Robbie interrupted Charlotte’s train of thought.
She gathered her senses and said guiltily, “This is all my fault. If I weren’t late, Jamie wouldn’t have gotten into the accident. You guys won’t have to suffer.”
“Don’t say that, Mommy.” Robbie gently touched Charlotte’s face and kindly comforted her, “You need to work and take care of us at the same time. You have it hard enough. We should help you lighten your burden.”
“Robbie is right.” Jamie fiddled with his fingers and said sheepishly, “If I weren’t being playful and ran into the forest to chase the cat, I wouldn’t have gotten hit.”
“It’s my fault for noticing the cat.”
Ellie pouted. Her chubby cheeks were accented by two cute dimples.
“So, I won’t be late in the future, and you guys won’t ignore safety to play. We’ll improve together, okay?” Charlotte reflected on all their actions.
“Okay.” The three children answered in unison.
“Now, let’s discuss if we should attend Grandpa Nacht’s dinner.”
Charlotte kindly communicated and discussed with the children. However, her mind was screaming that he was their great-grandfather.
“I want to go, Mommy. Grandpa Nacht is really nice to me. I like him!” Ellie’s raised her chubby arms and cried out in a childlike tone.
“Yes. I like Grandpa Nacht too. I promised to go,” Jamie quickly added.
“Mommy, are you worried that Grandpa Nacht’s grandson will be naughty? He’s your boss, right?” Robbie read in between the lines and asked out of concern.
“Uh… Yes, he is my boss,” Charlotte replied after a moment of hesitation.
Robbie pondered for a moment before saying in a serious voice, “He looks fierce, but he was friendly when he sent us home last night. He didn’t try to harm us.”
“He sent you home?” Charlotte asked, appalled.
The children nodded and made a sound of acknowledgment.
Charlotte’s mind swam with images of Zachary interacting with the children. He was probably as stern as ever.
It’s a wonder he didn’t scare the children off with his demonic aura.
“Mommy, Grandpa Nacht treats us pretty well. We really like him. But, if you don’t want us to get too close to your boss’ grandfather, we won’t go.”
Jamie and Ellie hung their heads in disappointment.
Jamie silently played with the Legos and ruined the recently completed flying saucer.
Ellie pouted as she fiddled with her fingers. The tears in her eyes were on the brink of flowing out.
Charlotte could not bear to see her children looking so sorrowful. But, she also did not want them to get too close to old Mr. Nacht. “Children, I know you aren’t happy with Mommy. But I have my reasons. I hope you guys can…”
Before Charlotte could finish speaking, the doorbell rang. An attendant anxiously exclaimed, “You’re here, old Mr. Nacht!”
Charlotte’s face drained of color. Oh my god. Old Mr. Nacht is here!
If he sees me, we’re doomed…
“I’m here to fetch the children. I also want to meet their mother and apologize to her.”
Old Mr. Nacht’s voice sounded out.
“Grandpa Nacht…” Ellie ran out enthusiastically.
“Ellie! Don’t go out yet!” Charlotte hastily grabbed her.
“Mommy… I want to see Grandpa Nacht.” Ellie pouted again, tears pooling in her eyes. She looked like the picture of woe.