September 15, 2009

A Family is Born Chapter (4/13)

Chapter 5

Chapter 4
(Amy POV)

I wrapped my bathrobe tighter around me as I walked back into the kitchen. My mom looked up at me and spoke in a tired voice.

“How is he?”

I sat in the chair across from her and pulled my legs up as I let out a tired sigh.

“He was just hungry…and wet. He’s okay now though.”

I glanced around the kitchen before looking back at my mom as she started to fold some of John’s laundry. Her movements were slow and I could tell she was tired.

“What time is it?”

“It’s 4:30.”

I sighed.

“I can’t decide if I should stay awake and study or go back to sleep.”

She nodded.

“I know. I feel like we should go back to bed, but we’ve been up for so long it feels like it should be daylight already.”

I winced.

“I’m sorry mom.”

“It’s okay. I’ll be apologizing to you soon enough for the same thing.”

I gave her a small smile. Things have gotten better between us ever since our talk at the nursery the day of Dr. Bowman’s funeral. I think she is finally starting to understand how I’ve been feeling and she gets it. It's nice to know I have her here to talk to.

“Did David call?”

She shook her head.

“No. I don’t know what time his flight is getting in. He said it would be late, well he didn’t tell me. He had his assistant call and tell me.”


That stinks…I don’t really like David…but I guess I can tolerate him if mom likes him…

“Yeah…I have a feeling he’s avoiding me.”

“He’s kinda immature you know?”


She picked up another onsie right as the door opened. We glanced up as my dad walked into the kitchen.

“What’s going on? Ashley said your lights been on for hours?”

My mom gave him a reprimanding look.

“What’s Ashley doing up?”

“Twilight Zone marathon…everything okay?”

“She has school tomorrow.”

“It’s the weekend.”

I rolled my eyes as I looked at my dad and spoke.

“It’s not the weekend, tomorrow’s Friday.”

My mom made a face.

“Well actually it’s today. Today is Friday.”

He frowned and put his hands on his hips.

“Well no one does anything on Friday’s do they?”

I laughed.

“Yes…it’s the same as any other school day.”

He looked confused.

“Not according to Ashley.”

We looked at him and he smirked.

“Ah I’m just kidding. We both fell asleep in the living room at seven, woke up at three so we decided to get up.”

My mom raised an eyebrow.

“At three o clock?”

“That’s right. That’s living the life. Going to bed when you want, getting up when you want.”

I glared over at him.

“What are you rubbing it in?”

“Rubbing what in?”

Before I could answer him the door opened and Ashley walked in.

“What’s wrong? Who’s sick?”

I glanced over at her and spoke.

“No one. John was crying.”

“What was he crying about?”

I shrugged.

“He just cries, he’s a baby okay?”

She shrugged.

“It’s okay with me I don’t live here.”

Great…rub that in too. My dad smiled.

“Hey is anybody hungry? How about a scrambled eggs and bacon sandwich? Hash browns?”

I watched my mom perk up and grin.

“Mmm sounds good.”

“You got eggs and bacon?”

She nodded.

“Everything’s right where it’s always been.”

He kicked through some of Johns toys before speaking.

“Like you can get through to were everything’s always been. Why’s this place so messed up all the time?”

I glared at the back of my dad’s head. Mom and I do a million things in a day and it’s hard. By the time we get home we’re exhausted. We can’t do everything…

“Because I’m in high school and I have work. Mom works too…”

Ashley took that moment to throw her two cents in.

“We’ll you’ve got three hours before you have to leave for school. You can clean now.”

“I didn’t go to bed at seven. I’m tired.”

“Oh and crabby…don’t forget crabby.”

My dad nodded as he got out ingredients for breakfast.

“You’re crabby, your moms crabby. Cause you miss us huh?”

He grinned and my mom rolled her eyes.

“We miss Ashley.”

I snorted.

“You miss Ashley.”

Ashley made a face at me.

“Oh thanks. You know are you gonna be like this for the next 18 years or do you think you’re might start enjoying the kid at some point?”

That hit home. My mom must have caught the brief look of hurt that passed over my face because she turned to Ashley frowned.


My dad spoke.


My mom glared at him.


“Anne. I think she has a point. Ashley has a point. Sooner or later Ames you gotta start enjoying life again. John can tell you’re not happy and that’s why he cries. Get happy.”

