Sunday, January 28, 2007

"That could be us"

Monday, December 18, 2006, 2:03am
Steve and Tim's house

"....a girl!" Chris says on the phone, though I can barely hear him through the fog of sleep.


"It's a girl!" he shouts again, his voice quivering. "I'm a father!"

Wow, cool. Have you told your girlfriend yet?

St. Luke's Hospital, maternity ward

Tim holds the baby expertly, supporting her tiny head in the crook of her elbow, gently stroking her wispy hair. "Hi, Veronica," she purrs. "I hope uncle Steve is gonna hold you and not be a big chicken!"

"I held MacKenzie when she was born."

"Here, take her, so I can get your picture!" she smiles.


Steve and Tim's house, 7:30pm

"You haven't said two words all night, Tim."

"Are we ever gonna have a baby?"

"Are we really having this conversation again?"

"No, I'm serious."

"So am I!"

"Just tell me. What are your--intentions with me?"

"Oh, for Christ's sake, Tim!"

"Am I someone you would ever consider marrying?"

I have no idea where this is coming from. I've told her a million times that--

That's not true. I've never actually come out and said that I intend to marry her and start a family together. Sure, I've joked about what it will be like after we're married for 20 years, but that's hardly how she needs to hear it.

We've lived together for over a year, and endured some drama: Her mother almost breaking us up, my father almost dying, the months of agony as I searched desperately for a new job. We were both there at the end of each day, making it bearable.

The closest I've come to long-term commitment is telling Tim about my "one-year rule": We should live together for at least a year before discussing marriage, then be married for at least a year before discussing children. Neither of us is going anywhere; why rush?

"Tim, of course I want to be with you."

"Because if I'm wasting my time with you--"

My first impulse is to raise my voice, because it feels like she is not hearing me. But there is something different about Tim today; it almost seems like she's doubting the relationship all of a sudden. But why would she be doing that?

It must be the baby. Seeing Veronica reminded her that motherhood is something she really wants, and that she wants it with me.

"Don't you remember what we talked about, the one-year rule?"

"You're old enough. I'm old enough. We have money. We have a nice house--"

"Tim, you're 25."

"Did you see them? Your brother and his wife? How happy they were?"

"Of course I did!"

"That could be us!" she says, pleadingly, her voice sinking to a whisper.

Thursday, December 21, 2006, 12:15pm
Steve's office

"Are you coming home on time?" Tim asks.

"Um, yeah."

"Please don't be late?" she pouts.

"You okay?"

"I'm feeling kinda run down. I want your company. Is that too much for a girlfriend to ask?"

"Tim," I laugh.



"Come lay down next to me."

"You feel warm," I say, kissing her forehead.

"I'm fine, just hold me. And can you turn that TV down?"

I wake up midway through the 10:00 news with Tim dozing next to me, her arms still gripping my shoulders, our noses almost touching.

Let's see: She's acting clingy, she's tired and sluggish, she's questioning me about our future, and gauging my interest in having a baby.

I think she's pregnant.