She was having a hard day. A day that she wished would start over from the beginning so that she could get out of the right side of the bed. She pushed her dark framed sunglasses up on her head, being mindful of her thick afro that seemed to cover her scalp like a heavy woolen blanket. She should have cut it like she had planned, but she knew that her little girl would throw a fit if she saw her mother with no hair. It had taken her two weeks to convince her daughter to stop running away from her the first time she had shaved it off, but hey, what could she say, she loved the short look. It didn’t take any effort at all to look presentable when all she had to do was jump out of bed and go. She rubbed her bronzed shoulders wishing that she had applied more sun block then proceeded walking down the sidewalk to her daughter’s daycare center.
“Manni, is that you?”
She slowly turned around uncertain if she should continue walking as if she hadn’t heard a word or acknowledge the stranger. Their eyes met and her stomach dropped. This couldn’t possibly be happening. “Stark?” Her voice sounded weak to her own ears from the moment it slipped past her lips. It was him; she recognized that bright red hair and those translucent green eyes anywhere.
“I go by Scott now,” he corrected, running a hand through his thick hair. He couldn’t believe that he was looking at a piece of his past that he thought he would never see again. It had been almost four years since they had last seen each other, or to be more exact shouted obscenities at each other with her throwing a blow dryer and iron at him. It was safe to say that they hadn’t parted in the best of ways. She gave him a wide eyed stare from her big, brown puppy dog eyes that reflected her discomfort at their unexpected meeting.
“That’s nice, Scott,” Manni replied, making sure not to use the nickname she had often addressed him by when they were dating. Some old habits died hard. “What are you doing back here? I heard that you moved.”
“Well, I relocated back to my old place. My mom is sick and I don’t feel comfortable leaving her in the care of an at-home nurse. So I transferred companies again. I even afforded to get a better position at my job,” he told her, nodding his head.
“That’s nice,” she told him for the second time unsure of what to say. “Welcome back, I guess.” She scratched the back of her head trying to keep calm. It’s just that every time she was around that man her body would react to him whether with love or anger and right now she wasn’t sure what she feeling, but she knew that she didn’t like the fact that she still responded to his presence.
“So what are you up to?” he asked, extending his long, pale leg to step on an ant or two. She always told him that he needed more sunlight.
“I’m actually going to...” her voice died leaving him a bit confused as he waited for her to finish her sentence. She never did which increased the awkwardness between them. “I’m so thirsty,” she said more to herself than to him.
“Really? If you aren’t busy, would you mind grabbing a drink with me?” he asked not allowing the opportunity of a one on one with her to go to waste.
“Ms. Stanley, here you are!”
Her face cringed at the recognition of her daughter’s care taker’s voice. She was a nice woman, but she had the tendency to unintentionally let her lips run loose. “Mrs. Carmichael, I’m sorry that I’m late,” she told her, turning around in time to grab her overly excited daughter. She gave her a kiss on the forehead pushing back her brownish red hair from her golden face. Her hazel green eyes were droopy and Manni could tell that she had just awoken from her nap though she was full of energy.
“It’s all right, you called and told us that your meeting was going to run late so there was no problem. She was a good girl today and she even participated with Bernadette, right Star?” she asked the little girl who was now shyly hiding her face in the crook of her mother’s neck.
“Bernadette?” Scott asked with a smile.
“Oh that’s her little friend, but I swear that they spend more time fighting than playing together,” Mrs. Carmichael told him with a warm smile. “Will I see you tomorrow, Star?” she asked, poking the little girl who began to giggle and hold on tighter to her mother.
“Thanks again, Mrs. Carmichael.”
“No problem, Ms. Stanley. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She handed Manni Star’s bag which Scott took upon himself to hold for her.
She waited until the teacher had disappeared back into the building to turn to the six foot man towering over her. “You don’t have to do that. I can manage,” she told him, reaching for the sack.
“Manni, don’t be ridiculous. My hands are completely empty,” he said already walking off without knowing in which direction she had parked. That was one of his problems; he didn’t know how to listen.
Manni increased her steps to catch up with him while her daughter busied herself with playing in her hair. “Really Scott, I can do it.”
“So you have a little girl?” he asked, ignoring her attempt to grab the bag and put some distance between them. “How old is she?”
“Three,” she answered unconsciously kissing her daughter’s temple.
“She’s adorable. And those eyes are killer. I bet she’s a daddy’s girl.”
