The room was dark was except the white glow emanating from my computer monitors. It was just enough for me to notice that Luca had snuck downstairs and curled up in Kim’s computer chair.
She watched me type away for a few minutes.
Her brothers and sister were already in bed. It was late. She should have been in bed too. But I sensed she wanted some company.
I removed my headphones, closed Firefox and turned my chair towards her. She jumped off her chair and onto my lap.
“Tell me what you did tonight with the babysitter”, I said.
Maybe she doesn’t want to talk.
She put her head on my chest while I tickled her back. I know she loves that. She knows I know she loves that. But I ask how she likes it anyway.
“Perfect”, she says.
I can barely hear Luca’s breathing over the rain smacking against the roof and fence. She has her arms wrapped around my neck. I feel like I’m wearing a bib made of a little girl in purple pajamas.
I swivel my chair back and forth assuming she’ll fall asleep.
I think back to this afternoon when the sun made a rare appearance for a few hours. While the other kids were riding bikes and jumping rope, Luca had situated two umbrellas off the back of a beach chair to keep the sun out of her eyes as she read a book.
I pulled up a chair next to her to watch her read yet careful not to disturb. She didn’t say much to me then. And she doesn’t say much now.
Sometimes it’s enough to listen to the rain together.