In all honesty, my dad was a nice guy. He got his tattoos when he was young and in the army and he always had a scowl on his face because he was exhausted. He worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week for months at a time before he got a day or two off. He wasn't big on talking about his feelings or being affectionate, but I knew he loved me and would do anything for me. He was a great guy, but he was still a force to be reckoned with and God help the person who ever hurt his little girl. Liz started spewing Chuck Norris quotes in high school and replacing Chuck's name with my dad's. She did it so much that I find myself doing it from time to time. He reacted to the pregnancy news pretty much like I expected him to.
"Well, I'll get your room ready so you can come back home when the semester is done. And if you find this guy in the meantime, let me know so I can rip off his balls and shove them down his throat," he said in his usual deep, monotone voice.
If you spelled George Morgan wrong on Google it didn't say, "Did you mean George Morgan?" It simply replied, "Run while you still have the chance."
After the semester ended, I applied for a leave of absence with the school so they would hold my scholarship. They would only keep it active for one year before I would have to reapply. I never intended to be away from school that long, but I also never intended on a baby completely fucking up my life. Er, I mean, bringing me years of great joy.
For the next six and a half months, I worked as much as my growing stomach and cankles would allow so I could save plenty of money for after he was born. Unfortunately, in the small town of Butler, there's not much to choose from employment-wise that would pay well. Unless of course I wanted to be a stripper at the town's one and only strip club, The Silver Pole. I was approached by the owner at the grocery store when I was seven months. In the middle of the cereal aisle he told me there were plenty of patrons in his club that thought the pregnant body was beautiful. If there weren't children around at the time, I would have told him off. Oh, who was I kidding? If Jesus himself was standing next to me, I would have still told that douche bag that if he ever came anywhere near me again I would rip his dick off and choke him with it. I would have apologized to Jesus before leaving though of course.
On the bright side, the president of the Butler Elementary PTA was standing there with her six-year-old and heard every word. I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the invitation to join, huh? Shoot. Now where am I going to find the will to live?
With my pregnant stripping career over before it started and my proverbial tail stuck between my legs, I groveled for my old job as a waitress at Fosters Bar and Grill. Luckily, the Foster's still owned it from when I worked there in high school, and they were more than happy to help me out considering my situation.
When people in a small town talked about you to your face, they whispered the words that they believed might offend someone if they were to overhear your conversation. In my opinion, they should be whispering words like “fuck”, “anal sex” or “Did you hear Billy Chuck got caught with his pants around his ankles down at the Piggly Wiggly with his dog Buffy?” Whispering the word “situation” kind of defeated the purpose. I whispered random words all the time just to mess with them.
"Mrs. Foster, the bathroom is out of toilet paper."
"Mr. Foster, I need to leave early to go to the doctor."
I talked to Liz every single day after I moved back home, and she kept up her search of the missing sperm donor when she had time. Her family was from Butler as well so she came home to visit me as often as she could but towards the end of my pregnancy, she just didn't have time to make the three and a half hour drive as often. Her professors convinced her to double up on her course load so she could graduate a year early with her degree in Small Business, majoring in Entrepreneurship with minors in Marketing and Accounting. With her full-time studies, part-time internship with an at-home consulting firm and her blossoming relationship with Jim, I knew she had a lot on her plate and didn't begrudge her any of her successes or happiness. I was a big enough person to admit that I was only a tiny bit jealous. Liz and I always talked about owning businesses together. About how we'd rent out buildings right next to one another with a door that led into both and how we’d live in a loft upstairs and throw awesome parties every weekend. We also dreamed about both of us marrying one of the members of N’Sync and living a life of polygamy with our new band N’Love.