Hey people. This is Donovan, but you all can call me D. I’ll be taking over this story from here on out. After all, it is MY story, right? Yeah! First of all, y’all need to know that your girl Joy ain’t the cute, innocent Joy y’all think she is. She’s been stepping around town with this dude named Avery Delgado. She talks about him allllllll the time, and he is allllllways at the house. Every time I turn around this dude is sittin’ up in my house!
Every time I ask her about their relationship, she says, “Oh, we’re just friends,” or, “He’s my personal trainer.” Uh huh…I think he’s trying to train her in some other areas, if you know what I mean! Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to her dating. I have friends over myself. Call me crazy, but if I had a personal trainer, I don’t think I would take selfies with him!
I just think it is the job of a brother–who just happens to be heir to “the throne”–to be protective of his sister. I don’t know this guy, so therefore I do not trust him. End of story! And I definitely don’t like the way he looks at her.
One night, I got fed up with her. How could she be soo blind? I made her recognize her own feelings for the man and own up to them. It’s not her fault though, I guess. I mean, mom died just before she could start dating and she had no one to teach her about these things. Me? I just watch a lot of TV, heh heh heh. Anyway, she finally came to the conclusion that she liked this dude, and she asked him out. I felt proud of my accomplishment, but I don’t know guys. I think I may have created a monster!
I’ll let Joy tell you herself about how all of that went.
Don’t pay attention to anything Donnie says. He’s just mad because he doesn’t have a girlfriend yet! But anyway, yes, I did finally ask Avery out. I met him at the gym several months ago, and he was the most ripped guy in there! I would ask him to help me train and he encouraged me a lot on my weight loss journey. He was a very nice guy, and after a few sessions he wanted to know if he could see me outside of the gym. Sure! He would come by the house and we would watch TV, play chess, dance, and just hang out as good FRIENDS! When I did decide to test the waters and he see if had any feelings for me, it was very awkward.
I mean, how do you go from being near best friends to lovers without a proper conversation? So, I stopped trying to flirt with him and laid all my cards on the table. That got the ball rolling! He agreed with everything and said he had feelings for me for a long time, but he didn’t know how to make them known because he didn’t know if I was interested. Since we got that cleared up, I asked him out on a proper date!
I was very nervous, but that silly hat made me laugh and set me at ease. We went to a club in the next town because I didn’t need Donnie casually showing up. We had a great time. Avery was a very attentive date.
Being on a date with him was surprisingly easy. We had already been very good friends for a long time, so it wasn’t the case where we were trying to get to know each other. I knew everything about him. He was active, materialistic, and creative. We just needed to get over the awkwardness of this new side of our relationship. I suggested that we go hang out in a private corner so we could be alone and just be ourselves.
That was a great decision! Our new romantic relationship went from zero to sixty in about five minutes. Not only did we enjoy our new-found togetherness, but also we had several serious, deep conversations about where we were headed and what we wanted in life. I think people call that the “defining the relationship” talk. We went into the club as two single adults and came out a couple!
I know that this was my first date and all, but I felt like that was the most epic date ever! I tip toed in the house around 4:30 a.m. I thought about that night all the next day. I had recently achieved my lifetime achievement of becoming a freelance botanist. I had been thinking of what I wanted to do next with my life. I thought about my parents and their relationship, and I so desperately wanted a strong love like that. I was confident that Avery and I could have that. I decided to concentrate on developing that soul mate relationship with Avery.
We went out again that night.
I was impressed with his moves! Usually big, swole guys don’t really dance at all. We talked, danced, and flirted, and talked, danced, and flirted some more. It was so nice to be with someone who understood me and made me feel comfortable, loved, and wanted.
“You know you’re my best friend in the whole world, right,” I asked.
“I do now!”
The night progressed, and it suddenly hit me. What was I waiting for? We already had a solid friendship, we’re already in a relationship, and I had already decided that he was the one for me. If there was one thing I learned from my parents’ deaths, it was that life was too short to wait for anything. You have to seize the opportunities. Besides, I didn’t want to be old with young children like my parents.
