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The Story of Us

The Story of Us

Ricky was the type of guy who didn’t need much. He had his parents, his two best buds from grade school, and his grandfather’s vintage 1960 Stafford electric. It was cliché to admit that Isla had changed everything, but she had. The first day he saw her in the cafeteria of North Miami High, was the day she landed on his radar. He had made it his mission to step out of his shell and introduce himself, and she welcomed him immediately.

Isla Kelly had always been a bad influence on him, but she claimed her Irish roots programmed her to be naturally destructive. He noticed that her ability to have her way no matter the circumstances seemed to grow each and every day. Among their shared friends he was the tall strong-silent type, while she was the rare beauty of mind and body. In her presence alone was when he shined the most, he became goofy and more comfortable in his own skin, “Your true self.” she would say as if it were the simplest thing in the whole world.

She was brave or maybe she was foolish, but he admired that about her. Months before he had found the courage to finally ask her out, she had called him. “I’m bored.” She had whined immediately that her problem would call for three objects before she would ever reach happiness.

“What are they?” he had asked, weary of her answers.

“A car, a key, and you.”

That night had been the beginning of his golden age. She had somehow convinced him to take his parent’s keys to the car and the key to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where his father worked. They broke in and disarmed every alarm and were free to enjoy the art by candle light, because Isla claimed you couldn’t enjoy the work with a flashlight.

“I believe you may truly be insane, Isla.” He had told her that night. Her reply was everything he expected, “Be careful, Ricky another compliment like that and I’ll have to marry you.”

His plan to ask for her hand on their fifth year anniversary had been very elaborate, with ideas of a restaurant and a live orchestra in mind he decided to make July the 15th a very memorable night. They were just out of community college and had a small apartment in North Miami, and because his father still had a job at the museum they both were employed and well fed. Things seemed to be heading in the right direction for them and he thought it was time. Unfortunately, the night everything was to happen was the night everything had fallen apart, the restaurants kitchen had caught fire and the violinist had slammed his hand in his car door earlier that day. Ricky was forced to create a plan B, which was a home cooked meal of frozen pizza and music plucked from the strings of his electric guitar.

Isla had been blown away by the intimacy of the proposal and its simplicity; he didn’t have to say much to her because in her heart this had happened a long time ago. After he strummed a ballad and told her how whole he felt in their relationship she screamed the word yes before he could even ask the question.

Isla’s eyes were as expressive as flames, but they were the color of a forest, her hair was as wild as her spirit and as brown as a Hershey’s kiss. People always saw her exotic skin as something to envy, but her big personality and kind heart always won them over to how compassionate her soul was. Isla was such a natural crowd pleaser that even his grandmother Joan liked her, and granny Joan had a hard time liking anyone who wasn’t immediate family and or a feline.

 

He often found himself staring at her, that was how he knew that a raised eyebrow meant she was curious about something, and that if her lips quirked to the left then she was confused, that if she bit her thumb it meant she had a secret she was dying to tell. Her small gestures usually went undetected, but not for Ricky, they were all significant when it came to the ways of his wife.  When she was mad at him he would know not by her face but by the tone of her voice. During their engagement he had forgotten to mail the wedding invitations and when Isla realized that her voice had went so high that she could have matched the pitch of a tea kettle.

They weren’t perfect; they definitely had arguments. Arguments about who was going to the pick the movie for date night, about where to vacation for the summer, and sometimes they even argued about who got the TV at eight. When they truly argued it was always about children. Ricky was ready for kids and Isla was not, and at the beginning of their marriage that had been their biggest flaw.

“Why not?” he asked every time she said no.

“I’m not ready for kids, Ricky, just trust me on that. You’ll know when I am.” She would reply. Normally, he would have respected her choice but this topic was not one he could let slip away. As much as he wanted to let it go for his wife’s sake he couldn’t, he wanted little Isla’s and little Ricky’s.

One particular morning, into their third year of marriage, she had fixed herself a cup of coffee, black and asked him a question, “Why do you want kids?”

He shrugged as if he hadn’t thought of it that much, but honestly every time he looked at his wife he couldn’t help but to think about it. “When I’m with you I feel like the happiest man alive, and sometimes it makes me feel guilty,” Isla’s right eyebrow jumped up and Ricky smiled, “I feel guilty because I feel like I should be sharing you, like other people should be experiencing this happiness. They should feel how I feel every day, every time I’m around you. I think together we have so much love to spread, Isla. I want to create a family with you, one that’s filled with nothing but love and happiness.”

