He pulled up to The Vinyl Edge to get ready for the day with a smile. The last five weeks had been amazing despite everything that had happened. His Princess was getting better, yes, she was still learning how to use her new leg, but she had accepted it and was now looking into college for a new career. On top of that, their marriage, damn if it wasn’t better than ever! He never knew he could be so damn satisfied with sex that he was physically tired… but that’s what he was. Hence, the smile that never left his face.
He whistled in the early morning hours, remembering his morning sendoff, and chuckled with keys in hand as he unlocked the door. He pulled it open and glanced up at the little ballet studio where his Princess used to dance, and his smile finally fell. He walked in with a sigh and walked into the back room and turned on his office light. His thoughts turned back to Jojo, sitting at the table looking over classes at the community college. He remembered when she had thought about teaching ballet when she was done with her career and wanted to start a family. It was right then, thinking back, he saw that she wasn’t as happy at looking at the college classes that he thought she might have been.
He sat down at his desk and ran his hands over his face as the guilt that he had tried to shake off from what happened to his wife came right back, hitting him in his gut. He sat back in the chair, not knowing what to do, or what he could say to help Jojo find something new that she would be happy with. He wanted to see what was out there for her, but some invoices had to be done first. He saw the sun starting to rise, then switched on the computer and began to get to work.
The morning went on and soon Pauly, and Sabrina, along with the new employee, Rick, showed up. New boxes came in, and he was going through them when he got a call from Frank. “What’s up, Frank?” He asked, checking off the vintage records.
“I’m on my way home from your place and didn’t know if you knew that Jojo was looking at going back to school?”
“Yeah, she has been looking at things for the last couple days. Why did something happen?” He asked, stopping what he was doing and walking back into his office and putting Frank on speaker.
“No, nothing bad, or anything like that. But she did seem really frustrated by it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when I came over, she was trying to stretch like she did when she was dancing,” Frank explained.
Owen fell into his chair. “And… was she having a hard time with it?” He asked, imagining the worst.
“Not as bad as you might think. She was trying to make her leg move the way she wanted, but she worked really hard at it. It’s been a while since I’d seen that kind of determination in her.” Frank said. “When I asked what she was doing, she said that even though she can’t dance anymore, she wanted to keep somethings in her life before everything happened.”
“Well, that might be good for her. It shows that she really wants to move on.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. I just wish there was a way she could still dance, that’s all.” Frank sighed. “Oh, and just a heads up. I was invited over for dinner tonight.”
“Cool, I’ll see you later then.”
“I just wanted to let you know that something is up with our girl.”
“How do you know? Did she say something else to you?” He asked.
“No, she didn’t. But she wanted me to come over for dinner. Kind of pushed the point is all.”
“Okay, well, thanks for the update. I’ll see you tonight.” He answered and then hung up. Only a minute after that, there was a knock on the door. “Yeah, come in.”
Sabrina strolled in with her newly cut hair that was electric purple and now short, smacking on her gum. “Hey, boss man. I wanted to remind you that I won’t be here this Saturday and the new girl Marla is starting that day.”
“Yeah, thanks. I got it down.” He mumbled, staring at the top of his desk. But Sabrina walked over, jumped up on the desk, and snapped her fingers in front of his face. “What the hell are you doing?” He growled.
“Making you snap out of it.” She explained as her hands went flying up in the air. “If you want to do something to help Jojo, don’t just sit here worrying about it… get your ass up and do something about it!”
“Eavesdropping again?” He said with a shake of his head.
“Look, I saw something a couple days ago and wanted to show you, but didn’t know if it was my place. But now, that I see you all moody and grumpy, well, I’m going to show you anyways. Because I can’t stand pansy asses.” She sighed, taking out her cell. She scrolled through something and then held her phone out with a video that was starting to play. It was a woman, she was missing a leg, but she was dancing. It wasn’t ballet, but it was some kind of funky impressionist dancing… but she was dancing all the same.
“Holy shit.” He murmured as he watched.
“Yeah, that’s what I said to.” Sabrina chuckled, then switched the video to another one. This time it was a ballet dancer. The woman was just practicing, but she was dancing all the same if anyone asked him. “If Jojo wants to dance, I think she still can.” She shrugged.
