Harry was driving us into town as him and I were catching up and talking about college, old times we had, just about everything. What surprised me a little though, was that he didn’t mention anything about a girl. And whenever I did, he tensed up.
“Here we are!” Harry said happily as we pulled into our favorite bar in town. I smiled as we got out of the car and walked in. That’s when I saw Rita and Cara, my two best friends when I grew up here.
“RITA, CARA!” I yelled, causing them to look over at me. Their eyes grew wide and they came running over to me and we all hugged and cried on each other.
“Girl, how have you been?!” Cara asked, practically in tears. “I mean, besides the shit we see in the magazines?!” I giggled as Harry and I took seats at the bar next to them.
“Pretty good! Busy as hell though. I feel like I barely have time to breathe.”
“Well now you have a nice vacation from the big city!” Rita announced.
“Not exactly; I’m working just from here.”
“Well at least you aren’t cooped up in an office then.” Cara added.
“So what’s this I hear about you being engaged?” Cara asked. I smiled and showed them the ring.
“This is a fucking rock!” Rita announced, making me giggle. “Is it to that hot actor, Tyler Posey or whatever?”
“Yes ma’am.” I said, still smiling.
“Good; he’s hot as hell.” I giggled as the bartender brought us our drinks. All four of us drank and talked for what seemed like hours, just catching up on everything. That’s when I realized how much can change in four years, especially when you don’t even come back in the summer for summer vacation and being here now made me kind of regret that.
“So are you up for a drive to the water tower?” Harry asked me as we walked out of the bar after we sobered up a little bit.
“I’m up for it.” I said, smiling at him. It was about two in the morning and I wasn’t even ready to go back home yet. I was too excited to be back home; a lot more excited than I thought I would be. We drove in silence to the water tower and when we got there, we climbed up onto it, where I found our names that we had put in a heart back when we were freshman in high school. “It’s still here.” I said, smiling. Harry looked over at it and smiled.
“Yeah, it is…” Harry sounded like he had a lot on his mind but I didn’t know what it could possibly be since he was fine just a few hours ago.
“Are you okay? You suddenly seem very out of it.” I pointed out.
“Don’t lie to me.” I said sternly, causing Harry to look over at me with a sad smile.
“You know I was never good at lying to you; you always found out when I was.” I smiled and nudged him as we leaned on the gate.
“Yeah, I know. So tell me what’s wrong.”
“There’s nothing wrong it’s just…something I have to tell you.” Harry said slowly.
“What is it? It can’t be so big that you’re nervous about telling me; and not giddy nervous. Like this is very unlike you…”
“I have a child.” Harry finally said quietly.
“Really…?” I said slowly. Harry nodded slowly, not making eye contact with me. I don’t know why, but knowing he had a child with some other girl made me really upset. “Are you still with the child’s mother?”
“Absolutely not. We broke up but…”
“I have to go pick her up tomorrow because Jessica still has her and she isn’t legally allowed to have her for more than a day.”
“She’s a known druggie and alcoholic so she’s only allowed to have her when her parents are staying at the apartment with her, but her parents called and said they were leaving tomorrow night so…I need to go pick up Aubree tomorrow morning.”
“Why are you telling me this? Who else knows?” I asked slowly.
“Well first, because I wanted you to come with me to get her and second only my parents and your mom. I didn’t want people to find out until I was out of college.”
“How old is she…?” I asked slowly again.
“She’s turning three in a month.”
“So you had her your freshman year?”
“Yeah…but she’s a blessing in my life.”
“How are you going into the NBA with a child?” Harry looked at me with almost a hurt look in his eyes.
“I’d bring her with me. You think I can’t take care of my child and do what I love at the same time?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be a bitch I’m just surprised.”
“It’s fine. I know when you mentioned a girl, I just tensed up and dodged the question. It’s just…since Jessica, after she told me she was pregnant I told her I would stay but she said no so I moved on and had a few other relationships and then I found out I got full custody of her when Jessica started getting arrested for drugs and alcohol and all that stuff so…Aubree is mine now, and I honestly love it. She’s my whole world.” I smiled a little bit, looking at Harry and how he talked so highly of his daughter.
“So you want me to come with you to get her tomorrow?”
“I would really love it if you did…”
“I want her to meet her wonderful Aunt I’ve been telling her about since I’ve gotten her.” I smiled and nudged Harry.
“You really are a sweetheart, Harry.” I said, looking up at his eyes that seemed to sparkle in the night.
“I think you’ll love her.”
“Well, if she’s my little baby girl, then of course I am.” Harry smiled at me and put his arm around me, pulling me closer to him. “So what’s her full name?”
“Aubree Marie Styles.”
“Jessica gave her the last name of Styles?” I asked, a little surprised after what Harry had said about not wanting him around for Aubree’s life.
“We legally changed it after Jessica lost custody. It used to be Aubree Marie Mace, but I don’t want her having to carry the weight of being a Mace if her mother was like that…so we legally changed it.”
“Whose we?” I asked. Harry laughed and looked down at me.
“You’re just full of questions, aren’t you?” I smiled up at him and shrugged.
“Yeah I guess so.”
“We meaning me and your mom.”
“Why didn’t my mom ever tell me any of this…?”
“I asked her not to because I wanted to tell you in person.”
“You couldn’t just fly up to the city and tell me this? This is big news!”
“I don’t have that kind of money sitting in my back pocket!” I giggled and nodded.
“I forgot…you haven’t made it into the NBA quite yet.”
“Yeah, I’m not you who already has a multi-billionaire company.” I giggled and looked out over the sky as it slowly started to get lighter.
“Maybe we should head home before we have to get up to go pick up Aubree.” Harry nodded in agreement so we started our way down, off the water tower. After he dropped me off, it already had to have been around 4:30 in the morning and I didn’t even bother to change, I just fell into my bed, fast asleep.
When I got home, I walked up to my room and couldn’t even fall asleep. I was too busy wondering how Bethany took the news of Aubree. I know it was a total game changer, but I wanted her to know I’ve been telling Aubree about her and wanted Bethany in Aubree’s life.
I kept tossing and turning all night, not able to sleep. There were three things on my mind and I wasn’t sure how to take any of them; Bethany with Tyler, Bethany in general, and Aubree and Bethany. Of course they all involved her because I was still so in love with her but with Tyler and now Aubree, I didn’t know how much of a chance I had with her.
I have one summer to get her to fall in love with me…
And I am going to do everything and anything in my power to get her in my arms, where she belongs, no matter what.