Blissful Aftermath [ROMANCE]

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Twenty-One

December 23rd 2018

Ever since she had opened up and told her brother the entire truth of her marriage, Audrey hadn’t been able to get Calvin off her mind, specifically the memory of their last few days together. Now, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but she hated wasting even a second thinking about him.

Even if it had taken her years to discover and come to terms with the disgusting human being that he was, she was just glad to be free of him however, having opened up the can of worms when discussing her failed marriage with her brother, he remained fresh on her mind.

In their short time together, both of them had done each other wrong – arguably, him so much more than her. Audrey had feared that Calvin had completely ruined her and the little chance she may have had towards happiness.

But then came Joseph Darcy, physically unable to take no for an answer.

Just thinking his name brought a smile onto her face.

As promised, Joe and Audrey spoke every morning when they woke up and every night before bed. While she was sad to have missed his sister’s Christmas Eve party, she couldn’t bring herself to regret anything as she was enjoying her time with Isaac and Claire. Being around them after so long had felt like coming home, even though she was only a short drive away from them.

Isaac had often teased her about her new boyfriend but Audrey brushed off all his little comments and jabs. Their relationship was still new, nearly a month old now but she wasn’t quite ready to introduce Joe to her family.

She wanted to enjoy him as much as possible before she had to share him with others.

When she had met Calvin, her brother had become acquainted with him after the first couple of weeks as from day one, their relationship had been quite fast paced; love at first sight, as they had both been fooled and naïve enough to have believed.

If her stomach hadn’t lurched and her throat hadn’t started burning as the bile rose up, she was sure she would have continued thinking about her wretched ex, over analysing every moment she had spent with him and all the time wasted.

In a way, her being sick was both a blessing and a curse.

Rushing to the bathroom, Audrey didn’t have time to close the door behind her as she crouched down on the ground and leant her head over the toilet bowl. Violent coughs wracked her body as she emptied the contents of her stomach and the turkey sandwich that she had eaten for lunch. Going down, it had been an absolute delight but right now, coming out, both the taste and smell of it just had made gag even more.

When she felt a hand grab her hair and brush it away from her face, Audrey groaned painfully.

Claire frowned lightly and she used her free hand to rub a hand down Audrey’s back in hopes of easing the pain in some way. Being six months pregnant, she knew first hand just how painful it was throwing up as she still suffered from occasional morning sickness.

“Are you finished?” Claire asked softly after a couple of minutes when Audrey coughed but was no longer spilling her guts.

Audrey moaned in response and rested her chin on the edge of the toilet, too tired to feel disgusted with being so close to where she had sat and taken a shit, not too long ago.

“Do you think you can get up?”

Audrey moaned again and pushed herself up from the floor, careful not to knock over her sister-in-law in her haste, wanting nothing more than to brush her teeth and get rid of the odious, acidic taste in her mouth.

Claire watched as Audrey hunched over the sink and brushed her teeth ferociously, desperate to get rid of the taste in her mouth and replace it with that of extra fresh, minty toothpaste instead.

“Do you think it was something you ate?” Claire asked once Audrey had finished brushing her teeth and splashing some water on her face, reaching for the small bottle of facial cleanser she had packed in her bag.

Audrey pursed her lips and stared at herself in the mirror, not fond of how pale her face looked.

“I don’t think so.” She shook her head and turned around to face Claire. “We all ate the same thing today and neither of you have been sick.”

Claire hummed and watched her sister-in-law with a calculating look in her eyes.

“What is it? What are you thinking?” Audrey asked as she recognised the look on Claire’s face. She wanted to say something but was biting her tongue, most likely weighing the decision of whether to voice her thoughts or not.

“When did you last have your period?”

Audrey frowned at the sudden question, but thought back to the last time she had needed to buy tampons.

“Towards the end of October, I think. Maybe a week earlier, I’m not exactly sure.”

“You didn’t get a period in November.” Claire hummed with a thoughtful expression on her face. “Not even toward the end of the month?”

She shook her head. “Why are you asking me about my period?”

Even though it was starting to dawn on her why Claire was incessantly questioning her regarding her period, she refused to even consider it without any solid evidence.

Claire ignored her and continued. “Have you been throwing up a lot lately?”

“A few mornings these past few weeks, but nothing major.” She pursed her lips and replied thoughtfully. “I’m sure that it’s just from the stress, though.”

Her sister-in-law hummed and continued to observe her carefully.

“And I’m assuming you’ve been sexually active recent.” She said, referring to Joe whom Audrey had confided in her about, wanting someone to talk to about her brilliant boyfriend.

Audrey merely smiled in response and nodded. If it was her brother she was talking to, she wouldn’t have been so forthcoming with that information.

“There’s always the possibility that you might be pregnant.”

A frown settled on her face. “I haven’t taken the pill in over a year.” She admitted honestly, now mentally berating herself for being so careless. The few times that she had slept with men she picked up from a club, she had made sure that they all used a condom so as to avoid any unplanned pregnancies or STIs, not to mention the fact that barely any of them had actually cum inside her, even when wrapped up with rubber.

Even with Joe, they had made sure that he had used a condom each time however, they weren’t one-hundred percent accurate.

Audrey had stopped taking her birth control pill months before she finally gave Calvin the divorce that he was so desperate for. Coming off the pill had done wonders to her skin, body and hormones, even clearing up the little acne which she struggled with all throughout adulthood. Since then, she hadn’t felt the need or desire to go back on it, especially since she felt herself so much happier and in control of her body without them.

“Joe and I have used condoms every time though.” She said quietly, not really sure who she was reassuring, herself or Claire.

