CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and FORTY-THREE
Reaching the table by the bed, she gave him his phone. He smiled his thanks.
“O’Malley,” Seth said.
“Dad! It’s Lizzie!”
“Some bitch was just here looking for Ava,” Lizzie said. “She said she was Amelie’s sister.”
“What did you tell her?” Seth asked.
“I told her that Ava had some police thing this morning,” Lizzie said. “The bitch pushed her way in and insisted on seeing Ava’s room. I showed her the room and… When did you put her stuff there?”
“Yesterday,” Seth said. “You were out with Sandy.”
“Oh yeah, that,” Lizzie said. “I decided to put the baby up for adoption.”
Seth blinked and looked at the clock. The long hand clicked to 6:35. This was turning into quite a day.
“Sandy went with me to Catholic Services yesterday,” Lizzie said. “Is that okay?”
“Honey, you need to do what makes sense to you and what’s best for the baby,” Seth said. “Only you can know for sure what that is.”
“They were nice, but…” Lizzie paused for effect. “They need a release from… you know who.”
“Your step-father,” Seth said.
“Right,” Lizzie said. “I called him and he pitched a fit. He said the baby belongs to him. ‘He’s my property.’ He and Mom want to raise him. He’s telling everyone I’m surrogating for them. Surrogate? Me?”
“Don’t worry, honey,” Seth said. “I know how to deal with your step-father. If it’s best for the baby to give him up for adoption then that’s what will happen. Only you know what’s best for your baby.”
“That’s what Sandy said,” Lizzie said. “What are you going to do?”
“Don’t worry,” Seth said. “I’m proud of you for even considering it, Lizzie.”
“I get to pick the family, if I want to,” Lizzie said. “And I can have an open adoption. That’s where I can be involved if I want. It’s just that…”
“What?” Seth asked.
“I don’t think the baby will ever get a fair shake in life if I’m around,” Lizzie said.
“Why would that be?” Seth asked.
“Because,” Lizzie said. “His father is my father or my step-father and…”
Lizzie began to cry.
“It’s okay,” Seth said. “You’re already doing the right things. I’m proud of you for thinking of what’s best for your baby.”
“I want to rub it in their face, you know,” Lizzie said. “But I see Rachel and how little she is and how precious she is and… A baby is a person. A person shouldn’t be rubbed in someone’s face.”
“You’re right,” Seth said.
“Oh, so I told Ava’s sister that Ava lives here.” Lizzie switched the subject to try to gain some control over her emotions. “She said something snide about Sandy and how this was a half-way house or something. I told her that Sandy was my sister and she should shut up. After she stalked through the place, she left. She said she works for the DA. She told me to tell Ava to call her ASAP. That’s what she said, like it’s a word, a-sap. Who says that? Weirdo.”
“Sounds like you did a good job,” Seth said.
“I really like Ava, Dad,” Lizzie said. “But…”
Lizzie dissolved into tears.
“I mean, she’s twenty-three,” Lizzie said.
“I’m twenty-two,” Lizzie said.
“Do you want to have sex with me too?” Lizzie asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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