Weeks passed in a daze. Shopping for baby clothes or hunting for baby names had lost its joy. Bill’s late-night texts were just about the only thing that kept her sane, anymore.
BILL: How’s my baby-Mama?
BILL: I know. Me, too.
APRIL: When can I see you, again?
BILL: Soon. She watches me like a hawk. The poor thing is deranged.
APRIL: Dammit, Bill, she knows!
BILL: No. I’m sure she doesn’t.
APRIL: She KNOWS!
BILL: Everything will be fine. She’s paranoid and off her meds or something. Just be patient, my sweet.
APRIL: Please call me? I need to hear your voice.
BILL: I can’t, right now.
APRIL: When can you?
BILL: Not until morning. 5 am.
APRIL: Call me at 5, then. Our baby needs to hear your voice.
BILL: K. Gotta go. XOXO
This was their nightly exchange until a Saturday when everything changed with a phone call
“April? It’s Marina McIntyre.”
“Y-Yes? Hello!” April spat out.
“Listen, I’m sorry if this is inappropriate but I have an emergency and Mr. McIntyre is being impossible to get a hold of.”
“I see,” April said. “I don’t know – I mean – how can I help?”
“Well, I’m sure you can guess,” Marina said, making April’s heart leap for joy. “I need a recommendation for a sitter. Someone that you would trust with the boys. Do you know anyone like that?”
April’s heart sank but she tried – poorly – to disguise her disappointment in her voice.
“I do,” she said. “I will text her, right away.”
“Thank you!” Marina said with something that sounded like genuine gratitude.
“You’re – you’re welcome,” April said and slowly and awkwardly hung up.
APRIL: Hey, Bimbo!
MARJORIE: Yo! Butt-slut!
APRIL: You owe me one after Prom!
MARJORIE: Let it go, bitch!
APRIL: Babes, PLEASE! I need my bff now. PLEASE!
MARJORIE: What up?
Marjorie became an accomplice to the affair from that moment on.
“That adulterous sunnuva bitch looks fucking awful,” Marjorie complained over pizza in April’s room as they cuddled and dug through baby-names.
“I can’t believe you let him hit that – and don’t tell me it didn’t happen at least twice.”
April begged, silently.
“Okay, okay, he’s kinda cute in an old man kinda way. I mean, I wouldn’t give him my unsullied maiden-head if I still had one but I’d help him cross the street or suspend his house in the air with balloons or something…”
After a moment more of puppy-facing, April got what she wanted.
“You got it bad, girl,” Marjorie shook her head. “The boys are awesome. Finley is talking a ton. He always mentions you when I come over. I told him that you didn’t get a big tummy from eating Spaghetti-O’s.”
Marjorie stuck her tongue in her cheek and mimicked a blowjob with her hand and got a deserved wrist-slap for it.
“And Mrs. McIntyre – get this – she likes me!”
“Gross,” April scowled.
“I told her that I wanted to know all about her exciting life in Washington and she opened up to me. Talk about a self-absorbed bitch. But I can play her like a fiddle, my sweet!”
“For all the good it will do you,” April grumbled.
After a few episodes of The Bachelor, Marjorie turned to April in an unnerving way and said, “I just had the most genius idea, ever. Let’s have Marina host you a baby shower.”
“Ha!” April blurted.
But Marjorie’s gears were turning. “Yeah,” she pondered aloud.
“You dumbass bimbo! Why would she throw me a baby shower?” April asked.
“Because I shall regale her barely-human heartstrings with the sadness I feel to think that you must bear some teenage miscreant’s welp all by your lonesome!” Marjorie brought her wrist up to her forehead like a 19th Century debutante. “How I can’t bear to see my wayward darling April shamed by proper society, any longer!”
“Sure,” April said. “Why don’t you do that and see how it pans out for you.”
But deep within her, April’s sarcastic heart hoped as her search settled once again on a name on her short list: ‘Emma’.
My precious Emma McIntyre. Bill McIntyre’s only daughter.