Noah can’t believe that Luke owns so much stuff.
When Lily asked them to go through some of Luke’s old things that were being stored up in the attic, Noah had no idea it would be such a time-consuming affair. He thought about the two boxes he brought along when he first moved out of his father’s house, and while he knew he probably didn’t own much compared to most people, he never imagined something like this.
They had found somewhere between twenty and thirty boxes with Luke’s name on, and according to Lily, that wasn’t even all of them. “There are some boxes in the basement as well,” she informed them. “And of course, all your old clothes are stored elsewhere. But I think I’ll go through them myself, maybe there’s something there that Ethan can use.”
She left them to it, but even now, after having spent three hours up in the attic, they still have more than half of the boxes left to go through.
Most of the things they have gone through so far are stuff that Luke has decided to throw away. They find a lot of old school stuff, which, with a few exceptions, Luke doesn’t see any reason to keep, and a lot of old toys that are broken. “I have no idea why my mom has kept all this stuff,” Luke says as he picks up a red toy car with a missing wheel. “It’s not like anyone is ever going to want this.”
Noah finds that he quite enjoys looking through Luke’s old things. He feels like they are giving him a better picture of what Luke was like as a kid. Not for the first time he wishes that he knew Luke back then. He’s sure his childhood would have been very different if he’d had Luke in his life.
He pushes that thought away (because at least he has Luke in his life now), and picks up a stack of old drawings from the box he’s currently going through. “Keep or throw away?” he asks, holding up the drawings so Luke can see them. Luke throws a quick look at them.
“Throw them away,” he says. “I already picked out a few drawings that I’m going to keep. Apparently I was quite the artist when I was a kid.”
Noah throws the drawings in the pile of things they are going to get rid of. He feels a little bad about it, but they can only keep so many drawings, and three-year-old and four-year-old Luke obviously drew a lot.
“What about this?” he asks, holding up a stuffed toy pig.
Luke looks up, then he grins wide and takes the pig from Noah. “I can’t believe this is still here,” he murmurs, looking almost melancholic as he slowly turns the toy around in his hands a few times. Then he smiles again and holds it up for Noah to see. “Noah, meet Pinky. I got him for Christmas when I was two, and he was my best friend for years.”
Noah smiles as he looks at the stuffed toy. He can see how Pinky got his name, but the color that was probably bright and pink once, has now taken on a browner shade. He can tell that Pinky has been carried around and played with a lot, because one eye is missing, and it looks like one of his legs has fallen off and later been stitched back on again.
“I carried him with me everywhere,” Luke says, looking down at the toy. “I remember I accidentally dropped him in the pond once, and I wouldn’t stop crying because I thought he had drowned. I only calmed down after my dad convinced me that Pinky was a magical pig that couldn’t die.” He smiles a little at the memory, and then he looks sideways at Noah. “Pinky is also the only one I ever shared a bed with before you.”
Noah has to laugh at that. “Sounds like I have a lot to live up to,” he grins.
Luke laughs, too. “Yeah, Pinky is special,” he says affectionately, looking down at the toy with a small smile on his lips. Then he looks at Noah again. “But you are pretty special, too.” He leans over and presses a soft kiss to Noah’s lips that Noah willingly returns. When they pull back again, Noah nods towards the toy in Luke’s hands.
“So I guess Pinky stays then,” he says, smiling.
Luke nods. “Yes. I mean, it’s not like I need him anymore, but I don’t think I could ever throw him away.”
“That’s okay,” Noah says, brushing his hand slowly up and down Luke’s back. “We’ll have a lot more room at our new place, so I’m sure we can fit him in.”
Luke looks thoughtfully at the small pig for a moment. “Do you think we’ll ever have kids, Noah?” he asks quietly. “I mean, I know we have talked about it before and agreed that it’s something that we want, but… do you really think it will happen?”
“Yes,” Noah says without hesitation. Somehow he is absolutely sure about that. He knows how much Luke wants to be a dad one day, and Noah is going to do everything in his power to make sure it happens for him. Besides, he really quite wants it for himself as well. “One day, you and I are going to have our own little boy or girl. And he or she will be the luckiest kid in the world, to have you for a dad.”
Luke kisses him again. “I love you,” he whispers. “You are going to be an amazing dad.”
Noah hopes so. He thinks that as long as he does the opposite of what his own father did, he’ll probably do alright. And besides, he’s going to have Luke by his side. Luke will probably handle fatherhood the same way he handles everything else. He will face it head on, with no reservation or hesitation, be one hundred percent committed, and love that kid with everything he’s got.
Noah once more looks at the toy in Luke’s hands. Maybe, one day, another little kid will have a Pinky that they will carry around with them everywhere they go, a best friend that will always be there.
He smiles at the thought. He hopes that day is coming soon.