Chapter14

"I'm thinking of switching schools. My parents really want to see Gale." Blake said, rubbing the back of my hand with his thumb.

"My mom would like having at least two more friends." I said, laying my back against my bed.

"What about you, Steph?" He asked, watching my expression.

I shrugged. "I think it's nice."

"Just nice?" He asked, laying on his stomach so his face was right beside mine.

"I don't know. I like the idea of seeing you more though." I missed him when it was just Gale and I. It's like we weren't complete without him there.

"But it's not super awesome or totally great?"

I rolled over and kissed him. "I'm always happy to see you, Blake. You know that."

Gale whined from his crib and I heard him call for me.

I got to my feet and took Gale in my arms. "What is it, Gale?"

He laid his head on my shoulder. "I don't wanna be over there. I like being with you, mommy."

I didn't argue with him. I really didn't want to relive such a horrible day again. I didn't want him to hate me.

I sat down beside Blake and held Gale close to my chest. "Go to sleep, Gale. It's getting late."

He got comfortable in my arms and pulled my blanket over us. "Daddy, are you gonna stay?"

"I can't, Gale. I have to get home." Blake said, getting to his feet.

Gale frowned. "Can you come back tomorrow?"

Blake kissed Gale's head then he kissed me. "Of course. You be good to mommy tonight, okay?"

Gale nodded.

"See you, Steph." Blake said to me.

It didn't take long for Gale to fall asleep in my arms. I left him alone, not wanting him to wake up. I curled up under the covers with him and held him close to me. I loved being with him like this.

Gale was soft, like a newborn baby. He was sweet and I knew he loved me more than anything. It was only a matter of time before he grew up and moved out to start his own life.

It was the same thing I would go through this summer. I'd move out to start raising Gale on my own. I wouldn't totally depend on my parents for everything. It'd be a nice start.


"You'll be surprised what changes around here." Daniel said, sitting down beside me.

I eyed him closely. "What'd you do now?"

He leaned back on his elbows. "I got a girl pregnant."

"You're kidding. What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Nothing's wrong with me Stephanie. I've been dating this girl for a really long time. And she wanted to have a baby first." He said, looking over at me.

"Is that the truth or some lie you came up with?" I asked him. It was hard to tell if he was lying. I mean, he did it so well. And so often.

"I'm being honest." He said, chuckling.

"A baby is a really big responsibility, Daniel." I said, pulling my knees up to my chest.

"No kidding." He mumbled, looking at Gale, sleeping on the couch. "But if he's anything like Gale, he'll be a great kid."

"Gale told me he hated me last week." I mumbled, taking a sip of my coffee.

"He didn't mean it." Daniel said softly, wrapping his arm around my shoulder.

"That's what Blake told me."

"You're an amazing mom, Steph. Gale's lucky to have you."

I laid my head on his shoulder.

"So are you gonna keep living here after this year?" Daniel asked.

I hadn't thought of it, really. I mainly thought about what was happening this week. I didn't want to think about growing up, about Gale growing up. Because if he grew up, he'd have to leave me. I didn't want that to happen.

I shrugged. "I'm not sure. I never thought of anything past this year."

"Well, you can have mom and dad to yourself soon. I'm moving out in a few weeks."

I laughed. "I never thought you'd move out. Ever. You always seemed like the type that would mooch off your parents your whole life."

He rolled his eyes. "Don't make me call you a bad name with Gale in the room."

I hit his arm, pushing him a little. "You're a jerk. And I don't care if he hears that."

"Takes one to know one." He said, smiling at me.