Resar, fall, 2016
Walt answered the door on the first knock. "Come on in," he said to his brother in law, or his children's uncle since technically Walt and Faith never married.
"How are you doing?" Anthony asked as he entered the apartment with two big bags.
"Ok," Walt answered. The truth was, he wasn't ok. How could anyone be ok after what happened? She was gone and each day he had to grapple with the fact that she was never coming back.
"What's all of this stuff?"
"Uh...well, I was hoping you could help me out. There was a sale at the grocer's and I kind of went a little overboard. There's no more room in our fridge and stuff so...uh, I was hoping that I could bring it here and you guys take it off my hands."
Walt tensed his lips and nodded. "Yeah, that's ok."
He pretended to go along with Anthony's story, just like he did last week when he showed up with a stack of food claiming that the expiration date was fast approaching and they wouldn't be able to eat it all. He appreciated that the man tried to help him without damaging his ego or his dignity. It's hard when a man can not provide for his family, especially his children.
"Sleeping. You want some coffee?"
Walt made the coffee while Anthony quietly put the food away. He was grateful for him and the rest of the family.
He considered them his family, especially now. They all had stepped in in various ways that he wasn't expecting.
He remembered sitting in Anthony and Susie's living room, it was the evening after Susie's birthday, the cake and banners were still out, and the news was so fresh.
"Don't you worry about a thing, anything you need, we'll be there ok."
He just nodded as they made plans around him. Anthony would come over after his shift since he worked early mornings as a marine biologist. He would stay with Jasper while Walt worked his first shift as a bagger at the grocer and then walk and get the girls from school.
Then after Walt's second shift as a check-out clerk at a clothing store, Lyndon would pick his children up and walk them home. By the time Walt made it home, it was time for dinner, baths and bed.
He went along with it since he didn't have a choice. His thoughts were mostly on Faith. How could she have done such a thing? Was she really that unhappy? He had never noticed and there wasn't any sign...until it was too late of course. He blamed himself, even though everyone said it wasn't his fault. That Faith had issues and there was nothing he could have done.
His head knew that, but he wanted to save her, to make her whole. She didn't want him...or the kids...it was all too much for her. She had left a note, but it didn't answer any questions, only increased them. She said that she felt overwhelmed and that the kids were just too much, that he was too much and that their life was too much. She didn't know of any other way.
"You heard anything yet?" Anthony asked bringing him back to the present.
"The club called and said that there's an opening this weekend for a comic and the job is mine if I want it."
"That's great!" Anthony said smiling. "Perfect timing, the girls want their cousins to come over for a backyard campout. We brought some tents and sleeping bags and they have dreams of roasting marshmallows under the stars. So when I can take the kids to our house for the weekend. Then they can go to their grandfather's house, since he and Gretchen want to take all their grandchildren to the pier."
Walt nodded, he wasn't sure how much was 'perfect timing' as Anthony claimed or made up on the spot. He didn't have time to think about it since he had to leave for his job.
He knew that while he was gone the house would be cleaned and Jasper would be well taken care of.
More than likely there would also be something in the fridge for dinner.
He wasn't expecting the pack of malt nectar waiting for him after work. Take the evening to rest, the kids are with their grandfather.
He was grateful for the quiet, being a reluctant single father of three was hard. He had finally gotten enough money for a small ring and he had planned the proposal. He wanted to marry Faith.
He glanced at her violin, still in the same spot, an homage, or shrine almost, to her. He never expected to have to pawn the ring shortly afterwards to pay for the rent. He never expected for the house to be empty, for a note to be waiting. For her not to stick around to tell him to his face, but instead leave a letter...I'm leaving. Goodbye.
Faith left Walt and the kids. She never seemed like the type to stick around and 'play house' and a third unexpected baby would be the tipping point. Faith was always like a big kid to me, not wanting to take responsibility, not taking care of the kids and only wanting to be with other people or throw parties. I don't know if she will be coming back.