Finding Us

By: Heather B. Moore

“Hi, Dad,” Leo said. “Mom says you’re having a good day.”

His dad’s mouth moved, and then the words came, delayed as they were. “Leo. How . . . how are you?”

“I’m fine, Dad,” Leo grasped his dad’s hand. “Remember Felicity? You met her a couple of weeks ago.”

His dad slowly shifted his eyes, and when his gaze landed on Felicity, she smiled.

“H-hello,” Mr. Russo said. “Welcome.”

A lump swelled in Felicity’s throat. This man had many challenges, yet his inherent nature was kind.

“Would you like anything, Dad?” Leo asked. “Are you hungry?”

“No,” he said. “I-I’m not hungry. I want to hear about y-your girl.”

Felicity felt her face warm.

“Okay,” Leo said. “Felicity has talked me into reading more. She’s making me broaden my education.”

“Hardly,” Felicity said, nudging him. “You nap while I read.”

“True.” Leo grinned down at her. “Those are the best kinds of naps, though.”

“You probably shouldn’t flirt with me in front of your dad,” Felicity whispered.

Leo didn’t stop smiling. “I can’t help it.”

“Dinner’s ready,” his mom said, coming into the bedroom. She looked from Leo to Felicity. “Well, don’t you two look cozy?”

Felicity and Leo were standing close together, and she had one hand on his arm.

“She’s a special girl,” his dad said, and Felicity realized he was talking to Leo.

“Don’t let h-her get away,” his dad continued.

Felicity’s eyes widened. Was Mr. Russo rambling, or was he fully lucid?

“I’m not planning on it,” Leo said.

“Good.” His dad patted Leo’s hand. “It’s g-good to see you happy, son.”

Leo nodded. Then he drew Felicity to his side and kissed the top of her head. “I am happy, Dad. And it’s good to talk to you again.”

Mr. Russo blinked back tears, and Felicity felt her own tears starting.

Leo’s mom approached the bed and kissed her husband’s cheek. “I’ll bring you something to eat in a few minutes. Do you want us to move you to the living room?”

“No,” Mr. Russo said. “I’m feeling tired again.”

Mrs. Russo nodded. “All right, dear.”

Felicity leaned against Leo as she watched the loving interaction between Leo’s parents. Neither of their lives were easy right now, yet the love and care in this room was tangible.

It was what Felicity wanted too.

She didn’t know how she’d been so lucky to find Leo. Or perhaps he’d found her. Whatever the case, however many days they had in their future together, she didn’t plan on ever letting him go.

She slipped her hand into Leo’s as they followed his mom out of the bedroom, feeling her heart overflow with gratitude.

Mrs. Russo led the way down the hall toward the kitchen, where conversation and laughter abounded.

Leo squeezed Felicity’s hand, and that squeeze moved all the way to her heart.

She was ready, Felicity decided. To not be alone anymore. To put her hollow past behind her. And to become a full part of Leo’s life.

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