The journey into Edinburgh was quiet to say the least. Josh had decided to take her back to meet his mother, but not yet; not until he did one more gig. He couldn’t let the boys down. He was the lead singer, the one that the fans showed up for, what ever Jazz may think. His ugly mug would not draw a picture, let alone a crowd.

They had caught a bus at the base of Arthur’s Seat and now sat at the back, whilst the bus rattled down the hill. It was virtually empty, save for a few old pensioners doing their shopping. Anna sat next to him, barely speaking.

He sighed to himself. Was this his future? Tied down at his age to a squawking kid and a surly girlfriend? He looked out of the bus window and shook his head.

Half an hour later, the bus pulled into the main bus depot in the center of the city. Josh went on ahead, with Anna trailing behind him. He felt irritated by her sudden silence. He reached for his phone, and called Luke. His best friend in the band would know what to do. Luke’s Welsh lilt answered the mobile and Josh relaxed as he heard a friendly voice.

‘Hey mate, where are you? We have to be on stage at 8, but there’s a sound check beforehand. Jazz is going nuts wondering where you’ve got to. Is Anna with you?’

Josh glanced over his shoulder to where Anna stood shivering in the sharp draft coming through the depot, and then answered. ‘Yes, she’s with me.Listen; I need to talk to you all. Something’s come up. We need to have a band meet as soon as possible.’

Anna grabbed him by his arm and pointed to a sign that said ‘Ladies.’ He nodded  and watched her walk  across the road towards the sign.When she was out of earshot,  Josh spoke quickly into his mobile.

‘Luke mate, listen up! Anna’s gone and got herself pregnant. I have to meet you, and soon. Can you get to the pub earlier than the others? I’ll ditch Anna somewhere, and we can talk.’

‘Oh mate, I knew that would happen! Listen don’t panic; there’s weeks before she even shows, and then a few months again before the baby comes. Don’t act too quickly. We can finish the tour and then you decide what to do. I’ll meet you in an hour. The pub’s off Princes Street – it’s the Royal, can you remember?’

Josh rang off, the relief evident on his face. He could handle this, he was sure.

Copyright: Suzanne Bowditch, 2016