“It’s never all they need,” Angela said.
“But it’s a good start,” Genesis added.
Angela thought back to that night in Genesis’s apartment six months ago. There’d been no miracle cure—Genesis was still in therapy, still on medication, and likely would be indefinitely—but Angela had helped.
Angela squeezed Genesis’s hand and said, “You have me there.”
After dinner, they thanked the chef and headed out. Angela and Genesis lingered on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant while Vivian waited for a cab.
“Thanks for coming out tonight,” Vivian said.
“Can’t say no to free food,” Angela replied.
“Well, bribe or not, I’m really glad to have you back in my life for more than a couple days a year,” she said. “I don’t think I realized how much I missed spending time with you until these past few months.”
“There’s a punch line coming, isn’t there?” Angela asked, crossing her arms. “You’re about to make fun of me again. I just know it.”
“No, I’m being completely sincere,” Vivian said. “I just… I know I haven’t been a very good mother. Your father was the one who wanted kids so I let him do most of the work. I didn’t even fight when he asked for full custody. To be honest, I was relieved. Jesus, how awful is that?”
“A little bit,” Angela replied.
“I’ve always loved you, of course,” Vivian said, “but I was never cut out for parenting. I totally don’t blame you for being distant. I deserved it.”
“No, you didn’t,” Angela said. “I wasn’t exactly easy to get along with, myself.”
“You were a kid,” Vivian said. “I should’ve tried harder, should’ve been more patient. I owed you that much. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m proud of you. Despite everything, you turned out pretty amazing.”