Not Ready

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After talking to Mr. Peterman, I texted Jace on his secret phone and we met up in the stairwell again. He was relieved that I didn't tell Mr. Peterman it was him who was being abused.

"The last thing I want to do is set that old hag off with CPS coming over, especially when they're not home," Jace said.

"Okay. If you don't feel safe with me telling anyone, then I won't," I said.

We hugged and kissed, then I went home for the day. I was still torn over not being able to get Jace out of his house and away from his parents, his mom especially. All I could really do at this point was be there for him.

On Wednesday morning, I was feeling a little better. I held my head up high and put on my graduation cap and gown to take my senior pictures. Even though I was totally humongous, the gown still fit.

"Whoa, that thing is so big, you can't even really tell you're pregnant!" Cler said, fixing her hair in a hand mirror.

I laughed. It felt like the boys rolled over. They were just as excited about the gown fitting as I was. 

"Thanks," I said. 

I took my cap and gown pictures, then changed into a comfortable pair of leggings and a nice maternity blouse for the rest of the pictures. I thought the photographers would stare or give me looks, but they were super nice about everything. One even gave me a chair so I could take pictures sitting down.

I went to work that night, where Julia showed me pictures of how her nursery was going as we ate in the break room. She already had both girls' cribs set up, and their changing table, too. The walls were painted a nice, light  grey.

I read how that was the new "in" thing for nurseries. The girls' nicknames, Georgie and Genny, were above the white cribs, but the letters weren't painted yet.

"I'm thinking of doing a pink and purple cheetah print for Georgie and a pink and white chevron for Genny's letters. What do you think?" she asked.

"Sounds good," I said.

Curse her for being so crafty. I could never pull off something like that.

"How's your nursery coming, Bump Buddy?"

"Oh...uh...it's good!" I said.

She nudged me with her elbow. "Well, where's your pictures?"

I quickly thought of the perfect copout. "I told you already! No pictures until it's completely done."

Julia sighed. "Okay, fine. I just feel like I can't wait anymore."

"Hang in there. It'll be done soon." 

That was a close one. I checked my phone. Target closed in an hour. I was ready to clock out and run over there to buy cribs. I literally hadn't done a single thing in our room. Poppy and I couldn't even decide what bunk beds we wanted for our side of the room, let alone buying the cribs.

"What about your names? Still nothing?" Julia asked.

"I'll let you know. I just really can't settle on anything."

"Do you have any ideas?"

"Nothing." 

"But what if you go into labor early?"

"Huh?"

"You didn't know? Most twins come before they're supposed to. You're almost seven months. What if they came in like, three weeks and were preemies, and you still had no names?" she asked.

I shook my head. That seriously could not happen. I looked at Julia, with her names picked out and nursery almost ready, and she was a few weeks behind me in her pregnancy. I felt like I was doomed.

"I think I'm gonna look through all my baby name books when I get home," I said.

"Thatt'a girl," Julia said.

I finished out my shift and went home, then pushed through the rest of the week. Friday afternoon we had the pep rally, where I got to watch Poppy make her first debut with the marching band.

Her uniform pants were super long and I kept freaking out that she'd trip and embarrass herself in front of the entire school, but thankfully, she didn't. Destiny was in the back of the group, playing the portable xylophone. I could only imagine how much trouble her and Poppy were making during practice.

I thought it would bother me that I couldn't finish out my senior year in marching band after being in it all through high school, but with my feet, there was no chance.

In a way I almost wanted to feel sad that I wasn't there, but I was so proud of Poppy that it kind of overpowered that sadness.  

I rubbed my belly. The boys seemed to like all the music as well. They were kicking up a storm. Sometimes at night, Poppy would take out her flute and I'd play my clarinet for them. They loved it. We both really hoped that they'd be into playing instruments like their mom and auntie, along with their grandfather in heaven.

After doing such a good job, I couldn't understand why Poppy was so upset on the ride home. She was putting her head down and not saying a word. She always loved to tell me about all the drama that was happening around her, so this was a big surprise.

"What happened? Did someone pick on you? Don't listen to them. You killed it out there!" I said, doing my best to be a supportive big sister.

"No, it's because today's the seventh, and tomorrow's the eighth." I didn't answer. I felt like I literally couldn't move until I was a few feet away from the car in front of us at the stoplight. I slammed on the breaks and Poppy shielded me with her arm. "Be careful! The babies!"

I took a deep breath and rubbed my belly. Lots of moving. They were fine.

"It's okay. They're okay," I said.

We were quiet for a while. The light turned green. I pressed my foot down gently on Smushy's gas pedal.

"Don't tell me you forgot about tomorrow," Poppy said.

"No, of course I didn't."

I tried to focus on the road as she started sobbing. "And I can't go to the cemetery tomorrow because I have to babysit! I took on three separate jobs without realizing what day it was!"

"I'm sure he would understand, Poppy."

She sniffled and wiped away her tears, mascara running down her face. "You sure?"

"Yeah. And tell you what, I'll bring an extra thing of flowers from you."

A smile came across my lips. At that exact moment, an idea popped into my head. I suddenly knew what I was going to name one of the boys. How did I not think of this sooner. This name is literally perfect.

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