The Next morning, I woke up to Lola, Tomás, and Tessa all asleep beside me. I guess at some point Lola, or my mom had switched who was looking after the baby. As I sat up Lola opened her eyes and said, “morning.”
“Morning, how are you feeling?” I ask.
“Better, yeah. Sleeping always seems to help with those sorts of things,” Lola replies. “So, I was thinking we should do Spanish today, your test is Tuesday, and we haven’t even started.”
“Yeah, that sounds good,” I say as I eye Tessa who is sleeping beside Lola. “Can I try holding her again?” I ask.
“Um, are you sure?” Lola asks as she sits up looking concerned.
“Yeah, I want to try,” I let her know. I want to be able to do this. I’m sick of not being able to be around Lola’s baby sister. She’s a huge part of her life and I want to be able to be involved.
Lola nods and picks up Tessa. She gently rocks her and then looks at me. I nod and hold my arms out. Lola slowly passes me the baby. As I take her I watch Tessa’s face. She’s asleep and looks very calm. Her face reminds me a bit of Lola’s, they have the same chin and nose.
As I hold Tessa I start to think about my future and what I want. Until recently I didn’t give it much thought. Now I knew I wanted a life with Lola, which would include both Tomás and Tessa. I wanted to go to school to become a teacher, probably kindergarten or grade one. I wanted to move in with Lola after high school, but I knew that might be hard, with her mom and all. I also knew that I wanted to be able to help support Lola to reach her goals; going to law school and running for government. I had the means with the wealth from my family and hoped she’d let me help her in the future.
“How are you doing?” Lola asks snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Good, it was the crying that set me over the edge yesterday. If she’s quiet, I’m good.” I say.
“She’s pretty good in the mornings, I think she likes to sleep in,” Lola says with a laugh.
At that, I hear a light knock at the door. I look up to see my mom peaking her head in. She smiles at me and then asks, “you guys can come down for breakfast anytime. Rita says it’ll be ready in 10 minutes.”
“Okay thanks, mom,” I say.
After my mom leaves Lola takes Tessa and puts her in the car seat. I wake up Tomás and then we all head downstairs for breakfast. We join Noah and my mom in the dining room.
As we are loading up our plates Kyle and Laura walk in. We all say good morning to each other and then dig in. A few minutes into breakfast as Noah is telling us about the improv team my father walks in, which surprises us all since he should be out of town.
“Hey Hunny, what are you doing home?” My mom asks.
“Long story,” he huffs, “lots of my business deals have been falling through in Utah and New Mexico. I’m going to be home a lot more now. I’ve decided to focus on the locations in Arizona.” My dad explains as he sits down at the table. Rita brings him a plate and he starts to eat with all of us.
“That sucks, at least you’ll be home more now though,” Kyle says.
“Yes, that is the upside, I’ll be able to show you the ropes a bit more. Anyway, it’s nice to see you again Laura it’s been a while. And you to Lola, I’ve heard to have a baby sister now, that’s exciting,” my father says while looking at the female guests.
I watch as Laura tenses up. Lola on the other hand gives my father a big smile and starts talking to him, “it is exciting but also tiring. She’s a great baby, not very fussy, and has been sleeping through half the night already.”
“That’s good to hear, and Laura how are your studies going?” My dad asks.
“Um, pretty good sir,” Laura replies shyly.
“That’s good, anyway what were you talking about before I showed up Noah?” My dad asks. To which Noah tells his story over again.
As we eat, I keep my eyes on Laura and Lola to make sure they are okay. Laura looks uncomfortable like she wants to leave. Lola seems to notice and keeps a conversation with Laura when she can. She also keeps helping when my dad asks Laura questions by responding for her or changing the topic. Lola doesn’t seem scared of my dad, but she should be.
“Anyway, Lola and Laura I have something to ask you both. I was wondering if you would like to come to our cabin for thanksgiving this year. Lola, you can bring your siblings and your mom if she’d like. And Laura if you’d like to bring any family you are more than welcome,” my mom says.
“I’d love to, but I need to check with my family first, I was planning on going home but I’ll talk to them,” Laura replies.
“For sure, and Lola what’s bout you?” My mom asks.
“I’m pretty sure I can come; I’ll need to book off work. Thanks so much for inviting me,” Lola says with a big smile.
“I’ll get the boys to pass on the details then.” My mom says. She had asked me if I’d like Lola to come. I said yes because of course, I would. My mom was a bit worried about Tessa coming but I assured her I could handle it. After last night I was a bit less sure, but I had help to get me there. I still had 2 weeks, plus our cabin was huge. Worse case Tessa and I would be in separate rooms across the cabin from each other.
