So you know how this chapter was going to be the meeting? I lied.
That night I don't get very much sleep.
Understandably so. I mean, my girlfriends husband just up and walked back into her life after three years. It's natural to be a little worried.
But I never in my wildest dreams expected Percy to come back. He left his pregnant wife for his ex. How did he even face her? Look her in the eye?
And better yet, how did he manage to tell her he still loved her? Didn't he forfeit his right to say anything like that ever again when he left?
I worry most about Ruby. She's a bit more fragile now than when Percy left.
And Rose? Rose didn't know who the heck Percy was. But now that he was back, he was going to want to see her. And Ruby would let him.
For so long I had acted as if Rose was my very own. In fact, the other day she had asked to call me Daddy. That had been the single best moment of my life. Little Rose calling me Daddy. But was Percy going to want to be her father now?
These thoughts tormented me all night. Even in my dreams I dreamt Percy took Ruby and Rose from me.
So when I got up at my usual time, I felt frazzled and even more exhausted than when I had went to bed.
I drag myself out of bed anyway, I always watch Rose on Tuesdays and I'm not about to bail on Ruby. Especially today. She needs me more than ever now.
My normal morning routine, monotonous before, seems different. Like I'm being forced to pay more attention to everything I do. What clothes to wear, what station to turn the radio too, whether I should have strawberry or peach oatmeal. No matter what it is, the task seems to get harder than usual.
Finally I can't take it and I text Ruby that I'll pick up Rose at her apartment. If I don't do something I might go insane.
So leaving my oatmeal half finished on the counter I hurry out the door. (I chose strawberry, in case anyone was wondering.)
The day is crisp and chilly, something common for this time of year. I make a mental note, so as to remember not to take Rose out. She has fragile health and is always getting sick.
I take a moment to take a breath of fresh air(well, as fresh as you can get for New York.) to clear my head before climbing into my car. There's an awful song playing, something about a one night stand going wrong and having consequences or something. After switching through a few channels I give up and turn it off completely, leaving me and my thoughts in silence.
It isn't much better.
By the time I park and bound up the stairs two at a time I'm slightly winded but only allow myself a few deep breaths before I knock twice and let myself in.
In an instant I feel myself calming down. Ruby is singing in the kitchen and Rose is running down the hall to hide, squealing the whole way. It's the best thing I could've walked into.
"Jason? Is that you?" Ruby calls, I can hear her walking towards the kitchen door, opening it all the way before peering out at me, wiping her hands on her apron.
"Hey Honey, I was going crazy at home. Thought I'd take Rose out to do something today, instead of sitting at home and watching Sesame Street." I say, meeting her at the door and giving her a quick kiss.
"Mmm, I'm glad you did. Is Rose hiding?" She smiles, brown eyes warm. I briefly marvel at her before answering. (You know those people you see in a photo or in a sweatshirt as they pass by and you just think meh, but then later you stop to look at them and just go whoa. And they always seem to surprise you when you see them because your first impression was just a quick glance, acknowledging that they were there and now they're suddenly inescapably here. Beautiful and sparkling and completely opposite what you thought when you first saw them. Ruby was one of those people. She never failed to amaze me.)
"Yeah, I'll go find her." I give her another quick kiss and I hear her start humming as she goes back to whatever she was doing. She doesn't even appear to remember that she's meeting Percy later today, a thought I quickly push away. I didn't want to think about him. I want to focus on an adorably silly little girl who calls me daddy.
"Rosie! I know you're here!" I call softly down the hall. There's really only two rooms she could be in. But this was her favorite game and I wasn't going to spoil it.
I take a quick peek in the master bedroom, but I don't see any signs of a little three year old girl so I shut the door again and turn towards Rose's room.
"Hmm, where could Rosie be?" I ask, hands on my hips, pretending to survey the room thoughtfully. I can already tell she's in the closet, all the shoes have been pushed out and there's a pile of dresses giggling in the corner, but I check underneath the crib and in the toy box anyway, talking aloud the whole time, asking rhetorical questions and marveling at her hiding abilities.
"I know Rose can't be in the closet!" I say, straightening up from looking behind the curtains. A round of squealing giggles shakes the pile of clothing. "What was that? It sounded like the closet was laughing!"
Rose sits up, hair full of static to run towards me. "Daddy! I won!"
I scoop her up, trying not to get emotional. She's been calling me daddy for a week now and I still feel deliriously happy every time. "Oh no! Silly daddy! I'll have to look harder next time!"
That's when I decide, looking down at her big green eyes and adorable smile, that I'm not going to let Percy take Rose away from me. I'm going to fight, tooth and nail to keep the two most beautiful and perfect girls in my life.
God knows he doesn't deserve them, but maybe I do.
Originally this chapter was going to be really long and have bits from everyone, even Sally and Thalia, but I changed my mind. Sorry.
When I first started writing this I didn't even plan anything I just sat down and started writing. I didn't even have Rose and Ruby's names when I started writing. But the other day I sat down and made this plan, and I decided that this is going to be two stories, three if I can't work things out with the second. And I know exactly where I'm going with it now.
So the chapters are going to fit together better from now on and Ruby and Rose are actually going to show personality.
Hopefully I'll have more time to write now that I'm home schooled and have re-found my love of writing. Hopefully.