VII. Two Crystal
I scratched my neck.
“Mommy. I told you to take better bathes, or else more bugs will bite you,” Crystal said.
I pat her head, “Yes. Yes. Bed bugs. I’ll clean better from now on.”
She shook her head, “I am the only one in the house who takes good bathes. Daddy is dirty too.”
I look at Emerson and snicker, “Yeah. Daddy is a dirty, dirty man.”
Emerson tucks his lips into his mouth to hide the devious grinned that desperately desires to surface.
Crystal poked Emerson’s stomach, “Bad daddy.”
I poke his other side, “Bad daddy.”
Emerson slid down his chair, “Bad daddy,” he said in a dulled voice.
Crystal poked him.
I poked him.
Crystal did it again.
Emerson stood up, “Thank goodness! Let’s go.” He threw the backpack over his shoulders. “Come on. Let’s go.”
I placed my arms in the air and wiggled my fingers, “Emmy.”
Emerson supported me.
Crystal did the same thing. “Daddy.”
Emerson exhaled and carried her in his arms.
Crystal squealed and kissed his cheek several times, “Daddy. Unicorn wants candy.”
“Unicorn can get candy after the flight,” I said. I held a hand behind my back and grabbed the bag.
Crystal flapped her limbs. “But-”
I gathered all our identifications. “But nothing. Put her down Emerson. She needs to carry her own stuff.”
Emerson puts down Crystal. I hand Crystal her unicorn backpack. She shrugged it on, and I pulled up her hood. I really want to tear off the horn.
She folded her arms and pouted, “Why can’t we ride in Uncle Matt’s private jet?”
“Because it’s his jet and not ours,” I said. I gave Emerson the papers and spread my hand. Crystal grabbed it. “It’s your uncle and aunt stuff, not ours.”
Crystal wiggled her body, but she still walked with us. “Why aren’t we rich?”
“Because we’re poor,” I respond.
“Why are we poor?”
“Because of tax.”
“What is tax?”
“Something the government takes out of your parents’ checks to make sure we don’t get rich.”
“What are checks?”
“Something you used to buy all your unicorns.”
Crystal gasps, “Am I the reason why we’re poor?”
I look down, “You finally got it.”
Crystal pouted and clung to my leg, “Are you going to get rid of me?”
“Depends on the day.”
Emerson hands the service worker our flight ticket.
“Have a good fight,” she said.
We made our way towards the plane.
“I want a window seat!” Crystal said. “Mommy! Daddy! I want a window seat!”
I groan lightly while Crystal repeatedly asks about getting the window seat.
Passed the first class, into business, and then economy.
Finally, we got to our seats. Emerson lifted Crystal and settled her beside the window. “Yay!”
He sat in the middle with me beside him. He knows I would use the bathroom, and the last thing I want to do is climb over my husband every hour or two.
“Did you call your boss?” I asked Emerson.
“Yeah. He’s fine with it. Just need to work overtime when I get back.” He gave me a tired smile.
Steadily, I move his hair to the side with my fingers, “My hard-working man.”
Since I’m on maternity leave, I don’t have to worry about work. Emerson works in a factory. It’s hard work, but the people there are friendly.
He laughs, “I’m kidding. He told us to have a good time.” Emerson rubbed my stomach, “And try not to have an international baby.”
I’m surprised they allow me to fly while I’m this pregnant.
Crystal pops her head forward, “Mommy. Can I have juice?”
“Auntie Nina gave me juice when I fly with her.”
I grinned, “Then, you can be Auntie Nina’s daughter. Here, let me call your aunt.”
Crystal’s eyes widened, “No. No.”
“Why not? Don’t you want brothers?”
Crystal sticks out her tongue, “Yuck.”
“Unicorn,” Emerson said. “Your mom might be pregnant with a boy.” We decided not to reveal the gender of the baby.
“You may get a baby brother.”
Crystal smirk, “Daddy. Unicorn is getting a little sister.”
Emerson’s face paled, “Oh, golly.”
“Oh golly gosh,” Crystal said with a grin before she snuggled into Emerson’s arm. “I can’t wait to play tea party with my new baby sister. We can be unicorns together and fight the carpet monster!”
Crystal looked up, “Isn’t it great daddy? It’s like having two Crystal!”
