The candles were guttering out in the pale light when I found him, head down on the table, an empty bottle clutched in his hand. There was a wrapper stuck to his cheek, pizza boxes thrown on the floor, and his buddy Travis was raising the roof with his snores on the half-broken daybed in the corner. It must have been a great night.
Not that I blamed him for cutting loose. It had been a long winter, and an even more tedious spring, tests and exams and study study study, punctuated every once in awhile with pop quizzes and fits of bleak black depression where he insisted that he'd never make to graduation, never ever never, and what kind of man was he that he'd let his girl get a job and put him through school? Never mind that I wanted him to succeed, was sure that he would make an incredible lawyer, loved his fight and his grit and his unbending sense of justice and fairness, was awed by his determination and the solid good core of him.
But now....now it was time to get him up. I moved around to his side. 'Ry? Wake up, honey.'
He spluttered something and re-settled. I shook his shoulder, which got me a 'hmmmmm?' and a fluttering of his eyelids. Okay. Time to pull out the big guns.
I bent down and said loudly into his ear "Ryan! The baby's coming!' and stepped back a few paces when he almost hit the roof. He was on his feet, his eyes wide with shock. 'Wha? Wha? Dory, you can't be.....' his words slowed when he realized I wasn't rushing out the door or showing any kind of discomfort. Instead, I was grinning at him.
'No, I can't be. Honey, I'm only five months along. But here....I got the mail. And....this is addressed to you.'
I handed over the plain white envelope that held our futures and watched as he held it in his hands, then shrugged a little and opened the seam. He read for a moment, then the the sun came out in his face as he smiled.
'I sit the bar in July.'