“Is that a demand?” he asks.
“You made a promise,” I say. I glance at the clock. Owen isn’t up yet, but he will be soon. “Sundays and Thursdays. So, you need to be here.”
Grant doesn’t say anything for a long moment. Then, suddenly, he chuckles. It’s a surprisingly light sound, and very unexpected.
“I’m outside your door,” he says, and then hangs up.
I stare at the phone, listening to the dial tone. Then I drop it on my bed and race to the front door, uncaring that I’m still in my pajamas. I hear Owen stirring as I pass his room, but I don’t slow down.
I throw open the door, and there he is. He’s fully dressed and he’s carrying a bag of some sort. I stare at him blankly. What do I even say to him? An apology is rising in my throat.
“Did you bring Owen another toy?” I ask instead.
“No,” Grant says, but his eyes shift away, revealing the lie. He huffs and opens the bag for me to peer inside. It’s a stuffed bear. “He likes teddies, right?”
“Yeah,” I say. A soft smile spreads across my face. It’s so sweet. “He does. Come in. Sorry, we’re not quite up yet.”
“I’m the one who’s earlier,” Grant counters. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all,” I assure him.
Silence falls between us. It’s somewhat awkward. I don’t know what to say now. I don’t understand Grant’s demeanor. He doesn’t look upset or angry. In fact, his expression is far more open and friendly than it was before I told him the truth.
I cough awkwardly.
“I should get dressed,” I say, shuffling my feet. “Do you want to get Owen up?”
I’m glad I asked when Grant’s expression lights up all of a sudden, pleased.
“Yeah, sounds good,” he says eagerly.
It’s funny to see the simple pleasure he finds in being able to wake his son up and get him ready for the day. Then sadness washes over me, my smile dropping as Grant makes his way to Owen’s room. Of course he’s happy to do something so simple and inane. He’s probably happy to do anything with his son.
Kyle was right. I really do have a lot of groveling to do.
I get dressed quickly, but I don’t go to Owen’s room after. I can hear him giggling and cheering, and I wonder if Grant has given him the teddy bear. Smiling slightly at the happy sounds, I make my way to the kitchen and start making some toast for breakfast.
Before long, Owen bounds into the kitchen. He’s clutching the brown bear tightly and he’s been dressed. His eyes sparkle at me.
“Mommy, Mommy, look!” he says proudly, holding up the bear. “Look what Daddy got me!”
“I see,” I say, making a show of inspecting the bear. “What a wonderful teddy. Does it have a name?”
Owen’s forehead scrunches up cutely as he thinks about this. Then his expression clears, as though he’s hit on the perfect idea.
“He’s Bear,” he says with a firm nod.
I force down a bubble of laughter. I doubt Owen will appreciate me laughing at him, even if he wouldn’t understand why. Behind him, Grant coughs suspiciously and looks away.
“That’s a wonderful name,” I say to Owen. “Why don’t you and Bear sit at the table? The toast is almost ready.”
Owen jumps away. I meet Grant’s eyes and have to turn away before I start laughing.
“Did you have breakfast?” I ask Grant.
“No,” he says behind me, reaching around me to turn the kettle on. I jump, not expecting him to be in the kitchen with me. “Do you want coffee?”
“Yes, please,” I say, shaking myself away from staring at him. What’s going on here? “There’s juice in the fridge for Owen.”