Chapter Four, Part One
“Margaret—earth to Margaret! Where did you go?” I snapped back to earth to find my friend, Jenna, staring expectantly at me. My two other friends, Belinda and Caryn, were staring as well. I had lunch with them one Saturday a month, and this was it. I hadn’t wanted to go, but I knew I’d catch serious hell from them if I didn’t. We’d been friends since college, but maybe it was time to loosen the apron strings. I didn’t find them nearly as entertaining as I had when we were in school. It had been two weeks since I found out I was pregnant, and I hadn’t heard from the Father in nearly a week.
“Honestly, Mags, you were a million light-years away.” Belinda looked at me from under her lashes, fluffing her blond curls with her other hand. She was the stunner of the group with her Barbie-doll figure and plump, full lips, and she knew it. So even though she was ostensibly talking to me, she was playing to the table of appreciative yuppies who were ogling her quite openly. Ah, the refined crowd of TGIF—what could possibly be better? It hadn’t been my choice to come here, but I had been outvoted three to one.
“Girl, you’ve been out of it all day. Spill.” Jenna snapped her fingers at me. She was the ‘hip’ one with her mod cut and Macy clothes. Too bad her features were equine-like, similar to those of Princess Anne. Or was it Margaret? Whichever was the horsey-one. Still, it didn’t stop her from getting laid which went to show that if you had a great bod and money, you only needed a passable face.
“There must be a new man in your life,” Caryn said, nodding her head knowingly. She was Asian like me, but Japanese rather than Taiwanese. I didn’t hold her tiny figure against her as she didn’t act like your typical Japanese American Princess. She was tough as nails, and she had a black belt in taekwondo. Any guy who thought he could mess with her usually ended up with a black eye or crushed testicles.
“No,” I said, sipping at my margarita. Damned if I was going to give up alcohol before it was strictly necessary. “I just, uh, it’s a work thing. One of my kids is in trouble. You know, the usual.” I sent a silent apology to my students who’d been unusually good this past week. My slander meant that one of them would be out of control this week; I was resigned to it.
“Uh, huh.” Belinda nodded her head, cutting her eyes to the yuppies who were still eyeing her. “I’m with Caryn. There’s a boy involved. Who is he?” The three of them turned their attention to me, which was a bit disconcerting.
I hadn’t told them about being pregnant yet because what the fuck could I say? The Lord, our Father, decided that I should be the next Mother of God? Oh, and it’s a girl, but He promised not to kill her this time around? It sounded crazy to my ears, and I’d met Him, so I knew they wouldn’t believe me. I half-expected God to come down out of the sky as was His wont, but He didn’t. Briefly, I wondered what’d happened to Him, but I had more important things to consider. Like what to tell the three stooges looking at me so avidly. I knew that nothing less than an epic romance would satisfy this trio, but I didn’t want to lie. I felt as if I had no choice, however, so I gave it the old college try.