Chapter Eight: Love
After our little session of frolicking under the bed sheets, Diane fell asleep in the bed. I got out of the bed, and I was a little worried that Satellite Ears or Regina would come home and discover Diane in the bed, so I decided to wake her up. I brought a small portable radio into the bedroom and blasted the rock station.
Diane woke up. “Bananamouth!” she said. “Oh dear, I must’ve fallen asleep. Well, thanks for waking me up, darling. Maybe I should go home now.”
“Hmm, only if you want to,” I said. “Though I’ll be busy this afternoon. Would you like to stay for lunch, at least?”
“Oh no!” said Diane. She sounded worried.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I was supposed to go to work this morning!” cried Diane. “Oh no! The general will be so mad at me!”
“Oh my God, I’m sorry!” I said. “Look, I’ll take the blame. I’m the one who invited you over. I didn’t know that you had to work this morning.”
“Oh, I think it’ll be okay,” Diane said. “I can just call work now and pretend I’m too sick to go in to work.”
“You can use my phone if you like,” I told her.
“Thanks,” said Diane. She used my phone to phone the army base, and she coughed on the phone and pretended to be sick.
“I’m sorry again,” I said.
“Oh come on,” said Diane. “Don’t apologize! What we did was more fun than going to work, anyway!”
I laughed. “Well, I’ll just be sure not to ever make you absent from work again.”
“Thanks,” said Diane. “Well, I should probably go back home before I cause any more trouble.” We laughed.
I got a phone call from Diane when I came home from work one day, a little while after our memorable date.
“Hi, Bananamouth, my love!” said Diane. “I just wanted to know if you’d like to go out to dinner with me tonight. And I have a surprise for you!”
“Oh, wow!” I said. “I sure would like to come out to dinner! And a surprise sounds good! Where should we go?”
“Would you like to go out to Simmer’s Restaurant again?” Diane asked. “Or we could grill some hotdogs at the park.”
“Grilled hotdogs sound good to me,” I said, “if you don’t mind.”
“I like hotdogs too!” said Diane. “Let’s go!”
I told Satellite Ears and Regina that I was going out to dinner with Diane. A few minutes later, the taxi pulled up in front of my house, and Diane was in it. The taxi stopped off at the park, and we got out.
“I’ll grill you up a romantic dinner, and then I’ll find out what your surprise is,” I said. I grilled some hotdogs, and set them out on the picnic tables. People from all over the park sat down at the picnic tables to eat them.
Diane and I took our hotdogs to a small dining table, where it was just the two of us sitting there.
“Bananamouth, darling,” said Diane, “my surprise is an announcement. I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, my love,” I said.
“I’m going to be a mother!” said Diane.
“You’re pregnant?” I said.
“Yes!” said Diane.
“Oh my,” I said. I didn’t know what else to say.
“So this means that I’m going to be a father, then?” I asked.
“Yes,” said Diane. “I hope that’s okay. I understand how it’d be worrisome for you.”
“I’m just trying to decide how I feel about this,” I said. “I mean, I think it’s wonderful that you’re going to be having a baby! But at the same time, I’m just not so sure if I’m all that ready to be a father.”
Diane took my hand. “Bananamouth, I think it’ll be all right. I can take care of the baby. I can take some time off work.”
“Should we be living together, so that we can both take care of our baby?”
“That would be a wonderful idea!” said Diane. “Maybe you could move into my house once the baby is born. But if that doesn’t work out, you can continue living where you’re living now, with your brother, and I can look after the baby myself. Or enlist the help of nannies, if needed. I know they’re not always too reliable, but hopefully I won’t use them much.”
“Aww, I’d feel guilty if I couldn't look after our kid,” I said.
“Don’t worry, love,” said Diane. “Anyway, we’ll figure things out soon. We don’t need to have everything all planned out right now. There’s still time.”
“I think I’ll feel better about it once I get used to the fact that I’ll be a father. Well, congratulations!”
“You should congratulate yourself, too!” said Diane. “You helped me!”
