Eight Years Ago
What is he going to say? What is he going to do?
Dear sweetness, I’m a mess.
I’m sitting on the front porch of the plantation house, waiting for Colby to pick me up. He’s been my boyfriend for four months, and I love him.
Like, forever love him.
He’s tall, and handsome, and funny. And he tells me he loves me all the time. And a month ago, we made love and it was perfect.
Just like the movies.
But now my stomach is turning, like there are a million fireflies in my belly, and I can’t stop wringing my hands.
I hope he’s not mad. I hope he’s as excited as I am! I’m nervous to tell him, but Charly says it’s the right thing to do, and she’s right. Thank goodness for older sisters.
Colby’s car makes the turn into our driveway. The older Pontiac is louder than usual today. The muffler must have finally given up the ghost.
Colby is forever working on his car. And I don’t mind because that means I get to watch his muscles flex as he works, and hand him tools.
We’ve made out many times in that car.
I grin as he climbs out of the car, his sunglasses covering his bright blue eyes, that smug smirk on his lips. He’s in a Fall Out Boy T-shirt and jeans, and I bounce down the steps, excited to see him.
“Hey, baby,” he says as he scoops me up into a hug, then glances around to make sure no one is watching before he kisses me soundly. “You look beautiful today.”
“Thank you.” I take a deep breath and paste a confident smile on my face. “Let’s go sit in the garden for a minute before we leave.”
“We don’t have time, babe. Scott and the others are expecting us.”
“It’s just a BBQ,” I reply. “I have some news I need to share with you.”
He smiles and tucks my hair behind my ear, as though he’s indulging me. Sometimes Colby can be condescending, just because he’s two years older than me, and at twenty-one, he thinks he’s the shit because he can buy beer and stuff. It gets on my nerves.
But then he can be the sweetest thing ever.
“Okay, let’s go sit for a minute,” he says and lets me lead him to the bench in the garden that’s hidden from the house. It’s summer and it’s hot, but this spot is in the shade, and surprisingly comfortable. “What’s up?”
“I’m…” I bite my lip and glance up into his face. “Can you please take your glasses off?”
He frowns but takes them off, and narrows his eyes at me. “What’s wrong?”
He blinks rapidly, then pulls his hand out of mine and scoots away from me so we aren’t touching at all. “Bullshit.”
“I took six tests, Colby.”
“This is fucking bullshit,” he repeats.
“Look, I know it’s unexpected—”
“Unexpected?” He laughs and shakes his head. “We were careful.”
“Not the first time,” I remind him, remembering how he said that he didn’t want anything between us for the first time because he wanted it to be special.
“That was one time, Gabby.”
Why is he looking at me like I’m lying to him?
“I can show you the tests,” I reply and reach for his hand, but he pulls it out of my reach.
“I don’t need to see them. Get rid of it.”
I jerk back, stunned. “What?”
“You heard me. Get rid of it. I’ll pay for it.”
“No.” Get rid of it?
Now he stands and paces away, then back at me. “If you think I’m going to ruin my life because you can’t keep your legs together, you have another think coming.”
“Excuse me?” I jump to my feet and bury my finger in his chest, royally pissed off now. “There were two of us there, Colby. I’m no slut. You were my first!”
“So you said.”
My jaw drops. Did he seriously just say that to me?
“We are in love,” I say, trying to be the calm, rational one. “We can make this work.”
“We’re not in love, Gabby,” he says and rolls his eyes. “Jesus, you’re naïve. We’re having a fun summer together. That’s it.”
“Why are you acting like this?” I back away and wrap my arms around my belly. “You tell me you love me all the time!”
“Yeah, I tell you I love you all the time because it gets me in your pants and you clearly get off on it,” he insists, then chuckles when I just stare at him. “This is what I get for dating a virgin.”
“Stop that. I’m nineteen. I’m hardly a baby.”
“You’re right. So be an adult, and take care of this issue.”
I shake my head and feel tears well in my eyes. “I don’t even know who you are right now.”
“I’m the same Colby who drove up here. I’m not going to raise a kid, Gabby. I didn’t sign on for this. So fucking get rid of it.”
He slides his glasses on his face and stalks away. I can’t move. I hear his car start, then pull away, and slowly lower myself down to the bench.
“It’s hot down here,” I mutter into my phone.
“I can barely hear you,” Kate, my cousin, yells into my ear making me cringe. “What kind of car did you rent?”
“A convertible Camero,” I reply with a satisfied grin. “Black.”
“Of course it’s black.” I can almost hear her rolling those bright green eyes, and it makes me laugh.