"Really?" I nodded
"You stayed with me when you didn't have too. Even in the
delivery room, it's amazing to see the look you and Ridley give each other when you see each other." I whispered. I walked to the sink and put the cup in and rinsed it out.
"What's wrong Ridley?" I turned around to sees Alex crouch down to talk to Ridley. I walked over to them as Alex picked her up.
"I had a nightmare. Can I sleep with you and mommy, daddy?" my eyes widened.
"That's up to mommy sweetheart." I hesitated
"Sure baby. Maybe you'll sleep better." she nodded and wrapped her little arms around his neck. I turned the lights off in the kitchen and went upstairs behind Ridley and Alex. He laid her down on my bed. I pulled the covers on top of her and laid down next to her. Alex on the other side. I kissed her forehead.
"Go to sleep baby." I whispered. She quickly fell asleep, Alex was also asleep. I stared at the ceiling thinking, it took a while for me to fall asleep.
In the morning my bed was empty. Where was Ridley? Where was Alex? I heard voices downstairs. I slowly made my way down and into the kitchen. Alex had made Ridley pancakes and she smiled brightly at him when he say down next to her.
"Daddy. You love mommy right?"
"Yes I do. Why?"
"Mommy doesn't have a ring. You don't have a ring." she grabbed his hand to make her point.
"Why don't you and mommy have a ring?"
"Because we're not married." she frowned as she thought through what he had said. She bit into a pancake and still processed what he told her. She looked at the doorway, hopped off the stool and ran to give me a hug.
"Good morning baby. Did you sleep well?" she nodded
"Daddy made me breakfast"
"Did he? Well was it yummy?"
"Why don't you thank him?" she turned and ran to Alex giving. Him a big hug.
"Thank you daddy"
"No problem sweetheart."
"Ridley do you want me to turn on cartoons for you in the living room?" she nodded and I went to put on Mickey mouse clubhouse for her. I walked back into the kitchen once she had sat down to watch tv.
"How much did you hear of our conversation?" he asked.
"From 'mommy doesn't have a ring' to her asking why I don't have a ring." he nodded.
Alex was cleaning up the counter.
"You don't have to do that."
"I made the mess. You shouldn't have to clean up after me."
"It's fine really. I already clean up after Ridley."
"She's a child. I'm an adult. So I guess she does think I'm her father."
"It's way better she thinks it's you and not him." he nodded.
"Don't you think we should tell her?" he asked
"Not when she's this young. She asks a lot of questions and she's not stupid."
"I guess you're right." I smiled
"When am I never?" he laughed.
"So we just keep letting her think I'm her father?"
"I guess so, until she gets older. That is if you don't leave."
"What do you mean?"
"You have your own life Alex. What happens when you decide to marry and go live your life? In the end we have to tell her, so if you leave she's going to have to know either way."
"What makes you think I'll leave?"
"I don't know, it's just a thought. With Ridley I have to think of every possibility to keep her safe. To keep her alive and well."
"Look Kim, I love her as much as you do."
"I know, but what happens when you decide to leave and marry and have your own children. I just have to think of Ridley, Alex."
"I know. I won't leave you or her. Kim trust me, I'm not going to leave either of you." he walked over to me and hugged me. Yes I was sometimes uneasy of people's actions or ideas. But that wasn't all my fault, I couldn't help it. That and I almost always knew how to ruin a perfect moment.
"Don't you have to head to work?" I asked
"Yeah. What are you and Ridley gunna do the whole time?"
"I have a job interview in a few hours so she's gunna spend some time at my parents."
"Do you really think that's the best idea?"
"They're my parents! They watched her before!"
"They also played Baptize the baby with her!"
"Thats not all their fault! They just want to make sure she's not like her father."
"She won't be though. Why don't I take care of her today, while you go to your interview?"
"You have work!"
"I'll call in and tell them I'm helping a friend. I'll watch Ridley and you go to your interview."
"Alright. I'll just tell Ridley." I walked back into the living room where she was watching tv and still munching on pancakes. I sat on the couch right behind her.
"Hey Ridley. I have to go someplace for a few hours. Alex is going to stay with you while I'm gone, ok baby?"
"Ok mommy. Where are you going?"
"I'm going to look for a job so I can buy you things."
"Can I ask you something baby?"
"What is it mommy?"
"Why are you calling Alex daddy now?"
"He's my daddy now right? Granny told me that my real daddy was in jail. That my real daddy was a bad man. She said Alex would be a good daddy."
"Granny told you this?"
"Yes. Mommy why did you date a bad man?"
"I, I don't know baby. Hold on I need to call granny." I saw Alex at the door, I looked at him and walked into the kitchen and dialed my foster mothers number.
"Brittney it's me, Kim." my foster parents always told us to call them by their names considering we weren't really their children.
"Hello darling! Is Ridley ready for today?"
"Brittney did you tell Ridley her father was a bad man? Why did you tell her?"
" Kimmy calm down. All I told her was the truth-"
"The truth up to a certain point! I told her, her real father was a bad man. That he was a criminal. I only told her that because she asked why you don't call Alexander daddy. I also told her that he would be a better daddy for her then anyone else could ever be."
