Duncan really hadn't gone out of his way to know Josie. But then she really wasn't around that much. She'd never been around for dinner with Camille and him. Once, she almost did, but she saw him and scurried away as if she couldn't dare bare be around him.
Which he was fine with, but this dinner party planning kept Camille in a total different demeanor. She was so serious now. He watched her study the menu, printed out from the computer along with pictures of foods and recipes. Even how the place setting would look.
"Is everything all right?" Duncan didn't see Josie in sight. He was beginning to think Josie wasn't going to help her do any of this.
"Of course." She looked at the pages so stern, as if she might go into catering. He'd already heard their spat about him being here during the dinner.
"Why does he have to be here?" Josie reminded Camille that it was her party.
"And Duncan lives here." Camille shot right back, as Duncan recalled during their little argument.
"I really don't have to be here, if..if..you know..its a problem," Duncan said now, wondering what could he do? There was that sports bar he used to go to, but since he wasn't drinking anymore, he hadn't. Honestly, he dreaded the idea of going there. He didn't want to slip back in his old ways.
"Its not a problem." She assured him, but there was something different in her voice now. The way she sighed. Duncan thought she looked worried.
"Right." He nodded. "Then what is it?"
"What?" Her eyes opened wide as if she was really looking at him now.
"Why don't you tell me, what it is?" He hoped she knew she could tell him anything. After all, she knew all about his life with Jane.
"Oh, Josie, we haven't been the same in..in a really long time." Camille shrugged. "I mean, she blames me for the divorce. And she always will, and I have to accept that. She doesn't really like me, but she needs my help."
"Its just a spaghetti dinner. There are boxes for that. She could make it herself." Duncan suggested. Still, he didn't think this had anything to do with the dinner nor her daughter. He'd heard her on the phone, a few times. Some were about appointments. Some were with someone, odd hours. He'd seen the photos of her and some guy on the fridge. He looked younger than her, but not that much younger.
Duncan looked at the photo.
"I dunno why I even keep that silly photo." She snatched it off the fridge and slipped it in the trash, as if she'd been meaning too. "He doesn't even write me, anymore." She smiled shaking her head. "Well, I told Drake not too." She sighed, as she stared at the photo in the trash. They were on the beach with fruity drinks in the picture. "We met in a chatroom. He was my first e-mail pal." It sounded very grade school when she talked about him. "You know, I think if we'd just kept e-mailing each other, and kept it as some sort of correspondence, we might still be friends." Her smile was quick yet fading. "But who has time to e-mail each other these days." She sighed.
He watched her go back to the menu, as if it were an excuse.
"I wish you'd tell me what's wrong." Duncan finally said as if he were certain of it now. As if perhaps she thought she was in a rut of some kind. "I mean, you were so happy. Now, you look like you might cry. Like something terrible is going to happen."
She nodded. And he knew she was going to cry. She managed to sit down at the kitchen table.
"I did hear some news." She nodded. "And, and I'm waiting for some more tests." She cleared her throat.
Duncan set down across from her, thinking the worst. Cancer. Such a terrible word he never wanted to hear, but he probably would. He'd been a smoker. Even if he quit, he was still afraid. So many kinds of cancer.
"I'm going to have a baby." She blew a breath.
Duncan hadn't thought of that. Maybe she went to one of those banks. Sort of like the immaculate conception. Maybe.
"I know. Me. At my age." She tried to laugh. "And Joe said he was coming in February. We'd figure this out. You know, maybe there is nothing to figure out." She bit her bottom lip. "Now, now I need some more tests." She looked away.
"Joe? Who's Joe?" Duncan wanted to know. She'd never mentioned him before.
"I did not meet him online." She smiled as if she were pretty proud of herself. "But I don't really know him. I really don't. We met at Christmas. He's kind of family." She shrugged as she examined her fingernails now to see how clean her nails were. "His son and Josie..well, they have a baby together." She looked at him then. "Its complicated."
"But what kind of test?" Duncan was concerned about her health.
"Downs Syndrome." She nodded as she pulled a strand of dark hair behind her ear.
"Oh." He wanted to ask her another question, but thought best not too.