Life After You

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Chapter 29

“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” I sigh, trying to figure out which pair of flats will look best with my dress.

“Will you stop doubting yourself? You look great and you will be fine.” Tori replies, throwing pair after pair of flats out of my closet until she finds the perfect ones.

“Here! These will work.” She smiles, handing them over to me.

I place the light blue flats onto my feet as I look at myself in the mirror. My white and flowy dress came down just far enough to cover everything it needed to, while emphasizing my enormous stomach and even more enormous boobs. Thanks a lot, milk.

“God, I’m huge. How can he possibly find me attractive?” I frown, noticing how big I’ve gotten in the last week. “Seven months pregnant does not look good on me.”

“Will you shut up? You look amazing for seven months!” Tori rolls her eyes at my lame attempt to body-shame myself.

“Now come sit down so I can do something with your hair.”

I followed Tori’s instructions and sat down on the chair beside my small kitchen table. Tori plugs in the curling iron, and begins putting loose curls all throughout my hair. My makeup is already done, though I didn’t bother to do much. Mascara and lip-gloss seemed like enough to me.

“Ow! Tori, that hurts!” I whine, bringing my hand up to rub my scalp.

“Well, if you’d quit moving I wouldn’t burn you.” She sighed, swatting my hand away so I don’t ruin her masterpiece in progress.

“Well, if you’d quit burning my scalp, I wouldn’t move so much.” I retort, growing annoyed.

“Done!” She smiles, stepping aside so I can stand up and go look at the finished product.

“Wow, I never knew my hair could look this good.” I laugh, watching each loose curl bounce with every step that I took.

“I’m a miracle worker, I know.” Tori smiles, unplugging the curling iron and putting it away once it cools down.

“Are you finally ready for this?” She asks, mentioning my pending date with Noah Lucas himself.

“I mean, I can’t exactly back out now.” I shrug, placing a few items into my small purse, including my fully charged cell phone. Because I am past my seven-month mark, Tori and Riley practically forced me to always have my cell phone with me. I suppose they wanted to be the first ones I call, should I go into premature labor or something.

Suddenly, there’s a knock at my door.

“Yep, can’t back out now.” Tori smirked. “You go ahead; I will let myself out once I clean this stuff up for you.” She motioned to the amount of clothes and shoes scattered along my floors and the makeup I left lying on my dresser.

“Thanks, you’re the best.” I smile, waving goodbye as I head toward the front door and open it.

“Wow, you look beautiful.” Noah smiles.

“Thank you.” I blush, stepping outside of my apartment and closing the door behind me. “You look great too!”

Noah had on a nice pair of dress pants with a button-downed white dress shirt, some of the buttons on top left open. His short blonde hair looked freshly cut as he held a certain amount of confidence.

“Awe, you’re cute when you blush.” He smirks, leading me to his car.

“Shut up.” I sigh, linking my arm into his as he walks with me.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” He asks, referring to our date.

“Of course. It’s now or never.” I say, causing him to shoot me a pointed look.

“Gee, thanks.” He lightly laughs.

“You know what I mean.” I blush even harder, trying my best not to say the wrong things tonight.

“I’m only teasing you. I’m still allowed to do that, right?” He smiles.

“Only sometimes.” I point my finger at him as he waits for me to sit inside the passenger seat of his car. Once I’m fully inside, he watches for my legs before shutting my door for me.

He then jogs around to the driver’s side, and gets inside himself.

“Well, we’re off!” He says, slightly turning the radio up to keep us from sitting in silence.

We arrive at a restaurant that I’ve never been to before and my eyes widen at how fancy it looks.

“What’s an Olive Garden?” I find myself asking.

“What? You have never been to Olive Garden? What’s wrong with you?” He laughs.

“I’ve been to a lot of restaurants, but Olive Garden is not one of them.” I smile, opening my car door to get out.

“Well, I’m happy to be the first person escorting you.” He smiles, closing my door after I get out and walking me to the entrance.

He pulls open the door and allows me to walk inside first. The smell of freshly baked bread instantly greets my nostrils, making a wide smile appear on my face.

“Yeah, they make killer breadsticks.” Noah says from beside me.

“Are they unlimited?” I ask.

Noah laughs, “You bet they are.”

“Awesome!” I smile even wider.

The hostess brings us to our table and hands us our menus.

“Would you like to try one of our specialty wines this evening?” The server asks while approaching our table.

“Oh, no. Can’t.” I smile, pointing towards my pregnant belly.

“And you Sir?” He looks to Noah.

“No thanks.” He smiles, casting me a wink.

“Are you sure? You can drink some if you want to.” I say.

“No, I’m good. Besides, I’m driving.” He replies.

“Very well. Can I get you anything to drink?” The server asks.

“Sweet tea for me.” Noah says. “Raspberry tea for my lady.” He smiles.

“How did you remember that I liked raspberry tea?” I rose an eyebrow.

“Please, that’s the only thing you used to get wherever we went, and if the place didn’t have it you would spend ten minutes trying to convince them to start selling it.” He laughs at the memories.

“Well, it’s just so good!” I defend myself with a smile.

