The women are on their way to April’s parents’ house for drinks. Bob and Mary Cranston, the Glendale Cranstons. That is how they introduced themselves as if they were differentiating themselves from other LA area Cranstons. They are Presbyterians, and pretend they are very liberal. Mary Cranston even told them they voted for Obama, not once but twice. They also pretend April and Rachel are roommates not in a committed relationship. They keep trying to set up April with men to date. Their house pays homage to the 1960s with long low sofas and restrained drapery in green and gold. Everything is always immaculately in place and pristine clean.
Rachel rolls down the window manually; she likes the feel of control. Then she reaches into the pocket of her black leather jacket, grabs a cigarette, and lights up. She takes a deep breath, throws her head back, and the loose curls fall back from her thin face. She lets out the smoke and relaxes.
“God Rachel, I hate when you smoke in the car, remember I have to breathe that too.” April lowers her window and pretends to gag. “It is the only way I am going to that house.” Rachel says low, almost under her breath.
April pulls into the drive way of the ranch style house, “Great, well put it out, and put a piece of gum in your sexy mouth.” April checks her face in the overhead mirror and the truck abruptly stops.
Rachel’s head bounces back. “I’ll tell them I have court in the morning.” April gets out of the truck, smoothes the wrinkles out of her slacks and straightens her jacket. Rachel gets out of the truck, drops her cigarette and steps on it, crushing the butt. They look at each other and walk up to the house just as Mary opens the door
“Hello, how are you two tonight?” Mary greets them with a half-smile that looks more like a grimace. She is in a crisp pair of black pants and a white blouse. “Your father is in the den watching the ball game, so come in and have a drink.” She steps aside as the women walk into the house. Mary looks the women up and down, with that same weird smile, yet it is impossible to tell what she thinks. The house looks exactly as April remembered it. She gives her mother a peck on the cheek as she passes by her. Mary lowers her eyes.
They all head toward the back of the house. The great room is out of Better Homes and Gardens 1962. All the furniture is low with horizontal lines in a brown and gold. Out the glass wall are patio furniture and a kidney-shaped pool. Her father is sitting in a polo shirt with a scotch in hand.
He yells, “God damn that ref, get him outta there.” He turns to the women. “Hey come on in and have a seat. Mary, get them drinks.” He motions them to the chairs. Bob is about 60, in pretty good health and spends most of his time on a cell phone, in shorts and a polo. He grins and displays the family trait of teeth with a space in the middle.
As Mary hands everyone their drinks, April shakes her hand at her mother when she comes near. April just can’t contain herself. “Mom, Dad, Rachel, I am pregnant.” Her mother almost shrieking says, “You can’t be pregnant, you’re not married.” Mary’s lips purse in disapproval as she stands up and goes to the bar to get more alcohol. Rachel looks surprised for a moment and then says, “April that is great.” She grabs her and kisses her on the mouth.
Bob and Mary look at each other. Bob sits back down, stares at the floor while Mary pours scotch out of the bottle into his glass. She pours more scotch into her own highball glass. “Suppose you explain to me and your father, how it is that our thirty-year-old unmarried daughter is pregnant when the only company she keeps is her ‘roommate’?”
“Mom, Rachel is not my roommate. She’s my girlfriend. We are a couple. I love her and she loves me. We are going to get married this year.” April goes on, “I know you know. The only men I even talk to are the geeks you try to set me up with. It is time you accept who I am”
Her father quietly says, “Don’t you mean, ‘what you are’?”
At this point Rachel pipes up, “What the hell are you saying? This is your beautiful, intelligent daughter, and you respond to her like that? April we are so out of here.”
Rachel turns back to Bob and Mary in almost a growl, “You have a few months and then you are going to be grandparents. If you want to be part of the baby’s life, you had better rethink your position.”
She walks over to April and takes her by the hand to lead her out. April now has tears running down her face; her mouth is open in shock. She leans against Rachel as they begin to leave.
Even Mary does not know what to say but moves across the room to speak to Bob. “Bob, let’s talk about this later.” He does not look up. Mary stays by his side and does not address the women.
The women exit through the house and out to the truck. “Give me the keys April. I am going to drive.” Rachel helps April in, who at this point is crying silently. Rachel gets into the driver’s side and starts the car. April sniffles a couple of times and then says, “I wonder how the cat and dog are gonna take it?” They both start laughing as they pull out of the driveway and head back to their little bungalow.
About the Author
Trish Thomas-Mink lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her son, Nick. She is a Reiki Master Teacher, Hypnotherapist and Life Coach. She finished her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University in 2013 and is currently enrolled at Rio Salado Community College. She teaches her clients to embrace spirituality and improve their lives. She’s in the process of finishing my first book.
HER first book, you mean?