I woke up before Sarah the next morning, but me getting out of bed woke her up anyway. I headed for the bathroom, taking a quick shower to wake myself up, and dried myself off, throwing on a pair of boxers to go wake Lily and Danny up. Sarah wasn’t lying in bed anymore, so I could only assume she’d gone to wake Lewis up. I frowned as I made my way down the hallway, hearing Sarah shouting at Lewis.
"Why are you in bed with him? I told you before, boys aren't supposed to share beds" she yelled, and it sounded like she dragged him out of bed. "Don't you dare do that again. Get ready for school"
I stood in the doorway, frowning. “What was that all about?”
“”Boys aren’t supposed to share beds””
“I don’t want people thinking he’s gay. He’ll get picked on”
“He’s a kid, no one would think anything of it”
“Yeah right. Kids are cruel”
“Kids are cruel because their parents tell them boys shouldn’t share the same bed”
“I just don’t want the other kids to find out and laugh, okay?”
“You think my kids don’t get laughed at?” I said, crossing my arms when she didn’t say anything.
“Whatever” she said, walking off.
Danny looked up at me and I gave him a hug, kissing the top of his head and telling him to get ready. I did the same with Lily, wandering downstairs to make them breakfast. After all, I’d promised my baby girl pancakes. The two of them raced down the stairs once they were ready, sitting at the table and waiting for me to serve them their breakfast.
“Pancakes with syrup for Danny” I smiled, putting his plate down in front of him, “And pancakes with sugar and strawberries for Lily”
“Thanks, Papa” Lily grinned, digging in.
Danny grinned at me and I ruffled his hair, knowing what he meant. I picked at my own pancakes while Sarah and Lewis ate theirs. What Sarah had said was bugging me. I mean, anyone could tell she hadn’t exactly been pleased when she’d found out about Maxxie.
“So if boys aren’t supposed to share beds, what does that say about me?” I asked after a while.
“Nothing, I just don’t want him getting picked on” Sarah snapped.
“We’ll look after him” Lily smiled, offering Lewis one of her strawberries while Sarah forced a smile.
“I’ll take them to school this morning” I said once they were done.
I made sure they’d all brushed their teeth and that they all had everything before heading for the car.
“Say bye to Sarah” I said as we headed out the door and the kids all said bye.
“Bye” I heard Sarah say as I shut the door.
I didn’t hang around once I’d dropped the kids off, heading straight back home to get a few last minute things done before I had to leave for work. Sarah was sat reading when I got back, and for the most part we ignored each other; her reading and me cleaning anything within reach.
"I have the afternoon shift today" I said while I was cleaning the kitchen.
"So what would you do if Lewis turned out to be gay?"
"Hope to god no one else found out"
"He'll be ripped to shreds"
"Well me and my brother managed well enough. My friend Caleb managed well enough"
"And every other gay kid? All those ones that end up killing themselves because they get picked on?"
"I can't imagine your approach to parenting would have anything to do with it if he did kill himself"
"Say that again?" she said, getting up.
"I said I can't imagine your approach to parenting would have anything to do with it if he did kill himself. You should take a few lessons from my mother, might do you some good"
I winced as she slapped my cheek hard, no doubt leaving a gorgeous red mark there.
"I'm doing my best” she said, storming out.
"Sure" was all she said before she left.
I spent most of my shift distracted, and earned myself a telling off from most of the nurses. By the time my shift was done, I’d convinced myself about five times over that Sarah was going to leave me. I wouldn’t blame her after what I said. I just... What she said about boys not sharing the same bed hit home. I couldn’t help wondering what she felt about me and Maxxie.
I picked the kids up from John’s once my shift was finished, staying for dinner as had become the norm. I sent the kids up to bed once it was their bed time, picking up the phone and calling Sarah. I just hoped she’d answer. I held my breath, letting out a sigh of relief when she answered.
"Sarah, I'm sorry about what I said"
"I didn't mean any of it"
"I said it's fine"
"Am I forgiven?"
"Thanks. I guess it just got to me given the circumstances, y'know?"
I apologised a few more times, and Sarah kept telling me it was okay. It didn’t feel okay, but I’d take her word for it.
"D'you want to go to dinner tomorrow night? My treat" I asked.
"If you're up for it"
"I'll pick you up at seven, then"
"Love you too"
"See you tomorrow"