Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hey Mickie, Hey Mickie Archive
"Who would be calling at this time of morning?" I grumbled as my cell began blaring just as daylight broke on this, another brutally cold, snowbound Cleveland morning. I rolled over on the couch and snatched it off the coffee table. "Yes?"
"Are you still at Taylor's?" Mom (Laila) asked as I rolled my eyes. I actually was at that moment at Taylor's on the living room couch as a result of the nasty blizzard that came on yesterday and practically closed down the streets as a result.
"No, Mom, I'm at the biker bar," I said as she laughed. "What do you want this early?"
"I was up with Elizabeth anyway and wanted to see if you are coming home this morning?"
"The roads still look rough but I should be able to make it," I said. "Everyone will be up and around in a couple of hours and I'll head that way."
"Sounds good," Mom said. "You know we always decorate the tree on Christmas Eve."
"I know, I know, looking forward to it," I said. "Oh yeah, why are you up with Elizabeth this early?"
"She woke up laughing," Mom said as I grinned. "And now she's playing with her feet and seems content with the world."
"Told you if you just calmed down and let the stress leave she'd stop crying," I said as a knocking came at the front door. I got up to see it was a bundled up Raegan on the other side.
"Open up it's freezing out here," Raegan said.
"Mom, I'll call you back in a bit, love you too," I said as I hang up with her and opened the door. Raegan slid inside and pushed the door together as soon as possible. "Cold?"
"Fuckin right it is," Raegan said as she slipped off her snow boots and shivered as she warmed up finally. "It has to be 10 below out there."
"Nope, it's 6 below," I said as she rolled her eyes as I grinned victoriously.
"Very funny," Raegan said sarcastically, "And you should be nice to me because I got you a Christmas present."
"Me?" I asked. "You got me a present?"
"Yes I did, and a good one too," she said as she unzipped her parka style coat and fished out an envelope covered in the logo for the Cleveland Indians and handed it to me. "Merry Christmas!"
"Amazing, a Cleveland Indians envelope," I giggled as Raegan gave me a sour look.
"Look inside smarty pants," she said and when I did I nearly screamed. It was two tickets to an Indians game in mid-May.
"Cool!" I squealed. "For real?"
"Of course, and you are taking me," she informed me. "Since I'm pretty sure Taylor hates sports."
"Pretty much," I agreed and could not wipe the smile off my face. "Best Christmas present so far. Thanks."
"You're welcome," Raegan said with a smug smile.
"Now I feel terrible because I didn't know we were exchanging presents," I said.
"All part of my devious plan," Raegan said. "You're gonna cook me breakfast."
"I am?" I asked.
"You owe me," she said as I smiled.
"That I do," I said as I headed for the kitchen, and after disposing of her jacket she followed.
The next hour was filled with chatter between me and the person whom I had once hated but now had to admit I was starting to like. I fixed up some bacon and eggs while she waited and then laughed as she practically wolfed them down in record time. A pair of shuffling feet broke up our morning chatter as Taylor, a groggy Taylor, arrived in the kitchen (trailed by Reggie and Lassie).
"Are my eyes playing tricks on me?" Taylor asked as she spotted us at the table. "My girlfriend and Raegan are in my house eating breakfast with no screaming match to be heard nor the fire department on stand-by? I must still be asleep."
"Ruff!" came Reggie's reply to clarify that Taylor was awake. I laughed.
"OK, so I'm awake so what's going on?" Taylor asked as she poured Reggie a bowl of food and set Lassie on the kitchen table so she could take advantage of the nearly empty plates in front of me and Raegan.
"Raegan gave me a really nice Christmas present," I said as I showed Taylor the tickets.
"I'll go but you'll have to explain it to me," Taylor said as she kissed me good morning and purposely sat down in my lap.
"Actually we didn't think you'd wanna go so we made plans to," I said nervously.
"Thank god," Taylor said as I laughed and pushed her away.
"And all I had to do for her in return was breakfast," I announced.
"I'm easy, what can I say?" Raegan said as everyone laughed.
