Jonah and I sat across from my parents in the living room completely dumbfounded. We just told them the news about my pregnancy and yet they were the calmest I'd ever seen them. The same people who implemented strict rules to ensure I was on the right path in life were now happy to hear about our unplanned pregnancy.
“I'm sorry, I'm just a little confused.” I shook my head as I tried to wrap my mind around it. Don't get me wrong, I loved that they were happy, it just wasn't what I prepared myself for.
My parents looked at one another. “What's so confusing, honey?”
“I think what Lynn is trying to say is...” Jonah put his hand on my knee. “...We were expecting...”
Before he could finish my mom cut him off. “For us to be upset?” She put her drink down on the coffee table and leaned forward. “Have you two talked about it?”
Jonah and I looked at each other again. “Yes” we said in unison.
“Are you happy about it?” She asked.
“Of course” Jonah and I both nodded.
“Then we're happy for you.” My dad finally chimed in. “Jonah is a great guy, he has a good head on his shoulders, and it seems like he would do a wonderful job in supporting you with whatever life offers. That's all any father could wish for.”
“Lynn, if there's one thing, after all these years, that your father and I regret it's not living life earlier. We spent so much of our time chasing a career that we missed out on a lot of other opportunities. If building your family with Jonah is what you want to do don't let anything hold you back. Everything else will always be there.”
“Thanks mom and dad. You don't know how relieved I feel.” There was a single tear rolling down my cheek as I wiped it away. “It's been hard keeping this secret and I'm- we're- just glad you're so support of our decision.”
That night Jonah and I stayed up from this new high of ours and spent the whole night talking about the future. The roles we wanted the other to play, where we planned our being with our child, and just generally fantasizing. It felt amazing to know we were both finally, after all the drama, on the same page.
We spent a couple days in Texas before we decided to fly back to the city. I went over to Kadie's place to grab my things before I met Jonah back at our place. The apartment was empty of Rebecca's presence and it felt like a cool, refreshing, start.
“I think we should talk to my mom next weekend.” Jonah's eyes were on the TV as he spoke. We were snuggled up together on our couch after we'd eaten dinner that day.
“But” I turned to look at him. “That's Casey's wedding weekend.”
“I know” He nodded, still staring at the TV. “But, at least everyone will be there.”
I shrugged my shoulders.
I imagined Anna to be ecstatic by the news and I didn't know how Casey would feel about us hijacking her big weekend, especially since her wedding had been delayed by a year, but if it was something Jonah felt his family would be okay with, I had to go with it.
After a week of pure R&R bliss, Jonah was back at the office, resuming his endless hours of filming and award show prep. Maybe it was because Rebecca was around, or maybe it was because we'd gotten a chance to talk it out, but Jonah being gone all day wasn't much of a stress point for me.
It was mid-week when Jaime showed up at my front door.
“Oh my God!!” He screamed as I opened the door. “You've gotten so huge!”
“What!” I held my hands over the tiny, hardly there, curve of my stomach.
Jaime laughed hysterically. “Just kidding! I just wanted to see your face.”
“Asshole!” I punched him as he walked in.
“Really though, are you sure you're pregnant?” He turned back to give me a hard stare. “You actually look like you lost weight.”
“Stress” I rolled my eyes. “...And I guess genetics. My mom said she lost a ton of weight before she started packing it on when she was pregnant with me.” I shrugged my shoulders and asked him where the hell he'd been.
“You don't even want to know.” He smirked as he pulled out his phone and began tapping away.
I walked over to him and pinched his arm. “Jaime Cameron Anderson, if you don't tell me right now, I swear to...”
Jaime yelped as he wiggled free. “Okay, okay. Jesus! I was wrong to question if you were pregnant.”
I smiled and folded my arms.
“I...” He fell silent for a second. “I'm...” He continued to struggle with his words. “Hen....” He looked up at me as I raised my eyebrows. “I really don't even know how to say it.”
“Just say it!” I shook his shoulders.
“I'm dating Henry!” He spoke so quickly it took me a second to process it. He noticed my expression and covered his mouth.
We stared at one another for a minute before I collected myself. “You mean the same Henry you've gotten into multiple fights with? The same Henry who you can't stand to be in the same room with? Jebrone's Henry?”
“I know, I know!” He shook his head and walked away into the kitchen. His fingers nervously tapped along the counter top as he tried to find something to dig in.
“Okay” I folded my arms again and followed him. “So, you're going to explain, right?”
