I was just running home for five minutes. Just five minutes. It was early August and I’d just returned from a long summer travel stint. Most of the people were back in my office and we were resuming the weekly Wednesday tradition of playing basketball during the lunch break.
It really is quite thrilling to be honest with you. The basketball, that is. Take it from me, whenever you get the chance to watch people who sit behind a desk all day play basketball you need to cash in. That is a ticket of a lifetime. Even though I knew of the glorious tradition, I still forgot to bring my gym clothes that morning, which forced me to run home to get my backpack. I pulled in the driveway and didn’t even shut the garage door. Get in and get out.
Being the week before school started, Torrie was at home. Being a high school teacher has its perks. For one, you know you are going to get the flu every February. It’s like a bonus week off every winter. Plus, all the Sprite you can drink! But the real perk is obviously the summers off. It has paid off huge for us over the past six summers and has allowed her to travel with me for weeks on end. I walked in the backdoor of our bungalow-style house. The alarm beeped.
The room house was quiet for a moment. Then a toilet flushed in the distance. Judging by the approaching noises, I knew that she was in the house… the flick of a light switch… footsteps. She came into the room with a weird look in her eye.
“Wanna see something crazy?” she said.
These are the types of questions that I really hate. Since I knew she had just come from the bathroom, I braced myself for the extremely weird. But she has a track record with these vague conversation starters that make them hard to handle.
Torrie has this game that she has played constantly throughout our relationship. I really hate it. I’ll be sitting in the living room, watching TV, minding my own business when she’ll walk in the room with a serious look on her face.
“Is there something you need to tell me?” she’ll ask.
“Huh?” I say, racking my brain to come up with something that I have hidden from my wife.
“Oh nothing” she says with a half smile. “I was just testing you.”
I freaking hate that game.
Anyway, there we were. I was standing with my keys in hand as she stood halfway in the dining room door. Something was different this time. This wasn’t a test.
“What does this mean?”
She was holding up two pregnancy tests as she asked this question.
“Um” I said, looking for an appropriate response “I guess it means you are pregnant.”
“Well, what are we going to do?” she replied as her eyes started to fill with tears.
At this point, I was pretty confused. It’s not like we are 17 years old. We have figured a lot of other stuff out in our time together. Surely we could figure this out too. The right thing to do was to talk about what a blessing this was. How we were going to be great parents. All that stuff. This is what my mind told me to say. But my reply didn’t come out as smooth.
“Now wait just a minute” I started, “this was your idea…”
Let me pause for a moment. Yes, I actually said that. I basically told her that since she got herself into this mess, she’d have to figure it out. Not my best moment.
I continued, “… so I need you to calm down… because if you don’t, I’m really going to freak out!”
We looked at each other for a moment. I hugged her. Then she took it too far.
“I want you to take one.” she said with her face pressed against my chest.
She pulled away and said, “A test. There are three in the box. I’ve taken two. What if the box is defective? What if the box just gives positive results? You should take one so we know for sure.”
“I’m not taking a pregnancy test.”
I walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. She followed close behind, still holding on to the two used tests, which she placed gently on the coffee table.
“Do those have pee on them?”
“C’mon” she said as she sat down next to me. “Just take one. That way we’ll know for sure. Please?”
I’m not proud of this. It won't earn me any street cred. But it speaks to the level of commitment you have with a person that is going to have your child. I took the test.
Torrie is pregnant.
I am not.