Monday, November 19, 2012
in the quiet
Tyson knew there was a lot to be angry about. It was an easy thing to do. He knew of it, first hand. For a while, he thought he might be stuck in bitterness.
But there was a lot to be thankful for, too. His grandmother reminded him this, even if she wasn't here. She had to be the strongest person he'd ever met. She was the backbone of the family, and it was her old house that his mother still kept. There were all kinds of kids his mother knew. Most of them were foster kids. For a while, he thought his little Gia would be a foster child too.
It took some doing to get her back. Parent classes, anger management. Of course, he was still mad at Leia. Especially, for leaving. He still didn't think he was entirely to blame.
"She knew how to push your buttons." His Momma kept telling him all the time. He was sick of that line.
Of course, it was kind of scary having Gia on his own. Honestly, she was a congenial little thing. His poor baby had been moved so many times. He hoped they stayed put for awhile, here at the place that Luc gave him. He kept the rent up. He could afford it.
There was a good bed to sleep in, and Gia had her little place in his room petitioned off with a plush blue curtain. It was beginning to feel like home.
She played with the pots and the pans that were left behind while he got the chili ready on the stove. He knew she wasn't big on meat, but she liked her cheddar. He put in a can of kidney beans.
"I think dinner will be done soon, baby girl." He looked down at her wondering if she knew what he was talking about. She wasn't much on talking. He'd seen how much the other toddlers talked down at the day care. It was baffling.
Tyson was sure he knew it was his fault. No, it was Leia's fault. She didn't want to take care of her. She wanted to go out, have some fun. Go to the clubs. Make new friends.
"After dinner, we're going to look at those books we got from the library." He told her as he stirred the chili once more and put some in bowl for her after he'd cleaned up their little galley kitchen. He put her in the high chair before he served it to her.
Her hair was in two soft ball on the sides of her head. She squirmed a little in his arms. He knew she missed her MawMaw a little, but she was all smiles and oh so quiet. Tyson put the cheese on top of her little pile of chili, to let cool.
He was missing something. Important. He back down at the end of the thin little kitchen and reached for beets in a container and apple slices, her favorite. She would snarl her nose up to broccoli, but she'd eat canned asparagus straight out of the can.
"You are hard one to figure out, Miss Gia." Tyson did his best not to make a face as he handled the asparagus over to her. She ate it as he set down with his serving.
It was so silent. No TV, just the two of them. Tyson felt he should keep talking, but he didn't know what to say. She finally fretted that she needed something to drink. He got her fresh milk in her sippy cup.
He didn't bother to question her what she wanted because, she'd start to whine and make faces at him.
He told the doctor about this at her last check up, but she was healthy and her hearing was perfect. Still, he couldn't help to think he needed to be doing something. Of course, he worked down at the gym. He was trying to make it in this world. So much he needed to make up to Gia.
Finally she lifted her arms up. She had him trained, so well. He remembered what the doctor said, "You'll have to let her make an effort." Bu it got him in the gut of emotion to wait that long. He took her out of the high chair, set her in his lap while he finished eating. Naturally, she'd pick the fat beans out and feed them to him.
She was smiling, touching his face, puckering up as if this was where she wanted to be. As close to him as possible, kissing his cheek.
He heard someone in the hallway. He looked toward the front door. He'd forgotten to put the chain up, and he knew someone was out there. Then he heard a key in the lock. He could hardly swallow the chili in his mouth.
He just knew Leia was back. He got up with Gia, wondering what he'd say are do after all this time. When he saw her, he actually thought it was Leia for second, but it wasn't.
"What are you doing here?" She winced at him funny as if she'd gotten the wrong apartment.
"Where did you get that key?" He snapped.
"Leia gave it to me." She looked him in the eye as if she wasn't scared of him.
"When?" He winced as if she better turn around and go.
"A while ago," she offered a handshake. "I'm-"
"I know who you are." He didn't take his eyes off her. She was Leia's friend. "What do you want?"