You Never Know Ch. 05bygovthooker78©
I'm going to continue with this story, despite the fact that everyone seems to hate it. You win some, you lose some.
All characters are over the age of 18.
Several hours later, S. and I took a cab to meet his brother at a small, out-of-the-way bistro downtown. I started fretting about how expensive the place looked, but S. calmed me down right away, assuring me that M. could afford it.
"He's a lawyer, babe," he said, helping me out of the car. "He could buy everything on the menu if he wanted to." I remembered that M. had been wearing a really expensive suit at the wedding – Gucci or Prada, probably. He was a couple of years older than S., and I wondered how one brother could be so easygoing and free-spirited, while the other was more straitlaced and corporate.
"You did both grow up in the same house, didn't you?" I asked S., and he laughed.
"I think so!" He took me by the arm and led me inside. We spotted M. right away – he was seated at the best table in the house, centered where everyone could see him and far away from the kitchen and the windows. He stood as we approached. I suddenly felt nervous. He looked so formal in another high-end suit – I felt like I should curtsy, which would be extremely difficult with my ever-expanding stomach. I had attempted to hide it underneath an empire-waist dress, but that was getting harder to do every day. A waiter appeared out of nowhere and pulled my chair out for me.
"Your menu, Madame," he said in a lilting accent, handing it to me. I raised my eyebrows at S. and replied, "Merci beaucoup, Monsieur, comment-allez vous ce soir?" The waiter grinned and started talking to me in rapid French. I blushed.
"Je suis desolée, Monsieur, je parle seulement un peu de français." He looked a little disappointed. He probably had to deal with Americans who couldn't understand a word he said, even in English, every day. I smiled apologetically and he whisked himself off to the kitchen.
"I didn't know you spoke any French!" S. exclaimed when he had disappeared. I giggled.
"Oui, bien sûr, mon ami, j'adore le langue," I said, a little haltingly. My college French was a little rusty.
"What did you say?" S. asked.
"She said she secretly hates you and can't wait to get out of here," M. told him, smiling over his glass of wine. I laughed and S. shot him a mock-angry glare.
"I said, 'Yes, of course, my friend, I love the language,'" I informed S. He nodded, looking fascinated.
"Hey, how do you say 'I love you'?" he asked me.
"That's easy. Je t'aime." He smiled and leaned in close.
"Then je t'aime," he said softly, and pecked me on the cheek. I blushed again and M. demurely looked away. I cleared my throat and looked down at my menu. It was, of course, in French, and my memory wasn't that good.
"M., you speak fluent French?" I asked. He nodded. "Okay, tell me what to order. I'm a vegetarian." The waiter appeared again and M. ordered for all three of us. Dinner was delicious and I only felt a twinge or two of nausea, which was a huge improvement over the past couple of days. The baby seemed to love not only pancakes, but any other food with the word 'cake' in it as well. I kept trying to eat more healthily, with fresh fruit and vegetables, but unless they were topping on a gâteau, like the one I ate for dessert, the baby wasn't having it. S. kept joking that he or she was going to come out covered in frosting.
"So," M. said, leaning back and patting his mouth delicately as we waited for our wine (or, in my case, another glass of water). "Any name ideas yet? You know whether it's a boy or a girl?" I shook my head and smiled.
"We're waiting to find out the sex. I'm hoping for a girl, though," I admitted. S. squeezed my hand under the table.
"We're thinking Adrienne if it's a girl, or Samuel if it's a boy," he said. M. grinned.
"Both androgynous names – could be Adrienne or Adrian, Samuel or Samantha."
"I didn't even realize that," I laughed. "I guess we could go either way, then." The waiter brought our drinks with a slight bow and I sipped at my water. Then I felt a twinge in my stomach and I frowned.
"What's wrong?" S. asked. He didn't miss a trick. It was almost like he could physically feel the changes in my mood.
"I think – the baby just kicked!" I exclaimed. I grabbed S.'s hand and put it on my stomach where I had felt the unfamiliar sensation. He or she kicked again and a bright smile spread across S.'s face.
"That's amazing," he whispered.
"S.?" His hand suddenly clenched into a fist on top of my stomach and I glanced up to see his soon-to-be ex-wife. The euphoria I had just felt faded and was replaced with dread. S. and M. both looked like they were feeling the same thing.
"V." S. said evenly. "What are you doing here?" V. didn't reply. She just stared at me. I stared back, trying not to allow any emotion to show on my face. Her eyes moved to my midsection and I could almost see the storm clouds move into her eyes. She started to shake visibly, turned on her heel, and half-ran out of the restaurant. S. stood. I wanted to grab his hand, hold him back, but I knew he had to talk to her, so I sat still and looked into my lap. M. got up too.
"Give her another piece of cake," he muttered to our bewildered waiter as he approached our table with the bill. M. ran outside. I couldn't see from where I was seated, but I could pick up the tone of S.'s voice even over the street noise. It sounded like he was on the verge of shouting. I cringed and picked at the second slice in front of me, my appetite gone. I sorely wanted to know what was being said, especially about me, but I knew my presence would only make things worse.
"Votre addition, Madame," the waiter said softly, placing the bill in front of me. I tried to smile at him, but I think it came out more like a grimace. I didn't dare look at the total price of the evening. I had a feeling it was much more expensive than I could imagine.
M. came back into the restaurant alone. I stood, with some difficulty, and waited for the verdict.
"S. needs to talk to her," he said crisply. He was all business again. "I'll put you in a cab home."
"But...wait, well, is S. going to come back?" I asked helplessly. M. looked at me and his face softened. I'm sure I painted quite the pitiable picture at that moment. The pregnant youth – I was only 24, after all – standing alone in a restaurant like I'd been abandoned. So far during our relationship, I had never once felt deserted by S. This was the first time. Logically, I understood that he had to go after V., but the irrational, over-emotional, pregnant side of me was going crazy.
"I'm sure he'll call you later," M. told me, awkwardly patting me on the shoulder. I sighed.
"Listen," M. said softly. "I know my brother. S. is in love. And it's not with V." He caught my gaze and raised his eyebrows. "Trust me." I nodded uncertainly.
"Okay, where's that cab?"