“It probably won’t be long. She barely naps through the day now, but the heat and the excitement has gotten to her a bit today,” Angela says.
“Mine is the same,” Penny says. She pauses and then laughs. “And she’s sixteen.”
We all laugh and then Penny and Angela get into a conversation about whether the terrible twos are worse or the hormonal teen years are worse. Tyler touches my arm and I turn my head and smile at him.
“Are you having a good time?” he asks me.
“Yeah,” I say. “Everyone is being so lovely and welcoming.”
“I told you you’d have a new little bestie with Mia, didn’t I?” he says with a laugh.
“Aww she’s adorable,” I say.
Tyler’s cell phone starts to ring, and he pulls it from his pocket and looks at the screen.
“Shit. I have to take this, sorry,” he says.
He gets up and goes into the house and I tune back into the conversation. They have moved on now to talking about someone named Jean who apparently lives on Penny’s street and is a neighbor from hell. I can’t help but giggle at some of the stories and Angela and Penny join in with the giggles and before long, we are all howling with laughter, tears pouring down our faces. Every time the laughter starts to die down a bit, one of us adds on another funny comment and we start up again. The laughter is finally stopping when Tyler comes back over to the table.
“What’s funny?” he asks.
“Everything after two glasses of this stuff,” Angela says, holding up her nearly empty glass of punch.
I realize my own second drink is also nearly empty, and I think maybe Angela has a point. Tyler puts his hand on my shoulder.
“Listen, I have to go, I’m sorry. There’s a problem with one of my clients and he isn’t going to rest until I’ve been out there and spoken to him in person,” he says.
“Oh,” I say, quite disappointed that we have to cut the day short but understanding that it has to be done. “Give me a minute to go to the bathroom.”
Tyler is shaking his head before I’ve finished speaking.
“Don’t be silly, you stay here,” he says. “I shouldn’t be too long, and I’ll come back for you.”
“Oh no, I couldn’t impose on Angela like that,” I say.
“You’re not imposing, you’re an invited guest,” Angela puts in. “And besides, do you know what kind of temper fit Mia is going to have when she wakes up and Tyler is gone? If you’re both gone, I’ll never hear the end of it. Stay. Please.”
“Well, if you’re sure,” I say, not really sure whether I’m checking with Angela or Tyler.
It doesn’t matter which of them it was because both of them answer me and both of them tell me they are sure. Tyler bends down and kisses the top of my head.
“See you soon,” he says.
I watch him walk away and then I’m pulled back into conversation. I was a little bit worried that things might be awkward once Tyler has gone but they aren’t. We are chatting and laughing, and I feel like I’ve known these women for ages.
At some point, we hear Mia crying over the baby monitor and Angela excuses herself to go and see her, leaving me and Penny, still chatting.
“Do you have kids Summer?” Penny asks me.
“No,” I say.
I don’t elaborate. What am I supposed to say? I’ve never had a real relationship where it might have happened and now, I am in one, Tyler doesn’t want kids? I suppose there is a part of me that would have liked to have had kids one day, but at the same time, I had kind of resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen for me, and I had made my peace with that so Tyler not wanting kids isn’t that big of a deal for me.
“Do you want to borrow mine some time? She comes with a huge chip on her shoulder and an attitude to match,” Penny laughs.
“Hmm you’re not the saleswoman you think you are,” I say, and we both laugh.
Angela comes back with Mia in her arms. She looks around the garden and then at Angela.