Dreamy Dylan

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#38 Boom, there's a baby

For the fifteenth time that morning, I check myself in the mirror in the bathroom I share with Alex. He’s proudly announcing that he pooped, and I need to wipe his butt. I roll up the sleeves of my new purple cardigan and get to work. Damn, kids poop a lot. And the smell…

When Alex is wiped and cleaned up, back in his tiny little pants, I check my appearance for the last time. I think I look okay. Not that long ago, I wouldn’t have thought anything og this outfit, but I haven’t worn anything colorful and whacky in ages. I’ve got on a shirt with a very happy red apple on it, with the text: An apple a day and you die anyway. My shoes are the exact same color of red, all new and shiny. I bought the entire outfit while I was away on business. It feels good to get back to my normal self, and now that I don’t have Kian to worry about anymore, I can wear whatever I want.

Still, I imagine how he’d look at me if I walked in like this. He would definitely ask me to change, no doubt about it. He’d feel like a purple cardigan is too feminine, the shirt too flashy and the shoes too intense in every single way. But guess what? It doesn’t matter what Kian thinks of what I am wearing, because he and I are done. We’re not together anymore, I already picked up all my stuff, and if I don’t want to, I never have to see him again.

Well, I’ll probably see him again when Annabel and Aston throw a party since they usually invite their colleagues as well, but other than that I don’t have to talk to him, or see him, or experience the heartbreak all over again. He’s in the past. Permanently.

“Dylan!” Alex shouts, doing a little dance. “Uncle Dylan!”

Laughing, I pick him up and dance around with him, throwing him up in the air. “I have to go, little monkey. I’m going to have to leave you with your mom and dad today. Sad, I know, and I’m not sure you will survive, but I’ll be back later to see if I can revive your small, lifeless body.”

He giggles, even though there is no way he understood all of that. He’s such an easy kid. I give him a kiss, put him back on the floor, and walk him downstairs.

Thomas only takes one single look at me, and he immediately knows where I’m going. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

“No,” I confess with a shrug. “Doing it anyway.”

Mila, who is having breakfast in the kitchen, looking like she’s not sure why the fuck she got up this early, gives me a weak smile. “Good luck. I’ve got work this afternoon, but I’m free for cocktails and wiping your tears tonight. Show up whenever.”

“Make that beer, and I’m in.” I hug all of them goodbye, and it’s Tracy I hold the longest. She gets it. She knows how hard it is to stay away from someone you can’t stop thinking about, even when you realize that it might not be the best idea in the world to see him when you just got out of a relationship that sucked the soul right out of you. But I saw how things were between her and Thomas when she just left Michel. It was terrible. He felt completely out of whack, trying to move on and wait for her at the same time, praying she’d finally come to her senses and be with him. I’m not sure what the right way is, but I do know I need to see Andre. Today.

***

It takes me five minutes before I’m able to actually get out of the car. Part of me wants to just run in and exclaim that I’m single, while another part of me longs to drive back to Thomas’ place, crawl into bed, and cry some more. Eventually, I manage to get out and cross the street, but it takes all I’ve got to act like I’m not a nervous wreck.

“Hey Dylan,” Liv greets me from behind the counter, smiling brightly.

“You’re back!” I love how happy she looks.

“Not full time, James would kill me if I did that, but not working at all was driving me insane. I can handle one morning, right?” She looks tired, but happy. The bakery is like a baby to her just as much as Nova and Aurora are, so of course it was hurting her to stay upstairs, knowing others were running her business.

“Is Andre here?” I ask, noticing that the person behind the counter at the coffee shop is his employee, not him.

Liv shakes her head. “He took the morning off. I forced him to, actually. He hasn’t had a day off since I gave birth, and that was a month and a half ago. I decided he needed to sleep in for once.”

Crap. That means I need to wait until this afternoon, or… Fuck it, I’m going to his apartment. I will go insane if I have to wait any longer to see him. Of course, I need to have coffee first, and Liv forces me to have breakfast with her. Her bagels are amazing, so I’m definitely not saying no to that. She’s so happy to be back that she chatters incessantly, her smile infectious.

“Where’s Aurora today?” I can’t help but ask.

“James has the day off. He’s upstairs with her.” She sighs happily. “He’s such an amazing father. I always knew that from watching how he is with Nova, but seeing him with our little girl… It’s amazing. I’m falling deeper in love with him every single day.”

My heart swells with affection for both of them. “I’m so happy you found each other. I hope you know he’s damn lucky to be married to you, Liv.”

She turns a little shy. “Yeah, well, I’m-” Liv stops talking abruptly when the door to the bakery opens and Deidra storms in, tears streaming down her face.

“They said no,” she whimpers, slumping down onto the empty chair across from us. “They made us wait two fucking months, only to tell us that they’re not up for it.”

“Oh honey…” Liv gets up to hug her best friend. “I’m so sorry. Does Imani know yet?”

“She needs a moment, you know how she is. She likes to deal with things on her own. I think she went to the gym to punch a guy or something.” Deidra sniffles and wipes her eyes. “I just couldn’t… I always thought this was what we were supposed to do, you know? Now we’re gonna have to… I don’t even know!”

