The brick fireplace warms Chrissy’s tender fingers as I sit beside her, draped in a fleece blanket. Jack O’ Lanterns with lit candles rest on either side of the table.
I stretch my arm around her.
Not yet, she says, shrugging. I don’t think I’m ready for this.
I returned my fingers to the crackling flames,
roasting my heart on my cold sleeve. An eggnog mocha masks the stench of rejection.
I swallow hard.
She reaches back behind me, clasping my shoulder, nuzzling her nose in my neck.
I guess I don’t understand why you brought me here.
It’s not what you think. I mean, I’m engaged.
I kneel to stand.
She grabs my wrist
You trying to get me killed?
He’s not a good guy.
And that’s my problem, how?
Because I don’t love him.
And you don’t give a damn about anyone other than yourself.
But, I’m gonna have a kid.
What did you get me into?
You’re not the father.
No, you don’t understand.
I’m adopting a kid, and I want to raise him with you.
I was a foster kid.
So, you know what it’s like.
I blew out my lips. Fine.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.