The Newlyweds Next-Door
David sitting on the sofa reading through his works magazine for this month, it filled with columns about celebrities, gossip and entertainment updates. He sighs to himself, even if sales were doing better than ever before it just wasn't the same as before. "Every issue looks more and more like a tween gossip magazine."
He throws the magazine onto the table, starting to wonder if this was really what he wanted to accomplishing at work. "No one over twenty is going to read that."
Noah and Timothy walk into the room, Noah calling out to David. "Hey babe! I'm home!" He picks up the magazine when he sees it on the table, looking the cover over. "Five new and unexpected fads to look out for." This could be interesting."
He opens the magazine and begins to read through it, David frowning as he stares at him. "… Noah why do you always have to do that?"
"Nothing… just go read…"
Noah gives him a cheerful grin. "No problem." He throws David's car keys onto the coffee table before he leaves, David sighing as he leans back into the sofa that he was sitting on.
Timothy watches Noah leave before looking back to his father. "Hey Dad, what's wrong?"
David shakes his head. "Nothing really… Daddy just thinks that it's time for him to start looking for a new job."
"I'm not too happy with my job right now, but I really can't afford to quiet, I mean I have to support you and the rest of my family."
Timothy bounds up next to his dad, jumping onto the sofa next to him. "I know how to cheer you up Dad! I'll show you what Noah got me!"
David grins to himself. "Let me guess, a videogame?"
Timothy shakes his head no. "Wrong! I knew you wouldn't be able to get it!"
David looks over to Timothy. "Ok then, what did Noah get for you?"
Timothy holds out a new pair of dress shoes to his dad. "My very own Sunday shoes!" David lets out a groan he never a fan of Noah's religion, while Timothy continues on about them. "Now I have Sunday shoes just like him, and can wear them into the church and I won't have to keep taking off my dirty sneakers at the door!"
David looks over at the shoes. "Oh… but won't these ones get just as dirty?"
Timothy shakes his head no. "I'm only allowed to wear them to church, that way they won't get dirty."
David nods his head. "I see." He pauses for a moment something clicking in, he quickly turning toward Timothy. "… wait… when did you go to the store?"
"How did you get there?"
Timothy gingerly looks to the side. "We took the bus."
David stares at him, he looking from him and toward the car keys that Noah had thrown onto the table before leaving the room. David getting up and picking the keys up, making his way down the hall that Noah had gone down. "Noah!"
Timothy and Noah are standing beside the driveway while David looks the car over for any signs that Noah may have been driving it, Noah trying to convince him that he wasn't going to find anything. "I wouldn't have driven the car without your permission, especially with Timothy in it."
David hums to himself, the car certainly looking no different from when he had last seen it. "No scratches…" He opens the car door getting inside. "No garbage on the floor."
Timothy sighs to himself. "Why don't you believe us?"
David continues through with his inspection. "Because I'm not stupid."
Noah holds his arms behind his head. "You're not going to find anything different David, everything is just as you left it because I didn't touch anything."
David turns on the car, Christian music playing on the radio, David looking from the radio and back to Noah. "Well now, this isn't something I would normally listen to."
Noah lets out a short annoyed growl. "Damn it…"
Timothy smiles as he points to the radio. "I like this song! Keep it on Dad!"
David keeps his eyes on Noah. "Noah… you are in so much trouble right now."
Noah tries to defend himself, it not a big deal at all. "Oh come on David, it was a five minute drive that's all! You were busy in your office so we didn't want to bother you. I was really careful I promise."
David holds his head, the stress that Noah was giving him just continuing to grow. "Noah you don't have enough experience to be driving a car alone, much less a car with Timothy in it."
Noah crosses his arms arguing back with him. "You never let me drive us anywhere David! How am I supposed to learn if you don't want to sit in a car that I'm driving?"
David shakes his head, he just not able to handle sitting in the driver seat to someone that was still in the learning process of driving, it true that he would avoid doing it every moment he could. "That doesn't mean you take Timothy as a substitute."
Noah smiles at him trying to lighten up his mood. "It won't happen again, I promise."
David crosses his arms. "How do I know that? Now I can't trust you. How will I know you're not picking up Timothy in the car when you get him from school?"
Noah frowns the answer to that being rather obvious. "There's no car here during the day, you drive it to work."
David frowns at the response, that so painful obvious that it made him look incredibly stupid for saying it. "Right… of course…"
Timothy speaks up. "Don't worry Dad, me and Noah were really just fine, because the whole time we were in the car Jesus was watching us and making sure that we wouldn't get hurt."
