“That does sound like something she’d do,” she said. “She’s not as bad of a parent as she thinks she is. But, uh, don’t tell her I said that.”
“Your secret’s safe with me,” he said. “So… are we good?”
“We’re… getting there,” she said. “Can’t erase a decade and a half in a single conversation, you know?”
“Yeah, I hear that,” he said. “If you’re willing, I could come visit from time to time. Just, like, a weekend here and there. No family, just you and me.”
“I’d like that,” Angela said.
He smiled and draped his arm around her shoulder. It felt slightly alien, but comforting.
“I’m not going to leave you behind again,” he said. “I promise.”
They headed back down to Vivian’s apartment. Genesis was talking anime with Frederica while Kay and Josephine played cards and Harriet and Vivian drank wine at the table. Jackson took a seat next to his wife and Angela joined Genesis.
“How’d it go?” Genesis asked.
Angela smiled and said, “Good.”
Angela yawned as Genesis pulled up in front of her apartment building. They’d stayed at Vivian’s place far later than they’d planned, and Angela was eager to get to bed.
“I wish you didn’t have to work tomorrow,” Genesis said.
“Me too,” Angela said. “You should stop by the mall for lunch, help me take my mind off the stress.”
“It’s a date,” Genesis said.
Angela leaned over and kissed Genesis.
“Merry Christmas,” she said, and climbed out of the car.
“Love you,” Genesis said.
Angela shut the door and Genesis drove off. Upstairs, she paused outside her apartment and glanced across the hall. She’d been seeing a lot of her neighbors over the past few months, babysitting Tommy every week or two. The kid was still struggling, but he seemed to be getting better.