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Free An unexpected late night adventure at work. Videos

Just some musings on the life of a slave girl named Ariadne.

I walked up to the front porch and knocked on the door that one time I would have just opened and entered. Somehow, it didn't seem right, anymore.

"Come in," my mother said, opening the door and standing aside, an anxious look on her face.

"Mother," I greeted, rather than the more intimate 'Mom', wishing I knew what was going on. I noticed that she had on her favorite blue and white checked apron, usually reserved for special events and holidays and was nervously wiping her hands with it.

The house looked almost the same but there was a different smell to it, a scent that had been missing ever since... ever since Belle had left my life.

And now, she was back... bringing the almost forgotten pain with her. Why? And, why did I suddenly care?

My father was on his Lazy-Boy, watching the television's flickering blue-white image of Arlington. He stood up and turned the set off. "Why'd you...?"

"I can leave again, if you want," I said softly, turning back to the door I had just entered.

"No!" my mother cried out. "Please... don't go. I made your favorite pie... I mean, just in case you'd stop by."

"Thank you," I replied, hoping that the anger I felt would stay under control. Besides, it had been weeks since I had had my mother's apple-crumb pie and I missed it... and her.

My grand-mother came out of the kitchen, a cup of still-steaming tea in her hand. I was surprised, never expecting to see her all that often since she had moved to San Diego.

Courteously, I approached her and gave her a hug. "Grandma, how nice to see you..."

"Brian, you look well. How come you don't come and see me?" There was just a hint of a smile on her face that told me of her love for me.

"I don't know. I'm sorry." I was embarrassed at my answer, knowing I had neglected the old woman who had spent so much time with me during my youth.

She moved toward the couch and sat down, patting the space next to her, inviting me to sit. "I'll let you come and get me for Christmas."

I looked around the room, wondering where Belle was, knowing once I sat down, I was trapped for the time it took to get up.

"She's upstairs," my grandmother said, answering my unasked question. "Sit down, Brian; we have so much to talk about... so much you don't know."

I weighed in my mind what to do and then remembering what Gailene had said, realized that I would have to face the situation at some point. Whatever they had in mind, I was man enough, I thought, to deal with it, especially after all this time.

"Why?" I asked. "Why is she here? Now, after all this time...? Do you honestly think I want to see her?"

"It's complicated," the old woman started to say and then she was interrupted by the appearance of a four-year-old child holding a teddy bear and rubbing her sleepy eyes.

I looked at the blond-haired child standing at the top of the stairs in shock. A child! Oh, God, did it mean what my mind was rapidly becoming afraid of?

"Sit down," my grandmother said, waving her arm toward the sofa. "It's time you knew."

I nodded absently and sat down next to the old woman. "What?" I asked. "What could you possibly tell me?" They both knew that, at best, I now had ambivalent feelings toward my ex-wife. She still felt a pang of sorrow remembering her lost great-grandson.

"So..." I said.

She looked at me, her eyes starting to water. "I'm not sure how to say this but..."

*****

Dinner was a strange, quiet affair; unappreciated food passed from one side of the table to the other without a word; even the pie had been eaten without being tasted. My father had attempted to sit me down next to Belle but I moved quickly and sat between my mother and grandmother, occasionally glancing at the small child at the other end of the table and wondering just 'who' she was.

We finished eating just past six o'clock and Belle quickly stood to help clear the table, seemingly falling into a comfortable ease that she had once shown years before the divorce.

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