“Hey, Millsap. Hey, Mama!” Little Man greeted cheerfully, giving Cami a hug with one hand while waving at her new beau with the other.
“Hey, Lil Homie,” Millsap said, removing suitcases, shopping bags, and grocery bags from the trunk. He sat them one by one on the manicured lawn beside the car.
“Hey, baby.” Cami squeezed her son close. “And how are you doing?” She withdrew to get a good look at him from head to toe.
“I’m fine,” Little Man replied with a smile. “Growed another half an inch.”
“I can see that.” Cami nodded, her eyes welling up with tears.
“Don’t cry, Mama,” Little Man soothed, instantly hugging her close again with both hands this time.
At those words, Millsap paused from his unloading and looked their way. “You all right, baby?”
“Yes.” Cami nodded, blinking her eyes free. “I was just caught up in the joy of seeing my son again, that’s all.”
Millsap and Little Man shared a knowing look. They both had the innate ability to pick up on Cami’s moods, which means they also knew that she was only telling a half-truth. That some of Cami’s tears were tears of sorrow because she was missing out on so much of her son’s life, including his growth spurts.
“I’m fine now,” Cami continued, trying to reassure her concerned menfolk.
“Hello, Cami,” Frank suddenly said from behind them.
Pulling herself together for real now, Cami withdrew from Little Man and slowly turned around to greet her father. Nothing could have prepared her for what happened next.
Not only did Frank look at Cami as if he was extremely proud of her, but he actually pulled her into his arms for a warm hug. A hug! Something that she hadn’t gotten from her father in years.
Cami was officially a goner at this point. The tears flowed freely down her cheeks. Her body trembled like a leaf as her father held her like a precious treasure in his arms. She couldn’t even bid Frank hello in return due to her current emotional state. All Cami could do was just cling to her father, relishing this unexpected display of affection.
Those steady child support checks, regular phone calls, and active participation in Little Man’s everyday life even from afar had all softened Frank’s heart towards Cami. The fact that she had held down not just one job, but two and for this long was an added boon in her favor.
Millsap and Little Man stood quietly in the background with wide smiles on their faces. What a great way to start off a visit!
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier