Life After You

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Chapter 22

“RILEY! YOU ATE MY LAST YOGURT!” I yelled through the phone, cursing up a storm at my annoying older brother.

“I did not!” He yelled through the phone. “You can’t prove anything!”

“Riley... if you do not bring me another yogurt in the next ten minutes, I will personally see to it that you NEVER have children.” I threatened, feeling very angry.

“Sheesh... someone needs a chill pill.” Riley muttered, thinking I wouldn’t hear it.

“What I need, is a brother who doesn’t eat all of my YOGURT!” I seethed.

“Don’t you have chocolate ice cream in the freezer?” Riley questioned, trying to change my mind about the yogurt. “I am currently indisposed at the moment.”

“What do you mean indisposed? You’re sitting in your dorm room playing Xbox!” I growled.

“Do you really need yogurt this instant?” Riley sighed.

“Um, yes.” I deadpanned.

“Fine. Give me half an hour.” He replied.

“No way! Ten minutes!” I stated firmly.

“Liv, I can’t get there in ten minutes even if I left right now.” Riley annoyingly replied. “I will be there as soon as I can, now goodbye!” Then he hung up on me.

Angry, I put my phone down and waddled over to the bathroom to pee. After relieving myself, I went over to the kitchen to see if any spare yogurts somehow magically appeared in my fridge. Sadly, none did.

Suddenly, there was a very loud knock at the door.

I pulled on my robe, having been only in my underwear, and waddled over to the door pulling it open.

“Noah?” My eyes widened.

“Hello Olivia!” He smiled, stepping inside. Clearly, he missed the part about me being in my robe.

“Um, what’s up?” I asked, slowly bringing my arms up and crossing them over my chest.

“Well, I was in the neighborhood and thought you could use something sweet.” He held out a container of frozen yogurt and my smile grew wide.

“YOU BROUGHT ME YOGURT!” I squealed, releasing my hands from over my chest and reaching out to grab the bag. My robe fell a little, showing just the tiniest bit of cleavage, and before I could figure it out I saw Noah staring at the ground with a redness to his cheeks.

I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion, but then immediately brought my hands back across my chest.

“Um, allow me to get dressed.” I excused myself, walking over to my closet and picking out a pair of Landon’s sweatpants and a black T-shirt.

Noah simply nodded as he watched me walk into the bathroom.

Shutting the door behind me, I cursed to myself as I got dressed.

After getting dressed and using the bathroom one more time, I went out into the kitchen and sat at the table with Noah sitting across from me.

“So, you were just in the neighborhood?” I smirked, opening the container of frozen yogurt and picking up one of the spoons that Noah took from my silverware drawer.

“Yes. I had to go to the store for more toilet paper. My roommate goes through it like there’s no tomorrow. I don’t see how someone can crap that many times in a day.” He sighed, a disgusted look to his face.

I let out a loud laugh, before sticking a spoonful of yogurt into my mouth.

“Well, at least he’s regular.” I teased, causing Noah to snort.

“That he is.” He laughed. “So, how are you feeling?”

“Eh, I’m alright. Walking is becoming very tiring and my back has started to hurt some if I lay a certain way, but other than that... can’t complain. The second trimester is so far my easiest, but some say the third is the best so I can’t wait.” I sighed with a smile, my taste buds dancing with happiness as I continued to stuff my face with yogurt.

“Well that’s good to hear!” He smiled.

Noah picked up the second spoon that rested on the table, and took a scoop of the frozen yogurt. I tried my best not to glare, but it came out anyway. Noah chuckled before sticking his tongue out at me, and then he took his bite of yogurt.

“You better watch yourself.” I warned.

“Oh please, like I’m scared of you.” He rolled his eyes, dipping his spoon into the frozen yogurt and taking another scoop.

“I am a very hormonal pregnant woman. You should be very afraid.” I warned again.

“Well, maybe I should be... but I’m not.” He shrugged his shoulders, going for a third scoop of frozen yogurt.

Just before his spoon touched the creamy goodness, I brought my hand forward and snatched the spoon right out of his grasp. I then threw the spoon behind me on the floor.

I didn’t miss Noah’s wide eyes as I took another bite of frozen yogurt myself, smiling at what I had just done.

“You’re cruel.” He gaped.

“Told ya.” I shrugged.

“Can I please get another spoon?” He deadpanned.

“Technically you can... but you need to find another container of yogurt.” I smiled.

“Man... pregnant women are greedy.” He mumbled.

