Broken Frames, Torn Pictures Chapter 17

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked. “I mean, it’s gonna cost money, and I don’t have a job yet…”

“You’ll get a job. Here, I’ll sign first.” Thalassa took the pen from my hand and signed her name in her looping cursive writing. “See, was that so hard?”

“Well everything seems easier when you do it.” But regardless, I took the pen from her hand and signed my name. “There. We’re renting an apartment now.”

Thalassa smiled. “How does it feel to no longer be homeless?”

I smirked. “Well, I can own more than one pair of underwear now.”

“That’s definitely a plus.” She stood up and took the lease. “Let’s give this to the landlord.”

I had always expected to need a little help from my parents when I signed my first lease. The way they talked to me about moving out made it seem like getting an apartment was the hardest thing you could ever do. But when Thalassa and I showed up to look at an apartment, the landlord showed us where we’d live and walked us through the lease and our obligations.

In short, I felt very lied to. But Thalassa didn’t know about any of this so while she was listening to the landlord, I was fuming in my seat.

She handed over the lease.

“Great, you can move tomorrow.”

“Thank you.” Thalassa shook the landlord’s hand, and the deed was done.

“I can’t believe it was that easy.” I remarked once we were walking out of the apartment building.

“Why wouldn’t it be easy? They want people to rent their apartments.”

I shrugged. “I guess you’re right. It’s just… adult things always seem so impossible.”

“Yeah, but anything you don’t know how to do is hard.” Thalassa stopped in front of the performance hall. “Well, this is my stop.” She kissed me.

I held up my hand and waved. “See you tomorrow.”

The next morning, I made my way to the apartment building. It wasn’t too far from where I slept the night before, so it didn’t take long to make my way over there. Thalassa was standing next to a mattress. She greeted me with a kiss on the cheek.

“What’s with the mattress?” I asked.

“I found a place that sold me a pretty cheap one so we won’t be sleeping on the floor. They just delivered it. I tried to find one that wasn’t too uncomfortable, but you can only be so comfortable on a budget, you know?”

“As long as I’m not sleeping on the floor, I’m completely happy.”

“I figured you’d say that. But I need your help carrying this into the apartment.” Thalassa grabbed one end of the mattress and I grabbed the other. We carried it into the apartment and threw it down on the floor. I collapsed on it and let out a relieved sigh.

“I haven’t slept on a bed in such a long time.”

Thalassa laid down beside me. “It’s more comfortable than it was in the store.”

“You’d think it would be the opposite.” I closed my eyes, taking in the feeling of sleeping on a bed.

“Are you sleeping after you just woke up?”

I sat up, and rubbed my eyes. “No, I’m just not used to sleeping on a bed. So, what do we do now that we have a place to live? Besides getting a job.”

Thalassa shrugged. “I don’t know. Just spend time with each other, I guess.”

“Of course.”

While we had planned on just staying in our newly acquired apartment, we had to have a way to pay for it, so both of us ended up going out to try and get a job. At the end of the day, we laid on our bed and talked about our luck.

“I found a diner that seemed interested to hire me, so I might get a job there.”

I nodded. “I applied at a music store looking for cashiers. They weren’t absolutely thrilled with my application, but they didn’t turn me away either.”

“Well maybe they’ll take you on.” Thalassa yawned. “I’m going to sleep. Goodnight, Jove.”

“I might as well turn in, too. ‘Night, Thalassa.”

. . .

I woke up the next morning to hear retching coming from the bathroom. “Thalassa?”

She was curled around the toilet, occasionally vomiting into the bowl.

“Are you okay?” Kneeling next to her, I started rubbing circles into her back.

Thalassa nodded. “I-I’m-” She started vomiting again.

“Are you sick?”

Thalassa wiped away the remaining bile on her face then said,”I-I don’t think so. This has been happening for the past few days…”

I frowned. “Doesn’t puking a bunch mean you’re pregnant?”

“Do you really think that’s possible?” Thalassa coughed. “I mean… I guess it could be, but I didn’t think you could get pregnant the first time.”

I shrugged. “Do you want me to go buy a pregnancy test?”

She nodded, then went back to vomiting.

“O-okay, I’ll be right back.”

Thalassa couldn’t be pregnant… We’re too young to be parents. I mean, we don’t even have jobs. How are we supposed to raise a baby?

“I can help the next customer,” the cashier said.

I placed the pregnancy test on the counter.

“Didn’t use protection, huh?”

I knit my eyebrows together. Protection against what? “I-I guess not.” And then I was out the door, heading back to our apartment. Thalassa seemed better as she was sitting on the bed sipping a glass of water. I handed her the test and sat down next to her.

“I think there are instructions on the box.” I said.

Thalassa read the label. “Alright, I’ll be right back.”

If Thalassa’s pregnant and we have a kid… that’ll mean I’ll be a dad. What if I don’t raise them right? What if we can’t feed them?

Once she was done, Thalassa sat back down next to me. “Now I just have to wait.” She cocked her head to the side. “You’re nervous.”

“I just… don’t know what will happen if we have to raise a kid. I mean, we’ll have a whole other human to support, but what if we can’t even support ourselves? How could we possibly bring a kid in here?”

Thalassa leaned her head onto my shoulder. “We’ll figure something out. If anything, we can just put all of our money into stuff for the baby instead of other furniture. We’ll adapt.”

“You’re really calm about all of this.”

With a shrug, she said, “there’s no use in stressing out about something we can’t control. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and let things happen.”

“I wish I could be as calm as you.” I muttered.

“It takes a little practice, but I’m sure you’d figure it out. You’re pretty resourceful, right?”

“I guess.”

“I think the test’s done.” Thalassa stood up, and I followed her into the kitchen where she picked up a little stick of plastic. There were two red lines on the display thing. “Well, it’s official. We have a baby on the way.”

Tears started forming in my eyes, and I started blinking rapidly to keep them from spilling down my face. “And now I’m crying.”

Thalassa frowned. “Don’t do that.”

I laughed. “I wish it was that easy.”

“Are you happy, or sad, or…?”

“Probably a bit of everything.” I wasn’t even sure I wanted kids, and now here was one on the way.

Thalassa looked over at me. “Do you want to do this?”

And now she’s putting me on the spot.

“Because we don’t have to if we’re not ready.”

I shook my head. “No, I think we can do it. I just need some time to let everything sink in.” And then a thought- no, the thought hit me. “What are we going to tell your father?”

. . .

“Hey, can we start ending practice a little earlier?” I asked my bandmates.

“How earlier?” Nate asked.

“After I pick up Apollo?”

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