On the ride home the next day, Ethan and I don’t speak much. I’m too tired and I know he is too. I don’t think he’s slept in two days. Before going home, Ethan stops and grabs up some food so we don’t have to worry about cooking while I’m resting. To say I’m sore would be an incredible understatement. The doctors couldn’t give me the strong stuff due to me being.....pregnant. God, it’s just so hard to even say that word in my head, but anyways. The pain in my back is a lot to deal with. I haven’t seen what it looks like with the lashes, but from the look on Ethan’s face when he looked at it said enough. I honestly don’t want to see it. The feeling alone is enough.
At home, Ethan helps me to bed for letting me eat my grilled chicken salad. I’m usually not big on salads, but the first bite makes me realize just how hungry I am. I’m literally starving. I finish the salad in under 10 minutes. When my tummy is full, I think about the tiny person inside of me. How did I not know I was pregnant? I didn’t feel sick or anything, but the doctor said it’s still early in the pregnancy so I may feel the typical attributes of pregnancy soon. Hopefully, I’m one of those lucky people who go the whole pregnancy all glowy and happy, but with my luck, I will gain 30 pounds.
Taking a deep breath, I look up and Ethan is staring at me.
“Nothing, just looking at you.”
I smile and peek down at the diamond engagement ring on my finger. I can’t believe Ethan proposed to me in a hospital room of all places.
“When did you get this?”
“After I reported you missing, the officers told me that there isn’t much for me to do. Kate wasn’t calling or anything and I’d given them all the information I knew so it was out of my hands. I was losing my mind just sitting around so I went for a walk. I walked for about an hour before passing by a jewelry store. It was closed, but I knew the owner so I called and asked him to open up for me. I told myself that if I get you back safely that I’m going to ask you to marry me on the spot. I just can’t imagine my life without anymore. I can’t imagine waking up and not being able to see you smile at me.” His eyes water up and I nearly break down in tears.
“Ethan.” I start, but he holds his hand up.
“No, I need to get this out. I’ve let too much time go by without telling you how I feel about you, Thea. This whole time I’ve never truly told you how I feel about you. Since the day I laid eyes on you in my office, I knew you were going to change my life. You truly humbled me. You made me see that I needed to change. Without you, I would still be lost in that club instead of out here living my life with someone I love. I love you so much, Thea.” When he chokes up and looks away, tears begin to stream down my cheeks.
I know Ethan loves me, but I never knew how he truly felt inside. He’s not the type to just blurt out how he feels about things unless you argue it out of him.
“I love you too, Ethan. I’ve loved you for a long time now. I loved you when you loved that club more than me. I took a big chance giving myself to you, but I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t want to start a family with anyone else. This baby is going to be so loved. I know we’re not anywhere ready for this, but I know we’ll be doing this together.” I place my hand on my stomach and Ethan crawls across the bed and lays his head on my lap.
We sit in silence until both of us doze off. I don’t know how long we’ve been out, but at one point I open my eyes and Ethan is next to me and I’m laying against his chest. I let myself fall back to sleep. That an I’m just naturally exhausted.
Later that day, I wake to the thought of Kate for some reason. I don’t want to allow myself to think about her, but I know it’s inevitable. I feel bad about her being dead. I feel bad about Greg being dead. Things could’ve been so different if people had used their heads.
In the middle of my thought, I hear a high pitched voice from outside the room. When I look over and realize that Ethan isn’t in the bed anymore. Suddenly, the door cracks and Ethan sticks his head in.
“Oh, you’re awake. Are you up for a very frantic visitor?”
When he says frantic, I already know who it is. I nod and he opens to door to let Anna in. She pushes past him and he chuckles, shaking his head.
“That dumbo really tried to tell me to come back later. Like yeah right.” She rolls her eyes and I laugh.
“Thank you for coming to see me.”
“Uh, of course. I was losing my mind yesterday. I cried like 8 times just thinking about all the things that could be happening. When Ethan called me this morning and said you were home, I wanted to rush over then, but he wanted you to rest a little so I waited, time ran out and I needed to see my friend.” Her babbling makes me want to laugh.
When she’s done she has to take a breath.
“But I’m so glad you’re okay. You are okay right?”
“Yes, well sort of. There’s this one huge thing that the doctors told me.”
Her eyes widen and a look of fear crossed her face.
“Oh God, what it is?”
Anna’s eyes expand to a size that I’ve never seen before. Her jaw drops and she starts bouncing on the bed, waving her hands frantically.
“OH. MY. GOD! You’re going to have a baby! Holy shit!”
I cover my mouth as I laugh at her. When Ethan hears her yelling, he comes into the room and Anna throws herself in his arms.
“Congrats! You’re having a baby!”
“So I’ve heard.”
Anna pulls back and smacks his arm.
“Oh, don’t be smart. I’m so excited.”
I shake my head.
“Oh and there’s this,” I say, holding my hand up.
When Anna sees the ring, she starts jumping up and down, starting all over again with her excitement. It’s nice to have a friend like Anna. I haven’t had many people in my life who are genuinely happy for me when good things happen. Anna, however, is a gem. She values our friendship way more than she does the club and sex. I hate that I wasn’t friends with her sooner.
I think this whole experience just makes me so grateful for all the good things I have in my life. In the beginning, I just didn’t see my life going that far. I almost didn’t see myself living that long. Nothing was going right for me until Ethan gave me a chance. All I needed was a chance and he of all people was the one to give it to me. Now I’m sitting here, pregnant and engaged with a best friend who cares for me, a job that I enjoy and a man that I love more than anything.
All of that outshines any bad that has happened.
For most of the day, Ethan, Anna and I talk about baby and marriage things. Anna has already given herself the job of co-planning my wedding and planning my baby shower. I’m glad because I know nothing about planning anything. Ethan says he’s going to call and get me under the best doctor he knows. Anna says she wants me to start going to yoga with her and while they are talking about all this, I just want to nap from the overload of information. It feels off to be this happy after everything, but I am. I’m extremely happy.
I’ve never been so ready to see what the future holds.