Chapter 246: The Path
Breena came over on Friday afternoon.
Abby certainly looked better Tuesday evening, and even more better on Wednesday, but last night was her first night home, her first night on, so Breena wanted to check in and see how it had gone.
When she got there, Abby was up, so was Kelly, and as much as a ten day old baby can play, they were playing.
She doesn’t know where Tim is, but guessing by the disjoined, this-is-the-hardest-thing-on-earth, I-can’t-believe-people-do-this-on-their-own text she found on her phone Wednesday morning, she’s going to guess he’s crashed out in their bed, sleeping.
Kelly was looking fairly alert. Molly wanted to be running around and loud, which assuming Tim is actually sleeping probably isn’t a great plan, so Breena said, “Let’s get a walk.”
“What is it with you and walks?” Abby got up slowly. Standing up from sitting down is still a somewhat ouchy proposal if she doesn’t do it carefully.
“They’re good for you. Come on, time to get out of the house.”
Once again, they’re moseying along on amble speed. Breena’s got Molly’s stroller with her, but right now Molly’s tearing around, running all over the place. Fifteen minutes from now, though, she’ll probably want a ride.
“Soooo…” Breena asks as they get to the end of the driveway.
“Yeah, it’s better. Maybe not great, but better.”
“Still hurting all over?”
“Just my boobs, and just when it’s getting onto feeding time.”
“That’ll be true for a while longer, and then every time you scale back a feed, too.”
“Eh… Just part of the job,” Breena says dismissively. “So, really, you doing okay? You look better, but…”
“I am better, but…” Abby looks up at the sky, then back at her house, but not at Breena. “But I’m not me.”
Breena nods at that. “After Jon died… after I got pregnant again… I felt better, but… the woman I was before he died, she’s gone. Because I’m not that woman anymore. You aren’t the Abby you used to be, either.”
“I liked that Abby. That Abby… I don’t know… Could hook into a sort of easy happiness. And I still can’t find that.”
“You might still have some sort of low level depression. Might just be tired.”
“Maybe. I’m certainly tired. My body feels wrong. Not hurting, too much, just… not mine. My emotions are still all over the place. Mood swings like crazy.”
“But they are swinging? You’re getting highs and lows?”
“Yeah. Well, not as high as I used to get, but moderate highs, and none of the lows are as low as they were either, but still crying over stupid stuff.”
“It might be, but it’s not normal for me. It’s just... I liked the person I was.”
Breena shrugs. “I liked the old Breena, too. But both of those women are gone.” She thinks about that for a moment. “They were steps to being the women we’re going to be. We were girls, and lovers, wives, now mothers. There’s a cycle… a path I guess... And each step takes what came before and adds to it, but...”
“But the old steps are gone and can’t come back.”
“Right.” Breena put her arm around Abby’s shoulders. “And if the new you is more serious, less playful, we’re still going to love you.”
Abby leaned her head on Breena’s shoulder. “Even Peter Pan had to grow up eventually.”
Instead of a stroller, Abby had put Kelly in the Baby Bjorn so she was strapped to her chest. She tilted her head down and kissed the top of Kelly’s head. “Peter Pan was always my favorite. And I had a good, long run of being twenty-eight forever. But I’m forty-two. I’m married, with a baby, and when I get back to work a whole department of people to run. The days of just being me are over. And maybe that’s part of this post-baby freak out. There’s no aspect of my life anymore where I’m just me. Everywhere I look someone is depending on me.”
Breena smiled at that.
“And it’s not bad, maybe… Just… Different.”
“Responsibility with a great big R.”
“Yeah. The one thing Tony and I always had in common, that fear of having to be in charge of anyone else. That’s why he’s skittish about kids. That’s why he’s not the team leader.”
“He’s getting there. On his own path.”
“Yeah. And I guess I am there.”
“Yep. This is the new you, new life.”
Abby patted Kelly’s bum. “This is the new life. Me… I guess I’m feeling pretty old right now.”
Breena laughed a little at that. “Not that old. Still got Tony beat by five years.” She kissed Kelly’s head. “And one of these days, she’ll decide to sleep through the night, and you’ll get rested back up, and you’ll feel like playing again. The new you has more responsibility, and the new you is a mom and a wife and a boss and all of that, but you’re still Abby, still into black and skulls and music so loud your teeth vibrate. And maybe in the late spring, when this one’s getting onto a year,” she stroked Kelly’s hair, “and this one,” she petted her own belly, “is about six months old. You and Ziva and I are going to get all dressed up, and we’re going to take our guys dancing, and we’re going to have a blast at it.”
That got a smile out of Abby. “It’s our turn to pick the club, right?”
|Rock 'n' Roll Jimmy|
“Yeah. You’ll finally get to see Jimmy in eyeliner.”
That got a small laugh.
“I told you he finally did that, right? Apparently Tim convinced him that his dick wouldn’t fall off if he tried some makeup,” Breena says with a wide grin. “He’s so pretty.”
“Don’t tell him that; he’ll never put it on again.”
“I know that. I was… enthusiastic… in my approval of that look,” Breena said with a giggle. “Positive reinforcement and all.”
“Something like that.”
“What color did he pick?”
|Tim in green and gray eyeliner.|
Abby was right, it's subtle.
“He’s a guy… Black.”
“Of course. Did I tell you I got Tim into some green and gray?”
“No. When was that…”