Jessica glanced up at the security center view screen when the chimes sounded. A young Asian woman stood at the front door, slim with long black hair pulled into a ponytail. Jessie went to open the door.
“Hello. You’re Cecilia, of course.” Stylishly but casually dressed. She has the same eyes and smile that Greg had, thought Jessie. Taller than I expected, but then Greg was tall. She extended her hand and they shook hands somewhat awkwardly.
“Hello Jessica. I hope I didn’t wake the baby. I can’t wait to see her.” The women appraised each other quickly. After a pause Cecilia Chao said, “You’re even prettier than in the pictures from Greg.”
“Thank you. No, baby is still asleep. Please come in.”
“I should have contacted you in advance, but I’m on my way to grad school and things got very busy in Hong Kong before I left, though that’s no real excuse.” Cecilia Chao looked around the living room. Neat housekeeper, she thought. Mostly modern furnishings. Not cheap but not super high end, so she wasn’t trying to take advantage of Greg. And there’s the Chinese landscape scroll that Greg took with him from home.
“No problem. Please sit and make yourself at home. Can I get you some tea, coffee or juice?” ‘Things got very busy?’ thought Jessie. Right. She wanted to drop in on me unannounced to see how I live. How I am as a mother and a person. Well check away, and report to your parents.
“Coffee would be great, if you’re having some too. Otherwise water.”
“Coffee, it is then,” said Jessie,” and turned to go to the kitchen.
After a brief hesitation, Cecilia followed her. As Jessie was getting the French press down from the shelf, they heard the baby stir over the monitor. The screen showed her starting to move and gather herself to cry.
“Fraid coffee will have to wait. She wants to nurse as soon as she wakes. Come along and meet Cecilia if you wish.”
“Of course,” said Cecilia Chao, following.
“You’re calling pretty late, Ceci,” said T.F. Chao “You shouldn’t be out on those freeways at such a late hour.”
“No, no. It’s only 9 PM on the West Coast, Daddy. And Uber-Yellow is an easy way to get around the LA-San Diego mega-city. Besides surveillance security drones blanket the city and freeways. I was even able to nap all the way back to the hotel. I’m glad I caught you at home. I’m not interrupting your lunch, am I?” Said Cecilia.
“How was your visit? Did you see the baby? What do you think about Ms. Turner? I’ll switch you to the big screen so Mommy can see and talk with you more easily.”
“Slow down, Daddy,” Cecilia laughed. “The baby is cute with a round face just like Greg’s baby pictures. I can see the resemblance. She’s starting to coo and laugh and even sit up. Jessica seems to be a good mother. She invited me to stay for dinner so I had a nice long visit.”
“So you do believe that she is Greg’s baby,” said Lily Chao slowly. “You think this woman is telling the truth.”
“Yes. I don’t think you’ll need a DNA test. I think she is being truthful and yes, I think she and Greg were in love. Jessica knows why I visited and when I left she joked that she hoped my spy mission was successful.”
“So you liked her?”
“I did. I can see why Greg was attracted to her.”
“Did she say anything about needing support?” Asked Lily.
“I asked her if she needed help and she said she is doing fine, even without the life insurance policy that Greg left her. I believe her.”
“Do you have some pictures?” Asked T.F. Chao.
“Of course. I took a zillion of Little Ceci. Here, I’ll upload them while we talk. Adjust your view to see them on split screen.”
“Thank you for going to see them, Ceci. It was important to get your first hand evaluation.”
“It was something I wanted to do, Daddy. I plan to keep in close touch with them. After all, baby Ceci is my niece, and Jessica, all but in name, my sister-in-law.”
“The pictures are coming up,” said Lily Chao. “Oh, she does look like Greg, T.F. We do have a grandchild! But now what do we do? How much did Greg tell her about us?”