Country: United States
December 18, 2018
01/26/2023 02:25 PM
nobody else ever will. // drabble
Each night, every show ends the same; bows first from the entire band, before the three siblings link hands together on their own and stand before a roaring crowd. Jacob finds himself squeezing, dreading the moments he has to leave the stage and enter back into ‘reality.’ The boys do their final bow, and Jacob takes one last look at the crowd. It’s hard to see much beyond the first row, but just in that first row, there’s cellphone cameras in their faces, girls falling practically all over themselves to get noticed in their final moments. Someone in that line wants to be the one Jacob hands off his drumsticks to – a decision that’s almost always unconscious unless there’s a small child in the front who Jacob wants to ensure remembers that night for the rest of their lives. That night, though, there’s no one so his drumsticks get handed off to the security guard, who hands them off to some lucky fan.
As they begin exiting the stage, the ache in his stomach only worsens. Beyond a certain line of glow-in-the-dark tape, there’s no more music, no more crowd – no more anything. There’s obligatory questions shared between him and his brothers about what their nights hold. Casey’s got a nasty bitch of a wife to appease, and a new baby to listen to the cries of. That’s something. And then there’s Isaiah, who seems to be living in some sort of picture perfect world where he gets fame, money, and a functioning family. Their hands will be full, as they’re both passed the threshold of adulthood…mostly. These talks only last so long before they go their separate ways.
Jacob opens the heavy door to his hotel room, and a chill immediately clings to him. Now with so much silence surrounding him, he can truly hear how much his ears are ringing from such an ecstatic crowd. He misses it – misses the joy, and the excitement of making a thousand people smile just by doing what he loves. He misses the adoration that would surely leave the minute anyone saw beyond the masking curtains.
He leaves doorway, closing the door behind him. The Jack Daniels Jacob always requests whenever they travel is the only thing waiting for him in that room. No wife, no kids, just this. It’s funny, in Hollywood, no one questions a sixteen-year-old kid that wants his own room and plenty of alcohol as long as he’s willing to get onstage and make people money by playing. Another way he’s able to bring a smile to people’s faces, he supposes, as he walks towards the kitchenette. He pops open his bottle, and he pours himself a shot. The first one always goes down easy because it’s somehow the least shameful. It’s the ‘I’m just trying to take the edge off’ shot. Just trying to kill some of the pain that can only be found in a cold, empty hotel room.
He cringes at the bitter taste, but he welcomes the burning in his throat on the way down. Make me forget, he finds himself thinking as he makes his way over to the couch and he turns on the television just to have some noise beyond his ringing ears and nagging thoughts. The bottle comes with him, and he knows, this is where he’ll be spending the rest of his night. He always knows, at the end of every single show, he’ll spend the rest of his evening in front of a flickering television screen, becoming closer and closer with the cast of Friends than anyone else outside that door. He always knows…but nobody else ever will.
09/25/2022 08:12 PM
anything but a happy family. // drabble
trigger warning for domestic abuse
It’s 8pm on a Thursday night, and Jacob’s sitting at the desk in his room with his geography textbook before him and Dream On whispering through the speakers of his stereo. The words on his page jump around – they’re distracting and part of the reason he’s been doing homework for the last three hours. With a heavy sigh, and the desire to give up, he leans back in his chair and he just listens to the satisfying screech of the legend, Steven Tyler, and he wonders if he ever struggled so much with his homework. He considers asking for help, since dad’s not home and mom’s probably not busy. He closes his book and he takes it with him across the hallway.
When he comes into his parents’ bedroom, Mary’s already there with mom. He stops in the doorway when he sees they’re watching reruns of I Love Lucy together like they always do when dad’s not home and Mary’s not doing homework. That’s usually the only time Jacob feels comfortable even asking for help – it’s that special time they get to pretend to be a happy family. Cindy sits up and welcomes him in with a smile. “You gonna watch with us, Jakey?” Mary then asks and Jacob finds himself smiling. He comes in beyond the doorway and he sits at the edge of the bed on Eric’s side, to Mary’s left.
“Nahh, I got homework,” he says and then he looks up at his mom. “Can you help me?”
