Helping Mr. KbyaddieQ©
His first name was Michael, but ever since I was a little girl I have always called him Mr. Kay. I grew up in the same neighborhood, right down the street from him. And now I take care of Pam, his beautiful little daughter.
This job felt important, and I loved every minute I got to be with Pam. I guess I was avoiding going back to my house, and I was staying at Mr. Kay's house, a lot.
I was at my baby-sitting job with little Pam, and I just couldn't stop thinking about my Mom coming in my room the other morning, and my heart was just pounding. This is going to make me crazy. Okay, I need to focus on my job, and on Pam. I had just spent the most beautiful three days with the sweetest little girl. I've been working as Pam's baby-sitter a lot lately. She is so adorable, she just turned five, and she is really smart and funny.
Good, concentrating on my job is calming me down.
Pam's father, Mr. Kay, has been away on a three-day business trip, and this was the longest time I had taken care of her without him. I stayed at the house each night with Pam in her room across the hall. I didn't want to go home, especially after what happened with my Mom that awful morning. All I wanted was to stay here, and loose myself in little games and bath-time with Pam. Today we played outside together in the snow, and we even made a snowman!
I knew Mr. Kay appreciated my help with his daughter. This felt important, especially because he has been so emotional since his wife died. Her name was Kelly, and that awful car accident was just three years ago.
I grew up just down the street, and I still live there with my Mom. I was only 14 years old when I started baby-sitting for Mr. and Mrs. Kay, this was before the accident. I really liked both of them, and they were always so nice to me.
I remember that terrible day when I heard about the car accident, and how serious it was, I ran down the street to Mr. Kay's house and took care of Pam while he went to the hospital to stay with Kelly. It felt so good that I could help him in such a hard time like that.
I was at the house continuously for the next three days while Mr. Kay stayed with his wife. I was with Pam on the third day, when one of the neighbors came over and told me she had died.
The next few weeks were sort of a blur for me. Mr. Kay was totally shaken, and he wasn't really functioning. He stayed in his room a lot, and I took on the role of caretaker for little Pam. I was just 15 at the time and little Pam was only two, and I can't believe how much of a role I played in their lives. The weeks turned to months, and the months turned to years. And slowly Mr. Kay began to take part in the world around him. He was healing.
Somewhere during that time, I started to spend the night at their house, in the guest bedroom next to Mr. Kay's room, and across the hall from Pam. At first it seemed funny, but it was so important if Pam needed any help in the middle of the night. There were a lot of times I could hear Mr. Kay crying thru the wall, and it broke my heart to know how hard it was for him.
Little by little, I ended up sleeping nights in that room a lot. And one day Pam presented me a little sign. It was made of brightly colored paper with big cut out letters. It said Nina's ROOM, and it was so adorable. I know Mr. Kay must have made it, but I thanked little Pam with a huge hug and we made a sort of ceremony of taping it to the door - well, to my door. It was a really special event for me, it made me feel like I was a real part of the family.
* * *
This is a funny thing to admit, but just the other day I broke my glasses, so I had to get a new pair. When I was at the store I picked out a pair that were really different than the ones I broke. I think they look really cute. They are just simple little librarian glasses, and for some reason I just loved them.
And that same day, I got a haircut. I don't know why, I just felt really inspired. Now my hair is short, and I really like it. I think it looks super cute. Even my Mom likes it.
Anyway, the very next time I went over to baby-sit for Pam, Mr. Kay met me at the door, and he sort of flinched when he saw me. He looked really scared or something, and I wasn't sure what was wrong. It took just a moment for him to calm down, and he was trying to act normal again. But it really confused me. I didn't understand what happened until later that night, I was in the bathroom, and I saw myself in the mirror. And - I know this sounds crazy - But I had the same kind of glasses that his wife Kelly used to wear, and I cut my hair really short the same way she had her hair cut too.
It's funny, I mean - I thought I looked pretty, but at the same time, it was a weird thing for me to do, and I didn't understand it. Later, when Mr. Kay came home, he acted totally normal and sweet like he always does. So I tried not to think about it after that.
But it confused me, and it made me feel emotional.