“Star doesn’t know her father,” she told him a bit irritated by the heat and his lack of consideration towards her desire to be left alone.
“What?” he asked, stopping in his tracks. “What kind of man would abandon his wife and daughter?”
“I’m not married, all right? Besides, it’s a long story and I don’t really feel as if it concerns you,” she told him, feeling her temper start to flare.
“I figured since we’re old friends, I could get a little privilege here and there.”
“Friends?” she asked on a laugh. “The last time I remembered, when you left we both vowed to never see or speak to each other again. Now here you are acting as if you have some sort of amnesia.”
“I actually would like to apologize for the way things ended between us. Will you give me a chance to make it up to you?” he asked, looking down at her then at her little girl. She seemed too content making a mess of her mother’s hair to pay attention to his presence.
“I’m not asking for you to give me another chance so that we can start over, I’m only asking to get to know you as a friend and to be like how we once were. Is that asking too much?” he inquired unconsciously touching her arm. His hand burned into her skin through her light summer vest and she shivered.
“Maybe it is,” she told him, walking ahead and turning at the end of the sidewalk to get to her car.
“The way I see it is that you need a friend. Especially taking care of a child by yourself.”
“Who said that I was doing it by myself?” she stated, opening the back door of her car to strap her daughter in her car seat while she played with the keys.
“Then I take it that your boyfriend helps you?” he asked not sure why he needed to know whether she was available or not. It must be because he was still very much interested in her even after the way they had called it quits. “ummm Manni.”
“I don’t have a boyfriend either and don’t think that I don’t know what you’re trying to do,” she told him, making sure that the child lock was on before closing the door.
“You think that you can see me in the street then randomly—”
“What?!” she asked aggravated as she yanked on the driver’s side door.
“You locked your keys in the car.”
“What!” she yelled, becoming panicked when she saw the car keys in her daughter’s hands. Her daughter looked up startled by her loud exclamation and became scared.
“It’s okay, you need to calm down,” Scott advised.
“Calm down! How am I supposed to calm down? I didn’t even crack the window because I was too busy trying to get rid of you to think straight!” she told him, hearing her voice break.
“If you stay calm you won’t scare the baby,” he recommended, smiling at Star through the window. She shyly hid her face as she smiled back kicking her little legs to and fro.
Manni took a deep breath nodding her head in agreement. “What am I supposed to do?”
“Just stay calm and let me handle it,” he told her, dialing Triple A on his cell. He hung up a few minutes later with a smile. “They’re sending someone out and said that he should be here within the next ten minutes max. You really lucked out. The operator told me that he was just about to get off the clock and head home, but when I told her there was a baby in the car she told him to come straight over.”
She looked at him frightened. “What would we have done then?”
“Bust your window and get it fixed later,” he replied as if he was talking about the weather. He waited patiently with her until the technician came and opened the door for them making sure to leave it as wide as possible. He gave Manni a look that evidently showed his disapproval of her parenting skills then drove away shaking his head.
“I’m not a bad parent,” she mumbled finally feeling her heart rate steady in her chest.
“No one ever said that,” Scott said, trying to calm her before she could burst into tears. She did anyway making him pull her into his arms. It was so second nature for her to wrap her arms around him which she did and cried until she couldn’t anymore. “You had a bad day?”
“That’s an understatement,” she responded embarrassed that she had cried in front of him so easily after years of not speaking together.
“I guess now you’ll take me up on that drink?” he asked, soothingly caressing her back.
“God knows the last thing I ever wanted to do was see you again,” she confessed with a heavy sigh.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
“Perhaps another time, but what I will do as a thank you is make you some dinner. Would that be a good enough exchange for you?”
“I’ll follow you in your car,” he replied, waiting until she had the keys in the ignition this time before he closed the back door.
“Just hop in and I’ll take you to your car,” Manni offered still somewhat distraught. How could she have locked her little girl in the car. It’s a good thing that Star was too preoccupied playing with the keys or she probably would have panicked.
“I didn’t bring it,” he told her, resting his hand on the inside of her car door.
“Then how did you get all the way downtown? And how did you expect to follow?” she asked confused.
“I biked it.” Scott rocked back and forth from his tiptoes to his heels with his hands in his pockets, a soft smile reflected on his lips as he regarded her contently. He found it amusing how easily she still tended to overreact.
“What?” she asked him incredulously. “Are you crazy? Why would anyone in their right mind want to ride a bike in this Florida heat?”
