The kids hated him. Bart was sure of it. Maybe Bella was coming around. There was Emily to think on, but he wouldn't. She was always a bit peculiar to him. She had a way of always being hurt when no one had done anything to her.
But this wasn't the time to dwell on it.
Kat didn't say, he couldn't stay. He looked around the place. Such odd memories surfaced. He had missed it. Of course, it was pretty much a mess when he left it. He hadn't taken care of the downstairs bathroom and Kat swore the ceiling was full of mold because of the roof. He wondered if she ever got that taken care of.
"Well, you get on home." He told Bella. He couldn't remember the names of her kids. He drew a blank. "Now where did your sister go? She doesn't have any kids, right?"
"No, dad." Bella gave a glare.
"She does?" He wouldn't be surprised. The way she'd always dressed, he thought she'd be pregnant by the time she was fifteen.
"She married Archie." Bella reminded him. "They moved to Omaha."
"Oh." Bart bit his bottom lip and gave a slight nod. He guessed he was a stranger to her. Nothing he could do about that now. At the moment, he wondered it the snow blower was in the garage. He really needed to do something about that driveway.
Bella soon packed her things and left. He went to the cold garage where he found the place rather organized. It surprised him. He guess this Parker was a saint of some kind. Of course, it hit a nerve that his ex-wife had hooked up with a 27 year old. She was old enough to be his mother.
He coughed then as if he needed to shake the thought of her with him. After all Parker was dead. And suddenly, he felt a bit invisible himself. All he could do now, was..keep moving.
Soon enough, he uncovered the snow plow. It started on the first try. It made him smile. That never happened. He was not good with this sort of thing. He was sure he couldn't even remember how to hold the machine steady, but after the first round, it was like getting back on a bike. There was just something manly about clearing the driveway of snow.
It would have been better if he'd had the boots for it. After while, his socks were wet, and he came in to the kitchen and took his wet shoes off and his socks too.
It was so quiet. A deep quiet. But then he heard the baby cry. It stung his heart. He missed it. He missed all of it. So much. He hurried up the stairs then and opened the door as if Kat wouldn't be quick enough to the baby, somehow.
Then he saw them together. She was breast feeding.
"Do you want something to eat." He whispered because he was sure she'd snap at him if he didn't.
"What do you have in mind?" Her question surprised him.
"I could make cheese toast." He shrugged. He really hadn't learned to cook on his own. He was actually a cereal man. Crackers too. He tried all sorts. He'd make special trips to the grocery store for those two items. Still liked Wheat Chex best.
"OK." He felt proud of himself for the suggestion so he went back to the kitchen. This was his first test, to see if he didn't burn down the place.