The man who danced with the devil got woozy while giving blood.
The nurse motioned for me. “You’re next, honey. What kind of blood you got for me? Your little girl’s got that rare O we always be needing, so that’s what we are looking for today. But I’ll take anything your veins will give me. Lord knows we need it all.”
How could I refuse a request like that?
I wasn’t at all light-headed afterward like they warned me I could be—like Jake turned out to be—but I sat back in my reclining chair and drank my juice as the nurse instructed. The nurse came over to me with a card with four drops of blood on it. “You ain’t got that O, darlin’...you’re just standard ol’ A.” She flailed her arms when she spoke and flipped a long black braid over her shoulder. “But your tall, blonde and sexy baby daddy out there got the good stuff, so we tapped into that real good.”
“Oh, he’s not her biological father.”
“Oh? Well, since your baby girl’s got the O and you don’t, the biological baby daddy got to have it. So when you talk to him you send him on up to Miss Karla so I can put that liquid gold on tap!” Miss Karla loved her job way too much. “This biological daddy of yours got baby blues like him over there?”
“No, he has green eyes like my daughter,” I said. “It isn’t possible for two blue- eyed parents to have a green-eyed child.” It sounded so rehearsed... probably because it was a conversation I’d had in my head a thousand times.
“Oh, sure they can. My friend Marni, her husband Brian, has got emerald-green eyes, and both his parents got eyes as blue as the waters of the Caribbean.”
“Then your friend Marni needs to tell her husband to check the eye color of the mailman because his parents are lying to him,” I snapped. I think Miss Karla detected our conversation was much more serious than the light banter she initially thought it was.
“I ain’t making this shit up, honey. Freeman,” she shouted, without turning around. A technician in a lab coat, who had previously been sitting in a corner absorbed in a comic book, swiveled around in his chair. “Freeman studied genetics at some fancy college up north.”
“What’s up?” he asked, pushing up the bridge of his thick black framed glasses.
“Can two blue-eyed peoples make a green-eyed baby?”
“This is dumb. I have to go.” I stood to leave, but Freeman’s answer stopped me in my tracks.
“Yeah, it’s pretty rare, but it does happen. I’ve seen several cases.” He turned back around to his comic.
“Mmmhmm... that’s what I thought,” Karla said, declaring victory over my stupidity.
I thanked her and politely refused her offer to assist me to the waiting room.
“Miss?” Karla called to me.
She just couldn’t let it drop. “Yeah?”
Her volume dropped, and suddenly she was discreet. “I know it ain’t none of my business, but if you ain’t sure about who yo baby daddy is, we can do a test. Just bring that fine-ass man back in here, and I’ll do it up right.” She winked, and I knew she was trying to help. Then, she grabbed a pamphlet from a dozen different colored papers crowding the wall. “This is about blood types. Yours is easy to figure out. Your girl has O and you have A, so the daddy has to have O. It’s that simple.”
I thanked her and took the pamphlet, slowly making my way back to the waiting room as I looked at it. I wanted to get back in to see Georgia as soon as she woke up, but nurse Karla’s words haunted me.
Was there really a chance that Jake was Georgia’s father?
More importantly, did it really matter anymore?
I slid down next to Jake. He had his head back on the cushion, but he put his arm around me and pulled me close. “You did better than I did, Bee.” He handed me a cup of coffee from the table. It was exactly what I needed.
I had one question in my head, just one little question, and I could put all of this behind me.
“Bethany?” I asked.
“Yeah, sugar?” She put down her magazine and took off her reading glasses.
Then I asked her the question I almost didn’t want to know the answer to. There was only a small chance... was it really worth me breaking my heart all over again?
“Do you know Owen’s blood type?” I glanced at Jake as he tensed beside me, though Bethany didn’t seem to notice.
She thought for a second.
Please be anything other than O, please not O.
“He’s either A or AB. I always get them confused. Why?”