“How do you think I stay in shape?” he asked with a grin.
“By going to the gym, you crazy nut! Hop in and I’ll bring you back to get your bike.”
He couldn’t wipe the smirk off of his pink lips. Manni was never one to tell him outright when she was worried about him. She preferred to make a big fuss instead. Somethings just never change. “It’s not that far from my house. I live near the beach, remember?”
She nodded her head in understanding. She had forgotten that he had a house on Miami Beach. “Are you getting in or not?” He closed her door walking around the other side of the car to strap himself in then directed her to his bike. They didn’t speak much on the ride to her place. She had a nice little condo not too far from the beach itself and on days when she wasn’t working herself to death she would bring her daughter to splash around in the ocean. She loved it.
“Sea Coast Condos,” Scott announced, nodding his head in approval. The place didn’t look all that bad.
“Thank you for announcing to the entire world where I live,” she told him, taking her keys out of the ignition. He was already out of his seat and ready to take Star out of the car by the time that she noticed she’d made a smart remark to the air. “You really shouldn’t do that. She doesn’t take too well to strangers,” she warned him when she saw him reaching for her daughter.
“Don’t be ridiculous, kids love me,” he told her, lifting the toddler from the car seat. Star began to wail as soon as he lifted her reaching for her mother with tear filled eyes. She wasn’t a temperamental three year old, but she absolutely did not like strangers.
Manni rushed to grab her heaving child frowning intensely at him when he wouldn’t release her. “I told you that she’s not used to strangers. Won’t you listen to me when I talk sometimes.”
“I’m not going to kill her,” he retorted, lifting Star’s bag from the back seat to throw on his shoulder. “Star,” he called over her screams finally getting her attention when he stuck his tongue out at her. She looked at him confused then not sure if she should keep crying or stay still. He pulled his tongue back into his mouth and she began to whimper again. He stuck it back out making a hideously bizarre noise that scared the tears out of her. She stared at him then at her mother who could only laugh and shake her head.
“It’s ok,” she assured her.
“Manni, I noticed that she doesn’t speak much. She isn’t mentally disabled or anything, is she?” he asked so genuinely concerned that she couldn’t be offended by his question.
“No, she only starts to talk once she’s gotten used to you and when that starts there’s no stopping it,” she told him, closing the door then clicking the alarm button. She took him to the fifth floor unwillingly allowing him access into her condo though it had been her idea to invite him in the first place.
“You’re acting as if I forced my way into your place,” he remarked after noticing her expression. He placed her daughter on the carpet watching as she ran away to play with some toys. Her condo was well organized and nicely decorated. She had a red futon with a glass coffee table accented by gold leg stands and trimmings. Her walls were painted a gradient of soft pink which gradually darkened into blood red with cherry blossom petals littering the walls. A bold gold colored love seat sat with its back facing a large glass door which led to her patio. Family photos and artwork tastefully decorated the walls, obscured only by a large, broad oak bookshelf and two side tables and matching lamps at opposing ends of her condo. The hallway obvious led to the bedrooms which he had no doubt was just as nicely designed.
He liked the soft pink carpet beneath their feet and wondered how much she had had to pay to get it installed. He could feel just how plush it was and enjoyed squashing his feet deeper in its fibers. He also like the child like accents sprinkled about the condo. It was obvious that she was proud to be a mother. A large, human sized teddy bear sat beside the bookshelf just waiting to be held. It was nice and cozy here and he liked it a lot.
“Don’t get too comfortable,” she told her with a risen eyebrow. “It’s close to your bath time.” Star frowned picking up a book and holding it up.
“This one,” she mumbled. “Momma, read this one.”
“Ok, I know I promised to read it to you before your bath last night just give me a few minutes.”
“Would you like for me to do it instead?” Scott volunteered, bursting into laughter when the toddler shook her head. “I see that you’re just as honest as your mother.”
Manni smiled clearing her throat uncomfortably. “I’m going to start dinner.”
“How about I make dinner and you get her ready for bed time,” he suggested already walking into the kitchen and searching the cabinets. He was taking up too much space, she wasn’t ready to be this close to him, but it had been her idea.
“I couldn’t ask you to do that.”
“Yet when we first met you had me wash and vacuum your car just for one date?” he asked with a sloppy grin.
She smiled shaking her head, “fine you do what you want. It’s not as if you ever really listened to me any how.” She smiled watching her daughter pop her head up from her barbie fun house to rush to the sofa. She pulled herself up waiting for her mother to join her. “Do you know that you are the highlight of my day?” Manni asked her kissing her forehead.