He slides the book between them, and he opens it to the page he was just attempting to work through. Mary sits up then, and she starts to read it too. She doesn’t have the same kind of issues he does – in fact, no one else in the family seems to. No one in the world seems to. But he doesn’t want to wish that one anyone – especially not Mary, because it bugs their dad so much. Mom’s ready to help him, and she takes the book from between them but then suddenly the front door slams downstairs. At first Cindy ignores it, only giving it a single eye roll before she begins reading words off from Jacob’s book. He tries to listen to her, as his heart begins to sink in his stomach. There’s cabinets slamming downstairs and then footsteps stomping up the stairs that now have him and Mary completely distracted.
How is his mom so calm right now?
“What’s going on in here?” Eric announces his arrival with a loaded question. Mary and Jacob both look at each other, feeling as if they have a reason to be guilty but they haven’t done anything.
“I’m helping my kids with their homework, Eric,” Cindy says quickly, and coldly.
“Your kids, your kids…” Eric repeats while pacing around the room. He then tosses something silky at her, and because it’s balled up, it gets her attention when it smacks against her cheek. She picks it up slowly and lets it unravel – it’s a shiny, short dress with black lace. She then gasps for some reason and she holds the dress close to her. “Phil told me what you’ve been up to,” Eric says. “Said Charlie told him EVERYTHING!” Eric continues to rant. By then, David had come out of his room, and made his way to the master bedroom doorway. He asks what’s going on, and Cindy tries to make him leave, but Eric stops her.
“Nooo, no, I want ALL of you to be right here when I tell you – your mother’s a WHORE, and she’ll f*** anyone that looks at her! That’s it, right? Is that it, Cindy, huh?!”
“Don’t talk like that in front of the kids!” His mom yells. Her yelling takes Mary from frightened to devastated and she begins to cry. Jacob straightens up and he puts his arm around Mary, pulling her to his side of the bed and away from Cindy’s. “We’re not going to have this conversation right now, Eric! We’re not doing this in front of the kids – you ALWAYS do this in front of the kids!”
“You don’t give a sh*t about the kids, Cindy! Or else you wouldn’t be f***ing around with Charlie behind my back!”
“That has nothing to do with them, it’s because of YOU!” Cindy yells back.
Jacob’s grip on Mary tightens, and even David starts to get closer now – away from Eric, and over to Jacob’s other side as they watch the two go back and forth with each other. “Oh, because of me – because why, because I put a roof over your head?! I make all the money YOU use to feed these f***in’ kids, and what does Charlie do, huh?! What does Charlie do?!” Eric yanks – for some reason – one of Cindy’s tiny jewelry boxes off the vanity behind him and he throws it at the wall just beyond Cindy’s head. The box breaks, jewelry goes everywhere, and even Jacob is starting to feel horrified tears collect at the rims of his eyes. Mary and David are practically using him to hide, and he’s holding so tight he’s probably suffocating them.
“You go ‘head and leave with Charlie then, huh? And I’ll make sure you never see these kids again, so help me God, Cindy,” Eric practically growls like a wild animal. Jacob could swear his eyes were turning black.
“Don’t you dare!” Cindy yells.
“I f***ing will! I’ll spend the rest of my life making sure they know you’re a f***ing WHORE, and a bitch, and you ran out on all of us!”
“I didn’t run!” Cindy practically shrieks. “I’m right here, taking care of MY kids, because you’re never home!”
“Oh, and what are you doing, huh?” Eric finally crosses that line, and he comes from his side of the room, to the other side of the room where the rest of them are. He picks up the book from the bed and he starts waving it around. “Helping ‘em with homework, huh? Know how I can tell you’re a sh*t mom? Because we got a f***ing twelve year old who CAN’T READ!” He then throws the back on the ground, and all the kids yelp or gasp.
“I’m a hell of a lot better than you!” Cindy cries out, clutching her silky dress to her. “What have you done?! What have YOU done to help any of us around here, huh?! You come home every night, and you’re parked in front of the TV, and the only time you say anything to ANY of us, is when you’re screaming!”
“Bullsh*t!” Eric interrupts her. “I’m the whole entire reason these kids have books to read – clothes to wear, someone to take them to f***in’ school! All of that is ME!” he continues to scream and shout.
