Mika chuckled and rubbed Abe’s head.Â “No, nothing like that.Â She’s just different from when we got married.Â But now I love your Aunt Tiresa, which is why we’re going to get married.Â What do you think about that?”
“I love Aunt Tiresa,” Fi announced.Â “She smells pretty and lets me play dress up with her clothes.”
Mika smiled at his daughter, who never failed to charm him with her sweetness.Â He glanced at Abe, who bit off a part of his cone with a loud crunch.Â Melted ice cream dripped onto the table.Â “What about you Abe?Â What you think?”
Abe shrugged again.Â “I don’t know.Â Can I have a PlayStation when you get married?”
“No, you may not have a PlayStation.Â You already have a room full of toys and a playroom full of more toys,” Mika sighed.Â “How do you feel about me marrying your aunt?Â She’s already family and you like her.Â Isn’t that good?”
Crunch-crunch, Abe’s slowly chewed his cone.Â “Yeah, I like her.Â Are you going to divorce her when she changes?”
Mika is stunned by the question and disconcerted to find two pairs of eyesâ€”Bella’s eyesâ€”staring at him awaiting his reply.Â Abe and Fi had Bella’s eyes but his smile.Â Their mixed racial ancestry was evident and made a strikingly beautiful result.Â Family, friends and strangers alike complimented him on his beautiful children.
“Of course not,” Mika replied.
“But you divorced Mum when she changed.Â Maybe she’ll change back and you can marry her again,” Abe suggested.
“And then we can all live in your big house and Aunt Tiresa, too,” Fi planned.
“No, she can’t live with us,” Abe contradicted his sister.Â “Mummy will be there.”
Fi danced in her seat.Â “Can I be the flower girl when you and Mummy get married?Â Aunt Tiresa told me I couldn’t be the flower girl when she gets married because she doesn’t want one.”
Mika grimaced.Â The conversation was not going well.Â The kids never followed the script in his head on How Things Ought To Be.Â If Bella were here, she’d know how to answer them.Â She always had a way with words.Â Her wedding vows were especially touching, some of the most moving sentiments he had ever heard expressed.
He wondered if Tiresa would write her own vows and if they would be just as beautiful as her sister’s.Â The news that she did not want a flower girl, with Fi the obvious would-have-been choice, was upsetting to hear, as was learning that she had discussed the issue with Fi already.
Mika shifted uncomfortably in his chair.Â “Uh, Aunt Tiresa and I haven’t talked about the wedding ceremony yet.”Â Which would soon have to be rectified, since he had assumed that Abe would be the ring bearer and Fi the flower girl.Â Tiresa and he had only discussed the budget and honeymoon and reception details, but the actual ceremony, the part which really counted, was yet to be canvassed.
“I have an idea,” Abe spoke up.Â “Why don’t you change and be the same as Mummy and then we can live together and Aunt Tiresa can visit us.”
Mika opened his mouth, but no words came out.