Here's the second installment. Thanks for reading!
The Rate of Your Recovery Is Up To You
When I get home, Coley’s car is parked on the street, and I am glad she didn’t take my spot. She did not spend Christmas with us, even though she insists she is having his child whether he likes it or not. It’s still plenty early to do something about it, but I’m not going to try and reason with a crazy pregnant woman who already hates me because she feels I have an unnaturally close relationship to Josh. This astute observation comes from not even knowing the half of it.
"How is the little mother?" I ask, setting the vodka on the table, happy to feel the tablets start to kill the pain. "Will you be staying for cocktails?"
Coley cranks up the volume on the television and they are showing fireworks in places where the new year has already started.
"I could use a drink," Coley says, not looking at me. I wonder if she’s changed her mind about the baby. "But I’ll be damned if I give you the satisfaction. Don’t let me stop you, though."
As if she could. I have an urinary tract infection, no date, and a night of Detroit gunfire to look forward to while stowed up with the unhappiest couple ever.
"Why don’t you have a date?" Coley ask. She does not have the easy pregnant glow that some women do. Instead she looks ragged and pale, as if all her energy is going into trying not to vomit. It will be, if it continues, a difficult pregnancy. Coley looks at me for a long moment. "You’re not my favorite person, let’s get that straight. But maybe we should call a truce."
"For the baby’s sake?" I put my hand to my heart. "That’s so precious. Since we’re in truce mode, can I ask you something? Do you really think Josh can handle having a child?" I refrain that I am still Josh’s legal guardian according to the state of Michigan.
"No," Coley says.
"Then why?" I ask.
"I want things to change for me," she says. "I’m bored sick with graduate school and work. And Steve," she says, referencing her older boyfriend that sent her running to Josh on Devil’s Night. Even I have to admit she is the most beautiful of Josh’s girlfriends and from the sounds of it, probably the least sexually inhibited, a potent combination, but not enough to make him want a baby.
"Where is Josh?" I ask.
"The thought of food makes me ill. Except pears. Pears sound okay. So he’s going to pick up some dinner and pears."
"It’s starting to get bad out there. I hope he makes it home before it gets really terrible," I say.
Coley puts her hand to her stomach and closes her eyes. "How bad is it now?" she asks.
"It’s getting hard to see," I say, which is true enough. And it’s only going to get worse.
New Year’s Eve comes and goes. I drink my way through most of it, watch the ball drop, and listen to people shooting guns from midnight until one to celebrate the new year, welcome it in that most Detroit of fashions. As I arrange cds in alphabetical order, Coley having gone to bed early and Josh hard following, I wish myself a happy new year, thinking how strange it is that I’ve lived to see another one.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When I was in New York, I longed for Europe. When in Europe, I wanted to be in New York. I'm never where I want to be." Woody Allen
Drinking music selection: Teenager of the Year Frank Black
Benedictions and Maledictions