They both continue to scream and shout. Cindy gets up from the bed and she creates space between the kids and Eric by getting in between them. As for the kids – all they can do is listen. Jacob watches everything, while Mary and David keep their eyes closed and their arms wrapped around Jacob so no one takes them away. The entire show reminds Jacob that they’re anything but a happy family.
06/21/2022 10:11 PM
Name: Noah Eric Brooks
Playby: Brad Pitt
Jacob and Eric have always had a very contentious relationship. When Jacob was born,
Eric was not ready to be a father, that never changed. Having grown up in a
violent household, Eric wasn’t taught patience – he raised his
children the only way he knew how, but Jacob has never found it in him to forgive his father.
Name: Cynthia Lee “Violet” Brooks
Playby: Nastassja Kinski
Cynthia and Jacob’s relationship leaves Jacob with more questions than
answers. Growing up, she was always much nicer than Eric most of the time,
but years of not protecting him or his younger siblings left Jacob somewhat jaded on their
relationship. He tries not to hang onto the anger he has for her, but it can be difficult.
Name: David Shane Brooks
Playby: Frankie Muniz
Connection: Younger Brother
Jacob and David were not close when they were children. Growing up, Jacob believed Eric was
easier on David than he was on Jacob, and right away resentment between the two formed.
When Jacob left home, David envied him for escaping. It’s only been just recently that the
two have begun working on their relationship.
Name: Mary Sarah Brooks
Playby: Conchita Campbell
Connection: Younger Sister
Jacob and Mary have always been close, from the moment Mary was first
brought home from the hospital. Both Jacob and David have
always been protective of Mary, and protecting her from Eric became the
only thing the two of them could put aside their differences for. Jacob
and Mary have kept in contact since Jacob left home.
Name: Lily Paige Brooks
Face: Mackenzie Ziegler
Connection: Younger Sister
When Lily was first born, Jacob was approaching high school, and able to assist
with her much more than his other siblings.
As a result, he was extremely involved in helping raise her, but the two have not had much
of a relationship since Jacob left home. She was only a baby when Jacob decided to leave for California.
Name: Reuben Williams
Face: Dimitrius Collins
Reuben plays rhythm guitar, and synthesizer in 24 Times Rock. Reuben first became acquainted with
the band when they were all contestants on the same season of Talent!. When they were first
looking for their backing musicians, Reuben came up right away as Jacob and Isaiah formed a close relationship with
them while they were on the show.
Name: Elijah Davis
Face: Andrew Perusi
Elijah Davis had gained a social media following by posting covers, original songs and
music tutorials. After connecting online with the band, Elijah sat in on a few shows,
and eventually became their core bass-player. Jacob and Elijah have always had
a lot in common – they bond most frequently on music and video games.
Name: Sophia Marie Langley
Face: Karolina Kurkova
Sophia Langley is a hotel heiress with a massive social media following and a thirst for drama.
Sophia was Jacob’s first serious girlfriend. As a partner, Sophia
was extremely jealous and controlling, and Jacob
usually obliged. The two did not last after Jacob met Cecilia Donovan.
Name: Byron James
Face: Trevor Noah
Byron James has been in the music industry for years – all of his accolades made him the perfect judge for
Talent!, which is where he first met Jacob and his brothers. Right away, eh formed a special
connection with them, especially Casey. Once the show was over, and things began to come out about the
damage done behind the scenes by the Ballinger family, it bonded Byron to them more and he was asked to
manage the band. Without Byron, 24 Times Rock would never have gotten where they are.
06/21/2022 10:01 PM
terrible in storms. // drabble
Terrible in Storms
It’s nearing 8pm, on a school night – under any other circumstances, they wouldn’t have Jacob up this late, but the homework he wanted help with hours ago is trying them all. Cynthia feels guilty every time she sees his eyes fill up with tears as he tries to make sense of the words on the page he’s reading, but Eric feels enraged and makes him start over every time. He tries sounding things out – she’ll give him the answers and he forgets right away. Then he has to start over again, and Eric reminds her to ‘stop giving him the answers.’ ‘He has to figure it out on his own,’ he keeps saying, but the simple fact is – he can’t. Not with eyes full of tears, and a belligerent father screaming in his ear. Those words are right at the tip of her tongue, but it’s nothing she’d ever dare say.
