One year further
''I still can't believe you named your dog Ducky!'' Tyler laughs, while he throws the ball away.
I yawn and I take a sip of my tea.
''He is a Nova scotia duck tolling retriever. I didn't like Nova and he doesn't look like a Scotty.''
''So of course you had to name him Ducky,'' Tyler chuckles as he sits down next to me on the bench. ''Tired from the trip or from finals?''
''Both,'' I yawn. ''Nursing school is no joke and driving for six days is exhausting.''
''Why didn't you catch a flight then? They allow dogs on planes and then you would one be travelling for a day.
The tea tasted off and it was cold now, so I throw it away.
''I know, but I promised Alexander that we could road trip back home and explore some new trails together. Someone got a little jealous when I send him those pictures of my Arkansas trip.''
Tyler whistles and snaps his fingers. Immediately Ducky sits in front of him and Tyler gives him a pat on the head.
''Alex really loves camping and hiking, but it bugged him more that he couldn't be there with you. Finishing that trail was your last task, right?''
''I have one more left, but I have to wait ten years to finish that one,'' I answer while I put Ducky back on the leash.
We head out to the beach and I smile when Ducky starts barking at the waves. He starts chasing the waves, only to run back when they get to close.
''Why do you have to wait ten years, Sam?''
''Because in ten years Emma will turn eighteen and my wish was that I would be there to celebrate that moment with her.''
Tyler puts his arm around my shoulder and he smiles.
''You will be there, sis. We will all be there to celebrate that moment, although I like the thought that we still have ten years to prepare for her eighteen birthday.''
Tyler grabs his phone and he scrolls through his pictures.
''Mom send me this one a few days back.''
It's a picture of Emma with a huge grin on her face and wearing one of Tyler's old soccer jerseys.
''Can't believe she actually is going to start with soccer practice after the summer.'' I groan.
''I can't believe she is eight already!'' Tyler laughs. ''And of course she wants to play soccer, it's the best sport ever! He, lets go and get a hot dog. There is a stand close by and they sell the best hot dogs!''
''Fine,'' I sigh.
''Are you coming down with something?'' Tyler asks. ''You barely ate at lunch and you didn't even notice that there was pineapple in your grilled cheese sandwich. You keep ordering warm tea, but you don't finish it and now you don't even want a hot dog?''
''I'm tired, it's crazy hot here and my stomach is still recovering from the very questionable food I had yesterday!''
Tyler stops walking and he frowns at me.
''You don't have to get upset, Sam. I get it, you are tired. How about we go see if that apartment you rented is ready? I can watch Ducky, while you take a nap and get some much needed rest.''
''Shower first, then a nap. No, I still have to get groceries first and shampoo!''
Tyler chuckles and he leads me in the direction of the car.
''I will drive and I will drop you off at the apartment. I will buy the groceries, while you do nothing and I mean that. You will sit down and do nothing!''
I yawn and nod. I don't have the energy to argue and doing nothing sounded like a great idea to me. The apartment was not far and to my relieve it was ready.
''Nice place!'' Tyler nods approvingly as he puts down my bags. ''Can you make me a list of everything you need, Sam? I'm not going back because I got you the wrong shampoo or wrong flavour of ice cream.''
I take a seat at the bar and pull out my phone. Texting the list was safer then writing one. Tyler would only lose it or complain about that he couldn't read my handwriting, what would result in him getting the food that he was in the mood for.
''Got it!'' Tyler says and he looks over the list. ''I don't know if they sell your shampoo at the local market, but I saw a drugstore across the street. I will text you when I'm on my way back, okay?''
I nod and walk over to the very comfortable looking sofa. Doing nothing sounded great and apparently I was not the only one who thought that. Ducky found a spot on the floor and he was already drifting off to sleep.
Tyler leaves and just when I'm ready to close my eyes, my phone starts ringing.
''Sam, I have picked up an extra delivery!'' Tyler yells.
''You said she was tired and going to take a nap, idiot!'' I hear Alexander sigh.
''I hear the shower running, so clearly she is not taking a nap!'' Tyler snaps back.
''Just help me with putting the groceries away and watch the door! She will kill us if anything happens to Ducky.''
''The dog is fine. Do you want to grill those steaks tonight or are we ordering in?'' Tyler asks and then there is a loud banging on the door.
''Sam, I got you your shampoo. Also do you want steaks tonight or do you still have no appetite?''
''What do you mean no appetite?'' Alexander asks. ''She is always hungry, just like you!''
''I think she is coming down with the flue or something. She didn't even notice that there was pineapple on her grilled cheese and she didn't wanted to get a hot dog.''
