We all went to bed with somewhat heavy hearts. I did my best to go to sleep, but it never came. After tossing and turning for a couple hours, I admitted defeat and walked downstairs to get a glass of water. When I passed through the living room to go back upstairs, I saw someone sitting on the couch. I walked over and sat next to him.
“Couldn’t sleep either?” I asked.
Asa shook his head. “Nope.”
“What’s kept you awake?” I asked.
“A lot is changing for us and it’s a bit overwhelming,” Asa said.
“That is true, it can be overwhelming. But think about how much better your life is going to be. You’ll be able to put the girls in school next year, you’ll be able to get your diploma and then take college classes, and you’ll even be able to carry out that surprise that you’ve been talking about,” I said. Asa had told me about this surprise a couple weeks ago, when he turned 18. He said that he had been contemplating it for a while, but he had never been able to even think about it, given the circumstances. But now all that was needed was a signature. And he was planning on giving this surprise to the girls on their birthday. I was excited for them, and excited to see what their new life had in store for them.
“I’m going to miss being around you all the time,” Asa said, looking at me. “And I know the girls will too.”
“I’m going to miss you guys too,” I said, rubbing a hand up and down Asa’s back soothingly. I laid my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes, thinking about the next few months and what they would bring. Before I knew it, I had drifted off to sleep.
I woke up the next morning to gentle poking.
“Morgan, wake up,” I heard a small voice say. I slowly opened my eyes to see Ellie and Lizzie kneeling by the couch I had fallen asleep on.
“You’re finally awake!” Lizzy said. “We’ve been trying to wake you up for a loooooong time,” she said, plopping on her heels and throwing her head back in fake exhaustion.
“Oh, don’t exaggerate, Liz. It’s only been a couple of minutes,” Ellie said. “Anyway, how did you guys fall asleep down here?” It was then that I realized that Asa was still next to me, his head resting on the back of the couch and light snores coming out of his mouth.
“I don’t know, El. I guess we were both very tired,” I said. Then, without warning, Lizzie jumped on Asa, shaking him violently.
“Asa, Asa, Asa, Asa,” she sang. “Wake up, wake up, wake up!” he groaned and lifted his head.
“Why are you being so loud?” he asked, his voice husky from having just woken up.
“We’re excited. We get to move into our new house today!” Lizzie said. “But first, Linda said we need to eat a good breakfast, and buy some new clothes, and maybe eat some ice cream! I want ice cream!” I smiled at Lizzie’s enthusiasm and got off the couch.
“Okay, Liz, I’ll go get ready,” I said, grabbing Asa’s arm and hauling him after me. He groaned all the way upstairs, complaining that he was tired, and I just laughed at him and told him to get dressed.
The rest of the day was filled with shopping for a whole new wardrobe for the Gallaghers, and ice cream, much to the twins’ delight. When the four of us finally made it to the apartment, it was already 6:00. Asa and I told the girls to go take a shower. They were excited, because they had gotten to pick out the shower curtain today at the mall while we were shopping, because we had somehow forgotten about that when we were shopping for the apartment.
Asa and I collapsed on the couch, exhausted.
“I have an idea,” Asa said.
“What?” I asked.
“What if we have a sleepover here tonight, so that we can help the girls get used to sleeping in an odd place?” Asa suggested.
“Sure!” I said. “But are you sure it’s the girls that need settling?” I teased.
“Yes, I’m sure,” he said, shoving me lightly on the arm. I smiled at him.
“O…. kay,” I said. Asa mock-glared at me.
“You don’t believe me? You don’t believe your own boyfriend?” He pretended to be offended.
“Mmm…. not really,” I said. Then I laughed. “I’m just teasing you!”
“It still hurt,” Asa said, sniffing back fake tears. I laughed again.
“I’ll be back in half an hour. I’m going to go get clothes,” I said. I walked to my house and grabbed clothes, my toothbrush, a pillow, my laptop, and a sleeping bag. I stuffed it all into a huge tote bag and walked back to the Gallaghers’ apartment, where the twins informed me that Asa was in the shower. I played with the twins on the floor of their bedroom while we waited for Asa. When he came into the room, he suggested that we watch TV, and I pulled out my computer and plugged it in. We laid on the floor watching TV until we heard the soft snores of the girls. We quietly put the girls in their bed and then laid in our respective sleeping bags.
“Night, Asa,” I said.
“Night, Morgan. I love you.”
“Love you too.”