“Surprise, Surprise. Promises, Promises.”
Right now, I should be in the middle of Botany, confused out of my mind, instead Kim is and jotting notes for the two of us. I wait with Alexis at the airport for Derek.
I can’t believe we’re still together. All day I’ve felt like I’m in daze. Maybe, I’m in a coma and Derek isn’t coming in real life, just in my dreamscape… Then again, if I was dreaming I sure as heck wouldn’t be pregnant with the Jerk’s child, it would be Derek’s baby.
Alexis flips through a celebrity gossip magazine she has with her as I just sit rubbing my baby bump. I feel like the baby finds it soothing, but I do it mostly because it makes me feel calm.
“Poor Gina…” Alexis sighs referring to the famous Broadway Starlet.
“I don’t think she’s that bad off… I think it’s good she asked for help after a mental breakdown… That takes courage.” I say.
“Oh I agree, but the media just won’t stop talking about it. She doesn’t owe the public any explanations. She has every right to keep her life private.” Holding up the article about Gina, “They interviewed a friend of a friend of her cousin about her breakdown… the person wasn’t even there when it happened.” Alexis points out.
“But yet, you’re reading the GUIDE TO THE STARS and supporting their exploitation of celebrities.” I say trying hold back my smart-aleck tone.
Defensively, Alexis says, “I didn’t buy this, a co-worker gave it to me. I don’t buy stuff like this.”
I just let silence make things awkward between us. I scroll through my social media, which I haven’t done in a while, and notice about 75 comments on my post announcing my pregnancy. A lot of love from people with some drama from people who say I’m trapped in poverty now. I wonder how people would react if I confessed I would have rather aborted my baby… And the weird part is, it’s not because I don’t love my baby, but every night when I go to sleep I’m reminded of what that monster did. In my sleep, I’m haunted by what he did to me, some nights I can’t stay asleep. What will it be like, when the baby is here?
“I thought you both would be more excited to see me…” I hear Derek say as I sense his presence approach me.
I leap up as fast as I can and I spring into his reaching arms for me. I hug him tightly like my life depends on holding onto him. He smells a lot different. Instead of teenage male body spray that borderline mimics the fragrance of teenage girl body spray, he smells like he wears a grown man’s cologne.
Marveling at how his man mane is gone and he now sports a crew cut fade, I just stare at him. He even stands up straight with a posture like a soldier and his biceps actually have some muscle tone. He sort of reminds me of the jerk, I hate it more than I love it, but I love him.
I go to kiss him on the lips and he turns his head and makes me kiss his cheek. He takes my hand and intertwines our fingers. Then he gives me a soft peck on the back of a held hand.
“I missed you so much baby!” Derek says rubbing the back of my hand.
Did we enter the Twilight Zone and cross over into the 50s of America… How come he won’t kiss me like a normal teenage boy? If this has to do with Jesus, I’m gonna curse and I don’t swear.
Without asking, he cups the outside of my womb. The baby does move and then he retracts his hand a little freaked out.
“That feels weird…” He retorts.
“Imagine how it feels for me.” I say.
Alexis stands up looking at us. I’m curious why we’re not leaving. I watch Derek give his mother a look and she slightly tilts her head forward, giving him a similar look back. Derek lets go of my hand and reaches into his blue, straight jean pants. I still can’t get over how he’s dressed. His red T-shirt is tucked in and he’s wearing a belt. Out of his pocket, he holds a red ring box in his hand. As he opens the box he gets down on one knee.
What is happening right now?! Is he proposing and Alexis knew about this? WHOA, why is he proposing? Can we even get married? We’re teenagers!
“Savannah Lorene Moneymaker, will you marry me?”
Everyone in the waiting area stares at us, waiting to see what I’m going to do. If I say yes, and we get married, financially it will be a little easier, won’t it? Or will I get more money from the state being single? I really need to look into that… I know I want to marry Derek one day. I cannot picture my life without him. I don’t want to live life without him…
“Yes… I’ll marry you…” I say crying. I don’t like that I’m in tears, but I can’t help it.
He gently slides the modest diamond ring onto the proper finger and stands up to embrace me. He kisses me on the forehead and he shouts excitedly that I said yes. The crowd happily applauds for us.
This is definitely a surprise.
“Light and Dark Don’t Mix, Spiritually”
Kaylie’s silence worries me. I thought she would be happy for me and Derek. I hold my hand out so she can look at the ring, but she ignores it as she gets off her bed and crosses over to her closet on the other side. She slides her shutter closet doors open and the upper half of her body disappears behind a wall of her hanging clothes. She backs up and turns around holding a worn out shoe box. She comes back and sits down up against her cherry wood headboard. She pulls the lid off and the inside is cluttered with note cards, folded pieces of paper, and pictures- polaroid pics, 4 x 6s, and a few wallet size pics too. Before she opens her mouth I know its her Trevor Box… I have an ALL-THINGS-DEREK-BOX too.
“Trevor will forever be my first love… but he’s not saved… he’s no good for me. Light and Dark don’t mix, and as hard as it was, I had to break it off with him for good.” Kaylie whines from her self-righteous soapbox.
I don’t need to hear this preachy stuff from her. I rock back for momentum and then I slowly roll off her bed. “You know,” I say, turning to put my tude in her direction. “I thought you would appreciate how Derek called my mom and got her blessing before he popped the question. That he secured a job through one of his dad’s friends before he came back. How Alexis and him are going to convert the garage into an apartment for us until we finish school… But no, your religion has to come before me… Moses wasn’t married to a Jew… she was from Media- not even his own kin. And Hosea married an unclean prostitute!” I pause for a second not sure why I brought the Bible into this… That’s what happens living with Netty and being forced to attend church twice a week. Plus, her and Deshuan talk about the Bible and their faith all the time at dinner- it consumes the conversation.
“I expected this from my sister, but not from you. And I don’t care if Jesus is a better friend to you than me right now… Knowing Him doesn’t give you license to tell people what to do with their life!” I yell.
Wow, I rarely yell, but hitting the 2nd trimester my emotions stay on high, in every single mode… And I can’t control it…
“It’s just I had a dream and I think it was about placing the baby in adoption…” She blurts.
“SO WHAT! I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care! I don’t have to follow God like you. I wish I could be as lucky as you and have this kid die in my WOMB!” And now I shut up.
Kaylie hangs her head as she trembles crying. Everything in me just wants to hold her and apologize until I really do die.
Not even looking at me, “Just get out…” Kaylie manages to say.
“The South Side-Again”
I like moving homes while being pregnant. I’m not really expected to do anything. Mom and I sit on the couch and we tell Bobby, Derek, the girls, and Bobby’s friends where to put things.
I guess Jewel and Bobby started talking right when she found out she was sick. He’s been seeing the girls every Sunday, since I moved back, and taking them to church. He no longer denies Genie is his. He can’t really, she looks like he spit her out.
The plan as of right now is that all of us live together until I marry Derek. Then I’ll go live with him and Alexis. Bobby has an extra truck that he’s letting Derek use, therefore, he can pick me up and take me to and from school.
I don’t remember a lot about Bobby, but I really hope living with him will be pleasant and as drama free as possible.