It takes a moment for her words to register, but when they do, I start sobbing.
She starts sobbing.
She wraps her arms around me and we cry over the mutual love we have for Ryle. We cry over how much we hate him right now.
After several minutes of us sobbing pathetically on her bed, she releases me and walks over to her dresser to retrieve a box of tissues.
We’re both wiping our eyes and sniffling when I say, “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had.”
She nods. “I know. And now I’m gonna be the best aunt.” She wipes her nose and sniffles again, but she’s smiling. “Lily. You’re having a baby.” She says it with excitement, and it’s the first moment I’ve been able to share any sense of joy over my pregnancy. “I hate to say it, but I noticed you put on weight. I thought you were just depressed and eating a lot since Ryle left.”
She walks to the back of her closet and starts pulling things out for me. “I have so many maternity clothes to give you.”
We start going through clothes and she pulls down a suitcase and opens it. She begins to throw things toward the suitcase until it starts to overflow.
“I could never wear these,” I tell her, holding up a shirt that still has the tag on it. “They’re all designer. I’ll get them dirty.”
She laughs and shoves them into the suitcase anyway. “I won’t need them back. If I get pregnant again, I’ll just have my people buy me more.” She pulls a shirt off a hanger and hands it to me. “Here, try this one on.”
I take my shirt off and then pull the maternity shirt over my head. When I get it into place, I look in the mirror.
I look . . . pregnant. Like you-can’t-hide-this-shit pregnant.
She puts a hand on my stomach and stares in the mirror with me. “Have you found out if it’s a boy or a girl?”
I shake my head. “I don’t really want to know.”
“I hope it’s a girl,” she says. “Our daughters can be besties.”
We both spin around to find Marshall standing in the doorway. His eyes are on my stomach. On Allysa’s hand still on my stomach. He tilts his head. He points at me.
“You . . .” he says, confused. “Lily, there’s a . . . do you realize you’re pregnant?”
Allysa calmly walks to the door and puts her hand on the doorknob. “There are some things you are never, ever to repeat if you want to keep me as your wife. This is one of those things. Understood?”
Marshall raises his eyebrows and takes a step back. “Yes. Okay. Got it. Lily is not pregnant.” He kisses Allysa on the forehead and looks back at me. “I am not telling you congratulations, Lily. For absolutely nothing.” Allysa shoves him all the way out the door and closes it, then turns back to me.
“We need to plan a baby shower,” she says.
“No. I need to tell Ryle first.”
She waves her hand dismissively. “We don’t need him to plan a shower. We’ll just keep it between the two of us until then.”
She pulls out her laptop, and for the first time since I found out I was pregnant, I feel happy about it.
It’s rather convenient only having to take an elevator to get home from Allysa’s, as much as I want to move out of my own apartment at times. It’s still strange living there. We only lived there a week before we split up and Ryle left for England. It never even had the chance to feel like home and now it feels a little tainted. I haven’t even been able to sleep in our bedroom since that night, so I’ve been sleeping in the guest room on my old bed.
Allysa and Marshall are still the only ones who know about the pregnancy. It’s only been two weeks since I told them, which makes me twenty weeks along now. I know I should tell my mother, but Ryle will be back in a few weeks. I feel like I should tell him first before anyone else finds out. If I can just somehow hide my baby bump from her until he gets back to the States.
I should probably just accept the fact that I’m more than likely going to have to call him and tell him long-distance. I haven’t seen my mother face-to-face in two weeks. It’s the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other since she moved to Boston, so if something doesn’t happen soon she’ll show up at my front door when I’m not prepared.
I swear my stomach has doubled in size these last two weeks alone. If someone sees me who knows me well, it’ll be impossible to hide. So far, no one at the floral shop has asked about it. I think I’m still on the cusp of “Is she pregnant? Or just chubby?”
I start to unlock the door to my apartment, but it begins to open from the other side. Before I can pull the jacket over to hide my stomach from whoever is on the other side of the door, Ryle’s eyes land on me. I’m wearing one of the shirts Allysa gave me and it’s kind of impossible to hide the fact that I’m wearing a maternity shirt when he’s staring right at it.
Ryle is here.
My heart begins to smash against the walls of my chest. My neck begins to itch, so I bring my hand up and rest it there, feeling the pounding of my heart against my palm.
It’s pounding because I’m terrified of him.
It’s pounding because I hate him.
It’s pounding because I’ve missed him.
His eyes slowly crawl from my stomach to my face. A hurtful expression takes over him, like I’ve just stabbed him straight through the heart. He takes a step back into my apartment and his hands come up to his mouth.