James kicked himself. Very smooth, Jimmy. Insult the woman you’re trying to get to know. Why don’t you just give her a list of infant mortality causes while you’re at it? James took a seat at the table, desperately trying to think of a way to get his foot out of his mouth. Changing the subject seemed like a good start. Something innocuous, something benign, something positive. Baby stuff! “Hey, I meant to ask how you’re set for baby things because I’ve got plenty of Summer’s stuff in my garage that you’re welcome to take.”
April seemed surprised at his offer. “Oh, thank you. That’s very generous. I guess I better figure all that out. I’ve been waiting for a paycheck.”
“Well, I’m sure you got most things at your baby shower anyway, right?” James grinned, happy to be making small talk. But April looked uneasy, which was not his intention.
“Actually, I haven’t had a shower.”
Now it was James’s turn to be surprised. “Oh! Well, if it’s co-ed, I’d love to come. Believe it or not, I know a onesie from a Snugli. Where are you registered?”
“Registered?” April looked overcome with fear. James had steered the conversation in a disastrous direction. He wanted to put her at ease and figured girly talk was the key ingredient, but it seemed that every new thing that came out of his mouth triggered a more terrified expression from April’s pretty face. He began to ramble, sensing he was just making things worse.
“Babies R Us is where most folks do it, although there is a funky little baby store downtown you should consider since it’s privately owned. Summer loves to go there and pick out toys. Of course, you probably haven’t had time to look around yet.”
“No, I haven’t had time.” She clearly was not enjoying this conversation. He needed to end this topic.
“Well, don’t worry. I’m sure the baby won’t come early.” As soon as he said it, he knew it was a mistake. What idiot would say something like that to a first-time expectant mother? He started to sweat. He’d need a magic ladder to get out of the ditch he’d dug himself.
“Why would the baby come early?” April sounded mortified. James had the urge to jump across the picnic table and take her in his arms. He could make everything right if he could just be closer to her. He stared at April in horror, realizing he had to say something.