Tales of food, sex and friendship

Season 8, Episode 7

December 18, 2012


Mia opened the door to the apartment quietly. She paused in the hallway, listening for signs of life. For the last week she had come and gone from the house as quiet as a mouse. She had been avoiding them all – Ana, Willow, Johnny. Especially Johnny. Not that he had been going out of his way to spend time with her, she thought angrily. They’d barely exchanged ten words since he’d found out she was pregnant and freaked out.

She walked upstairs and dumped her bag in her room. She paused in front of the mirror and turned sideways, putting her hands on her slightly round belly. She was wearing a lot more loose fitting tops these days, keeping the slight bump hidden from her housemates, but it wasn’t going to be long before those weren’t enough anymore.

She’d gone over the scenario in her head so many times, playing out how they might react. She’d been so far off the mark with Johnny though, she really didn’t know what to expect anymore. Mia had hoped that she and Johnny could tell them together. But the longer Johnny was silent about it, the more Mia realised that this was something that she was doing on her own. She’d already made her decision: even if Johnny wanted nothing to do with this kid, she was keeping it.

She wondered if he’d go back to Australia. He’d have to move out, at any rate. Or maybe she would have to move out, she thought suddenly with panic. It’s not like Ana and Willow were really going to want to deal with a crying baby at all hours of the day or night.
Mia closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. She considered curling up in bed and going straight to sleep, but she hadn’t eaten since much earlier that day, and she knew the incessant grumbling in her stomach wasn’t going to get any better.

She wandered downstairs, surprised when she heard noises coming form the kitchen. Pots and pans clattering, followed by a yelp and a string of swearing. It was Johnny. She considered disappearing back up to her room, but realised she couldn’t hide from him forever.

He looked at her, startled, as she walked into the room. “What are you doing here?”

“I live here,” Mia said, not even trying to keep the disdain out of her voice. She surveyed the state of the kitchen; dishes piled in the sink, ingredients over every available surface.

“What on earth are you doing?” she said.

“Cooking,” Johnny said with a sigh. “Well, trying to. But I’ve just overdone the kale and burned the lentil stew.”

Kale? Lentil stew? These weren’t exactly Johnny’s favourite dishes. Mia looked at him with suspicion.

“I was trying to make dinner for you. As a surprise,” Johnny said sheepishly. “I didn’t think you’d be home for a while longer.”

Mia’s face softened involuntarily. Johnny smiled gingerly at her. “Hi,” he said gently. “How are you?”

Mia felt suddenly exhausted. “Not so great,” she said, smiling wryly.

Johnny nodded slowly and pulled out a chair for her to sit down on. He opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of apple juice. “A nice drop of white?” he said with a grin.

Mia gratefully accepted the juice and drank it in three gulps.

“We need to talk,” Johnny said. He pulled another seat opposite her and sat down. “I’ve been trying to think of how to say this all week but I wanted…” he paused and sighed. “I just wanted the right time.”

“Now seems as good a time as any,” Mia said. Here we go, she thought. The beginning of the end. It had been fun while it lasted.

“I’m so sorry,” Johnny said. “When you told me about the baby, I was over the moon.”

Mia snorted. “The reaction you had was hardly what I’d call over the moon!”

“Honestly Mia. I really was,” Johnny fiddled with the sleeve of his jumper. “But – call it stupid or antiquated or whatever you want – I don’t want to have a baby with you if you’re not my wife.”

“That is so… traditional!” Mia said, angrily.

Johnny smiled and shrugged, but didn’t offer an explanation.

“So what you’re saying is that because we’re not married, you don’t want to be a part of the baby’s life?” Her voice was strained, as though it might crack any minute.

Johnny reached into his pocket, pulling out small black box, and knelt down on one knee.

Mia blinked. “What are you…?”

“Mia, will you marry me?”

For a few seconds, Mia didn’t say anything. She just stood there, looking from the sparkling diamond ring nestled in a small black box, to Johnny’s expectant face.

“But…but…” She started crying. “God Johnny! You leave me thinking that you don’t even like me anymore, that you don’t want to be part of my life, and then… this!”

“Call me conventional, but usually the finance-to-be have to give a yes or no answer,” he whispered.

“But you’re only doing this because of the baby,” she said. “You don’t have to do this.”

“This is all I’ve wanted since the day we first kissed,” he said. “Maybe even before that.”

Mia wiped the tears from her face and looked at him quizzically, just to make sure he wasn’t having her on. The earnest look on his face assured her he wasn’t. “Well… I mean… as long as you’re sure…?”

“Is that a yes?” Johnny said quietly.

“Yes!” Mia said slowly. Her face broke into a brilliant smile. “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!”

Tears welled in Johnny’s eyes as he took the ring from the box with shaking hands. He held it towards Mia.

“Fuck the ring,” Mia said, rolling her eyes. “Kiss me you fool!”

And so Johnny did. The deepest, sweetest most sincere kiss either of them had ever experienced.

“Now hand over that bling,” Mia said with a cheeky smile.