Monday, July 30, 2012
Ellie couldn't believe this was happening. Ryan invited them over. Of course, she doubted the place was kid proof. Actually, Charlie proof. So Blake looked after the kids while she went for this little event. Syd showed up without kids, too.
"We won't know what to do with our selves." Syd said before Ellie had a chance to say it.
"Yeah, I dunno what to say. And I thought I felt freaky because most of my attention is having to talk to a toddler and a pre-schooler who thinks he's going on 16." Ellie hugged herself. Charlie loved his Leap Frog. It was filled with music and he always had to practice his break dancing at least once hour. Before she could worry about what they might be doing right now, Olivia showed up.
"So what are we doing, out here, on the steps?" Olivia looked at them as if they might already be in trouble. She rang the door bell.
Ellie was hoping to ask Olivia a question or two. Like what was up with Ryan? Had they ever been over with out having Roger at the house?
Ryan answered. "Where's the kids?" She asked right away. "I don't mind the kids. I really don't."
"Oh, well..." Ellie thought of making something up, but instead she said. "We just wanted to see you. You know, talk. I guess. Grownup stuff, you know."
Ellie eyed the spread of a real tea-party. Biscuits and jam. Quiche too.
"Wow, this looks great." Syd admired the fresh strawberries. Soon enough they were digging in.
"So, its just you guys now?" Olivia asked about Tyra and Leon who lived in the basement.
"Leon got a teaching position. Tyra changed nursing schools. I think she wanted to move closer to her sisters. They found themselves an apartment." Ryan shrugged. "So yeap, got the whole house to ourselves."
"Imagine, that." Ellie looked around and remembered when she lived here. She guessed things were really progressing. Everyone finding their own home now. "So how's Roger?" It felt weird that he wasn't here.
"Fine." She was a bit adamant, and dressed as she always did. Certainly not in an outfit for a tea-party, but slacks and a cute bow tie with her floral long sleeved oxford shirt.
"How are you?" Ellie wished she could ask so many questions. But she wouldn't. She had to accept Ryan for being Ryan.
"I guess, OK." She shrugged.
"You know, you can tell us, if you need anything when, when you go out with us. You, let us know if your blood sugar is low." Syd told her. "We want you to come along, if..if you can. If you want to." Syd looked at Ellie then Olivia. "We do want to be your friend. You can ask us anything." Syd piled her plate high with fruit.
"OK," Ryan said. "What can you tell me about Amber?"
"Oh, uh..she was here in town." Olivia nodded. "But I think she went back." Olivia quickly popped a firm grape in her mouth and chewed, as if she'd said enough.
Ryan nursed the corner of her bottom lip, as if that was not enough information.
"I don't think you have a thing to worry about, really." Ellie told her. "Didn't you say, you saw her with ..with her husband's brother?" Ellie looked at Olivia who only nodded. She was too busy spreading raspberry jam on biscuits.
They munched on food and drank cups of milked sweet tea as they settled around the table.
"Look, I see the way Roger looks at you." Ellie said later. "I've never seen him care about anyone, quite the way he does with you."
"Then why hasn't he asked me to marry him." She looked at all of them.
"Maybe you should ask him." Syd told her. "Just ask him to marry you." Syd smiled as if it would be a simple gesture.
Ryan stared at the food. Finally she took a sip of her hot tea with only a splash of lemon.
"You are going to eat something, aren't you?" Ellie looked to see there was nothing on Ryan's plate.
"None of its sugar free, or fat free." She sighed.
Ellie didn't know what to say. She had to wonder if Ryan thought she was a burden to Roger, after all.