Jenny looked at the bed, and wondered.
It had been two hours since her dad showed her the bedroom he set aside for her. She looked at the frills at the edge of the curtains, the light pink fabric used on the canopy atop the posts at each corner of the bed, the yellow daisy-shaped LEDs embedded into the walls, and wondered what her dad expected.
She cast her glance yet again atop the covering, undisturbed since she came in the room, and wondered if the bed was as soft as it looked.
She eyed the corners of the bed, gave a quick guess as to whether she’d even fit in it, and wondered how long he’d had this undisturbed room up here for her. How many years it was waiting for her, she couldn’t guess.
How many more it would wait, she didn’t bother to think about as she closed the door behind her…
She followed the path she took upstairs down, going through the kitchen. She stopped briefly to open the refrigerator, and found herself transfixed by the huge bounty he had there.
She narrowed her glance between two well-marked packages, two choices to steal, slices of apples in honey and chocolate pudding with pomegranate seeds-
The lights went on in a hurry as her father said, “I guess you decided before you went to sleep.”
She turned to look at him. He was in a bathrobe, standing between her and the front door. She noted that he was pretty well muscled, which could affect her options…
“So what made you say no to me?” he asked. “To all this?”
She straightened up, cleared her throat, and replied, “I didn’t say no.”
“Yet you’re still dressed, and everything in your washroom is untouched.” Before she could say anything, he added, “I took a quick look before I caught up with you.”
“And I like how you went all out for me. How long has that room been waiting?”
“Years, since I got the house. The LED daisies gave it away? Too old-fashioned?”
“I never saw an LED wall back in Buffalo, so what do I know?” She fought off a smile and added, “So let me be straight: I’m not saying no to you. And I’m not staying here.”
“Not right now. Some time, yeah, I’d love it, and it’s a great offer. But not now.”
He took a moment to think about her words before he asked, “So where does that leave you?”
“Be honest with me: Your offer, was that just for me, or if Mom were here, would she have been welcomed back?”
“Absolutely. If I had both of you back, I’d be the happiest man in Canada.”
“For real?” she asked, pointedly. “All of us together?”
“I always wanted you all here. Hell, I even asked your mom to bring her mom too, have all four of us together.”
“Nana too… All of us together.”
“If it’s your grandmother,” he said, “I can try and get her to come. I was waiting for word of where you were, and I have connections with people I could send to extract her. She’s welcome here too.”
“As is Mom, right?”
“Yes, your mother, absolutely.”
“And if you knew where Mom was, she’d be coming as well?” she asked, pointedly.
“Why, yes, yes I would.”
“So how come you went looking for me and not her? For real, no bullshit, just tell me straight.”
He took what seemed forever to inhale before he replied, “Maybe part of me just assumed, I’d find you with her. But of the three of you, the one I wanted to see the most was you, and if that’s a deal breaker, well, I’m sorry.”
She looked at him hard before she said, “Yeah, the way you two split, I sort of assumed that, yeah.”
“So where does that leave us?”
“I need a little time. I have to do a few things, stuff I have to do. And when I finish, yeah, I would like to come back.”
He finally asked, “Anything I can do to help?”
“Geez, no, thanks anyway, but this is stuff I got to do. You could do me one favor, though: The people you had connections with for those extractions, what bar would they hang out in?”
He said nothing, then started to advance on her…
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan