The Clincher
by The Finn

It was already serious. She and I had been living together for months and every day had been better than the last. We’d rush home after our respective days at work to our crummy but comfortable little apartment that was directly over a piercing shop. Every night we’d laugh and goof around and every day she’d make me fall for her a little more. So yeah, it was serious. And the phone call made it more than that.

I had just left work when she called. My phone buzzing on my belt as My Bloody Valentine buzzed in my headphones. I knew it was her before I even looked at the Caller I.D. She always called me when I got out of work, usually just to see if I was headed home or out with the boys. It wasn’t like she really cared either way; she just wanted to talk to me. And that always made me smile.

“Hey kitten,” I started. She immediately cut me off. She sounded a bit apprehensive, off her game and very, very nervous. “Can you come see me ?” she said, “It’s very important.” “Sure” I responded, a little wary. “Great,” she said “I’ll take my lunch when you get here.”

I restarted my iPod, letting Kevin Shields work his magic on my ears while I turned the tone of her voice over in my mind. I started to tell my self that it could have been anything. Maybe a long day, grumpy customers, cramps, any one of a million things. The little voice in the back of my head told me she was breaking up with me. That what we had going was too good and she was the first one to get scared. I smashed that voice like the Hulk on a cheap truck. It didn’t matter to me who got scared first. She was the greatest love of my life. She made me swoon and filled me with confidence I hadn’t had in years. There was doubt in my mind that she’d be my wife. Come hell or high water.

By the time I’d walked down to the art store where she worked, I was more than a little confused by her anxiousness. All that evaporated as soon as I saw her through the window. She was helping a customer and smiling. I stood and watched for a minute or so before I headed in. As soon as she saw me, she looked down at her hands and started wringing them. “Hey, pretty lady,” I said. I kissed her on the cheek, as she wouldn’t let me anywhere near her lips. And that’s when she looked up at me, her lower lip trembling and tears just starting to well up in her eyes.

“Finn,” she said, “I’m pregnant.”

Simultaneously the bottom dropped out of my stomach and I found myself happier than I’d ever been. I held her while she cried on my shoulder for a couple of minutes and when she finally stopped and looked me in the eye, I said all the right things. I made her smile a little bit and told her that I was going to head to the bar across the street and that she should meet me when she got off. Her hands were still shaking a bit but she seemed to be in much better spirits than when I walked in.

My mind was reeling as I walked out of the store. In a few months, I was going to be a father. Something I’d never asked for and something I definitely thought I’d be. Snow had started to fall, covering the dirt of South Street in a fine white blanket as I walked across the street and into the familiar environs of a bar I’d spent a million nights in. Bobby was behind the bar, and as soon as I bellied up he knew that something was amiss. What’s happening, Finn ?” he asked. “Bobby,” I said, “in a few short months, I’m gonna be somebody’s old man.” He saw the look on my face and knew that I was dead serious. And he laughed.

“Look man,” he said, “I have a piece of advice for you.” “What’s that ?” I asked. “Always do the right thing,” he responded. And then he laughed again. He told me to relax and that I’d be a fine father, just so long as I remembered what was important to me. He poured me a pint and a shot and headed down to talk to a few girls at the end of the bar. For the most part, I could only sit there in silence, listening to the Dead Boys and wondering if I had what it takes to be a father.

thefinn sometimes writes funny stuff here. Archives


listening to bartenders is a good thing. They are wise beyond their years.

unless it's Archie Bunker behind the bar.

He didn't know shit.


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