“And how am I supposed to do that?”

I sighed and ran a hand through my hair before standing up.

“I’m going back to bed. Ricky’s coming at seven to pick up John and I want to make sure I’m up.”

I ignored them as I walked into my room quietly and plopped down on the bed. Just let me get two hours John…please…

(Ben POV)

I had just hung up the phone with Amy when my dad opened my bedroom door and walked into my room. I looked up at him. I really need to get up and start getting ready for school.


“Hi. I didn’t mean to over hear, but ah…I thought we should talk.”

He’s right…I know he is. It’s been tense around here the past few days with us not talking. I nodded as I placed the phone in its cradle.

“Yeah…I’ve been trying to talk to you, but every time I see you, you’re with Betty.”

“I have spent a lot of time with Betty this week…I needed to spend a lot of time with Betty this week. I needed to be around another adult. Someone I could talk to.”

“About me?”

He shrugged with his hands in his pockets. I got out of my bed and walked over to him with a sigh.

“Listen dad, I’m sorry about quitting the butcher shop. I tried to go back, but…”

He nodded.

“I know, but you wanted to make it on your own and there’s nothing wrong with that. I took what I had and turned it into something more. Not just for me, but for my family. You want to start from nothing, start from nothing. Go ahead.”

I slumped my shoulders. Of course I don’t want to start from nothing. I was just angry at him. I hated how nobody thought I could do the job and I was tired of everyone saying Ricky was better at it then me. I don’t want to start with nothing though.

I’m not used to working and to be honest I don’t’ really like it. It takes time away from my school work and from being able to go out and do things. At least at my dad’s place it wasn’t a ‘real’ job. It wasn’t like I could be fired.

“Dad, I said I was sorry.”

“I know and I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I let a week go by before telling you that’s not how you leave a job that someone’s given you.”

I nodded.

“Yeah, and not just someone…you.”

He nodded.

“Yeah, me. The guy who loves you most in the world.”

“Dad, I’m sorry…can I have my job back…please?”

He glanced over me and raised an eyebrow.

“You sure you want your job back?”

No…but it wasn’t going to get much better than my dad’s butcher shop.

“I need a job. A job isn’t easy to get…”

He cut me off.

“Have you been looking?”

I gave him a sheepish look.

“Not really…I was hoping you’d forgive me and give me my job back.”

He shook his head.

“I’m sorry Benjamin, but if I give you your job back you’ll never learn. You’ll never take this serious.”

“But dad!”

He cut me off again.

“But, I do have a proposal for you.”

I gave him a slight glare.

“What kind of proposal?”

“You’re good with customers, or at least that’s what Bunny told me. You’re good at remembering what customers like, whether it’s at the counter or repeat mail order.”

I gave him a surprised look.

“I am?”


I smiled.

“So I’ve been thinking. How would you like to go to Italy this summer? To Bologna?”

My brows furrowed.

“On a vacation?”

“No, to work. We have family there. I went there the summer before I met you mother, when I was 13. It was a blast. I loved it.”

I could feel myself actually getting excited. A whole summer away? That would be amazing

“What would I do there?”

“Work at your uncles hotel. It’s a small hotel, very nice, but I bet you’d be really good with the clientele. They’ve got a lot of Americans.”

“Me go to Bologna and work at a hotel?”

“Yeah…I think it’ll be good for you to get away. I’ll miss you…but I think it’ll do you good.”

I nodded.

“And you have Betty here so…You’d be okay right?”

He laughed.

“More than okay.”

I smiled as he patted me on the back and left my room. I walked over and started rummaging through my closet. Three months in Italy…I’ll miss Amy and John, but I think my dad’s right…a summer off might be just what I need…

(Adrian POV)

I was getting my books together and throwing them into my backpack when my cell phone rang. I glanced over at it and then walked toward my bed to answer it. If it’s Ricky, he’s gonna get an ear full. I haven’t heard from him since Dr. Bowman’s funeral. I frowned when I didn’t recognize the number.


“Good morning, this is Ben…Boykewich. Is this Adrian?”

I frowned slightly. Why’s he calling me…

“Hey Ben, what’s up?”

“I was just uh…I was wondering…if”

I cut him off.

“I’m not having sex with you. Give Amy time…like in a couple of years when she graduates high school…then she’ll have sex with you. Probably…”

He let out a nervous laugh.

