Bob talks to Monica about Kara. Gee has a surprise when he wakes up.
Bob left the bedroom, carefully closing the door behind him. Now to find Monica. He followed His nose to the kitchen and found Monica and Kelly.
Monica looked uncomfortable as Bob entered but nonetheless gave him a smile. “Morning, Bob. Hungry?” She grabbed a plate from the dishwasher. “There’s waffles.” Without waiting for an answer, she piled waffles and slices of bacon on the plate and handed it to him. “The syrup’s on the table. Juice in the fridge.”
He mumbled his thanks and sat down at the table across from Kelly.
“Hi Bob. Where’s Kara?” Kelly asked.
Bob arched an eyebrow. “You’re joking, right?”
Monica spoke up. “Kelly, hurry up. The bus’ll be here in a few minutes.”
Kelly grumbled. She shoved the last bite of waffle in her mouth before taking her dirty plate to the sink. On her way out of the kitchen she stopped at the table, bending near Bob to pick up another piece of bacon. She whispered to him “Tell Kara not to let anyone sign her cast before I get home. I wanna be first.”
“Sorry kid. You’ll have to be second.” He laughed. “But I’ll tell her to leave you a choice spot.”
Kelly laughed and straightened up, happily munching on the bacon as she left the kitchen.
Monica started to follow her out when Bob stopped her.
“Monica, can I talk to you a minute?”
‘Yeah, sure.” She crossed the kitchen to lean against the sink, coffee cup in hand. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to talk to you about Kara.” He inhaled deeply. “I know things aren’t very good between you right now. I just wanted you to understand where she’s coming from even if she is in the wrong. I guess a lot of this is my fault. We shouldn’t have gotten married before she finished school. I didn’t realize what pressure it would put on her … at school and at home. She wants to start her new life and yet here she is stuck in her old ‘kid’ life.” He sighed. “I’m really sorry that we got married.” He dropped his head, rubbing his face. “Oh crap. I didn’t mean that like it sounded. I’m not sorry. I’m sorry about the timing. She’s dealing with Elle and your relationship with her. She’s jealous of what you have with her. It’s hard watching your mother replace you with a cute three year old. At least that’s how she sees it. And now she’s dealing with all this stuff with Kelly. She thinks she’s failed her. It was always her job to watch out for her, to keep her safe and now when Kelly really needed protecting, Kara didn’t see it. As mad as you think she is at you about all of this – she’s a hundred times madder at herself.
Look, the bottom line is that as much as I’d rather have Kara stay here until graduation, I think it would be better if we looked for our own place today.”
Monica was silent for a while, mulling over all Bob had said.
“No.” Bob waited for her to continue.
“No, I want Kara here. I was thinking on everything’s that happened lately and so much of it is my fault. I’ve never been able to communicate with Kara. I want to work on that while I still have a chance. I guess at our ages we’re supposed to be butting heads, but we have a lot more garbage than most families.”
What neither one of them realized was that Kara was standing just outside the doorway, listening. She wanted to cry. There was Bob fighting her battles for her…again. She turned and quietly went back upstairs, passing Kelly coming down.
“Kara, can I sign your cast?”
“Stay there. I’ll get my magic markers.”
Kara sat on the stairs, her head in her hands.
“Damn, I thought you were still in bed. I was just coming back up.” Kara looked up to see Bob grinning at her.
“Kelly’s looking for magic markers to sign the cast. What time is it? She’s going to miss the bus if she doesn’t watch it.”
“Maybe that was her plan.”
Monica was loading the dishwasher when her cell rang. She was surprised to hear Elle’s voice. “Mommyca can Elle come over?”
Monica smiled, “Good morning Elle. Of course you can come over.” She could hear Elle telling her mom that she had said yes. This would give Gee the perfect opportunity to spend time with her.
Liv came on the line, “Elle wanted to ask you herself. I know it’s early but we’ll be there in about an hour.”
“Liv, Gee is home.” She knew Liv had made it clear she didn’t want to see Gerard so she felt she had to tell her.
“Oh” Liv said slowly, “Look, just forget it. I’ll find someone else to watch Elle today.”
Monica could hear Elle voice sounding very upset in the background. She heard Liv tell her that she could visit another day.
Liv was still speaking to Elle. “What.”
“Please let her come today. Gerard wants to spend time with her.”
“No” her answer was sharp.
“Look, I’ll come to the bus depot and pick her up. I’ll come alone. Then when its time for her to leave I’ll bring her back to you there.”
“No, don’t worry about it. She can come another day.”
