Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 6 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 11 – IN DEPENDENTS DAY
Bora Bora was beautiful as always and their honeymoon way too short. But Angel had a CD to write and Lover hadn’t checked in around the world for a few weeks. He tried to get to every office at least once a quarter but wedding plans, a once-in-his-lifetime event, and enjoying Angel and Starlight at home were too wonderful to pass up. Exec had once again filled in for Lover while he was gone. In fact, he was anxious to do it.
They were back before July 4th, which they spent with the Band and their families at the Guitarist’s. He and his wife and children led what some would say was the most conventional life, if you didn’t factor in world tours, performances around the country, television and radio appearances, his own music and a new puppy. Somewhere in there was time for family which, indeed, was his first priority.
July 4th at the Guitarists’ house had become something of a tradition. The Rock Star’s Band may have changed musicians on occasion, but the Guitarist and the Bass Player were the same people who’d played with him from the beginning, the Guitarist since before the beginning. Everyone, old and new, was there with their families, some of the usual configuration and others not. Angel and Lover, unbelievably, were one of the few couples who were actually married.
“I kinda like this,” said Lover as twilight settled onto the party. He was drinking a beer while sitting on one of the picnic tables under a tree, his shoes off, feet on the bench and his shorts showing the beautiful thighs Angel loved to touch and tickle. The same was true for the arms and chest extending out from Lover’s muscle top. He’d continued the martial arts classes and tournaments. The muscles he’d developed were in very good shape, noted Angel. In fact, it was all good.
“Like what, T?”
“T” had become Lover’s private nickname, short for “Treasure.” It fit as an initial of his legal name, too. Angel was sitting on the bench below and next to Lover, also drinking a beer, massaging Lover’s feet while contemplating yet another food/beverage experiment and composing inappropriate lyrics in his head. Lover occasionally looked down Angel’s tank, wondering what he would do if he were to “accidently” spill some of the iced beer down the front of it. Wouldn’t Angel have to go in and take off his top? And wouldn’t he knead some help getting it over that thick, lush mane of his? After all, what if his head got stuck? And Heaven forbid if the beer should wet his shorts in some awful, embarrassing way, accidently of course. Those would have to be hung out to dry … for a while, at least.
“Oh, just lazing around with you and the guys and everybody. It’s nice to feel like you belong to somewhere, you know? Like there’s more to Life than just living?”
“Yeah, I know.” Angel looked up at Lover.
Across the backyard, under other trees, all the kids were playing some unintelligible version of “Duck duck goose monkey water tag.” Angel was still looking up at Lover when he realized that Lover was watching the kids, a smile softening his lips, his eyes.
They’d never talked about it, but suddenly Angel knew. The inappropriate lyrics immediately dissolved into a new and confusing thought.
“T wants children.”
Across the yard from both the couple and the children, the Guitarist and the original Drummer were watching Angel watching Lover. Both of them were eating peanuts and had cold, frosty beers, too.
“You think?” asked the Guitarist.
“I don’t know,” answered the Drummer. Both of them had children and were always talking about how they’d changed their lives, how much joy had been added to them. It wasn’t all wondrous; a colicky baby was no fun no matter how you put it. And the change from liquid waste to solid wasn’t much fun, either. All in all, though, the children were loved and cherished and a source of wonder every day.
“Going by their looks, I’d say so,” observed the Guitarist. “Look at how he’s looking at him.”
“Yep. Wonder how they’d do it?”
“I was reading the other day that scientists made some male animal have a baby animal.”
“Oh, I don’t think either one of ‘em’d be willing to do that. I know I wouldn’t.”
“Sure you’re right,” answered the Guitarist, taking another swig. “I saw the birth of all my children. That’s more than I’d wanna take on, that’s for sure. You know, they say women are stronger than men that way.”
“Uh huh. I didn’t even wanna be in the delivery room but she insisted I witness her in labor. Man, she called me names I don’t even know were words.”
“Well, whatever, I betcha one or the other would be the real parent. They parent each other anyway.”
“Yep,” sighed the Drummer, turning to his long-time friend. “Can you imagine …?” He let the sentence collapse in the dusk.
“Nope. But that don’t mean it ain’t gonna happen.”
The beer bottles clinked like music just before the fireworks began.
Chapter 12 – THE DANCE-AROUND
Later that night, at home, wrapped around (yeah, yeah, yeah, you know the drill!), Angel decided to test his theory.
“Today was good, huh?”
“Sure was. Did you see how big her tummy’s getting? I wonder if she’s gonna have twins.”
“Now how would you know that? Maybe it’s just a big baby.” Angel was aware that the conversation had immediately focused on the Bassist’s pregnant partner.
