Somebody’s crying, Violet thought. She could hear it more clearly as she approached the door leading to the garage. She reached out to grab the doorknob, but paused when she heard a deep male voice. Victor’s voice.
Violet stepped back, dropping her hand. It could be Helen in there with him, after all. She hardly needed to walk in on that scene again. But no, that wasn’t an adult crying. It sounded like a little girl. Yes, she could hear a soft voice, that of Sally if she wasn’t mistaken.
Violet didn’t know what to do. Should she see what was going on and try to help or should she stay out of it? Maternal instinct being stronger than common sense or self-preservation, she compromised. She leaned forward and listened through the door.
“Please, don’t cry, Sally,” Victor said. “It’s not like you won’t ever see us again.”
“Yeah, it does,” Sally said between sobs. “You’ll be too busy with them. You won’t have any time to come visit the rest of us or take us places or have swim parties or any of that stuff.”
“We’ll make time. I swear it,” he said.
“You say it, but it won’t happen.”
“We’re here all together now at this party,” he said reasonably.
“Yeah, just cause they aren’t your kids yet, but soon they will be and then you’ll forget all about the rest of us.”
“That’s not true, Sally. How could I forget any of you?”
“It is true. It’s already starting. You only took them to the play and you didn’t even ask us to come. Most of us would’ve like to see it too.”
“But I was…it was supposed … I was hoping …” Victor sighed. How in the world was he supposed to explain this to her so she’d understand when he didn’t even get it? “It was kind of a date for me, with a woman and…”
“With Miss Violet?” Sally asked, with a sniff.
Victor shook his head. “Unfortunately, not with her.”
She shook her head. “No, I remember now. She brought us the costumes while you were gone. She didn’t know where Georgie and Julian and Peter were to give them the costumes, so, Mrs. Trenton told her you took them to the play and she was sad that she didn’t get to go with you.”
“Mrs. Trenton?” Victor said, slightly confused.
“No! Miss, Violet was sad. I could tell,” Sally said.
“Was she?” Victor asked, surprised.
“Uh-huh,” she said, sniffing again. “Just like me.”
“Oh, Honey, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t take all of you that day. It was a date, like I said.”
“But what do you gotta have a date for?” Sally whined.
“I… because…because I need to find a wife who will make a good mother for…for the kids,” he said, reaching out to wipe the tears off Sally’s face.
“What about Miss Violet? She’d make a great mom and she loves you,” she said.
“I don’t know about that, Sally.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Cuz she looks at you like Rapunzel looks at Eugene,” she said adamantly.
Victor smiled. “You think so, huh?” he said.
“Yeah,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes again. “We all love you.”
“Oh, Sally, I love you too. I love all you kids.”
“You love Peter and Georgie and Julian more.”
“No, it’s just that…I can’t do it by myself. I’m not sure I can handle even three kids by myself, but I want to try. If I could, Sally, I would take all of you. I would adopt all of you. Really I would.”
Sally looked up, blinking her chocolate brown eyes at him. “Maybe if you get some practice, then maybe you’ll get real good and then you can adopt more. Think you could...maybe?”
Victor smiled and gathered her up into his arms. “I’m sure gonna try, Sally, just for you,” he said, holding her and stroking her hair while waiting for her tears to stop.
It took a long while. He was fine with that. She obviously just wanted some special alone time with him.
“Feeling better yet?” he asked, at last. “Think we can go back to the party?”
She shrugged, leaning her head on his chest.
“How about if I take you somewhere special, any place you like, just you and me, say…Friday afternoon?” he asked.
Her eyes widened. “Really?”
“If you like,” he replied.
She beamed and hugged him tight around the neck again. “Okay! We can go back inside now.”
“That’s my good girl,” he said, kissing her forehead.
He stood up, taking her with him and went to the door which opened into the kitchen. He saw Violet filling the dishwasher. She turned and looked at him with an unusually somber expression on her face.
Victor smiled and Violet nodded, but said not a word, nor did she look curious to know what they were doing in the garage, which led him to believe she overheard them talking. Maybe that was a good thing, but he never could tell with her anymore.
“Don’t mind us,” he said. “We were just having a little private discussion.”
“We have a date!” Sally said, happily.
Violet forced a smile. “That sounds lovely, Sweetie. Hope you have fun,” she said and she turned back to the dishes.
He placed Sally on her feet, took her by the hand and left the kitchen, leaving Violet to herself. He simply didn’t see how they could get back on the right footing again.
©2013 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved