Teeth

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Chapter 17 - Blue

September 10th, 1992

“We have to take everything back,” I said to Chuck as he held his daughter and fed her formula. “We bought everything blue.”

“It’s okay. Girls can wear blue,” Chuck said explaining what must seem completely logical to him.

“Girls can wear blue, but babies can’t unless they’re boys.”

“It’ll be okay, Lilian”

“Everybody is going to think she’s a boy.”

“We’ll just tell them she’s not.”

“We have to take everything back.”

“You can if you want, but you’ll have to do it. I’m sure as hell not running all over this island again with you shopping for the baby again.”

“It’s not that big of a deal. I’ll return stuff and trade it for pink stuff.”

“Yeah? And then you’ll have to find pink stuff that matches...”

“It won’t take long.”

“…and cheap enough...” Andrea finished her formula and her daddy put her over his shoulder to burp her.

“Then I’ll just go and do all the returns myself,” I said.

“Like I said, you go right ahead. I wanted to go to with the guys this afternoon. You can have the car and I’ll get a ride with Richard or someone,” Chuck said.

“Are you taking Andrea with you?” I asked worried she would wind up in some bar.

“No.”

“You expect me to drag her all over the island with me?”

“If you want to go, yeah.”

“What the hell?”

“You’re the one that has a problem…”

“Yeah I do...”

“…with the blue.”

“With you,” I said the last as I took Andrea from her father and went to her bedroom to change her. As I was changing her, I heard Chuck in the living room.

“Hey, Richard, you wanna go to the ki’s? No, I need a ride. Thirty minutes? Cool.”

I laid Andrea in her crib, turned on her mobile and stormed into the living room.

“You are not going to the ki’s.”

“Bitch. You can’t tell me what to do.”

“I sure as hell can.”

“You think you can,” Chuck said as he headed to the bedroom to change.

I followed him into the bedroom, the storm gathering around my indignation and my feelings of being betrayed and abandoned. “How can you leave me alone while you go off to the ki’s with Richard?”

“Easy. I call him up, and we go.”

“How can you leave Andrea?”

“I’m not leaving her.”

“YOU ARE!”

“You’re here. I’m not leaving anyone.”

“You’re leaving me...”

“I’m just going to hang out with a friend.”

“You’re leaving me, for him.”

“You make it sound like I’m cheating on you.”

I peered into his eyes. He looked away, and then finished dressing. Numb and lost, I sat on the bed. He grabbed his wallet from the nightstand, and scurried to the door. It slammed, and Andrea wailed from her crib. For the first time since Sarge, I crawled into the bed and wrapped the blanket around me. I pulled my knees up towards my chest, and Andrea and I bawled for an hour. We both fell asleep bitterly exhausted from trying to communicate without words to an empty apartment.

Maybe this bed is where I belong.

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