* * *
Okay, on the third night at the house alone with Pam while Mr. Kay was away, we were having a perfectly lovely time together. I had made dinner and both of us had eaten when the phone rang. It was Mr. Kay and he explained that he would be home later than expected, the snowy weather had delayed his flight, and he might not be back to the house until well after midnight.
I said, "Don't worry about anything, Pam and I are both fine, we've been having fun."
He said, "Oh Nina, that makes me feel so good."
"Sure, it's been really nice."
"I can't thank you enough."
I explained what we had been doing, and how good little Pam has been.
There was a long pause, and I eventually asked, "Mr. Kay, are you still there?"
"Yes, I'm - I'm here." He sounded shaky, "I just feel - so happy - that you've been there for Pam. And for me. It means a lot, really."
He sounded so sweet, and it was really touching for me, I actually thought I might start to cry.
I said, "Oh Mr. Kay, don't worry, you are welcome, I love Pam, and I love helping you too."
"Thank you, I'm glad. I'll try to be quiet when I get home."
We talked for a little longer, but I think both of us were a little bit surprised at how emotional we were being, so we said good-bye.
Mr. Kay has been really kind to me. He and his wife got married really young, and had little Pam soon after. I remember when I first started baby-sitting for them; he and Kelly were the perfect couple. There was something so beautiful about them, especially when they were together. But since Kelly died, there is something so sad about Mr. Kay, and even though he is tall and handsome, there is something so sad in his eyes. I wish I could help him, to somehow make him feel - well - less sad.
After I hung up the phone, I explained to little Pam that her father would be home late to night.
She asked, "How late? Will I be asleep?"
I told her, "I bet you will be in bed, we both will, when your father comes home. But don't worry, he'll come in and kiss you – I know he will."
She said, "I miss him.
I told her, "I miss him too."
Then I went upstairs and filled the tub with warm water so I could take a bath with Pam. This had become normal for us during the last few days. I used to just give her a bath, but with Mr. Kay out of the house I ended up taking my clothes off and just climbing into the tub with her.
I found an old bottle of apricot scented bubble bath soap under the sink, way in the back. I added this to the tub and it created a lot of bubbles, and it filled the bathroom with a really sweet apricot smell.
It was fun, and it was so cute sitting together in the soapy water playing with all her little toys. We had little boats and funny ducks, I loved it, and so did she.
We played in the tub together for a long time, and finally we got out. Pam ran out of the bathroom as soon as I toweled her dry. She went to her room to put on her pajamas.
Then, I was all-alone in the bathroom. And for some reason, it felt scary.
I was so unsettled as I dried off after the bath. I looked at myself, naked, in the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door.
Mr. Kay always describes me as petite, and that's a really nice way of saying that I'm small. I actually like it when he says that, but I just don't understand why I always feel so sad when I see myself naked in the mirror like this.
As looked at my reflection, I was, as always, immediately fixated on my tiny breasts. They are just so small, it's like they aren't there at all. I feel so sad when I see myself like that, it just seems so unfair.
I mean, I guess - that I always think about, was my breasts. Yes, I know, this must sound weird, but I just can't help it. I can get obsessive about them. I have little tiny trainee breasts. Well, anyway, that's what I call them. They are VERY small. I guess they stopped growing when I was about twelve years old. It's embarrassing, I mean - I'm eighteen years old now, but my breasts are still in the sixth grade.
The fact is that I'm tiny all over, I'm short, and I have short hair and narrow shoulders. My hips aren't too wide and I have a sort of small bottom.
I turned a little sideways and looked at my reflection.
Oh god - My nipples are so prominent, like - I have almost NO boobs, but I have these pointy nipples, I don't understand it.
To make things even more awkward, even though my breasts are so tiny, for some reason, my nipples can get really hard, to the point where it's embarrassing for me to wear certain clothes, like I just cannot wear tight t-shirts. My nipples are just so obvious - even with a bra. It's something that makes me feel so self-conscious.
And right then, I went to put my little bra back on, even though I knew I was going to sleep soon.
It's funny, but every time I put my bra on I sort of think to myself, "Okay, I know my breasts are really tiny, and I know don't NEED a bra. The reason I wear this little bra - is because I am just so humiliated about how easy it is to see my nipples through my shirt - and this little bra helps."
It's just so inappropriate for me to wear certain clothes, and wearing a bra helps hide my nipples, it helps cover them up. My nipples always seem to show through whatever I wear, and it can be really embarrassing. That's why I wear a bra, even to sleep at night.
