“You’re in a very bleak place. On one hand, you deserve the right to mourn the loss of Billy. He was your world, your partner, the one you planned to conquer the world with. But, on the other hand, you have a baby growing inside who already loves you. You are his, or her, entire world. With this little person, your priorities change from your own needs to the baby’s needs. You’ve got to be there one hundred percent, taking all the responsibility of mother and father. It’s not a task for the faint of heart. Not everyone could do it.”
Was this some kind of reverse psychology bullshit? “Thank you Captain Obvious. I thought I had some obscenely huge tumor in my stomach.”
“Stop, you’re just as feisty as when we were kids. You know what I meant.”
“I’m not really sure I do know. I haven’t seen you in what…fifteen years? How much could you know about me as an adult? You knew me as some kid eons ago.”
“We were best friends forever, then, you were my girlfriend. You were my first love, really.”
My stomach gurgled and did a small whoop-tee-do, like going over hills really fast in a car. My brain quickly reprimanded my emotions with how shitty my reaction was. I wasn’t gonna minimize Billy in any way, shape, or form. “Oh, good grief, that was years ago. We were stupid kids.”
“We were best friends forever, how could you forget?”
“Because you up and left me, do you remember that? How long did we write each other, huh? Maybe six months before we both got too busy to give a damn. We grew up without each other. The heart forgets.”
“My heart never forgot you.”
A rescue ship drifted into view from my deserted island, I wasn’t alone. Relief settled my nerves, calming my blues. Closing my eyes, balling my hands into fists, I strongly rejected the peace Cameron offered. My husband just died for Christ’s sake. “Are you fucking making a pass at me? That’s low.”
“No, I’m not making any passes. I’m engaged to someone. I was only trying to give you some comfort, talk about something happy. I wanted you to know I never forgot our friendship.” Looking down, he gripped his hands together awkwardly.
He was engaged?
A million thoughts entered my mind all at once. Relief washed over the worry he was making a move on me. I was glad to know he remained gallant in this world sometimes blackened with self-indulgence. Yet, a small twinge of regret poked at my consciousness, like not finding the prize egg during childhood hunts, even though my basket was abundantly full. My life had been abundantly full, when he just happened to stroll back into it as the earth shattered. “I’m sorry, I was being a jerk. Congratulations on the engagement, she’s a lucky girl.”
“I’m the lucky one, I gotta admit.” Standing, he smiled his irresistible crooked grin. “I’m on rotation here for several more weeks. I’d like to check on you, if that’s okay.”
Here was someone not part of the world that had imploded. Maybe he was just the person to talk to, remind me of happier times. Even though I doubted I’d ever be fully happy again, he could help pass these miserable days until the baby arrived. I had nothing to grab onto, everything felt like gelatin as my life rope.
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