I made it to the house down the road and told them Michaela sent me. Apparently Michaela Donovan was well known in these parts and they insisted on feeding me and giving me clean clothes. “Must have been a helluva scuffle with that bear.”
I nodded. “Yeah, my mother got injured, Mich is taking her to the hospital while I took care of the rest of the details up there.”
“Oh, who’s your mother?” The lady asked as she set a plate of fried chicken in front of me.
I gave her my fake smile more for the fried chicken than admitting who my mother was, “Leanne Sétanta.”
“Oh, you must be her eldest boy. The one who is away at school. She’s so proud of you. Are you back to stay?” I wasn’t sure I really liked the idea of my mother taking pride in my accomplishments. She had nothing to do with me.
I shook my head. “No ma’am. I’m here for a year before I go back to New York. That’s my home.”
She nodded but frowned at the same time. “It’s good that you came for a short visit then.”
I didn’t want to tell her it wasn’t a visit, that I had no intentions of seeing my mother but this mission was the only reason I had to.
We chatted a little while about this that and everything else before she piled me into the van with three kids and a crying baby. I let one of the older kids sit in the back while I played with the kid in the rear facing car seat. It seemed to calm him and I could see the woman smiling. “You’d make a great dad.”
I smiled at her. “Some day.” I said. And it made me wonder if that someday was going to happen sooner rather than later, and how I’d react if that happened. I didn’t want to be a father right now, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t step up. I was having second thoughts… Could I leave my kid here in Colorado?
The lady drove me to Boulder HQ. She was a little dismayed at the fact that I didn’t want to go to the Hospital. I told her I’d drive myself. I didn’t want to impose anymore. She left me with more fried chicken than I would ever eat and started back up the mountain to her home.