1. My daughter's grandparents love her.
2. She's starting to smile and giggle socially.
3. I feel like I should do well in school this semester.
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You'll need to read Part 14 for this post to make much sense.
Stacey continued to look at his hallucination. Had he done the right thing for the boy? Aside from his walk back to the ship, Stacey hadn't found the time or energy to think about his choice. And the more he thought about it the worse he felt. Stacey had left an infant with a little girl. What was he thinking? For all he knew he wasn't hallucinating, but looking at an apparition of who the boy would have been had he lived past the first week with Scratch. How could he think that a starving orphan would know how to care for a baby. What a fool he'd been. What a coward he'd been. If he had just ran when The Captain called out to him he wouldn't be stuck on this leaky excuse for a boat. Why was he so afraid then? The Captain was a good shot, but he was far enough away that he would have been a challenging target, not to mention The Captain hadn't pulled the gun from his trousers and was drunk. He may not have had a great chance, but he didn't have a bad one either. His cowardice probably killed the boy.
The vision faded and Stacey saw a crew who hadn't noticed any change in their new found cook. Stacey picked up the empty serving pots and trudged back to his kitchen. Mattias's compliment had faded and melted away, and all that was left was a feeling that he wasn't the man he wanted to be, and that crime had probably lost him the only family he had alive.
Stacey swung the door open and clamored inside before anyone could see his tears. The pots hit the floor and his back hit the wall with nothing on it. He slid down with his face in his hands until he came to sit with his legs stretched out. And there, amid the meat, and the grain, and the banging of the waves, Stacey wept. He allowed himself to think of what he had lost, and who he had been, and cried deeply into his callused hands. The should haves of his life burrowed deep into his soul, and agitated his mind. Should haves that he'd buried rose and walked again inside of his mind's eye and made him sob even harder. He'd set his sights so high for little Sally, and yet, he had thought so little of himself. Why hadn't he shot higher? Why hadn't he tried for more?
When his eyes finally cleared, he saw Mattias crouched in front of him. Exhausted, his head banged against the wall and he closed his swollen red eyes. "Mattias, how long have you been here?"
"Long enough." Stacey let out an exasperated sigh. "Long enough to know that you're in pain, and maybe it's partly my fault. I think I need to let you know what kind of pirates we really are."