I woke up to the smell of bacon and an arm wrapped protectively around my torso. Tyler laid next to me snoring softly; I decided to stay still and let him sleep. This felt so comfortable, so normal, like my brain welcomed it.
“You don’t have to lay here just because you think I’m asleep,” he mumbled groggily, “I can sleep by myself you know, I’m a big boy.”
I turned my head slightly, “How’d you know I was awake?”
“The first thing I’ve heard every morning for the past nine-ish years is the sound of you... snoring.”
I gasped and turned fully towards him, “I do not snore!”
“Oh, trust me, you do.”
“W-well... so do you, do you know how many times you woke me up last night?”
“I know I snore, pretty loudly actually, but the difference between us is that you have no idea how to just admit that something like this is true.”
I stuck my tongue out and got out of the bed, “Oh, shut up and get out of bed,” I threw him the nearest t-shirt, “and cover up; no one wants to see that.”
“You did. That’s how I got that kid inside-”
“-shh, shut the hell up, you can hear anyone through the vents around here. You’ve never been over here before?”
“Yes, but it was before we were married so I had to sleep on the couch downstairs.”
I slid into some slippers as he slipped his shirt over his head, “Aw poor baby- now get up I think my mom made breakfast.”
He jumped up and helped me make up the bed, “Now let’s go, your mom’s food is awesome... of course not as good as my mom, but-”
“Oh please, don’t make them have to battle it out again,” I blurted out, “the kitchen was a mess last time and I was the one that had to clean it up.”
He stopped for a second before starting down the stairs and I followed, “You remember that?”
I furrowed my eyebrows, “... No, I don’t.”
I really didn’t...
As soon as Tyler and I entered the kitchen I felt a tiny body crash into mine and wrap its arms around my legs.
“Ansasia!” A voice called, I looked down at the little girl hugging my legs.
“Aw,” I picked her up and shot Tyler a strained and slightly panicked look, “hey... sweetie, I missed you.”
“What, I don’t get a hug, Felicia?” She put her fingers over her eyes as if they were goggles and looked at him.
I chuckled as she and I sat at the table. Tyler kissed an older woman, whom I assumed to be his mother, on the cheek before doing the same.
“How come no one woke us up?” I asked.
“Oh, I tried,” my mother responded, “but, I couldn’t do it, you two looked so cute laying in that bed.”
I smiled and Tyler asked: “Where’s Debra?”
“Told me she had something to do, she’ll be here later,” it was his mom’s turn to reply. Ty leaned over whisper something in my ear.
“Debra is my sister, same age as Caesar; Felicia here is my cousin, my aunt died of breast cancer when she was a baby, she’s four; and if you couldn’t tell the lady across the table is my mother.”
I nodded and laughed to play it off as he lifted his mouth away from my ear, “You’re an idiot.”
A few hours later, Debra showed up and we all decided to go out. I felt a horrible guilt in my gut every time I looked around at my family. Tyler tried telling me that it wasn’t lying... just withholding information.
Yeah, I’m sure that’s what Nixon said about Watergate.
Later in the day we were back home, our mothers disappeared into the kitchen; Debra and Caesar headed upstairs; and Tyler and I sat out back watching Felicia play on my old play set.
“I don’t know why, but this is eating me up inside. I feel like such an ass keeping all this crap from them for so long.” I whispered.
“They’ll be fine; besides we’re telling the everyone right after dinner.” He assured me. “Plus, we’ve got good news: you’re pregnant... with twins.” I smiled as I felt Felicia’s body ram into mine once again. Goodness that was like the fifth time today. Tyler and I entertained my young cousin-in-law for the next hour until dinner. Once dinner was done, everyone sat down and engaged in conversation.
“So...” my mother-in-law started at one point, “Tyler, Anastasia, have any grandchildren for me and Rosa yet?” Debra and Caesar nearly choked.
“Mom,” Debra commented, “don’t rush them.”
“Rush them? Cosa vuoi dire , sono passati sei anni. Voglio un nipote.” [“What do you mean, it’s been six years. I want a grandchild.“]
“I know, but they’ll have a baby when they’re ready.” Debra defended.
“They do have a baby.” Felicia’s voice cut through and my heart lurched for a second.
I looked at her, “What are you talking about, sweetie?”
“Tywer said you pregnant.” She explained without looking up from her plate. ” Aunt G say that mean... you have a baby.”
My mom looked at at me, “Is this true?”
I glanced at Tyler before meeting her gaze, “Surprise?”
" ¡Oh Dios mío , ¿por qué no nos lo dijiste? ” [“Oh, my goodness, why didn’t you tell us?“]
“Come hai potuto tenere questo da noi ? ” [“How could you keep this from us?“] His mother added.