“Is it readn’ time now?”
“Yeah, it’s time to read,” she told her opening the story book. “The Swan Princess and her Ducklings,” she began, reciting the title then helping her daughter to pronounce the words.
Scott popped his out of the kitchen in amazement, “she can read?”
“Of course. Why wouldn’t she be able to?” Manni asked confused.
“It’s just that she’s only three years old. Most three old years spend more time playing than...reading.”
She smiled shaking her head. “She won’t be three for too much longer. Besides, Star is a bright young lady. She can count to 25, she can recite her colors, fruits, and shapes, and she can say her ABC’s forwards and backwards,” she proudly boasted.
“Wow,” he said shocked. “Let me guess, she’ll be writing her first dissertation at the age of five?”
“Please, she likes chewing on the pencil too much to write her own name, but I’m working with her. She’ll write to about M before she starts going crazy.”
“Momma, read please,” she told her, tapping on her mother’s arm.
“Ok, I’m sorry,” she told her, smiling at Scott once more before picking up where she left off.
“That is crazy,” Scott commented, setting the table for their dinner once she’d successfully tucked Star in for the night. “Your child is a super genius,” he praised. “I wish that I had a daughter like that.” Manni took a big gulp of the wine she had only seconds ago poured into her glass pounding on her chest when she choked on it. “Are you all right?”
“Fine, let’s enjoy this wonderful spaghetti and meatballs that you made.”
“You don’t have to act like that. You know I’m not the world’s best cook,” he told her holding out her chair. It was good to see that he hadn’t lost his sense of chivalry. “I hope you will enjoy the meal.”
She smiled taking a bite of the spaghetti and almost choking on the overly salty spaghetti sauce and meatballs, at least he had tried and that was enough to warrant a bit of praise. “You did a good job.”
“Please, don’t lie to me. This tastes like crap. How about we just order in some Chinese and call it a night?”
She laughed nodding her head. “I thought you’d never say that sooner.” She left him to throw away their supposed dinner while she called in an order for them. “They’ll be here in thirty minutes. Do you think you can hold out until then?” she teased helping him dry the dishes. “You may not make a good cook, but you’d make one heck of a man servant,” she told him with a smile then shook her head and threw down the dish towel.
“I’m not supposed to be this at ease with you. This isn’t us. We fight and yell and jump at each other’s throats. You do remember that you told me I was the biggest, most naive idiot in the world, don’t you?” she asked, watching him dry his wet hands after placing the last of her plates in the drying rack.
“And you did call me the world’s most fake Hugh Hefner,” he reminded her. “The thing is that we never really got to the bottom of the issue. I was too busy ducking from an iron to really try to resolve everything.”
“So it was my fault?” she accused, waiting for an answer. She shook her head walking away. “Well, Stark, it doesn’t matter anymore because everything between us has already ended. It was for the best.”
He scoffed in disbelief, “Manni, do you expect me to believe that it’s really through between us?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” she asked, dropping down into a love seat.
“For one, you invited me to your place and for two, you still haven’t launched anything at my head yet. So if you still had an issue with our breakup, I would be on my way to the hospital because of your horrible temper. I had to get five stitches on my head because of that encyclopedia you threw.”
“What? Where?” she asked genuinely worried. She stood up lifting herself on tiptoes to see his scar. He pulled back his hair from his forehead and she saw the obvious pink mark just beneath his hair line. “I’m so sorry. I’ve calmed down a great deal since I’ve had Star,” she told him as her fingers traced the smooth line. “I’m really sorry.”
“Don’t be, because of this damn thing I haven’t been able to get you off of my mind for three years,” he told her, pulling her into his big strong arms and planting a smoldering kiss on her lips.
His kiss was different than before. He was actually taking his time to taste every crevice of her mouth, dipping his tongue inside after gently asking for entrance. It made her knees shake to think that over the years Scott had afforded to become more attentive. She trembled a sigh feeling her knees begin to shake from the effect of his touch. His strong hands were all over her, gently coaxing the tenseness from her body as he lifted her off of her feet, pressing her closer against his tall, muscular frame. Her arms encircled his neck now that she was being held a bit higher giving her easy access to his throat. His five o’clock shadow grazed her soft skin causing excitement to ripple throughout her body. Her lips tasted his warm flesh only stopping to suckle on his rapidly pounding pulse.
