“All right, you see anything in here that’s got cracks in it? I don’t smell anything, and as you can tell from firsthand experience, I got a good sense of smell, so…”
It was hard to understand Sinbad’s mind as he brought Julian into his jar shed.
“Nothing broken? Cheese spread and shrimp toast intact? All the jams look fine?
“You think your Ma would care if I tried giving you a fauxhawk? ‘Cause I think you’d look pretty badass with one…”
Sinbad was a bit stunned when Gala showed up at his doorstep last night, asking that he watch Julian for a while. Apparently, she decided that she was going to try and get some child support out of Julian’s father after all.
“I sure hope you don’t grow up like your worthless father, little Lion man,” Sinbad told him as he readjusted his hold on the boy. “The last thing this town needs is Scumbag Shamus 2.0.
“And besides, uh…Don’t tell your Ma, but I actually kind of like you. So I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t end up turning into some kind of cheating jackass like he is. Got it?”
Julian simply let out some kind of happy gurgling sound.
“I’m gonna take that as a ‘yes’.”
Although Sinbad would deny it, he was actually grateful for his godson’s presence. It at least gave him another reason to get out of bed in the mornings, besides for work and letting the dogs outside.
Even if Julian could only say a few words, Sinbad could read his emotional states fairly well.
Like when confronted with a teddy bear, for one.
“Yeah, you know what this is, don’t you?” Sinbad couldn’t help but give a chuckle at Julian’s elation over seeing the stuffed toy.
In response, Julian let out a shrill shriek of delight.
“Funny how you love seeing something that’s been thrown around and slobbered on by a bunch of dogs.”
Exactly why Sinbad didn’t just go upstairs to get one wasn’t too much of a mystery; it was just too painful to go through Shark’s ‘happy place’. Were it not for the fact that it connected to the bathroom, he’d never go up there at all.
Julian didn’t seem to care all that much anyway.
“Teddy here knows how much your Mommy loves you. Don’t you, Teddy?” He moved it to look at its face better, and made it nod. “That’s right. She loves you enough to try and give you a better life, in any way she can.
“And evidently also enough to give you my middle name, too. How she swung that without me noticing, I may never know.”
He looked at the teddy bear again.
“I don’t think she knows what it means, though. If she did, she’d probably give you a better one. Right, Teddy?”
Sinbad then tried saying his godson’s full name out loud. “‘Julian Ahriman Ball‘. Eh, I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually.
“But remember, little Lion man,” he spoke again, making the teddy bear shake its head. “we do not judge Mommy for that. We don’t judge her for anything she’s done, all right?
“Hell, you and your other half-siblings might just be the only good things that came from ol’ Scumbag Shamus. So make sure you and them don’t turn into screw ups like him, okay?”
Julian just reached out towards Teddy, still quite enchanted.
Carefully, Sinbad put it down onto the floor, and pushed it towards him.
“Gala, this little bastard better grow up a hell of a lot better than I did,” he muttered, standing up now. “The last thing I need to see is history repeating itself.”