“How do I look?” Mr. Steve asked.
Nothing looked different about him. He wore the same suit he wore everyday as a teacher. You would think that if he got some big job as a businessman he would buy himself a new suit.
“I don’t like the tie,” I said just to be saying something.
“What’s wrong with my tie?” Mr. Steve asked. “You got me this tie for Father’s Day!”
“It says ‘I’m a math teacher!’ not ‘I’m accountant!’” I said. Ok, so there really wasn’t any difference. The tie had pi, addition, multiplication, and division symbols on it.
Mr. Steve laughed.
“I’ll just tell them that my daughter gave it to me,” Mr. Steve said. He gave Momma a kiss and walked out the door.
“When’s the cable guy coming?” I groaned. Momma laughed.
“Can’t you survive one day without TV?” Momma asked. “Anyway there’s nothing good on TV especially on Mondays.”
“School doesn’t start until next week,” I whined.
“Go read a book,” Momma said. “We can go to Central Park. Do a little window shopping.”
“And miss the cable guy,” I added. Momma shook her head and laughed.
The doorbell rang. I ran to open the door, but Momma stopped me.
“This isn’t Florida,” Momma said. “Always check before you answer the door.”
Another disadvantage to living in the city.
“Who is it?” Momma asked looking through the peephole.
“I’m Yule Stewart. I’m here to install your cable box. I have my work badge and your appointment arrangement papers,” The man on the other side of the door said.
Momma’s face screamed unbelief. She opened the door and her face fell.
The man standing in the doorway couldn’t be more than eighteen. He was very handsome(don’t get any ideas). He was wearing the cable company’s uniform. His dark brown hair was slicked back. He had hazel eyes that looked exactly like Momma’s. His eyes were sunk into his face with age but like he said he couldn’t be older than eighteen. He was smiling, and you could easily see that his teeth were crooked. His voice had a New York accent. It sounded tough, but for some reason it was music to my ears.
“I…um..,” Momma stared. She blinked at him in disbelief.
“Are you all right, ma’am?” Yule asked Momma.
“I’m fine,” Momma said forcing a smile to her face. “Can I see your work badge?”
“Here,” Yule said handing it to Momma. Momma looked at it and nodded.
“Come in,” Momma said.
Yule limped into the apartment.
“Where would you like the main cable box to be?” Yule asked.
“This TV right here,” Momma said pointing to the family room TV. Yule nodded. He noticed the Christmas tree and started laughing.
“Oops, sorry,” Yule said when he bumped into me.
“That’s ok,” I smiled. “I’m Natalie.”
“Yule,” Yule said offering his hand. “Natalie. I like the way that sounds. My sister’s having a baby. A girl. Every night she asks me if I’ve found any new names.”
“It means born on Christmas day,” I said shaking his hand.
“That’s funny,” Yule said moving the TV a little. “That’s what my name means.”
“I know,” I said. “I guess you guessed from the fact that we have a fake golden Christmas tree up in August that we’re Christmas freaks.”
“Yeah, I guessed,” Yule nodded hooking some cables up.
“My mom and I love Christmas. It hasn’t quite rubbed off on my stepdad yet,” I said. Yule smiled.
“I’m hungry,” Megan said walking into the family room.
“You just waking up?” I asked.
“Nope,” Megan said. “Jaci was dressing me. She wanted me to wear my blue polka dot dress outfit, but I wanted to wear my purple polka dot dress. She had to look through the boxes to find it.”
Megan screamed when she saw Yule.
“What’s wrong?” Momma asked walking from the kitchen.
“Stranger Danger!” Megan screamed pointing to Yule.
“Megan, honey, he’s here to set up the cable,” Momma said. “Can you say ‘hi Yule?’”
“Hi, You,” Megan said not able to pronounce Yule.
“Hi, Megan,” Yule said. “That outfit looks very pretty on you.”
“I told you, Jaci!” Megan cried running into the kitchen. Jaci walked out of Megan’s room.
“Welcome,” Jaci said to Yule. “Can I interest you in a cup of tea?”
“No, I’m just setting the cable box up,” Yule said. He moved the TV back. The cable box was set up on that TV. That was fast.
“Would you do the honors?” Yule asked handing me the remote.
I hit the power button and the news popped up.
“Where would you like the three other cable boxes?” Yule asked.
“In the kitchen, the second room on the left, and the junior cable box goes in the first room on the left,” Momma said. Yule nodded and walked towards the kitchen. I followed.
“Is it hard to set up cable boxes?” I asked.
“Nope,” Yule said. “But fixing them is. Last week all the cable boxes in one building crashed. I spent two days taking apart the cable boxes and replacing the parts. Ugh.”
“There are so many steps,” I said as I watched Yule. “How do you remember them all?”
“Photographic memory,” Yule said pointing to his brain. “Personally, I don’t know how all the other suckers do it either.”
“How bout you do it this time?” Yule asked Megan. Megan took the remote, turned the TV on, and then turned to Dora.
Yule, Momma, and I laughed.
“Uno!” Megan shouted.
Yule walked off towards the hallway, and I was about to follow but Momma stopped me.
“Natalie,” Momma said, “I think you’re bothering him.”
“She’s fine,” Yule said waving his hand. “It’s nice to be recognized every now and then.”
Momma nodded. Her face looked sad. She quickly turned back to making Megan breakfast.
“So you said you have a sister,” I said as Yule set up Momma and Mr. Steve’s cable box.
“Yup,” Yule said. “I see you got two.”
“Three actually,” I said. “My oldest sister is married and lives in Massachusetts.”
“I bet you miss her,” Yule said nodding his head in understanding. “You’re not from New York. I’ve never heard your accent before.”
“I’m Floridian, but my father was British,” I said
“I’m guessing this is your room?” Yule laughed walking into my room.
“Yeah,” I laughed. Yule looked at the pictures of Darcy and me.
“That your little boyfriend?” Yule asked pointing at the pictures. “I didn’t think you were old enough to have a boyfriend.”
“You could call him that,” I said. “I’m twelve but I’ll be thirteen in November.”
“That kid looks familiar,” Yule mumbled as he moved my TV. “Did you say your twelve? No wonder you remind me of my sister. You aren’t much younger than her.”
“Oh, so you have another sister,” I said.
“Nope,” Yule said. “Just me and her.”
“But you said she was having a baby,” I said.
“Yeah, it’s um complicated. Since the trial hasn’t happened I can’t really say anything,” Yule said. “Finished.”
“You are fast,” I said. Yule smiled.
“And you have been a delight,” Yule said. “Natalie. I like that name.”
“I hope to see you again one day,” I said.
“Me too,” Yule said. “If your cable box ever has a problem just ask for Yule.”
“I’ll remember that,” I said. “Goodbye.”
“Bye,” Yule smiled. And with that he walked out the door, but not out of my life.