Once again, Eric makes Jacob start over again and Jacob makes the unfortunate mistake of fumbling the very first sentence. Eric shoots up from his chair, causing both Cynthia and Jacob to flinch as he screams, “Jacob, you JUST learned this!” She doesn’t have time to encourage Jacob to be quiet before he shouts an apology that only makes Eric angrier. The back of his hand meets her seven year old son’s face, and right away sends him into hysterics expected of a child who is in pain. Jacob yells, he covers his swollen face, and he begins to cry hard enough to break her heart.
Eric lifts Jacob’s face by his chin, points a finger at him and warns Jacob never to talk to him like that again. When Jacob nods, Eric lets him go and he sits down on the other side of him again. He makes Jacob start over, and they both listen as he struggles through the first two pages of Biscuit Goes to School. Eric allows him one or two mess-ups, and then finally he’s about to explode again. Instead of striking Jacob again, he gets up from the table, and he grabs his cigarettes. “Deal with this,” he says to Cynthia before storming out of the kitchen.
She’s terrible in storms, but she’s okay cleaning up the aftermath. It’s much easier to show her affection and not be punished for it when Eric’s not around. She reaches out and wipes the tears from her son’s eyes with her thumbs and then she smiles at him, hoping maybe he’ll find some solace in that. “Okay, why don’t we start as slow as you want to…okay?” She offers.
“Can we stop now?” Jacob asks, his eyes pleading with her.
She wants to let him off the hook – she wants to let both of them off the hook, but Eric will ask as soon as he comes back. She doesn’t want either one of them in any more trouble than they already are, so she places her hand on Jacob’s shoulder and she shakes her head. “I don’t want you to get in trouble, baby,” she says. He seems to understand, and without arguing, he starts over for her.
It’s going to take them all night, but no sleep is better than whatever Eric would do if she let him give up now.
06/20/2022 10:11 PM
hometown horror: reimagined.
At first, the drive through the California desert is almost a lighthearted adventure. They pass the time by blasting music through the car speakers, and singing at the top of their lungs. Unconsciously, Jacob, Casey and Isaiah usually fall into a natural harmony whenever all three of them got in on a song together. In between songs they love, they try and solve all the world’s problems, as only the four of them can. It’s all welcomed, because the four of them are heading straight for a lion’s den. As the road signs transition from California signs to Nevada signs, things become quieter and quieter – more tense. Jacob’s had the wheel for most of the drive, but on their final stop for gas, he admits he needs Isaiah to take the wheel.
Casey and Isaiah move to the front so Jacob and Cecilia can sit in the back. They hold hands, but Jacob’s eyes stay focused out the window as things become more and more familiar. Last time he saw this exact route, he was watching it through the window of a crowded bus going from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The car ride remains quiet. When it comes to the four of them – Jacob, Cecilia, Casey and Isaiah – they’re usually able to lift each other’s spirits but the spirits in that car are too heavy this time. Jacob finds himself wondering why he ever even agreed to coming down to this sh*thole town to have a terribly cooked dinner with people he doesn’t even like.
Jacob’s parents, and his two younger sisters still live in the same house Jacob grew up in. Every screaming match – every beating, every broken object – it’s all coming back to him and he finds himself shuddering just a bit. The outside hasn’t changed, except for the cars out front. Jacob glances out the window beside him, rather than looking forward, tuning in as Isaiah asks Casey how come Christian didn’t want to come. How Isaiah can think about Christian right now is beyond Jacob, but maybe it’s because Isaiah’s hardly spent any time with Eric over the years. The car comes to a stop at the end of the driveway and Isaiah says, “I guess we’re here.”
“I guess so,” flies out of Jacob’s mouth and he’s not even sure why.
They all get out of the car and they make their way to the front door. It’s nearing 4:30pm, and last he remembers, his mom usually likes to start dinner that early. It takes her forever to open the door, but she finally does and Jacob nearly doesn’t recognize her. She’s cut off most of her hair into a short bob, and she’s got bangs now. She doesn’t have any makeup on, which she used to wear almost daily even if she wasn’t going anywhere. “Hi,” she says with a crooked smile. She goes in for a hug that causes Jacob to tense up, but in an attempt not to make things any MORE awkward, he accepts and he wraps one arm around her.
