Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 408 - Girls Are Sensitive[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:16]
Nathan chattered happily on about his day as Keeley drove Violet to her ballet lesson. She had decided when she was eleven that she wanted to be a professional ballerina so they had to increase the amount of lessons per week.
These days she had about an hour and a half of practice every weekday and three of those days included pointe shoes. She never once complained about how much time it took up and since she always completed her homework quickly she still usually managed to have a bit of free time in the evenings.
She grabbed her ballet bag out of the trunk with a huff and said goodbye to everyone by name except Kaleb, who didn\'t get a goodbye at all. He wasn\'t very happy about it.
"Geez, all I did was tease her. Why does she have to be so sensitive?" he complained.
"She\'s a girl," Oliver said as if his brother was stupid. "Girls are sensitive."
Keeley raised an eyebrow, very curious how her nine year old son had come to that conclusion. Wasn\'t he a little too young to be having girl problems already?
"You know Vi has never really gotten along with her classmates all that well. It was probably a sore subject," she said wisely. "Be a little more tactful next time, okay Kal?"
"Alright," he muttered, still clearly upset at being ignored.
Despite his teasing, Kaleb adored his sister more than anyone else. As the only girl with three brothers, Violet was universally doted on in the Hale household. She might be closest to Kaleb because they were twins but her younger brothers loved her just as much.
When they made it home, Keeley let them all have an hour long break before it was time to start their homework. Oliver and Nathan rushed off to play their favorite video game and Kaleb absentmindedly waved around a feather toy for their cats to chase.
Sassy and Smoky had come from the same litter according to the people at the shelter. Smoky was completely gray while Sassy was white with gray patches all over her body. Kaleb had named them since Violet couldn\'t think of anything and Oliver was too little to speak at the time.
It was obvious he was still upset about his sister\'s reaction to his teasing. If he didn\'t want her to get mad at him he shouldn\'t have teased her in the first place.
Kaleb finally looked up as if registering something. "You never told us about your day, Mom."
She smiled. None of her other kids had bothered to ask her that. He could be such a sweet boy.
"I had a great day. I got approved for human trials and a lot more people than I expected signed up. Your dad is taking us to dinner to celebrate."
That perked him up. "Where?"
"That Japanese steakhouse we like. Your grandpa is coming too."
A bit of the worry clouding his features went away. "Awesome! Way to go, Mom."
Keeley reached out to ruffle his hair. "Thanks. I am pretty excited about it."
"Because of Uncle Kaleb?"
Kaleb knew quite a bit about the boy he had been named after at this point. He had seen the pictures and a couple videos and knew they looked almost exactly alike right up until the point his uncle died.
He also knew that they both loved baseball but that the first Kaleb hadn\'t been able to play much. The beginning of baseball season coincided with a lot of people getting sick and he was usually in the hospital for part of it.
He had learned that his mom cared so much about her career because of her brother\'s illness and how he had died after that AWIS interview came out. He cried after reading it because Keeley had talked about how close they were. It made him think of the possibility of losing Violet on top of being sad for his mom.
"Do you think he would have looked like I do now if he had lived?" Kaleb asked hesitantly.
It was as if he was afraid of hurting his mother\'s feelings. She nodded with a smile on her face. "Probably. You\'re both good-looking guys."
He seemed relieved she wasn\'t upset on top of being cheered up a bit by the praise. "Well, a lot of girls at school do seem to like me."
Keeley barely held back her laughter. For a moment there he almost sounded like Aaron used to back in high school, which wasn\'t his style at all. Kaleb wasn\'t cocky like his father had been.
"That\'s no surprise. You\'re cute, funny, and fun to be around. Everyone should like you."
He blushed. "You\'re just saying that because you\'re my mom."
"Nah, I\'d say it even if I weren\'t your mom," she promised. "You\'re a good kid, Kal."
That cheered him up completely. He gave up on playing with the cats and requested his mother help him with those flash cards. Not long after, the other boys joined them to work on their assignments.
Of course, theirs were much easier because they were still in elementary school. Kaleb was jealous.
Keeley sat at the table working with her sons until it was time to go pick up Violet. Kaleb offered to stay behind and watch the younger boys, which she greatly appreciated. She kissed his cheek on the way out the door.
Immediately, the other two clamored for their own cheek kisses. Maybe she had spoiled her children with love a bit too much. But how could she not? She was so grateful to have them.
It had been fifteen years since she first discovered she was pregnant with the twins. The gratitude that she was given another chance to be a mother never went away. She had four beautiful children; that was more than she ever could have hoped for.
She knew Aaron felt the same way. Each one of their children was a blessing. He was one too. In her first life she never would have thought he was capable of being such a wonderful father. Keeley had exactly the family she had always dreamed of and she wouldn\'t trade them for anything in the world, even when her teenagers were moody.