Gossip and Wine
“You’re moving along nicely. Now I know I’ve asked before but have you had any swelling or discomfort at all?” Dr. Roland’s asked removing the fetal Doppler that was used to check the babies heartbeat. It was a sound I would never forget.
I shook my head and with the paper towel she gave me I wiped my stomach of the warm gel. “No. I mean I’ve been kind of depressed lately with Alec being away but he’s supposed to come back soon so I’m sure it will get better” it also helped that Brian had a shoulder I could lean on.
She looked at me with a concerned expression “Are you sure? We could get you set up with a therapist or-”
“No I’m fine really” I urged.
She nodded and helped me sit up as I pulled my shirt back over my belly. “Okay, well then I will see you in a few weeks for your next check up and by then we should be able to see whether it’s a boy or girl. If you want to know of course”
I smiled, “Great”
“Stop by the front desk on your way out and they’ll help you set up your next appointment” she said before saying goodbye and walking out of the room. I gathered my coat, tucking it under my arm before grabbing my purse and slipped out of the room.
I stopped by the front desk as instructed and schedules the next appointment. I sent Alec a text letting him know the date and time, I needed him to be there for it.
As I was walking out of the clinic I caught sight of Sarah. She didn’t notice me as she walked threw the automated front doors and disappeared down a hallway leading to the X-ray and Lab department.
I couldn’t help but wonder what she was there for. The endless questions and theories roamed about in my mind. Was she sick? Was it a simple routine lab draw? Why would she need an x ray done?
I walked to my car and drove away and I still couldn’t get it off my mind. I passed threw town and drove to my mothers. It was Sunday, which meant it was our night for dinner, however I was surprised to not only find the swades car in the driveway but Brian’s as well.
Alec’s parents, mr and Mrs swade were inside and as I parked my car on the empty residential street I hesitated getting out of the car. I was sure they’d told Alec about me being seen with Brian. What would they say when I walked in? Did they think I was cheating on him?
Then there was Brian, why was he here?
I was completely in my own world that I didn’t hear the knock on the drivers side window until they began to practically pound on it. I jumped in my seat, startled and looked up.
Brian stood smiling just outside of the car, he was laughing at me and I knew he was going to make fun of me all night long. Rolling my eyes at him I gave a large sigh before unbuckling and stepping out of the car, but not before making sure I opened the door quickly, fast enough that it smacked against his front.
He kept the teasing smile on his face and slammed the door close, “was that necessary?” He asked.
He chuckled as we walked to the front door, “Are you pouting because I startled at you?”
His grin widened, “Are you pouting because I was laughing at you?” He asked.
I stuck my tongue out at him and he began laughing again. What a jerk. I pushed at his shoulder playfully. He moved only a little bit. Brian stuffed his hands deep into the pockets of his dark blue jeans. His plain white t shirt was slightly hidden by his dark blue long sleeve over shirt. “My parents invited you to dinner?” I asked.
He nodded, “Yeah I got off work today and ran into your mother at the gas station. She said I was welcome to come, but that I had to dress nicely”
It was my turn to laugh, my mother could be bossy. “She prefers everyone come to dinner nice and neat. Why? I’m not sure, she’s just always been like that”
He shrugged, “I don’t mind.” He stepped back and opened the front door for me. The distinct sound of chatter was music to my hears. Even from a distance I could hear the tone on my mother’s voice, how happy she was to talking to another woman. To have her usual bouts of gossip and wine. I could hear my father cheering at the television, no doubt sitting with Mr. Swade watching a game.
“I wonder why she invited you” I said stepping into the front entry way.
Again he shrugged, “I don’t know. Does it matter?”
I laughed, a slightly less humorous sound that before, “When it comes to my mothers plans? Yes it matters. She must think she has something up her sleeve”
I shrugged out of my coat, my black leggings and maroon light v neck cashmere sweater were going to cause a problem for my mother. Brian looked me over a frown on his face “why didn’t you have to dress up?” He almost sounded as if he were pouting like a little boy.
“Oh trust me, I’m going to get an ear full for not dressing correctly” I responded.
We both stepped into the living room and sure enough, my mother was sitting on the couch in a nice knee length black sleeves sheath dress, her ears were adjourned with small white pearls and a matching necklace hung around her neck. As usual she’d left her hair twisted in a sophisticated up do and small two inch heels sat upon her feet. She held a glass of red wine in her hand and took a small sip, looking back at Mrs. Shade over the rim as Alec’s mother continued to rave about the latest Louis Vuitton handbag.
Mrs. Shade looked over at us first and I froze, unsure of how she was going to react.
She surprised me by smiling and I was thankful that it didn’t seem forced, however she gave Brian a skeptical glance before smiling. “Hello Cassandra.”
I smiled back, “Hi Mrs. Swade” I walked over and settled on the couch. My father and Mr. Swade both completely oblivious to my presence.
“It’s good to see you Brian” my mother said.
