Bobby woke up the next morning with a throbbing head and signs of morning sickness. The first person he talked to in the morning was the toilet bowl. Bobby said vomit, the towel bowl said flush. After he gargled mouthwash and changed clothes he wobbled down the stairs, miscounted the steps and almost crashed onto the living room floor. Hitting the door frame to the kitchen with his shoulder, he startled his mother who jumped from soupy dishes and looked at him.
"Nice hangover," Rachel said and continued to wash the dishes, "You got a call by the way."
"From who?" Bobby asked since he was sure no one knew him, and even fewer than none knew he was at his moms. Then he realized he should have started drinking earlier to forget the part of last night when he was dumb enough to tell Kelly.
"Kelly Angel," Rachel said with a tone in her voice that Bobby couldn't identify as confused or insulted.
"Really," Bobby said and wobbled over to the kitchen table and sat in the chair and placed his head on the top, "What the hell did she want?"
"Coffee," Rachel said and Bobby groaned.
"Why in the hell did I have to say anything?" Bobby said and slammed his fist on the table.
"Because you are way to nice," Rachel said and looked over at him, "You've always been."
"Being nice is a pain in the ass, never works for me," Bobby said and sat up and watched the windows focus in and out though there was only one window.
"Obviously," Rachel said and left her dishes to pour him a cup of black coffee, "Sober up."
"I like feeling this way, half dead," Bobby said but still wrapped his hand around the cup, and was so hung over didn't think about the fact coffee is normally hot when he took a swig. He dropped the cup on the table and it spilled onto his lap and burned things precious to him. Bobby jumped away from the table, knocking over his chair and then tripping over the chair and falling onto the kitchen floor.
"I'm okay," Bobby said with his left cheek on the floor that hadn't been mopped yet.
"Take a shower, I'll pour you another cup and it should be cool enough by then," Rachel said and Bobby pulled himself off of the floor and wobbled back up the stairs and closed the door after he surprised himself of being able to make it to the top of the stairs.
Bobby had control of motor functions again by five in the afternoon and walked to the highschool to get his mothers car. Unlocking it he pulled out of the school and drove the block home and walked back into the house as the phone rang. Bobby answered it without looking at the caller id.
"Hello?" Bobby asked with the portable in his hand as he walked into the kitchen.
"Bobby?" A hauntingly familiar voice said that made his stop cold at the door frame separating the room.
"No, this is, Sean," Bobby said and sighed at how childish that was.
"Oh, sorry, is he up yet?" Kelly asked and waited for a reply.
"Yeah, one moment," Bobby said and let the phone drop from his ear.
"Who is it?" Rachel asked as she walked downstairs.
"Kelly," Bobby said with his hand over the phone to muffle their voices. Rachel looked at Bobby and just blinked a few times.
"And?" Rachel asked.
"I told her I was Sean, and I'm getting me," Bobby said and Rachel just blinked a few more times.
"Are you home?" Rachel asked.
"I guess, what the hell do I say?" Bobby asked and Rachel just walked passed him into the kitchen.
"You're on your own," Rachel said and poured herself a cup of tea she made earlier.
"Thanks mom," Bobby said and put his ear back to the phone.
"Kelly?" Bobby asked.
"Wow, you two do sound exactly the same," Kelly said and Bobby sighed.
"I know, we get that a lot, when I call mom, sometimes she thinks I'm Sean and vise versa," Bobby said and Kelly laughed on the other side of the phone.
"Do you want to get coffee or something, catch up?" Kelly asked timidly, waiting for the rejection.
"It's already like five," Bobby said.
"Are you busy?" Kelly asked.
"Not really, but a little late though," Bobby said as he tried to weasel his way out of it.
"Tomorrow then?" Kelly asked.
"Let's just do it tonight," Bobby said and groaned in his throat. Kelly was silent for a few moments before she spoke again.
"Where, the only place I know nearby is Barnes and Nobles," Kelly said and Bobby sighed.
"Where is that, I don't think that was there ten years ago," Bobby said and Kelly explained the directions and they both hung up.
"Who was that?" Sean asked as he walked downstairs while scratching his ass.
"Kelly Angel," Bobby answered.
"She called earlier, wanted coffee, but you were still passed out," Sean said and Bobby just placed the phone on the counter.
"When she called, did she think you were me?" Bobby asked and Sean nodded.
"Yeah, I swear she's worse than mom," Sean said and walked to the fridge.
Bobby grabbed Sean's keys off of the counter and Sean closed the door to the fridge.
"You're leaving now?" Sean asked.
"Yeah, might as well get it over with," Bobby said and left the house.
The Barnes and Noble was just the next town over, which was about a five minute drive depending on traffic. Bobby pulled his brothers car into the parking lot and pulled the shifter into park and placed his forehead on the steering wheel. He banged his head on it once to let out a little frustration while he could and sighed into the collar of his shirt.
"What the hell am I getting myself into?" Bobby asked then looked up through the windshield at the book store. He could see the café in the store from where he was, but didn't think Kelly was there yet. Bobby turned the car off and pulled the keys out of the ignition before stepping out of the car and locking the door behind him.
Tucking the keys into his pocket Bobby walked out of the small parking lot toward the front door of the building and reached out, grabbed the handle, and then took his first step into the store.
The place was dead except for a few employees and one or two people in the shelves looking for something to read. Bobby crossed the book floor and climbed the three steps that led up to the café that had pictures of different drinks behind the counter and in the reading nooks, posters of classic American novels. Bobby ordered black coffee and sat under the giant book cover for 'This Side of Paradise,' by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Bobby waited for nearly ten minutes, checking his watch occasionally to see how long he had been waiting for. His coffee was halfway done and warm before Kelly walked into the building, looking around for someone, though Bobby knew it was him.
Kelly finally saw him after about ten seconds and fast walked over to him and dropped her purse on the table next to theirs.
"Sorry I'm late, my sister got held up in traffic and she said she'd baby sit for me," Kelly said and sat down.
"Going to get something to drink?" Bobby asked and Kelly looked over her shoulder.
"I really don't drink coffee past noon, but they have decaf. I'll be right back," Kelly said and walked over to the counter, ordered her drink and waited by the counter for it to be given to her. Kelly thanked the woman behind the counter and walked back and took her seat again. Took less than a minute.
"Where did you guys go when you left last night?" Kelly asked and took a sip of her drink, being careful not to burn her lips.
"To a bar, we all wanted something real to drink," Bobby said and rubbed the small bruise on his face from his face plant earlier.
"Wine didn't do it for you huh?" Kelly asked and Bobby shook his head.
"No, plus I just needed to get out of there. The reunion just makes me see people I didn't like ten years ago to begin with. Who needs that atmosphere?"
"Tell me about it, Julia wouldn't shut up about last night," Kelly said and Bobby looked at her, slightly confused.
"The porn star was making fun of me last night?" Bobby asked.
"Quite the opposite. Pauline Hess asked her if she had sex with you in high school, she said no. Then she paused and said, 'But now, in a heartbeat.'"
"Okee Dokey," Bobby said and took a swig of his coffee and placed the cup back on the table.
"How old is your son?" Bobby asked.
"You know about that already huh?" Kelly asked and Bobby nodded, "Nine."
"Got a picture on you?" Bobby asked.
"Um, not in this purse," Kelly said, rather quickly, and Bobby noticed.
"How many purses do you have?" Bobby asked.
"Three, but I only keep his pictures in one of them. I should really make some copies so I can show him off more," Kelly said.
"Cute kid I'd take it," Bobby said and Kelly smiled and nodded, looking away for a brief second. Kelly normally tried to maintain eye contact, but right now she was the one breaking it. Why was she so nervous, and why did she only get nervous when they brought up her son?
"What's his name?" Bobby asked.
"Brad," Kelly said and Bobby smiled.
"You know that's my middle name right?" Bobby asked and Kelly smiled.
"No, I actually didn't. I know you've told me your middle name before, but I forgot all about it by the time I had him. He was one hell of a surprise," Kelly said and looked at her cup.
"I'd imagine," Bobby said and took a sip of his coffee, and finished it.
"Was your mom happy to see you?" Kelly asked.
"Oh yeah, damn near killed me with a hug before I even got in the door," Bobby said and Kelly giggled into her sleeve. Bobby noticed something else.
Ten years ago, Kelly never wore long sleeved shirts. Never. Kelly always wore tank tops and short sleeved shirts. Maybe it was because she changed fashions over the years, or something else was up. But Bobby decided to not asked her about that.
"So, have you been seeing anyone recently?" Kelly asked timidly. Usually she'd be all over that kind of question. Ten years ago when her friend got a new boy friend or girl friend, she try to dig as deep into their relationship as possible. Not here, not today.
