How Mo Met Bob Part Five
The following is a work of fiction, based on real life events.
Mo was sick of throwing up and didn’t want the thing sitting in her womb any longer than necessary, so she didn’t wait long to tell Bob what was up. On a slow Tuesday afternoon, she called him at his store and asked if he could bring her some lunch and bowl a quick game since the alley was pretty dead. When she wasn’t heaving food out of her mouth, she was pushing whatever she could, in. He laughed as she inhaled a Big Mac and extra large fries while he laced up his bowling shoes. There was no right way, no right time to get the words out, so Mo just said it. “Bob. I’m pregnant.”
He stopped, mid-lace and a strange quiet fell on the room. Even the knocking of pins on the other side of the alley sounded like a whisper. “Say what?”
He sat up and leaned back in the chair, his eyes on the lane ahead. He gave a little nod, the same one he gave when he bowled a strike, before reaching into his pocket for a wad of cash. “How much?”
He peeled off hundred dollar bills, the sound slicing through the air between them. Mo thought of all the times she’d seen him peel off bills for her. Money for clothes. Money for food. On more than one occasion, he’d even left “play money” on her nightstand if he had to get back home to Daisy for the night. In all those moments, Mo never felt more like a whore than she did watching him unfold money that she was to use to kill his kid. She wanted to cry, but was too pissed to let him see her tears. “Don’t worry about it,” she said.
She shook her head. “Don’t worry about it.”
“What do you mean? I got you into this, we can handle this together.”
“We? You didn’t even ask me what I wanted before you started counting out cash. What ‘we?’” Suddenly his cologne irritated her nose, just as the smelly shoes and old beer smell of the bowling alley had. “There is no ‘we.’ ‘We’ is you and Daisy. This is on me.”
“Mo. I’m married. I’m fifty years old. I told you, I don’t—“
“I said don’t worry about it.” She didn’t know what she was saying. Ten minutes prior, she hadn’t even wanted the damn baby and now she was speaking as if keeping it was a possibility.
Bob looked back out at the lanes, his temple twitching in front of her. For the first time in awhile, she noticed the lines sprouting from his eyes, forming cracks in what she imagined was perfect skin twenty-five years ago. The mustache under his beak of a nose was almost completely grey now. He looked worn. Even as he bent down to untie his bowling shoes, he seemed to move slower, as if the effort hurt his back. Mo watched him carefully remove the rental shoes, and step back into his winter boots. He zipped up the open bag that contained his bowling ball that sat on the seats between them. He stood slowly, rolling his head as if to work a crick out of his neck, draped his coat over his shoulder, and walked out of Euclid Green Lanes.