I look left towards my wide-open windows in my office and admire the view. I have worked my ass off to get to this point in my life by attending university immediately after graduating high school and pushing on in my academics even when life threw me a curve ball. To say I am proud of myself is an understatement, but my mind always reverts to contemplate my decisions over the past years. What if - my thoughts are disrupted by the sound of my cell phone ringing. I answer after taking a relaxing breath.
“Good afternoon, my name is Stacy. I am the counselor here at Wright Academy calling to get a hold of Ms. Rhodes. This is about her son, Maverick.”
“This is Ms. Rhodes, is everything alright?” I ask quite perplexed.
“Unfortunately, no. We have had quite a predicament here at school that involves your son. We are requesting that you immediately come to the school to discuss the situation.” she says in a calm tone.
“Yes, I will be there in the next half hour. I am leaving my office now.” I reply curtly and end the call by tossing my phone down on my desk.
I run my hand over my hair and toss is to the left, a tick that indicates a sign of stress. Wonderful, I can only imagine what he got himself into this time. I huff and pick myself out of my office chair and trudge over to the right side of my desk to gather my purse and coat. I pick up my phone on the way out of my office and close my door.
I make a quick stop at my boss’s door and give a quick knock. I wait about five seconds before opening the door.
“Hey Gloria. I just received a call from Maverick’s school, and I need to head out. I will see you tomorrow morning.” I say while displaying my please do not kill me smile.
She cackles and then turns to me “No problem, see you tomorrow. And by the way, awesome job in court this morning.” she says with that I’m proud of you look.
I quickly say, “Thank you.” and head out of her office. I make my way towards the elevator, push the service button, and patiently wait for the doors to open. The ding signal prevents me from having a wondering mind. After a quick scan of the somewhat crowded elevator, I decide to stand on the left side as it seems less congested.
The button labeled garage is already lighted, so I move slightly back. I fumble over my own feet and nearly topple over, brushing someone’s arm, before I regain my own balance. Not even looking up at the individual I bumped into I mutter a quick “Sorry.” and adjust myself.
The individual clears their throat “No worries. I am glad we did not topple over.” they say while letting out a small chuckle. I smile and nod my head in agreement.
The voice over on the elevator signals that we are now at the garage level. The doors open and I quickly exit heading towards my Toyota 4Runner. I climb in my already started 4Runner and gather myself. I then exit the parking garage and hit the busy city roads.
Jamming to some old-school R&B, I soon pull into Wright Academy’s parking lot. Locking my vehicle, I head towards the administration office. As I enter the office and close the door behind me, the receptionist at the front desk speaks. “Good Afternoon, Ms. Rhodes. Please head towards the counselor’s office straight through these doors.”
“Thank you.” I reply while walking in the direction she described. The door to Mrs. Stacy’s office is open as I approach, and my eyes immediately land on my son lazily lying down on what seems to be a sofa.
“Don’t you look comfortable.” I say startling him a bit.
He jumps up upon hearing my voice. “Hi mommy.” he says as he runs towards me with his arms wide open.
I squat down to embrace his hug and pick him up smiling. How did I get so lucky with the most amazing child? I look over at the counselor and she gives me a curt nod, so I take that as a sign to sit in the chair across from her desk and she clears her throat.
“Maverick and few of his friends caused quite a ruckus during quiet time today.” she says while looking at the back of Maverick’s head that is rested on my chest. “He and his friends were being quite rough with some of the other kids, and it seemed to cause worry for the teacher.” she explains.
I sigh and rub his back. Boys are usually rough, no? Especially the boys I call my brothers. “I am sorry for the actions of Maverick and his friends, Mrs. Stacy.” I reply.
She looks at me and gives me a soft smile. After a few moments of silence, she stands up and shakes her head. “Kids will be kids, but we are concerned with the rowdy behavior and how it can be disruptive for our learning environment.” she says while looking at me. I look guilty at her and she continues “You are not the only parent we spoke with today, hence the mention of Maverick and friends. Maybe just talk with him about what quiet time is and the things he can do during that allotted time.” she finishes in a hopeful voice.
I look up at her and nod my head. “Of course, Mrs. Stacy.” I reply.
