Chapter 7

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"Grandpapa!" the girls scream, jumping off the sofa as Papa enters the room holding gift bags in his hands.

They run up and hug him as Mama trots in behind them. I go over and kiss her cheek softly. Papa starts giving the girls their gifts and I lead Mama over to the sofa. She's been having joint pain lately and can't stand for too long. It's sad to see but she's getting old and so is Papa.

I ask her how her day is and she tells me until the girls leave the room and Papa sits next to Mama. Vic brings his parents in tea before sitting down next to me.

"Where's little Kellin Junior?" Papa asks.

"With friends." Vic mumbles.

We discovered earlier that Junior had snuck out again. His behavior is upsetting me and angering Vic. We just don't know what to do anymore. None of the girls ever did anything like this.

"What's wrong?" Mama asks seeming to notice the dreariness in the air.

"It's Junior." I sigh.

"What about Junior?" Papa frowns.

"He's not himself lately. He's misbehaving and not listening to us. He's very distant and moody all the time. He's never behaved like this before. We don't know what to do." I explain.

Vic takes my hand and kisses it softly.

"That doesn't sound like Junior at all." Mama murmurs. "Kell–never mind."

I frown confused.

"What is it, Mama? Say what you were going to say." I urge.

She looks unsure but nods.

"Kell, your mental health issues could be hereditary." She says softly.

"Oh god," I gulp. "Please don't say that."

"I'm not saying that it has been passed down. By the sounds of it, Junior isn't depressed, just rebellious. I just want you to be cautious and just keep an eye on him, and the girls too. I'm sure this thing with Junior is just a teenage thing that he'll grow out of." She explains.

"Did Mike or Vic ever go through something like this?" I ask hopefully.

"Not really. We were always close. They were pretty open with us. Vic came out to us when he was eleven and Mike told us when he lost his virginity." Papa chirps. "Oh, except when Mike got his first tattoo and hid it from us for an entire year."

"I was so mad." Mama mutters. "I still am."

Papa laughs and kisses Mama's head.

"Junior will be fine." Papa assures me. "Just let him know that you're there for him if he needs it."

I thank them then change the topic to something with a happier vibe.

Just as Tony announces that dinner is ready, Vic's phone starts ringing. He frowns at the unknown number but answers.

"You go eat," he whispers. "I'll be there in a sec."

Mama, Papa and I agree.  We stand up off the sofa suddenly Papa falls. I quickly catch him before he hits the ground.

"Victor, are you alright?" Mama asks worried.

"I'm fine, honey. Just stood up too fast, got a little dizzy." Papa brushes it off, standing up straight.

I frown concerned and unwillingly let go of him.

"Have you eaten today, Papa? Let's get you so food." I suggest and we go into the dining room where the kids already are. I sit down but wait for Vic to eat.

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