Baby girl

A wail of a child is usually the first thing that reaches a Mother's ears.   She hears her baby cry and rushes to his or her side but in Dennis's case there was no Mother to tend to this cry.  The room was pitch black and the sun had yet to come over the horizon, he didn't bother to look at the time.  The only thing he heard was little Nora's plea for help in rapid tears pulling off the sheets he strode over to the cradle.  Lifting the toddler out and holding her against his chest. "Now, now there's no need for this.  Daddy is here."

The words that escaped his mouth, were lifted awkwardly into the air.  This parenting thing was harder than he thought.   There was no manual, no textbook, no radio station to tell him just how to raise his little tyke.  It was a road he never expected to face alone... but life just had a way of playing with him.  Taking him by surprise, molding him, twisting him in ways that he hadn't wanted.  Or sometimes he thought that the man upstairs just wanted to make his life a crazy maze.  He wasn't exactly a saint.  But he knew that he loved his baby girl with all his heart. 

He strode across the room turning a single light on and plopped down into a rocking chair with the babe still on his chest.  She quieted down but reached for her Father's thumb and put it in her mouth.  He winced, drool was something the young man still had been getting used to.   Though shortly afterward a smile crept along his lips. "So just you and me eh?" Nora's wide baby blue eyes stared up at her Papa like he was the biggest thing in the world.  "Nora.. " He whispered his daughter's name in the dimmed bedroom.  A single speck of light peeking it's way through the shades, "See what you did to me? Kept me up all night, or maybe just maybe only half of it.  But I can't really complain now can I? You're all I have left." Her eyelids fluttered shut again and he sighed "So now you're going back to bed huh?  Right when I have to get ready for work."

"Nora you are a wonder." Slowly rising from the rocking chair he put the girl back into her cradle. Then quietly walking out of his bedroom, crossing into the living room and dinning area.  He could hear the hum of traffic below his apartment and the angry shouts of drivers out the car windows.  Another classic day in New York city.  Reaching for the phone near the sofa he began to dial Mrs. Holland, before he could there was a knock on the door.  Frowning he slammed the phone back into its slot.  What could it possibly be now? He'd be late and Mr. Mullen would not be pleased.  With swift even steps he went and opened the door "Look I'm not interested in whatever it is you're-" Words quickly cutting off as he saw the older woman in front of him. "Oh.. ah Mrs. Holland I'm sorry I thought.. well good morning Ma'am."  Mrs. Holland chuckled fondly, her aged face plump and merry. "Now now, dear is that any way to greet a babysitter? You look a bit worse for wear.  Running late?"

Dennis reached up to scratch at his unshaven face "Yeah, yeah I am.  And heaven knows New York City is the worst place to be running late in. Nora just fell back to sleep; before I could do the whole morning routine.  Anyhow, come in sorry.  I was just about to call you but it seems you arrived in time." Mrs. Holland waved her hand in the air "Oh psh posh, stop apologizing Dennis and get a move on. You have a little belly to feed after all." He offered the woman a weak smile "Aye, aye Ma'am, give Nora a kiss for me while I'm gone."  She smiled reaching over to pat his arm "Two kisses." Nodding Dennis went off to the bathroom calling over his shoulder "Her bottle is in the icebox.  Just pop it in her mouth when she's hungry." Mrs. Holland rolled her eyes "Honey have you forgotten how many children I raised in the orphanage? Now go get ready!"

Laughing anxiously he finally shut his mouth and let the woman do her part; he stared at himself in the mirror for what felt like an hour.  His wife used to get lost in those Hazel eyes.  Eyes that she used to say were 'dreamy', he was the only dream boy she needed.   Jaw locking into place as he shakily shaved the morning scruff off of his face. "Something tells me this is going to be a long day." Ten minutes later he was ready, grey fedora, dark brown hair slicked back and his classic grey suite to match.  Straightening his tie he bolted out the door, knowing his boss would be frothing at the mouth made him all the more determined to get to the office.  Dennis Haynes a name that some held fondly and others wished they had never heard or known.  He could really use a cigarette right about now, thankfully the office was just a block away; maybe he'd run into a generous soul.  But that chance was very slim. Maneuvering as quickly as possible through the crowded sidewalk, he briefly looked towards heaven and had one thought 'Monica.'