Alfred dimmed the lights. “I hope you’ll be okay without me.” He looked down at her perfect little face. He wondered if she really would be okay without him; he was her advocate. He could understand her, and let The Mother know what she needed.
He nestled himself atop her head and got cozy. This was going to take a while. He scanned and scanned, looking through her available dictionary of words.
“Hm, okay, so she can call on them, ask for milk, say ‘no,’ talk about urination under the guise of playing peek-a-boo…”
Alfred thoughtfully added some words he figured would help her during her travels, and quietly slipped out into the night, leaving nothing but a kiss behind.
The next morning, during a rather intricate battle between The Girl and The Mother over a phone with capitalization issues, Alfred’s gift of gab displayed itself. “MOMMA, WHERE IS DADDY?”
It wasn’t long before both The Ella and Alfred got called upon to do mumble mutter whisper whisper SHOUT.
“You really need to work on your whispering skills,” Alfred mumbled muttered to The Ella, but by that time, it didn’t matter much, they were both well on their way to the nation’s capital.
Before they left, however, Alfred had stopped by The Girl’s room to say his goodbyes. He explained to her that he had to leave for a little while, and then he kissed her softly on the cheek. She didn’t move an inch, and she probably hadn’t heard a word he said.
“Okay, I’m turning on the light.”
“I’m about to leave now, so -” he started.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“I can’t tell you that, I’m sorry,” he said, sadly.
“Well, I’m going on an adventure, tooooooooooo,” she whined.
“Yeah? Where are you going?” he asked, somewhat in disbelief. The Girl had never ventured off on her own, he doubted that she’d being doing so without him anytime soon.
“That’s classified,” she said, pleased with herself.
Alfred began to doubt that she was going anywhere at all, but he couldn’t be sure. “I want you to have something.”
“It’s dangerous to go alone, take this!” He snuggled up next to her, draping a purple knit blanket over her. In the time it had taken Alfred to get the blanket from his belongings, The Girl had already fallen back asleep, even though he had left the lights on in an effort to keep her awake.