I could not believe that Mom chose then of all times to admit she’s pregnant. I mean, she’s divorced and not even dating; why would you even want to announce that? I am excited she’s pregnant, I really am, but I just wish she wouldn’t have made such a slut of herself in front of all of those people. I reacted with happiness and joy while we were at the party. But the second the door closed behind Mom, Robbie, and I when we got home, I spoke my mind.
“Mom, you can’t just do that!” I said immediately and plopped down on the couch and Robbie did the same.
“Do what?” I heard her ask from the kitchen.
“You know what I’m talking about,” I said loudly back, “You shouldn’t have announced that in front of all of those people.”
She came out from the kitchen and stood in front of me with a look of anger on her face. This was not good. Things were never good when she was angry. And I felt bad for Robbie because this was probably awkward for him, but he’s already been living in my house for a month and has 3 more to go, so he might as well get comfortable some time.
“What? Are you not happy for me?” Mom asked angered.
“Of course I am happy for you,” I said and that was the truth, “But you just made yourself look like a slut in front of the whole town.”
“People were very supportive after they found out. I’m surprised they already haven’t guessed. I’ve been pregnant for a while.”
I rolled my eyes, “How did this happen, Mom. You are divorced and you aren’t dating anyone at the moment.”
I hated when my Mom acted more like a teenager than I did. Sometimes I feel like the Mom, and I hate it. She’s supposed to scold me.
She sat down next to me on the couch hesitantly, “I don’t know.”
“Of course you know. Things like this don’t just happen.”
Mom looked down and shook her head and looked back at me, “I wonder where your Dad is right now. Don’t you ever just sit and wonder where he is or what he is up to?”
Dad left when I was 12. It was really sad. Mom and I never understood why. Mom and Dad would have the occasional disagreement but after a big fight one night, he left and never came back. Mom’s been heartbroken ever since. I think that all these guys she keeps dating are worthless and that she’s still in love with Dad.
“Yeah, I do wonder that sometimes,” I admitted, “But that’s not the point. What happened, Mom? Who’s the father?”
“I—I don’t—I can’t—I don’t know. I went out partying at some club and had a drink too many. The rest is just a blur.”
I looked over at Robbie who was just staring at us intently.
“Sorry,” I said to him sincerely, “This is probably a bit awkward.”
He laughed a little, “its okay. This is nothing compared to my real family.”
I looked back at Mom. How could she not know? Why is my own Mother so immature that she doesn’t even know who the Father of her baby is? How could she act like such an immature teenager? I hate feeling like the Mom all the time.
“Let’s just forget about who the Father is,” Mom said looking away from me like there was something on her face she didn't want me to see, “Let’s just forget….So…”—She turned back and looked at me—“So did you talk to Carter?”
I can’t believe she’s trying to change the subject. Oh well though, because we’ll have to talk about her pregnancy sometime.
“Barely,” I said and grumbled. I wished I could talk to him like old times again.
“Yeah, it was quite awkward,” Robbie added in.
“Can’t you just ask him if you can start fresh and new?” Mom asked like it was the easiest thing in the world.
“It really isn’t that simple, Mom,” I told her, because it really wasn’t.
I went to bed that night with music from band camp whirling around in my brain. Band camp was really so much fun. I love music more than anything.
I remember during the first week I was there, I was so nervous. I was nervous about meeting knew people, and making new friends. But everyone was encouraging through their e-mails; Mom said: Don’t worry! You’re always good at making new friends. You’re bright and funny and making friends should be easy. At first, it didn’t come easily. I’m so shy around people I don’t know. But soon, I opened up and I made so many new friends. My friends and I used to lie on the beach after music theory class and play volleyball and talk and at night have bonfires. We would laugh and tell stories about our lives. And my friend Curtis would always serenade us with his guitar at the end of the day. He’d sing us original songs that I swear should be famous someday. But even as happy as I was there, I couldn’t get Carter out of my head. The fact that he never e-mailed me anymore bothered me, and I always wondered what was up with him.
And although 2 years sounds like a long time, it was gone before I knew it and I had to say goodbye to all of my friends that I had made there. I’m not much of a crier, but let me tell you, I bawled as I had to say goodbye to all my friends. We all lived on opposite ends of the planet, or so it seemed.
And then I come back, and everything is different. My Mom seems older, and she’s pregnant, and a foreign exchange student is living at my house, and my guy best friend acts like we’ve never met. It seems like the only thing that hasn’t changed, is Katelyn.
