Loose Ends

Love Struck

Amy walked into Dr. Hightower's office and signed John in for his appointment. She set John down near the toys and quietly watched him play as she thought about how much easier her life seemed lately. In the month and a half since she'd been home she'd been meeting with Lauren and Madison every other Sunday to have lunch or just hang out. Since the three of them had agreed to reduce the drama in their lives they quit gossiping about their other friends and other people in general and simply talked about themselves, their lives, and their future goals and dreams; the three friends had never been closer than they were now. The Juergens family was also closer than they had been since Amy and Ashley were younger. With herself and her parents busy with work and life, dinner had become a great way for them all to keep in touch. They had progressed beyond just nightly dinners though. Some nights Anne, George, Amy and Ashley would watch a movie together after the boys were put to bed for the night or they'd play board games. Amy smiled to herself. Yes, she and Ashley may seem a little old to be playing board games with their parents but they actually had a lot of fun and it gave them all an excuse to act silly. Amy enjoyed these nights with her parents and sister because she felt like a normal teenager and not just a teen mom. On Sundays when Amy wasn't hanging out with her girlfriends or having lunch with Margaret they all ate a picnic lunch at the park or did something else as a family; Amy and Ashley both enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with their little brother on these occasions.

Amy had also spent some time talking on the phone with Grace and once in a while Grace came over and they just hung out in Amy's room and talked. Grace was on her way to becoming a close friend but it was still going to take some time. Amy giggled as John squealed with delight while putting little colored balls fall down a spiral shoot and watching them shoot out the bottom. He smirked when the balls came out. Just like his daddy Amy thought and her thoughts traveled to her relationship with Ricky. They had gotten really close in a short amount of time. They talked, a lot, at their weekly dinners and during their outings with John. Amy now knew more about Ricky than just pieces of information. She had learned to read his body language and decipher his different tones of voice. She had a better understanding of how his mind worked and could read his emotions more easily as well. And she knew he could do the same for her and that didn't bother her. They had quickly reached a point where they were such good friends they could finish each other's sentences and tell what the other was thinking more often than not. Amy couldn't help but laugh at the situation, causing John to look in her direction before returning his focus back to his little colored balls, thinking that his mommy was just making noises for no reason. Just a month and a half ago she had plans to become Ricky Underwood's friend and now he was one of her best friends. How did that happen so quickly she wondered as the nurse called her and John's names. Amy scooped up her son and followed the nurse into one of the exam rooms. She set John on the examining table and removed his shoes. Dr. Hightower walked in a few moments later.

"Hello, Amy. Hello, John," she greeted each of them in turn. John smiled back.

"Hi, Dr. Hightower."

"And how's this little guy doing today?"

"Happy and full of energy as usual," Amy told her with a smile.

"Well let's see how much you've grown big guy," she said to John and put him on a scale to check his weight. Once she wrote it down she proceeded to perform the rest of John's annual checkup; John squirmed a little as she checked his ears because he was a little ticklish. "Well, John's developing just fine, Amy. In fact, this little guys off the charts in terms of height and reflexes. He's gonna be a tall, athletic young man someday," she told Amy while tickling John's belly, causing him to laugh. Dr. Hightower looked at her records and then turned to Amy. "He needs a booster shot and then he's all set for another year." Amy nodded as Dr. Hightower typed some notes into a computer. Amy and John waved goodbye and headed to the immunization area. Everything was fine until John felt a cool sensation on his arm. He squirmed, trying to see what it was but Amy, knowing it was best to keep John distracted, had turned his head and held it firmly against her chest before the nurse began cleaning his arm for the needle. Amy waited until the nurse had put a Band-Aid on John's arm before she let go of his head. A crisis averted, Amy made her way out to the parking lot to head back to work.

