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Twenty-Six

June 8, 2038, 11:52 a.m. 

13 Years, 179 Days Ago 

Paul stood before a red door wondering why it was so hard for him to ring the bell. He’d spoken to Jordan a few times, but he’d grown more and more distant, especially since his mother had gotten sick. Paul finally took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. 

Paul expected the chime, but that chime set off a series of other noises Paul hadn’t even realize he’d forgotten about. A dog started barking. That woke the baby, who started crying. 

Right, Paul thought, the baby must have been born a few weeks ago. 

The door opened to reveal Lidia wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans. Paul started at her. This could have been my house if I wasn’t such an idiot. Of course, if that were true, Jordan would probably be alone. A part of Paul still felt like this was better. 

“Paul!” The momentary staring contest ended as Lidia wrapped her arms around him. “Jordan, Paul’s finally come to visit!” She nearly blew out an ear drum rather than pulling away to call her husband. 

Footsteps thundered down a flight of stairs revealing Jordan, who held his child in his arms. 

“Hey! Man I’m so glad you’re here!” Paul thought Lidia would pull way, but Jordan just fit himself beside Lidia and further encircled Paul. It was like being wrapped in a blanket of love. They were genuinely happy to see him.

Paul lingered there, enjoying the group hug even though he couldn’t actually return the gesture. 

They finally let him go. Jordan smiled at him. “I guess you’re here to meet your godson.” 

Paul stammered as Jordan gently set the baby in his arms. Even as he tried to say, “No thanks,” he wound up holding the child and looking at it. 

Everything went still. The baby was so small and helpless. It had stopped crying. It was strangely alien and beautiful. 

“Paul,” Lidia said. “We’d like you to meet your godson, Paul.” 

Paul’s head jerked up, fixing the two in a state of awe. “You …”

Jordan laughed after Paul failed to say anything else. “There really wasn’t even a need for a plan B, unless of course it was a girl.” He rubbed the back of his head with his hand. “I mean, we probably would have gone with Paula or Pauline, but we’re sort of glad it was a boy.”

“I don’t know that we’ve really talked in … how long?” Paul was more thinking out loud than talking at the moment. 

“It’s been a while,” Jordan said. “And you typically need time, but once you get that, you usually come back around. You did come to see him, right?”

Paul looked down at the boy. “Actually …  my mom.”

“Oh, God.” Lidia wrapped her arms around him again. “Please say she’s OK. She’s not …  She’s OK, right?”

“She’s fine,” Paul said. “That’s … I don’t know how to explain this.”

Jordan carefully took his son back. “Maybe we should go sit down.”

The couple led Paul into a living room centered around a polished long coffee table decorated with a white vase filled with sunflowers. A corner couch wrapped around the coffee table. A recliner sat on the opposite side of a large glass door covered by flower-pattered curtains.  

Paul sat on the recliner. Lidia vanished into the kitchen and came out with a Dr. Pepper and a glass of ice. She set the drink next to Paul and sat beside her husband, who had just put their baby in a small, portable pack and play just in front of Paul’s small coffee table. 

“So your mom is doing better?” Jordan asked. 

“That’s why I came here,” Paul said. “She’s not doing better.”

Jordan and Lidia’s faces fell as they gripped each other’s hands. They looked at him with such sympathy. 

“She’s healed.” Paul let the words ring in the air. They felt so good to hear and even better to say.

… to be continued …

One thought on “Visits From A Man Named Nobody 87

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