The soft pitter patter of rain on my window is the first thing I hear when I wake up. My eyes slowly fluttering open as I adjust to the dark lighting in my room. Glancing over to my nightstand table, I can see that the clock reads six forty-seven.
Even in the silence of it all I can still hear this voice. That low tone reciting the words over and over. They don't even sound like English anymore.
"No one will love you the way I do."
Two weeks. That's how long it's been since I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, Leon. They've gone by so fast, and I can still barely comprehend what happened. One minute I couldn't imagine a future without him, and in the next I couldn't even stand to look at his face.
Falling in love is amazing. But the high of falling in love is equally matched by the low of falling out of it. It might even feel worse, to be honest.
A sigh escapes my lips as I get up and begin my daily routine, grabbing a quick cup of coffee before getting dressed. A tight pair of jeans with a plain tee and some plain white runners and I'm out the door. Breakfast isn't necessary. I hate eating after I wake up.
I hop into my car, turning on the radio quietly as I drive through the city. It's in that period of time where it's dark but quickly becoming light. It would be beautiful if I could actually take a minute to stop and enjoy it.
But I can't afford to be late. I'm out of my car and in the building by seven thirty. Uniform on, last minute checks... It's just part of the daily routine. Kids are messy, and not even the janitors check every corner.
I'm kneeling down over a pile of something sticky, scraping it off the ground while I hum quietly to myself. But I pause when I hear the door open and the sound of keys jingling. I turn around to see Jenny setting her coat down.
"Good morning Jenny." I give her a smile, waving awkwardly.
"Morning Harrison." She smiles back, pushing a loose strand of her honey blonde hair behind her ear. "What're you cleaning?"
"Soda?" It's more of a question than I answer, because I don't even know what the hell this is really. "I think..."
She chuckles, her blue eyes meeting my own brown ones for a brief moment before she turns to go find her uniform with a smile. I turn my attention back to the puddle, greeting anyone else who walks in.
Once I'm done I pull my phone out from my pocket, the time now reads seven twenty-eight. Parents should arrive any minute now. We aren't officially open until eight, but it's not like we're gonna turn away a parent who has to head to work early.
I get up and head over to the front doors, grabbing a blue umbrella as I step out and get ready to greet everyone. The first pair to arrive is one I'm familiar with. The click-clack of black high heels and the sight of a brunette in a stunning beige blazer is what I'm greeted with before I turn my eyes to the small child next to her.
"Hi Mr. Thomas!" She smiles, looking up at me with sparkling brown eyes.
I kneel down, smiling at her as I raise my hand. She smacks me, giving me a high-five. "Hi Hailey! How are you?"
"I'm good! After daycare today mommy said that I can get one new plushie!"
"Oh...?" I grin, getting back up. "Is that so? Lucky you."
My voice is warm as I turn back to her mother, "So it's safe to assume you'll be picking her up today?"
The brunette nods, "John's away at a work thing. So... Yep."
She glances down to Hailey and gives her a kiss on the forehead. "Alright mija. See you later, okay?"
"Bye mom!" Hailey giggles as she runs inside.
I wave as she turns back to her car and walks off. More people begin to arrive as I turn my attention to them. The first part of my morning goes by quickly as it's the same loop of greeting the kids and confirming with the parents who's going to be picking them up.
At around eight I turn to head back inside, but pause when I hear hurried tiny footsteps behind me. I glance back to find a small girl running at me full speed, her natural curly hair bouncing with each step.
I can't help but smile before I look up to see a man walking behind her. My smile slowly fades as I take him in. He's tall, with broad shoulders. His jet black hair is pushed to one side and his eyes are a beautiful hazel.
I don't even realize I'm staring until our eyes meet.
"Ah..." I clear my throat as he approaches, looking down at both him and the girl. Her skin a rich caramel that accentuated her brown eyes that almost sparkle as she glances up at me. His a much lighter and fairer tone, not quite pale but no where near tan. "Are you...?"
"Uncle." He replies in a low husky voice, easily reading that I was trying to piece together the relationship, "Sister's adopted."
"Um... Sorry." I nod, giving him a small smile. "I take it you're new, right? Uh... Abigail?"
"Yeah! I'm Abigail! This is my uncle Carter!"
"It's nice to meet you then, Abigail." I kneel down again, smiling. "I'm Mr. Thomas, but you can call me Harrison."
"Oh...! Your name is cool! Can I call you Harry?"
I smile, putting a friendly hand on her shoulder. "I don't see why not. Why don't you go inside and go meet everyone else? I gotta talk to your uncle for a second."
"Okay!" She turns to give him a hug, and he smiles and lifts her up to hug her back.
"Have a good day, okay princess? I'll be back before you know it." He gives her a kiss and sets her down as she giggles.
"Bye Uncle Carter!"
She runs inside as I look over at Carter. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Harrison," I say as I offer him my hand nervously.
He glances at it, taking a moment to think before he gives me a firm handshake. "Carter. But you already knew that."
"She seems like a good kid so far." I smile, "And you'll be picking her up today?"
Carter nods, eyeing me. Something seems to shift inside him as he avoids eye contact. "Uh... Y-Yeah... Is that it?"
"If you have anymore questions you can ask Jenny at the counter there or come find me. You can also call at any time, you have the number- right?"