Owen fell back in his seat and ran his hand over his mouth, thinking. “Do you think she would think this is something she could do for a living.” He asked, but more to himself than to Sabrina. “She was looking at becoming a teacher last night. But I’m not sure that’s something she’d like in the long run when I think about it.”
“Well, why not teach ballet to children with disabilities? I mean, wasn’t she teaching kids at the studio across the way?” Sabrina asked.
Owen’s head shot up, and a grin grew on his face. “That’s a great idea!” He chuckled, but then stopped. “But Jojo might not see it like that. She can dance, but she’ll think I’m nuts in thinking she can make it into a career.”
“Well, that’s not my department. She’s your wife, you talk her into it, and make her see the possibilities. Like maybe starting her own dance studio and having it in her own building.” Sabrina laughed.
“Yeah, I know… but,” Then he had an idea and switched his computer back on and started looking up properties. “Do you think an old building could work for a studio?”
“You mean like the gorgeous one downtown that’s for sale?” Sabrina smiled.
“Yeah, just like that.” He smiled back, writing down a number, then glanced back up at Sabrina. “Tell Pauly I’m going to be out the rest of the day… I’ve got somethings to get done.”
Sabrina jumped off his desk and then gave him a half-assed kind of salute. “You got it, boss!”
“Get your ass out of here.” He chuckled, but before she walked out the door, “Hey, Sabrina… thanks.”
She stopped and smiled before rolling her eyes. “I like Jojo better then I like you.” She shrugged and then, “You’re very welcome.”
He grinned as he dialed Frank’s number and waited for him to pick up. “What’s up, Owen?”
“I just had an idea to get Jojo back in the game.”
“I don’t understand,” Frank said.
“Don’t worry, you will. Can you meet me downtown at the old Brewers Bank in twenty?”
“Yeah, sure, I can do that.”
“Great, see you then.” Owen smiled, hanging up and getting up from his seat. He walked out into the store and to Sabrina. “Can you send me the videos. I want to show Jojo’s dad.”
“Sure.” She offered.
Owen made his way out of the building to his car with the realtor’s number ready to go in his cell. He wasn’t sure how his Princess was going to feel about his idea, but he knew dancing was the one thing she loved to do, and he might have found a way for her to still make a living at it. Now, he was just going to have to sell her on the idea of it too.
It was around six when he came home and found the house smelling good. Buddy came running down the hall, yipping. He knelt down, letting the puppy jump on him licking his hands and face. “Hey there, little man. Where’s momma?” He chuckled, getting up and headed towards the kitchen. When he turned the corner and saw his Princess standing at the stove cooking. “Smells delicious.”
Jojo turned around. “Hey baby, just finishing up dinner. Dad should be here in about thirty minutes.” She smiled. He walked over, putting his hands around her waist and then gave her a kiss while turning off the stovetop, making her giggle. “Hey, what are you doing?”
“I want to show you something.” He grinned.
“I’m sure you do… but it can wait until after dinner. Then you can show me all night.” She smiled back.
“That’s not what I meant, but I like the way your mind thinks, princess.” He growled, taking both hands and grabbing her ass. “But right now, I want you to put the food away for a little bit. I have a surprise for you.”
“And you can’t just show me here?” She asked.
“No, I can’t. I have to drive you there.”
“I already called him and told him to meet us here at eight. So, get that gorgeous ass of yours in gear, and let’s get going.” He chuckled, kissing her one more time before calling for Buddy and taking the roly-poly puppy in one arm and helping his wife with the other.
“Alright, but I’ve been planning this surprise all day long, so this better be good.” She teased.
He opened the car door for her, putting buddy in her lap and then went and got in starting the engine. “Yeah, what’s your surprise?” He asked, looking her over. “Did you decide what you wanted to take in school?” He prodded, hoping like hell that wasn’t the case… it would be hard to sell her on his idea if she had already made other plans.
“Don’t you worry about it. You’ll find out soon enough.” She laughed.
“Alright, princess, let’s get this going because now you’re making me wonder.”
The music was playing, and he was going over what he wanted to say in his head about the videos he wanted to show Jojo when he heard a chuckle, making him glance over at her.” What?”
