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It was bound to happen sooner or later; just a matter of time before the inevitable. There are always people in your circle — big or small — that will eventually go from young people to parents. He once stated that he wanted four kids, because it seemed like a good number to him, although his wife’s pelvic canal might beg to differ. He was already with her when he said the number four. She was imprinted on him, and he often referred to her as ‘The One’, unashamedly and in complete contradiction to his usual emotional distance.

Out of nowhere—’O yeah, that reminds me, Mon’s pregnant.’
    ‘Mon’s pregnant?’
    ‘You serious?’

Checked a few times because the football was on loud and there were people talking, loudly, a constant confetti of disturbance. It was a Wednesday night. We used to drink a lot on a Wednesday night — a lot on every night — and then she moved from Nuremberg to north-west London to be with him, and our excursions down the Local became rarer, but that was my late twenties, and things like that change, or at least they wither & die in a flutter of prime numbers. He was happy. He’d quit the terrible office, the hell of our awful employment, a place that stunk, gone a month or so, and — in the process of writing for his chartership —was enjoying life. We’d known each other over the course of a decade’s troubles & piss. Of course he fretted over the health of his unborn, exhibiting an uncharacteristic degree of tenderness that I lingered on for not a moment too long, but playful, joyous in fact.

He is the last of my drinking buddies to have kids.
    The baby is due in April.

If I could choose a month to be born in, it’d probably be April. My youngest brother was born in April, although I’ve never looked up his starsign. (Taurus. The bull.) As a child in front of the nature documentaries, I felt an affection for the animals that bred to birth in the days of spring. It gave their brood a headstart in life, what with the warming of the earth, the angle of the sun, the colour of the grass & the puckering pink of fresh flesh. ‘I just want it out, that it’s healthy & that.’ I want his kid to be healthy & that, and I want it to come out to support a different football team than him and be so competitive, just like both its parents. Its mother is so competitive, it makes me laugh. I miss her. I can’t imagine her as a mother but I imagine her as the softest madonna. Her blonde hair blues eyes above the babe; soft accent singing to sleep.

‘Still up for a pint tomorrow after work?’
    ‘Think so,’ I said.
    ‘I’ll text the Muck, see what he’s up to.’
    ‘I’ve missed you.’
    ‘Big hug tomorrow, mate… I know you love them.’
    ‘Not denying it.’
    He hugs well.

All of my friends don’t think I like to hug. They hug each other, and then when I arrive they offer their hand for shaking. When I am drunk, they will hug me because I go to hug them. I put my hands about their flanks, to feel the moist warmth of their body & we smile in chords of smile. I mean to hug them but I am scared of hugging them.
    ‘I can go out until the baby’s born, then that’s it.’
    Heard it so many times and, from the people I like, it’s as true as it should be. We’ll wet the baby’s head.

A collection of writings, poems and stories by the anonymous author ~  contact

Ah, we’re an ungrateful race! When I look at my hand upon the window sill and think what pleasure I’ve had in it, how it’s touched silk and pottery and hot walls, laid itself flat upon wet grass or sun-baked, let the Atlantic spurt through its fingers, snapped blue bells and daffodils, plucked ripe plums, never for a second since I was born ceased to tell me of hot and cold, damp or dryness, I’m amazed that I should use this wonderful composition of flesh and nerve to write the abuse of life. Yet that’s what we do. Come to think of it, literature is the record of our discontent.
T H E   E V E N I N G   P A R T Y Virgina Woolf