''Samantha?'' Alexander calls out my name.
''I told her to do nothing, what if is she passed out in the shower?'' Tyler asks and he sounds actually worried now.
The door bursts open, but I barely notice it.
''What the hell, Sam! Didn't you hear...'' Tyler begins, but he shuts up.
Alexander sits down next to me and he wraps his arms around me.
''I'm sorry that you are feeling so bad, love. Perhaps you should lay down for a bit and try to take a shower later?''
''Two stripes means pregnant, right?'' Tyler asks and he holds up a test.
''She can't be pregnant, Ty! She got a new implant last year and those things work for three years,'' Alexander answers annoyed.
''Well, this thing says she is.''
''I am pregnant,'' I finally manage to get out. ''I went to the doctor because I was feeling so tired and she suspected that I was anaemic, but that she had to run a blood test to confirm that. Well, she called and it turns out that I'm pregnant.''
''That doesn't make any sense,'' Alexander responds. ''Does that mean that the implant suddenly stopped working or something?''
I wipe away the tears and I shrug my shoulders.
''Does it matter? It doesn't change anything!''
Alexander looks at the test in Tyler's hand and I can tell he trying to remain calm for me.
''You can freak out, Alexander. I did, why do you think I took so many tests? I didn't wanted to believe the doctor, so I bought all the tests that I could find at the drugstore.''
''He, this one says you are more then three weeks along!''
Both me and Alexander glare at Tyler. He is taking the news surprisingly good. Like it is not a big deal at all.
''Okay, I know this is a lot to process,'' Tyler begins and he also sits down on the floor. ''You two need to talk about it and you know I will respect any decision you guys make.''
''Isn't it obvious what we should do?'' I snarl. ''We are both still in school, Tyler! We live on opposite sides of the country. We are not ready. I'm not ready, I just turned twenty one!''
I clench my fists and I shake my head.
''My mom had me when she was twenty one and she moved in with your parents. Do you honestly expect me to do the same thing? I can't, Tyler. I really can't!''
''I disagree,'' Tyler responds. ''You took care of Emma for years, Sam. You did that on your own, but you don't have to take care of this baby on your own. You have Alex and family that will help you in any way they can.''
''Can you just let me finish, please?'' Tyler cuts me off. ''The moment you tell mom about your pregnancy, she will turn my room into a nursery. She will be the proudest grandma on earth and dad will need some time to get used to the idea, but you know he is a big softy at heart.''
I smile and I feel myself calm down a little.
''He will melt from the first moment he gets to hold that baby in his arms. They will love that baby like crazy, Sam. That said, I don't think you should stay at home.''
''Then what do you suggest?'' Alexander asks with a frown.
''I suggest that Sam moves here and that the three of us rent a place. You two have been apart for too long already and I can help out with the baby. That way we can all finish school and we will see what is best after graduation.''
Tears are rolling down my cheeks and I shake my head.
''I can't ask you to do that, Tyler! This baby shouldn't mess up your life too.''
''I'm offering, Sam. I will respect any decision you guys make, but the offer stands. Perhaps you feel less guilty about accepting my help when you think of it as a way for me to pay you back.''
My cheeks turn red and Tyler laughs.
''The Cookie Monster scholarship, sis? Can't believe how far you went to help me out. The website, the letters and with who was I talking on the phone when I had questions?''
''With Damian's little brother. He and Damian helped me out with the website,'' I mumble.
Tyler shakes his head and he gets up.
''I want to give you guys some privacy, so could the two of you please leave the only bathroom in this place?''
Alexander helps me up and we leave. I walk to the balcony and I take a few deep breaths. My emotions are all over the place and so are my thoughts.
''Full fricking circle,'' I mumble.
''Stop thinking like that, love. It's not the same.''
''How is it not the same, Alexander? She was twenty one when she had me and her life only got worse after that!''
''It's not the same, because I will be there! I will be there for you and for our child, Samantha! Our child will never have to wonder about where his father is and you will never have to wonder if you are going to be on your own. I'm not going anywhere!''
I bury my face in Alexander's chest and he wraps his arms tightly around me.
''Alexander, am I going to end up in couples counselling with Tyler if I move here?''
Alexander takes a step back and he looks at me in shock. He then smashes his lips against mine and he kisses me eagerly.
''Well, now we know how you two got in this situation!'' Tyler yells from the kitchen.
I burst into laughter and with my arms still wrapped around Alexander, I turn to face Tyler.
''Just start with making dinner and make sure there is enough, I'm eating for two now!'