I’m not sure if I should get up and leave them alone, or try to offer comfort. While Liv keeps rubbing her back, I get up to grab a chocolate éclair and a cup of chai tea for Deidra, knowing her favorites since we’ve sat down at a table together before, both tasting Liv’s new recipes. She smiles through her tears when I put them in front of her.

“Do you want me to leave?” I ask softly.

She shakes her head. “No, you can stay. I’ll be fine in a moment.”

“Want to tell me what happened or rather not?”

She hesitates, but then shrugs. “What the hell, it’s not like it’s a secret. Imani and I want kids, but neither of us has a dick, so we need someone to provide the sperm for us. We don’t want some rando, you know. We want actual co-parents, ideally. For our kid to know its dad. So…”

“You asked Derrek and Matt,” I realize. That makes perfect sense, except for one little detail. “Why the hell would they say no? They’re like… your best friends!”

“Matt never wanted kids,” Deidra explains, a little calmer now. “Neither did Derrek, but then Nova happened, and Derrek stepped up. They both love Nova to death, of course, but if Liv hadn’t accidentally gotten pregnant, they wouldn’t be fathers right now.”

“I didn’t even know Derrek didn’t want kids until he confessed it a few years ago when he was drunk,” Liv says when she sees my incredulous expression. “I’m not sure he’d ever said it out loud before then. He’s an amazing dad, and he wouldn’t change me getting pregnant for the world. Neither would Matt. They’re both amazing fathers, but they kind of like only having Nova half the time. I know that sounds bad, but they just love their careers and their social lives. They would never be okay with me and James having Nova for more than fifty percent of the time, they love that girl too much, but they wouldn’t want to be full time parents either.”

“And you want them to co-parent?” I ask Deidra. “Not just give you sperm and be like an uncle to the kid?”

Deidra shrugs. “I always liked the idea of the dad at least having the kid every other weekend, you know? Truly bond. A friend of mine is married to a woman as well, and they had their daughter with a gay couple. The four of them co-parent, and it’s amazing. Zero drama because they’re not exes or anything, and the girl gets to know both her bio mom and her bio dad. I always thought that one day, Imani and I would have that with Matt and Derrek. But they don’t want to. Neither of them wants to be a father to anyone but Nova, not even if they won’t need to co-parent.”

That surprises me, but I do think it’s good that they’re honest about what they want. It sucks for the girls, but if the guys don’t want to raise another kid, that’s up to them.

“You’ll find someone else,” Liv vows. “Just give it some time. And I know you don’t want to go to a sperm bank, but it’s still a viable option.”

Deidra groans. “I know, I know. We just always thought it would be Derrek or Matt. We need a moment to wrap our heads around neither of them donating sperm. Anyway, distract me.”

“With what?” Liv asks. “All I do all day is change diapers, sleep, and beg James to let me out of the apartment so I can check on the bakery.”

Both girls look at me expectantly. They have no way of knowing I’m not exactly in the right mind space to provide a proper distraction.

“I came home two days ago to find out Kian was cheating on me, so I’m living with Thomas and Tracy for the time being while I look for a new apartment.” I smile wryly at the shock on their faces. “It’s okay. Things haven’t been good for a long time, if I’m honest. I was coming home to talk to him about that, and I was fully prepared for a breakup. I just wasn’t prepared for another guy being in bed with my boyfriend, the condom wrappers and lube still on my nightstand.”

“Fuck,” Deidra breathes. “Okay, you win. You officially had a worse week than I did.”

“I’m okay.” That’s not completely true, but not exactly a lie either. I’m not as broken as I thought I’d be. It hurts, sure, but I know I will be fine eventually.

“Who was he…” Liv shakes her head. “I mean, was it someone you know?”

“His colleague, Silas. He was supposedly straight, but that was either a lie to throw me off, or he realized he wasn’t straight when he started banging my boyfriend. I don’t know. They’ve been sleeping together for two months, give or take a few days.”

“All men are assholes,” Deidra mutters.

“Yet you want one of us to give you a baby,” I remind her.

She groans. “Not by choice. If Imani and I could have a baby without a man getting involved, we would, trust me.”

“Which one of you will be the mom?” I’d much rather talk about her situation than mine.

“Me for the first kid, Imani for the second one. Ideally, the father would be the same guy, so the kids would actually be genetically related.” She sighs, on the verge of tears again. “We could do that with a sperm donor, I guess. Some random guy who jizzed into a tiny plastic container.” She looks over at Liv. “Any chance James wants another kid?”

“He does, but you know as well as I do he’d never be your sperm donor, Dee.” She looks sorry for her friend, still rubbing her back. “You’ve hinted at it before, and I’ve talked to him about it. He’d love a house full of kids, but he wants them with me, and to be a full time dad, not a part time one.”

“I know, I know.” Deidra throws up her hands. “Straight people have it so easy. You fuck for a while, and BOOM, there’s a baby. It’s so unfair that I need to beg all my male friends to consider giving me some sperm and raising a kid with me and my wife.”

“I know, honey.” Liv nudges her. “Eat your éclair. Chocolate always helps.”

When Deidra starts to eat, I take that as my cue to leave. I wish her good luck with her situation, tell her to say hi to Imani for me, and then I get back into my car. Time to drive over to Andre’s place and finally have that talk I drove here for. I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to say, but I’ll just wing it, I guess.

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