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Making His Baby

By:Lulu Pratt

Chapter 1


High-school reunion   s. Fuck me. Mine is in my face, and it's the  last thing I want to face, no matter how much better I am now. Too many  memories.

"Dude. You still there?" My closest friend Ben's voice is in my ear, bringing me back from my reverie.

"Yeah, sorry," I glance around my old stomping ground. "I'm just not  looking forward to this shit in the slightest. Why did I let you talk me  into doing this?"

"Because you're the big shit now, man. Time to show those bitches up."

"Right. ‘Cause that's me." I roll my eyes and try to keep myself from turning on my heel and walking the fuck back to my car.

"Just hang out with some old friends and have a good time, Blake. Find an old girlfriend and tap that ass, brother."

"You sound like an idiot. I'll call you later when I'm smashed." I drop  the call and take a deep breath. He's right though. He usually is.  Bastard.

Besides, it will be good to see some of my old friends. And it will be  even better to hear about how they're doing and what they've been up to.  That is why I'm here, or at least it's how Ben convinced me to come.  With a bit of luck and some conversational leading, I might be able to  avoid talking about myself entirely. We'll see.

"Fifteen years. Damn, I'm fucking old," I mumble to myself.

It was odd for our class president to decide to do it on the  fifteen-year mark. Personal agenda for sure. Five years before, the  fucker got busted on a drug charge that took my ex down as well. Now  though, he can brag about the successful sporting goods store he opened.  My ex wasn't so lucky.

I walk through the entrance to my old high school, feeling a weird sense  of traveling back in time. Almost immediately, someone calls out from  behind me as I walk through the hall.

"There he is!" It's a man's voice. I am tempted to keep walking and  pretend I don't hear it, but the shout is followed by the sound of  rushed footsteps. Whoever it is runs up behind me. "We didn't know if  you were coming, Mr. Doesn't Reply To Our Messages!"

Turning around, I instantly spot the owner of the voice. It's Clark, one  of my good friends from high school. He was the class clown of our  year. As he rushes to me, he wears that same big goofy smile that he was  known for, although now, he is about forty pounds heavier.

"Hey," I say with a forced smile. It's not that I don't like Clark. In  fact, out of everyone at the reunion   , Clark is the person I've  been looking forward to seeing the most. It's just that Clark, like  everyone else, reminds me of a past I've been trying to forget, and once  again I struggle to understand why I'm even here. "It's good to see  you, Clark." I stick out my hand to shake his.

"Me?" He asks. "Dude, it's good to see you, Blake! Hot damn, what's it  been? Don't you dare tell me I haven't seen you since graduation. Don't  you dare tell me that!" He still wears that big goofy grin. I can smell  the beer on his breath. He's got to be a few beers deep at this point.

"Okay," I say with a grin. "I won't tell you that."

"You-!" He smirks, feigning a punch at my gut. "Come on, the whole crew is here! I'll show you."

He grabs me by the arm and leads me through the hall to the actual  reunion    itself. Flashing, multi-colored lights spill from the  doors to the gymnasium. Music thumps loudly in my ears as we get closer.

The gym is decorated in typical fashion. Streamers and balloons cover  the walls, all blue and white to match the school's colors. A huge  banner reading "Class of 2002" hangs from the ceiling, stretching across  the entire length of the gym.

The crowd that has turned up is a mixture of people like Clark, overly  excited at the prospect of catching up on old times, and people like me,  apathetic to the idea, but still here out of some sort of moral  obligation.         



"We had bets on whether or not you were going to make it," Clark slurs.  His arm drapes around my neck as he leads me through the masses. Some I  recognize, some I don't. I'm not the only one who has changed since high  school.

"Oh yeah?" I say, raising an eyebrow. "How much was I going for?"

Clark throws his head back in an exaggerated laugh. "Not as much as you would like."

With his arm still hanging on me, he leads me to a large table in the  corner of the room. Sitting around the table are eight faces that I  recognize all too well.