Plus, I feel like wearing a bra in Mr. Kay's house is like, necessary. Like it's my uniform or something.
I felt sad looking at myself in the mirror, but I knew that I was being silly.
I mean - for a long time after Kelly died Mr. Kay was so intensely sad, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to help. That really scared me; I was worried he would never smile again.
I was concerned because of the way my Mom had changed. I mean, my Mom has become really strict and nervous since my dad died. And it worried me, that Mr. Kay would somehow suffer like my Mom did, and it would change him. I was really young when my dad died, and I have just a few memories of him, mostly that he was tall and that he dressed so nice. And my image of him was of someone who was healthy and sweet. I know my Mom loved him too, and it just brakes my heart to see her so distraught, all these years later.
My mom can be so mean. She seems to act so rigid with me. I think that's a big part of the reason I spend so much time at Mr. Kay's house. And it's been a huge relief to have my own room here. I still spend some nights at home with Mom, but it can be hard, especially - since - the other morning - when...
Suddenly, I had this dark flash; it was a blur of memories - of my Mom - and her voice from the other morning. When she - when she - came into my room.
My heart was suddenly beating faster, with a creepy mixture of fear and shame.
Oh god - I can NOT think about that.
I stood there looking at myself, naked in the mirror, and I seemed to focus on my pubic hair, I don't know why, but its really thin and pale, and right then I felt so heartsick.
I quickly put my tiny little bra on, and then my plain white panties - and then my long nightgown.
Pam was already in bed when I came out of the bathroom, and I sat next to her and read a bed time story, and then another.
She was so sleepy and cute, that I managed to deny how emotional I was in the bathroom - looking at myself in the mirror.
At some point I just climbed under the covers with Pam and snuggled as she fell asleep. It was really cozy, and I think we both really loved it. I lay there and listened to the quiet sound of her breathing. And she smelled so sweet and nice after our apricot bubble bath together.
Oh God, I just had a flash again, about my Mom coming in my room and my heart started beating. This is going to make me crazy. I cannot let myself think about it.
Okay - I'm freaked out - I can't handle this. I need to think about nice things. Like being with Pam, and how much fun we've had. Or, how kind Mr. Kay has been to me. Yes, he's been so sweet. It really feels nice, I mean, Mr. Kay has helped me, he's been so wonderful. Good. Just making myself to think about him seemed to calm me down.
This is much better, it's working. I need to think only of Mr. Kay as I fall asleep.
Okay, there is something so soothing about Mr. Kay. I like the fact that he's a tall, He run a few times a week, and it makes him seem so fit. He's always dressed nice, and he always talks so quiet and calm, and his voice just makes me feel so peaceful.
He seems so healthy, I mean, lately he's so much better compared to the dark year after Kelly died. And maybe I helped him, at least a little.
I snuggled in close to Pam and let the image of Mr. Kay fill my head as I listened to her soft breathing. I slowly drifted off, content and warm.
* * *
The next thing I knew, I was waking up out of a deep sleep, and the light was on in the hall, I was just barely aware of what was happening.
I looked over and there was Mr. Kay sitting on the side of the bed, kissing little Pam. Maybe it was just the dimly lit room, but he looked so handsome and calm.
I heard Little Pam say, "Hello Daddy."
He softly replied, "Hello to you too, baby."
She said, "I missed you."
"I missed you too."
In her tiny voice, Pam said, "While you were away, me and Nina took a bubble bath together. We had lot of fun, it was nice."
"Good for you. That sounds wonderful."
I looked up, with sleepy eyes at Mr. Kay and said, "Welcome home."
He looked at me and replied, "Hi Nina, did the little angel keep you busy?"
"She was a delight."
Then Mr. Kay whispered, "I'm glad to be home, now you two need to get back to sleep."
Pam whispered, "I love you daddy."
He leaned in and gently kissed her on her forehead and said, "I love you too Pam."
I started to get up and out of the bed, and Mr. Kay said, "It's okay Nina, you can sleep here if you want."
I said, "I think, maybe, I should sleep down the hall, in my room."
He asked, "Are you sure?"
I said, "I think so, Pam can get kind of squirmy sometimes."
