Spencer left with the list in his hand and drove to the nearest grocery store. After noticing what little Kate had in her refrigerator, which was understandable after a trip, he added some things to the list. He was grateful Kate hadn’t dwelt on his earlier comment. He wished he could retract it, but it was too late now. He would really have to watch himself over the next few weeks. He pushed the cart toward the dairy and got the milk and eggs and turned toward the floral department. He added a small bouquet of daisies.
“Mommy? He my daddy?” Sarah pointed at Spencer standing in the kitchen with Kate.
Kate and Spencer quickly pulled apart and Spencer started to say, “Not yet–”
The rest of the trip went without incident and they pulled into Kate’s apartment complex about 8 o’clock. “Home, sweet, home.” Spencer turned the engine off and stretched.
“Finally. I can’t wait to see Buttons. I missed him.” Kate unlocked her seatbelt and twisted her neck back and forth. She glanced at Sarah, who had a glazed look.
Now back in Missouri, Spencer pulled off the highway and into a gas station. Kate woke up and asked, “Where are we?”
“Still a few hours northwest of St. Louis. Do you need anything?”
After a yawn and a stretch, she answered, “I need to use the restroom and check Sarah’s diaper.”
A short time later Kate sat with Sarah in the lobby while Spencer loaded the car. Kate pulled Sarah’s coat around her and zipped it up. The weather was still cooler for this time of year but at least it wasn’t snowing. The sun shone through scattered clouds, but did little to warm the temperature.
They should arrive a couple hours past dinner this evening after stops for meals and diaper changes. Kate double checked the diaper bag for necessities. She didn’t like using the changing tables in public places, not knowing how sanitary they were or weren’t. But she had no choice.
“Good morning, ladies,” Spencer greeted Kate and Sarah from a table with a high chair already pulled up to it. He wore his striped knit shirt out and faded jeans. And shaved his whiskers.
“Morning.” Kate leaned down to Sarah and asked if she could say good morning or hello to Spencer. She shook her head. Kate picked her up and set her in the chair, pulling on a bib from the diaper bag. “Sorry, she’s a woman of few words this morning. Hasn’t said one at all even to me.”
When Kate woke up, Sarah still slept beside her, a relief that she didn’t roll around much. Kate smiled at the soft snore coming from her little girl. Kate slipped out of bed and took a world-record shower, not knowing how much longer Sarah would sleep. From her suitcase, Kate pulled out clean clothes all the while keeping her eye on Sarah until Kate was completely ready for her shower; water running, towels out, etc. She left the bathroom door ajar in case Sarah got up and wondered where Kate was. One world-record shower later, Kate dressed in the steamy bathroom.