Five men and three women, they are my collective "friends from high  school." The ones I used to hang out with during the day and drink with  at night. When we could find someone willing to buy us alcohol, that is.

A pleasant wave of nostalgia hits me as I look at them. Like most  people's high school experience, mine had its ups and downs, but these  were the people who got me through it. We grew up together. A lot of my  formative experiences were with these people right here.

Judging from their body language, I guess that most of them, like me,  have fallen out of contact with each other, and they are using this  night as a means to catch up and trade old war stories. It makes me feel  a little less guilty about not having spoken to any of them for the  past fifteen years.

"Look who I found," Clark says as he pushes me onto the seat by his own. "Lurking in the bushes. Classic Blake!"

"Hey," I say to no one in particular, not knowing who to address. I opt for a group chat instead.

"Blake," the woman next to me beams.

"Hey, Sally," I nod.

She has bushy red hair and white, porcelain skin. She was my first kiss,  and I'm pretty sure I was hers. "It's been so long. What have you been  up to, Blake? Doing well by the looks of it?"

"Oh, you know, this and that," I say, keeping it vague.

I was poor when I went here. Dirt poor. I come from a broken home that  had more problems than money. It's something that I don't like to talk  about, and I hate being reminded of it. But now that I'm successful and  more than a little rich, I realize that I don't really want to talk  about that either.

I don't want them fawning over me or grilling me about the specifics of  my job. People always find my work a little too interesting, and it  grates on a person after a while.

But then it hits me. I don't have anything else to talk about. All I do  is work. Whereas they're all laughing and talking about their kids.

"Sounds interesting," Sally continues, holding her smile on me as she does.

"Oh, it's not," I say, giving my head a shake. "Trust me. It's just  business crap. Suits, too much coffee and a lot of missed weekends.  Nothing to tell really."

I'm a film producer and getting to be a pretty successful one, too. I  made my fortune through a few smart investments in college, and I used  that money to open a production company. Ten years later, I'm worth more  than I'll ever admit to anyone.

"My son's two now, the little bugger," Clark says to everyone in earshot. "So cute that sometimes I just want to eat him up."

I sip on my drink and listen.

"My oldest daughter starts school next year. So you never settled down, Blake?" Sally asks with a smile.

"No. No kids, no wife."

I do my best to smile and nod along, but deep down, my stomach churns.  Despite my money and success, the one thing my life is missing is a  family of my own. I made a choice when I was younger to pursue a career  over family. Lately, I've been questioning that decision more and more. I  want to be a father, but I'm hardly about to enter into a serious  relationship with someone. No fucking way.

"Oh damn, I wasn't looking forward to this," Clark says a little too loudly.

I look across the gym to see what caught him off guard. The moment I see it, I feel my heart sink.

A giant screen stands behind the makeshift stage. Projected onto that  screen is a video, made specifically for the reunion   . We were  asked to send in clips of our own for a series of videos that would  feature. The one playing right now is to commemorate the people who  couldn't be here tonight. Specifically, those who have passed away.

The reason my heart feels the way it does is that I know one face in  particular who would be appearing on that screen. Her name is Lyndsey,  and she was my high-school sweetheart. And sure enough, as I watch the  few names and faces flash on the screen, Lyndsey suddenly appears.

"Hey, didn't you used to date her?" Clark asks me. He is slurring even  more than he was earlier. I guess the alcohol is really kicking in now.         



"Yeah," I say, my voice flat. "I did."

Chapter 2


The only thing worse than attending a high-school reunion    is  having to work at one. As I walk among the tables and chairs and dodge  the increasingly drunken attendees, I thank the gods that it isn't my  reunion   . That drama is still waiting for me.

What makes the reunion    that I'm working at right now even worse  than it would usually be, is the fact that it's at the school I  graduated from. Because of this, a number of the faces in the crowd are  ones that I recognize. Luckily, they're all at least five years older  than I am, so none of them recognize me. Thank God. I'd hate for anyone I  knew to see me catering for them. That's an encounter that would be too  much to recover from.