“She didn’t slap you?”
“No. No hysterics, no screaming, no hitting. I’m not sure which of us was more surprised, me or her. A good kind of surprised….”
“You’d better get to sleep, Romeo.”
“Yeah. I do need to sleep. Thanks for watching the kids, Lita.” He hugged her, kissing her cheek.
“You’re very welcome. Sleep well, Kyle.”
“I will. For the first time in ages, I will.”
They closed the adjoining door and he got ready for bed. Images of Emily floated past his closed eyes. With a giddy, silly smile on his face, he fell asleep.
The next morning, he and Carmelita took the children to breakfast. Tables of fresh fruit sculptures and every kind of breakfast bread imaginable greeted them when they walked in. They were in the process of piling up their plates when Emily walked in. She smiled when she saw the family and walked over to greet them. Mindy took her by the hand, showing her the swan that was made mostly of pineapples.
“I’m an artist too,” Emily told her as they came back to the table.
“Do you carve fruit?” Mindy asked earnestly.
“No, I paint, mostly. I also like to take photographs and draw.”
“I like to finger paint.”
“Do you? I loved to do that when I was your age. That’s how I started my art career.”
“By finger painting? Wow!”
“My daddy let me paint the front window of his business with flowers and things at Easter time. I had a lot of fun doing it and his customers really liked it.”
“What kind of store did he have?” Mindy asked, wide eyed.
“He was president of a bank.”
“My mommy was sick,” Mindy’s little mouth pouted.
“I’ve been very sick too. But now I’m all better.”
“I’m glad you’re better. I like you, Miss Emily.”
“Thank you. I like you too, Mindy.”
“What’s on the docket for today?” Carmelita asked.
“I don’t know. There are all kinds of activities for the kids. Arts and crafts at nine, swimming, video games. In fact, there’s a Guitar Hero competition right after lunch.”
“There’s not!” Randy’s eyes got huge. “Which one?”
Kyle pulled out the brochure. “Says here, Guitar Hero II and Metallica.”
“I thought that would interest you and Cindy. You two kick serious butt at that game.”
“Randy’s better than me,” Cindy pouted. “He’d beat me.”
“You can compete and different levels. See?”
“You’re the queen of medium, Cindy,” Randy tried to console his sister. “I can’t even play as good as you at that setting.”
“This from the king of expert.” She smirked, nudging her brother. “But thanks. It might be fun.”