I am trying so hard to keep calm, mostly for Finn’s sake. I don’t want him to freak out because I freak out. But, honestly, this is my biggest nightmare. It’s my senior year, I slept with my boyfriend while I was drunk in my Dad’s house while they were upstairs and now I’m pregnant. Like I’m Jamie Lynn Spears. Finn is trying so hard to be supportive and make sure I still get to New York. But, a huge part of me thinks I’m going to be Stuck in Lima forever. I can’t tell Finn that. If I act that way, he’ll get down. He is the only thing keeping me sane.
I feel Finn’s hand squeezing tighter around mine. This is the hardest thing we have to do. I’m lying to myself now? Because giving birth is going to be a hell of a lot harder. I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to get the image out of my head. I remember Carole when we told her last week saying, after all the tears and the ‘you’re so young’s, “When Finn was born he was a beautiful 9lb baby, with the biggest head you could imagine. He couldn’t hold his head up for weeks. He had to grow into it.” NINE POUNDS? I need to calm down.
As we walk up to the receptionist I fall silent, and Finn jumps in, “Is Mr. and Mr. Berry here? Have they taken a lunch yet?”
"Yes, they have. But, they were going to go to the Lima Bean and get a black and white cookie after their next client leaves." She says looking at their schedule. "They have about an hour, you should join them." She smiles at me. I feel sick.
I see my Dad, Hiram, walking out of the office patting some overweight crying woman on the back, “We’ll get them for this.” He says to her as she walks out, limping. “Rachel! Finn! What a surprise.” He says with a smile. “Leroy, honey. Our baby girl came to see us.” He gleems giving me a hug, and shaking Finn’s hand awkwardly.
My Daddy, Leroy, walks out of the office with a grin, “baby.” he says smiling and hugs me. “You have perfect timing, as always. Accompany us for a Black and White cookie?”
Finn looks confused, but agrees and as we walk out leans over to ask what the big deal is with these cookies. I smile at him, and tell him how it’s like chocolate and vanilla so if you can’t decide what you want you get both. ”My Dad thinks of it as a metaphor for their relationship.” I whisper.
Finn pretends to understand what I mean with a nod, “Oh, yeah. Mebafor.”
I leave it alone, I have more on my plate. “You look pale, sweetie.” My Daddy says putting his arm around me as we walk. “You want to drive over?”
"Daddy, it’s 2 blocks." I say.
"It’s cool, Mr. Berry. She’s just tired. We need a nap." Finn says honestly.
Daddy gives him a look full of confusion but continues to walk. As we walk Daddy asks Finn questions about football and school, and Finn tells him about applying for an internship in New York, while Dad emails on his blackberry.
After we get there and order, Finn sits down and pretends to drink the coffee he ordered, but secretly hates. “So, what’s with the sudden drop by guys?” Dad asks. He’s a little more blunt then Daddy.
Finn swallows so loud the barista could probably hear it, “We just wanted to explain some stuff that’s gone on with us.”
I pat his arm, silencing him. “Dad, Daddy, I want to let Sam move in with us.” I say, they both seem a little shocked, but after explaining the situation, they understand completely. Dad mutters curse words about what kind of person he thinks Quinn is, while Daddy nods and says “Of course” over and over.
"Thank you for asking us, Rachel. But it’s not even a question." Daddy smiles.
Finn clears his throats, “Thanks sirs.” He says looking grim and pale and my nausea returns, “But, there is a tad more to it.” He blurts out. He is about to start rambling, I can feel it. ”I want you to know your daughter means everything to me and I would never do anything she didn’t want. and-“
"Finn!" I practically shout to stop him from saying it all wrong. "Dads’, I made a bad judgement call over the summer." I state, truthfully. "Well, both of us did. We drank, underage, it was wrong." I say cooly. Dad glares at me, knowing there is more to this.
Daddy reaches over and pats my leg, “Everyone makes mistakes sweetie.”
"Leroy! Let her finish." He says cooly.
I look at Finn, I can’t talk, there is a lump in my throught where words should be. “I am so sorry, sirs.” He states. He is strong, he is bold, he takes a deep breath ”But, Rachel is pregnant.” It comes out like liquid. He doesn’t shake or quiver when he says is.
Daddy starts to tear up, a tear falls down his cheek and he comes to sit next to me, “My baby.” He says putting his arm around me. I collapse into his arms in tears. “It’s okay, baby.” He says over and over again.
"How far along?" Dad asks Finn, who is still holding my hand.
"About two months." Finn answers quickly.
"Are you going to give it up for adoption?"
Daddy gasps and Finn says a simple, “no.”
"Finn." Dad says calmly, I can only assume he is doing the Scary-Dad face. "What kind of man are you?"
"Sir, I don’t understand the quest-"
"What kind of man are you?" He asks again a little louder. I look up to see Finn’s reaction. He is cool as a cucumber, not caving under pressure, "Are you the type of dead beat Dad that I’m going to have to take to court in a year? Or will you be taking care of my Granddaughter?" Why does everyone think this baby is a girl?
Finn doesn’t skip a beat, “I plan to marry your daughter, take care of your grandchild, and make sure neither of them are ever harmed.”
I hear Daddy cry out, “Oh, Finn.” He says with tears in his eyes, ”I believe you.” Oh Daddy, such a softy.
"I still need some convincing." Dad says standing up, offering his hand to Finn, Finn takes it and Dad shakes Finn’s hand firmly. "Welcome to the family, son." He says without a smile. "Rachel, could you walk me out."
I stand up, wiping my tear drenched face, kissing Daddy and Finn on the cheek.
I follow Dad out to the front of the coffee shop and he hugs me tightly and I feel him shake, is he crying? I start crying just thinking about him crying. “Rachel” He says with a sigh. “I will always love you.” He says breaking away. His face his dry. “But, I was really hoping not to be a grandfather for a while.” He stated cooly. “I’ll see you tonight. Dinner is at 8. Don’t bring the boy. I need a night or two away from him. So I don’t punch him.”
With that he walked away and I am in awe of how much worse that could have been, terrified that me and Dad’s relationship will never be the same. Daddy walks out, kissing me on the cheek before chasing after Dad. Finn follows behind and I feel his arms around my waist, “You okay, babe?” He asks in my ear.
I turn around, looking into the eyes who faced my Dad so cooly. I smiled widely at him, “You’re kinda perfect.”
Finn laughs and then I see it, the fear that he’d been pushing away. I see that fear finally set in, “I’m terrified.”
"So am I, Finn."
"Can we go take our nap now?"
I laugh loudly, “Yes Finn, that sounds perfect. I love you.”
"I love you too."