October 20, 2013
I didn’t take Valentina out on Friday because Sweetheart didn’t want to be away from her two days in a row so I took her out yesterday instead. I’m calling her Valentina now. Though I still think of her as Alice. I won’t call her Tina like my mom does because there are enough Tinas in my family. I won’t call her Val like Sweetheart does because that’s not a good name for a little baby girl. I won’t call her the little spy because there’s nothing to spy anymore. And I won’t call her little sweetheart because I’d rather focus on her being mine these days. Valentina. She was named after me, Valente. I didn’t even know Sweetheart knew that was the name I was born with.
Sharly’s store was closed for a third day because of the broken pipe. I feel bad that she’s losing all that business, but it should be open again Monday. Anyway, since I didn’t have to work, I took my baby to the library, and one thing I never noticed about libraries is how dirty everything is. In the kids’ section there were kids with runny noses handling all the books and the moms just putting them back on the shelf. I didn’t stay very long.
I took her to the park, because it was a beautiful freakin’ day. The sky was blue with kind of white misty clouds. I think they are called cirrus stratus. I remember that from fifth grade for some reason. But the blue against the foliage is incredible. This weekend was the peak of the foliage. Though some of the reds were already gone. But it was a nice day, not cold and we walked around on the trails, and sat on the benches. She’s too small to put on the baby swings yet.
But then, this is what happened. I’m walking along the trails just minding my own business, and Valentina’s business, and along comes Emma and her roommate Gwen. I haven’t seen Emma since my birthday party at Paula’s when I burned the scrapbook she gave me. So it was awkward to say the least, especially when Gwen says, after they were looking at the baby in the snuggly saying how adorable she was, she said, “it was only a matter a time before you knocked someone up.” I was already uncomfortable so I couldn’t think of anything to say but, “I guess.”
Emma asked to hold her and Gwen said she was going to sit by the water and have a butt. And though Valentina helped to ease some of the awkwardness, and Emma was acting like nothing happened the last time we saw each other, I was anxious as hell.
Emma said she was so beautiful. Then she said she looked just like me. She does look like me, she has dark hair and eyes and looks like a little Sicilian princess. She’s not fair like Sweetheart. Emma said I seem like I’m a good dad. All I knew was my heart was pumping and I’ve never been so nervous. I just wanted to say and do everything right, but I was so afraid to fuck up, I could barely speak. And when I was able to sputter out some words, it was like I had no breath behind them, and I even freakin’ stuttered a little. I never stutter. I had no control over my tongue or my breathing. She was asking me questions and I don’t even remember what they were or how I answered. But I think I told her that I was starting school back up next semester. And I know she said was finishing school next semester. She was graduating and then going to Spain. I thought I was going to die. I just wanted to crumble into a ball and get sucked into the earth and just be dead. She’s all my hopes and dreams, so I felt then that all my hopes and dreams were impossible.
But I just said, “I’m glad you’re doing that, if that’s what you really want to do.” Which is such a vague and stupid thing to say. She held Valentina the entire time we talked and she talked to Valentina and damn she would be such a good mom. I fucking love her.
I fucking love her.
Gwen came back and said that they needed to leave, she had to go to work or something. And I got the sense that Emma didn’t want to leave. But I kind of wanted her to go, because I couldn’t breathe and I was starting to get a headache so I wanted her to go before I threw up or passed out. She gave me back the baby and we said our goodbyes. I was watching her walk away, but it just didn’t feel done. I called her back once they were far enough away that she’d come and Gwen wouldn’t hear.
She came over and I said, “I’m sorry I ruined our friendship.”
She said, “you didn’t ruin anything. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me.”
I wanted to say, I need you now, I always need you, I will always need you. I wanted to say so much that there weren’t enough words to express what I wanted her to know. But I said nothing, I just nodded. She kissed my cheek and walked away. That’s the worse sight in the world, seeing Emma walk away. The pervert that I am used to think it was the best sight, but not these days. These days it kills me.
But ok, my name is Wall Grimm and I try to be an optimist. So what I take from this is that there may be hope after all. I won’t do anything to prevent her from going to Spain. But I will plan, like I was, some way to get her to give me a chance. Ultimately it’s up to her what she wants, and after my final attempt, I will accept whatever choice she makes, because I know that’s the choice which will make her happiest.
previous Grimm 128: The Proposal, Pocket Dialing, Grimm the Dad, & Not Alice http://wp.me/p41c99-kk
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