Feisty Francesca

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#75 More surprises on the weirdest day ever

When Joshua arrives, Aston opens the door for him. Before Aston can even step out of the way, Joshua is already pushing past him to get to me. It’s been five hours since we talked on the phone, but it feels like longer. Aston has been with me the whole time, talking me through my many panic attacks while he played with Steffi and fed her. That little girl is so beautiful, and she’ll be one year old soon. It’s crazy how fast she’s growing.

“Franny,” Joshua murmurs into my hair when his arms go around me. “What’s going on?”

“I’ll be going now,” Aston says, strapping Steffi into her car seat and picking up the diaper bag.

“Thanks for everything, Aston,” I tell him, holding out a hand to him.

He grabs mine and squeezes it. “Anytime, Fran.” Aston picks up Steffi in her seat, and turns to Joshua, who is sitting right next me now, his arm around me. His coat is still on, and his suitcase is probably out in the hallway, but he doesn’t seem to care. “Josh,” Aston tells my boyfriend in a warning tone. “You know I like you, but if your reaction today is anything like mine was back in the day, I will kick you scrawny ass so hard you won’t be able to sit for months. You better treat Franny the way she deserves or there’ll be hell to pay.”

Joshua looks from Aston to me and back, a frown on his face. “I have no idea what the fuck is going on, but why would I ever treat Franny badly?” His grip on my tightens. “Oh no, did I do something wrong?” He looks like he’s wracking his brain for anything that might have upset me, but he’s not coming up with anything. “Well, did I?”

“No, not at all,” I assure him.

Aston give me one last smile and then he’s off with Steffi, talking to her in that sweet soothing voice he only uses with his daughter.

“Are you okay?” Joshua asks, getting up for moment to shrug off his coat and kick off his shoes. He gets back on the couch right away and pulls me to him, looking relieved to see that I look fine aside from having puffy red eyes from crying, and that I still want to be close to him.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I kiss him softly and a bit of my panic subsides. I love him, he loves me. He may be young, but he’s mature and he’s been saying for a while now that he wants to marry me one day and have kids with me. Maybe he won’t flip his shit. Maybe he’ll be okay with this. I can only hope he will be, because no matter how scared I am, I’m keeping this baby.

“Are you sick or something?” Josh asks, a worried look in his eyes. “I’m going crazy here, Franny. Did someone die? Tell me what’s wrong.”

“Nothing like that.” I pull away from him and open the drawer of the coffee table, pulling out the ultrasound pictures. I hand them to him, watching his face closely while he looks them over, his eyes going wide.

“Oh my God,” he whispers. “You’re pregnant?”

“Yes,” I say softly. “16 weeks. It’s a boy.”

Joshua’s whole face lights up. “We’re having a son?”

Okay, wow, this is so much better than the way I reacted. He doesn’t look like he wants to puke, or kick something, or cry.

“Yes, we’re having a son.”

“Franny!” he exclaims, throwing the pictures on the table and pulling me against him. “We’re having a baby!”

“Are you… happy?” I ask, unable to believe how well he’s taking it.

“Fuck yeah!” he says with a huge grin on his face. “Of course I’m happy!” Then he sees the look on my face and he sobers up. “Wait… aren’t you happy? Oh no, Franny, please don’t tell me you want an abortion.” Tears well up in his eyes and he moves a hand over my stomach. “Please, please don’t.”

“No, I want to keep it,” I assure him. “I just… I mean… Why aren’t you freaking out?”

He shrugs, smiling again. “I’m too happy to freak out. I know this isn’t how we wanted this to happen, but we both knew we were heading this way eventually, right? Marriage, kids…”

Something flickers in his eyes and he jumps up, running to the hallway and coming back with his carry-on bag, slamming it down on the coffee table and unzipping it, throwing clothes and books onto the floor. What the fuck is he doing?

“I bought this months ago,” he says, still rummaging through his bag until he pulls out a smaller bag, meant for toiletries. “I was going to do this at Christmas, but I thought you’d prefer if I did it after I moved back to the States, so I decided to wait.”

“Wait to do what?” I ask, my heart beating so loudly I can barely hear myself speak.

He unzips the bag and pulls out a little black box. He gets down on his knees in front of the couch and opens it, revealing a small rose gold engagement ring with small diamonds that wrap together to form a small rose, shimmering up at me. It’s unconventional, beautiful and one hundred percent me.

“Will you marry me?” Joshua asks simply. “And just so you know, I’m not asking you because you’re pregnant. I’ve had this ring for months, and the only reason I didn’t ask you earlier is because I wanted to move back here first, be in the same country as you for longer than a few days. You’re it for me, Franny. I’m so happy we’re having a baby boy. Please tell me you’ll be my wife. I would love to be-”

“Stop talking,” I interrupt him, tears flowing freely down my face. “You’re not even giving me a second to answer, Josh.”

