When we got back to the bus, Kate was
asleep on the couch. I flicked on the TV
and came to the conclusion that absolutely
nothing was on. I sighed and went to see
what Nat was doing. I found her in one of
the rooms playing with Ezra.
“Hey,” I said a little loudly.
“Hey, Zac…did you guys have fun?”
she asked, keeping her eyes on Ezra.
“Yeah…almost got mobbed by a fan,
but hence the word almost,” I explained.
“I was kinda wondering if you knew anything
that I could do for Kate…she’s pretty upset,
and I –” I began. But Natalie interrupted.
“Zac, sit down.” I did. She closed her eyes
tight, then opened them again.
“What?” I asked impatiently. Natalie’s head
rolled back as she whispered something.
“What?? Nat, speak up. I can’t hear you.”
Just as I was thinking that maybe something
was wrong, she started to cry and ran out
of the room. Ezra looked at me curiously.
“Nap time,” I told him. Now he was crying.
“Shh,” I cooed, “You don’t want to be
awake right now, trust me…” I lay him in
bed and left the room.
“Where’s Natalie?” I asked Taylor.
“Well, she’s in the bathroom…she’s crying.
What happened?” he seemed confused. I
breathed out and knocked on the bathroom
“Natalie, come out of there. Come on, please!
Tell me what’s going on! What were you
trying to say?” That only made her cry even
more. I could hear her blowing her nose and
sobbing. That had been possibly the most
heard noise of the day. All anyone did was cry.
But I couldn’t just point fingers; I was the one
who had passed out.
“Hey, Zac, get me a pepper,” Ike called.
I opened the fridge and looked around.
“All out!” I shouted back. I decided I’d try
to play some video games. That always
cleared my mind. Tay sat beside me as
I plugged in the playstation 2.
“Can I join you?” he raised his eyebrows.
“Yeah, if you can handle getting whooped,”
I chuckled. They all knew I could beat
them, but they played me anyways.
As we battled and raced, I heard Ezra
wailing once again. Taylor started to get
“I’ll handle it,” I told him. As soon as I
opened the door, Ezra went silent.
“What’s goin on?” I looked at him. He
seemed so…innocent. He never had
any idea what was going on, so he hardly
ever shook hands with real life. I couldn’t
remember the last time things were like
that for me. I sighed and picked him up.
“So I’m gonna be a dad soon, I guess.” I
looked down. Ezra was smiling back at me.
“Being a dad would be great, I mean that’s
something I’ve looked forward to…but
not with Kate. Why did this have to happen?”
Why was I even bothering? He didn’t have
any idea what in the world I was talking
about. Even though he was over 2 years
old now, he wasn’t the best talker in the
world, so he couldn’t always comprehend
everything right away.
“Mommy? Where is Mommy?” he begged.
I shook my head. How could I expect a
toddler to listen to my problems? I set him
back in bed and left once more. Taylor was
gone when I got back to where we’d been
playing. “Hey, Zac,” Ike came in and threw
himself on the now empty couch. Where
had Kate gone?
“Hey, we almost to the hotel?” I asked,
joining him on the couch.
“Dunno,” he replied, “But where is everyone?”
I shook my head. “Who knows?” He took a
drink of his Dr. Pepper.
“Hey, where’d you find that? I thought we
were out?” I wanted to know. I could have
sworn there were none in the fridge when
I had looked.
“Found it in the very back, there’s one
more if you want it,” he announced. I nodded.
“Maybe later,” I said as he turned the TV on.
He flipped through the channels and
stopped on some comedy sitcom. I lay
my head on the pillows of the couch,
closing my eyes.
“You sure been sleeping a lot,” Ike commented.
I sighed and got up to go get that last Dr.
Pepper. I reached in and found it, starting
to walk back to the couch. But I stopped
when I heard talking in the bathroom.
“Kate, you can’t do this to him. You just
“He’ll find out eventually!”
“Yeah, but not soon enough! Now that
he thinks I’m pregnant, he’ll have
marry me. I’ll tell him about it in a few
weeks, after the wedding.”
“But Kate, you can’t just go around
pretending to be pregnant! You’re
tricking him into marrying you!”
“Oh, Natalie, please. You’ll understand
Suddenly the door opened, and out
“Zac, I…how long have you been standing
there?” Had I really just heard what I
thought I had heard?