I stare at Carol with wide eyes hearing the familiar voice of Ashton coming from the hallway. How are they home already???We both bolt out of the kitchen and arrive at the front door to see all four guys still standing under the threshold, Mike and Ash in the front and Luke and Calum behind them.
“Mickey!!” Carol exclaims crashing into Michael hugging him. It’s funny, I’ve never known why she calls him that. My guess is because of that song called Hey Mickey by Toni Basil.
“Hey!” he says laughing. She still doesn’t let go so he asks, “Missed me, huh?”
“Uh duh! You’ve only been gone for six months!” she says.
“Ha I missed you too, care bear.” That’s Mike’s nickname for her. One of the days before they left, Carol was in the living room watching TV and she happened to be wearing a shirt with care bears on it. He was about to say “Hey Carol” but he saw her shirt and ended up saying “Hey Car—…bear?” It stuck ever since.
They finally let go and the other three band members are silent. Carol and I look at them and she asks, “What’s wrong with you guys? Get in here and hug us!”
Luke speaks up from the back, “Um…Angela is kinda scaring us right now.”
“Yeah no offense, Ang, but walking in the door to your voice raised wasn’t exactly the welcome we had in mind.” Calum adds from behind Ashton.
I realize now that I have had the most pissed off look on my face this whole time. I let my face soften and say, “Sorry, I just didn’t know you were coming home a day early and I wanted to have the house perfect for when you got back. Somebody wasn’t making it very easy for me.” I look directly at Carol crossing my arms.
“What can I say? I’m a messy person.” she replies with a giggle. I shake my head at her and she responds with, “You know you love me.”
“Yeah…” I admit. “Alright come on, let’s get you in the door. I promise I’m calm. Now hug us!” Just like a normal reunion, the hallway erupts with noise and all the guys make the rounds giving me and Carol hugs. Ashton comes to me first, taking me into his arms and squeezing me. It feels great to be with him again.
“I missed you a lot, munchkin.” he says low enough for just me to hear. Hearing my nickname makes me smile so big. Only he calls me that and I didn’t get to hear it very much while they were gone.
“I missed you like crazy, Ash.” I blush even though he can’t see me. He lets go and gives me a squeeze on the hand before going to Carol. I watch him as he goes, and I can’t help but wish he didn’t have to leave for as long as he does. It hurts me when all of them are gone, but especially him.
Calum, Luke, and Michael hug me after and once all hugs are exchanged, it is unanimously decided that we don’t make any plans for the day. We’re just gonna have a lazy day, all of us doing whatever we feel like. Michael immediately goes upstairs to go to sleep, and Luke and Carol follow soon after. Calum decides to take a short nap on the couch, so that leaves me and Ashton.
“Wanna watch TV?” he offers. I’m gonna say yes when I remember the mess of Carol’s that is still in our formerly-spotless kitchen.
“In a minute, I wanna finish cleaning up after Carol.” I say heading to the kitchen.
“Okay, well let me help you. It’ll get done quicker.” Ashton follows me.
“Oh, thanks. Here, can you put these jars back in the cupboards?” I grab the sponge I threw in the sink and clean it off to wipe the bread crumbs from the counter. Seriously, Carol? My lord.
“Sure. You know she means well, right?” Ashton asks.
“Yeah I know. We’ve been friends for long enough, I know she just likes to mess with me.” Ashton chuckles and continues putting things away. “But it wouldn’t kill her to try a little harder when she knows you guys are coming home.”
“Angela, we’ve told you. We don’t care what the house looks like. I mean it’s not always perfectly clean and organized when we’re here, so if it isn’t when we get back from being away, it’s not the end of the world.” I know he’s right. I just really like things to be a certain way and I feel better if the space around me is in order, because lord knows my life sure isn’t.
“Okay fine. I’ll try to dial the neuroticism down a few notches.” I joke.
“And we all thank you.” Carol appeared in the doorway.
“Hey, you weren’t up there very long.” I comment as I finish off drying the counter.
“Yeah well both Mickey and Luke decided to sleep so there’s nothing else for me to do up there. …You just had to finish up in here, didn’t you?” she adds looking further into the kitchen.
“Of course. But now with Ashton’s help, it’s spotless again. So please don’t go ruining it again too soon?” I plead.
“No promises. Sorry you got stuck helping her, Ash. But that’s what you get for being the last conscious one in the room with her.” She gives me a joking yet mischievous grin.
“He did not get stuck, he offered. More than you’ve ever done.” I point out.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Are you guys done now? I wanna watch some TV and I don’t want my only company to be a sleeping Calum.” Carol says glancing through the living room archway.
