Baby shower, first alley left. He barely caught the words as he drove past the hand-scrawled sign, but he looped around the block to look again. It hadn’t changed, so he parked and went to see.
Looking down the alley in question, confetti lay in scattered bunches leading between the dingy walls, back doors, and waste bins. He followed the trail to a cluster of sickly, half-deflated balloons hanging from a corner strung with soiled streamers. Stepping around the corner, he saw her. Sitting at a child’s table, she was slight with stringy, dirty blond hair, a faded and torn dress, and a belly near to bursting.
“I didn’t think anyone would come!” She threw her arms around him. He almost pulled away, but she seemed so earnest. “Please sit! We have Oreos!” She gestured him to a child-sized seat across from hers.
Part of him screamed to run and leave the crazy far behind him. He stayed. The woman was sweet and intelligent and promised to name the child after him. He promised to visit, and meant it.
A girl named Rupert would be strange, but she would never have been ordinary. He was looking forward to meeting her.