Life After You

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Chapter 20

A loud knock at the door woke me up.

I sighed and slowly got up from bed.

“Unless you have food, go away!” I yelled.

“Well, if you’d open the damn door, you could see for yourself!” I heard Tori yell back.

I smirked and I knew she was smirking too.

I yanked open the door, the same smirk resting on both of our faces as I greeted Tori.

“You’re a Godsend.” I smiled, seeing multiple grocery bags in her hands.

“That’s what they tell me.” She shrugged, walking inside after I stepped aside.

“Who’s they?” I asked, raising one eyebrow.

“Oh ya know... they.” She smiled. “Now, get over here and dish!”

I rolled my eyes and followed her over to the bed, carefully sitting down on Landon’s side, not wanting to mess anything up. I grabbed a bag of Cheetos and the sweet tea designated for myself, and began telling Tori every single detail of what happened with Noah today.

“Wow, so he kisses you without warning and then you call him to talk and he’s already with another girl?” Tori seethed. “I hate this guy!”

“It just doesn’t make any sense to me, Tor. If he liked me enough to still want to kiss me, why would he just go off with another girl like that?” I asked, feeling fed up with the entire situation.

Tori sighed. “Because Olivia, think about it.” She then popped a Dorito into her mouth. “He’s Noah, and by the looks of him he probably doesn’t even know what rejection feels like. I mean as much as I hate to admit it, the boys hot. Plus, he probably still has a lot of heavy feelings for you, so when you rejected him he was probably really hurt. And what better way to heal a rejected ego like Noah’s? Get a girl who won’t reject him for anything.” Tori shrugged, making a valid point.

“Man, you are so right. How the heck do you know all this stuff?” I sighed, eating my last Cheeto.

“I suppose I am just gifted.” She smiled, taking another sip of her Dr. Pepper.

“Well, what do I do? I don’t want Noah hating me for rejecting him and damaging his ego.” I rolled my eyes. “We’ve been getting along great, and I do still want to be friends with him.”

“Is that all you want to be Liv?” Tori asked.

The awkward silence that followed her question became deafening.

“Of course that’s all I want to be.” I looked away from Tori’s hard gaze to grab a packet of M&M’s.

“Olivia...” Tori sighed.

“Don’t.” Was my only reply.

“It’s okay if you-” but I instantly cut her off. “No, it’s not okay and it will never be okay again.” I ripped open the packet of M&M’s too forcefully and they exploded all over the bed.

“Ugh.” I sighed, beginning to pick them up.

“Olivia stop and fucking listen to me!” Tori snapped.

I immediately stopped what I was doing and brought my sharp gaze over to my best friend.

She let out a strained sigh and began helping me to pick up the spilled M&M’s.

“It’s okay if you have feelings for Noah.” She began, and I instantly began shaking my head.

“I don’t have feelings for Noah.” I defended.

“But it’s okay if you do. I understand that you are still very much hurting over Landon, and that loss is probably something you will never fully recover from. But you have to think about your child and you. You can’t spend the rest of your life alone, just because you feel like you have to remain loyal to Landon. Landon wouldn’t want you to be alone, he would want you to move on and be happy even if it’s with Noah.”

Tori was trying to reason with me, and I knew it but I couldn’t agree with her.

“No Tori, don’t you see! Landon hated Noah, because Landon saw him as the guy who abandoned me and told me to get an abortion. Landon never knew the truth about what happened with Noah and I can’t betray him like that. I can’t just move on to someone else, especially with the one person who Landon hated. That is just so wrong!” I could still feel myself shaking my head as I looked down at my hands.

My fingers began fidgeting.

“Olivia, stop.” Tori took my hands into her own.

“Landon is with you every single day. Don’t you think he knows the truth by now? It was a difficult situation and he knows that. He knows that you and Noah were very young, and he knows how much you cared for Noah. You were his best friend Olivia and he knew everything about you. Hell, he probably even knew the truth about what happened with you and Noah before you even did.” Tori said, causing me to think about everything.

“All I am saying is you don’t have to feel guilty if you do have some left over feelings for Noah. You don’t have to feel as though you are betraying Landon, and you certainly don’t have to feel bad about the fact that maybe you are starting to move on from everything. A lot has happened over these last few months, and I know that you are still hurting over Landon. I know that you loved that boy with everything inside of you, but the truth is... there is always more room to allow more love. You are allowed to love more than one person in your life Liv. You are allowed to be happy.” Tori smiled.

I sat there and took in every single word that Tori spoke. I couldn’t help but smile.

“Man, I hate it when you’re right.” I glared with a smirk.

“Landon will be okay if you move on, Liv. Trust me.” She smiled again, eating her last Dorito.

