Lies, Sacrifices, and Alibis

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Chapter 39

The weekend flew by, but I wasn’t sure what day it was. Between my running to the bathroom and sleeping, the hours just ran into another.

When Monday morning arrived, I staggered out of bed. After touching my foot in the tub, I took the shortest shower since I was young, basically just rinsing off. I got dressed for work. Mike and I went out shopping and picked me up some clothing that wasn’t so constricting and bought a lot of blue baby clothes. If it was cute, we bought it. The kid would not want for clothes.

Food still wasn’t high on my priority list, but neither was drinking. It didn’t matter what I ate or drank. One little drop on my lips had me puking my guts up in the bathroom, so I didn’t do either.

When I picked up Tania, I didn’t feel any better. I guess she figured out that much since she didn’t light a cigarette.

“Hey little mama. How are ya feelin’?”

“Like shit. I’m tellin’ ya this has to be my punishment for gettin’ pregnant the way I did. God’s punishin’ me. I know he’ll forgive me for my sins, but not before puttin’ me through hell first.”

“Not really. All women go through this. Well, maybe not all women, but most do. Some women say they have mornin’ sickness all day. Usually, that’s just the first pregnancy. After that, it’s not as bad. Maybe your body gets used to it?”

“Well, considerin’ I only get one, I guess it’s just somethin’ I have to live with. Long as I don’t eat, and drink very little, I should be okay.”

“Well, unless ya wanna to take another trip to another beach an’ find another suitable donor…”

I wasn’t amused with her comment and she could see that from the glare I shot her.

She chuckled, raising her hands. “Are ya gona be okay workin’? I can tell ya don’t feel good.”

“Hey, the world doesn’t stop because I’m pregnant. Besides, I can’t stop workin’. Think about all the pioneer women. They gave birth, tended to the fields, cooked, cleaned, hunted… at least I think they hunted. I think I can handle runnin’ the office while pregnant.”

“Okay, but if you feel bad, ya should go home.”

I sighed. There was a topic I wanted to bring up. Mike argued with me about that every day since he found out about the baby. “We’ll see. Mike thinks I should quit my job an’ take care of Matt an’ be a good stay-at-home mom.”

“Who?”

I patted my baby bump.

“Oh yeah, Mom told me you’re havin’ a boy, but I thought you were namin’ him Robert Howard, or Howard Robert or somethin’ like that, after the grandfathers? Where the hell did Matt come from?”

“Mike wants to name the baby after him, but I don’t like junior or second an’ think the baby should have his own name. Well, he thinks callin’ the baby Matt will work his way around my issue an’ he still gets to name the baby after him, but it’s not gonna work. I’m not callin’ my son Matt.”

“Okay, I get that he wants to name the kid after him, but I don’t understand how he turned Mike into Matt. Where does Matt come from?”

“I asked him the same thin’. He’s usin’ the initials of his name; Michael Allan Tanner Two. He figures we’ll call him Mike an’ the baby Matt. He’s really adamant about this. I guess he figures it took ten years to make him an’ he’s gonna be our only one. He really wants him named after him.”

“Oh, well that’s cute. It makes sense now. Most men want their first born named after them. Okay, so what’s the problem? Just name him after Mike an’ call him Matt.”

I glared at her between watching the road. “You know I can’t do that!”

“Why not?”

“I’d feel like I was betrayin’ Corey if I named our baby after Mike. I have to be true to Corey where the baby is concerned.”

She blinked a few times as she looked at me. “Wait… ya don’t wanna betray your baby’s daddy over your husband even though your husband thinks he’s the baby’s daddy? Wow, this is like a scene right outta one of those soap operas.”

“Oh, now ya think that way? Soap opera, huh? Well, which one did ya watch to orchestrate this whole thing? Need I remind ya, this was all your idea? Ya don’t know how hard this is! I get to have a baby. That’s been my dream for years, but I hoped it was gonna be Mike’s, but now that I’ve met Corey an’ we spent time together… an’…”

“You’ve got it bad. So, what are ya gonna do?”

I sighed. “Take one day at a time. Hope an’ pray I don’t run into him at the grocery store like that Heart song.”

“Can I write a book about it?”

“I’m tryin’ to think of all the shit work I can make ya do today.”

She put her hands up in resignation. “Ooh, okay. Got it, boss. Shuttin’ up now.”

“Sorry. I just really don’t wanna talk about it now. I’ve got a lotta guilt. There’s guilt for Corey because I left him high an’ dry without a note. Then there’s the fact I’m pregnant with his son an’ he’ll never know there’s a little boy out there that’s his. Not to mention how I’ve fallen so completely in love with him that I can’t get his face outta my mind.” I sighed. “…then there’s the guilt for what I’m doin’ to Mike. He’s so excited an’ wants to do things all new dads do. There’s an overload of guilt just eatin’ away at my gut.”

“If there’s anythin’ I can do let me know. I’ll be here with ya through it all. Just say the word, tell me what to do an’ I’ll do it.”

“When Mike found out I was sufferin’ mornin’ sickness, he said it was cute.”

She laughed, cringing. “He said it was cute watchin’ ya puke?”

“Yeah… then he went out an’ got me this elixir shit that doesn’t work. It supposedly tastes like the sweat of a donkey’s balls an’ no ya don’t wanna know what that tastes like. If that’s what it tastes like.”

“Well that’s an interestin’ analogy.”

“Tell me about it, but he was really sweet. He held my hair while I puked an’ cried when I told him about the baby. Well, I didn’t tell him as much as he guessed when he saw all the stuff I left on the table. I had a dream about Corey that day wearin’ a pirate outfit.”

“Wait… did ya say a… a pirate outfit? Did you guys do somethin’ with pirates?”

“No. I was watchin’ Pirates of the Caribbean an’ I guess it blended into my dream.”

She chuckled. “Good, because I was about to say… So, what happened?”

“He was excited an’ called his mother.”

“The dragon-in-law herself. What did she have to say?”

“I think she’s behind this whole Matt name because that was his first question. He wants the baby named after him. He keeps callin’ the baby bump, Matt.”

“Well that’s only normal if ya think about it. Like I said, I don’t know too many men who don’t want their first son named after them.”

“…but it’s not his baby.”

She sighed. “Are ya gonna tell him?”

“Hell no, I’m not tellin’ him!”

“Then it’s only right for him to want him to take his name.”

“We don’t know for sure it’s not his baby. He an’ I do have sex.”

“Honey, after ten years of tryin’, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you it’s not his baby.”

I groaned. “I’m not callin’ mine an’ Corey’s baby Matt after Mike.”

“What name were you thinkin’? Surely you’re not thinkin’ of namin’ him Corey.”

“That’d be nice, but I thought of Logan Michael Tanner. That way, I give the baby Mike’s name, but it’ll be his middle name.”

“I like that name. What did Mike think?”

“He still wants Matt.”

“Ouch, this isn’t gonna be easy.”

“I’m just waitin’ for the doctor to tell me there’s no room for the baby to grow because of the guilt. I’m sorry I snapped at ya. I know you’ll be there for me. You’re the only one who will. Right now, it feels as if my stomach is on the Titanic, in the middle of the ocean, as it tries to decide whether or not to capsize… up one side, down the other, back an’ forth an’ side to side.”

“Well, when ya think of anythin’ I can do to help…”

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