“How are you feeling, honey? Is this better?”
I was softly massaging Allie’s shoulders and back. She was having more aches this time around, because she still had to pick up Oliver every day. But she never complained. She just walked around the house, smiling and beaming.
“Hmm, you’re getting good at this. I’d get pregnant again just to get more massages from you,” she joked. I laughed and pulled her into my arms.
“I can’t wait for the little one to be here,” I said. Allie sighed happily. “Me too. But I have to be honest, I love this part as well. Seeing my stomach grow, feeling the first kicks and movements… It really is magical.”
I kissed her forehead. “We really are lucky.”
And we sat in front of the fire, almost the entire night, just holding each other keeping each other warm. It was all I ever needed.
Michelle had come by after work, which was pretty rare. Usually, we only saw each other on weekend nights, so it was nice to have a full evening with her.
“I only have orange juice,” I said, carrying the glass into the living room. “Do you mind?” “Oh no, it’s fine,” Michelle smiled.
My cell phone rang and I hurriedly put the glass down and grabbed it out of my pocket. I knew Allie had been in labor for a while and I wanted to know everything was going okay.
“Really? It’s a boy? I have another nephew!”
I laughed, unable to hide my excitement. Michelle smiled and mouthed ‘congratulations’.
“So how’s Allie doing? Everything went well?”
“Yeah, absolutely, I’ll stop by as soon as possible. Can’t wait to see the little guy! See you soon, Phil. Congratulations.”
“Well, I just became an uncle again,” I announced happily after I’d put the phone down. “So I heard,” Michelle said. “Did everything go well?”
“Oh yeah, perfect birth, apparently. Listen, I’m sorry to cut our evening together short, but I really want to go by the house as soon as possible. Do you mind dropping me off with your car?”
Michelle’s face formed into an awkward frown. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Enzo.”
I was taken aback. I hadn’t expected this. “What? Why not?”
“Go by your parents’ house? When your sister just gave birth? I mean… Wouldn’t that be kind of awkward?”
I shrugged. “You don’t have to come in. But, really Michelle, we’ve been dating for well over a year. Allie already knows about it. You don’t think you can be civil and say ‘hi’ to my family?” I was surprised at how angry I sounded. How angry I suddenly felt.
Michelle shook her head. “Sorry, Enzo, I can’t drop you off. Just take the bus or something and I’ll go home.”
Instantly, I felt true, pure anger flaring up inside of me. “Are you freaking kidding me, Michelle?! My sister just had a baby, I want to go and visit her, and you are too concerned with your damn reputation or insecurity or whatever it is, to save me an hour-long bus ride, because you don’t want to drive me to my parents’ house? Are you serious? God, I can’t even believe how selfish you are! I just want to see my nephew and all you can think about is yourself!”
She balled her fists, also angry. “Oh, so now I’m selfish? Enzo, you know nobody can find out about us and I hardly think that it’s a good idea to meet your parents in such an emotional situation!”
“Then just wait in the damn car, or drive away right after!”
“Don’t you think they’ll ask who dropped you off?”
“They just witnessed a birth. I think they have other things on their mind.”
I put up my hands. “You know what, forget it. I’ll figure it out on my own. You can do whatever you want, Michelle.”
Without saying another word, I walked out of my house and slammed the door behind me. As I turned onto the street, I saw Hester walking on the sidewalk on her way home from work.
“Hey, Enz,” she said. “What’s up? You look upset?”
A wave of relief and calm washed over me when I saw her. My anger suddenly disappeared and I smiled again.
“Allie just had her second baby. A boy.”
“Oh that’s awesome! Congratulations! Are you going over there now?”
I nodded. “I want to. I just need to find out when the bus is leaving… It’ll take me forever.” I sighed.
“Hey, I’ve got a car. It’s basically a pile of junk, but it drives.” Hester smiled at me. “I can drop you off if you want? It would save you a lot of time, probably.”
My heart jumped. “Really, you would do that?”
Hester laughed. “Of course, silly. If your girlfriend wouldn’t mind you getting in to the car with me, of course,” she added sarcastically.
I glanced over at the house, where Michelle was still sitting in the living room. “No,” I said. “No, she wouldn’t mind.”
Bonus shot that was just too good not to put in here: Phil freaking out over the birth of baby #2, running around in the Streets and getting hit by a trolly/tram/bus :p