“This is our new place.” Zeke held his arms out. “Like it?”
Lewis looked around skeptically, his upper lip curled up as he looked at the tiny back porch. “It smells funny.” He said after he made his rounds of the small apartment.
“It won’t. We just need to clean it. And hey, check out this view of the city!” Zeke was trying to force enthusiasm onto Lewis. “We didn’t have a porch at the old place.”
Lewis crossed his arms, and kicked at a packing peanut. “I want to go home.” His jaw set and he stared up at Zeke firmly. “Now.”
Zeke sighed and let the smile leave his face. “Sorry Bud, but we can’t live there anymore. The roof caved in and they closed the building down, it’s not safe.” Zeke leaned on his knee to be at Lewis’ level. “We’ll make this place feel like home, just give it time.”
“My room is wrong here, I want my old room. Mom painted my old room.” Lewis lip quivered slightly, and he looked away.
Looking at the wooden floor, Zeke nodded. “I know.”
“I think,” Zeke brightened, holding his finger up, “I have just the thing to sway you.” He grabbed the keys off the counter and motioned for Lewis to follow along.
“How about this?”
Lewis stared at the pool, the snack machines, and smiled.
“That’s what I thought.” Zeke said.
Lewis had his four year check up, to get the clear for starting school in the fall. Zeke appreciated that the doctors offices were on the main floor and no where near the nursery. The smells and sounds of the hospital still brought him back to the rainy fall day when he found out his ex-wife had died in childbirth. Zeke flipped to the next page in the magazine, forcing the memories from his mind as he focused on the scantily clad models and perfume advertising.
“Lewis?” Morgan called out into the waiting room.
Zeke and Lewis got up, and Morgan smiled. “Nice to see you again Zeke. This must be your son.” She leaned over, “Nice to meet you Lewis. You like SuperSim?” Lewis nodded. “Great, I have a bunch of SuperSim stickers in the back.”
Can you spell your name? Can you sing the alphabet? Can you hop on one foot? Morgan’s questions seemed to go on and on to Zeke. Lewis could do a good deal many, and about the same amount, he couldn’t do. Zeke didn’t know he had to teach Lewis to write his name; he thought they learned that in preschool. Zeke looked out the window thinking he wasn’t cut out for parenthood. He didn’t remember his Mom teaching him to write, but he was sure she did.
From the corner of his eye, he noticed Morgan smile encouragingly in his direction, but he continued to look out the window. This was the first check up he’d ever taken Lewis too, he didn’t know what to talk about with Morgan, or what to expect for Lewis.
After twenty minutes, she stood up leaving Lewis to pick out a sticker.
“He’s doing well.” Morgan smiled, her teeth shining brightly, and Zeke thought her eyes looked kind.
“What about the things he couldn’t do?”
“No worries, kids develop differently. He will get those skills.” Morgan assured him. She hesitated a moment, then pressed on. “How is he doing with the loss of his mother?”
Zeke hadn’t expected the question. Most people didn’t venture to talk of Brynn around him, and he didn’t know how he was supposed to answer. “Fine. Hes upset about our recent move, but the pool may have won him over.”
“Kids are resilient.”
“I heard your Mom was hospitalized for pneumonia, how’s she doing?”
“Good. Thanks for asking. She’s at home now and taking it easy.” she laughed. “Heh, not really, easy. She’s here today actually, back to work like nothing happened.”
“Glad she’s better.” Zeke thought he sounded lame. He’d heard that line in a movie in a similar scenario, but it came off corny, he thought.
“How about Dean? You see him much? We sure loved him while he was here in the hospital.”
“Mom seems to think he’s doing good. He’s rolling and Tyler said he scooted across the room the other day.”
They stood, just two feet separating them, staring at each other nervously as the silence fell. All pleasantries used up, and nothing more came to Zeke’s mind to say.
“Well.” Morgan began. “I should get to the next room; it’s pretty busy today.” She smiled brightly at him, and he noticed how she got little lines in the corner of her eyes when she did.
“Of course, yes. Thank you for .. checking up Lewis.” Zeke fumbled. “Nice seeing you again.”
“Why don’t we meet up for coffee sometime? I work late shifts, but I hear from your Mom that you do too. Maybe after work sometime?” She offered before opening the door.
“That would be… nice.” Zeke ended nervously. Did that sound lame? He wondered.
She laughed a little as she backed out the door. “Good. I’m staying with Hazel now, have the number?” Zeke nodded. “Ok, then, talk to you later.”
Notes: Just a little side update with my Zeke. Five months after Brynn’s death and hopefully he isn’t so angry at her anymore. I had to move him cause his lot suddenly crashed my game. So the very sweet nursery I had Brynn put together for him is gone and lost. This is the new place, and he has a cute “guitar man” neighbor. 😉
While giving up a check up for Itzel, Zeke had come by on the lot, so I grabbed him up and got one for Lewis.
Morgan has 3 bolts of electrical fancy for her coworker Marcus Dwyer and a brooding Zeke Traver. One is quite a bit higher than the other, but who knows where she will end up going. She has 3 bolts with a few more than these two guys as well.