“Ready for a day of fun?” Matt asked Melania.
She nodded, smiling. “I am and I’m sure Cam is too.”
“Yes, he is.”
“He looks so adorable in his tee shirt and jeans.”
“I bought them from Oshkosh. They sell really great stuff.”
“A couple of my co-workers buy their children’s’ clothes from there.”
When they reached the car, Matt put Cam in his booster seat while Melania got into the car.
“While you and I chat, Cam can listen to 1, 2… buckle my shoe and other learning songs on his tablet,” Matt said as he got behind the wheel and left the underground parking lot. He donned his sunglasses as they emerged into the sunshine. It promised to be glorious day.
Melania put on her sunglasses too. She was really excited about spending the day with Matt and Cam. Surely there was no harm in that. Nothing could transpire between because Cam was there and they would be out in public. When she spoke to her Aunt Kira last night, she hadn’t mentioned anything about going to Centerville with Matt and Cam. She wouldn’t have approved and would have tried to talk her out of it. Melania wouldn’t have listened to her anyway because she wanted to be with Matt. She missed being with him.
Matt glanced at her. It felt good having her there. He had been looking forward to it since Thursday. “There are lots of rides which we can take Cam on. And games you and I can play and lots of food places to choose from.”
“Sounds great,” Melania said, her eyes bright with excitement.
Matt smiled. “You look like how Joel and I used to every time we were on our way to Centerville.”
“What did you and Uncle Joel do to occupy yourselves?”
“The same thing Cam is doing at his age and when we were older, we read or played video games.”
“I’m sure that worked out nicely for your parents.”
“Yes, it did. One year Marilyn went with us.”
“Growing up, you, Uncle Joel and she were very close, weren’t you?”
“Yes. She was the sister we didn’t have. She used to spend more time at our house than at her own.”
“She said that she was a bit of a tomboy.”
He smiled. “Yes, she was. She liked climbing trees, running about the place and playing basketball. She was wore jeans and sweat pants. It wasn’t until she was in university that she started wearing dresses and skirts. She met Sean in her junior year at Ryerson. It was love at first sight for both of them.”
“They’re perfect for each other.”
“Yes, they are.”
“So, how do you like your new place?”
“It’s great. I go for walks and ride my bike. During the week, I take the subway to work. The grocery store, bank and drugstore are within walking distance not to mention the number of restaurants although I do my own cooking.”
She looked at him. “You cook?” she exclaimed teasingly.
“Joel and I both learned to cook as early as ten years old. Our mother taught us. She said a man needed to know how cook just incase he didn’t get married or his wife couldn’t cook.”
“Does Gina know how to cook?”
“Yes. It’s something she’s very good at. Her mother taught her at an early age too.”
“Somehow I can’t imagine her in a kitchen cooking anything.”
“What about you? When did you learn how to cook?”
“After I moved into my own apartment. I asked Aunt Kira to teach me how to cook because I didn’t want to spend my hard earned money on take out or delivery. I’m a quick learner and I got myself a couple of recipe books. And now, I can make all sorts of dishes.”
“Good. Maybe one of these days we can sample each other’s cooking.”
“You have a birthday coming up soon.”
“Yes. Two weeks from now.”
“No.” I wish I could spend it with you.
“You’re going to be twenty-five.”
“When we met you were twenty.”
“We became fast friends.”
“Yes. Despite the age difference.”
“Does our age difference still bother you?”
“Matt, sometimes I wish that we had met before–“
“Me too. If we had, I wouldn’t have married her.”
“But, then you wouldn’t have had Cam.”
“He’s the only good thing that came out of the marriage.”
“Yes. And then, there’s another baby on the way.”
“Actually, there isn’t, Mel. Gina had a miscarriage.”
“Oh, no. I’m so sorry to hear that, Matt.”
“I’ll tell you more about it another time.”
“Okay.” Now she understood why he had been in the mood he was at his father’s birthday party.
“Your birthday falls on a Friday.”
“Call me if you get bored.” He wished he could take her out for dinner or something.
She smiled. “I will.”
They talked about other things and until they got to Centerville Park. Cam was excited. His eyes were wandering all over the place, eagerly drinking in the sights. He loved the rides, especially the Rockin’ Ferry Ride and Leapin’ Lily Pad. “Which were your favorite rides?” Mel asked Matt as they headed to Carousel Cafe to have lunch.
“Bumper Boats, Log Flume Ride and Fire Engines.”
Matt had the Mushroom Melt with onion rings, Mel had the Spicy Burger with sweet potato fries and Cam had the Chicken Fingers with crispy fries. They both had Ginger Ale while Cam had chocolate milk. After they left there, they went to play some of the games. Melania watched as Matt tried to sink a basketball in the hoop. He won a stuffed elephant and gave it to Cam. Melania tried to knock down the cats in Cat Racks.
After helping Cam to aim the water gun at the bulls-eye to move the marker to the top to win win, Matt played Bernie Belch. Melania laughed hard as she watched him knock out Bernie’s teeth. He won a large stuffed bear and gave it to her. “Thank you,” she said, hugging it. It felt very soft.
“You’re welcome,” he said. Their eyes met and held for several minutes and then, he looked away as Cam tugged at his hand. “I promised him that I would take him to the farm.”
“A farm. I’ve never been on one.”
“You’ll like this one. Joel and I loved it.”
They went to Far Enough Farm and spend a long time, meeting the different animals and birds. Cam was beside himself with excitement when he got to feed a goat and pet a mini pony. Matt and she spoke to a couple of the farm hands. It was late afternoon when they made their way to the car. Matt was carrying Cam who was pooped.
“Thanks for inviting me to come with Cam and you to Centreville,” Mel said as they pulled up outside of her building a while later. “I had a great time.”
“I had a great time too.”
“Give Cam a kiss for me.” The child was fast asleep.
“I will. Goodbye, Mel.”
“Goodbye, Matt.” She got out of the car and he watched as she headed towards the entrance. Before she went through the doors, she turned and waved.
He waved back and then pulled away. It had been a truly wonderful day. He couldn’t remember the last time he had had so much fun.