Episode 1193: Drive“So what are you and Paul doing this afternoon?” Michael asked when Hope and her friend Jenny stepped into the living room.
Michael clocked the moment her daughter’s eyes skidded over to Curran in the armchair and saw that the inquiry had lifted his gaze from the work laptop. And so of course rather than feeling free to openly speak of her visit with her biological father, Hope responded with a non-committal shrug.
“Well, I’m sure whatever it is will be fun,” Michael said, “I know you enjoyed the food truck festival last week.”
“It was okay,” Hope replied in a monotone, craning her neck to see if the car had pulled up outside yet. Standard protocol, the kid liked to get out to the car as quickly as possible to limit these interactions between her two fathers. For the same reason Michael knew she didn’t have to ask if Hope had all the necessities like sunscreen and water in her backpack, the girl was ready to go, eager to escape as much of the vitriol as she could.
Michael shook her head. She’d tried to get through to Curran that his attitude was making all of this so much harder on Hope than it needed to be, but thus far there was no convincing him that they could all peacefully live with this situation.
“For someone who thought the food truck fest was just okay, you talked my ear off about everything you ate that day. You know, sweetie, we won’t be hurt that you had a good time with someone other than us. I loved hearing your enthusiasm when you came home that day. You don’t have to hide that from us, does she, Cur?”
It was a gamble, likely a long shot but if discussing things in private hadn’t solved anything she may as well try putting him on the spot. But of course he was too wily for that.
“You know if you’re in the mood to sample new cuisines, Hope, I can do much better than food trucks. I’ve provided capitol for several of the finest restaurants in the city, just say the word and we can get a table whenever and wherever you please.”
“That would be great, thanks so much, Dad,” Hope said.
“Anything for my girl.” Curran had the nerve to say at a moment when clearly he was most focused on himself in Michael’s opinion.
“Anything for my girl’s friend, too,” Curran said, directing his attention to Jenny. “If you’d rather not get a ride home with a stranger, I’d be happy to take you. Actually,” he checked his watch, “since Paul can’t seem to be bothered to show up on time, why don’t I do just that, I’ll drive you home Jenny, and Hopey, you come along and we’ll check out one of those restaurants I mentioned, we can solidify your summer plans while we eat. Paul may not respect your time but I certainly do.”