It felt like just a moment later, but it was probably more like two hours…Georgia and I found ourselves at the little side table in dad’s kitchen, munching on mixed nuts and sipping Diet Coke, which was all dad seemed to have. Why we weren’t on the far more comfortable sofa or at the much bigger dining room table, I’ll never know. We probably wanted to be closer to the food.
“Should we get pizza? I feel like we should get pizza,” Georgia quipped, munching on a chip.
I couldn’t imagine it. I shifted uncomfortably, feeling extra full.
“God no,” I said. “I’m stuffed.”
“What about going out for a beer?” Georgia countered, her eyes dancing. “Jed’s mom has Robbie all weekend and I don’t have to work tomorrow.”
She was eager and excited, just like when we were teenagers and she’d suggest going over to some football player’s house to listen to music and drink watered-down beers someone’s older brother bought us. I finished chewing and swallowing a tortilla chip slowly.
“I can’t, really,” I began. “I wanna go see my dad early.” Just relax, I thought. Make sure she doesn’t think you’re being wierd about this.
“One beer…” she said.
I shook my head. “No, George.”
“…just one,” she begged.
“I can’t,” I said.
“Why not, Nore? Come on! You NEVER come home and it’s been a million years since we’ve hung out and -”
“Because I’m pregnant!” I blurted out, immediately regretting it.
Georgia sat there, stunned for a few seconds, then unleashed a rapid-fire stream of consciousness.
“HOLY SHIT! Jesus! I mean – your dad said you were engaged…” She rolled her eyes – at herself. “Wait – how did I not ask you about him yet?! And how far along are you? When’re you due? What does you…”
Fuck I was overwhelmed. I shook my head and held up my hands like a stop sign. “Let’s come up for air, huh?”
Georgia took a quick breath. “I’m sorry, I…”
“Crap, George,” I slumped in my chair. “My dad doesn’t even know yet. No one knows except Rafa. I’m only six weeks.”
Georgia jumped up to hug me. “I’m so happy for you!” She sat back down and pulled her chair closer to mine, giddy. “Tell me everything. Or, like, as much as you want. Wait! Your fiance! Tell me about him…” She eagerly awaited the juicy news, but I was uneasy and she could tell.
“Come on…I wouldn’t be so nosy if you, you know, ever posted on Facebook. Or texted. Or visited. Your dad posts more than you.”
I shook my head…but grinned. “His name is ‘haf-eye-el’.”
Her eyes went wide. “Oh my gosh! That’s sooooo sexy!”
“It’s the name ‘Rafael,’ but Brazilian.”
Georgia looked at me a moment. “And…he’s Brazilian?
I looked at her…like, duh. Then grabbed my phone and started scrolling. “Here, let me find a picture…unless my dad already posted something?”
“Nope,” she said. “Definitely not.”
I flashed her a photo of us at a Cubs game. “There’s my guy. I can’t wait ‘til you meet him!” Georgia shifted in her chair, a bit more subdued.
“I’m so happy you’re happy, Nora. I’ll have to finally come up and see you.”
“I should bring Rafa back here,” I said. “I forget how much I love this house.” While I reminisced, Georgia sighed.
“On that note,” she said, standing up. “I’m gonna call it a night. I’ve gotta study for the RN exam anyway…moms of 6-year-olds don’t often get a night to themselves.” She gathered some dishes off the table and put them in the sink. “Which you’ll learn soon enough, little mama…”
“It was really good to see you, George.” And I meant it. I had been nervous about coming home, but it was so refreshing to see her. I started to get up from the table but she stopped me.
“No need to get up. You know I can let myself out.” She leaned down to give me a squeeze, then left me alone, in the quiet kitchen.
I didn’t give much thought to her change of heart, how one second she’d been so excited to go out and the next, she was tired and heading home.
There were quite a few things I overlooked then.