“I need food to keep up with you.” He laughs, and I just roll my eyes as the front door opens.
“Hello? Anyone home?” I hear Joanne as the girls come running into the room.
“Mommy!” They both run to me as I open my arms to them.
“Well, hello there.” I kiss them both on the head as I have one arm wrapped around each.
“Sorry,” Joanne says, coming into the kitchen. “I tried to stall them as much as I could.”
I shake my head and smile at her. She looks exhausted. “That’s more than okay. How was last night?”
“It was so much fun,” Daisy says. “Henry snores.”
We all laugh. “Does he?”
“Yup,” Daisy says, grabbing a piece of toast that Blake put down. He leans down, kissing the girls’ head.
“Did you guys sleep at all?” he asks the girls who now go sit on one of the chairs.
“They slept fine. I, on the other hand, was so worried,” Joanne says. “I just had this fear they would wake up and wander.”
“Well, thank you,” I tell her, “for everything.”
“Where is Dad?” Blake asks her.
“He’s taking the tent down,” she says. “Would you guys like to come over for dinner?” she asks us, and Blake just looks at me while Lizzie and Daisy both answer. “Yes.”
“Only if it isn’t too much trouble,” I tell her as she just looks at me and smiles.
“Never,” she says. “Now I’m going home to bake a pie.” She walks out, waving back to us.
“I’m going to lie down in my room,” Lizzie says, walking to her room, and I snap up and look at Blake to see if he caught that. He just smirks as he puts some eggs on my plate.
“Eat,” he says, bending to kiss me as I smile. “Daisy, you hungry?” He looks over at her, and she shakes her head.
“I’m going to my room too,” she says, walking away from the table.
“The kids seemed to be settled,” Blake says, sitting next to me. Taking my fork, I grab some eggs and put it on my toast. “I like it.”
I chew, looking at him. “Yeah?” I lean over to kiss him, brushing my thumb on his lips before I do. “I love you,” I tell him, and he smiles the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on him, and the smile remains until we load our car to go home.
He kisses the girls goodbye, and they mope to the car. He puts his hand in my hair, cupping my face. “You call me when you get in. I have work, so if I don’t answer, text me.” He kisses my lips soft, ever so fucking soft.
“I will,” I tell him and then get into the car and start driving home. The whole time, my heart is sad that I won’t be sleeping in his arms, sad that I won’t wake up to his smile, sad that the time just goes so fucking fast. “Did you guys have fun?” I ask them when I lower the volume of the movie they are watching.
“Yeah,” Lizzie says. “I don’t want to go home.”
I look ahead. “But it’s our home.” No one says anything, so I continue, “What would you guys think about moving?”
“I want to,” Daisy says.
“But you have all your friends at school and Grandpa and Grandma.”
“I made new friends,” she informs me.
“Did you?” I ask her, confused. “When?”
“Nanny took us to the park to play, and we made five friends.” She holds up her hand with her fingers separated. She always chooses the number five so she can hold up her fingers.
“Yeah,” Lizzie says. “Besides, I don’t want to see Grandma and Grandpa or Uncle Elliot.”
“Honey,” I start, “they love you.”
“But they don’t love you,” she says, looking out the window, and I drop the subject for a later date.
We get home, walking in and seeing the balloons still here but floating halfway. “Okay, girls, unpack your bags and put everything in the wash,” I tell them as they walk up the stairs, dragging their bags behind them. I walk into the kitchen to open the shades and then the window to let some fresh air in. I take my phone out and call him, but it goes straight to voicemail. “I’m home,” I tell him and then grab ingredients from the fridge to start dinner. I don’t want to be here; I hate being here.
We sit for dinner, and the girls are not themselves. Gone are the chatty girls, and in there place is Daisy, who said my cooking was boring, and Lizzie, who pushed the food around her plate. “Can we go back to Blake’s next weekend?” she asks, looking up.
“I’m sure we could ask. I think he is off.” I know he’s off because he refused to pack my bag to go home, saying I was just coming back anyway.