“I tried to warn you. Not my fault you didn’t listen.” I sighed, laughing before sticking my spoon into the container and pushing it across the table until it sat in front of Noah.

Noah looked at the container hesitantly, before smiling and taking a big scoop full.

“You’re lucky I find you nice for bringing this to me, so I guess I can share.” I smiled.

“Gee, what an honor.” He sarcastically replied.

“Whoa.” I reached down to grab onto my stomach.

“Are you okay?” Noah’s playful expression turned to a look of concern in a matter of seconds.

“Yes, he’s just moving a lot today. It’s so strange feeling him kick and move.” I smiled, placing my hand over my stomach.

“Wow, that must be cool to feel.” Noah said, watching me contently.

“Do you want to?” I suddenly asked, having no idea where it came from.

“Um... I mean, yeah, sure.” Noah awkwardly said, going to scratch the back of his head before standing up and walking around the table to me.

He bent down on his right knee and slowly brought his hand to my stomach. I grabbed his hand and gently pushed it over to the side where the baby was kicking. Noah’s eyes widened and his lips morphed into a wide smile as his eyes went from my stomach to my face.

“Wow, that’s amazing.” He breathed.

In a split second, my mind went blank and I pictured Landon kneeling beside me feeling the baby move. Somehow, my mind played a trick on me. When I looked back down and saw Noah instead of Landon, I freaked out and stood up suddenly, causing him to fall back slightly. He quickly reached out to balance himself from falling, and I stumbled backward. I turned around and walked over towards the bed, gently sitting down on the edge. I firmly placed my hands on my knees and began taking deep breaths.

“Olivia... I... I’m sorry.” Noah began frantically spewing. “What did I do? Did I hurt you? What happened? Are you okay?”

Realizing the panic that I placed Noah in, I stood up and walked over to him, gently placing my hand on his shoulder.

“Calm down, I’m fine. Relax.” I stated.

Noah took a few breaths before finally calming down enough to speak coherently again.

“What happened?” He asked again.

“I...” I began, but couldn’t find the words. “I just, I need you to leave please.” I finally said after a long pause.

“Did I do something wrong?” Noah frowned.

“No, just... please go.” I said again, heading over towards the front door and pulling it open for Noah to leave.

“Olivia...” He began, but I stopped him.

“Just go Noah. Now!” I urged.

He sighed with defeat and hung his head low as he walked out of my apartment. He turned around with intent to say something, but I had already shut the door in his face.

“Dammit Olivia...” I cursed myself. “He didn’t do anything wrong and you kicked him out. What the hell?”

Annoyed with my raging emotions, I began crying uncontrollably.

I waddled over to my bedside table and picked up my cellphone. I dialed Tori’s number and waited.

“Tori’s line, her handsome man speaking.” Riley sang through the phone.

Rolling my eyes, I took in a rigid breath before mumbling to Riley that I needed to talk to Tori.

“What happened? Are you okay? Is it the baby? What’s going on?” Riley panicked through the phone.

“RILEY!” I yelled, causing him to immediately cease from speaking. “The baby is fine. I am fine. I just need to talk to Tori.” I sighed.

“Oh. Well, all right then. Wait a sec.” I heard some shuffling through the phone and after a few curse words, a smack or two and an “ow!” Tori finally had the phone in her possession.

“Hey girl, what’s up?”

“I am a horrible person.” I sighed.

I could practically see Tori’s eye roll. “What did you do now?”

“Gee, thanks for the encouragement.” I deadpanned.

“Well, normally when you say you’re a horrible person... it’s because you’ve done something you shouldn’t have.” She defended.

I spent the next ten minutes explaining everything that happened with Noah.

“Olivia... you kicked him out?” Tori gasped.

“Yes. Was that wrong?” I sheepishly smirked through the phone.

“Um, yes! He probably feels like shit right now.” Tori lightly chuckled.

“Can’t I just blame it on my pregnancy hormones?” I questioned, though I knew the answer.

“Not everything can be the cause of your hormones. This was just something to do with Landon. I get it, Liv. You are sad because Landon isn’t here to experience this with you. He isn’t here to watch your belly grow, or to get you frozen yogurt, and he isn’t here to help you to the bathroom when you’re too tired to walk it alone. He isn’t here to touch your belly and feel with the baby moves or kicks. It’s hard I know. But you can’t punish other people for something that you can’t change. Landon is gone Liv, and I know you hate it... but you need to start accepting it just a little bit.” Tori bluntly stated.