"Well unlike Mickie I got you a present under the tree," Taylor said as Lassie finished his meal and laid down to be petted by me.
"You do?" Raegan asked Taylor. "I didn't see it when I snooped last night."
"I figured you would snoop so I waited till you went home last night and placed it under the tree," Taylor said.
"Why for me?" Raegan asked.
"You and Ruby are family," Taylor said. "You'll soon be my sister you know?"
"God how weird is that?" Raegan asked as she stood and leaned across the counter as Taylor made her own breakfast.
"Very," I inserted and laughed at the look they gave me.
"Are you and her a package deal cause I don't know if I can take that?" Raegan asked as she pointed to me.
"She thinks she's funny," Taylor said. "Mostly not though."
"Mostly?" Raegan asked as her and Taylor laughed. I gave them dual dirty looks for their picking on me. Fortunately Laney came slowly down the hall a moment later and saved me from further torture.
"Leave Mickie alone," Laney said as I grinned and watched her kiss my girlfriend good morning. Raegan gave Taylor a certain look as Taylor turned her head away and Laney, having seen the whole thing began giggling before she asked, "What was it about anyway?"
"They don't think I'm funny," I said.
"That's because Taylor had a horrible accident when she was 12 and had to have her funny bone removed," Laney said and it was now my turn to laugh.
"The non human members of the family say good morning," I said to Laney.
"Morning cat and dog with weird names," Laney said as she sat down opposite me and found her attention now wanted by Lassie as he walked over to Laney for some loving.
"Who was it again that named that cat?" Raegan asked.
"Your mother," Taylor said as she got some juice out of the fridge and poured a glass as everyone laughed.
"She gives a boy's name to a female dog and a dog's name to a male cat," Raegan summarized. "I am not related to her."
"She's weird alright," Taylor said with a smirk as she handed the glass of juice to Laney. I wondered how she knew exactly what Laney wanted. "Just imagine if she ever had a girl of her own. She'd probably name it something weird like... Raegan."
"Hey!" Raegan protested as the laughter erupted. Taylor smiled smugly as she plopped down in my lap as Raegan gave her the stink eye. "You're lucky it's Christmas. I'll let that one slide since you got me something."
"You get her that plastic dog poop?" I asked as Laney spit juice all over the floor when she started to laugh.
"I wouldn't get mad," Raegan said calmly as Taylor and I giggled. "Two years ago I got a fake gift box and put Mom's present inside of it."
"Fake gift box?" I asked.
"Yeah it's a box with a made up product on the outside," Raegan said. "I got her a USB Toaster."
"OHMIGOD!" Taylor laughed. "A toaster that connects to your laptop?"
"Yep," Raegan said as everyone laughed. "I'm pretty sure she never used it."
"Ya think?" I asked amidst my own giggles as a loud banging came at the front door. "Who would that be at this time of morning?"
"Probably the fake UPS guy with another mysterious white t-shirt for me," Laney said as I rolled my eyes and stood as Taylor took my seat so she and Laney could eat some breakfast.
"It's my sister, Ruby," Raegan said in confusion as she left the kitchen and I quickly followed after her out of curiosity. Raegan opened the door as a clearly frightened Ruby almost knocked her down with a hug as she came inside. "Ruby, what's wrong?"
"You left me alone," Ruby said angrily as she pushed Raegan away suddenly. "I woke up and you and Dad were gone and I thought..."
"I'm sorry, you thought what?"
"You weren't coming back," Ruby said as Raegan hugged her again. "Just like Dad does."
"Mark leaves you?" I asked.
"Sometimes for a few days," Ruby said. "But he always comes back for me."
"He leaves you alone in the house for days on end?" Raegan asked.
"He leaves me food and money and all," Ruby reasoned. "And I thought you were different..."
"I am," Raegan said. "I love you Ruby Rae and I did not abandon you. I came over to give Mickie her present. I left you a note too."
"The one on the fridge that I saw but didn't read?" Ruby asked as I laughed. "Oops."
