We Can Love Again

Just a Memory

When Roland woke up, he crawled his way out of the warm covers and immediately headed for the kitchen, dragging his blanket behind him as he went. He stood there and looked around quickly, his face soon falling slightly. The kitchen was absolutely dormant, and Regina was nowhere to be found.

"Why are you up so early?" Robin asked, seeing his son standing in the empty kitchen for no apparent reason. After a second, though, his mind registered the reason behind his unusual actions.

"Were you hoping Regina would be here cooking something for us?"

The little boy turned around so he was facing him. "I like it when she's here."

Robin smiled, going over to scoop him up in his arms. "Me too."

Roland giggled as he started to tickle him; his dad knew just how to make him laugh.

"Don't worry, I'll make something for us so we don't starve."

Setting him on the counter, Robin got out two containers from the cupboards. "Oatmeal or grits?"

Roland scrunched his face as he imposed the familiar question. He absolutely hated both of them. What he really wanted was more of the yummy stuff Regina had made. Pointing towards the box of oats, Robin started on preparing breakfast.

It was almost ridiculous how quickly everything seemed to begin revolving around Regina. Robin had spent four years independently taking care of his son- he thought he did a pretty job at it. then, all of a sudden, Regina came into their lives and completely changed everything. He no longer stressed about Roland and his well being.

With Regina around, he was able to finally breathe. In just about a month, she was cleaning his house, helping to take care of his boy, and making them breakfast.

"Daddy, what do you and Regina do when I'm not here?"

His small voice snapped him back to reality, catching him off guard.

"We, uh, talk and stuff," he really didn't know what to say. Roland was four, how was he supposed to explain the concept of dating to him? It only added to the fact that he had nothing to base it off of.

"Talk?" He repeated, "talk about what kind of stuff?"

The heat from the stove increased as Robin began stirring their breakfast.

"Why so interested?"

Roland flashed his dad a grand smile. "Because I know she really likes you."

Raising an eyebrow, he turned to face him. "Yeah? How do you know?"

"It's the way she looks at you." He replied, surprising the man. He was still a toddler, when did he get so insightful?

"And you're always happy now," Roland continued, "before you were sad."

"I'm never sad when you're around, Roland. You make me happy."

"But Regina makes you happy too now. That's the way families are supposed to be like- a mommy, a daddy, and a baby."

"I guess you're the baby then." Robin replied, ruffling his hair.

"Does everyone have a mommy?" The four year old asked, moving his head to the side.

"Yeah, everyone does." Robin really didn't want to have this conversation, for multiple reasons.

"So I had a mommy once?"

He sighed, knowing that was coming. "We've been over this Roland, she died. She loved you, but she got sick."

"Do you think Regina could be my new mommy?"

The question was thrown like a curveball towards him. It made him sad inside that Roland never got to know his mother; she was just an idea to Roland and a distant memory to him. "Well... I guess she's like a mommy to you. But you'd just have to ask her about it- it's a really important thing to call someone."

Roland thought about that for a moment before coming up with his answer.

Before he could tell his dad it though, he saw dark smoke coming up behind him.

"Daddy, the oats are on fire again!" He pointed, causing him to spin around and swear to himself.

"Not again," he muttered, grabbing a handful of flour and throwing it on the flaming pot of oats.

Clapping the flour off his hands, Robin turned towards his son with an exasperation expression on his face.

They really needed Regina.

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