Out of Reach

This is a story of a teenage romance which blossoms into something beyond beautiful. It has twists and turns, where a young couple fall in and out of love with each other and other people. How do their lives pan out in the end though?


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16. Rylie

 

Two weeks ago a baby was born. He was named Rylie. I class him as my nephew. He is very quiet and fluffy just as you can imagine a new born baby to be. Megan cares for him just like she’s his big sister; I can tell in her eyes that she has so much love for him. She is now 10 weeks along in her pregnancy. I’ve noticed changes in her, a lot of them, but they’re all good. She has been very mothering and maternal, not only to Rylie, but to children in the streets too. She’ll smile at them and wave at them. If a child falls off a swing whilst we’re going a walk in the park, she’ll go to pick them up. It’s very sweet. She’s been extra lovely to the animals too.    

   Last week Julie, John’s pig, had 6 piglets. Megan doesn’t leave them alone and sometimes even bathes them in the kitchen sink. She is a funny one.    

   “Hello honey.” Megan cosies up beside me on the sofa handing me a mug of coffee.     

   “Oh thank you.” I kiss her hair, “How did you sleep?”     

   “Good thanks. I’m so glad we’ve broken up from school – I can’t be arsed to move!”    

   “Go get back in bed if you want.” I say, rubbing her calf with my hand, the recently shaved hairs prickling the palm of my hand.   

   She groans and then says, “No, I can’t. I’ve got stuff to do.”    

   “Like what?”    

   “I’ve got to help Karen out and do some washing up, make the beds...”    

   I interrupt her with, “I’m sure Karen can cope without you for a few hours, she’d be glad to spend time with her son, and you are 15, you don’t have to help with any house work. I won’t allow it.”    

   “But...”    

   “No buts! Today is your day off.”    

   She smiles a mischievous grin at me, and then says, “I do love you.”     

   I smile back. “So, what do you want to do today Miss Strouler?”     

   “I’d like to spend a short while with my nephew, pop up to see my dad, and have a lovely hot bubble bath, perhaps followed by a massage?”    

   “And would she perhaps like to be escorted to see one’s father via Dylan Alden’s service?”    

   “I think that she’d much appreciate it.” We laugh, and then kiss.     

   “Go rest upstairs for a bit then.”    

   She does, and that gives me time to work my magic and create the best birthday party ever for her.     

   I walk into the kitchen and see Jack working on the laptop, Honey making the breakfast and John reading the newspaper.    

   “Hello son. What’re your plans for today?” John asks me without looking up. His feet are resting on the kitchen table, his foot tapping to the gentle beat that is crawling out of the radio’s speakers.    

   “Whilst Megan’s in bed I’m hoping to get started on the preparations for her surprise birthday party we were talking about, and then later on I’m taking her to see Steve.”     

   “Oh right. That sounds good. So are you and Steve alright now?”    

   “It’s thin ice at the minute but we’re getting there.”    

   “Well it’s a start. The birth of baby Rylie gave us chance to make up.”    

   I smile at him.    

   “Do you want the laptop then?” Jack asks me.    

   “Please, if you don’t mind.”     

   “Okay, well give me 15 minutes and it’s all yours.”    

   “Where’s Karen gone?” I ask. The question is open for anyone to answer. Whilst I wait for the reply, I pinch a soldier that Honey just cut. She swats my hand away.    

   “She’s just popped upstairs to check on Rylie. She said she’s going to bring him down once the dinner is done and dusted.” Honey tells me.    

   “Okay, thanks. You won’t see him if Megan gets hold of him!” I joke.    

   “I know, she loves him to bits.” Says Jack with a proud smile spread across his face.     

   “I keep telling her that I’m sure Rylie’s mother would like to spend a bit of time with him but she won’t have it.”    Jack laughs.

   "Karen was like that when she was at your Megan’s stage. She treated everything like a baby and grew very attached to carrying a towel round and pretending it was a baby.”    

   “Oh I remember that! We had to shut her in her room when we had guests in case she just so happened to want to take them to the toilet or something!” John jokes.     

   “I can’t remember being like that.” Says Honey.    

   “Oh I can!” John buts in.     

   “I’m back!” Karen coos. Rylie is resting in her arms. His little legs are kicking her dressing gown sleeve, his feet covered in his blue baby grow.     

   “She didn’t prize him off you then?” I joke.    

   “Who?” Megs?” She asks, a smile across her tired face.    

   I nod.    

   “No, I haven’t seen her. I think she’s in her room.”     

   “I told her to go and get some more sleep, she’s got so much course work and everything’s getting on top of her.”  

   “Bless.” She says, whilst trying to tempt the baby to drink her milk.    

