“Well, I realize I just called you my baby, but you’re a grown woman. I know this isn’t how you imagined your first pregnancy would go, but it is what it is. I’m going to be a grandma. Am I old enough to be a grandma? Your brother is going to freak out.”
Piper was so stunned that her mom wasn’t angry with her, she didn’t know what to say.
“Matty’s been a little frustrated lately. He said something yesterday about feeling like he’s missing part of his life. Hearing he’s going to be an uncle is going to put the biggest smile on his face.”
“What do you mean, he feels like he’s missing part of his life? Was he speaking literally about the seizures?”
“He’s had a few absence seizures the last few weeks, but I think it’s more about not having the independence he wants. I worry about him being depressed. I have a call in to the doctors.”
Piper’s stomach dropped. Matthew’s seizures had begun when he was three. He was ten when they considered surgery, only to find he wasn’t a good candidate because the seizures were happening all over his brain. Throughout adolescence, Matthew struggled with significant learning disabilities and behavior problems. His language was impaired as was his memory.
“I wish there was something I could do to help him.” His illness made everyone in the family feel helpless.
Piper’s career and success had become her father’s primary focus in life at the same time the family had come to terms with the fact that Matthew was never going to have a normal life. Since then, Piper had always felt that because Heath couldn’t make things better for Matty, he was committed to making sure she was a star instead.
“We all do, honey. But I am telling you, the baby news is going to cheer him up. I can’t wait to tell him. When are we going to meet this Sawyer fellow?”
“Soon, I guess. We’re planning on getting married.”
“Married? Are you in love with him or are you getting married because of the baby?”
This was the part she hated the most. The lie was like a noose around her neck, tightening so she couldn’t breathe. “Of course we’re in love, Mom. We fell in love writing the album. We were scared to say anything, because you know how Dad is.”
“Your father is going to have a terrible time. When a woman gets married, her father is no longer the most important man in her life. Always put your husband first, Piper. Even if it’s going to be a tough pill for your father to swallow.”
Well, he wouldn’t have to swallow it anytime soon. There would be no marriage, no vows to make her and Sawyer man and wife.
They were saying their goodbyes just as her father’s bedroom door opened.
“Mom says hi.”
“Tell her I’ll call her later.”
“Did you hear that?” Piper asked her mom.
“Tell him I said to go easy on you. You’re with child. He needs to pamper you.”
Piper hung up and put her phone on the coffee table.
“She said she’s excited about the baby. She hopes you and I can figure out how to be happy about it, too.”
Heath exhaled a sigh. “Your mother has always been able to see the glass as half-full even when it was empty. I’m not sure how she does it.”
Piper’s phone chimed with a text from Sawyer.
Call when you can talk
She tensed. Had he changed his mind already? The fear that he might back out was real. She got to her feet and retreated to her bedroom, closing the door behind her.
As the phone rang, she paced back and forth in front of the four-poster bed while trying to control her breathing.
“Hey, I hope I’m not bothering you,” Sawyer said when he answered.
“No, it’s fine. What’s up?”
“My sister wants to know if you have plans to see a doctor.”
“I can’t see a doctor right now,” Piper said, sitting on the edge of the bed. “We’re meeting with the tour promoter today. I’m doing television promotion for the next week. I go home for Thanksgiving and then have rehearsals until the tour starts.”
“Piper, you’re pregnant. You need to see a doctor. My sister knows a midwife here in Nashville.”