Can you keep a secret?
It was a month since the weekend with Michael. A short phone call ended the relationship with the same speed as its birth. Julia resigned herself to a life as the other woman. Remembering that horrible morning after the lovely weekend.
“I didn’t mean to be rough with you.” John’s words still filled her ears, even in the obstetrician’s office.
“Are you listening to me?” The memory of his voice caused the young woman to shudder, shaking to a point where Sarah embraced the frail figure to her side. The landlady was moved enough to put both arms around the newly christened future mother. The voice still persisted.
“Bitch! I’ll smack the shit outa you. We’ll see how much this jerk-off loves you when he finds your belly sticking out.” The violent twinge brought a low moan from the frightened girl.
“Baby…it’s ok.” The older woman brought the solemn looking young woman deeper into her grasp. “No matter what, you will always have a place to stay.” The reassuring words were welcome tones floating through a brain that wanted to scream. The 50ish, portly redhead already expressed joy at the idea of a baby’s cries and smell filling her house. She was ecstatic at the proposition.
“I want you to know…whatever,” decreasing her volume, “that bastard isn’t worth shit.” Sarah did not want the pregnant teenager to her front, straddled by a mother and aunt to hear the harsh statement.
“No, please…I’m ok…really.” Julia reached behind her back to pull the long ponytail over her chest. The pink top blended nicely with the raven-black straight hair. She hoped the movement would cover her thoughts.
“You are not to see him again…your mine…understand?” Trying to remain in the present was failing, as the past rushed through her mind.
“I promise.” Stated half in fear and the motivation to save a great guy.
Julia again quivered at the thought of her acceptance of a life with no guarantees, other than heartbreak. Her mind raced.
“I had to do it. Poor Michael did not deserve a woman like me.” As Sarah kept talking about the future and her plans to act the doting grandmother, Julia reasoned her decision.
“I’m nothing but a whore. I have no pride. What could I offer my dear Michael? “No matter how she tried, dear or my love or sweet always preceded his name.
Sarah brought the new mother to be to the local Dunkin Donuts.
“Decaf tea for you. I know they have peppermint.” The doting would not wait for the baby’s arrival. Neither would the responsibility.
“But Sarah…please?” Julia detested decaf, anything.
“But nothing little lady. No caffeine for you…and I know you don’t smoke…so don’t start.”
Julia sat relaxed, for the first time since her period made its disappearance known. The older woman wore the housedress as if it was eveningwear. The gigantic white flowers fluttered over the beige material. No doubt it could disorient anyone too focused on the woman.
“You remind me of my mother.” Julia’s soft features and warm expression hit the woman as if she had been grabbed by her shoulders. Julia’s devotion to her mother was often discussed between the pair and the love they formed was something Sarah wished for.
“Sweetheart…if you want,” the confident tone suddenly became hidden. “I will try to help as much as I can.” The shy expression was new to Sarah, but real. She was moved.
Julia’s smile with a sudden twitch joined the once boisterous and positive voice of Sarah in hiding. Something happened. The young woman wished to dive under the table.
“Julia!” Angie’s volume filled the donut shop.
“Julia…where have you been?” Mary was not able to get anything out of Michael regarding the sudden break in what looked to be a lovely relationship.
Sarah conducted herself within reason. The pregnancy was to be a secret. Or, at least hidden till nature made it impossible.
“Sweetheart, we miss you so.” Mary tried to pull little Angie away from Julia. At least the girl did not call her Aunt Julia. The young woman would not have been able to control herself. She looked ready to explode in tears.
Bidding the two good-bye, Julia felt some relief. Her conversation with Sarah continued. The surrogate grandmother talked of schedules and diapers and all things that reminded the older woman of her grown children. It was such a happy duo, sipping decaf tea and caffeinated coffee. It was no wonder neither of them noticed Mary and Angie talking to the mother and aunt of the pregnant teenager that sat across from them in the doctor’s office. It was no surprise that Julia or Sarah did not note the stunned face on Mary as the conversation in the parking lot continued.