“Wow, you got tall,” she jokes before standing back. “Come on in, dinner’s almost ready and your dad will be here soon.” She then steps aside.
All four oblige and she leads them all to the kitchen while attempting to make small talk aimed at the two she’s most familiar with – Isaiah and Jacob. “And so, you’re Jacob’s wife, and….I’m sorry…what’s your name again?” She then asks, pointing at Casey.
“Casey, mom.” Jacob says.
“Right, right! Sorry, I’m so bad with names…” She says, leaving Jacob stunned that excuse is still a her go to.
The kitchen table is new – it’s bigger and a deep brown. The chairs have cushions. He wonders where they got the money for it, while he sits down and waits for the others to sit down with him. He’s not sure what to expect from that evening, but whatever it is must be extremely important for Eric to tolerate having all of them around.
05/22/2022 07:51 PM
hollywood daily interview.
IN: How are you today? Thanks, so much for taking the time to sit down and chat with us.
JB: No problem, thanks for having me. I’m doing good – I’m doing really good.
IN: It’s been awhile since you’ve done an interview; what have you been up to?
JB: Well, I have a kid now – I guess that’s not really news now, but you know…he’s getting so big, he keeps me and Cece pretty busy. [Laughs] The guys and I are working on a new record, that’ll be out here in the next few weeks.
IN: Oh yeah, can you tell us anything about it? We’ve heard the first three singles off of it, and a lot of people noticed they’re very different from each other, and from what you guys normally do.
JB: Yeah, we’re getting that a lot actually. But there’s a purpose, I promise. So we’ve been doing this together for a long time now, and usually when we work on an album, everything’s very much – a collaborative. And that’s not to say this record doesn’t have a lot of that in it, you know, but we kinda wanted to have….some songs on there represent more of Casey’s style. Some songs that represent more of Isaiah’s, and then some that represent more of mine. So like, the latest song that just came out, Don’t Let Me Down, I wrote it…and I kind of told everyone what I wanted with it and the guys did the same with me and the songs that they wrote. Because like – right now, each one of us is kind of on our own journey, and we kind of wanted a chance to tell our stories like…separately, but together.
IN: Yeah, you do have to do things to change it up. And you guys now are…you’re growing up, you’re going down separate paths, it’s understandable. Has it been challenging?
JB: Challenging, in the sense that like….woah, we all have a lot of issues. [Laughs] No but…yeah, it was challenging. I like to have a lot of humor to what I do – that’s what makes me happy, that’s what makes me want to create. But, trying to find that balance between humor and like…that all of these songs are coming from a really, really deep place, it’s been kind of a challenge. Normally, I have one of the guys to like…reel me back in if I start to go too off the rails, and now I have to keep in check myself. It’s – it’s tough, for sure. But it’s been really, REALLY rewarding. I think it’s going to be really cool to hear what people think of it.
IN: Did your singles get a good reaction from the fans?
JB: Well, like you said, they did notice some differences. And I’d say that’s a good thing – I think, generally the reception’s been really positive. We’re really lucky to have so many dedicated fans that trust us, even when we want to do something crazy. We just hope it’s worth all the hype! [Laughs]
IN: I bet it will be. So speaking of getting a little off the rails – I wanted to ask you…Casey Caverly, he was in the news the other day getting a ‘little’ bit crazy. And we saw some of your fans were very vocal about the incident. What did you think? Did you see the backlash?
JB: Okay, well…listen. [Laughs] Casey, he’s – I just don’t know if I’m the right person to ask this, ‘cuz we have conversations all the time about how much we hate the paparazzi. [Laughs] And I get where our fans are coming from, but I think it’s really easy, sometimes to forget that we’re human, and we have moments and bad days. It’s like – it’s just our bad moments are all over the internet and stuff. I don’t know. I get it, but I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing on a ‘bad day’ too.
IN: Yeah, it’s tough. It’s hard to be in the public eye all the time. Is that harder to manage now that you and Cece have a baby?
