"You like it here, don't you?" Vada knew Joey hadn't said much since the announcement at the staff meeting that she was leaving.
He only nodded and kept busy with the shelving.
"Its not like I'm REALLY leaving." She stressed a smile. "I'll be around. But I'm taking a full load of college classes, and I got on at the Hispanic Family Center." Vada would be helping out with the children's after school activities.
Still Joey wasn't saying much.
"They just hired me..... because you're leaving." He finally said out of the blue. Naturally, he wouldn't look at her.
"Joey, you know it won't be all that bad." Vada started, but she could see he had tears in his eyes. "You've got the other shelvers to help you." But she knew he hardly ever saw them, only in passing.
Finally, she gave him a hug, but it was almost like hugging a bag of bones. He was rather frail. Maybe it was the meds. Maybe he wasn't eating, properly. But at least he was smoke free. He faintly smelled of lemons and sandal wood.
He sniffed a little, trying to be quiet as usual, but she knew he was crying.
"You'll be fine. I promise I'll be checking up on you." Her smile was confident, but she couldn't stay around him. She didn't want to be sad.
Vada hurried on to the circ desk. Henry was waiting. She'd promised to drive him home.
"You, be nice to Joey." She whispered.
"What?" He winced as if he didn't know why she bothered about him.
"Just be nice to him, will you?" She winced with a threat that she'd be watching him, too.
"I'm always nice." He informed her as they walked out to the parking lot.
"Of course, you are." She knew she'd spent more than enough time saying her good-byes at the library. Now she wanted to get to Henry's home for some baby time. "How's Allie?" She asked on the way.
"Three months now." He nodded. "And she's practically teething." Or at least. he said that was why she was not sleeping through the night.
It wasn't long until they found Josie in the livingroom with the baby.
Vada smiled. Josie looked so happy. And the baby was so happy. Vada liked what she was seeing. Soon enough Josie handed over the baby.
Allie didn't cry, which was a bit of a shock to Vada.
"She's so big!" Vada was impressed. She'd only seen her a few weeks ago.
It felt good to hold the baby. Everything felt right. And everything looked right with Henry and Josie, too.