Happy Ending

I’ve found that life often neglects to give us the happy ending that we hope for; it has done so with myself, resulting in the swift departure of my boyfriend. Perhaps, though, if I write my happy ending, I may gain it.

Ruby was chatting happily to her sister. Cath smiled. Ruby’s wedding dress was perfect for her and she looked stunning; Matt was staring and laughing, no doubt thinking how lucky he was to have finally married Ruby. He was thinking something else too, something darker, and as Ruby caught his eye he knew she was thinking the same. Everyone knew that Ruby was pregnant, but so was someone else and only Ruby and Matt knew. Cath saw the conspiring glance between them and her slightly rotund stomach flipped. She was twenty-one, not really too young to be a mother. Her situation, however, was a very difficult one.

Ruby and Matt, Matt’s brother Heath, Jonas and Sophia, Scarlet (a guy - they called him by surname) and Jessie, Lily and Ben, Adam, Steven, Jacob, Catherine, Damien, Ollie - friends from being teenagers. Cath knew she had plenty of support but as she’d not told the father, she’d have felt bad coming clean to the group first. Her eyes swept around their table quickly. They were too happy to disturb. And then, sat at the side of her, was the father of the baby. Not her husband, fiancé or boyfriend though. Her stomach flipped again. She was three months gone, it would be showing badly soon... She had to tell him sometime.

Everyone was laughing and talking, mostly done with their food. Jacob broke off his conversation with Steven and turned to Cath, who looked up from the camera she had been fiddling with. Her heart hammered violently against her breastbone; one slim white hand jumped up to her chest to calm it.

Jacob pushed two orange train tickets across the table to her. Catherine didn’t need telling what these were; the hand moved from her chest to the table and it turned the tickets between its fingers. Cathy’s automatically curious reaction revealed writing on the back.

'I've had a change of heart,' read one.

'Take me back?' read the other.

The whole table, including Ruby and Matt (who had slipped over unnoticed), were waiting with bated breath: clearly they were in on the gig.

Cath burst into tears and threw herself on Jacob, who kissed the top of her head like he had done for the first time nine years ago.
‘I want to keep the baby,’ he whispered, ‘So can we tell everyone now?’
Cath cast a mock-stern glance at Matt, no doubt the one that had told him, before straightening up. ‘Um… guys? We’re having a baby.’
There was a stunned silence and then most of the others started to cry too.
‘Congratulations, man!’ Heath grasped Jacob’s hand.
‘Hey, hey - Jacob, man, you said you wanted to be married before you had a kid smashing the place up!’ Jonas clapped Jacob on the back, managing to give Cath a one-armed hug at the same time.
‘I did, man, I did.’ The group of friends cheered.

Catherine dissolved into more happy tears on Jacob’s shoulder.

The End

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