“The moon’s really bright tonight. The sun’s not even down yet. Imagine that. It’s like that time a couple of years ago in the field by your parents’ farm. Remember that,” Ada said, wrapping the blanket a little more tightly around Marley who shivered in the cooling summer evening air.
“Thanks. You seem immune to the cold,” Marley said.
“It’s not cold,” Ada said, laughing.
“But yeah, I think it’s getting close to full,” Marley said. “It’s so peaceful, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” she said, barely a whisper. The reality of the situation suddenly weighed heavily on them, neither wanting to draw it into their circle of peace. So, for a few more moments, they remained quiet, the jibber-jabber sounds of the ducks punctuating the light evening hum.
“Well, thanks for letting me stay,” Ada said.
“Geez, it’s not a problem at all. My home is your home. And before you worry about it, Xavvie loves you being here. You’re like his little sister. I swear he’d do more for you than he’d do for me.” Marley rolled her eyes, pinching Ada’s side.
“I’m glad,” she said. “And thanks for getting me outta there. I really think he was gonna hit me or something.”
“I don’t think he could stand straight. He was completely pissed out of his mind, what I could see. But yeah, people who drink too much are often pretty dangerous. All I know is I’m glad I was there to get you outta there.”
“Yeah,” Ada said, again in hushed tones. They were quiet again, soundlessly absorbing the mood of the evening.
“Anyway, I’m gonna go inside and get something ready for supper.” She checked her watch. “Xavvie should be home soon. Are you gonna stay out here for while? I can give you a shout when supper’s ready.”
“Yeah. I’ll just sit out here for a while, thanks.” Ada smiled, her eyes distant, as Marley got up.
“Listen, it’ll all be okay. You can stay here as long as you need, it’s not a problem.”
“Thanks,” Ada said as she nervously played with the corner of the blanket.
Looking around, she was never sure. Although, she hoped if she were by herself, he might be more willing to appear. Everything was silent. Ada just sat quietly, her eyes on the ducks in the pond in front of her. They always seemed to be so consumed with eating or grooming. Periodically, they’d tip over, their pointed tails popping upwards towards the sky.
Her mind wandered to what had happened. Freddie had promised her it’d never happen again. He got dead drunk a couple of weeks ago and it was Xavvie who’d arrived just as he was really getting unpleasant. She’d been thankful he’d arrived and was able to kind of talk him down. Well, Xavvie and Freddie were old friends. Afterwards, Freddie had promised her it’d never happen again. Then … she spotted a movement at her side.
“Hey, how’re ya doing, kiddo?” Ada smiled.
“Not too bad. Really glad to see you. I didn’t know if you’d come or not.” He took off his cap and put it on his knee, sitting down he leaned against the back of the seat. He smiled at her.
“I just had to wait a bit is all. No worries.” He looked at her, his face suddenly more serious. “Well, like I told ya, that one is not to be trusted. I mean, that sort is always thinking of themselves. They don’t give any thought to anyone else.” He put his hand up for her to wait. “Before you say, sure, maybe he’s had a hard life. That sort normally have. But if so, he’d best get that figured out before he gets involved with anyone else.”
“Yeah, I know,” she looked down, ashamed. “I thought I’d give him another chance.”
“Well, hopefully you now know he’s not to be trusted. Geez, girl. You’ve gotta watch yourself. Too soft hearted, you.” He pointed at her, a smile on her face. “Not to worry.”
“Yeah, I’m here now and so, I’ll just go tomorrow when he’s at work to clear away my other things.”
“Ask Xavvie if he can go with you. I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that on your own.”
“No, I won’t. I’m sure Xavvie wouldn’t mind coming. I don’t think it’d take me very long.” He started to get up.
“Where ya going?”
“Hey, listen, your old man’s got things to do.” He laughed at her. “You’re not the only one who needs a checking up.”
“Yeah, well, thanks Dad.” He gave her a hug and then wandered off along the path. She watched him go, not a care in the world. It’d always been that way, even when he was alive. Her dad was always the kind of person who never let anything get under his skin. She smiled. Ada sat there, watching her dad far in the distance, she could see people around him. But she had a feeling they likely didn’t even know he was there and so, they just walked by.
She didn’t have a clue how he knew about her boyfriend, if she can even call him that anymore. But her dad had known something wasn’t right and told her. She was the one who didn’t listen.
“Ada,” she heard Marley calling. “Supper’s ready.” She got up and folded the blanket. Her dad was out of sight now. But she knew at some point, she’d see him again. Folks sometimes say they’ve got a guardian spirit. Ada smiled, thinking, and sometimes we do.