“Come on,” I cried. This stupid dress just wouldn’t come up past my baby bump. I looked in the mirror after I finally got it to do so and instantly hated it. Mackenzie came into her room with a smile, a smile that faded as soon as she saw me. I’d taken a seat in the chair across from her bed.
“Sweetie, what’s wrong?” I wiped the tears off of my face and didn’t answer, she walked over and crouched beside me, “You have to finish getting ready... Tyler’s downstairs.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“What? You were so excited about this.”
“I can’t go, I’m so big.”
“You’re pregnant... but, okay. I’ll go talk to him.”
She went out of the room, I assumed to tell Tyler I wasn’t coming. I was about to get up and see what was taking so long when Tyler walked in.
“Ana, what’s wrong?” He asked once he saw me.
I felt the tears well up again, “I am not supposed to be this big at eleven weeks. It’s not normal; normal women are usually just now starting to show. I look like a fucking balloon or something.”
He rushed over to me and grabbed my hands in his before crouching down in front of me, “No, babe, it is normal. Those other women you’re thinking about don’t have more than one baby.”
“No. Remember that book we read, um, What to Expect When You’re Expecting?“* I nodded, “And do you remember what it said about women carrying multiple babies?”
I sighed and quoted, “Women expecting more than one child may experience more weight gain than women with a single pregnancy."
“Exactly, and how many Meyer’s kids are in that belly?”
I chuckled at his wording, “Two.”
“I still don’t want to go out like this, though.”
“That’s fine, we’ll have our date at home and go out once you’re more comfortable with yourself, I’ll just give the dinner reservation to Ryan and Amanda... okay?”
I looked everywhere, but at him. I was sure he was excited this date, and there I went with the body issues. “Alright.”
“Smells like walking past a five-star restaurant.” I had taken a shower and was walking out of the room in some comfortable pajamas.
Tyler glanced up at me from the food he was cooking to give me a crooked smile and ask:
“How would you know?”
“I don’t know.”
I took a seat at the table. We sat in a comfortable silence as I watched him cook and then plate the food. This felt comfortable, it felt right. Like it was something we do every night, then it hit me that we probably did. God, why did I idiotically get in that car? I’m me; I know I suck at driving, I always have.
“So, um,” I started, snapping myself out of my thoughts, “what did you have planned for tonight?”
He walked towards me with both plates and set one in front of me before sitting down with his. “Other than dinner?” I nodded, “I planned for us to go to this stupid silent film.”
“But I hate silent films.”
“Oh, no, we weren’t gonna go to actually watch the movie,” I furrowed my eyebrows, “just to sit in the back and whisper while eating loudly. It would annoy people, but they’d stay turned around and those who shot us dirty looks would get popcorn thrown at the back of their head, until we got kicked out.”
I gasped, “You’re a cheater!”
“I accept to go out on a date with you and you use an oldie from college.”
“Fine,” he sighed, “that’s what we did on our first date. Neither of us had been to a silent movie before, but once the movie started we got bored and started messing with everyone like the eighteen-year-olds we were.”
“I kind of want to punch you right now,” I crossed my arms for a second before letting them fall back down and beginning to play with the food on my plate.
“But... that sounds like it was really fun.”
“We had the best time, I promise.”
“Alright... but next time you have to be original. You can’t just use a bunch of old dates, that’s no fair.”
Tyler and I sat, side by side, watching Mission Impossible. I made sure to face forward, even as I glanced at him occasionally from the corner of my eyes. I also used this time to slightly check him out. He only wore a pair of red basketball shorts and black socks, earlier he’d also worn a plain white t-shirt but took it off as soon as the apartment got too hot.
“I can feel you staring at me, you know that right?” Tyler asked.
I tried to play it off, “What are you talking about?”
“You,” he chuckled, “have always been a bad actor.”
Ignoring him, I turned back to the television. I tried to focus, until I realized how much a distraction Tyler’s bare upper body was. “Hey, Tyler, aren’t you cold?”
“Cold? It’s like a million degrees in here from me cooking.”
“I know, but are you sure you don’t want to cover that up?” I gestured to his chest and stomach.
“Does my six-pack bother you?” He chuckled and I was so glad that we sat in the dark, because I’m sure that I was blushing so hard that you could see it even through my olive complexion.
It did bother me, it really did.
“N-no, why would it?”
“Well, then I really see no reason for me to put a shirt on.”
“Okay,” my voice came out like I’d swallowed a squeak toy. I turned back towards the television and still couldn’t concentrate.
