Justified
with Ansel and Velma or hide awhile longer or slip to the parking lot and go home.
    â€œHey, babe. You shouldn’t be down here all by your lonesome.”
    I jerked slightly as Tyler leaned against the metal railing next to me.
    â€œSorry if I scared you. I got here late and noticed you standing over here. Everything all right?”
    Define all right. “I was eating. I’m hungry all the time.” My stomach grazed the chain-link fencing, reminding me of my distorted figure.
    â€œNo big deal. You’re pregnant.” His voice, encouraging and kind, renewed my self-esteem, and I straightened slightly.
    I bumped his shoulder with my own. “Someone from Snyder is bound to find out you showed up to support the Trapp Panthers.”
    He smiled as though he’d been caught in a petty crime. “I’m not sure anyone in Snyder cares. Or to be more accurate, I’m not sure I care if they care.”
    â€œGood for you.” My fingers almost curved into Ruthie’s Who cares? symbol, but I stopped myself. Even with Tyler in a generous mood, he would never appreciate cheesy humor.
    As the two teams huddled outside the field house, we leaned with our elbows on the fence, side by side, not looking at each other. Tyler had lost the cocky desperation of the Laundromat and now seemed more like himself. Relaxed. But he had always been more appealing with no one else around.
    The Panthers ran past us with their cleats slapping the pavement as they chanted a threat to intimidate the opposing team. They needn’t have bothered. The write-up in the county newspaper left every team in the district quaking.
    The coaches half walked, half jogged with the boys, and as they passed by, JohnScott looked at me. I smiled and lifted my hand to wave, but he kept running and showed no sign of recognition. Probably he hadn’t seen me.
    â€œYou look tired, Fawn.” The fence clinked as Tyler shifted his weight. He had been watching me, and I didn’t notice.
    â€œThe baby wakes me up at night.” My hand fell to my abdomen. “But once I’m awake, I start tossing and turning, and he gets still again.”
    Tyler’s eyes softened. “Sounds like he wants you to rock him back to sleep.”
    I laughed softly, feeling his familiarity settle over me. This was the Tyler I used to know. Who cried at his mother’s bedside when she got sick and showed so much tenderness, I hadn’t wanted to hold back any part of myself.
    I missed that Tyler.
    â€œHe’s awake right now. Do you want to feel?”
    â€œI’d like that.” He turned toward me and hesitated, so I took his hand between my own and pressed his palm against the firmness of my side, where I had last felt the baby’s movements.
    Tyler’s other hand found its way to the small of my back, and we stood motionless for several seconds, him staring into space as he concentrated on what he felt, and me watching him closely so I wouldn’t miss any sign of acceptance that might flitter across his face.
    Suddenly the baby kicked hard against his daddy’s hand, and Tyler smiled. “He’s got my attitude.” He laughed out loud, and his fingers rubbed my back, above the waistline of my jeans. But then his smiled eased, and his hands dropped to his sides. “I’m sorry about everything, Fawn.”
    I gripped the metal pipe running along the top of the fence, ignoring the junior high girls who were ogling us. Tyler had said those words to me on the street in front of the diner, but now he actually meant them. I could see his regret and feel his pain, and I had the overwhelming urge to comfort him. Neither of us had asked for this new life. Neither of us knew what to make of it.
    A touchdown took our attention back to the game, and we peered over the fence at the players knocking against each other in celebration. As they lined up for the extra point, my gaze drifted to the sideline. The

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