“What do you have up your sleeve Owen English?” She asked.
“Why do you think somethings up? Maybe I just wanted to take you out.” He offered.
“Ah-uh.” She smiled with a little laugh petting Buddy who was wagging his tail, looking out the window. “But, I’ll let you think you’re Mr. Cool.”
“What do you mean you’ll let me think I’m cool. You know I’m the epitome of cool Princess.” He winked, making her laugh.
Ten minutes later, he pulled into the side parking lot next to the old brick building and turned off the car. “Well, we’re here.”
She looked around and then glanced over at him. “Why are we at the old Brewers Bank?”
“Well, let me show you.” He said, taking the puppy from her lap and putting its leash on and going over to open the door. They walked to the front of the building, and he pulled out the key. “Are you ready?”
“I guess so.” She smiled, still looking all around like this was a gag. They walked into the building, and he watched her walk around with her new leg, looking for some sort of surprise that she thought he might have stashed in a corner or something, then turned around and laughed. “What is going on? I half expected to have people jump out at me.”
His hand ran over his hair before pulling out his cell from his back pocket. “No, it’s nothing like that, Princess. But I’ll explain everything after you watch something.”
“Watch something?” She asked as he stepped closer and played the video. The young dancer, who also had a prosthetic leg, danced on the floor as others watched. They watched the entire video until the end, and then he stood back. Her eyes looked into his. “What does that have to do with this building?”
“She was dancing.”
“I know I’ve watched those kinds of videos before.” She said.
Okay, that surprised him. “You have?”
“Of course, I have. After I accepted my new life, I decided to look somethings up. But that doesn’t explain the building?” She grinned.
“Well, I guess I thought you could start your own dance studio.” He started opening his arms to the open space. “You know, teaching dancing, kids, or even others with prosthetic legs and arms, or maybe some with special needs.” He offered, but she was silent. His hand went threw his hair, again, and walked to her taking her hips in his hands. “I know I should’ve asked you about doing something like this, but I hated the look on your face when you looked through all those school courses last night. When I saw people dancing with a fake leg or arm, I knew if anyone could do something like that and make it into a career, it’s my Princess.”
Jojo didn’t say anything, she just kept looking around the room, and he was afraid he had made a huge fucking mistake. The last thing he wanted was to make her feel like he was pushing her to do something that maybe she didn’t want to do anymore. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to make you upset…” He started but was stopped when she flung her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss. When she was done, she gave him a hug. “Well, I wasn’t expecting that. But I’m going to take that as you like my idea.” He chuckled.
“I would have never have dreamed of doing something so big. I love the idea of teaching children how to dance…Thank you.” She whispered into his shirt.
He pulled back and lifted her chin with his finger. “Princess you are the bravest, and strongest woman I’ve ever met. You can do anything you put your mind to, and if you want to dance, then I know you can.” He growled and then wrapped her back in his arms and kissed her. After a minute they stopped and started walking back to the front door. “Come on, your dad will be waiting for us.” He said, but then she stopped making him stop. “What’s wrong?”
“Well, since you gave me an amazing surprise, I think it’s only fair that I give you yours.” She grinned.
That had him grin, thinking for a place to have his way with her. “Oh yeah, so what’s my surprise… and please tell me, it’s me taking you up against that wall over there.”
She took his hand and placed it on the lower part of her stomach. He looked down at her hand and then back up , seeing a beautiful smile on her face. “You’re going to be a daddy.”
“I’ve been feeling nauseous the last week and realized that I missed a period. I took a pregnancy test, and it came up positive, but I wanted to go to the doctor, just to be sure. When I went to the doctor’s office today, he said that I was and that everything looked great.”
“I’m going to be a dad…” He repeated in a daze.
“Are you not happy about this?” She asked, her smile falling.
He took her in his arms, picking her up off the floor. “Princess, I couldn’t be happier!”
“Good.” She giggled, running her fingers, threw his beard. “But there’s one more thing I wanted to tell you. But I don’t want you to panic.”
He looked her face over while she bit her lip. “What?”
“Promise not to panic?”
“You’re scaring the shit out of me, princess, just tell me.” He growled.
