Musings in the Dark: The End of a Love Affair (5)


The End of a Love Affair (5)

My son was the most beautiful, wrinkled pink thing I’d ever laid eyes on.  He weighed seven pounds and two ounces.  He was bald as a cueball and he took to the breast like a champ.  Looking at him, I wondered exactly who his father was and how much he would resemble him.  It didn’t matter, however.  He was beautiful.  I had him all morning, staring into his wonderful little sleeping face like a lovesick fool.  He was worth everything, everything…absolutely everything.  I loved him so much I thought my heart would burst.
There was a gentle knock and I said, “Come in.”  It was Kit, and he was carrying a dozen gorgeous yellow roses. 
“Well hello, Agent Troy.  How are you doing?  How is that little guy?”
I was so glad to see him that I couldn’t speak for a moment. 
He smiled at me, presenting the roses.  Finally, I had voice.  “Thank you, Kit.  Sit them over there, please.”
When he sat down by the bed, he just stared at the baby and me for a long moment.  “How are you feeling?”
“Thought of a name for him yet?”
“Jelani.  It means 'mighty.'  What does ‘Kitchi’ mean, Kit?”
 “It means ‘brave.’ My origins are in the Cheyenne Nation.”
“Are you a full-blooded Native American?”
“I’m sure there’s some dilution somewhere in my genetic past, but I identify with my mother’s people.”
I shifted Jelani to my shoulder to burp him. He let out a soft belch and I smiled.
“Nice.”  Kit nodded his head in approval.  “He’s beautiful, Agent Troy.”
“That he is.  I’ve been staring at him all day.  And my name is Zuri.  I want you to call me that from now on.”
Kit stared at me for a very long moment.  I felt warm all over.  His eyes were…there was really no apt description for how powerful they were.
“I mean, since I won’t be working with you anymore…we can afford to be on real first name terms, right?”
Kit continued to gaze at me as I massaged my son’s back.  “I’d forgotten that you were leaving after the baby came.”
Another long moment passed and I broke the silence.  “I want to thank you for staying with me, Kit.  You’ll never know what it meant for you to be there and help me bring my son into the world.  Will you come to dinner after I’m out of the hospital?”
Kit looked at the baby and didn’t say anything.
“Kit?  Don’t go dumb on me now.  I said I wanted to thank you, so let me cook dinner for you one evening.  I can cook.”
            “Zuri,” he said.  “I need to tell you something.”
Just then, there was another knock on the door.  It was J_____, followed by Louis.
J_____ is empty-handed and I’m not surprised.  Louis carried a vase of pink rose buds and a small gift box.
“Hello, Agent Troy.  How are you feeling?”
“I’m exhausted, but I’m really happy, sir.”
“He’s big.”
“Seven pounds and twenty-one inches.”
Louis smiled at me.  “I guess we won’t be seeing you at the field office anymore.  Your transfer went through.”
I smiled at him.  “I guess not.”
“When should I tell Quantico to expect you?”
“Three months from now.”
“Done.”  He stepped back.  “Take care of yourself, Agent Troy.  Let me know how you and this little guy are doing from time to time.  If you need anything…”
I nodded as I transferred Jelani to my other shoulder.  “I know, sir.”
Then Louis nodded at Kit and at J____ before leaving.  Then J____ stepped up and I noticed that he looked at Kit for a long moment before looking at me.  Then J____ finally looks at my son and smiles.  “He’s beautiful, Zuri.  He’s gorgeous.”
Kit stared at him for a second and then looked at me.  I gave him a small smile.  He got up and left the room, but let me know he would be returning in a few minutes.  I tucked Jelani in the crook of my arm and covered him with a blanket.
 “He looks like you.”
“I hope he does.”
J_____ leaned forward and kissed my cheek.  “I’m sorry I wasn’t with you when he was born.  Agent Eastman told us all about it.  What did you name him?”
J_____ stared at my cradled child, who was sleeping peacefully.  He didn’t speak; I imagine words escaped him.  Or perhaps there were no words.  I looked at him carefully, at the man I once loved and now just tolerated.  I needing to get my disappointment with him off my chest and all I could think about was the man who’d just left.  Apparently, J_____ sensed it, took my hand, and squeezed.  “I’ll see you later, all right?”
I nodded.  “All right.”
            J_____ stared at me for one more moment before walking out of the room.

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