David lets out a deep sigh as he looks back down to Timothy, Timothy not as in tune as Noah or anyone else was that David did not like the Christian or any other religion, David doing his best not to say anything and start up a debate with his six year old son over it.
Ever since Timothy's spontaneous decision to come to church with me so that he could see me play in a band, every Sunday when I went to church Timothy would be there with me.
At first I didn't think much of it, he was only coming because he liked to watch me play music, and because he got free food after every service when I hung out with my band or other friends of mine after service. Plus he got to make crafts and drawings to his heart's content in the children's church.
I could tell David was getting a little annoyed by it, David was an Atheist, so of course he thought that my religion was a stupid, nothing but lies, and waste of my time. There were probably a lot of other things he thought about it too, but I never bothered to listen to him elaborate on how much he hated it. As long as I didn't try to convert him or try and preach to him on how wrong he was, David was okay with me going, and as long as he didn't continually harass me about my believes I put up with the fact that he hated not only mine, but all religion.
But then something happened to upset this delicate little balance we had.
Timothy is sitting beside Noah at church, he staring up at the pastor that was at the front speaking. "Those of you who do not know Jesus our Lord and Savoir, and would like to accept the Lord Jesus Christ into their life, please step forward and open your hearts to him in our prayer."
Timothy smiles as he jumps out of his chair and turns to Noah. "Ok Noah! I'm going for it!"
Noah looks down to Timothy a little surprised. "What?"
Timothy runs out from between the chairs and toward the stage, Noah nervously looking around to him as he tries to call out to Timothy in a whispered voice. "Timothy! No! You're dad is going to kill me! Timothy!"
Noah looks to either side of him, not sure of what to do, he not wanting to make a scene by chasing after him.
Noah and Timothy are back at home, Timothy playing videogames while Noah explains to David what had happened.
David stares at Noah with his arms crossed and a extremely annoyed look on his face. "You converted my son!"
Noah shakes his head. "I didn't do anything! It was all Timothy, he's the one that ran up there."
David shakes his head, this unbelievable. "Well, you didn't try to stop him?"
Noah looks to the side. "Well… I was going to at first… but then I didn't'… so no… should I have…?"
Noah shrugs his shoulders, he not really seeing it to be as bad as David was making it out to be. "Why? It's not such a bad thing is it?"
David frowns, it a very bad thing. "You don't bring up kids on religion. They believe anything they hear! This makes them more ignorant to the truth when they get older."
"David, this was something that Timothy did on his own. Even if he is just a kid it was his decision, I didn't push him and I didn't preach. It was all him."
"Well undo it."
Noah frowns at David. "David! You're being ignorant! It's not that big a deal."
David counters, this indeed important. "This is my kid we're talking about! How is this not a big deal!"
Noah crosses his arms as he glares back at him. "… I was under the impression that we were raising them together."
David nods his head. "We are Noah, I just-" He gives a frustrated sigh, Noah clearly not going to step in and fix the problem at this rate. "You know what, forget about it. I'll fix this myself."
Noah's glare remains on David. "There's nothing to fix."
And with that, the battle began.
David is talking to Timothy as he plays with his action figures. "The bible is a book of lies."
Noah talking to Timothy after the boy had come to him asking Noah about what David has said to him, Noah trying to explain. "The bible is a book filled with all kinds of stories, sure some sound unbelievable but it's what the stories represent that we need to focus on."
David is getting Timothy ready for school. "Christians hate everyone, and they justify this ignorance by hiding behind their religion."
Noah is walking Timothy home after picking him up from school. "Christians come in good and bad, just like any group of people. Same as when you play games online, some gamers are really nice and help you out, while some gamers like to follow you around and continually kill your character to put up their PVP ranking even though you're just a little kid, forcing you to call your much higher level step dad to log in and repetitively kill him as revenge and get him to stop picking on you."
David comes home late from work, Alex already in bed while Noah was occupying Timothy until it was his bed time, David walking to the living room upon entering the house and stopping in front of Timothy and Noah while they are playing video games on the television. "Jesus and God are not real, they're completely made up."
Timothy tries to look past his dad so that he can see his character in the game and continue playing. "If that's true then how come Noah goes to church every Sunday?"
"Because Noah is one of those people that can't handle reality and needs to believe in make believe things because he can't pull himself through life on his own!"
Noah frowns as he looks over to David. "David! I'm right here!"
Timothy sighs as Noah pauses the game and turns toward him beginning to explain. "Sure it's hard to believe in something you can't see or hear, but that's what faith in Jesus is all about."
Timothy lets out a pitiful sigh. "I'm so confused…"
Noah frowns as he looks over to David. "Yeah… sometimes things get really confusing for people… especially when you're getting two conflicting sides to a story."
