Part Seven: The grass is always greener growin' on the other side.
Autumn groaned with frustration. "Peter, can you believe them? They are so immature . . . acting so petty . . . can you believe them?"
"No," Peter murmured distractedly.
Gia opened the front door to the Monkees' pad as quietly as possible. She was quite successful no one heard her, not even Peter and Autumn who were standing in the middle of the room.
At the same time, Micky opened the door to his room. He made absolutely no sound an act of self-control that was usually beyond him.
They both saw Peter whisper something to Autumn. In response, Autumn let go of Peter's hand and turned to face him. "I know that, you know that—why not admit it?! That is so frustrating!" Autumn turned away and walked out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her.
"Autumn," Peter said semi-plaintively, walking out the door after her.
Gia walked all the way in the Monkees' Pad, and Micky walked back into the room he shared with Mike. Mike was straightening up the room a task that seemed to need to be done at least once every day. If you don't understand how that could be possible, well, then, you don't live with Micky, do you? No, of course not, or you'd be in this story.
"Mike?" ventured Micky.
Micky switched to whiny brat mode. "Autumn and Peter are fighting!"
"Like you and Gia?"
"Well . . . ." Micky didn't have any excuses or reasons for that.
"I'll talk to them. You go downstairs."
"Okay." Micky left the room, and slid down the banister. "Gia!"
"Remember that I live here," Micky reminded her sarcastically.
"Break it up, you two," reprimanded Mike from the top of the stairs.
"Oh, she's done a bang up job of that," said Micky with a smirk.
"Alright, alright, that's enough." Mike walked downstairs and into the kitchen. He got one of the chairs around the table, picked it up, and set it down in middle of the floor. Gia and Micky watched Mike with curiosity as he did the same with three other chairs, setting them down in a row.
"Mick, go get Autumn and Peter." Micky found Autumn and Peter on the porch, looking at the ocean. He didn't need to go outside to get them, he just knocked on the window and motioned for them to come inside when they turned and looked at him.
"Okay," said Mike. He took Autumn by the shoulders and set her in the first chair. "You sit here. Peter, you sit next to Autumn. Mick, you sit here, and Gia, you sit on the end.
"Now, y'all are all fighting—"
Everyone started talking at once—Gia and Micky to explain themselves, and Autumn and Peter to explain that they weren't fighting.
Mike held up a hand and they quieted down quickly. "Let me finish before you start talking, we'll all get a turn. Anyway, I can't stand to see you fight. You're going to have to make up." With that, Mike walked away.
"Hey, dad!" called Autumn.
"Can I hit Micky?"
"Really hard," said Autumn through clenched teeth. She cast a menacing glance at Micky.
"No," said Mike. Micky sighed with relief. "Only kinda hard." With that, Mike retired into his room to finish straightening things up.
"Micky, Gia, we've tried to help you. But if you won't help yourselves, no one else can," said Peter, displaying surprising profundity.
"We should let them be and go outside or something," suggested Autumn.
"No way," said Micky. "You two are fighting, too."
"No, we're not."
"Yes you are. Autumn just yelled at you."
"She yelled, yes."
"But not at Peter. We're both angry. But not at each other—"
They spoke in unison. "—At you two."
Peter finished up their summation of the situation. "You're on your own for this one." He and Autumn left the house by the back door and stepped out onto the night beach.
The sequel to No Time—Mary, Mary Part One
back to No Time Part Six