“Those things are never completely accurate.” Claire sighed and walked up to her before pulling her in for a hug, brushing a soothing hand down her fiery red locks and guiding her head to rest on her shoulder. “Are you not on the pill?”

Audrey shook her head as her lips tugged down into a deeper frown, starting to get really worried now.

“Everything’s going to be okay. These things happen.” She whispered quietly, her tone comforting and without any judgement. “We’re not even sure that you are pregnant.”

“What am I going to do?”

“Well, I think it would be best if we start off by getting you a pregnancy test. There’s no point in panicking or worrying if we’re not even sure about you being pregnant.”

Audrey pulled back and blinked at her in surprise, her body and mind still numb with the possibility that she could be growing a baby inside of her. Her instincts kicked in and she splayed a hand across her stomach, gently rubbing over the skin almost as if she would be able to feel if there was a baby in her womb or not.

“Right now?” She questioned.

“The sooner the better I think.” Claire nodded. “What do you think? You up for it?”

Audrey sighed. “You’re right. It’s best if I find out now before panicking.”

“Come on,” she guided Audrey out of the room and down the stairs where her brother was watching a random Christmas movie on the TV, still waiting for them to come downstairs and join him.

“Where are you two going?” He eyed them suspiciously as they began to pull on their coats, but not suspicious enough to get up and interrogate them further.

Claire merely grinned at her husband as they walked straight past him and to the front door, snagging the car keys off the little table.

“I’m driving.” Claire announced as they stepped outside.

The drive to the closest drug store felt impossibly long, despite in reality, it had only been five minutes at the most as the roads had been relatively clear.

Audrey didn’t want to wait any longer so she accompanied Claire into the store and after they paid for three pregnancy tests – just to be sure as one probably wouldn’t be accurate enough – they asked permission to use the store bathroom.

Claire stood patiently inside as she went inside to take the tests.

Audrey’s fingers trembled as she uncapped each of the test and held them under her while she peed.

This was her second attempt now. The first time round she hadn’t been able to force herself to pee so she had stepped out of the bathroom to purchase a tall bottle of soda before chugging it all down. Ten minutes later and she was busting for a pee, and so here she was now.

While the tests processed on the sink, she washed her hands and glanced at herself in the mirror. A wide eyed, auburn haired woman stared back at her, her heart racing faster every minute.

Even though she told herself she wouldn’t panic until there was confirmation that she was pregnant, she couldn’t help it.

The box had read that the results would show up on the screen in two minutes but what it hadn’t informed her of was that those 2 minutes would feel like an eternity. Definitely the longest two minutes of her life.

A sob threatened to escape her as all three tests read the same result.

Her words felt lodged in her throat as she finally stepped out of the bathroom, her eyes immediately locking with Claire’s who had been waiting patiently outside for her the whole time.

“What did they say?” She asked earnestly, her eyes trailing down to the one test which Audrey chose to keep, now wrapped up in some toilet paper in her hand.

“Positive.”

“All of them?”

Audrey nodded meekly and allowed Claire to guide her out of the store and into the car, her body and mind in a state of disbelief.

Pregnant. Her. Pregnant.

She was pregnant. There was a child growing inside of her.

How was she supposed to process such information?

Audrey had lived multiple years of her life thinking that she would never be able to get pregnant, that her body was unable to bare a child but here she was now, having just read positive on three pregnancy tests. When she was still married to Calvin, she had wanted a baby so bad but it had never happened for them but now, when she was unmarried and had only been with her current boyfriend for one month, she was already pregnant.

Life sure had a funny way of doing things.

Anger bubbled under the surface on the drive home, one of the pregnancy tests wrapped in tissue and stashed away in her purse where she could study it further later.

Determined to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, she retrieved her phone from the back pocket of her jeans and called him.

“Who are you calling?” Claire asked, sparing her a sideways glance when they came to a stop at a set of red traffic lights.

“Joe.”

Claire frowned. “You think that’s such a good idea?”

Audrey didn’t have time to think of an answer as her boyfriend picked up the phone and greeted her cheerfully, completely unaware of the thoughts that were currently racing through her mind.

As he greeted her, the background nose faded out which made her assume that he had stepped away from all the commotion of the diner to speak to her.

“Missing me already, huh?”

There were so many things she wanted to say to him.

First of all, she wanted to scream at him for getting her pregnant, for putting her in this position. The irrational part of her was sure that he had done this on purpose, that he had conspired to get her pregnant in hopes to trap her in a relationship before they had upgraded their relationship and were still friends with benefits.

It was a bizarre theory, but she wasn’t able to control her wondering, crazy mind.

There were so many things that she wanted to say to him, but her mind blanked. Instead of throwing around all the wild and bizarre accusations that were currently swirling around in her mind, she forced a smile on her face, almost as if he would be able to see her through the phone.

“Yes.”

Just hearing his voice soothed her nerves and calmed her down, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t ferociously furious at him, desperate to make him pay for putting her in this position.

While she did want to be a child and a small part of her was overjoyed with the notion of becoming a mother, especially after having been forced to believe that she was unable to conceive for so long, now was just now the right time.

In fact, she wasn’t sure when the right time would come along but she was confident it wasn’t right now, especially since her and Joe had only been serious for about a month now, having recently upgraded their relationship from friends with benefits.

Audrey sighed and leaned her head against the car window, closing her eyes as she forced herself to listen to the soft hum of Joe as he spoke to her, needing something, anything but her own thoughts to focus on.

As soon as she was able to gather her thoughts and bearings, she would completely rip into him but for now, she simply resorted to listening to him speak about what he had planned for the day.

-

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Layla Knight

08.07.2020

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