Ricki was glad to be there for Carson. She could tell he was scared. How he really wasn't sure this was a good idea, after all. But it was a mystery. He wanted to meet a brother he didn't know existed.
Thankfully, it hadn't been a trail of paperwork and caseworkers at this little impromptu meeting. It was good to see that Gage's foster Mom wasn't making a fuss. Instead, she wanted to hold Jewel.
"She's like lead, what are you feeding her?" Ren asked as she held Jewel up, but not for long. She was a handful, and she still loved mommie best.
"I'm not breast feeding anymore." Ricki quickly pointed out, yet realized it was silly to admit, but it was true. Jewel used her sippy cup, and she could walk all on her own, even if Shan kept fussing with Ricki all the time that she held the baby too much.
Soon she was exploring.
"So, you and Carson?" Ren started.
"Oh, no." Ricki smiled thinking she was misguiding the woman somehow. "He's..he's a roommate. Came up from Florida."
"Bet he wished he was still there." Ren shivered in her old black sweater.
"Well, I don't think it was exactly great at his mother's. Sounds like he's had it tough, too. Maybe, this is a vacation for him. Being away from her." At least Ricki knew this much. She thought of Carson as some sort of survivor, but he didn't even know it. "I'm glad you're OK with this." Ricki knew it was all so out of the ordinary. Maybe even random.
Carson's little meeting didn't last long. It wasn't like he'd came all this way to take Gage away.
Soon they loaded up, Ren said maybe when it warmed up she would bring Ricki some goodies. Ricki liked that idea as she started up the old car and headed home.
Carson was awful quiet, like he might be crying.
"I can't even do anything for him," Carson said once they got in the driveway. "I can't even do that much for myself." He sighed.
"But you found him, its a start." Ricki reminded him with a pat on the back.
Next thing she knew he was hugging her tight, crying on her shoulder. It almost took her breath away.
About a minute later, he pulled away and composed himself.
"God, I'm so..so sorry." He shook his head. He couldn't quite look at her, yet she couldn't take her eyes off him.
"Its OK." She nodded, but she felt something for him. She did. Maybe he didn't notice. Maybe it was just her wacky hormones.