Caring Christopher

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#9 Hugs and shouting matches


When I get home after a double shift where I lost two young kids on my operations table, I just want a hot shower to wash those horrible events off me. Not that I truly can forget about to looks on the faces of the parents when I told them I didn’t manage to save their kids, but I need to at least try to get back to my normal poised self. It’s not just me in the house anymore. Yoah and Davy can’t see me fall apart.

Thanks God the boys are already at school when I get to the house. I hate that I wasn’t there so read them a story before they went to sleep. And this morning I had been planning to walk them to school, but instead I had to cover for the surgeon who was supposed to do the night shift, but he is out sick. This is exactly why I need a live-in nanny, I guess. Good thing I’ve got one.

When I let myself into the house, I hear loud music coming from the living room. “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down,” Abby is singing, her voice loud and clear even though I’m in the hallway and she’s probably in the kitchen or something. It feels kinda nice to come home to an empty house, even though I’m not really in the mood for company.

“I’m home!” I call out, not wanting to startle her.

“Hi Chris!” she yells back over the music.

To my surprise, she doesn’t turn down the music. When I walk into the room, she’s still singing along, swaying her hips while she does the dishes. She looks over her shoulder and grins at me. When she waves, foam spatters into her face and she laughs it off, wiping her face before turning to me and finally turning the music down a little, still keeping it on in the background.

“The boys missed you last night,” she says, leaning against the kitchen island. “They’re okay, though. Davy slept with me in my room, he couldn’t sleep on his own, and I heard Yoah getting himself a snack in the kitchen around midnight, but he went back to bed five minutes later.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t here.” I grab a bottle of water from the fridge and gulp it down. “Thanks for taking care of them.”

“That’s my job,” she says with a little smile. “No offence, Chris, but you look like you need some sleep and a good cry. Are you okay?”

I shrug. “Just tired. You’re right, I need to sleep. And shower.”

“Have you eaten anything?” she asks.

“Yeah, at the hospital.” I frown, realizing that was hours ago. “Actually, I guess I should eat something. Maybe a sandwich or something.”

“Sit down, I’ll make you something.”

“Abby, it’s not your job to-”

She shuts me up with a hard look. “Sit down, shut up, and let me make you some grilled cheese.”

I do as she says, enjoying this more than I should. She reminds me of my ex-wife in many ways. Abby and Gianna are very different people, but Gianna got that same stubborn look in her eyes when I came home from a way too long day and told her she didn’t need to take care of me. She’d always keeps leftovers in the fridge for me even never once complained about me being late for dinner of lunch or whatever I was late for that time.

“Eat,” Abby tells me when she’s done making both of us grilled cheeses. She didn’t talk to me while she made the food, probably sensing that I need some peace and quiet. Although honestly, I think I needed this more than quiet. Someone to be there for me, even if it’s only because I pay her to be here. It’s nice to not be alone when I feel like this.

We eat in silence, and she refills my glass of water for me without even asking me if I want more. She moans while she eats like she always does, and I can’t keep a slight smile from my face. She’s so cute it’s ridiculous.

“What happened to make you look so glum?” she asks, seeing right trough me somehow. “You’re smiling, but your eyes are sad.”

“A 3-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy died in my OR today,” I explain, pulling a hand through my curly hair. “There was nothing I could do for them.”

“Oh fuck,” Abby says, looking at me from the other side of the kitchen island. “That’s gotta feel like a kick in the stomach. What happened to them?”

“Car accident.” I put my glass down and close my eyes, trying to keep myself from replaying it all in my mind. I’m good at decompartmentalizing, but some days hit me harder than others. “Drunk driver.”

“Fucking asshole,” Abby mutters, and her voice sounds closer. “I’m sure you did all you could, Chris.”

“I did,” I say in a tight voice. “Still wasn’t enough.”

“Can I hug you?”

