He read the message again, a third time, attempting to make sense of the new and unexpected situation being presented while sorting through the concoction of emotions blending inside him. He’s always thought in hypotheticals with those he’s met but never once imaging one of the plethora of scenarios coming true.
“Marcus,” the message opens, reading it with her voice echoing in his head. “I know it’s been a while. Our…whatever it was, it didn’t end on pleasant terms. Yes, I’ll (finally) admit it was my fault. With your absence I’ve been able to do a lot of reflecting. One of those things is how much I need you in my life. That’s why I’m sending this. Pleading for you to respond. I’m in trouble. Not *I owe gangsters money* but *I’m pregnant and completely alone* kind of trouble. I always knew you were someone I could depend on. I’m not asking for money and despite not having much I know you’d make sure I was squared away anyway. No, I’m writing this hoping to get moral support. I don’t know if I wanna keep it. I’m not exactly against abortion but I don’t quite know if keeping this baby is a wise decision. I just need somebody to talk to. Please. Reach out to me.”
At least she’s admitted to my decision to stop speaking to her came directly from her actions, he thought with a long sigh. He let two days pass before typing out his response: meet me outside the Prospect Ave station on the R line Saturday at 4pm. If you’re late, don’t bother contacting me again.
Saturday was three days away, and the hours ticked by quickly.
Five minutes early, he stood perched against a wall drinking a coffee when with one minute left she crossed the street towards him.
“Hey.” She said, brushing hair behind an ear despite the breeze. He stood looking at her a moment. He waited 10 long years to finally be standing in front of her; another cocktail being worked on inside him. After meeting online in 2008 she was forced to relocate to Fort Lauderdale three weeks after becoming acquainted, a place she would call home until moving back to New York two years ago. She did so without a word to him, the one person she claimed could be counted on. She grew distant for whatever reason and any attempt to fix what she broke was all for naught. Now here she was with another man’s baby when it could have been his (in another life).
“So you’re pregnant?”
Through shy laughter she said “yea.” She shrugged, allowing her hands to slap her thighs. “And I came to you for help.”
“What could I do? Why does my opinion matter now when it didn’t for a long time?”
“Because I’m an idiot, and didn’t realize the full extent of what you meant to me.”
“You don’t what you’ve got, and all that jazz, huh?”
A few gulps of coffee. “Why are you thinking about keeping it?”
“I think I’m ready to be a mother.”
“But you don’t wanna do it alone because that wasn’t what you expected when you let your…boyfriend?”
She nodded. “I sure know how to pick em, huh?”
After a moment of necessary silence he said “Let’s take a walk.”
He led the way to a park. Several children were at play with mothers, other children, or both parents. “What do you see?” He asked without looking at her as they stopped at a vacant green bench.
She sighed. “Happy families. Cute kids. Fine ass DILF’s.” She let out a laugh, stifling a tear.
“Do you see yourself here?”
This time she didn’t stop the flow. She shook her head.
“There’s your answer.”
“What am I gonna do?”
Another moment of silence. She wanted him to tell her exactly what to do. She knew him well, as he knew her. She wanted the family, the husband, kids. She didn’t want to do it alone. She didn’t want to have a child and go on dates knowing if she got close enough the man may very likely leave. It’s nobody’s fault.
She also knew that he could be counted on to fill the role without doing so completely, but was not in the slightest opposed to doing it all with him. She knew he wanted it all and it wouldn’t be settling if they didn’t get married for it to happen; to them, it’d be the real deal.
She needed his last word on the matter despite never needing a man’s input on anything in the past. But she without a doubt knew if he wouldn’t help her on this, it meant they were truly over.
He sighed, looked her in the eyes, said, “make the appointment. I’ll be there with you till it’s over.”
Through tears she nodded. They got up and walked back to the train station. She hugged him and could feel it would be one of the last remaining times it’ll ever happen.
“Nice to fi-”
He put his hand up, lightly shaking his head. “Call me when you’ve set the appointment.”
He turned on his heels and began descending into the underground station going the opposite direction.