David nods his head. "It's better to go with the more realistic point of view when it comes to debates like this."
Timothy looks over to his Dad while Noah gets to his feet, grabbing David by the arm and leading him out. "David!"
Noah drags David to the kitchen, coming to a stop there so that the two of them could talk this over without Timothy having to watch the whole thing, David staring at Noah as questioning him on why this was necessary. "What Noah!"
Timothy calls out to David from the living room. "Dad!"
David calls back to Timothy while still keeping his eyes fixed on Noah. "Just a moment Timothy, I'll be right back."
Noah starts up, there no reason for David to be so worked up and defensive about all of this. "Why are you doing this to him?"
David holds his hand to himself, it very clear why he was doing this. "I don't want Timothy or Alex believing in this junk. Especially when they're still growing and impressionable."
Noah argues back with him. "I believe in it, and you don't have a problem with it."
David frowns at him. "I would rather you didn't, but you need it because your life was too completely screwed up for someone like you to possibly handle."
Noah falls silent, while David continues, he motioning back to the living room that Timothy was in. "Timothy's life is perfectly fine, he doesn't need any make believe intervention."
Noah shakes his head as he turns away from David, that comment really hurting him. "You know what… just… don't talk to me right now."
David realizes what it was he had said, he quickly trying to make amends between the two of them. "Noah I'm sorry, I didn't really mean to say that you know that."
Noah looks back to him. "Yeah sure, you didn't mean to say it, but you sure as hell meant it didn't you?"
David shrugs his shoulders as he tries to think of a way to explain, Noah not giving him the chance to. "I mean it David! I don't want to talk to you right now."
Timothy runs into the kitchen as he tries to get his dad's attention. "Dad!"
David sighs as he looks down to Tim, he wanting to deal with Noah right now. "What Tim?"
Timothy points to the front entrance. "You left the door open when you came home from work, and all the cats are getting outside."
Noah quickly reacts as runs to the front door to get them before they get too far. "Damn it."
David and Timothy follow shortly after, all three of them not trying to catch the pets before they get too far, Noah trying to scare them away as he calls for them. "Kitties! Kitties come back!"
Timothy points to the yard next to theirs. "Look Silver is up in the neighbor's tree!"
The family now as the cats all gathered up in the living room, Timothy doing a head count on them to make sure that they were all back. "Four, Five and Six, yeah they're all here."
David lets out a relived sigh, having been worried that he might have missed one. "I can't believe I left it open, am I glad that none of them got too far for us to find and catch. It would have been horrible if we lost even one of them."
Noah lets out a relived sight. "Good… now that that is done with, I'm going to bed."
Timothy frowns it not even his bed time yet. "It's not late enough to go to bed yet."
Noah does look back as he continues on his way, that not the point. He needing time to himself away from David. "That's why I have my DS and PSP, so I can occupy myself until I get tired." He opens the door to his room shutting it behind him, yelling out to David from behind the door. "David, don't bother coming into the room, you can sleep on the sofa tonight."
David looks to the side not surprised, after all he had managed to get Noah really worked up. "Yeah I kind of figured."
Timothy looks over to his dad. "You made Noah mad at you again."
David nods his head, the religion issue between the two of them sometimes resulting in this outcome. "Yes… but it's not anything that me and him won't be able to work out, so don't worry about it alright?"
The next day comes, Alex sitting in his highchair as he watches his dad make breakfast with a slew of animals at his feet waiting to be fed.
David calls out to Timothy and Noah who had yet to show up to breakfast, he now done cooking and serving out among the plates he had readied. "Timothy, Noah, breakfast is almost done, get out of bed already."
Timothy calls out down the hall to his dad. "I am out of bed! Just wait a minute!"
David calls out once again when he gets no response from Noah. "Noah?"
Noah yells back at him still in a grumpy mood. "Take the kids to school on your own you ass!"
David sighs to himself as he places the plates on the table. "I take it he's still mad at me."
Alex laughs as he points over to his father. "Noah mad at you!"
David nods his head yes as he looks to his youngest son. "It's not as exciting as you make it sound. I'll apologize to him when I get home from work today. That will give him some time to get some of that anger with me out of his system as well as give me some time to think of what to say."
He walks over to several more food dishes, these being for the animals, he starting to put them on the ground for them. "I really should have known better to be perfectly honest, it's always been a touchy subject for Noah, and even if I was frustrated I shouldn't have taken it out on him like that."
Alex nods his head in agreement even though he didn't understand most any of the conversation, he continuing to use his hands to shove food in his mouth.
