Thursday, October 8, 2015
It’s been a few days since we left the wormholes. Everyone I talk to is moody as hell these days. It’s like the first week at work after being on vacation. Actually, it’s worse. We’re fresh into missing loved ones again and feeling like time stretches into forever before we can get together with new friends.
I want my dads already, the comfort of being able to sit down and talk to them at a moment’s notice. It’s particularly bad right now, because I could really use some face time with Nayun. Anrel’s appetite continues to fall and she’s lost a pound. That’s a lot of weight for such a tiny baby. Tep is running a lot of in-depth tests and signaling any medic within two-day’s com range to try and figure out why she’s not eating like she should. He may have to put her back on IV fluids.
Of course the gang is rallying around my little girl. Every chance they get, Candy, Katrina, Oses, and Betra are in Medical to check up on Anrel and sit with me. Things are a little strained yet with Betra as he and I try to keep our exchanges pleasant and yet distant. I am grateful that he’s still devoted to Anrel. That has not changed for one second. It hurts my heart to catch him looking at me with sad want every now and then ... but there is nothing I can come up with to say to him to make things better.
To my surprise, Captain Wotref and his Nobek Siko are also frequent visitors. Their Imdiko Dr. Ret works in Medical, so it’s no shock to see him around. I’m not sure if the captain’s clan is smitten with Anrel or if they come because they are so intimately involved with Katrina and Anrel means a lot to her. Despite the low mood of the last few days, I always get a laugh out of Katrina talking to the baby about her beaus.
“Say hi to Grampy Wotref! And here’s Grampy Siko too. He needs a smile from his favorite girl. Come on Anrel, give your grampies a smile.”
Despite all that long, gray hair and deep creases at the corners of his eyes, Nobek Siko doesn’t look like anyone’s grampy. He looks more like the mean old man who would ‘accidentally’ run over the teenage hoodlums in his neighborhood if he could get away with it. Yet that grouchy Nobek comes in at least once a day to check on his becu – the nickname he’s given Anrel. She is tiny like the Kalquorian vegetable that looks like a brown pea.
I sit there biting my lips together when that old warrior lumbers up to Anrel and growls, “There you are, my becu, with your fist in your mouth. I will teach you to swing that fist at others' mouths who dare to insult you.” Then he carefully guides her clenched hand in a swinging motion, punching himself in the nose with her fist. “Like this. With all of your strength, becu. Knock them on their asses.”
It’s one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen, but I don’t dare laugh at Siko or protest the profanity. He might get mad at me.
I’m glad Katrina has Clan Wotref to lean on right now. I think she’s having a hard time of it. She had a couple of days to reunite with her long-missing family, and now she has to wait for days to receive their messages. She alternates between the extremes of joy and pain. One moment she beams from ear to ear, the next she’s blinking back tears. I try to be of some comfort to her, but most of my attention is focused on Anrel. Plus Katrina isn’t talking much ... she hedges when I ask her what her daughter and son think of her going to Kalquor and her growing relationship with Clan Wotref. Somehow she always changes the subject on me. I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on with all of that. In the end, if Katrina doesn’t want to talk about it, it’s none of my business. I’ve settled for leaving the door open if she decides she needs a friendly ear. I hope everything is all right.
Meanwhile, Candy is getting her old energy back. She’s got construction on our club started up again. This morning she gleefully reported that it might be ready within a couple of weeks. That’s helping to cheer the gang up a little. By that time, even I might be up to partying again.