I sat up in bed, and I whispered to little Pam, "I love you."
And then I kissed her goodnight, picked up my funny little librarian glasses from the night stand and put them on and walked out of the room with Mr. Kay.
I felt a little bit foggy as we stood in the hall just outside Pam's door. I am so short compared to Mr. Kay; right then he seemed SO tall. I looked up at him and quietly asked how his trip was.
He whispered, "We should be quiet, it's late."
We both walked down the hall and went in to the guest room, well, my room really. And he closed the door so our talking wouldn't bother Pam.
I could tell something was wrong, that Mr. Kay was worried about something.
I sat on the edge of my bed, and Mr. Kay sat in the chair across from me. We talked for a little while, and I told him how nice Pam was while he was away.
He was wearing a white business shirt and a nice pair of pants. It felt funny, almost like he was too formal or something. Especially with me wearing my long nightgown. It's funny, I felt like such a little girl and he seemed like such a grown up, sort of professional, he looked so serious.
I could tell something was on his mind, I asked, "What are you thinking?
"I'm not sure, something smells nice."
"Something smells sweet, like a fruity shampoo - or something. Is it you?"
I thought for a moment and said, "Is it - maybe - from the bubble bath I took with Pam?"
He looked at me for a second before saying, "You mean - that bottle of apricot bubble bath soap, from under the sink?"
"Yes, Pam and I took a bath together and used some. Was that okay?"
He smiled is a sort of nervous way and said, "Of course, it - it smells - really nice."
I suddenly felt totally embarrassed.
All I could think of is that it must have been Kelly's bubble bath and the sweet apricot smell must remind him of her.
What followed was a long awkward pause, and Mr. Kay seemed preoccupied with something. I sat there, at the edge of the bed, feeling embarrassed in my nightgown. I'm so short my feet don't touch the floor, so I swung them like a nervous little girl.
Then, in a thoughtful voice, he asked me, "How have you been?"
I wasn't sure what he meant, but I could tell he was really serious. I was apprehensive about the way my little glasses must have looked, and my new short haircut. And now I realized that I even smell like Kelly.
I replied, "I've been - well - good - I guess."
He looked directly at me, and said, "Can I ask you something?"
"Of course you can."
"The other morning, when I left for this trip, when you got to the house, you seemed - upset."
I knew right away what he meant. Oh God - that was the morning that my - my - Mom came in my room - and...
My heart started pounding. I couldn't say anything, I was so intimidated I just stared at him - silently.
Mr. Kay asked, "Did I do anything, or say anything, to make you feel bad?"
I realized he was blaming himself for me being emotional that morning, and I stammered, "Oh no - Mr. Kay - No, you didn't do anything to make me feel bad - no. I'm sorry, this is so - I don't know - it's - it's - so embarrassing."
He softly said, "I'm sorry, I don't mean to ask anything personal."
I hesitated before I spoke, "No - it's okay - its just - it's just..."
And I could hear the intense nervousness in my voice, I sounded so frightened. And he heard it too. Something was flooding over me, something scary.
He said, "Nina, something was wrong, I could tell, and I was worried about you the whole time I was gone."
I looked at him, and I desperately wanted to be honest, but how could I tell him what had happened.
"Oh Mr. Kay, I don't know - it's too..."
"I don't know - it's TOO embarrassing..."
"Don't worry, I want to help, really - I do."
Right then - Listening to Mr. Kay beautiful kind voice, telling me he wanted to help, somehow - I felt so comforted.
I realized how sincere and kind he was being, and I said, "Oh God, thank you, it really helps me to hear you say that." He looked at me with his beautiful sad eyes.
I said, "I want to tell you - But, this is so - I don't know - so confusing."
Mr. Kay said, "Nina, please - you can tell me."
And at that moment, I felt powerless to hide anything from him.
I looked at him, and stammered, "The other day - at my house - and in the morning - I was all alone in my room - and - and - I felt - Oh God - I felt SO ashamed - my Mom - she just walked in - and - I was - I was on the bed - and - and..."
He heard a sort of panic in my voice, "It's okay."
I couldn't stop, I HAD to tell him.
"And - and - when my Mom - when she came in my room - she didn't knock or anything - she just opened my door - and - and - she walked in - and - I was - I was naked - and - and..."