Thursday, April 28, 2005

"I hope you like your sauce burned to a crisp..."

Friday, April 1, 2005, 10:00am
Steve's office

"I know what I want to do tonight," Steph says.


"I want to make you dinner."


"I cleaned the house for you."

"So I guess that means I shouldn't open any closets."

She laughs. "Actually, yeah, opening a closet might be a bad idea right now."


Stephanie's house, 6:00pm

I sniff the air. "Is that clam sauce?"


"You RULE, you know that?"

"As a matter of fact, I DO know that!"

Her eyes snap open wider. "Oh my God!"


"I was supposed to bring a brief to Noelle's house tonight. She needs it for her study group tomorrow!"

"Oh, ok. Well, let's go bring it to her," I shrug.

"No. You stay here and stir the sauce. I'll be right back."

"Fair enough."

Fifteen minutes later, my phone rings. It's Steph.

"Where are you?"

"I'm friggin' lost. I thought I remembered her house number and I don't. She left her address on my answering machine the other day; I think the message might still be there. Can you check it for me?"

"All right."

I cross the room to the answering machine. Suddenly it sounds like Steph is driving in a hurricane.

"Hello? Steph?"

"Steeeve?" says a tiny, faraway voice.


I figure I might as well get the address while I am waiting for her to call back. I press play.

"....have no idea what I'm going to do." It's Stephanie's voice. She's got one of these crappy answering machines that record your entire conversation if you don't pick up the phone in time.

"You ARE going to tell him, right," asks the woman on the other line.

"Of course I am, but I don't know how."

I don't like the way this conversation is going. Not at all.

"Stephanie, don't worry. You said he loves you, right?"

"Yes, he does love me, very much. But we just got through a really bad time, and we almost broke up. Now I have to tell him... this?"

"He'll be thrilled! He might be shocked at first, but I know he'll be thrilled."

For a minute, it sounded like she cheated. Now it's sounding a hell of a lot scarier.

"Are you planning on bringing him to the ultrasound?"


"I have to tell him first."

I'm not stupid. I know what day it is. It's April Fool's Day, and this is some type of elaborate prank. I pick up the receiver and scroll through the caller ID log. I read the entry from yesterday at 10:30am and my blood freezes.


She's fucking pregnant. It's really true. My heart pounds and my mouth goes dry as I ponder all the monumental changes my life is about to undergo. My privacy? Gone. My free time? Nonexistant. And beginning in 5 years or so, some kid is gonna be coming to me with his hand out, looking for cash, every time the ice cream man rolls by.

"....don't even know what I'm supposed to say!" says Steph.

"Listen. Just invite him over, make him his favorite dinner, then sit down and tell him how much you love him, and then say....