My Babies and Me

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Authors: Tara Taylor Quinn
never to be a mother.”
    Chancing a peek at him, she quickly looked back down at her hands. He was staring straight ahead, the muscles in his jaw working fiercely.
    â€œI’m fully prepared to raise this child myself. In fact, I’m intent on doing so,” she assured him. Just as she’d been assuring herself for months.
    â€œI just want it to be your baby growing inside me.”
She wasn’t doing this very well. “I want my son or daughter to be a part of you.”
    The more she talked to her silent ex-husband, the more her needs became clear to her. She didn’t just want a baby by the year 2000. She didn’t just want a baby, period. She wanted Michael’ s baby. Even though she knew that having Michael’s baby meant raising the child herself.
    â€œWhat I—” she said, stopping and then trying again. “What I don’t—” She reached across to lace her fingers with his, willing him to meet her eyes, waiting until he did. “What I don’t to lose you in the process.”
    He seemed about to say something but didn’t.
    â€œYou’re my best friend, Michael. I don’t want that to change.”
    Slowly, tenderly, he brought his lips to hers. Kissing her softly. “In seven years I haven’t learned to stop caring about you,” he said, his lips still brushing hers. “I don’t think I ever will.”
    Susan tried to block her mind as she gave herself up to his kiss, but for the first time, she wasn’t in a hurry to make love with Michael.
    And that frightened her most of all. Things were changing already.
    SETH TOOK the corner so hard he felt his outside tires leave the road. How could they be so stupid? The sister who’d never made a mistake in her life, as far as Seth was concerned. And his friend, who was exactly like Seth himself. It was as if he didn’t know either one of them anymore.
    By what right could they bring a new life into the
world without the means to nurture it? Children needed parents. Two of them. Full-time.
    Rounding another curve, he heard a grinding in his steering column and lightened up on the vehicle. His Bronco didn’t deserve this abuse. It was faithful to him. Loyal. There when he needed it. And it never asked more from him than he could give.
    Some gas. A wash every month. An occasional new tire. Tune-ups. All stuff that could wait until he happened to be in town.
    Seth drove until he calmed. down enough to stay within the speed limit, then slowed even more. He wanted a drink. And he’d have one. Maybe, considering that it was Saturday, and the day before the Super Bowl to boot, he’d have two. Or three.
    Keeping the Bronco out of sight of the field, he slid in behind the big weeping willow across the street and to the west, and put the truck in park. But he didn’t turn it off. He wasn’t staying. Couldn’t. He couldn’t risk being seen.
    He also couldn’t seem to stay away.
    Every week that he was in town he tried. And every week he ended up right in this same place. He’d thought that maybe today, in his efforts to prevent his sister from making the biggest mistake of her life, he’d be spared this little sojourn.
    But even that peace had been denied him.
    So here he sat, champing at the bit as he watched Mitch’s dad massacre what had promised to be a damn good soccer team. The city league was sponsored by the Y and played all year, no matter what the season, in an effort to keep kids off the streets and in organized activities.

    Last year, Seth had been their coach.
    â€œUse your head!” he yelled. And then, ducking his own head, looked around furtively to see if anyone had heard.
    Someday he’d learn to keep his big mouth shut. He’d have been a lot better off if he’d done that before he volunteered to coach soccer for underprivileged kids. Before he’d met Jeremy Sinclair. Or his

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