It was seeing Anderson running by on his way to work that really brought home the fact that he and Cora were almost grown. Lyric paused a moment in her weeding to take it in. It hadn’t hit her when they had come to her earlier that week. Both of them looking slightly guilty as if they were ten again and busted for jumping on their cots. Anderson had been the one to tell her that they had found jobs. When she had not reacted badly they had both loosened up slightly. Lyric had no problem with it considering what she had gone through at their age. Of course she did warn both of them with a very stern voice that if their grades dropped at all it would be adios to the job.
Losing herself in her gardening for a few hours was not a big deal this morning. There would be no demands from either her brother or her sister. Smiling she went back to her gardening. It wasn’t until she heard her father’s laughter that she realized that someone else was on their land. Standing she brushed her dirty hands against her jeans looking for who it might be. She felt a surge of excitement at seeing him and embarrassment for how she must look. It was Orson, chatting happily with her father as he polished off the leftovers from the breakfast she had made for the kids that morning.
Seeing her stand up he waved happily at her before continuing his conversation with her father. It took her a minute to take it in. The thing she had been dreading happening was happening and it was OK. At least, there had been no scream of horror from Orson that she had heard. He looked calm. Calm enough to be eating breakfast across from her ghost father. Yep, he was definitely a keeper. Shaking off her astonishment she made her way to the bathroom. Once she was clean she was a little more pulled together inside. Approaching Orson who was by now wandering through the garden she was greeted with a grin and an invitation to lunch. Apparently a new restaurant had opened and he wanted to check it his Uncle’s competition.
It was during lunch when he finally asked what had happened to her dad. The concern in his eyes for her sake made it easier for her to explain. She watched him closely expecting disbelief and instead getting astonishment. By the time she finished telling him the whole story of raising her brother and sister on her own. They had finished their meal. A weight that she had not even been aware that she was carrying seemed to lift off her chest. Leaning back in his chair Orson slowly shook his head at her. “Did you know? I was worried, in a way, about you, when we meet? I mean we were in the city and you were on your own. You seemed to take everything so lightly that night.” Tilting her head she waited for him to finish. “When in reality. You were just taking a break.” Nodding at him she smiled as she said “Yeah, it was a wonderful night.” Their eyes meet and held, the smile that slowly grew across his face took her breath slightly. The waiter’s arm swooping in to pick up their plates broke the moment. Looking out across the patio Orson got a look of consternation on his face before snatching a quick look at his wrist. “Oh no, he groaned I’m late. “Look I want to see you again, do you want… Shaking her head in confirmation she said “Definitely.” and grinned. “Good.” he grinned back at her. “I really have to go to work but I will see you later ok? I am so sorry I have to dash like this.” Standing he hurriedly pulled some bills from his pocket and tossed them on the table before leaning over and kissing her soundly. Her cheeks were burning and she felt as though she was floating as he rushed from the restaurant.
On her return home she was glad to see Cora bonding with their dad and Anderson busy with stretching the kinks out from their job. Ducking into the bathroom she took a cold shower this time. By the time she got out the twins were busy doing their homework. Offering to help them helped take her mind off of Orson. Evening crept in as they studied and began to prep for bed. While cooking a quick supper she only burnt it a little as she daydreamed. Good nights were said all around as she cleaned up and they shuffled off to bed. Making her way over to Cora’s violin to put it away she heard a soft voice call her name. Looking around she couldn’t help the smile that lit her face as Orson stepped into her sight. I just wanted to give you a proper farewell he said as he picked up her hand and gently kissed it.
Lyric could not help the soft giggle that escaped her at his silliness. Standing up from his silly pose he grinned and said “Now, about that next date.” It took a few minutes of comparing notes but they did figure out the next free moment they both had. After one more kiss Orson left and Lyric floated over to her own bed. It was with a gentle smile that she fell asleep that night.