Sammy had a very restless night. She kept dreaming about Jake and how everything happened and about how Gracie would do during the testing. She woke up more tired than when she went to bed. ‘Great,’ she thought, ‘I will look like crap for my date!’ She got up and went to make some coffee. She sat at the table waiting for Lynn to come down when Derek came in.
“You finally up? I have already been out on a ride AND cleaned out some stalls!”
“Good for you, Overachiever. I slept like crap and just want to get through the day,” she snapped back.
Derek sat next to her and grabbed her hand, “Sis, listen. I know you are worked up about Jake. I know your feelings are all over the place, but just know that I am here for you. If you need anything, just tell me.”
“Thanks D...I just don’t know what to do. I was thinking that I would take Gracie for a nice long ride on Sunday. The weather is supposed to be perfect and I can just talk to her. Maybe by then I will have some answers…”
He nodded and kissed the top of her head as he went up to see his wife. She looked at the time and saw that Gracie would be up soon so she started her breakfast. She wanted her to have a good start for the testing today. While she was gone, Sammy was going to go look at some cars and see what she would get next.
Like clockwork, Gracie came down the stairs for breakfast and climbed into her chair at 7:30. Sammy brought her a small glass of juice and put the scrambled eggs with cheese and veggies and toast in front of her, kissing her head as she went.
“Thanks Mommy! I am hungry today!” she squealed as she dug in.
They talked about how the day would go at the psychologist’s office and it would take a little while. Gracie seemed unfazed as she listened to Sammy talk. She had always been a very easy child and it looked like things would continue that way.
“Mommy, when is Alexis’s party? I forgot,” She asked as Sammy sat next to her.
“Oh that’s tomorrow! I wrapped the present you got her and we just need to stop and get a card tonight when we get your special dinner. I will take you to the party, and then you are going with Aunt Kate, Uncle Joey and Emma to the movies and dinner. I will pick you up after and then you and I will go for a ride and picnic, just the two of us on Sunday. How does that sound?”
“Oh Mommy!! I love you! I can’t wait! We will have so much fun!” yelled as the little girl and threw her arms around her mom’s neck, “Can we go to the meadow?”
Sammy nodded and hugged her back. They kissed and she helped her clean up the kitchen after she was done with her toast. Gracie was quiet for a few minutes then looked at her mom with sad eyes.
“Why doesn’t my Daddy see me?”
Oh fuck, she thought. I have been dreading this day for over five years and it has now happened. Play it cool and let’s just see how it goes, she told herself.
“Well, what do you mean Gracie?”
“Well, Emma and Alexis’s Daddy’s live with them. And Kelly’s Daddy lives at a different house but she sees him all the time. Why doesn’t my Daddy see me?”
“Well, honey, your Daddy lives in a different state,” she said hoping that would appease her and end the conversation for now.
“Well then can I go see him?”
“I am not sure honey...I would have to ask him,” (or actually tell him about you! She thought), “is that something you would like to do? To see your Daddy?”
“Oh yes! I think that would be really good! I heard one of the big girls in ballet say that radical means really good! So I think that would be radical!”
Sammy swallowed her laugh, and hugged her daughter, telling her to get dressed; she would be up in a minute to help with her hair. She skipped up the stairs as Sammy went to the table to lay her head in her arms trying not to lose her mind.
Why now? Of all the times to ask to see her dad does she do it when he is actually in town and I will feel guilty if I don’t let them see each other and meet? The thoughts kept running in her mind as she heard people come in the room.
“She’s got impeccable timing, doesn’t she?” Derek asked as he and his wife sat at the table with her.
“That she does! God, now what do I do?” Sammy asked.
“Well, I guess you should go to Mike’s and go see Jake and talk to him. Make sure Mike is there so you don’t assault him again, but I guess it’s time...Never thought this day would come did you?” Lynn said gently.
“I knew it would come, I just prayed every day that it would be when she was 25!!”
Sammy got up as she heard her daughter yell she was ready for her hair to be brushed, and started up the stairs.
She turned and looked at her brother and sister-in-law, “And to make matters worse-I have to go buy a damn car!”
They chuckled as she went up the stairs. She went to Gracie’s room and sat on the bed, asking what she wanted to do with her hair.
“Well, I think I want a regular braid today, but I definitely want a fishtail braid tomorrow for the party!”
Sammy got down to work and then helped get her teeth brushed and favorite purple boots on so they could go. Sammy fixed her own hair in a ponytail, pulled on nice jeans and a shirt with some simple ballet flats to go with them. When they were all ready, then jumped in the truck and headed to the other side of town to the address she needed.
“What’s the name of this test again, Mommy?”
“It’s the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. It’s a fancy way to say you are one smart cookie!”
Gracie laughed and continued singing the songs on the radio. They pulled in and went in together, holding hands. Sammy was nervous as hell, but Gracie was just fine. They signed in at the front desk and sat down on the couch to play with the dolls while they waited. A very nice looking woman in her early 50’s came out and introduced herself.
“Hello ladies! My Name is Dr. Abigail Wertz. Please, come in!”
Sammy and Gracie went in and introduced themselves and the doctor explained how the day would go. She would need a few hours and Sammy could come back and get her daughter and they would talk. Sammy hugged her daughter, told her to relax, have fun and kissed her goodbye.