“Hooray for us!” I said.
“Oh good, Mrs. CrumpleBottom isn’t around anywhere,” said Diane. “She’d be getting on our case so fast…”
“Oh, she’s probably just a grumpy old lady who’s jealous because she never gets any,” I said. Diane laughed.
“Well, now that we’re finished our hotdogs, would you like to go play on the swings?” I asked.
“Yes!” said Diane. We spent the rest of the night on the swings and went home at 2 in the morning, exhausted.
I phoned Not a blue woman the next day.
“Not a blue woman!” I said. “Guess what? I’m gonna be a father!”
“Hooray!” said Not a blue woman. “Congratulations, Bananamouth!”
“Yeah, my girlfriend just told me about it yesterday. We went out on a date to the park, and she told me there.”
“Will you guys be living together?” asked Not a blue woman.
“We aren’t, yet,” I said. “We haven’t quite decided yet what our living arrangements will be in the future. So, how have you guys been?”
“I’ve been doing quite well as a getaway driver,” said Not a blue woman. “And Valerie is a cat burglar now.”
“Moving up in the ranks, eh?” I said.
“Yep,” said Not a blue woman. “And Reuil is doing quite well in school. He’s been keeping up in his schoolwork, and I’ve been helping him with his homework.”
“I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that he’ll be getting a new cousin,” I said.
“Yes, that’ll be exciting!” said Not a blue woman.
“I hope I can help Diane take care of the kid,” I said. “I’m pretty sure we can work something out.”
“Is Diane excited that she’s having a baby?” said Not a blue woman.
“Oh yes, she sure is!” I said. “She’s happy about it. She loves children.”
“Well, I should go now and help Reuil with his homework,” said Not a blue woman. “Thank you so much for sharing the happy news with me! I’ll tell Valerie and Reuil.”
“See you later,” I said.
On my next day off, Diane phoned me.
“Diane!” I said. “How are you, love?”
“I’m doing great, for a pregnant woman,” Diane laughed. “I’ve got some time off work now, which is good. I have the time to take care of myself.”
“Oh dear,” I said. “Sometimes pregnant women have a hard time taking care of themselves. Should I be taking care of you, and helping you with things?”
“Oh, Bananamouth, you silly guy,” said Diane. “That wasn’t supposed to be a hint! Like I said, I’m doing really well. Anyway, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come over here to my house. I don’t think you’ve ever been here before.”
“You’re right, I haven’t,” I said. “I’d love to come over! Satellite Ears is taking care of Nora, so that won’t be a problem. When should I go there?”
“Right now will be fine,” said Diane. “I look forward to it!”
“I think I have your address,” I said. “Yes, I do. I’ll be right over!”
“See you soon, love!” said Diane.
I walked over to Diane’s house. It didn’t take me long. Diane had a medium-sized house in the middle of her lawn. The house had white siding and brown roof tiles, like many of the houses in Veronaville. In the front yard there was the usual mailbox and garbage can, plus a small green round wooden table near the mailbox. On the right-hand side of the front yard there was an odd-looking machine consisting of a gray circular base attached to the ground and a large gray hoop sticking up from it. There were also some decorative plants in vases in the front yard.
As I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the house, Diane came out to greet me. She had certainly gotten bigger since I had last seen her, and she was dressed in a long white maternity dress. We hugged and kissed, and then went inside. Diane's living room had plain white walls and a brown wooden floor. Against one edge of the room there was a wooden dining table with dark brown wooden legs. There was a clear vase with some sunflowers in it on the table, and one simple black and white dining chair at the table. Against another wall was a simple dark brown bookcase. In the middle of the room there was a gray and white striped couch.
Immediately behind the living room area was the kitchen, which wasn’t really a separate room. The kitchen had white and blue floor tiles, and contained a pink fridge, some pink counters (one with a sink in it), and an orange stove.
I went into the bathroom. It was nothing special. It just contained a black toilet, a simple shower, and an ordinary white sink. It had a black tiled floor.
