The next morning came and went without any issues. Since I was home I walked the kids to school so Tina could have some time to herself. Hunter was excited about some science experiment they were going to be doing with a bottle of coke and some mentos. All I could picture was a bunch of first graders covered in soda, I packed him an extra set of clothes.
Now I was sitting on the couch staring at my phone. I had punched in the number linked to Skylar, but was building the courage to hit the call button. Thoughts of bettering Hunter and my life dance in my head encouraging me to make the phone call. The worse that could happen as them not wanting me and I had to go back to the drawing board, but I really wanted this job.
Before the voice inside my head returned to convince me not to call I hit the call button. My leg bounces while I listen to the phone ringing on the other side.
“Hello,” a women answers sounding confused. “Who is this?”
“Hi. My name is Kinsley Kelly. Professor Jacobs sent me your information in regards to a position you are seeking to fill,” I ramble sounding like an idiot.
“Yes,” her tone instantly changes to sounding more pleasant. “I’m so glad you called. Aubree and I looked over your information the other day and were excited by what we saw.”
“Thank you. I’ve worked very hard to achieve all that I have,” I tell her.
“Let me explain exactly the position we are wanting to be filled and if after you are still interested I would love to meet with you in person.” She says.
“Sounds good to me,” I tell her sitting back into the couch.
“Myself and Aubree are starting a new non for profit program that either agency or families can sign their children up for. We are currently only on the ground floor. So you would be walking in at the start up. Basically I had the idea, but need some help getting it up and running,” she explains.
“I’m not afraid of helping to get this off the ground,” I interrupt her than second guess myself for butting in.
“Wonderful. That’s what I like to hear. The end goal is for these children to be connected with a mentor, but the twist is the mentor will be someone famous. They may not be mega famous, but still have a following. What I’m thinking is the mentors would be available weekly for phone conversations and do a few meet ups a year. With their work schedules we can’t expect them to meet in person with the kids’ weekly so I was figuring phone calls would be the best route to take.”
“Could also do some old fashion letter writing or emails,” I add. “Also could have events where the mentors and mentees all hang out.”
“I didn’t even think of those,” Skylar exclaims with glee. “Do you have any questions for me?”
I ponder for a moment wanting to ask her something, but unsure what to ask her. “Do you have any mentors lined up,” I end up asking her.
She laughs. “We currently have five for sure rock stars singed up and a few more pending, but I strongly believe the will.”
“Wonderful. Have to start somewhere. So what would be my role in all of this?” I give myself a high five for my question.
“Like I said you will be helping to get this off the ground. We have some substantial finical backing, but could always use more. You would help with setting up charity events and making calls. The role also involves the screening of the children wanting to join the program and that is where we would need you the most. Aubree is fantastic at organizing events so you would more than likely be helping her instead of doing it on your own.”
She chuckles to herself. “I’m sorry if I seem like I’m rambling and all over the place. I’m just so excited to finally be getting my plan off the ground. My fiancé has been dealing with my craziness since I thought of all this.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t mind,” I tell her.
“No after all the shit he put me though he will deal with whatever I want him too,” she responds with. “I understand you currently don’t live in Nashville. If we were to continue I would need you to move to Nashville and you would have to do so not long after excepting the job. Are you willing to move?”
“Absolutely. But…” I’m unable to explain my situation before she is interrupting me.
“Speaking of fiancés mine just finished recording for the day and is now pestering me to get off the phone.” I hear a muffled stop it I’m on the phone. “Kinsley we would love to meet with you in person,” giggling comes though the phone and I hear a male’s voice.
“Skylar get off the phone before Dimitri dose something we don’t want to see.”
“Like what you made us witness at the bar the other night Lucan.” I hear her respond back with.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing,” another voice joins in.
“Over my dead body Tray,” a male voice growls close to the phone. Must be the fiancé. Dimitri? Lucan? Tray? Where have I heard those names before?
“Enough assholes,” Skylar snaps. “I’m so sorry Kinsley the men children are whining I have to go. I’ll email you some potential dates I can meet with you the end of this week or the beginning of next.”
“Sounds good. I’ll let you know which day would work best for me.” Whatever day I choose is going to be a long one since I can’t afford to stay the night out there. I’m going to have to drive there and come straight back. Hopefully Tina can keep Hunter.
“I look forward to hearing from you. Talk soon.” She hangs up the phone.
I remain sitting on the couch replaying to conversation with Skylar in my head. Everything sounds promising. Maybe this time next week I’ll have a new job and Hunter and I will be packing for the move.
I hope he is okay with relocating to somewhere new. Sure we have good memories here, but I wouldn’t mind going somewhere with less memories of Emma. I never want to push Emma from his life. He should still hold the memories of her. All this time I’ve tried to shelter him from the negative in her life.