“Uh no, no…I wasn’t gonna ask you to have sex…although sex with you would be very nice…I’m sure.”

I smirked.

“Yeah, you can be sure of that. What are you so nervous about? Are you sure you weren’t gonna try to have sex with me?”

“No, I wasn’t calling you for sex, I just ah…I need some advice.”

I nodded to myself.

“About sex?”

“No! No…I’m not having sex. I’m not going to have sex until Amy is absolutely, positively ready to have sex and I love her so I’ll wait…I’ll wait as long as I have to wait. And as you pointed out it could be a long while from now…it could be after high school…way after high school…it could even be after college…and whenever we do have sex I’m sure it’ll have been…worth the wait”

I wanted to laugh. Who the hell is he trying to convince? Me or himself?

“Or not…”

“Anyway…here’s the thing. I don’t want really want anyone else to know about this…”

I cut him off.

“Oh, wait…that’s what guys always say…are you sure you’re not trying to have sex with me?”

He sighed.

“No, I would never try…because I don’t want to try and fail…”

He laughed lightly.

“I would fail right?”

I smiled.


“Could I get a definitely? Just for the record incase…uh the idea ever popped into my head.”

That time I did laugh. This kid is so high strung its funny…he’s like the complete opposite of Ricky.


His voice sounded relieved when he spoke.

“Okay, so it’s just that I don’t know how to tell Amy about an opportunity I got without her wanting to…jump on it…”

I rolled my eyes and glanced at the clock.

“Spit it out. I have to get to school.”

“I have an opportunity to go to Bologna, Italy this summer and…”

I cut him off.

“Interesting…You know what Bologna’s known for right?”

I could almost here the frown in his voice.

“Bolona sauce?”

I laughed.

“And other things…”

“I don’t know what Bologna’s known for, no. We have relatives there. But if I tell Amy, I’m pretty sure that she’s going to want to come with John and…honestly I think it’s best if they don’t. It would be really difficult to be in Italy and not have sex with Amy…”

Please…he means it would be difficult to hook up with a random Italian girl if his girlfriend and baby were in tow…

“Well, don’t you mean it would be difficult to be in Italy with Amy and have sex with someone other than Amy?”

“No! No, I do not. Honestly I don’t think it’s the right time for Amy and me to go away together and yet I don’t want to hurt her feelings. So I figured…hey you’re a woman. Maybe you could tell me, what should I say to Amy so that she doesn’t hate me for going away this summer?”

I opened my mouth, but before I spoke a thought occurred to me. No…

“Is Ricky going with you?”

I heard confusion in his voice.

“What? Ricky…no.”

I placed a hand on my hip and glared at the wall as I spoke on the phone.

“So he’d be here with Amy for the summer. The two of them, alone, without you?”

I heard his hesitation before he spoke.


“Then I hate you.”

I slid the phone shut and ended the call. I can’t believe he’s okay with just letting Amy and Ricky spend the summer together. Especially after they just had a baby together…I grabbed my backpack and took off for school. I’m loosing him…slowly, but surely…I can feel it…

(Anne POV)

I called out to Amy as I made my way into the kitchen.

“Amy, we have to leave now, we’re running late.”

I stopped short and looked around the kitchen. I lowered my voice and looked at Ashley and George reading at the kitchen table.

“What happened in here?”

Ashley looked up at me.

“Dad cleaned up.”

George looked up and raised an eyebrow.

“Are those your pajamas? You going to work like that?”

“No…I’m gonna drive Amy to school like this…”

I smiled.


George spoke up.

“Well I can do it. I don’t mind helping. I’ve tried to help as much as you two will let anyone help.”

“Well thank you. I could really use some more time to get ready.”

“How you feelin’?”

“Better…much better. Thank you.”

I saw him look at Ashley before he nodded in her direction.

“Why don’t you go see if there’s anything you can do for Amy.”

“Yeah, why don’t I…and you two can talk.”

I watched Ashley disappear and then I looked back at George as I sat down.

“Talk about what?”

He tossed the paper down.

“Oh, I don’t know.”

I sighed.

“Are you getting a dog? Is that what Ashley wants us to talk about?”

He smirked.

“A dog?”

“You’re getting a dog. I knew it. George you don’t need a dog. If you get a dog you’re not going to be able to travel or go anywhere without worry about the dog.”

