It started to rain just as Matt left the printer’s office. Violet had told him to pick up their wedding invitations so they could address them tonight, and she’d kill him if they got wet. By the time he got home, the bottom had dropped out of the sky, so he pulled one invitation from the box to show his mother and left the rest of them in the car. He noticed a gray car parked out front and wondered who had stopped by, but the weather quickly distracted him. Since he couldn’t run, he was getting soaked.
He hurried inside as quickly as he could. He heard voices coming from the living room, so he threw his wet coat on the coat rack that stood in the hall and went in search of his mother, still shaking drops of water from his hair.
Matt had expected company, but in his wildest dreams he wouldn’t have imagined whom his parents were entertaining. While they stiffly perched on the edge of the sofa, Stacey Thomas occupied her favorite chair, the rocker by the fireplace. A small child played in the floor at her feet.
“You seem surprised to see me,” Stacey observed with some amusement. “You’re looking well, Matt.”
“Thank you.” Matt couldn’t think of anything else to say. Stacey belonged in his past; he had no desire to look back. She must be home for a visit, but why did she think he’d want to see her now? Wonder who the little boy belonged to? Aw, it didn’t matter enough for him to ask.
“Your parents have been telling me how well you’re doing,” Stacey continued, “but I already knew. My folks send me a subscription to the Wellington Daily Press. I read about your new job and the pumpkin festival.”
“Yeah? That’s nice.”Matt decided to make his escape before Stacey got wound up. “Mother, I’m eating out tonight. If you’ll excuse me, I need to change clothes and get going. Stacey, it was nice to see you again.”
Stacey cleared her throat and looked him dead in the eyes. “Actually, I came over to introduce you to somebody. I’d like to do it before you leave. It won’t take a minute.”
Matt looked around the room, but he didn’t see anybody. Stacey leaned over and picked up the small, blonde boy playing at her feet. “Matt, this is Tyler. I thought it was time for you to meet your son.”