“Avery…I know this is sudden, but we know how we feel about each other, right?”
“Of course, sweetheart. I was just hoping I could be the one to ask you.”
“Really? Oh my God! We’re getting married!!!”
“You really are the Joy of my world! I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone but you. I want to give you my time, my love, my money…my body….”
“Avery! You tiger!”
“As soon as we’re married, you’re losing that hat, ok?”
As like before, we had another epic date, and I got home even later than last night.
“Mom…dad…if you can hear me…I wish you both were here right now!”
“JOY! It’s 6:30 in the morning!!! What in the world??”
“Good morning, Donovan!”
“Don’t ‘good morning Donovan’ me! Where have you been?”
“What are you, my babysitter now?”
“I’m serious Joy! I know you hang out late, but you’re always home before I wake up. I came downstairs and you weren’t here. I was worried!”
“Ok, ok, there’s no need to worry, D. I’m here now!”
“Whatever….Are you gonna give up the goods or not?”
“Well…since you twisted my arm…Avery and I got engaged!!!”
“Oh brother,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Are you serious? Y’all been on two dates and now you’re getting married?”
“Hey! When you know, you know! Why wait?”
“I get it, Joy. I do. I just…I don’t know. I’m not feeling real good about it right now.”
“That’s fine. I do want you to be happy for me though.”
“I’ll get there.”
I decided not to see Avery that night. My garden was a bit worked over, and I needed half the day to tend to it. We did speak on the phone though. The next night I invited Avery over. I had never missed him so much. I just had to see him. I wanted him to wrap those bulging biceps around my shoulders and kiss me until I felt like I was going to pass out.
“You know, Avery…Donovan went to work tonight.”
“Yes, I know. I spoke to him on his way out.”
“You know what that means?”
“What are you getting at, Joy?”
“The house is empty, Avery. It’s just you and me for the first time ever!”
“That is true….”
“You know what we could do?”
“Why sure. We could watch the…Joy Pruett! Are you suggesting what I think you are?”
“I don’t know. Why don’t you come over here and see….”
We did things I’m sure my mother would not approve of, but it was wonderful! I was soo happy and soo sure that Avery was the right guy for me–not that I had any doubt.
After a little while, we were hungry, so we went into the kitchen to have some more of those heart shaped cookies I made for him. While we were eating, I heard Donovan arrive home.
“Uh oh, here comes the warden. Watch this…he is going to flip out!”
He walked in the kitchen with the intention of getting something to eat, but our presence intercepted him. He was alarmed to see us, and a little disturbed. He went to the refrigerator to open it, but he saw the cookies on the counter next to it. He just stood there staring at them. Even though his back was to us, I could tell he was mad. I thought it was funny.
“It’s after 1:00 in the morning. What is he still doing here?”
We didn’t say anything. I wanted to see how mad he would get.
“What are these cookies for? What have you been doing?”
“Cool your jets, man. Come on, Avery. Let’s let the little prince have his protective brother moment alone.”
I laughed, and we took our plates to the living room. Donovan has really got to lighten up. When he starts bringing girls home, I’m going to be thrilled. As a matter of fact, he needs to start seriously looking if he plans to get married young.
I enjoyed having Avery around. I could tell our life together was going to be awesome.
Over the next few days, we had been trying to get the wedding planned. I wanted it to be as soon as possible, and of course Avery just wanted what I wanted. We kept throwing out dates, but I really wanted Donovan to be there. He has an odd schedule right now, and he works at night and sleeps during the day. I decided to have the wedding the following Tuesday because he would be off.
All day I felt strange. I didn’t know what it was, but I just wasn’t myself. Then later that afternoon, I just threw up for no reason. I never ever EVER throw up! I was very confused. I thought about it and figured that I could very well be pregnant, so I took a test.
I had an array of emotions. At first I was happy, but then I was afraid. Then I was embarrassed then ashamed, upset, but finally I felt blessed. I had no idea how Avery was going to react, but I knew exactly how Donnie was going to.