It was weird getting woken up by Robbie that next morning. I could tell he was trying to be gentle with me. Probably because he didn’t know if I’d jump up from sleeping and hit him or something.
“Um, Laurie? Your Mom said she wants you to go shopping for some groceries since she has to work. And she said to take me with you. You don’t have to though if you don’t want to. I completely understand. I don’t want hold you back or annoy you or something I”—
“Robbie, it’s okay,” I said stopping him, “I’ll get up in a second and then we can go. And just for the record I’m not annoyed that you’re staying with us at all. I actually think it’s kind of cool and I like your accent.”
Robbie smiled a little and I got out of bed. I guess I never realized how out of place he must feel.
Robbie does have his license but it isn’t valid in the US so I drove. When we got to the store, even the store had changed. There was fresh paint on the outside of it, and a whole other section had been added. So many things have changed. Maybe too many things have.
Robbie and I made small talk as we picked out my Mom’s groceries.
“So what is the biggest difference between America and Scotland?” I asked.
“Easy,” He said and chuckled, “The food. Your food is a lot different than ours. But I like it. Your Mom is a good cook.”
I burst out laughing, “You ate her food and didn’t die?!”
My Mom is known for being a horrible cook, partly because she never reads the directions on anything. I’ve gotten food poisoning from her cooking at least 5 times.
“She said you’d say that. She’s gotten better though. She told me she actually reads the directions now.”
I smiled. I love my Mom. She’s probably the only woman in the world who has difficulties cooking.
“You haven’t had American food until you’ve had Tom’s double cheeseburger madness,” I commented.
Tom’s restaurant was a burger place that was in town. They have the best double cheeseburgers ever. His famous one is called “double cheeseburger madness”. It’s amazing. The first time I tried it I couldn’t get over it. The only bad thing about it is that after you eat one you probably gain 5 pounds.
“I’ve seen that restaurant around town a couple of times,” Robbie said nodding, “I’ve never been there though.”
“Well then we have to go! We’ll go for lunch when we’re done shopping here. I’m telling you Robbie their food is amazing.”
“What about you? Ever been out of the country?” He asked.
“Yeah, actually. But not to Scotland, I got chosen to be a part of an elite trumpet band a couple years back and we had a big concert in Italy. I love Italy. I wish I could go to Scotland though. I’ve seen pictures and I think it looks beautiful there.”
“It is really beautiful. I guess I’m just so used to it.”
“Yeah I know”—
I stopped talking because I looked over and saw Carter in the same aisle as us, looking through some pasta.
Say something, Laurie.
“Oh, hey Carter,” I said trying to sound smooth. I wonder how long he’s been standing there.
He looked up at Robbie and I, “Hey.”
Robbie gave me weird look and nudged me. I didn’t know why.
“Uh, what’s up?” I asked.
Carter fidgeted with his hands, “Nothing. You?”
I tried to think of something interesting to say, but nothing came to mind. God, why can’t I talk to him anymore? Why does it have to be so awkward?
“Same here,” I answered and sighed, “It seems like ages since we talked.”
Carter’s eyes wandered and then he finally spoke, “I gotta go. See you around.”
And then he walked out of the aisle. I tried not be upset. He’ll come around, eventually.
“I still don’t understand you and him,” Robbie commented as we continued our shopping.
“It’s a long story. Has he ever talked to you since you got here?”
“No, well not really; we’ve shared small talk a couple of times, but nothing fancy.”
I reached on my tip toes for the Doritos on the top shelf and put them into the cart.
“Let’s change the subject,” I suggested.
Robbie nodded, understanding.
Robbie and I did end up going out to that burger place and he loved it. He absolutely loved it. He raved about how delicious his burger was the whole time. I just smiled and kept saying, “Well that’s American food for you.” Afterwards we went to the park and he showed me the fountain that the park had installed in the mayor’s honor about 8 months back. The fountain looked beautiful along with the scenery of the park and I was happy it was there. Even though I wasn’t there when it was installed.
“You know,” Robbie said to me as we sat near the fountain, “I used to be in love with this girl from Scotland, but her parents wouldn’t let her see me. They didn’t approve of me.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I’m just trying to relate. It seems to me that you and Carter have a romantic past.”
Suddenly I was angry, “Who told you that?!”
“No one,” He said calmingly, “I figured it for myself.”
“My parents did let me see Carter though. We were best friends. Everything was perfect.”
“Well then what happened?”