He smiled at me from the doorway, and said his quietest “hello” ever.
He was unusually quiet at his desk, too, for a few moments and then I noticed him at the end of the dining room table a few feet from his twice-as-old step-sister who was weeping again.
She’d hoped to see her father who has been delusionally and self-medicatingly making life miserable for all (unto and including sending the cops over here for a welfare check), rendering the overnight visitation he ragingly demands via endless angry texts every day to the mom (and via raging contact at their son’s soccer practices) impossible.
He doesn’t accept that between his over-imbibing, his constant tearing down of their mother for the duration of their “visiting” with him, and his live-in girlfriend who already OD’d once while they were there, it’s better that the kids don’t overnight there.
He’s bringing their mom back to court over it. He rages against the thought of daytime-only visits because it’s himself he’s considering first. It will be his way or no way, and by God, someone will pay for this; he never sees who those someones are, anymore — if he ever did.
Kids cannot fathom such complexities. All one of them knows is, she wants to see her dad. The other, youngest kid doesn’t have that problem; his only problem right now is his very sad step-sister.
He inches closer, glancing at something in his hand and then at her every few seconds until he reaches her. Neither of them notices me..
“I made you a flower,” he says very low. “See — it’s pink. It might be a rose.” She sniffs a couple of times, takes it from him, looks at it and thanks him.
“I also cut it out for you, in case you want to hold it, or.. or maybe put it somewhere…”
“OH! You could put it on your phone!” She brightens a bit, as does he. “OH MY GOD, C — you could put it on the back of your phone!! Haha! You wanna?” She fits it onto the back for a second; it takes up the entire area except for the camera lens. Perfect.
“Hey, Grandma,” he runs in, “Do you have some tape?”
Grandma is never out of tape, or prayer.. but sometimes, little kids are both of those.