The #NazandRoz Series - Chapter 3

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Welcome back to the Naz & Roz blog series. Once a week, a chapter is added. 


The Surprise



“I thought Roz was supposed to be getting in sometime this evening,” his father said to his right. “I know it was tonight because you made it very clear that if I called your phone at any point in the next seventy-two hours, you were going to come over here and …” Cross made air quotes as he said, “… personally gut me like a pig.”
Not that the threat really fazed his father. Nothing ever did. Naz still tried to give his father a warning every once in a while.
Cross glanced over at Naz with an arched brow. “That is what you told me, wasn’t it?”
Why wash is father such a prick?
“Rub salt in the wound, Dad,” Naz muttered. “I told Ma why Roz was going to be late, so don’t act like she didn’t tell your nosy ass the first second she could.”
“First of all—”
“You are nosy,” Naz interjected.
Cross scowled. “And secondly—”
“You gossip like a fourteen-year-old girl at her first dance,” Naz said.
“I don’t know where you get that mouth from. It doesn’t come from me.”
Naz laughed. “Lies.”
“All lies,” the man in the wicker chair to Naz’s left said with a smirk around the cigar in his mouth. Zeke side-eyed Cross like he was waiting for his friend to punch him for that comment. “You should have seen your father when you were all of maybe … five, Naz, and you told the neighbor to fuck right off, then when he wouldn’t throw your ball back across the street for you. Your mother was horrified—your father?”
Cross grinned. “I remember that.”
Zeke shook his head. “Cross laughed, and told the asshole the same thing you did before he took you to the mall and bought you a whole bag of balls to throw in the guy’s yard. We sat on the porch and watched while you threw your balls across the street, and he called the cops on a five-year-old. So, there’s that.”
“Good times,” Cross said to himself.
“He knows exactly where you get it from.”
Naz found it slightly amusing how the two of them could converse with him, each other, and also pretend like they were having a conversation with themselves all at the same time. He was used to this kind of shit from his father, and Cross’s best friend, though.
That was funny, too.
He’d been with Roz for five years, and he still didn’t see Zeke as her father first. He still just saw his Godfather as his father’s best friend, and her father second. He supposed that was because Zeke never stepped in on Naz’s relationship with Roz. He just stepped back, and let the two of them figure out whatever in the hell they needed to figure out.
He appreciated it, really.
Cross looked over at Naz. “Do you know when she’s getting in, then?”
Naz sighed, and shook his head. Resting back in  the wicker chair, he stared up at the blue sky and wished he was on his way to the fucking airport right now to pick Roz up. After all these years apart … this was supposed to be their time.
“No,” Naz said, trying hard not to grumble.
And failed like a fucker, too.
“From what I know,” Zeke started to say.
“Nobody asked you.”
Cross reached over and smacked Naz hard right in the middle of his chest. “Watch your fucking mouth, there.”
Naz rubbed the aching spot and scowled. “What were you going to say Zeke?”
Roz’s father chuckled. “I was saying … that from what I know, she won’t be too long in England, right? Just a pit stop. She’ll be back in New York before you even know what’s going on. You are not the only one here who wants to have her back in the States, Naz.”
Felt like it sometimes.
He didn’t say that out loud.
The thing was, Naz didn’t mind letting the two of them think he was just sour over the fact that he was going to have to wait a bit longer before Roz was back in the states. That actually wasn’t his biggest issue with this whole thing at all. He was more concerned with his last conversation with her, and how she kind of left him wondering about something she’d said rather flippantly.
Yet, it stuck in his head.
Well, we don't really get a choice in this surprise. It's coming one way or the other.
He didn’t know what in the hell that meant, and it wouldn’t leave him alone. It had stayed in the back of his mind ever since he hung up the phone with her. If she had something to tell him—a surprise, right, so that must mean it was good—then he wanted to know it.
Naz wasn’t fucking known for his patience.
To say the least.
Something else he got from his dad.
“I have a question,” Naz said.
“Hmm?” Cross glanced over at him over the top of the beer bottle he’d tipped up for a drink. “What’s that, now?”
“What kind of surprise just comes, and you don’t really get a say in it one way or another?”
He didn’t actually expect his father to know what in the hell he was talking about. He figured Cross would just give him one of those looks. Like his dad was silently telling him to stop acting like a fucking idiot. It wasn’t like he gave any context to the question to explain it, but nonetheless, he wondered if he might get an answer that would … well, give him something more to go on about Roz’s statement.
“Like a happy surprise?” Cross asked.
Naz shrugged. “Yeah, sure, why not.”
“Uh,” Cross said, his brow raising. “I can only think of one thing, really.”
Zeke laughed and blew out a heavy cloud of cigar smoke. “Me, too.”
The two friends passed a look between one another.
“You thinking the same?” Cross asked Zeke.
“I mean, I got two, just like you.”
Cross nodded. “Yeah, we’re thinking the same, then.”
Naz’s brow knotted in his confusion. “Then why can’t I figure out what that kind of a surprise it would be?”
“Because you’ve never experienced it, Naz.”
His father’s words sounded so simple.
He didn’t think it was.
“So what is it?” Naz asked.
“A baby,” Cross murmured. “That’s the only kind of surprise that ever came for me when I wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t get a choice one way or the other.”
“Me, too,” Zeke echoed.
Naz froze.
His gaze zoned in on the wall of trees at the other side of the back of his parents’ property, and silence surrounded him. Actually, he could hear Zeke and Cross talking … but he wasn’t really listening.
Was that what it was?
Was Roz …
He knew it was possible, but unlikely. And he was only saying that because he knew she kept up on her shots, and the last time they had been together was two months ago on their vacation. But at the same time, he knew that didn’t actually make a difference. It took once for a birth control to fail. It took one time to get pregnant.
That’s what happened when people had sex.
He was a fucking genius.
He knew how bodies worked and what happened when people had sex. He was very well aware that for any number of reasons, no matter how perfectly birth control had worked previous times, that it could fail. He also knew that there were a number of reasons someone might not have realized they were pregnant right away. He knew all of these things, but he didn’t want to think about them unless he was looking at Roz, and she was confirming it.
Pregnant …
It was always a possibility.
“Naz?” he heard his father ask. “You all right?”
He couldn’t get out of that chair fast enough, saying, “I gotta go.”
“Wait, what the hell—”
“I gotta go,” he repeated, already heading across the back yard and leaving his father and Zeke behind him. “Later.”
“Naz, what is wrong with you?”
“I gotta go!”
Was that what it was?
Was she pregnant?
Naz needed to know now


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