“Ah, see that would be true if I didn’t live next door to my ex-wife who I’m sure would be happy to take care of the dog while I’m not here. I’d do it for you if you and David got a dog.”

I made a face.

“David doesn’t like dogs.”

“Does he like children? I hope he likes children.”

“Yeah, he likes children. Listen we have enough going on without having to worry about a dog. We’re totally overwhelmed over here.”

He gave me a knowing look.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed.”

“Look, I appreciate you cleaning up…I do. Not enough to take care of your dog, but I do appreciate it.”

It was quiet for a minute before he leaned over and spoke in a serious voice.

“Tell me something…where is your boyfriend? Why isn’t he around here helping out?”

“It’s not his grandson, it’s our grandson. I’m sure it’ll be different when it’s his baby.”

“Will it? I didn’t see him here last night holding your hair back when you were puking your guts out. That’s what I used to do. He’s not even doing what I used to do and I thought I set the bar pretty low back then.”

“Well he just got back from a trip last night and he had to go to a job site.”

Why am I defending David to him…ugh he always does this. My voice got louder as I glared at him.

“Anyway I’m older now. I’ve been through this before. I can take care of myself.”

“Uh huh…I can see that. Did he call? See how you were?”

“I’m fine! It’s just the sight of bacon that did me in. Raw pig fat and pregnancy don’t mix for me…what are you getting at anyway?”

“What I’m getting at is just because this guy is the guy that got you pregnant doesn’t mean he’s the right guy for you…any more than Ricky is the right guy for Amy.”

I frowned. I don’t actually think Ricky is the bad guy we all make him out to be…

“Well, he’s not Ricky.”

George leaned closer and nodded.

“Yeah he is Ricky…and I’m Ben. Or I would be Ben if we were still in love…”

I shrugged. That hurt…I took a deep breath.

“But we’re not…”

“Well it wouldn’t make any difference if we were its too late now. Because unlike Ben I’m not really interested in being the boyfriend to a girl who’s having another guys baby.”

I glared at him.

“Well that’s was always the problem wasn’t it? I was always just another one of your girlfriends, not really your wife.”

He slammed his chair back and stood up before yelling to the girls.

“Let’s go to school!”

Five minutes later they were all out the door and I shook my head. Why can’t we just stop fighting? Better yet, why can’t I stop baiting him…he’s been great lately and I’ve been a bitch…I sighed. Maybe Amy isn’t the only one who needs to work on her attitude…

(Amy POV)

I walked up the path to school, opened the door, and as I was walking in Grace flew by me leaving. I frowned and saw Adrian standing a few feet away from the door looking hurt. I walked over to her and pointed in the direction Grace went.

“Hi…what’s going on?”

She looked a me, then down the hall before looking back at me and sneering.

“What’s going on is your boyfriend’s going to Italy this summer.”

I gave her a shocked look and then turned in the direction she was looking. Ben was standing there, watching us. No…he wouldn’t just leave me here…I know we’ve been fighting lately, but he loves me… I looked into his eyes right as the bell rang and I knew it was true.

He waved slightly before running off into his classroom. My body tensed and I glared at Adrian as she smirked and walked away. Why am I always the last to find out everything…

(Grace POV)

I ran out of school as fast as I could. I should have known it was too soon to come back. I wiped my eyes as I walked further down the street. I can’t keep doing this…I want to be okay, I really do, but it’s so hard. This is all my fault…someone calling my name knocked me out of my thoughts.

“Grace…its George…George Juergens. Grace…”

I turned around and wiped my eyes. I saw sympathy cross his face.

“Are you okay?”

I felt the tears build up again as I shook my head and started to cry. He swallowed hard and pulled me into his arms gently.

“It’s okay Grace. It’s okay…everything’s gonna be fine.”

He held me until I stopped crying and when I pulled away he gave me a crooked smile and motioned toward his car. I walked over with him and we leaned against the back of it. It was quiet for a few minutes before he spoke.


I looked at him and nodded.

“You wanna talk?”

I shook my head.

“Did someone say something to you at school?”

I nodded. He put his hands in his pocket and looked at me.

“Wanna tell me what they said?”

I shook my head again and he nodded. We stood there quietly and believe it or not, it made me feel a little better. This past week all people have done is make me try and talk…tell me it’s not my fault…get me to talk and start the ‘healing’ process…all I want to do is try to make sense of everything…

I want to not hate myself so much…I want to stop feeling guilty…I want my dad back…Mr. Juergens voice brought me out of my thoughts again.

