Untitled #18

April 7, 2011
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The bus driver downshifts to take us up and over the next hill, and we hit a pothole, jerking me awake. My vision’s a bit misty, but there’s a pretty little thing sitting next to me. It’s just me and her. She looks over and says, “I’m marrying him. In the spring.” Her tone isn’t as bright as the statement.
I’m not really in the mood, so I say, “Er, well that’s real nice,” with a smile and everything. Prayin’ on every god I know to make her keep quiet.
“He’s only doin’ it because I’m pregnant. I never really expected for him to stick around that long and I’ve got this entire gut feelin’ thing goin’ on that he’s only in it still b’cause his momma’s got this deal with God. She thinks it’d be wrong an’ everything, you know to dump a girl his little boy’s knocked up on the street an’ everything. She’s real old-fashioned that way. Real nice family, he’s got. And even though he’s not the most gentleman-like of the bunch I’m sure I can clean his act right on up soon’s the baby’s born. I’m sure he’ll start thinkin’ real clear again. He’s gotta, right? That’s what my momma said anyway, when I told her and everything. She wasn’t real keen on the way he did it an’ everything. I mean the proposal – it wasn’t nothin’ special or romantic or even real memorable. Kinda just threw the box at me. But I understand, I’ve gotta. He’s real stressed, what with bein’ a daddy and all. You get it? I mean the man’s…”

She took an actual breath and smiled. A real one – with her teeth and eyes and everything. Boy, did she have a great smile.
“You know, I think everything’s gonna be just alright,” she said, leaning back against the seat. She looked real relaxed, and I think I even believed her.
I just smiled, my own real one. I looked over at her and she had this real glow about her, you know, that kind that they’re all supposed to have when they’re pregnant and everything. She looked real peaceful like that, with her hair uncombed and thrown all over her shoulders and everything.

I feel alright tonight.

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