“This CRX has taught me everything I know about driving and its the only car I trust I can go 100% in. I know exactly what the car is going to, and it drives the same way every time. It never overheats, the brakes never get soft and I’ve got the perfect pitch so I don’t need to even look at the tach.”- Andy Hope
You're an angel ("sweet nothing's" meme for Shandy) ❤️
When Emily called Andy in a panic, he dropped what he was doing to take her call. He got a few curious glances from his colleagues and his boss in particular when he hurried off to the break room, but he knew that asking her to wait was out of the question. Twenty minutes and a couple of near heart attacks later, Andy made his was back to his desk, loosening his tie so that he felt like he could breathe. He set his phone on his desk before he walked over to Sharon’s office. Feeling her eyes on him, he knocked softly on her door before allowing himself in and shutting the door behind him.
Before she had a chance to ask him what was wrong, Andy held up his hand. “I need the afternoon off.”
Sharon quickly got out of her seat, walking around to the front of the desk where Andy stood. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah,” he nodded, “A little emergency came up though, and I need the afternoon off. I’ll explain everything later.”
“Sure,” she answered hesitantly. It was unlike Andy to keep anything from her, but she trusted him. She leaned forward and hugged him tightly and quickly before pulling back. “You’re sure everything is okay?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he replied once more. “I’ll see you at home later?”
“Around six?” she suggested, checking her watch.
“Six is good,” he smiled, “I’ll make dinner. Don’t worry about picking anything up on your way.”
“Okay,” she watched him walk out the door. She wasn’t sure what was going on, but she was looking forward to an explanation when she got home.
Getting to LAX quickly in LA traffic was hell, but seeing Emily at the airport waiting for him was well worth it. She sat solemnly on a bench with her bag at her feet, and Andy had never been more happy that it had been him to get the phone call and not Sharon. He wasn’t sure that she would have been able to handle seeing her little girl like this: pregnant and alone, tear stains on her cheeks, sitting on a bench at the LAX arrivals gate.
“Andy,” she smiled, glancing up at him, “Thank you.” She struggled to get up, so Andy held out his hand to help her to her feet. Not letting go, Emily squeezed his hand tighter and pulled him into a hug. “Thank you for coming to get me. I didn’t know who else to call.”
“I’m glad you felt like you could call me,” he answered, pulling back and sweeping her bangs out of her eyes. “Come on, let’s get you out of the hot sun and to your mom.”
Andy bent down and picked up her bag with one hand, and allowed Emily to rest her hand in the crook of his other arm. He slowly led her to his car, giving her the time she needed before asking any questions.
“You didn’t tell her what was going on, did you?” Emily asked, waiting as Andy opened the door for her and helped her into the car.
“No, I didn’t,” he closed the door before quickly making his way over to the drivers side and getting in beside her, “She needs to hear it from you. Well, see it from you, I guess,” he motioned to the swell of her stomach before starting the car and pulling out of the parking space he had occupied.
“There’s certainly no hiding it now,” she sighed, resting her hands on her growing abdomen.
“I’m just wondering how you managed to hide it from her for seven months to begin with,” Andy glanced over, trying to gauge her reaction.
“Well, I haven’t seen her since Christmas, and I’m thinking that this,” she lifted her hand and pointed to her stomach, “happened on New Year’s Eve. At first I was in denial, but as the weeks passed and his dad decided he didn’t want to be part of the picture anymore, I realized that I was going to be facing this alone.”
“He?” Andy interrupted her, a smile covering his face.
“Yeah,” she nodded her head, “A little boy. My little boy. I watched my mom raise Ricky and I basically on her own, and it wasn’t easy for her. I thought I could handle it like she did, but I can’t,” she paused, taking a deep breath and wiping a tear from her cheek.
“She will be glad you came out here, Emily. She loves you and your brothers more than anything in the world,” he reassured her, his voice calm and soothing.
“Do you think she will be mad?” Emily asked, wiping at her eyes once more.
