Well, of course, Jay was there. Someone had to console Mom.
She looked really different though. And I don't think I had anything to do with it.
I imagined her much younger. Something like me, when I looked at her now. Perhaps Jay made her feel younger. But really, was she anything like me when she was my age? Not that I was going to pull out some scrapbook and compare notes at two in the morning.
"Young lady, you better be happy school hasn't started." She pushed her fingers back through my hair, like I was only four and still her very little girl. "You sure, you're all right?"
"Of course." I squinted hard. How could she think things weren't all right. Everything was perfect. Apparently. I just looked at Jay who had one arm around Mom while he was pulling a strand of his long hair behind his ear. Did he live here now? I guess I'd wait and see. I sighed, backing away. Wanting to be alone. In my room.
Mom gave Ren some gas money, but he told her she shouldn't, only she kept insisting. He just looked at me. Clamming up. The turtle hiding in his shell, back to his place.
"The cats." I remembered. I told Mom I'd be right back. I just knew it would smell and it would be horrible. Not a cat in sight though.
"They left." He shrugged. "I left a window open. They only want to be here when I am."
I just smiled. He bit a sly grin. I wondered who was that guy I had been with. Would he ever come out and play again?