“I don’t know. Hey, she let me feel it moving.”
“Oh yeah, what did it feel like?”
“Like this little foot poking my hand. I couldn’t believe there was something alive in there.”
“Well, there is.” Angel knew it was now or never. “So, uh, have you ever thought about, you know?”
Lover raised his head from where it had been resting on Angel’s chest.
“I asked first.”
“Well, not really. Sort of.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Well, you know, being around everybody today, seeing the kids, hearing everybody talking about them, you know? I guess I maybe had a thought.”
“And the thought was?”
“And the thought was, I wondered what you were thinking.”
Angel had to give him credit for wiggling out of that one.
“So, what were you thinking?” Lover asked.
“I don’t know. I mean, I like children. Do you like children?”
“Yes, I guess so. OK, maybe more than ‘I guess so’. I mean, um, I was practically the man of the house since I was little and my father ran off. So I helped Mommy raise my little brother and my sisters. It was OK.”
“Just OK?” Angel was pushing and he knew it, but he wanted an answer to his question.
“OK, it was hard sometimes but I kind of liked it, too. I always promised myself I’d be somebody so I could look after them.”
“And you have. You sent both of them to college. And to some good schools, not some of those “college for profit” places. You made them earn it.”
“Yeah, I’m proud of them. Mostly, anyway.”
Angel knew what that meant, “cleaning up the mess.”
“Well, you did what you could. And you did a good job.”
“You think so?” asked Lover, thinking of his Twin Sister.
“Yeah, I think so.” This was it. “I think you’d be a great parent.”
Lover looked up at Angel, his eyes wide. Angel winked at him.
“Yeah, T. You’d make a great parent. Any child would be lucky to have you.”
Chapter 13 – ON A LIMB
The “unconversation” about children continued over the next few weeks. Both Angel and Lover were waiting for the other to admit what they really wanted. Lover still had no real memory of Starlight’s visit that night when she’d promised him a family “and generations to come” but he kept having this feeling that somehow, some way, children would be a part of their lives.
Angel talked with the Therapist to try and work through his feelings about it.
“So, what would having children mean for the two of you?”
“I’m not sure what it would mean. I mean, part of me says the wedding was just a few months ago, so it’s too soon. But another part says we’ve been married forever. Well, not ‘forever’ in a bad way, just for years now we’ve been so happy, through thick and thin. And that’s because we wanted it so badly. We’re together.”
“It sounds like you like being with Lover. But that’s something we’ve all known.” The Therapist smiled. To tell the truth, she was on the fence about this. Not about whether or not the couple should have children; she knew it was their decision and that, if they decided to, they’d be a wonderful family. For her it was about straddling the line between friend and therapist. She’d agreed to have the conversation but only if Lover knew about it beforehand. She’d decided to handle it as a good friend who happened to be good at helping others see what was already there.
“I love him. Everybody knows that. He knows it, I know it, you know it. Everybody knows.”
“Well, I think it would mean we’d both have to change how we live.”
“You like how you live.”
“Yeah, I do. I like it a lot. The way things are, either one of us can be off to somewhere around the world and just go. Sometimes we can fly to where the other one is for a few days. It’s good. And when we’re home we can just get away from everybody if we want and just be home like regular people. I like that.”
“Yeah, I know you do. Do you think that’ll change if you have children?”
“Yeah, I think it will. I mean, we can’t both be gone so much. One of us’ll have to be at home more.”
“You think one of you more than the other?”
“So what’s that mean?”
“That means one of us is gonna have to really change where our jobs are concerned.”
“Hmm.” The Therapist realized she was going to have to wear her direct-to-the-point “Therapist” hat more than she’d planned.
“OK, let’s get to the real deal here. What are you afraid of?”
Angel was a little unsettled by the directness of the question. He’d hope to delay having to answer that. He took in a big breath and went for it.
“I’m afraid that our lives will change to something I don’t like, that we’ll change into people I don’t like. And that’ll be bad for us and the kid.”
“Well, that’s a direct answer.”
“Hey, you asked. I figured it was better to just say it and get it out there.”
The Therapist smiled. “That was a good choice.”
“Thank you,” Angel smiled back.
“Let’s look at this whole thing of choices. Having a child in the house should be a choice, right?”
“So what would it be like if, say, one of Lover’s nieces or nephews had to come live with you, one of the little ones?”
“Well, we’d take ’em in, no question.”
“But that would still be a choice, right?”
“No, it wouldn’t.”
“So, if not, how would you handle that?”
“We’d do whatever we had to …” Angel shook his head. Damn, she was good. Check-fucking-mate. And he’d never even seen it coming.
(That Peony Nebula sure was beautiful. Maybe she’d wear it a little longer.)