“You’re WHAT?? I can’t believe you! Is this what you’ve been doing at all hours of the night every night? I know I encouraged you to explore your feelings with this man, but I really meant explore your FEELINGS! Not your body! I am so disappointed right now!”
“Why? I didn’t know you were that old fashioned.”
“I’m not. I just…I look up to you, Joy! You’re all I have! You were always so smart and you made everything work out so wonderfully. And then you go and make a dumb decision and get caught like this? I expected better from you.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. His feelings were honest…and raw. I respected them, but they bothered me. They seemed to be coming from a different place. I had to confront him about it.
“Donnie…what’s really bothering you about this? I know I did things out of order, but I’m getting married in two days! It’s not like I’m going to be a single mother.”
“I just don’t want you to have a baby.”
“Because I hate children!”
I was NOT prepared for that one! I felt bad for not knowing. Even though life slowed down a tad when we both became adults, he and I still didn’t get many opportunities to connect. I was always in the garden, and then when he started his job, either he was asleep or I was asleep. We would go days without even speaking to one another, and I failed to recognized that he developed this trait.
“But you can’t hate children, Donnie! You can’t!”
“And why not? Children always get hurt! Whatever happens in life, kids are always left holding the bag, and I don’t want any part of it!”
“Oh, Donnie, that’s terrible! What about daddy’s dream? What about the legacy? YOU have to continue it, not me.”
“I know! I know. I wish I didn’t have to. What if I have a child and something happens to me? What happens to the kid, huh?”
“Don’t worry about that right now, Donnie. Besides, Avery and I will always be there for you…and your children!”
He looked at me doubtfully, but I knew he appreciated me saying that. It was good to have that conversation, but I knew he still felt some kind of way about me being pregnant. I could tell by the way he looked at me, seeing my growing belly and aching back.
I was so occupied with Donnie and the garden that I hadn’t even called Avery yet to give him the news. I wanted to get out of the house, so I asked him to meet me at the Rattlesnake Juice Bar.
“Pregnant?? Oh no, Joy! NO!”
He walked away…and then he came back.
“What’s the matter, babe? Don’t you want a baby with me?”
“Joy…I would love TEN babies with you…but not now! I mean, we’re getting married tomorrow! We’re supposed to start out in blissful happiness, not sleepless nights and dirty diapers.”
He paced around some more trying to make sense of the situation.
“Babe… please talk to me!”
“I’m…it’s not that I don’t want the baby. I do want the baby. I just wish that having children was a discussion you and I would have together…at a later date.”
He was so cute when he was confused and upset. I knew how to make him feel better.
“Well, Mr. Delgado…didn’t you ever learn that it takes two to tango? I didn’t do this by myself, or have you forgotten?”
“I will never forget,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
“Besides, let this be a lesson to us both that this is what happens when you have unprotected woo hoo.”
“Noted. So what are we going to do? You’re going to be due on our wedding day.”
“Let’s get married right now!”
“Now? Isn’t that extremely short notice?”
“Sure it is, but who cares who comes as long as we’re there. We can do it at the nice lounge we had our first date at. They shouldn’t mind seeing as how it’s the middle of the day. What do you think?”
“Let’s do it.”
Sadly, I didn’t know many people. Just Grant Darling from high school, two guys I met at the club, and Donnie’s lady friend. I didn’t care though. As long as Avery and Donnie were there, I couldn’t care less who else came.
Donnie pulled me to the side to talk to me before we went inside.
“You look stunning, Joy.”
“Thanks, Donovan. You look quite dapper yourself!”
“Look, I know you really wanted me here, but I’m not going to be able to stay.”
“Awww! Why not?”
“I have to be at work in two hours, and I wasn’t able to get my last minute PTO request approved.”
“Oh, right. I’m sorry I had to change the date. I just didn’t want to go into labor in front of everyone.”
“I get it. I just want you to know that I love you, and I’m proud of you. I know I gave you a hard time before, but I really mean that.”
“Thank you, Donnie. That means so much!”
