"Why haven't you gone home yet?" Jack questioned. He was certain now that Kelsey never took him serious. She'd made something he liked again. Possibly, he'd eat anything. This time chicken pot pie. He needed the recipe. It was basically chicken and biscuits, but it was even better than it looked. He forked through it, trying to figure out what she'd used for the gravy.
"I dunno." She sounded kind of pessimistic. "I can't. I guess. I can't go back. It'll never be the same. It won't."
Jack nodded. He was picking out the different vegetables. He didn't want to eat it, but he would because he missed chicken pot pie. He looked at her.
"Is it that bad?" She asked.
"No." He shook his head, shoveled it in to show her that wasn't the problem. Grady already ate his. He was a mess. She cleaned him up. Jack cleaned up his dish quick enough and got to the dishes before she did.
"Look," he didn't know how to tell her as he nursed his upper lip there in the kitchen. "Uh, I don't think I'm the guy for you." He tried to smile then.
"Why not." She looked at him as if he was trying to get out of this easy. "You- you're so good with him." She looked at Grady.
"Its not about that." He shook his head. "I'm not a real dad. OK." He went to wash a dish then. "I haven't meant to lie to you, or anything. But you gotta understand." He sighed. "I'm not who you think I am. Evidently. And-and, I hardly know what a home is."
Kelsey shook her head as if he weren't making sense. She went to sit alone in the living-room while Jack clanked dishes around. Of course, he had to let Grady out of the high chair. He was getting all fidgety. Finally, he went to give Grady a bath. Read him a story and rocked him a bit in the rocker in his room. Maybe she'd not be there in the living-room after he put Grady to bed. But there she was. Crying.
Jack's eyes watered.
"God, why does everything have to be so miserable." She looked up at him.
"I dunno. Its easy." He sat down next to her. "I mean, I think Grady is pretty great. And you know, I wasn't expecting we'd be together. I was just gonna help his mom out that one time and my Dad keeps telling me its a sign. A change of some kind. But I don't see how. I can't ever change." His face was full of tears then. He thought he might be sick.
"What happened?" She wanted to know.
"I'm just not a good person." He told her. "I can't ever be good."
"But you are a good person." She told her.
He shook his head. Jack tried to breath. He didn't want her to know. He didn't want anyone to know. He kept it buried so long. He thought maybe he'd forget. What had once felt like passion was now just a warped notion of what power could be. Perhaps it had never had anything to do with love. So how could he possibly know if he'd found it.
"When people do bad things to you," He sighed. "You do bad things to other people. And you don't deserve this. You don't. You deserve a lot better."
"But you'll take care of me. You will." Her faith sounded like a promise. And when she kissed him, he tasted the salt of her tears. It was as if she knew him, already.