"Not in about two years. I've been with a woman in the past year, but nothing more than a fling I guess. Not really trying," Bobby said and Kelly looked away for a moment, then back at him.
"Well me, married for the last nine years. Little rough around the edges but you know," Kelly said and shrugged.
"No, I don't know. I've never been married, I know nothing about a married persons point of view. Elaborate, are you at least happy?" Bobby asked.
"Of course I...well I...I don't know anymore. Not like I really had a say in who I married after all. I couldn't take care of a baby on my own, that much I knew."
"Limits your options. I opted out of the whole married thing. Dated a girl named Katie in college for about a year and a half. I swear she would have planned the wedding if I let her. I'm not suited for marriage, I don't need to drag people down in my misery."
"You're miserable?" Kelly asked, suddenly very concerned.
"I'm neutral, I don't really know exactly what happy is to be honest. Married with kids and a high paying career, is that happiness? Who's happier, a bachelor or a married man? People with friends or without? I've always had friends, my dream career, but every woman I've dated since you, turned out to be a bitch."
"Guess that wouldn't leave me out then. I made some stupid mistake in high school, you were one of them," Kelly said and Bobby watched her look down.
"Was dating me the mistake?" Bobby asked.
"No, god no," Kelly answered quickly, "What I did to you, over a dance too. How fucking heartless is that, and I still feel so guilty about it. I tried to call you a lot but your mother didn't want me to talk to you, so she always had some excuse."
"That summer I was all over the county, for readings, book signing, question and answering. Long ass summer, and then when fall rolled around went to a west coast school. Been west of home ever since."
"I really did try to get your number to apologize, and maybe even, salvage a friendship. But your mom was persistent I stay away from you. I even tried getting the number from one of your friends, but no one knew where you were. I think Corey might of but he'd just call me a bitch and hang up."
"Sounds like him, and he did. I stayed in contact with him longest. Can I ask you something?" Bobby asked and Kelly nodded.
"What was your plan for after prom?" Bobby asked and Kelly just blankly stared at him.
"To be honest, my plan was to go to prom with Pat, dumb him then have make up sex with you so I could still date you," Kelly said and Bobby stared back blanker than she was at him.
Bobby stood up from his seat and tucked his chair back into the table. "Nice seeing you again," Bobby said and started to walk out. Kelly looked at the table as Bobby left the café and walked back onto the book floor, trying to think of something to salvage some more conversation.
"Bobby wait," Kelly said, but Bobby was either out of ear shot or patience. Kelly grabbed her purse and jogged after him as he opened the door to the store and stepped out.
"Bobby stop," Kelly said then ran out of the store and stepped in front of him to make him stop.
"I know you want a friendship for some reason, but just leave me alone right now," Bobby said and tried to step around her.
"I never wanted to lose you Bobby, let alone hurt you," Kelly said as she felt moisture building up in her eyes.
"You managed both," Bobby said and looked in her eyes, "and if you wanted to go to prom that badly, I would have let you go with him, you didn't have to fuck him to convince me to let you."
Kelly looked at the down at the parking lot and Bobby figured now was the right time to get passed her. He stepped around her and walked to his car and tried to open the door. Remembering he locked the car he unlocked it and was about to step in before Kelly turned around.
"I didn't have sex with him before prom," Kelly said and Bobby turned to face her.
"Sure you didn't," Bobby said leaned against the door.
"It's the truth, and I lied earlier. I do have a picture of Brad in my purse. Why wouldn't I carry them around, he's a cute kid after all," Kelly said them opened her purse and pulled out her wallet. She opened it and pulled out a single picture and walked to the car. She extended the picture out to Bobby who took it from her and then looked at it.
Brad had brown hair like Kelly's but it was curly. Bobby remembered Kelly and Pat had straight hair. He had freckles on his cheeks, Kelly and Pat didn't, but Bobby did. He wasn't smiling in the picture, Bobby never really smiled either. Bobby's mom always hoped her grandchildren would look like her children, Brad was close enough. Too close in fact.
"Like I said, I didn't have sex with him before prom. I didn't have sex with him until I was about a three weeks pregnant and you were completely unreachable. There is another reason I tried so hard to get in touch with you. I never forgot what your middle name was either."
Bobby looked at the picture then back at Kelly, then back and forth a few more times. He knew exactly what it meant but it took him thirty seconds to register it.
"Pat isn't Brad's real dad," Kelly said and Bobby looked back up at her and kept eye contact.
"I can see that," Bobby said then looked at the picture again, "I am."