Fiction: Family Way (Part 8) (561 words)

18 Mar

“And that’s when my dad said, ‘Okay, Bradley, you can move to Sweden, but I will not pay for you to go to Culinary School.’”

That brought me back to reality. Bradley and I had gone to a movie marathon to make up for me canceling on him the other day for Marta, but I hadn’t really been there all day.  I felt bad for doing that to Bradley, but it was hard to focus.  Plus, he really liked the movies, so I’m not sure how much he noticed until we were in the car heading home. “I’m sorry, what? Culinary School in Sweden?”

“She’s alive in there.” Bradley teased, looking away from the road briefly to put a hand on my knee, then focusing back on the highway.  “What’s on your mind, Ave?”

“It’s hard to explain,” I muttered, drawing invisible letters on the side of the passenger window.

“Marta.” Bradley guessed correctly.  We had made an agreement at the very beginning of our relationship; there would be no secrets between us unless it involved betraying Marta’s confidence.  He didn’t have any siblings, but he could respect that.

“Yes, I’m not sure exactly–” I hesitated. I was going to burst with stress from this whole thing.  Marta said that I could tell Bradley if I needed to, but only if I was sure I could trust him to keep his mouth shut.  If I couldn’t trust Bradley to help us, then who could I trust? “We’re keeping this under wraps, okay?”

“Of course.” Bradley was serious, which was a sign of the weight of my own voice. “It stays with me.”

“Marta is pregnant.”  Bradley was silent, but he calmly pulled the car over to the shoulder, pulled the key out of the ignition, and switched on the hazard lights. Then he turned fully in his seat to face me.

“I’m sorry. Could you run that by me again?”

“Marta is pregnant.”

“Pregnant? As in–”

“As in knocked up, bun in the oven, mother to be. Pregnant.”

“Huh.” It was a soft almost panicked sound, and he looked a little panicked himself.  You would have thought I told him I was pregnant for the look of concern on his face. “The father?”

“Marta didn’t say. She wants to tell him on her own terms, and I think she knows that wouldn’t be able to contain myself around him if I found out. I know it takes two to tango, but if he doesn’t step up and accept some responsibility, then it’s going to be really hard for me to not beat him around the head.”

Bradley nodded as if he expected as much. After all, he knew Marta fairly well, and he’d seen my reaction to things I thought were unfair more than once in our shared lives.

We sat there in silence for a very long time. I was beyond grateful for Bradley not freaking out. I would have understood if he wanted to freak out, but I can’t say I would have been too happy about it.

Finally, Bradley sighed and turned the car back on.   “Your parents are going to kill her, aren’t they?” He asked as he eased back onto the road.

I had no answer for that one.  It was a very likely possibility.  Nothing good was going to happen when we finally told them.

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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Avery and Marta


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