"Come on, Lennox, Ryder!" Joe called up the stairs as he put on his jacket, "You're going to be late for school!" He took his keys of the coffee table and opened the front door.
Lennox stormed down the stairs, grabbed her backpack and stomped out the door.
"Morning, Joe," Ryder came down and picked up his backpack.
"What's up with her?" Joe asked.
"Don't ask me," Ryder snapped. In an effort to cover up his attitude he added, "Lennox never tells me anything!"
The car was completely silent for most of the drive. Lennox sat in the back seat, writing in a little notebook she had taken to expressing her feelings when she didn't have her computer. Joe sat at the wheel, squinting into the rearview mirror in an attempt to read her thoughts. Ryder sat in the passenger seat, texting someone: probably Holly. Lennox got out as quickly as possible when Joe pulled the car up in front of the school. Ryder followed, waving goodbye to Joe as he walked into the school.
Joe was cleaning the bathroom when someone knocked on the door. Joe answered it and found Stephanie, nervously holding a huge stack of papers.
"Hi, Joe, is Mel home?" She asked anxiously.
"No, I thought she was at the office. She left early this morning."
"Oh shoot. She was at work this morning, but she left early. I had to get these papers to her and I assumed that she would be here. You know, since she lives here and-"
"Well, she's not," Joe said abruptly.
"Oh… Okay," Stephanie seemed hurt.
"Sorry," Joe apologized. He put his arm around her to comfort her. Her scared expression turned into a broad smile.
"I'm just in the middle of some cleaning and I was on a roll when you interrupted me... Did you try calling Mel?"
"I should have done that!" Stephanie cried. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed Mel's number.
Joe went back to work. He began scrubbing the sink of the downstairs bathroom.
"She didn't answer," Stephanie reported. "Can I use your bathroom?"
"Sure, but not this one. Go upstairs and use Lennox and Ryder's bathroom."
Stephanie rushed up the stairs as fast as her little legs could carry her. As she ran up the stairs, Mel came through the front door. When Joe saw her, an expression of relief spread across his face.
"Thank goodness you're okay!" Joe ran to hug her but stopped awkwardly and just stood there. Composing himself, calmly he said, "'Cause, you know, Stephanie told me you left work early and you weren't here and I was just concerned about whether you were going to make it to Ryder's game... Yeah."
"I'm fine," Mel laughed. "And of course I won't miss Ryder's game."
"Well, where were you?" Joe tried to remain cool.
"I was, um, on a lunch date," Mel said. She looked at him warily, waiting for his response.
"Oh," Joe had a hint of jealousy in his voice.
"You know what, Longo?"
"I think I will go and use your fresh clean bathroom!"
"NO! I'm not finished! Go upstairs!"
"Fine, I know how ladies can be about their bathrooms."
Mel started to make her way up the stairs just as Stephanie was coming down.
"Oh, Mel, you're here!" Stephanie said excitedly. She continued in a nervous tone, "You may want to hear what I have to say."
"But I have to pee!"
"This might be slightly more important."
"Fine," The two of them walked down the stairs and into the living room. Joe started to head back to the direction of the bathroom.
"Joe, don't go," Stephanie said firmly. "I have something I think you should see."
"What is it?" Mel and Joe asked together.
"I found this in Lennox's trash can," Stephanie pulled out a pregnancy test from her pocket, "It's positive..."
Don't be fooled, there's 'bout to be a big twist.