She wrapped her legs about him moaning in surprise when he gently grasped her derriere exciting her senses even more. She could feel herself becoming wet from the damp, coolness in her satin panties. If she didn’t stop them now, Manni knew that they would sleep together. “Scott,” she tried speaking seconds before he once more devoured her lips, sending her further into distraction. Perhaps he knew exactly what she had been about to say, but whether that was the case or not, she found herself happy that he had stopped her.
Her hands traced a hot path to his silky red hair which she entwined between her fingers, pressing his mouth closer and, for the briefest moment, time seemed to stand still, just for the two of them, as their kiss grew longer in length and their moans echoed in the silence of her living room. She was beginning to shake with desire as her trembling hands dropped down to unbutton the collar of his shirt. She needed to feel his heat pressed up against her or she would lose her sanity.
“I want you,” Scott told her slowly laying her down on her love seat. He looked down at her with desire filled eyes almost at his limit from the wanton yearning reflecting on her lovely face. His fingers traced her angled jawline and she leaned into his touch as her body trembled. “Why are you crying?” he asked a bit concerned.
“Am I?” she replied, sitting up to wipe away tears. “I’m sorry, Scott, I can’t do this.”
“All right,” he agreed, nodding his head. “I won’t force you, you know that,” he said even though his evident arousal was painfully pressing against the front of his pants. “I’ll wait until you’re ready.”
She snorted her disapproval at his statement steadily shaking her head. “We’ve hurt each other too much to want to try again, Scott. It would be too crazy.”
“I know that we’ve both done and said a few things that we shouldn’t have to get back at each other, but that was the past and I’m willing to—”
“Scott, please don’t.”
“Don’t what?” he asked, standing up and backing away from her. He placed his hands on his hips to keep them from reaching for her.
“Things won’t work out between us. They never have since we first started and it definitely won’t now. We’ve changed and we both have different responsibilities that we need to take care of.”
“Are you talking about Star?” he asked, looking down at her prone body. “She’s an adorable kid, Manni, and I have no problem with stepping in to be a father figure to her if need be. I’ll accept the both of you.”
Manni felt her heart tremble in her chest and she dropped her eyes to her tightly clasped hands feeling an overwhelming sensation of guilt upon her conscience. “Scott, there’s something that I need to tell you.” Her doorbell rang dissipating the heavy tension from between them.
“I’ll get that,” he volunteered when she didn’t move. He returned a few minutes later setting the food down on her glass coffee table. “Are we going to eat now?”
“Did you use the twenty I had on the counter?” she inquired, standing to her feet to get them plates.
“Nope.” He took the fork from her hand already going to town on the broccoli and shrimp before she had the time to plate it for him.
“Some things just never change,” she commented, sticking the twenty in his shirt pocket.
“What can I say? I enjoy the easy clean up method. That way we don’t have to wash any dishes,” he told her, pulling her down beside him. He took the plates from her hand setting them down in front of them then handed her the second fork after opening the pork fried rice and steamed dumplings. “Tell me why you’re so down today.”
She heaved a sigh eating a forkful of the rice before responding. “I was chewed out by a client today. She told me that I was a horrible makeup artist and that I ruined her photoshoot.”
“What?” he asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, she called my boss and we all had one big meeting because she was talking about pressing charges. Apparently, she was fired from the job; she wouldn’t give us any reasons why except that the photographer didn’t like her makeup and that I wasn’t qualified at my job because I never wore any on site which has to mean I’m not very capable. I can’t help it if that stuff makes my skin break out into a rash,” she told him trying to choke on her sorrows with the help of a steamed dumpling.
“So what happened? What did your boss say?” he asked unable to stop thinking about how adorable she was when she brooded.
“He said that he would get to the bottom of everything, but until then I’m on probation,” she told him. Her voice broke and she dropped her fork.
“No, it’s not, Scott, I’m sorry, but you know how much of a pessimist I can be. I’ve worked there for seven years and not once have I ever had a complaint and now instead of being on my side, he tells me that I’m on probation as if he were talking to some newbie or something.”
He rubbed her back to help her calm down, “what will you do now?”
“I’m looking for a new job. I have an interview next week Friday. I haven’t told him a thing. He’ll find out once I’m gone that I’ve left,” she said, standing to her feet. She’d forgotten about drinks only noticing her mistake when her throat became unbearably dry. She handed him a glass dropping down beside him on the floor.