“First day back huh?”

I nodded.

“You know, there’s only a month left of school. Why don’t you just stay home for now and go to summer school?”

I sighed.

“I can’t. My mom said if I stay home I have to talk to somebody.”

“Sometimes it’s good to talk to someone. On the other hand I’m not really big on talking to people about my problems.”

I turned to him.

“You have problems?”

“Well, not like your problems. Maybe the opposite of your problems.”

I turned away from him.

“Yeah, your problems can’t be as bad as my problems.”

“Nah, no one’s de…”

I swallowed hard.


He let out a deep breath.

“I’m sorry Grace. I know you were really close to your dad.”

“I just wanna know where he is…”

He hesitated before speaking.

“He’s dead Grace.”

“Yeah, but…dead dead or is he in heaven somewhere? Where is heaven?”

He gave me a thoughtful look before looking away.

“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure there is one.”

He looked back at me.

“So you believe in god?”

“Of course. You don’t have to go to church to believe in god.”
I nodded.

“Or you can go to church and not believe in god.”

He looked at me with an odd look.

“Do you believe in god?”

“I thought I did…”

He cut me off.

“But then he killed your dad? Eh…I don’t think it works like that. I know it doesn’t work like that and if it does work like that…”

He moved away from the car, looked up, and stretched out his arms as he spoke.

“…well then darnet god strike me dead.”

When nothing happened he moved back against the car.

“See, nothin’ and my daughter had sex with someone she hardly even knew. So did my wife for that matter.”

He looked at me and I bit my lip.

“If your dad was alive, he’d get over you having sex with Jack. He might have gotten upset about it, but he would have gotten over it. He was a nice guy your dad, not that I knew him, but that’s what people say. Nice guy, Dr. Bowman.”

I nodded, let out a small smile, and spoke in a soft voice.

“He was the nicest. I just don’t know why I couldn’t do what he told me to do. Or not do what he told me not to do.”

“Ah, it’s tough to do the right thing. Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s tough to forgive Jack, tough to forgive Adrian, and even tougher to forgive yourself.”


“You just gotta forget everything that could have been or should have been, forget everything, but how much you love Jack and how much you love Adrian. Because in the end all we need is love…”

I looked at him and we smiled and spoke in unison.

“The Beatles…”

I looked down and played with my hands.

“I just…don’t know if I can love him like I did. I guess what happened isn’t their fault.”

He shook his head and his voice came out soft..

“No it’s not and you know Jack feels so bad about it that he started drinking. He was drinking at your dad’s funeral. He’s heartbroken.”

I looked at him with surprise on my face. Oh god…

“Wait, Jack is drinking alcohol?”

“Yeah…I told him to lay off…it’s been done. Teen an alcohol…he should try teen and sober…teen and no alcohol or drugs or even sex…”

I rolled my eyes lightly and I could hear the bitterness in my own voice and I hated it.

“I don’t think Jack could go without sex…”

“Ah…so that’s how it happened. Trying to keep him away from all the other girls huh?”

I made a face, but nodded.

“Well I got news for ya, guys aren’t animals. They’re not completely ruled by their hormones. They’re animals with brains. They can be trained to go without sex for long periods of time. Just ask any guys who’s been married for a few years and has kids.”

I chuckled. I can’t remember the last time I laughed like this…Mr. Juergens is a good guy…I’m glad he found me walking down the street.

I looked up at him.

“You’re funny.”

He returned the smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes. he looked over at me before speaking.

“I wish my Amy thought so. I can’t even get her to smile these days.”

Oh god…I told Amy John was a punishment…I should never have said that. I’ll have to apologize at some point. I looked up at Mr. Juergens and I could see the pain on his face. It was really killing him that he couldn’t help Amy. I cleared my throat.

“Mr. Juergens, you really helped me by talking to me. I feel a lot better…I really do. Do you want to tell me what your problem is? It might help…I’m a good listener and it might make me feel better to help somebody else. Especially you since you were so kind to listen to me.”

He laughed lightly and looked at me.

“Alright…I told my wife I got s certain surgery when I didn’t. Now she thinks she’s pregnant by her boyfriend.”

