“So you aren’t coming now?” Holly asked as she laid on her bed.
“No, sorry Holly. Your dad’s back is thrown out.” Her mom sad on the other end of the phone.
“Can't you take him somewhere and fix it?” She whined.
“Your dad can’t even move off the couch.”
“I’m sure he’s faking it. You guys just don’t want to come out and see me.” Holly pouted.
“That’s not true and you know it.”
“No! It is true!” She said as tears welled up in her eyes. Her emotions were changing rapidly today. “You can’t stand the fact that I’m happy here out in Las Vegas and this is your way of showing it!”
“Holly, you aren’t making sense. Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m fine. Great even!” She shouted.
“Call me back when you’ve calmed down.” Her mom said before hanging up the phone. Holly threw her phone against the wall before putting one of her throw pillows over her face and pouting more just as I was walking though the front door with my family.
“Her boyfriend might be here; he pretty much lives here these days.” It was weird saying that Ryan was Holly’s boyfriend, but that’s what he was...slash baby daddy.
“Doesn’t he have his own place?” My dad asked as he looked around our immaculately clean living room.
“Yes, but he likes it over here better.”
“Why?” Why did it matter, dad?
“We always have food.” I smiled.
“Can’t he get his own?”
“He can...he just doesn’t.”
“Sounds like a real winner to me.” My dad huffed. I can’t imagine how he’d react if I was talking about my boyfriend, or even when he sees the little baby bump Holly has been sporting.
“He’s a really nice guy dad. He contributes.”
“I would hope so.”
“So is Holly home?” My mom asked excitedly. Holly and I had been friends for a few years, and while I had met her mom, she had yet to meet mine. I shrugged before heading down the hallway.
“Hey, you here?” I asked as I opened her door before peeking my head inside.
“Yeah.” She sounded upset, almost like she had been crying.
“What’s up?” I sat down next to her on the bed.
“My parents bailed.”
“Mom claims that dad threw his back out but I think he’s just using that as an excuse so he doesn’t have to see me.” It seemed logical. Holly’s dad was a sergeant in the army and often vocalized how disappointed he was in Holly because she didn’t follow his foot steps. She had told me she tried explaining to him that she wasn’t army material, and he didn’t listen to her and continued to be disappointed. “Or maybe he just wants to spend all his time with his little army friends.”
“Holly, come on on now.”
“Cait, no. It’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen them since the beginning of the semester.”
“But if they were here you would have had to tell them about the baby. Did you even think about how you were going to tell them?”
“I’m sure they’d figure it out.” She said as she glared at the bump covered in a thin purple t-shirt. I rolled my eyes.
“Come on, my family wants to meet you.”
“I’m not in a meeting kind of mood.”
“Well they are. Come on.” I said as I took her hand to help her up and dragged her into the living room. “Here she is.” I smiled.
“Well no wonder he’s always here.” My mom smiled before shaking Holly’s hand. “Hi sweetie, I’m Kelly Avery.” My mom’s smile could melt ice. “How far along are you?” She asked as she placed her hands on Holly’s bump. She looked down at it quick.
“Um, about three months.”
“She just found out too.”
“Wow.” My mom looked shocked. “That’s crazy.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“This is my husband Michael.” My dad smiled and shook Holly’s hand, either not noticing or ignoring her bump. “And this is my son, Cooper.”
“Well hello.” Cooper said as he basically pushed our mom out of the way to take Holly’s hand. He slowly brought it to his lips. “Cooper J. Avery.”
“Cooper, she’s spoken for already.” Mom warned. I chuckled. “So where is this boy?”
“Oh he’s at work.” Holly smiled as soon as Ryan was mentioned.
“What does he do?”
“He writes for the newspaper. He reviews concerts, plays, musicals and sometimes he interviews bands. He loves it.”
“Sounds like an interesting job.”
“Yeah, I’m really proud of him.” She smiled again before we settled down in the living room for comfortable conversation.
“Whoa, I didn’t know you were throwing a party to welcome me back.” Ryan smiled as he walked though the door a few hours later. Holly got up as quickly as she could to give him a proper greeting. When I looked at them after they pulled apart from their hug, I saw a twinkle in Ryan’s eye as he glanced down at Holly’s bump before rubbing his hand over it softly.
“So are they excited about the baby?” My mom whispered.
“They weren’t at first. I swear, they were so shocked they couldn’t move.” I said. “Ryan seems more into it now, but Holly is still upset.”
“Oh that’s a shame. Maybe she’ll change her mind when she hears the heartbeat.”
“Maybe.” I shrugged. The rest of the night was pretty calm. Ryan ordered some pizza for all of us and I was happy for all the happiness surrounding the apartment. It felt more like home than it had in a long time.