The "Something" Series

Out of Whack or Something: A Scene.

13,606 BEST Apartment Building Hallway IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS |  Adobe Stock

Max stands at the door with Willow in his arms. Jamie stands there, somewhat frozen, not knowing what he should do in this moment. Willow wiggles in Max’s arms to let her down, and when he does, she runs over to Jamie and hugs his legs.Jamie looks down and immediately gets anxious. He looks up at Max and tries to cut the tension between them.

Jamie: You’re welcomed to wait, I–

Jamie looks down again at Willow, who’s still hugging his legs.

Jamie: Hey, little bean, let’s go inside.

She looks up and wobbles into the apartment before the men do. Jamie widens the door to let Max walk in. Max doesn’t say anything or look at Jamie when he walks in. Jamie takes a deep breath and closes the door behind him.

Jamie: May I offer you something to drink? Water? Coffee?

Max: Where’s Grace?

Jamie pauses for a moment.

Jamie: She was running an errand with her mother.

Max: *sigh* Very much like her to be late for things.

Jamie doesn’t like the comment. He walks over to the fridge and grabs a bottle of water. Max attends to his daughter, who is walking around the apartment without a care in the world.

Max: Did she tell you when she will be back?

Jamie: Uhm, not that I know of, no.

Max sighs and looks at his watch for the time. Jamie takes note of the gesture.

Jamie: I’m more than willing to watch Willow until Grace comes back.

Max: *annoyed* Not to come off as rude, but just because Grace trusts you with our daughter, it doesn’t mean do. I don’t know you to leave her in your hands.

Jamie respects the response, but his annoyed that Max believes Grace isn’t capable of making decisions on her own. Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just drinks from his water bottle.

Max: Grace should have at least told me you were back in town.

Jamie: *off-guard* She didn’t know I was coming back.

Max: You live here with her?

Jamie doesn’t say anything, but the no response speaks loud to Max. He shakes his head and disbelief. Jamie really doesn’t like this guy.

Max: Pardon my curiosity, but–

Jamie: I don’t mind you staying here to wait for Grace before you leave your daughter for the weekend, but please keep your opinions and comments to yourself.

Max cocks her eyebrows up, shocked of the response Jamie had.

Max: Forgive me for trying to make small talk with my ex-fiancee’s boy-toy while I wait for her.

Jamie visibly is annoyed that Max, but is instantly back to reality when Willow comes running out of her room with her dog plushie. She hands it to Jamie.

Jamie: Thank you, little bean! He’s such a pretty dog!

Willow claps her hands and smiles at Jamie. She runs back into her room where the rest of her toys are. Max follows the encounter. He walks into the room where is daughter is, leaving Jamie out in the common area.

Shortly after, the front door is opened and Grace walks in. Jamie looks visibly horrified.

Grace: Hey, Jamie! *holds something behind her back* I stopped by a certain place and got you a little something…

Jamie walks up to Grace.

Grace: Gracie…

Grace reveals the item behind her back: it’s an eyeglasses case with a new pair of glasses. Jamie looks down, and doesn’t say anything until Grace does.

Grace: I know they’re nothing like your old glasses, but I wanted to gift you a new pair so you don’t always have to put in those annoying contacts in. Plus, my Jamie always looked better with a pair of glasses on.

Jamie smiles at the gesture. He takes the eyeglasses case from Grace. Suddenly, the door to Willow’s room is open. Jamie turns around and Grace looks at the door. Max is standing there.

Grace: Max?

Max: Did you forget this weekend was yours to have Willow?

Grace squeezes her eyes shut.

Grace: Fuck, I meant to remember that, I’m so sorry, I–

Max: I have to drop off my folks at the airport in two hours, I nearly don’t have the time to wait around while you decide to show back up.

Grace: Look, i was with my mom, alright? I said I was sorry, now you can go.

Max: Gladly.

Max goes to Willow’s room to kiss her goodbye. He leaves the room and looks at Grace and Jamie standing in the common area.

Max: Can I talk to you in private, Grace?

Jamie: *chimes in* If you’re going outside to scold Grace some more like she’s a child, by all means, you can do it in front of me.

Max: Is that a threat, mate?

Grace: Hey, that’s enough! *to Jamie* I’ll be fine.

Jamie looks at Grace and then at Max. Grace walks to the front door with Max.

Outside in the hallway, Max looks at Grace; visibly angry.

Max: Are your priorities all out of whack or something?

Grace: *appalled* Excuse me?

Max: I told you countless times that I was going to drop Willow off to you for the weekend as I got my folks ready to leave for the UK. Instead, I find that wanker answering your door while you’re not home.

Grace: You could’ve just let Jamie take care of her for the time being.

Max: *loud* I don’t know that man, Grace! Why should trust a complete stranger with my daughter if I don’t bloody know who he is?!

Grace: He’s my goddamn boyfriend, Max! Deal with it! He’s been around Willow this entire time! She loves him!

The hallway goes silent.

Max: I’m sorry, you said he’s your boyfriend?

Grace: I did.

Max: Does he know that?

Grace looks confused. Max sighs and drops the topic.

Max: I don’t mind if he’s around Willow, Grace. She looks like she really likes him and that’s completely fine. What I don’t like is leaving her alone with just him; as her mother you shouldn’t just leave our child unattended with another person.

Grace: I know what I’m doing.

Max: i’m not saying you don’t know what you’re doing. At this point, I don’t care about what you’re doing, but if I feel like it’s harming my child, I’m going to say something.

Grace: *yells* For fuck’s sake, Max, she’s my daughter as well! So stop acting like I’m not!

Max is taken back by Grace’s yelling.

Max: I have to go.

Max turns the other direction and walks towards the elevator. Grace goes back into the apartment in an anxious manner.

She enters and closes the door behind her to see Jamie and Willow sitting on the floor, playing with her toys.

Jamie: *points at toy* What color is this?

Willow: Boo!

Jamie: Maja, it’s blue! Puleun.

Grace watches the two interact and it makes her smile. She notices Jamie has his new glasses on. He looks up at Grace, and picks up Willow to bring to her.

Jamie: Momma’s home. Hi, eomma!

Grace laughs and takes Willow in her arms. She looks at Jamie.

Grace: Thanks for sticking up for me, by the way. You didn’t have to.

Jamie: I’ll always be by your side.

Grace smiles and walks to the bathroom to wash up Willow. Jamie stands there, watching the two girls go about their night.

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