“So, how have you been, man?”
Erik keeps looking at the ocean on the other side of the railing. I can tell that, ever since we started doing this, that he’s been more relaxed about being able to talk to people; he doesn’t too nervous about talking about something that he enjoys. After looking out at the sea for a bit longer, he turns and looks at me.
“I’ve been alright. Just tryin’ to take it one day at a time, ya know?”
His eyes seem to have more color in them. When I first met the guy, it looked like something drained all of the life out of him. His skin cleared up a bit and his hair shines a bit more too; he looks better. I guess it’s my turn to talk.
“Yeah, I hear you. It’s really never easy taking care of a kid, especially if you’re doing it by yourself. I can tell you about all of the stories I have about when I had to babysit my niece for a few days. I could have gone crazy during those days.”
That brought a small smile to his face followed by a chuckle. I know that me taking care of my cousin is nothing compared to his situation, but I’m not trying to make it a competition or anything. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging to him.
Erik nudges my shoulder, “Let me guess. She’s probably some six or seven year old who can’t sit still and constantly wants to jump on the couch until she passes out?”
“You a mind reader?”
“Nah. Just have some experience with a kid like that.”
He sure does.
“How’s your daughter. Jeanne, was it?”
“Yeah. She’s a fighter; she bounced back already. She had her break down moment, but ever since then, she’s had her head up. She’s had a little dip in her grades for a brief period, but she quickly brought that back up like it was nothing. She’s trying to find a boyfriend.”
After he utters the word “boyfriend,” Erik let out a long, tired sigh and leads on the railing, putting his head down.
I let out a laugh and pat, “I can’t wait to hear about the guy she finally decides to introduce you to.”
“I just hope the guy she finds is able to put up with her princess attitude every now and then.” He brings his head back up before continuing, “She’s such a spoiled brat at times.”
“But you love the hell outta her.”