I walked into the house clutching the picture tightly in my hand. Tucker held me close making sure I didn’t fall, even though I wasn’t going to. I walked into the house hearing JJ giggling in the living room. I followed the sound till I came into the room to see Dad and Sarah sitting on the couch. Sarah looked up from her book as we walked in. “Well?” She asked looking between the two of us then at Tucker’s tight hand gripping my hip. I walked over handing her the picture with shaky hands. JJ looked up at me smiling happily as he laid on his back. I picked him up giving him a kiss.
“Hi Bugga-boo.” I kissed his head as he chewed on his hand.
“Oh Troy, look at it.” Sarah said showing the picture to my father. “Oh it reminds me when I first found out I was pregnant with JJ.” Tears formed in her eyes as she looked at me. She handed the picture to Dad. “Oh Carson.” She pulled me into a hug.
“It so beautiful.” I cried into her shoulder. She pulled to pull my face into her hands.
“I know. Oh this is going to be wonderful. We’ll do everything together. We have to make sure you’re eating right. You’ll need to take your vitamins. We’ll have to pick those up too. We’ll need to figure out where to make this little one a nursery. We can clean up the basement, move you both down there. A little more insulation to make sure you both are safe and can be warm during the winter.”
“Sarah aren’t you over thinking this a little bit?” Dad said looking up at her.
“What? No! Of course not. We have six months to figure out what we are going to do! Only six months here Troy!” Dad shook his head at her.
“You’re crazy Baby.” He looked at JJ as he looked between his parents. “Your Momma’s crazy Bud.” I smiled at him. JJ giggled.
“Don’t you call me crazy! You might be a Good ol’ Boy but that don’t mean I can’t be prepared for my little grandbaby to come into this world!” Dad rolled his eyes. To anyone looking into, it looks like Sarah is fighting with Dad. To me, this is normal. They do this a lot.
“Y’all are going to plan what college the little ‘un is going to, too?” Sarah huffed at her husband.
“Why don’t you get the molasses out of your britches?” Tucker looked between the two of them.
“What is going on?” He whispered in my ear as Sarah glared at dad.
“Babe, you’re just barking up the wrong tree here.” Dad leaned back onto the couch, an amused look on his face.
“I ‘m doing no such thing!” She scrunched up her face crossing her arms. “Don’t you got some do-hickey to fix or something?” She said her eye brow twitching.
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.” He shrugged at her. Her forehead turned red.
“You’re going to be a coon-ass on the couch if you don’t!” This wasn’t the norm, but if was a silly fight.
“Alright you two. Enough. Go mend some fences before I beat ya’ both!” They both looked at me. Dad sighed.
“I don’t like when we have a falling out.” He said looking up at Sarah. She relaxed and put her arms back at her sides.
“I don’t either, Troy.” In our house we speak like we were still home, still in Louisiana or Texas. It’s normal for us to go crazy on our talking. It might seem crazy, but we all were raised like this. Everything different once you step in here. It’s our home though.
“I’m fixing to do some making up though.” Dad looked at me winking.
“Daddy! I don’t need to know about y’all sexy life!” Sarah smiled kissing my head.
“I’m happy to hear that Hon.” Dad stood up kissing my head. “I love you baby. We’ll have a real talk about what we are going to do.” He looked at Tucker. “At dinner. I expect you to be there boy.” Tucker nodded.
“Yes, Sir.” Tucker said pulling me to him.
“Alright, take care of my boy while I go make up to my beautiful wife.” He lifted up Sarah as she squealed. I blushed; it wasn’t crazy to know about what my parents did. I knew they did it, hell JJ was born from it. But I didn’t want to know about it. I know Dad didn’t want to know about mine. “Don’t forget! Dinner!” He ran up the stairs closing their bedroom door behind them.
“What just happened?” Tucker asked sitting down on the couch. I put JJ on the ground by his toys.
“Sarah gets like that sometimes. She and Daddy have a fight, but they make up quickly.” I nodded. He looked at me wide eyed.
“My parents fight too, but hell I barely understood that.” I smiled.
“It was simple, really. Dad called Sarah crazy, she called him lazy. He called her wrong, she called him a liar. She wanted him to go fix something, he doesn’t want to. She said he’s going to be sleeping on the couch if he doesn’t shut up. Then I told them to shut up and make up. Then Daddy said he doesn’t like when they fight, and then about how he wants to fix things. My Grandparents fight the same way really.” He looked at me his jaw dropped.
“Really? All that happened? Damn, you need to teach me these things.” I smiled. “You are my Southern Belle.” I leaned back onto him as he put his hand on my belly. “Your dad doesn’t like me does he?” I looked up at him. It had been silent other than for JJ clicking his toys, then this.
“What makes you think that, Tuck?” He sighed.
“He keeps calling me Boy.” I chuckled.
“Aw Tucky, He doesn’t hate you. He calls everyone boy.” I smiled at him. He looked down at me. “He doesn’t say it to be mean. He calls everyone boy if they’re a guy. I promise you if you were in a room full of guys, he’d call you Tucker. It’s just easier to call you boy in a room of girls. You don’t need to worry about that.” I kissed him. “I think he likes you. He’d have beaten you by now if he didn’t trust ya.” He looked at me. “Sweetheart, the only thing you gave him a reason to not like you is you knocked up his only daughter.”
“Is he going to hurt me?” I shook my head.
“Only if you run away and leave us.” I closed my eyes as Tucker held my belly a little bit tighter. “And remember my daddy’s a cop now.” I smiled.
