightmare tomorrow if I do, because I’ll never get him back to sleep.”
“Does he wake when you move him?” I ask.
“Not if he’s in a deep sleep,” she says with a shrug. “But he’s only just fallen asleep; if I move him now, he’ll definitely wake up.”
“Leave him for a little while then,” I say, yawning myself. All this talk about sleep is making me long for my own bed. “We can wait until he’s in a deeper sleep, and then we can get him home. I’ll call a taxi for the two of you.”
“No bike?” she asks teasingly.
I glance at her. Her voice was light, but there was a disappointed edge in it. She and I used to ride around on my motorbike all the time. At first, I think she started doing it because her father hated it. But she loved our rides; she once told me that she lo
ved that free feeling she got with the wind whipping through her hair as the world speeds by, almost like she’s flying. I wonder if she misses it.
“That would definitely wake him up,” I tell her.
She sighs and smiles.
“True,” she says.
I glance at her. The day has done some good, it seems. I couldn’t spend the entire day tense, especially with Owen right beside me, so I did eventually relax. I feel content and happy right now, despite the fact that Jessica is the only one here for me to talk to. I’m also not worried about us doing anything stupid, not with Owen asleep between us.
It’s been a good day.
“Thanks for allowing this,” Jessica says after a moment. “I think we all needed it.” She gives me a wry smile. “It shows us that we can spend time together without it ending up as wild sex on the nearest surface.”
I choke on a laugh.
“Technically, Owen was our chaperone,” I point out.
“Well, I can deal with that,” Jessica says musingly after a moment of thought. “He’s a lot cuter than my father.”
“I hear you,” I snort.
She grins at me. I can’t help but smile slightly back. This really is nice. Maybe Jessica is right. Maybe we can make this friend thing work for the sake of our son.