“Yeah we’re done. Let’s go.” Ashton says as we all go back to the living room. Calum is still knocked out when we arrive so Ashton and I decide to sit in the chairs next to the couch, and Carol, giving no shits, lifts Calum’s legs up so she can sit, and plops his legs onto her lap.
I flip through the guide and find How I Met Your Mother. “Ooo Ash look!”
He squints his eyes at the screen and shouts, “Yes! Watching it!” when he sees what it is.
“Let me guess. How I Met Your Mother?” Carol says, knowing very well that this is the show we always watched together.
“Yep! So get comfortable, we’ll be here a while.” Ashton says. Carol groans and I smile smugly. Throughout the show, I can’t help but sneak glances at Ashton smiling and laughing, reacting to the events of the current episode. I can’t help it; his smile and giggle are adorable. Every once in a while, I catch him doing the same to me. I also see Carol looking back and forth at us instead of watching the TV.
After the episode ends, she gets up and takes the remote turning the TV off. “What the hell? We were watching that!” I say.
“Actually only one of you was.” she says gesturing to Ashton. I turn and see him fast asleep against the back of the chair. He looks so cute. “Anyway, now that we’re basically alone, we need to talk.”
“Uh…okay. What about?” I ask.
“Could you be any more obvious about your crush on Ashton?” she says smirking.
“Shut your mouth, Carol!” I say blushing slightly. She laughs at me and I continue. “You already knew before we met them that I really liked him. When we did meet them and spend more time with them, it just affirmed everything. And now my crush on him is even bigger! But the thing is, I don’t know if he feels this way about me. And I don’t wanna tell him because I don’t want to just make things awkward in the house, you know? But I do really like him and…want to date him.” I admit.
“Aaaw. I hope he likes you too, brat. I think you’d be cute together. Besides, Angela Irwin does have a ring to it.” she says winking.
“Shut up!” I protest, feeling myself blush more. “But thanks, boo. I do too. …But now that we’re on the subject, I could ask you the same thing about Michael.” I retort. She’s about to answer when we hear mumbling coming from the couch.
“No…Mike stop touching my feet…” Carol and I look at each other and have to stop ourselves from laughing out loud. Calum must have started dreaming about Michael when I said his name. To mess with him, I go to him and we actually start playing with his feet. “Michael…no…” All of a sudden he jerks awake and I jump back, both of us now laughing our asses off.
“What the fuck?” Calum says turning towards us, sleepily. “What?”
“Oh nothing, Calum dearest. Go back to sleep.” Carol says stifling back laughter.
“Oh I will, but not down here.” He gets up and starts going upstairs. “My room where I hopefully won’t be bothered. Goodnight.” he says before disappearing to his bedroom…at 1:30 in the afternoon.
“Goodnight, Calum.” we say in unison. We hear the bedroom door close and once we do we look at each other.
“They’re gonna sleep the whole day, aren’t they?” I ask her.
“Through till the morning?” I wonder.
“…Well what the hell do we do now?” I ask annoyed.
“Uh…We could figure out what we’re doing tomorrow.” she suggests.
“I have school.” I remind her.
“Aw damn it! You mean their first full day back, fully rested, I’m gonna be alone with them?!” she says, probably dreading it already.
“Well it’s not like I have a choice! I wanna get my degree so I can get a decent job. Is that a crime?” I ask.
“When said crime is leaving me alone for most of the day with those four? Ya bet!” she says.
“Okay, okay. Well what are we doing tomorrow night?” I inquire. She thinks for a minute, then seems to get an idea in her head. She slowly looks at me again with a smile. “What do you got for me?” I ask knowingly.
“Let’s go out. Let’s go to a club. It’ll be our first night out with the guys. Sound like a plan?” she asks. It could be fun. We’ve never gone somewhere at night with them before, or to a club where lots of illegal drinking will go down, seeing as Ashton and I are the only ones of age. I would also love to see the look on Ashton’s face when he sees me all dressed up instead of looking like a hobo.
“I’m in. We’ll tell the guys tomorrow. But now, let’s decide what we’re gonna wear to make us look all hot!” I say running up the stairs.
“Wait, Angela! Are you just gonna leave Ash there?” Carol asks pointing to him still sleeping away in the chair.
“Yeah just leave him. He’ll wake up eventually. C’mon!” I run the rest of the way up the stairs and hear Carol following close behind. When I get to my room, I open my closet and start looking at my options for a killer outfit. And as I do, I can’t help but wonder…is Ashton a boobs guy, or an ass guy?...Guess I’ll take a wild guess and hope I’m right.