Ryan finds out the truth
Helen seemed nervous. Ryan watched her as she fiddled with the gold chain around her neck. He wanted to scream and shout at her. He wanted to grab her and shake her and ask her what the hell she thought she was doing but he couldn’t. He needed to control himself. She looked tired and it pleased him. It pleased him to imagine she had lost some sleep over her actions because he sure as hell had. Ryan was shattered. He was shattered physically and emotionally. He felt as though the last few days had swept him up into some kind of emotional cyclone and finally dumped him heavily on the chair opposite Helen.
“Have you been ok?” Ryan asked her. He was finding it very hard to keep it together but he knew he had to.
“I’ve missed you.” Helen’s face pleaded with him. She was trying hard to salvage something from the mess, she was emphasising all feelings as best she could. “I’m so upset.” she added. Ryan nodded.
“We have a problem.” he then told her.
“What?” she looked horrified.
“Pete insists the baby’s his.” Ryan lied.
“What?” she repeated herself. She was shocked. What the hell would she do now? She was sure Pete wasn’t interested in a baby, he hadn’t been in the beginning, why now? Damn, he was ruining everything. If only Pete had kept his mouth shut in the first place none of this would have happened.
“He says you and him never used protection so it must be his and the dates, he seems to think the dates match up. He’s going to make this difficult for us.”
“It’s not his.” Helen insisted. “Oh God Ryan what are we going to do?” she played the victim well but Ryan knew it was all an act.
“It’s ok I’ve made a decision.” Ryan told her.
“What kind of decision?” he noticed Helen’s tone change immediately. A decision? God forbid Ryan makes one of those without Helen’s approval. She was straight back into control freak mode just at the very mention of a decision.
“I left the band.” Ryan lied again. Helen’s expression froze and she looked across the table at Ryan as though he had just told her he was in fact alien. “I told the guys I cant have anything to do with Pete anymore.”
“You did what?” her voice was stern.
“It solves all our problems.” Ryan told her. “Now I can be free to get a normal job, we can get a nice house somewhere in the suburbs and have a family.”
“But your music?”
“Fuck it Helen, you and the baby are more important than that. It wouldn’t have lasted anyway, you know how fickle the music industry is.” Ryan wanted to smile. He could tell by the look on her face that his plan had worked.
“This is ridiculous.” Helen told him. “What about all your money?”
“Money?” Ryan asked. “We don’t need money.” He waited and he watched her.
“Ryan I can’t let you sacrifice your dreams because of this mistake.”
“It’s not a mistake Helen, a baby with you could be the best thing I ever did. We’re so young, we could have more children together, you’ll be such a great mum.”
“You don’t need to do this.” Helen told him. “I mean we could find another way to make this work.” she was flustered now and she was trying desperately to find a way out. “It’s early days anyway what if the pregnancy doesn’t…..”
“Doesn’t what?” Ryan stared at her. “You mean what if you lose the baby?”
“It’s possible.” Helen’s eyes averted from Ryan’s at that point and the anger swelled inside him.
“Just give it up Helen.” he told her. “I know this is all bullshit.” he added.
“What do you mean?” she acted offended.
“I went to see Jane.” suddenly her eyes darted to his and she was struck with the realisation that the truth was out, there was no getting out of this now.
“I… I…” she couldn’t find words.
“One chance to tell me the truth, now.” he offered. “Are you pregnant?” Helen couldn’t look at him and that was his answer. “You need help.” he told her. He got up from the table and threw a twenty dollar bill at her to pay for their drinks. “You ever come near me again and I’ll have a restraining order against you.” he said before leaving.
Ryan stood alone in the parking lot and took a long deep breath as he leant back against his car. He couldn’t believe the events of the last few days. He couldn’t believe what people were capable of. He wondered if he’d always been too naïve, too willing to believe people were inherently good. It made him think of Ana. He criticised her in the past for being so tough, for not trusting people and now after such a eye opening life lesson Ryan realised how that happened. It was no wonder she was difficult to get close to after all the things that had happened in her life. He felt like a fool. He felt like Ana could have seen this coming, she would have known the truth had she stuck around. Where was she now? Where had she gone? Ryan unlocked his car and get in. He dialled Pete’s number on his phone and waited.
“How did it go?” his friend inquired.
“As expected.” Ryan replied. Pete understood that although this is what they wanted Ryan was still entitled to feel pretty crap about it.
“Ryan.” Pete began.
“Seriously Pete it’s ok, let’s not go there again.”
“Ok.” Pete understood Ryan didn’t want to hear yet another apology.
“There’s one thing you can do for me.”
“Anything.” Pete told him.