Patrick embraced his role, gushing over the changes in his girls. He wanted to celebrate every detail. He overcompensated; they had heard nothing from Charlotte or Caleb. In the wake of Vicky’s death, Eliza spent less time helping him. It was understandable as she helped Milly adjust to life without her mother. Patrick was alone as he planned the girl’s birthday, they might not remember it, but he would, so it had to feel special. A chocolate cake, Patrick would eat himself, and hot dogs were the order of the day. He smiled, knowing the sofa would soon partake in ketchup. The sticky fingers and faces, those smiles, made every day worthwhile.
The girls knew no difference, they clung to him when they were sad. The excitement in learning something new, Patrick loved he shared in that too. What hurt him was there was not even a message from Charlotte as the girl’s birthday came and went. Eliza and Milly visited; it had been hard on their cousin. Eliza’s flat was still undergoing renovations, they were still living in Brindleton Bay. Eliza felt weird sleeping in Vicky’s room, so she took the sofa. The back pain affected her job, and the twin’s constant demands on visiting family made it worse.
Patrick had home renovations as the girl’s required a proper place to sleep. Since Charlotte left he kept their cribs in the lounge so he could get a decent night’s sleep. The Kitchen required child locks on the cupboards and an array of toys. The space adjoining the kitchen, Patrick decided would make the perfect nursery. When they first moved in Emilie used it as storage. The irony was the space Emilie intended to be Charlotte’s bedroom. Of course, she preferred the basement rooms alongside him. Patrick understood his father’s desire to own the former church. The downside was, in winter, it could feel drafty.
Striking a balance was never going to come easy. Patrick wrestled with emotions. His anger at Charlotte for abandoning her children, and the growing love he held for his nieces. How might he feel if she turned up demanding their return? He doesn’t want to report her absence, but not doing so is harmful. The social workers would be more than happy to rip them from his arms and put them in care. All he needed was for Charlotte to turn up and sign a waiver giving him full custody. Afterwards, she could disappear as she wished. Every day he left them in the care of the nannies Erika (blonde) and Hannah (brunette); he worried. One day they would realise the truth and they. Luliana had so much of her mother, the blonde hair blue eyed child; she was sweet and loving. Daciana would appear quiet, watching before deciding to make her presence known. She did, very much so, a whirlwind through the house and overshadowing the younger twin.
His love life hit a dry patch, and Julianna seemed to have distanced herself from him since the closet. Patrick had called her after; he hoped for a repeat performance, except they could try the bedroom. The closet; would be a fond memory, fumbling with buttons and getting cut on a broken hanger. Patrick grinned, surprised they managed to use some protection. Things happened so fast, and he always knew they would have great chemistry when the clothes came off. The lack of dates was an issue when the toddlers went to bed. He missed the nonsense babbling, teaching them new words and hearing them call him daddy. Sparky took space on the sofa. His idea of conversation included tummy scratches and snoring. He would love to have another special lady, one he could make out in the closet. Someone who would love playing hide and seek with the girls. A woman to cuddle on the sofa, happy to watch scary movies and kid’s cartoons.