Jessie stands still while Jenna and I stare at him, my mind reeling from what has just occurred. I confessed my feelings and it had not been as private as I had wished.
I can tell that he is confused, but not surprised. He nods and walks away from Jenna and me.
I know that he is going to want to talk about Sammy when I get home.
Jenna stood beside me, for the first time trembling from the fall cold that hit our slightly flushed faces.
"Mike, I'm sorry." She says, as we walk back towards our houses, hand in hand. Her scar is slightly red against her rosy cheeks and she appears to glow with embarrassment and I find myself smiling.
"Don't," I whisper, kissing her head softly, "don't apologize for something that was not wrong or your fault."
She looks up at me questioningly and I smile back reassuringly.
"He had to find out eventually anyway, he's like the female version of a cheerleader; gossip is his hobby."
She laughs right then and I almost stop in shock. It is soft with an edge and she ends it with a cough.
I don't know why I did it. I don't know if it was because what he had said was funny, or because I had been curious as to how it was to laugh again. It felt bitter on my throat and I hold tighter onto Mike's hand.
Jesse had caught us and I fear the repercussions and I am skeptic of Mike's reassurances. We reach my house and he kisses me gently goodnight. He promises to have everything fixed by the morning and I feel my life slowly empty as I watch him enter his house.
I watch my father driving beside me the sun brightening his eyes. His voice is silent as he enthusiastically explains something that is unnoticed by my ears. I curl my hands unknowingly over my stomach as I try to understand what he is saying. The Pontiac comes from my right side and jolts us into the air; cartwheeling frantically—but no noise can be heard.
Just the baby crying. Oh God, the baby. My mind is a blur as the screeching of the child deafens me and I try to focus on my dying father.
The baby cries with no faithful listener as I pass out onto the dashboard of the wrecked convertible.
The baby abruptly stops and all is black.
I wake up drenched in sweat and clutch at the bed sheets around me. It had been months since I had dreamed about the baby. I close my eyes as I feel a headache threatening the temples of my memory