“Grandpa taught me a card trick!” Apollo was smiling.
“Why don’t you show me?” Jove sat down on the couch, preparing to be wowed. Magnifi might be a dick, but he’s a dick that can do a mean card trick.
Apollo scrunched up his face. “Grandpa said I can only show it to other magicians.”
“Well, magicians show their tricks to people who aren’t magicians. C’mon, I really wanna see what you’ve been working on.”
This seemed to make up Apollo’s mind as he pulled out a deck of cards. “Okay, Grandpa said this was pretty easy, so I won’t be mad if you can figure it out.” Apollo made a fan out of the cards. “See these cards?” He moved his free hand over the cards.
And then they were gone.
“Woah! How did you do that?”
Apollo grinned, happy to have stumped his father. “A magician never reveals his secrets. But I can ask Grandpa if he can teach you.”
Jove held back a groan. “No, it’s okay. I don’t want to bother your grandfather. I’ll figure it out on my own.”
The boy furrowed his brow, then shrugged. “Okay. I’m hungry. What’s for dinner?”
And, he’s onto a new topic. Works for me.
“I dunno. Probably just whatever I can find in the refrigerator.”
Apollo made a face. “Can we go out to eat?”
“We just ate out Thursday, so no. I’m sure we can find something decent to eat.”
The little boy reluctantly followed Jove to the kitchen where they went on the ultimate scavenger hunt, the only exception being being they didn’t know what exactly they were looking for. But Jove reasoned that scavenger hunts where you knew what you were looking for were boring. Anything to make himself feel like less of a shitty parent.
“How ’bout spaghetti? We’ve got sauce and Parmesan cheese.”
Apollo frowned, contemplating the suggestion. He shrugged, “I guess.”
All right, he doesn’t seem all that excited about it. Let’s look for something else.
There was an unopened pack of hamburger patties in the refrigerator. Why did he even have them in the first place? He didn’t own a grill, so he couldn’t really make them, even if he wanted to.
“Ooh! Can we have hamburgers?” The son has spoken.
“Sure,” Jove reasoned that he could always throw them in a pan with some seasoning and cook them that way. Now that he thought about it, this wasn’t a half-bad idea. It wouldn’t be the tastiest thing he’s ever had, but it would at least satisfy Apollo. Besides, Jove wasn’t in the mood for spaghetti.
Apollo sat at the bar table in the middle of the kitchen that also served as the dining room. There was a part of Jove that hated the placement of the table since it often got in the way while he was cooking, but on the other hand, there wouldn’t be enough room for Apollo’s bedroom if the apartment had a dining room. Jove would’ve had to pay more for a bigger apartment, so he made peace with the over sized bar table, and just stepped around the bar stools that were always pulled out as far from the table as possible.
“So what did you do over the weekend besides learn a card trick?” Jove asked while he cooked the hamburgers.
“I helped Mommy unpack some of her stuff. Zak helped too.”
“Zak?” Jove turned around, startled. That was a name he hadn’t expected to hear.
“Yeah, he’s Mommy’s friend. She says she’s know him for years.” Apollo’s hand seemed to subconsciously hover over his bracelet-clad wrist. “Do you not like him?”
Jove shook his head. “I think he’s fine. I just haven’t heard about him in a while. That’s all.”
Apollo seemed content with this answer, and just went back to humming quietly while he drew on a sheet of paper.
Finally, the hamburgers were cooked completely though. Jove scooped one onto each of the two buns, and placed a plate in front of his son. “Guten apetit.”
Apollo giggled. “You sound funny!”
Jove chuckled. “That’s because I’m speaking German.”
Apollo seemed to find German hilarious as he kept saying ‘guten apetit’ under his breath and laughing.
“Say another word!”
Jove said the first thing that came to mind, “schmetterling.” Before Apollo could ask what that meant, Jove explained, “it means butterfly.”
Apollo had momentarily forgotten his dinner and was laughing. Jove didn’t think it was that funny, but maybe kids just had a different sense of humor. Or maybe Apollo thought it was funny because German’s a funny language. At least Jove thought so. Germans didn’t share the same sentiment though. He knew that from experience.
“Alright, alright, hurry up and eat your burger before it gets cold.” Jove took a bite of the burger. It wasn’t amazing, but it didn’t make him want to gag, so that was a plus.
“Mm! You should open a restaurant!”
“Let’s wait until I get my album published. Gotta take things one dream at a time.” Besides, restaurants can ruin you financially if they fail and Jove wasn’t going to risk losing Apollo just so he could open one.
“Aw… okay. I can open a restaurant!”
Jove smirked. “You do that.”
After a few minutes of silence Apollo spoke up, “I don’t think Grandpa likes you very much.”
No surprise there.
“Why do you think that?”
“He said you were a homeless bum.”
Apollo nodded. “But I told him you had a house so you couldn’t be homeless. He didn’t say anything after that.”
Jove pushed himself away from the bar table. “‘Scuse me for a second.”
“Are you mad at me?”
“No!” Jove said that a little louder than he had intended. He’d have to apologize later. “I’m just going to talk to your mother. You keep eating dinner.”
. . .
“So… we’re technically dating now, right?” I said as Thalassa and I sat on the stairs into her school.
Thalassa looked up from her homework. “Yeah, and?”