When Tuesday rolls around, I’m a nervous wreck.
It’s ridiculous, because what is there to be nervous about? It’s just Grant coming over to meet my son. Our son. That’s going to take some getting used to.
In complete contrast to me, Owen doesn’t seem in the least bit worried. He took the news that his father, who he hadn’t even known existed before Saturday, is coming around very well. I don’t think he entirely understands what’s going on. I doubt he even noticed that he was meant to have a father and didn’t.
Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and I jump. Is this it? I glance at my watch. It’s too early for Grant to be here, but I couldn’t blame him for being early. If I’m anxious, I can only imagine what Grant must be feeling right now.
I draw in a deep breath and head to the door. Okay, I can do this. I have to do this. It’s important. Grant has every right to see his son, and all I have to do is stand there and pretend that I’m happy about this.
I can do it.
I open the door, hitching a smile on my face that stretches uncomfortably at my cheeks. It instantly falls, however, when I see that it isn’t Grant standing at my front door.
“Hey,” she says with a small smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. “Can I come in?”
“Yeah, go ahead,” I say, taking a step back.
After Grant told me, on Sunday, that he planned to apologize to Allison, I knew I couldn’t allow him to speak to her first. Allison is my friend; I had the right to tell my side of the story first.
Of course, I was too much of a coward to call her. Instead, we conversed over text messages, and I was content with that. Now, suddenly, she’s here?
“I hope you don’t mind,” Allison says as though she’s following my thoughts. “You told me Grant was coming today and…I thought you might want some support.”
I stare at her. To my embarrassment, I feel my eyes burn with tears.
“God, yes,” I sniffle.
Allison’s face relaxes into a real smile.
“I was worried you were angry at me,” she admits. “I gave Grant your address, and then I gave Kyle your number, to give to Grant. I was so excited for you, and I know Grant is a nice guy, so I didn’t even think about it. But, even so, I should have asked first.”
“You did the right thing,” I tell her. “I wasn’t angry at all. Grant… I should have told him the truth a long time ago.”
It was a hard thing to come to terms with. But it’s the truth. I should have told Grant everything long ago. This should never have gone on as long as it has. It was stupid of me not to tell Grant when I first fell pregnant, and now I’m paying the price for my silence.
“I’m sorry for dragging you into this,” I add.
“Don’t be,” Allison says immediately. “You’re still my friend; that’s not going to change because you made a few sucky decisions.” Suddenly, she coughs awkwardly. “Though, Kyle is a little upset at you. He’s known Grant for a while, and he’s one of those protective types, you know?”
“It’s not causing any problems with you guys, is it?” I ask, worried.
“No way,” Allison assures me. “We’re agreeing to disagree on this. Kyle knows you’re my friend, and I know Grant is Kyle’s friend, so we’ll just do what we can. Actually, Kyle was even the one to suggest that I come around today.”
I give her a small smile. “Keep that one, Allison; he’s a great guy.”
“I almost let him go once,” Allison says solemnly, and I wonder at the grim expression on her face; I’ll have to get her to tell me the story one day. “I don’t plan on ever doing that again.”
I hear a giggle from the living room. Owen is laying on his stomach on the floor, scribbling in a coloring book.
“I’m worried,” I confess. “What if Grant tries to take Owen away?”
It’s the fear I haven’t wanted to voice. I’m not ready to lose Owen. But Grant has every right to fight for custody. He might even receive it, considering my lies.
“Maybe that’s something you need to talk to Grant about,” Allison says quietly. “But I heard him talking to Kyle, yesterday; he was talking about making a visit schedule with you and outlining the shifts he can swap with the other bartender to make it possible for him to come around a few times a week, depending on what days Owen’s at daycare.”
I stare at Allison, stunned. Somehow, this level of organization is not something I would have expected from Grant. It tells me, more than anything, that Grant is really is serious about this.