Chapter Nine - Baby, I'll Carry You

She woke up in the guest room. As she lay there staring up at the ceiling, she knew that she had to figure out what had happened. She was just, so, tired and didn't feel like doing anything. Except stare at the ceiling as if it had all the answers. She was so focused on deciphering the ceiling's bumpy and dotty code that she didn't hear Cole come in until he gently sat on the edge of the bed.

"Hey," he whispered.

Still staring at the ceiling she whispered back, "Morning."

Cole smiled, "Yeah, more like afternoon, sweetheart."

"Huh?" she looked around until her eyes landed on the alarm clock sitting on the nightstand reading 1:47 in orange LED. "Oh."

"Yeah, oh."

She glanced at him. "I'm sorry."

"What the ever for?" he replied, somehow not sounding like a grandmother when he said it. That was one of things Allison remembers he'd always been good at: saying the most grandmotherly things you could think of and being able to sound completely genuine. Because he was genuine, he was always genuine.

"That I slept in so late," she replied wiping her face and rubbing her eyes. She'd hissed whenever she'd accidentally rubbed a bruise or scratch too hard. And she hated seeing Cole grimace every time.

"Don't worry about it, I slept in kinda late too." Allison knew that late for Cole was more like nine in the morning than one in the afternoon.

Allison sat up more and looked at her hands. They were a little banged up too, like she tried to defend herself against something... or someone. "Where's Michelle?"


"Right." She nodded.

He shifted on the bed, "So... you hungry?"

"Yeah," she smiled watching Cole stand up and walk towards the bedroom door.

"What would you like?" he laughed as he noticed Ellie eyes getting wider.

"Grilled cheese-"

"With bacon," he nodded smiling knowingly at her.

"You always made them way better than me," she said getting out of bed and going over to the small closet to find something to wear.

Cole snorted, "You're the one that freaked when I said I'd never had a grilled cheese sandwich before! How can I make them better when I learned how to do it from you?"

Allison shot him back a smile, "Okay first of all, who's never had a grilled cheese growing up?" She laughed as Cole silently pointed to himself. "And secondly, yours just always taste better. You can somehow get like, the perfect golden brown-ness when you make them."

"Brown-ness?" Cole asked snickering.

"Yes!" she laughed with him. "Brown-ness okay? Now go make it!"

"Yes, Ma'm!" He saluted.

Allison could still hear him laughing as he left the room.

"Hey," he said staring at her as she absently picked at her jeans.

They were sitting on Cole's couch, Ellie staring blankly at the TV screen.

Lifting her head she smiled a small smile at him.

"I know you hate that I know about your mom, but I promised you that I wasn't going to tell anyone and I haven't," he said taking one of her hands in his, squeezing it gently he asked,

"You trust me right?"


"Then what's wrong?" he wanted to brush away the stray bangs hanging in front of her eyes, but like all the times before, he didn't.

"I just, I wish you hadn't find out. I don't know..." she shrugged, taking her hand back in the process. Cole tried to think nothing of it. "I... I guess I'm just embarrassed?" she sighed. "I don't know. I mean, not even Hayleigh knows about my mom. And I've-I've known her for like over three years." She was starting to talk with her hands making Cole's lips quirk into a small smile.

"Well, if you think about it you've known me for a lot longer, we've been going to school together since the first grade El." he smiled at her trying to lighten the mood a little.

She sighed. "Yeah, that's true."

He grinned, "I know, 'cause I'm always right," he said making her roll her eyes. "Now, lets go we're going to be late for our movie!" He grabbed her hand, grabbing the remote with the other, turn off the TV, and lead her out the door.

Allison missed it when it was such a simpler time. When you're a kid everything was so easy, there wasn't that much too worry about. Even for Allison her childhood had been pretty happy.

At least until she started middle school. That's when her mother's well-being and self control started to go downhill, or maybe out the window is a better analogy. First it just started with her drinking more, the amount and how often. But then it'd lead to her having random guys over and starting to get into drugs.

It took Allison awhile to realize that her mother was selling herself for money to buy boozes, and then eventually drugs. But the day she did, she ran. She ran to the only person she knew who wouldn't judge her and make her feel insecure or hopeless: Cole.

Cole was her hope. Cole is her hope.

"Um, since when did Michelle have a cat?"

Cole paused in making their grilled cheese sandwiches, "What?"

"The cat, the yellow tabby I just saw run by the couch."

"Oh, right. It's not her cat, Michelle's cat-sitting for a coworker."

"Oh, yeah, that's right. I forgot about that," she replied sitting down at the small island.

"So did she, until her coworker was here with Mr. Tubbykins."

"Mr. Tubby-what-y-what?"

"Mr. Tubbykins. That's apparently his name, but if you'd ask me I don't think he likes it very much. He doesn't seem to be a very friendly cat, but with a name like that I wouldn't like people baby-talking to me either."

"Oh, wow."

"Yeah, I tried feeding him either, but he couldn't care less. Just didn't want anything to do with me." Cole sighed putting their sandwiches on paper plates and grabbing some napkins.

"You seem awful comfortable in here." She said with a smirk looking around the kitchen at all the dirty dishes, along with some clean ones by the sink that she assumed Cole had washed himself.

Cole shrugged, "I like Garrett and Michelle. They're good people," he paused, picking at his sandwich and then said, "Well, basically, anyone that really cares about you El, is pretty much an amazing person in my book."

"Thanks, Cole. But you made it sound like I'm a really difficult person to be around," she smiled lazily at him, while chewing her bite of yummy, cheesy, goodness.

"Well you are," he deadpanned.

"Hey!" she swatted at him. "Be nice! Or I'll sic Mr. Tubby-whatever on you!"

Cole chortled loudly, "Mr. Tubbykins! Kins, El, kins, he managed to get out while still laughing.

"If you fall asleep down by the water, baby, I'll carry you all the way home. Everybody's gotta love someone, but I just wanna love you my dear. Everybody's gotta feel something, but I just wanna be with you my dear."

- The Drums

Okay so that's it for now! I know I suck at updating but I'll just have to ask for you to be nice me. 'Cause I feel bad... I really do.
Hopefully I'll be able to update again soon. School's coming up though, so i don't know, we'll see.

Much love,