“Okay... but I still need a little time before I try to jump into anything with Noah. I don’t want to rush anything. Besides, I am pregnant for crying out loud. I highly doubt Noah wants to get mixed in with all of this.” I pointed to my bulging stomach.

“You never know until you try.” Tori sang, grabbing my tea and taking a drink.

“Hey! Get your own!” I yanked my tea away from her hands and downed the rest.

“And to think you’d be a little nicer to me for giving you the world’s best advice.” She glared, crossing her arms.

Both Tori and I began laughing uncontrollably, and then I suddenly stopped.

“What? What’s wrong?” Tori looked panicked.

“He’s kicking.” I smiled, placing my hand over my stomach. “A lot!”

I grabbed Tori’s hand and placed it over my stomach.

“Ah!” Tori smiled. “You go little guy! Man, my nephew is already amazing.”

“That he is.” I smiled. “That he is.”


The next morning, my alarm woke me up.

Curse college. Curse classes. Curse learning.

Arms by Christina Perri began playing, and I immediately wished I had changed my alarm tone.

Brought instantly back to that morning Landon and I shared while this song played, I couldn’t keep the tears from falling. Once the dam broke, I began laughing at the memory of Landon walking around the kitchen in nothing but his apron. I also laughed at the fact that we didn’t even get to make love that morning because Riley interrupted us.

I then became mad because Riley is the one who ate my pancakes that morning.

Pancakes.

The tears stopped, and my stomach started growling.

Curse hormones.

I got up out of bed, and began my morning ritual of showering, brushing my teeth and drinking a cup of coffee.

After my one cup of coffee, I got dressed in plain blue jean shorts and a plain black T-shirt, and brushed my hair out leaving it down. I pulled on my black sandals and grabbed my bag.

Pancakes.

Before leaving my apartment, I took my prenatal vitamins and shut off the lights.

When I got to campus, the café was already buzzing with busy students. Luckily, my first class for the day didn’t start for another hour, so I quickly made a bee-line towards the food.

Before I could grab a tray, another was placed in front of me containing two buttermilk pancakes, a package of syrup, scrambled eggs and two pieces of bacon.

“It’s already paid for.” Noah grabbed my bag off my shoulder, and motioned for me to follow him to an empty table.

Without a word, I happily obliged.

I sat down with my tray of delicious breakfast, and Noah placed a small carton of milk in front of my tray.

“Thank you.” I said.

“No problem. I am sorry about yesterday. I honestly had no idea what came over me, and that girl you heard... she wasn’t, I mean we weren’t-” I held my hand up to hush Noah.

“Noah, it’s okay. I am sorry for over-reacting. Blame the hormones, which yes I will be using that card for a while.” I laughed.

Noah smiled.

“But you need to know, that girl you heard was my cousin Brittany. She just transferred here after a break up with her boyfriend back home, so I was showing her around.” He genuinely smiled.

“Oh cool. Where is she now?” I asked, wasting no time at all in digging into my food.

“Class. Her first one started early today. Professor Peterson.” He laughed.

“Ouch. He’s exciting.” I joked, sarcasm evident in my tone.

“Very.” He smiled again.

I was beginning to really enjoy his smile.

“So Noah, about yesterday and the kiss...” I began, but Noah shook his head.

“It was stupid of me, please forgive me.”

“I do forgive you, and it wasn’t stupid.”

Noah gave me a pointed look. “It wasn’t?”

“Noah listen... The wound of Landon is still somewhat fresh, and I know it won’t be healed for quite some time, but I do think that having someone around to help me heal faster isn’t such a bad idea. Landon would want me to be happy. I can’t promise you that this will be easy, but I just want to hang out with you. Get to know you again. Become close friends first before anything deeper happens.” I said, taking a bite out of my eggs.

“I understand. Hey, I am all for that. You really are something Olivia, and I am sorry for everything that has happened to you. You don’t deserve any of the heartache you’ve had to take on.” He sadly smiled, before taking a sip of his strawberry milk.

“Thank you, that really means a lot.” I smiled. “Man, these pancakes were perfect!”

I gave Noah a knowing look before he sighed and got up to head to the food line.

A few minutes later, he return with another two pancakes.

“Noah, how did you know?” I teased, pouring syrup over my fresh pancakes.

“You’re lucky you’re cute Harper.” He shook his head with a smile. “Very lucky.”

“Yep, that’s what they tell me.” I teased.

I looked up into Noah’s light blue eyes and while they were very different from Landon’s deep brown ones, they still managed to make me feel calm.

You will be okay, Olivia. You will survive.


“Dr. J! How goes it?” I smiled while sitting up on the exam table.

“It goes quite well, Ms. Harper. How goes it with you?”

I laughed at his attempt to be with the times. The truth is, anytime a person over the age of forty tries to use any type of slang word, it is always hysterical.