JB: Yes and no. It’s hard like, when we go out and we take August somewhere and paparazzi wants to like…rush to snap pictures of us with the baby. But at the same time, like…I dunno, there are so many cool things about being a dad, I forget about like THAT aspect of it sometimes.
IN: So, you took to ‘dad life’ pretty well?
JB: Yeah, well…I always knew I wanted to be a dad, so yeah I was just happy when it happened. There are gonna be a lot of moments that are really hard, but for the most part it’s just…something really special to be a parent, I’ll gladly take the bad for the good.
IN: That’s amazing. Okay, Mr. Brooks, we are just about out of time. Do you have anything else you want to say?
JB: Thanks for having me. Everyone buy and stream Color Theory when it comes out, May 20th!
04/26/2022 11:49 PM
sky. // drabble
tw: heavy suicide mention,
mental health issues, child abuse
After living in Los Angeles for so long, it was easy to forget that the sky is actually something extraordinary. He’s been surrounded by LA city lights for so long, he forgot about the stars. That’s the only thing Pahrump, Nevada will ever have on the city he now calls home. It’s nearly 8pm on a Saturday evening and Jacob’s walking across the dimly lit Wal-Mart parking lot. The full moon in the sky is more helpful than the few streetlights there are in lighting his way up to the sidewalk. He’s approaching the sidewalk, when he begins to notice someone sitting at the edge of the sidewalk. He’s in denial at first, as the man’s features become more and more familiar – he’s got David’s hair and the same exhausted expression. He’s got on the same black vans and neon green T-shirt Jacob saw him in earlier that day.
“David?” he finally says, to put an end to his disbelief.
“Oh hey, Jake,” David says casually.
“What are you doing out here, dude?” Jacob stops beside him, putting a halt to his soda run for now.
“Roommate kicked me out,” David says. Jacob then sits beside him, but David doesn’t look at him. He’s staring into the endless sky above.
“What for?” Jacob asks.
“I was two months late on the rent…I knew it was comin’,” David shrugs. “What’re you doing?”
“Linda didn’t have anything to drink at the house, so…you strapped, or what?” Jacob asks, declining the opportunity to change the subject.
“Yeahhh, money’s been pretty tight,” David says.
When Jacob looks at David, he still sees that obnoxiously loud, unnecessarily competitive brat that terrorized him and Sarah throughout their childhoods. But tonight, there’s something about him that’s breaking Jacob’s heart. He apparently hasn’t spoken to their dad in awhile – he seems to hardly speak to his mother anymore too. Sarah and Lilly like him a little, but now it seems he doesn’t know anyone outside the family that wants to help him. “I…know things kinda suck between us, but I’d help you out, David,” Jacob finally says.
“I don’t even care anymore honestly,” David confesses. “You ever just thinking about, like….saying ‘f*** it,’ and going…?” He then adds. It’s vague, but it’s the same language Jacob would use to describe that feeling. Jacob remembers that ache all too well – that nagging wish that everything would stop. There was a time when Jacob wanted to die. He remembers being so young, but so tuned into the hatred he had for himself. He remembers feeling like he was turning into everything his father had always told him he would – nothing. He remembers the Hell on Earth that feeling was, and now David’s there.
Jacob stops looking to David, and looks to the sky instead – where David wants to be. He remembers wanting to be there too. The memories cause his heart to ache for the person he was when he was David’s age, but he stays candid – or at least as candid as he can handle. “…Yeah. A long time ago now, I guess, but yeah…”
“Not anymore?” David asks.
“It’s been awhile,” Jacob says. “A long…long time to get it out of my head that I wasn’t this…loser f***-up…”
“’Cuz of all that sh*t dad used to say, right?”
“Dad’s a d*ck,” David muses, almost laughing as he does so.
“I know…I didn’t know you knew,” Jacob admits.
“No, I knew,” David replies. “I just didn’t say anything ‘cuz he scared the sh*t out of me.”
“That makes two of us,” Jacob says quickly.
“You never seemed scared.”
“Trust me, I was…” Even still, there’s a part of him that can’t handle the dread he feels when Eric’s around or mentioned. He likes to pretend he has control over the raging emotions Eric inflicts just by existing, but he doesn’t. He’s a grown adult who still feels like a child when he’s reminded of what his father put him through. The only thing that helps him push that fear aside, is when Eric terrifies someone else even more. “I only stood up to him because I knew he’d go after Sarah if I didn’t.”