The rest of the day passed by uneventfully and then it was time to go home and have dinner with the fam. Tonight's dinner was salad, chicken cordon blue, broccoli with cheese, and garlic bread. The boys got baked chicken since neither of them really liked the taste of the cordon blue filling yet. After another pleasant meal and the family working together to clean the table and clean up the dishes, the boys were put to bed and everyone dispersed throughout the house. George and Ashley decided to watch TV for a while and Anne went to start a load of laundry; Amy went to take a shower. As she showered Amy continued thinking about how much simpler her life seemed to be now that she'd decided to keep the drama in her life low. At the moment the only 'drama' she had was her and Lauren's joint efforts to occasionally console Madison when she felt like pouting that her dad still didn't like Jack as much as she wanted him too. Amy shook her head in amusement at her best friend. You gotta give her an 'A' for perseverance. Amy finished her shower, dried off, and made her way to her bedroom to get dressed. She was sitting on her bed combing out her hair when her phone buzzed. Her stomach was instantly filled with butterflies and an ear-to-ear grin came over her face when she saw that Ricky was calling.

"Hey, Ricky," she said cheerfully. Ricky could hear her happiness and laughed.

"Hey, Amy. So I take it you had a good day?" he asked her amusedly. She giggled.

"It was okay; nothing too exciting. What about you?"

"Same here. So how'd John's checkup go?"

"Good. Our little man's got a clean bill of health and Dr. Hightower predicts he's gonna be tall and athletic if his height and reflexes keep progressing like they are."

"He gets that from his daddy," Ricky said proudly, causing Amy to laugh.

"Yes, he does."

"So I was thinking we could take John to the beach on Saturday. What do you think?"

"Sounds good. Are you sure it won't be too chilly that late in the afternoon though?"

"That's something I wanted to run by you."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. Why don't we take John before his nap for a couple of hours, to tire the little guy out, and then we just hang out at my place and talk or watch a movie or something while he naps?" Ricky held his breath, hoping against hope Amy would say yes.

"Sure. That sounds like fun. What time should I meet you at your apartment?"

"How about I pick up John from my mom's then come by and get you, say around 12:30?"

"Okay. I'll be ready." Ricky inwardly breathed a sigh of relief and tried to keep his excitement from coming across in his voice.

"Okay. See you tomorrow, Amy."

"Okay. Night Ricky." After ending the call Amy flopped down on her bed with a stupid grin on her face. What's the matter with me? We've been talking on the phone for almost two years now and I see him several times a week. Why do I suddenly feel all giggly when he calls me? And why do I feel so happy just knowing I'm going to see him tomorrow? Amy shook her head and finished getting ready for bed. She climbed under her covers and drifted off to sleep thinking about Ricky.

"Ricky!" Amy called up the stairs. "You're gonna be late for work if you don't get down here soon." She placed a ham and cheese omelet on a plate for him and added a serving of hash browns. She carried his plate and hers to the kitchen table before walking to the kitchen island and retrieving their glasses of apple juice. John was already seated and was halfway through his breakfast when Ricky came practically running down the stairs.

"Sorry, sweetie. I couldn't find my phone," Ricky explains, setting his phone on the counter. "Turns out it fell off the nightstand sometime last night and bounced under the bed." He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before sitting down to eat his breakfast.

"Daddy, canbego foo da perk?" John asked around a mouthful of food.

"It's rude to talk with your mouth full, John," Amy slightly scolded him, taking a bite of her omelet. John swallowed and tried again.

"Can we go to the park today after you get off work?" Ricky looked at Amy and she nodded.

"Sure, buddy," Ricky assured his son. He finished his breakfast and put his plate in the sink. He grabbed his keys off the hook by the back door and his phone off the counter. He walked back over to John and gave him a kiss on the top of his head before turning to Amy and leaning down to kiss her on the lips. She kissed him back with a smile. "Have a good day, sweetie. I love you."

"I love you too, Ricky. Have a good day at work." Ricky smiled and headed out the door to the butcher shop, Amy's words still repeating in his mind. I love you too, Ricky.

Ricky opened his eyes and realized he'd been dreaming again but for once he smiled as he remembered it. This time he was with Amy and they were both happy; happy and in love with each other. Across town Amy had opened her eyes and realized she'd been dreaming too and smiled in the darkness, the words she and her dream Ricky had exchanged still floating in her mind. I love you he had said. I love you too, Ricky she had said. Suddenly realization hit Amy like a ton of bricks. She turned onto her stomach and squealed into her pillow. I'm in love with Ricky Underwood! The two teenagers both drifted back to sleep with smiles on their faces and happiness in their hearts, completely unaware that they had both just had the exact same dream.

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