Some Things I've Been Meaning to Ask You 

Page 8 of 9

"I've missed you," she said.

I nodded and she led me by the hand into the soft, twiggy woods, where we stumbled together in our sandals until there was no light from the party at all and we could feel more than we could see, and there I pulled down those damp lacrosse shorts and yanked free her swaying tits and we pushed each other onto the prickly ground. She tasted of the stale chlorinated air at the Y. We screwed until my aching knees had sunk into the earth with last year's leaves.

The whole thing took all of three panting minutes. "That was nice," she said when it was over, pulling up her shorts, readjusting her top. There were twigs pressed into both of her knees and as I heard her brush them off, then retie her hair, I felt, suddenly, like sobbing. "What?" she said. I was still sitting on the ground, cross-legged, my boxers around my ankles.

"Are you going back to the party?"

"Why?" she said. "You wanna cuddle in the dirt?" She pulled the tank top back over her head. As my eyes adjusted, I saw her sniff casually at her pits.

"I just thought, I don't know— What the hell did we just do?"

"We fucked, Myles. We had a quickie."

"I know that, I just—" I didn't actually want to talk, Dad, what I really wanted was her to touch my forehead, or say something nice, like she used to, about my scrawny ribs. "Look at those birdcage ribs. That's a home for a cockatiel, that's a home for a whole canary family." She would tickle me and I would leap from the mattress in a wiggling naked squirm.

"Fine then, I'm pregnant," she said. She crossed her arms and looked down on me with the glassy eyes of a teddy bear.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean I have a baby inside me, or a zygote, or something. I'm fertilized."

"What?" I said, rising and pulling up my shorts, messing with the tinkling belt.

"Why does everyone have that reaction? It's not that big of a deal."

"Of course— Of course it is."

"Don't worry about it. It's not your problem." She pulled the elastic from her hair and let it fall again in damp clumps around her shoulders.

"Wait a second. There's a possibility it is, isn't it? I mean we did a lot of stuff. I mean how do you know for sure?"

She shrugged. "Laws of probability."

It would be a lie to say I didn't hold then a private vigil of relief. It would also be a lie to say my throat wasn't knotted tightly in disappointment. All I could do was try to remember the right chapter from the good-guy handbook, its many onionskin pages, its footnoted, endless code of conduct. Chapter ten: pregnancy — support, support, support. "Congratulations," I said.


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