He took a deep breath then relaxed his shoulders. “Okay. I’ll do it for you.”
I’d just gotten back to my dorm room from a party to find Marty sitting on my bed waiting for me, his mouth a thin line. His apartment was further away from campus than my room so we’d been spending a lot of time at my place. It made sense for him to carry my extra key.
The first words out of his mouth were an accusation. “You don’t care about me Kristen.”
I didn’t take to that greeting well. “I do, Marty. Damn it. I do.”
“Then why did you go to that party when you knew it would only make me jealous?”
“God. I just went with some girls. They were nice enough to invite me. It’s not like I have a lot of other friends here. I invited you but you said you had too much work to do.”
“I know. I just hate the thought of other guys making a move on you. You’re so beautiful. It drives me nuts to think you’d leave me for someone better. Someone more handsome and charming.”
“I’d never cheat on you Marty. You have to trust me.”
He grumbled then softened his voice. “I do trust you.”
It was spring break and I didn’t really want to go home to see my parents so I went to Marty’s instead. He’d said they had a large house and his parents would be excited to meet me. His dad, Charles Pritchard, was a founding partner at one of the most prestigious law firms on the east coast so his family was financially very well off. It’d been a week since I arrived at the Pritchard household located on the outskirts of Boston and things weren’t quite what I expected.
I was standing next to Marty in the living room. We were planning to go out for a dinner date but the car was gone and the other two cars were in the shop.
“Where’s Dad?” Marty asked..
“He’s out late again,” Mrs. Pritchard said. She was sitting in a recliner aimed at the big screen TV but the TV wasn’t on. She had a half-empty bottle of amber liquid in her hand. Even in her disheveled state, Melody Pritchard was a knockout for her age. Radiant blonde hair, hourglass body, and the face of a Victoria’s Secret model. I could see how Marty got his good looks. She lived up to the “trophy” part of trophy wife for sure. “Probably at work banging the secretary.” She brought the bottle to her lips for a long sip. “Nobody loves me. Not your father. Not you. My own son doesn’t love his mother.”
“I do, Mom. You know I do.”
“I raised you. I gave you my tits to drink from. You made them saggy and ugly. That’s why your father is cheating on me. Because I’m no longer pretty enough for him. How can I blame him for wanting other women?”
“No, Mom. Dad’s just busy with work. He’s not cheating.”
She took another drink. “Men are all the same. Liars and cheaters. Isn’t that right Kristen?”
This was awkward. Super awkward. What was I supposed to say to that?
“. . . I don’t know Mrs. Pritchard. Marty hasn’t cheated on me. At least not that I know of. . .” I looked at Marty warily. He gave me a sympathetic look as if to say “I’m sorry you have to deal with this.”
Mrs. Pritchard huffed then took another sip and gestured the bottle at me. “I like you. You’re a good girl. I’m glad Marty met you.” She turned her attention to Marty. “You be good to Kristen. She’s such a nice girl. A real sweetheart. Don’t you cheat on her like your no good father cheats on me.”
“I’d never do that, Mom. I’m good. Just like you raised me.”
She nodded. “That’s right. You’re a good boy, Martin. My son.”
Mr. Pritchard didn’t get back with the car until midnight that night. We ended up ordering delivery pizza and watching mindless action movies in Marty’s room. I faintly heard Mr. Pritchard and his wife arguing downstairs but most of it was drowned out by the explosions and gunshots blaring from the TV.
“What do you think about the idea of having kids someday?” Marty asked, his hands behind his head. I was leaning against his chest still coming off the buzz of a recent orgasm.
We’d just had angry make-up sex after having a heated argument over someone—a guy—leaving a benign comment on my Facebook wall. We fought, I ended up deleting it, then we humped like rabbits. It was becoming a more frequent occurrence.
I laughed and looked up at him. “Aren’t we jumping the gun here a bit? I haven’t even graduated yet.”
He smiled. “Just a hypothetical question.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t given it too much thought. Kids are cute when they’re babies but even then they’re a handful. I can’t imagine how rough it’d be when they become teenagers. I’m not sure I’m fit to be a mother. Lord knows I haven’t had a good reference.”
“I think you’d make a great mom.”
I laughed again. “That’s quite a compliment. Care to provide some reasons to back up your claim Mr. Know-It-All?”
“You’re very caring. Compassionate. You know what not to be like.”
“Doesn’t mean I know what to be like.”
His smile widened and he winked one blue eye. “I have faith in you. You’re a quick learner.”
He was poking fun of me so I tickled his ribs because I knew he hated that. “How about you? What do you think of being a dad?”
“I’m looking forward to it someday, definitely. Settle down. Be a good father. I’d spend a lot of time with the kid and give a lot of attention, that’s for sure.”
“You’re not going to be busy all the time like your dad?”
“I’d try my hardest not to be. I definitely don’t want to be like that.”
I began to think about what it would be like raising a kid with Marty. Just keeping our relationship on the tracks was hard enough because of his condition, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if we added a child to the mix.
“You’re thinking about something,” he said. “What is it?”
I shook my head. “Oh it’s nothing.”
“C’mon, you can tell me.” He stroked my hair gently. “Don’t worry, you’re not going to upset me.”
“Okay,” I said softly. “I was going to ask if you were worried about your condition, if it’ll be passed on to the baby.”
He paused to think about it. “Supposedly, part of it is genetic so it’s possible it could be passed down. But it’s definitely not certain.” After a moment he smiled. “If it happens, you can be there to keep us both in line.”