He has no clue of the evils she was involved in and I never plan on telling him till he is much older. Once her can understand what she was dealing with only then will I tell him. I don’t want to accidently poison his mind to her.
Checking the time, I discover if I want to make it to the school on time I need to get ready to head out. Right as I’m walking out the door my phone rings. When I don’t recognize the number I hesitate in answering, but since we have so much going on and the call could be important I hit the answer button.
“Hello,” I question.
“Kinsley,” a voice I recognize says.
“Yes. Not to sound rude, but who is this,” I ask with hesitancy and dashing out the door.
While I’m locking the door she responds. “This is Kim the social worker. I wanted to let you know I’ve submitted all of my documentation to the court. Since your case was straight forward it didn’t take me long to get everything filled out. Your case is one of the easiest I’ve done in a while.”
“Thank you,” I tell her walking down the stairs.
“Not a problem dear. I was also able to pull some string and cash in some favors to get a court date set for next Friday.”
“You didn’t need to do all of that for us,” I tell her. “But I’m extremely grateful.”
“I want to get this settled as quickly as you do so I can focus elsewhere. Plus, why stretch this out longer than we need to. Now there is always a chance the judge won’t sign off on custody he may want you to do a few things before he will.”
“No worries,” I assure her speed walking down the street. “Would Hunter need to be present?” Finger crossed the answer is no.
“No,” she tells me. Thank goodness he can sit this one out. “You will need to be there of course.”
“Of course,” I say seeing the top of the schools building down the block. I can hear the bell. I made it in time.
“Sounds like you are picking him up from school so I’ll email you all the information you will need. If something else comes up or you have any questions you can contact me at this number.”
“Thank you,” I tell her stopping in front of the building and watching the students fall out the door. We say our goodbyes and hang up.
I stand on the sidewalk bouncing on my heals waiting for Hunter. Tina waves at me from where she is standing deep in conversation with one of the single dads. I point to his back and give her the thumbs up. She blushes over my actions.
Hunter dashes out the out the door and down the steps. His excited chatter over the science experiment fills my ears while I give him a hug. Then an idea comes to me. “How about we go get some ice cream,” I ask him. Even with me not working the other day I have some extra cash after all the bills. So why not splurge a little.
“Yes,” he yells punching the air and dancing down the side walk. “Come on let’s go.” We don’t get to go for ice cream often so when we do he is always beyond excited. Maybe if I get the new job we will be able to do more of this. I still need to talk to Tina about watching Hunter. Once Skylar emails me the list of dates I’ll speak with her and see which would be best for her.
Hunter forces me to speed walk once again down the sidewalk towards the ice cream parlor. A bell chimes when we enter and a friendly older man greats us. He doesn’t even yell when Hunter presses his nose against the glass eyeing all the different ice creams.
He walks up and down a few times pondering what to get. We do this every time we come here. He will take forever to make a decision and end up with the same choice each time, but I patiently wait for him to make a decision. Maybe someday he will pick something different.
“I’m ready,” he proclaims licking his lips.
“And what did you decide on,” the older man asks.
“Chocolate,” he yells in glee. Of course he did. I shake my head laughing. The man smiles and puts a single scoop into a cup.
The man turns his attention to me and I tell him I’m good. He eyes our apparel and says, “please order something. This one is on the house.”
“No I couldn’t,” I tell him not liking taking handouts. I have gone to the food pantry every now and again, but whenever I do I always donate when I can. We may not have a lot, but there are others out there in a worse situation than us. I always try to pay it forward when I can. My hopes are Hunter sees my actions and is learning to have compassion for others.
“Please I insist.” I give in and allow him to give me a scoop of my favorite, cookies and cream.
Hunter and I take a seat to enjoy our ice cream and for the next fifteen minutes I act as though the weight of the world isn’t on my shoulders. I take some pictures to document the memories. Hunter wearing more chocolate then what he managed to eat. These are the important memories and moments. These were the moment Emma has been missing out on and now will never have the chance to experience.
Tears spring to my eyes and drop onto the table. Hunter leaves his seat to come over by me and wraps his arms around me. He glances at my empty cup. “Why are you sad? Is it because you are out of ice cream?”
“No buddy,” I tell him ruffling his hair. “I was thinking about something and it made me sad,” I try explaining to him.
He tilts his head to the side. “Then stop thinking about it and you won’t be sad anymore.” The logic of a six-year-old. He’s not wrong, but sometimes stopping thoughts is easier said than done.
“You’re right,” I tell him instead and smile.
Hunter reaches across the table for his soupy chocolate ice cream and finishes the rest of it. We leave the ice cream shop and the lightness I had found inside disappears.