Kelly explains where she was today and Gee has thoughts of Liv
"Kewee, Kewee. Here's I am."
They looked out to see Elle and Frank running as fast as their little legs could carry them.
Kelly laughed, dropped her bookbag in a chair and turned to meet her. Kara and Bob continued on inside.
"Hey, Bug. Whatcha doin'?"
"Kewee. Weez payin' ball wiv Fwank. He's siwwy." Her words tumbled out of her even as Frank tumbled over her feet in his excitement. "Weez makin sketti and bwed and I'z seepin wid you." Elle paused to take a deep breath. Kelly looked confused but happy as she tried to decipher all the information Elle had just imparted. Kelly gave Gerard a quizzical look as he finally joined them.
"Bug's going to spend the night tonight. Your mom thought you could bunk together." He translated.
"As long as she doesn't snore." Kelly made a exaggerated funny face causing Elle to laugh even though she really didn't get the joke. Kelly looked over Elle's head to Gerard.
"Somewhere in the house. She sent us outside to burn off some excess energy. I think it worked. I have none left."
"I'd better go find her. Bug, why don't you and Gee have a nice game of tag?" Kelly went back onto the deck, retrieving her book bag before heading in the backdoor. As she entered the kitchen she heard Monica's angry voice.
"You just decided to pick Kelly up from school and not tell anyone? What were you thinking?"
"Mom" Kelly tried to interject.
Monica turned to her. "There you are. You obviously weren't sick, so what were you all doing all day?" She turned back to Kara. "Isn't it bad enough that you got expelled? Now you're trying to help your sister get kicked out too?"
A movement in the background caught her eye. Bob was trying to slide out the door unobserved. Monica pushed past Kara.
"And just where are you going? I expect this stupidity out of them but you??? After that 'heart to heart' we had this morning and you pull this?" Bob had the good grace to look embarrassed.
"Mom" Kelly snapped. Monica quieted but still seethed.
"Mom" Kelly said quietly. "I called the house but you had already left. I had to get out of there. The nurse said that Kara could pick me up instead of you. We weren't trying to pull anything. We didn't mean to worry you. I had to get out of there, Mom. It was horrible. Mom, they let Mike back in school. He was gloating all over the place. He was...." She broke off in frustration. "I was scared. I just wanted to come home." She was crying. Monica drew Kelly to her breast in a hug.
"That still doesn't answer the question of why no one told me AND where were you all day?" She directed this at Kara.
"Mom, I honestly didn't even think about it when Kell called. I thought she was really sick and since you were busy that we would pick her up and bring her straight home and tuck her into bed." Kara reached out to straighten Kelly's hair as her sister sniffled against Monica's chest. "But then we figured out pretty quick what the real problem was. We just got so caught up in helping Kelly that we forgot that you didn't know what was going on. Time just got away from us."
Kelly looked up at Monica. "Mom, I wanna talk to you and Gerard about some stuff I found out today." Gerard, Elle and Frank came in the door. "But not right now." She added looking at Elle.
"We'll definitely discuss this later." Monica gave a hard look at Kara before addressing Elle. "Elle are you ready to help Gee with dinner?"
"First go with Kelly and wash your hands." Kara and Bob snuck out the door as Elle grabbed the hand that Kelly held out to her. Monica gave a tired smile as they too left. She turned to Gerard who was looking a little the worse for wear. "You sure you'll have enough energy to make dinner? You and Frank are looking a little tuckered." Frank had crashed under the kitchen table, tongue hanging out, sides heaving.
"Tuckered?...Tuckered? I'll show you tuckered, woman." He then proceeded to chase Monica around the table. He made it only one circuit before collapsing into a chair. "Shit. I guess I am tuckered." Monica just shook her head and left the kitchen adding over her shoulder. "Make sure you wash your hands too."
“Okay Bug here’s what you’re gonna do.” Gerard said placing a baking sheet in front of Elle. “You’re in charge of the garlic bread.”
