Them (Him & Her #3)

by Carey Heywood


“Are you sure?”

I glance over at Will, who is napping on the couch, as I walk out of the living room.

He can sleep through anything, so my action is technically unneeded. In my opinion, it’s rude to have a telephone conversation in the same room where someone is sleeping.

“I am. Will’s asleep, though, so don’t ring the bell. I’ll leave the side door unlocked.”

“It sounds like you’re busy.”

“I’m never too busy for my favorite nephew. Seriously, I can watch him all afternoon.”

Christine relents, which is funny since she called me in the first place to ask if I could babysit. Then, after I said I could, started to worry over monopolizing my time.

I’m neck-deep in babysitting competition, considering both sets of grandparents and Christine’s best friend also live nearby. Calvin is getting so big. Once Will wakes up, he’s going to steal him, so I need to get my baby fix in now.

“Okay. Thank you, Sarah.”

Christine and Brian don’t live far from us, so I pull on my sneakers and a hoodie. Christine should have his stroller with her, so we can head down to the park and play until Will wakes up.

For as much energy as Will has, the first marking period of a new school year always drains him. He loves teaching, loves kids.

I scribble a quick note to him on a dry erase board that lives in our kitchen.

Our kitchen.

Crazy to think, we’ve lived here for almost three years together. Almost three years, watching the people closest to us have babies.

And, none for us.

The first year it was to be expected. We were newlyweds, crazy busy with making our house a home and I still had my birth control implant in. Sawyer and I both had them removed at about the same time. Stupidly, I thought we’d both get pregnant right away. At least one of us did.

Sawyer and Jared’s daughter, Pascal is already three months old. When she was born, we rented a truck and brought Sawyer’s family dining set back up to her as a surprise. Then we stayed the rest of Will’s summer break to help her and Jared with the baby.

I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing as I watched Will holding her. All I want is to give that to him. Even when we were still in school, I always knew Will would make a good father. He loves kids. It’s part of the reason he’s such a good teacher.

“Knock, knock.”

I turn and smile as Christine peeks her head around the door.

Arms open, I walk over to quickly hug her before relieving her of my adorable nephew.

“How are you feeling?”

Both of her hands slide down to rest on her ever-expanding midsection. “I don’t think I was showing this early with Cal.”

My brother has been busy; baby Miller number two is already on the way.

“Is that normal?”

She shrugs. “I guess. I’m not happy about having to break out the elastic waistbands this early. Luckily, I saved all my maternity stuff, so I had Brian pull it out of storage.”

I grimace. They had a storage unit because they were rapidly running out of space in their condo. They have two bedrooms, so unless they sell the place the new baby will have to share Calvin’s room. This has been a point of contention between Brian and Christine. He wants to move, spread out, and maybe even find something in our neighborhood. Christine loves the location of their condo and the fact that they don’t have to worry about yard work or the outside of the building.

And here Will and I are, four-bedroom house, just the two of us.

Doesn’t seem fair.

Either way, Brian and Christine only have about five more months before baby two is here. Christine is trying to talk him into upgrading to a three-bedroom unit while he’s trying to convince her to move into a house. My bets are on Christine; my brother would do anything for her.

“Thank you so much for agreeing to watch Cal.”

I give her a look. “You know how much we love having him. Do you have his stroller in your car? I was thinking about taking him to the park since it’s nice out.”

After spending the summer in New England, fall finally making an appearance in Atlanta was great. September had been mainly dry and unseasonably hot, and the rain we did get managed to ruin every weekend. The temperature cooled off once October came, so I’m trying to spend as much time as I can outside before it gets too cold.

Sawyer would laugh at what I consider cold at this point. It’s already snowed once where they live.

“It is.”

I grab my house key and cell. “Cal and I will walk out with you.”

She always brings a book bag of his stuff when he comes over. I slip it into the basket of Calvin’s stroller. Christine packs for every possible scenario, so I know we’ll be set.

“Be good for Aunt Sarah,” Christine coos as she fastens his lap belt.

He pouts as we watch her leave, his plump toddler lip trembling as he murmurs, “Mama.”

This is normal for him, though. He’s over it once he recognizes the direction we’re headed. We’ve babysat Cal enough for him to know the stroller usually means we’re headed to the park. It isn’t a large park, not like Piedmont Park, which is closer to Christine’s mom’s house. I’d have to drive if I wanted to take him there. The little park in our neighborhood is nice, though, with a separate section of smaller equipment for the littler ones like Calvin.

The park itself is on the newer side. Instead of the mulch-covered parks I grew up with, it has a solid gym mat-like covering beneath everything. It’s kind of like walking on a giant sponge. After parking his stroller, he toddles straight for the swings. I lift him up, kissing his chubby cheeks before setting him into one then coax his legs through the holes.

I stand in front of him and, once he’s holding on to the chains, start to push him. My nephew is a charmer, and a generally happy fellow. He favors Christine in coloring, with his blond hair and blue eyes, but his nose and mouth are all Brian.

“Your little boy is so cute.”

Another mother, I guess, is placing a little boy in the swing next to us.

I fake a smile. “He’s my nephew, but thank you. He’s a sweetheart.”

Her child squawks, trying to pull himself out of the swing. “It looks like you have a handful.”

She nods, trying to settle him. “He refused to nap today, so now he’s cranky. I was hoping the fresh air would cheer him up.”

The Price Is Right | If Only You We season 08 episode 16 | Hunter X Hunter 14