Saturday, June 30, 2018
The 4th was coming. The fireworks stands were in full throttle and the sirens weren't far behind. Just as Ellie was coming home from work, she thought a firetruck was going to plow into her, even if she did come to a complete stop in her little SUV with the girls in the back, buckled up.
She sat there for a moment thinking life flashed before her eyes. She was so close to the end, and then she saw that Lon's rental car was in the driveway.
"It's Dad!" Zoe knew. Chloe imitated her sister. Suddenly, Ellie felt so empty and tired. Even her arms ached as she got the girls out of the car.
"Have you been waiting long." Her voice felt so shallow, she was sure she might pass out in front of him and he'd have a good mind to take the girls away from her, but she didn't falter and he said he hadn't waited long.
It was hot and muggy. They headed into the air-conditioned house.
"You know, its winter in Australia." He told the girls happily, handing out a bag of goodies for each of them. Of course, they were mainly crayons, coloring books and girlie things from the dollar store.
Of course, Zoe made over him. Chloe watched, ever so serious, but she didn't go to him.
Ellie felt a little bad about that, but not really. Lon had never really been there for her, that much. He'd been busy. Ellie knew she would have been a rancher's wife who stayed on the ranch in the middle of nowhere, watching the girls. She would have been little more than a housekeeper, she thought now.
She hated to think about this. Her eyes almost got watery as she watched him with the girls.
"You're mother looks tired." He looked back at Ellie was still in her dental scrubs and white sneakers.
She shoved her fist deeper into the pockets of her shirt.
"I'll take them to dinner and a movie," he said. "You can rest." His smile was genuine. "Then, to the zoo tomorrow." He told the girls gathering them up, as if he wanted to make up all those times he said he would visit when he didn't.