“Bananamouth,” said Diane, “would you like to see the bedroom now? Or would you like to see the backyard first?”
“I think I’d like to see the backyard,” I said. We went outside to the backyard. I saw a swing set, a gray lounge chair, a red stuffed chair, and a gray and white striped couch like the one in the living room.
“You have some nice things in your backyard,” I said.
“Thanks,” said Diane. “I’d love to get a hot tub, too. But not right now. Maybe sometime soon, though.”
“That would be wonderful!” I said.
“I’d like to get a telescope, too, eventually,” said Diane. “But I don’t have much money. Maybe I’ll save up for one.”
“What’s that thing in the front yard?” I asked. “The big circular hoop thing.”
“Oh, that,” said Diane. “It’s a sort of exercise machine. It’s a lot of fun, too! You go inside the hoop, and it spins you around. Wanna try it?”
“Sure! I said. We went out into the front yard, and I climbed into the hoop. The machine turned around, and I got spun in circles in what seemed like every direction. It was kind of scary, but also thrilling. I nearly threw up when I got off, though.
“That machine helps me keep in shape for my military work,” said Diane. “I don’t want to risk using it when I’m pregnant, though. I don’t want to move around too much right now. I don’t even risk jumping on the couch these days.”
“So, you were going to show me the bedroom?” I said.
“Sure,” said Diane. We went inside. The bedroom was nothing much to look at. It contained a double bed with red sheets, but nothing else.
“Would you like to have a bit of fun on the bed?” Diane asked me cheekily.
“Would I!” I said. We jumped under the covers and had a great time there.
An hour later, I woke up. “Oh damn!” I said. “I fell asleep!”
“It’s okay, Nanner-mouth,” said Diane, who was sitting on the bed beside me. “You’re cute! Would you like to have some lunch?”
“I sure would!” I said.
“Would you like to have gelatin for lunch?” Diane asked me.
I laughed. “Are you serious?” I said.
“Yes,” said Diane. “Gelatin is easy to make and very filling. It’s good for pregnant women. I eat it very often these days.”
“Too bad I’m not pregnant,” I joked.
Diane threw a pillow at me. “Come on, let’s go into the living room,” she said. I sat down at the dining table in the living room, and Diane got some gelatin out of the fridge and put plates of it on the table.
“Let’s both eat our gelatin on the couch,” I suggested, since there was only one dining chair at the table.
“Good idea, dear,” said Diane, and so we ate our plates of gelatin while sitting on the couch.
“I’m really tired,” Diane said after our gelatin lunch. “I think I’ll go to bed for a while. You can stay here, if you like, or you can go home.”
“If you don’t mind, I think I’ll actually go home,” I said. “I would love to stay, but I should probably get home and help Satellite Ears take care of Nora.”
“Okay,” said Diane.
“You have a really nice house,” I said.
“Thanks!” said Diane. “I was worried that you’d think it was too simple, or that there was too much furniture outside.”
I laughed. “I’m no stranger to having furniture outside a house,” I said. “Anyway, I’ll be going now. Continue taking care of yourself, and call me any time.” We made out in the living room, and then Diane went off to bed and I went home.
One evening not long after my visit to Diane’s house, I was playing with Nora when the doorbell rang. I answered the door, and Not a blue woman was there.
“Hi, Bananamouth!” he said.
“Hi!” I said, and we hugged. “Come on in!”
“I was just walking by, so I thought I’d stop on in and see how everyone was doing,” said Not a blue woman.
Satellite Ears came into the living room. “Hi, Not a blue woman!” he said.
“Hi, Satellite Ears,” said Not a blue woman. “How are you?”
“Very good,” said Satellite Ears.
“Where’s Regina?” Not a blue woman asked.
“She decided to go to bed early,” said Satellite Ears.
Nora went up to Not a blue woman and asked him for food, so he went to the kitchen and got a bottle out of the fridge for her. He then went out to the dining table in the garage, and proceeded to eat some rotten food that had been left out on the table.
“Noooo!” I said. I had followed him to the garage. “Stop that! You could get sick!”