“Never stood up for me,” David says – he’s maybe joking, but it’s true.
“Yeah…” Jacob agrees. “You didn’t stick up for me either though.”
“Yeah…it was easier to let him smack you around than it was to like…argue with him, I guess…” David admits. Jacob can’t fault him for that – not anymore at least. Because Jacob had been known to shift blame to avoid a beating at David’s expense. They’re both guilty in that regard, and they spent a lot of time blaming each other for it. “I’m sorry,” David says, now looking to Jacob. It’s the very first time Jacob’s ever heard those words from his mouth, without influence from a scolding parent.
“I’m sorry too,” Jacob says – also without influence, for the first time. “Sucks, we probably could’a kicked his ass together if we weren’t busy fighting each other.”
“Right?” David finally laughs, but then he takes in a deep breath and lets it out slow. He looks at the sky again, and Jacob does as well. “Can I borrow some money for a room or something?” He suddenly asks. Without hesitation, Jacob nods.
“Yeah…I got you, dude.”
author's note: this takes place during a blog
roleplay going on between me, Cece and Casey. :)
01/10/2022 01:47 PM
letters to the kids. // musing
I was there the morning your dad decided to break the news to everyone. I celebrated with him, and your mom. I helped paint the white walls of your nursery to a pale yellow because your mom hated the color pink. I was there to drive them to the hospital, because your mom wanted your dad in the back with her, and Isaiah wasn’t around. I had just gotten my driver’s license and couldn’t wait to jump in and save the day. I was there in the waiting room, giving Isaiah a play by play over the phone while he made his way through the worst traffic jam ever. I helped welcome you into the world and took the first picture of your parents as they held you with tears in their eyes—happy tears.
I was there the first time your dad made you laugh with some funny face he made, and my heart was almost as warmed as his was. Only almost though, because no one could ever be as happy as he was in that moment. I was there when your mom bragged to everyone about your first word – it was ‘mama,’ and she swore it was because you guys had a special connection. And I could tell, she absolutely meant it. I was also there when they needed help getting you through your first steps. Your dad and I would take turns holding your hands and helping you walk across the living room floor. Pretty soon, you were taking off on your own and running back and forth between us. I was there to see Casey tear up as he watched you go, and I wondered what it was like to create and love someone the way he obviously loved you.
I was there for; the first bike rides—with and without training wheels—the first swimming lesson, the first trip to the playground. I was there and I loved every second of it. I was so grateful for you, and all the light you brought into your dad’s life. I think you were the first person to teach him just how important unconditional love is.
To Jackson and Noah:
I was there the day, Jackson, your nursery was painted blue. Me, and your dad, and uncle Casey in the middle of your bedroom floor, brainstorming ideas on how to cover your walls with stars. We settled on ordering stickers from Amazon that were supposed to glow in the dark, and we ended up having to take them off because they kept you awake. I was there when he brought you home, and I swear to God you did nothing but sleep. Your parents watched you sleep and went on and on about what a good baby you were already. Isaiah had been so afraid when he first found out you were coming, but now he was trotting around like a pro. I’d never seen him so confident.
I was there in the living room when Ginger came out and announced Noah was coming. I watched your dad light up like a Christmas tree and pass out high fives because he just couldn’t wait to have a baby again. In two years. Watching Isaiah finally feel proud of himself and knowing it was all because of you two was something I lived for. I couldn’t wait until I would know what that felt like.
I was there when each of you got your names picked—me and Uncle Casey both, and we had naming parties because your mom loved that sort of thing. Your parents had never been happier together, and your dad had never been happier, period. Even in the tougher moments, you guys were the thing that gave him strength. Every single day, he found it in him to keep going, doing his absolute best to give you guys the world and it was because he had you guys to think about.
05/05/2021 11:26 PM
spider in a drawer. // drabble
At nearly 5pm on a Saturday afternoon, Jacob had expected to be finished by now. The sun hung high in the sky, reminding jacob of just how unforgivable Summer could be. He had to wonder if things would be different had he actually eaten something before being shoved outside to pull at weeds and mow the grass. At least he had been supplied with enough water bottles to push him through the afternoon. Jacob sat on the porch, slumped over with his elbows on his knees, and water bottle in hand. The onning gave him some much needed relief from the sun that was already starting to bake his arms to a tomatoey red color. He could only imagine how his face must have looked.
