"Mom, I'm sure he's just fine." Aidan knew what ever he said was not going to change the fact that Henry wasn't here for the 4th. But there were special guests.
He hoped he could manage the day. They'd invited his parents over. As well and Scott and Essie. It would be an all afternoon thing. They'd get to the park for the fireworks on the river.
There was Vada's brother Frankie, who snapped his fingers when he walked. He wanted to stay inside. He didn't like the sun nor the fireworks. Vada brought along Alo, between the two they tried to keep Frankie calm. Still, he walked around as if he needed to be somewhere. Not here.
"At least, Gage is with him." His mom hoped she heard from him soon.
Aidan couldn't imagine Henry going anywhere with Gage. And the fact Henry wanted to be with a girl, shocked him even more, but he guessed he could only hope for the best.
"Mom, I think Audrey's got some dip or something that she wants, you to taste." It was hard for Aidan to decide who worried him more. Frankie or his Mom.
Scott did not expect this. Someone asking for Essie on their doorstep at 7 in the morning. Then the blonde guy acted like he was going to get in a fight with Scott when he saw Essie's condition.
"What is going on?" The stranger demanded.
They still had deviled eggs to make.
"He's my cousin." Essie said very matter a fact. His name was Taylor, and she hadn't seen him for awhile. After she got finished telling Scott all this in the kitchen, she grabbed her lower back, gripping it hard.
"Are you all right?" Scott knew it was the baby. She said it wasn't.
"I'm not really telling you the truth." She frowned as if she wanted to be honest, but maybe she didn't really know the exact truth. "He's actually my half-brother."
"What?" Scott didn't see this coming. Not with Essie's holier than thou family.
"My grandmother told me. He knows. I know, but we act like we don't. Just the way my family is." But she was still holding her lower back and he got her to sit down.
Scott went to put the boiled eggs in cold water. When he turned, there was Taylor in the doorway.
Scott asked him if he wanted to go with them to a cookout. He just shrugged. He had nothing else planned.
It was just a false alarm. Josie didn't know how to tell Henry this. Especially, with the party and what not, going on. They hardly had a moment to themselves. And she knew she'd let Halie down.
Yet, it wasn't until this morning that she got her period. But it sounded so nasty to bring up. Because he did mention they should go out to find a pregnancy test.
"We don't have too." She finally said, thinking this was so over. "You, didn't have to come. You shouldn't have come." She hugged herself hard.
"Wait? What do you mean?" He winced as if he needed to know.
"I'm fine." She assured him she found all the tampons he'd hid from this compartment to that compartment in her luggage. "I was freaking for nothing." She shrugged.
He nodded, looking a little sad.
"Doesn't matter. I'm glad..I'm here." He was serious. "I..I can't tell you..how..thrilled of the thought..of you and me having a ... baby."
Josie couldn't help to smile, but the next moment she was in tears, Yes, a part of her really did want to be the mother of his child.
He hugged her and it was pure comfort. She felt as if she'd let him down, but still she knew it would have been the worst timing in the world, if it had happened. If she were pregnant.
"I want us to be together." He told her. "I can't stop thinking about you. I mean. We're friends. And I just think... things are better with you. And I kept telling myself ..for so long, that you needed someone better. I really didn't think it would be me. I mean, I'm one of those guys who'd like to have my whole future planned out for a lifetime. But, sometimes..you, get it wrong. But not with you."
Josie didn't want to smile, but she did. He held her hand. He thought they should go to Paris.
"I mean, after all..we've made it this far."
"Paris? You're really going to Paris?" Vada smiled when she heard Henry tell her the news. She was happy for the both of them. "You're coming back to work, aren't you?"
"I guess. That is..if I have a job."
Vada said they were still worried about him at work about his seizures. They told him to take as much time as he needed. Of course, they did think he was recuperating at home.
Vada said her goodbyes soon enough. She and Alo were staying home with Frankie who was on the computer playing a video game.
"Paris? Who's going to Paris?" Alo smiled. He handed her over a rootbeer float.
"Henry and Josie. I guess Halie and a couple of their friends are going with them. By train. Just a weekend visit."
"Great." He got situated on the couch with her. "Do you wish you were there?"
"No." She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. "I'm glad to be here with you."
"How is it going with Frankie?" Alo then asked.
"I guess OK." Vada told him in her wildest dreams she'd never ever thought she would have a twin. "I mean, he's all the family I have." Well, there was her father that Frankie seemed to think was alive. She hoped he was wrong. And she felt sad for thinking it.
She stirred her float a little more. She hadn't thought of her father in so long. She really wished Frankie could let this go. He was in search of their father.
"So what are you doing?" Gage asked his mom on Facetime. He was holding Alec so she could see him.
"Oh, I've been waiting to hear from you." She said she'd hung out with the family that ran the boarding house. They'd had a cookout and shot off some fireworks of their own. She made a cute face or two at Alec.
"It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be." Gage mentioned. He was happy to be with Alec. Maybe he wasn't meant to be with the grownups. And yet, he felt that everyone wanted him to be doing grownup things. He was certain Halie's mom couldn't stand him, but Ian and his wife had been gracious to host his stay.
Alec was staying the night. Gage was pretty sure that wouldn't be happening if it weren't for Jama.
"Have you heard from Macy?" His mom asked.
"No. I didn't expect I would." Gage told his mom that she spent all her time at the hospital with her grandmother who had had a major stroke.
"Well, keep smiling, Honey." His mom told him. "You've got a great one. And a sweet son,," She got teary eyed. She could barely say goodbye.
He wished she could get to know Alec. Even Gage wasn't sure he'd ever really get to know him, either.
Jen felt she might be dreaming. Her brothers, Roy and J.D. were here for the 4th. And they were actually happy to see her.
She'd never seen her mom so happy. It was like she was in a different world. Maybe she was floating on air. Her mom even got a little misty-eyed.
But not for long, they'd brought fireworks. They showed Jen a night show right in the driveway. She couldn't get over how likable they were and how happy they were to see her.
She knew they weren't mad at her mother,
Everything would have been perfect. If only Carly were here.