Chapter three: Daydreaming
Miguel was angered when he came out of that office. He was so angry that he could spit fire. The way the principal had acted over the whole situation made him believe just what he'd suspected, Apryl was the type of girl who drew attention to everyone without even trying. He was upset because even though he'd been warned, he couldn't stop thinking of those piercing dark honey colored eyes of hers. The way they seemed to entice you with a single look had him drooling. He closed his eyes again and willed himself to stop thinking of her.
Apryl exhaled once she'd exited the shower and laid down on her bed, clothed in her under garments and a robe drawn over her body. She closed her eyes and waited for sleep to hit. Just as she'd drifted off, a hard knocking sound on the door awoke her. Startling awake, she got out of bed, slipped on some pants and a shirt and made her way to the door. Pulling it open, she glanced at her younger brother by a few minutes. As usually he was dressed in a debonair fashion, with a black Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, with a red wine colored beret hat on his head and a red wine colored tie was secured around his neck and he wore matching black dress pants with a belt secured around his waist. His shoes were a European brand called Fratelli. Immediately Apryl's eyes lit up, "Looking sharp Leon, where are you headed?"
Leon gave a sly smile, "Out with Latrice."
Apryl narrowed her eyes. "Leon, I told you I don't want to baby sit her child, I don't approve..."
"I know Apryl, but come on, do it for me, I know that you could use the money, anyhow, mom told me about the money you've been saving for a car, why not let me contribute." His tone was smooth, soft, like always.
"Leon." Already Apryl could feel her resolve weakening."
"Come on sis, she won't be a problem. She'll be so good that you will be asking me to keep her."
Apryl frowned at this, "Not that girl's child."
Leon shook his head, "India won't be any problem for you, I'm telling you, she's a good girl..."
"Daddy." A small voice stated as a little girl appeared beside Leon. Immediately, Apryl's eyes shot to the young girl, expecting to be filled with the same bitterness she felt when looking at her mother, but instead, she felt her heart melt when the child's eyes connected to hers. Big opal colored eyes stared back with rounded innocence filtering through them. Her demeanor was one of both curiosity and openness toward Apryl. "Daddy, am I going to stay with Aunt Apryl?"
Leon looked down at India and smiled, "Sweety, it's up to Aunt Apryl if she wants you to stay with her." As if on cue, India looked over at Apryl again. Softly Apryl's lips curved into a smile and she said, "What time will you guys be back?"
Leon sighed and sat India down in front of Apryl, who ushered the little girl into the foyer and turned to her brother. "We'll be back about four hours from now." He answered. Apryl nodded and held out her hand in front of him, palm open. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a twenty. Apryl said, Leon, I'm trying to buy a car here."
Leon laughed, "If you want to have more, you'll have to keep her over night."
Apryl narrowed her lids. "Leon, come on." He counted off another thirty dollars. Apryl smiled, "Alright, fine. She can stay the night, but make sure you do come and get her in the morning."
"I will be here about ten thirty tomorrow morning, so have her ready."
Apryl sighed, "Have fun."
Leon leaned in to India and said, "Baby, I'm going to come pick you up tomorrow, ok? So, I hope you have fun with Aunt Apryl." Apryl bit her lip on that statement. The little girl reached out and wrapped her arms around Leon's neck, "Thanks daddy, I'll see you tomorrow." Leon placed a kiss on her cheek. "Alright baby, see you tomorrow."
India smiled over at him, "Ok, daddy."
With that, Leon stood up and looked at Apryl, "Take care, alright."
Apryl smiled, "I will, now, go have fun."
"I see someone is excited to see me leave."
Apryl laughed, "Yeah, so I can close the door."
Leon nodded, "Well, on that note, I will just go. I'll see you later sis."
Apryl grabbed the door handle and closed it after he left. Turning to India, who stood there looking at her, Apryl inquired, "So, India what do you want to do tonight?"
India shrugged her shoulders, "I don't know. We can watch nick junior."
Apryl smiled, "Do you watch Nick Jr. a lot?"
"How about we make some dinner and then bake cookies for dessert?"
India nodded, "Sounds good."
Apryl glanced over at her, "So India, how old are you?"
"Three." The young girl answered. Apryl smiled and took her hand, "You speak really well for your age."
"Daddy doesn't believe in baby talk. He says that a child should know how to talk like a child and not a baby."
"Oh really?," Apryl inquired as she and India made it into the kitchen.
Miguel finally shoved Apryl to the back of his mind as he entered the drive way of his four bed room home. He cut the engine and pulled the key out of its ignition. Grabbing his bag, he opened the door and stepped out of the vehicle.
