chapter 29 the one where Louis remembers
Louis ignored the person. He was pissed! This wasn’t lunch with the family! This was a gathering! A gathering for the engagement, although Max hadn’t officially propose to Kailey. As yet. He was about to purchase a ring when Louis intervened. They were bombarded with a million questions. The guest list was the worst! Which friends or family or coworkers to invite? Did they want a registry complete before the engagement party? And should they include it in the invitation? Did they want one person or two different people to plan the engagement and the wedding? And what colour were they thinking about? They’re noisy and the music is too loud! Where was his fiancee? He wanted to leave. It’s hard to remember to speak slowly and flat. Their accent has so much difference in it compared to his English-speaking tongue.
“Hey max. Wait up!” a masculine voice called out!
Max? Right. He was Max. Max was him. Whatever!
He turned towards the person. Max’s brother. Louis knew everything about Max so he was relaxed when it came to anyone who knew him before.
“Hey. Did you think about it? ”
“Geez . About coming on board. ”
Shit! He has Max’s memories from before but not about this conversation! This is too recent. He’s easy to tap into Max’s brain to fish it out but the there’s a catch. In order to do that he would have to allow him to come out. Of course he would still be in control but then Max would be aware of what’s happening! That’s how he knew about Max’s family and where he lived to go and get a change of clothing and supplies when Kailey was getting married. He knew exactly how it felt to lose loved ones! Max had seen her in her wedding dress and Louis felt his pain and love at the same time.
He had almost considered letting him back out to stop the wedding as he heard Max screaming and begging him to do so! Louis felt his pain as his own but still he refused! Max fought but Louis was stronger. It could also be the moment she said her vows to the groom that’s when Louis felt Max’s heart broke! He felt everything! Excruciatingly painful but it all went away when he gave up and let Louis take over.
One slip and Max would be stronger. He wasn’t taking that chance! He would have to wing it.
“Yea man. I’m on board.”
" Are you serious? Did you tell dad? ”
“Uh no. Not yet.” He sipped his drink.
Nate slaps his shoulder. Then pulls him into a hug as Max’s mother made her way towards them. Nate released him and placed one of his arms around his mother’s waist and the other hand in his pants pocket. She give a huge smile.
“Mum. Max is joining us.” Her smile grew wider!
What the hell was happening?
"James! Max is coming home!” Her husband was walking towards them.
I was going home? Well Max ? He was moving home? With Kailey? What about the beach house. That was their home! Where was Kailey anyway?
James slapped his shoulder too and had the same big grin on his face.
“Good son. I was hoping you would come around eventually.” He turns around and looks into the crowded backyard.
“Where’s Doris? Nate..” James turns back towards Nate, ” Set up a meeting on Monday. Is Monday good for you son?” He turns back towards Louis.
“Uh yea. Sure.” What was Kailey? She would know what was happening. She could explain it to him.
He hated crowds! Noise. Noise. People talking to him that he didn’t want to talk to and having to pretend and smile with them. Useless and unimportant conversations. He was getting a headache! It was almost six in the evening and he needed to leave here! And where the fuck was Kailey? He hasn’t seen her in almost an hour! He walked towards the direction of the cooler and took out another beer clicking it open with his teeth glancing around. Nowhere in sight. Louis feels his head spinning. The beer wasn’t helping. He felt someone tug at his elbow. He glances around and his stomach almost slams into the ground!
He stares at the boy!
His son’s name is Liam!
A split of a second later he knew it was Max’s nephew but he had no idea he would resemble his son so much! So much that it triggered a flash memory! Louis is astonished! He touched the boy’s face expecting more flashes. Nothing. Just that! Contain yourself Louis he tells himself.
“Hey uncle Max?” said the seventeen year old.
" Hey there sport. What can I help you with? ” He was getting this family thing down really well! He could feel it!
“Um. You can’t tell mum.”
“If it’s important, I gotta tell her Jer. ” Look at him sounding like a true family man! He must have been a great dad! He was. He felt it...he was a great dad.
