Those three minutes felt like years while I sat on my toilet, panties around my ankles, praying. I never considered myself too religious, but I figured I needed all the help I could get. The egg timer that I set on the counter buzzed for me to look over the little white stick that was going to tell me my future. Right when I saw that stupid happy face mocking me, I got physically sick. Great, I had many more months of this to look forward to.I could not believe that I just found out my entire life was going to be turned upside-down. Only a few months ago, I moved away from all the mess of my past, stupidly thinking I could get away from all of it. Now I was going to have a constant reminder and it was festering inside my belly. I stomped my bare feet in a childlike tantrum in my bathroom, screaming, crying, and damning my rash decision of letting my ex come to visit me for one last hurrah. What a joke that was now! I knew that he was a deadbeat musician that cared more about his daily fix and tattoos than whether I was alive or dead. He would not even be able to remember this if I tried to call him, the cocaine swimming in his blood would push this terrible thought right into the “never calling the bitch again” file in his brain. I’ve been there a few times before, only being contacted for booty calls at four in the morning.
Before I became the assistant editor of an up-and-coming music online magazine based in downtown Chicago, I was a deadbeat musician just like my ex. I was the drummer in a punk band, partying too hard and not carrying about anything important. One day I woke up from a three-day long binge in a hospital room after my second overdose of cocaine and decided enough was enough. I quit my band and moved back in with good old mom and dad.
The “I told you so” speeches were a small price to pay for almost taking their only child out of this world. Luckily, my dad started to pull some strings with a few of his friends he had made along his own literary journey. After a lot of calls and “Hey, man, you owe me one…” talks with his buddies, my father was able to get me my dream job. Thankfully, I had enough sense in my early twenties to at finish college online while touring with my band all over Canada and the U.S. for three years. Between the drugs and rock and roll I don’t know how I passed, but I managed.
The last three months have been amazing, except for the weekend that my ex came with the rest of my stuff about a month ago. I needed someone to help me get the junk from my parents’ house into my new apartment and he needed money for coke. We worked out a deal and now I was knee deep in that terrible mistake. Working with writers and creative geniuses had been so inspiring. I was writing again, singing and making good connections, even some friends. For the first time, in as long as I could remember, I was really happy, here I stood wading through one night’s passions carrying it’s fruits that could threaten all my hard work.
I turned the shower on, starting to take my pajamas off when my cell vibrated next to my toothbrush. Looking down my heart sank again, remembering my date was tonight with Dane. I opened the text from him, reading: Happy Saturday! I’ll pick you up at 7. I quickly responded, explaining that I was not feeling up to going out, using the good old time of the month excuse.
Climbing into the shower, I tried to convince myself that I did the right thing. There was no way I was going to be able to hide my new predicament from my sexy coworker, who happened to be the drummer in a semi-famous band, The Hysterics. I blushed as I thought about the night that I went to their show and Dane kissed me for the first time. I had made him agree to take me on a date and here he was trying to hold up his end of the bargain and I was bailing. Ugh, I felt awful. Not to mention that I actually had feelings for Dane, I really wanted a friend right now and I hated lying.
After scrubbing myself harder and longer than usual, trying to get clean after how dirty my discovery had made me feel, I climbed out of the tub, to see a missed call and voicemail from Dane. I pictured his sexy, crooked smile and his brilliant blue eyes as I listened to his soft, manly voice curl around his message, “There are no rain checks or excuses that will get you out of this one. Too bad for you, you gave me your address already. See you at 7, if you don’t want to go out, I’ll bring the date to you. Wear sweats, don’t put makeup on and I’ll bring the ice-cream!”
I couldn’t help but giggle at how amazingly adorable this gesture was. I completely got excited with schoolgirl butterflies crashing around in my already fragile stomach. And there it came, the second bout of sickness for this morning and it wasn’t even ten, this was going to be a long pregnancy!
After my giggles and butterflies subsided, I called Dane back. The warm tones of this voice sent goose bumps all over my body while we discussed our new plans for the night. After agreeing to let Dane handle the details and promising to let him into my apartment, we hung up and I did a happy dance around my room.
My Saturday consisted of crying, cleaning, wallowing and frantically trying to figure out a plan of action. The crying came in spouts as more of the reality settled in and marinated in my brain. Being twenty-five and just starting my career was scary enough, in about eight months I was not only going to be taking care of myself but another person. I just learned how to be responsible enough to not eat candy for breakfast.
While wallowing in my self-pity, I cleaned up from my messy habits. There were no longer clothes all over the floor of my room, the garbage cans were all emptied, the toilet and shower were scrubbed and the floors were mopped. I even cleaned out my fridge and used some elbow grease on my kitchen counters. Most of my meticulous cleaning was to keep my mind off of the thing that was growing inside me.
A terrible sinking feeling came over me right around three in the afternoon when my mother’s name spread across my phone’s screen. I was not sure if I was even stable enough to talk to her, but I knew it had been a few days since we spoke and she must by worried about me. To ease her mind, I answered, determined to make the call short and sweet, not mentioning her inevitable new title as a grandma at all. She asked how I was doing, how the weather was and how I liked my new job. I answered all of her questions as shortly as I could while pacing around my living room area rug. As soon as I could get a word in, I made up some excuse of needing to run into the office to get some last minute editing done before the posting of Monday’s articles. She hung up reluctantly with an “I love you.” I sighed with relief and started to work on making the grout in my bathroom white again.
I jumped in the shower once more right at six to get ready for Dane’s arrival. I figured putting in a little effort to my appearance was a good idea for a first date, even if it was as casual as sitting on my couch all night talking. Excitement and butterflies returned as I pulled on my comfortable jeans and a loose fitting black V-neck. I quickly straightened my hair and put a little makeup on to hide how red my eyes were from all of my crying episodes from the day. Putting on the final touches of mascara, my doorbell rang and there went the flutters again.