My mom had asked me alot about Lola. She said that she felt for her. My mom had grown up in poverty and moved out at 16. She had a hard life until she met my dad and I think that she saw some of herself in Lola.
I was happy Lola was coming for Thanksgiving, honestly, I didn’t like being stuck with my family for longer than 2 hours. Usually, my dad and I would fight, or I’d upset my mom. Lola coming would give me somebody to hang out with without the pressure of not being enough or doing something wrong. The Christmas I was a junior my dad got mad because I didn’t wait until Kyle got to the table to start eating. We had a huge fight and my mom tried to intervene. My dad ended up hitting her and I left the house to go buy drugs. I think that was the reason we had started doing holidays at our cabin; so, I couldn’t run off and get into trouble. The closest thing to the cabin was a country club which my father knew I wouldn’t visit. There was also a dive bar 30 minutes away, but it was always dead, you couldn’t get up to much trouble when nobody was around.
After we were done eating Lola and I went up to my room to work on Spanish while my mom looked after Tomás and Tessa. Unlike me, my mom was doing even better when Tessa was around. Kids made my mom happy and gave her a purpose. For so long she didn’t have a reason to get out of bed.
“So how would you write ‘I brush my dog’s teeth’?” Lola asks.
“Why would I ever need to write that?” I reply.
“You wouldn’t, but it’s important to understand how to use possessive adjectives,” Lola explains. “So, in English, you could say I cut my hair, or she cut my hair. In both cases, the hair is yours, so you say my. But if you were to say he cut her hair, the hair belongs to the girl, so you say her. In Spanish it’s similar, so if you were going to say, ‘I curl my hair’ what would you use in place of ‘my’?”
“Mi?” I say.
“Yes, but if you wanted to say, ‘I curl Lola’s hair’ you’d use?” Lola replies
“Su?” I answer.
“Exactly, so this chart shows you what word to use based on who the thing you are talking about belongs to. Now one difference you can see is that when you are taking in the third person only singular or plural matters, we don’t need to pay attention to gender like in English.” Lola explains.
“Okay that makes a lot more sense, I didn’t know what positive adjectives were, so I just ignored these 2 or 3 letter words. I guess they were actually important.” I say. I don’t know what it is, but Lola is the only person who can explain Spanish to me.
We continue with Spanish until my mom knocks on the door. “How’s it going?” She asks.
“Good I think we are all caught up,” Lola answers.
“That’s good, would you two like to have lunch? It’s 12:30 I was going to have Rita make some mac and cheese for Tomás would you two like that?” My mom asks.
“Sure, sounds good we’ll be right down,” I say.
“Thanks so much for looking after them and for lunch Mrs. Jameson,” Lola says.
“Oh, it’s no problem, I love kids and those two are angels. Also, you can call me Tammy, Mrs. Jameson is too formal.” My mom replies. Lola nods and then my mom leaves.
Lola begins to pack up the Spanish stuff. “Do you feel ready for your test? We still have time if you want to go over anything else.” Lola says.
“Nah, I’m good,” I say. Then I lean over and start to kiss her. She responds and leans into me. Lola gets up and sits on my lap. I lay my hands on the curve of her back as she kisses down my neck. Lola begins to run her hand down my chest when we are interrupted.
“You guys-” I hear Noah say. “-Oh sorry, I was seeing if you guys wanted to come down for lunch. I’ll leave you to it then.”
I let out a groan while Lola chuckles. “We should get down there before someone else barges in,” Lola says.
“Yeah,” I say. “Before I forget can I take you on a date next weekend?”
“Sure, how about Friday night? I’m seeing Clarissa Saturday and I work Sunday,” Lola says.
“That works,” I say and give her one more kiss before we head for lunch.
As we eat my mom and Lola talk, they get along well. Although I’ve noticed that when Lola wants to, she can get along with anybody. She has a way of mirroring people and is very good at getting others to like her. I have also noticed that when she’s with me she doesn’t do this anymore, she lets her guard down. I feel special to be able to see the real her.
“So, Lola, if you ever need childcare or a bit of help with Tomás and Tessa I’d be more than happy. And before you turn me down, I want you to know that I really enjoy them and helping you,” my mom says.
“Thank you, I’ll let you know. I might need to take you up on the offer,” Lola says.
An hour later as I walk Lola to her car I say, “Don’t feel bad letting my mom help you with these two. It’s helping her a lot more than you might think.”
“Don’t worry, I need the help too much to turn her down. I’m glad that they are helping her. Some days Tomás was the only thing that would get me out of bed. It’s weird isn’t it, how at our low point being needed by someone is what we need in order to be, okay?” Lola says.
I nod in response. Until recently no one has ever needed me. It was weird to think that Lola needed me, even just a little bit.