.14

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"We'll be back in a few hours." My mom holds my head between her hands and on her tippy toes, she kisses my forehead like I'm a child. "Don't do anything dumb."

Isabella is tugging my wrist trying to pull me away from my parents. "Yes, I know mom." I smile to reassure her.

"Bella come say bye to mama." My aunt, Jen, kneels down and holds her arms out. Isabella runs to fill her arms and hug her mother. Her father, like my mom did to me, kisses her forehead.

They finally leave out the front door leaving me with the six year old girl.

"Okay B, what do you want to do?"

"I want to play cars."

"We could check the basement for my old toys?"

"Okay!"

I lead her to the basement to the storage room full of bins. They're all mislabeled due to them being switched so much and it's useless.

"We could go see the horsies? Wanna do that?"

"Okay."

"Yeah and we can brush them." My phone vibrates and I take it out of my pocket to see Leo is calling. "Bella you go upstairs, I'll be there in a sec." She nods her head and hops up the stairs skipping two at a time.

"Hey," I say.

"Hey. Whatcha doing?"

"Babysitting a child."

"Hurry up slow poke," she giggles from the stairs.

"I'm coming up Bella just one sec," I say with the phone away from my ear.

"You get stuck teaching me to ride a horse and now babysitting a child. Wow being a good son sounds exhausting."

"Yeah she's my little cousin. I'm not entirely sure what to do with her though because her parents don't like her on devices."

"Braid her hair or something?"

"Do you think I know how to braid hair?"

"I don't know. Don't people braid their horses tail?"

I laugh. "Yes typical horse girls do for fun but do you really think I've devoted the time to learn and then braid my horses tail?"

"Okay good point."

"Besides her hair is natural African hair I-- I don't know how to work with it."

"Can't you just watch a movie with her?"

My phone starts to vibrate again. "Ah shit one sec I'll call you back. Kea's calling."

I hang up and answer Keanu's call.

"Yes?"

"A hello would've been nice."

"Hello Keanu," I groan walking upstairs when I hear Bella call again.

"How was your day Andrew?"

"Eh."

"Want to hangout?"

"If your good with kids. My little cousin is over."

"Oh Bella!"

"You remember her?"

"Of course I do. She's the cutest," Keanu squeals over the phone.

"I don't remember you liking kids?"

"I'll be over in a bit. I have tennis later tonight but I'll come now." Then she hangs up.

I call Leo back but he doesn't pick up. I find Bella waiting patiently on the couch.

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