The girls stayed until the next morning .
They had organised an apartment in the middle of town and while they had not decided where they wanted to be long-term, they were thinking that a move out of Queenstown might be just what they needed.
I hugged my girls goodbye, and wished them well. I would miss them, they had been a unique and welcome addition to my little family.
I was pleased that they had organised a photo for me before they left.
It was mid-morning before I finally got the chance to think about a problem that had been worrying me ever since the triplets were born. The house was quiet. The children were all at school and Dale was in-town, although he was due back at any moment. While I was staring at a sheet of paper containing 99 names. The longer I stared the more sure I became that I was missing something. Not someone, something. I was used to suddenly knowing things, when some type of event made a scrap of information relevent somehow I always knew. This time it all felt just out of reach, like I should know but I somehow didn’t.
Grandma had described it to Dale once as being like old memories floating to the surface. That was mostly accurate, but sometimes it was no more of feeling that would point me in the direction that I needed to go. It had started when I eighteen and had caused my sudden breakup with Christopher, not that I had been aware of it at the time. This time the memory refused to surface.
I definitely had my numbers right. I already knew that if any of my children were not raised in my house that they didn’t count towards my destiny or whatever what I was doing was. The Quin’s had proven that, when I had held the first-born in my arms with no intention of raising them, I had known immediately. I added their names to the side of the sheet but I already knew that they were not what I was missing. It had been the same with Dale’s quads but with the opposite result. As soon as they had been born I had known that were now part of my destiny. I had to admit I hadn’t been sure about that until they had arrived. My grandmother had been the one to tell me that I would need different fathers for the children and I had never thought to question it and I wondered if it was something that she had never questioned either.
I was aware of Dale entering the room but didn’t take my eyes off the page in front of me.
“What’s this?” he asked, laying down beside me.
“Honestly, I’m not sure” I told him. “I’m missing something. Something obvious and it’s driving me crazy.”
“These are all your children?”, he asked, his hand traced the list of names before finally stopping near the names of his own children.
“Yeah, this is them. All 99” I confirmed, I glanced at the other five names on the page. “Well, 104.” I corrected myself.
“104?”, he queried I realised that was one of the things I hadn’t told him.
“Don’t ask, I might tell you all about it…someday.”
“So what’s bothering you?”
“I don’t know? I mean, I know I’m one short but at the same time it all feels kind of finished” I answered, “Does that make any kind of sense?”
“Not to me?” he replied. “Although, Crux did say something similar when I was talking to him just after you got back”
“He did?” I asked.
“Yeah, before the triplets were even born,” Dale replied. “Not that I understood it. Still don’t. I don’t understand half of the things that kid decides to tell me”
“Guess I’ll just have to go and ask him about that then” I said, starting to stand up.
“Luc, can we forget this for the moment.” Dale stopped me, pushing the paper away from the two of us. “It’s the first time the two of us have had any time alone together for weeks and the kids are going to be coming back through the door in a couple of hours.”
“Toddler’s will do that, especially when there is more than one.” I laughed, laying back down. “It’s nice having them all at school again. You’re right, I’ll track Crux down in the morning and ask him then. I’m having no luck trying to work out what I’m missing by myself”
“Just don’t take anything any further until you are sure okay. Who knows maybe in some weird way you are done?”
“You just want me to yourself for a while”, I teased.
“Yes, he said simply. “I do. Are you okay with that?”
“Yeah, I’m more than okay with that”
“That’s okay, it will all be quicker to organise by myself….”