Emerson placed a hand over his chest, “Oh. Yay.” There isn’t any enthusiasm in his voice.
“You know,” I said. “If you get a baby sister. You’re going to have to share all your unicorns with her.”
Crystal’s eyes widen, “No!”
I plant my hands over my cheeks, “Yes!”
“Not my unicorns!”
“Yes, your unicorns!”
Crystal pouted, “Is this the part where you get rid of me because I make us poor?”
I nod slowly, “Yes, baby. That’s why we’re flying to Spain. We’re leaving you-”
Emerson pinched my cheek, “Stop messing with her. Look, she’s about to cry.”
The tears dripped down Crystal’s red cheeks, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make us poor.” She climbs over Emerson’s lap. “You don’t have to buy unicorn candy anymore. Please, don’t leave me.”
Emerson shot me a glare.
I place two hands up and look away.
“Don’t worry,” Emerson said softly. “Daddy and mommy won’t leave you.”
She looks up, “You won’t leave me in Spain?”
He shook his head, “We will never leave unicorn.”
“Never ever leave me?”
Crystal burst into a smile and peck Emerson’s lips. It’s obvious who is the favorite parent between us. I watched as Emerson grinned before he blew a raspberry into Crystal’s neck. I couldn’t help but burst into a smile when I heard their laughter.
Soon, it was time for the plane to take off.
And it was time to spend thirteen hours inside a narrowed space with strangers.
Throughout the flight, I find myself passed out, then awake only to pass out again. And whenever I woke up, I would go to the bathroom.
Crystal was engrossed in a movie, but eventually, she fell asleep.
Emerson fell asleep the moment the lights turned off.
The only time he woke up was when they served the meals. I watched as the duo gobbled up all the food and then fell back asleep.
And when I woke up for the infinite amount of time, I released a yawn. I grabbed the blanket and pulled it over Crystal’s shoulders. She curled herself into a ball and smacked her lips a few times. When Emerson adjusted himself, the blanket fell off. I pulled it back up and adjusted the pillow on his neck.
His lips spread into a smile.
I couldn’t help but kiss his cheek before I settled down on my chair.
I couldn’t sleep anymore.
Engrossed in the movie, I picked up the water and sipped on it. I pressed a button on my phone to check the time. When I clicked it off, I noticed someone suspicious.
I turned my head, and our eyes caught one another.
Immediately, he turned his head.
I turned back around and held back the weird feeling.
Once the plane landed, it was time to get out. My eyes would constantly flicker against the man behind us while Emerson got our luggage. I watched as he grabbed his black bag and left.
When his body disappeared, I released a deep breath.
It must be my imagination.
Emerson grabbed a sleepy Crystal. “What’s wrong?”
I shook my head, “It’s nothing.”
After the flight and car ride, we got to the beach house.
“Hey!” Tyler shouted. “Late as always, aren’t you, baby sister!”
I flipped him off while Emerson grabbed the luggages. Tyler came over and helped him. “How are you Emerson?”
Emerson smiled, “Good. And you?”
Tyler pats his shoulder, “Always warm, aren’t you?”
Emerson isn’t precisely the conversational type. He’s the guy who would stand in the corner and chuckle once in a while when he heard something funny. Other than that, he doesn’t talk much.
“Please, don’t tell me we’re staying in the same house,” I said.
Tyler brought his arm over my shoulder, “You don’t have to beg.”
When I got inside, Vinny and Martin were on the couch. “Hey boys,” I said. Emerson carried Crystal upstairs since she was still asleep.
They went towards us for hugs. “Hi Auntie Piper and Uncle Emerson,” they replied.
“Sarah!” I hugged her.
“How was the flight here?”
I shrugged, “Meh.”
“Where’s everyone else?”
“They’re in the other beach houses.”
As Sarah said, everyone is in the other houses besides ours. My family is staying with Tyler, Sarah, and their sons. My older brother, Ben, and his family are staying with mom. My younger brothers’ families are staying with each other. But, eventually, everyone will find their way into each other place.
“There’s something else,” Sarah whispered. Her eyes flicker towards the stairs before she dragged me towards the corner of the room.
I chuckled slowly, “What is it?”
“Someone else is also here.”
Sarah exhales, “Your dad and his family.”