Around 6 PM on Tuesday, I rushed home from work because this was the night that I was going to put an end to my relationship with Patrick. It was extremely crucial, therefore, that I look amazing like all us girls like to do when we deliver the “gentle” letdown to our guys, as if to say “This is what you could have had, boy.” I refreshed my makeup, ran a hot iron through the pieces of my hair that were starting to get kinky, and slipped on a pair of casual jeans to offset how hard I was truly trying.
After one final layer of mascara on my eyelashes, I turned my torso to the side in the mirror to see how much I could suck my stomach in and showed off to Carly, “Hey look at my stomach! Look at how thin I can get it.”
“Yeah,” Carly responded from our futon, only half-impressed. “I’m so glad my period is finally over today. I felt fat and bloated all of last week.”
“Wait, you got your period last week? That’s weird, ‘cause I should have gotten it around the same time as you,” I wondered out loud. “Maybe it’s just all the stress and traveling I’ve been doing lately.”
“Or,” Carly couldn’t help but instigate, “you could be pregnant.”
“Oh my gosh! Puh-lease. I would never get pregnant. I don’t even think I could if I tried. Plus, how horrible would it be if Patrick and I are over and I find out I am having his baby!” I sort of shrieked not so much as a question but rather as a means to quell Carly’s ridiculous inference.
“Yeah, that would be pretty ironic if it were true,” Carly surmised while going back to thumbing through one of her weekly tabloid magazines. "You can be like Tom Brady's ex and get pregnant as a last ditch effort to save the relationship." Heh.
|Patrick and I in Napa Valley, the quiet before the storm.|
Never the one to suppress his impatience, Patrick showed up at my door a few minutes early but I had prepared for that and was ready to go myself. The night sky was quickly impending upon the little bit of sunlight still left from the day and a waft of coolness danced around the mostly torrid air around us. With the warm city lights and very clean streets trimmed with flowers glowing in the twilight, our five-block walk to a local coffee shop seemed almost, well, romantic. Almost too romantic as I started to feel nervous walking alongside Patrick, my heart beating fast against my arms I held tightly across my chest.
When we arrived at the café, Patrick ordered a large hot tea for me and a white chocolate something or another for himself while I saved us a small table in the outdoor seating area. He was being so good, on his best behavior, and it just made what I knew I had to tell him come out all the more awkward.
“So I guess it should be obvious by now that we can’t see each other anymore,” I somehow managed to say while warming my hands on the paper cup of tea.
“What do you mean by not see each other anymore?” Patrick started to get defensive. “I see you everyday at work.”
“No, just…” And this is the part where I could have had the choice of elegantly letting Patrick know all the ways in which we have been hurting each other and ourselves in our relationship. This is the part where I could have politely excused myself from the table and walk away from Patrick for good but I was feeling uncomfortable, unsure, pretty much all the un’s I could be experiencing at one time so naturally I blurted out, unexpectedly, “I think I might be pregnant.”
|City lights burn the night sky.|
This was where Patrick should have told me to stop kidding around or better yet, “If you want us to stay together you could have just said so.” Patrick, please play it off as a joke so that I will say it is a joke, so that I can believe there is no way this whole pregnancy thing could possibly be real.
“What??” Patrick sat up, pushed his cup aside, and took me by the hands. “What are you talking about? First you say we are broken up, now you are telling me you are having my child?? You make no sense at all!”
“I know, I’m sorry. Just, I haven’t gotten my period in a while, not since San Francisco, and I can’t stop thinking that maybe I am pregnant.”
“But how?!?” Patrick asks, baffled.
“I don’t know, Patrick. Why don’t you tell me!”
“Well, have you gotten a test yet? We should go get a test,” Patrick recommends and is now calming down a bit.
“No, that’s stupid,” I try to convince him, and myself. “There is no way I can be pregnant. Like I never thought it was possible for me to get pregnant.” It’s true. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always had this irrational fear that by the time I am ready to start a family, my future husband and I will devastatingly find out that I am infertile. And I will have to artificially inseminate or adopt or borrow children. Borrow emotions.
“You seriously need to stop watching your TV shows and reading your magazines. Most women can still have babies the old-fashioned way. And I need to know right now if you are having my child,” Patrick asserted. “C’mon, we are going to get a test.”
He hurriedly cleared off our table and packed up our things, grabbing my hand as if I were a small girl and walking me, no, running another five or so blocks to the closest grocery store we could find. At this point, curiosity tormented me like a relentless nagging mother and I too just HAD to know what was going on with me, what was going on with my body. We arrived at the storefront, an erect building standing tall and touching the darkening sky dotted with only a couple visible stars. This building stood holy in front of us like a church, temple, cathedral—whatever your institution of choice—and we looked into the big windows, the fluorescent lights spewing out and blinding us. There we stood, holding hands, as if we were two little children standing at the entrance of the golden gates of heaven, feverishly awaiting our fates.
To be continued.