"It's OK," Raegan said as she hugged her little sister. "You were just scared."
"Yeah," Ruby said quietly.
"Why didn't you just go in and wake your Dad if you were scared?"
"Because he's gone,"
"He had an early shift..."
"His suitcase and his medicine was gone," Ruby said. "He probably met someone."
"I'm gonna chop of his manhood with a rusty fishing knife," Raegan said in anger as Taylor came down the hall to join us with Grandpa now in tow.
"Who you gonna murder?" Taylor asked and stood there dumbfounded at the details that had now emerged.
"WOW!" Taylor said in shock. "I'm sorry Ruby."
"Me too, young one," Grandpa said. "But let's not all go jumping to conclusions just yet."
"Why isn't it pretty obvious what happened?" Raegan asked as she hugged her sister protectively.
"I just have a feeling that there's more to the story than meets the eye," Grandpa advised.
"He's a smart man and you all should listen to him," I said as I moved beside Hal.
"You're a suck up but I adore you," Grandpa said to me as he pointed to his cheek and I kissed it. He then did Taylor the same way before retrieving the paper from the front porch and settling in by the Christmas tree in his favorite chair.
"You are a suck up," Taylor said to me as she joined me and I laughed and snuck a kiss.
"We need to talk Mother figure," Raegan said as Carolyn came down the stairs.
"About what daughter figure?" Carolyn asked.
"About Ruby's Dad?"
"Raegan Dale Kirkpatrick, not on Christmas," Carolyn said as Richard came down next.
"I'm not looking to fight," Raegan said.
"Your middle name is Dale?" Taylor asked rudely as Raegan looked to her. "Who you named after? Dale Earnhardt?"
"Your middle name is Mackenzie," Raegan shot back. "Who are you named after? Benjamin McKenzie?"
"Who the hell is Benjamin McKenzie?" Taylor asked.
"Who's Dale Earnhardt?" Raegan asked as the room erupted in laughter.
"I thought you weren't coming back...5Carrie?" I asked as I opened the door and saw Carrie in place of who I thought would be Rae.
"Thought who wasn't coming back?" Carrie asked with a sheepish grin. "Me? I hope?"
"My girlfriend?" I asked as she followed me inside and closed the door behind her. "Tan Asian girl with big boobs? The one you drool over?"
"She's not the only one I drool over," Carrie said as I grinned. "And she's down talking to Mr. Powers."
"OH Ok, so what are you doing here?" I asked with a nudge as she joined me by the sink.
"My parents just left for their annual holiday in hell with my Grandparents in Colorado Springs," Carrie said.
"Holiday in hell?"
"My grandparents are like your parents only not as much fun at parties," Carrie said as I laughed. "I hate them as much as you hate your parents."
"So you're alone on Christmas?"
"I'm used to it," Carrie said with a shrug. Rae came in just then with (what looked to be) a bottle of wine in her hands with a bow on it.
"Look what I got!" Rae said as she held it up. "For the three of us from Mr. Powers."
"What are you gonna do with it? You know I don't drink," I said to Rae.
"It's Country Cider from Mr. Powers family in England," Rae said as she showed me.
"OHHH, then that's OK," I said as I kissed her.
"Do you honestly think I'd bring booze in here knowing how you feel about it?" Rae asked.
"We haven't been together that long..."
"No, I would not," Rae said firmly. "And you should know that."
"I do and it's just this freakin holiday has me stressed," I said as we hugged. "I sorry?"
"You better be," Rae said as she hugged me from behind proudly.
"Carrie's abandoned on Christmas by the way," I informed Rae. "Looks like we're struck with her."
"You're not stuck with anybody I can take care of myself," Carrie said. "I'll be fine."
"You're sleeping on the couch and I don't wanna hear any argument," I said with a finger point.
"Not gonna get any," Carrie said happily. "I'll even open the cider."
"So other than hot cider what are we gonna do tonight?" Rae asked as she sat down on the sofa.