“Damn... I hate it when you’re right.” I said, feeling the tears beginning to form around my eyes.

“I love you girl. Now, go make this right with Noah! This guy has done a lot for you over the last few weeks; he at least deserves a fair apology.” Tori instructed.

“Yes dad.” I joked.

“Very funny.” Tori sarcastically laughed. “Now, have I fulfilled my best friend duties?”

“Yes, you may continue hitting my brother.” I laughed, referring to when she first got on the phone.

“Oh that... he reached out and pinched my nipple while handing me the phone, so I smacked him upside the head.” Tori said, as if it were normal.

“Splendid. Thanks for sharing.” I dryly muttered. “I’m going to go find Noah now.”

“Are you walking around?” Tori asked.

“Yes. I am just going to walk around the campus or check his dorm room. I’ll be careful.” I said, assuring my best friend that I am perfectly capable of taking a nice stroll through campus.

“Alright, call me if you need me.” She said before hanging up the phone.

I put my cellphone in my sweatpants pocket and went over to my closet sliding my feet into my pair of flip-flops.

I grabbed a hair-tie and pulled my hair full of knots up into a messy bun.

I grabbed my bag and slung it over my head so it rested against my side and put my keys inside of it after locking the apartment door after I stepped outside.

I tried texting Noah, but he never even read my messages. I am glad that iPhone’s allow you to see if someone read your messages or not. Certainly comes in handy when you feel as if you are being ignored, which clearly I was.

Once I reached campus, I stopped at the café to get a warm cup of coffee. I hadn’t had any in two days, so I figured I deserved a nice treat.

After paying for my hot and delicious caramel macchiato, I turned in the direction of Noah’s dorm room and began my adventure.

“Olivia, hey!”

“Oh, hey Macey!” I smiled at the girl from my English class before taking a sip of my coffee. I immediately retracted the cup, as the hot liquid burned my lips and tongue.

“Fuck! Too hot!” I seethed, which caused Macey to chuckle.

“Yeah, coffee normally is.” She teased. I rolled my eyes but laughed with her.

“How are you?” I asked, trying to stir up conversation.

“I’m alright. Kicking ass in English. How are you? How is the little guy?” She asked, smiling down at my bulging stomach. Luckily, Landon’s black T-shirt was big enough to cover my entire stomach; otherwise, part of it would be sticking out for the world to see.

“We’re both great!” I smiled, placing one hand around my stomach. “He’s perfectly healthy.”

“That’s great!” Macey smiled. “Hey, if you see Tori, can you let her know that I have her notes to give back to her.”

“Oh sure, I think we have class tomorrow so you can just give them to her then.” I shrugged.

“That’s right; man tomorrow is already class again. I am terrible at keeping up with my schedules.” She laughed, as we continued walking towards Noah’s dorm.

“I hear you. College life, right?” I chuckled.

“Yeah, anyway... I’ll see you later yeah?” Macey smiled, waving as she began to walk in the opposite direction.

“Yeah, I’ll see you-” I was immediately cut short by my own scream as I tripped over my own feet and began falling towards the ground. Without skipping a beat, I turned over so I fell on my backside and winced as I met the cement ground. I immediately felt a harsh, burning sensation and that’s when I realized that my coffee had spilled all over my stomach. My eyes widened with fear as I tried pulling my T-shirt from my skin, but I cried out in pain as it stuck to my skin like glue.

“Oh my God, Olivia!” Macey screamed, running for me and sitting behind me, resting my head into her lap.

My timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because at the exact same time Macey reached me, I heard my named being screamed from a few feet away.

“Shit! Olivia!” Noah yelled as he charged towards me. I couldn’t say anything. The only sound coming from my lips were small cries in pain as I tried to stand up.

“Noah...” I barely mumbled.

“It’s alright, Liv. I am here. You are okay. Everything is going to be okay.” He reassured, pulling his phone out and calling for an ambulance.

I felt a pain in my ankle all of a sudden, and that’s when I realized that I must have twisted my ankle as I hurriedly turned around to my backside before falling. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand, let alone walk.

“Noah, I’m so sorry for earlier.” I began babbling like an idiot. “I swear I didn’t mean to just kick you out...”

“Olivia, please. I forgive you, but this isn’t the time for a sentimental moment. We gotta get you to the hospital.” Noah stated in a voice full of pure panic and adrenaline.

About ten minutes later, the ambulance pulled up near the parking lot and two paramedics jumped out. They raced to the back of the truck and pulled out the stretcher. The paramedics ran with the stretcher over to the small crowd that had gathered around me, despite Noah yelling at everyone to give me space.

