“Is that what you meant to do?” I asked him, smiling.
He giggled in my hands and I gave him back to his mommy, who I had called my mommy too, sucking on her chest under pink light, hooking fingers into what I’d assume were much tighter quarters.
“That wasn’t nice Nathan-why don’t you say you’re sorry?”
“Sorry,” he said with his finger in his mouth, snot dripping out of his nose.
“That’s okay, Natey Boy,” I assured him.
“He’s still learning his manners.”
“Who isn’t?” I laughed, though her mom always told me I was so polite.
“Isn’t that the truth,” she sighed.
I wondered what that meant. Probably nothing, in response to my verbal nothings, which used to sound different and coil in her ear. She kept my love notes even after the new guy stepped in, she told me one time.
Nathan hiccoughed and his mom cradled him, meeting her nose to his. We didn’t have much more to say to each other, any one of us. So we all smiled.
I got to meet Nathan at least, who I had heard so much about in the supermarket the other day. Much more than she told me about Nathan’s daddy...I think.
When she walked away, past the trees and the gazebo in the park, telling me it was nice seeing me again, it was just like she was walking past the cereal boxes shone under fluorescent lights, her apple ass shaking cutely again. Leaving the aisle past breakfast food and to the checkout line or leaving the bed past the closet and to the bathroom it still rocked gently and lively as only a woman’s can. The kid didn’t rob her of that.
Which, whether she was permanently loose lipped or not, made me hate Nathan’s dad all over again, just like it was three years ago when I first heard his name, “Nathan.”