My eyes widened as I turned away from him and leaned against the car.

“Oh my…”

He nodded.


He whispered.

“Pray for me…”

I nodded. Oh wow…so maybe Amy’s mom is pregnant with her dad’s baby…if that’s the case…maybe they’ll get back together…if I can help…if I can help get a family back together maybe it would make me feel a little better too…

(Amy POV)

I was looking through my bag when I saw Ben come up next to me out of the corner of my eye. He sighed.

“I was going to tell you. I just wasn’t ready to tell you.”

I glanced up at him with a hard look on my face and pulled my bag onto my shoulder.

“How did she know?”


I crossed my arms over my chest.

“Who? Did you tell people other then Adrian?”

“Oh, no Adrian…yeah, I told her. I wanted to ask her advice about how to tell you so that I didn’t upset you.”

That made absolutely no sense…especially since we fought a week ago about Adrian…

“Why would you be getting advice from Adrian? I’ll tell you why, because you’re hoping to get more than advice from Adrian.”

I felt my voice catch, but I ignored it. He shook his head.

“No, that’s not true. It’s just…you’ve been kind of…tired and not in the best mood and I didn’t want to upset you. And she’s very mature, Adrian.”

I let out a laugh.

“Oh, yeah…right.”

He let out a frustrated sigh.

“Amy, I love you, but my uncle needs me.”

“Your uncle in Bologna? Baloney.”

He shook his head.

“No, no, no. My uncle runs a small hotel there and he really needs me to come in and work for him this summer. It’s a family thing.”

“Uh huh.”

“Listen you know I quit my job at the butcher shop, and my dad won’t give it back to me. Something about teaching me a lesson or something. I can make more money working for my uncle anyway and he only thing I’d have to sacrifice is seeing you and John for the summer.”

Unbelievable…how is it my fault that he quit his job at the butcher shop? He just wants me to be okay with letting him leave for the whole summer? If he goes…he’ll find someone else…he’ll leave me and then I really will be all alone.

(Ricky POV)

I walked down the hall, turned the corner and headed towards Adrian, who was standing at her locker. I glanced at Amy and Ben a few feet away and I frowned. You know…that kid always manages to put her in a nasty mood and then I have to deal with the fallout.

Adrian spotted me and I nodded at her. She gave me a tight smile. I motioned towards Amy and Ben.

“What’s up with those two?”

She shut her locker and turned to face me.

“Ben’s going to Bologna.”

I made a face.


She titled her head to the side and nodded.

“Mmm hmm. Leaving you here for the summer alone with Amy.”

I rolled my eyes. She really needs to get off it. John is my son, Amy is always going to be in my life because she’s his mother and Adrian needs to get that through her head.

“Amy and John…not Amy. Why Bologna? I’ve never heard him mention Bologna.”

“Well he has an uncle he can work for there but, I don’t think he’s going for work.”

She smirked and I raised an eyebrow. When I didn’t say anything she continued.

“Okay…Bologna is known for three things. One, it’s known for having the oldest university in the world, two, it’s known for its incredible food, and three, it’s known for oral sex.”

Her smirk widened and I made a face.

“Come on, every city in Europe is known for sex…it’s the same in Asia. Every place, but America. No one seems to come to America for sex. Not willingly anyway.”

I glanced toward them again and felt myself smile before looking back at Adrian.

“So, Ben’s dad is sending him to Italy to get…”

She laughed and nodded. I smirked. She thinks the thought of Ben cheating on Amy is funny…I really don’t understand why she hates her so much…let’s see if this makes her laugh.

“Maybe I can go too.”

The smile left her face in seconds and I saw her eyes grow cold. She grabbed the front of my shirt as she spoke.

“You can get that right here.”

I shrugged.

“So can he…”

She glared at me.

“Oh what, from me?”

“No, not from you. You’re not the only girl in this school having sex. Half the girls here are having sex. Lighten up.”

“Yeah, and half are not…like Amy.”

Jeez…it always comes back to Amy with her…

She took a deep breath and held her book closer to her chest.

“Let me ask you something. Are you having sex with anyone other than me?”



I saw her real back slightly as hurt crossed her face for a second before it was gone. She spoke through gritted teeth.

“Wrong answer.”

She started to walk away and I sighed and grabbed her arm.

“Look you haven’t been available lately…you said we’d have our privacy when your parents buy a house, but what am I supposed to do until then?”