“I prefer normal tea.” Noah smirks.

“There is no such thing as normal tea.” I deadpan. “Tea is tea, no matter what the flavor.”

“If you say so.” Noah sings, glancing over the menu to decide what to have for dinner.

“How am I supposed to pick what to order? They have everything that I love.” I whine.

“You should definitely try their chicken and gnocchi soup. It’s amazing!” Noah suggests.

“Gnocchi?” I ask. “What the heck is that?”

“It’s basically chicken and dumplings. Just the Italian version.”

“Hm, that does sound good.” I agree as I gaze at the menu.

“I think I will go for the chicken Alfredo, but instead of spaghetti, I’m going to use the corkscrew pasta.” I say, not knowing how to pronounce Cellentani.

“You mean Cellentani?” Noah asks.

“I’m not Italian, I don’t know how to say majority of these.” I laugh, holding the menu up in front of my face to hide my blush of embarrassment.

“It’s okay, I’ll order for you.” Noah smiles genuinely.

“Thanks.” I smile back, finally setting the menu down on the table.

The server comes and takes our orders, while dropping off a basket of breadsticks.

“Are you ready to taste heaven?” Noah asks, pushing the basket toward me.

I give him a smirk and reach for a breadstick. The bread is soft and smells of garlic. I break a piece off and place it in my mouth, sighing in content as the bread greets my taste buds.

“If heaven tastes like this, then I can’t wait to go.” I laugh, eating another piece of my bread.

At the mention of heaven, my mind instantly shifts to Landon and I slightly frown. I can’t let thoughts of him ruin my first date in months.

“You alright?” Noah asks, noticing my sudden change of mood.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I smile. “Just hungry. Do they always take long to make the food?” I tease.

Noah allows me to change the subject, and smiles at my response.

“Perfection takes patience.” He says, taking another bite of his breadstick.

“I remember one time Landon and I went to CiCi’s pizza and we ate all of their cheesy bread so everyone else in the restaurant had to wait twenty minutes for them to make more, it was hilarious.” I laugh, thinking back to an old memory.

Suddenly, I realize that I mentioned Landon on my date with Noah and I frown.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be talking about him.” I apologize.

“Hey, it’s alright. You’re allowed to reminisce.” He smiles, trying to make me feel better.

“I told you I would bring him up randomly. I’ll try to keep his name at a minimum.” I lightly smile.

“Honestly, it’s fine Olivia.” Noah says, reaching for my hand that rested on the table.

“It doesn’t bother me that you talk about him.” He smiles, and I believe him.

“Okay.” I reply, taking a sip of my tea.

We spend the next hour and a half eating our dinner and talking about anything and everything. I tell him all about my fears with raising a child, and he reassures me that if anyone can do it, I can. We talk about his career goals after he graduates college. He told me that he wants to open his own business, selling cool little knick-knacks that he makes himself by hand. I told him how I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do after college yet, but that I am keeping my options open to anything.

After we shared desert, which happened to be a big slice of chocolate fudge cake, Noah paid the bill and escorted me back out to his car.

“I wish you would have let me help pay for some of that.” I say.

“Olivia, it’s a date. I didn’t expect you to pay, and I didn’t want you to.” He smiles, helping me into the car.

On the drive home, we continue talking about random topics until finally we pull up outside of my apartment.

Noah gets out of the car and walks me to my front door.

“I had a really nice time with you.” He smiles, nervously rubbing the back of his neck.

“So did I.” I smile.

“So this is good right? You would want to do this again soon?” He asks with a glint of hopefulness to his eyes.

“Of course.” I replied, nervously licking my lips.

Noah’s gaze moves from my eyes to my lips and then back up to my eyes again.

“Goodnight, Olivia.” He says, his voice low and raspy.

“Goodnight Noah.”

And before I know it, his lips are softly pressed against my own, capturing me in a kiss.

I respond immediately, wrapping my arms around his neck loosely. His hands find my waist as he slowly takes a step closer to me, deepening the kiss only slightly, but not being too overbearing.

After a few moments, we pull away, and I smile wide up into the eyes of Noah who’s smiling back at me.

Noah turns around and heads toward his car, waving goodbye in the process.

I wave back and unlock my apartment door, stepping inside.

I shut the door and lean my body against the wooden frame, sighing contently.

Did I really just go out on a date with Noah Lucas, my old high-school boyfriend? And did I actually enjoy myself? Did I actually like the kiss at the end?

Should I be this happy? Am I allowed to feel happy after going out on a date with someone who isn’t Landon?

Part of me said no, I shouldn’t be. Another part of me said absolutely!

Not knowing which part to answer to, I picked up my phone to dial Tori.

She didn’t answer, so I put my phone down and decided I would talk to her about everything tomorrow.

Right now, my beautiful bed was calling for me. I kicked off my light blue flats and shimmied out of my dress before pulling back the covers of my bed and lying down on my side.

That’s pretty much the only position I can get comfortable these days.

I thought about my date with Noah and smiled, despite the small feelings of doubt I felt.

I knew I was only overthinking everything. I should just be happy that I had a good time, right?

I hope Landon isn’t too upset with me.

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