I open my eyes to see her standing right next to me, waiting for permission. I’ve never had anyone ask for permission to hug me. Not in all the 45 years I’ve been alive so far. I simply nod and a second later, her arms go around me and I bury my face in my hair, inhaling the sweet scent of her coconut shampoo. There’s nothing romantic about the gesture, she’s just comforting me, but my body still reacts to hers. I feel my cock twitch and I’m absolutely disgusted with myself for it. She’s just a nice girl trying to make me feel better about my horrible day, and here I am thinking about her supple breasts and bright smile instead of the kids who died on my table today.

“Does this happen often?” Abby asks, her arms still around me.

I freeze, thinking for a second that she’s asking whether I always get hard when she’s close to me, but then I realize she is still thinking about what I just told her.

“Every once in while,” I say, pulling back to regain my composure. “More often than I’d like.”

Her dark green eyes bore into mine and she pushes some unruly curls back from my face. The gesture is so sweet and intimate that it takes my breath away. “Those kids are lucky to have a surgeon like you looking out for them. And so are Davy and Yoah.”

“Thanks.” It takes every ounce of self-control not to pull her back against me. It felt so good to have her warm, soft body against mine, even if it was just for a moment. “I need to shower and go to bed. I’ve been awake for over 24 hours already and I need to back at work tomorrow morning. And I want to be able to come with you to pick the boys up from school today.”

“I can do that,” she tells me, clearing the plates. “You pay to care of these things.”

“I didn’t decide to foster kids to have my nanny to take care of them every single day,” I explain with a little smile. “I actually like being there for them.”

Abby smiles. “I know. They know it too. Davy asked me this morning if you’re a fairy godmother.”

“W-what?” I ask, racking my brain for an explanation.

“I read him Cinderella yesterday and he asked me about fairy godmothers,” Abby explains, laughing at my shocked expression. “I told him that they’re basically people who look out for you and try to protect you against evil.”

I tear up when she says that. Davy thinks I’m a person like that in his life?

“You’re taking them to see their mother in the hospital, right?” she asks when I don’t say anything, too overcome by emotion. “I don’t mean to overstep, but would it be okay for me to tag along? I’m curious to meet her. Yoah and Davy spent hours yesterday making drawings for her.”

“She’ll like that,” I say, swallowing away my emotions. “And yes, of course you can come. You’re always welcome to tag along when I take the boys out. I just don’t want you to feel obliged. You deserve some time off. I’m here today, you can go out if you want.”

“I’d rather hang out with the boys, if that’s okay with you,” Abby says, looking almost embarrassed to ask me that. “Or do you want me out of the house?”

“Of course not!” I rush to say. “I just want you to know it’s okay if you go out when I’m home to take care of the boys.”

“Thanks.” She goes back to doing the dishes then, and I go up to my room to take a shower and crash. I dream of Abby, her arms around me as she comforts me, and in my dream I don’t let go. I keep holding her, and our lips meet eventually, eliciting a cute little moan from her.

When I wake up hours later, I’m sporting morning wood – or well, afternoon wood, since it’s almost time to get the boys from school – so I go into the bathroom to jerk off so I won’t be sporting a hard-on while I walk with Abby to the school.

She doesn’t talk much during the fifteen minutes it takes to get there, and neither do I. As comfortable as we were in the kitchen for just a brief moment, we seem to be back at square one. I don’t know what she’s thinking, and I don’t dare ask her. Some moments, we get along just fine and she seems to like me – as person and a boss, nothing more of course – but other times she gets all quiet and broody, like now. I’m still messed up over my shift at the hospital and my reaction to her innocent hug, so I don’t have much to say either.

“Chris!” Davy yells when he sees us. “Abby! I made a pirate ship out of clay today! Come look!”

“You go,” she tells me, smiling. “I’ll go get Yoah and talk to this teacher for a moment.”

I nod and let Davy lead me to his classroom that is empty by now aside from the teacher, Miss White is a lovely woman in her fifties, and she comes over to tell me how well Davy is doing in class and how easy it is for him to make friends. He’s a little behind – his grandparents neglecting him doesn’t help him het ahead in school – but he’s eager to learn and catching up already.

“Your nanny is a spunky little thing,” Miss White tells me when Davy is out of earshot, playing in the corner of the classroom. “Did she tell you about this morning?”

I shake my head, wondering what she is talking about.

