George waved at Jasmine and André in a mocking manner and left.
Ruth sat on the floor and placed her head in her palms. Jasmine and André walked to her and placed their hands on her shoulders.
"I'm sorry for putting you through this. I'm just..." Ruth said before sobbing even further.
It broke their hearts to see their mother in such a state. She had always been the strong one but sitting here right now, she just looked scared and conflicted. Scared that André would have to grow up without a father and scared that Jasmine will be sent back. Scared that everything was going to fall apart.
"Don't blame yourself. George is a dick and you deserve better." Jasmine said. Ruth placed her head on her shoulder and André placed his head on her thighs. They stayed that way for close to twenty minutes, all of them had finally calmed down, André almost fell asleep.
"Okay, up. Come on, let's go make some tea." Ruth said, getting up. Jasmine followed her and André remained curled up on the carpet.
Ruth made tea for all three of them. Jasmine stood there watching her. This used to be her father's favorite part of their day. Standing in the kitchen and happily making tea for everyone.
He was a happy man, kept the happiness in the family alive. You can't always be around happiness and not get infected.
They all missed him, everything they did was a reminder that he was once there with them, holding their hands and loving them. Even the thing that had landed Jasmine in a detention center had been something he enjoyed.
"Thanks Mom." Jasmine collected her blue mug and placed it on the table. Green was her mom's color, André had a yellow one and Williams had a grey one. It somehow contradicted who he was as a person but he had personally gone out to buy the mugs, perhaps there was a reason behind it.
Most of the clothes he owned were grey, Ruth had tried to introduce some other colors into his wardrobe but he always coupled it with grey, she gave up and settled with embracing his style. It was part of who he was and she had fallen in love with every inch of him.
"Dré!" Jasmine yelled making André jump. She laughed and apologized when Ruth gave her a stern look.
"Get your ass over here boy." Jasmine said. He reluctantly got up.
"Let's go watch some TV. It's just eight, we could get an hour of Garfield in before heading to bed."
Jasmine smiled and André perked up.
Ruth was making a conscious effort to be there at every turn because if anything happened she wasn't sure she'd be able to handle it. She almost couldn't handle it when Jasmine was sent away and she wasn't about to go through it again.
Jasmine had never said a word to her of what happened at that center and Ruth feared for her. If she keeps bottling it all up, it's only a matter of time before the explosion.
They sat down side by side. They only had two long couches in the room and a TV stand, that housed a not so big TV and a DVD player.
The couch facing the TV was distanced from the painted glass that demarcated the room. Her father had painted all four of their faces on the glass and every time Ruth looked at it, it brought tears to her eyes. Today, she made a conscious effort not to.
She took a sip as the movie started. She had to stop her eyes from darting to the end of the couch where Williams used to sit, a smile on his face when they'd share glances over André's head. Sometimes, she felt like he was still there, a smile on his face but she wished she could see him or even have him warmly touch her cheek.
Thirty minutes into the movie their cups were empty leaving behind the faint scent of properly ground cocoa.
André laughed sleepily at the line Garfield cleverly quipped.