“Ricky,” she bit her bottom lip which meant she had made a decision, “you really know how to sweet talk a girl.”

He shrugged, “Dad says it’s the key to a long marriage.”

“Alright then, you win, let’s have a baby.”

When Isla was three months pregnant Ricky had gotten into the habit of waking up five minutes before her just to watch her sleep. Her breaths were soft and patient, and she was the vision of an angel, but he knew the moment those eyes of intrigue fluttered open annoyance would darken her entrancing features and he would always chuckle as she groaned, “Ricky, get a hobby.”

“Just because you don’t appreciate it, doesn’t mean it’s not a hobby.” Ricky always replied.

The baby bump reminded him of a full stomach after thanksgiving dinner, but Isla wore it elegantly. The bump seemed to only enhance the divine beauty she owned graciously. It seemed to be true that she had a certain glow to her skin now that she was carrying the miracle of life.

Ricky took a picture of the bump every week and a picture of Isla every day, much to her dismay. The growing child seemed to give Isla a clear path to the realm of inspiration, when she was younger she had dabbled in the arts, but since being pregnant she had found herself painting again, onto canvases she would create whatever the little muse inside of her directed her to.

Ricky knew his wife would look stunning pregnant, not in the terms of outward appearance but internally. He could tell from watching her paint that she truly understood what he had meant when he told her why he wanted kids. He knew that she was concerned that she would be a terrible role model, a terrible mother even though she never expressed her concern verbally, which was why at certain points in the day he would lean to her ear and whisper, “You’re going to be a great  mother, Isla.” To which her response was usually, “You’re going to make me cry, you know my hormones are a mess right now.” Other times she would simply kiss his cheek and smile.

By her ninth month Isla suggested something that reminded Ricky just how crazy his wife was. She said now that she was due to become a mother any day now that she wanted to do one last immature act, like the good old days. Ricky tried to point out that she was only twenty-six, and had plenty of time to be reckless but she wasn’t listening to a word.

“What do you have in mind exactly?” he asked her.

“I wanna break into the library of the University up the street. Then I want to knock down every book that belongs to the psychology department.”

Ricky couldn’t even begin his rant of how crazy that was, she already knew that. Instead he asked, “Why the psychology department?”

Her response was a shrug, “Why not?”

“Well, I could sit here and say no, but you’d just whine about this possibly being your last day to be wild, and even after I continued to say no you’d probably just walk up there yourself an do it anyway. Right?”

Isla nodded enthusiastically, “But I’d much prefer you driving though, you know because I have sensitive feet.”

“I’ll get the keys.”

The drive to Johnson and Wales University only took ten minutes and the library was still open with one student assistant behind the circulation desk.

“We look suspicious, Isla.” Ricky whispered to his wife as she turned into the sciences aisle. She was on a mission.

“Of course we look suspicious, Ricky. A big linebacker looking male and pregnant lady just walked into a library at nine at night.”

“Okay I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic right now,” He admitted, causing her laugh to bounce off of the empty building.

“You’re so cute,” She said as she tossed the first book to the ground, Ricky noticed that she had made a face that he found very unfamiliar.

“What’s wrong?” he asked when she made the face again.

“I don’t know,” She answered and then she felt it and heard it, Ricky was sure his face displayed nothing but shock, “Was that what I think it was?” she asked him, Ricky only nodded, “Well, I guess this mission is still accomplished then. Some bodies going to have to clean that up.” Ricky nodded again. “Okay, Ricky snap out of it! I need to get to the hospital my water just broke!”

They arrived at Levin’s Women’s Health in a matter of minutes. The reality of what was to occur was reaching Ricky in different waves, and he was surprised Isla was taking it better than him. “How come you aren’t freaking out?” he asked her once the nurse left the room.

“It’s probably because that nurse just gave me drugs,” She answered, apparently feeling the effects of the epidural immediately. Ricky sighed roughly and Isla could see that he was nervous, just as he had been the first time he had introduced himself to her. He had been visibly shaking that day, but something about his nerves and raw sincerity had captivated her, “You’ve given me a gift, Ricky.” She told him as she gently placed his hand on her belly.

He smiled at her, feeling her unique nature push away all fears, “You gave me mine first.”

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