My caramel sauce was bubbling nicely, my German chocolate cake was cooling and the half a dozen cupcake versions of the cake were baking. I was right on schedule and I loved it. I stepped away from the kitchen to check on CJ and Jackson.
Jackson had finally passed out in his crib, sucking his thumb and cuddling with his black teddy bear; he looked so peaceful and adorable, I kissed his cheek before covering him up with his favorite royal blue blanket and closed to the door. CJ was sitting on the couch playing with his PSP. The game must have been intense ‘cause he failed to acknowledge me coming into the room.
“Hey buddy,” I called. He glanced up at me for a second and quickly went back to his game. “What are you playing?”
“Call of Duty,” he answered, still focused on his game.
“You have been playing that game for the last hour,” I said, plopping down beside him on the large leather sofa. “Don’t you wanna help me make the frosting for the cupcakes?” I asked.
His thick eyebrows caved in and he hit the pause button.
“Can I lick the bowl?”
“And the spatula” I grinned.
“Yes!” He set the game down and jumped off the couch. “I’m gonna clean up,” he said then raced to the downstairs bathroom.
I shut off the game system and headed back to the kitchen. CJ was humming a song to himself as he washed his hands; he was Calvin’s twin. From their brown sugar skin to their chocolaty dark eyes; Calvin even made sure that he and CJ dressed alike too. Dark denim washed jeans, white tees and V-neck sweaters. There was a point in time when CJ hated dressing like that but once he discovered girls, he became obsessed with his image…just like his father.
To Calvin, image was everything no matter what.
“Hey Mom,” CJ said as he stepped out of the bathroom.
“I saw a new peacoat at Macy’s the other day I went with Trey and LeShawn.”
“Oh really?” I asked. I grabbed a large stainless steel mixing bowl and prepped my mixer. “And…”
“And I was thinking that it would go great my new black Jordans for the fall.”
“I see.” I peeked at him and smiled. “How much?”
“Just a hundred and twenty five bucks, Mom.” He picked grabbed a bag of powdered sugar for me.
“Just that much huh?”
“Come on, Mom.”
“We will see,” I said. “Come on, I need to get this frosting started.”
“Okay.” CJ joined me at the mixer and grabbed a stick of butter. “Mom?”
“Did Dad come home last night?” He dumped the butter into the bowl and I added a pack of cream cheese and some vanilla extract.
I swallowed the real answer and smiled.
“Yeah he did,” I answered. “It was just real late when he came home. He and Uncle Jay went out last night.”
“Oh okay. What about the other night?” He started the mixer then looked at me.
“Of course he did, sweetie,” I said. “Why are you concerned with your dad coming home?”
“ ‘Cause he and Uncle Jay are always together. I feel like he wants to spend more time with him than us…” I forced a smile then pulled him into my arms. I kissed his forehead and looked at him,
“Now, Calvin James Junior, you know that that is not true. Your father loves you and Jackson so much. He and Uncle Jay have been….busy…”
Good word choice, I told myself.
“He’s been busy with starting a new fitness center. He and Uncle Jay just need the time to get it all together. Trust me when I say that he loves his boys very much.”
“What about you, Mom?” CJ asked quickly. I cocked my head and coincidently, he read my confusion. “Doesn’t Dad love you too?”
“Of course he does, CJ,” I smiled. I hugged him tight.
He loves me enough to keep his other life private from family life.