“You as well. Thank you for inviting me” he said politely.
I could practically see the wells turning in my mothers brain as she smiled at him “Oh no problem dear. I’m so glad you were able to make it.”
Mrs Swade turned to me, her eyes soft and warm. I felt better knowing she wasn’t mad at me. Her light pink floral blouse and black slacks looked nice on her. “Have you talked to Alec recently?” She asked.
I nodded, “Yes. He usually calls me atleast once a day to see how I’m doing” there were a few days he hadn’t but I knew he’d been busy.
She nodded, “that’s good.” She glanced towards my small bump, her eyes lighting up “And how is the pregnancy going? I heard you had a mishap in the grocery store the other day”
I sighed, “I got sick, nothing to worry about.”
“I’m sorry Cassandra” she said surprising me.
I glanced at my mother confused but she was to deep into a conversation with Brian to notice.“sorry for what?”
“Im sorry that after everything that had happened between you and Alec that you both have to worry about what the town gossipers have to say. Just know that eventually they’ll get over it and move on.”
I wanted to snap back but I realized my anger was really justified. So instead I stayed as calm as I could “I don’t hear anyone talking about Alec. All I hear is them talking about me”
“Oh no. Believe me he’s a hot topic as well. In fact a lot of people blame him for this entire thing. Everyone has been taking Sarah’s side. She’s been holed up on her house for a few weeks, atleast that’s what I’ve heard. People don’t know the real story and they realize how manipulative she can be. She’s playing the victim very well. But don’t worry about her, she won’t ever get her hands on Alec again. She doesn’t love him, she loves his money. She may have acted as if she truly cared but I doubt that girl has a conscious.”
My mother stood from her seat on the couch and I sat back in my seat taking in everything Alec’s mother had said.
“Cassandra?” My mother shook my shoulder and I glanced up at her.
I blinked at her and cleared my throat, I wasn’t sure how I felt about hearing that. “Yes?”
“There’s someone at the door for you”
I was confused. I wasn’t expecting anybody. I rose from my seat and caught the look that passed between my mother and Mrs. Swade. I put a little more pep in my step as I made my way to the door and stopped short. I completely froze. My heart felt as if it would burst from my chest in happiness and disbelief.
Alec stood in the entry way, his dark jeans and black long sleeve thermal looked so delicious on him. His sleeves were rolled up and he carried a large bouquet of pink and white roses. My favorite flowers.
I launched myself at him and he chuckled catching me easily in his arms. He was warm and he smelt so good. I squeezed tight, I’d missed him so much. His arms were tight bands around me, unwilling to let me go. His lips pressed against the side of my head as I laid it on his shoulder. “Surprise” he whispered , his breath ruffling small tendrils of my hair. The flowers in his hand were brushing against my back.
I could feel the water works coming. My nose burned and tears leaked from my eyes. “Don’t leave me again” I said against the fabric of his shirt.
He nuzzled his head against mine, “I won’t. I promise. No more trips away.”
I was going to hold him to that promise.
We stood in the entry way both of us completely aware of the many sets of eyes upon us as we stood simply holding each other. We didn’t care.
Our mothers giggled with glee before turning away and heading for the kitchen. “Dinner is almost ready so everyone take a seat” my mother called out as they disappeared.
I stepped back and wiped my eyes with the palm of my hand. I couldn’t keep the smile from my face, I was grinning like an idiot. “I can’t believe you made it back early”
He gave me his signature playboy smirk that had my insides turning “I told you I would”
“I know but I just... I didn’t think you actually would”
“Are you happy?”
I smiled threw more tears, “Of course I am. Are you happy?”
“You’ve no idea” he said before stepping forward and capturing my lips with his. It had been three weeks since I’d last kissed him and the sparks had yet to vanish. They never would. His tongue slipped past my lips, tasting me and I held back an embarrassing moan.
“Later” I whispered against his lips.
He nodded, his body looked tight with sexual tension and I could say that mine was doing any better.
Alec looked up sharply as Brian entered the entry way, “Hello Alec”
Alec seemed confused before recovering himself. He held out his hand and Brian shook it. “Good evening Brian. Keeping my girl company?”
My girl. My body shuddered violently. I loved it.
“Just friendly company. I was invited by her mother.” He said.
There was a tension between them but I wasn’t as it had been before. I knew Alec was attempting to be friendly to Brian for me. He knew that Brian was my only friend.
“Well why don’t we all go take a seat before your mother comes in here and drags us all to the table by our ears?” Alec suggested.
Without even noticing us, my father and Mr. Swade walking right threw our small circle and headed into the dining room. They were in deep discussion, uncaring that Alec was home or that Brian and I had shown up for dinner. We followed them into the dining room, the three of us laughing at the older men.
Mrs. Swade and my mother carried in steaming pans of casseroles, vegetables and a large honey baked ham. Everyone took a seat and for the first time in months we had a dinner that didn’t include, sex and secrets or sins and lies.