Man, that girl got me. I'd never have thought it would end like this. We were like, you know, one of these disgusting couples. Holding hands, kissing in public, smiling at each other. A lot. Our friends used to joke about us all the time. We loved it. You know, that's exactly the behavior that makes every sane person want to puke. I wonder why we did it in the first place. I mean, we knew each other, what, six months?
Back then, we were convinced this was forever. Nothing could come between us. Lydia used to say we were like Bonnie and Clyde, or sun and moon; no one could imagine one without the other.
It was a beautiful night when she said this. We had been celebrating my new job. Superstitious Lydia had completely ignored the fact that I had finally landed on my feet until I came back from my first big business trip. That special night, she had fixed dinner just the way I love it, with spicey chicken and ice-cold beer. She had dressed up, looking lovelier than ever, and boy did she make sure it was a night to remember.
A few weeks later, Lydia told me she was pregnant. You mus know, I had been there before. Once, a tramp almost tricked me into playing father to the changeling she wound up with. As soon as I heard the rumors, I ran. Faster than you can say "action for support", I was gone. Don't know what happened to her.
See, I was nervous. And I tried hard, and without much success, not to show it on the outside. My reply to Lydia's good news was as lame as you can imagine, "You're sure?"
"No, but that little strip is." She smiled, but when she saw my expression, the smile went away.
We never talked much about it. I tried to be happy, looking forward to it. We bought all the stuff a kid needs. Lydia insisted on paying. Her paintings, although she was far from famous, somehow produced enough money for her to get by. "You know, I don't want anybody thinking I tricked you into this." Stupid that I am, I was relieved and appreciated her concern.
It took some convincing, however, to get her to agree to a paternity test. Laureena was so tiny, and as beautiful as her mother. I wanted her to be mine, but I had to be sure. Lydia looked at me with her huge black eyes. "You really want this test?"
Although I lost the staring competition, I refused to back down. "It's just to make it official. You know, we get to sign all these papers, and..."
"It's okay", she interrupted me, "if it's this important to you."
I knew the result. The envelope remained unopened. And Lydia walked out of the doctor's office, out of the building, and I never saw her again. Sometimes I wonder what she tells Laureena about her father.