"Alright." I give him another awkward smile as I turn to head inside. "See you later then, Mr. Hayes."
Nap time. One of the few times the daycare is actually quiet.
If you were to ask any of the kids what their favourite time is, they'd probably say nap time. The employees would say the same.
I run a hand through my hair as I sit back, alone in the corner of the room on my phone as almost all the kids are asleep. Not everyone can sleep during the day though, that's why we have tablets and quiet time for the ones who stay awake. It's a system that not only works great but helps give everyone a little break from how hectic the day can get.
"Mr. Harry?" A small voice breaks me from the video I was watching.
"What is it?" I glance up, seeing Abigail standing in front of me holding onto a lilac blue stuffed dog. Her lips are curved downwards and her eyes seemed dull compared to how sparkly they were this morning. "What's wrong?"
"I miss Uncle Carter..."
My face softens as I let out a soft sigh, gently reaching to put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "That's no good. Do you want me to call him?"
She didn't say anything but gave me a nod.
"Alright. Come on then." I reached for her hand and quietly took her outside of the room so as to not disturb the others. Once we were outside, I sat her down on one of the bright red couches and went to find Carter's number.
Once I found it I came back and sat next to her. "Alright. Is it okay if we call your uncle? Is he busy during the day?"
"Um..." She thought for a brief minute, before shaking her head. "Auntie Sarah says he just sits at an office all day and does nothing."
"Hm. I see." I smile, "I'll call him then."
Children definitely don't even worry about things like oversharing when they tell you things. If it comes to their head they'll just say it without hesitation. It's a cute quirk, but it becomes less cute with age.
Especially when you're twenty-six and constantly letting your partner know every tiny and meaningless comment that comes to your head. It really only takes a second before he's back on my mind.
His dark auburn-brown hair... His light green eyes. Memories of him come flooding back before I even have a chance to process what's going on.
"Good god Harrison. Sometimes I really wish you would just shut up."
His voice sounded so... angry. Like he was really so mad at me for trying to tell him about the day I had. Slowly but surely I began to talk less. He didn't notice though.
Or maybe he did, and maybe he preferred it that way.
Abigail's voice catches me off guard as I let out a nervous laugh, "Right-! Sorry, Abigail. I'll call him."
A shaky hand dials his number and brings the phone to my ear.
"Hello?" His voice is rugged, and he seems tired even though it's only mid-day.
"Um... It's Harrison-! From Blooming Angels Daycare?" I cleared my throat as I awkwardly try to find the words. "I just... Uh... Your niece- Abigail... She was missing you today, and I was wondering if you could just say hi to her?"
"Yeah... of course." He only sounded slightly annoyed as I passed the phone to Abigail. "Hi Abi," His voice was softer then it had been before.
"Hi uncle Carter." She smiled at the sound of his voice. "How are you?"
"I'm good Abi, but I'm at work. What's wrong?"
"I just miss you..."
"I'm sorry sweetheart. I promise I'll be off soon."
"And then I can see you?'
"Of course. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Now give the phone back to Mr. Thomas and be patient, okay?"
"Okay..." She repeated with a frown.
"Abi." His voice took a sterner tone, "Do you promise to be patient? You know I can't control having to work."
"I know..." She sighed, "I promise."
"Thank you. I love you. Hand the phone back now, okay?"
"I love you too." She said before handing the phone back to me.
I smiled at her as I brought it up to my ear, "Hello?"
"Hey." He sounded calmer now. "How is she? Is she okay?'
"Of course she's okay. She just missed you. First day nervousness I guess."
"Good. Good. Uh... Sorry if I was kind of being an asshole when I answered. Just not used to... any of this."
"Oh... No! Not at all. I'm really sorry to have bothered you at work. It's just you're the only one who could've made her feel better." I said before letting out a nervous laugh. "But I'm really sorry I had to call you-"
"It's fine, Harrison." He let out a low chuckle. "I've really gotta get back to work now, but I'll be there when my shifts done. Thanks for making sure she's okay."
"N-No problem! S-See you later."
The call ends as I look at my phone, feeling my cheeks heat up a little.
There was something different about this man. He looks amazing, obviously, but he's also just... friendly? So different from my ex... I can't help but be a little interested. But I shouldn't get my hopes up. He's probably not even gay.
I turn my attention to Abigail as I lead her back into the main room, soon enough everyone will be awake again and recharged with energy. I watch as she finds her spot and lays down. Seems like she'll be getting a little bit of shuteye this naptime too.
The day has come to an end.
The daycare is slowly but surely becoming emptier and emptier as more parents come to pick up their kids, and soon enough it's just Abigail and I sitting outside playing patty cake.
I pause when I see a familiar car roll up, and the same tall man from earlier stepping out. I point him out to Abigail as I stand up, smiling and waving while she does the same.
"Uncle Carter!" She lets out with glee as she runs to greet him.
"Hey!" He laughs as he picks up her and swings her in a playful swing. "I missed you!"
"I missed you too!" The small girl nuzzles into him, her head finding it's way to his shoulder.
I smile at the pair as Carter glances at me.
"Have a good day." My voice comes out softer than usual as I turn.
"Bye Harry!" I hear Abi shout from behind me, followed by Carter's voice.
"See you tomorrow."