Anything But Ordinary --  Seven

[ Sunday...]

She could see the back of his head over the back of the seat as she walked from the kitchen towards the studio. He'd fallen asleep earlier and she wasn't about to wake him up.  They'd woken up late on Saturday morning, nursed hang-over's on Saturday afternoon and evening, choosing to watch movies in bed, then that morning had woken up late and moved down to hang out and read in the living room.

As she rounded the corner and started down the stairs she lifted her laptop carrying case over her shoulder, already packed up for her trip.  In her other hand was the notebook and other notes she’d stuffed away to use in the studio. On tip-toes, she made her way across the flooring praying that she wouldn't wake him up. He’d fallen asleep in his chair after lunch and she’d watched the rest of the movie they’d turned on before she’d slipped away to finish her packing.

Loading her things in her suitcase for the next week, her mind had drifted to the random writing she’d been doing lately.  She figured that if she caught at least two hours before JC woke up that she could get in a rough copy to play with later. Her secrecy wasn’t really necessary, but she'd made him promise not work for at least the afternoon so working on her own project would be very hypocritical.

Once in the studio she found her notes and set herself up at the keyboard in the corner of the inside studio. She spread everything out on the table around her took a deep breath, found a new piece of paper and started to piece together the lyrics and put the melody to it.

Wake up to another day gone by
Open road and never-ending why
I try to change, it's kinda strange,
the same as it ever was, but look at us
When I don't even know myself
Or what it is you want from me

How do I deal with us
How do I know what's real
When I don't even trust myself
Every night, in the dark, I lie awake in bed
I try to dream through the thoughts in my head

She scratched out the line that she’d just written and started the line over.

How am I supposed to dream, with all the static in my head
I turn in all directions and I pray for some relief
What can I do but feel the weight I'm underneath
And grit my teeth

Her hands stopped writing on her sheet and right hand started to finger the notes that she had been hearing in her mind for the last few days. The melody was easy to get on paper, but the lines were missing something. She knew the general theme of the song-it spoke not only of her father, but also of JC.

She backed up from the computer for a moment took a deep breath, cracked her knuckles and started to play the melody again and only loosely following the lyrics started to sing.

Every day I wake up to another day gone by
Nothing but the open road and the never-ending why
Anything can happen, yeah, but nothin ever does
I try to change, it's kinda strange, the same as it ever was, but look at us

How do I deal with you
How do I deal with me
When I don't even know myself
Or what it is you want from me
How do I deal with us
How do I know what's real
When I don't even trust myself
Or what it is I feel
And how do I deal

Every night, in the dark, I lie awake in bed
How am I supposed to dream, with all the static in my head
I turn in all directions and I pray for some relief
What can I do but feel the weight I'm underneath
And grit my teeth

With a smile she stopped playing and started to write out what she’d just sung then bent her head trying to figure out a good chorus for the song.


She dropped her pencil when she heard his voice and walked over to the bottom of the steps.

“Yeah Josh?” she called up the stairs.

“What are you doing?” he asked accusing her of her crime with his voice.

“Nothing,” she answered back with an innocent voice.

“Do you want to go out to the beach and go to Neptune’s Net Rico’s out on the PCH?”

“Sure,” she said, “Let me pack up my laptop and I’ll be right there.”


Farzana moved across the basement space and went to pack up her things. She did it quickly not wanting to make a big fuss about being down there and ran up the stairs to meet him to go out to dinner.  Lately she'd been thinking about their relationship and a lot of it had come out in her lyrics and poems and she didn't want to start a fight over something that might offend him just before she was going to be leaving town.

Upstairs JC had a sweatshirt for her and a baseball hat and he carrying a sweatshirt and hat of his own. “What’s all this?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he said with a shrug, “I just want to go up to Neptunes and sit on the porch and eat shrimp and watch the sunset.”

“Really?” She moved closer to him.  She hugged him because for a moment he seemed a little depressed or something.  She put a hand to his forehead. “Are you feeling ok?”

“Yeah,” he said with sleepy eyes, “I’m just gonna miss you a little bit and I thought you’d want to see the sunset with me.”

She took the sweatshirt and pulled it on.  “You act like I’m not coming back.”

“I’m not saying that,” he said defensively, “But I know how you get. You’re gonna get up there and remember why you lived there and not want to come back soon.”

She sighed.  “Josh.”

He took a deep breath and coughed a little to clear his throat, “I also thought that we don’t have food in the fridge and both of us might not want to cook tonight.”

“You know you almost romanced me into dinner with you, but you blew it with that line,” she said starting to walk away.

“What?” he said with a sharp tone. She could tell that he wasn’t in a good mood due to the look on his face but part of her didn’t know why he decided to be mad about whatever was on his mind.

“I was joking honey,” she said.

He shuffled over to her, bent his head and kissed her. “I’m sorry I’m grumpy.”

She turned back to him and looked at him closely for a moment.  “Is it that song still bothering you?”

“Yeah,” he said, “And just some other junk floating around in my head.”  He pulled her into a big hug and kissed her forehead.  “I’m sorry for bumming you out.”

“Its ok,” she said, “I bet your sleep is still off from the New York-Florida whatever trip that was.”

He nodded. “You ready to hit the beach?”


The Pacific Coast Highway was crowded that afternoon and it took them a trip down the highway about a half mile past Neptune's Net to find a parking spot, making their little dinner into exercise and dinner due to the walk that they had to make back up towards the restaurant.

At first Farzana walked in front of him then when the road widened a little he walked along next to her, head down, looking at his feet.

"Hey," she said and moved her hand to hold his.