“I’m fine.” I smiled. “He moves a lot. Is that normal?” I asked, placing my hand over my stomach.

“Of course! You are well into your second trimester so he will be moving a lot between now and right before you give birth. Eventually he will make the move downward, to position himself for labor.” Dr. J smiled. “Nothing to worry about. He is acting normal and is very healthy and strong!”

“Yay! You go little man!” I smiled at my stomach.

“Now, let’s go over the birth plan. We have yet to discuss all of the details.” Dr. J began.

I leaned back on the exam table and lifted my shirt so that Dr. J could get his ultrasound.

I felt goosebumps when the warm gel met my skin, thanks to the cold doctor’s office.

“Did you want any medication for pain while in labor? Like an epidural or we do have a couple other options.” Dr. J asked as he moved the wand around my stomach, checking everything he is supposed to be checking.

“No, I want to do this naturally. I don’t want my baby born on any medication.” I said truthfully, even though the thought of feeling childbirth and all the pain that comes with it scared the crap out of me.

“Alright, most mother’s go that route, but if you change your mind later let me know. I can assure you even if we do use a medication; your baby will be fine afterward.” He smiled.

“Alright, thank you.” I smiled back, watching the monitor and tearing up at the sight of my perfect baby boy.

“Oh and I want to request a private room when I give birth to him. I don’t want to share a room. I want the experience to be private and beautiful.” I proudly stated.

“I will arrange that with your insurance.” Dr. J smiled.

“Make sure you pack your overnight bag with extra clothes just in case you end up staying an extra night.” Noticing my freaked out expression, Dr. J quickly added, “It’s just a precautionary. Nothing is going to happen, you have my word.” Dr. J assured, finishing the ultrasound and picking up a clean towel to wipe the gel off my stomach.

I put my shirt down and sat up.

“I believe you. I was going to pack extra anyway, just to be on the safe side.” I smiled.

“Also, you need to have Riley put together the baby’s car seat before you come to the hospital. The nurses will not allow you to leave with the baby unless the car seat is put together and in the car ready to go.

“My baby shower is next week, so I’m hoping I’ll get a car seat as a gift. That same night I am going to have Riley put it together for me. No worries.”

“Well, you are certainly on top of things.” Dr. J smiled, before handing me some new ultrasound pictures.

“He’s getting bigger and bigger!” I smiled, staring contently at the small pictures.

“And get bigger he shall, up until he’s probably eighteen.”

“Now Ms. Harper, I have some forms I need you to sign prior to your due date. They are just standard authorizations for us to take any drastic measures needed, should an issue arise during labor.” Dr J stated, grabbing a clipboard with forms and handing it over to me.

“W-What’s going to happen?” I asked.

“Nothing at all dear. However, if a sudden emergency happens we just need permission to do what we feel is best for the situation at hand. Basically, if something should go wrong out of our control and we have to do a c-section, you are giving us permission to do so.”

“Why am I signing these now?” I asked, staring blankly at the forms in my hands.

“Well, we like to get everything signed and authorized ahead of time, that way we aren’t struggling to have you sign anything during any kind of emergency situation. This way, we already have consent and it takes less time to handle any unpredictable problems should they arise.”

I slowly began reading over all of the forms, and while I didn’t want to sign some of them, I did anyway. I want everything signed and out of the way before I actually go into labor. I don’t want to have to worry about anything other than my baby boy on the day.

“I don’t want you to worry or overthink this. These are just precautionary and they do not mean that anything will happen. Your baby boy is strong and healthy and so are you. I have no doubt in my mind that everything will go according to plan.” Dr. J smiled.

“Thank you Dr. J. That really makes me feel better!” I smiled truthfully.

I signed all of the forms, and gave them to Dr. J.

“Thank you Ms. Harper, you are in good hands. Just keep that in mind. I have been doing this for a long time, longer than you’ve been alive.” Dr. J chuckled.

“Oh Dr. J, you don’t look a day over thirty!” I smiled sheepishly.

“You are much too kind!” He laughed, making some notes in my chart. “I’ll set your next appointment up with Donna out front. You are all set to go.” He smiled.

“Thank you! See you next time.” I got up from the table and began to walk out.

Before I left the room I looked over my shoulder and said, “And the Saga continues!” referring to my pregnancy journey.

Dr. J saluted me with a nod and I let the door close after me.

“See ya next time Donna!” I yelled, waving as I left the building.

“Bye Olivia!” Donna yelled back, our only way of communicating with each other. Donna is my yelling buddy. Don’t ask.

On my drive home, Arms by Christina Perri began playing and I become completely dumbfounded.

As I came to a stop at a red light, I looked up at the bright blue sky and smiled.

“This must be our song Landon.”

I sang the beautiful melody all the way home, not daring to miss a single beat.

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