“I’d never run from you. Never. Hell we’re young, and still in High School. But I know we can do this. We have each other. And our families too.” I smiled at him.
“Yeah, each other.” I kissed him.
“Ew.” I broke off our kiss to look at Mason.
“What?” I asked him putting my hand on Tucker’s chest.
“You don’t want to hear the sounds coming from upstairs right now.” We both shuddered.
“Hey Mason.” He smiled at my pretty much brother.
“Sup Dude. Congrats on the little screamer on the way.” He winked walking into the kitchen opening the fridge.
“Thanks I think. How you feeling?” Turned out Mason had a sinus infection and was on a nice round of antibiotics.
“Better.” He came in with a glass of juice. He sat on the other couch flicking on the TV putting his sock covered feet onto the coffee table that was pushed towards his couch so JJ could play. I missed being around my best friend. I wasn’t allowed to be around him because I still had a weak immune system from my pneumonia and septic shock medication. But now it was safe to be around him. Thank god.....
The next two weeks consisted of our families deciding on what to go with us. It sounds bad, but it wasn’t. Sarah is ecstatic about the baby. I asked her why she was so happy I was pregnant this young. Her answer was simple. “Of course I wished you and Tucker waited longer to have a baby. Waited till you weren’t in high school, you weren’t a kid yourself. But a baby is a blessing! I always wanted to have a grandbaby and experience it with my daughter, or daughter-in-law. Now I can!” I always thought Dad was lucky to get her, now I knew he was. She is amazing. She was converting the basement into a nursery as well as another spare room. The spare room is for me after the baby was born of course; she wanted me to be close to it. I just thought I’d get a little foldable crib and keep it in my room, but Sarah disagreed. We had another spare room upstairs by Mason, but we all thought it was best to keep it for when people stay over seeing as My Mam-maw was already planning to stay over after it was born to help me through those dreaded first weeks. Family sticks together, through thick and thin. Mr. and Mrs. Brown want to also put a crib in the basement by Tucker’s room so we could spend time there as well.
Sarah thought it would be good. Of course Tucker and I would want to get our own house after a while so we could be a real family. I think it’d be better seeing as I do want to be a little normal. College was unknown right now. Mr. Brown was still hoping Tucker would get a scholarship for football, which I refused to let him quiet. He was crazy to even think he had to quiet football for us. It was his favorite thing to do, favorite thing to play. It made him happy. I was not taking away his happiness. Football has been great for him. Uncle Caleb was saying he was even seeing some college scouts at the games. I am so proud of him.
Mrs. Brown still had that look every time I hung out over there. Nic would keep me away from her when we did homework, and Tucker kept me locked away from her. Sometimes with Nic, sometimes alone. Don’t get me wrong, I understand their point of view. I’m ruining their son’s life. Getting pregnant so early in life, not getting rid of the baby or thinking of adoption. Not in my family. My Pap-paws words, “You make the bed, you lie in it.” It hurt me that I was disliked by here. I remember she used to love me. Now she hates me. I shy away from going there now. But Mr. Brown loves me, and loves when I come over. It was the only reason I went there, well other than to see Dakota. She might have blown my secret twice, but she was a pretty little thing. She didn’t mean to do it. And I felt bad for her. Her mom was barely ever home, and her dad tried but it was hard to do.
Tucker and I take her out with Nic for a kind of family thing. Mason comes to. It always made her happy when those two boys doted on her. My belly now wasn’t flat anymore. The little bump had formed and popped. Sarah said it would happen sooner or later. I ran down the stairs crying showing everyone it. Sarah had me in her arms as we both jumped around excited. Daddy just smiled and held me close. He wasn’t one of many words. But he wasn’t happy about me being knocked up, but he was warming up to it the more Sarah and I talked about it. It’s just taking him a little long, but he was just nervous. He wasn’t mad.
It was Halloween. My bump was still small enough that I was able to get a good enough costume. Of course Harold helped, who had the same reaction to my pregnancy that Sarah had, and was coming for Thanksgiving to speak to me. I had taken Dakota to pick out her costume only for her to find me one and had me try it on. Next thing I know Tucker was thrown into this. We had gotten Dakota a Wonder Girl outfit as well as a cute trick or treat bag. She had made me get a matching costume to Tucker. So I was a princess while Tucker is my Prince Charming. She had the shop lady giggling and helping us pick out our costumes. I had dragged Nic up and got her a costume too.
Everyone had a costume. Dad and Sarah as well as Mr. Brown and Mrs. Brown are going to a Halloween party together. I had promised Mr. Brown to take Dakota trick-or-treating with her friends while I had JJ as well. Nic, Ben, Mason, EJ, and the guys were going to some other Halloween party a kid was throwing. Ben was Superman to his girlfriend’s Super Girl, which Nic was in. Mason thought it was amusing to be a cop. Sarah now had a picture of him and Dad, Mace in his costume and Dad in his uniform. It’s on the fridge next to me and Tucker in house Fairytale outfit. EJ had gotten closer to everyone since school started. He was dressed up as a Firefighter. It was pretty out, not that I’d tell Mr. Jealousy over here.
I have to say my favorite costume had to be JJ’s. Sarah had gotten him the cutest costume I had ever seen. He was a monkey! Cutest monkey I’ve ever seen. We were getting everyone ready at Tucker’s before everyone split up. Tucker and I might go to the party later but we weren’t sure yet. “Call me to what y’all are going.” Mason said as he hugged me. I nodded as he walked over to Ben’s car.
“Be safe!” I called to him as Dakota’s friends started to come over.
“We will.” I sighed walking back in to set up JJ’s stroller for the night…
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