David pauses for a moment as he looks over the animals that had come to the kitchen to eat, only six cats and Mr. Princess having come for food. "Huh." He places his hands on his hips as he begins to look around him. "Goliath?"
He walks out of the kitchen beginning to do a quick look over of the house, he never having a problem tracking down such a big dog before. "Goliath?"
Timothy walks past his dad as he makes his way over to the kitchen. "Did you know that in the bible you killed Goliath with a river rock?"
David motions for his son to go eat breakfast, they needing to head off to take him to school soon. "Not right now Timothy, I need to find Goliath."
Timothy stops as he looks back to his dad. "He's not here? Maybe he's sleeping in his bed?"
David continues to search the house for his dog but is not able to find him anywhere, he now becoming concerned, David thinking back to the incident that had happened that night. "He must have gotten outside when the door was open."
Timothy looks over to his Dad from the front entrance, this worrying him just as much as it was his father. "We gotta look for him dad!"
David shakes his head no. "We don't have time, I have to get to work and you have to go to school."
David begins to assure Timothy. "Don't worry, Noah will look for him for us."
He leaves the front entrance where Timothy is waiting for him, heading back to and opening the door to his room.
Noah yells at David in anger. "Get out!"
David quickly pulls back using the door to shield him as Noah throws his alarm clock at him, David slowly looking into the room and then down at the clock that was on the floor, he then looking over to Noah. "Noah what the hell!"
Noah growls at him as he holds a pillow over his head. "It woke me up and made me grumpy… I was just looking for an opportunity to kill it."
David begins to explain the situation to Noah. "Goliath got out of the house yesterday, I need you to search the neighbourhood for him."
"Sure, I have nothing else better to do with my messed up life."
"Noah, you know that I didn't mean that. I was just angry."
"Just go to work so I don't have to look at you!"
David closes the door to his room, he looking back to Timothy with a smile. "Noah said he'll take care of it."
Timothy watches his dad as he gathers up his things to go to work. "He's really mad at you, maybe you should by him flowers."
David shakes his head no. "Noah's not into that kind of thing."
Timothy shrugs his shoulders. "Maybe you should buy him a videogame."
David pauses for a moment, slowly nodding his head. "… that might work."
David is working at his desk while talking on his cell phone. "No sign of him anywhere…?"
Noah's voice can be heard on the other end of the line. "Yeah I've been out looking for him practically all day, I can't find him anywhere."
"Well how far could he have possibly gone? He's so old and lazy, I mean it's been over two years since he was active enough to care to break into a run."
"I'll keep looking for him, I'll call you if I fine anything out alight."
"Yeah thanks… I mean it really… thanks for doing this for me."
"Hey, that's what I'm here for. Even if I am in the middle of being pissed off at you."
"Yeah… Noah I really am sorry about that, I mean, you're kind enough not to shove your beliefs down my throat I think I should do the same. It's just… Timothy…"
"Listen David, Timothy's a good kid, and a smart one. No matter what silly little belief he decides to follow he's not going to be dumb enough to let it change him or completely control him, you have to give your boy a little more credit than that."
"Yeah, yeah I know, I'll see you when I get home."
Martin looks over to David once David hangs up the phone. "You get into a fight with Noah."
David nods his head. "Yeah, and over the same thing again too." He looks back to Martin. "You know this just proves that the world would be a much more peaceful place without religion."
Martin nods his head. "Yeah, I don't doubt that, but it exists so you got no choice but to put up with it. As silly you might make it out to be."
Andre walks into the office, he taking a moment to stop and call out to his workers. "Good morning everyone!"
Martin frowns as he turns his chair around to face Andre, he yelling back at him a little annoyed. "It's two in the afternoon! TWO!"
Andre shrugs his shoulders. "Really? Oh you know how Wednesdays are, they're just as bad as Mondays." He walks past David's desk heading toward his office. "Be a dear and make me some coffee would you."
David nods his head. "Yes sir."
Him and Martin watch Andre until he is in his office, the two then turning back to one another as Martin starts to complain. "I can't take this for much longer, he is absolutely aggravating!"
David gets up from his chair. "At least he doesn't have you acting as an errand boy."
David's Phone begins to ring. "You know it's true, everything I do, I do it for you-" David picks up the phone answering it. "Chris, you do know that Noah is going to kill me if he finds out the ring-tone is yours and not his. I know you're trying your best to set us up for divorce with the ring-tones, but that song is one of the ones he requested and I refused to give him."
Chris's voice has a rather concerned tone in it. "David, did Goliath get out of the house?"
David stops what he is doing. "Yes! You found him? What are the odds of that happening?"
"Well… pretty high considering the circumstances."
