My brother Scott and his wife Mary are stopping by soon to leave my sweet little niece with me while they go on a date. It took me days to convince them that they needed time for themselves and that I need a nephew. I was hoping they had picked last night instead but Scott had to work late.
"Here is her bag. There are extra clothes and pajamas. Make sure you water down her milk or juice and please remember to use her skin cream before you put her to bed. Her eczema is really bad on her leg." Mary speed runs through it.
I grab her shoulders, "relax, I've got this. I've watched her a thousand times during the day, nights can't be that different".
Mary scoffs and Scott laughs, "Mary, he's got this. You don't need to worry about Avalyn. She's in the most capable hands." Scott smiles.
They both give Avalyn kisses, hugs and tell her that they love her a thousand times before they hesitantly make their way out the door. I pick up Ava and carry her to the window so we can wave goodbye.
Avalyn is an amazing toddler. She's already day time potty trained, with a few accidents here and there and she speaks remarkably well for a two year old. I'm not surprised, Scott was always really smart. Myself on the other hand, not so much. I've always had difficulty with learning to tie my shoes, school and even sports.
Scott is the apple of my parents eye. They adore and brag about him to their friends almost constantly. He's a software engineer at a really prestigious company and has made a very good impression there. He leads a team of people already and he's only been there a year.
I'm proud of him but I have always been a little jealous of him. How could I not be? I'm slow, I struggle with everything and I disappointed my parents to a whole new level when I came out.
"Bave, Bave, Bave!" Ava chants drawing my attention back to her.
"Oh yes I'm sorry my little princess, I will put on Brave for you".
She squeals happily and fusses a little so I put her down. She runs to her bag and grabs her Brave blanket and goes to climb on to the couch. Mary packed some fruit and vegetables and some chicken nuggets. Apparently Avalyn is going through a chicken nuggets phase. Scott is annoyed by that but she still loves and eats all the fruit and vegetables they give her so he can't complain too much.
She shovels her dinner down so she can focus on the movie. We're about halfway through Brave and Avalyn has passed out. Once she's out she's usually down until morning but she's never spent the night away from her parents before so I'm not sure if she will tonight or not. I carefully take her clothes off so I can put a diaper on her, put her eczema cream on her leg and put on her cute little footie pajamas.
She opened her eyes once and looked right at me, nearly giving me heart failure before she closed them again. It was like it never happened. I smiled down at her. When I am positive she won't wake up when I move her I put her in the playpen I have for her.
"Hey babe." Josh, my roommate, says to me comes in with his girlfriend Cece.
I roll my eyes at him, "don't forget Avalyn is here tonight".
"Where is she?" Cece asks.
"Her playpen. She fell asleep a little while ago".
"What a bummer, I was hoping I could watch. Brave with her." Cece pouts.
I laugh, "you can watch it with her tomorrow. Scott and Mary are going to be here around lunch time." I informed her.
They go to Josh's room and leave me alone. I kind of wish I had someone but the one boyfriend I did have was a complete asshole. That's how I ended up staying with Joshua in the first place. He was my best friend in high school and I was lucky enough to remain close to him through our first year of university.
Knock knock knock
Startled by the loud knocking Cece comes out and wakes me and we both make our way to the door. Josh sleeps like the dead, a bomb outside his door wouldn't even get a reaction.
"Mr. Marcam?" the officer asks when the door opens.
"My name is Officer Grant, I'm here to tell you there's been an accident involving Scott and Mary Marcam".
I stopped listening after he said my brother's name.
"Aaron? Aaron sweetie? Did you hear anything the officer said?"
I can't reply. It seems like the world is moving at hyperspeed around me, like I'm no longer part of reality. Josh stayed with Avalyn and Cece drove me to the hospital except it's not to see either of them in the emergency room, it's to identify their remains.
I completely break down when they pull the sheets back to reveal their faces. I had been praying there was a terrible mistake and they had informed me by accident but that isn't the case.
Cece managed to get me outside after I signed a few documents. We sat on a bench and I sat with my head in my hands and silently cried until I couldn't anymore.
"What is going to happen to Ava?" Cece cries beside me.
Cece knows my parents and how 'wonderful' they've been to me since I came out two years ago. They avoid the subject and rarely acknowledged mine or Scott's existence since Scott told them he would be allowing Ava and I to have a relationship and they didn't like it.
"I don't know. She'll probably end up with my parents." I sigh.
If Avalyn ends up with them I will probably never get to see her again. I don't want that to happen to her. She's lost more than she should have already.
I wish I could keep her but I'm a broke student and I could never give her the life she deserves.