I set the phone down, just as Abby slides hers from the
pocket of her jeans and starts furiously tapping the
screen. The intense concentration on her face morphs into a
scowl before she throws the phone onto the carpet near her
bedroom door in frustration.
‚ÄúYikes.‚ÄĚ I raise my eyebrows at her.
‚ÄúI want it on record that I did not want to talk to you
about this tonight,‚ÄĚ she says fiercely.
I reach for the remote and pause her show. ‚ÄúHuh. You know,
I could almost have guessed that myself.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not fair to dump this on you tonight after the
Warwick thing,‚ÄĚ Abby exclaims.
‚ÄúDump what on‚ÄĒ‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúLuca is making me tell you and I want you to know that
before I even‚Ä¶you know‚ÄĒ‚ÄĚ she exhales in frustration ‚Äú‚ÄĒtell
‚ÄúOkay,‚ÄĚ I say, softening my tone. ‚ÄúThis is all Luca‚Äôs
fault, got it. Now what is ‚Äėthis‚Äô?‚ÄĚ
Abby squeezes her eyes shut very tight and draws in a deep
breath. When she finally speaks, her words tumble out so
close to one another it sounds like she‚Äôs saying one
ridiculously long word.
Luca-if-he-would-be-my-sperm-donor. I know this might seem
sudden, but I want you to trust me when I say that this is
what I need to do. And that‚Äôs final.‚ÄĚ
When she opens her eyes again, a moment or two has passed,
but I‚Äôm still staring at her, slack-jawed at her
announcement. I think I‚Äôd have been less surprised if she
told me she was moving to Antarctica or that she‚Äôd decided
to shave her head.
Abby as a mom? Yes. I can very easily imagine that. I know
that on the bookshelf in her ‚Äúcave,‚ÄĚ she already has a
binder full of information about parenting, complete with
preferred schools for a hypothetical child, and a list of
possible baby names. She‚Äôs made no secret of the fact that
she desperately wants kids.
Abby as a single mom? Sure. She‚Äôs tough, caring and
But Abby choosing to be a single mom, at thirty years old?
Nothing about that makes sense. Abby has that damned binder
on her bookshelf precisely because she is the kind of
person who plans her life carefully and she‚Äôs been thinking
about her sickeningly stereotyped nuclear family forever.
It‚Äôs not just potential children she‚Äôs put an immense
amount of thought into‚ÄĒit‚Äôs also her potential future
husband, and the life she wants to build with him.
‚ÄúBut‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ Even when my voice decides it‚Äôs ready to work again,
my brain is still catching up. It doesn‚Äôt matter, because
Abby silences me with a fierce wave of her hand.
‚ÄúAnd it‚Äôs not something we‚Äôre going to discuss tonight
because you‚Äôve had a tough day, it‚Äôs late and I‚Äôm feeling
very emotional about it and I‚Äôm not even close to being
ready to explain to you why this is happening. We‚Äôll talk
about it in a few days when Luca has decided if he‚Äôs going
to do it. Okay? And don‚Äôt you even think about trying to
talk him out of it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI‚Äôve never been able to talk Luca in to or out of
anything, not that I‚Äôd do that to you, anyway,‚ÄĚ I say
slowly. ‚ÄúI just don‚Äôt understand. You‚Äôve always known
exactly the life you want for yourself. What happened to
the gamer husband you were going to find? What about the
house in the suburbs where you‚Äôre going to settle down?
What about the rescue dog named Charlie? How does‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ I‚Äôm
struggling to even say the words. ‚ÄúHow does Luca‚Äôs baby fit
into that picture?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt won‚Äôt be Luca‚Äôs baby,‚ÄĚ Abby snaps at me, and leaps to
her feet. ‚ÄúThis will be my baby. Luca will be the baby‚Äôs
annoying uncle, which is exactly what you will be, too. No
one will know any different but me and Luca and‚Ä¶ Austin
and‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ She groans in frustration. ‚ÄúNow you. End of story.‚ÄĚ
I‚Äôll respect her decision if she goes ahead with this. I‚Äôll
support her all the way. How could I not? Abby is smart
enough to know what she wants, and strong enough to handle
all the challenges of parenthood, even on her own.
It‚Äôs just that the more her announcement sinks in, the less
I understand it. Abby is the least impulsive person I know‚ÄĒ
if she‚Äôs seriously considering this, there‚Äôsgot to be
something more to the story. My suspicion is confirmed by
the glint of tears in her eyes. She blinks rapidly, but
it‚Äôs quickly apparent that she‚Äôs not going to be able to
control her emotions. Her face crumples even as she turns
away from me.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm sorry to dump this on you tonight,‚ÄĚ she chokes. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs
not fair that you have to deal with Warwick and now this‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúAbs,‚ÄĚ I say, bewildered. ‚ÄúYou aren‚Äôt dumping anything on
me. Please sit back down and talk to me, help me understand
‚ÄúI can‚Äôt talk to you about this yet,‚ÄĚ she whispers. ‚ÄúPlease
just respect my decision and I‚Äôll explain when I‚Ä¶ I‚Äôll talk
to you about it when I‚Äôm ready.‚ÄĚ
I rise, too, ready to pull her into my arms, but she shakes
her head and jogs quickly to her bedroom. Before I can even
take a step, her bedroom door slams shut.
The sound echoes through the apartment‚ÄĒan undeniable full