A worried look fills David's face, that not sounding good at all. "… what happened to him?"
Timothy and Alex are sobbing loudly in the waiting room at the vets, Noah sitting with them while David is in the exam room with Chris. The two talking over the situation concerning the dog that Chris was taking care of in the back.
Chris rubs the back of his neck, there really no easy way to go about explaining this to David. "There's nothing more I can do to help him. He's an old dog and the car hurt him pretty badly, the best thing you could do for him right now is end the pain that he's in."
David takes a deep breath, turning away from Chris as he beings to slowly pace around the room. "Yeah… right… I kind of came to that conclusion on my way here…"
Chris watches his friend, he able to see that this news was really hurting him. "I'm really sorry about this Dave."
David shakes his head there no reason for Chris to be. "You did everything you could, I know you did. Don't worry about it."
Chris looks out toward the door of the room the two are in. "Do you want me to tell the kids for you?"
David shakes his head. "No, I can do it on my own, don't worry about it. You just… you just do what you have to do…"
David leaves the room to tell them, Chris sighs as he watches him go, he shaking his head before heading back into the operating room.
David is kneeling down in front of his boys, Timothy and Alex crying loudly after hearing the news David had for them, Timothy beginning to hit David's chest with his small hands. "You're sleeping on the sofa! You deserve it for forgetting to close the door and then not even looking for him last night."
David tries to explain, he having never even thought that the lazy old dog would have cared to wander out. "Tim I'm sorry, I didn't know that he had gone out. I was occupied with trying to find all of the cats."
Timothy continues to sob. "How could you let that happen to him!"
Noah kneels down next to Timothy, yelling at David not going to fix anything. "Tim, everything's going to be fine. Goliath is in a better place now, where there are endless fields of grass that he can run around in, and he can run and run forever without getting tired."
Timothy looks back to Noah. "Really…?
David shakes his head as he looks over to Noah. "Noah… now is not the time for this."
Noah looks back to David, he just trying to make Timothy feel a little better. "Why not?"
David argues back with him, he already having a difficult time to keep from crying like a baby in public, he not needing to deal with this right now. "There are no such things as heaven and hell, these concepts only exist because people are too scared to face the facts that once you're dead, you're dead, there's nothing after that."
Timothy looks back to his father. "How would you know! Have you ever died to know for sure?"
Chris walks into the waiting room with Goliath's collar, he making his way toward David and handing it to him. He placing his hand on David's back. "Dave, is there anything else I can do for you?"
David nods his head as he holds his hand out to Noah and Timothy. "Chris, I need you to tell Noah and Timothy that Goliath is dead, and that's that! There's not tunnel, no heaven, no anything!"
Chris falls silent upon hearing this, he looking from David and toward the kids, leaving David's side as he walks up to Noah and the boys. He kneeling down next to them as he begins speaking to them. "Lots of things die, people, dogs, cats… and when that happens it's really sad, and you're going to miss them."
Timothy nods his head, he looking to Chris now for answers. "Who's right about Goliath? Dad or Noah?"
Chris places his hand on Timothy's head, fixing him with a weak smile before beginning to explain. "Goliath is in a better place right now, he's in a huge field with lots of other dogs and cats. There's no pain because they can't get sick or hurt, and even the old dogs like Goliath feel as young as a puppy."
David shakes his head as he raises his voice. "Chris…"
Chris continues. "And all of these dogs and cats are going to play with each other, and keep each other company while they wait for you, and when the time comes for you to come and see them they'll be really happy to see you, and they you'll be together forever." Chris looks over to Noah, as much as he respected David and as close a friend he was to him, this was something that he couldn't agree with him on. "Noah is the one who's right. Goliath is in a much better place now."
David shakes his head unable to believe what had just happened, he leaving the clinic without saying a word about what had just happened.
Noah watches David leave, he looking back to Chris. "I don't think that's not what David was expecting you to do."
Chris looks toward the entrance of his clinic. "He's taking it pretty hard… I mean, it's difficult enough when you believe that the one you love is going to a better place, but when you believe that there's nothing after death, then that's even more difficult…"
Noah looks down toward the boys who were not beginning to follow after their Dad. "Is that why you told Tim and Alex all that?"
Chris shakes his head no, he having told Timothy and Alex that because that is what he believed. "Pets do too many good thing in their lives to go anyplace but what I described. He's there, along with all the other pets that have passed on."
Author's Note: I am very sorry for the lack up updates on this story to this, fictionpress was messing up and not letting me edit the files I was uploading to add the line I put in between the scene changes, which would make the chapters very hard to read x.x now that it's working though I can get back to uploading my chapter here.