The door opened behind him, and he was quick to spring up at of his chair, and grab the broom leaning against the rail of the porch so he could pretend he was doing some kind of work. But the father he expected to see, and put on a show for, hadn't been the one to come out. When he turned his head, he saw Mary out with two water bottles in her arms. Jacob relaxed, and he leaned against the rail. "Oh, it's just you," he said as she came over to hand one of the water bottles to him. "What'cha doin', squirt?" he asked, putting his old, now room temperature bottle down and taking the cold one his sister offered.
"Are you almost done?" Mary asked, with a small pout on her face. Her face was just as red as his, but her eye was swollen.
"Heyyy, what happened?" Jacob knelt down so that he could meet her at near eye level.
"David hit me," Mary continued to frown at him.
"Did you tell dad?" Jacob asked.
"Yeah," Mary gave an exaggerated nod. "He yelled at me for telling on him. That's why I came out here--I like you better than David."
It could be argued that Jacob treated his brother as badly as any older brother did by picking on them, and playing jokes on them, but he could never bring himself to treat his sisters that way. His brothers were held up on such a high pedestal by their mom and dad--but not the rest of them. "Yeah, David's a jerk..." Jacob agreed. "Well, you can hang out here with me, if you want. It's hot though, just so ya'know."
"Yay!" Mary smiled as she put her water bottle down in the chair Jacob had been sitting in. Jacob couldn't help but smile back. Mary and Jacob began to work on the yard together. For Jacob, it was a punishment for mouthing off, but with Mary there it became less like torture and more like a game. She helped him yank weeds out of the ground, and celebrated when the clumbs were large like they had just saved the yard from a major opponent. At some point, she even began to find things on her own to clean up. By that time, Jacob began trimming hedges that lined their fence. He had almost suspected Mary was back on the porch just watching but he was probed wrong when he heard her scream. Quickly he turned around and saw her coming back his way. She had a crazy look on her face that almost made him laugh, "What's wrong?" he asked.
"There was a spider over there!" Mary exclaimed, grabbing onto Jacob's arm.
"Where?" Jacob asked. She brought him over to it quickly, gripping his arm tightly as she did so. The two stopped at the spider's web that had been created on one of the fence rails. It was a nasty thing with giant legs, and yellow stripes all over it.
"Are you gonna kill it?" Mary asked.
"Nahh," Jacob said. "He's probably more scared of us than we are of him."
"I don't think so," Mary argued. "David told me, if you get bit by one of those, your arm gets all big and it hurts really bad!"
"Okay, okay...go get me a jar.'
Together Jacob and Mary worked to get the little guy in a large mason jar from the kitchen. It squirmed around in there, searching for an escape and Jacob watched it's every move. "What're you gonna do with it now?" Mary asked him. Jacob stared at the eight-legged freak for a few moments lomger before he glanced down at his sister. The swelling on her face had gone down but her eye was still bruised.
"I'll do something with it," he said. "Come on, let's go back inside."
Later that evening, Jacob sat at his desk, a textbook in front of him that he tried his hardest to remain focused on. He felt like he hadn't truly recovered from the afternoon, so when Eric began instructing everyone that it was time to go to bed, he actually did not even protest. He gave his parents a goodnight with no heart, and then he closed his book and crawled into bed for the evening. Things were silent for a moment...until they weren't.
In the room next door--David's room--Jacob could hear a loud scream, followed by several thuds down the hall. "Dad, dad, dad!" David's voice rang throughout the upstairs hallway, before dad's voice could be heard next. He wanted to know what Davud was screaming about, but before he could even finish asking, David exclaimed, "There's a spider in my drawer!" he then began begging Eric to kill it for him. All Jacob could do was smile. Eric may not have had the good sense to punish David for leaving their seven year old sister with a black eye for no good reason, but Jacob sure did. He hoped a sleepless night wondering if that one spider had any friends would be enough to make David a nicer person in the morning.
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