Back at the house, Gladys let the phone drop from her hand and watched it land on the soft rug. She kept her eyes on it, half expecting Joe to somehow reach out from within the phone and… well, and go ga-ga!
She gently placed a hand on her tummy.
George must have told him, why, she’d never know for sure. Did he really have to give him all that info? I mean the fact that she was pregnant was enough news, now… there was no telling the direction things will head from here.
Her husband marched out of the bathroom, tall, dark and comfortably looking half his age. He was whistling without a care in the world like he always did after beating Joe at a game or two of tennis. He seemed to derive some certain fulfillment in getting one over his only son. She was sure that she was right up there on his trophy cabinet. But…
“Are you okay? You look troubled”
She snapped out of her thoughts and turned to face him. Old man!
With that he shrugged and continued dressing up.
Back in the days, Joe would have dropped everything aside, come over and gently ask her over and over again till she yielded and spilled her guts. But now…
Oh Joe, if only you knew how sorry I am…
If only she knows how sorry she’ll be!
Joe slammed his fist into the marble wall of his bathroom.
What was Gladys up to? And he had always thought that his father had something on her. He never could make sense of her sudden decision to leave him and then marry his father. And now she’s pregnant, with HIS child and she’s putting the whole thing on his father.
He turned off the shower and made his way to the bed, after quickly drying up himself.
He picked up his phone and called Sammie.
“What?? Ha! Your father is a sharper shooter than you’ll ever be! What a guy!”
Trust Sammie to find the fun at the grimmest of situations.
“Come on, let me finish.”
“But you ARE finished. Your ex-fiancée who is now your step-mum…step MOTHER (Joe cringed) is now pregnant with your brother or sister. Ha! I should blog about this you know. I think…
“Sammie, the child’s mine.”
“She’s three months along”
“Three months, but…”
“Yes I know. That’s my point exactly!”
“Oh man. You. Are. So. Finished! Bwahhahahahaaaaahaa!”
Joe couldn’t help but join her. They both laughed on a roll for half a minute.
If he had had some sense then he should have just married Sammie and got on with his life. They went back a long way and by the time the romance should have developed, she saw him as too much of a brother to want any jara in their relationship. Besides, romance could spoil the friendship (bond) they’d spent years to build… well that was her opinion.
Save for respecting her opinion and going with the flow, he didn’t think he could marry her anyway. They fought like sworn enemies… when they did fight that is. The last time out, they didn’t speak to each other for eight months! His mother was thrilled, because for some reason she was never fond of Sammie. Well she also wasn’t fond of Gloria, Debby, Vicky, Ann, etc etc.
After they had both laughed the tension off, Sammie said in almost a whisper, “So what are you going to do now?”
That simple question had been gnawing at him ever since he got off the phone.
What was he going to do?
George and Gladys were having an early dinner. Unfortunately for George, Gladys had insisted on cooking and on her off days, he was well aware that she wasn’t anything near the world’s most fantastic cook.
Today was soooo off!
He forced a few forkfuls of the curry (yellow, tasteless and totally appalling) rice and proceeded to sip on his glass of red wine while he pretended to listen to her.
Fact was, he wanted to hurry and meet up with the ‘boys’.
The house was suddenly filled with a shriek, clapping of hands followed by
“GEORGE!!! WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU? YOU USELESS….”
Gladys’ mouth hung open, and George looked down at his food…I think I prefer the food to this.
His ex-wife had come home.
As Joe headed to his father’s house, he thought of what he would tell them. He thought of HOW he would tell them. What a mess. He had almost changed his mind but knowing he might do that, Sammie had called in and advised him to just get it over and done with.
He pulled into the drive way, waving at the gateman as he did so. As he pulled into his favourite spot, he noticed his mother’s car parked at her old spot.
Oh oh… the fan shall indeed be hit tonight… with lots of shit!
His mother was shouting when he strode into the living room. They all turned to face him.
His mum, red in the face, father, pointing at her, and Gladys, sitting down and looking totally unconcerned.
Before they could say anything, he spoke to Gladys.
“Why don’t you tell him?”
Gladys stood in shock. She clearly wasn’t expecting him.
“Joe, please don’t….”
“Don’t what? Joe what are you talking about?” Mother.
“Don’t what? Gladys, what is he talking about?” Father.
Gladys’ face was distorted, like she was in between crying and laughing.
“”SHUT UP YOU STUPID GIRL!”
“Will YOU shut it?”
“Daddy, the baby’s not yours.”
That shut them up.
Gladys covered her face.
“You married her about two months ago. Three months ago I was with her; she’s been along for three months. Do the maths!”
He kept his eyes on Gladys while his parents did the maths. She had her eyes still covered up by her hands. Her shaking hands.
George looked from his son, to his ex-wife and to his present-wife. As expressionless as a rock. Typical.
He turned to face Joe and
“What’s that?” Joe had been caught up in his own thoughts and hadn’t heard what his father had said.
“I said the baby’s not yours. It’s mine.”
“But I thought I just explained that…”
One look at his father, then at Gladys’ stricken face. And then IT hit him.