“Do you want another beer?” The bottles clanked as Bill pulled them out of the refrigerator. Emma was surprised to see her brother-in-law shake his head.
“When have you refused beer?” Bill asked his brother.
“Ever since Sophie was born, we’ve cut back on everything.”
“Even sleep,” his wife interjected. Addie smiled. “Experts say that moderation in the household will make a happy child.”
“She’s only a month old! How will she know?” Emma refrained from rolling her eyes. She was happy about the baby. At least that was what she kept telling herself. She looked at Sophie’s baby pictures, smiled at all the burp and poop stories and even threw a baby shower for them. What more could they expect?
“We want you to be Sophie’s legal guardians.”
Emma almost choked on her dessert. “Us? Why not your sister and her husband? They have kids.” She knew that Addie heard the bitterness in her voice. They’d been friends their whole life and knew each other inside out.
Addie reached for a pastry. “They have too many kids and couldn’t take on the added responsibility.”
“Oh. I see. You picked us because we’re convenient.” She snidely flung the verbal slap at Addie.
Addie pulled back with a shocked expression. Emma ignored the stab of guilt. She knew that wasn’t what Addie meant.
“I know you want to have a baby.” Determination filled Addie’s voice. “I get it. But you have to stop punishing me for having Sophie.”
Emma crossed her arms and looked away. She fought the tears that threatened to spill. “It’s been five years, Addie. FIVE.” She looked at Bill. “When will it be our turn?”
Addie took Emma’s hand. “We’ve known each other longer than these two.” She tilted her head at the brothers. “I trust you with the most precious person in my life. Please.”
Emma knew she shouldn’t let this affect their friendship. They’d been best friends forever. But it wouldn’t last much longer if she continued allowing her jealousy to poison it. She nodded and said, “We’ll be honored.”
The tension between the two couples broke and they slipped into the easy conversation and laughter that marked their friendship. After another hour, Addie realized they needed to get home for the sitter.
While getting ready for bed, Emma was still smiling at something Addie had said. The phone rang, and Bill went to answer it. When he returned, Emma asked, “Who was it?”
When Bill didn’t reply, she looked up at him. Tears filled his eyes. His mouth moved, words struggling to form.
“Bill, what’s wrong?”
“That was the police. There’s been an accident. Steve and Addie,” he choked out the words, “they’re dead.”
Emma shook her head in denial, “That can’t be, they were just here.” She rushed over and grabbed his arm, “Sophie! What about Sophie?”
Bill whispered softly, “I guess this means Sophie is ours.”