If you read the Oscar piece I did for Dan O'Shea's church flash challenge, then you know that Oscar Martello is now looking after a little boy. If you're a bad guy, which Oscar is, this can kinda cramp your style. Anyway, now Oscar has to worry about finding daycare for the kid so that he can get to work finding out what happened to the kid's parents.
“All day?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I said, breaking off half a donut. “That a problem?” I hadn’t expected to spend my breakfast arguing with a hooker in her kitchen, but it had been one of those weeks.
“I might have a guy come in after lunch. Something quick. And I have to do some telemarketing.”
“Thought you said business was slow. Bad economy.”
She took the other half of the donut from my plate. “Yeah. Gotta piece together what I can. Guess I’m running a frickin’ daycare now, too.”
“Thanks. I think he’ll go down for a nap about one. He did yesterday.”
She looked out the doorway to the couch where he was watching some cartoon about a kid and his fairy godparents. He’d watched four hours of it yesterday while I made a dozen phone calls to find his dad and bury his mom.
“You bring him anything to eat?” she asked, carrying the empty plate to the sink.
“Hadn’t thought of it. You got something here? I gave him a bunch of peanut butter yesterday. He liked that.”
She walked over to a closet in the kitchen. A pantry, I guess. “No peanut butter. Canned vegetables. Noodles. Zatarains. Cereal.” She pulled out a box of raisin bran. “Kid eat cereal?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Guess so.” I looked out at Zach, still watching the tv. Blank. Mouth open. Head leaned back on the cushions. “I need to go. But I need to know he’s OK.”
“Yeah, Oscar. He’s OK. No problem.”
“If there is a problem though, you know how to reach me.”
“Yeah. This gonna square us, right? Even Steven.”
“Sure. I appreciate your help.”
“Well,” she said, looking at the kid then back at me, “I owe ya. Least I can do for what you did for me.”
“Wasn’t a problem.”
“Right.” She laughed. “Not a problem.” She laughed again. “You ever go back there?”
“Lucy, you know I can’t go back there.” We both laughed and on the way out I kissed Zach on the head like we were family.