Like a white dotted blanket the night lay over them, thousands of starts painting the sky. "There! Another one!" Ella squeaked in delight and Tyler chuckled, pulling the little one closer to his side and making sure she had enough of their blanket. "You must have run out on wishes by now." he gave, closing his eyes for a second and just allowing himself to enjoy the moment. Minutes like this, filled with his daughters excitement about the smallest things this world had to give, where literally what he lived for and he cherished every single of them to the max. "I haven't even done all MY wishes, but I got so many for you and mum toooo!" Ella whined, scanning the sky for a sign of another shooting star. They were out in their yard, a little deeper into their woods, at the little clearing Tyler had built her treehouse at. It had become kind of a tradition to spent every other night out here in the summer for them, but tonight was special. Never before had Ella managed to stay up long enough to see the perseids, and the joy she showed on that was infectious. Tyler felt his heart swell, his soul get warm with every enthusiastic yell she did.
Lying there for a while, just content with himself and the world for once, the singer did not move when his daughter snuggled up against him, but opened his eyes to take in the eternity above them again when she spoke. "Daddy?" "Hm?" "Can I ask you something?" Slowly rubbing his hand up and down her back Tyler braced himself for another round of childish curiousity, a thing he had to encounter a lot lately. "Everthing, baby." "Why does Josh not live with us?" Pretty positive she could feel him tense Tyler tried not to hold his breath and leave not to long of a pause between them. "Why should he? Uncle Josh loves LA, he's not made for the winters in Ohio." "That's not what I mean." Ella gave, determined but soft, shifting a bit in his arms so she could watch his face from aside. Still trying to hide behind his mask Tyler waited for her to get on while his heart hammered to the inside of his chest. "I mean...people who love each other...live together. Like mummy and you. And granny and granpa. Or Uncle Zack and Tatum. But...Josh doesn't live with you. Why?"
Cursing himself for not noticing how smart his kid had already become Tyler pondered to make up an excuse, but decided that, in the end, Ella would learn sooner or later anyway. "It's...difficult, the thing with love, sometimes, baby." "Mum says love is easy." "Mum says gods love is easy, that's a difference. The..." gulping a little Tyler turned and faced her then, because it was important, they always looked at each other when she got like this. He wanted to remind her just like this once she was older, once she would leave him to live her own life. "love between Josh and me...it is a diffiuculter, more layered one. Love has so many faces...like...you do love Maddy a lot, right?" Frantically the girl nodded. "Ok, and yo do love your doggie too, right?" "Yes, of course!" "Good...would you say it's the same kind of love for the too of them?" Tilting her head and gnawing her lip for a moment Ella thought about it, then sighed. "No. I can't describe it. But it's not." Smiling Tyler couldn't help but reach out and streak her hair out of her face. Moments like this...they had become his heartbeat.
"See? And it's the same for me. I love your mum in a very special way like no person on earth. And I love Joshua in a very special way like no one else. And" leaning in and pecking her front Tyler made her giggle, "I love you in a very special way. I'm a whole frickin' pile of love right now." "You're so silly, dad!" Ella grinned and rolled on her back, looking up to the sky again, her little face getting quiet serious. "But Josh does love you the way you love mum, doesn't he?" His mouth running dry, his surprise overcoming his instincts for a moment Tyler drew a sharp breath. Damn, she was way too smart. "That's...I'm not sure if we should talk about that, Ella." "Why? I know he's gay, dad. I'm not dumb." Sighing the singer outstretched his arms and treid to fall into the sky. "It might change your point of view for him. For me." "Where you together once? I mean like...you and mum? You know...because...that's what some people are sayi..." Shooting up to a sitting position and starring down at her with kind of a pained expression Tyler got a little more lifely then. "NEVER assume things right that - the People say - ." Nodding slowly Ella tried to learn what she had done wrong by slipping her hand in his and waiting for him to get on. The tension left the singer as quickly as it had come and he ran a hand over his face. "I'm sorry. That was...not ok. I get you're curious because I know what kind of stories are out there about him and me. And no...we've never been a couple."
Slowly understanding why he hadn't wanted her to know Ella bit her lip and chased another shooting star with her eyes letting it pass by without a wish. "You broke his heart, hm? That's why he's not here, in Ohio, with his family and us." Surrender himself to the fact that his kid was not even ten years old and already smart enough to outrun him Tyler leaned back, probbing himself on his arms. "Yes and no. I might have been the cause for him to move there, but I guess I stopped to be the cause for him to stay there a long time ago." Sensing the insecureness in his voice Ella knew she maybe pushed past a breaking point with what she was about to say, but it seemed just right. "Are you sure? I mean...how do you stop to love somebody that way? Could you stop loving mum? Is it possible to stop loving at all?" Looking at her with his mouth hanging open for a second Tyler huffed. "Jeez, girl, you're killing me!" "What? I'm just curious!" "Yeah, but the things you are curious about are...special." "Do you mind?" "Not at all."
They let silence take it's comfort between them a little then, Tyler collecting his running thoughts, Ella desperatly searching for another shine of racing light in the sky. "Love can transform." her father gave when he was done thinking, when he had find a way to put in words what flew through his head. "Into another?" "Yeah. And even into hate. Emotions are a tricky thing, baby. And you're way too young to have such a deep conversation with your messed up old daddy." Sitting up beside him and hugging him Ella sended a wish with the star falling above them this time. Hours later, when she was tucked in her sleeping bag and deep into the land of dreams Tyler pulled his backpack closer and rumbled for his phone. Normally he kept it shut down when he was out here with her, but she had touched a point, one that he had thought about, and that maybe had slipped through his perception. Speed dialing a number he couldn't even forget if he wanted to he waited patiently as the line rang, a few times, before a sleepy voice picked up.
"Tyler? What the heck, man! Are you alright?" "Yeah, chill, I know, it's like in the middle of the night for you but...I got a question." "Are you drunk?" "No." There was a thumb on the end of the line then a curse. Smiling to himself Tyler imagined how his friend struggled to get up and trail to the bathroom, being shocked awaken by his call. "Shit!" "You alright?" "Partly. So what the hell do you want?" Making sure Ella was still asleep beside him Tyler watched the morning dawn. "Are you still thinking about the two of us?" It took Josh a long time to answer, and he waited, patiently, the light of day finally winning over the nights layers. The drummers voice was shaky. The birds woke up and wanted to wake the world in return. Tyler breathed in cold morning air. "Yes. Yes I do."