Sharon ran straight home after school so that she could spend as much time with her baby brother as possible.
She had tried hard during the first few months to shun his presence, though such an effort was a lost cause for anyone with a heart. There was just no resisting his wide brown eyes, chubby cheeks and tiny hands that tried to grab at anything within arm's reach.
He was doing just that when she dashed through the front door and into the living room. She knelt down on the floor to observe him at play until he sensed something more engaging.
"Sister." He mumbled, raising his arms and attempting to stand while she pulled a book from her bag.
She gave up before resigning herself to just sitting down and reading. He fell back on all fours and crawled over to grab at the book's pages.
"Hey, stop it."
"Bear!" He exclaimed, using her shoulder to prop himself up as he pointed towards an eye-catching picture.
"Yes, bear." She said with a nod of encouragement, which prompted him to give a toothless smile.
They continued on like this for an hour or so until Judith purposefully entered the living room and hoisted Michael up for another diaper change.
She quickly grew bored in his absence and wandered towards her room to play with the G.I. Joe action figure that had almost been usurped by Chatty Cathy.
The discovery of a neatly written note resting in the box beside the miniature soldier filled her with surprise that only increased as she read it.
I'll show you how to ride a bike this weekend. What do you say?
Your Dad, Robert
Sharon scrunched the slip of paper up in her fist and took a deep breath while unsure what to make of this spontaneous gesture of friendliness.
"He never says things like that..." She muttered to herself in suspicion as she shifted into a foetal position to contemplate the truth.
Unbeknownst to the seven year old, it was Judith whom had persuaded Rob to leave the note as a first step to getting to know his daughter.