"We could do what I always do," Carrie said from the kitchen as she successfully pulled the cork out of the bottle.
"What's that?" I asked as I sat down and sorted out the presents under the tree. I snooped a bit to find the one Rae got me... and not finding it.
"Jimmy Stewart in 'It's A Wonderful Life'," Carrie said as she poured the cider into glasses. "I have the DVD downstairs."
"I loved that movie," Rae said as she took her cup from Carrie. "Lyns?"
"Sounds good to me," I said to my girlfriend. "Now onto another subject, where's my present?"
"What present?" Rae asked innocently as she sipped her cider and Carrie sat down in the recliner.
"For Christmas," I said.
"What's for Christmas?" Rae asked.
"Stop acting stupid," I said as Rae laughed.
"I got you something and you can wait until tomorrow to find out what it is," Rae said smugly. "Deal with it."
"It better be good," I said as I sat down by her now and kissed her, tasting the cider on her lips. "MMMMMM."
"Tell me about it," Rae said as she kissed me back. "MMMM!"
"Why did I have to come and help your mother put up a Christmas tree that'll only be up for one day?" I asked Mickie as we pulled into the driveway of her house. "That's retarded."
"It's not retarded," Mickie giggled. "It's a family tradition that goes back a hundred years or so."
"But what's the point?"
"For us to spend some time with Mom on Christmas Eve," Mickie said as she leaned in and kissed me. "Please don't say it's retarded in front of her?"
"Now that you've explained it I don't think it is retarded," I said as Mickie smiled and we got out and walked towards the house just as Ryan came across the lawn with Mikey in a baby carrier (over the shoulder variety). His Spongebob Squarepants snow suit, insulated, keeping him warm as a bug in a rug. "Where have you two been?"
"Mikey cried when I got ready to leave so Laila asked me to take him with me," Ryan said. "So I did."
"Him a happy boy now," I said as Mikey took his bottle out of his mouth long enough to grin at me. "Are you making Ryan do everything you want?"
"He sure is," Ryan said with a dorky ear-to-ear grin.
"So where are you and my little brother headed now?" Mickie asked.
"Basement to get Laila her Christmas tree," Ryan said. "I thought Mikey would like it if we took the scenic route."
"He loves being outside," Mickie said as Mikey went back to sucking his bottle. "Actually he just loves being the center of attention."
"Reminds me of someone else I know," I said as I looked directly at Mickie.
"Who?" Mickie asked as if she really didn't know. I groaned and walked off after Ryan as Mickie trailed behind us around the side of the house to the back and the steps to the basement. "Who is this person?"
"Shut up before I give you an early Christmas present and throw you down the stairs," I said as Mickie giggled and followed us down the steps to the basement. "So where's this tree?"
"On top of the shelf over there," Mickie said as she pointed to the large multi-level shelf on the far side of the basement. "Want me to hold Mikey while you get it down, Ryan?"
"No, give him to me," Taylor said as Ryan took Mikey out of his baby carrier and handed him to me. I hugged my baby brother and stuck my tongue out at my girlfriend. Ryan, meanwhile, reached up and muscled the massive Christmas tree box off the top of the shelf. Mikey watched with wide eyes as he held his bottle still.
"Hey, Mickie's Mom, here's your tree," I said as I lead the way up the steps a few minutes later. Ryan set it down in the spot that Laila pointed to.
"Mickie's Mom?" Laila asked as she placed Elizabeth in my arms and we laughed.
"Well you are," I said.
"Don't spread that around," Laila said as Mickie protested with a sour look as she and Ryan now unboxed the Christmas tree with Mikey back in his swing.
"Just for that you can walk home," Mickie said to me as we made faces at each other.
"Put up my Christmas tree and stop flirting," Laila said as I laughed. Ryan somehow got it out of the box and he and Mickie got it onto the stand to get it upright as Elizabeth watched with wide eyed interest and Mikey seemed totally uninterested as he worked his bottle. "Why is it one of my babies is already holding his own bottle and the other refuses to even try?"
