“Anne, you’ve absolutely lost your mind this time. Even I can’t come up with a defensible explanation for what you’re doing.” Regina stood looking up at her friend, her hands on her hips.
“There’s nothing to defend,” Anne replied as she balanced herself delicately on the roof of the shed. “It’s all simply a matter of balance.”
“And balance is a matter of weight, and you’re carrying too much!” Regina moved slightly in case she should have to try and cushion Anne’s fall. “You’re going to school, you’re holding down two jobs, you’re taking care of an ill mother, you have two dogs, a rabbit, a mortgage … and now you’re going to add a baby and move to California? I have to agree with everyone else, Anne, you must be fucking crazy! Something in that mess has got to give.”
Anne laughed. This was exactly the sort of reaction she had anticipated. Her life had never been easy, her father having died when she was only three, her mother chronically ill with advanced diabetes. There always seemed to be more than enough challenges to meet, yet Anne delighted in adding to the pile.
“Don’t tell me you’re losing faith in me now,” Anne said, smiling from her perch. “When have any of my ideas failed?”
“Uhm, the ‘Coffee For Paraplegics’ drive?” Regina reminded her.
“That doesn’t count,” Anne said. “How was I to know it would make them sick if you put coffee in their iv bags?”
“And the time you bought five junk cars in an attempt to assemble one working vehicle?” Regina continued.
Anne shook her head. “That’s the car companies’ fault. GM, Ford and Toyota parts should be interchangeable!”
“And the time you wanted the rat snake for a pet,” Regina kept going.
“Okay, that one was a mistake,” Anne admitted. “I should have known rats aren’t the only thing they’ll eat.”
“Your brother will never forgive you for the loss of his hamster,” Regina teased.
Anne laughed hard and almost fell, barely catching her balance. “What, I shortened the life of the rodent by maybe a week. It’s not like he ever kept those things more than a month.”
Regina smiled. The girls had been best friends since they were two years old. They had gone to the same day care, the same school, and the same college. Now, they even lived in the same subdivision. She knew Anne better than anyone, and knew trying to talk her out of an idea was usually pointless, but still, there was the need to try. “This is different, though,” she said more quietly. ”A baby isn’t exactly a hamster, is it? And California isn’t exactly Dayton. You don’t know anyone out there. You don’t have any support out there. It’s like …”
“Yanking the roof from under my feet?” Anne interrupted. “Don’t you think I’ve already thought about that?” She crouched on the roof then laid across it, the peak hitting the small of her back. “Yes, this is a big change, and probably the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. But Reggie, this is a rare opportunity. The tests have all come back positive and the doctors say I should be able to carry the baby full term as long as I’m out there where they can keep an eye on me. Do you understand what that means, Reg? The doctors here have always said it would be impossible for me to have children! How can I possibly pass this up?”
Reggie reached up and took her friend’s hand, holding it softly. “And who’ll be there to catch you when you fall?”
Anne smiled. “You know me, Reg, even when I fall, I still come out on top, with you by my side. I’m not leaving you, girl. You’re coming with.”
Reggie smiled back. “You hadn’t said anything. I wasn’t sure.”
“After 26 years, do I really need to say anything?” Anne asked. “I just don’t know what either of us are going to do if the other ever gets married.”
The girls looked at each other for a moment, then burst out laughing. “Threesome!!” they shouted in unison.
And with that, Anne rolled off the roof into Regina’s waiting arms, sending both girls tumbling to the ground laughing. Even then, as always, Anne was on top.
MODEL: [Becca Frantz]