Your son looked at you as you scrubbed the bar tables with a ragged piece of cloth. Luckily your tavern was closed now or you’d have a even larger headache. Your child was in that phase of childhood that everyone had been through; the phase when he questions everything.
And of course you had to give him a legitimate answer, or at least one that sounded legitimate otherwise he wouldn’t stop nagging you. “Mama, why is the sky blue?” He asked and you froze. It was a hard one this time, even you didn’t know the answer to that one off the top of your head.
I mean you were just a simple barmaid, how could you know something like that?!
“It’s magic.” You replied with a straight face, wringing out the cloth in the wooden bucket that stood to your side.
“Why do have to drink and eat?” Your son swung his legs as he asked you the questions, gazing expectantly at you. You were his mother! You knew everything!
“Otherwise we’d die.” He nodded thoughtfully. “And that’s not nice is it?” He said, this time his question being aimed at the small stuffed toy he was clinging to.
Laughing at his antics, you took a good look at your son. His knee was bleeding, from where he’d tripped and fallen on it before; that was also the reason he was inside and asking questions, rather than being outside and running around with his friends.
He looked so much like his father when he did concentrated; that slight thinking-pout growing on his face as he racked his brain for another question.
“Why are we alive?”
You sighed and walked towards him. He craned his neck back to look at you, so you made it easier and leaned down to his height. “That’s something you have to find for yourself, I’m afraid I can’t answer that question for you.”
Smiling, you ruffled his hair and he squeaked in protest, hugging you tightly around the waist. Before he was born, that was when you believed you lived for Antonio. His cheerful smile and warm embrace were what kept you going, never tiring though your work wore you down each day.
He would always wait for you to get back from the tavern where he met you, even if he was exhausted from working on the fields. How he ever managed to become a pirate you didn’t know, but he left to chase his dreams and you didn't have the heart to stop him. Each day before his departure he swore he'd come back, tying himself to you in more ways than one, but that all didn't matter in the end.
He left and your son was born. Despite the disapproving looks you got, you had to keep going for someone else now. Your son had become the light in your life and you did everything you could for him.
Even if his mannerisms and looks reminded you of Antonio. You continued stroking through your son’s mass of curls when you heard the door creak open. “I’m sorry, but we’re closed.” You told the person, not even bothering to turn around.
“Even for me?” Your eyes widened at that voice and you were about to turn around when a pair of arms embraced both you and your son. “Mind if I join in?”
He stopped your words with a kiss, the feather in his hat tickling you ever so slightly. “ I came back like I promised chica.” He murmured, a look of wonder on his face as he gazed at you. Suddenly he winced.
“What the-“ His eyes were as round as saucers when he saw your son. “Wh- you had a child while I was gone?!” You smacked him on the head and he glanced up at you with a tear in his eye. “That hurt!”
Your son copied you, hitting his small fists on his head. Eventually Antonio picked him up and held him upside-down. “Hmmmm.” He thought as he examined your son’s face, holding him tightly and at arm’s length.
Your son’s gaze was the same as Antonio’s as he tried to make sense of the stranger. At the same time they seemed to realise. They pointed at each other and looked at you. “He’s my son/ papa, isn’t he?”
You nodded to their questions and wrapped your arms around them. He was back. And so, you thought, was your complete and utter happiness.
Your son’s last question was asked in bed, as he was snuggled between you and Antonio. “Is papa going to stay?” He whispered at you and before you could answer Antonio patted his head. “I am.”