“Cooking again, are you? I thought the health department banned you for life the last time you tried?”
Delores opens her mouth for a rebuttal, but nothing comes out. her glossy lips stretch slowly into a smile. “I’ve missed you, Jackass.”
Billy winks. “Right back at you, cuz.”
he sits in the chair beside me and Delores collapses in the other one. “Okay, Lucy. Fuckin’ splain.”
I take a big breath. “I’m pregnant.”
At first, Delores doesn’t say a word. Then she makes the sign of the cross. “The Antichrist has spawned? For f**k’s sake, we have to hose you down with holy water or something. have the Four horsemen arrived yet?”
Kimberly comes back with a big glass of soda. She puts it down in front of Delores, then scurries away.
Delores takes a long sip. “So you’re unexpectedly knocked up— congratulations. happens to the best of us. What’s the problem?”
I stare down at the table. “Drew doesn’t want the baby.”
As you already know, my best friend is not a fan of Drew’s.
When it comes to him, she always assumes the worst. Always. So I expect her to be angry on my behalf. I expect her to go off on a magnificent tirade about man-whores and dogs and venereal diseases. I expect her to join me in another round of the naughty name-calling game.
But she doesn’t do any of those things.
“What are you talking about? Of course he wants the baby.
Drew Evans not wanting a mini-him running around? That’s like saying Matthew doesn’t want a blow job when we’re stuck in traffic.
Needless to say, I’m surprised. “Why do you think that?”
She shrugs. “A conversation we had once. Plus, he and Mackenzie—they’re like Master Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Tell me exactly what he said to you. Sometimes guys talk out their asses, and you have to wade through the shit to figure out what they really mean.”
“Oh, he was pretty clear. his exact words were ‘End it.’ And of course the stripper he was making out with at the time really drove the point home,” I say bitterly.
Delores points at me. And now she looks pissed. “That, I believe. Fucking prick.” She holds her hands up. “But it’s okay.
Don’t panic. I’ll take care of everything. We have this new fuel at the lab that’s ready for animal testing. he won’t know what hit him—I can slip it right through the vents.”
She turns to Billy. “You’re in charge of the garden hose and duct tape.” Then she looks at me. “I’ll need your keys and security code.”
I shake my head. “Delores, you can’t gas Drew to death.”
“It might not kill him. If I had to guess, I’d say the odds for survival are fifty-fifty.”
“Delores . . .”
“Okay, thirty-seventy. But still, that gives us plausible deniability.”
My mother and George walk into the room, interrupting the diabolical plan. My mom hugs Dee Dee tight. “hi, honey! It’s so good to see you. Are you hungry?”
“Starved.” She looks at George. “hey George, how they hanging?”
I think George Reinhart is a little afraid of Delores.
Maybe more than a little.
he adjusts his glasses. “They’re . . . hanging well . . . thank you.”
My mother coos, “Look at the three of you. here, all together again, just like old times.”
Delores grins. “Frightening, isn’t it?”
My mother takes George’s hand. “We’ll go cook you kids something for lunch.”
They leave, and Delores rubs her hands together like the mad scientist she is. “Now, back to the gas chamber . . .”
I cut her off. “Delores—I don’t think I’m going to have it.”
All traces of humor leave her face. She thinks for a moment.
Looks thoughtful, but nonjudgmental. When she speaks, her voice is serious. But kind.
“I’ll support you a hundred and fifty percent, Kate; you know that. But because I know you, I’m gonna say this: If you decide to do this? Make sure it’s for you—because it’s what you want to do. If you’re doing it because you think it’s what Drew wants, or as some warped attempt to work things out with him? Don’t. You’ll just end up hating yourself for it—and resenting him.”
You can’t bullshit best friends. And sometimes that’s a double-edged sword—because it means they won’t let you bullshit yourself.
“I haven’t decided anything for sure. Not yet.”
Delores’s phone goes off in her purse, and the sound of Akon’s Sexy Bitch fills the air. While she digs into her bag, she asks Billy, “Could you bring my luggage up to Kate’s room? I’m gonna crash here tonight.”
“Do I look like a f**king bellboy?”
Delores doesn’t miss a beat. “No, you look like a homeless person. But I don’t have a windshield for you to spit on. So be a good little vagrant and take my bags upstairs—then maybe I’ll throw a dollar at you.”
With a grin, Billy goes to do it. Still, he complains, “This was so much more fun when she wasn’t here.”
Delores looks at her phone. “Ugg—it’s Matthew. I swear, that boy can’t take a shit without calling to tell me what color it is.” She walks through the back door to take the call outside.