“Until then you can wait…and if you can’t wait then…”

Her face hardened.

“Then don’t come back around when we do get a house and I mean that.”

She walked backwards passing Amy and Ben as she spoke loudly at me.

“Go…go with him…go to Bologna…have sex that’s named after rigatoni, spagettini, and felecini…what do I care?”

I leaned against the locker as I watched her go. Great…Amy looked even madder and Ben looked like a deer caught in headlights. He looked up at me and swallowed hard. Whatever…that’s what he gets…Amy should just break up with him, because if he goes over there…I doubt he’s strong enough not to cheat on her.

He’s only gonna break her heart, which is only going to give me something else to deal with…we should all just cut our losses while we still can…

I rubbed the back of my neck as I walked from Amy’s house over to her father’s house. Her mother said she’s looking for someone to watch John while she goes to Italy with Ben…I can’t believe she’d just take off and leave him here…

I know things have been rough, but he’s our son…he needs her. I knocked on the door, opened it and walked in to see Amy fighting with her dad and sister. I saw Mr. Juergens and I smiled.

“Hi, your mom told me you were over here.”

She stopped pacing and glared at me. Wonderful…somehow her being mad at Ben is going to bleed over to me…I glanced around.

“Oh…I hope I’m not disturbing you. I would have stayed over there, but that guys over there…Daivd…”

Mr. Juergens scrunched up his face and John started to fuss in his arms. I moved over to him and smiled down at John. I lowered my voice before talking to him.

“Hey there…you wanna come to daddy? Give grandpa a break?”

He smiled and put John into my arms. I walked toward Amy slightly before stopping and rocking John slowly in my arms. I saw Amy move closer to me out of the corner of my eye and I looked up. The look on her face wasn’t angry anymore.

Uh oh…she wants something…

“You’re really good with John…you’re great with him.”

I looked over at Ashley and Mr. Juergens as they exchanged a look. Ashley sighed.

“Well I’m going to bed…”

Ashley left the room and her dad smiled.

“I think this might be a good time for me to go over and talk to your mom and Daivd.”

He walked out the back door and I looked up at Amy. I sighed.

“I can’t take him while you go to Italy.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re his mother…”

She made a face.

“You’re his father…”

“You have a job.”

“You have a job…you can put him in the nursery when you go to work.”

I shook my head and tried to give her a sympathetic look.

“Let Ben go Amy, let him go. He didn’t ask you to go with him and you can’t just invite yourself. The guys been really good to you…and to me and if he wants to go away for the summer…let him go. This is our son…my son…and your son. Ben’s not obligated to take care of him…we are.”

She wasn’t looking at me, but I continued anyway.

“Let Ben go, and let him go without feeling bad about leaving. He deserves that.”

She finally faced me and I almost wished she haden’t. there were tears in her eyes and she nodded.

“I know you're right…but…if he leaves this summer Ricky…if he goes there without me…he’s going to see everything he’s missing by being with me. He get’s to have the whole summer away from everything…and I can’t even get one night off…”

Her voice choked up and the tears spilt down her cheeks. I felt horrible. I swallowed hard and balanced John in one arm as I reached out for her with the other.


She sniffled and I pulled her into me. She stiffened against my chest and then a minute later I felt her body relax as she cried. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to say or do, but nothing was coming to me, so I just stroked her hair with my free arm as I spoke softly to her.

“It’s gonna be fine. You know even if Ben leaves, I’m still here and we can help each other out this summer. If you needed a night off Amy…a night to yourself…all you had to do was tell me that. I’d be happy to take John home with me for the night…I just…I didn’t know…”

She sniffled a few times before moving out of my arm and looking over at John who was staring at her. She let out a bitter laugh.

“God, you must think I’m horrible…just wanting to leave him here…”

I shook my head.

“I don’t. I know it’s been hard for you Amy…and…I’m sorry…I really am. Not for John, but for making your life harder. If you work with me a little more though…I think we can handle the summer together. You just need to let me in…”

She looked up at me and I could see the indecision on her face. She wasn’t sure she could trust me…that’s always been the problem. I’ve messed up so much and I’m still messing up…I’m still not a good guy…but from here on out I’m gonna do right by Amy and John…I might not make a whole 180 on my attitude, but when it comes to them…when it comes to family…I’ll do the best I can…

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