Nancy paused to catch her breath at the top of the stairs. The swim had done her good though – she felt that at her core. Every time she pulled herself out of the neighbor's pool, she did so with a new sense of being. Still – the stairs remained a challenge, and she found herself planning her days around them.
She had flat-out turned down Doug's offer to take the room on the ground floor. Objectively speaking, "offer" was a relative term. As usual, Doug had attached several lewd conditions to the real estate, some of which she was uncertain whether the Connecticut bylaws would have upheld. Regardless, she wanted to be on the same level of the house as her son - her sons – so she made the climb every night.
As she caught her breath she also caught a glimpse of an unmistakeable profile – it was her youngest son entering her sister's room. "Their room," she corrected herself mentally. The fact that Andy and Jill had rekindled what she still viewed as a 'revenge fuck' was fine with her. "Good for them," she had thought, on hearing the news, "at least somebody's getting some."
Curiosity and jealously led her to push the partially-opened door enough so that she could see inside. Her heart shattered as she watched Stevie slink into position between Andy and Jill. He had obviously done this many times before.
Nancy was flooded with memories: Shane sneaking in between her and Judah, Silas and his polite but insistent 'tug-tug-tug' on one of their hands (well, one of Judah's hands), and even the times with Stevie in the Jesus-van, when she snuggled him in between herself and Andy after breastfeeding. Or during breastfeeding. (Did it really matter? It was Andy.)
She watched as he reacted unconsciously to Stevie's arrival. As he rolled over and stretched one arm out of the way. And the other over Stevie. And Jill.
Her heart melted. And broke. Was it possible for it to do both at the same time?