Jared was chilling on the porch when his friend, Ervin Franks, came over to see him.
“Franks! Well well well!” He stood up and gave his friend a bro hug. “To what do we owe the pleasure of getting a visit from the king?”
“Oh, so you’re a comedian now, Pruett?”
“I learn from the best,” Jared said. “How are you? We don’t see you much since you’ve been working the lounges at night.”
“Yeah…about that… That’s why I came over, man. You always give real good advice.”
Jared leaned forward in his chair to catch everything his friend threw at him. “What’s going on?”
“You know I love comedy…”
“And you know how I feel about my job…”
“Yeah,” Jared said. “You have one of those good paying government jobs and have a nice bachelor pad to show for it!”
Ervin nodded his head. “I’m stressed out, bro. The job is demanding, and then I leave there and go to the lounge until o-dark-thirty. You see how gray my hair is getting? I can’t keep this up, man. I’m burning out! But… I’m just having trouble making that decision, you know?”
“I get it,” Jared said. “I think there are two things to consider. The most important thing is can you actually do it? You have a nice salary from your job, but are you making enough from your routines to do it full time?”
“That’s the scary part. I make money, but it’s gonna take a while for my comedy career to pass my salary. But, people know me now. I’m getting gigs left and right and I have to turn some down because I just don’t have the time, man. If I make a break for it now, I could do all of those gigs and business would pick up dramatically.”
“That’s nice! I’m glad things are happening for you. What about the in between time? How will you live?”
Ervin smiled at his friend’s forgetfulness. “Pruett… You know I always have my money straight!”
“Ha! Yes. How could I forget… The only 14-year-old strutting around school in limited edition Llamacorn jerseys every week.” The two men laughed. “You were always a hustler!”
“I love money and what I can buy with it! That’s why I took that job.” Ervin got serious. “It’s been nice. I ain’t gonna lie, man. I’ve been enjoying that money. But, I’m to the point now where I’m like…I need more. Not more stuff, but more out of life! Government secrets and tracking criminals and stuff…that’s not me, man. I like being in the know, but I don’t wanna know that stuff, bro. You know what I’m saying? I like sports and making people laugh and being around my friends. That’s what really lights me up, you know?”
“Yeah, I know. That’s actually the second thing I wanted to say. I know you’re not used to me talking like this, but hear me out. I think you have to have faith.”
Ervin’s eyes opened wide as he was shocked to hear that word come from Jared’s mouth. “Faith? What does Jared Pruett, the big science nerd, know about faith?” He leaned forward in his chair to catch the knowledge Jared was about to drop.
“I know,” Jared said. “I was surprised too. The nutshell version is that my brother and his wife had a bunch of drama, and I started bugging out with Asia. She assured me that their drama was their drama, and what happened wouldn’t happen to us. I was still bugging, so she told me that I needed to have faith. I had to focus on what I knew about us.”
“She’s always been a smart one.”
“Yeah. So, if you feel this is what you should do and what will make you happy in the long run, then just do it! If it’s meant to be, everything will work itself out. You have to believe that.”
Ervin admired his friend and appreciated his words. “You’ve always been smart too, but marriage has made you wise, man. Maybe I should get me a wife.”
They both thought that was funny and proceeded to converse about the ladies in his life. Meanwhile, Asia was on her way to get the mail and found Mary Jones coming up the stairs.
“Why, hello there,” Asia said. “Mary, right?”
“Well look what we have here! I had no idea you were expecting,” Mary shouted.
“Yesiree! Me and Eliza,” she said unenthusiastically.
Mary covered her mouth to conceal a giggle.
“Would you like to come in?” Asia opened the door and let Mary in. “Let’s go down to the basement. It’s so much more cozy down there…and cool.”
“You too? I was sooooo hot all the time when I was pregnant with little Timmy.”
Asia laughed to herself and thought it was sweet that Mary was still enamored with her teenage son. She hoped that she and Kolby would always remain close. “Here we are,” she said and plopped down on the couch. It took her a second to catch her breath.
“Are you all right, dear?” Mary asked. “Can I get you some water?”
“Oh, you’re too kind! I’m fine. I’m not in the best shape to begin with and being pregnant doesn’t help, he he. I’m ok, really.”
“When are you due?”
“In two days!”
Mary was not expecting her to say that. “OH! You’re only in your second trimester? You look like you’re about to pop any moment!”
Asia’s left eyebrow slowly began to rise as she could not believe Mary actually said that.
“OH! What if you’re having twins? Wouldn’t that be exciting? Well, I couldn’t handle it, but I know you could! OH! We should think of twin names! How about Alison and Madison? Or Jake and Blake? Or…”
Mary went on and on and on about the twin situation, and Asia was beginning to retract what she said to Eliza about Mary being a lovely person.