“It’s not as if you have anything to worry about. You and I both know that once they take a look at your portfolio there’s no way they’d deny you.”
“That is true,” she agreed not afraid to be a bit conceited. “It’s just that I’m so hurt. Not once have I ever asked him for anything, not even a raise, and I work the longest hours so much that sometimes I don’t even get to see Star.”
“Who watches her when you’re working so late?” He took a chug of his lemonade scrunching his face at the tart lemon flavor. “This could use a bit more sugar.”
“It’s sugar free,” Manni informed him, turning up her nose. “It’s much better for your health so you better finish it.”
“I’ll just take your advice on that. So who looks after her when you’re not available?”
She ate some broccoli digging through the container for a plump piece of shrimp. “My parents. They spoil her rotten over there,” she told him with a smile. “What I usually try to do is work late on Fridays that way she can spend the weekend with them, but every once in a while I have a late weekday or two.”
Scott nodded his head taking a sip of the horrible liquid he was forced to drink. “Did they move?”
“No, they still live near West Palm Beach,” she told him.
“So you drive an hour to your parents’ house just so that they can watch your child? You must be able to afford the gas.” She smiled getting ready to brag until she choked on a few grains of rice. He laughed as she began to turn red from embarrassment. “That’s karma.”
“I could have died and here you are laughing at me like a clown,” she complained, rubbing her throat.
“With CPR, we’re taught that the victim is all right as long as they keep coughing. Once they stop is when you begin to worry. I was kinda hoping for the latter so that I had another chance to put my hands all over you.” His eyes roamed over her body with desire and she cleared her throat.
“Is that the reason you came back to Florida?”
He shook his head finishing up the fried rice. “It’s like I told you before. My mother’s dementia is getting worse so I’m in the process of taking her out of the nursing home so that I can care for her myself. I never thought that I would run into you, but I’m glad that I did.”
“Well, I’m not very sure about the way I’m feeling towards you,” she told him, setting down the container of shrimp and broccoli before she finished it off.
“I’m only guessing from the way you responded to me earlier that there’s a little something still left in that closed off heart of yours.” She didn’t like the mocking tone in his voice glaring in his direction in response. “Manni, I told you that I would wait until you were ready.”
“Am I not supposed to pretend that I didn’t walk in on you and your secretary about to go at it?” she demanded, looking down into her half empty glass.
He didn’t know what to say. “I know I was a jerk who took you for granted, however; if you’d only give me one more chance, I can prove to you that I’ve changed.”
She shook her head running her hand over her fluffy afro. “Scott, our relationship is a liability that I cannot afford and will not undertake again. Nevertheless, I feel as if we can benefit from being friends which brings me to something very important that I need to talk to you about.” Her heart was pounding in her ears as she prepared herself to speak.
“Friends will be fine. That way if you ever need someone, other than your folks, to watch little Star I can do that for you. I work from home now so that’s not a problem. She can run around until her heart is content.”
“You’re an accountant, how do you do that from home?” she asked, forgetting what she was about to say.
“My clients e-mail me their information and I total it up and do the math. It’s not all that hard especially since I have the brain span of a savant,” he told her, closing up the container. “But would that be a good idea?” he asked, referring to his earlier comment.
“You having the brain span of a savant?” Manni asked confused.
“No, me watching Star from time to time. It might take some stress off of you knowing that you won’t have to drive an hour to get her,” he explaining, standing to his feet. “I just don’t understand why her father wouldn’t want to be a part of her life. It’s just like men these days to lay down with a woman though they know that they won’t want to deal with the responsibility afterwards. I tell you if I ever see this guy, I will give him a nice blow to the face,” he continued his ranting as he went into the kitchen to put their used utensils in the sink.
“Has he ever seen her before?” he persisted, still becoming angry at the idea of Star’s father not wanting to be a part of her life. “Does he even know that she exists, that he has a three year old daughter?” he asked, grabbing the empty containers.
“He doesn’t know because I’ve never told him,” Manni admitted, watching him head into the kitchen. She followed him leaning against the doorway for support then took a deep breath and repeated herself. Scott turned to look at her in confusion and she couldn’t maintain their eye contact. “Star’s father didn’t know that she existed until today.”
“What?” Scott asked still confused. “Does that mean that you told him about her on the phone today or something?”
“No,” she told him shaking her head. “He found out today because it’s the first time that I’ve seen him in almost four years...Scott...Star is your daughter.”