"Okay sweetie. You know mommy's here if you need me okay?" "Yes mom" "and Kaci?" the little girl stopped and turned half way to face Claire, "I love you" Claire said. "Love you too mom" Kaci smiled and carried on up the stairs to her room.
Sam yawned and Kaci's stomach grumbled. They'd been doing homework for nearly an hour. "So you went over to his house and shouted at him for missing your recital? ... Cool! What did he say?!" Sam Sekemoto had been Kaci's best friend from before she could remember, and she could tell him anything but for some reason she was struggling to explain the events of yesterday. Maybe because she didn't quite understand them herself. Jared was her dad, she didn't understand why he didn't act like it, or more importantly, why didn't seem to want to act like it. All grown ups want to be a dad, everybody knew that. Maybe he was an alien. She pondered the thought for a moment and then answered Sam who'd been sitting there staring at her open mouth waiting for an answer.
"Well, he, um, he just called me a brat and told me to never go over there again" Kaci said bluntly. Sams jaw hit the floor. "He what!? are you sure?" Kaci nodded. "Maan, what's his problem?" Kaci just shrugged again and then reality began to sink in. Her dad didn't want to know. Sam jumped up from the floor and pulled her into a bear hug before the tears even began to fall. "Shh Kace, its okay, don't cry, you've got your mom and me, you don't need him, you'll always have me".
"Can you believe him? The cheek of him, calling her a brat?, she's his daughter for crying out loud!" Claire said, and then remembered where she was and lowered her voice. "Sweetie, I'm at a loss for words and you know I always have something to say". Bessie sighed, "I don't know, maybe its a good thing, bad it had to happen like that, but a good thing that she knows now, at least she won't be holding out hope for a relationship that's never going to happen- Buster calm down before you have a heart attack". Claire could hear Buster in the background, slamming what sounded like the kitchen drawers, finally she heard a door slam. "He's gone into the garden, he hates it you know, hates to see you and Kaci and hurt, but especially Kaci, she's his heart, and he's got no tolerance for men that don't take care of their responsibilities, no sweetheart, she really is better off without him".
"Tell Buster not to worry, easier said than done but honestly, she'll be okay. I'll make sure of that", Claire said. "Okay sweetie, where is my little ballerina?" Bessie asked. "Dance class" Claire answered, "I'm at Stop 'n' Wash, our machines broken", "Oh okay, you want Buster to take a look at it for you?", "No its okay, Its still under warranty, they're sending someone out to take a look in the next two days they said" Claire explained. "Okay then sweetie, right, I'm going to go out back and check that Busters hasn't burst and artery or something, I'll speak to you later, and give my prima ballerina a big hug from us, we'll come down and see you this week" They said their goodbyes and hung up.
Claire ordered herself a coffee and a slice of vanilla iced chocolate cake from the Starbucks counter while she waited for her loads finish. She flopped down onto a sofa and sank into it. She had another two hours until she had to pick Kaci up. A good amount of time to do some serious thinking.
"5, 6, 7, 8 FROM THE TOP!" Kaci's dance teacher shouted. Kaci was enjoying herself, she loved to dance, it was an escape from everything. Not that she'd really had anything to escape from until yesterday but she closed her eyes and she was alone with the music. Before she knew it the routine was over. She saw her mom stick her head through the door and say something to the dance teacher. She gave Kaci a quick wave and Kaci watched her head into the gym. "Kaci, i'm going to take you across to your mom after your lessons over okay, she just in the gym". The next forty five minutes were Kaci's private ballet lesson, group dance for the day was finished. She said goodbye to the girls, closed her eyes and began to dance.
"Bravo!!!" Her dance teacher exclaimed clapping her hands together rapidly, "That's what I like to see, passion!, now do you think you could do that again?"
The next forty minutes flew by and before she knew it, it was time to go home. Her dance teacher walked her over to her mother. "Kaci was amazing!" she gushed, If she keeps this up I'd like to move her up a class if that's okay with you?" She asked Claire, "Fine with me if its okay with you kiddo?" she nudged Kaci, the grin on Kaci's face said it all. "YES!" she shouted, Claire and the dance teacher laughed, "Well okay, we'll see how you get on these next few weeks but I have a feeling you'll be moving up" she winked at Kaci, "See you later she said to them both. "Well would you look at that! my little girls moving up into the advanced class" Claire teased, grabbing Kaci and giving her a squeeze, "Kaci giggle and squirmed, "Ewww mom, you're all sweaty!" she protested, Claire laughed, and said, "I know, I give you a five second head start to the car or I'm coming to get you" Kaci squealed and took off running, Claire let out a breathe she had been silently holding for the last two days. Her daughter was back.