Two steps forward, four steps backwards

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He ran his hand through the little kid's hair absent-mindedly. He wasn't listening to the conversation going on around him. His mind was drifting through Warlington, finding no peace. It always seemed to go back to the house made of brick and siding, 14 Kangaroo street, Warlington.

Koala was sick and wanted nothing to do with him. Deep down Patrick had hoped for more than having insults thrown at him. A part of him had hoped if he found Charlie in Warlington, he'd finally get to know why Charlie had written that letter. But it wasn't only the "why" he wanted now.

8 years and he hadn't managed to forget. But as he sat at the lunch table on the mansion terrace, he wished he hadn't come back. He wished he didn't know that Charlie was sick, that Charlie had meant every word he'd written.

"You seem miles away," a brunette next to him spoke.

Gianina was his brother Marco's wife, and the mother of the little boy on his lap. Marco and Gianina were both 30 years old and Zeus was 2 years old. The little boy had taken a liking to his youngest uncle and could at many a times be found sitting on his lap or lying in his arms. Marco always said Patrick was a child magnet and would make a great dad, if he ever had kids.

"I'm just thinking about work," Patrick lied.

"No wonder you are single," Marco joined in, chuckling at his little brother.

It was Denis's turn to speak. "Hey leave him alone. He just moved back here."

Denis was Patrick's overprotective brother, the oldest of the del Castillo kids. He was 33 years old and married to Hailey Angelopoulos. They had two kids. Patrick and Denis were not that close, but Denis always looked out for his little brother. Patrick was the lastborn of the family after all, daddy's favorite.

"Doesn't mean you have to be stuck in a rut," Marco said. "Warlington is not much, but there are some really beautiful ladies."

Gianina smacked Marco on the thigh. "Hey!"

"Not as beautiful as my wife of course," Marco added.

"I don't want a girlfriend," Patrick said quietly.

"At this rate I am not going to be alive when you give me grandkids," their mom joined in on the conversation that seemingly rose from nowhere. Damn Gianina and her observation.

He'd heard those words many times. First when he was just 16 and quite a lot over the past few years.

"You should be happy ma. At the rate he was changing girls a few years back, you are lucky you don't have two football teams," Denis said.

"I'd rather have that than none," Maria Valdez said looking at her youngest son.

Patrick focused on playing with Zeus. He was tired of the conversation already. His nonexistent love-life was complicated enough as it was without his family inserting themselves into it.

"You have Anastasia, Ares and Zeus," Denis said. "They already drive you crazy."

"Unless you are willing to have another girl and name her Fernanda, shut up," mama said playfully.

"Fabi will take one for the team, right Fabster?" Denis said looking at Fabiola who was busy texting on her phone.

"Don't call me that. And sure, I want to give my kid a name that weighs a ton," Fabiola replied sarcastically.

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