Thinking back on that moment in time, I realize I am sort of upset that dad totally bought my fake smile. He got excited after he told me about my new brother, Joey, but nothing about his mom... weird.
After I got the lowdown he rushed back up to the hospital and left me with grandfather to take me up. We finish picking up the booth and I feel so numb, void of feeling, ever since dad told me about little Joey. The feeling seemed to start out in my heart and slowly spread until it enveloped me in a bubble separate from the rest of the world.
My mind is numb to, my thoughts have slowed to one thing, how can this be happening? My dad might not have been there for the majority of my life, and I know that he has had girlfriends before but he has never done anything like this before, he has always told me when he started getting serious with his girlfriends, but I don't know anything about this one. The irony kills me, that he would tell me about girls that ultimately didn't matter in our lives but the one that happens to be the mother of my brother, I know nothing about.
Grandfather and I are almost to the hospital when I ask a question that has been bugging me, "How long have you known?"
He looks over at me with a sad face, "Angie, your father was just nervous to tell you,"
"Grandfather I want an answer, how long have you known?" I needed to know this, it was very important, although nothing seemed real at the moment, it was like a dream. Maybe I would wake up and everything would go away, "Please, just tell me."
"Well..." he sighs, "I've known for a couple weeks." He looks tired, like he had just unloaded a great burden. "Why didn't you tell me?" my voice is dead, no emotion at all, that takes too much energy and everything is numb.
"He asked me not to," We were quiet for the rest of the ride. When we arrive at the hospital dad is waiting at the door, he comes out looking kind of shy, I plaster the smile on again, but I feel nothing.
We walk in the doors and the smell of sterile tables and medicine fill my nose, I must be asleep. We walk up to the elevator and dad pushes the up button, it feels like a dream. Once we are in he hits the level 3 and we start up. Everything is dead silent, we don't talk and barely breath, Grandfather looks uncomfortable and dad looks frightened. I just stare ahead, straight at the number 3 button all lit up. That’s where my brother is, and his mother. That’s where everything is going to change. I suddenly hate the number 3.
The elevator dings. We are there. I'm so nervous, this is an entirely new feeling, not like before a game nervous, or before you go on to the stage nervous. A sick feeling in my stomach almost makes me double over, this nervous is caused by the realization that after this everything will change, and nothing will be the same. I really wish this was a dream.
We are at the door, I can tell because dad is pacing in front of it. He's really subtle about stuff like this. When I make it up to him the world seems to go in slow motion, he pulls back the curtain and reveals the hospital room. The bed the table the lights, and a little crib in the front. I pointedly do not look at the strange woman sitting in the bed. I decide that in that moment that she is not really important. The baby in the crib is important, and I go straight to him.
I look down into the face of a sleeping baby. He is the sweetest thing I have ever seen in my entire life, all bundled up and peacefully asleep. I pick him up and he stirs a bit but does not wake up.
"Hey little Joey, nice to meet you," for the first time that entire night I felt something, I felt love. And it was solely for this little boy, the one that would- that had already- changed my life, and nothing else mattered, not the woman in the bed or my dad in the doorway, my grandpa in the corner, or my grandma at home.
Everything had changed, and they had all lied to me, and I was not forgiving anyone easily.