Here’s a link to Part 6 if you missed it!
I woke up the next morning with a dull headache. Then it got even stronger as I remembered all the crap that had gone on the night before. I couldn’t believe it. Bobby was Rob and was here in Maui and I had to see him all weekend because we were in the same wedding! He had been really sweet to me and that just made it worse, because I had so much — maybe hate isn’t the right word — but all those years of feeling abandoned were there inside me and I still felt so angry when I thought about him not being there for me.
And yet –- what if he hadn’t known about the baby? What if it was just like he said and he hadn’t gotten a message from his dad and my mom hadn’t told him how to reach me when I was away at school? Oh, no, I can’t even think about this right now…
My cellphone is ringing and I see that it’s Jamie. “Hi,” I say, trying to sound more cheerful than I feel. “You didn’t call me yesterday,” she says accusingly. “I left you a bunch of messages. I thought we were going to meet for dinner last night.” “Oh, um, I didn’t feel well, James,” I mumble, which is not really a lie. I felt like I’d had the shock of my life last night, which, frankly, I had. Passing out at the airport was just the icing on the cake.
“Oh, no, are you better this morning?” she asks. “Do you feel like getting together for lunch in a little bit and checking out the resort? Mike is talking to Rob right now and we thought you two should have a chance to meet before all the wedding stuff starts.” She sounds so concerned that I start to feel guilty.
“Yeah, about that,” I sigh, “James, I really need to talk to you. Is there coffee around here somewhere?” “Well, Reg, in the kitchen right there is a coffee maker. But there’s a Starbucks downstairs in the General Store.”
“What if you give me a half hour to shower and get dressed and I’ll meet you at the Starbucks?” I say, grimacing at my swollen eyes in the mirror. “Sure,” Jamie says, sounding a little surprised. “We can sit outside on the terrace by the lobby and have coffee and talk if you want. Oh, wait, what, Mike?” She obviously covers the phone with her hand because all I hear is muffled voices and then she’s back. “Okay, I need to know what’s going on. Mike says that Rob wants to meet him at the restaurant and talk. I mean, what are the chances that the two of you both need to talk this morning?”
“Yeah, well, give me a half hour and I’ll explain it all,” I say and she reluctantly agrees. “You better be prepared to spill,” she warns, “because this is just weird.” “Sure, okay, let me get in the shower already. I’ll meet you downstairs about 10:45.”
I hang up quickly because I’m starting to get a pain in my stomach. I’m wondering what Bobby is planning to share with Mike and I try to decide if I have to tell Jamie the whole truth. She knew I’d broken up with a boyfriend right before college, but I don’t think I’d shared all the gory details with her, even after nights of too many beers and true confessions. I’d kept this buried for so long and now twice in two days I had to go over all the details again. Oh, well, catharsis for the soul, maybe…
After the quickest shower on record, I bundle my hair into a knot at the back of my head, slip on shorts and a t-shirt and head down to look for the Starbucks. God, it’s beautiful here. It’s probably 80 degrees and sunny out, maybe one or two puffy clouds in the sky. The pool is huge and blue and sparkling and surrounded by gorgeous tropical flowers growing on hedges. I cross over a koi pond while following the signs to the General Store. As I go in, I see Jamie is already there and she’s looking quizzically at me.
I hurry over and we order our coffees and rolls. I can hardly look at her because I’m so afraid I’ll burst into tears. I guess I’ve been holding these feelings in so long that everything is so close to the surface now. We go outside and find a couple of big wooden rockers to sit in and a table to put our drinks on.
“Okay,” she says, “Please tell me what it is, Reg. You look as though you could burst into tears any minute. Come on, I’m getting married tomorrow. I need you to be happy!”
I want to, too, but that just brings the tears closer to the surface. Then, just my luck, a young couple walks by with a little girl in a stroller and she waves at us. God help me, I can feel the tears coursing down my cheeks. I try to wave back and pretend everything is okay behind my sunglasses, but Jamie is looking alarmed. “Please, Reg,” she whispers, “Tell me what’s going on?”
So for the next half hour, I talk and we rock and sip our coffees while tears run down both of our faces.
~Diane D. ~ The photo is my own