It was the odd sensation of feeling as if he were being watched that woke him and as Luka came awake it was to find himself almost nose to nose with his young son as the toddler stared at him.
"Well, good morning to you, Joe." Catching him under his arms, Luka lifted the giggling child into the air as he rolled over onto his back.
"I think we are going to need to get you a crib, what do you think about that, huh, Joe?" He brought the boy closer so he could kiss him before raising him again as the child squealed in delight.
"Eew, stinky pants, I think we'd better get that diaper changed before we do anything else, then maybe some breakfast. You want something to eat, Joe?" As he asked the question he sat the boy back on the bed before sitting up himself.
"Ee, ee." While he wasn't yet talking himself, it wasn't for lack of trying and as his father spoke Joe had begun mimicking the words.
"That's right, Joe, you're going to eat, good job." He was growing so fast, if only Abby could be here with them to see. He stopped the thought before it had a chance to take root, choosing instead to focus again on his son. It would be so easy to let the darkness wash over him again, and who would fault him for it?
He had watched his father wage a losing battle with cancer only to die while he was away, and had returned home to find his wife once more drinking and his marriage in possible jeopardy. No, he would not allow the thoughts to take up residence, Joe deserved better then that, Abby deserved as much. If she had the strength to fight her way back from this how could he not do the same? How could he deny Joe the childhood he deserved because of the weaknesses of his past?
"Ee, tata, ee." The grin spread across his son's face as he reminded his father of that which he thought he might have forgotten.
"That's right, Joe, we were going to get you breakfast weren't we...but, first we need to change those stinky pants, so up we go." He scooped the boy up as he got up off the bed, they would get through this, and when Abby was ready they would go back to her. In the meantime, he would show Joe the world he grew up in, and through his eyes he would see it once more with joy instead of with the sadness that had prompted his leaving it so many years before.
Muse: Luka Kovac