Episode Sixty-Eight: Here I AmShe was in a hurry, but then everything seemed like a hurry, you have to get things done and said... before. He was wandering down the aisles in his usual triumphant spirit; this dad stuff was easy. It was so easy, like everything except maybe getting in line at a checkout where two such terribly determined souls would collide trying to be first.
They offered simple apologies and then stood in awkward quiet waiting for the elderly gentleman in front of them to buy a lotto ticket.
"I, uh, had to pick up some cough syrup for the kid," Sebastian offered.
She gave him a fleeting sympathetic smile. "Tell him I hope he feels better," She replied as the clerk began to tally the contents of Avaís red plastic basket. $32.50- she shut her eyes and crumpled the twenty with her fingers. They fluttered open and she began checking price tags determining what she could afford to go without.
"Days like this you wish a car would hit you," Ava faked jovially and the clerk grinned knowingly. Sebastian watched her pay for twenty dollars worth. She reminded him of the people who get five dollars worth of gas; something he had never really understood.
Avalon sat down on the bus bench about a block away and she hung her head.
"Donít be sad," Ava heard a dreadful English accent say as a mini Paddington bear was waved in her face and a plastic bag of her dismissed purchases dropped in her lap.
She almost cracked a smile as she looked up, mascara smearing at the corner of her eyes. For goodness sake, he looked like sunshine in the middle of winter how were you supposed to resist that?
"Okay, now rip my head off itíll make you feel better," He gave her a big grin but it vanished when he couldnít figure out the expression on her face. "Sorry, I told you I wasnít very good with this stuff, you have seen my family in action-"
"I guess maybe Iím not so great with people either," she paused, looked down at Paddington and then handed him over. "Jesse will like him a lot; you have a gift for that I think, that way you just make someone smile when they least expect it."