Garden City shops

‘Whaaaat! What did you say?’ Josh stared down at her open mouthed, like he could not believe what he was hearing

‘I’m pregnant.’ She answered. Plain and simple, as if the world had not just crashed around her.

‘Is it mine?’ he reacted quickly, brutally even, but regretted the words as soon as he had spoken them.

‘Of course! What type of girl do you think I am?’ her eyes filled with tears as she looked up at him, and he felt a first class cad.

Just then a tinny rendition of ‘We are the champions’ filled the air, and he reached into his hoodie pocket for his phone.The screen said that it was his mother.

‘Hi mam, what’s up?’ he tried to stay as normal as possible after this world shattering revelation, but his voice seemed high pitched and weird even to him. Fortunately his mother had not noticed, as she rattled on about his aunt Julie.

-‘Yes, and she’s having a baby now, what do you think of that?’ his mother’s voice became loud and clear, and he realized that he’d put the phone onto loud speak. His heart was in his mouth – did his mother know about Anna already?

He looked at Anna, still sitting on the bench. She looked suddenly fragile and unsure of herself, and he realized that she had never even met his mad but fun loving mother. An image of her came into his mind; the photo of her and his dad at a New Years Eve party taken before he was born. They have their arms around each other and look so happy. His mother has a bright pink jacket on and matching lipstick and his dad’s dark locks are in  his eyes.Josh barely recognizes his dad from that; before he died he was completely bald. The photo is framed and has pride of place on the sideboard; a reminder of a happier time in his mother’s life.

A surge of loneliness hit him and he felt homesick. All he wanted to do at that moment was to curl up on the sofa at home and listen to his mother rabbiting on about the family, the neighbors – anything but stand here. The weight of responsibility hit him like a ton of bricks.

Anna was a lovely, quiet girl; he knew that. He had treated her appallingly.

He said goodbye to his mother quickly, promising to call her later. He took his hoodie off and placed it over Anna’s shivering shoulders. She leans into him, placing her head on his shoulder and he realizes that he likes it.

‘I know that it’s a shock to you; it was to me. We have to talk though; sort things out. I’ll be at the markets in Edinburgh all weekend helping my friend Georgia out. Can you meet me there on Saturday?’

Josh nodded a yes.

Copyright: Suzanne Bowditch, 2016.