So the date was set and Greg and my mom were finally going to meet. Greg was so calm about it all and I really admired that about him but I couldn't help but feel nervous. I made reservations at my mom's favorite restaurant so at least my mom would look forward to the meal if not the company. My mother was a very private woman and christian. She took her faith very seriously and would not like knowing that not only was I having sex but got pregnant outside of marriage. I had introduced her to two previous boyfriends under better circumstances and while she was cordial with them I could tell that they were not her choice of a son-in-law. Mama did know best because both of them turned out to be duds. My mom never discouraged me from dating any of the guys that I brought home but if she saw something in them she didn't like she was quick to warn me. I loved my mom and I really wanted her to like Greg, especially since I was carrying his child.
I needed to make time to talk to Greg and prep him for the dinner so that things could go smoothly. Things had been so rocky and they were finally looking up so meeting my mom was make it or break it time. Everything was on track and I was feeling good. I decided to go to the mall and find something to wear that would hide my growing belly. I was in pretty good shape but now that the pregnancy was progressing my belly was starting to look like I had eaten a big meal when running on empty. I made my way to the mall and was shopping when I felt like someone was watching me. I looked up and there was Natalia staring at me. She looked startled when I looked up and we locked eyes.
"Hey," she said.
"Don't I know you from somewhere?"
"I'm not sure," I replied knowing that I knew exactly who she was.
"Greg! I bumped into you two at the doctor."
"Oh yeah that's right. How are you?"
"I'm great just out doing some shopping for a date tonight. It's been a long time since Greg and I have gone out so I wanted to get something nice to surprise him."
"Greg? You are going out with Greg tonight?"
"Yeah, Greg is my boyfriend. Didn't he tell you?"
"Well, actually I was under the impression that you two had broken up."
"It's complicated. You know how these things go. One day you are off and the next you are on. We hit a bit of a rough patch recently but we are working things out."
"Oh, I didn't know that."
"So, how long have you known Greg known each other?"
"Not long just a few months."
"Hmmm, that's weird he's never mentioned you. But Greg really is a great guy so I'm sure if he has befriended you then you must be pretty special as well. You should give me your number and we all hang out sometime."
"Oh, that really isn't necessary."
"Ooooook, just trying to be nice."
"No no please don't be offended. Really,you are sweet to offer I am just kind of a private person when it comes to giving out my number to people that I don't know really know."
" No problem I understand. Well I must get back to my shopping. Nothing is harder than finding that perfect little black dress."
"Natalia, I know you and Greg aren't together anymore."
"Excuse me? How exactly is that?"
"Well, because he told me and I believe him. Look, I know that you just recently went through a very difficult time and I am so sorry about that. You are right. Greg is a really good guy but I think you are mistaking him trying to be a good friend to you as romantic interest and that's just not there. He told me that he broke up with you and that you weren't taking it well but at this point hanging on to him when he doesn't want the same thing is....well, kind of pathetic."
"Let me tell you something, " she said as she stepped closer to me. "Greg and I have been together for a very long time. Whatever you THINK you know about him you don't. So don't go telling me what is or what isn't. When you have been friends and lovers for as long as we have then yes sometimes things can get messy but getting through those bad times is what makes our love real."
"Look, I didn't want to tell you this but Greg and I are dating. Whatever delusions you have of having a romantic relationship are likely gone. If you know him so well then you should know that he values your friendship but that is it. The fire in that candle has burned out and there are no more matches. I hope you take my advice and just let it be. Take some time for yourself and then the love you deserve will find you.
"I have the love that I deserve let's make that very clear. You are going to stop seeing Greg so that we can get back on track and you can go find the love that YOU deserve. You are a very beautiful girl I'm sure you can find someone with no problem."
"I'm pregnant, and it's Greg's."
I just blurted it out before I could stop myself. "We are going to be a family so I'm not going anywhere. I am sorry for you and how things ended between you two and you loss but...."
"Don't you dare talk about my loss! It was OUR LOSS! Honestly, you are despicable. I lost my CHILD, OUR CHILD and you sleep with another woman's man and get yourself pregnant? How far along are you?"
"I don't see how that is any of your business."
"10,000 for you to get an abortion and leave Greg alone."
"You are crazy you know that?"
"I'm leaving. Please don't come near me ever again."
I walked off shaken from the whole incident. Who pays someone to have an abortion. I struggled with the decision to tell Greg about our chance meeting that I wasn't so sure was a chance meeting anymore. I also didn't want to give her the opportunity to tell Greg and spin things to make me the bad guy. In the eve of our dinner I decided to wait until after to talk to him about it. I didn't blame her too much honestly. I was barely over my first trimester and I already loved my baby so much I couldn't bare the idea of losing him or her but someone needed to snap her back to reality.
The next evening I got dressed and Greg came to pick me up. Our reservation was at 7pm so we had to be on time. My mother absolutely hated when people were not punctual. She was meeting us at the restaurant so I used the time in the car to prep him on all thing madre. We pulled up to the restaurant and I had butterflies in my stomach.
"I'm nervous," I said.
"Don't be. I'm great with parents," he said and then kissed me on the cheek.
He opened my door and we walked inside where my mother was waiting in the lobby.
"Hey mom, you look beautiful."
"Oh, stop it!" she said as she gave a sheepish smile.
"Mom, I would like you to meet my boyfriend Greg."
"Hello, Mrs. Mariano it's so nice to meet you. Wow, I see where Jasmine gets her beauty from. Here, these are for you, " he said as he handed my mother a bouquet of lillies and roses.
"How thoughtful of you. How did you know I liked lillies?"
"Sometimes a guy just gets lucky I guess."
We had dinner and everything seemed to be going good. Actually, it was better than good it was great. Greg was charming and kind and my mother actually smiled and maintained a conversation with him which she had never done before with any of the other guys that I had brought to meet her. We were just ordering dessert when the bubble was popped by Greg's phone.
"I'm so sorry. Will you please excuse me?"
He appeared worried and rushed off to answer the phone. While he was gone I took the opportunity to feel my mom out.
"Well...," I said.
"What do you think?"
"He seems to be a very nice young man. Very handsome."
"What is his faith like? Does he go to church? Pray?"
"Greg is not a spirtual as you are mom. He was raised in a very loving home. Both of his parents are together. He doesn't have bad habits. He is kind and he treats me well."
"That is very nice but I don't want you to gain the world and lose your soul. It is good to be with people who bring us joy but there must be balance. You need a man who will lead you to the Lord and not just the bed. So tell me, what is this all about?"
"What do you mean?"
"I have met your boyfriends before but this feels different. You bring me here to one of my favorite restaurant. It feels like a set up."
"A set up? No, it's not a set up. I just wanted to make sure that you got a good meal from the experience even if you didn't like him."
"mmmhmmm," she said.
Just then Greg returned to the table and appeared worried.
"Hey, what's up?" I asked.
"I'm so sorry but I have to go. A friend of mine has been in a serious accident and I need to get to the hospital."
"Do you want me to go with you?"
"No, no it's ok, you stay here with your mom and enjoy your dessert. Mrs. Mariano would you mind dropping off Jasmine?"
"Not at all. No matter how old she gets I will always take care of my baby."
"Thank you so much and I hope I can make this up to you. I am so happy to know our baby with have a grandmother as caring as you."
Oh no, he didn't.....but he did. I hadn't gotten around to telling my mother about the baby. I told him in the car. What was he thinking? My mom responded with a simple smile and nod but this was not the way that I wanted her to find out.
"grandmother huh," she said when he left the table. Just what I thought. A set up.