He held out his hands to hold the daughter he was meeting for the first time and she, the baby who is still only when in a deep slumber, embraced him pressing her cheek to his and held herself without movement for many minutes. When she pulled away, it was only to examine the face that belonged to the voice she had heard so many times through the walls of my uterus. She placed her chubby hands on each side of his concave face and smiled sweetly as her papa welled up with tears.
An attempt to make small talk fell flat quickly. There is too much between us to utilize normal pleasantries. His large yellow eyes were pleading with me to offer some inkling of a continued relationship as we exchanged useless bits of information. After about thirty minutes, he left abruptly, giving the sense that the situation had made him more than a little uncomfortable. He kissed his baby girl somberly and requested my right hand, which I supplied to have him press it to his cheek, his large brown hand covering my small pale one. He kissed my palm like he had on our first date and after many a fight throughout our 2 years together, then he got up and left the coffee shop. I didn't watch him walk away.
The first thing I felt was relief swiftly followed by the crashing of the anticipation of the moments that had just passed, the feelings that were hovering above me like a mobile rain cloud, and I started to cry. So few words had been exchanged but so much said. He gave me a small silver stone with the word hope inscribed on it, though I felt maybe I should have given it to him. His frail figure and haggard face looked like life had worn on them since we parted making me think he needed hope more than I did.
With tears welling in my eyes I looked around at the other patrons of the coffee shop working on their laptops or sharing pleasant conversation and realized that they were completely oblivious to what they had just witnessed. I picked a busy place, hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, but knowing I couldn't possibly anticipate what would take place. The quiet exchange and heartbreakingly darling silence between Tallulah and Keikai had no effect on the people around us which was oddly comforting in my shaken state of mind. It made me realize that the world is full of mothers and fathers and daughters with complicated circumstances, that I wasn't the only one. Though participating in a long-distance pseudo friendship with the father of my child who only just met his baby after she lived 5 months with out him seems like a less than desirable situation, not everything we experience in our lifetime has to be simple to be great, and we are seldom alone.