.: Used to Be Sad and Lonely
by April Look
"She's crying. Why is she crying?, Justin asked.
"I don't know. Let me call my mum and ask?" Julian picked up
the phone and began to dial as the doorbell rang. "She's come to
help!" dropping the phone, he dashed to the door. Julian returned
to the crying Jessica seconds later with another figure. "I found
"Who?" Justin glanced up to see one of Julian's girlfriends,
Olivia. "Oh, no." (The two were the best friends.)
"There. Why is she crying?" Julian pointed a finger towards
"Ah, she's adorable." Olivia reached into the padded dresser
drawer sitting on the floor and picked up the baby. The crying ceased.
Justin and Julian exchanged thankful glances. "She just needed
to be held," Olivia cuddled the baby. "Oh, and a diaper change."
"Good-bye," Justin turned jokingly towards the door.
"How do you change her diaper?" Julian's eyes widened at the
"Are you joking? You don't know anything." Olivia shook her
head. "Where's the diapers?" Julian glanced around the room.
"Uh, this bag came with her." Julian handed her the diaper bag.
Olivia pulled out a pad and unfolded it onto the nearby double bed. She
placed Jessica on the mat and then rummaged through the bag again.
"Here's a diaper. If you are going to have her a while, you need
more diapers. There is only one left," Olivia pointed out.
"Well, how often do they go through a diaper? One a day or so?"
"One every few hours is more like it," Olivia laughed.
"What else does she need?" Julian asked, realizing the diaper
bag would not tide Jessica over until mother was well.
"Formula, bottles, clothes, bibs. Is she on solid baby food? It would
be nice to have some toys, a crib, and a changing table." Olivia
changed the diaper slowly so that Julian could observe.
"Can you come shopping with us now?" Julian asked.
"Yeah, but then I have to go." Olivia glanced at her watch.
On the way to the supermarket, Julian explained the circumstances of
receiving Jessica. Olivia listened intently without comment. When Julian
was done Olivia simply shook her head at the load. Jessica's car seat
was wedged into the front of the shopping cart. "Great! Now we have
to buckle this car seat in again," Julian whined.
"I'm here to help you now, Justin. It won't be so bad," Olivia
teased. Justin snorted and walked ahead of her. The immediately went to
the baby aisle. Olivia grabbed things off shelf explaining briefly what
they were. "I have to get some milk and stuff for my apartment. You
stay here and pick out some bottles and bibs. Get a few," Olivia
said and walked away.
"Oh, I like Disney Babies." Justin pulled a bottle off the shelf.
"I like the Muppet Babies." Julian pulled a different bottle
off the shelf.
" The Muppet Babies are dumb. They are rip offs of the Disney Babies."
"My little brother grew up on the muppets. I used to watch them all
the time," Julian defended.
"I don't care what your little brother did. You aren't going to warp
"This is my baby, and I'll warp her however I want."
"Fine. Take the stupid Muppet Babies. Justin threw the bottle back
on the shelf.
"If you are going to be like this about it, I'll take a Disney Babies
bottle." Julian popped two of each in the cart and then three other
solid print bottles. Then they moved down to the bibs. Without a word,
Julian placed one Muppet Babies and one Disney Babies bib in the cart.
After looking at some of the other bibs, Julian selected one that said
"Daddy's Little Girl" and "I Love My Daddy." Justin
laughed as his friend beamed at the selections. Julian even held them
up to see what they looked like on Jessica. Together Julian and Justin
managed to pick out some t-shirts and other outfits.
Olivia returned and inspected their choices. Approving, they went to
the check-out. The items piled through the scanner, and finally, the cashier
totaled it. "Fifty-two dollars and thirty cents." The cashier
"You better check that total again. All I got were baby items,"
Julian requested. The cashier pressed a few buttons and came up with the
"Julian, baby stuff is expensive," Olivia nudged him. She smiled
embarrassed at the cashier.
"Fine." Julian wrote out a check.
A high pitched crying sound woke Julian in the middle of the night.
He rolled over with a moan, pulling the pillow over his head. About to
scream at whoever was crying, he suddenly remembered Jessica. "Jesse,"
the figure sat up pushing the covers off his body. He flew to the room
where Jessica's makeshift crib lay. The crib was empty though. Panic seized
Julian as he tried to recall where he had put the baby to bed. Another
figure appeared in the door as Julian sighed relief.
"She was making sounds, so I went and got her. Now she needs a diaper
change though. " Justin handed the baby to Julian. Julian pulled
out the diaper pad and laid it on the bed. Jessica cried as he laid her
on the mat.
"Oh hush, Jesse. Daddy will make it all better," Julian instinctively
"You gave her a nickname." Justin cracked a smile. Julian nodded
as he slowly opened the diaper and wrinkled his nose at the sight.
"She pooped. Olivia didn't show me how to clean this."
"Let's give her a bath," Justin suggested.
"It's two in the morning. I want to go to bed after this." Julian
paused a moment in thought. "Go get me some wet paper towels. Justin
returned in a moment with the requested paper towels. Julian was scrapping
poop off of Jesse's bottom with the clean part of the diaper. He took
the extended paper towels and managed a decent job of washing the bottom.
"There. All better." Julian lifted Jessica up after placing
a new diaper loosely on her. The diaper slid off down her legs and landed
on the bed. Julian and Justin's eyes as it made its journey. Jessica then
proceeded to pee on the bed. Justin laughed as Julian watched in awe.
The phone ringing brought Julian's mind back to reality. He peeked at
Jessica napping as he passed by her quickly. "Mr. Lennon," the
voice spoke. "This is St. John Memorial Hospital. I'm afraid I have
some bad news." Julian nearly dropped the phone. "I'm sorry.
Denise Stines has passed away.
"No," Julian gazed toward the baby girl stirring in the bassinet.
"I thought she'd be okay. This can't be." His thoughts rambled
in jumbled messages. Julian went to Jessica and picked her up with a comfortness
he had come to learn over the past few weeks. He wondered for the baby's
life and his own. What would they do now that Denise wasn't coming back?
"When do you want to meet your granddaughter?" Julian spoke
over the phone to his mother. "Yeah, I've hired a nanny. Her name
is April. She takes good care of Jesse while I'm at the studio."
Jesse bounced happily in April's arms, cooing loudly. "Jesse is the
cutest baby......Yeah, Mum. Things are going well."