Katy stood on the front steps of the church, jacket open, enjoying the cool, night air. She saw the star twinkling in the sky again, reminding her that she wasn’t the only one who had gone through something like this.
She took a big breath in and exhaled. This was certainly an unexpected evening. She was glad her Mom had insisted she come. And she suddenly didn’t feel tired anymore. Maybe the two naps she’d had today had done the trick.
A black truck with what looked like blue flames painted on the front and sides pulled up. That was definitely Tyler. Sure enough, she saw him jog around the front of the truck to open the door for her and help her into the passenger seat. He even pulled the seatbelt over her huge belly and buckled it in for her. She got another whiff of him as he leaned over her and she closed her eyes until he moved away.
A little voice in her head said, ’Katy, you’re going to get into trouble with this guy. You’re pregnant. He wouldn’t want you even if you were interested. Who wants a girlfriend who’s pregnant with another man’s baby?’ She sighed and wiggled in the cold vinyl seat. Tyler was already back in the driver’s seat.
“I didn’t turn the seat warmer on, didn’t think you’d want it, but if you do, the button is right here.” He pointed to a knob but she shook her head.
“No, you’re right. This is good.”
“Okay, where do we go?” Katy gave him directions and settled back for the short ride. They chatted about his sisters and her sister. She warned him about her Mom if he ever ended up meeting her and Tyler just laughed. “Don’t worry, I know how to handle women.”
Katy raised an eyebrow.
“Oh sorry, that’s not what I meant. I mean, women don’t scare me. You should know that by now.”
“Right, three sisters.”
She breathed a sigh of relief as Tyler pulled up by the curb next to Julia’s house which was still dark. Fortunately the others were still behind them and she didn’t have to worry about him meeting her Mom.
“Your house? Looks nice,” he commented.
“No, it’s my sister’s. I’ll eventually find my own place, but only after I save up money for a down payment and that’ll probably be a couple of years.” Katy reached for the door handle. “Thanks again. You’re right, this is so much better than getting in and out of a car, especially the back seat.”
“Hang on, let me help you!” He took the keys out of the ignition and ran around as she opened the door.
“Woman, you’re going to wear me out. Please wait! I love helping you, but you gotta take it easy on me!”
Katy’s first reaction was to laugh but she thought about what she said. He loved helping her. As Tyler grabbed her elbow to help her out of the truck, Katy took a big gulp and said, “Maybe we should talk.” Tyler reached around and closed the door behind her.
“Sounds serious. I didn’t realize we were at that stage.” He tucked her arm around his and held onto her hand with his.
“Well, we’re not. But I don’t think we should…go there.” Katy stuttered. She shouldn’t have let it get this far in the first place. She should have just gone to sit with her family after meeting him outside at church instead of sleeping on his shoulder then meeting his family like she was his date.
Tyler was silent.
“What I mean is, is…I’m pregnant. And you’re…not.” He smiled. “Well, my life is a mess right now and I don’t want to drag you into it. I’m going to be having a baby and you probably don’t want that.”
“What are you talking about? I love babies!”
She nodded. “I know you say that now, but this baby isn’t even yours.” They were standing at the doorstep now but Katy didn’t reach for her keys. There was no way she was letting him come into the house. He needed to leave before he got sucked into her stupid life.
Tyler responded. “It doesn’t matter. It’s yours, right? And think about this. Joseph wasn’t even Jesus’ father, technically speaking. You know, sperm and everything.”
Katy nodded again. She hadn’t thought about it but it didn’t really matter. She tried another tactic to put him off. “What if you’re just obsessed with me being pregnant and then you’ll be obsessed with the baby and it wouldn’t even be about us. Do you know what I’m saying?” Katy finally looked up into his deep brown eyes and immediately regretted it. His face was slowly coming towards her and she naturally closed her eyes and let his soft lips find hers. He was so tender and she didn’t want to pull away. The kiss only lasted five seconds because Katy quickly stepped away when she heard a car slowing down like it was about to pull into the driveway. She looked down and cleared her throat.
“Tyler, I’m just not ready for this. Thank you for everything you’ve done. Please, just go.”
“Katy, I like you a lot, and trust me, I’m ready. I’ve been waiting for you for the past seven years.” He tried to pull her in close to him again but she put her hand on his chest.
“Please, go,” she whispered, fighting back tears. How in the world had she gotten so attached to him in only one day? It must be the hormones.
Tyler grabbed her hand gently and held it close.
“Okay. But let the record show that you asked me to leave and I didn’t want to. But I’ll respect your wishes. Bye, Katy. Take care.” He lifted her gloved hand to his lips and kissed it. Surprised, she looked at him through her tears and his eyes intently locked into hers. He slowly lowered her hand, turned, and walked away.
Katy’s heart dropped. She couldn’t quite believe he had actually walked away. She almost wished he hadn’t been that easy to get rid of.
She heard the car door open and her Mom called out, “Hello? Where are you going? Didn’t Katy invite you in?” Mrs. Haden quickly walked over to Tyler and almost slipped on the ice. He quickly reached for her and grabbed her arm.
“Careful, ma’am, it’s a lot icier than it looks. No, sorry, I have a…to go to work.”
“Working? Now?” her mom asked.
“Yeah, I’m drive a tow truck part time for my Uncle. It’s busy season, as you can imagine.”
They stopped right in front of Katy who had started fumbling in her purse for her keys. Julia walked up and handed her her house key and Katy turned towards the door.
“Well, thank you so much for driving Katy home. That’s so sweet of you, taking care of our pregnant daughter like that. She’s single, you know.”
“Mom!” Katy whipped around and immediately regretted it.
“What honey? It’s true!”
Katy didn’t care, she was doubled over in pain and in a second, Tyler was by her side with his magical maneuver. Grabbing his arm, she stood up as he pressed firmly through her jacket into her lower back. Julia peered around with curiosity.
“Heh, what’s that?”
Tyler explained. “These two spots here, right by her tail bone are trigger points that help release the tension in her back and belly. Her body’s stretched to the limits and she’s been on her feet too much. Here,” he handed Katy’s arm to her father. “Take her inside and make her drink as much water as she can stomach lying down. Good night.” He saluted them and jogged off towards his truck, leaving the Haden family staring after him with the house door wide open.
Click here for Part 10.