“Well, the doctor heard two heartbeats today.” She offered.
“We’re having twins?”
“Yes, twins. We’re not sure if they will be identical or fraternal, but there’s going to be two of them.” She whispered, placing her hand on his cheek. “Are you okay?”
“Princess I’m more than okay… I’ve got myself the most gorgeous wife a man could ask for, and she’s going to have my babies.” He growled, walking them towards a wall out of the view of the window. “Would it be wrong of me to take you right now up against this wall?”
“Baby, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She whispered, wrapping her arms around his neck. “I love you, Owen. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, princess. Always and forever.”
“All right, class. That’s all for today.” Jojo announced, clapping her hands as the young men and women moved away from the bar and walked towards their bags. “Have a great weekend. And remember that starting next week, Mrs. Parish will be your teacher while I’m out.”
The group huddled all together, making her wonder what was going on. Then one of her students, Zoe, turned around with a large bag in hand, and the rest of the group followed. “Mrs. English, we all pitched in to get this for you,” Zoe said, handing Jojo the bag with a stork holding a baby in a blue blanket.
“Thank you, but you really didn’t have to.” She smiled.
“We know, but we wanted to.” Her student James laughed. “So, open it up!” He urged, making the rest of the class agree.
“Okay, okay.” Jojo laughed, putting the bag on the ground and untying the bow and pulling out a beautiful quilt made in miss-matched fabric. Each patch of the material was one of her student’s name in the corner of it. “Oh, my goodness, you guys… it’s simply gorgeous. I love it. Thank you.” She smiled, wiping a tear that started to fall. Those pregnancy hormones were really at work on her.
“We thought you might like a nice blanket to take to the hospital.” Daniel offered.
She nodded her head. “It’s exactly what I needed. Thank you all so much. You’re the best students a teacher could ever ask for.” She smiled as all the girls came and gave her a hug, and then even the boys managed to give her a hug as well.
Soon, she was all alone and turned to the mirror’s side, seeing the gigantic baby belly in the black leotard and lovingly caressed it. “Pretty soon, little man, pretty soon.” She smiled, feeling the heel of the baby’s foot trying to push out the side of her stomach.
The sound of barking and babies laughing caught her attention. She saw Owen coming in with a dog leash in one hand, burger bags in the next, and a little girl on each hip dressed up in pink leotards, tutu’s, and ballet slippers, their wispy white-blond hair in short pigtails. “Hey Princess, sorry we’re late. Buddy got into one of the bags, and I had to go back to get June a chicken nugget meal.”
Jojo bent over petting poor Buddy, who was hiding behind her legs. “Did you eat June’s lunch, young man?” She laughed, getting a wagging tail in return.
“Oh yeah, he did… bag and all. It should be fun tonight when he has to go out.” Owen chuckled, putting down their three-year-old identical twin girls, June and Josie, as they both came running over to her wanting a hug.
She knelt down, giving the girls a kiss and then picking up Josie while Owen put the girl’s lunch on the corner’s small table. She put Josie in one chair, and Owen picked up June and put her in the other. Buddy sniffed around the table, waiting for the French fries that were inevitably going to end up on the floor for him to eat.
While Owen got his and her lunch ready, Jojo leaned up against the wall, her hands around her big belly and the next little member of their family, and started to tear up. She would never have thought that she could be this happy. Could find a career that she was passionate about after losing her leg. That she would have a man who loved her so much that he’d give her the world if she asked for it. And standing there watching that same man take care of two baby girls, who he, himself dressed in pink, she wiped a tear from her face.
Owen glanced up, and the grin on his face fell, and he hurried over, and his hand went to her belly as he looked her over. “What’s wrong, princess?”
“Nothing.” She said, but couldn’t explain the feeling of absolute love and happiness she felt when she saw him and their girls. Instead, her hand went to his face, she got on her tippy toes to give him a kiss and then, “I’m just so happy. You make me so happy, Owen.” She sniffed as more tears started to fall. “Thank you, thank you for giving me everything I ever dreamed of.”
His thumbs came up and wiped away some of the tears. “Ah, princess, that goes double for me.”
Did you enjoy my ongoing story so far? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Jennifer L ByarsWrite a Review