He instantly laced his fingers between hers and gave her a squeeze. His head only turned sideways a bit to glance at her knowing that the dirt and rocks he was walking on weren't that stable. "Hmm."

"You ok?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said with a nod. “I don’t like that you’re going to Toronto by yourself. I know that Rodney is going to be there, but-“

“I’ll be fine,” she said, “I planned it with the travel people to put me on the far side of town from my parents and I’m gonna have some people stop by and visit me-“

“Do your parents even know you’re going to be in town?” he asked.

“I’ll tell BJ and my mother,” she said, “But as for my father, I’m not sure if I want to see him.”

“I wish I could go with you,” he said with a sigh, “Maybe I’ll come up on Friday and spend the night with you. I’ve got a meeting in New York with Brian that week.”

Her eyes brightened.  “You do?”

“Alex and I got a lot done while you were in your meetings and rehearsals with the girls.” He nodded and pulled her close as the road narrowed again. “I’ll call you every night.”

“You’re so silly,” she said, “You’re going to be up in the studio with Alex and Rip and not even know what time it is, let alone be sober enough to calculate the time difference. Then you’ll be in New York and Carson will find out that you’re there and then all hell will break loose.”

His hand wove into hers and he leaned his shoulder against hers as they walked.  “I’m surprised no one has called you for interviews.”

She shrugged.  “It’s because I’m not up there to promote anything.”

“Yeah,” he said, “But you haven’t been home in six months now other than the three weeks you had before you ended up moving down with me.”

They both paused for a moment and were quiet.  “Its going to be funny to be home and not be home,” she said, “I hope I can get back to the club and see everyone for the night. I miss that place.”

He squeezed her hand.  “Just be careful and take Rodney with you if you go shopping or something.”

“I will.”

When they got to the porch of Neptune’s JC spotted a table and pointed it out to her. “Do you want your normal?”

“Yeah,” she said, “Get extra tartar sauce for the shrimp.”

“Ok.” He nodded.

The line moved quickly through and when he got to the front the girl on the other side of the counter smiled a big smile at him, instantly telling him that she recognized him. “Hi JC,” she said in a whisper.

“Hi,” he said stopping only for a moment to look at her. “Can I get a half pound of crap legs and twenty shrimp with extra tartar sauce and two cokes?”

“Sure,” she said and almost snapped to attention as if a starting gun had just gone off. “Do you want fries or any cole slaw with that?”

“No thanks,” he said and reached for his wallet.

He felt someone knock into him and he turned to say that he was sorry when he saw Joey standing next to him. “Are you slumming it big guy?”

“What are you doing here?” he asked, “I thought you guys would have been long gone by now.”

“We left the kids home tonight--well with the relatives--and are on a date,” he said pointing towards where Farzana had disappeared to and where Kelly was now standing talking to her.

“A date?”

“Married life is hard,” he said, “Actually more of being a dad to three kids at once is hard.”

JC laughed.  If it was anyone else he'd think that Joey really hated being a dad, but while they'd been in Europe he'd complained over and over about how much he missed his family.  “You love it though.”

“Yeah. Of course, but at the same time I think I need a vacation or two every once in a while.”

The girl placed his order on the counter. “That’ll be twenty dollars,” she said.

“Are you sure?” he asked knowing full well that the meal was way over that price.

“Yeah,” She pointed over to her manager, “She’s your fan and is giving you the employee discount. She would give you a free one but the owner isn’t here to ok it and all us back here don’t have enough cash to pitch in.”

“You don’t have to do that,” he said.

“Really,” she said, “It’s ok.”

JC scooted the tray over to the side and waited with Joey to order for him and Kelly. “But you like it right?”

“Like what?” Joey asked as he dug in his wallet for money.

JC ate one of the shrimp.  “Marriage and all that?”

“Are you thinking of asking Farzana?” Joey asked, not looking up.

JC moved his eyes around the room and then checked to see where the girl at the counter had gotten off to. “I don’t know. I wasn’t going to for a while, but then all of a sudden I got this--"

“You’re scared about her going back up to Canada aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” he said, “But I don’t even know if it’s that. I kind of like the idea of her being in LA and me knowing that-“

“I know the feeling,” he said, “Having Kelly in Orlando all the time is kind of nice. Like when I call her I know where she is in the house and I can totally picture her in my mind-“

“You better not be talking bad about me,” Kelly said sliding up to him.

“Not at all,” JC said, “The guy was just getting all sappy about missing you when he’s out of town.”

“Aweee,” she said and leaned and kissed his cheek.

“Anyway,” Joey said, “If you want any advice on that thing you’re working on, just call me this week.”

“That thing?”

“You know,” he said, “The script for the thing you’re working on.”

“Are you gonna ask her to marry you?” Kelly asked bluntly.

“Jesus Kelly,” JC said, “Just scream it out now.”

“Oh my god,” she spoke with wide eyes.

“Shh,” he said, “I don’t know when or where or any of it, but I figure before Christmas time.”

“Reallly?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “Just don’t tell her. I want it to be a surprise. Like a real surprise because right now she thinks I’m not going to ask her for a while.”

“Why does she think that?” she asked.

“Because I told her that I wasn’t ready for it,” he said, “Not that I wasn’t going to at all, but just that I needed some time to figure things out and you know…have the time be right.”

“Ok.” She crossed her arms over her chest, “If you don’t ask before Christmas though I’m gonna have to tell her to ask you.”

“It’ll be before then.” He said, “Probably even before Thanksgiving if I can get my butt in gear this week, get my song done and shipped off to New York so I can go shopping.”

Farzana's song is really Jennifer Love Hewitt's How do I Deal

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