“Otay.” Elle said excitedly. She was seated at the kitchen table bouncing up and down happily.
“First you set out the pieces of bread, then you’re gonna butter them with the garlic spread.”
“Me’s can do that.” Elle nodded her head. She glanced over at Kelly who was seated at the table beside her. “What’s Kewee gonna do?”
Gerard and Kelly exchanged a glance before Gerard explained, “Kell is just gonna watch.”
Elle frowned, “Me’s don’t need help.”
“Can’t I just watch?” Kelly asked her. She understood this was something Elle wanted to do by herself.
“Otay” Elle sounded unhappy about the prospect. “But me’s doin’ it.”
Gerard smiled at the girls. “Okay I’m gonna start working on the spaghetti sauce. He went to the counter and opened two jars of sauce. Kelly was watching him as he poured each into a large pot. She tried not to laugh. Dad’s idea of making dinner was sorta funny.
Gerard looked over at her. He knew what she was thinking. “This is just a base. I’m gonna add my own personal touches to the sauce.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Yeah but I know what you were thinking.” He said with a grin.
Elle had placed all the slices of French bread on the baking sheet. She picked up the jar of garlic spread and tried to twist off the lid, it didn’t budge. She tried again this time putting all her effort into it. Once more nothing. “Damn” she uttered.
Kelly giggled but covered her mouth quickly. Gerard turned to look at Elle with a shocked expression on his face. “Uh, Bug. That’s not a nice thing for you to say.”
Elle nodded, “Yeah, bad wud.”
Kelly was still trying not to laugh, “Want me to try and open it?”
Elle frowned but handed over the jar. Kelly twisted off the lid easily. She noticed Elle’s bottom lip protruding. “You almost had it off. I just had to try a little bit.” She handed the jar back. “Go ahead and butter the bread.”
Elle picked up a butter knife and went to work on the first slice. Unfortunately she pressed a bit too hard and put a hole in the bread. The second slice met the same fate.
“Try not to press so hard.” Kelly said cringing as Elle started on the third slice.
“Me’s twyn’ Kewee, stuped bwed.”
Glancing over at the stove Gerard looked at his two daughters and felt a strange sense of pride. This was his dream. His home, his family, all together. Well yeah, he told himself, there was some drama going on but hey, that was normal wasn’t it? He was adding some basil to the sauce when Monica walked in to the kitchen. He was shocked to see that she had been crying. He knew she was upset about Bob and Kara picking up Kell at school today but why was she crying about it now? He quickly walked over to her and took the glass she was filling with water out of her hand. Setting it on the counter he turned to hug her tightly.
“I love you.” He whispered in her ear.
Monica sighed, “I love you too.”
“So what’s wrong?” He spoke quietly enough that Kelly and Elle who were talking at the table couldn’t hear.
“Nothing” she answered looking away.
He kissed her. “We’ll talk later.”
She nodded, grabbed her glass of water and started to leave the room. “I’m gonna lay down. I’ve got a headache.”
“Okay, Hon. I’ll wake you up for dinner.”
Monica felt badly for her mood. He looked so silly in the flowered apron he was wearing that she had to smile. “Try not to set the kitchen on fire.”
“Funny” Gerard said smiling. He watched her walk up the back staircase.
“Gee, me’s tyrod.” Elle said turning his attention back to the task at hand.
“Why don’t you let Kell finish up the bread?” He said walking over and trying not to flinch when he saw the condition of the slices she had buttered.
“Otay” Elle handed the butter knife to Kelly. “Be’s ca’eful.”
Kelly nodded, “Okay I will.”
Gerard returned to the stove to work on the sauce. His thoughts went to Monica. She was right; he did spend way too much time trying to hate Liv. He needed to get over it. He just hoped Monica didn’t think he still cared for Liv. Cause he didn’t. Not anymore, he told himself. Suddenly he wondered why it sounded like he was trying to convince himself.