I crack the window. It’s far too stuffy in here with us breathing the same air.
“I hate this song,” she says and turns off the radio, leaving us in awkward silence.
Her hand is draped over the steering wheel, her mouth a hard set.
“Who’s the father?” she blurts out.
I lean my head against the window, trying not to get sick. The last thing I want to tell her is who the father is. It won’t take her long to figure out seeing as I have no friends and the only place I ever want to be is next door.
“Is it Deacon?” she finally asks.
As much as I want to, it’s too late to deny it. She’ll find out eventually. I just wanted him to be the first to know.
“Jesus, Remy. You were supposed to watch his kid. Not make a new one.”
“I know,” I say. “I’m sorry.” But I’m not actually sorry. I knew what I was getting myself into when Deacon and I hadn’t used protection, and he knew too. This wasn’t an accident like when my mom got pregnant with me. I want this. So does Deacon. At least I hope he still does. It’s a little too late to back out now.
She continues, “I was afraid your childhood crush would come back to haunt me. I’d hoped those feelings had vanished over time.”
“How did you know about my crush on Deacon?” I ask.
“You weren’t very subtle, always going outside to watch him whenever he was around—not that you were any different than the other women in the neighborhood. We were all guilty of ogling him. Me included. It was a happy day for husbands when Deacon left town.”
Ew. That’s kind of gross. My mom crushing on the man who is now potentially the father of my child.
I don’t know how much more I can take of this. My stomach is in knots. Not only because of the morning sickness and my mom and Sam’s judgment, but also because I need to tell Deacon. I just hope he meant what he said about filling me with his seed and watching my stomach grow. If he was just saying it in the heat of the moment, I’ll be devastated.
“Are you mad?” I ask. I hate it when my mom is disappointed in me.
“No. I just don’t want you to end up a single mom like me. It’s difficult raising a child on your own and at such a young age.”
“Deacon is nothing like Dad. He’ll help me raise this child.”
Of that I’m sure of. He’s an amazing father. Bailey is his pride and joy—oh my god, it just hit me; if I’m pregnant, Bailey and this child are going to be siblings. The thought makes me unreasonably happy even though I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up. There could be a hundred reasons for my pregnancy symptoms. Stress is one of them, and I’ve definitely been going through a lot of that lately.
“How can you be so sure he’ll help out?” my mom asks. “He already has an infant to take care of.”
I look down at my hands, braid my fingers together.
“Wait,” she says. “Did you guys know this might happen? Were you not careful on purpose?”
The hurt in her voice leaves me feeling horribly guilty. “I’m an adult, Mom. Whatever Deacon and I decide is no one’s business but our own.”
She lets out a long sigh. “I know. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to give you a hard time. I just want to know you and your baby will be taken care of.”
“We will be, Mom. Deacon is a great guy. You’ll love him once you get to know him better.”
“I trust you. It just might take little while to trust him.”
We get to the drug store. I have a sudden craving and grab a handful of sour candy. She buys three different tests to be sure the results are reliable. I think she’s more nervous about this than I am. There’s more silence during the drive back. Once we’re home, she hands me the tests and I go into the bathroom. I take them all at once and wait.
After five minutes the results are ready, but I’m afraid to look. I want this with Deacon. I really do, but I don’t want my mom to be pissed at me either. I just want everyone to be as happy as I am.
Taking a deep breath, I pick up all three sticks and look at them at the same time. My muscles are tensed up, neck and shoulders achy. I stare down at the sticks in disbelief. Two pink lines on one, a plus sign on the second, and a boldly worded ‘Pregnant’ on the third. There’s no doubt now. I’m pregnant. I can hardly breathe. It feels like someone is sitting on my chest. I’m terrified and yet I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. Suddenly I’m wondering what a child made by me and Deacon will look like. Beautiful, I imagine. Like Deacon. Like Bailey. Blond hair, green eyes. A dimple in his or her chin like me maybe, or high cheekbones like their father.