Upon entering into his home, he heard the t.v. blaring from the foyer as he walked into the living room, which was off the kitchen area. His father was laying curled up in one of two black lazy boys that suited the living room with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders, a book open. Since his dad had an affinity for westerns, Miguel had no doubt that it was open to one. Grabbing the remote from the kitchen island, he clicked it and the sound of the television went quiet.
"Hey, mijo, I was watching that." His dad stated from his position on the lazy boy. Miguel laughed, "I'm sure you were dad, with your book open, eyes closed and deep snoring. How is Anthony doing?"
His dad stood up from the chair and stretched, knocking the book to the floor. "He's doing well. I fed him and put him to bed."
His father nodded. "You welcome. I gotta go because my shift starts at eleven thirty tonight and I want to get some z's before I have to go in."
Miguel nodded, "Yep. Alejandro Cordero was a third shift warehouse manager at Home Depot. It was his job to do inventory, direct workers and make sure all the items in the warehouse were packaged properly and sufficiently by staff. It was also his duty to make sure that every item was accounted for in the place. He also evaluated night workers performances on the job. So, his son knew he had a busy night ahead of him. "Usted debe llamar a su madre."
"Voy a papa."
"Seriously Miguel, you need to call her because the woman has been driving me nuts about you getting remarried."
"I'm still young pops."
"I know but you know how she feel about Anthony. She thinks he needs a mother since Ana Rosa left."
Miguel felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up in irritation at the mention of his ex wife Ana Rosa Cordero. He hated what she'd done to him and Anthony, their son. She'd left him four years ago after stating that she'd been unhappy with her life as a mother and the marriage. So, Ana left them and never looked back. Although Miguel had no sorrow over loosing Ana, he did become bitter toward her over the fact that she'd left her son to chase who knows what. At first he'd thought she'd left for another man, but when he found out that she'd left town the same night she'd left JamesVille, he didn't think that was possible. Over the past four years the only time she'd ever called was to say she wanted a devorce and to relinquish her parental rights. He'd been given full custody of their son upon her request. After that, he hadn't heard anything from her. It was as if she'd just dropped off the face of the earth. "Ana was a mistake that I don't want to make again."
"Ana is not in every girl, Miguel. Not all women are Ana."
Miguel sighed and cleared his throat. "Dad, I'm fine as a single man. I have my son. I don't need a woman to make me feel complete."
His father continued his case, "Not for feeling complete, but feeling compassion. You are not as you were before."
"A woman can't make a man compassionate."
He scoffed at this statement, "A good woman can bring out the best in a man, and that's what you need. A good woman. Look at your mom and me. We've been married for over thirty years and she still is my everything."
Miguel shrugged, "Congratulations dad, but your relationship is of old. This is a new time, new decade and women like mom don't exist."
Alejandro Cordero stood staring at his son as if determining whether or not he should say what he wanted to, but then deciding he should, he said, "I agree son, women like your mother don't exist, because your mother was made for me, the woman who's made for you will be completely different."
Miguel sighed, "Thanks for the imput dad, but I think you should get going, that way you won't be missing out on too much sleep."
Alejandro grabbed his coat from the coat rack in between the living room and hallway and put his hand in a sleeve. "You know what Miguel, I can take that cue. I'll see you Monday morning."
Miguel went to the fridge, "Don't forget to lock the door on your way out."
"Don't worry, I won't." Pausing, Miguel's father looked over at him, "Miguel, the real point is that your son needs a mother just as much as you need a wife. He needs someone to show him what you can't."
Miguel laughed at this, turning his gaze to his father. "What could a woman possibly show him that I can't? He is going to grow up to become a man one day."
Alejandro shook his head. His son had a lot to learn about the value of a woman. He couldn't understand how come Miguel would always have a hard time picking up on this, considering the fact that he had a mother and two sisters.
The following morning, Apryl awoke to the sun streaming in through the windows, creating the usual white light that was brought with it by winter. She yawned and glanced down next to her. India had curled up into a ball next to her, her body tucked into Apryl, snug. Apryl gently removed the young girl from next to her, careful not to wake her and got up. Putting her hands above her head, she stretched her body until it seemed to release the aches that had been acquired from the awkward positions on the couch. She then went up stairs to conduct her daily hygiene ritual.
When she made it back down stairs, refreshed, India was sitting up on the couch, looking around confused. "Good morning, did you sleep well?" Apryl inquired of her new friend.