“She and the kids were early, so they played on the swing set on the playground until the kids could come in. Yoah’s teacher, Mr. Rogers, was late today, and Yoah got antsy, so your nanny stuck around until Mr. Rogers arrived, even though there was teaching assistant to take care of the kids and all the other parents already left. I was just stepping out of my classroom for a moment to get some more art supplies, and I heard your nanny yelling at Mr. Rogers for being late.”

“She yelled at a teacher?” I ask, not sure how I feel about that. That’s not something she should have done, but I have a feeling there is more to the story. Abby wouldn’t go off on a teacher for no reason… I think. I’m not sure. I hardly know the girl, after all.

“I asked Mr. Rogers’ teaching assistant about it during the lunch break, and apparently Mr. Rogers’ told Yoah in front of the whole class that he is too old to get worked up over a teacher being a few minutes late and that parents aren’t allowed in the class after the bell rings, and that those rules apply to nannies as well.” Miss White chuckles. “Your nanny didn’t like that, and she yelled at him until he apologized to Yoah and the rest of the class for being late.”

“Oh wow,” I say, shaking my head. “Should I… I mean…”

“I think you shouldn’t do anything, aside from thank your lucky stars that you found a nanny like that, Christopher,” Miss White says, squeezing my arm. “Yoah needs someone in his corner, and your firecracker of a nanny might just be the perfect person for the job. Besides, Mr. Rogers may be my colleague, but he’s a bit of a dick – don’t tell anyone I said so! He could use a woman telling him off every now and then.”

I laugh at that and thank Miss White for telling me. Davy and I walk out of the room to find Yoah and Abby. I see only Yoah on the playground, playing on the swings with 6-year-old Freddie, my friend Edward’s kid. When I look around, I see that Edward Clark is sitting on the bench across from the swing set, watching the kids. We met in the hospital a year ago when his foster son Freddie was sick and I had to operate on him. He’s a single foster dad and he’s the one who made me realize that fostering kids was a possibility for me as well. We’ve become good friends the past year.

“Hey,” he greets me, grinning. “Your nanny is in there yelling at Yoah’s teacher again. She asked me to watch Yoah for a moment. Apparently, Yoah was crying when she came to get him.”

I shake my head. “I guess I should get in there.”

“Oh, I think she’s got it,” he says with a little smile. “Sit down, Chris, and tell me… is she single? “

“Who? Abby?” I look at Edward, my heart sinking. He’s younger than I am, in his late thirties, and way more muscular and fun than I am. “Why?”

“Because she’s hot and feisty and I’d love to ask her out.” Edward studies my expression and grins, slapping me on the back. “I see. Forget I said anything. If you’re interested in her, I will back the hell off. Not a problem.”

“I’m not interested,” I say quickly.

“Sure,” Edward says in an amused tone. “That’s why you were just looking at me like you want to murder me if I so much as talk to Abigail. Good for you, Chris. Hope it works out for you.”

“There’s nothing going on,” I press, not wanting rumors to start.

“Then make it happen before someone else swoops in,” he tells me seriously. “You and I aren’t the only one with eyes and a dick, Chris. Every single or divorced dad at this school is going to be on her tail soon enough. Better lock her down before she realizes how boring you are.”

I roll my eyes and smile. “I’m going to see how Abby is doing. Can you watch Davy and Yoah for a few more minutes?”

“Sure thing. Not like I’ve got anything better to do.” Edward winks at me. “Go get your girl, Chris.”

“That’s not what’s happening.” I say, even though I know it’s futile. Edward is having too much fun teasing me to listen to my protests. Shaking my head, I walk into the school. Abby’s loud voice reaches my ears long before I see her standing in the middle of the classroom, going off on Mr. Rogers. She’s beautiful when she’s mad. Stunning even. I take a moment to take in her flushed cheeks and angry hand gestures before stepping into the room.

“What’s going on?” I ask, startling both of them.

“Your nanny is crazy,” Mr. Rogers tells me, grumbling.

“Fuck you!” Abby roars. “You’re such a pathetic excuse for a teacher!”

Oh boy. This is going to take longer than I thought.

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