Weeks go by until another month has passed. Each week Noah and I get a little closer than we were before. We talk to each other throughout the week now and see each other more than one night. I’ve stayed over a couple of times and now it seems we’re getting back into the rhythm of a relationship.
We’re kinda back to where we started, but we’ve taken the time to get to know each other first. Maybe Noah’s whole blow-up was a blessing in disguise because a lot of good has come from it. He says he’s doing well in therapy and I can see the changes. They’re subtle because it’s not like he was a maniac to begin with. He just seems happier and lighter. Instead of relying on others to provide it, he can make that happiness on his own.
All that’s to say, we’re in a good place. We’re more of a team than before, and I’m no longer afraid he’s going to take things out of context without talking to me first. He trusts me not to screw him over the way Kendra did, and I trust him not to belittle and talk down to me. It was only that one time, but it brought too much of Rich up to the surface. I wasn’t smart enough to put my foot down with him. I was with Noah and it worked out for the better.
The holidays are fast approaching. I’m supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner at Harper’s house. I want Noah to come with me, but things did not go well last time. It’s the weekend though, so we’re laying in bed at his place. It’s the perfect time to ask him to be my date.
“Hey, Noah?” I whisper. His eyes are closed as I’m tracing a tattoo on his belly.
“Thanksgiving’s coming up. I’m supposed to go to Harper’s and… well, I was wondering if you had plans with your family. Would you maybe want to come with me? I know my mom and Harper suck, but Drew doesn’t, and I’d like it if you were my date.” I stammer and stumble over my words. Why am I so nervous?
Noah’s deep laughter rings out in the room and my body moves with his through the laughs. He’s looking at me now and his eyes are happy. I smile in response. It was stupid to be so nervous.
“I do not have plans and I’d be honored to be your date.”
I sigh, relieved. I go to settle into his side for the night when he flips us around until he’s looming over me. He’s just staring at me, so I do the same. I catalog every little feature of his, from his super soft brown hair to his eyes that change color depending on his mood or the colors of his clothes. I trace from his forehead over the bar in his eyebrow to the little hoop in his straight nose. Over his plump lips that just beg to be kissed then lower to the beginnings of his tattoos on his neck then down his chest. I tweak the bars he’s got in his nipples a little and he smiles. I go lower and lower until he’s sucking in a breath and burying his face in my neck.
The next morning, I wake having to pee like nobody’s business. Noah’s on his stomach with his arms under his pillows. He looks adorable. I kiss his shoulder blade then run to the bathroom. I feel like I’m sitting on the toilet for hours. I look around the room when I catch sight of a familiar black box sitting on the back of the toilet.
Noah bought me the same brand of tampons that I’ve brought over in the past. Aw, that’s so sweet. I can’t believe he paid that much attention. Rich freaked out if I even mentioned anything vaguely related to my menstrual cycle. Meanwhile, Noah buys me a box to keep here in the brand and size I like.
As those thoughts flit through my head, so does the fact that it’s been a hot minute since I’ve had my period. I was due for it like a week ago. My stomach drops at the implications. Shit! Shit, shit, shit! I’m trying to count backward mentally to my last period. It was mid-August when Noah and I slept together for the first time, but I had my period during one of the weeks that he wasn’t speaking to me.
We slept together again in September. I’m wracking my brain trying to remember if I had a period in October. I don’t think I did. I usually get them in the middle of the month and I didn’t get one. Shit, how did I not notice?
I quickly dress in some clean clothes from the duffle bag I’ve been bringing over on the weekends and slip out of the bedroom. Noah’s still passed out. I write him a quick note and leave it on the breakfast bar, telling him I’ve gone out for breakfast and coffee.
I stop at the closest supercenter grocery store I see. I have to stop myself from running into the place and making a mad dash to the pregnancy test section. When I do finally get there, I look at all the different brands. I read each box carefully and select four different ones. I grab a few bottles of water and walk around the store while I wait for them to work through my body after downing two in record time.
I stop at the baby section because I can’t help myself. I walk through aisle after aisle of baby clothes, then the diaper section. Holy shit! Diapers are expensive. I walk through the aisle with the bottles and food. Babies need so much stuff. How am I supposed to do this? No, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, I need to take the damn tests.
I purchase my things, going through the self-checkout. I know the cashiers probably don’t give two shits about what I buy, but it feels like they’d be judging. Like they know Noah and I haven’t been in a relationship long and that this was totally unplanned.
I head to the biggest stall in the bathroom. You know, the one with the baby changing station. I lay each of the pregnancy tests in a row, then I take them all in one hand and pee on one right after the other. I lay them back on the bag and wait. It says two minutes. Okay, two minutes isn’t that long to wait. It’s not like anything life-altering is happening on those sticks.
Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, it does not take the full two minutes for the results to show. One test after another like they are on a perfectly timed round shows a little plus sign or two lines or simply the word pregnant. Oh, god! This can’t be happening. I’m not ready to be a mom. Oh, and what will Noah think? Will he be happy or angry?
I spend the next ten minutes in freak-out mode. My vision gets foggy, my eyesight darkens around the edges, and I feel like I’m going to hyperventilate. At the end of the ten minutes, I pull myself together. There’s a person growing inside of me. A person who’s half me, half Noah. I smile at that thought. I can see a little boy with Noah’s hair and my green eyes learning music from his dad.
Worse things happen every day. Me getting pregnant right now, while not ideal, is not the end of the world. In fact, it just might be the start of something wonderful.