Sequel: Tied Together

This Wasn't Suppose to Happen

Part 17

Nate poked me awake and I glanced at the clock, noting the time I couldn’t help but hit him with the pillow. “I sleep for the first time in weeks and you wake me! Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Sorry J, but it’s midnight, Happy New Year”, he said with a grin and kissed the top of my head before handing me a champagne glass filled with ginger ale. “To 2012, filled with love, health and happiness”, he said as we clinked glasses and watched the television screen as various celebrities crowded the stage with Ryan Seacrest and started to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Of course, the tears flowed as I softly sang along; I had done it, I had gotten through another holiday season without my parents.

“I love you, you know that right?” I said to Nate as the song ended. Nate pulled me into a huge hug before he muttered “you too, J, you too”.

We stayed in that position for a while as we watched the end of the Rocking New Year’s Eve. It was hard to believe that in a few weeks there would be someone else added to our little circle. What a difference a year made, then again, I knew all too well what difference 5 minutes could make. 5 minutes could turn your world around and change everything; I tried not to think back to that night, the night of the accident. Every year, I struggled with the memories of the night my parents died, the fact that they never did make it to my house to ring in the New Year with me and that instead of having a celebration with the 3 of us, I was in the hospital waiting room when the New Year came and received the devastating news.

I looked at Nate and I knew he was brought back to that night as well; we both had gone through some dark days. It was only fitting that we spent every New Year’s Eve together, consoling each other on the anniversary of the accident. Hard to believe that this marked 6 years since their death, some days it seemed like it has been decades while others it was as if it was only yesterday.

Shaking my head, I tried to stop thinking back to that night. Nate’s voice brought me out of my trance and I concentrated on what he was saying. “So, I was thinking, as the Gunkle, I should probably go to some classes with you”.

“You want to go to Lamaze with me?” I asked in surprise, Nate was the last person I expected to offer to go to a room full of pregnant women and learn about giving birth.

“No, I don’t want to go with you and I fully plan on contacting my doctor and taking some Valium or Ativan to get me through the class, but as the Gunkle, I will take one for the team, even if it means that I will be traumatized for the rest of my life”, Nate held up his hand as if he was pledging the allegiance.

“Nate, you know, you don’t have to come with me. I can go alone. You don’t have to take this Gunkle thing so seriously”, I said and was met with a shocked look.

“Of course I’m taking the Gunkle role seriously, I plan to be very involved in this child’s life, I will use my life lessons to help shape this baby into the person it will become. I will step up to the plate and I will play the game of basketball, I’m all in “, he said and I was in hysterics.

“There is no plate in basketball”, I said between giggles.

“Shit Janelle, I know about designers and shopping, I don’t know about sports”, he said in a prissy voice and I dissolved into hysterical laughter again.

“Okay Nate, if you feel that strongly about being this baby’s Gunkle, then I accept your offer and you can come with me on Thursday, it’s the first class and it starts at 6. Can you do that?”

“Of course I can, what are you wearing? I think we should color coordinate”, he said as he got up and headed into my closet as I fell back onto the pillows in laughter. I sure hoped the Lamaze instructor was up for this challenge; she was definitely going to have her hands full.

Walking into the Lamaze class at the hospital, I slowly looked around at all the pregnant women and their significant others. I had hoped that other Gunkles would be in attendance, but no, it was just me and Nate and any hope of us not standing out was out of the question since Nate was decked out in his Sunday’s best; a purple suit and dark purple shoes to match. He almost had a meltdown when he saw me in leggings and a long shirt and insisted that I change into something more presentable.

I tried to get comfortable on the mat but the leather cropped jacket that he insisted that I wear was making it difficult for me to move, I had tried to explain that to Nate when he literally put it on me, but he wouldn’t listen to me.

“God, this place is so dull”, he said as he took a seat behind me. “No one else even bothered to dress up, at least we’re styling”, he added as I rolled my eyes. Everyone else was dressed in leggings and over sized shirts with the guys in jeans. We looked like we stepped out of a very bad outdated movie.

The instructor introduced herself and then went around the room allowing us to make introductions. She had just gotten to me when Nate decided to take over. “Well, see, this here is Janelle. She’s pregnant and the baby is due the end of next month. I’m Nate and I’m not the Father but I’m the Gunkle and one of her biggest supporters”, he said as everyone stared at him.

“Excuse me, you’re the what?” the instructor asked as she came closer to us.

“The Gunkle”, Nate replied as if he was taking to a 2 year old. I closed my eyes and willed for time to stand still so I could make a getaway from what was bound to be nothing but embarrassment for me.

“I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand”, the instructor said and I couldn’t help but shoot Nate a death glare. “Stop talking”, I hissed and as usual, he totally ignored me.

“The Gunkle, the gay uncle. Don’t you watch Tori Spelling’s reality show? She’s a big hit with us gays”, he said as the instructors smile vanished from her face and replaced it with a look of confusion.

“Oh, well, that’s nice”, she said as she moved to the next couple. I bit my lip and kept my eyes on the floor, not wanting to make eye contact with anyone.

“I love Tori Spelling”, a voice said and Nate was instantly in heaven. “Oh my god isn’t she like the best?” he asked and I slowly shifted my eyes to see him in a deep discussion with the woman sitting on my right.

“I’m Nate and this is Janelle”, he said as he extended his hand. The woman laughed and shook his hand and offered hers to mine. “I’m Shayne”, she said with a smile, “this is my husband Tony”. Tony shook our hands and gave us a nod before going back to his phone. “He’s a workaholic”, Shayne added, “I think next time I come, I’ll bring a friend, as long as I understand the basics, I think I’ll be okay”. I laughed and instantly felt at ease, all of my embarrassment was melting away.

“Is this your first baby?” I asked and she nodded. “I’m actually terrified; all of my girlfriends have kids and are telling me horror stories about their deliveries”.

“I don’t know anyone with children, so all my information has come from movies such as the Backup Plan and Knocked Up”, I said and Shayne laughed.

“If you’re not doing anything on Saturday, we can grab lunch. It would be nice to talk to someone who isn’t going to go into great lengths about what happens after”. I laughed and agreed, I certainly could do with having someone who was going through what I was and who actually had friends with kids. I needed all the help I could get and even though Sid gave me his Mother’s number and told me to call her if I needed anything, I wasn’t prepared to go that route. Not yet, anyhow.
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For my lovilies... thank you so much for reading! Next update will be a bonus chapter in Sid's point of view since I moved so quickly though Christmas and the days leading up to the New Year.

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