Two weeks later:
I was whistling to myself as I got out of my Jeep and went into the house. I found my mother in the kitchen sitting at the table. She had a strange look on her face. Since we had returned from vacation, we had been inseparable. Of course she had to go back to work, but every free moment we spent together. We no longer questioned our love for each other or even discussed whether it was wrong or right. We knew how lucky we were and that we would always be together. Nothing in this world would ever change that. We had, however, discussed options for us when I went away to school, including her trying to find a job near the college or me finding a college closer to home. Neither seemed practical, so we were still in a quandary about what to do. Fortunately we didn’t let that get in the way of our love, or our constant lovemaking. Unfortunately we have been using condoms for six, which both of us dislike, but we wanted to be safe. Mom had an appointment with the doctor today to get a prescription for birth control pills. Because of the doctor’s appointment, the look on her face worried me.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi,” she returned without enthusiasm.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, suddenly scared. Had the doctor found something wrong … a lump on her breast or some such thing?
“Sit down, Jerry.”
This was serious, I thought as I pulled out a chair and sat at the table close to her.
“You know I had an appointment with the doctor today for birth control pills.”
“Well as part of the physical, he did some blood tests.”
What’s wrong, my brain screamed, but I knew enough to keep my mouth shut until she got out what she was saying. I saw my mother take a deep breath and there were tears in her eyes. I was almost shaking now.
“Jerry …” she said and paused.
What is it, my mind screamed?
“Jerry, I’m pregnant!”
I almost fell out of my chair. Suddenly my head was spinning and I felt like I might throw up. I was silent for a long time, just staring at my mother. Then I her tears trickling down her cheeks and I realized I had to pull myself together.
“Are you sure?” I asked, stupidly.
Suddenly I was on my knees hugging my sobbing mother. “God, I’m so sorry, mom,” I said as tears started streaming down my cheeks.
“It’s not your fault, sweetheart,” she said between sobs.
“It’s as much my fault as it is yours,” I said.
“Well, we can argue about that, but it’s not going to help.”
“What are we going to do?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“I mean, there are doctors that can do something, right?” I said.
She looked at me with shock, but then her eyes soften. She knew that I wasn’t thinking straight and that neither of us could do something like that. “That is not an option for us,” she said, placing her hand on my face softly.
“Yeah, you’re right,” I said and kissed her hand.
“Maybe we could move somewhere where no one knows us. I could get a job and we could live as husband and wife.”
My mother smiled for the first time. “I like that idea, but I don’t think it’s really possible.”
Suddenly an idea dawned on me. My face brightened. “Mom, what about Stephanie?”
“What about her?”
“She is head of North State University. Maybe she can get you a job at the school or somewhere else. The school’s far enough away to be relatively safe. I could still go to college, you could work there, and I could get a part time job to help. No one would know about us.”
My mother frowned first and then her face brightened. “Jerry, you might have something there. I know Stephanie has a lot of contacts and I also know she would love to have us … well me up there.” She laughed and added, “She likes you too.”
I said, “Why don’t you call her?”
“Okay,” my mother said, suddenly in a much-improved mood. “Why don’t you get the grill started and I’ll give her a buzz.”
As I came back into the house after putting burgers on the grill, Mom walked into the kitchen. This time there was a big smile on her face.
“Good news?” I asked.
“Wonderful news. Stephanie says they have an opening for a marketing director at the school. I told her what I made and she said they could match that and that they had better benefits. She was really excited about the possibility.”
“Did you tell her about being … you know, pregnant?”
“Yes. I didn’t want to lie to her,” she said.
“And she was okay with it?”
“Not only okay, but she seemed really excited.”
“About the baby or you being near her?” I asked with a smile.
“Both I think. I have arranged for us to drive up there this weekend and work out the details.”
“Whoopee,” I screamed and rushed to my mother, picking her up, spinning her around several times. Then I remembered that she was with child and put her down quickly. “Sorry, I didn’t hurt anything did I?”
My mother laughed and said, “I’m not that delicate just because I’m pregnant … with your baby.”
Suddenly it dawned on me … I was going to be a father. My face obviously showed my surprise.
“Ah, just realized you are going to be a daddy, huh?”
“Yes. Wow,” I said.
“Are you upset?”
“No,” I almost screamed and picked her up and spun her around again.
“Okay, I said I wasn’t delicate, but not indestructible,” she laughed.
“So when are we moving? Oh yeah, we have to find a house near campus and think about movers and …”
“Slow down, sweetheart. We have plenty of time. First of all, a small house on campus comes with the job and the school arranges the move and pays the movers.”
“Holy sh …” I started to say and stopped, reaching out to touch her stomach.
My mother laughed again. “Don’t worry, the baby can’t hear anything yet.”
“I’m going to be a father,” I said again.
“Yes you are, Daddy, but don’t you think you should check on the burgers first.”
“Shit,” I yelled as I looked out to see the smoke rising.
“Why don’t you shut the grill off and come with me upstairs. I think some celebrating is in order.”
With a big smile I ran outside and turned off the grill. I hurried back inside and grabbed my mother, picking her up in my arms and carrying her upstairs.
Doesn’t get any better then this, I thought, as I closed the door to our bedroom.