He opened his door and saw Jo sitting on the porch steps, crying. “Hey, what’s wrong with you?” he awkwardly asked. He didn’t have any time for crying children. Why wasn’t her mother out here with her?
Jo raised a tear stained face. “My grandfather isn’t coming,” she sniffed.
“That’s too bad, but I’m sure he’ll come another time.”
“Do you think so?” Jo breathed.
“Sure. Why wouldn’t he?”
Jo looked doubtful, but she dropped the subject. “Are you helping Mama this morning?”
“Yes. Is she ready for me to get started?”
“I think so. You won’t tell her that I was on the porch will you? She’s in the shower, and she told me to stay inside.”
“No, I won’t tell her, but you ought to mind your mama.”
It was too late for Jo to conceal her crime. Jenna flew out of the duplex in search of her errant child. “Jo, where have you been? I told you to stay inside. I was worried about you.”
Jo’s head fell. “I was waiting for Grandfather.”
Anger and frustration chased across Jenna’s face. “Jo, I’ve told you; your grandfather isn’t coming.”
Jo nodded her head at Mike. “He said that Grandfather would come.”
Jenna cast an irritated look at him, and he wished he had kept his mouth shut. “He doesn’t know about your grandfather, sweet pea. Trust me; he isn’t coming. Your favorite cartoon is on if you’d like to watch it. You could do that while we’re working on the bathroom floor.”
Jo ran inside, and even though he didn’t want to, Mike tried to apologize. “I didn’t mean to cause trouble.”
Jenna shook her head. “No, it’s okay. You didn’t know.”
Jenna sat down on the step that Jo had vacated, and he sat down beside her. He’d rather work on the floor, but he couldn’t drag her back inside.
“The grandfather that Jo wants to see is her dad’s father. He won’t be coming because he didn’t want Ethan to marry me. Since Ethan died he’s seen Jo once, and now he pretends she doesn’t exist.”