Miles arrived home the next day. He joined Rudy, Elias, H-C and Sasha at Rudy’s house on a Thursday afternoon after work.
“Idelina is being unreasonable. She doesn’t even want to talk about this or compromise. I don’t think she’s asked Aria what she wants to do,” Miles ranted.
“Has anyone asked Aria what she wants to do?” asked Sasha. At slight pause in the conversation followed.
“What I want to know is why is it that you didn’t finalize custody before you left? That’s just irresponsible.” Said Rudy
“Because I knew she was still alive, and maybe when she decided to come back we might’ve had a chance to become a family again. That’s why! I can’t do anything about that in this present moment. She still has rights” answered Miles.
“What do you think Idelina wants, I mean besides being able to spend time with her daughter?” H-C asked.
“I don’t think that’s what it’s even about at this point. I mean she left her, so why would she be coming back to snatch her away so quickly? Why can’t she just give us some time, make a plan?” Miles said.
“Well, is it possible she may think she could do a better job at raising her than you can do?” asked Rudy.
“I don’t know. I think she’s mad as hell at me. Maybe she thought I was going to try to keep Aria here in the states.”
“Well do you think if she knew Aria was in the able hands of people who loved her she might reconsider letting her stay for longer or at least making some kind of plan so she can split her time?” asked H-C.
“I don’t know, maybe.”
“Okay, we’ve got a starting point. Miles, no Rudy, you need to call her and invite her to Sunday dinner,” H-C suggested.
“I’ve never laid eyes on the woman, how is it going to look if I call her out of the blue?”
“I think it looks quite charming. It shows that the family is interested in her and interested in forming a familial relationship with her. Plus she’s mad at Miles and she won’t accept if he calls,” H-C said.
“I agree. We all need to be courteous and show interest in her.” Rudy was buying into the plan.
“She must feel slighted. She’s never met any of us before this. We’re going to have to be on our best,” Sasha added.
They all agreed.
“It would also be helpful if we had a plan before we meet her,” said H-C.
“What do you mean? A plan for what? To box her up and send her back to Germany?” asked Miles snickering.
“Miles, you more than any of us need to work on containing your attitude and being pleasant. This is not for you, it’s for Aria. Tell us about Idelina, anything that might help.”
He mulled over his answers.
“Well, she cares a lot about education and she’s very spiritual.”
“I’ve got a couple of pamphlets from pretty good schools in the city. One of the schools is close to the hospital,” said H-C.
“I’ve got several camp pamphlets for theater too,” said Elias.
“She likes seafood because it reminds her of Brazil and she’s addicted to chocolate, or at least she was three years ago. She’s got a soft spot for arts and poetry and is actually very intellectual.” Miles softened from his prior defensive demeanor.
“She likes old school jazz, R & B and Latin music, Milton Nascimento. She was raised in Germany and went back to Brazil often, maybe every two years or so. She went to college in Sao Paulo for social work or something. Mother is Brazilian and father is German. What else?”
“Miles, you’re going to have to figure out where you are going to live. If you move upstate then you lose your support network here. You know it’s not going to fly if you don’t stay put and raise your daughter,” said Rudy.
His face went sour.
“What if Aria wants to go back to Germany?” Sasha persisted.
There was a pause in the conversation.
“Someone has to be on Trish. No a single person won’t be distracting enough. We’ll all have to be very complimentary to her and engage her in conversation,” said H-C.
“I agree,” said Rudy. “Trish likes to be the center of attention. Talk to her about church, Sunday school, cotillions, and name dropping. Y’all know you should avoid talking about anything besides church, Trish, cotillions and names.” He didn’t look pleased when talking about Trish.
Rudy called Idelina that evening.