Written By Special Guest Author Becca O.
Becca had become so accustomed to arriving home to an empty house, that she nearly rear-ended Nick’s Jeep before realizing that it was indeed parked in her customary spot. “Well, isn’t this special?” she mumbled as she trudged toward the door, balancing the baby and all his belongings. “Wonder what the special occasion is?”
“Where have you been?” The door was opened before she even reached the stoop, and Nick loomed almost larger than life. Becca almost chuckled at the irreverent analogy, but Nick and his attitude put an abrupt end to her feeble attempt at humor. “Where have you been? It’s after dinner time and you’re late.”
“Hello, Nick. Why yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking. I had a wonderfully lovely day. And yes, Garrett and I missed you, too.” Sweetness dripped from her voice and the sarcasm was not lost on Nick.
“Don’t be flip, Becca, I was worried.”
“Seriously?” she laughed. “Why?”
“Why? Bec, the roads just aren’t safe at night.”
“Nick, give it a rest. Why the sudden concern?”
“You’re my wife.” Not ‘because I love you’, not ‘because I missed you.’
“Not that you care,” Becca mumbled as she took the baby’s jacket off and set it aside.
“What?” Nick frowned. This wasn’t exactly how he’d planned the evening.
“Nothing. I don’t want to get into this tonight, Nick, I’m tired.”
Nick counted to ten. She was tired? She didn’t know the meaning of tired. “What’s for dinner?”
“Whatever you decide to fix for yourself. I lost my appetite about an hour ago.”
“You ate without me?”
“Nick, get over yourself. No, I cooked for Howie and Sarah. She-”
“I don’t want you over there, Becca.”
“Excuse me?” she whispered. If Nick had any sense, he’d have quit while he was ahead. He, out of everyone they knew, was well acquainted with Becca’s soft-spoken demeanor. It usually meant that she was one step away from exploding. “I haven’t seen her since before Christmas, Nick. And when Howie called me-”
“Howie called you? What the hell for?”
“Nick, watch your mouth. And drop the attitude. She’s been sick, and she needed me. So I went. Where is all this coming from?”
“Don’t YOU try to psychoanalyze me too. I’ve been fucked over enough for one day.”
“Have you been drinking?”
“Not nearly enough,” he muttered, grabbing his keys and jacket.
“You’re not going out again-”
“Yes, I am. Damnit Bec, all I wanted was to spend time with you and GT, not give a fucking play-by-play of how my day went.”
“But Nick-” The phone began to ring, and she instinctively reached for it, pressing the button to accept the call.
“Forget it Bec, just forget it.” He was at the door.
“When will you be back?” she called after him.
“Why do you care?” he shot back. “You don’t need me anymore. No one needs me anymore.”
But it was too late. The door slammed, Garrett began to cry, and the voice on the other end of the phone could be clearly heard calling her name.
“Shit. Hello?” she put the phone to her ear, jiggling the baby on the other arm as she attempted to hear who was speaking.
“Becca? Are you all right? What the hell is going on?”
“Howie? I – I’m fine. What do you want?”
“Bec, we were worried about you and I promised Sarah I’d call. Was that Nick?”
“Yes, and don’t you worry her. Howie, she doesn’t need the-”
“It’s too late, I’m on the other phone,” Sarah said, cutting in. “I’ll worry more if you don’t start explaining what we just heard.”
“I’m sorry you had to hear that,” she sighed.
“Sis, something is really wrong over there and I need to know you’re okay.”
“I’ll be fine,” she said, wiping her eyes on Garrett’s drool cloth and hoping that Sarah and Howie didn’t realize she was crying.
“Dammit, that asshole made you cry,” Howie steamed. “I’m on my way over.”
“I’m coming too,” Sarah insisted.
“Sarah!” “Sarah, no-” At least Becca and Howie agreed on one thing.
“We’ll be there as soon as we can,” Sarah said. And then there was nothing but the dial tone.
“Great. Just great.” Becca slammed the receiver back in the cradle and walked slowly up the stairs to the nursery. “Maybe I can get you settled in before they get here.”
Chapter 8 Index