   “I keep telling her that stress is no good for her or the baby but she just keeps on working away.”    

   “She never backs down.” Says Honey with a chuckle.    

   “I guess she’s just like her mother in that way.” John occasionally brings up Lucy as is she’s in the room. It’s very sweet, but he always has an incredibly upset expression on his face when he does so.    

   “It’s good that she’s the memory, and it’s like a mini Lucy around.” I say, to try and lighten the mood.    

   “You’re right there Dyl, you’re right there.” John gives me a small smile of appreciation.    

   “Come on Rylie! Just take it!” Karen’s voice is soft but agitated.    

   “Don’t worry, he will.” Honey says calmly, as if she’s done it a million times before. I suppose she has.    

   “I’d be better off just giving him a bottle.”    

   “You are not putting my son on the bottle!” Jack exclaims.    

   “Well I don’t see why not. He’d get more food that way than this way!”    

   “No! You must be out of your mind to even think that Karen!” Jack’s voice is firm and it sounds like he’s taken aback. His face says it all; Rylie means the world to him and Jack wants the best things for him in life.    

   “Jack, it won’t do any harm.”    

   “Karen, I promise you, my child is not being bottle fed.”    

   “But he won’t take my teat! What am I supposed to do? Let him starve?”     

   “You’re meant to keep trying!” I can tell this will be an argument that persists for a couple of months.    

   I point towards the door and mouth to John, “I’m just gonna go to the library.”  

   

Beautiful things are so hard to create, but we do it with our eyes closed, with our minds not realising we are creating new life, and by discovering ourselves.  Beautiful things are coincidences of fragmented sight that bundle together to look perfect, or unique, or pleasing to the eye. True beauty comes from those who can see it and feel it, and know what is right. It comes from an imperfect artist, or the touch of Mother Nature. It appears when two people love each other. When two people want each other forever and ever, it is beauty. When eyes shut and love sprinkles glitter over the couple in question.   

 

I slam my car door shut, lock it behind me and walk up to the front porch two hours later. “I’m back.” I shout.    

   Honey sticks her head round the kitchen door. “I’ve saved you some breakfast love.”     

   “Thanks.” I walk into the kitchen and sit down at the table where Megan and John are gathered. Honey puts a plate in front of me containing toast, fried eggs and bacon.    

   “Thank you, I’m starving!”    

   “Get that down you then.”    

   “Karen told me you went to the library.” Megan says, looking up from her pregnancy book.    

   “Yeah?”    

   “Yeah, what for?”    

   “Just had some course work to catch up on and didn’t want to disturb Jack from his work.”    

   “Oh right. Was it busy?”    

   “Yeah, packed. I’m lucky I got a computer. How’s your course work coming along? Done that art project yet?” I say in-between mouthfuls.    

   “I have a few bits and bobs left to do on it – you know, finishing touches. Then I have my social studies stuff and a bit of R.S.”    

   “Well you’ve got all summer to do it, don’t rush.”    

   “I could say the same to you.”    

   “That was the last bit of my English language essay, I couldn’t resist.” I feed her a toast soldier.    

   “Hmm, I bet.” She smiles at me.     

   “So when do you want to go see your dad?”    

   “About half past twelve. It gives me time to get ready and play with Rylie a little.”     

   “Haven’t you seen him today then?”    

   “I gave him a quick cuddle about half an hour ago after I woke up, but then I had my breakfast and thought I should do some baby book studying.”    

   “You had quite a good sleep then?”    

   “Yeah.” A lot of small talk like this happened, especially in front of Megan’s family. What else were we meant to discuss? What we’re going to do in bed tonight? We made a deal with John and Honey that if we want to do anything, it happens behind our closed door, when we have no guests. And in future protection must be used at all times.    

   “Right then, I’m going to have a quick shower.” I say, putting my empty plate into the sink.    

   “Okay, I’ll get dressed.” Megan states.   

   I walk down the stairs, clean, dressed, and smelling of my favourite aftershave. Megan is stood at the bottom of the stairs in a white and yellow dress that ends just above the knee. The straps have little bows on, and a ribbon is round her middle.    

   I kiss her soft lips, my hands on her rosy red cheeks. She holds me there. We hug, then kiss passionately, and then she walks off, before she gets out of my reach I tap her bum. She turns around and laughs, just as Honey is walking through with two mugs of tea.    “What’re you two up to?” She asks. We laugh, and she smiles at us. “Behave you two!”     

   “Sorry mama!” Megan calls behind her. Then she follows her into the lounge, and so do I. Megan picks up Rylie who is lying on a mat in some little dungarees.     

   “Hello little man!” She coos.    

   I smile to myself. She will be an excellent mother.  

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