"Because Mikey has been ahead of Elizabeth on everything so far," Mickie chimed in as she dragged out Laila's massive box of ornaments.
"Because Elizabeth has a mind of her own," I said as Laila tried to get her to hold her bottle and Elizabeth seemed mystified by it. "Here let me try it."
"Good luck," Laila said as she went to help Mickey and Ryan pick out the ornaments they wanted on the tree. I gently cupped Elizabeth's hand around the bottle and cupped mine over hers so she could get used to holding it while she nursed it.
"Well that's certainly a welcome addition," Michael said as he came down the steps and saw the tree now standing in the corner. "Time to get out the presents."
"And time for Laney and Jessie to get here," I said as the two pulled up in the driveway behind Mickie's car. Ryan finally took off his baby carrier and made faces at Mikey.
"Hey look what I did," I said as I moved my hands away from Elizabeth's and showed everyone what she learned. She now had a tight grip on her bottle and was nursing away happily.
"That little alien lives to torture me," Laila said as I laughed.
"OK, we're here let's get this over with," Jessie said as she came in with Laney. A giggling could be heard just behind them as Sammi came charging in ahead of someone and closed the door on them and laughed harder.
"Let me you in or I'll whip you," Darcy said as she beat on the door. Sammi held it closed as she still giggled.
"No way," Sammi said.
"I'd take her up on that offer, Sams," I said as she looked back and seemed to agree as she let Darcy in. "Go for it, Dar Dar."
"Ha ha ha," Darcy said as she poked Sammi in her tickle spot in protest and made her jump away.
"Knock it off," Laila said as she motioned Darcy over. "Michael, can you and Ryan bring up those boxes from the basement?"
"We can," Michael said as he and Ryan left down the steps.
"Why did we have to bring those two with us?" Laney asked as she pointed to Sammi and Darcy.
"Because I invited them," Laila said with Darcy smiling from her new position on her knees making faces at Mikey who was loving it.
"Da da boo," Elizabeth said as she pointed to Sammi while holding her bottle with her free hand.
"What did you say little ET?" I asked as Elizabeth looked up at me and repeated, "Da da boo."
"Where you talking to me beautiful?" Sammi asked as she grinned at my little namesake.
"Da da boo," Elizabeth repeated as she rubbed Sammi's cheek.
"I think she loves you more than me," I said as Sammi took Elizabeth and started dancing around with her as the little girl cooed and smiled.
"She does not love me more," Sammi corrected me. "She makes no difference in the people she loves."
"She's never da da booed me," Darcy said as everyone laughed.
"She doesn't even like me," Laila said as I rolled my eyes.
"She's not the only one of your children who feel that way," Jessie said as she beaned Laila with some wadded up wrapping paper.
"Good thing you're not my kid then," Laila said as she threw it back at Jessie.
"And I thought you loved me," Jessie said as she avoided the wrapping paper and stuck her tongue out.
"And I thought you loved me," Laila mocked her as everyone laughed. Ryan and Michael came back up the steps with several boxes each in their arms.
"Dad your wife is being mean to me," Jessie said in protest as the laughter started.
"You all hush and help us with these boxes," Michael said as he handed them out one by one and everyone got to work on one project or another. Mickie and I got the job of stringing the popcorn as Laney and Jessie took care of the garland. Ryan and Alex (who arrived a little later) took direction from Laila as to where to put the numerous ornaments on the tree. Sammi and Darcy filled in as the babysitters.
"When are we gonna open presents?" Mickie asked an hour or so later as she sat on the couch and I had plopped down in front of her and laid back in her arms.
"Richard and I worked it out so he and Carolyn could use the morning hours to open theirs and since Mickie and Jessie are planning to be there we've moved our plans to the afternoon," Michael said. "It's the Christmas season so everyone will get a chance to spend time with everyone."
"Hey listen," Jessie said as a bell started ringing. "I wonder if that means an angel got it's wings?"
"I doubt it," Laila said as she stood, "But it does mean that dinners ready!"