You Never Know Ch. 06bygovthooker78©
Well, I'm finally giving in and giving them names, much as I am loath to do so. These are fake names. It would be too risky to use the real ones.
All characters in this story are over the age of 18.
Seth didn't call me that night. I kept checking my phone, looking for a missed call, a voicemail, even a text from him. Nothing. Jen told me not to worry, and I tried to go to sleep, but I had grown accustomed to Seth's body wrapped around mine while I slept. The bed felt too empty. I rested my hands on my stomach and felt the baby kick every so often as I stared up at the dark ceiling.
I woke early the next morning after a short and fitful sleep, wrought with unpleasant nightmares. I checked my phone before I even sat up. One missed call. My heart leapt, but it was from my mother, not Seth. At that moment, I wasn't sure if I'd ever see Seth. again. My dreams had shown me cruel images of Seth and Victoria together again, happy in their married life, and me alone, abandoned, a single mother struggling to make ends meet. My eyes filled with tears at the thought and I dialed my mom's number. My thumb hovered uncertainly over the 'send' button. I rolled out of bed and knocked softly on Jen's door. Ever the early riser (she liked to do yoga as the sun rose -- personally I liked sleeping till noon whenever possible, but to each her own), she opened it almost immediately.
"Will you sit with me while I talk to my mom?" I asked, my voice trembling a little.
"Of course, sweetie," she said. "Where's Seth?"
"I don't know," I said. She nodded and we walked to the couch, Jen's arm around me. I took a deep breath and pushed 'send.'
I almost broke down crying at the sound of my mother's voice. My hormones must have been extra crazy that day, because I blurted out, without any preamble, "Mom, I'm pregnant." Jen raised her eyebrows and there was dead silence on the other end.
"...Mom?" I said carefully. "Did -- did you hear me?" She sighed quietly.
"I heard you," she said. "How far along?" I winced.
"Um...about seven months." More silence.
"Why didn't you tell me sooner? Or is this one of those I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant situations?" she asked, a note of sarcasm in her voice.
"I was afraid to," I said honestly. "I was afraid of your reaction."
"Whose is it?" she asked. Then, in rapid succession: "Is it a boy or a girl? Have you been seeing a doctor? Do you take vitamins? Don't eat too much junk. Are you getting married? Whose is it?" I smiled a little. Typical Mom.
"I don't know which it is yet, we -- I'm waiting till he or she is born to find out. I see a doctor regularly and everything's okay, and yes, I'm taking vitamins, and...well, the baby seems to crave a lot of cake, but I try to eat healthy for the most part..." I trailed off, half-hoping she'd forget the most important questions she'd asked. No such luck -- there was an expectant silence on the other end. I could almost hear her foot tapping impatiently. I drew in a deep breath.
"You've never met him," I said slowly, choosing my words cautiously. "But we were friends for a long time before we got involved. He's good to me, Mom." I felt a lump in the back of my throat yet again and I silently cursed my hormones. "He'll be there for me," I said unsteadily. "He has a good job and he's kind and sweet and intelligent. He -- " My mom interrupted.
"Is he handsome?" I smiled through my tears.
"Like you wouldn't believe, Mom," I said, my tension easing a little. "If we're lucky the baby will look just like him. And...maybe we'll get married, someday." I was less certain of that, but I didn't want to offend my mother's traditional sensibilities too much. Jen's arm tightened around my shoulders and I looked up at her. She was smiling encouragingly. "Mom...I love him."
"That's all I need to know," she replied. "I miss you. I hope he makes you happy." It was almost as if she knew what was going on with S. and me. "Thanks, Mom," I whispered, and we hung up.
"See? That wasn't so bad after all," Jen said, ever the optimist. "Now, you have to tell me what is going on with you and Seth. What exactly happened last night?"
I told Jen the whole story and she listened carefully. She sat quietly after I was done and I rose to make some tea while she considered. Jen always gave me good advice, so I was willing to wait. The water had boiled and the tea was steeping when she finally spoke.
"Seth loves you," she said. "He does. I see it in his face when he looks at you." I blushed and ducked my head to blow on the steam curling up from my cup.
"His brother basically said the same thing," I mumbled.
"See?" Jen said. "It's true. Now I think you should call him. He probably thinks you're upset at him for going after Her." I shook my head.
"But he knows I would never begrudge him for -- " Jen interrupted me.
"Trust me, he doesn't know that. Call him and tell him. Then make him come over here and make some more of those amazing pancakes." I took a deep breath.
"Okay." I picked up my phone once more and scrolled down to Seth's name. Another nerve-wracking conversation. Oh joy, I thought. But he didn't pick up.
"This is Seth, leave me a message!" Beep.
"Hi...Seth...it's me. I just wanted to check in with you after last night. I totally understand why you went to talk to Victoria. I just hope everything is okay. Please call me back and let me know. Okay. Bye." I hung up and flopped my arms and head onto the table.
"Don't worry," said Jen. "He'll call you back in five seconds." Five seconds came and went. Jen and I stared at my phone, willing it to ring. We both jumped when Jen's phone rang instead. She pressed a hand to my shoulder comfortingly and went to her room to talk. I rested my chin on my folded arms, my stomach barely fitting underneath the table. As my due date drew nearer, I was getting more and more uncomfortable. I was on leave from work and had little to do but worry about what was going on with Seth, let alone how I was going to push a baby out of my body. I knew women all over the world did it every day, many without even an epidural (which I had told my doctor about two hundred times that I needed), but I was convinced it wasn't possible for me. I closed my eyes and had started to doze a little when Jen came back out of her room and cleared her throat.
"Hmm?" I sighed, half-asleep.
"Sleep later," Jen said. "I have something important to show you."
"Is it more important than sleep?" I mumbled, my head still down.
"Yup. Come on." She tugged gently but insistently at my arm. I dragged myself out of the chair and allowed her to lead me. We walked out of the apartment and headed to the elevator.
"Wait, where are we going?" I asked, frowning. I thought she was going to take me to her room and show me another bridal magazine or something. She had taken to circling the gowns she liked the best for me in bright red Sharpie. Ripped-out pages were scattered all over the living room.
"You'll see," Jen said in a sing-song voice.
"You're annoying," I informed her, only half-joking. She just laughed and pressed the button inside the elevator for the top floor.
"You're going to have to climb just a few stairs," she said apologetically. I groaned. It was no easy feat heaving my beach ball of a stomach anywhere, let alone up a staircase.
"Are we going to the roof?" I asked incredulously. "Why? So I can see the view?"
"Nope, it's for something else," Jen said cheerily. I grumbled. The elevator dinged and Jen held my arm as I trudged up the stairs that led to the roof.
"Are we even allowed up here?" I questioned. Jen shrugged, unconcerned, and pushed open the heavy metal door that led outside. I caught my breath and followed her onto the roof.
Seth was waiting on the other side, holding a bouquet of lilies, my favorite flowers. I looked at him uncertainly, then glanced at Jen. She smiled and backed away, and I suddenly realized why she had gone into her room to take that phone call.