“Are we a family?”
I couldn’t help it. I wanted to hear it from the source.
“Of course,” Papa responded, with the same confidence he’d give a diagnosis.
“That’s not what Henri Jourdain next door said…”
“Ozornaya!” Papa exclaimed. “Already talking with boys.”
“He says it’s not the same.” I played with his tie. “Because you and Daddy are men.”
Papa was silent for what seemed like hours.
I moved quickly to reason through it. “But Mr. Jourdain gives Mrs. Jourdain after-dinner kisses…” I posited - “… and you give Daddy after-dinner kisses.”
“That’s right,” Papa responded, the smile gone from his face.
“So I don’t understand!” I insisted.
I waited for an explanation with facts. Data. The way I’d come to expect I’d learn from him. But this time he smoothed my hair back, took a breath and continued down the hall.
“Henri is wrong.”
Just like that. He was wrong. No doubt. No attempt to replicate the results. Total certainty of error.
“So does that make Daddy Mrs. Razdelnikov, or you Mrs. Sapphire?”
“Come on, milaya. Time for bed.”