I noticed Tyler glancing over at me every now and then, but I forced myself to keep my eyes on the TV.
Sometime later, I felt Tyler put his arm around my shoulders. I shot up off of the couch and paused the movie.
“Ya know, we should play a game,” he looked so confused that it was cute, “yeah, um, I’ve read that TV rots your brain. You’ve read that somewhere before, right?”
“Ana, are you–”
I cut off with a smile, “Yeah, Ty, I’m fine.” I went over to the switch and cut the light on; then, I turned to the bookshelf next to the light switch. “We’ve got Yahtzee, Candy Land– uh, Monopo—”
“I live here, I don’t think I need inventory.”
“Well then, will you please just pick a damn game so we can play? God, you’re impossible.”
I stood up at the same time Tyler did. He chuckled, “I’m the impossible one?”
“Ye--” I stopped and thought for a second, “well... no. You’re just so annoying; I mean, you won’t pick a game, you won’t put a freaking shirt on.”
I felt my back hit the wall behind me. It took me a second to realize that was I was talking Tyler was getting closer and I was backing away. There was glint of amusement in his eyes.
I scoffed in mock hurt, “Is this funny to you?”
“No, ma’am,” he replied with a smile. I couldn’t help but smile too, his was contagious.
“Would you just put a shirt on? For me, please, and I promise not to use my feminine wiles to get you to do things for me.”
“Hey, I do stuff for you out of the kindness of my heart,” I rolled my eyes; I always coaxed him into doing what I wanted. He sighed, “How long will you stop the wiling?”
“As long as it takes to get you to put that shirt on.”
“A week?” He stepped a little closer. Okay, buddy, a little too close.
“Well, I don’t know about that; I need you to massage my feet, you just did it earlier and they’re already like three times normal size. How ’bout an hour?”
He sighed in defeat, “Fine,” he grabbed his shirt off of the arm of the couch, “get out Monopoly.”
“Yay!” I took that box from the bottom shelf and set it on the coffee table. I straightened up and saw Ty watching me, still shirtless of course. “What?”
He walked toward me again, “Just let me ask you one thing.”
He held up his shirt, “What is it about me not wearing this that makes you so uncomfortable?”
“I– I, uh,” I tried to form some kind of coherent sound, but came up with nothing. I glanced down at the coffee table, “Are you going to set up the board, or should I?”
He just turned away from me and put his tee on. I used this as leeway to sit down on the floor; a task easier said than done. After what felt like forever, I was sitting on the floor with Tyler and playing Monopoly. We played for a few hours before I looked over at the time.
“It’s so late,” I laughed, “I should get to bed.”
“No,” Tyler pleaded, “just one more game; come on, it’s not that late.”
“It’s eleven at night and we have to get up early for work tomorrow.” He looked like he was about to protest again when I placed an index finger on his lips. “Early as in,” I checked my watch, “eight hours from now.”
He groaned, “Fine, you can sleep.”
“Really, I have your permission, o’ king of mine?”
“Trust me, if it was up to me, you’d be forced to stay up.”
I smiled, “Just evil.”
He shrugged and we started cleaning up the game, “Yeah, well...” After finishing and putting it back on the bookshelf he looked at me. “So, as you know, this is technically a date, and in the spirit of that I’d like to walk you home.”
“As in the bedroom?” I pointed to the room behind me.
“Yep.” He smiled and quickly stood up and held a hand out to me. I grabbed it and he helped me up before leading to the bedroom door.
“Well,” I said like this was really a first date, “I guess this is me.”
“Yeah...” he pointed to the door, “you know, I think this is the part where we think back on the date and you give me some sort of indication that there might be a second one. But, then again, that’s just a guess.”
I nodded slightly, “No, no, I think you’re right.”
“Yeah, but we’re not going to do that. See, to give you such a clue would require something that I’m not quite ready to deal with yet.”
I felt his hands go to my waist, his thumbs made circular motions on my stomach. “And what would that be?”
“Tyler Christopher Meyers, I’m serious.”
“Ooh, I can tell, you went middle name status.”
I slid my hands behind his neck, “Listen to me, okay?” he nodded, “I know that if we... show some form of, I don’t know, passion that one of us might misinterpret.”
He shook his head like he’d zoned out, “I’m sorry, I didn’t follow.” Yeah, right, more like you weren’t listening.
“Just not this time, but there will be a next one, maybe that date.” I gave him a kiss on the cheek, “Goodnight, Tyler Meyers.”
“...Goodnight, Anastasia Scott.” I smiled and went in the room.