Tasha sits up, jarringly fast, and narrows her eyes. “A promise? I don’t… What did you—Oh my God!” she exclaims as the memory hits.

The fact that she hasn’t noticed the engagement ring is lucky, and I could smack myself for forgetting that detail when I climbed. I hide my hand in my lap, readying myself for that reveal too. “I’ve been seeing your dad.” Admitting it to her seems easier than facing my father, despite my anxiety. “We didn’t plan on it, and I tried to stop seeing him so I could keep my promise to you.” My voice shakes, but I press on. “We slept together before his trip.” When she looks at me incredulously, I fake a smile and nod. “Banged the boss on my first day of work. Go me!” I pump my fist in the air half-heartedly and follow it with a sigh.

“There’s more, Tasha. I’ve been on the pill since high school. You know that; you were there when I got my first prescription.” I stop, unsure how to say the rest.

“Oh, boy. I think I know where this is going.” There is pain in her voice but also love.

I open my photo album on my phone, swipe back to the right picture, and hand it over to Tasha. It’s displaying the picture I’d taken of the positive test just a few days ago. “I found out the night of my gallery, after Beck took me home from the frat party. I’m pregnant, too.” She stares at it, unspeaking. “Say something.”

“Does my dad know?” When I nod, she asks if he knows about her. I nod again. “You promised!” Her accusation stings.

“I know, and I kept that one. I swear I did!” I promise. “Jean overheard us on the phone.” I tell her about Jean attempting to blackmail me into staying away from Beck. That leads into the public relations disaster at the party. I finish before telling her about the engagement.

She is tense beside me. “Is that all?”

Pinching my lips together, I shake my head. Using my best infomercial presenter voice, I say, “But wait! There’s more!” I hold out my left hand. “Your dad asked me to marry him. He proposed at the party after Jean told everyone about me being pregnant.” With Tasha stunned into silence, I launch into the story about the ring and the kitten, and even how he’s promised I can have a cat in the office, but maybe we should get one for the house instead if she doesn’t mind. I’m rambling to fill the space, waiting for a response.

“You’ve known you’re pregnant for a few days now and didn’t tell me?” Her chin tucks down into her chest, and I watch her chew on the inside of the cheek. It’s a bad habit she hasn’t lost despite her mother’s constant scolding as a child. “Why did you wait?”

“I felt so awful about breaking my promise. It was the only vow you ever asked me to make, and I broke it. I tried to stop everything. I didn’t want to do anything to hurt you, to hurt our friendship, but—” I stop myself from asking if she’s looked at her dad. I know that won’t go over well. “We kissed in the garage that day you got a call from Chris, and it was the best kiss of my life.” I know I’m smiling like an idiot in love when I talk about kissing Beck. “And then I tried to stop things when your dad hired me to work at Huntsworth, but we were talking up on the roof, and there were stars and good food, and it was so easy to forget that he was my best friend’s father and not just an amazing man who is as attractive inside as he is outside.

“Beck is brilliant, kind, funny, and caring.” I don’t talk about how good he is at sex; I can already imagine the face she’ll make. “We realized we were in love somewhere along the way, no matter how much I fought against it. And then Jean outed us to everyone, and your dad proposed to me. I don’t know if that was the plan, but he had the ring. Have you seen a more perfect ring?”

Promising me she hasn’t, Tasha asks me the hardest question of the night. So far at least. “Would you have told me if I weren’t pregnant too?”

I honestly don’t know. I probably wouldn’t have told anyone until I started to show. Putting it to words, I know the rambling must be obnoxious, and my attempt at an explanation falls apart somewhere around my sixth apology. “I’m sorry. I’m a bad friend,” I finally end with. “You told me you were pregnant the day after I found out. You needed me. I couldn’t do more to stress you out.

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