6:00 a.m. – continued
Nick was saved from having to do anything else when the doorbell rang. He frowned, glancing at the clock. It was a quarter to seven. Who would be ringing the doorbell at this time in the morning?
Spinning on his heel, Nick made his way to the door and cautiously pulled it open.
“Hi,” a petite auburn haired woman said shyly.
Nick studied her for a moment. The auburn hair and blue eyes, a few shades darker than his little girl’s, looked familiar, but it still took him a moment to recognize his daughter’s former nanny. He hadn’t usually been home when she’d been around, so it had been a number of months since he had last seen the young woman. Abigail looked polished and professional now, her hair swept back into a high, shiny ponytail and she was dressed in a silky floral top and cream slacks.
“Abigail, how nice to see you again,” he said warmly, opening the door wider.
She smiled up at him, he being about a foot and a half taller than her. “I’m home for the last day of Earth. I just thought I’d stop by to, you know, say bye to you, Rose, and Iris. How has she been?”
He shook his head, a grim expression on his face. “She’s not taking it well. But I think she’ll be happy to see you. She’s in the kitchen with Alice and Rose. Come on in.”
Abigail stepped past him and he closed the door as she made her way to the kitchen. Rose lifted her head as soon as Abigail stepped into view and whispered something to her daughter, her eyes shining. Slowly, Iris lifted her head and her eyes instantly brightened at the sight of her former nanny.
“Abby!” Iris cried out, reaching out for Abigail.
The former nanny obliged and quickly made her way over to the little girls while Rose moved out of the way. Abigail wrapped her arms around Iris and held her tightly as the girl babbled happily in her ear.
“I’m so happy to see you, too, little one,” Abigail said quietly. “I’ve missed you.”
“I missed you, too. Alice has missed you, too.”
“I’ve missed her, too. Are you guys having breakfast?” she asked as she pulled away from her former charge.
Iris nodded. “Can you stay?”
“Sorry, pumpkin,” Abigail said, ruffling Iris’s curls. “I just stopped in to say hi before heading home.”
Iris’s face fell. “Oh. Okay.”
“You can at least stay for a few minutes, can’t you?” Rose asked, her hands twisting at her waist.
“For a few minutes, yeah,” Abigail said, giving in to mother and daughter.
Rose smiled as Abigail helped Iris and Alice back onto their stools before lifting herself onto the third one. Almost immediately she started entertaining the girls with stories of living in the city. It was nice to have Abigail back, if only for a few minutes. The girls loved her almost as much as they loved their own parents.