“Aww, I’m sorry, Bananamouth,” said Not a blue woman. “I just love spaghetti, and I thought that this spaghetti looked so good, and I wanted to try some, even though it was rotten. And I figured that if it was rotten, you guys wouldn’t want it anymore.”
“It’s not so much that I want it,” I said. “I just heard that you can get sick if you eat it.” I took the plate of rotten spaghetti away from him, and washed it in the kitchen sink.
Not a blue woman followed me to the kitchen. “I’m sorry, Bananamouth,” he said.
“Oh, it’s okay,” I said. “Just don’t do it again.”
“I won’t,” said Not a blue woman. “So, how is Diane?”
“She’s doing really well,” I said. “We’re so much in love!”
“Do you guys have any plans to get married?” asked Not a blue woman.
“Oh, we’ve actually never discussed that,” I said. “I guess because we’ve been busy and we’ve had so many other things to think about lately.”
“Would you like to get married to her?” Not a blue woman asked.
“I think I would, someday,” I said. “Though I haven’t though of asking her anytime in the near future.”
“I see,” said Not a blue woman.
“Would you like to jump on the couch for a while?”
“Yes!” said Not a blue woman. We both went into the living room and jumped on the couch. After a while, Satellite Ears came in and wanted to sit on the couch, so we got off.
“Well, I gotta get home now,” said Not a blue woman.
“It was nice of you to stop by,” I said. “See you.”
Diane phoned me a few days later, early in the morning.
“Bananamouth!” she said. “I think I’m about to have the baby!”
“Oh my goodness!” I said. I didn't know quite what to say.
“Would you like to come over right now and watch?” Diane asked.
“I’ll be right over there!” I said. “I was going to go to work today, but I have a few vacation days that I haven’t used up yet, so I’ll use one today. I’ll be right there!”
“Okay!” said Diane. “See you soon.”
I rushed over to Diane’s house, and found her in the living room. She was not wearing a lot of clothing, and she was bending over. Suddenly, I saw a baby appear! Diane held the baby and cuddled it.
“Aww, she’s so cute!” said Diane. “Wanna hold her, Bananamouth?”
“Yes, I would,” I said. Diane passed the baby girl to me. As I was holding the baby, Diane was bending over again.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
Diane didn’t answer, but another baby soon appeared!
“Aww, he’s such a cutie!” said Diane, cuddling the baby boy that she’s just given birth to.
“Wow, we have twins!” I exclaimed.
“Yes!” said Diane. “What a surprise! We have two lovely babies. I think they’re the cutest babies in the world!”
“I think we should give these babies some bottles, and then put them in some cribs,” I said. “Do you have any cribs?”
“Oh no!” said Diane. “I don’t!”
“You can just wish for them, and they’ll appear,” I said. “That usually works.”
Two cribs and a baby changing table magically appeared in the backyard just then.
“Thank goodness for this wonderful system of obtaining household items,” said Diane.
Diane got a bottle for our son that she was holding, and I got a bottle for our daughter that I was holding. While we were feeding them, I said, “What should we name our little darlings?”
“Why don’t we name the boy Remington?” Diane suggested.
“I don’t know,” I said. “There’s already a lot of people named Remington in this town, it seems. How about Norman? I don’t know any Normans.”
“That’s a great name!” said Diane. “What should we name our daughter?”
“How about Brandy?” I suggested.
“That’s a beautiful name,” said Diane. “I like it!”
After we finished feeding the babies, we put them in their cribs.
“Should I stay around and help you take care of the babies?” I asked.
“I think I’ll be able to manage,” said Diane.
“Even with two babies to take care of?” I asked.
“Yes,” said Diane. “I think everything will be all right.” She kissed me on the cheek. “Thanks for helping to take care of them today.”
“If you ever need any help taking care of them, just let me know,” I said. “Just give me a call, and I’ll come right over.”
“Thank you, love,” said Diane. “I will. Oh, Bananamouth, you’ve given me the best gift I could ever get!”
We hugged each other passionately.