29. where have you been all my life?

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I was in the middle of pathophysiology, engrossed in the lecture, when my cellphone vibrated

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I was in the middle of pathophysiology, engrossed in the lecture, when my cellphone vibrated. Expecting it to be Ethan, I checked it quickly only to see that it was my mother.

Text Message, 10:29am Thursday
Mom: Ryan, can you call me when you have a minute?
Ryan: Sure. But if this is about the bridesmaids' dresses, we can do teal instead of seafoam. They're both nice. Go with whichever you like best.
Mom: No, not about that. I think you were right, anyway, the seafoam will be prettier on the beach.
Ryan: Is everything okay? Now you have me a little worried.
Mom: Yes, just wait till you're home and give me a call. Need to ask you something.

Ask me something? Like maybe, are you sleeping with that male roommate that I was nervous about you having in the first place?

Maybe someone else connected the dots and alerted her. I did have my aunt listed as a friend on Facebook.

Oh, god.

It didn't help that she said to wait until I was home to call her. It sounded serious. Was I about to have the most uncomfortable discussion with my mother of my entire life? Would she be angry? Disappointed? Disown me? Okay, probably not the last one, but she would probably be unhappy.

When I got home later in the afternoon, Ethan was still at class. I did not want to face whatever it was that awaited discussion. Instead, I tidied up, unloaded the dishwasher, put a load of towels into the washing machine, and procrastinated in various ways. I even dusted the fireplace mantel and scrubbed all of the toilets.

The entire time, fear of the unknown lurked in the outskirts of my mind. Finally, it became too much to ignore. I couldn't avoid it forever and. I needed to just get this phone call over with.

Nervously, I unlocked my phone and selected her name from my list of favourites. It started to ring, and for the first time ever, I hoped that she wouldn't answer my call.

"Hi, sweetie," she said after two rings.

"Hey, mom. How are you?"

"Oh, I'm good. Just busy with the wedding details. You know how it is," she paused. It was only for about a second, but it felt like an hour. "The reason that I wanted to talk to you was that your father... got in touch with me recently."

My stomach sank.

At least she wasn't asking about Ethan- though, eventually I was going to have to sort out that mess before I introduced them- but this might actually be worse.

"And what did he want?"

"Well, he wanted to know if it was okay to get in touch with you and to maybe arrange a meeting for coffee or something. I think he's living within a few hours' drive of your school. But I told him I needed clear it with you first. What do you think?"

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