“So why won’t you talk about it? It affects us both and we both need to decide what to do.” Chris handed Lyn a lavender air freshener from the top shelf. “You’re trying to cut me out and it’s not fair.”
Why doesn’t she realize that I mean it, I want to be there for her. So many guys would run a mile at the news but I kind of like the idea. So we didn’t plan it and we haven’t been together that long, but so what? My parents were young when they had me and that all worked out OK. I want to be a father to the baby and I want a say in what she does.
Why doesn’t he get it, I’m too young. We might have been together for 18 months and I even like sharing a flat together but this isn’t what I want. Not yet, anyway. Maybe with him, one day. Maybe not with him, maybe never. I haven’t thought about it yet and I need there still to be time. It’s my body so surely what I want to do is more important than anyone else.
SupaValu might not be the best location for discussing abortion but that was what Lyn and Chris were doing. Deciding whether or not they should keep their baby, whilst shopping in SupaValu. The lack of privacy was perhaps both a hindrance and a boon. Neither could speak as frankly as they might wish but neither could they resort to angry yelling, tears and tantrums. Both felt close to doing so, but both for different reasons.
Maybe it’s her way of telling me it isn’t my baby. Oh shit, I didn’t even think of that.
“So, will you be getting any help from anyone else then? Anyone who might have more of a say in this baby’s future than I do?”
Great, jealousy. Is that all he can bloody think about, whether I’ve shagged anyone else? Male pride has such a lot to answer for.
“Well, I’ll probably talk to my Mum. I’ve always been in awe of how she brought me and my brother up as a single parent when my father left us. Plus friends, those who already have kids. But none of them have a say. I’m just trying to get my head straight, make sure I do the right thing.”
That’s not really what I wanted to hear. Tell me we can have our baby and raise it together. Tell me we can be a family. We both grew up without fathers around that much so I want to be a proper dad, to prove I can do it.
“Do we need milk?”
“No, I picked some up yesterday.”
“Have you been sick today?”
“Nah, not really. That stage has gone just about. I feel pretty good.”
That’s good isn’t it? Maybe she’ll be happier when she’s feeling well all the time.
But how I feel isn’t really the point. It’s what having a baby at my age means for me, for us, for the baby. I want to see the world. Get my career going. Feel that I’ve had my own life.
“Can you load all this stuff onto the conveyor, Chris? My back is a bit achy. I’ll pack, though.” A stifled laugh. “You’re rubbish at packing the bags.”
Ha! She couldn’t help that. Maybe I am, but that’s the friendliest she’s been for days.
“Packer pays principle?”
“Not likely, I thought you wanted to provide for us.”
Bugger, maybe that was a bit too much. It sounded OK in my head.
Chris loaded, the checkout woman scanned and weighed, Lyn packed. Nobody said anything, each concentrating on their own role. “£42.65 please,” said Beryl, not sure what was happening but aware of a palpable tension between her two customers. Chris paid with his card, stamping the digits in hard. “Have a nice day,” said Beryl, as per SupaValu customer service training. But she did whisper it to their retreating backs.
Chris walked ahead of Lyn as they left the store and headed for the car. As they neared it, a red car came tearing round the corner and into the main car park. It drove close to the parked cars, meaning Lyn had to get out of the way quickly. As she did, she lost her balance and tripped, landing heavily between two parked cars.