“Olivia Harper?” One of the paramedics said, pushing past the other students.

“Over here.” I said, waving my hand around like an idiot.

“What are your injuries?” The paramedic asked.

“She twisted her ankle, burned her stomach and fell pretty hard on her tailbone.” Noah said all in one rushed breath.

“Are you her boyfriend?” The paramedic asked, which caused Noah’s eyes to widen and his cheeks to turn a slight shade of pink that he thought I didn’t notice.

“Um, no. Just her friend.” He stated with a crooked smile.

“Anyone here her family member?” The paramedic asked. Silence followed.

“My brother is here but he’s in class. Riley Harper.” I stated.

“Oh, I’ll go get him!” Some guy from the back yelled as he began running towards Riley’s class. I assumed they shared the same class, this guy just so happened to be out in the hallway during my fall.

“Ms. Harper, are you hurt anywhere else?”

“No, just what Noah said. Oh, also I am pregnant so I would like this process to move just a little faster please! I need to make sure my baby is okay.” I whined, feeling restless and anxious to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

“Don’t worry, once we get you into the truck, we will place a monitor on you to monitor the fetal heartbeats.” The paramedic said, trying to reassure me that I will be fine.

“Please, don’t call him that. He’s my child, not just a fetus.” I glared.

“Right, my apologies.” The paramedic quickly said, following a sad smile.

“Olivia! Olivia!” I heard my big brother yelling as he tried making his way through the crowd of students. When he finally pushed through and saw my terrified face, his face became pale.

“Olivia, what happened? Are you okay? Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” Riley began panicking and I knew he wouldn’t stop until he heard that I was okay.

“Alright, let’s get going. He may need some oxygen by the way.” I said to the paramedic while pointing my thumb at Riley as he followed behind us.

“Not a problem. Where are your parents?” The paramedic asked.

“Our dad is back home in Nevada. We live here for college.” I stated.

“Okay, not a problem.”

The paramedics lifted me up into the back of the truck, and Riley got in the back with me. He sat down beside me and froze when he saw my burned stomach.

“Oh no Olivia...” He frowned.

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” I lied, the throbbing sensations of the burns starting to kick in.

Riley noticed my pain through my eyes and immediately turned to the paramedic. “Can you give her something for pain?” He asked.

“I can give her a light dose of Tylenol, but I can’t give her much since she’s pregnant.” The paramedic stated, while setting up an IV.

“Don’t worry Liv, you’ll feel better soon.” Riley lied while grabbing my hand for comfort.

“I want Landon.” I sobbed, feeling the burning sensations that much more.

“I know Liv...” Riley frowned, grasping my hand tighter.

“Shit, I need to call Tori.” He pulled his phone from his pocket and called her.

“Let me talk to her!” I heard Tori yell through the phone speaker.

“She’s in a lot of pain right now babe, she doesn’t want to talk.”

“Then just put the phone up to her ear so she can hear me!”

I cracked a pain-filled smile at the sound of my best friend.

“Liv? Olivia... you’re going to be okay, you hear me? Everything is going to be okay and your baby boy is perfectly fine!” I could tell she had started tearing up, but I didn’t say a word.

I nodded, and even though she couldn’t hear me, I knew she saw my nod through the phone.

“I love you Liv, hang in there! I’m on my way!” I looked to Riley who took the phone back and placed it in his pocket. He gave me another sad smile before his eyes widened in pain. Apparently, I had squeezed his hand too hard when the paramedic began examining my ankle.

“It is definitely sprained, may even be a hairline fracture. Won’t know until we get some x-rays.” He stated more so to himself than to me.

“B-broken?” I managed to choke out with more tears clouding my vision.

“No, Liv. Nothing is broken, you’re fine.” I just barely noticed Riley giving the paramedic a slight glare, before he brought his panicked gaze back to me.

“You are okay, alright Liv?” He smiled.

I could see right through that smile any day.

When we pulled into the hospital ambulance parking lot, my stomach began to knot. Past memories of Landon came flooding back to me and I winced as the doors to the ambulance were pulled open, and the paramedic began pulling me out of the truck.

“Riley!” I yelled as the paramedics wheeled me towards the emergency room doors.

“I’m here Liv! Right behind you!” I heard Riley yell, though I couldn’t see his face anymore.

“I want Landon!” I yelled, feeling far too dramatic for my own liking.

I want Landon.

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