The new Ottomas house, photo on left is the main floor, the one on that right is the upper level.
When Brian met Harvey Ferguson, their first day in the new house, he had not immediately explained who he was to Meadow. But a few days later he decided to tell her about it, feeling that he should have done so much sooner. He did not know himself why he had not mentioned it to her.
“Do you remember those guys who showed up the first day we were here?” he asked her now as pigged down some cherry cheesecake. Heath was out in the yard on the swings; Brook was playing in the nursery.
“Remember the younger one, who brought the casserole?”
“Yes,” She looked at him puzzled.
“Okay now, remember the young girl who crushed on me 6 or 7 years ago?”
“Oh, yeah, the one that haunts you? What was her name--Lori Lassiter?”
Brian clapped his hand to his forehead and groaned,
“Would you stop that--she doesn’t haunt me!”
She giggled and shrugged,
“Okay but we all have at least one former flame that haunts us.”
“She was never a flame!” then he considered what she’d said and was intrigued,
“Really? Everyone? Who haunts you, then?”
“You wouldn’t know him; he only lived here a year and you were already in high school while Lester and I were in middle school. I was only 13.”
“You’re haunted by someone named LESTER?” Brian teased.
“Scoff if you will” Meadow laughed, then said in her defense, “He was very good-looking; blond hair, blue eyes and he had dimples.”
“Okay, well, moving on,” actually he realized that he didn’t really care to hear all that much about her childhood romances after all so returned to the former subject,
“Anyway, this kid who came to our house with food is Lori’s new husband. I was really surprised when he introduced himself. They only live one block over and a few houses down.”
He paused and Meadow prompted him,
“Well, I just thought you should know,” even Brian could hear how lame he sounded.
“Okay, well I don’t think that’s a problem…do you?”
“Good. So how about the cheesecake—is it good? Should I make it again? Or do you prefer I stick to cherry pie?”
She switched tracks on him so fast he could only stumble,
“Uhhh, yeah I like it. I like cherry pie, too, though.”
He decided he’d done his duty by telling her, he could now legitimately forget about it.
A few days later Brian was feeding a bottle to his infant daughter, Brook. He always thought it was amusing that she would get this satisfied little smile on her face when she was full. When she was older and had her first taste of ice cream, she would be a riot.
It was morning and Brian was looking forward to his parents coming for dinner at his new house. Damon stayed home, ostensibly slaving over his homework, but more likely, thought Brian, he's banging away on his drums. His wife, Meadow, was marinating salmon for the meal. He usually worked weekends, but it didn’t matter if they invited them on a weekday, his parents were both retired now, so they usually had them over on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
It was mid-afternoon when they first arrived and everyone relaxed in the living room. However; it was a little hard at times for Meadow and Samantha Ottomas to have a conversation without shouting like they were deaf; Brian and his father, Pete, were yelling at the TV and each other while they played a game. Heath was entertaining himself with a toy in his room but when he heard his grandmother’s voice he came looking for her. Samantha adored her grandchildren; she had waited a long time to see Brian happy and settled and these two children of his were just a joy. She had other grandchildren—Tommy’s kids—but they were in San Diego and so far she had not even met them. She and Pete had talked about going out there, but never seemed to do it. Then again, Tommy had never visited his parents since he left Pleasantview years ago. She sang a nursery rhyme with Heath and then went to check on Brook who was in her crib in the master bedroom.
“Nana, would you mind giving Brook her bottle?” Meadow came to the bedroom door and asked. Heath called his grandparents Nana and Papa, as Brian had called his grandparents. Brian had automatically called them that when he talked to his children. Meadow was fine with that; she didn't even remember ever seeing her grandparents.
“Gladly,” Samantha smiled at her daughter-in-law. She had always thought Meadow a sweet girl even as a teenager. She’d felt bad for her because everyone knew that Meadow had a horrendous home life to deal with in those days. Now Samantha thought even much more of her, partly because she could see Meadow was entirely devoted to Brian and their children and partly because she was just a very considerate and kind woman. Both Samantha and Pete knew that Heath was not their biological grandchild—Brian had told them—but they couldn’t care less. They loved Heath and Brook equally. When she finished feeding and burping Brook, Samantha handed her to Pete for some cuddling.
Meadow called from the kitchen that supper was on the table and Brian picked up Heath and placed him in his high chair. Sleepy Brook was returned to her crib in the master bedroom. The meal was delicious and conversation was lively. Afterward Pete spent some time with his grandson, telling him a story. There were hugs all around when the Ottomas seniors were leaving for home. In actuality their house was only around the block from Brian and Meadow, they could walk it in no time.
It seemed Heath was growing by leaps and bounds, when it was bath time Brian or Meadow could call him and he’d toddle over instead of going to where he was and picking him up.
That week it rained a lot and they did a lot of quiet activities like reading and Meadow worked on her painting for the first time in months.
Heath’s main at this time were to learn and to play hard. He excelled at both. Brian still loved his guitar and now had a room for that purpose now so he had got the guitar and drums out of storage and put them upstairs in what Meadow liked to refer as “the music room”.
It was nearly time for Heaths and Brook’s birthdays. They had invited Brian’s oldest brother, Dylan, and his wife Elaine over to share the festivities. Dylan was Brian’s oldest brother as well as his boss; he owned Club Dante where Brian’s band played. He and his wife Elaine were devoted to each other but sadly, they were childless. They therefore enjoyed the Brian’s children very much. When it was time, Meadow brought Heath over by his birthday cake.
Heath was no longer a toddler now; he was a schoolboy. His hair was not at all what Meadow wanted for him though. As soon as he finished his cake she whisked him into the bathroom for a haircut. This was amid his protests.
“I want long hair like Daddy!”
“I know, and when you play guitar someday, I’ll consider it. You have to go to school and you’re not growing out your hair long while you are this young.”
“Mom, I just had a birthday! I’m not young!”
“Heath, the subject is closed.”
When he came out to the living room with his new haircut everyone remarked how handsome he looked, so he was somewhat mollified.
The baby woke up later in the evening and Elaine got to hold Brook while Dylan played with her. Handing the infant to her husband, Elaine remarked this was probably the first time he’d ever held a baby.
“Not so!” he grinned, “I helped my parents with Tommy and with the twins. I even changed Brian’s diapers!”
Brian cringed but that idea was truly amusing to Elaine and Meadow. Heath was dumbfounded to hear such slander against his beloved father. Wanting to distract himself from the subject he went over to try his hand at playing the piano. Meadow observed that Brian was thrilled that Heath seemed to be musically inclined. He could suddenly picture him as a concert pianist.
Brook’s birthday was next and she was, indeed, a blond. Brian picked her up immediately; his sweet little girl.
Since it was his birthday and not a school night, Brian and Meadow allowed Brian to stay up until 11 o’clock, but finally sent him to bed. He was so revved up from the events of the evening though that he was not sleeping but in fact was jumping on the bed—not something his mother liked him to do, as a rule.
They let him get away with it for a short while and then Brian called up the stairs,
“Okay, son, that’s enough, get to sleep.”
Next update: Brian Ottomas Ch. 4 - Life in the New House Pt. 2