This story has been set to a rating of PG. Age verification is required to proceed.
Oscar excused himself to head to his next meeting. Pat and Tina headed back to Tina’s office to talk through the details of a few pending items. Meanwhile Hilma took Melvin by the elbow and showed him her office and the extra desk where he could set up. Melvin was in his glory and couldn’t wait to feel productive again. He’d been idle for a month. Now it was time to get back to work.
They wrapped up at around 4:30p. Tina called Hilma to let Melvin know that she was ready to leave and would be calling the car service to pick them up in about 15 minutes. Bette didn’t want her driving herself with just a couple weeks to her due date, even though the doctor said if she was comfortable it was perfectly OK for her to drive. Tina compromised and drove herself short distances like the cleaners and grocery stores, but she took the service to work. Tina rather liked being pampered and indulged Bette’s overprotectiveness. She loved how attentive Bette was and how caring for both her and the baby. Bette’s maternal instincts came naturally, and Tina couldn’t wait for the baby to be born.
Hilma asked Tina to meet them in the break-room since it was nearer the exit. Tina gathered her things and walked with Pat to the break-room. When Pat opened the door, Tina was greeted with the sight of Melvin and all her co-workers including Oscar yelling surprise and throwing confetti. Tina was instantly brought to tears as she looked around the room decorated with balloons and streamers welcoming her baby girl. Cake and ice-cream and plates and such occupied one table while another was stacked high with gifts wrapped in bright pinks and pastel colors. She’d barely registered Bette’s presence when she felt herself being wrapped in loving arms and an affectionate kiss placed on her lips. “Hey baby” she cooed and kissed her other baby in Tina’s tummy.
The celebration lasted about an hour. Bette and Tina were very grateful for the wonderful gifts, blessings and the love they received from Tina’s friends and co-workers. A couple of the maintenance guys helped Bette to pack the gifts in her SUV. Melvin climbed into the back seat, and Tina reclined the front seat and laid back. Bette took Tina’s hand and kissed it before starting the car and heading to the Planet to have dinner with Kit.
The sisters were just as surprised as Tina to hear about Melvin’s offer to work with Hilma on this new project. It was Bette who worked up the courage to ask the question that they had all wondered about since Melvin showed up in Los Angeles out of the blue more than a month ago.
“Daddy, you know we are all thrilled to have you here and it’s been really great spending time together; getting to know one another and working out our issues, but you do realize that getting involved with the center is a long-term commitment. How long are you planning to stay?”
“Baby, I’m aware of the commitment, and have every intention of following through for as long as it takes. I admit when I first got here perhaps, I had a different agenda and my plan wasn’t to stay indefinitely but things changed. I can’t be with my family from 2,700 miles away, and with David moving here too there’s really nothing left for me on the east coast.
The law firm is in good hands. Other than a short trip to take care of some personal business with my lawyer and closing the house I don’t have any obligations. I’m an old man, not in the best of health but for whatever time the Lord blesses me with, there is no place I’d rather be. I want to move here permanently if you’ll have me.”
Bette looked from Tina to Kit and saw no objections.
“OK then. Welcome home Daddy.” Bette said raising her wine glass in a toast. Tina, and Kit raised their iced tea glasses and echoed the sentiment. Melvin raised his sparkling water with tears in his eyes and thanked them all before clinking glasses.