“Me’s wants to see Fwank.” Elle whined.
“Liv, I know you don’t want to see Gerard. I promise you won’t have to see him. Please trust me Liv. Let Elle visit today.”
There was silence for several moments. “I have your word?”
Monica smiled, “I promise.”
“Fine. We’ll be at the bus stop in about 30 minutes. She hung up before Monica could respond.
Kelly raced back down the stairs, calling out to Kara as she passed, “I think the markers are in the kitchen. Stay there.”
“If this takes much longer, she’ll be begging you for a ride.”
“That isn’t exactly how I had planned to spend the morning.” Bob leaned in and kissed Kara. Kara gave him a weak smile.
Kelly burst through the door of the kitchen. “Mom, where are the markers? I can’t find them.”
“They’re in the junk drawer…where you left them.” She watched Kelly dig for them. “Hurry up. That bus will be here any minute.”
“Actually, I was hoping you’d give me a ride so I can sign Kara’s cast.”
Monica looked at her youngest as if she had just grown another head. “You’d better ask Bob if he’ll take you. I’m on my way to the bus depot to pick up Elle.”
Kelly smiled, “Does Dad know she’s coming?”
Monica shook her head, “No. Liv just called his morning.”
“So how come you’re going to pick her up? Liv always brings her to the house.”
“I told her I’d just pick her up there.” Monica said not really wanting to get into the whole discussion about Liv’s desire not to see Gerard. Kelly wasn’t fooled.
“Liv doesn’t want to see Dad.” She said.
Monica sighed, “No she doesn’t.”
“It’s too painful for her.” Kelly said softly.
“Whenever Liv thinks about Dad she feels so sad. That day she was here and you two were sitting talking she saw the photo of you and Dad on the TV. I thought she was gonna cry.”
Monica was shocked. She hadn’t even noticed Liv looking at the photo.
“She has so many regrets.” Kelly said. “Well I gotta grab my books. Bye Mom.” She started for the steps, “Will Elle be here when I get home?”
Monica was still thinking about what Kelly had said about Liv. “Uh, I don’t know.”
“I hope she is. Maybe we could go out for dinner together tonight. You know a family outing.”
Monica smiled, “That would be nice. I’ll talk to Liv.”
Noticing the time she found her car keys and slipped out the back door.
Gerard rolled over hovering somewhere between sleep and being awake. He was startled into the realm of awake when a small voice yelled out.
“Mommyca, Gee’s sweepin’.” Elle yelled out.
Gerard could hear Monica’s voice from down the hall. “Honey come on back to Kelly’s room.”
Gerard’s eyes popped open. He blinked, “Uh good morning, Little Bug.”
Elle gave him a dazzling smile.
She yelled again, “Mommyca he’s wake. She peered into his face. “Me’s wants to take Fwank to the pawk.”
Gerard was still trying to clear his head. What was Elle doing here?
“Up, up Gee. Me’s weady to go.”
Gerard sat up slowly. “Okay I’m getting up.” He smiled as he threw back the covers. He paused when Elle started giggling.
She continued to giggle. Monica walked into the bedroom. “Morning sleepy.”
Gerard smiled, “Uh, why is Bug laughing at me?”
“You’se gots baby jammies.”
Monica snickered especially when she saw Gerard’s confused look. “She’s laughing at you pajama’s.”
Gerard looked down at this Spiderman T-shirt and matching sweat pants. “Hey, I just got these. You don’t like them?” He pretended to be hurt.
Immediately Elle stopped smiling. “Me’s sorry.” Her bottom lip quivered.
Gerard looked at Monica for help.
She doesn’t understand you are kidding her. Kelly noticed she sometimes just doesn’t understand when people tease.
Gerard swung his feet out of bed and sat facing Elle. “Bug, I’m kidding. You like my jammies don’t you?”
She nodded still frowning.
“Well I know that but I was just pretending that I thought you didn’t like them.”
She seemed to be pondering his words. “You’se not sad?”
He shook his head, “Nope.”
“Can we’se go to the pawk?”
Gerard smiled “For sure. You and Monica go downstairs and wait while I get dressed.”
Elle smiled and skipped over to Monica. “Hurry up Gee.” Monica said taking Elle’s hand.
Gerard watched them walk out of the room. Why hadn’t Monica told him Elle was coming over today? Had Liv brought her? He quickly got up and dressed. He’d been looking forward to spending the day alone with Monica. He realized as he pulled on his Etnies that adding Elle to the day seemed like a pretty damn nice idea.