“About you being pregnant? No,” he shook he head, “But I won’t lie, she isn’t going to be happy that you kept it from her. You know she is. Once the initial shock wears off, I think she will be okay.”
At 5:57 Andy heard Sharon’s key rattling in the door. Emily had been sitting wrapped in a blanket on the balcony while he worked on dinner. He told her he thought it might be a good idea to give him a few minutes to talk to Sharon to explain to her why he had to leave work so suddenly and that her daughter was waiting for her on the balcony. She easily agreed, knowing that the sight of her pregnant daughter opening the door for her just might cause her mother to faint.
“It smells wonderful in here,” Sharon said, setting her keys and purse on the table in the entranceway.
“Just some pasta,” he answered, rounding the corner and greeting her with a kiss, “How was work?”
“Finally finished all of that paperwork I had piled up on my desk,” she shrugged, “And, your afternoon?” She asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.
“Yeah,” he rubbed the back of his neck, “I’m sorry about that. Listen, before you say anything or ask any questions,I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she smiled, resting her hands on his chest.
“Emily is out in the balcony,” he watched as her eyes widened and she went to turn to greet her daughter. It had been too long since she had seen her and she wouldn’t wait to wrap her arms around her little girl. “Sharon, wait,” Andy took hold of her arm, stopping her in her tracks, “Emily has a lot to talk to you about. I’ll wait inside. Go easy on the kid, okay. She needs her mom right now.”
Sharon’s eyes grew impossibly larger with worry, and Andy couldn’t remember a time he had ever seen her so scared. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her forehead before turning her around and nudging her towards the door. At the first gasp he heard, he turned back to the kitchen, and finished the pasta while he waited.
“I can’t believe you did this for her,” Sharon leaned into his side, her feet tucked underneath her. She had long ago sent Emily to her bed, insisting she get some rest after what must have been an exhausting day. She tucked her little girl in as she did many years ago, kissing her cheek before closing the door and joining Andy on the couch with a glass of wine.
“I didn’t just do it for her. I did it for you, too. She needed you, but Sharon, you need her too, right now. I know you can’t and won’t let her do this on her own if she doesn’t have to.” She nodded against his neck, closing her eyes briefly as she thought about his words.
“Thank you. For all of this,” she tilted her head up and pressed a soft kiss to his neck, “She really likes you.”
“She does?” He asked, genuinely surprised by her statement.
“Of course,” Sharon rolled her eyes, “Why do you think she called you?”
“Honestly? I just thought she was too scared to call you,” he grinned.
“Funny,” she nudged him in the side, “While that’s not entirely wrong, she called you because she likes you and she trusts you. That means so much to me, Andy. You’re an angel.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” he shook his head.
“I do,” she smiled, gladly accepting the kiss he offered her, “Do you know what she told me when I was getting her settled into bed?”
“She’s thinking of naming him Drew,” Sharon looked up into his eyes, a smile growing bright on her own face. She watched as a wave of confusion swept over him, his mouth slightly open in shock, “She wasn’t sure that she could see herself raising an Andy, but she could definitely see a Drew.”
“Sharon,” Andy began, struggling to find words to express what the gesture meant to him. He swallowed the lump forming in his throat and hoped that the tears threatening to fall would stay at bay, “I don’t know what to say.”
“I didn’t know what to say either. I think it’s wonderful, though. You’re a great man, Andy, and I’ll be lucky if my grandson grows up to be anything like you,” she reached up to grab his cheek and pulled him down for a kiss, “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he grinned, quickly pressing his lips to hers once more. “Drew, huh?”
“Yeah,” she nodded.
“Rusty is going to have a field day with that one,” Andy laughed, picturing the disgusted look on Rusty’s face when he heard about his sister’s plans.
“Oh just wait,” Sharon giggled, shaking her head at Emily’s sentimentality and sense of humor, “his middle name is going to be Russell.”
Andy knew there was a reason he liked those Raydor women. Now, sitting here on Sharon’s sofa with her wrapped in his arms and Emily down the hall, he realized that he was the luckiest man alive to have them in his life.