After a few more minutes of conversing with Mrs. Stacy, I leave the administration office and head towards the parking lot. Nearing my 4Runner, I quickly hit the auto start button on my key fab as Maverick is already dozing in and out of sleep. Must have been all the energy he used to cause the ruckus with his friends. I giggle at my own thought and reach for the back door, but my action is cut off by the sound of my name being called.
“Olivia!” I hear from a distance.
I am still facing my vehicle as the voice sounds closer, “Hey Olivia!” a familiar voice says.
I turn around and meet the owner of the voice, Thomas. He is holding a child in the same fashion as myself. He looks at me and then Maverick, looking slightly surprised. “I knew it was you! Ever since I overhead the counselor and receptionist mention the name Rhodes, I knew. After all, not many people carry the name in this town, especially those who are able to have children.” he says breathlessly, most likely from running over from his car.
All I can get out of my mouth is a quick “Yeah.” while I stare at him in disbelief. What is he doing here?
He seems to read my mind as he starts to speak again. “I just moved back into town a month ago. My son goes to this school along with Logan’s daughter. It seems that our magnetic energy seems to be embedded within our kids.” he finishes while lightly laughing.
OMG. Thomas and Logan are back in town, not good. Where there is two the third one is not too far behind. It is time to leave. Maybe even switch Maverick to a new school... I look up at Thomas and give him a fake smile. “Well, I best get going. Maverick has Karate later this evening and I wanted to rest before class.” I rush out.
“Alrighty. It looks like we will be seeing each other around anyway, Ollie.” He says with the biggest smile.
I cringe but keep the fake smile plastered on my face. I turn around to reach for the door and open it. I situate Maverick in his seat and close his door and rush over to the driver’s door and slide myself in.
I gather myself and look up in my rear-view mirror to see Maverick dozing off and smile to myself. I drive out of the school parking lot and head towards our house. After all these years the trio of boys are back. Why couldn’t they have stayed in Montana where they attended college and played football? Why come back?
As I pull up to the house, I notice my father’s truck in the driveway. Definitely not a good sign. How many more surprises am I going to receive today?!?
I park next to my dad’s truck in the driveway and carry Maverick and my things into the house. I put Maverick on the couch as he starts to wake up and make my way to the kitchen where I find my father and uncle standing together discreetly talking. These men are attached at the hip – where there is one, there is the other.
“Dad, Uncle.” I initiate while walking past them to grab a snack for Maverick.
They both look at me and Ryan, my father, says “How was work today?”
I shake my head and reply “Spit it out already.” I give them a pointed look “There must be something going on since you both are here at my house AND coincidentally, I ran into Thomas today at Maverick’s school.”
They both look taken aback. Guilty almost. Sean, my uncle, takes a deep breath “We were going to tell you that they were back in town, but we knew how it would make you act and feel. Look how are you are acting right now.”
Immediately I look down at the goldfish snack in my hands and walk out towards Maverick in the living room. I plop down next to him while offering the goldfish snack which he takes. I turn on the television and just sit there with him while he eats his snack. I have my shit together. He was my best friend. But why did he treat me like that? Can everything go back to the way they were before we had our fall out? I miss my best friend.
My thoughts are interrupted by both my dad and uncle simultaneously clearing their throats. I look to them in the doorway, and I see them both looking at me with their concerned look. “I am going to be fine. It has been years since everything... I am in a good place mentally.”
They nod their heads and come over to sit on the couch as well. We watch a bit of tv before they suggest that they take Maverick to Karate tonight. I am reluctant at first but agree, and soon all three of them are heading out the door. Maverick does not get too far as I pick him up and plant smothering kisses on his cheeks, nose, and forehead. I stand at the front door and wave to them as they pile in the truck and begin to reverse out of the driveway. I hear a yelping Maverick “Bye mommy, see you soon!” and I smile while closing the door.
I decide to sit and soak in a hot bath. I run the water while I discard all my clothing. I slide in the tub with a soothing “Ahhhhh.” leaving my lips.
I lay my head back to relax and the thoughts start shoveling through my mind. Having Maverick was one of the best things to happen to me. He anchored me back down from all the chaos and stabilized my life. I worked towards and continue to push in my career for both myself and my son. Maverick... he looks like a splitting image of his father with his hazel eyes and face structure. The only difference is the black hair that he inherited from me. Maverick’s father... Colt.