“No. It’s about Lacey! Promise!”
Ah Lacey. Max’s direct neighbour! Max’s memory is of a ten year old.
“Lacey Lacey?” he questions .
Jeremy nodded. Ah. Lacey would be Jeremy’s age now. Well well. He could almost guess what he was gonna say. He’s been naughty and done a bit more than just snog!
“Jer. Did you use protection?”
The boy blushed. A crimson red!
“Come on, don’t bottle it,” he tried to encourage him to talk.
“Yea but her period is late.”
" Shit Jeremy! ”
“Would you be quiet!” Jeremy looked around , ” Mom will hear you!”
Louis thinks back to when his wife was pregnant at seventeen. He was barely eighteen and they got married immediately. Both their parents were very supportive! He had his other son at twenty-one! What to tell him here? His situation was different, his girl loved him and he her. They were together since sixteen.
“How late?” He has concern in his voice as he pats his shoulder. Louis isn’t sure if it’s his feelings or Max’s right now but he wants to give good advise. Jeremy looks so scared that Louis vows to help the boy no matter what he has to do! Jeremy sits on one of the wooden benches and covers his face with both palms. He presses on his eyes with his finger tips. His voice is slightly muffled because of his hands over his mouth but Louis heard him clearly.
“A week. She’s scared. Me too.”
A week! He almost laughed. He was worried about nothing.
“Is she keeping it if she is?” The boy places his hands on his lap and stares at the ground. ”
“Abortion? Or adoption?”
Jeremy looks up at him then. He gives him a cold stare.
“I’ll do what she wants. ”
“And what does she want Jeremy?”
Jeremy’s mouth tightened.
Louis lets out a long breath.
“And you came to me because you think I’ll help you with an abortion?”
Jeremy stares at him for a while until tears ran out of his eyes and he again bends his head and covers his face with his hands. Louis allows him for a minute before he spoke. He likes this kid. He wants to be responsible and that’s a great trait to have. Louis admires that. He doesn’t support abortions. At least not in cases like this but there were exceptions in difficult situations!
“Jeremy... Budge up.” Louis takes the seat next to him and took another sip of his beer.
“I once knew someone who was in the same position as you are now. You know what he did?”
“He married her.”
Jeremy looks up and dried his tears.
“I could do that.”
Damn! He really liked this kid. He’s punished him enough. Louis taps Jeremy on his knee.
“Jeremy if the condom didn’t tear and you didn’t spill out of it, relax. It’s not one hundred percent guaranteed that it won’t happen but relax.”
Most teenagers and beginners were clumsy enough to mess up the condom usage. He did!
“And she’s probably just stressed that’s why her period is late.”
“Really?” Jeremy’s eyes lit up.
“I’m just stressing her?” he was still smiling.
" Erm. Well ...no...not you stressing her. She could be worried about anything. ” What to teenagers worry about? ” An exam perhaps? Or maybe just as you, she’s afraid she’ll get pregnant too? ”
Didn’t they teach this in school theses days? He watched Jeremy think a bit before his face brightens and he exclaims,“Yes we do have an exam!”
“Relax buddy. It’s all good. After a month then you worry when it skips a second time. You can always take a test in the first week now.”
How could they not know this? Panic. He knows. He panicked too.
“Thanks uncle Max.”
Jeremy give him a fist bump. Right... Max. Not him.
“Don’t tell mum or dad. Or anyone!” Jeremy warned him.
Louis smiled as he saw a frightened looking Lacey watching them from the other side of the lawn. He should have lectured her too!
Jeremy got up and started to walk towards her. He turned around after two steps, “Hey uncle Max, what happened to them after they got married?”
“They were happy with the decision Jeremy. Had another kid too.”
Jeremy beams. The little guy was in love with Lacey! He was his son’s age too so Louis feels the natural bond with him. It takes Louis a full minute of thinking about his son and his past with his wife to realize that he remembers them!
He had an entire conversation remembering and talking about his wife and didn’t realize it!
Rebecca! His wife!
And Liam and Luke their sons!