Micah nodded, then turned his gaze back to my dad. “I’m Micah. I live over there,” he said, pointing to the house across the street.
Dad grinned down at him. “Is that so? Well, it’s about time you got over here and introduced yourself.”
“He and his momma, Sienna Roy, are living over there now. I’m watching him while Sienna works this morning, and I thought I’d bring him over to meet y’all. Think you can handle that . . . ? Can Momma handle that?” I informed him, hoping he understood what I was trying to say.
Dad’s eyes swung back down to take in Micah, and I watched him as the realization slowly began to seep in. His hand tightened on the doorknob, and he stood there silently, unable to speak or stop looking at Micah. I cleared my throat.
“Can we come in now?” I asked, hoping he caught the warning in my tone.
It took him a moment, but then he stepped back and let us in. His eyes never left Micah. Maybe this had been a bad idea after all. Hell, I’d almost collapsed on my knees in Sienna’s front yard when she’d told me. Was this good for my dad’s heart? Shit.
“Who’s here?” Momma called out just before she stepped around the corner and into the foyer. Her smile lit up her face when she saw it was me. “I didn’t expect to see you today,” she said. Then Micah moved beside me and her gaze dropped to him. “And you brought company.” Her smile wavered then. Just like I had guessed. Momma saw her baby in Micah’s little face.
“Momma, this is Micah. He lives next door.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell her who he was just yet. Even if she saw the resemblance, I knew she wouldn’t guess correctly unless she knew his mother’s name.
She didn’t take her eyes off Micah as she walked into the room. A range of emotions danced across her face, the last one being complete awe. Stopping in front of him, she held out her hand, and her smile was brighter than I had seen it in a long time. “Hello, Micah. I’m Tabby Falco, but you can call me Mama T, like the rest of the boys around here do.”
Micah held up his little hand and slipped it in hers. “I like the name Mama T. And where are the other boys?”
My mother seemed to be soaking up everything he said and did. “Well, those boys are all big now, just like my boy is,” she said, nodding at me. “So they are all over the place.”
Micah glanced back at me. “Oh well, that’s okay. I like Dewayne. Except when he made my momma cry. I didn’t like him then, but Momma said that it was a misunderstanding and that I shouldn’t be mad at him. So I ain’t.”
Shit! The kid just said whatever the hell . . .
“Dewayne? You made his mother cry?” Momma asked me, her eyebrows raised. She had a very concerned look on her face.
“Like he said, it was a misunderstanding,” I assured her, hoping the kid didn’t say anything else about his momma.
I glanced over at Dad, who was watching Micah with the same look of wonder that I had felt when I’d realized who he was. Momma didn’t know yet, and I decided that if Dad didn’t tell her, then maybe I should wait until later, when Micah wasn’t around.
“I have chocolate chip cookies and apple pie in my kitchen, fresh outta the oven. You want some?” she asked Micah, squeezing his hand in hers.
He nodded vigorously. “Yes, ma’am, I do. I love both those things.”
Momma didn’t even look at Dad or me. Micah had her undivided attention. “Well, it’s a good thing you moved in across the street, then. Because I need someone to eat all these sweets I bake.”
Micah walked away, still holding her hand. “I like sweets. I’ll eat ’em,” he assured her.
I waited until they were in the kitchen and I heard Micah rattling on about superheroes needing lots of cookies before looking at Dad.
He shook his head and let out a heavy sigh. “Wow. He looks just like him. Just like him,” he said, before turning his gaze toward me. I saw the hope there. The feeling that there was something of Dustin’s to hold on to. I understood because I was feeling it too.
“I wasn’t sure telling Momma in front of him was a good idea once I got over here. Changed my mind.”
Dad nodded. “Yeah. She sees Dustin in him. She just doesn’t realize exactly how much of Dustin she’s seeing. She thinks it’s just a coincidental resemblance, and she’s already in love with the kid. He’s gonna be good for her. I just”—he paused and glanced back at the house across the street—“I can’t figure out why she kept him from us. We loved that girl. She was like our own. Why would she not let us be a part of his life?”
I wasn’t sure, exactly, but I knew she thought we didn’t want him and didn’t care to know him. That was something I was going to figure out today. “I’m talking with her later. She thought I knew who Micah was and thought I’d chosen not to be a part of his life. Not sure how that works, since I didn’t know where the f**k she was all these years. No one did.”
Dad rubbed his stubbled jaw and shook his head. “Your momma is gonna want answers. So let’s wait until you got them before we tell her.”
I nodded. I was in complete agreement.
My morning went fast. Three cut-and-styles, one highlight, and one root touch-up. All of them were last-minute walk-ins who couldn’t get an appointment with their regular stylist. Right now that was what I had to work with, and I was okay with that. Hillary was even telling people we accepted walk-ins, for my benefit.