We all went inside and got the party started. The only thing I regretted about having an impromptu wedding was the lack of planning! We had no food, and I was terribly hungry. I also didn’t like that we weren’t going to have wedding cake. I suppose we could have waited until after the baby was born, but it’s too late now.
“I just wanted to steal a few minutes away alone with my future wife before I have to share her with the rest of the world.”
“You can steal me anytime you want, babe.”
For what it was, it was a pretty good wedding. At least I’ll know what to do and not to do for my own child’s wedding.
When we got home, I ran into the kitchen, and Avery ran into the office. It was always his dream to own the biggest house on the block, and now that he lived with us, he was going to put a lot of time, energy, and money into our house! See…everybody wins in this relationship. Donnie and I get a larger house, and Avery got a house that was already worth more than $50k. He started calling contractors, and they commenced work immediately. The first phase of the project wasn’t that drastic. He expanded the downstairs hallway so the stair landing wasn’t so cramped, expanded the nursery to a proper size, gave Donnie an even bigger modern bedroom, and added two kids’ bedrooms and a playroom. He also bought us a brand new, flat screen TV, a real stereo, and hung beautiful artwork throughout the house. Of course, with that huge lot, and the way the house is currently laid out, we are primed to expand as large as we want! Avery was very pleased with their work, and so was I.
The next phase of this project (he calls it “project mansion baron”) is landscaping. That should be very nice seeing as how we never thought to do anything with the outside except plant flowers.
Ok, ok, Joy, that’s enough hogging the story. Geez, you just can’t give some people the mic! This is D again, and I will finish this story thank you very much.
As Joy so dramatically stated, I had my reservations about Avery, but I came around in the end. That didn’t mean that things wouldn’t be awkward though. I mean, you can’t have two kings in a castle! This is MY castle, and my daddy made me the king. But this dude came up here and completely dethroned me. He could have at least consulted with me on the project. My room is fly and all, but I didn’t appreciate how he just came up here and started running things. And I DEFINITELY didn’t appreciate him putting TWO kids’ rooms AND a playroom right across the hall! I know y’all don’t think I’m gonna be babysitting kids all the time.
Things were a little weird for the first few days, and neither of us knew how to be around each other. But one day Avery just started talking. I don’t remember what he was talking about, but it took the tension in the air away.
We talked about a lot of things: fitness, video games, cooking. He was a real cool dude, I had to admit.
“Hey, do you want me to show you some of the moves I teach in the martial arts class on Tuesday nights,” he asked.
“Oh you teach that too? Yeah!”
“MAN that was fun,” I said.
“Yeah…I didn’t expect you to catch on that fast!”
“Ha! Yeah, it will be my pleasure to kick your butt anytime, my brother!”
“What are you boys doing out here?”
Yep. We messed around and woke up the queen–the pregnant queen at that! We went upstairs to finish talking.
“You know what, Avery? You’re a real cool dude. Welcome to the family.”
Even though I officially welcomed him, I didn’t appreciate all that kids stuff around me. Sometimes I went in there just to tear down the castle and beat up the dolls to blow off steam.
We waited for Joy to have her baby all day and night, but she never went into labor. Avery was very hesitant to start his new job in the morning, but Joy assured him everything would be fine. Joy started her morning just like every other morning. She had breakfast, showered, and headed straight for the garden. I kept telling her that she needed to sit down somewhere and rest, but she wouldn’t have it. And, of course, she went into labor in the middle of her gardening. I kept telling her to lay down, but she said that it wouldn’t do any good, so she kept working. Eventually the pain got too great for her and she came inside. She was soo miserable and uncomfortable, she didn’t want to do anything.
So, she just stood there groaning in agony until the baby started to come.
She named her Ava: Ava Delgado. That’s a nice name I suppose. Everything in me told me not to go see the child, but I just had to go check her out. I thought I was only going to look at her, but I found myself reaching out to pick her up. And then I found myself cuddling her!
“Hey little lady! You’re not soo bad, are you! Aren’t you cute? Yes you are!”
Ugh! I hated myself. Well, if I’m gonna go all the way, I may as well go all the way. Let me get upstairs and fix this girl’s castle.