"You're not helping your case mother!"
"Kimmy please, calm down. I only told her because she asked."
"Mother! That's not the point!"
"Then what's the point Kim?"
"The point is she wasn't suppose to know her father was a murderer. Not until I thought she was ready to hear it."
"Don't yell at me Kim! Besides what's wrong with Alexander. Can't he be her father? He's much better then no one or even her real father."
"Mother what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that, that Alexander is a charming young man. Why doesn't he be her father? If you know what I'm getting at."
"Moth-Brittney! We are not talking about Alex right now. We are talking about why you told Ridley her father was a criminal!"
"Stop yelling Kim. I'm being serious, you need a man in your life to help out. He's been wonderful! You two would make an amazing couple, maybe have a child so Ridley wouldn't be so alone."
"I am not talking about this right now mother."
"Just honestly Kim. How do you feel about him?"
"I'm not talking to you about this right now, I just called to see why your telling Ridley-"
"Kim do not change the subject! I want to know what's going on with you. It may seem like we don't care for you anymore but that's not true. Please Kim just talk to me."
"What do you want me to say mother?"
"Tell me what you think about him."
"Fine. He's been an amazing help since he came along. Ridley loves him."
"I didn't ask what Ridley thinks. I asked what you think."
"Alright. He's amazing, and helpful. Look mother I have to go get ready for my interview. Um Alex is going to watch Ridley while I'm at the interview."
"Ok. Tell me how it goes."
"I will. Oh and mother, stop trying to baptize my daughter please. I have enough to worry about as it is."
"Ok. I promise, besides that was Thomas's idea." oh Thomas how could I forget about my foster dad? Ultra religious man, oh course that 'game' was his idea.
"Goodbye Kim. Call me later."
"I will." and with that I hung up and put my face in my hands. I heard a knock on the door, I turned around to see Alex at the kitchen door.
"I guess you heard my half of the conversation?"
"No, just came to tell you I got off work to watch Ridley."
"Ok, thank you Alex."
"I should go get ready." I started to walk past him when he gently grabbed my wrist. I turned to give him a puzzled look and he leaned down and kissed me. I was momentarily confused, I heard Ridleys voice.
"Ewww!" she giggled her little brown curls bounced as she came walking up to us. He picked her up, as I quickly reorganized my thoughts.
"You kissed mommy." she giggled again.
"Yes I did. I'll do it again, wanna see?" she giggled and nodded. My eyes widened for a time he kissed my cheek, and I blushed. This made Ridley giggle harder
"Mommy turned red!" she said between her giggles.
"Mommy has to go get dressed. I'll be back down in a few minutes. Ok baby?" she nodded. I headed up the stairs and showered. I dressed in a white blouse and a black skirt. I preferred my jeans and T-shirt look but first impressions count. I came down the stairs slowly so I wouldn't fall. The skirt restricted some of my movement. I heard Ridley and Alex talking.
"Daddy, why don't you give mommy a ring?"
"I don't know."
"Granny says you're gunna be a good daddy. She also said my real daddy is a bad man. I don't want a bad man to be my daddy. I want you as my daddy." she whispered.
"I don't think that's entirely up to me sweetheart."
"Who else then?"
"But mommy likes you. She says you're helpful, and amazing."
"Where did you hear that?"
"When she was talking to granny last time I saw granny. Granny says you should marry mommy because youre a- a gentben." he laughed
" you mean a gentleman."
"Yeah! That's the word. Mommy also says that you love me and she wished-" time to intervene.
"What do you think Ridley?" she was sitting in Alex's lap and her eyes widened as she saw me.
"You look gorbius mommy."
"Do you mean gorgeous?" she nodded at Alex's correction.
"Mommy your hair is pwetty. It's curly like mine!" she giggled.
"It is isn't it? It's curly just like yours baby." she smiled, I looked at Alex for a minute and he had a smile too.
"What do you think daddy? Do you think mommy's gorbius?" she asked
"I think mommy looks better then gorgeous." he said, my eyes widened and my cheeks grew warm. Ridley giggled
"Mommy you're red again!" I laughed at her.
"Am I?" I asked, she nodded with a big smile on her face.
"I gotta go baby, but i'll see you later." she hugged me and kissed my forehead.
"I'm gunna go say bye to mommy at the door ok sweetheart."
"Ok! I'll watch tv." she said. I walked with Alex to the door.
"So do you know what she was gunna say before you came down?" I tried to act innocent
"What do you mean?"
"I think you do." he grinned.
"Not a clue as to what you are talking about." he laughed at me.
"Good luck at the interview."
"Thanks. Thank you so much for watching Ridley."
"I don't mind, she's adorable." I smiled. I slipped on my flats that I had in my hands and opened the door.
"Kim, about that kiss."
"Don't need to explain Alex."
"Uh, ok then." he kissed my cheek and looked at me.
"That's for good luck." I smiled.
"Have fun with Ridley." I headed out to the car, got in and stole one last look at the doorway before I drove down the street.