“You can’t be here!” Gina says, tucking her long, dark bangs back behind her ear.
“I’m not leaving until we tell him,” I say. I’m not the assertive type, never have been until now. “I can’t wait another day.” I’m not a drinker, but I’ve been drinking every day because she’s a liar.
“It’s his baby, not yours,” she says, less than convincing.
I hold my hands in front of my body. “The timing says I’m the father.”
“Where is he?” I say, pushing her aside, storming through the door.
A beep echoed in the garage, and keys jingle the lock. “Quick, he’s here,” Gina says.
“Good, we can tell….”
“In the closet.” She holds a fistful of my Polo shirt, and back I stumble behind a closet door that she slammed shut.
Ain’t that bout a bitch, I thought, shoving my hands in my back pockets.
“I won’t let this ruin my marriage,” she whispered, fluffing her stringy blonde hair.
“Everything alright, Travis?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” Travis asks, raising a sly brow.
“You’re never home this early,” Gina says, glancing at the wall clock.
Travis rolls up his sleeves; his lips fold under his teeth. “There’s no easy way to say this, Gina.”
“You’re not happy. I’m not happy.” Travis lowers his head. “It’s been over. This is just goodbye.”
Gina folds her hands into clenched fists. Her narrow eyes turn to crinkled slits, and she’d love nothing more than to slit his throat. “I fucking hate you.”
“Have for some time,” Travis says. His eyes tell her he’s thought this through, and nothing is going to change his mind. It’s for good this time.
Gina holds her stomach. “What about the….”
“Who are you kidding? You’re not pregnant?”
Gina looks down and away, shaking her head. “No, I’m not pregnant. Never was.”
Ain’t that bout a bitch, I thought. She played both of us.
“And,” Travis looks at Gina and turns to the closet and back at Gina’s slammed-open eyes. “Who’s in there!”
Gina scratched the back of her neck. “Not sure what you’re talking about.”
“See, you’re a liar.” Travis threw the door off its hinge. “And you are…?”
“Ben… my name is Ben.”
Travis’ voice deepens. “This is your boyfriend?”
“No,” I say. “I want nothing to do with this broad after what she did to you.”
I turn to Gina. “You told both of us you were pregnant. Had us both thinking we might have a child.”
“Look, Gina,” Travis says, “I’m having a baby with Cindy.”
Gina seethes. “As in my coworker Cindy? That, Cindy?”
“That Cindy,” Travis says.
I hold my finger in the air as if a student rarely called on. “I came here to break it off, too. I wanted to take care of the baby. Should it be mine? But since it’s not, I’ll see myself out.” I pat Travis’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, man.”
“What do ya say we go get a beer?” Travis says.
“I could use a stiff drink; loosen up before I go visit my girlfriend.”
“Take care, Gina,” Travis said, waving goodbye with his middle finger.
Heading out the door, I stop dead in my tracks. I wanted to say goodbye, but sincerity was lacking. So, I continue through the door, closing it shut.
Gina sits on her marron loveseat and sobs. “I’m not pregnant because I had an abortion,” she says as she holds her face in her hands.
(© 2022 AC)