Tommy insisted on teaching Natalie a card game some friends of his had made up in college, just to keep her at the house a little longer. While Claire put Sammy to bed, Paul fussed in the kitchen, making coffee and clearing up the last few plates after their dessert. He decided to be amused, rather than irritated, when Natalie used the opportunity to ask about the preparations for the accessibility awareness walk scheduled for that weekend.
"Tomorrow is for organizing," he said, only sparing half his attention for the card game. "Putting together the information packets, getting the volunteers paired up with their handicaps."
"Like who's going to be in a wheelchair, who gets a walker, who gets a white cane?" she asked.
"Yeah. Who gets goggles for limited vision, who gets an arm tied behind their back. Ought to be a riot, watching people figure out how to steer a chair for the first time. Kind of like putting me behind the wheel of a car."
A little chill raced up his back when Paul didn't react to that line. Tommy felt guilty for giving him something new to worry about. No one deserved to have his high-flying buzz from learning about a coming baby crash and burn so soon after getting the news.
"Anyway," he continued after a moment of silence. "Saturday is when we hit the streets. Literally. We figure a lot of people will be off work and out running errands or just playing all day, so we'll be more visible."
"I hope you'll let me join in the fun, not just stand around and watch."
"You won't be allowed out if you don't pretend to be a gimp. Right, Paul?"
"Yeah, right." Paul gave them a thin smile and walked out of the kitchen.
"I'm sorry," Natalie murmured.
"For what?" Tommy grinned, pleased more than he thought possible that she seemed to be thinking along the same lines as him."I feel like I brought trouble on your family, even though I know it isn't me. If anybody, it's Franky, but even he didn't do anything."