“Wanna tell me why I never learned Italian and you never learned Spanish?” I whispered to Tyler.
“Lazy, I guess. You wanna tell me why our mom’s still talk like they’re in their native countries when they’ve both been living in America our entire lifespan?”
“Who knows?” I finally interrupted their dramatic show, “Hey, hey guys calm down. The reason we kept this from you is because... um, well, I got like this... head injury.”
“You didn’t tell me you were having my grand baby because you bumped your head? You do that all the time, you’re the clumsiest person I know.”
I sighed, “No, mama, I was in a car accident and I got some problems, like with my memory.”
I looked at Tyler for help, “She can’t really remember some stuff from her past,” he concluded, “she forgot pretty much everything that has happened to her in the last ten years.”
“What...” Caesar commented, “like amnesia?”
“That’s what they call it.”
Caesar laughed, “No. People only get that in like, movies.”
“Well, apparently we’re movies characters.”
All I wanted to do was eat my food before this hysteria started, somehow, we ended up in the living room... when did that happen?
“How far along are you?” Rosa asked.
“Almost nine weeks, Mom.”
“Are you going to learn the gender or are you going to leave it a surprise?” Debra asked next.
“I don’t know, we’ll know their sex whenever, we’ll probably learn it at the twenty-eight-week sonogram.”
“Their? as in more than one?”
“Yep, I’m having twins!”
I covered my ears at the sound of my mother scream along with my mother-in-law and sister.
There goes the night.
“Now, Anastasia,” Rosa said as she opened a closet door, “I know it’s a little late; would you like to see something though?”
“Yeah, Mom, of course.”
“Since you don’t remember a lot of these past few years, I’d like to show the video of something I bet you’ve been wondering about.”
Ana and I had filled in our family about the crash, the amnesia, the babies, and her condition; spending most of the time answering questions.
“What is it?” She asked her mother.
Mrs. Scott pulled out a DVD and slipped it in the player before taking a seat next to Anastasia, “You’re wedding video.”
My wife’s eyes grew wide, “Oh my goodness, yay.”
“You know, you don’t have to watch this if you don’t want to,” I added.
“I do; why wouldn’t I want to? This is a great piece of my history, and future, that I should know about since I can’t remember it on my own.”
I smiled in response and she nodded before turning towards the television. I watched along with her as the video began. I’d watched it a million times before, but every time felt like living it; and who wouldn’t want to relive the best day of their life.
“Now, Anastasia,” her mother said suddenly, “this is my cut of it, filmed with my camera so the beginning consists of like you in your dressing room, the ceremony, and all that jazz.”
“All that jazz,” I mumbled in unison with Ana. We glanced at each other then burst into some short-lived laughter.
“Shh, shh,” Debra said, “this is my favorite part.” I’d never seen the dressing room parts so we shut up and looked at the screen. There sat Anastasia in her wedding gown talking to her mother.
“You ready? You really love him, huh?” Her mother asked in the video.
She nodded and sniffed, “I do, I love him so much and I just wish he could’ve met Dad,” as soon as she began to cry Mrs. Scott set the camera down and rushed to her side.
“Oh, mi cielo...mi hija hermosa. [Oh, my heaven... my gorgeous daughter.] I’m sure your father is looking down on you with such pride and love, he’d probably love Tyler just as much as you do. So, don’t cry amore... you’ll ruin your makeup and then Mackenzie will kill you.” The girl beautiful woman next to me laughed along with the woman in the video.
“I know, I’m sorry,” she simpered as she dabbed at her eyes with the tissue her mom handed her, “I love him though, probably more than anything. I remember in college how much I hated him, loathed actually, for no apparent reason. And I know it sounds extremely cheesy, but now he’s my better half and I just know I’ll feel the same way I feel now every single day for the rest of my life. He’s the one.”
I felt guilt almost radiate off of my wife as we watched the screen. The next part was a scene of the ceremony. Anastasia walking down the aisle. After a while it cut to me, crying like a baby, as I watched her walk towards me.
I remember thinking, ‘This is unbelievable. I’m actually going to get the chance to marry this woman; to see and love her for the rest of my life.’
“Aww,” Anastasia commented and rested her head on my shoulder, “you cried?”
“Of course I cried, I had something in my eye,” everyone in the room scoffed at my lie, “... And it was one of the happiest days of my life.”
“Aww, big bro was just head over heels, huh?”
“Oh, you know it,” a quiet Caesar piped up.
I scrunched up my face, “Thanks so much for that, little brother.”
“You are always welcome bro,” he replied with heavy sarcasm as he landed a pat on my back.