Rob steadied himself on the door frame, and Wil stopped screaming. She saw now that the head belonged to her father. He stepped into her room very cautiously.
“Sorry, Mina,” he said quietly. “I thought you would already be awake because I heard your alarm go off.”
Wil’s heart rate slowed considerably. She took a few breaths and wiped her hands down her blanket top as a calming stretch.
“It’s okay, Dad,” she replied. She looked up at him, and saw shadows of concern on his dark-muddled features. She smiled feebly. “Sorry I screamed.”
“Well,” Rob began, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well,” he repeated, looking around at nothing.
“Are you going to go get Mom?” Wil prompted.
Rob met what he could see of her eyes and gave her a sleepy morning half-smile. “Yes,” he answered. “I need to go now so I can get to work on time.”
He started back out Wil’s bedroom door, then stopped and turned around. “I need you to get ready, so I can drop you off at school,” he remembered. “I can take you when I bring your mother back here.”
“Okay, Dad,” Wil said. She watched the dim form of his head give a nod, then head out. “Thanks, Dad!” She whispered loudly to his retreating back.
Left alone in her needly nest, Wyl snuggled back to assess the situation. She could afford a small nap while her father got ready. He always checked on her one last time.
Unfortunately, Wil’s grand plans were dashed as she heard three departing sounds: the clink of her father’s keys as they were picked up off the counter, the clump of boots across the kitchen floor, and the final solid closing of their front door.
Wil groaned. She stretched resignedly. She pushed her bedcovers to the side. Then, she slumped to the floor to examine her mass of discarded clothes through groggy eyes. She smelled them. They seemed okay. Perhaps she’d better try a different shirt, in case she met the secret note-writer at school.
Groaning again, Wil picked up her pants. She slumped over to her dresser and fumbled through the drawers for the rest of her ensemble. Carrying her clump under her arm, she headed to the bathroom to finish getting ready for a new day.
Continued from Twenty-Five.