[Sam wasn't really in the mood to shop. Yeah, ok, so she wasn't really in the mood to do anything but sleep on Cris' couch and wait for him to come back, so she could end this farce. But she had Teresita to worry about, and the little girl with the dark eyes and the bright smile was hard to be down around. And there was something hella comforting about patterns, yeah? Like things done without thought. Getting Teresita up in the mornings, making breakfast, getting the little girl dressed. Making sure Teresita got to school, and then Sam went home to sleep for the rest of the day. Then back up again when school ended, like life wasn't a complete fucking pretense between one school bell and the next.
Nights were better. Sam hadn't gone to get her welding stuff from Lou's, but she had the paints that Russ had taken to Ocean's, and it was comfortable or whatever, making dinner and then sitting around with a sketchpad as Teresita did her homework and asked a thousand fucking questions about everything.
The brownstone was messier than normal, but Sam didn't notice. Opera played through shitty iPhone speakers, and she explained the lyrics and helped Teresita to repeat the words as something played, muted, in the background on Telemundo. Then bedtime, and Sam was alone, and she could stop pretending.
But today was different, yeah? She'd promised Casey a shopping trip and, after Teresita went to school, Sam took the subway to where she was meeting him. Borrowed track pants, a sweatshirt and hoodie, and none of it fit right. Her dark hair was in two long braids, and she smoked a clove as she waited on the sidewalk.]