Jaime lifted his hand off the counter and ran his fingers through his hair as he turned away and opened the refrigerator. “Yeah, you know, we just kinda talked things out and one thing led to the next...”
“Jaime, you know he's had a pretty long on and off relationship with Jebrone, right? Like, he almost always goes running back to him.”
He grabbed a can of Coke and spun around to face me. “I know, Lynn!” He sounded irritated.
I held up my hands. “Look, I just don't want to see you get hurt. Henry's a wild card.”
Jaime popped the tab of the can and sat on the bar stool. “It's been partly my fault that he's been on and off with Jebrone. I haven't told you this, but things between Henry and I have been going on for a while.”
I raised my brows and sat down next to Jaime, waiting for him to explain.
“He's just so open...ly gay and I'm not. I want to be with him, but I'm afraid to be out. My family is so...old school...I just don't know how they're going to take it, you know?” I reached over and rubbed my hand on his shoulder. “He refuses to be with me if we have to keep it a secret. Every time he threatens to leave me and go back to Jebrone, and we always get into this big argument.”
“So you think you're ready now?”
He looked at me with glazed eyes, “I think I'm ready now.”
My heart wanted to break as I looked at Jaime. The trouble he had to go through just to simply love someone.
He told me he was going to his parents house for dinner the next night and wanted me to come with him. Mr and Mrs Anderson were fond of me and always teased us about dating one another. Little did they know. I agreed to go with Jaime. He'd been nothing but a good friend to me and I couldn't see myself not being there for him when he needed me.
The next night we jumped on a train to Jersey and headed to Jaime's parents house. It was my first time going. They lived in a posh part of town that gracefully obtained his historic culture. It was even more intimidating with the shadows of nightfall.
His parents greeted us as we walked in. We spent most of the evening talking in the main living room as dinner was being prepared. I kept looking over at Jaime nervously fidgeting. His demeanor had completely changed around his parents. It's something he always did, but tonight he was doing it more than usual, as if to prove a point.
“I'm so proud of you son!” Jaime's dad came up behind him and patted his hands onto his shoulder. “One year left and you'll finally be a doctor!”
Jaime's mouth twitched into a slight smile. “Yeah, can you believe it?”
“Of course I can!” His voice filled the room. “You know Lynn, my Jaime here was a baseball star in high school and he still managed to be the top of his class all the way up til this day.”
Jaime's mom walked into the dinning room with dinner. She placed it on the table and gave Jaime a kiss on his cheek. “We couldn't have asked for a better son.”
As she walked away I nudged his shoulder. He leaned in so I could whisper in his ear.
“Now is a better time than any”
Jaime's dad saw us whispering to one another. “What's the deal with you two? Are you going to ask her out or not Jaime?”
He both turned towards him with wide eyes and flushed cheeks.
I smiled as I lifted up my hand. “You know I'm engaged to someone else” I'd just told him earlier that evening.
“Oh, nonsense!” He joked. “You can always end it.”
“Dad!” Jaime raised his voice.
“Oh stop it honey, you know your father is only teasing you.” Jaime's mom walked back into the room and sat across from us.
Jaime took a deep breath. I reached under the table and held his hand.
His parents could tell something was about to happen. They stopped what they were doing to look at us.
“Mom, Dad.” Jaime released his breath. “I've been wanting to tell you this for some time...” He glaced at me before he continued. “I'm gay.”
Jaime's dad dropped his fork on his plate. “What?” He looked as if he really hadn't heard what Jaime said.
“I'm gay” Jaime repeated. “I'm attracted to other men. I have been for some time now. Actually one in particular. Funny, because he goes to med school with Lynn.”
“Did you put him up to this?” Jaime's dad angrily looked in my direction.
I felt my heart beating in my throat. “What? No! This isn't something you convince someone to do.”
“Jaime, please” His mom tried to end the drama that was about to take place.
Jaime's grip became tighter and tighter with each passing second.
“Dad, she didn't put me up to anything. I've been this way for as long as I've known myself.”
“Jaime, I said please.” His mom spoke in a stern tone.
There was a painfully long awkward silence that filled the room before Jaime's dad set his napkin over his plate.I did the only thing I'd been use to doing since becoming pregnant, I cried. I sat back and quietly shed tears as I watched the interaction between Jaime and his parents. How different it was from the loving way that my parents had comforted me just a few days earlier.
“I think it's best if you leave.”