“Right,” he breaths, smiling up at me. “So… will you?”

“Yes,” I reply immediately. “Of course.”

A huge grin appears on his face as he takes the ring out of the box and slips it onto my finger. It fits perfectly.

“I kinda stole one of your rings,” he explains, laughing a little. “I didn’t want it to be too big or too small, so I gave one of your shitty cheap rings to the woman at the store because I knew it was the right fit.”

“The pink one?” I ask, stunned. “I’ve been looking for that!”

“You won’t need it anymore,” he says, kissing my hand and holding it up so I the ring catches the light. “You’ve got this one now.”

I admire the beautiful diamond pattern. No way did I expect this to happen when I got out of bed this morning. No fucking way.

Joshua kisses me and sits beside me, pulling the pictures onto his lap again, looking at our baby boy with a deliriously happy expression on his face. “Wow, a boy. That’s… when did you find out you’re pregnant?”

“This morning.”

“Wow, no wonder you sounded weird over the phone.” His eyes move to my belly and he touches it carefully. “You don’t look pregnant.”

“I know, right!” I put my hand over his, pushing it against my stomach firmly. “You can touch me, you know. Putting a hand on my belly won’t hurt the baby.” I wince when I remember all the things I did that actually can hurt the baby. I start telling him about my IUD fuck-up, all the risks, my appointment with the OB-GYN, and he listens carefully, googles some of the medical terms I use, and by the end of my story, he’s already ordered a gazillion baby books so he can read up on everything.

“I’m moving back,” he says, taking my face in his hands. “Right now. Today. I’m moving in with you.”

“You’ve only got three more months left in London,” I argue. “You can finish the year, I’ll be fine. The baby isn’t due until September. You’ll be back home at the start of July, right?”

He shakes his head at me, rolling his eyes. “I’m not going back to London, you idiot. I’m moving in with my pregnant fiancé and taking care of her while she grows a little baby boy in her belly. No way I’m missing another second of this. I already missed the first 16 weeks and the ultrasound and finding out about the baby together.” He frowns for a moment. “Hey, Aston knew, didn’t he? Oh God, I’m not even the first to find out about this, am I?”

“I’m sorry,” I say, crying again. “I know I should have told you first and that I shouldn’t have asked to find out the gender, but I was just so-”

“It’s okay,” he assures me, kissing me softly. “I’m not mad, honey. Who else knows?”

“Jacob, you know, he’s a peds nurse as well, and… Christopher.”

Joshua doesn’t even seem surprised. “Of course, he works with you, and you said you found out at work, so of course he knows. I’m glad you had a friend with you. I’m sorry I wasn’t here to support you. You were really freaking out, weren’t you?”

I nod, sniffling. “I can’t believe you’re so totally cool about it!”

He shrugs and smiles. “I get to marry the woman of my dreams and have a kid with her. What do I have to freak out about? Oh my God, my parents are going to be so happy! Mom has been asking me when I’m going to propose since she helped me pick out the ring. I think she expected us to start trying for kids on our honeymoon or something and she’s more than ready to a grandmother. Can I call her? Can I tell her? Or are we not telling anyone?”

“I-I-I don’t k-know,” I stammer. This is all going a little fast for me. “Your parents know that you wanted to propose? And they… they approve?”

“Of course, they think you’re really good for me,” he says like it’s not a huge deal. “And they know me. Nothing they could ever say would make me stop loving you, make me not want to marry you or have kids with you, so I guess they figured they should just get on board.” He’s already pulling out his phone. “Can I tell them?”

“Erm, yeah, sure,” I mumble. “No – wait!”

He was already tapping the screen, and he freezes with his finger only half an inch from his the call button, looking at me with a frown.

“My mother should know as well, and I want to tell her in person,” I say, knowing that I don’t want to do this over the phone. “Let’s invite both of our parents over for dinner or something. Yours are in the States, right?”

He nods. “Yeah, they are. You’re right. I’ll be more fun in person. We can buy gifts for them that say grandma’s little boy or something. My mother would love that. Oh, Franny, you’re making me the happiest man alive.” Joshua grabs my face and kisses me hard. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”

I can’t be as excited as he is yet, because I still worry, afraid that I’ve fucked up this baby because I didn’t do anything to take care of him these past 16 weeks. Luckily, I’ve been too tired to go clubbing or anything, and I haven’t had much alcohol after New Year’s, so we’re probably good. I hope so. I’ll know in two days when the bloodwork comes back.

Still, even though the nurse in me is going through all the worst-case scenarios in my mind, Joshua’s excitement is slowly rubbing off on me and I’m starting to feel happy about being pregnant. He’s right, this can be good thing for us if we want it to be.

And I want it to be. I really, really do.

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