Good morning! Sorry my time for posting has shifted so much. I’m sleeping in a little more to make up for the late hours of writing. I hope you’re enjoying Episode 9!
Charisse backed out the door, terrified that she’d brought on another heart attack. Familiar laughter drifted down the hallway, and she turned to see Marie with a woman who had to be their mother: Curly hair almost as long as Charisse’s and dark eyes like Marie’s. They were each carrying a cup of coffee and laughing like it was a weekly get-together.
Marie saw her first and rushed over. “Charisse, what’s wrong.”
“I should’ve worn a long sleeved shirt to cover up my arm. I wasn’t thinking.”
Charisse saw Gianna frown at her before she rushed into Daddy’s room. That was it? That was her first moment with her mom in years?
“What happened to your arm?” asked Marie.
“Josh. He’s engaged to Becca, and he cornered me at the party.”
Marie pulled her in for a hug.
Charisse took a deep breath and steadied herself against her sister. “What’s the deal with… her? I haven’t seen her in years, and she just frowned and walked on by.”
“It’s hard for her,” whispered Marie. “That’s how she was with me at first. Give her a chance.”
Charisse stepped back as the nurses walked out. Marie flipped her hair behind her shoulder.
The nurse who had greeted her said, “He’s okay now, but maybe keep your visit short. He needs rest.”
Charisse swallowed and nodded. Her mouth was dry.
She let Marie go first before she crept back into the room.
Daddy’s eyes looked glazed like they’d given him something to calm him down, but he had a big grin for Gianna.
“Your mother’s still beautiful after all these years.”
Gianna patted his hand.
Charisse took a step backward, holding her arm where it was bruised. This was not happening. Gianna was not walking back into their lives like she’d never left.
Daddy said, “But Charisse. You and your mother haven’t met yet.” He burst into laughter. “What am I saying? She gave birth to you!”
Gianna stared back at Charisse. At least she wasn’t frowning. She said in a sedate voice, “It’s good to see you again, Charisse.”
Charisse blinked several times. “Why are you here?”
“Charisse, where are your manners?” said Daddy.
“My manners? She waltzes in here without warning, gives you a heart attack and you’re worried about my manners?”
Daddy turned to Gianna and acted like he was whispering. “I think she’s going through something right now. She’s usually very sweet.”
Charisse bit back all the things she wanted to say for fear she’d cause her dad’s pulse to race again.
Marie said, “We should let you rest. Charisse and I will take Mother to our apartment and show her what we’ve done with it.”
“That’s a great idea, baby.” He held out his arms for a hug.
Marie beamed, obviously glad to be the favorite.
After Marie hugged him, Charisse stepped over and kissed his cheek. “I’ll come by tomorrow to see how you’re doing. “
“Fine, fine. All my tests should be back then. Be nice to your mother. She’s had a hard time.”
Without glancing at Gianna, Charisse turned and walked out the door.