Poor Decisions – Chapter XI

From Random Words, Random Stories by Christopher Occhiuzzi

While in the city, Josephine finds out what she knew all along; she’s pregnant with Darren’s baby. Sherry tells her to book an abortion and go on with her life. Josephine is having none of it.

“I’m keeping the baby,” she says defiantly. “Even if Darren doesn’t want anything to do with us, I’m not giving up my baby.”

“Uhm, okay, but shouldn’t you think about this for longer than like ten seconds,” Sherry suggests. “I mean, you just found out and your emotions are running all over the place.”

“I’ve known for a while, maybe not 100 per cent for sure, but on the inside, I’ve known.”

They part ways and Josephine begins her drive back to Muskoka. On the way, she decides to call Darren. He doesn’t answer, so she leaves him a long and straightforward message.

“Hi Darren, I know you’re probably done with us, but you should know I’m pregnant with your child. I know you’ll never leave your family and I don’t care if you’re involved, but I’m keeping this baby. I want you to know I miss you and I love you. You don’t have to call me back and I won’t bother you again.”

She hangs up and feeling like a weight has been lifted, allows herself a smile. Turning up the radio, Josephine sings along to every song – even if she doesn’t know all the words – the whole way back to the cottage.

On their way to Rhonda’s house for a family gathering in Darren’s truck, Amanda sees the name on the caller ID. She demands he let her listen to the voice message and snatches the phone from it’s resting spot in a coffee holder.

The look on Amanda’s face grows angrier each second as she finds out her husband has been cheating on her with an employee. Worse yet, she’s pregnant.

Looking back and noticing their son Charlie is sitting happily in the back seat, Amanda decides to keep calm for the moment.

Less than two minutes after entering Rhonda’s house and saying her hellos, Amanda asks her aunt to watch Charlie. She then asks Rhonda and Darren to come into the garage to discuss some important “business matters.” No one blushes an eye. This wasn’t the first time the three needed to chat about the painting company.

In the garage, Amanda is raging. “You piece of shit. You’re really a shit-for-brains. You fucked an employee and you got her pregnant. Like, I can’t even tell you how fucking pissed off I am on so many levels. If there weren’t so many witnesses, I’d cut your little dick off.”

It goes on like this for a good ten minutes. Rhonda finally intervenes, “maybe it’s best if you go home Darren. We’ll tell everyone there was a work emergency. I’ll drive my sister home later.”

He agrees and head’s home. Amanda waits until he’s gone, grabs her phone and begins ringing Josephine’s cottage. In Amanda’s mind, if her family is going to be ruined, so is theirs.

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