Somebody Like Me

Eight: What Are Friends For?

Twirling his straw around in his glass of water, Sergio closed his eyes for a couple of seconds, a gentle sigh falling out of his mouth. It had been a couple of days, after Cassie had told him that she was expecting, they’d taken a couple of days to adjust to the idea, but still his head was spinning, even if he did appear to be the more confident of the two. He still couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the idea that Cassie was pregnant.

Sitting quietly for a couple of seconds, he pushed a hand back through his hair before the sound of someone sitting down opposite him reached his ears, causing him to blink his eyes open before he lifted his head, peeking up towards Fernando. “You made it” he mumbled.

Fernando, who’d moved to order himself a drink, nodded his head. “I did” he confirmed “You sounded pretty urgent on the phone so I figured I ought to show up. You alright?” he posed, offering his friend a soft look. It had been out of the blue, Sergio’s invitation to lunch had caught the forward more than slightly off guard, but when he had heard the tone of his voice, he’d known that he had little choice but to go. Sergio didn’t sound like himself and that something which concerned Fernando.

Sergio, who’d been watching the cubes of ice which sat in his drink, mulled his question over for a couple of seconds before he shrugged, something which made Fernando shake his head. “Come on, Sergio” he quipped, a hint of annoyance in his voice “You didn’t invite me out to lunch to just sit there, so come on. What’s going on?” he pressed, his foot nudging Sergio’s beneath the table. He could see that there was something on his mind, the way he was messing with his glass confided it, and he wanted to encourage him to talk, wanting to know what it was that was on his mind.

Sergio jumped, surprised by the contact, before he shook his head. “You remember Cassie?” he posed softly, his eyes not even attempting to look away from the glass he was preoccupied with.

Fernando tilted his head. “She was friends with Iker’s girlfriend, wasn’t she? They worked together for a while before Iker left for Porto” he noted, a slightly confused frown playing at the corner of his mouth.

Sergio nodded in confirmation. “She and I…we’ve sort of been seeing one another for a couple of months” he noted.

Fernando nodded his head quietly, knowing that there was something else.

“She…She’s pregnant” Sergio added, his words slightly rushed and babbled.

Fernando blinked. “What?” he posed quietly.

“Cassie’s pregnant” Sergio repeated softly “I mean, we’re due to head to the first scan this afternoon, but her doctor confirmed it. She’s pregnant” he added quietly. It still felt odd to him, saying the words aloud still felt strange and unfamiliar, but he was sure that he’d get used to it, even if it did take a little while, he was confident that the words would stop feeling foreign to him.

Fernando was quiet for a couple of seconds, allowing the words to settle in, before he tilted his head. “Are you OK with that?” he posed softly.

Sergio shrugged. “I don’t really know” he admitted softly “It wasn’t supposed to get serious between the two of us and now…”

“Now she’s having your baby” Fernando interrupted, his tone soft.

“She is” Sergio confirmed softly.

Fernando was quiet for a moment before he shook his head, allowing a momentary silence to slip over the two of them before he let out a small sigh. “What did you say to her?” he posed gently.

“I told her that I was going to stick around” Sergio replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world “And I mean it, but I am…it’s fast, Fernando. I wouldn’t even say that we’ve been dating for the last three months and now…now we’re going to have a baby and that scares me” he admitted softly. He knew that it wasn’t his friend’s problem, what had happened was between him and Cassie, but still he wanted to talk to someone, even if he knew what Fernando was going to say. He wanted someone to offer him a little reassurance.

Fernando allowed his words to hang around them for a couple of seconds before he nodded his head. “You’re allowed to be scared, Sergio” he mused softly “I mean, I’d be surprised if you weren’t” he added, a laugh falling out of his mouth.

Sergio rolled his eyes, something which made Fernando shake his head. “I am not going to sit here and tell you that it’s going to be smooth sailing, Sergio” he noted kindly “I mean, you two have barely gotten started and now there’s going to be a baby in the middle, it’s not going to be simple, Sergio, but you have to step up. It’s on you too, not just her, and you’ve got to give it some work. Even if things with Cassie don’t work out, you’re still going to be that baby’s padre and that’s not going to change” he added, his tone firm. He knew that Sergio knew it, from the second he’d announced that Cassie was pregnant, Fernando had known that Sergio knew what he had to do, but still he wanted to say it, and, from the look on the defender’s face, he wanted to hear it too.

Sergio nodded his head quietly, something which caused Fernando to reach his hand across the table, patting his friend’s shoulder comfortingly. “It’s your baby, amigo” he mused softly “And, if you want my opinion, you’re going to make a pretty great padre when they come along” he added, a bright grin on his face.

Sergio’s face pulled into a faint smile. “You think so?” he prodded, a bashful hint of pink on his cheeks.

Fernando nodded his head softly. “Of course” he noted softly “And I am sure that things will work out one way or the other between you and Cassie. I mean, I only met her briefly, but she seemed nice and I am sure that between the two of you, you’ll figure something out which works for you two, but most importantly for bump too” he added encouragingly.

Sergio spared him a small smile. “Gracias, Nando” he noted.

“It’s nothing” the forward replied “What are friends supposed to be for?” he added with a grin.

Sergio rolled his eyes a little before his phone, which was perched on the table beside him, bleeped, causing him to look down at it, checking the time. “I have to go” he noted softly “Cassie’s midwife’s appointment is in a little while and I said I would be there. You can keep this to yourself, can’t you?” he posed as he moved to pull his jacket around his shoulders.

Fernando nodded. “Of course I can” he mused softly “Good luck with the scan, Sergio” he enthused kindly.

Sergio flashed him a grateful smile, wordlessly thanking him for saying what he had needed to hear, before he moved to leave the restaurant, his stomach turning slightly at the thought of the afternoon which stood ahead of him. He knew that it was right thing, Cassie’s pregnancy was as much his responsibility as it was hers, but he knew that it wasn’t going to be without awkwardness or tension, something he wanted to shy away from for as long as he could. Taking in a small breath, he closed his eyes for a couple of seconds before he shook his head. “For baby” he mumbled quietly to himself.
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