"I slept good." The young girl answered. "When will daddy come to get me?"
"Around ten thirty. I was about to cook some pancakes, eggs and bacon." Apryl stated. The young girl immediately stood up to follow her into the kitchen, "Can I help?"
Apryl smiled, "Of course you can. However, you need to get cleaned up first." They went to the kitchen and up the back stairwell to the bathroom that was located at the top of the stairs. When they came back down, through Apryl's careful watch, the girls began making breakfast.
By the time they were finished, a horn outside sounded, letting Apryl know that her brother was here. "Aww man," India stated, folding her arms across her chest, "I really wanted to taste this breakfast." Apryl smiled at the discouraged tone in her voice. "You can still eat honey, we just have to invite dad in for breakfast."
At this, the child's eyes lit up, "Yes." She ran out of the kitchen and to the door. Immediately, Apryl rushed after her, however, as soon as she reached the door, India pulled it open and flew into Leon's arms. "It's good to see you too, India." He greeted her. India smiled and gave a soft happy laugh. She pulled him in for a hug. Leon wrapped his arms tightly around her, reciprocating her hug. Apryl watched this with a smile on her face. She figured she was wrong about India and the little girl was definitely worth the adoration her brother had toward her. She was such a sweat heart. Turning to Leon, she asked, "Did you enjoy your date?"
His smile brighted, "Definitely. We went to see the new Tyler Perry movie, Daddy's little girls."
"Was it good," Apryl's tone took on the excitement of a child. She loved Tyler Perry.
"It was pretty good, I think it's high time the brothers got some type of credit for taking care of their girls."
"I know right, the way they always portray black men in movies is distasteful." Apryl cleared her throat, "Is Latrice out there?"
Leon shook his head, "No, she's at work, had to go in about eight this morning, why?"
Before Apryl could answer, India blurted out, "We made breakfast daddy. Pan-a-cakes, eggs and bacon. You want some?"
Leon laughed, "Wouldn't mind if I do." He walked in and closed the door.
"You don't have to work this morning?" Apryl inquired. Leon nodded, "No, I have to go in around four, Latrice will be there to take care of India."
"Oh, ok." As they entered the kitchen, their mother was just reaching the landing of the stairs. She greeted each of them with a kiss. "Hey babies, how's it going?" She was dressed in her work attire. Quickly, she grabbed the pot of coffee off of its base and grabbed one of the two mugs that were on the counter. "Mom, I didn't know you were here," Apryl stated, grabbing plates from the cabinet. "I got in about eleven last night and you and India were already out when I walked in the door."
"Hi gramma," India greeted her favorite person.
"Hey baby, did you have fun with Apryl yesterday?" Evangeline Marcus asked her grand daughter.
"Yes, ma'am." India stated as she and Evangeline sat down at the breakfast table. Leon also sat down as they started passing around the food. Looking over at the table, he said, "Who would've thought that we'd all be here together this morning."
"It's pure luck, " Apryl stated.
"Yep, so Leon Marcus, what do we owe this special occasion to?"
Leon cleared his throat, "Well ma, Latrice and I have decided to get married."
"Married!" Apryl and her mother stated at the same time. Apryl's tone was more out of anger than the shock her mother's voice displayed.
Leon nodded, "Yes. I asked her to marry me last night and she said yes."
"Why?" Apryl blurted out.
"Because I love her and she is a good woman, that's why."
"You are too young to get married Leon. What could you possibly know about marriage?" His mother demanded to know.
"Well, mom Apryl and I have been staying together for a year now and I think that it's working out well, which is why we want to make it official."
Apryl stared at him flabbergasted. She'd known Leon was serious but not this serious."
A few minutes of qawking at one another made Leon feel uncomfortable. Standing up, he turned to India, "Come on baby girl, we got to go, I'll talk to you and momma more about this later, Apryl. I have some business to take care of."
Evangeline stood up and gave her son a hug, "Congratulations baby, I just hope you and Latrice know how demanding marriage can be."
Leon nodded, "We do mom, that's why we took our time before we came to this decision. I've known I wanted to marry her since India was born but we both wanted the timing to be right."
"Well, then I trust your judgement."
Leon sighed, "Thank you mom. I will talk to you later." Turning to Apryl, he said, "I will see you later Apryl."
Tight lipped, Apryl nodded. She couldn't even bring herself to speak. A few minutes after he left, her mother pushed her chair back, "Well, I have to be in at noon, so I better get going."
When the door closed and she heard her mother's car backing out of the drive way, Apryl wondered why everyone except her seemed to have something important to do.