Thanks so much for the comments everyone! They're very much appreciated.
Gaffe was concerned what Manny would say when she told him she was pregnant, because they hadn't ever discussed having a family. But she had worried needlessly because he was delighted. He pampered her throughout the entire pregnancy, doing most of the cooking and offering back rubs to ease her aches. She just knew that Manny was going to make a wonderful dad. He took every opportunity to talk to the baby and rub her ever growing belly. (19)
They had spent their entire savings decorating their new house because Manny liked — no, make that needed
— to have the best of everything. Gaffe didn't feel right scolding him for his extravagances since he was the only one working and bringing in money. Yet it was her savings they had blown through. It was tough calling her Mama to ask for a loan.
"...Mama, Manny has a good job, really. It's just with the baby coming and all.... no, everything is fine. Just a little boost to get us to next payday is all we need. .... OK Mama, thanks, I appreciate the help." Gaffe hung up relieved that that was over with, but also sure that in her Mama's eyes, Manny's rating just went down a few more notches.
"Whew, it's humid in here." Glenna sat on the couch fanning herself. "Why is it that you have a swimming pool in your living room? I can't remember." Glenna surveyed the room, eyeing all the expensive furniture, lavish paintings and... the pool.
"Hmmmm," Gaffe distracted by the flies buzzing around her lunch, was not really listening. "This again Mama? I told you... Manny wants a home that makes a statement. He likes to surround himself with beautiful things."
"And are you one of those beautiful 'things'?" her mother looked at her keenly.
"Oh, Mama, don't be silly. He truly loves me, I know it."
"Yet you're afraid to tell him." It wasn't a question.
"Mama, didn't you came over to help me with things? Why are you just sitting there?"
"I did, honey, but at my age all this humidity saps my strength." Glenna rose. "It's probably best if I just leave. The money's on the table." (20)
Manny was an excellent father. He doted on his son, changing diapers, feeding, playing. (21)
When it was time for Mack to grow up, Manny was the one who bought the cake and encouraged his son to blow out the candles.
When the transition was over he stood staring at his son in shock.
"Gaffe," his voice an urgent whisper, "Call a taxi now
. We've got to get Mack to a doctor immediately."
Panicked by his tone, her eyes grew wide. "Why? What's wrong Manny? What is it?" She bent over and picked up her son.
"Look at him Gaffe, something's wrong with him. His eyes... his chin..." He pointed at his son. "He looks, well, deformed
. Something is terribly wrong." Tears welled up in Manny's eyes as he gazed at his precious son.
Gaffe looked too. She didn't see anything... except that her son looked like her
How she used to look that is. She shook her head, a prickle of fear growing in her belly. But she picked up the phone and dialed.
The doctor looked at them both with something akin to scorn. "There's nothing wrong with your son, he's healthy as can be." He shrugged. "There's no nice way to say this.... ummm, he's just.... well, no Brad Pitt."