“I don’t know what to think, Nys, I’m so afraid. I always thought something like this would happen, that one day Brennan’s work habit will catch up with him and his body will pay the sacrifice. Now, it’s happened!” She sobs.
It occurs to me that Susana needs assurance and for someone to tell her it will be alright, that Brennan will be just fine.
But God help me, I just can’t say that to her.
I can say that I myself is in a bit of a shock, and to be honest, with what little I know about the situation, I just do not feel like giving her any hope or promises. Yet. We both know about Brennan’s working habits, she naturally more so. If the doctor says that it could be bad, than it might be bad.
Still, I pray. It is the one thing that I can do for the both of them, at the moment. Hope can be a wonderful motivator, to not fall down into pieces even when shock threatens to settle in.
Unable to immediately come up with anything else to say out loud, I simply hug Su tighter in comfort.
“Mama?” Little Bea says sleepily. Trapped between us, the toddler wriggles restlessly. “Mama cwy?”
“Oh, Bea, sweety, yes honey. But it’s okay. Mama’s fine.” Susana pulls herself together and lovingly brushes Bea’s hair back from her eyes.
It is always easier to give assurance to children. They make a heavy heart lighter too.
“Mama has to go now, okay baby? You be good for Nysa alright?” She turnes to me, “I’ll call later to check on Bea.”
“And update me on Brennan’s condition, if you can. You’re not alone in this, remember that, if only to talk, call me. Doesn’t matter how late it is.” I insist.
Susana nods, not trusting herself to speak. With one last kiss on Bea’s forehead and a wave to me, she leaves.
I brood in the hallway, my mind working on overdrive, until Bea’s squirming in my arms reminds me that I have a little one to care for.
Giving her a gentle squeeze and a kiss on the cheek, I go back inside, praying that Brennan will pull through and recover fully. Little Bea needs her father, just as Susana needs the other half of her soul in her life.
“Hey, baby, let’s see if we can get something to eat okay? You hungry? I am. Ooh, scrambled eggs, you like scrambled eggs, right? I’ll make us some.” I chatter at the little one.
I seat Bea on the highchair which is placed conveniently by the dining table. Bea has spent enough times over at my place that Brennan had made a highchair specifically to put in my kitchen.
“She spends so much time with you anyway, Nys, might as well put one chair here!” He had said cheerfully as he presented me with the chair. I was too busy gazing at the precious sight of a baby’s highchair in my kitchen to protest.
Poor Brennan, I sigh in melancholy. I hope everything’s okay with him. Poor Su too, I hope the doctors give her some good news tonight.
Before I can wallow in depressing thoughts, I turn my attention fully to little Bea.
Bea is being a good girl.
All the while that I feed her, bath her and put her in my bed to sleep; she doesn’t fuss or cry. It is as if she has the instinct that something is wrong in her world, and she is trying her best to not shake it further. She does ask a few times where mama is, and if daddy is coming home soon.
At bedtime, when she asks again after her mama, I tell her that mama will call soon to wish her good night, but that both she and papa are not coming home because papa has an owie and needs the good doctors to make sure his owies will heal.
I mean, I try not to traumatize the little one, alright? And in a child’s world, it is an ‘owie’, a big one.
“Will de dockers kiss daddy’s owies better? Mama and daddy kiss my owies better.” She asks as she looks at me with big, trusting eyes.
Bless the little children and their sincere trust, they do make us want to give them promises that things would be all right in their world, I sigh internally.
“Well, baby, maybe not the doctors, they’ll just probably need to give your daddy medicines, but they will take very good care of your daddy, alright? Your mama will definitely kiss him better.” I say with a reassuring smile at her, and tweak her little nose.
“Ooo, otay, mama kisses good.” Bea giggles. “Daddy like when mama kiss ‘im!”
Well, that is a little bit more information than I need to hear, thank you, Bea.
“He does, huh?” I chuckle. “Good thing your mama likes kissing him then, huh? Tell you what, how about I read you a story while we wait for your mama to call? You like that?”
“Yes, pweez Nysa, can you tell me one?”
“Tell you one? You don’t want me to read one of your books instead? I have some here.” I ask as I pick up one of her books from the bedside table.
‘The Princess and the Pea’ is the title. I grimace. Yeah, read that already, several times. I pick up the next one “Dibo The Gift Dinosaur”, done also. So are all the other books she has.
Eh, maybe making up a new story for her would work better, I start to warm up to the idea. I need to work on my ‘creativity brain’, anyway.
“Na-ah. I wanna you to tell me one, pweezw?” Bea asks, her curls a wild disarray around her head on the pillow. She looks like a little cherub. She stuck a thumb in her mouth and starts sucking on it.
“Thumb out of your mouth, sweetie. You know what your mama said about thumb-sucking.”
She obediently takes her thumb out of her mouth.
“Alright, just give me a minute, and I’ll tell you a story. Hmmm….let’s see. What do you want to hear?”.
“A princess and her kitty!” She cries out and claps her hands gleefully.
The kid really is too adorable. And at least it is not ‘a princess and her pony’ or ‘a princess and a dragon’ or ‘a princess and a frog’. Yeah, I’ve read her all of those. ‘A princess and her kitty’ is a new one.
I chuckle agreeably.
I should probably also start outlining her next story, which can be “A princess and her new phone’! With kids these days, you never know, although I hope little Bea won’t grow up too fast or became too worldly too fast.
“Alrighty then. Here we go. You ready? Let’s get you all nice and comfortable first, okay?” I fuss at her, covering her quite snugly under the blanket.
Little Bea endures the fussing, sweet little angel that she is.
Then, pushing the earlier event to the very back of my mind for the moment, I take a deep breath, and begin my story.
For previous chapters go here https://myreadingpoet.com/category/fiction-and-short-stories/
Excellent read https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/short-stories