Jacob pushes the bathroom door open with the sound of the toilet flushing echo out from behind him. As he is fixing his pants, the door kept moving until the doorknob banged into the wall, scaring Sherbet.
He spurts a little shit onto the towel beneath him and dives into the pillows beside his sleeping brother. Jacob closes the door and walks back over to the basket on the living room table. He notices Al sleeping and Sherbet’s butt sticking out from the pillows. Smiling, he takes his finger and rubs the side of Al’s face. Al coos in response to Jacob’s touch.
Jacob decides to take the opportunity to check the dummy mummah to see if the formula bottle inside needed replacing. It was low, so he gets up and walks to the fridge to get a fresh bottle of formula, as well as a can of pop for himself.
As Jacob was returning to the table, the front door opened, and Cassandra walked in.
“How are they doing?”
Jacob looked up as he took the dummy mummah out of the basket to change the bottle of formula that was inside.
“They’re perfectly healthy.”
He turns around to unscrew the head of the mummah so the two foals couldn’t see it. They may have been asleep, but he wasn’t taking any chances at scaring them to death in case one or both of them suddenly woke up. Luckily, they were in deep slumber.
“They actually just opened their eyes and said their first words.” He said with a smile.
Cass, who had been in a poor mood since Johnny’s arrest, let a little smile peek through. She cast her gaze onto the sleeping foals and felt her heart squirm at their cuteness.
But then she remembered Johnny’s trial was coming up and she did not look forward to testifying against her now ex-boyfriend. However, she didn’t feel nearly as bad as Jacob, who would be testifying against his best friend. Jacob had known Johnny since middle school. They went to class together, they joined marching band together, they took their dates to prom together. For years they were inseparable until Johnny went to college and Jacob joined the national guard. After that it went downhill, Johnny developed a drinking problem and got kicked out of college over a rape accusation. He was never tried in court, but his reputation amongst his peers was permanently damaged and his parents refused to continue paying his tuition. Johnny had been in and out of different jobs ever since while Jacob had been working a dead-end job at the mall after he was put back on reserve after suffering a minor injury while he was serving in Maryland. Jacob had yet to be medically discharged from service since the injury had didn’t do any permanent damage and was projected to have a short recovery time. The military decided that while they didn’t really need him, they wanted to at least have him available if he ever was needed in the future and thus, he was placed on reserve.
Out of the corner of his eye, Sherbet wriggled his way further into the pile of pillows he and his brother slept in. Al just snoozed away.
Cass sat on the couch watching them as Jacob threw away the empty bottle.
“I’m guessing you’re not going to post his bail.” He said as he pulled the tab on the can of pop.
She looked up at him. “Not gonna happen, Jake. I’ve had to put up with his drunken antics for years. I’ve had enough of it.”
Jacob sat down on the couch and took a sip of his pop.
“I hoped he would get some help and get sober eventually. But it only got worse, especially after he started buying moonshine off my uncle.”
Jacob raised an eyebrow.
“So that’s where he got the moonshine from.”
She looked down at the basket with the two sleeping foals as she took a deep breath.
“Now I don’t think he’ll ever get better. He’s… too far gone at this point. I can’t take it anymore, Jacob. I need to get away from him before something happens to me.”
Jacob shifted himself to face her squarely.
“Has he ever hurt you?”
She looked up at him. “He made a swipe at me once or twice, but he never actually touched me. He’d just yell at me to blow off some steam and then he’d go to bed to sleep it off.”
Jacob shook his head in disappointment. He honestly wasn’t surprised Johnny did this. Johnny developed a major issue with his temper over the years of his alcohol abuse and now it almost got someone killed. Jacob was perfectly fine with however long Johnny was going to jail.
“Once you move out, what’ll be your next move?”
She fell back on the couch and stared at the ceiling for a moment of thought.
“I already have a new job lined up near my new place so I’m all set. What about you?”
Jacob sighed. “Have yet to find a new apartment or a new job. This pandemic is making things rather difficult.”
“D…Daddeh?” A tiny voice cracked and both Jacob and Cass look at the basket. Al had woken up from his nap and was sitting on his hind legs, looking up at Jacob.
“Hey there Al. You have a good nap?”
Al nodded twice with a tight closed-lipped smile on his face.
“Awl-Pawcheeno hab gud sweepies! Am weady foa pway nao!”
Cass’s depressed look melted into a smile as she saw Al-Puccino.
“Aww. He’s so cute, Jacob! What did you name him?”
As Jacob played with Al, he glanced at her. “Al-Puccino. I took Frappuccino and I… “mobster”ized it. I essentially named him after a mob boss’s favorite coffee.”
Cass laughed. “What about the orange one?”
Sherbet wriggled his way out of the pillows and out into the open. “Daddeh?”
“I named him Sherbet.”
She looks at Sherbet. “Hmm. It fits.”
Sensing Cass’s gaze, Sherbet looks up at her. “Nyu Mummah?”
She laughs at Sherbet’s question.
“Sorry sweetie, I’m not your new momma.”
She casually stares at Jacob. “You daddy still needs to find one for you.” Her innocent smile turns into a mischievous grin.
Jacob never had the best luck with women, having only three girlfriends since high school.
Sherbet turned to look at him. “Daddeh nu hab speciaw fwiend?”
Jacob shook his head. “No, I don’t buddy. It ain’t as easy for us as it is for you guys.”
Al walked over to the edge of the basket. “Shewbet and Awl-Pawcheeno hewp daddeh fin speciaw fwiend. Den we hab nyu mummah!”
Jacob gave a chuckle while Cass sat and watched them.
“Thanks, you two. But one step at a time. We need to find a new place to live first, and then a new job for me, and then we’ll try looking for a… special friend… for me. Alright?”
Al sits on his bum with an almost disappointed look on his face. “Awight daddeh.”
“I’m grateful you two want to help, but there’s some important stuff that I need to take care of before I can get a girlfriend.”
Jacob gets up.
“The trail is tomorrow, right?”
Cass nods her head. “Yeah.”
“Alright. Good thing I watched My Cousin Vinny last night.”
Cass shook her head. “You’re the chief witness Jacob, not Johnny’s lawyer.”
“I know. Just wanted to settle my nerves is all.”