We were half way through the food. Ivy was back on my lap. I fed her the mashed potatoes and minced meat while I cut through my steak.
“You said it was also scary?” He said “How?”
I looked at him. Clearly shaken up with the way he brought it up.
“Hmm, well…” I swallowed “…It’s safe to predict people’s actions, cause you know what’s coming and what to expect from them. But unpredictable people are scary to be around.”
I looked at him “You never know what to expect from them. They do things you never think they’d do. They surprise you in many ways, both good and bad. So for me, even though it’s fun to be around unpredictable people for a while, but not knowing what to expect from them scares me.”
He sat there just looking at me. Then he smiled.
“So you like being around me even though it scares you” he said.
I nodded slowly.
“I’ve not known you for long but the way you are when Ivy is around, the way you treat her, it makes me happy”. I smiled at him.
“I’ve avoided dating since my last relationship ended – tragically” I added. “And after I adopted Ivy, the what-I-call-suitors just…fled” I said. “No man wants to date a single mom.”
“Ivy’s adopted?” That’s all he asked.
I looked at him.
Did I just say that?
Oh well, Jules keep running your mouth to a stranger.
“Hmm, yes” That’s all I could say.
“When?” He asked.
“It’s almost a year” I said trying to hold back.
“She’s a year old right?” He asked again.
“Yes” I said “She just clocked one a few weeks ago” I added.
“Well, from what you said, I don’t actually like children, they make me irritated. But Ivy? Ivy’s special. She’s not like other kids. She’s just…right” he sighed. I smiled looking at Ivy playing with a toy I brought along.
“She is” I sighed. “She’s the only family I have left. I never want to lose her. My prayer everyday is for God to let her be mine forever.”
I looked at him. Something flicked in his eyes but it went quickly.
“I know it’s selfish. I know her biological parents might want her back someday…but I can’t give her up. Not now, not ever. I love her…and she is mine, no matter what our DNA says”.
He was silent.
We finished dinner then he drove us home.
“Thanks for dinner tonight” I said when we arrived at my house “I enjoyed it…and the company.”
He smiled looking at me.
“I did too.”
“I should…” I said.
“Yea” he opened the back seat and carried the carrier where Ivy was sleeping peacefully. We walked to my door and I unlocked it.
“Well…” I turned to him taking the carrier “…goodnight.”
“Goodnight” he said.
I smiled at him, entered the house and shut the door behind me.
I locked the door and went upstairs to Ivy’s room. I carried her out of the carrier gently and placed her in her crib. I didn’t want to disturb her, so I left her clothes on. I removed the headband and her shoes, kissed her cheek and left the room.
I went to mine which was beside hers. I took my clothes off and got into my nightie. I washed my make up off then I got into bed with a smile on my face.
I was so tired.
I didn’t know what to think or what next to do. My next move was jumbled up in my head due to some facts I learnt about Jules tonight or maybe it was because of the weird feelings I have for her.
I was beyond confused about the whole situation. This wasn’t part of my plan. I didn’t want to get emotionally involved and I was.
No need denying that.
I called John immediately. I was on my way back home after dropping off Jules and Ivy.
“Sir?” He said after he answered the phone.
“You didn’t give me the full information about my daughter’s guardian” I told him.
“I was gonna tell you everything but you…”
“I want that file tomorrow. Make sure it’s up to date. I want everything you can get on her. Who she’s with every second of the day, I also want the police records on her. Parking tickets, jail time and the rest.”
“You want to start piling her information to make a case?” He asked.
“No” I answered.
“Cause it doesn’t look like she’s had a second of jail time” he said.
Of course I knew that.
“I just want everything you have on her!” I snapped at him and ended the call.
I needed to get my head straight. I have to stop thinking about her. She always had a way of sneaking into my head, into my thoughts and it wasn’t helping the situation, ‘my’ situation.
What was going on with me? It hasn’t even been a month and I’m feeling this way about her. How will I feel once the month is over?
To be honest, I have no idea what I feel for her. I just know when’s she around I get all messed up. My insides feel mushy and gooey.
WTF am I saying? Where the heck are these words coming from?
I pulled into my drive way and switched the engine off. I sighed and tried to clear my thoughts before I entered my house but then I picked up her scent.
She always smelled of vanilla. And now my goddamn car was smelling of vanilla.
Well, how the heck am I suppose to clear my thoughts off her if my goddamn car smells of her.
Well good for me.
I got out of the car, slammed the door shut – angrily – and went into the house.
Wish me luck in getting some sleep.
I really really need it.
John brought the file in the morning and I had just finished reading it.
She’s an only child. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was the top of her class in the University. Moved here when she got her job. Broke up with her boyfriend for sleeping with her roommate – sonofabitch. Her parents visited her often especially during holidays. She also went home once in a while. Her parents died in a plane crash on their way back home after visiting her. Since then, her social life which wasn’t that social became zero. She worked harder than before which earned her a lot of promotions. She lost herself in her work.
Then 5-6 months after her parents’ death. She decided to adopt a child; she finalized everything and got full custody of an orphan.
I clenched my jaw at that.
Ivy would never be an orphan. She had me – in a way.
I didn’t know what to do with the information I had. Oh and well, she was clean, as expected.
I wonder how she handled her parents’ death.
Oh stop this bullsh*t Ceaser!
I mentally scolded myself.
Is there a word for how confusing this confusion has become more confusing than I’ve ever been confused in my life?
Believe me…it’s more confusing than that.
I snapped out of my thoughts when my phone rang.
“Mum?” I said into the phone.
“You keep forgetting you have a mother don’t you?” She asked.
“How would I ever forget” I said.
“Ceaser we’re worried about you” I could sense that sadness again “There’s a charity ball at the McGraw’s next weekend. I want you to be there.”
“I’m not asking Ceaser” she said “And I invited Brittany Murphy.”
“Mum, if you want me to come, you’ll have to let me bring someone” I told her.
“Cause I know you have no one, so I invited her.”
“Mum, I’ll bring someone.”
“Really?” She sounded shocked.
“Okay. And your father wants to talk to you about the company you just bought.”
“How the heck does he know about that?”
“Your father has had his ears stuck to the ground since Bea” she said.
Well, it wasn’t also my dad. Mum has also been trying to hook me up with every girl she thought suitable for me since Bea died.
My family’s gone mental all because of me.
“Okay. I’ll see you next weekend” I told her.
“Okay honey. Say hi to your lady friend” she said before she hung up.
Now how the heck am I suppose to tell this to Jules. I needed to avoid her for a couple of days to get my head straight.
This was gonna be a long week.
On Saturday, I took Ivy to the park as usual. She was on the verge of learning how to walk. Which wouldn’t be easy cause once she learns how to walk; she wouldn’t want to do anything but walk.
I thought as I watched her share her toys with another toddler.
Today while I got her ready for the park she asked for ‘Dada’. In the morning too.
What has Ceaser done to her? I thought.