To read Part 1, click here.
To read Part 2, click here.
To read Part 3, click here.
She held him long enough for a tear to spill onto his cheek.
"What did the chickens do to you?" Jean stooped down to look him in the face and noticed the new streak there. "Are you having a bad day, honey?"
The boy nodded slowly and pursed his lips tight, trying to stop the imminent flood.
"It's okay, that happens to all of us sometimes." She patted the front step. "Come sit down. I brought you something."
Aaron's eyes brightened as Jean pulled a chocolate bar out of her purse. She put an arm around his body and handed him the candy as he sat next to her on the step. He quickly tore off the wrapper and took a big bite.
"What's your mom doing today?" Jean asked.
"She's having a bad day too," he muttered as he chewed.
"She is? How can you tell?"
"First she yelled at me and when Daddy came home she started crying."
"Why did she yell at you?"
"I turned the angel music on," he started.
"The angel Grandma gave your mommy when Lily was born?"
"I thought you weren't supposed to play with that."
"I know, but I just wanted to hear the music. Mama hasn't played it for a long, long time. When Lily was still here, we used to wind it up and Mama would sing and dance with me. I wanted to make her happy again."
"But she got mad. Daddy said she's missing Lily."
"Where are your mom and dad now?"
"They're inside," the small boy said, licking the last of the chocolate off his fingers. "I need a drink!"
Jean managed a smile and tousled Aaron's hair. "C'mon. I'll help you."
She held the door for Aaron and they walked in. John was at the kitchen sink, chugging a glass of water.
"I'll have what you're having," Aaron said, making his father turn around and notice them.
"Jean, I'm glad you're here. Emmy's having rough day." John filled his glass and handed it to Aaron.
Stop by tomorrow for the final installment.
Photo Credit: PentaxFanatiK