"So, I used to work with this guy Max at the bar. We were pretty good friends and seemed to have a lot in common.”
I conveniently skipped over the part that our primary mutual interest was that we were both single parents at the time.
“We tried to tack on a friend with benefits thing a few years ago. His recently widowed father had just retired and moved in to the apartment above his garage. It was the middle of summer and we were all in the house watching a movie. His dad decides to get up and go fishing for a few hours. So, he leaves and we start going at it on the couch."
Everyone at the table stopped eating and stared at me as the story flew from my mouth in one long, continuous run-on sentence.
I can't believe I'm doing this. I'm covering up one humiliation with another.
"So, we're naked from the waist down and he dives right in. Exactly two seconds later, the front door opens and in walks his dad. He's too busy trying to get through the door with a fishing rod and a tackle box that he doesn't notice us scrambling around on the couch trying to throw a blanket over the bottom half of us."
Drew’s shoulders were shaking in silent laughter, Carter looked sorry for me and everyone else just nodded their heads up and down since they had heard this story before.
"So, his dad walks right into the living room, sits down in the middle of the floor with his back to us and starts organizing his tackle box and rambling to us about how the lake was closed for fishing. Meanwhile, we're under a heavy, wool blanket on the couch behind him in the middle of July."
"Totally not suspicious at all," Carter joked.
I finally looked at him and when I realized he wasn’t outright laughing at me, I took a deep breath to go on.
"Yeah, not at all considering Max didn't have air conditioning and it was about ninety-eight degrees out that day."
Drew shook his head in amusement. "So what the hell did you do?"
"Well, I sat there horrified and Max started digging in the couch cushions for his boxers. The more he dug, the more the blanket was threatening to get pulled right off of my naked lap. I was holding on to that thing for dear life while his dad continued to mumble about lures and bait three feet in front of us. Max finally finds his boxers and shorts and starts shimmying into them under the blanket. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to hang onto the blanket and dig for my underwear at the same time, but can't find them anywhere. I found my shorts though so I yank those on and almost scream in victory when Max flings the blanket off of our lap because I was sweating my ass off under that thing."
Everyone was thoroughly amused by my story, and I didn't mind too much at this point since they weren't talking about me getting myself off or Carter’s cherry popping blunder.
"You're forgetting the best part, Claire," Jim reminded me.
"Oh yeah. So when Max yanked the blanket off of us, my underwear must have been stuck somewhere in there. It went flying through the air and hit his dad in the back of the head."
"So what did you do?" Carter asked.
"I did what any self-respecting, grown woman would do when faced with a situation like that. I stood up, ran like hell out of that house and pretended like it never happened."
The rest of the night went pretty well, aside from the wide-eyed looks and head nods in Carter’s direction Liz kept shooting me every couple of minutes when there was a lull in the conversation. She seriously expected me to just blurt this shit out in between courses in front of everyone. “Why yes, this apple pie is delicious. Did you know apple comes from the Latin word alum, which means you knocked me up?”
We finished dinner and Liz made the men do the dishes so she, Jenny and I could start brainstorming some names for the business. We had it narrowed down to three that we loved and couldn't decide between. And then the guys joined us and the suggestions immediately went in the gutter. It’s amazing, really, how quickly they can go from zero to filthy.
Plastic Penises and Pastries.
Cocks and Cookies.
Sex and Candy (I'll give you one guess who suggested that one.)
Lubes and Lady Fingers.
Cock Rings and Confectioneries.
I sat on the couch the entire time pretending to pay attention but all I could do was stare at Carter. Every time he smiled I felt like someone punched me in the stomach which was just stupid. I didn't even know him. He was a one-night-stand.
A one-night-stand I felt comfortable enough with to give him one of the most important gifts a girl has to give and the little time I spent with him was enough to create a lasting memory of how alike the two of us were. It was also enough time to create another lasting memory that I’ve had to love, nurture and mold all by myself into something that I hope resembles a well-behaved child and will not need years of therapy due to my parenting skills.
None of the similarities in our personalities or how attracted I was to him then and now has any bearing on this moment, though. As soon as I tell him he’s a father and has a four-and-a-half year old son, he was probably going to hate me. At least I had nine months to get used to the idea. What single, gorgeous man in his twenties wanted to be told he was now saddled with the giant responsibility of a kid for the rest of his life?
He was going to head for the hills when I told him. He was going to scream, turn and run. Like one of those cartoon characters that go charging through a door and all you see is a giant hole in the wood shaped like them running. I needed to just prepare myself for that. And it wasn't like I could blame him. It was a completely insane situation that no one in their right mind would ever believe. Gavin and I did quite well on our own so far anyways. You couldn't miss something you never had. If he chose to never speak to us again, so be it.